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First Look: Bocci Wine Bar

June 16th 04:06pm, 2014

Former Italian restaurant Bocci at 16 N. Central Ave., in Clayton recently underwent a space and menu renovation to become Bocci Wine Bar. As The Scoop reported in April, Bocci Wine Bar’s new focus is wine and small plate, wine-friendly fare.

Among the changes at the reinvented spot, Bocci Wine Bar is now one of a handful of St. Louis restaurants to offer wine on tap from stainless steel barrels. “White wine is stored in its own compartment kept at 40 degrees and red wines at 54 degrees,” said owner Frank Schmitz, who also owns Barcelona Tapas and Coastal Bistro in Clayton. Two-ounce wine flights are also available for those interested in tasting and comparing a larger selection.

Executive chef Neil Alkobri’s menu is organized simply by farm, land and sea and is loosely based on the flavors of the Mediterranean. The regular menu is also accompanied by wine and food from a different region of the world each month. May recently featured Argentina; signature wines from the region were paired with ceviche, quinoa cakes, beef empanadas and churrasco. June focuses on French wine and cuisine.

While menu items feature locally sourced ingredients, it doesn’t get much more local than Thursday evenings, when diners can bring items purchased at the Clayton Farmers Market and hand them over to Alkobri, who will return a market-inspired dish to the table. A recent visit yielded a just-picked vegetable flatbread with zucchini, summer squash, asparagus and radishes, while another diner feasted on Naked Bacon-wrapped scallops.

Some elements remain untouched, like Bocci’s fabulous bi-fold window wall on Central Avenue that opens to seamlessly blend the restaurant and patio areas. It’s an ideal spot for a glass of wine on a beautiful day.

The restaurant is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m. Here’s a look at what to expect at the new Bocci Wine Bar:


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By Sara Graham

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One Response to “First Look: Bocci Wine Bar”

  1. Frank Schmitz Says:
    June 17th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    What a wonderful article. Many thanks also for the delicious pictures. The many different wine flights are very popular and June/July will have quite a few rose wines to try in addition to the regular wine list…

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