I had the opportunity to sail on Royal Caribbean’s newly refurbished Oasis of the Seas over the Christmas/Hanukkah holidays. Wow!!! What a ship! It was a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise sailing from Miami calling on Labadee (their private island off Haiti), San Juan and St. Thomas. There were three days at sea so it was a very leisurely itinerary which meant lots of time to just chill on deck and enjoy the plethora of amenities and activities on board. Some of my highlights: our cabin. We had a lovely balcony cabin and the room was quite spacious. “Central Park” on deck 8 was quite spectacular. I was impressed with the amount of trees and foliage found on this deck that opened up to the sky. This deck is where several of the Specialty Dining restaurants could be found as well as the top floor of the “floating” bar that traveled up and down between decks 5 and 8. The Boardwalk was a lot of fun as well with a Carousel and game booths and a few other specialty restaurants including Johnny Rockets and a candy store. The Aqua Theater is also located on this deck at the end of the Board Walk in the back of the ship. The show they do is terrific!!! The soundtrack, amazing! It’s a free show and one of the best I have seen, on land or at sea. I would suggest making a reservation early on and sometime towards the beginning or middle of the cruise as opposed to the end as sometimes the weather sailing back into Miami may get a little rough and they might have to move some reservations around if rough weather is expected.
We also enjoyed the ventriloquist, Ronn Lucas . He was both hysterical and amazing. The way he threw his voice was mind-boggling. We also enjoyed one of the comedians who is from Miami. His name is Nery Saenz. Not only was he funny as all heck, but clever tool. He knows he has a name that’s not easy to remember, but what is easy to remember is “What Was That Guy’s Name?” So he bought that domain and that’s literally how I just looked him up for this post.
The Bionic Bar was really quite the spectacle. Drinks were made literally by robots. Check it out.IMG_5301÷
Other highlights include the Spotlight Lounge. We found ourselves here on a few nights enjoying some sing-a-long games akin to name that tune. Was a lot of fun. I also went on the slides (both wet and dry). Didn’t get around to trying the surf rider, maybe next time…
We mostly ate at the Windjammer Cafe since there was such a variety and no waiting. We did eat in the dining room a couple times and we ate at the Hibachi restaurant which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for us. Not because the food wasn’t good, but because the large party they had scheduled to seat with us,,, with never showed up, so it was just the two of us and not much of a “show”.
For excursions, we just kinda did our own thing. Total beach day at Labadee. In San Juan, we walked around Old San Juan, visited some local shops, headed over to El Morro Fort and decided to get henna tattoos on our way back to the ship. In St. Thomas, the weather was kind of iffy, so we were fortunate to have gone on our own to Coki Beach to get a little snorkeling in before the rain. We heard the planned water shore excursions were cancelled.
Back on the ship, I got a little lucky in the casino at the craps table. I’m not much of a gambler but sure had fun making a bunch of people a bunch of money with a lucky 20-30 minute roll. Beginner’s luck?!?
All in all, my friend and I had a wonderful cruise. I’m looking forward to my next adventure coming up in February; Destination: New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Stay tuned…
It’s that time of the year again…you know, the one when kids are off from school, the days get longer and hotter, tourists go home cutting our commute times in half (SoFla) and local businesses start extending the best offers. Ah…Summer in South Florida!!!
Yours truly kicked off summer with my two new team members, Marti my personal assistant and Jennifer my marketing & branding specialist. Time for some company bonding and what better place to host a little staycation retreat than at the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort, who happens to be a new partner of Savor Our City’s. (More on that later…)
After checking into the room, I met the girls at The Patio Bar & Grill for some happy hour drinks and lite bites. Lucky for us, when we checked in, we were given some complimentary drink coupons and once we used those up, drinks were still half-off making the already great wine at $6 a glass even tastier at $3 (SCORE!!!)
Started off with a lovely glass of Sauvignon Blanc and peel & eat shrimp and the tuna tartar (ahi tuna, spicy mayo, BBQ teriyaki glaze, cucumbers, avocado, wonton, wakame slaw) ooooh so yummy! Here’s a closer look at it…
We continued to enjoy ourselves for 3 solid hours at which point we decided to take a stroll up the street to a place called Barracuda which Jennifer used to visit frequently and wanted us to check out. We had just enough room in our bellies to try another cocktail and a sample platter of assorted tapas. Our server was friendly and was happy to engage in conversation with us. I would definitely go back.
Get Your Eat On… Patio Bar and Grill, a popular casual restaurant facing the beach and the ocean, features traditional American cuisine and has an extensive & impressive list of tropical drinks. Burger Craze restaurant features a nice bar, burgers, wings, and hot dogs. If you’re in the mood for more upscale Italian cuisine, then Café Med restaurant, under the helm of Chef Lilo Teodosi, has got you covered. To round out the night, or on a nice hot summer afternoon, have an authentic Italian gelato at the very popular Vaniglia E Cioccolato Gelateria where there’s something for everyone. Wanna sample them all? Well guess what?!? You can do that on “A Taste of Wyndham Deerfield Beach” – a new food tour that started up about a month ago. It is open to the public and tickets must be purchased in advance. It is offered every Thursday evening from 5:30pm – 8:30pm (unless otherwise stated) for $65pp. The price includes a full meal with food & alcohol tastings at all four activations within the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort with a local Savor Our City guide, a goodie bag with special offers from area businesses and from the restaurants sampled, a stroll along the International Fishing Pier, and gratuities.
Besides boasting three distinctive restaurants on its premises with entirely different menus and different cuisines and a gelateria, other amenities include a hot tub, a spa and an outdoor pool and bar, as well as a 24/7 fitness center and a business center.
Let me tell you about the room. I was given a room with floor to ceiling windows and man did I have a spectacular view. The room was very pleasant, modern and had an ocean like vibe. The Resort underwent a complete renovation in 2011. Not sure if you know this or not but the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort is independently (privately) owned. It was built by the Chase Family who have owned and operated it since its opening day.
Every room at the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort has floor-to-ceiling windows (either ocean view or city view), Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, as well as minifridges and coffeemakers. Suites have additional bedrooms and separate living areas as well. Some feature ocean views. Room service is available.
The Resort is a full-service hotel with 172 rooms, a ballroom, and meeting space, totaling about 4,500 square feet which can accommodate weddings up to 180 people and meetings up to 250 people.
The next morning was quite magical, awakening to this…
This beach front property is centrally located, halfway between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and are approximately 20 or 30 miles away from both airports.
Its location is just one aspect that sets the resort apart. The Resort is located directly across from a very quaint, pristine, safe, clean beach – one of the nicest ones in south Florida. There’s a village-like atmosphere here; the height of the buildings is limited to 55 feet, so there are no tall buildings, skyscrapers, etc. It looks like old Florida and reminds folks just how things used to be, yet with modern and clean buildings. There are shops, restaurants, entertainment, sporting activities, all within walking distance.
The Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort is especially proud of its reviews, as they should be. They have received excellent reviews and are very proud to have been the number one hotel on Trip Advisor in Deerfield Beach for five consecutive years.
In 2016, they were voted Wyndham Property of the Year – the number one Wyndham hotel in the system. They also received the Best of Wyndham Award for their reviews, not just on Trip Advisor but compiled from data originating from a combination of all the reviews from all different sites.
To book a stay at The Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort, click on this link to be taken to their website.
Savor Our City recently attended the popular and well-established Boca Bacchanal presented by the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum held at the well-known Boca Raton Resort & Club. This is the 17th year in which this annual event has brought together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, while providing residents and visitors with a delightful opportunity to support an outstanding cause. Proceeds raised, benefit an array of innovative, diverse and rapidly growing Historic Preservation and Heritage Education programs that are offered for children and adults. Savor Our City enjoyed some very tasteful bites from over 20 local restaurants including; M.E.A.T, Bonefish Grill, Gourmet Phile, Burtons Grill, Med Café, to name a few and a sampling of some delicious and creative wines and brews from Potions In Motion Catering, Tattinger Champagne, Ron Rubin Winery, and Unibroue, again to name a few. Savor Our City is proud to support this event and cause.
CELEBRITY GUEST AT HANGAR PARTY, HEADLINE GALA ENTERTAINER
& CONCOURS JUDGE
The Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, world’s largest and fastest growing for charity
Celebrating the Marque of the Year, Bentley Motorcars and its 100th Year Anniversary
Tremendous weekend of events to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County
This spectacular event will be held at the world-renowned Boca Raton Resort & Club. The weekend’s events start on Friday night with The “duPont Registry Live!” Hangar Party at the Boca Raton Airport. On Saturday night, enjoy a black tie gala dinner and live auction. That same evening, the prestigious Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to an icon in the automobile industry.
On Sunday, the main event takes place. Here, car enthusiasts from around the world will stroll amongst the finest pre-war and post-war automobiles and motorcycles ever created.
With its great venue, world-class spa, championship golf, outstanding tennis facilities, and exquisite beaches, this event offers everything you need for the perfect winter holiday. From the classic automobiles and fine cuisine, to the great entertainment and warm Florida sunshine, the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance is the envy of vintage car shows nationwide.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd “The duPont Registry Live!” Hangar Party
The weekend kicks-off with the duPont REGISTRY™ Live Hangar Party at Atlantic Aviation at the Boca Raton Airport with celebrity guest, Jay Leno. Guests can peruse an impressive selection of exotic cars, motorcycles, private jets, premier vendors and more and will also experience gourmet tastings from more than 20 of South Florida’s finest restaurants and indulge in an array of fine wines and spirits as plus live entertainment. Participating restaurants include: Boca Raton Resort & Club; A Alexander; Abe & Louie’s; BGCBC Culinary; Enerbee; Oceans 234; Ouzo Bay / Loch Bar; Sette Bello Ristorante; Sette Mezzo Ristorante; Taverna Opa; Potions in Motion; Café Med; Seasons 52 and more.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd Gala Dinner
(5:30pm – 11:00pm): Grand Gala Dinner, Auction & Show. Prior to dinner, guests will enjoy a cocktail hour and will have the opportunity to bid on a unique array of items at the silent auction. Immediately following the cocktail, guests will be served a gourmet dinner during which they will have the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind trips and experience packages like tours of Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage, luxury jewelry and a Commissioned painting of by BCDE artist from England, Barry Rowe and the original Bentley portrait and commemorative poster during live auction. Additionally, guests will enjoy the presentation of the National Automotive Manufacturer Lifetime Achievement Award to Mercedes-Benz USA President & CEO,Dietmar Exler, National Automotive Dealer Lifetime Achievement Award to Rick Hendrick, Chairman and Owner of the Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports and National Automotive Racing Lifetime Achievement Award to Ryan Hunter-Reay as well as a stellar performance by one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country, Jay Leno.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24th The Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance
13th Annual Concours d’Elegance Located at the Boca Raton Resort & Club / 501 East Camino Real
Sponsored by Rick Case Automotive Group, Sunday’s all day-event features the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance automobile and motorcycle exhibition
10:00am / VIP Brunch with Jay Leno and Wayne Carini, Host of TV Show Chasing Classic Cars
The day starts with an exclusive private brunch where guests can join Jay Leno and Wayne Carini, Host of TV Show Chasing Classic Cars for an intimate brunch with a Q&A session. ($1,000 per person).
10:00am / Gates open to the show field
Guests can enter the show field and admire over 200 collector cars and motorcycles.
Guests from around the world will experience an automotive showcase like no other, featuring vehicles and motorcycles from an array of time periods. Celebrity Judge Jay Leno will join an expert panel of judges including Chief Judge Dr. Paul Sable and Steve Moskowitz, Executive Director of AACA and Jay Quail, CCCA Executive Director. Additionally, Grand Marshal Wayne Carini, host of Chasing Classic Cars joins the group for another stellar year along with Master of Ceremonies Bill Rothermel and Tom duPont, who will select the finest vintage, antique, classic and exotic vehicles based on period, presentation and style.
11:00am / Jay Leno walks the show field
Celebrity Judge Jay Leno walks through show field meeting automobile, motorcycle owners and attendees as he searches for his favorite automobile & motorcycle to present the Jay Leno Big Dog Garage Award.
11:30am / Concours d’ Gourmet
Once the show kicks off, guests are invited to enjoy a selection of gourmet food, wine and cocktails from over 20 of South Florida’s finest restaurants at the Concours d’Gourmet Pavilion.
12:00pm / “Wheels from the Heart” Car Giveaway
Wheels From The Heart will donate their 100th car to a single mother (member) from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. Steven Muschlitz founded Wheels From The Heart which gives single mom’s in need the a vehicle to get a job, drive to school and all of the things we do every day with an automobile.
The official 2019 artist for the overall event is Barry Rowe from England one of the world’s leading automotive artists which has developed a worldwide following due to his distinctive style and passion for his technique featuring atmosphere and interaction which allows you to see every automobile at its finest. Rowe has been commissioned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and acts as a resident artist for inaugural cruises and is also the author of the award-winning book, Atmosphere and Light: The Automotive Art of Barry Rowe, is a complete retrospective of Barry’s work and includes paintings and sketches from Barry’s long love affair with art and the automobile, placing each within its historical content. Additionally, since 1998, Rowe has created posters for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The 2019 Collector of the Year, Robert Jepson of Savanna, GA will feature his Vintage Auto Collection including the debut of several vehicles: 1920 Stutz Bearcat (debut); 1926 McFarlan, Model 145 TV – Six Passenger Touring (debut); 1927 Isotta Fraschini LeBaron, Model 8-AS Dual Cowl Phaeton (multiple award winner); 1928 Stutz BB Cabriolet by Phillips (CCCA First Place Winner); 1929 Bugatti Type 435 Cabriolet; 1930 Packard, Model 734S (debut).
For additional information on the 13th annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance and a full schedule of events, please visit www.bocaCDE.com or please call (954) 537-1010.
As a second generation native South Floridian, born and raised in Miami, I have seen a huge transformation in Miami, and in particular, Miami Beach. When we were young, I fondly remember riding on the long stretch of road that connected the main land to the beach; this was an indication that we were getting close to Great Grandmother’s.My Great Grandparents (Bessie & Frank) were direct descendants from Russia, a cute couple, each standing about 5′ tall. I don’t remember Frank too much as he died before Bessie, but my Great Grandma lived until the ripe ol’ age of 106. (She received two letters from the President of the time congratulating her on making it to a 100 years!) Back in that time, Collins Ave/Ocean Drive was lined with condos occupied by the senior community. You would find many of them just hanging out in rocking chairs on the front porches. That was until the developers stepped in and the gentrification process officially took off. Today, the landscape is one of youth and vibrancy. The hip, chic place with plenty of nightlife to keep you busy until the wee hours.
I received an email inviting me come taste A Fish Called Avalon, Located in the iconic Avalon Hotel on Ocean Drive, the setting offers an authentic, sophisticated South Beach experience. Many locals tend to have an impression that dining out in South Beach is for tourists, but I’m here to dispel that belief right here and now, at least when it comes to A Fish Called Avalon. Now in it’s 30th year, this marks quite a milestone in the restaurant world. Fun fact: this time-tested landmark had been the back drop for the 1983 film, Scarface.
TIME-HONORED SEAFOOD TRADITION IN MIAMI BEACH
A Fish Called Avalon is a legend in South Beach. For nearly 30 years, they have been serving up the freshest seafood and delivering an exceptional dining experience to all who partake. The superb cuisine, relaxed Ocean Drive setting, and impeccable service have been delighting diners for nearly three decades.
Garnering attention for its superb seafood cuisine, impeccable hospitality and intimate setting, the restaurant is a favorite with locals and visitors alike.
Chef Kal& A Fish CalledAvalon offer a seafood-dominated menu with tropical influences using the very best local and seasonal ingredients delivered daily. Each item shines with a variety of unique presentation and flavors.
Chef prepared a wonderful selection of tastings for my Product Development Manager, Annette and I to taste. We sat on the lovely terrace and it was a beautiful night. Annette and I enjoyed every morsel. Our taste buds were literally (well ok, figuratively) jumping up and down in joy! While I really liked everything that was placed in front of us, I thought the Bang Bang Shrimp were very unique here and were a definite stand out for me. The Macadamia Nut crusted snapper was another nice surprise for me. I am a huge fan of octopus when cooked right and Chef did an outstanding job with this as well. The presentation on the paella was top notch and packed full of fruits from the sea.
Tempting appetizers like the Bang Bang Shrimp and Orzo Seafood Paella for a main course are perfect for a romantic date night to evoke Mediterranean memories. The menu also offers prime and dry-aged steaks, organic chicken, and vegetarian-friendly options each with a perfect complement from the extensive award-winning wine list. Delectable desserts end the evening on a sweet note.
A Fish Called Avalon Accolades
Top 10 Best Restaurants and Best Outdoor Dining Winner in South Florida by OpenTable reviewers.
Ranked 30 of 787 Restaurants in Miami Beach TripAdvisor
A Fish Called Avalon is perfect for romantic dinners, a family affair, or a night out on the town. I can’t wait to go back and hope that I have inspired you to want to check it out as well. Pro tip: Diners can park in the parking garage conveniently located at the corner of 7th and Collins.
For more info on the restaurant, please click here to visit their website:
Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar Debuts Festive New Fall Menu New Additions Include Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten Free Farm-To-Table Dishes
Hello Foodie Friends,
Today’s blog is about my recent dinner at Harvest Seasonal Grill. I was invited to check out their new Fall menu so I could share my experience with all of you. My last two posts on Harvest both featured previous Spring menus. The Fall menu was released the end of September and will run through the holidays at which time the new Winter menu will be launched.
My companion and I were shown to our table and soon greeted by our server Jake, who ran through the menu layout with us. My companion had some questions on the wines. Jake was very knowledgeable about the wines on the menu and exceptionally helpful in his explanations..I always enjoy Harvest’s seasonal sangria flights so that is what I decided to begin with. My companion opted for a Cab Franc blend called Involuntary Commitment from Napa Valley. Harvest has a large number of wine varietals that you don’t see on other restaurant menus.
My Sangria Flight consisted of: White Caramel Apple, Rosé Ginger Pear, and Red Blood Orange Pomegranate. The Rosé sangrias have been my favorite in the past, but this time, the Red Blood Orange Pomegranate got my vote for top pick. Now onto the food tastings. Chef Bill came out to say hello and after a brief discussion, he offered to send out a few dishes for us to try. We started off with the Pear & Bleu flatbread. (Spoiler alert: this was my favorite item of the entire evening). The flatbread was PACKED with flavor and they were very generous with their toppings which were well distributed.
Next out were the Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash Dip and Tuna Poke.
Next round were the Diver Scallops, Grilled Filet Mignon, Pumpkin Tortellini and side of roasted seasonal vegetables
There definitely was a butternut squash theme going on with our selections on this evening. So if you’re a butternut squash lover, be sure to head over to Harvest Seasonal Grill right now to get your fill of butternut squash!
For dessert, we were presented with their minis:one was a Spiced Apple, one was Pecan something and one was a Key lime cheesecake. In all honesty, I did not have room to taste any of the desserts, but my companion did and said the Spiced Apple had an abundance of cayenne in it and the Pecan one was a bit hard and the Key Lime tasted mostly like vanilla frosting. I guess the desserts must have been off on this day, because this is quite unusual to have a miss on 3 out of 3. I have always enjoyed their desserts in the past and won’t let this one “off day” ruin my coming in again and giving them a try.
WHO: Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, Delray Beach’s season-forward, farm-to-table eatery and wine bar owned by the Dave Magrogan Group, announces their new fall menu featuring an assortment of seasonal dishes, refreshing cocktails and over 50 wines available by the glass now available through the fall season.
WHAT: As the season’s change, you can always look forward to a bountiful new menu at Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. The fall menu features dishes that use local, seasonal ingredients resulting in the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious meals possible in a celebration of autumnal produce.
Enjoy flavorful new flatbreads, salads, entrees and more – with plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available. Fall menu highlights include:
Today’s post is a two-for, featuring both a wonderful new hostel/boutique hotel and restaurant we were introduced to right in the heart of South Beach. Founded in 2011, Generator, a London-based brand known for their trendy design-forward European Hostels that feel more like boutique hotels, has just opened its first US location in Miami Beach this past August on famed Collins Ave, just one block from the beach. Generator, remodelled from a 1940’s condo building, offers 300 beds in 105 rooms. One of the unique things about this hostel is that in addition to the traditional shared rooms (which start at $20 per bed per night), is the addition of private rooms that start at just $95/night. Generator is not the hostel you might have stayed at while travelling around Europe (probably in your early twenties). They have pulled out all the stops to create a sense of community, incorporating such amenities as an inviting pool, 2 on-site restaurants, beautifully designed shared and private rooms and several really unique common spaces for guests to interact with one another or just take in the serene environment that’s been created for the solo traveler to enjoy on their own – not to mention the awesome location, right in the heart of South Beach. Several activities are being offered at Generator including yoga, mixology demonstrations, movies, a pool table, DJs and more planned.
I was invited by Desirey, the Event Sales Manager and my lovely host for the afternoon who arranged a tour of the hostel/hotel and a lovely lunch for us at Driftway, one of the two restaurants found on the property. As we made our way past the pool heading towards Driftway, I couldn’t help but notice this amazing mural painted on the side of the building. It had been painted by South African artist Chris Aurett. The food & beverage operations are being overseen by Gui Jaroschy, whose impressive resume includes opening the Broken Shaker in Miami Beach as well as several other locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York; managing the Anderson in Miami’s Upper Eastside; and consulting on cocktail menus for Ricochet Lounge, Drunken Dragon and British Airways.
Alex, our Driftway guy let me sample all four of their frozen drinks; the Suze and Coke, OMFG Margarita, Bird of Paradise and the Friesling. I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was the Bird of Paradise which was made with Beefeater Dry Gin, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, Martini Bitter and J Wray Rum, allspice and cubeb pepper.
The food and frozen drinks were amazing, as was the ambience and the company. I am looking forward to planning my next Staycation right there at my new favorite place on South Beach.
If you are planning a trip to Miami Beach and are looking for things to do in the area, you might want to consider booking a Savor Our City tour. Private tours are offered for a minimum of 2 guests and groups of up to 50 people. Choose from South Beach, Wynwood, Little Havana, Miami Springs, Doral and Brickell. For more info on tours, contact Savor Our City.
I was recently invited to dine at Tanzy’s, located inside the iPic Theaters in Mizner Park, to check out their new weekend brunch offerings. I’ve enjoyed a meal or two at Tanzy’s before but this was my first time experiencing their brunch. It was a Saturday (and who doesn’t like the idea of a leisurely Saturday brunch catching up with good friends?!?) and I was totally stoked to be able to bring my girlfriend who I hadn’t seen in a super long time to join me for this brunch tasting. With so many wonderful dining choices available in Mizner Park, you might forget that Tanzy is there unless of course, you are going inside the iPic Theaters to catch a movie. While Tanzy is a great dining option for your pre or post-movie experience, I am here to set the record straight that Tanzy should be on the top of your list for a wonderful meal to be enjoyed whether your plans include a movie or not. Case in point: the epic weekend brunch, happy hour bar bites, lunch and of course, dinner.
Tanzy’s artisanal Italian cuisine focuses on garden-fresh modern Italian flavors in an elegant, yet relaxed social environment where friends, family and colleagues can gather to enjoy good conversation, good food & creative cocktails. Tanzy’s new menu features fresh new classics alongside time-tested favorites by award-winning Chef and Chief Operating Officer of iPic Entertainment. Diners will delight in inspiring flavors where seasonal ingredients are the star in every dish, artfully prepared by melding contemporary techniques with classic Italian influences; the resulting flavor profiles are modern and unique. Master Bartender and Advanced Sommelier Adam Seger crafts an unparalleled beverage program with local beers, an expertly curated wine list and stunning farm-to-glass handcrafted cocktails.
We started off with a Bloody Mary and a Peach Bellini. Then our server Julia surprised us with this beauty. An Italian Ice Mimosa made with liquid nitrogen. Check out the baby spoon that came with it, so cute! Can you say “Wow” factor?!?
So we were off to a good start. Julia explained the menu to us and it was difficult I must say to choose because so many items caught my eye. The bread basket contained an assortment of baked items which offered a good variety, so we chose that. OMG, without exaggeration, my friend and I ate one bite of the banana nut muffin and our eyes truly bugged out. It was without a doubt the best banana nut muffin we both had ever eaten. Man, I am salivating just a little right now as I recall how scrumptious it was, lol!
Another really really fantastic item was the candied bacon. It had a slight amount of heat and the perfect amount of sweetness. Loved it! I have to give Tanzy kudos for this because try as I have, I cannot seem to perfect the art of making candied bacon.
The infamously decadent French Toast, pictured below on the left, lived up to its title. It was made from thick sliced brioche bread stuffed with whipped mascarpone and assorted fresh berries. It reminded me a little of the one they make at Tucker Dukes which I just adore, but better, in my humble opinion. We ordered the eggs benedict, which came with our choice of crispy prosciutto, spinach or smoked salmon. We chose the salmon. The rich velvety Hollandaise sauce covered the English muffin halves like a warm comforting blankie. Yum!
Next up was the burrata & San Daniele prosciutto which came with a compressed melon, arugula and adorned with beautiful fennel flowers. It was almost too pretty to eat (almost, haha)! The spinach-ricotta gnudi was calling out to us from an early glance at the menu, so we heeded the call and gave in. Oh my, this was so worth having to do extra laps and burpees the next day!
Well, we didn’t quite make it to the dessert tower, but there’s always the next time.
I encourage you to check out their new lunch and dinner menus on their website and make your plans to visit there at your earliest chance. You won’t be disappointed, I can pretty much say this with 100% confidence.
Below is a sample of some of the new menu items which include fresh pastas, mains and antipasti to share:
Beet Agnolottimascarpone-potato filling, poppy seed, black winter truffle, parmesan ($28)
For those of you who have been around Boca Raton for the past 10 years, you might say that there has been quite the revolving door when it comes to the dining scene. Take the south west corner of Federal Highway & SE Mizner Blvd. in Downtown Boca for instance. How many of you remember Oceans 11, Saba Sushi, Ovenella and the short-lived The Little Chalet? Who remembers anything before? Let me know by commenting at the bottom of the post. I took you back as far as I could recall, since first coming to the area and immersing myself into the food scene here in Boca.
The Little Chalet was a beautiful special-occasion venue that is wildly popular in Brazil, but for whatever reason, just didn’t catch on here in the company’s first US location. It’s a shame; they spent a small fortune I’m sure creating a lovely romantic ambiance. But, beautiful decor alone doesn’t pay the bills so the owners decided early on to cut their loss and close and re-open with an entirely new hip & trendy concept.
Created by Ricky Marcellini, owner of The Little Chalet who explained that after noting a change in the area’s demographics, they saw an opportunity to introduce South Floridians to a breezy, Brazilian nightlife-inspired restaurant and lounge for everyday dining. To facilitate a more communal and casual quality guest experience, he opened the space to an airier interior, expanding seating and adding a second bar to the outdoor patio.
“We have watched East Boca grow and change over the years, and we wanted to evolve our restaurant to match the tastes and lifestyles in the area, which is why we closed our doors as The Little Chalet and have reopened as The Locale,” explains Ricky. “Our culinary team is as skilled as ever, and we are excited to offer a more robust and unique beverage program to complement the quality dishes that come out of our kitchen.”
The hip and trendy The Locale Cocina & Bar presents guests with a Latin-inspired menu (South American influences including Brazil & Equador) and I would say Italian as well and is fast becoming the gathering spot in Downtown Boca for local friends and business associates. I’m sure it also helps to offer Happy Hour every day from 4 – 7pm and again from 9pm til closing. What’s more, is that guests can enjoy happy hour anywhere in the restaurant, not just the bar Sun – Thur (and at the bar only on Fri & Sat nights). There’s a reduced price food menu and all drinks are 1/2 off.
I was invited by The Locale’s PR firm to attend a media dine. They hosted a lovely event which several of my blogger friends attended, however, I was unable to attend at the time due to a lingering cold. I was thrilled to be invited back to experience the restaurant once I was well. On this dine, we started out a couple of their popular cocktails; I chose the Lychee Martini and my husband chose the Caipirinha, Brazil’s National cocktail. Lychees are my newest exotic fruit obsession, by the way.
The Locale’s Chef Joshua Miranda and team take pride in creatively melding exotic flavors with familiar applications in order to deploy flavorful creations to be shared. Locale’s Manager Carlos took the liberty of sending out a variety of dishes for us to try: a trio of appetizers consisting of pork & beef meatballs, mushroom crostini (called tostada on the menu) and tuna tartare were presented first. They were all delicious, but the star for me was the tuna tartare. The su vide preparation of the egg yolk was something that a true die hard foodie like myself would appreciate.
Carlos next sent out the Locale pizza which had fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula and shaved Parmesan. Tip: took home leftovers and heated the pizza up and cracked a fresh egg on top to make a delicious breakfast pizza!
The Picarina steak had a beautiful sear on it and was seasoned and cooked perfectly and served with yuca fries.
There was a generous portion of shrimp in the Fettucini Alfredo dish. Also made a nice shrimp scampi crostini the next day with these leftovers!
The Locale boasts Boca’s only Mixology Bar. (I see a Savor Our City Mixology Class taking place there in the future)– The Locale provides libation seekers with two bars and ample seating. Inside, chocolate bitters, candied ginger and acai liqueur are at the ready behind the bar, shaken up into one-of-a-kind drinks that are as eye-catching as they are delicious. Moscow Mule drinkers can choose from four iterations of the copper-mugged classic, including a daily rotating option, in addition to cocktails like the Brazilian Rum Runner Fig Old Fashioned, Lychee Martini and Jalapeño Aquafaba. At the newly-expanded patio, The Locale’s outdoor bar is happy to shake up something on the more traditional side in addition to pouring South Florida’s coldest brew at an impressive 28°F from their special imported below-freezing brewery tap. With over 35 beers from 6 countries, the perfect sip is always within reach.
Other signature dishes on the menu that look really interesting which I will have to go back for are: Beef Empanada with shredded short ribs and tomato jam; Croqueta fried dough filled with ham and cheese; and Shrimp Ajillo garlic shrimp served with white rice and broccoli bring a taste of South America to the table. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will swoon over The Locale’s meat-free Portobello Burgerwith tamarind glaze, manchego, crispy kale, aioli on a brioche bun; and flavorful signature entrées abound, with highlights including Short Ribover manchego polenta; Faroe Island Salmonwith wild rice, asparagus, yogurt crema; and Bucatiniwith yellow chili sauce, onions and tomatoes and choice of sautéed filet or chicken.
The Locale’s Happy Hour is served every day from 4-7p.m. and 9p.m.-close, where guests can enjoy even more brews, beats and bespoke cocktails from anywhere in the restaurant.
The Locale is located at 499 S Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33432, They are open for dinner Sun. – Thurs. 4 – 11p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 4p.m. – 1 a.m. and brunch on Sundays fro 10:30am – 2pm. For more information or to make a reservation, call (561) 325-8000 or visit www.localeboca.com.
Today’s Boca Food Find is Square One or SQ1 for short. Previously home to Brewzzi’s Restaurant, Square One’s central location on Glades Road, just west of 95 in the Glades Plaza underwent a $1 million renovation buildout of the over-6,000-square-foot space to create a stunning upscale-casual dining experience suitable for a variety of dining occasions.
SQ1’s co-founders and best friends Eric Clark and Chef Jon Greening bring more than 30 years of combined industry expertise to the restaurant, utilizing their combined knowledge to provide a uniquely guest-driven dining experience. The restaurant came to fruition during a fateful meeting between the two, realizing they would literally be starting at “square one” to turn their dream of opening a unique yet approachable restaurant into a reality. “After working in and opening restaurants from Washington, D.C., to the Pacific Northwest, Jon and I are excited to refresh the Boca executive dining scene while offering incredible value to all of our guests,” says owner Eric Clark. “We want Square One to be a restaurant that people visit multiple times per week for lunch, dinner, happy hour or brunch – we pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional experience across the board.”
With Chef Jon at the helm of Square One’s kitchen, the restaurant rotates their culinary offerings seasonally featuring locally-sourced ingredients that highlight diverse flavor combinations at a friendly price point. The diverse menu is also complemented by an expert-curated wine list and mixology program. Offerings range from shared plates to brick oven pizza fired to order, to fresh fish and dry aged steaks, and a rotating menu of weekly lunch specials. Chef Jon’s menu items are chosen for flavor prominence, locally-available ingredients and approachability, while the reimagined restaurant space – brought to life by Eric’s vision – presents an open and inviting setting complemented by similarly cheerful staff.
I was recently invited to dine at SQ1 by the restaurant’s PR firm. We had a lovely dining experience which started off with some cool cocktails followed by the Brick Oven Brussels Sprouts that Eric himself recommended. They did not disappoint. I have to say that ever since Brussels became an “in” thing, I am amazed at how much I am digging them. What I thought was unique about SQ1’s version is their sweet n sour glaze and the use of cashews and cilantro. It also comes with pancetta which I love, but if you do not eat meat, I’m sure they will leave them out if you request it.
For our entrees, we tried the Red Wine Braised Short Rib served with mashed Yukon Gold Potato, Baby Carrots, English Peas and Veau Jus. It was so tender and juicy. To me, it was elevated comfort food that hugged me from the inside with each new bite! The other entree was the Slow Braised Beef Ragu served on house-made pappardelle with caramelized fennel, cherry tomato confit, ricotta and basil. The flavors were terrific, although the pasta was a little too al dente for my personal preference. For dessert, we had a tough decision since there were several great choices. We were extremely pleased with our selection of the classic creme brule.
An indoor-outdoor bar provides ample space for drinking, dining and working – outfitted with electrical outlets, USB ports and a WiFi booster to facilitate connectivity. Two brick ovens flank the main kitchen, which are responsible for the flavorful char on every pizza ordered, and have been burning 24 hours a day since the building’s opening in 1997. Executives, families and networking groups will find a number of options to facilitate private dining, meetings or celebrations from a central open elevated dining room to a completely-enclosed glass room outfitted with technical capabilities, custom wood conference table and chic velvet seating.
Complementing the culinary menus is an expertly-curated wine list features wines by the bottle and by the glass at various price points, as well as a roster of craft beers and inspired mixology program.
Square One has additionally partnered with Vero Bottled Water Purification Systems
throughout the restaurant, which uses reverse osmosis filtration for a superior sip while contributing directly to the Whole World Water Charity in support of international clean waters.
Now open for lunch, dinner, happy hour and Sunday brunch, Square One is located in Glades Plaza at 2222 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Hours are Mon. – Thurs. 11:30a.m. – 10p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 11:30a.m. – 11p.m.; Sun. 11a.m. – 10p.m.