The first major opening of the revitalized Jack London Square, Bocanova bills itseslf as a “pan-American” restaurant, serving cuisine from South America up through California. The 6,500 square-foot space opens for dinner tonight after a few meals in soft opening to work out the kinks. Married co-owners Rick Hackett and Meredith Melville both list Chez Panisse and Bay Wolf on their resumes. Melville also used to own Enrico’s, and Hackett boasts stints at Postrio, Oliveto, and MarketBar (where he met chef de cuisine Ross Kaplan). The menu at Bocanova ranges widely, but tends toward seafood and vegetables (a rotisserie swordfish on the sample pre-opening menu [PDF] caught our eye in particular). Dramatic concrete pillars, high ceilings, and huge windows define the space, which started out as an ice-house in the 1920s. In addition to the ceviche-and-plantain-heavy food, expect a wine list that leans toward Spain, Portugal, and South America, and a Pisco-heavy cocktail list. Now you can drink a Pisco sour while gazing at the water on both ends of the ferry ride between San Francisco and Oakland. Good to have your bases covered.
55 Webster St., Jack London Square, Oakland, 94607 510-444-1233