Boca Kitchen Bar and Market takes the concept of Farm To Table to its very limits. Located on Lemon Avenue just off the corner of Main Street Sarasota, Boca’s seasonal menu features locally-sourced produce in each and every one of its offerings. As I sat down at the street-side table, with a cool breeze blowing through rows of mint, parsley and green onion growing on planters right there in front of the restaurant, I couldn’t help but feel that this place was less of a restaurant and more of a complete celebration of what the farm-to-table concept can be.
Boca has four locations in Florida: Hyde Park, Winter Park, Brandon and Sarasota. Each location partners with local farms to source up the freshest seasonal ingredients in its menus. It even grows some of its own produce on site, as evidenced by the rows of spices that I mentioned growing along the patio’s outdoor seating area.
My wife Katie and I began our farm-to-table dining experience with a plate of golden fried green tomatoes, topped with pimento cheese and sweet red tomato jam. This was a colorful display of battered golds and deep saucy reds. The tomatoes were fresh and flavorful.
We paired this with a dish of roasted gulf oysters served over soft garlic croutons, covered in bubbling asiago and parmesan cheeses, with a light drizzle of oregano butter to complete the experience. I must say this was a very good start to our culinary journey. As a big fan of oysters, I can tell you this dish could stand up with the very best.
For our entrées, Katie chose one of our favorites, creole style shrimp and grits, a southern classic. I chose the aptly named OMG Burger, a char-grilled grass fed beef masterpiece topped with aged white cheddar, pickled onions, sweet relish aioli and served with a mountain of parmesan truffle fries. I know what you might be thinking: with such a diverse menu of options to choose from, why would I be tempted by a burger? Well, this particular burger came highly recommended by my colleague Nancy here at SRQ Wealth and all I can say is that I was not disappointed. This might very well be the best burger in town. You just have to try it!
Katie’s shrimp and grits did not disappoint either. The dish was a perfect mix of creamy grits and spicy grilled shrimp, as colorful and full of spice as any good creole dish deserves. I could only wish the portion was a bit bigger as it disappeared before our eyes!
For the grand finale we decided to try Boca’s desert special, a block of homemade fudge brownie, topped with two scoops of sweet cream ice-cream, a torrent of perfectly balanced salted caramel and toasted walnuts. Served in a warm cast iron skillet, this was a fitting encore to a wonderful meal.
Boca Kitchen Bar and Market is a spectacular addition to the restaurant scene in downtown Sarasota. Its ever-changing menu driven by locally sourced seasonal produce will certainly keep me coming back. The SRQ Wealth team hopes you find your way there sometime to experience everything it has to offer as well!