A few weeks ago I received an email from friend and fellow food blogger, Amanda Topper of The Ghost Guest inviting me to Sip, Simmer and Savor, a Culinary Event Series by the Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection. The event was being hosted by Boka and featuring chefs Paul Liebrandt and Lee Wolen for a special five-course paired dinner with cocktails made from Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection. Boka has been one of those restaurants on my “Must Try List” for years so I immediately jumped at the opportunity to attend and finally be able to recommend the Boka experience.
When I first booked my flight to Austin for SXSW I imagined I’d be eating a lot of BBQ and Tex-Mex, fine-dining really wasn’t on my radar. Luckily one of my coworkers suggested we check out Top Chef Winner Paul Qui’s restaurant Qui. I promptly pulled up the website and found myself immersed in a beautifully structured seven-course tasting menu with both carnivorous and vegetarian options.
Upon our arrival to Qui, I was wowed at the rustic elegance of the whole restaurant from the wooden ceiling beams to the open air concept. The whole restaurant was a breath of fresh air into what could have been a stuffy fine-dining scene. I immediately noticed the incredible smells coming from the open kitchen where it was easy to see the chefs cooking and tasting food, making sure that everything that came out well seasoned and artistically plated.