Open late Thurs.- Sat.
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Bocce Bar Restaurant Review: Outside this Italian eatery’s front door, the bocce court is the real thing; inside, the décor, from the reclaimed furniture to the weathered wooden beams and broken-tile flooring, is all imported from Italy. In contrast, chef Timon Balloo, who does double-duty at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill next door, has built his reputation on inventive pan-Asian creations; direct inspiration for this venture was limited to an intensive nine-day taste testing trip from Sicily up to Rome. For many first-time visitors to Southern Italy, antipasti are the main food revelation --- not the deli-type sliced salami ‘n’ cheese platter called “antipasto” in America’s Italian red-sauce joints, but whole tables of treats (distinctively different vegetable preparations, in particular). And fresh vegetable and/or dairy-based prepared small plates, authentically-inspired but with Balloo’s creative twists, are Bocce’s strong suit. In carote al forno, roasting and touches of mascarpone and intensely spiced “pistachio granola” turn rainbow and Thumbelina carrots into a dish that is unified yet each color retaining its own taste. For dessert, don’t miss smooth house-made gelatos, especially one flavored with complex 25-year-aged balsamico. The wine list so excels in its variety of Italian regional selections (and in number available by the glass) that it’s unnecessary to go beyond the border for pairings, but there are popular global choices for non-believers.