Boca

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Executive Chef Jeremy Lieb
Executive Chef Jeremy Lieb

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

It’s easy to be blinded by Boca’s opulence. Basking in the hushed glow of the turn-of-the-century chandelier, David Falk is sure in his restaurateur’s ability to dizzy even the most jaded diners. But Boca is more than a pretty face. She’s the collective effort of three men: Executive Chef Jeremy Lieb may not step into the limelight much but he coolly marshals an army of eager apprentices caramelizing Brussels sprouts to a level of decadence that make the accompanying seared diver scallop seem almost superfluous. Our advice: Abandon all pretense of restraint and opt for the six-ounce Filet Boca, topped with king crab and plenty of textbook-perfect sauce béarnaise. A Maisonette veteran, Lieb nods to the former grande dame by resuscitating her ubiquitous pommes soufflées, thinly sliced, double-fried potatoes that were found on almost every table, from Carl Lindner’s to Vidal Sassoon’s. Zany beverage director Kevin Hart’s exhaustive passion for the grape isn’t just infectious, it’s perfectly suited to Lieb’s ability to merge indulgent classics with a modernist sensibility. “This is my life, not my job,” Hart says with a chuckle. His ability to educate and inspire the rest of the staff ultimately works to the diner’s advantage. With their powers combined, these three musketeers blaze a trail so focused on perfection that a little bit of soul can get lost in the shuffle.

114 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 542-2022, bocacincinnati.com

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