Italian

NEIGHBORHOOD GEM: VIC & ANGELO’S IN PALM BEACH GARDENS

By Steve PikePerhaps the best way to describe Vic & Angelo’s Italian restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is to begin at the end. That is, with the eatery’s seemingly lighter than air tiramisu. After all, what serious foodie doesn’t want to start a meal with dessert?But more important, Vic & Angelo’s tiramisu is a great example of the attention to detail Executive Chef Kelley Randall and his staff give every dish.

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“There is a lot of love that goes into everything,’’ Randall said.

The tiramisu, for example, is made with 50 percent mascarpone cheese, instead of the 10 to 15 percent most other Italian restaurants use.

“It makes all the difference,’’ Randall said. “And the Bellino Lady Fingers are flown in from Italy. We don’t use the cheap stuff.’’

The same holds true for the entire menu at Vic & Angelo’s, located in PGA Commons. The pastas and sauces each are made fresh in-house, and each pizza is handcrafted with dough from water delivered from Brooklyn and baked in a 900-degree pizza oven.

“I don’t want to discount anything, but the pizza here is unreal,’’ Randall said. “Our pizza chef has been making it the same way since we opened 10 years ago. He’ll never compromise quality.’’
Vic & Angelo’s pizza is baked in a 900-degree oven
That last sentence could serve as Vic & Angelo’s motto. There is a quality in every dish on the menu, from the incredible Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Burrata, and Linguini Fine con Vongole.

My favorites? The Gigante Meatball with Ricotta, Bell Pepper, Garden Basil, San Marzano Gravy; the Burrata made with local burrata cheese; and the Four Cheese Pear Tortelloni with White Truffle Zabaglione and shaved truffles.
Burrata
Oh yes, the tiramisu.

Regardless of your dish selections, it all […]

Baciami Italiano (‘Kiss Me’ in Italian)

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today I share with you a new restaurant opening in the heart of Boynton Beach… Baciami Italiano, (Italian for ‘kiss me’) is an authentic Italian dining destination owned by father and son restaurateur duo Steven Pellegrino, Sr., and Steven Pellegrino, Jr., of Delray Beach’s famed Prime Steak & Seafood and Il Bacio Restaurant & Night Club. Introducing a revolving menu of weekly specials, including daily happy hour (Offering an expansive selection of wines, beers and cocktails), Ladies’ Pie & Wine Night, Family Dinner and Maine Lobster specials. Baciami Italiano is the “new place to be” in Boynton Beach!

 

In addition to these offerings, Baciami features an imported authentic Neapolitan pizza oven to cook pizza in under 3 minutes and a diverse Italian menu orchestrated by classically-trained Chef, Anthony Ianniello – all served up with unparalleled hospitality.

There are many ways in which you can enjoy your experience at Baciami Italiano; dine al fresco on their patio or take a seat at their cozy bar or choose to sit in the main dining area which can accommodate party sizes ranging from couples to large family gatherings. The restaurant also offers additional private dining space for groups of 25 – 60 people, including a private dining room with built in audio visual capabilities and a private lounge area for social dining experiences.

I recently attended a media dinner to check this new dining destination out. Here’s what we had:

Other menu highlights include Grilled Octopus with baby arugula, white beans, potato, Anthony’s Sunday Gravy with meatballs, sausage, braciole, Guiseppe Coco jumbo rigatoni, Chicken Milanese with arugula, baby tomatoes, truffle oil. Guests of Baciami will find a diverse list of imported and domestic wines by the glass and by the bottle to […]

Via Emilia 9, South Beach’s Hidden Gem

Hello Foodie Friends,

I recently was invited to check out Via Emilia 9 in South Beach. I had not heard of it before and was super excited to go after taking a peek at their website.

Named after the merchant road in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna (Italy’s greatest gastronomic treasure), ViaEmilia 9 is Miami Beach’s first authentic regional Italian restaurant and market. Emilia Romagna sits on the border with the third-smallest country in Europe, the Republic of San Marino, which happens to be the birth place of my mother-in-law, and a place I had the good fortune of visiting several years ago.

Perfect for lunch or dinner, Via Emilia 9 has something for all palettes and represents the Italian regions of both Bologna and Modena. Never compromising authenticity, Chef Giancarlo “Wendy” Cacciatori imports everything served at Via Emilia 9 from Italy (with the exception of fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs), including bread, which is brought in from the Vasalli Bakery in Ferrara, Italy. Via Emilia 9 has an expert “Sfoglina” or pasta maker on site hand rolling a variety of pastas and raviolis daily and upon request, she can personalize the stuffing of your ravioli or any pasta you’d like to try.

To get us started on our culinary journey through the Emilia region, Chef Wendy prepared for us a perfect antipasti plate that included 24 mo aged Parmigiano, 18 mo aged proscuitto di Parma, balsamic pearls (Chef Wendy & Tina import the balsamic from their own barrels in Emilia, where the balsamic sits and ages), fresh figs, artichoke, lemon jam & arugula with a side of gnocco frito (fried dough). Let me just say O – M – G!!!! This platter is one of the best I have ever had […]

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    BRIO Announces Promotion of “A Variety of Flavors” Lunch & Dinner Menu

BRIO Announces Promotion of “A Variety of Flavors” Lunch & Dinner Menu

Hello Foodie Friends,

I was recently invited back to BRIO for a tasting of some new menu items and to share with you a new promotion that they have going on in all their Palm Beach County locations now through April 15th.  I’ll get to the promotion in a minute. On this particular dine, my companion and I who have eaten at BRIO on several occasions decided to start out with a “Flirty Cosmo” which is made with absolute Mandarin, pama, pomegranate liquor, fresh lime and fizz 56. It was a delicious cocktail and one we both would recommend.

We decided to try the Burrata & Ciabatta appetizer which was beautifully plated and was a wonderful combination of creamy burrata, roasted tomatoes, EVOO and grilled ciabatta for $10.95. I enjoyed building my own bruschetta by layering the tomatoes onto the ciabatta and topping with the creamy burrata. I was in heaven!

Our server Jake was a huge fan of their Brussels sprouts, claiming these are the very ones that got him to eat brussels sprouts. With a recommendation like that, how could we not try them as well? We asked him to bring us a side of these which he graciously offered to do, although now that I’m writing this, I only see it listed as a side option to their entrees. The Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts were very tasty and I would highly recommend you try them.

For entrees, my companion had the Center-Cut Filet Mignon (Comes in 6 oz. $24.75 & 8 oz. $29.50) and comes with one side. He chose the Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes. My companion ordered his steak medium rare but it came out pretty rare, so we did ask for a bump up. I would recommend […]

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    Savor Our City™ introduces new Historical Walking Food Tours in New England

Savor Our City™ introduces new Historical Walking Food Tours in New England

Dear Foodie Friends,

Savor Our City Culinary Tours began offering our first tours on May 3, 2014 in Delray Beach, FL. Since then, we have run a series of tours in other South Florida cities such as Palm Beach Gardens, Wilton Manors and Boca Raton. Our tours have always been open to the public as well as to private groups. We entered into an agreement this past year to create brand new food tours up in New England for several major cruise lines sailing into Boston, Portland & Bar Harbor this Fall. I am proud to say that these tours have been created and are starting this month. At this time, the only way you can take any of these tours is if you happen to be sailing on one of those ships calling into those ports OR you book a private group tour through us. (Think: corporate team building, client appreciation, birthday parties)

Here is a sample of what you would experience on our Boston Markets & Cultural Walking Tour:

This 3-hour historical guided walking food tour will take guests through the famed Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, a historic meeting place and market lined with cobblestone streets packed with ethnic foods, unique gifts and street performers, just to name a few of the elements that make this marketplace located near the waterfront so unique. It was here in 1764 that the colonists protested the Sugar Act, which led to the “no taxation without representation” doctrine. George Washington toasted America’s first birthday here, and so many impassioned orators have followed that Faneuil Hall is nicknamed “The Cradle of Liberty.”

Following your visit to Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, you will walk to nearby Boston Public Market, another indoor haven […]

BRIO Tuscan Grille Introduces A New Contemporary Menu

 BRIO Tuscan Grille South Florida locations are being introduced  to a new  “Moderno” Take on Tuscan Dining! 

Dear Foodie Friends,

Have you been to a BRIO Tuscan Grille lately? If not, it’s time to go back and check out all their new offerings. BRIO’s lunch and dinner menus include grilled-to-order steaks, chops, seafood, made-to-order pastas, flatbreads, entrée salads and more…similar to what one would find in an authentic ristorante in Tuscany. The new menu evolves Tuscan-style dining with a variety of new items including small plates for sharing, two-course lunch plates and a renewed and innovative wine, spirits and craft beer menu. BRIO also offers an ample dessert menu, full wine list and cocktail book, special children’s menu, family-style pans-to-go for off-site catered special events, and online ordering.

Fusing a creative, culinary-forward attitude with the best of the traditional Tuscan table, BRIO Tuscan Grille locations in South Florida have evolved to launch a new, modern menu of food and drinks. While the menu continues to feature many of BRIO’s time-honored favorites, its ample new additions bring an imaginative twist to Tuscan classics, focusing on fresh, chef-inspired ingredients. Those watching their calories and gluten in take can rejoice as there are an abundant number of low-calorie and gluten-free items on the menu and guests can request customized entrées to ensure that their cuisine of choice perfectly suits their palate.

 

“By incorporating a creative, modern twist into many of our dishes, continuing to serve our classic favorites, and adding more opportunities for sharing, we are pleased to evolve the guest experience, while staying true to the essence of Tuscan dining,” said BRIO Culinary Director & Chef Alison Peters.  “The new menu continues to embody our philosophy: ‘to eat well, is to live […]

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    Josie’s Ristorante in Boynton Beach Revamps Lunch, Bar and Dinner Menu

Josie’s Ristorante in Boynton Beach Revamps Lunch, Bar and Dinner Menu

Hello Foodie Friends,

Earlier this month I attended the Boynton Beach Food Wine & Brew Festival and that is where I first heard of Josie’s. Then shortly after that, I received an invite from their PR firm, The Buzz Agency to attend a media dinner there to preview some of their new menu items. For some, these items might be new, but to me, they were ALL new, as this was my first time dining there.

Josie’s Ristorante, a family owned and operated traditional Italian restaurant, was established in 1992 and is located on the southeast corner of Woolbright and Federal next to the Intracoastal bridge and is known for their pasta, gourmet pizza, fish, steak and Osso Bucco.

The atmosphere was open and bright and welcoming. I could see our group gathered beside the bar in the back as I entered.  An assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres, wine and cocktails were generously a’flowin’.  We sampled the Sicilian Pistachio Cracker (tuna tarter with a whipped pistachio topping which kind of resembled guacamole both in color and texture, only a little airier, and drizzled with tangerine oil), Prosiutto, Asparagus, Pecorino rolled inside crispy pastry rolls, House cured Salmon served atop char grilled ciabatta crostini slathered with a schmear of goat cheese. Beautiful pieces of Grandma’s Pizza were presented, each containing generous chunks of slow roasted Roma tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and basil.

 

Josie’s dinner menu includes a variety of antipasti, salads, pastas, fish, Panini, and specialties including stuffed dolphin, rack of lamb, Red Childe Grilled Hatfield Natural Pork Chop, simple grilled salmon, and Tortellini di Bologna.  Their signature dishes include Eggplant Stefania (grilled eggplant, stuffed with angel hair, garlic & oil, marinara, mozzarella, $22), chicken or veal prepared Marsala, Pizziola, Piccata or Francese (chicken $19, veal $26), and Veal Bersaglieri […]

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    Holy Ravioli! BRIO Tuscan Grille celebrates National Ravioli Day in a BIG way!

Holy Ravioli! BRIO Tuscan Grille celebrates National Ravioli Day in a BIG way!

Hello Foodie Friends,

Although National Ravioli Day is officially on Sunday, March 20th, BRIO Tuscan Grille South Florida locations have decided to keep the celebration going for four days with 50% off select ravioli dishes from Sunday, March 20th through Wednesday, March 23rd.

The featured ravioli dishes are:

Ravioli Di Bello, a mouthwatering Portobello ravioli with crimini mushrooms, grape tomatoes, Parmesan and thyme in a champagne brown butter sauce. BRIO is offering the lunch portion specially priced at $6.75 (normally priced at $13.50), and the dinner portion for $7.98 (normally priced at $15.95). This dish pairs nicely with a glass of Conundrum 25th Anniversary Red Blend, priced at $11.95 per glass.

Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli, normally offered only at dinner, is being featured at lunch during the celebration at the reduced price of $9.75. For dinner, the special price is $9.98 (regularly $19.95). This delicious dish is served with spicy black pepper cream, spinach and grape tomatoes. The 25th Anniversary Conundrum White Blend (Napa Valley, California), priced at $11.95 per glass, nicely balances the spicy finish of the black pepper cream sauce.

Ravioli Alla Vodka, a special feature for the day, is five-cheese ravioli with pancetta, garlic, basil and a rich tomato cream sauce for $8.95.

I was invited to come in and preview some of the ravioli being featured in this promotion in order to share this with you good people in time. Now this is not my first time doing a review of BRIO, click here if you’d like to read my previous blog on BRIO’s “Art of Grilling, summer menu.

My dining companions and I tried the Ravioli Di Bello and the Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli. They knocked it out of the park with the Ravioli Di Bello. It was delicious. I will […]

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