Today’s feature is on Boon’s Asian Bistro in West Delray Beach, FL. (W. Atlantic Avenue and just east of the Turnpike) There is another Boon’s (related) in West Boca on 441, however, this one has a completely different menu. Boon’s Asian Bistro features cuisines from all over Asia, including Japan, China, Thailand and the Philippines.
Boon’s embodies Buddha’s philosophy to seek happiness through peaceful harmony with themselves and the environment. In this respect, they strive to provide sustainable, antibiotic & hormone-free food where guests’ complete satisfaction is their mission. They strive to be a place where even the unexpressed wishes or needs of their guests are fulfilled. Their pledge is to provide a dining atmosphere where guests will not only enjoy the highest quality of fresh, locally sourced foods from farms and artisans from around the world but provide a fun, relaxed environment where traditional dining norms are ignored and/or broken.
I was recently invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant during their soft opening. My companion and I had the opportunity to sample a nice cross section of the menu.
Tuna tartare with Casava Chips. This appetizer was very light and fresh and each component of the dish complemented each other. I especially loved using the Casava chips to scoop up each bite.
The Tom Kha Gai soup was outstanding. Full of flavor and mushrooms that have been cooked, as compared to most places that serve this dish with uncooked mushrooms. I believe the cooked mushrooms added another layer of depth and flavor.
Lobster roll. Most lobster rolls I have had contain battered & fried lobster inside the roll; this one utilized Maine lobster that had been poached in its shell and was very light. It was a lovely presentation, and I liked it, but it wasn’t a stand out item for me.
Tofu Tempura with a peanut dipping sauce. Nice and light.
I thought my favorite fish was Chilean Sea Bass until I met this beauty. May I introduce to you North Atlantic Black Cod. Have you ever had this fish? Well, it has now catapulted to first place in the category of my favorite fish dishes, thanks to Boon’s. I especially loved the glaze that coated the fish. Yummo!
The filet mignon was cooked to a perfect medium rare. It was wonderful.
The fried rice was excellent! I especially liked the grilled pineapple pieces that were included.
The Crispy Duck was seasoned and cooked to perfection!
This delicious dessert concoction is called the Buddha’s Candy ice cream sundae. It has all kinds of whimsical things thrown in for fun such as cotton candy, marshmallows and pop rocks.
Boon’s Asian Bistro Delray is located at 7959 W. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33446
On a recent trip to Orlando to further my education in my Wines for Humanity business and to scout out restaurants for our new culinary tours soon to be offered up there, I was invited as a member of the press to dine at Cuba Libre who just so happened to be launching a new menu the night of my arrival into town.
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, located in Pointe Orlando on International Drive, announces its new menu, which debuted yesterday May 3rd, featuring 12 brand new classic and contemporary Cuban dinner items by Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot, inspired by his bi-annual culinary travels to Cuba. The menu overhaul includes creative appetizers, entrees, and hand-crafted cocktails. In celebration of the popular restaurant’s extensive menu release, Cuba Libre is offering a complimentary glass of its signature red or white sangria to any guest dining at the restaurant for dinner between May 3rd and May 10th, with the purchase of an entrée. Guests must mention the free sangria promotion to their server in order to receive the complimentary item.
“I’m thrilled to introduce so many new flavorful, unique, and authentically Cuban items to Cuba Libre’s menus,” said Chef Pernot. “While many menu favorites remain, our 12 new dishes range from impressive platters for two, to trendy items with a Cuban twist, and tapas recipes passed down for generations, and I believe that our guests, both new and recurring, will absolutely love the new additions.”
The Cuban restaurant’s new menu features 50-60% new items including several massive meat entrees for two, such as the Crispy Pork Pata, a 48-hour slow-cooked Berkshire pork shank, served with grilled seasonal vegetables and Moros y Cristianos, in a citrus pan reduction; and the Ribeye Jibaro “Doble,” a 32 oz. salmuera-rubbed bone-in rib-eye steak, served with “boniato bravas” and grilled broccolini. Notable dishes in the new “Latin Steaks and Chops” section include the Vacio Steak Argentino, grilled Argentine-cut bavette steak, with Moros y Cristianos and tostones, and Argentinean chimichurri; and the Puerco Cha Cha Cha, three pork favorites in one jumbo cut: a bone-in loin chop with meaty rib and crisp pork belly, with “boniato bravas” and charred herb salsa, and chipotle allioli. A tropical seafood dish, the Pargo Frito, has also been added – crispy whole red snapper, coconut basmati rice and candied cashews, with a sprouts salad and mango red curry sauce.
Cuba Libre has also added a number of new appetizers based on traditional Cuban recipes, like the Chicken Croquetas, Crab Guacamole, Albóndigas Cubanas (or Cuban meatballs), and Octopus a la Parrilla. Guests are sure to be impressed with innovative menu items like the Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls, and a Cuban twist on the current poke trend, Chef Pernot’s Cuban Poke – marinated seasonal fish, compressed watermelon and English cucumbers, pickled seaweed, avocado, white rice and toasted macadamia nuts, with pumpkin seed oil vinaigrette. An effervescent new hand-crafted cocktail, the Second Street 75, made with Macchu Pisco, simple syrup, lemon juice and sparkling wine, makes for the perfect pairing for the new dinner menu.
My server on this evening was James who provided me the most attentive and friendly service I have had in a long time. I asked James for some recommendations and he did not hesitate for a moment when he recommended I try the new Crab Guacamole. The plantain chips were phenomenal – so fresh and uniquely shaped, perfect for scooping up the guac. I loved both the sweetness that the grilled golden pineapple provided and the generous chunks of blue crab meat in this dish. This was a winner for sure. Off to a great start.
I washed that down with their Classic Mojito made with Pyrat Rum. Next up, I tried the Octopus a la Parilla. I have had octopus many a time, but I had never been served baby octopus apparently…until now. Wow was this ever different and so tasty. The description read truffle, another favorite of mine, but I’m sorry to say that I just didn’t detect the truffle, but I did discover some heat in the smoked potato crema from the Spanish paprika. I liked this dish very much.
Another new menu item I got to try was the Cuban Poke. Tonight’s fish was ahi tuna. A couple things I really enjoyed about this dish was how the compressed watermelon both blended in and resembled the tuna in shape and color and also how it complemented all the flavors in this bowl; toasted macadamia nuts, pickled seaweed, white rice, avocado, English cucumbers and pumpkin seed vinaigrette. Well composed dish.
As my stomach was beginning to get full, a duo of steaks appeared before me. From the existing menu I tried the Churrasco a la Cubano and from the new menu, the Vacio Steak Argentino. This was a grilled Argentine-cut bavette steak served with chimichurri, tostone and Moros y Cristianos (rice & beans). They were both terrific but I have to say that the Vacio edged out the other one by a slight margin in my book. Cooked to a perfect medium rare, the flavors were incredible. The steak melted like butter in my mouth. De-lish!
For dessert, I was presented a lovely tray of minis from which I chose the flan. But before I could dig in, I was presented with this lovely box which to select my eating utensil.
I am so excited that I got to try Cuba Libre while in Orlando and am super excited for the opportunity to work with them on some future groups. If you are traveling to the Orlando area, be sure to make this a stop on your culinary adventures.
About Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Orlando serves dinner daily from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Happy Hour is available every day from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. The bar is open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (407) 226-1600, visit www.cubalibrerestaurant.com, follow them on Twitter (@CubaLibreORL) or Instagram (@CubaLibreRestaurant) and “like” them on Facebook.
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.
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!
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!
Peach Cobbler French Toast made with Challah bread with peaches baked into the bread
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.
Today’s feature takes us back down to Miami, to the uber artsy & trendy Wynwood district specifically for a tasting at RUST Wynwood. Founded by Uruguayan owners Juan Ignacio Fraschini and Julio Wolman, RUST Wynwood is located at 2621 NW 2nd Ave., inside the neighborhood gathering hotspot, Wynwood Block. Executive chef Diego Medina serves globally inspired, sharable dishes and pairs them with a unique wine menu that showcases an exceptional list of emerging brands. RUST’s menu features innovative interpretations on traditional cuisine, many of the items are meant for sharing.
My husband and I ventured there to try their Sunday brunch. To get things started we each ordered a cocktail; I ordered the passion fruit sangria and hubby ordered the peach sangria. Lately I seem to be on a passion fruit kick and this one did not disappoint. They (I couldn’t resist having a second one) went down waaaaaaay too smooth. Didn’t realize the potency until later when I got home and had to take a mid day nap, lol!
Julio, one of the aforementioned owners, was sitting at the table beside us and came over to say hello and share with us some info about himself, the restaurant and made some suggestions on what items to try. One of his suggestions was the Provoleta Benedicta which was an eggs benedict with a Uruguayan twist. Quite unique and very tasty!
Whenever I see octopus on the menu I am inclined to order it. That’s a given, just like truffle…you can be assured that if there’s a truffle dish on the menu, I will order that too. The char on this octopus looked perfect and the dish was presented beautifully. Octopus is one of those dishes that you have to be so precise with when it comes to cooking. It can be the most amazing bite ever when prepared right. But when over cooked, it becomes tough and “rubbery”. I had high hopes for this one but unfortunately it was a bit over cooked and fell into the rubbery zone for me.
Julio had also recommended the Chivito Uriguayo which he claimed was one of the most famous sandwiches known all around the world. It consisted of beef tenderloin, ham, mozzarella cheese, bacon, green olives, roasted bell pepper, boiled eggs, alioli, french fries. Well I have to say that this sandwich did live up to the high expectations that had been set after hearing Julio rave about it!
I’ll be honest here. I must have been feeling the sangrias pretty good by this time because when it came time to ordering the mushroom fries, I must not have read the description and had something a bit different in my mind when this plate arrived at our table. For some reason I thought they were going to be like portabella mushrooms that were treated as fries and not actual fries being served in this dish. The truffled gorgonzola sauce was delicious but something about those mushrooms were very unfamiliar to me and a taste that just didn’t resonate with me, I’m afraid.
This was one of my favorite dishes (this and the Provoleta Benedicta). Tartines are basically oversized bruschettas or open faced sandwiches and the toppings are endless. This one, the mahi mahi was nicely seasoned and pan seared to perfection. It came with capers, aioli, sweet tomatoes, arugula and tossed with a complimenting lemon dressing.
RUST: A hidden gem with 120 seats in an ever-expanding area full of street art and fashion; RUST pays its creative tribute with its rustic mix of worn metals, wood, cork and brick textures that adorn the restaurant.
RUST is located at 2621 NW 2nd Ave., inside Wynwood Block open: Mon – Wed 11AM-12AM; Thu – Fri 11AM-2AM; Sat 10AM-2AM & Sun 10AM-12AM
For more info on RUST, visit their website or call (305) 576 6811.
Well as the healthy eating trend continues and the number of restaurants & cafe’s that serve this market continue to pop up, I’m happy to share with you one that I believe is a true trend setter in this arena. Today’s feature is on Fit Foodz Cafe, located in West Boca (Clint Moore Rd & 441). I had met Susan Klein, the owner of Fit Foodz Cafe years ago when I still worked for Investments Limited and organized a health food fair in Royal Palm Place right around the time she was starting Fit Foodz Cafe, back in 2011. Susan’s passion for reinventing comfort foods in a healthier way stemmed from her own personal desire to change her lifestyle after being in the restaurant industry for over 20 years, to lose weight and eat healthier, in addition to incorporating an exercise regime into her schedule.
Fit Foodz Cafe offers a wide variety of healthy meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, homemade snacks, refreshing juices and replenishing smoothies. Also offered are the popular individually portioned meals that change weekly to keep things interesting. Susan’s mission is to ensure her customers are able to enjoy healthy food that is both delicious and satisfying. And boy does she accomplish this! The dishes are sooooooo creative and super tasty!!! Check out some of the many delicious dishes we got to try during a recent blogger tasting:
This tuna poke has skyrocketed to becoming one of my all time favorites! My tablemates and I couldn’t stop eating this but reluctantly stopped knowing we had so much more before us yet to taste, lol! Don’t let the “hot sweet chili sauce” in the title scare you if you are sensitive to heat. It’s really not hot at all, take it from this heat whimp.
Just look at those strawberries…do you think they could be more perfect?!? The answer is NO! They were served at the peak of their ripeness and so sweet and delicious and paired extremely well with the goat cheese and nuts. It was unanimous, we all loved this salad. The combination of ingredients played very nicely together creating a very balanced dish.
Nut lovers rejoice. This salad is made in your honor and has your name written all over it! It is packed with a whole lot of nuts, so much so that for me, I found it a bit hard to detect the mixed greens.
I loved, loved this dish. The zucchini zoodles were so yummy (and long!!!) I would have these any day over regular spaghetti noodles. The sauteed veggies were cooked perfectly and the sauce was out of this world. I loved all the flavors and can’t wait to come back and have this dish again…
I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I saw we were being served chicken pad Thai because let’s face it, last time I checked, we were not in a Thai restaurant and that is the only place I have ever had this dish before. I was pleasantly surprised that all components of this dish came together and the flavor profiles were spot on and riveled any pad Thai you might find at your local Thai restaurant, but I bet this tasty healthy version will leave you feeling a little lighter.
I was excited to see this on our tasting menu because I had only been to Fit Foodz once before and had this dish and loved it, so I couldn’t wait to have it again. I can’t recommend it enough. Come, try, fall in love! 🙂
-Gluten free choc cake/brownies- gluten free all purpose flour, raw cocoa, egg whites, vanilla, canola oil, water, baking powder, raw turbinado- for the brownies I added some natural peanut butter, for the cake I added a vegan frosting
-Almond butter cookies- almond butter, raw turbinado sugar, baking soda, egg whites and choc chips.
-Raw bars- homemade almond butter and date paste, chia, almonds, walnuts, vanilla, pumpkin seeds, raw protein, vegan choc chips, coconut flakes, almond milk
I couldn’t believe how delicious the gluten free desserts were! I didn’t miss the gluten one bit.
Susan Klein was on to something 7 years ago and thanks to her and her dedicated staff at Fit Foodz Cafe, through their hard work and deliverance of exceptional quality food, they have become a staple in the lives of many in the South Florida region.
In addition to her thriving business, Susan has touched the community of South Florida with her philanthropy. She has donated both food and money to many charities and organizations and also participates in local events to show her support. “Giving back to my community is of the utmost importance,” she says. “If we thrive as a community, we can also thrive as individuals.”
Well said Susan, and we wish you many more continued years of success and hope that our readers come in and tell you they heard about you from Denise Righetti from Savor Our City.
Fit Foodz Cafe is located at 9704 Clint Moore Rd, A-108, Boca Raton 561.451.1420
Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri 9am – 8pm; Sat – Sun 9:30am – 7pm
I was invited to the pre-opening of Fresh Kitchen Boca, another great addition in the growing trend of healthy fast casual restaurants popping up in South Florida. Fresh Kitchen, a 100% gluten-free, build-your-own bowl concept has now opened in Boca Raton! All of their meats are hormone and antibiotic free, all of their sauces are homemade, and their menu, which is packed with flavor, changes with the seasons. They opened their first store in South Tampa in September 2014, followed by St. Petersburg and Sarasota, and now…are thrilled to call Boca their new home 🙂 Their goal was to create and serve fresh, high quality ingredients that nourish and energize our bodies in a fast-casual restaurant. The meal you want, when you want it, with countless combinations. Their food is made from scratch and fresh-to-order. From their grill to your bowl, as fast as you can point!
What they serve:
100% gluten free ingredients
Dairy free and sugar free, unless indicated
Cold pressed juices, teas and frescas made in-house daily
House made dressings and sauces
Flavorful veggies that change seasonally
Hormone and antibiotic free meats
Fresh salad and slaw, rice, quinoa & sweet potato noodles used as the base for bowls
So the idea is to build your own bowl selecting from a number of bases: brown rice, coconut ginger rice, romaine salad sweet potato mash, kale slaw, vegetable quinoa, sweet potato noodles and perfect spice rice; then select your veggies: Parmesan broccoli, roasted mushrooms, sesame green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts & seasonal vegetable; next you select your protein(s): grilled citrus chicken, herb grilled steak (+$1.50), baked almond chicken, chia seed tuna poke (+$1.50), BBQ chicken, chia seed teriyaki tofu, Chef’s protein; and then you can sauce it up with the following options: creamy white ginger, coconut sriracha, herb balsamic vinaigrette, cucumber jalapeno & holy kale. As if that weren’t enough options, wait…there’s more…bean & corn salsa ($.50), Parmesan cheese ($.50), kale pesto tomatoes ($1.50), Feta cheese ($.50) and citrus avocado ($+2)
And when you go through the line, your creation might look something like this:
Everything I had was super fresh and flavorful. My favorites were the baked almond chicken, the herb grilled steak and the kale pesto tomatoes.
The selection of cold pressed juices is impressive *available at select locations* (I didn’t have any of these on this day but I’m looking forward to going back to try some. I hope they have the Macho Milk one at this location, cuz that looks right up my alley! Who am I kidding?!? They all look up my alley 😉