Elise and I kinda wavered right up until the last minute on where to go out for our firth Anniversary. We thought about heading back to Creo like we did last year, or even revisiting our first anniversary spot, Yono’s. 677 Prime was also on the short list, but Elise really wanted to do a bunch of smaller plates we could share instead of big entrées. There are only a few places in the area that do tapas but after doing a little bit of Google searching I stumbled upon Boca Bistro in Saratoga. The tapas menu had a bunch of our favorites and some new things for us to try, so we decided to head up there for dinner, find somewhere else for dessert, and finish things up at 9 Maple for some after dinner drinks and tunes.
Since it was our 5th anniversary, I wanted to celebrate with something nice to drink. This ties in with my previous discussion last week on my Mingle post about (the lack of) good beer at restaurants in the Capital District, and when it comes to bottles worthy of a special occasion, the beer selection is even more barren. I understand that not every restaurant is going to be Hen of the Wood with their world class food AND beer, but it’s something I hope for for the Capital Region, some day. Given that, I took a long shot to see if A) they allowed BYOB/had a corkage fee B) if I could bring in the Cantillon Fou’ Foune I had been saving for the occasion. Sadly, they would not allow either, but this is a strategy I plan on continuing to use while dining at restaurants in the area until (if ever) their bottle lists catch up.
As usual, Elise went with the house sangria first then followed it up with a couple glasses of Chianti the waiter recommended, both of which she loved. There was nothing standout on the beer list, mostly a tap list that is the result of good sales people from the distributors rather than what I would consider a well-curated tap list. Not that I would mind a Hop Nosh or a Scotty Karate on any other day, but for a special occasion they just would not do. Instead I grabbed a few of their cocktails throughout the night, including The Saratoga made with Maker’s Mark, Smokey Sweet Tea made with Bulleit Rye, and finished the night with a Broken Negroni. I don’t do cocktails that often but the ones I had extremely enjoyable and a nice way to change things up.
The food was exactly what we were looking for. We ordered a few rounds of a bunch of little dishes just to pick on while we sipped on our cocktails and wine. It was good to find a place that reminded us of one of our most memorable stops in Orlando, Ceviche. The patatas bravas is such a simple potato dish but the spice and the aioli kick things up a notch. The anchovies were a little outside Elise’s comfort zone but she was courageous enough to try a couple; I loved the way the marinated filets were presented in the can. Elise was such a fan of the stuffed papers I can see her trying to recreate them at home. Gathering it was our anniversary from my original request, the manager sent out the Churros Y Chocolate gratis to finish off our dinner, which we greatly appreciated. Between that, the plentiful amount of dishes we ordered, and the cocktails, we decided to forgo our initial plans for dessert elsewhere and follow up drinks at 9 Maple. Another time.
Overall I have to say the experience at Boca Bistro was a positive one. We don’t find ourselves in Saratoga too often other than the occasional jaunt to Henry Street Taproom for a beer event here or there. Knowing we have the option for some lighter fare and smaller plates, along with some nice outdoor seating for when things warm up at Boca Bistro means we have another reason to find our way up there this summer. Looking forward to our next visit.