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1729 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614

Critic’s Notes

Boka’s reinvention upped the ante, foodwise. Lee Wolen brings an intricate and deadly serious slant to the offerings. The decor, a playful mix that includes a 30-foot wall of moss and a portrait of Bill Murray as a sea captain, goes in another direction entirely, creating a palpable disconnect, but not enough to dampen a fine experience. The kitchen hits great heights, slow-cooking loup de mer and serving it with calamari and preserved blood oranges, artichokes, capers, and olives. A yuzu custard dessert with black sesame cake, pineapple sorbet, and candied buckwheat comes off like a panna cotta that attended finishing school. The cocktail scene makes plenty of noise of its own, even on the elegant back patio. Genial servers know their stuff, but pacing lags at times.

Dishes We Liked

Salt cod ravioli with artichokes, arugula, fava beans, and lemon ($14); artichoke soup with smoked sturgeon, potatoes, radishes, shallots, and pickled onions ($12); loup de mer with calamari, preserved blood orange, artichokes, capers, and olives ($32); beef short rib with mushrooms and Bibb lettuce hearts ($33); yuzu custard with black sesame cake, pineapple sorbet, and puffed buckwheat ($11); coffee crémeux ($11)

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Dining Out: Boka July 2007

Additional Information:

Price: $50-plus
Cuisine: Progressive
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Noteworthy: Child friendly
High noise level
Outdoor dining
Wheelchair accessible
Hours: D nightly.
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