This summer we have been fortunate to do some traveling and have taken a couple staycations locally (Wyndham Deerfield Beach and Grandview Gardens B&B in West Palm Beach) as well as a couple out of state. We tasted our way through New Yorkand now this blog post will cover our most recent trip to Las Vegas, It’s been 12 years since my last visit to Sin City and I was super excited to check out the food scene, the gorgeous hotels and some shows.
The Venetian/Palazzo was our base for the next 5 nights. I had been to The Venetian before but this was the first time I stayed there. This hotel is gorgeous. Even if your plans don’t call for you to stay here, I would certainly recommend a visit; trust me you will want to see the Venetian canals, take a ride on a gondola and eat dinner at St. Mark’s Square.
One of the restaurant groups we work with in Miami, V & E Restaurant Group has a couple restaurants in Las Vegas that we decided to check out. We went for brunch at Cafe Americano located inside Caesar’s Palace. They are doing a fantastic job serving up classic American fare with a Latin twist and bonus, they’re open 24/7. Woo hoo!!! We were warmly greeted and brought to a lovely table near the back which was nice and bright with a lot of natural light coming from the floor to ceiling windows. The GM Gerardo surprised us with a Blueberry Lemondrop Martini which was sooooo delicious. I would highly recommend it. After scanning the menu, we decided to share the grilled artichoke hearts which came with 8 pieces to an order with a balsamic glaze and basil pesto for dipping. I could have stopped right there and gone home happy. But wait, there’s more…We ordered the breakfast sandwich on a buttered and toasted brioche bread. Our server Raul had recommended we sub the bacon which comes with the sandwich for their house bacon instead. I’m glad he made that suggestion, because we enjoyed the sandwich and the bacon very much. We also had the steak tacos. Shaved rib eye, avocado salsa and Cotija cheese. It was excellent. I was so enamored with the balsamic glaze they used with the artichokes that I asked for an extra side of it which I also used on my tacos. Yumm!!!
After brunch, we walked through Caesar’s Palace including a stroll through the Forum Shops.
Then we ventured over to The Wynn. If you haven’t been to the grand hotels at least for a walk through, you are really missing out. The lobby was adorned with beautiful fresh flowers everywhere. It was like the Rose Bowl Parade.
We saw two shows while we were there. One was a comedy show at The Comedy Cellar at The Rio Hotel. It was an intimate space and the acts were decent. Nothing spectacular.
The true highlight for me was the Criss Angel Magic Show though. He was beyond incredible. If you haven’t seen him perform, I can’t recommend you do so enough!
After the show we headed back to The Venetian’s St. Mark Square where we had dinner reservations at Mercato Della Pescheria. (This is another of V & E Restaurant Group’s restaurants, also found in the heart of Espanola Way in Miami Beach).
Now this was a most wonderful experience dining at Mercato Della Pescheria in St. Mark’s Square inside The Venetian Hotel. We were welcomed by the Manager Mahe and the Assistant Manager Ben in addition to our lovely Italian server Giada. We started off with an Italian High Ball and a Tuscan Red Blend. For starters, we had the Caesar salad and the grilled octopus. The salad was perfectly dressed and packed with flavor. The octopus was so beautiful and thoughtfully plated and cooked to perfection as well. For our entrees, we had the Swiss Chard Ravioli with a pesto sauce and Caccio e Pepe. They do this tableside. Check out the video below. What a treat.
Have you ever heard of Hash House A Go Go? Apparently they have a few of these around the country including Orlando, Chicago and Las Vegas. The one we went to is located in the LINQ Hotel. We did have a bit of a wait, but it was worth it. Portions were big and the food was very good.
On our final night, we headed Downtown to Fremont Street. Have you been there? It’s like Times Square on steroids. It’s a pedestrian only street several blocks long with street performers every few feet. They claim to have the largest video screen over head that projects a light show set to music thoughout the night..You’ll also see people whizzing by on cables up above. Something worth venturing off the Strip for, for sure.
Another restaurant we had to try while in Vegas was Chica by Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia. We are working with Chef Lorena and her team in Miami to soon bring groups to her Culinary Loft. A second Chica will also be opening this Fall in Miami. The Latin flare is evidenced throughout the dining experience from the bright and cheery decor to the food & drinks.
Well, we came, we ate, we were entertained and like all good things that must come to an end, so did our stint in Las Vegas. So whether you have gambling on your agenda or not, there’s so much to do in this adult playground and definitely no shortage of good eats!
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.
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.
We are pleased to report that award-winning restaurateurs Burt Rapoport and Dennis Max have come together once again to resurrect the once-celebrated, Prezzo. A fixture in the 90s in Boca Raton, Aventura and South Miami, Prezzo brings back fond memories for area residents who remember the restaurant serving rustic Italian cuisine with a cool vibe. The first location was opened in Boca Raton in 1989. Fans will be happy to know that their signature roasted garlic and focaccia bread sticks are back. Joining the dynamic duo for this revival is James Beard Award-winning chef, Mark Militello, who leads the kitchen as executive chef.
The garlic, breadsticks and other memorable favorites such as the wood-oven apple tart, fusilli & chicken pasta and the wood-fired pizzas all made a comeback on the new menu along a selection of Italian-inspired and health-conscious entrees.
The centerpiece of the 4,300-square-foot restaurant are the sights and smells wafting from the wood-burning oven known for producing crispy, thin-crust pizzas and amazing chicken wings among other signature dishes. Did you know that Prezzo introduced the first wood-fired pizza oven to South Florida when it opened its first location in Boca Raton in 1989!?
I was invited to a tasting with along with other media/bloggers. I started off with a most delicious glass of baby Amarone. I savored every last drop. The food kept flowing: from the signature roasted garlic and yummy crusty bread (served complimentary to all dining guests), Prosciutto de Parma pizza, chicken wings with caramelized onions, arancini, beet salad, salmon and their famous wood-fired apple tart served with cinnamon gelato.
Seating consists of 120 inside and 50 seats on the patio. Prezzo also features a spacious indoor/outdoor bar area, complete with a creative cocktail menu and expansive wine list curated by Bar Manager and Master Mixologist, Arturo Sighinolfi. The cozy 20-seat bar will surely become a local hotspot for happy hour.
Open for lunch Mon – Fri 11:30am – 2pm and dinner Sun – Thurs 4:30pm – 9pm; Fri & Sat 4:30pm – 10pm
Park Place Plaza | 5560 N. Military Trail. Boca Raton, FL 33496 561-314-6840 www.prezzoboca.com
Follow Prezzo’s and share your memories using #OnlyAtPrezzo @PrezzoBoca
By Steve PikePerhaps the best way to describe Vic & Angelo’s Italian restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is to begin at the end. That is, with the eatery’s seemingly lighter than air tiramisu. After all, what serious foodie doesn’t want to start a meal with dessert?But more important, Vic & Angelo’s tiramisu is a great example of the attention to detail Executive Chef Kelley Randall and his staff give every dish.
“There is a lot of love that goes into everything,’’ Randall said.
The tiramisu, for example, is made with 50 percent mascarpone cheese, instead of the 10 to 15 percent most other Italian restaurants use.
“It makes all the difference,’’ Randall said. “And the Bellino Lady Fingers are flown in from Italy. We don’t use the cheap stuff.’’
The same holds true for the entire menu at Vic & Angelo’s, located in PGA Commons. The pastas and sauces each are made fresh in-house, and each pizza is handcrafted with dough from water delivered from Brooklyn and baked in a 900-degree pizza oven.
“I don’t want to discount anything, but the pizza here is unreal,’’ Randall said. “Our pizza chef has been making it the same way since we opened 10 years ago. He’ll never compromise quality.’’
That last sentence could serve as Vic & Angelo’s motto. There is a quality in every dish on the menu, from the incredible Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Burrata, and Linguini Fine con Vongole.
My favorites? The Gigante Meatball with Ricotta, Bell Pepper, Garden Basil, San Marzano Gravy; the Burrata made with local burrata cheese; and the Four Cheese Pear Tortelloni with White Truffle Zabaglione and shaved truffles.
Oh yes, the tiramisu.
Regardless of your dish selections, it all adds up to the restaurant’s commitment to quality.
“I think a lot of people have the idea that we are just a pizza joint or a restaurant higher on the spectrum,’’ said Assistant General Manager Kevin McSweeney. “I think we cater to a clientele that’s casual and elegant. This is a neighborhood gem.’’
Steve Pike (www.myspiketravel.com) is an award-winning travel and food writer. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla.
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.
I recently was invited to check out Via Emilia 9 in South Beach. I had not heard of it before and was super excited to go after taking a peek at their website.
Named after the merchant road in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna (Italy’s greatest gastronomic treasure), ViaEmilia 9 is Miami Beach’s first authentic regional Italian restaurant and market. Emilia Romagna sits on the border with the third-smallest country in Europe, the Republic of San Marino, which happens to be the birth place of my mother-in-law, and a place I had the good fortune of visiting several years ago.
Perfect for lunch or dinner, Via Emilia 9 has something for all palettes and represents the Italian regions of both Bologna and Modena. Never compromising authenticity, Chef Giancarlo “Wendy” Cacciatori imports everything served at Via Emilia 9 from Italy (with the exception of fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs), including bread, which is brought in from the Vasalli Bakery in Ferrara, Italy. Via Emilia 9 has an expert “Sfoglina” or pasta maker on site hand rolling a variety of pastas and raviolis daily and upon request, she can personalize the stuffing of your ravioli or any pasta you’d like to try.
To get us started on our culinary journey through the Emilia region, Chef Wendy prepared for us a perfect antipasti plate that included 24 mo aged Parmigiano, 18 mo aged proscuitto di Parma, balsamic pearls (Chef Wendy & Tina import the balsamic from their own barrels in Emilia, where the balsamic sits and ages), fresh figs, artichoke, lemon jam & arugula with a side of gnocco frito (fried dough). Let me just say O – M – G!!!! This platter is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of tasting and I have tasted a lot, trust me! The quality of the imported products is undeniable. I loved (and ate, no…devoured is a more accurate description) everything on that plate. And the fried dough…don’t get me started. It was served piping hot and oh so good! We were served a lovely Lambrusco from the Emilia region to pair and it was nice and light.
The next dish to arrive was the cappellaci di zucca which were made that day (see above picture). These cappellaci were stuffed with pumpkin and marscapone cheese and came with crispy sage butter and topped with fresh Parmegiano cheese. This course was served with a Pinot Nero, a white Pinot Noir made by separating skins from the pulp- a really unique (and tasty) wine. My dining companion and I both LOVED this dish, every aspect of it. Pure perfection.
The next dish delivered to our table was their tagliatelle with prosciutto. I especially liked the bonus piece of grilled prosciutto placed on the top; the crispiness was a unique and welcome addition. A wonderful cabernet had been selected to pair with this course. Again, the freshness of the pasta along with each of the ingredients in the dish stood out to us and is an exception to what is served at most “Italian” restaurants here in the U.S.
For dessert, we delighted in the trio di ciaccolato. Tenerina al cioccolato (homemade chocolate cake), salame al cioccolato to (chocolate salami, an Italian dessert made from cocoa, broken biscuits, butter, eggs and a bit of port wine or rum. … like salami, chocolate salami is formed as a long cylinder and is sliced across into discs for serving) and mascarpone & strawberries. We loved each of the three components of the dish. The most unique I found was the chocolate salami.
Via Emilia 9 recently received a facelift. After two years in business, the traditional Italian eatery underwent renovations to incorporate a new open kitchen plan, an expanded market featuring homemade and imported Italian goods for sale, an eat-in bar, and pasta making station, along with other additions. Via Emilia 9 owners, Chef Wendy and his partner Valentina (aka Tina), decided to open up the space to give diners a look into the daily workings of an authentic Italian kitchen.
“We want to involve our guests in the cooking process and not just the end result. Being able to show people the process behind making food and being able to interact with their food is part of Italian tradition,” said Chef Wendy.
We tried just two of the wonderfu pasta dishes served at Via Emilia 9. Other dishes you may be interested in trying when you come is their signature dish, the Tortellini in Brodo (tortellini in broth) which is homemade and hand rolled- the tortellini is stuffed with Prosciutto di Parma, parmesan cheese, mortadella, beef and pork. Other highlights include The Basket from the Emilia Romagna- a charcuterie board that features prosciutto, mortadella, pancetta, parmigiano, as well as fried dough, prosciutto, mortadella, stracchino cheese, and marmalades. Other highly recommended dishes include the Ravioli dello chef, the Tagliatelle Panna Salsiccia e Funghi (tagliatelle with mushrooms, sausage and cream sauce), the Cotoletta alla Bolognese, the Chef’s Filet and the homemade flatbreads.
Via Emilia 9 is also available for catering and private chef services at your own house or event. Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 – 6:30pm featuring bottles of wines & appetizers for 50% off. They also have what looks like an amazing 5 course truffle tasting which I am undoubtedly going to try! You can learn peruse their menu and learn more by clicking here.
Via Emilia 9 is located on 1120 15th Street in Miami Beach and is open daily from 11 a.m. until 11p.m. for both lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends. Reservations are available by phone at (786) 216-7150.
I was recently invited back to BRIO for a tasting of some new menu items and to share with you a new promotion that they have going on in all their Palm Beach County locations now through April 15th. I’ll get to the promotion in a minute. On this particular dine, my companion and I who have eaten at BRIO on several occasions decided to start out with a “Flirty Cosmo” which is made with absolute Mandarin, pama, pomegranate liquor, fresh lime and fizz 56. It was a delicious cocktail and one we both would recommend.
We decided to try the Burrata & Ciabatta appetizer which was beautifully plated and was a wonderful combination of creamy burrata, roasted tomatoes, EVOO and grilled ciabatta for $10.95. I enjoyed building my own bruschetta by layering the tomatoes onto the ciabatta and topping with the creamy burrata. I was in heaven!
Our server Jake was a huge fan of their Brussels sprouts, claiming these are the very ones that got him to eat brussels sprouts. With a recommendation like that, how could we not try them as well? We asked him to bring us a side of these which he graciously offered to do, although now that I’m writing this, I only see it listed as a side option to their entrees. The Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts were very tasty and I would highly recommend you try them.
For entrees, my companion had the Center-Cut Filet Mignon (Comes in 6 oz. $24.75 & 8 oz. $29.50) and comes with one side. He chose the Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes. My companion ordered his steak medium rare but it came out pretty rare, so we did ask for a bump up. I would recommend ordering this steak medium. We ordered the mushroom marsala sauce to top the steak and it was a nice compliment.
For my entree, I selected the Pasta Alla Vodka. The pasta that was used for this dish, explained to me by Elvin, the GM at the Boca BRIO location, was a sacchetti, (a little purse in Italian) filled with ricotta, spicy tomato Parmesan cream sauce (not too spicy, trust me), crispy pancetta and basil for $18.95. You can opt to add a protein to this entree and the chicken I ordered really was a wonderful compliment to this very tasty dish. I would highly recommend it!
And now on to the current promotion they are running here at the Palm Beach County locations:
Present Special “A Variety of Flavors” Lunch and Dinner Menu, Available Feb. 28–April 15
BRIO Tuscan Grille is offering an array of new dishes for the “A Variety of Flavors” promotion, taking place Tuesday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, April 15. The lunch and dinner menus present two exciting new appetizers, three entrées (including two mouthwatering seafood dishes), and a divine dessert.
“With our ‘A Variety of Flavors’ lunch and dinner menus, our guests can enjoy unique flavors with a Tuscan twist, including mouthwatering seafood dishes, for a limited time,” said BRIO Tuscan Grille Chef & Culinary Director Alison Peters.
The menus include:
Calamari Fritto Misto: Peperoncini, aioli, Pomodoro; $10.75 at lunch, $11.75 at dinner
Spicy Shrimp & Eggplant: Pan seared shrimp, Romano crusted eggplant, black pepper cream; $11.50 at lunch, $12.50 at dinner
Peroni Beer-Battered Fish & Chips: North Atlantic cod, fries, Brussels sprout slaw; $17.95 (pictured below)
Lobster & Black Pepper Shrimp Ravioli: Spicy black pepper cream, spinach, grape tomatoes; $19.95 (pictured above)
Butterscotch Budino: Italian for “pudding,” Marcona almonds, caramel, vanilla whipped cream; $3.95
Serving as perfect complements to these special dishes are BRIO’s exquisite wine selections. Suggested wines are the light, fruity and elegant Sketchbook Pinot Noir (Mendocino, California); and the lush and silky Benziger Family Winery Chardonnay (Sonoma, California).
Savor Our City Culinary Tours began offering our first tours on May 3, 2014 in Delray Beach, FL. Since then, we have run a series of tours in other South Florida cities such as Palm Beach Gardens, Wilton Manors and Boca Raton. Our tours have always been open to the public as well as to private groups. We entered into an agreement this past year to create brand new food tours up in New England for several major cruise lines sailing into Boston, Portland & Bar Harbor this Fall. I am proud to say that these tours have been created and are starting this month. At this time, the only way you can take any of these tours is if you happen to be sailing on one of those ships calling into those ports OR you book a private group tour through us. (Think: corporate team building, client appreciation, birthday parties)
Here is a sample of what you would experience on our Boston Markets & Cultural Walking Tour:
This 3-hour historical guided walking food tour will take guests through the famed Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, a historic meeting place and market lined with cobblestone streets packed with ethnic foods, unique gifts and street performers, just to name a few of the elements that make this marketplace located near the waterfront so unique. It was here in 1764 that the colonists protested the Sugar Act, which led to the “no taxation without representation” doctrine. George Washington toasted America’s first birthday here, and so many impassioned orators have followed that Faneuil Hall is nicknamed “The Cradle of Liberty.”
Following your visit to Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, you will walk to nearby Boston Public Market, another indoor haven for foodies that opened its doors in the summer of 2015. The market houses 39 year-round vendor stalls which must sell food and other products that are produced or originate in New England, specializing in items sourced from local farms and fishermen. Your guide will share historical facts, interesting anecdotes, and some local insider’s tips as you sample dishes and delicacies that reflect the area. Some of the iconic New England delicacies sampled along the way include an award-winning clam chowder, lobster roll, cheese, chocolate, nuts, honey, fresh fruit vinegars, wine, mead (honey wine, the oldest alcoholic drink known to man). Then, it’s on to the Parker House, your final stop and birthplace of the city’s iconic Boston Cream Pie, which you will have the opportunity to sample.
This tour is currently available for private tours only. If you would like to inquire about booking a private tour for your group of 10+ people, please contact us at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.