Restaurant Review

Boon’s Asian Bistro

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s feature is on Boon’s Asian Bistro in West Delray Beach, FL.  (W. Atlantic Avenue and just east of the Turnpike) There is another Boon’s (related) in West Boca on 441, however, this one has a completely different menu. Boon’s Asian Bistro features cuisines from all over Asia, including Japan, China, Thailand and the Philippines.

Boon’s embodies Buddha’s philosophy to seek happiness through peaceful harmony with themselves and the environment. In this respect, they strive to provide sustainable, antibiotic & hormone-free food where guests’ complete satisfaction is their mission. They strive to be a place where even the unexpressed wishes or needs of their guests are fulfilled. Their pledge is to provide a dining atmosphere where guests will not only enjoy the highest quality of fresh, locally sourced foods from farms and artisans from around the world but provide a fun, relaxed environment where traditional dining norms are ignored and/or broken.

I was recently invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant during their soft opening. My companion and I had the opportunity to sample a nice cross section of the menu.

Tuna tartare with Casava Chips. This appetizer was very light and fresh and each component of the dish complemented each other. I especially loved using the Casava chips to scoop up each bite.

The Tom Kha Gai soup was outstanding. Full of flavor and mushrooms that have been cooked, as compared to most places that serve this dish with uncooked mushrooms. I believe the cooked mushrooms added another layer of depth and flavor.

Lobster roll. Most lobster rolls I have had contain battered & fried lobster inside the roll; this one utilized Maine lobster that had been poached in its shell and was very light. It was […]

Tommy Bahama is Serving Up The Aloha Spirit

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.

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 […]

Cuba Libre, Pointe Orlando

Dear Foodie Friends,

On a recent trip to Orlando to further my education in my Wines for Humanity business and to scout out restaurants for our new culinary tours soon to be offered up there, I was invited as a member of the press to dine at Cuba Libre who just so happened to be launching a new menu the night of my arrival into town.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, located in Pointe Orlando on International Drive, announces its new menu, which debuted yesterday May 3rd, featuring 12 brand new classic and contemporary Cuban dinner items by Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot, inspired by his bi-annual culinary travels to Cuba. The menu overhaul includes creative appetizers, entrees, and hand-crafted cocktails. In celebration of the popular restaurant’s extensive menu release, Cuba Libre is offering a complimentary glass of its signature red or white sangria to any guest dining at the restaurant for dinner between May 3rd and May 10th, with the purchase of an entrée. Guests must mention the free sangria promotion to their server in order to receive the complimentary item.

“I’m thrilled to introduce so many new flavorful, unique, and authentically Cuban items to Cuba Libre’s menus,” said Chef Pernot. “While many menu favorites remain, our 12 new dishes range from impressive platters for two, to trendy items with a Cuban twist, and tapas recipes passed down for generations, and I believe that our guests, both new and recurring, will absolutely love the new additions.”

The Cuban restaurant’s new menu features 50-60% new items including several massive meat entrees for two, such as the Crispy Pork Pata, a 48-hour slow-cooked Berkshire pork shank, served with grilled seasonal vegetables and Moros y Cristianos, in a citrus pan reduction; and […]

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

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

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 […]

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 […]

RUST Wynwood

Hello Foodie Friends,

 

Today’s feature takes us back down to Miami, to the uber artsy & trendy Wynwood district specifically for a tasting at RUST Wynwood. Founded by Uruguayan owners Juan Ignacio Fraschini and Julio Wolman, RUST Wynwood is located at 2621 NW 2nd Ave., inside the neighborhood gathering hotspot, Wynwood Block. Executive chef Diego Medina serves globally inspired, sharable dishes and pairs them with a unique wine menu that showcases an exceptional list of emerging brands. RUST’s menu features innovative interpretations on traditional cuisine, many of the items are meant for sharing.

My husband and I ventured there to try their Sunday brunch. To get things started we each ordered a cocktail; I ordered the passion fruit sangria and hubby ordered the peach sangria. Lately I seem to be on a passion fruit kick and this one did not disappoint. They (I couldn’t resist having a second one) went down waaaaaaay too smooth. Didn’t realize the potency until later when I got home and had to take a mid day nap, lol!

Julio, one of the aforementioned owners, was sitting at the table beside us and came over to say hello and share with us some info about himself, the restaurant and made some suggestions on what items to try. One of his suggestions was the Provoleta Benedicta which was an eggs benedict with a Uruguayan twist. Quite unique and very tasty!

Whenever I see octopus on the menu I am inclined to order it. That’s a given, just like truffle…you can be assured that if there’s a truffle dish on the menu, I will order that too. The char on this octopus looked perfect and the dish was presented beautifully.  Octopus is one of those dishes that you […]

FitFoodz That Make You Feel Fantastic!

Hello Foodie Friends,

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 […]

Fresh Kitchen Boca

Fresh Kitchen Boca Blogger Night

I was invited to the pre-opening of Fresh Kitchen Boca, another great addition in the growing trend of healthy fast casual restaurants popping up in South Florida.  Fresh Kitchen, a 100% gluten-free, build-your-own bowl concept has now opened in Boca Raton! All of their meats are hormone and antibiotic free, all of their sauces are homemade, and their menu, which is packed with flavor, changes with the seasons.  They opened their first store in South Tampa in September 2014, followed by St. Petersburg and Sarasota, and now…are thrilled to call Boca their new home 🙂 Their goal was to create and serve fresh, high quality ingredients that nourish and energize our bodies in a fast-casual restaurant. The meal you want, when you want it, with countless combinations. Their food is made from scratch and fresh-to-order.  From their grill to your bowl, as fast as you can point!

What they serve:

100% gluten free ingredients

Dairy free and sugar free, unless indicated

Cold pressed juices, teas and frescas made in-house daily

House made dressings and sauces

Flavorful veggies that change seasonally

Hormone and antibiotic free meats

Fresh salad and slaw, rice, quinoa & sweet potato noodles used as the base for bowls

So the idea is to build your own bowl selecting from a number of bases: brown rice, coconut ginger rice, romaine salad sweet potato mash, kale slaw, vegetable quinoa, sweet potato noodles and perfect spice rice; then select your veggies: Parmesan broccoli, roasted mushrooms, sesame green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts & seasonal vegetable; next you select your protein(s): grilled citrus chicken, herb grilled steak (+$1.50), baked almond chicken, chia seed tuna poke (+$1.50), BBQ chicken, chia seed teriyaki tofu, Chef’s protein; and then you can sauce it up with the […]

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    Harvest Seasonal Grill Introduces Seasonal, Locally Sourced Dishes

Harvest Seasonal Grill Introduces Seasonal, Locally Sourced Dishes

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.

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 […]

Tantalizing Tapas at Temper Grille

 

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 […]

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