SQ1: Boca's Newest American Restaurant
Square One Restaurant and Bar is Boca's newest casual American restaurant.The restaurant is open, airy, and modern. However, it manages to capture the warmth of intimacy with its open kitchen, earth tone color palate, and heartfelt dishes. The owners, Jon Greening and Eric Clark, have years of culinary experience and they have worked together before in former restaurants. Greening is from from Virginia and Clark is from Maryland and they have taken flavors and styles from their east coast regions and placed a twist that Floridians are already talking about.
When my husband and I arrived at Square One, we were pleasantly surprised by the make over. The last time that my husband and I were in this location (at least 12 years ago), the restaurant was called "Brewzzi's" and it had more of an sports pub vibe than the casual-chic ambiance of Square One. They really did a great job with the transformation!
After getting a few suggestions, we were ready to start ordering. For our appetizers, we ordered the "Jumbo Lump Crab Cake" and the "Organic Tri-Colored Quinoa Salad." The crab cake is definitely one of the best crab cakes that I have ever had! It is served with roasted chile aioli and smashed avocado. It is a crab cake actually made mostly of crab! I'm sure you know what I am referring to because we have all ordered crab cakes that were filled with lots of batter and very little crab meat. My mouth is watering at the thought of each fresh and moist bite. I would take the 45 minute drive to Boca Raton just for their crab cake. This is an appetizer best shared between 1-2 people because too many forks in this dish could easily lead to a crab war! The quinoa salad was absolutely perfect. The pear, pecans, raisins, and champagne vinaigrette worked so well together.
For our entree, I ordered the "Pan Roasted Sixty South Salmon" and my husband ordered the "Slow Braised Beef Ragu. I fell in love with salmon. The risotto, peas, and wine sauce made the best bed for my salmon to nestle and get cozy in. I wanted to dive right in as well because each bite was so tasty! I was blown away by this dish. It's a true show stopper! I tried some of my husband's Beef Ragu. It was flavorful, but it definitely was no match for my "Pan Roasted Sixty South Salmon." I think I would of enjoyed the Beef Ragu more if they had chosen a different type of pasta.
For dessert, we shared an Apple Cobbler. It was absolutely devine! If you close your eyes while you eat it, you might just hear angels singing. It's made with warm, fresh apples, crisp crumbles, and a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. The contrast of the warm apples and the cold ice cream was so soothing. My husband and I actually started to reminisce of our childhood because it reminded us of the homemade apple cobblers we ate as children.
Extra information: Square One uses fresh, locally grown ingredients. They even make their pizzas and pastas from scratch. We noticed many people ordering pizzas as an appetizer before their meal. I'll definitely have to order a pizza pie on my next visit.
There is a really cool private room to host small events. It is beautifully decorated, and it sits behind a a wide glass wall that allows visibility from the restaurant to the room.
If I haven't raved enough, you can probably tell that I loved the food at Square One restaurant and Bar! The restaurant has only been open for 3 months so they do have a few kinks to work out. The bar needs some help with the drinks. My husband ordered a "Cherries Old Fashion" and I ordered a "Twisted Mule." We are big "Old Fashion" and Moscow mule drinkers and we weren't too pleased with our drinks. My husband sent his "Cherries Old Fashion" back and ordered a traditional "Old Fashion." However, it wasn't much better. Also, the server that we had seemed to need some more training. We, nor the guests around us got water or silverware until we asked for it. He forgot our order a couple of times and he forgot about my husband's drink at the bar for a long period of time as we watched it sitting there. A few kinks can be expected when a restaurant just opens, so I am more than happy to be patient. If Square One can manage to get the front of the house to run as smoothly as the back of the house, they will have a gem on their hands.
Would I recommend it: Square One is a great restaurant with amazing food. I would recommend it because I believe with time, the craft cocktails and the service will improve. They have a gift for taking familiar American dishes and recreating them into a flavorful masterpiece. Give it a shot, the food is incredible!