First Look: Bocci Bar

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MELISSA MEINZER
  • Melissa Meinzer
From the folks who brought you BARcelona Tapas Restaurant in Clayton comes Bocci Bar just down the street, a neighborhood Italian joint with plenty of creative offerings.

Gut Check
attended a soft opening and had a great time. The night was family-style, with teams of servers dropping various offerings at tables. As a table of vegetarians, we interrupted the flow a bit, but were accommodated to the point of being pleasantly stuffed. There's a full bar with a menu of its own and desserts, too.

The restaurant is lovely, with warm wooden walls. A well-placed lane is set off coming out of the kitchen, making it easier for servers to navigate the seating area without clogging up the arteries between tables. And with the packed, partying house we encountered, it was loud enough to know you were socializing but not so loud you had to shout.

MELISSA MEINZER
  • Melissa Meinzer
Melissa Meinzer
We started off with the Bocci salad, a well-dressed affair of Bibb lettuce and herbs, with avocado providing a nice heft and a grilled Meyer lemon wedge setting the salad off.

A ricotta and herb crostini was a delight -- the luxurious cheese was complemented nicely by bright herbal scents.Capers and bright tomato wedges added a welcome vegetal accent.

MELISSA MEINZER
  • Melissa Meinzer
Melissa Meinzer
The hands-down favorite at our table, though, was the spring lasagna. The house-made noodles had a lovely, understated sweetness and were accompanied by a generous scattering of peas throughout. A rich, creamy bechamel sauce pulled the dish together beautifully.

We really, really wish we'd left room for dessert. The menu taunted our full tummies with the promise of gelato, tiramisu, tarts and lovely cheeses.

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