Farm Fresh and Fork-Friendly: Boca Kitchen Bar & Market – Hyde Park

by Heather Lindsay Sell, ShoutOUT®, July 13, 2017

Disclosure: Through my relationship with BE1 Concepts, I was given the opportunity to visit Boca Kitchen Bar & Market at their Hyde Park location to experience their farm-to-table restaurant and was provided a complimentary meal in order to provide my honest opinion on the entire experience. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and based completely on my own thoughts, experiences, and taste buds.

Boca TableFarm fresh and fork friendly, Boca Kitchen Bar & Market on West Platt Street in historic Hyde Park is a deliciously charming restaurant to visit. This restored 1928 garage and gas station was transformed into the farm-to-table eatery currently on the site.

The marriage of wood beams with the white brick, original cement floor, and the occasional wall spigot kept from its gas station days, create an earthy, farm-like feel and add to the allure. I had to chuckle when our server, Zach, pointed out the E-I-E-I-O (think “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”) painted playfully on one of the overhead wood beams, a nod to their use of farm fresh fare. Evidently, each of the 4 Boca locations* has it painted somewhere inside for you to discover.

Living WallThis part, I loved and can’t stop telling people about! As you walk into the dining area and to the left, there is a hanging, “Living Wall” teaming with a variety of lettuces (Red Leaf, Rex Bibb, Sage, Red Sorrel) as well as Basil, Lemon Basil, and Mint. The wall is “harvested” daily and used on-site to create salads, during cooking, and for plate and cocktail garnishes. When they say “fresh ingredients”, they weren’t kidding. So you’ll see heads of lettuce chopped off the wall already in use or on someone’s plate. And, instead of using flower arrangements on the tables, pots of herbs are “planted” tabletop, which definitely adds to the earthy ambiance.

Because I know I could go on and on about the food, I’ve tried to pare it down to my top 3 “must try” picks when you visit.

Fried Green Tomatoes_1Fried Green Tomatoes – Four panko-battered green tomato slices, lightly fried then dressed with pimento cheese, tomato jam, and thick cuts of house-smoked Boca bacon. Oh. My. Gosh. You have GOT TO TRY these! The fried tomatoes were nice and firm on the inside – no mush or sogginess found here – and the pimento cheese was such a unique addition adding a slight tang with each bite. INCREDIBLE! Still dreaming about these. And that’s saying a lot, since I’ve not found a FGT I’ve really liked until now.

Heirloom Tomato Caprese SaladHeirloom Tomato Caprese SaladA throng of vibrantly colored heirloom tomatoes served with a side of creamy, ricotta-like, burrata cheese. MmmMmm good! And this is the neatest! The lemon basil crushed ice sprinkled atop the tomatoes creates the vinaigrette as it slowly melts. What?!?! Crazy right? But so good. The tangy lemon vinaigrette, sweetness from the cheese, and slight tartness from the tomatoes created a taste beyond my expectations!

Prime Skirt Steak – Moist, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly seasoned prime skirtimage prime skirt steak steak topped with a delicately balance of crushed chimichurri sauce (not too much) and served atop crispy crusted potatoes bravas with a side of skewered wood-grilled market vegetables. Oftentimes, I find the use of chimichurri off-putting because it’s overused and can overpower the flavor of the meat, but Boca added only enough to accentuate the flavors without distraction. Well done, Boca! Trust me. This dish is swoon-worthy!

Every morsel of the meal danced in my mouth and has left an imprint on my taste buds.

produceI was impressed by the fact that it truly is a farm-to-fork experience. From beginning to end, cocktails to entrées, dessert to the Dakin Dairy creamer for my coffee. Boca is locally sourced and uses seasonal, fresh ingredients from local fare as much as possible (see the Local Dirt publication).

The only two things that distracted me a bit from an otherwise lovely evening were that it was a bit difficult to hear inside the restaurant, probably due to the sounds echoing off of the surrounding cement floor and brick walls. I had to ask our poor server to repeat himself a few times and had a difficult time hearing my dinner companion. It was also a bit warm in there for our 6:30 pm reservation. I’m assuming it’s just from the windows that encase the dining room to let in all of that beautiful, natural sunlight, and some of the day’s heat. Neither of these things will keep me from returning. The food is just too good. I just know to sit away from the windows and be aware that I might need to talk a bit louder, listen more intently, or just eat more food.

meat gritsThe food, ambiance, and service were delightful! An incredible eating experience overall and would definitely return for my top 3’s (been craving the Fried Green Tomatoes since my visit), or to try the Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Cheer Wine Braised Short Ribs (on my “to try” list).

A huge thanks to Madison, Zach, Chef Matthew, and Melissa at Boca Hyde Park and BE1 Concepts and for hosting ShoutOUT®. I appreciate all the time and care you took with us. We’ll definitely be back!

Connecting with Boca Kitchen Bar & Market
Website: http://bocatampa.com/
Facebook: @bocakitchenbarandmarket
Hyde Park address: 901 W. Platt Street, Tampa, FL 33606
Locations*: Hyde Park, Brandon, Sarasota, Winter Park

Good to know: Make sure to call ahead for reservations as it’s a cozy and bustling place and might be hard to get in without one.

Additional info: Boca serves brunch, lunch, dinner, and has gluten-free and vegan options available. Desserts and menu items can change daily based upon seasonal ingredients and availability. Valet parking available. Boca offers group dining, fresh produce on-site for purchase, an outdoor patio, and offsite catering. Boca’s Local Dirt publication keeps you updated on new offers and seasonal changes.

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ShoutOUT® Contact: Heather Sell
Email: contact@shoutoutinc.com

ShoutOUT® – Your resource for fun things to do, taste, and try.

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About ShoutOUT

In 2009, I started sharing my experiences, food, travels, and events, along with all of the incredible people and businesses I was meeting and discovering. What began as a fun hobby had such an overwhelming response, ShoutOUT was born! I continue to stretch the boundaries locally, regionally, and nationally, discovering, sharing and connecting as I go.
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