wine

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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 […]

Gemma di Luna

Gemma di Luna, the newest gem from the Enovation Brands portfolio, is a premium Italian sparkling wine that elevates the Moscato experience. The wine is crafted from premium Moscato grapes grown in Italy’s Piemonte region, the legendary home of great Moscato, in the “spumante” or fully sparkling style. The luscious fruit flavors are balanced by vibrant acidity to ensure a crowd-pleasing flavor profile and the 7.5% ABV satisfies the growing consumer trend for lower alcohol choices. Not to be outdone by the wine inside, the beautiful teal blue bottle is adorned with a pearl white label enhanced by a laser foil effect reminiscent of pave diamonds.

I was sent a bottle of Gemma di Luna to share my experience with it with you. I have to say that the packaging was indeed beautiful, what do you think?

I tend to like my sparkling wines a little on the sweet side and this Moscato did not disappoint. It was the perfect accompaniment to my home cooked Sunday brunch.

 

I decided to get creative and make a fun cocktail combining the Gemma di Luna with another favorite spirit, FOS Greek Mastiha, Crystal Light and a splash of fresh grapefruit and lemon juice. I have to say I was quite impressed with the outcome.

If you’re looking for a slightly sweet sparkling wine, I would highly recommend you give Gemma di Luna a try. It’s affordably priced between $11.99 – $16.99 a bottle.  Check with your favorite wine shop to see if they carry it or shop online for it here.

Cheers!

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

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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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    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 […]

GourmetPhile

-phile:  a suffix, denoting fondness for a specified thing; one that loves, admires, or is attracted to a specified thing.
Hello Foodie Friends,

Today I am here to share with you my latest Boca Food Find and that is GourmetPhile. As the definition above connotes, I am a GourmetPhile, a lover and admirer with a deep fondness  & passion for food, particularly of the gourmet variety and GourmetPhile, the newest gourmet specialty market to open in Royal Palm Place in Downtown Boca, which satisfies my foodie cravings in every way.

I have been waiting for this store to open for a very long time and was thrilled to be asked to work with them to assemble some of the area’s social media influencers and Concierge for some special tasting events.

Their Story  GourmetPhile is the love child of Blair and Zhanna Leavell. Zhanna was formerly a university professor of mathematics in St Petersburg, Russia, and Blair owned a software consulting firm. It must have been love at first sight for the two, who were introduced by one of Blair’s employees, as they were married just a few months after meeting.  Zhanna, having difficulty finding work in her own field teaching mathematics here in the US, worked as a distributor of gourmet food items across Florida. Zhanna and Blair ended up becoming quite involved with gourmet food, attending fancy food shows around the country, etc. and decided they wanted to do something fun and entrepreneurial together that reflected their expanding interest in fine food. A little over a year ago they formed GourmetPhile and broke ground on this beautifully appointed new store.

Their Vision  to be a one stop shop for everything amazingly delicious from all over the world that you can’t find at […]

Bistro Ten Zero One

Hello Foodie Friends,

I am here to dispel the myth that hotel restaurants are sub par to stand alone restaurants or really just somewhere tourists go to out of sheer convenience. Many of these restaurants fly under the local foodie radar, and I will be the first to admit, that that was the case with me. But thanks to a recent invite to sample the new menu at Bistro Ten Zero One, under the direction of Executive Chef Christian Quiñones, I have a new respect for hotel restaurants…especially this one. Before our tasting journey began, we had the opportunity to walk the grounds with the Director of Food & Beverage, Jimmy Alexiou. The outdoor space was very zen-like and they were in the process of expanding their garden. The herbs grown there are used to accent their cocktails and dishes.

 

Our first course was a tasting of the Bistro’s most popular appetizers served with a glass of La Marca Prosecco:
PULLED PORK TACOS / pineapple-papaya compote, spicy mayo
BEEF SLIDERS / bourbon glaze, pancetta, bibb lettuce
AHI TUNA POKE / avocado, edamame, soy truffle dressing

 
LOCAL ORGANIC HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD / feta, garden mint, basil powder, red sorrel, white balsamic vinaigrette
The tomatoes were from Farmhouse Tomatoes in Loxahatchee and the red sorrel came from their garden.
 
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PAN SEARED SCALLOPS / green pea-asparagus risotto with a homemade basil oil.

 The wines were a perfect complement to the dishes.

   CHOCOLATE MOLTEN CAKE / vanilla bean ice cream with candied walnuts, fresh seasonal berries with red sorrel

Bistro Ten Zero One is located inside the Marriott West Palm Beach, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd.  bistro1001.com
For more information or to make a reservation, visit OpenTable.com or call (561) 833-1234.

In addition, here’s some more information on what’s happening at Bistro:

Oktoberfest at Bistro Ten Zero One
Bistro will […]

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    The 3rd Annual Taste of the Sea – A “sea”riously Good Time!

The 3rd Annual Taste of the Sea – A “sea”riously Good Time!

Dear Foodie Friends,

I am super excited to share with you my recap of the 3rd Anual Taste of the Sea – 100 Years of Fishing History event that took place on Saturday, October 1st at the unique Gallery of Amazing Things located in Dania Beach from 6:30pm – 11pm. What an explosion of flavors being cast out by a room of very talented South Florida local celebrity Chefs. This was my first year attending this spectacularly well-organized, well laid out event and it certainly will not be my last. If you are reading this and you didn’t make it to this year’s event, I am certain you will want to buy a ticket to next year’s one just from the pics and descriptions you are about to see: warning, what you are about to see may cause your mouth to salivate and cause excess dribbles onto your laptop or mobile device, lol!)

At this year’s Taste of the Sea, I had a chance to savor the finest responsibly sourced seafood dishes created by South Florida’s all-star celebrity chefs and experience these chefs compete in a “Fish-Off” Challenge, with guests voting on their favorite chef’s seafood creation. In addition to the “Fish-Off” Challenge for the fan favorite dish which each chef competed in, this year the event organizers turned up the heat and announced a LIVE “CHOPPED” Style Competition featuring six celebrity chefs battling it out in “kitchen stadium” courtesy of Allied Kitchen and Bath, for the top prize and bragging rights!  There was plenty of delicious wine, craft beer and spirits available throughout the night along with scrumptious desserts, music, raffles and an interactive conservation village.

 

“We are very excited to host our 3rd Annual Taste of the […]

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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 […]

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