There’s a new addition to Mizner Park coming, and I’ve been looking forward to it for months.
Loch Bar, the sister restaurant to Ouzo Bay, opens its doors Nov. 19. Touted as the place to be for a “raw bar and elixirs,” it focuses on seafood with Maryland flair, as it was founded in Baltimore.
Back in September, I was in the Charm City for a conference and met with my parents one of the nights for dinner. The team behind Ouzo Bay in Boca Raton suggested I give Loch Bar a try, so we walked around the Inner Harbor, taking in the live music, book fair, people watching, and swan boats before making our way to the restaurant.
From the time we were greeted at the hostess stand to paying the bill, the experience was smooth and delicious. I could not wait to have Loch Bar come to town. Now, I’m sure the menu won’t be an exact replica of the one in Baltimore, but if it’s anything close, South Florida is about to be very happy.
- Elegant, but not uppity
Looking out over Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the restaurant boasted both outdoor and indoor seating, with leather-tufted booth seats, exposed bulb lighting fixtures, subway tile, clocks, and a bar of oysters on ice. Servers donned bistro aprons, one of those “oh it’s fancy” signs. But even with the beautiful interior and stunning menu, it was still a place you can laugh with family and friends and joke with the staff.
- The seafood is on point
Our problem with the menu was trying to nail down just one item we would have for dinner. My mom ordered the crab cakes while my dad had scallops, and I opted for a cup of cream of crab soup and an appetizer of mussels. Both were hearty portions, including enough mussels steeped in a white wine sauce to share with my parents.
- Service the way it should be
Being a 16-hour drive away, I only get to see my family a few times a year. When we sat down for dinner, my dad ordered a bottle of white wine for us all to share. The server apologized that we would have to wait a few minutes—they had just restocked that bottle, and he would only serve it once it was at the perfect temperature. I was impressed. Throughout the rest of the meal, he was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and everything came out like clockwork.
- Your choice of whisky
While we didn’t indulge in the whisky menu, the size of it was impressive. There were more than 300 types of whisky to choose from Ireland, France, Japan, Canada and the US (including the elusive Pappy Van Winkle), as well as Scotch single malts and blends. Just take your pick.
- A sweet ending
We couldn’t decide between the Apple Crisp or the Loaded S’mores Blondie, so we got both. You only live once, right? Both are classic Americana, but with a twist. Rather than your typical apple pie, the crisp was a brown sugar streusel topped with bourbon caramel ice cream. A instead of a brownie a la mode, we were greeted with a blondie topped with a chocolate ice cream bar. Crack it open and out came marshmallow ice cream.
Let the count down begin.
Loch Bar, 346 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 561/939-6600; lochbar.com