I can feel a sea breeze blow through my hair as we are seated on the patio at Boca Kitchen Bar and Market. We aren’t on the water, but the covered patio on Platt Ave is just blocks from Bayshore and Tampa Bay. We see runners jogging by us, a Ferrari driving home from work. The location is good.
The food? Even better. Tampa does not really have that diverse of a food scene, unless you make a venture to South Tampa. My family is up in Lutz, but 30 minutes is worth the drive for a restaurant that boasts farm-to-table and local ingredients.
Boca has it right. A chalkboard outside lists what ingredients come from which farms. The servers are more than capable of pointing them out on the menu. I was difficult to our server, quizzing him (for my own sake) on what was in the dish, how it was plated and what were possible substitutes.
I went with the market fish, swordfish, but had it served with the items that come with scallops l’orange: beets and a celery root puree. The swordfish was perfectly seasoned and could be sliced with a fork while still maintaining its meaty texture. The sweet beets contrasted nicely with the fresh celery root taste. My friends ordered flatbreads, which come in a huge portion for a great price. The bread was equally crispy with soft, melted cheese.
The wine menu is reasonably priced, although it does require some math because the price listed is by the bottle- wines by the glass are ¼ of that price.
For the service, food and atmosphere, I’d say Boca Kitchen Bar & Market earns 4.5 stars (out of 5). Tampa needs more places like this!