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
I am sorry for the big gap in between posts. I have been busy growing my company. Lots of exciting things will soon be revealed. A brand new website is just one of the things you can expect to see before the end of the year, woo hoo!
For any of you who have ever been on one of our culinary tours, you probably received a goodie bag provided by one of our sponsors, Whole Foods Market, which we fill with info and offers from each of the places we took you to during the tour, plus a sample from another sponsor, Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle.
Today’s blog post will be short and sweet. I wanted to let those of you in or near the Boca Raton Whole Foods Market location know that you should make a point to stop into their new Tavern on the Glades. This full service sit-down eatery located inside the store celebrates flavor and features all-day breakfast, pub burgers, amazing salads, sandwiches and more. At the Tavern, guests can choose from 16 craft beers on tap, Sommelier selected wines and non-alcoholic beverages.
TAVERN HOURS ARE 8AM TO 9PM, DAILY
Whole Foods Market is located at 1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431 561.447.0000