Experience A Unique Fusion of Asian, Caribbean & French Cuisine at MoBu Fusion Cafe

Posted By : denise/ 39

Hello Foodie Friends,

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.

Hours of Operation: Tue, Wed, Thu: 5-9pm;  Fri: 5-9:30pm; Sat: 11am-3pm & 5 – 9:30pm; Sun: 11am -3pm & 5 – 9pm

Brunch is served on Saturdays & Sundays from 11am – 3pm

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

The Winemaker’s Table

Posted By : denise/ 45

Hello Foodie Friends,

My birthday happened to fall on a Friday this year, the weekend of Passover and Easter and to get things kicked off, I decided to accept an invitation to dine at The Winemakers Table in Delray Beach. I had been hearing wonderful things about this place but just hadn’t been able to get there. That is until I met Tom and Michelle Ferraro, the brother and sister team who co-own this little treasure. I met Tom and Michelle purely by coincidence one evening while they happened to be on one of my weekly culinary tours in Royal Palm Place invited by their Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor.

The Winemakers Table opened 8 months ago and let me tell you, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think your gps took you to the wrong place. It was dark when we arrived and we both questioned whether we were in the right place as we pulled in to what appeared to be an industrial area with nothing but warehouse bays in front of us. (Side note: it’s actually a Corporate Center, albeit pretty remote) The Ferraro’s, who previously owned Ferraro’s on Glades, which they sold, were looking for a small place that would be out of the hustle & bustle of Atlantic Avenue where patrons would not worry about parking. The converting of this “warehouse” space into a cozy living/dining room enabled them to see this vision through. They wanted to create an atmosphere where guests could enjoy their meal, relax & not feel rushed that their table must be turned over.
 Tom welcomed us at our table shortly after we were seated and after asking us if we had any food allergies or dietary restrictions to which we replied no, he proceeded to tell us he had a lovely four course pairing that was being prepared for us and would be out shortly. I couldn’t wait! First up was a pear and endive salad with Gorgonzola and hints of vanilla in the vinaigrette that paired excellently with the Prosecco that was served with it. The dressing was sooooo good that I wanted to just pick up my bowl and lick every last drop. (of course, I resisted, hehe).
The next course was pear & pasta purses with a red creamy sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes and paired with a Chardonnay. Fresh hot & yummy garlic bread was also presented during this course. The pursers were packed with flavor and cooked just to our liking, although I’m not 100% convinced that the Chardonnay was the right pairing (at least for me, but also full disclosure, I’m not a huge Chardonnay fan).
     
Sesame seared yellow fin tuna with rock shrimp, (fruit de mare) cucs & house made lemon vinaigrette paired quite exceptionally with a Burgundy (not pictured, sorry,) was our third course.
Our final tasting of the evening was Banana Foster Pot de Creme, Chocolate lava cake and Coconut cake paired with a 1960 Chateau port wine ($1250/bottle).  While all three desserts were outstanding, the chocolate lava cake with the port was the best, in my opinion.
They have a private room that can seat up to 30 ppl!!!
The Winemakers Table is open Tues – Sat 5 – 11pm, however they are available 7 days a week for private events.
They are located at 2875 S Congress Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33445
Reservations are recommended. (954) 914-3218
Click here to visit their website.
Until we eat again…
   I send you delicious wishes, xo
Denise

Harvest Seasonal Grill Introduces Their New Spring Menu

Posted By : denise/ 79

Hello Foodie Friends,

It was this time last year that I wrote about Harvest Seasonal Grill and their opening in Delray the previous Fall. Since then, I’ve been back numerous times to enjoy the creative seasonally-inspired dishes of Executive Chef Bill Ring.

I was invited to dine as a guest of The Gab Group, the PR firm representing Harvest. I brought along my long time foodie friend and newcomer to the blogging scene Patrice from @ForkAndACork. We started off with our choice of cocktails. When I saw the rosé sangria was back on the menu, I immediately chose that for my selection. I’m not ordinarily a fan of rosé, but when Reba, Harvest’s Marketing & Events Manager, first introduced this Rosé Strawberry Rhubarb Sangria last year, it was love at first sip. The key is to make sure that the glass has lots of ice and is served super chill too! Patrice enjoyed her Red Mango Apricot Sangria very much as well.

Next, we decided on a couple apps: the Thai sesame beef lettuce wraps and the sweet pea & avocado toast. The Thai beef wraps were the star of the two for me.

 

 

For the entrées, we tried the cedar roasted salmon which was seasoned and cooked to perfection! We both really loved this dish and I also really enjoyed how Chef Bill prepared the side of veggies (squash, zucchini & carrots). The second entrée was not necessarily a new dish, but the Super Grain Bowl is now being presented in a new fashion and can be found under the “bowls” section. We chose chicken as our protein but you can select the protein of your choice. The dish, in our opinion, was a little dry and needed some more of the sauce that it came with. Once our server brought us over some more and we were able to incorporate it into each bite, it was quite yummy.

 

The signature tray of mini desserts was brought our way to tempt us. There were so many wonderful varieties to choose from and we chose the chocolate salted caramel mousse and the walnut fudge brownie. Both were soooooo good!!!!

 

 

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Be sure to check out my previous write up on Harvest Seasonal Grill to get a little more info on the restaurant.

Harvest Seasonal Grill is located in the Delray Place shopping plaza at 1841 S. Federal Highway, #402, Delray Beach, FL 33483. For more information or to make a reservation, call (561) 266-3239 or visit www.harvestseasonalgrill.com.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

3 of Hearts Brings Elevated Comfort Food to Downtown Lake Worth

Posted By : denise/ 95

By Chloe Sommers and Ashley Taylor

 

The city of Lake Worth has a winning card up its sleeve when it comes to competing for your dinner spending dollars- a tapas bar for comfort food and board games named .

 

Located at 510 Lucerne Avenue, their style has a modern farmhouse flair of which TV house-flipper Joanna Gaines would be proud. 3 of Hearts offers tapas-style shareable plates and an entire wall of board games to enjoy. Specializing in elevated comfort food, they also have specialty cocktails. It’s the perfect choice for an evening out with friends as the menu is full of items which are served in 3’s.

 

The number three is special to the family-run operation. Simply called the ‘boss’, Robyn explained that three represents her, her sister, and the memory of her little sister. She passed away before the restaurant became a reality, but encouraged Robyn to go after her dream in the first place. “This opened the idea of the three theme, to keep my sister involved.”

 

At our visit to the restaurant, we started with the Wine Fashioned and White Herb Sangria. The Wine Fashioned was a fruity take on the classic Old Fashioned. The blend of red and port wines was delicious and didn’t compromise the smoky notes characteristic of the classic drink. Popular in the summer, their signature honey sage sangria was refreshing with plenty of supple fruit on the bottom.

 

As for the food, they have a jam-packed selection. Homemade by Chef John, they even offer the recipe to make our personal favorite, the strawberry basil jam. The Chef is also Robyn’s nephew. When it comes to working with so many of her family members supporting her Robyn said, “it’s great to have so many people you trust to put their heads together to think through an idea or problem.” It works like a family unit because they compliment each other, yet aren’t afraid to disagree. “We talk through things,” she added, “there’s no threat to challenge each other since there’s unconditional love there.”

 

Another signature trend on the menu is their fun flips from savory to sweet. On the savory side, we loved the oven dried tomato and the drunken mushroom duxelle jams. Served with perfectly crisped crostini, it was a beautifully plated gourmet spread. Don’t feel like sharing? Meat ragu, chicken 3 ways, or a good-old burger and a pickle are also on the menu.

 

Catch their weekly trivia night on Tuesday’s from 7:30-9:30. We suggest coming in early to grab a prime table outside and ordering their grilled cheese fingers (you’ll thank us later).

 

Hours: T-F 3pm-10pm, Sat 2pm-11pm, Sun 11am-4pm (brunch)

True Food Kitchen is Truly Exceptional

Posted By : denise/ 112

Hello Foodie Friends,

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

Founders:

Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Concepts

Dr. Andrew Weil

ABOUT

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.

MENU

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.

ATMOSPHERE

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.

SAM FOX

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.

Online & Social:

Website: www.truefoodkitchen.com   www.truefoodkitchenbocaraton.com 

Instagram: @true_food_kitchen

Facebook: facebook.com/TrueFoodKitchen

Blog: www.truewellnessbytrue.com

Denise

Prezzo’s, A South Florida Fixture in the 90’s is Baaaack!!!

Posted By : dnice/ 111

Hello Foodie Friends,

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

Selfie with James Beard Award-Winning Executive Chef Mark Militello

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Miami Beach Turns One

Posted By : dnice/ 124

Hello Foodie Friends,

I had the great pleasure of dining at Chops Lobster Bar’s sister property Lobster Sea Grille in Miami Beach this past week. I came to Miami for the purpose of building & solidifying new partnerships with restaurants in the Miami market for our new culinary tours and experiences being presented to our cruise line and destination management partners. Exciting stuff going on, I tell ya! Anyway, I had met Dawn Bryan, So Florida Marketing Manager for the Buckhead Restaurant Group, a couple years ago when I was invited for a tasting at Chops Lobster Bar by Chef Sean (who, by the way, creates stunning masterpieces, both visually and in taste).

On this occasion, I was joined by my product development manager, Annette, and Dawn. The place is gorgeous, inside and out.  The restaurant occupies the former China Grill spot, for those who need a familiar landmark. Shortly after being shown to our table, Matt approached and asked if it would be ok if he selected the tastings for us for the evening. After confirming we didn’t have any food allergies or specific dislikes, he was given the go-ahead to surprise us. I always enjoy and prefer the tastings to be done this way, actually. To get the evening started, I began with a lovely glass of Cloudy Bay New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which paired exceptionally well with the calamari, tuna tartare and quinoa, and jumbo lump crab cake.

L to R: Rhode Island • Baby Calamari “Sweet Heat” – lightly fried fresno chilies red & yellow holland peppers ; Hawaii • Ahi Tuna Tartare -golden quinoa pine nuts lemon olive oil micro arugula; All Jumbo Lump Crab Cake “Maryland” ($5. supplement) – lemon grain-mustard emulsion
I’m on a Seefood diet: I see food, I eat it. How about you? Nothing like fresh seafood and Lobster Sea Grille has the finest!
Matthew Woods, Lobster Bar Sea Grille’s Dining Room Manager and wine and food pairing expert who took exceptional care of us.
A wonderful variety was presented from the $49 3-Course Tasting Menu served every day through 2018  (5:30 ‘till 7PM for just $39). Today’s Selection was a Turbot fish from Spain – Wood Grilled steamed baby Tuscan kale Greek extra virgin olive oil lemon Santorini capers, Petite filet mignon and potato confit, Lobster morsels (not on the $49 menu, but a favorite item found at both Chops Lobster Bar and Lobster Sea Grille), Brussels sprouts.

 

Classic • Profiteroles mini puffs vanilla bean ice cream valrhona dark chocolate sauce sugar roasted almonds
L to R: Greek Yogurt • Greek Thyme Honey & toasted walnuts; Tropical Cremeux mango & tonka bean mousse almond coconut biscuit mandarin sorbet; Espresso martini

Lobster Bar Sea Grille is located at 404 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach  (305) 377-2675

Tuesday5:30–11PM
Wednesday5:30–11PM
Thursday5:30–11PM
Friday5:30PM–12AM
Saturday11:30AM–3:30PM, 5:30PM–12AM
Sunday5:30–11PM
Monday5:30–11PM

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Tavern on the Glades – Whole Foods Market Boca Raton

Posted By : dnice/ 107

Hello Foodie Friends,

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

Check out their menu!

 

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Costa brings bold, bold flavors to Palm Beach

Posted By : dnice/ 94

David Valencia has been in restaurant kitchens for the past 14 years – a relatively short time by executive chef standards – but the 33-year native of Colombia has experience far beyond those years. Valencia, executive chef at Costa Palm Beach, has cut his teeth at such fabled restaurants as The Modern in New York City and trained under Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse.

He later joined renowned hospitality group EMM Group to open Catch with Top Chef Winner Hung Huynh in New York and Miami and was Chef de Cuisine at Meat Market Palm Beach before opening Costa (with owner and veteran Palm Beach restaurateur Sascha Bennemann) earlier this year.

Chef David Valencia

All of Valencia’s high-powered training and learning is paying off at Costa, located on the second floor of The Esplanade on Palm Beach’s trendy Worth Avenue.

“Modern Mediterranean’’ is how Valencia describes Costa’s menus, which feature several of what might be considered Valencia’s “signature’’ dishes. Among them is the amazing Salt Baked Branzino, a three-pound Crispy Pork Shank (for two) and for lunch, an off-the-chain Lamb Burger.

“I wanted to bring something different with a lot of different flavor profiles – big bold flavors,’’ Valencia said.

Those bold flavors certainly come out in dishes such as the Salt Baked Branzino served with arugula emulsion, grilled lemon, olive caper tomato relish. It’s a terrific explosion of flavors that has many guests telling friends, “Get the Branzino,’’ when they go to Costa.

“I’ve been doing something similar (in terms of preparing the Branzino) for the past seven or eight years,’’ Valencia said. “For whatever reason, this is the dish people come back for. I didn’t expect it to be like that.’’

And don’t fret. The full fish is for presentation purposes only.

The Crispy Pork Shank goes back to Valencia’s childhood days in Colombia.

“Pig was my thing,’’ Valencia said with a smile. “We had a big farm and we had a pig for every big holiday.’’

Valencia’s Crispy Pork Shank is cured in salt, garlic and spices for 24 hours and cooked for three to four days to allow the meat to tenderize. When customers order it, Valencia flash fries the pork shank to get the skin extra crispy. It’s then presented to the guests table side and returned to the kitchen where in the inside meat is prepared for serving.

The result?

“You’ll never have a better piece of pork,’’ Valencia said.

I’m certainly not going to disagree. If you’re into pork, the Crispy Pork Shank is a “must have’’ on the Costa menu. Same with the Branzino if you’re into fish.

Some of my other favorites? The Hamachi (served with finger lime, avocado, sumac and cilantro) as an appetizer. The Moroccan Lamb Stew is outstanding. And you can’t leave without having the House Hummus served with house made Naan Bread.

House made Hummus with Naan Bread

A good way to get to know the Costa menu is to take advantage of its Summer Menu (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), which features items such as the Hamachi and House Hummus, as well as Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Chicken Escalope (grilled chicken breast, zucchini, eggplant, herb puree, arugula, lemon), each for 50 percent off the regular menu prices.

“I don’t change the quality or the sizings,’’ Valencia said. “That menu is a real treat for somebody to try something that’s not as expensive and to try something maybe they haven’t had before.’’

One taste of Valencia’s big, bold flavors, however, and they’ll be back.

Steve Pike (www.myspiketravel.com) is an award-winning food and travel writer. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla.

 

Dorrian’s Red Hand is filled with comfort food and good times

Posted By : dnice/ 93

By Steve Pike

Every neighborhood should have its favorite bar. Preferably an Irish bar. On Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, I nominate Dorrian’s Red Hand. It filled with comfort food, comfort music (Pink Floyd, the Eagles, Creedence) and big screen TVs.

http://www.dorrians-wpb.com/

It’s also filled with locals who come to watch favorite teams, listen to live music and just chill with a brew and burger. It’s an Irish-American bar without the leprechauns and shamrocks. A place you’re likely to see in the Irish countryside, except that there is music at Dorrian’s. Most pubs in the Irish countryside chase musicians out the door. The story goes that even the Rolling Stones were once banned from playing in an Irish countryside bar.

That aside, “We started building up a nice, local clientele,’’ said co-owner Danny Dorrian, a veteran New York City restaurateur who opened the eatery and pub in April 2016. “Probably one of the more difficult places I’ve done business. People here are from all over the country. Everyone wants certain things.’’

Shepherd’s Pie

Dorrian’s menu obliges. For example, the New York City House Burger features Bush Brothers beef and is served on an English muffin, so you’re getting more beef than bread.  It’s one of the better burgers in South Florida.

The thick Shepherd’s Pie is a “must have, and even if you don’t like calamari, the Amata Calamari (flash fried or sautéed) with spinach, cherry peppers and mushrooms is outstanding. If you just want to pig out, go for the loaded nachos with turkey chili.

Dorrian’s menu also has some steak and seafood items, perhaps the best French fries in South Florida, as well as year-round Thanksgiving dinner complete with slow roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, cranberry and gravy.

“Good food and good environment,’’ Dorrian said.

That’s all you want in a neighborhood pub. And Dorrian’s delivers.

Steve Pike is an award-winning food and travel writer (www.myspiketravel.com). He lives in Delray Beach, Fla.