I feel like another confessional coming on: Forgive me for its been way too long since my last post. Life just has a habit of sometimes getting in the way of keeping my writings as current as I’d like them to be. But I promise, as always, to deliver you our latest Food Finds (new restaurant openings, menu updates, food & wine festivals, charity galas, product reviews and recipes, and destination travel).
Today’s post is on The Venu (www.TheLocalVenu.com), an upscale and intimate restaurant, bar & entertainment destination that recently opened in Boynton Beach, FL. Open daily from 11am – 3am, offering lunch, brunch (Sundays 11am – 3pm) Happy Hour starting at 4pm and dinner featuring live music throughout the week and every weekend. You can find a complete schedule of all their shows and ticket info on their website and facebook pages. The Venu is outfitted with a 200″ projector screen and a 22′ X 20′ stage and showroom, along with a state-of-the-art sound and light system. Expect to see talent from all over the world playing on this stage, representing every genre from funk and soul to rock, reggae, DJs, comedy, Broadway acts and more.
The Venu has brought on Executive Chef Kelley Randall (previously head chef at Vic & Angelo’s and The Office in Delray Beach) to run the kitchen. He is a highly regarded and well-known master of inspired farm-fresh cuisine who incorporates locally sourced ingredients to create imaginative menus for lunch, brunch dinner and showtime. All pastas and desserts are crafted in-house daily and all dishes are prepared from the scratch kitchen. Chef Kelley’s take on Italian and modern European fare is highlighted by such signature dishes as the Wild Boar Pappardelle, Frutti Di Mare, Coq Au Vin, 1855 Ranch Ribeye, Stuffed Portabella Mushroom, Waygu Beef Carpaccio, Grilled Octopus, PEI Mussels Provencal and much more including daily specials.
I had the great pleasure of trying several of these and other signature dishes at a recent Media event.
The preset menu was divided into sections: Under “Let’s Begin”, we sampled the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio and the Meatballs Al Forno.
Every well thought out component came together to create a harmonious dish. The Wagyu beef just melts in your mouth and the fried caper aioli provides an added layer of umami. By the way, in case you didn’t know what grissini was when you were reading my description up above, do not fret; I didn’t either, so I looked it up and here’s what it is: breadsticks, lol! Thin crispy Italian breadsticks.
It wasn’t but a few months ago that I tried bison for the first time on one of our tours in Sanford where I had the most delicious bison burger at The Smiling Bison. So I was super excited to see this meatball at The Venu contained bison in their mixture. The meatballs were delicious there’s no doubt about that, although I don’t know that I could really detect the bison.
Moving on to the next section, under “Greens” we got to try their Pear & Cream and House Crafted Pasta.
This whimsical salad was filled with my all time favorite cheeses, the burrata. I swear, if you’re anything like me, once you try burrata, it’s hard to go back to regular ol’ mozzarella. It is the king of all mozzarellas in my humble opinion. Anyway, I must say this dish was creatively assembled; never before had I seen poached pear served with burrata. Each of the items on the dish was treated with finesse while the balsamic drizzle brought them all together harmoniously.
My favorite dish of the evening was this wild boar pappardelle. From the moment it was placed in front of me, the waft of orange zest made it’s way up the olfactory, tingling and tantalizing my tastebuds beckoning me to consume my first bite. O-M-G! The boar was so tender and flavorful and the pappardelle was cooked to perfection. The saltiness from the feta was a unique and welcome addition as well. You must try this dish.
Innovative and tasty cocktails were served thoughout the night…
Under the “Paramount” section, we were given the Seared Sea Scallops and Chicken Francaise to try.
Did you know that summer carrots are sweeter than fall carrots? Neither did I. I learned this fun little fact from Chef Kelley when he introduced the dish. The sweet carrot puree was a terrific choice to accompany the perfectly cooked scallops.
This dish was rich and contained all of the key components of a classic Chicken Francaise plus some original nuances such as the fried artichoke hearts, adding yet another flavorful dimension.
“To Finish” we had the tiramisu and a House Crafted Cookie Plate
The tiramisu served at The Venu was one of the most delicious tiramisu’s that I have ever had. Great job guys!
What a night, I tell ya. I hope I have given you some ideas on what you would like to try when you visit. When you do go, be sure to tell Chef Kelley that your friend Denise from Savor Our City sent ya.
The Venu is located at 8794 West Boynton Beach Blvd. Boynton Beach, FL 33472 561.200.0222
Today’s post is courtesy of one of Savor Our City’s contributors, Patrice Huber @ForkAndCork
Dessert and Bubbles Party
Josie’s Ristorante, located in Boynton Beach, is family owned and operated, and known for their traditional Italian cuisine. Tonight I had the pleasure of attending a Dessert and Bubbles Party.
We were welcomed by Chef Mark Militello, a James Beard Award-Winning chef and Sebastiano Setticasi, co-owner and chef de cuisine. This event was all about Ashley Roehrig, Josie’s pastry chef, who is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. Tonight she was showcasing several of her delicious dessert creations.
Chef Ashley first teased us with trays of individual bites created from her tasty desserts.
This included Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Coconut Pie, 16 Layer Chocolate Cake and Tiramisu. After we sampled these, she presented some of the full sized desserts, as they are served to customers. We started with the aroma of fresh from the oven Banana Fosters Bread Pudding. Truly a wonderful combination with the fluffy whipped cream oozing over the warm bread pudding with candied pecans and creamy bananas foster, which was perfectly adorned with chocolate. (Chocolate should be a required decorative addition to every dessert.)
Our next dessert delight was the Key Lime Pie. It was a sweet representation of the creamy key lime custard then topped with fresh raspberries and blueberries nestled in whipped cream. My mouth was happy to enjoy one of the most famous South Florida desserts.
Then we were presented the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. It was rich and creamy and the perfect blend of sweet and savory. The Tiramisu was light and melt in your mouth, and yes with a special chocolate spoon. The Italian Wedding Cake was amazing.
I saved the best for last, if you are a chocolate lover that is. It was the 16 Layer Chocolate Cake. Sixteen sweet layers of chocolate cake alternated with chocolate frosting goodness. It made my chocolate inner child smile.
Josie’s Ristorante is located in the Riverwalk Plaza at the southeast corner of Woolbright Road and Federal Highway. They have been serving homemade Italian fare in Boynton Beach for 26 years, making this a destination dining location.
2-6PM Monday-Friday & 4-6 Saturday & Sunday plus 9-close at the bar
Late Night Bar Happy Hour 9 pm to close
Half Price Drink Specials and $6 specialty drinks New “Small Plate Menu” at bar & on the patio from 3-6 pm and after 9 pm
1602 South Federal Hwy Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Follow them on Facebook @JosiesBoynton and Instagram @JosiesRistorante
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 complement their dining selection.
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.
Today I am here to tell you about an awesome new BBQ restaurant called Pig-sty BBQ, which recently opened after a complete overhaul of the current space on Boynton Beach Blvd, just west of 95, by my friends Elliot Harris and award-winning Pitmaster Chef Bryan Tyrell.
Elliot and Chef Bryan teamed up to open this their first/flagship Pig-sty BBQ in Boynton Beach, FL with plans to open two additional locations in South Florida by the end of the 2017. They are passionate about South Florida development, and their vision is to grow alongside the community. “We built Pigsty to bring affordable quality food to the people of South Florida in a fun environment. Bring the kids, bring friends, have a beer and enjoy true classic BBQ prepared by our rock star BBQ chef,” stated Harris.
Pigsty BBQ is also a feast for the eyes. Aaron Moreno, of Palm Beach Driftwood, transformed the interior using 100 percent reclaimed wood to capture the true feel of a Southern BBQ joint. Harris, an accomplished artist, lined the wall with some of his favorite movie quotes and original pieces of art from his collection. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the food melts in your mouth. Live bands perform every Thursday through Saturday with a top-notch state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. Pigsty BBQ is open seven days per week for lunch and dinner. The menu will expand to breakfast in early 2017.
Parents are raving about the options for children. Harris, being a father of three, knows that eating out with small children can be a challenge. It is for this reason that he created the kid’s corner. It offers a virtual gaming system where kids can choose from a plethora of game options where they can actually step into the game as well as other classics such as a Ms. Pac Man machine with 60 Atari games for the older youth.
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.