Accomplished chef Andrew Bell (Aurora, Nosh Euro Bistro) has taken over the kitchen at Bolsa. I may have enjoyed his new spring menu more if our waiter had not been so dismissive. We showed up at 6 pm, and there was only one other table of diners. It took him 15 minutes to approach us, and once he did, most of his answers were curt. “What is your favorite entrée?” I asked. “They’re all good,” was his reply. Chilled venison tartare with a hint of Worcestershire and a creamy quail egg was a brilliant starter. Croquettes of chorizo, goat cheese, and leeks served with a garlic aioli and a subtle dose of rosemary are also worthy. A half quail glazed with a touch of honey and served with elote gives the term “Tex-Mex” new meaning. Bell shows a delicate touch with supple, pan-roasted tilefish topped with fiddlehead ferns and a light rhubarb purée. Both of the desserts we ordered were delicious but too similar. The cheesecake, made with Caprino Royale goat cheese, was scented with pink peppercorn; a cookie studded with black pepper sat atop a luscious lemon panna cotta surrounded with strawberry-rhubarb sauce. A thoughtful server might have suggested we not repeat the rhubarb or double up on the peppery desserts, but he already had the bill in his hand when we ordered.

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