Fine Dining At Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano

Friday, August 3, 2007 - by Janet Wilson
Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano is located at 3077 Broad St. in the old Southern Saddlery building.
Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano is located at 3077 Broad St. in the old Southern Saddlery building.
- photo by Janet Wilson

A few weeks ago, Wayne and I had a very enjoyable dinner at Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano, located at 3077 Broad Street in the old Southern Saddlery building. There isn’t much signage, so you really have to look for the restaurant location.

Boccaccia is a small, intimate setting with no private rooms, etc. – as the waiter told us, “What you see is what you get”. It’s a nicely arranged restaurant featuring concrete floors and brick walls, with exposed piping in the ceiling (as do many of the newer restaurants located in historic buildings).

The menu categories consist of Antipasti, Insalate, Primi, and Secondi. While not a large selection to choose from, it is a wonderful menu. From what we were told, everything is made in-house, except the bread, which is delivered fresh each day from the Bluff View Bakery (and is quite good).

The Antipasti choices were Calamari Fritti, Antipasto Misto, Torre Caprese, Cozze in Guazzetto, and Carpaccio. Prices are from $7.50 to $12.

Wayne and I selected the Calamari Fritti (fried fresh squid with a side of spicy tomato sauce - $8). It sounds so enticing when it’s called “calamari,” but the word “squid” doesn’t sound inviting – but that’s just me. . . However, it was delicious – crisp and not greasy – and I thoroughly enjoyed the sauce – wouldn’t mind having the recipe for that.

Three salads are offered: Cesare (Romaine hearts with Caesar Dressing and parmesan croutons - $7), Insalata Mista (assorted greens, ripe tomato, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar - $6.50), and Insalata Mama Mia (chopped assorted salad with grilled vegetables topped with fresh goat cheese and vinaigrette dressing - $8.50). We decided to skip the salad and go straight to the entree.

The Primi (or pasta) menu listed some wonderfully tempting creations such as Orecchiette alle Vongole (Orecchiette pasta with clams in a spicy tomato sauce - $13.50), Lasagnette Emiliana (homemade classic cechamel and meat lasagna - $14), Ziti Amkatriciana (tubular pasta sautéed with pancetta in a spicy tomato sauce with a touch of cream - $13), and Farfalle alla Checca (bowtie pasta, marinated fresh tomato, diced mozzarella in a white wine sauce and fresh herbs and garlic - $12). But – we both decided to order from the Secondi (second course dishes) section.

Talk about difficult! We must have changed our minds five or six times. Involtini Val D’Aosta (chicken breast wrapped with proscuitto ham and fontina cheese with a reduction of balsamic vinegar served with penne amjatriciana - $16.50), or maybe Filletto al tre pepi (Filet with peppercorn sauce served with asparagus - $26.50); or possibly Agnello alle Erbe (grilled New Zealand lamb chops drizzled with fresh herbs sauce served on a bed of sautéed spinach - $25).

Finally we made our decisions – Wayne ordered the Spiedini di Gamberi e Capesante, which is the grilled shrimp and scallops with proscuitto, fresh lemon sauce and rosemary served on arugula with cherry tomatoes and parmesan - $18). He said this was a wonderful dish and would definitely order it again. It seemed to me to be more of a salad-type entree, but it looked fantastic!

I ordered the Scalloppine Picatta. This is veal with picatta sauce capers and sun-dried tomatoes with saffron risotto cake and asparagus - $23. The veal was exceptionally tender (fork-tender) and I really liked the risotto – delicious.

The servings are ample, but not huge. It was nice to have a serving that was “just right,” and I didn’t have to ask for a “to-go” box, which I usually do anywhere we go. In fact, it left room for dessert!

Wayne tried the Chocolate Ice Cream Dessert ($6.50) and I ordered the Creme Brulee ($7). Both are worth a second try.

Hours for Boccaccia are Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 10:00 PM. They are closed on Sunday.

Yes, Boccaccia is certainly a place we will go back to.

READER PET PEEVE OF THE WEEK – Be sure and send more of your pet peeves regarding restaurants.

“My pet peeve is when the server is either too lazy to write the order down or wants to impress you with his or her mental abilities by merely standing and nodding while all four people order. What's the point in this? It makes me afraid to ask questions because it will surely mess up the orders they've already tried to memorize. Every time, without exception, something about the order is incorrect. It happened to me . . . the order was so botched, it was pathetic.”


Eat Your Vegetables, Please!

We have several Farmer’s Markets here along our stretch of the beach.  However sometimes on a Sunday when we don’t have a serious plan and it is too hot to hit the crowded beaches, we head out to Panama City Beach.  Our favorite green grocer is Carousel. It is right there on Front Beach Road across from the Gulf and is home to lots of local produce and fruit plus a gazillion ... (click for more)

Guthrie’s Brings New To-Go Location To Chattanooga

Chattanooga and surrounding areas will soon be able to enjoy Guthrie’s fresh, hot, fast, golden fried chicken fingers. Guthrie’s newest To - Go location is set to open  on  Tuesday, Aug. 16, and will be at 5203 Brainerd Road. This To -­ Go location will offer the complete Guthrie’s menu ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 3 On Kemp Drive

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire late Saturday afternoon. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm shortly before  6 p.m.  and responded to 4605 Kemp Drive with five fire companies. Battalion Chief Rick Boatwright said the fire started in the kitchen and then spread up into the attic. The firefighters were able to bring the ... (click for more)

Michael Wilson Back In Bradley County; Due In Court On Monday

Michael Wilson is back in Bradley County, and was escorted into the Correctional Facility around 8:15 p.m. Wilson’s first appearance in court will be on Monday, at 9 a.m. in the Bradley County General Sessions Courtroom at the Judicial Complex at 2290 Blythe Ave. Wilson was arrested last week, after e ndangered Bradley County child Skyla Wilson was found safe in Colorado ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response (2)

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Girls - ‘I Can And I Will’

Every night after the Rodriguez girls went to sleep not that long ago in a grim, rat-infested basement apartment on Chicago’s South Side, their father – a boxing referee who came to America from Puerto Rico -- would kneel beside the girls’ bed and whisper in each child’s ear. Their parents made them sleep hot-dog style, tightly wrapped in the same sheet and pressed together to protect ... (click for more)