In Restaurants this week I reviewed Baccala and Boka–two fine restaurants, though I can’t see myself returning to the latter very often. Baccala, on the other hand, I’ll go back to again and again. One clarification though: John Bubala uses olive oil at Baccala, but butter by far predominates. Classically, olive oil wasn’t used much in Northern Italy, simply because there weren’t any olive trees. Plenty of cows though, and plenty of butter. What we call localism these days.
Also, an observation about the decor at Boka that didn’t make it into the paper: There’s a dark, malevolent painting recessed between the restroom doors in the back of Boka’s dining room that looks like a creepy old man masturbating on a toilet seat. Objectively, it’s kind of cool in an H.R. Giger / Ivan Albright sort of way, but it’s not a comforting thing to have lurking over your shoulder when you’re eating stuffed squid with black tapioca. But hey, I’m no art critic.