Frank Schmitz closed down the Italian-styled Bocci Bar to re-open it as a whole new concept: the Bocci Wine Bar. Since the transition of Vino Nadoz into a private event space there has been a gap in the local scene; the new Bocci Wine Bar fills that gap perfectly.
The interior is much like the prior Bocci Bar; In fact, very little has changed in that department. It still has the open, friendly yet sophisticated look it had before. The main difference is the menu, which now has a more New American style than pure Italian. They still have their wonderful flatbread pizzas like before, with some new flavors like the duck and fig which is my favorite of the bunch.
Our favorite so far on the new menu is the Roasted Heirloom Beet Salad with has some of the tastiest beets we’ve ever had and some great plating and accoutrement.
The Black Forest Ham Sandwich is a great lunch item that will fill you up nicely with some incredibly tender ham and a delightful pretzel croissant.
The menu is highly influenced by the now closed Mosaic which was run by Frank’s brother, Claus. This is definitely the case with the Flight of Soup, which includes Butternut Squash and Madagascar Vanilla, Green Pea and Mint, and Tomato and Basil. Our favorite of the three was the Green Pea and Mint, which I would gladly eat a whole bowl of.
Besides the regular menu, Frank is going to have a monthly wine feature which will travel from country to country and present you with a special selection of wines and cuisine. This month the Country is Argentina and they have some excellent tastes to order, like their ceviche…
… and their Churrasco de Carne, a hanger steak with an incredible chimichurri sauce and some very delicious black beans.
Besides all the wonderful food, Bocci Wine Bar also has some very nice desserts. The former Bocci Bar had an amazing tiramasu, which has now been transformed into a lighter citrus version. It’s not a traditional tiramasu but it is seriously good.
I was very partial to their peach cobbler, which has a dollop of their fine vanilla bean gelato. It wasn’t overly sweet like most places would serve it and the peaches were perfectly tender and full of flavor.
The only negative thing I would have to say about the Bocci Wine Bar is that they seem to be still experimenting with variations on their dishes so we’ve had a slightly different experience from time to time. They’ve only been open about a month so this is completely understandable, and the best thing of all is that they do truly listen to the concerns of their patrons. So please let the server or Frank himself know your thoughts and their will take it into account and continue to make the new Bocci Wine Bar a must visit in the heart of downtown Clayton.
- Pros: Really tasty New American cuisine with a lot of variety and wonderful presentation. Wonderful wine selection.
- Cons: They are still finalizing the menu and style. No cocktail menu.
- Charlie’s Favorites: Duck and Fig Flatbread, Scallops with Pea Puree and Honey, Citrus Tiramasu
- Christine’s Favorites: Flight of Soups, Beet Salad, Citrus Tiramasu