Head Chef and co-owner Monique Buchbinder (the name MoBu is derived from the first two letters of her first and last name), earned her degree from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan prior to working as a chef at Per Se (the sixth highlest Michelin rated restaurant) and at the famed Nobu in Miami (yes, you might say there might have been a tad bit of influence behind her restaurant’s chosen name) before deciding to become a private chef taking on catering jobs and hosting dinner parties in Manhattan, Naples and Miami. She began cooking for a gentleman named Bruce who moved to South Florida from New York. When Chef Monique expressed her interest in opening her own restaurant one day to Bruce, he realized her talent in the kitchen was too good to keep all to himself and decided to help back her. Bruce’s daughter, Brooke, MoBu’s General Manager and Marketing Director, handles the front of house and community events, while Chef Monique makes magic in the kitchen. In addition to making dishes that are filled with flavor, Chef Monique makes dishes that are sensitive to healthy diets and food allergies, including nut-free and gluten-conscious (gc) items in addition to vegan, organic, vegetarian diets. Seasonally inspired, beautifully plated, and sourced from some of the world’s most vibrant cultures, Mobu’s dishes leave guests filled with a revitalized love for cuisine and community.
Sourcing foodie favorites from Asian, French, and Caribbean cultures, MoBu Fusion Cafe in Boca Raton is where folks come to enjoy international cuisine in an elegant local atmosphere. Using fresh ingredients as her brushes and plates as her palettes, Chef Monique only works with the best food suppliers so you can expect to always enjoy the most delicious and freshest ingredients. From beautifully presented appetizers and main dishes, to tantalizing desserts, you will be in food heaven.
Relax and unwind in their beautiful patio dining area, where you will be surrounded by nature & water. This is where our group of bloggers gathered for a brunch tasting. Every dish that was brought out had a flare to it and each was exceptional. We started out with an Amuse Bouche of Tuna Poke (gc) artfully plated on a black slate. Next was the Banana Bread French Toast, which was my personal favorite. On top of this most wonderful gluten-conscious French toast (which I still can’t get over had little to no gluten) was bananas foster, Marsala wine, whipped cream and berries. I believe I am drooling as I am writing this now. lol! Our next course was a Crab Egg Benedict which featured lovely lump crab cakes topped with poached cage-free eggs and a delicious hollandaise sauce. The final tasting of the day was the Tuna Poke Bowl which was made with sushi grade tuna loin, on top of quinoa, brown rice, avocado, sesame seeds and cucumbers.
In addition to their wonderfully yummy brunch menu, they have a simple yet well thought out dinner menu as well with wonderful selections from land to sea. MoBu’s first 5 course Chef’s Table dinner is scheduled for this Friday evening, April 20th. For details, click here.
MoBu Fusion Cafe is located at 1159 South Federal Highway in Boca Raton. Delivery is available through Delivery Dudes. Catering is also available.
I had the great pleasure of being invited to the pre-opening of the latest True Food Kitchen, this one, the first to open in Boca Raton, is located at the Boca Town Center; its philosophy is simple: Food should make you feel better — not worse — and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste to live a healthier lifestyle. I am happy to report that I wholeheartedly concur. I enjoyed every single bite and left feeling terrific and yearning for my next visit back.
Co-founded by integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil and nine-time James Beard Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year Sam Fox, True Food Kitchen’s progressive and flavor-forward menu is rooted in the principles of Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet and caters to foodie palates and preferences with a variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings for brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails.
Based on the principles of the anti-inflammatory food pyramid, True Food Kitchen’s regularly rotating menu underscores the brand’s commitment to merging wholesome seasonal ingredients and simple preparations to let guests experience produce at the peak of its freshness and flavor.
The cocktail list is well thought out and the ingredients are super fresh and you can tell the difference for sure! On this initial visit, my companion and I tried the Pomegranate Mule and the Ginger Margarita. Thumbs up for both. (Side note: on my next visit back, I was torn between one of their non alcoholic Refreshers – the Pomegranate Chia Limeade and a cocktail. My server told me not to fret, I could have both. You can have your alcohol of choice added to any of their Refreshers & Teas to make it your special blend. I love that!).
The stand out dish for me, which I got on both my visits and will continue to come back for is the charred cauliflower. Just get it and you will thank me, I promise! We also really liked the Winter Squash Toast. The Inside Out Quinoa Burger was outstanding, and so was the service. My friend and I were sharing multiple plates and after the server described the dish as stacked, we asked if she thought we could split it. She not only said yes but offered to have them split it for us in the back. It was incredible. I had the Moroccan Chicken, which I felt could have benefitted from simmering a little longer in order to have the full Moroccan flavors incorporated. We also tried the grilled steak tacos and these were very tasting and filled us up sufficiently without feeling bloated.
I have been telling all my friends about this place, whether they have issues with inflammation or other dietary restrictions or not. It’s 100% legit. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Hours of Operation
Mon – Thurs: 11am – 10pm
Fri: 11am – 10pm
Sat: 10am – 10pm
Sun: 10am – 9pm
Brunch: Sat & Sun | 10am – 4pm
Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Concepts
Dr. Andrew Weil
True Food Kitchen is a health-driven, seasonal kitchen & scratch bar merging nutrient-rich ingredients with a seasonal menu that rotates regularly to let guests experience great-tasting ingredients at the peak of their freshness and flavor. Rooted in the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid, the full-service restaurant caters to nearly every food preference with a variety of gluten-free, naturally organic, vegetarian and vegan offerings. True Food Kitchen’s scratch bar is brimming with a wide selection of fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, seasonal cocktails, wine and local beers. The open kitchen brings guests closer to its culinary craft while the outdoor patio pairs fresh food with fresh air.
True Food Kitchen is known for its healthy, seasonal fare and signature dishes like the include the Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Sustainable Seabass, Tuscan Kale Salad, Grilled Fish & Grass-fed Steak Tacos and the Inside Out Quinoa Burger, among many others. The menu also features a handful of seasonal items like the Roasted Heirloom Carrots, Winter Squash Toast, Butternut Squash Pizza and Seasonal Ingredient Salad as well as a variety of bowl options featuring a diverse range of flavor profiles including the Ancient Grains, Cashew Pad Thai, Spicy Panang Curry and the Teriyaki Quinoa.
True Food also features antioxidant-packed desserts like the famed Flourless Chocolate Cake and the seasonal Squash Pie. Weekend brunch highlights include the Smashed Avocado Toast, Sunrise Bowl, and the Quinoa Johnny Cakes. Behind the scratch bar are natural juices, teas, and refreshers all of which can be paired with organic and gluten-free spirits for a delicious cocktail ripe with flavor including the Citrus Skinny Margarita, Pomegranate Mule, Orchard Bourbon Sour and the Farmers Market Sangria.
The Kids Menu features creative, kid-friendly dishes like the Almond Butter, Banana & Apple Sandwich, Mozzarella & Organic Tomato Pizza and the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl to name a few.
True Food Kitchen at Town Center at Boca Raton features a lively dining room with 175 seats and an open kitchen designed to bring guests closer to the restaurant’s culinary craft. An outdoor covered patio will seat approximately 66 guests in season. Indoors, natural woods and vibrant, localy-inspired artwork add a contemporary touch to the earthy color scheme, natural elements and greenery, including indoor/outdoor garden basins filled with fresh herbs and spices. Eco-friendly materials are utilized throughout the restaurant, such as the hardwood floors, which are made of reclaimed wood, and dining chairs made of recycled soda bottles.
DR. ANDREW WEIL
A world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil is a best-selling author and editorial director of DrWeil.com, the leading online resource for healthy living based on the philosophy of integrative medicine. One of Dr. Weil’s national bestsellers,
“True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure”, is an inspiration to all dishes served at True Food Kitchen. The restaurant closely adheres to Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet and pyramid, which aims to counteract chronic inflammation and help people achieve and maintain optimum health.
True Food Kitchen is the realization of creative visionary and Fox Restaurant Concepts founder, Sam Fox, known for his passion for great food, design, lifestyle and hospitality. An eight-time James Beard Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year, and New York Times best-selling cookbook author, Sam was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry by Nation’s Restaurant News for the second consecutive year, is the 2014 recipient of the Richard Melman Innovator of the Year Award by Restaurant Hospitality magazine, and the 2015 recipient University of Arizona Executive of the Year by Eller College of Management.
Karyn Turk, Palm Beach Insider, Eye on South Florida
Hello Foodie Friends,
On Friday the 23rd of February, the heralded kickoff event knowns as the DuPont Registry Live Hanger Party for the 2018 Concours d’Elegance got underway. The Live Hanger Party did not disappoint with continuing to be one of the country’s marquee lifestyle events as it was back in Boca Raton for its thirteenth anniversary edition.
With a cool evening February breeze, the began with a great start at the Boca Raton Airport’s Atlantic Aviation Hanger, guests were scattered amongst the display of several Learjets, vintage and exotic automobiles and some of South Florida’s best food and wine providers. Sponsored by the Rick Case Automotive Group and benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County, over twenty of South Florida’s finest restaurants, chefs and fine spirits and establishments made appearances this year included Gourmet Phile, Abe & Louie’s, Casa D’Angelo, Louie Bossi’s, La Ferme, Oceans 234, NY Prime, Café Med, Tanzy, Mermaid Vodka and other premier vendors.
Guests were allowed to enjoy an evening under the stars all the while enjoying live entertainment accompanied with an array of great food, fine wines and spirits. If you were unable to attend this year, be sure to make plans to attend in 2019 to savor unlimited samplings from the area’s finest restaurants, enjoy a craft beverage, fine wine and while admiring the array of planes and automobiles.
We are pleased to report that award-winning restaurateurs Burt Rapoport and Dennis Max have come together once again to resurrect the once-celebrated, Prezzo. A fixture in the 90s in Boca Raton, Aventura and South Miami, Prezzo brings back fond memories for area residents who remember the restaurant serving rustic Italian cuisine with a cool vibe. The first location was opened in Boca Raton in 1989. Fans will be happy to know that their signature roasted garlic and focaccia bread sticks are back. Joining the dynamic duo for this revival is James Beard Award-winning chef, Mark Militello, who leads the kitchen as executive chef.
The garlic, breadsticks and other memorable favorites such as the wood-oven apple tart, fusilli & chicken pasta and the wood-fired pizzas all made a comeback on the new menu along a selection of Italian-inspired and health-conscious entrees.
The centerpiece of the 4,300-square-foot restaurant are the sights and smells wafting from the wood-burning oven known for producing crispy, thin-crust pizzas and amazing chicken wings among other signature dishes. Did you know that Prezzo introduced the first wood-fired pizza oven to South Florida when it opened its first location in Boca Raton in 1989!?
I was invited to a tasting with along with other media/bloggers. I started off with a most delicious glass of baby Amarone. I savored every last drop. The food kept flowing: from the signature roasted garlic and yummy crusty bread (served complimentary to all dining guests), Prosciutto de Parma pizza, chicken wings with caramelized onions, arancini, beet salad, salmon and their famous wood-fired apple tart served with cinnamon gelato.
Seating consists of 120 inside and 50 seats on the patio. Prezzo also features a spacious indoor/outdoor bar area, complete with a creative cocktail menu and expansive wine list curated by Bar Manager and Master Mixologist, Arturo Sighinolfi. The cozy 20-seat bar will surely become a local hotspot for happy hour.
Open for lunch Mon – Fri 11:30am – 2pm and dinner Sun – Thurs 4:30pm – 9pm; Fri & Sat 4:30pm – 10pm
Park Place Plaza | 5560 N. Military Trail. Boca Raton, FL 33496 561-314-6840 www.prezzoboca.com
Follow Prezzo’s and share your memories using #OnlyAtPrezzo @PrezzoBoca
I am sorry for the big lapse between blog posts. So much has been happening with the expansion of Savor Our City. We are getting very close to rolling out our new website and are super excited to make the big reveal. Stay tuned to that…
I had the chance to go into the new Paris Morning Bakery in Boca, located on Powerline in the plaza between Camino Real and Palmetto Park Rd. We’ve been following each other for a little while on Instagram and I was excited to receive an invitation from them to come in for a tasting.
I hadn’t had a chance to thoroughly look over the menu in advance and didn’t know much about the restaurant prior to my arrival. I did know they served Bubble Tea and I also knew they had pastries. I assumed with a name like Paris in the title that they’d be French pastries. To my surprise, I learned that the food inspiration comes from Korea, where the company’s corporate team are from.
I had the opportunity to meet James the Manager of the Boca location. We had a nice long chat as I got to sample some of the menu offerings. Had to start with the Bubble Tea. They had soooooo many wonderful flavors that it was hard to make a decision. Well, that’s not entirely true. It wasn’t such a hard decision to make once I saw “Passion fruit” listed. For those of you who have been reading my posts for some time, you know that I have an obsession for all things truffle: truffle Parm fries, truffle honey, truffle aioli and the list goes on and on. Well here’s another something that I’m totally “passionate” about – it’s Passion fruit. I just adore this fruit juice. So, once I saw it on the Bubble Tea menu, it was a no brainer. It was every bit as good as I hoped! I sampled several of their pastries which they have packaged so nicely with little samples and descriptions found beside each one. Smart and Yummy!
James took me up to the counter and introduced me to Zipbop, (pronounced Jeep Bop) authentic Korean Dishes served with rice in a 24oz cup with different fresh ingredients. There were several zipbop dishes to choose from. I tried the eel and the Korean beef.
While both dishes were served warm and had nice flavor and texture, the eel was my favorite. I felt like I was eating a deconstructed eel sushi roll. It was amazing. I couldn’t stop eating it.
Savor Our City hosted a media dinner for Tanjore Indian Cuisine. Check out this article published in The Boca Raton Tribune:
Contemporary Eclectic Indian cuisine – a “Must Try”
By Kenny Spahn
If you’re hungry for a taste of something different, put Tanjore Indian Cuisine on your “Must Try” list. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking at the mention of Indian food: “a lunch buffet full of unknown dishes that all look alike and taste like spicy curry.” And, admittedly, that’s what you’ll find at many Indian restaurants in America. But Tanjore Owner Christopher Corda (originally from Bombay) and Chef Yogi Dhwale set out to give south Florida a different taste of Indian food. The result is a unique (and delicious!) dining experience, blending traditional Indian cooking with a modern eclectic twist within a sleek and sophisticated setting, located in downtown Boca’s Royal Palm Place (taking the place of the former Indian restaurant, Sapphire.
So what makes Tanjore different? First and foremost, the ingredients. Indian cuisine is all about the spices, and this is where Tanjore truly exceeds the norm. As Christopher explains, not only does he source his ingredients directly from India; but he also he also gets the spices in their fresh whole state (rather than settling for institutionally prepared dried spices), and then roasts and grinds them in-house, thereby maximizing their full nuances and fragrances. The spices are roasted in the authentic tandoor ovens (traditional Indian clay pots), which further imbues all those wonderful notes into the vessels themselves, imbuing subtle dimension to all of their temporary tenants. Speaking of tandoor ovens, Tanjore uses authentic Indian clay tandoors, and then ups the ante by adding dried Applewood chips inside, thus infusing subtle fruity-smokiness. Chef Yogi also composes his own spice blends such as curries, garam masala, and a powdered peppery mix known as ‘gunpowder.’ Another big difference: Tanjore offers representative dishes from all across India, not just one region – hence its tagline, “Modern Eclectic Indian.” Also note Tanjore’s sexy and sophisticated modern ambience with an open, airy feel, clean white walls with cobalt blue accents, and crisp linens. There’s also a full bar with some creative craft cocktails, which always helps!
Indian cuisine is a veritable symphony of divergent flavors and sensations, each of which sings in its own distinctive voice, yet all meld together in an alchemistic-like harmony. The flavor characteristics span the culinary gamut, exciting every nook & cranny of the taste buds: The familiar autumnal glow of cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace; the exotic smoky notes of cumin, coriander, turmeric, and saffron; the warming sweet-spice of clove, cardamom, and carom seeds; the licorice-like taste of anise, fennel, and star anise; the intriguing sweet-tart umami of tamarind and kaffir lime leaves; the savory zip of garlic and ginger; the offsetting sweetness of coconut, cashews, and fenugreek; the warming heat of peppers and chilies, ranging from very mild to insanely hot (including Ghost Pepper (Bhoot Jhooakiya), with a scorching Scoville rating topping one million units!); the cooling creaminess of thickened yogurt and coconut milk; the acidic pungency of lime zest, ginger juice, vinegars, and pickling spices; the bright enhancement of fresh herbs (namely mint, chives, and fenugreek leaves); and the complex amalgamation of distinctively Indian blends like garam masala, curries, gunpowder, and chutneys of all sorts. One thing for sure – you won’t need any salt, pepper, or hot sauce here, as each bite is a flavor explosion in your mouth. Another benefit: These spices are bursting with of medicinal and health benefits – just check your local health food store, and you’ll find almost all of them in compound and pill form.
Chef Yogi then selectively utilizes these varying components in each of his dishes, from appetizers to desserts. In true Indian fashion, you won’t find beef or pork offerings at Tanjore, but you will find an array of proteins (chicken, lamb, seafood, and fish), starches & legumes (rice, lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes of all kinds), and veggies (i.e., cauliflower, spinach, sweet peppers, onions); plus an array of fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, and other enhancements. You’ll also find some unexpected ingredients you wouldn’t expect with Indian cuisine — from venison, pen hen, and branzino; to balsamic vinegar, rum, and tequila; to mozzarella, mangosteen, shitake mushrooms, green apples, and truffle oil.
If you’re a lamb lover, Tanjore is your place, offering perhaps the largest selection of lamb dishes in town — over a dozen. Paiala Ghosh, for instance, is slow-braised until tender goodness in a savory broth enhanced with caramelized onions, black cardamom, house-roasted garam masala, and ‘hung’ yogurt (the Indian version of Greek yogurt). It’s a savory and heartwarming dish reminiscent of braised short rib, that says “comfort food” in any language. Lamb is treated to a surprising conglomeration of creamy cashew “milk,” malt vinegar, and green apples in the Lamb Shahi Korma; while Lamb Shank (Dum Pukht), Lamb Chops, Lamb Saagwala (in a mild spinach puree with ginger), and Leg of Lamb are some other lamby options. There’s just as many Chicken dishes, like Tikka Masala in a nutmeg-napped creamy sauce, Chicken Korma (with green apple, cashews, fresh herbs, and apple cider vinegar), a ginger-kissed Chicken Curry, and of course, the iconic Tandoori Chicken (from the Punjab region), baked in the signature Tandoori oven with a special blend of tandoori spices, along with ginger and lime juice.
Seafood fans will appreciate the many aquatic offerings. Of particular note, the Pastooni Lobster Masala — a house specialty that will give you a whole new perspective on Indian cuisine. Delicate morsels of fresh lobster tail and shitake mushrooms are sautéed in a Chablis, ‘clotted turmeric’ (turmeric-infused coconut milk), and enriched tomato broth. The unique concoction is presented within the fresh coconut shell, adorned with the empty lobster tail shells, thus adding further visual appeal. Another signature dish is Malai Halibut — fresh local halibut sautéed in a fragrant coconut milk bath studded with an intriguing blend of mace, cardamom, ginger juice, lemongrass, and coconut milk. Yum!
Other delights from the sea include whole Branzino (Noorani), Jhor Jhinga Prawns (sautéed in unique seasoned butter), Tamilian Fish Curry (Mahi Mahi in a savory coconut cream base), Garlic Shrimp Bhuna, and Bajlele Grilled Pompano. Of course vegetarians will have fun experiencing the many veggie offerings, from basic sides to complex entrees. Broiled cauliflower with potatoes (Sindhil Aloo Gobi), Mushrooms with Cipollini onions in a tangy tomato sauce (Khumb Jalfrezi), Japanese eggplant with desiccated (flaked) coconut, peanuts, and hung yogurt (Baingan Saraf), Corn Kababs with cumin, coriander, and ‘gunpowder,’ and several versions of Paneer (a fresh mild cheese with a dense crumbly texture, somewhat reminiscent of queso fresco) are just some of the many meatless options.
Of course no Indian meal is complete without some of that wonderful Naan, the quintessential Indian staple. Naan is an Indian flatbread, traditionally cooked in the tandoor oven. The dough is formed into a circle and then literally stuck onto the wall of the tandoor oven. After a few minutes, the chef ‘peels’ the bread from the oven (you know it’s the real deal when the cooks all have burn marks on their knuckles!). The Naan comes out of the oven, puffed up like a balloon and still hot, wonderfully fragrant, bearing the slight char and subtle crunch of a wood-fired pizza crust, yet still soft and pillowy like a just-made pita. Tanjore makes renditions, including traditional plain, Rosemary, Garlic, Onion, Whole Wheat, and even a Mushroom & Truffle naan!
The lunch menu features most of the dinner items, plus other special lunch offerings. In true Indian custom, lunches are presented in Tiffins, metal tins that stack upon each other and then interlock into one convenient “lunchbox.” You’re presented with a shiny stack of four tins, each containing a different entrée, rice, or veggie.
For dessert, Gajrela is a truly unique Indian specialty, an intriguing caramelized Carrot Pudding with pistachios and cashews, accompanied by vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis. Other sweet endings include traditional mango and pistachio ice cream, caramelized basmati rice pudding with pistachios, and a refreshing Coconut Sorbet served in a fresh coconut shell. Complete the experience with some liquid refreshment from the full bar, including some very creative specialty cocktails, and an impressive list of cordials, scotches and brandies, plus a large selection of specialty teas.
I must admit, I harbored some negative thoughts on Indian food myself based upon past experience. But a visit to Tanjore gave me a whole new perspective and appreciation of Indian cuisine. So the next time you’re in the mood for some ethnic food, bypass the usual Italian, Mexican, or Chinese, and go Indian – at Tanjore!
Tanjore Indian Cuisine is located in Royal Palm Place (500 Via De Palmas #79), Boca Raton, FL 33432. Open daily for lunch and dinner, plus weekend Brunch. Private party facilities available, including an outdoor patio for up to 100 guests. For more information, call 561-288-5800 or visit: www.TanjoreUSA.com. Also Follow on Facebook & Instagram @TanjoreUSA
For more information about Restaurant Placement Group, visit www.RestaurantPlacement.com
Kenny Spahn is a renowned food critic and culinary columnist, and has published over 600 articles on the south Florida dining scene. The Boca Raton Tribune is proud to have Mr. Spahn as a contributor. Ken Spahn also heads up Restaurant Placement Group, an exclusive recruiting and consulting firm for the Restaurant, Food Service, and Hospitality industry. www.RestaurantPlacement.com
I am sorry for the big gap in between posts. I have been busy growing my company. Lots of exciting things will soon be revealed. A brand new website is just one of the things you can expect to see before the end of the year, woo hoo!
For any of you who have ever been on one of our culinary tours, you probably received a goodie bag provided by one of our sponsors, Whole Foods Market, which we fill with info and offers from each of the places we took you to during the tour, plus a sample from another sponsor, Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle.
Today’s blog post will be short and sweet. I wanted to let those of you in or near the Boca Raton Whole Foods Market location know that you should make a point to stop into their new Tavern on the Glades. This full service sit-down eatery located inside the store celebrates flavor and features all-day breakfast, pub burgers, amazing salads, sandwiches and more. At the Tavern, guests can choose from 16 craft beers on tap, Sommelier selected wines and non-alcoholic beverages.
TAVERN HOURS ARE 8AM TO 9PM, DAILY
Whole Foods Market is located at 1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431 561.447.0000
Well it has been some time now since I have written a recent post (for those of you who notice). I have been a little bit on hiatus trying to acclimate myself to a more healthy eating pattern. In order to do this, I must refrain from personally eating out (and drinking wine) as much (I know, why would someone in their right mind voluntarily give these things up, especially wine, right?!?) Well fortunately, Savor Our City has a couple new contributors who have been graciously accepting the invites I have been receiving (for the most part) for these last couple months while I attain my goal weight. Here is one place I did decide to scope out personally last week.
It’s called Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktail, opened by Top Chef alum, Chef Alex Reznik formerly of La Seine, FigOly & Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was and run by Chef Joseph Reuter. It is a kosher restaurant. Apparently, there is a kosher restaurant trend happening right now I read somewhere. Who knew?!? I really didn’t know much about the restaurant until I heard about it from my friend Shaina from Take A Bite Out of Boca, who was kind enough to invite me on behalf of Ditmas to experience it for myself, I just couldn’t pass this up. (Don’t worry, I didn’t blow my healthy eating too bad at all and didn’t have to give up anything in flavor at all. I tried everything prepared by Chef Joe that GM Larry had brought out to us. Here, see for yourself…
Being a kosher restaurant certainly has its challenges/constraints, one of which is being closed on Friday & Saturday nights, two of the busiest nights of the week and where most restaurants make the bulk of their revenue for the week. Another constraint is cooking kosher; A kosher menu puts many things off limits. Of course, there is no pork or shellfish. Ditmas also is dairy-free, negating the need for the requisite separate kitchens and sets of equipment to handle meat and dairy. But Chef Alex and Chef Joe have learned and, if I may say, mastered how to adapt to cooking without certain popular ingredients and find the challenge is not so much what they are limited to cooking with, but pleasing the palates of the kosher clienteles’ tastes who are not so accustomed to more sophisticated interpretations on traditional kosher fare.
So how does Ditmas not only seem to be surviving these challenges, …er thriving despite them? I encourage you to head on into the restaurant yourself to experience these yummy creations and you will see just how it is Chef Alex & his team are winning over both kosher and non-kosher palates one bite at a time. You’ll be hooked too!
Ditmas is open for Lunch: Mon – Thurs 11:30 – 2:30 and Dinner – Sun – Thurs 5pm till 10pm
They are located in Central Boca Raton on Powerline Rd. between Palmetto and Glades Rd.
I had the opportunity to attend a blogger event at Saquella recently to be introduced to some new items that are being added to their menu so I can share them with you.
As many of you know, I spend a lot of time in the Downtown Boca area, particularly in Royal Palm Place and Mizner Park where I conduct my culinary tours. Saquella, located in Royal Palm Place, is the go-to-place for friends to gather for coffee and breakfast and a leader in the culinary scene here in Boca since they opened their doors back in 2005. They are recognized as a leader because of their philosophy which has been from the start and continues to be that they are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve.
When Saquella first opened, the concentration was on their superior blends of coffee, innovative drinks and highly skilled baristas. They prided themselves on this and created the tagline, “Your First Cup of Coffee & Much More…” 12 years later, they have evolved into a full service breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner restaurant. While still providing the same quality drinks that they became known for, they are getting the word out that they are so much more. While Saquella has always been farm to table long before that name became in vogue, they developed a new tagline to better reflect the Cafe’s evolution and current offerings, “Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop…”
Saquella has always drawn an International clientele and has become a landmark at the plaza, along with its neighbor across from them, Biergarten Boca. There’s a good chance if you live in Boca or travel to this area that you’ve been to Saquella, but what you many not know is that they are open for dinner and they have a full liquor license. Yep, you heard (well, technically read, correct). Myself and my fellow food bloggers were treated to several dishes prepared by Saquella’s Executive Chef Dave Fogel.
To get the night started off, we were each served a Cran Martini. It felt like we were celebrating Thanksgiving for a moment. What a lovely hue of red and what a novel idea of serving fresh cranberries in a cocktail in the Spring. I loved the tartness that the fresh cranberries provided. This martini drank like a Cosmo. I would highly recommend it.
The above dishes were not only gorgeous to look at and photograph, but each and every one of them was incredibly flavorful. I enjoyed them all. They all make for great sharing plates. The Shakshuka had melted mozzarella, which is something owner Avi had decided to add and boy are we glad he did. This addition took an already pretty awesome dish and elevated it to the next level Yum!
Again, aren’t these plates just gorgeous? The Sunflower seed crusted chicken was cooked to perfection and topped with an Ammoglio, an Italian version of salsa which was drizzled with a garlic confit. The Quinoa Crusted was delicious as was the beet purée found underneath. The short ribs had been cooked for 6 hours which imparted an amazing flavor and were fork tender. The asparagus asiago risotto was cooked to perfection and wonderful!
Peach Cobbler French Toast made with Challah bread with peaches baked into the bread
Saquella is open 7 days a week, Mon – Sat 7am – 10pm & Sun 10am – 4pm.
They are located in Royal Palm Place, 410 Via De Palmas, Boca Raton. You can visit their website or call (561) 338-8840.
Well as the healthy eating trend continues and the number of restaurants & cafe’s that serve this market continue to pop up, I’m happy to share with you one that I believe is a true trend setter in this arena. Today’s feature is on Fit Foodz Cafe, located in West Boca (Clint Moore Rd & 441). I had met Susan Klein, the owner of Fit Foodz Cafe years ago when I still worked for Investments Limited and organized a health food fair in Royal Palm Place right around the time she was starting Fit Foodz Cafe, back in 2011. Susan’s passion for reinventing comfort foods in a healthier way stemmed from her own personal desire to change her lifestyle after being in the restaurant industry for over 20 years, to lose weight and eat healthier, in addition to incorporating an exercise regime into her schedule.
Fit Foodz Cafe offers a wide variety of healthy meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, homemade snacks, refreshing juices and replenishing smoothies. Also offered are the popular individually portioned meals that change weekly to keep things interesting. Susan’s mission is to ensure her customers are able to enjoy healthy food that is both delicious and satisfying. And boy does she accomplish this! The dishes are sooooooo creative and super tasty!!! Check out some of the many delicious dishes we got to try during a recent blogger tasting:
This tuna poke has skyrocketed to becoming one of my all time favorites! My tablemates and I couldn’t stop eating this but reluctantly stopped knowing we had so much more before us yet to taste, lol! Don’t let the “hot sweet chili sauce” in the title scare you if you are sensitive to heat. It’s really not hot at all, take it from this heat whimp.
Just look at those strawberries…do you think they could be more perfect?!? The answer is NO! They were served at the peak of their ripeness and so sweet and delicious and paired extremely well with the goat cheese and nuts. It was unanimous, we all loved this salad. The combination of ingredients played very nicely together creating a very balanced dish.
Nut lovers rejoice. This salad is made in your honor and has your name written all over it! It is packed with a whole lot of nuts, so much so that for me, I found it a bit hard to detect the mixed greens.
I loved, loved this dish. The zucchini zoodles were so yummy (and long!!!) I would have these any day over regular spaghetti noodles. The sauteed veggies were cooked perfectly and the sauce was out of this world. I loved all the flavors and can’t wait to come back and have this dish again…
I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I saw we were being served chicken pad Thai because let’s face it, last time I checked, we were not in a Thai restaurant and that is the only place I have ever had this dish before. I was pleasantly surprised that all components of this dish came together and the flavor profiles were spot on and riveled any pad Thai you might find at your local Thai restaurant, but I bet this tasty healthy version will leave you feeling a little lighter.
I was excited to see this on our tasting menu because I had only been to Fit Foodz once before and had this dish and loved it, so I couldn’t wait to have it again. I can’t recommend it enough. Come, try, fall in love! 🙂
-Gluten free choc cake/brownies- gluten free all purpose flour, raw cocoa, egg whites, vanilla, canola oil, water, baking powder, raw turbinado- for the brownies I added some natural peanut butter, for the cake I added a vegan frosting
-Almond butter cookies- almond butter, raw turbinado sugar, baking soda, egg whites and choc chips.
-Raw bars- homemade almond butter and date paste, chia, almonds, walnuts, vanilla, pumpkin seeds, raw protein, vegan choc chips, coconut flakes, almond milk
I couldn’t believe how delicious the gluten free desserts were! I didn’t miss the gluten one bit.
Susan Klein was on to something 7 years ago and thanks to her and her dedicated staff at Fit Foodz Cafe, through their hard work and deliverance of exceptional quality food, they have become a staple in the lives of many in the South Florida region.
In addition to her thriving business, Susan has touched the community of South Florida with her philanthropy. She has donated both food and money to many charities and organizations and also participates in local events to show her support. “Giving back to my community is of the utmost importance,” she says. “If we thrive as a community, we can also thrive as individuals.”
Well said Susan, and we wish you many more continued years of success and hope that our readers come in and tell you they heard about you from Denise Righetti from Savor Our City.
Fit Foodz Cafe is located at 9704 Clint Moore Rd, A-108, Boca Raton 561.451.1420
Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri 9am – 8pm; Sat – Sun 9:30am – 7pm