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

Posted By : denise/ 38

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

Harvest Seasonal Grill Introduces Their New Spring Menu

Posted By : denise/ 78

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

 

Coast On Over to Coastal for Brunch at The Atlantic Hotel & Spa

Posted By : dnice/ 139

Hello Foodie Friends,

It’s been some time since my last post. It’s that time of the year again when we get so crazy busy with all the wonderful food and wine events to cover on top of all the extra visitors who come into town and book us for our culinary tours and experiences. We have been working hard on creating a brand new website which will soon be launched and we have been growing our company both geographically as well as team members, but more on that in the next newsletter.

Today, it’s all about our visit to Coastal Restaurant located inside the Atlantic Hotel on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. I was invited to experience the brunch there by the PR firm representing the restaurant, which is located in the previous Beauty and the Feast spot, for those of you who remember that one.

I love brunches, particularly buffets (as opposed to a la carte) and especially ones that have as great a variety as Coastal. What I REALLY liked about Coastal’s brunch was that in addition to the marvelous options on the buffet, they have a menu of select a la carte plates every Sunday with a couple staple items that appear each Sunday such as bananas foster french toast and chicken & waffles and other specialty items such as eggs benedict, tacos and pancakes that change each Sunday. On this day, they were serving a crab cake benedict, pulled pork taco and chocolate chip pancakes. Lucky for me, they make these a la carte items in really cute small portions so you can try one of each (like I did) without feeling (too) guilty. LOL!

The pricing is extremely reasonable for just $39.95 per adult and $19.95 for children 12 & under. You can add bottomless Bloody Marys, Mimosas, & Bellinis for just $18.98 or $5/glass. What’s more, they offer 3 hour complimentary valet parking! How great is that?!? They have live music too. The buffet is available from 11am – 3pm. Definitely worth checking out!

                       

Well, there you have it. Not only does Coastal have a great view of the ocean, but the decor is clean and inviting, the staff is friendly and attentive and the food is excellent. What more can you ask for? If you’re looking for somewhere to go this Valentine’s Day, they have some pretty awesome couples packages available, including a Gourmet Picnic Dinner on the Beach, Oceanfront Dinner at Coastal, and Three Spa Atlantic Packages, starting at Only $120. Valid Feb 11th – 18th, no overnight stay required.

For more info, contact eatcoastal.com.

Coastal is located inside The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, 601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304  (954) 567-8070.

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/ 92

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.

 

Mojito Bar combines classic Cuban cocktails with Nuevo Latin Cuisine

Posted By : dnice/ 94

By Steve Pike

Come for the mojitos, stay for the food. That’s my advice for guests at the new Mojito Bar restaurant at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Fla. Renowned Chef Douglas Rodriguez has fused his signature Nuevo Latin Cuisine with the classic Cuban cocktail for a terrific indoor and outdoor dining experience.

http://themojitobar.com

Located on the edge of some of Sawgrass Mills’ more popular store, the vibrant and colorful Mojito Bar is an ideal spot for people watching, as well as lunch and dinner.

The experience begins, of course, with the mojitos. Mojito Bar has a deep selection of mojitos, led by the Classic served with DonQ Cristal rum; the robust Coconut mojito features DonQ. Try them each in Mojito Bar’s 24-ounce glass and you might never want to leave. If you’re looking to take the experience up another notch, Mojito Bar serves its namesake cocktails in a souvenir 32-ounce light-up tower glass.

Now on to the food. Start with the Smoked Pineapple Guacamole that has unbelievable flavor thanks mostly to the pineapple that’s smoked for up to eight hours before being served.

Smoked Pineapple Guacamole

“Not your typical guacamole,’’ said Mojito Bar Manager Bar Jose Reigosa.

The Smoked Pineapple Guacamole is just one example of Rodriguez’s menu that also features dishes such as Cuban Sandwich on a Stick, Short Rib Soft Tacos (my favorite), Mojito Shrimp Ceviche and Brazilian Coconut Seafood Casserole.

“Douglas brought us a menu to match who we are,’’ Reigosa said.

It’s a perfect match.

Steve Pike is an award-winning food and travel writer at Spike’s Peek’s: The Art of Travel (www.myspiketravel.com). He lives in Delray Beach, Fla.

 

 

Tommy Bahama is Serving Up The Aloha Spirit

Posted By : dnice/ 106

Hello Foodie Friends,

While on my trip to Orlando last week, I got invited to participate in an impromptu tasting by my Instagram friend Chef Matt Oakley from Tommy Bahama. It was an honor and I was so excited to meet Chef Matt and taste his food since I began following him on Instagram.

I was immediately shown the “Aloha” spirit when I walked through the doors and was greeted warmly by the hostess who proceeded to ask if I was Denise.  With a big smile, I answered yes and then was asked to follow her to a table that had been set up for me.

Left: Pineapple Paradisio Martini  / Center: Coconut Cloud Martini  / Right: Mai Tai Rum Concoction

The Pineapple Paradisio, made with Bacardi Pineapple and St. Germain Elderflower was waiting for me on my table when I arrived. As I progressed through the tasting, two other cocktails were presented. The Coconut Cloud, made with Ron Matusalem Platino, Stoli Vanil, Cruzan Coconut and Cream of Coconut and the Mai Tai, made with Flor de Caña 4 Year, Orgeat, Orange Curaçao, Lemon, Lime, Pineapple and a Dark Rum Float. Although I am not familiar with several of the above mentioned ingredients, that didn’t stop me one bit from enjoying them immensely! (Don’t worry, not all three cocktails were consumed to their entirety during my tasting)

After meeting Chef Matt and chatting with him for a bit, he told me that Tommy Bahama and their restaurants serving Island fare have been around since 1993; the first one opened in Naples, FL. Today they can be found spreading the Island cheer all around the globe. This Tommy Bahama happened to be the company’s Research & Development for their restaurants and Chef Matt works closely with their corporate chef to create some of the menu items. (The pork belly and the Peanut Butter Pie below are two of his own creations).

Coconut Shrimp..Tiger Shrimp coated in light beer batter with shredded coconut, accompanied by a Mango Chutney and Island Slaw composing of cabbage, red onion, cilantro, jicama and dressed with a lime vinaigrette. I am in love with this “world famous” appetizer dish and could eat it all day long. But today, I had to resist and just have the one-biter presented to me so I could move on…


Ahi Tuna Taco..Crispy Wonton Taco Shell, Yellowfin Tuna dressed in a mix of Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Cilantro, Capers, Ginger, Garlic and a hint of Chipotle Pepper. Topped with Red Bell Pepper, Scallions and a Wasabi Lime Avocado Cream Sauce.  Every component of this dish came together to create the perfect bite. It was well thought out and executed. Oh yeah and so cute too! You can find these under their Appetizer section. Chef Matt shared with me that Tommy Bahama is big on sourcing their fish from those who practice sustainability. Today’s tuna that I was served was line caught from Costa Rica. All of their fish is fresh and they never serve anything more than 3 days old. Gotta like that!

Macadamia Nut Crusted Goat Cheese…Laura Chenel Chevre coated in toasted Wailea Valley Plantation Macadamia Nuts warmed in Clarified Butter and served with a Papaya Mango Chutney and Soy Glaze paired with Lavash Flatbread. The combination of Macadamia nuts, clarified butter and goat cheese was amazing and the sweetness from the mango salsa truly made my tastebuds get up and do the Happy Dance. This is an awesome appetizer dish!


Pork Belly..Duroc Pork Belly braised in Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar. Seared then served on a Brioche Toast, topped with Pickled Vegetables, accompanied by a Sriracha Aioli.  I LOVED LOVED this dish. The pork belly was lean, which is a welcome change to the usual fatty pieces served these days. The combination of flavors from the sweet sauce used in the braising of the pork belly to the pickled vegetables placed on top, to the slight heat from the sriracha aioli on the finish, all had their part in creating a really tasty, balanced dish. You’ll be able to find the pork belly in sliders only during their IT (Island Time) Happy Hour, each day from 4-6pm.


Yellowfin Tuna Salad.. Brown Chile Crusted Tuna, Kale, Roasted Corn, Quinoa, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, Island Slaw, Field Greens and dressed with a Soy Sesame Vinaigrette. The tuna had a lovely sear on it and was a wonderful accompaniament to this creative version of a field greens salad.


Kona Crusted Ribeye..Ribeye Deckle seasoned with a Kona Coffee Rub, the seared in cast iron. Served on a Cauliflower Chive Mash Croquette with White Miso Butter and accompanied by a Horseradish Aioli. Just when I think I’ve had the best bite of the day, Chef Matt goes and screws things up for me by presenting this little beauty. This here is just heaven on a plate. The rib eye was cooked absolutely to perfection and melted like butter in my mouth. I loved his cauliflower mash croquette creation and the horseradish aioli. You can find this Kona Crusted Ribeye entrée on their lunch and dinner menus.


And finally…the Peanut Butter Pie..Whipped Peanut Butter, Salted Pretzel Crust, Callebaut Chocolate Ganache, Red Hawaiian Sea Salt and White Chocolate Mousse Whipped Cream. Oh my!!! Chef Matt really hit all the right notes on this one that is for sure. Loved the sweet and salty and creamy and crunchy contrasts that came together in harmony in a single bite.

I wish that Tommy Bahama would open a restaurant closer to where I live in Boca Raton, as the closest one to us here in South Florida is in Jupiter.  But in the meantime, with future travel plans in the works to Orlando, you can count on my making plenty of stops back here to this one in Pointe Orlando to visit my pal Chef Matt.

CURRENT PROMOTION: All Tommy Bahama retail locations with restaurants have implemented a 20% off retail purchases with proof of a sales receipt at the restaurant, valid on the same day. So eat, shop & save all you Tommy Bahama fans. You’re welcome!

IT = Island Time, Tommy Bahama’s version of Happy Hour. Available EVERY DAY between 4-6pm where you can belly up to the bar and partake in great bites and cocktails such as:

House Wines $5

Signature wines $7

Selected beer $4

Well Drinks $4

Martinis $7

Classic Cocktails $6

Small Plates:

  • Ahi Tuna $7

  • Blackened Fish Tacos $6

  • Angus Burger Sliders $6

  • Macadamia Goat Cheese $5

  • Jerk Chicken Lollipops $5

  • Pulled Pork Quesadillas $5

I want to thank my friends at Tommy Bahama in Orlando for hosting me during my recent trip to Orlando. It was my very first time eating at a Tommy Bahama and I can’t wait to come back again. To visit this location:

Pointe Orlando
9101 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32819

RESTAURANT HOURS & PHONE

321.281.5888
Open: 11:30 AM daily
Happy Hour: 4-6 PM daily


STORE HOURS & PHONE

321.281.5886
11 AM – 10 PM Mon-Sat
12 PM – 8 PM Sun


For other locations, visit Tommy Bahama’s website.

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Saquella Cafe…more than just great coffee, breakfast & lunch!

Posted By : dnice/ 96

Hello Foodie Friends,

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.

 

Left to right: Goat cheese croquette served with toasted crostini and a ginger fig balsamic jam; Medi platter consisting of assorted grilled veggies, hummus, pita and a lavender Dijon dressing; Shakshuka, a typical Middle Eastern egg dish

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!

Left to right: Sunflower seed crusted chicken; Quinoa crusted salmon on a bed of beet & goat cheese purée; Short rib served atop asparagus & asiago risotto

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!

A lovely bottle of Beringer Merlot was poured for this evening’s tasting.

Peach Cobbler French Toast made with Challah bread with peaches baked into the bread

Affogato Photo courtesy of Saquella Cafe
Chef Dave did an outstanding job executing our amazing tasting menu.

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.

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

 

 

Harvest Seasonal Grill Introduces Seasonal, Locally Sourced Dishes

Posted By : dnice/ 120

Hello Foodie Friends,

It’s been a busy week for this Foodie Girl. Kicking the week off with Temper Grille followed by a wonderful tasting at Harvest Seasonal Grill set up for me by the company’s PR firm. I was super excited to finally make it in there after passing by it a gazillion times on my way from Boca to Delray to conduct my tours and then after meeting Reba, Harvest’s Marketing & Events Manager at the Flavors event last month.

collage 1

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, a seasonally changing, farm to table concept serving wood fired steak, poultry, seafood, vegetarian and gluten free dishes offering guests locally-grown options typically under 500 calories.

The upscale-casual restaurant, whose mantra “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” is apparent in every detail, has vowed to change its offerings with the seasons (every three months), with menu items reflective of the time of year and produce available. The day of my visit was the first day the Spring Menu was being rolled out. Since opening in the Fall, Harvest has had a slight menu change for winter, but nothing like the overhaul of this new Spring menu I was told, where a good majority of the items have changed. That’s good for most and harder to accept by some who are sorry to see their favorites no longer on the current menu. I have a feeling though that those who are busy mourning the loss of their faves, will soon find new ones to enjoy and before long, their old faves will be back in season. I personally love the idea of keeping menus rotating, keeping them fresh with whatever bounty the current season has to offer, so kudos to Harvest Seasonal Grill for introducing this fresh new concept. Their awesome menu features mostly 500-calorie or fewer dishes, seasonally changing options that are made using the freshest ingredients around, and sourced from the 75 local farmers the eatery works with. Amongst them is Swank Farm and those who follow me know I love Swank Farm and their series of Farm-to-Table SWANK Table events.

collage 2
Left: Farmer’s Mule, Right: Raspberry Lemonade Margarita
collage 3
Left: White Sangria, Right: Strawberry Rose Sangria

 

 

 

Harvest Seasonal Grill accommodates a vast range of dietary needs with allergy-friendly and gluten-free concessions, vegan items and dairy-free offerings. Additionally, they offer an extensive menu of organic wines by the glass, along with craft-brewed draft beers, and a cocktail menu boasting seasonally rotating libations made with fresh fruits and herbs. Reba had suggested we try a flight of their Sangrias. Always open for suggestions, I said sure and before long these two beauties were placed in front of us. I started with the White one and it was not your typical white wine Sangria. Very pleasant. I liked it. Then I made my way over to the Rose one. I have to admit, I never had a Rose Sangria before. White ones and Red ones, but never any Rose…until now. Folks, I can’t express in words how DELICIOUS this one was. You’re just gonna have to trust me on this and go in and try it out for yourself. Period, end of story, lol!

collage 4
Top left: Sauteed Spicy Calamari, Right: Tuna Poke Bottom left: Avocado Artichoke Dip, Right: Pesto Caprese Flatbread

I fell in love with the calamari. Don’t let the word “spicy” in the title deter you from trying this dish if you are sensitive to heat. Just ask them to go light on the spice. That way they can adjust it so that it is very subtle. The white wine and lemon juice broth it comes with is soooooo good!!! The calamari were cooked perfectly and I love the healthier presentation to frying. The tuna poke was good, but not my favorite; I think it was the texture of the sweet & sour cucumber dressing that threw me. I had to dig a little to find the avocado in the Avocado & Artichoke Dip. But the flavors were nice and once I found the avocado, I was happy. I thought the herbed Naan chips were really unique and a nice flavorful accompaniment. The Pesto Caprese Flatbread was so light and packed with fresh herbs. I loved the crispiness of the flatbread and the flavor combination. This one was a winner for sure!

collage 5
Left: Cedar Roasted Organic Salmon, Right: BBQ Braised Short Rib

So I ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon and it was delicious. I really enjoyed the Paddi Pan (green squash) too. My dining companion ordered the BBQ Braised Short Rib and when I asked him what he thought, he said that it tasted like meatloaf. Meatloaf?!? So I reached over with my fork to give it a try. Well I’ll be darned, the bbq sauce did resemble the old school sauce that topped many a meatloaf back in the day. Sauce aside, the short rib was slow cooked and very tasty all on its own.

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Assorted Dessert Cups 

With so many wonderful selections, I chose the Chocolate Salted Caramel Mousse. This did not disappoint!

This popular farm-to-table eatery and wine bar may be new to Florida (we got lucky that they chose Delray Beach the place to open their first one in FL), but they have been wildly successful in other parts of the country with six other locations including four in PA (where the company is based) and one in NJ. For exact locations, click here.

Seasonally-changing menus are conceptualized by Corporate Executive Chef Joshua N. Short, who offers over ten years of culinary experience to the Harvest team, holding prior positions as a Sous Chef with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and Executive Chef with The JDK Group. Every dish served at Harvest’s Delray Beach location is executed to perfection by their culinary team, headed by Co-Executive Chefs Bill Ring (formerly of 32 East) and Chef Jeremy Hanson (previously at The Seagate), who work alongside local farmers to highlight the best and brightest flavors each season has to offer.

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Executive Chef William (Bill) Ring

Harvest Seasonal Grill’s use of sustainable, organic and healthy ingredients doesn’t end with the menu. A truly green concept, the eatery not only features recycled glass bar tops and a beautiful exterior living wall, but also uses all organic cleaning products, recycled paper products and eco-friendly ink on their menus.

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Garden outside 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

 

 

Tantalizing Tapas at Temper Grille

Posted By : dnice/ 108

 

Hello Foodie Friends,

I recently organized and attended a media/blogger tasting at the newly opened Temper Grille restaurant in West Boca and was thrilled to take a seat and experience all the wonderful tapas and delicious wines that would start magically appearing on our tables.

Small Plates…Big taste. Food with Attitude! That’s their motto. Temper Grille features fine wines, a unique tapas menu, and an assortment of dishes that resonate with the Chef’s fiery tastes and attitude.

Temper Grille opened April 2010 in Granger, IN with Chef Sean Kelley and Co-founder Erick Guerra at the helm and has been wildly successful ever since. The name, Temper Grille, is a nod to Chef Kelley whose reputation in the past was that of a loose cannon with a spicy temper. “Yes, it is true,” Kelley laughs a little now. “I was a hothead”. Today the name now serves as a constant reminder of who he was and personifies the bold flavors he serves in each and every dish.

Midwest Living Magazine had this to say about Temper Grille… This intimate tapas-style restaurant has a unique food menu, as well as an extensive beer and wine list, all of which is sure to please any palate. From the house-cured bacon to duck bites and seared ahi tuna, Chef Sean Kelley doesn’t shy away from big flavors – and you shouldn’t either!

Earlier this year, plans to expand to the South Florida market came to fruition, when Chef Kelley and Erick Guerra found the perfect location in West Boca Raton to open their second location. “We are excited to share our culinary vision of an upscale American Fusion Tapas restaurant. Fresh ingredients, bold flavors and always cooked to order, each dish is plated and delivered to your table once it is ready for you to enjoy and share. No heat lamps or microwaves here. Welcome to food with attitude. Welcome to Temper Grille”, says Erick Guerra.

The new Temper is double the size of the one in IN and has full a bar.  Although the core menu is much the same, Chef Ryan Emmons, the Executive Chef of the Boca Raton location, is adding his own style and attitude through the feature menu that change Wednesday of each week.

Temper Grille uses fresh ingredients that arrive daily and is always in search of local purveyors and sources that offer the quality, flavor and freshness that makes up each and every dish. The Granger location uses local sources such as duck from Maple Leaf Farms, potatoes from Arthur Snyder’s farm and sauces from Sunny’s Korean. In Boca, Chef Emmons has begun working with local farms and purveyors to bring the freshness of the local market to an already delectable menu.

Wing lovers are in for a treat with what Chef Kelley aims to create some of the best chicken wings in the area. The wings are brined for seven days, wood smoked using a blend of specialty woods, deep fried for a crisp texture and then tossed in one of a few different Temper Grille signature homemade sauces. The sauces range from garlic butter to hotter than even the heat-loving regulars can withstand. “I didn’t want to just make a wing. I wanted to make a statement,” Kelley said, and even with the hottest of the TG sauces, the statement comes through loud and clear and full of flavor.

Temper offers a selection of “bites” such as lobster, shrimp, steak and duck which are a Temper fan favorite and a staple to the restaurant. Others go crazy over the Temper Noodles which are served with a fried egg on top and tossed in one of the signature sauces to spice it up to your liking.

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Temper Noodles Yaki Soba Noodles sauteed with a vegetable blend. Seasoned with Sunny’s Korean Terriyaki and Spices topped with a fried egg.
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Duck Bites (Maple Leaf Farms) Seared and topped with Black Cherry Sauce and Remoulade

The number one item on the menu, Kelley says, is the signature macaroni and cheese. It is made with scientific precision and, at the same time, lots of love. “That’s what food is,” he explains. He doesn’t just make macaroni and cheese, he takes his brush to it and creates it. He is so secretive about the four cheeses that go into this delightfully decadent mix that not even his closest of family truly know the exact blend.  Guests can select from a variety of versions:  lobster, roasted pepper, blackened shrimp and smoked pork belly and can also order a gluten-free version, with 24 hours’ advance notice.

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Mac & Cheese Four Cheese Blend served with Cavatappi pasta and topped with a buttery crumb. Cooked to a beautiful golden brown. We could not stop ourselves from eating this dish. It truly is perfection on a plate!
Collage 1
Top left: Chop Salad – Sliced Strawberries, Mandarin Oranges, Candied Almonds, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Dried Cherries, Parsley and tossed with a Blood Orange Vinaigrette and topped with Green Onions. Top Right: Jumbo Scallops: U10 Sea Diver Scallops Blackened and Seared and served with a Mango Chutney. Bottom left: Ahi: Seared Saku Coated in Sesame Seeds served with Soy Wasabi Sauce & topped with a Soy Asian Ginger Glaze. Bottom Right: Mini Steak Chimmi’s: Sliced Steak (served cold), Tomato strips, Avocado and Chimichurri Sauce served with Toast Points.

corn & lobsterCreamed Corn with Red Pepper Sauce Lobser Bites: Sauteed Lobster finished in a Garlic Cream Sauce and served on a bed of Smashed Potatoes and served with Naan points.

Chef Kelley and Erick Guerra are collectors and aficionados and you can spend about as much as you want on a bottle of wine from their collection. “Through the years we have developed very close relationships with some of the top winemakers in the world and are working on crafting a one of a kind menu sure to please wine enthusiasts of all levels and complement our one of a kind cuisine”, said Erick. An entrepreneur and investor, Erick Guerra owns a number of different companies and recently released a ultra-premium tequila and rum brands which are featured at the restaurant. “We proudly serve both of our award-winning brands, Don Cheyo Tequila and Jav’s Rum, and have a number of cocktails and dishes infused with them”, Erick says.

Collage 3
We were served two delicious wines, the Pinot Grigio on the left and the Petite Sirah on the right.

Temper Grille’s staff provide attentive, informed service, the kind that helps a newcomer work through the menu and understand it better. It’s not easy to find such service and a treat when it works. “It’s that service that really defines a restaurant,” Kelley said. I would concur. Our server Brenna, was the best in the biz if you ask me. Not only was she exceptionally attentive to our needs, but she kept us laughing and entertained throughout the evening. I will certainly request Brenna on my next visit back, you can count on that!

Collage 4
For dessert, we had their famous Angel Food Cake. It’s made in-house (although not this house. It is currently being made by their Baker at Temper Grille in IN since they haven’t found one down here yet who can replicate it exactly). It is my favorite. The Angel Food Cake is grilled and then topped with their light and fluffy house-made whipped cream and then strawberries that have been macerated in a fig balsamic marinade are drizzled all over the top. Heaven on a plate! The second dessert that we got to try was the Chocolate Truffles. Very rich and very decadent. You don’t need a lot of these to satisfy that chocolate craving. Divine.
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Executive Chef Ryan Emmons with Temper Grille co-owner Erick Guerra 

Temper boasts a happy hour every day from to and half priced wine bottles, $100 or less, every Tuesday. They currently have live DJ’s every Friday and Saturday and are currently searching for musicians to play live on their music stage. They remain fairly active in their social media pages and constantly update followers with upcoming events, feature menus, drink specials and more. “Be sure to log into our free guest wifi and join our loyalty program to begin earning free food and drinks and receive invites to our special events and wine dinners”, says Erick.

 

Temper boasts a happy hour every day from 4pm to 6pm and half priced wine bottles, $100 or less, every Tuesday. They currently have live DJ’s every Friday and Saturday and are currently searching for musicians to play live on their music stage. They remain fairly active in their social media pages and constantly update followers with upcoming events, feature menus, drink specials and more. “Be sure to log into our free guest wifi and join our loyalty program to begin earning free food and drinks and receive invites to our special events and wine dinners”, says Erick.

Temper’s dishes range in price from $8 to $20 and the check average is $65 to $70.

Temper Grille is located at 9858 Clint Moore Rd. in Boca Raton. (561) 717-8081

They are open Tues – Thurs 4pm – 10pm, Fri – Sat 4pm – 12am and closed Sun & Mon

Website: TemperBoca.com

Facebook: TemperGrilleBoca

Instagram: @TemperBoca

Hashtag: #TemperBoca

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise