3800 Ocean Offers So Much More Than Stunning Views

Posted By : denise/ 11

Hello Foodie Friends,

I am excited to share with you part one of a two-part series on my experience at the Marriott on Singer Island. I had been invited by the property’s PR firm for quite some time now to come experience a meal at their signature restaurant, 3800 Ocean and I finally was able to make that happen. Let me tell you, it is well worth the 45-minute drive it took us from South East Boca. Speaking for myself and I’m guessing that many of you might fall into this category as well, when it comes to deciding on where to dine, hotel restaurants may not be on the forefront of your mind with the multitude of choices that abound. Well, I’m here to set the record straight and possibly get you to rethink this notion forever more. 3800 Ocean at the Marriott Singer Island is as good as it gets and shouldn’t just be enjoyed by visiting guests, but by us local foodies as well.

The Marriott Singer Island has several dining experiences available:

  • 3800 Ocean: Ocean views share the spotlight with South Florida’s abundant harvest at the resort’s signature restaurant. The 3800 Ocean menu reflects a “collective kitchen” inspired by the cultural backgrounds of each of its chefs – from New England and Long Island to Mexico and Jamaica – who bring their own personal influences to a rich bounty of local seafood and produce. Complementing the menu is an extensive wine list. Elegant interiors and an expansive covered patio give guests a choice of dining environments. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Kitchen Table: This one-of-a-kind experience, for groups of no more than five, takes diners with adventurous palates into the 3800 Ocean kitchen for a five-course menu created on the spot by the executive chef. The dinner typically spans three hours and is priced at $69 per person, with cocktail and wine pairings on request. Available Thursday through Saturday evenings; reservations required a minimum 24 hours in advance.
  • 3800 Ocean Lounge: An inviting gathering spot for guests and locals, the lounge serves a casual lunch menu daily, exotic cocktails and bar fare every evening, and happy hour Monday through Friday.
  • Reef Tiki Bar: A casual menu of Pacific Rim cuisine is offered on the beach, complemented by cocktails handmade with fresh juices. The resort’s signature Coconut Island Breeze is served here in a fresh cracked coconut and is a popular choice at the bar’s Bubbles on the Beach happy hour. Open for lunch and happy hour daily.
  • Lagoon Cantina: Fresh-made margaritas, Mexican specialties and grilled fare are the draw at this poolside, Caribbean-style cantina. Open for lunch to resort guests and spa members/guests only.
  • Ocean Breeze Café: Starbucks drinks, pastries, salads and wraps are served to guests seeking a quick bite on the go.

In case you’re not familiar with Singer Island, it’s a peninsula (barrier island) on the Atlantic coast of Palm Beach County, Florida, in the South Florida metropolitan area. Most of it is in the city of Riviera Beach, but the town of Palm Beach Shores occupies its southern tip. The Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is Palm Beach County’s only all-suite beachfront hotel, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other, it offers a wealth of opportunities for adventures on land and sea.

Our server was Fran. Fran was very nice, attentive and funny to boot!
                    This was our gorgeous view.

 

 Seafood Ceviche
Tostones Rellenos

 

3800 Ocean has a VERY extensive & impressive wine list along with a whole lot of hand crafted cocktails and bourbons to choose from. For starters, we tried the seafood ceviche and the tostones rellenos. Both were superb dishes. I could have stopped right there (along with the glass of New Zealand Sauv Blanc) and had been a happy camper, but wait…there’s more…

The 3800 Salad with fried chickpeas, macadamia nuts, grilled chicken, feta and avocado was outstanding
So was the Harvest Salad with salmon and pickled beets

 

Even though I was already quite stuffed, I just had to make room for what has to be one of the most creative desserts I have ever had. The S’mores pot de creme. Take a look at this beauty! House Made Marshmallow, Graham Shortbread, Chocolate Pot De Crème, Biscoff Malto (OMG, Yum!!!)

After lunch, we were given a tour of the property which we really appreciated. The grounds are gorgeous and although non hotel guests are invited to dine at 3800 Ocean, you must be staying at the property in order to access these other areas:

Photo credit: Marriott Singer Island

 

Photo credit: Marriott Singer Island

 

        

Later this summer I will be coming back to stay overnight in order to fully immerse myself into all the amenities that this lovely beachfront property has to offer. Stay tuned for part two of this feature highlighting this hot staycation destination.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

The Winemaker’s Table

Posted By : denise/ 45

Hello Foodie Friends,

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

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

Harvest Seasonal Grill Introduces Their New Spring Menu

Posted By : denise/ 79

Hello Foodie Friends,

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

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

Posted By : dnice/ 111

Hello Foodie Friends,

We are pleased to report that award-winning restaurateurs Burt Rapoport and Dennis Max have come together once again to resurrect the once-celebrated, Prezzo. A fixture in the 90s in Boca Raton, Aventura and South Miami, Prezzo brings back fond memories for area residents who remember the restaurant serving rustic Italian cuisine with a cool vibe. The first location was opened in Boca Raton in 1989. Fans will be happy to know that their signature roasted garlic and focaccia bread sticks are back. Joining the dynamic duo for this revival is James Beard Award-winning chef, Mark Militello, who leads the kitchen as executive chef.

The garlic, breadsticks and other memorable favorites such as the wood-oven apple tart, fusilli & chicken pasta and the wood-fired pizzas all made a comeback on the new menu along a selection of Italian-inspired and health-conscious entrees.

  

 

 

The centerpiece of the 4,300-square-foot restaurant are the sights and smells wafting from the wood-burning oven known for producing crispy, thin-crust pizzas and amazing chicken wings among other signature dishes. Did you know that Prezzo introduced the first wood-fired pizza oven to South Florida when it opened its first location in Boca Raton in 1989!?

 

I was invited to a tasting with along with other media/bloggers. I started off with a most delicious glass of baby Amarone. I savored every last drop. The food kept flowing: from the signature roasted garlic and yummy crusty bread (served complimentary to all dining guests), Prosciutto de Parma pizza, chicken wings with caramelized onions, arancini, beet salad, salmon and their famous wood-fired apple tart served with cinnamon gelato.

  

 

Seating consists of 120 inside and 50 seats on the patio. Prezzo also features a spacious indoor/outdoor bar area, complete with a creative cocktail menu and expansive wine list curated by Bar Manager and Master Mixologist, Arturo Sighinolfi. The cozy 20-seat bar will surely become a local hotspot for happy hour.

 

Open for lunch Mon – Fri 11:30am – 2pm and dinner Sun – Thurs 4:30pm – 9pm; Fri & Sat 4:30pm – 10pm

Park Place Plaza | 5560 N. Military Trail. Boca Raton, FL 33496 561-314-6840  www.prezzoboca.com

Follow Prezzo’s and share your memories using #OnlyAtPrezzo @PrezzoBoca

Selfie with James Beard Award-Winning Executive Chef Mark Militello

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Miami Beach Turns One

Posted By : dnice/ 124

Hello Foodie Friends,

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Tavern on the Glades – Whole Foods Market Boca Raton

Posted By : dnice/ 107

Hello Foodie Friends,

I am sorry for the big gap in between posts. I have been busy growing my company. Lots of exciting things will soon be revealed. A brand new website is just one of the things you can expect to see before the end of the year, woo hoo!

For any of you who have ever been on one of our culinary tours, you probably received a goodie bag provided by one of our sponsors, Whole Foods Market, which we fill with info and offers from each of the places we took you to during the tour, plus a sample from another sponsor, Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle.

Today’s blog post will be short and sweet. I wanted to let those of you in or near the Boca Raton Whole Foods Market location know that you should make a point to stop into their new Tavern on the Glades. This full service sit-down eatery located inside the store celebrates flavor and features all-day breakfast, pub burgers, amazing salads, sandwiches and more. At the Tavern, guests can choose from 16 craft beers on tap, Sommelier selected wines and non-alcoholic beverages.

TAVERN HOURS ARE 8AM TO 9PM, DAILY

Whole Foods Market is located at 1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431  561.447.0000

Check out their menu!

 

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

O is for Outstanding and it also stands for Ouzo Bay

Posted By : dnice/ 96

Hello Foodie Friends,

I was recently invited to dine at the new Ouzo Bay, which opened up their second location just under four months ago in Mizner Park (Downtown Boca) in the former Jazziz spot.  The 325-seat restaurant reflects the core concept of Ouzo Bay’s flagship location in Baltimore, Maryland, which opened in 2013 to rave reviews, and has been named the #1 restaurant in the city by Baltimore Magazine, which offers contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with a strong Greek influence.

 

The super chic bar accommodates guests both inside and out. Photo courtesy of Ouzo Bay.
The outside lounge area is very cozy and inviting. Photo courtesy of Ouzo Bay.

Ouzo Bay’s interior was designed to reflect the Greek influences in a modern way. The signature blue accent lighting throughout the restaurant helps to create an upscale, yet relaxed atmosphere. Comfortably seating roughly 225 inside and 100 on the outside patio, there are also separate lounge sections inside and outside, as well as a 30-seat private cigar lounge attached to the restaurant. “With Ouzo Bay Boca Raton, we will continue to bring our customers the finest quality ingredients from the Mediterranean, matched by our chic bar atmosphere,” says Alexander Smith of the Atlas Group Restaurant, owners of Ouzo Bay. “We feel that Mizner Park and Boca Raton will be a perfect fit for our fish flown in fresh daily from around the world complemented with handmade cocktails and an enormous wine and spirits list.”

The chic and comfortable furnishings.

Highlighted by a variety of Whole Fish flown in daily from around the world, the menu includes only the freshest and finest-quality ingredients.  Complimenting the seafood menu, Ouzo Bay also has an extensive selection of fine-quality cuts of grass fed lamb, prime beef and organic chicken.  In addition to the impressive culinary lineup, Ouzo Bay’s posh full-service bar is overseen by Bradford White, the restaurant’s resident Sommelier/Beverage Manager and features handcrafted cocktails, small-batch whiskeys and a wine list that is emphasized by Greek wines. Ouzo Bay’s name is a nod to one of the East Coast’s largest selections of traditional Greek ouzo and the complimentary shot that is given to each diner at the end of their meal.

Our server, Athanasos, took us up to the fish display and described the fish and where they were from one by one. Any patron interested in taking a look at the fresh selections can ask their server to take them to the display as well. It’s quite impressive. Photo courtesy of Ouzo Bay.

L to R: Baked Feta, Greek Salad, Grilled Octopus

The Feta Sto Fourno (Baked Feta) was a unique and tasty dish. The Feta was baked (obviously) which in and of itself was an entirely new presentation to me.  It kind of resembled a Greek version of an Italian Caprese. The perfectly browned feta sat on top of a beefsteak tomato and a delicious eggplant purée & balsamic reduction.

The Horiatiki (Traditional Greek Salad) was light and crisp and did not disappoint; Beefsteak Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Onions, Feta, Olives, Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Red Wine Vinegar.

My eyes always light up when I see Xtapodi Sharas (Octopus) on the menu. I am cautiously optimistic. It’s easy to over cook this delicacy and unfortunately, I have had my share of over charred/over cooked octopus that tasted more like chewy rubber. I was so hoping that this would not be the case here. To my big fat happy chagrin, it was not. This charcoal-grilled octopus was cooked to sweet and tender perfection and tossed with Sweet Onions & Red Peppers in a Red Wine Caper Vinaigrette.

This 60% Sauv Blanc, 40% Semillon Greek white was stupendous. It is easily my new fave white wine.
LAVRAKI (Branzino) Mediterranean sea bass, lean white meat, moist & tender, mild & sweet Photo courtesy of Ouzo Bay. What an amazing presentation. This sea bass was prepared so simply with a little olive oil, capers and lemon and turned out so light and flaky. I could only eat half of it and fished the rest of it the next day for lunch. Delicious!
At Ouzo Bay, you can create your own en·trées. My husband ordered a surf n turf of their FILETO (PRIME FILET MIGNON) served atop a Potato Croquette, Charred Scallion, Grilled Broccolini, Greek Honey Spiced Carrots & Sauce Kynigos along with a grilled Langoustine. Both were spot on, cooked to perfection and delicious!
Baklava, a wonderful and perfectly balanced dessert to end an exceptional meal. This is one of the largest pieces of baklava I have seen, lol!

Our overall experience at Ouzo Bay was a 10, in food, service and decor. Ouzo Bay is a welcome addition to the culinary scene at Mizner Park and in South Florida in general. Very excited to have them here and can’t wait to come back and try some more items.

Ouzo Bay is open for:

LUNCH Monday-Saturday 11a–3p

HAPPY HOUR Sunday-Friday 3p–7p

DINNER Sunday-Wednesday 4p-10p (Bar until 12a)
Thursday-Saturday 4p-12a (Bar until 2a)

BRUNCH Sunday 10a-3p

They are located on the South end of Mizner Park at 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, Florida 33432 561.757.0082. Check out their online menu and other info here.

Follow Ouzo Bay on:

Instagram: @OuzoBayBoca
Facebook: /OuzoBayBoca
Twitter: @OuzoBayBoca

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Baciami Italiano (‘Kiss Me’ in Italian)

Posted By : dnice/ 101

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:

Left to Right:  Roasted Fig Wood Burning Brick Oven Pizza topped with caramelized onions and creamy goat cheese.  The Works with meatballs, sausage, baked eggplant, fire roasted sweet peppers & mozzarella; Rabe & Sausage made with sauteed broccoli rabe, roasted garlic, sweet Italian sausage, mushrooms & shaved Romano.
This was an adaptation of the Baciami or “Kiss Me” at Sunset cocktail. Not on the regular menu, but available to those in the know. Ask for it at the bar or have your server bring one to you in the main dining room. I substituted the Campari for Prosecco. It’s not only pretty, but it’s delicious!
The Cutting Board: an assortment of artisan cheeses, cured meats, candied walnuts & olives.
Stuffed mushrooms: sausage, broccoli rabe, sharp provolone. The flavors were absolutely amazing!
Shrimp Oreganato: grilled white beans, escarole, Italian bread
Meatball Parmigiana: made with Kobe beef, veal, and a small amount of ground pork, brick oven roasted peppers and topped with shaved Romano.
Baked eggplant Parmesan. They only bake their eggplant; never fry. 
Veal Chop Milanese with arugula, baby tomatoes, truffle oil, shaved Romano.
Here’s what some of the other guests attending the media dinner ordered. L to R: Chicken Parmesan, Ziti Pomodoro-Mamma Del’s old recipe with fresh tomato sauce & basil;  Grilled Jumbo Scallops, regularly served with a creamy asparagus risotto (here substituted for a fettucini), swiss crisp
Dolce: Anthony’s Tiramisu, Carrot Pecan Cake (for 2), Cannoli, Creme Brule, NY Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Frutti di Bosco (fruit cream tart), Strawberries zabaglione.
Strawberries zabaglione. Zabaglione is an Italian dessert, or sometimes a beverage, made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine. Some people like to add some spirits, such as cognac. The dessert version is a light custard, whipped to incorporate a large amount of air.
Adult milkshake made with 1/2 shot of Frangelico, 1/2 shot of Bailey’s, lowfat milk (why bother with the lowfat?!? lol), chocolate syrup, a scoop of chocolate ice cream and fresh whipped cream.

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 complement their dining selection.

Photo courtesy of Baciami Interior of dining room
Photo credit: Baciami Private Dining Room -where we had our media dinner

Open for lunch, dinner and Happy Hour, Baciami Italiano is located in the Las Ventanas shopping center at 1415 South Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435. Hours are 4:30 – 10:30 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 4:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. Friday – Saturday. For more information, visit www.baciamiitaliano.com or call 561-810-5538.

Until we eat 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

 

 

 

Via Emilia 9, South Beach’s Hidden Gem

Posted By : dnice/ 102

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.

Fresh pasta being rolled by hand daily.
The cozy and inviting setting for a truly authentic Italian dining experience.

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 the pleasure of tasting and I have tasted a lot, trust me! The quality of the imported products is undeniable. I loved (and ate, no…devoured is a more accurate description) everything on that plate. And the fried dough…don’t get me started. It was served piping hot and oh so good! We were served a lovely Lambrusco from the Emilia region to pair and it was nice and light.

The next dish to arrive was the cappellaci di zucca which were made that day (see above picture). These cappellaci were stuffed with pumpkin and marscapone cheese and came with crispy sage butter and topped with fresh Parmegiano cheese. This course was served with a Pinot Nero, a white Pinot Noir made by separating skins from the pulp- a really unique (and tasty) wine. My dining companion and I both LOVED this dish, every aspect of it. Pure perfection.

The next dish delivered to our table was their tagliatelle with prosciutto. I especially liked the bonus piece of grilled prosciutto placed on the top; the crispiness was a unique and welcome addition. A wonderful cabernet had been selected to pair with this course. Again, the freshness of the pasta along with each of the ingredients in the dish stood out to us and is an exception to what is served at most “Italian” restaurants here in the U.S.

For dessert, we delighted in the trio di ciaccolato. Tenerina al cioccolato (homemade chocolate cake), salame al cioccolato to (chocolate salami, an Italian dessert made from cocoa, broken biscuits, butter, eggs and a bit of port wine or rum. … like salami, chocolate salami is formed as a long cylinder and is sliced across into discs for serving) and mascarpone & strawberries. We loved each of the three components of the dish. The most unique I found was the chocolate salami.

Via Emilia 9 recently received a facelift. After two years in business, the traditional Italian eatery underwent renovations to incorporate a new open kitchen plan, an expanded market featuring homemade and imported Italian goods for sale, an eat-in bar, and pasta making station, along with other additions. Via Emilia 9 owners, Chef Wendy and his partner Valentina (aka Tina), decided to open up the space to give diners a look into the daily workings of an authentic Italian kitchen.

Chef Wendy and Tina

“We want to involve our guests in the cooking process and not just the end result. Being able to show people the process behind making food and being able to interact with their food is part of Italian tradition,” said Chef Wendy.

We tried just two of the wonderfu pasta dishes served at Via Emilia 9.  Other dishes you may be interested in trying when you come is their signature dish, the Tortellini in Brodo (tortellini in broth) which is homemade and hand rolled- the tortellini is stuffed with Prosciutto di Parma, parmesan cheese, mortadella, beef and pork.  Other highlights include The Basket from the Emilia Romagna- a charcuterie board that features prosciutto, mortadella, pancetta, parmigiano, as well as fried dough, prosciutto, mortadella, stracchino cheese, and marmalades. Other highly recommended dishes include the Ravioli dello chef, the Tagliatelle Panna Salsiccia e Funghi (tagliatelle with mushrooms, sausage and cream sauce), the Cotoletta alla Bolognese, the Chef’s Filet and the homemade flatbreads.

Via Emilia 9 is also available for catering and private chef services at your own house or event. Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 – 6:30pm featuring bottles of wines & appetizers for 50% off. They also have what looks like an amazing 5 course truffle tasting which I am undoubtedly going to try! You can learn peruse their menu and learn more by clicking here.

Via Emilia 9 is located on 1120 15th Street in Miami Beach and is open daily from 11 a.m. until 11p.m. for both lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends.  Reservations are available by phone at (786) 216-7150.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise