Executive Lifestyles - Dining & Spirits
Bravo for Bova
1450 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
SUPER BOVA: Bova's ultrasophisticated, breezy interior.
Boca Raton's storied Tom's Place (for barbecue) moved to West Palm, and after seven years Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House in Boca was sold ($6.4 million), while Vittorio Restaurant up in Delray Beach went on the market after 35 years. But Tony Bova has been reborn. The restauranting whiz who regularly reinvents himself has opened Ristorante Bova at 1450 N. Federal Highway (561/362-7407). The ultrasophisticated, breezy interior has a South Beach bar up front and South Beach-garbed waiters, professionally proficient but thankfully without "SoBe-tude."
A true stunner from entrance to exit, with a menu to match -- although I understand it's still being developed, and we should anticipate changes down the line. It's already non-stop, with 33 entrées ranging from $17 to $45 -- the lobster market price. For starters, look for the Napa Valley Watercress, a salad of fresh greenery with fresh berries in extra virgin olive oil and mini balls of goat cheese freckled with bits of hazelnut ($12) -- a unique combination of flavors and fancy. Entrées include the Shrimp Saltimbocca, pancetta-wrapped jumbo shrimp, asparagus, peas and lobster risotto ($28).
Bova's celestial salad
Quite a change from this site's previous incarnation under Tony Bova -- Mario's Tuscan Grill -- and a giant leap from the first Bova operation I discovered years ago, a Dixie Highway snack shack on the edge of Boca's Pearl City, memorable for the remarkably good chili dogs. There the workmen hunkered around the bar drinking beer from the bottle. At Ristorante Bova, nobody "hunkers" anywhere, and there's much more than beer in a bottle. There's a superior wine list, plus a list of 23 waters, each with enough aqua-tinted descriptions to identify country of origin and what makes them special -- but no specific recommendations to order with a special entrée or appetizer. Maybe next time.