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 (scaloppini, garlic, marinated artichokes, olives, capers, roasted bell peppers, white wine and lemon sauce, spaghetti pomodoro). Recently they revamped their lunch, bar and dinner menus with new menu items including San Francisco Cioppino (clams, lobster, scallops, calamari in a spicy lobster saffron broth over linguini: MKT), Prime Short Rib Meatball (antipasti menu: $14), Spanish Octopus (wood grilled octopus, fingerling potatoes roasted onions, tomatoes, capers, evoo, Antipasti menu, $14), and Fresh Burrata (red & gold beets, Barolo poached pears, arugula, herb balsamic dressing, toasted crostini, (pictured below; antipasti menu, $12).
Our group was invited to sit down and enjoy the next few courses. We were given our choice of appetizers from the following: Ceviche, Baked Stuffed Clams, Fresh Burrata, Prime Short Rib Meatball and Seared Diver Scallops. I chose the Fresh Burrata and my companion chose the Ceviche which was made with lobster, bay scallops, shrimp, tuna and crab meat with orange, lime and avocado.
For our next course, we were served a trio of pasta dishes: Porcini Ravioli, Chicken Rigatoni and a Crab & Shrimp Crepe (although technically, I don’t think you can consider a crepe pasta).
For our entrees, we were given a choice of the Fresh Catch of the Day (Swordfish), Pan Roasted Branzino, Veal Scallopini, Chicken Milanese, Chicken Piccata, Crispy Roast Duck and Roast Stuffed Loin of Hatfield Pork. So many wonderful choices it was hard to make up my mind. I selected the Chicken Milanese and my companion ordered the Swordfish. Portions are quite large that I had enough for the next day too (bonus!)
Other diners in our group ordered other items, and of course I just had to take pictures for you to see.
For desserts we were brought out their key lime pie, a butterscotch budino and a peach tiramisu with pistachio gelato. Boy were these good, but my favorite was the butterscotch budino. Note: must dig down deep into the cup to pull up the chocoloate cookie crumbles from the bottom to be enjoyed with each bite…
Josie’s offers a full bar with an extensive wine and cocktail list. Happy hour is served at the bar and on the patio daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and after 9 p.m. with special prices on beer ($2 draft, $3 bottle), wine ($4.50 house by the glass and bottles from $26 to $28), specialty cocktails ($6) and specialty martinis ($7). The happy hour bar menu includes truffle fries ($5) , bruschetta ($6) , fresh mozzarella caprese ($7), calamari fritti ($7), and eggplant napoleon ($7).
The restaurant is offering 25% off the entire menu during the summer months , starting now through September. This special applies to dine in only, not valid with other offers, discounts or small plates at the bar.
Josie’s is open Monday–Saturday starting at 11 a.m. with a lunch menu including a fine selection of paninis, salads and gourmet pizza. The restaurant opens on Sundays at 4 p.m. and closes nightly at 10 p.m. Delivery, take out and catering are available. Josie’s is located at 1602 South Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435, Reservations are encouraged through OpenTable or by calling 561.364.9601.
As many of you know, I spend a lot of my time in Boca and Delray and on occasion, I am known to travel down to Miami/Miami Beach or up to West Palm Beach when invited to cover a food & wine festival or restaurant opening. But today’s post is about Boynton Beach and this marvelous festival put on by their Chamber of Commerce, held at Benvenuto Restaurant & Banquet Facility. With a plethora of excellent restaurants located within 10 miles of my home in Boca, Boynton Beach really hadn’t been on my food radar…until now! It was just recently that I started hearing about a couple new restaurants that opened up in Boynton that piqued my curiosity and when I received an invite to attend this Food, Wine & Brew Festival featuring some of these restaurants that I jumped at the chance.
The Boynton Beach Food, Wine & Brew Festival, formerly known as the Taste of Boynton, is an exclusive showcase of Boynton Beach cuisines. This annual event features 20+ of Boynton’s finest restaurants and lounges along with wine and craft beer tastings. The festival touts itself as a paradise for all foodies and winos who strive to eat and drink local. The event was well organized and upon entering the lovely Benvenuto estate, I found my way easily to the will call, picked up my media pass, program and wine glass and was on my way. The program offered a nice layout of the facility and where to find each of the participating restaurants, businesses, wine & beer tasting rooms, live demonstrations, silent auction, photo opportunity and more. I caught the tail end of Potions in Motion’s culinary demo but was able to nab the last remaining tasting, a perfectly prepared bite-sized scallop presented artfully in a small spoon by Chef Danny. Immediately following the culinary demo, Potions in Motion’s Mixologist Christian demonstrates how to make a Bacardi Torched Cherry cocktail using liquid nitrogen. Was quite the show!
Although the food was quite good all around, there were some definite stand outs worth mentioning: Potions in Motion’s scallop packed a whole lot of flavor into a little bite; the tuna poke from Prime Catch was off the charts. Another fave of the evening came from Agliolio. Their ravioli was to die for as was the small piece of chicken francaise served with it. All the pastas are made in house. This one was loaded with garlic and olive oil and cooked to perfection, yummo! Their chocolate lasagna was homemade using fresh chocolate pasta layered with whipped chocolate mascarpone cheese & a rich chocolate ganache sauce; The final two note worthy tastings were the Media Luna pastry from Don Che Bistro, honey glazed mini croissants with ham & cheese filling. Very sweet. Could not actually detect either the ham or cheese. Could have sworn it was guava inside. Fooled me. And last but certainly not least of my fave bites tasted on this evening came from Applebees. It was their Chicken Wonton Tacos that won me over. A perfect balance of flavorful grilled chicken stuffed into a crispy wonton shell and topped with a tangy slaw and cilantro. Loved it!
For more info on this festival, participating restaurants, businesses and sponsors, visit their website or facebook page.