Halibut braised in white wine, one of the secondi, is served with baby carrots, zucchini and patty-pan squash in a sauce of white wine and butter. It is gorgeous on the plate, but disappointingly flat on the palate. The halibut was seared briefly before its braising, and its light brown crust gives the dish a little brawn, but this is as meek as a $26 entrée can be: tender, mild fish, white wine, butter. The vegetables, cooked a shade past al dente and coated in the white wine-butter sauce transmit the fleeting sweetness of summer's end — the plate's sole stab at culinary epiphany. 

An entrée of veal scaloppini brings three pieces of pounded veal dredged in flour and then sautéed, topped with peas and green onions and a thin, bland brown sauce. The meat itself was expertly prepared, the exterior just crisped, the interior ideally yielding, and I liked the sharpness of the onion and the sweetness of the peas. But the sauce, unfortunate and unnecessary, did in the dish.

Service is professional, if occasionally distracted. On one visit we were served the wrong antipasto; the restaurant gave us that one on the house and hurried the correct one to our table. More ungraceful was a cup of acquacotta, a tomato-based soup highlighted by a poached egg. The soup came to the table lukewarm, the egg itself cold. This dish never should have been allowed out of the kitchen.

Halibut, braised in white wine with baby vegetables.
Jennifer Silverberg
Halibut, braised in white wine with baby vegetables.

Location Info

Map

Bocci Bar

16 N Central Ave
Clayton, MO 63105

Category: Restaurant > Mediterranean

Region: Clayton

Details

Bocci Bar
"Suppli al Telefono"...$7
"Lobster B.L.T." pizza...$18
Halibut...$26
16 North Central Avenue, Clayton; 314-932-1040.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat. (Closed Sun.)

This acquacotta was especially disappointing, because unlike the suppli al telefono, here was a dish the likes of which I'd never seen. Its inclusion on the menu, and small inspirations like adding lamb to meatballs or aiming to amp up a carbonara, suggest that this is a restaurant that could bring something different to our crowded and homogeneous restaurant scene.

As it was, though, I left Bocci Bar with no indelible impression other than the vague sense that I'd been here before, or if not here, then someplace almost exactly like this, only with a slightly different name.

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