The Mediterranean and Manayunk have a lot in common: both start with an "M", and both can take so long to get to that the journey can leave you toothless with scurvy. Bringing their Medi-grub to Market Street, Bocca.
From the owners of M'yunk's Sapphire and housed in the old Amici Noi space, Bocca's a 50-seat Mediterranean tapas resto that's kept Noi's open layout, marble-topped bar, and exposed brick, while adding modern touches like high-backed brushed suede banquettes, a deep mahogany-hued, raised cutout ceiling; and industrial metal light fixtures flanking a pair of backlit, mirror-image burgundy signs bearing the Bocca logo ("Bocca Bocca"). The menu runs from apps (parmesan croquettes; beer battered fried olives w/ bleu cheese), to baked pizzas (asparagus w/ goat cheese & walnut; mushroom w/ bacon, spinach & shallot), to entrées like veal tonato w/ tuna paste, skate wing in almond puree and confit of baby artichoke, and striped bass en escabeche, served with a deep-fried side of its own Omega 3-rich skin -- the culinary equivalent of a Band-Aid dipped in broken glass. On the booze tip, a six-draft system pours standards alongside Franziskaner and Dogfish Head 60-Minute; the respectable wine list offers PKNT, Librandi, Almira, and more; and specialty cocktails include the likes of the "Cucumber Float" (St. Germain, champagne, cucumber foam), the "Bocca Caliente" (Cuervo, passion fruit purée, simple syrup, red pepper flakes), and a vodka martini made with cucumber, ginger honey, and sake dubbed the "Shogun" -- an epic drink now mixed by the bartender, as Richard Chamberlain took 12 hours over the course of five nights to make one.
Although serving food until midnight on weekends, 10pm marks Bocca's transformation from mellow restaurant to jumpin' lounge where DJs pump sounds through a JBL system, and everybody's welcome to dance, even gap-smiled ghouls with a little yunk in the trunk.