Bocca Bella Cafe & Bistro
“I absolutely love a small, intimate neighborhood Italian restaurant. The kind of place where the family is actually there, making the food serving the customers making absolutely sure you have a great time. A place like Bocca Bella in Newton.”
“Bocca Bella is a family owned restaurant. When you come here, it’s like coming to your living room. We want to make them feel welcomed. We want to have a great meal. And we want to come back realize that you know what? This food this little place in Auburndale provides some good stuff.
“Anthony is from Brooklyn. He worked at one of those restaurants in New York that was open all night long, but he met and married a girl from Newton and together with his father in law they opened Boca Bella.”
“Mario Boca Bella, I say can run for mayor of Newton. Everyone knows him.”
“My last name is Boccabella which means beautiful mouth, and what better name for a restaurant and to have beautiful things that go into your mouth?”
“I love when I walk into a restaurant and the chef/owner’s are there. I know that means they are really taking pride in what they do. And when I see an Italian man in a red hat, I know I have struck culinary gold. It’s got a small dining room. It’s got a small bar and open kitchen but everybody is just having fun.”
“It’s a kitchen away from home. It’s a home away from home. People that come here. They love it because we make them feel comfortable and we try to accommodate them.”
“I think the Shrimp Abruzzi may be the number one appetizer here. It’s lightly fried. And it comes with a marsala sauce.
“It’s a combination of the sweetness from the marsala wine and the bitterness from the shrimp itself. And when you blend the two in a very nice sauce. People love it. I mean, I can see people dipping their bread into it.”
“This is General Tso’s cauliflower and I didn’t check the pronunciation. It is ‘Tso’.
“It’s fresh cauliflower. We lightly fry and we toss it in our General Tso’s sauce so you can have a sweet, savory, little spicy sauce. If anyone is a fan of like a General Tso’s chicken dish, you’re gonna love my cauliflower here.”
“There’s no statue of General Tso in Newton, but he does have this tribute to his name.”
“This is maybe an Italian American restaurant in the sense that they have a full burger menu every day for lunch and it is a delicious burger.”
“They’re big boys. They’re half pounders. We grill them to perfection. The Texas burger will have a fried egg on it with some barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato onions. We serve them with our homemade pickles. Homemade coleslaw and a bag of chips.”
“The parmigiana special gives you a choice of five parms and eggplant, chicken, veal, shrimp or zucchini but my favorite is the shrimp part because I’ve never seen it in any other restaurant.”
“That’s usually one of the first things they asked for it Parmesan who never had that. Well today’s a good time to start.”
“We give four shrimp. We fry it then we bake it with a melted mozzarella and sauce. And that’s it. We put it on pasta. They are absolutely delicious.”
“The Chef’s favorite parm is the eggplant parm, as you can see, this is real thin and they do not use bread crumbs so it’s super light.”
“We fry it crispy, thinly sliced. It’s flour and egg and back to a flour batter. Crisp it on high heat . Add on a marinara sauce, and sprinkle a little mozzarella on it and put it up in the broiler. Fantastic.”
“This is a very hearty, very flavorful lasagna. It’s got five layers of pasta, beef, ricotta cheese, baked in the oven. Doesn’t get any more comforting than this.”
“It’s sauteed beef and it’s layers of pasta, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella cheese…and it’s baked. Talk about comfort food? That’s really comfortable, especially on a really cold day. It’s really nice.”
“There’s nothing better than a bolognese. It’s served over a pappardelle pasta. So that’s a wide noodle that can really stand up to this sauce.”
“It’s more of a delicate sauce here. We use pork chicken, veal, Marsala wine mushrooms, onions, some carrots. We do hit up a little bit of cream, so it’s sort of a pinkish sauce that we serve over a nice wide noodle. So it’s a nicer bite.”
“My north end friends may disagree, but I think this is as good as anything you’re gonna find on Hanover Street.”
“This is the chicken scallopini caprese. Maybe you’ve heard of that dish as a salad but they’ve turned it into a chicken dish with pasta.”
“We have a caprese sandwich for example, which is delicious and people like it. Why not play with it? And that’s what we’ve done.”
“This is a thinly pounded chicken breast sauteed in garlic olive oil, white wine with diced tomatoes, fresh basil and melted mozzarella served over angel hair pasta. Angel hair, my favorite pasta for this kind of a dish.”
“I’m not a huge dessert eater, but I make an exception here for their homemade tiramisu.
“My father in law makes probably the best tiramisu I’ve ever had. It’s the marscarpone cream that he uses. It’s the espresso. It’s the lady fingers and then you have the fresh cream on top with the cocoa powder. Delicious.”
“Phantom Gourmet is all about finding places like this. You have a friend that thinks he knows everything about Italian food, but tell him about Bocca Bella in Newton and he will thank you.