SeaSpray Restaurant Opens at the Waterstone Resort & Marina

Posted By : denise/ 156

Hello Foodie Friends,

Savor Our City’s Marketing Director Jennifer Ouvrard and Founder/Chief Foodie Officer Denise Righetti

Well it’s been a while since I have attended an organized media dine, understandably so since we have been in a pandemic. We are very fortunate here though in South Florida as our restaurants and businesses have been open and operating at full capacity much sooner than most other cities of comparable size. I for one am very excited to get back out and attend new restaurant openings and food & wine festivals and share my discoveries with you. This post is about my preview of the Waterstone Resort’s brand new SeaSpray restaurant (Boca’s ONLY waterfront dining) which is serving up local cuisine with casual coastal elegance. We were treated to a lovely selection of cocktails, appetizers, an entree of our choice and every dessert on their menu. Spoiler alert: this place impressed every one who attended this media dine. And it’s about time we finally had a waterfront dining option that actually served decent food and didn’t just rely on their location to draw people in. Read: great views + great food  + service = new fave go-to spot!!!

SeaSpray is bringing Boca Raton everything it never had but always secretly needed, an intracoastal escape made of equal parts glamour and laid-back charm.  Developed by Evolution Hospitality as part of an extensive half a million dollar renovation to Waterstone Resort & Marina, SeaSpray is led by VP of F&B/acclaimed Executive Chef Kelley Randall, who developed an innovative, sustainably-minded menu rooted in traditional staples highlighted by local seafood. “You can come by boat or by car, have a bunch of burgers, order fresh salads and quality seafood options or reserve an 8pm seating and dine more formally, for steak, grilled Mahi or other quality entrees. There’s both glitz and familiarity — but it’s a breezy vibe,” says Randall.

PEAR MARTINI   Absolut Pear, St. Germaine, Sour

PLANTER’S PUNCH Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, Orange and Pineapple Juices, Grenadine

PINEAPPLE JALAPEÑO  El Jimador Tequila, Giffard Liqueur, Lime

GRILLED OCTOPUS  chorizo, fingerling potato, olives, cilantro-scallion vinaigrette

PEAR TORTELLINI  truffle cream sauce, rosemary, parmesan. Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

STICKY CAULIFLOWER sesame soy glaze, toasted sesame seeds, scallions

HUMMUS   warm pita bread, smoked paprika, chili oil

SKIRT STEAK FRITES   chipotle marinade, chimichurri, rosemary parmesan fries

SIMPLY GRILLED SALMON. sweet potato mash, broccoli, Vermont maple glaze

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE  dark chocolate sauce, whipped cream

KEY LIME PIE   crumble, sorbet, raspberries, mango puree

APPLE COBBLER   salted caramel gelato, dulce de leche

CAMPFIRE S’MORES  marshmallows, chocolate bar, graham crackers Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

 

Executive Chef Kelley Randall   Photo Credit: Gyorgy Papp

Menu highlights include shareable plates such as Sticky Cauliflower with sesame soy glaze, toasted sesame seeds and scallions; Grilled Octopus with chorizo, fingerling potato, olives, cilantro-scallion vinaigrette; and Pear Tortellini with truffle cream sauce (to die for; probably my fave dish of the night), rosemary, parmesan; “Handhelds” like the Mahi Reuben with tangy cabbage slaw, 1000 island dressing, served on marbled rye bread and the Seaspray Burger with prime beef, aged cheddar, iceberg, red onion, tomato, signature sauce, served on a brioche bun; and Mains including Chicken Paillard with romaine, orange segments, fennel, red grapes, toasted almonds, mustard vinaigrette; Skirt Steak Frites with chipotle marinade, chimichurri, rosemary parmesan fries; and Frutti di Mare with lobster, gulf shrimp, clams, mussels, linguine, spicy San Marzano sauce, parmesan crostini. Executive Chef Kelley thoughtfully created a menu that took into consideration people with special diets such as Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan, which are all easily identifiable on the menu.

Guests can indulge in a mixologist-curated list of craft cocktails every bit as exciting as the menu. Think Signature Cocktails like Dark & Stormy with Goslings dark rum, ginger beer, lime and Pomegranate Martini with Tito’s, Palma liqueur, Grand Marnier; Frozen libations like Bailey’s Colada with Oak & Cane rum, pineapple, coconut, Baileys float (reminds me of my days of working on board cruise ships; the crew were privy to a secret concoction called the “BBC” which stood for Bailey’s Banana Colada) and Mudslide with New Amsterdam Vodka, Kahlúa, Baileys, ice cream, chocolate; Margaritas such as Pineapple Jalapeño with Dulce Vida Tequila, muddled jalapeno, pineapple juice, lime and Blue Lagoon with Casamigos tequila, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice.

As for design, the 2,000-square-foot-eatery’s unmistakable nod to both modern tropical and vintage chic makes for a uniquely casual-meets-luxurious experience with fully outdoor covered and patio dining an expansive outdoor bar and gorgeous private dining room accommodating up to 20. Think Beverly Hills intermingled with Tulum style. With both traditional elegance and fun, edgy and cool vibes present, the ambience embraces older and newer generations alike. Each piece of furniture at SeaSpray is unique, custom-designed by the team to dress the experience, while spot lights, neon signs and soft champagne lighting create a myriad of differing atmospheres all within one space, fashioning a sweetly intimate mood in a social setting.

The space embraces South Florida’s tropical nature. There are different spaces for different people and moods. Seating is arranged in such a way that everyone will have a gorgeous view, and each nook and cranny feels different. The idea is to feel like you’re in your own backyard, overlooking the intracoastal.

Onsite, an oversized mural by local artist Gabriela Benatar spanning seven walls total, celebrates South Florida in its entire splendor, highlighting the local flora and fauna and speaking to the constant evolution of both our surroundings and ourselves, celebrating nature while bringing a little bit of the outside in. The mural took two months to complete.

Happy Hour is M-F from 4-6pm (except holidays) with select wines, well cocktails and draft beers available for $7 as well as a number of yummy appetizers, including my favorite the pear tortellini, for just $7 as well. You will definitely want to visit (or revisit) this wonderful location next time you are in the area. Be sure to look out for me there and if you spot me, come say hi!

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

You’re Gonna Get a Kick Out Of This New Café

Posted By : denise/ 286

Dear Foodie Friends,

There’s a special little gem that recently opened up in Royal Palm Place in Downtown Boca called Kixi Café. It’s owned by long time friends and now business partners Kate Nguyen and Lixii Sun. Lixii is the owner of Kanpai, located at the intersection of Federal Hwy and Palmetto Park Road in Downtown Boca. Kate, a former employee of Lixii’s at a previous restaurant, found herself out of work due to COVID and when Lixii told Kate she was opening up a new Café, Kate wanted to be a part of it, and the friendship project began. The name Kixi comes from the union of the two friends’ names.

Kixi Cafe is a boutique café that offers a whimsical food and drink menu in a picturesque dining room decorated with velvet sofas and a beautiful peony wall with additional seating in their outside lavender garden.

Happy Tea with Scones (raspberry rose, blueberry lavender)

 

Blue Moon Milk Tea and Lavender Milk Tea both garnished with edible flowers.
Interior of Kixi Cafe
Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast – Smashed avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, poached egg, truffle oil, everything but the bagel seasoning, micro greens, truffle balsamic glaze
Shrimp and Grits – Cajun Jumbo Shrimp, cheesy grits, bacon crumble, sofrito
Chicken & Croffles – Crispy organic chicken breast marinated in house spices and placed upon waffle-pressed croissant, and served with a house made brown butter syrup, fresh berries and crispy basil.

Kixi’s Cafe has an incredible menu is is open for breakfast, lunch and brunch and is open Tue – Sun 8am – 4pm. It’s a perfect gathering place for friends on any occasion. A Champagne Bar will be opening inside Kixi’s Cafe soon.

For more info, visit Kixi Cafe on Facebook or their website (coming soon)

They are located in Royal Palm Place at 171 SE Mizner Blvd. Boca Raton (in between Giovanni’s Pizza and Edward Jones Investments).

 

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Press Gourmet Sandwiches

Posted By : denise/ 225

Hello Foodie Friends,

Like Superman, everyone of us has our own kryptonite, and in my world, mine is bread! I grew up eating sandwiches for lunch and  as my palate matured over the years, I began experimenting in the kitchen coming up with clever new concoctions. I would start of with something basic like a grilled cheese sandwich and then making a few simple tweaks (from upgrading the bread, spreading butter or mayo on the outside of the bread before cooking in the pan, to utilizing a caramelized onion jam)  I was able to elevate that classic sammy into a gourmet masterpiece. Yes, sandwiches are my jam! So when I received an invite to come check out Press Gourmet Sandwiches in Boca, it was a no brainer. The motto at Press Gourmet is every sandwich, every salad, every side is handmade to order with only the freshest, natural, best ingredients. Each sandwich is handcrafted to order. All of their meats are slow roasted to perfection. Chicken is marinated and cooked to order and all sauces and toppings are prepared daily. They consider themselves to be a five-star gourmet experience in a fast casual setting – eat in or take out.

Competition winning Mac n Cheese Balls
The Sentinel – shredded beef Philly style, the most popular non-chicken sandwich. This was my favorite sandwich for sure.
The CD Salad, named after co-owner Chris, has my favorite ingredients and was delicious. This is the 1/2 portion believe it or not.
The Daily – the most popular of the chicken sandwiches, served with truffle parm fries

The back story:  It all started at Johnson & Wales University when Rand and Chris met. They noticed from their name tags and they were both commuting from Delray Beach to Miami. So they started to carpool; those rides together to Miami were where their friendship really started. After only a few weeks of carpooling Chris and Rand decided to move into Chris’s apartment near Johnson & Wales University.

In only a few short months they had become best friends living together in Miami. During culinary school Rand and Chris excelled to the top of their class, becoming the go-to guys to get things done.
Every Tuesday, the food trucks would set up on the campus at JWU and serve to all of the students. Chris and Rand became immediately attached to the food trucks, asking all of the owners questions every time they came out. In their heart they knew someday they would open up a food truck of their own.

Soon after, Rand was asked to work as a sous chef for a husband of one of his professors. He was a private chef to the rich and famous in Miami. It only took one year before the clients asked Rand to be the head chef, at the age of 22. One of the first things that he did was to make Chris his sous chef. This was a time in their lives that they would never forget. Chris and Rand were living half the year in Miami and the other half in New York City while cooking for the rich and famous.

While in New York, Rand and Chris were living on their client’s yacht. Rand really enjoyed living on the yachs, he said, “because it was like a huge house right on the water, that swayed back and forth with the current, just rocking you to sleep”. One year Chris actually rode the boat up for 4 days to New York City, through the rough seas, while still cooking all of the food for the crew. Let’s just say he probably won’t be taking a boat across the country anytime soon!

After three years of being private chefs Rand and Chris caught the entrepreneurial bug. They received so much praise for the food, from some of the most important people in the country. They knew they wanted to bring their food to the masses, but they didn’t quite know how to start a business. So Chris and Rand left their jobs as private chefs to head to Chris’ family’s company, Uncle Giuseppe’s, a chain of Italian supermarkets. While at Uncle Giuseppe’s, Rand and Chris were taught the importance of food costs, business smarts, and the ability to scale larger while remaining consistent with the food throughout different locations.
So they headed back to Florida to start their own business. The location of the first restaurant caused arguments, as they just weren’t sure where to put it. That was when they thought back to when they were in culinary school and the food trucks would come every Tuesday. Rand and Chris thought very hard about what their next move would be. They decided to start a food truck as a proof of concept and to find the best locations for the eventual restaurants to come. They called it Miami Press Gourmet Sandwiches Food Truck. The concept quickly took off, as the Miami Press Food Truck became one of the top trucks in South Florida. It was a dream for Chris and Rand to be able to serve their great food to the masses. They knew that if they used good fresh and local ingredients and prepared the food to order that they would always have people wanting to eat their food.

While the truck was taking off, Rand got the opportunity to go on Food Network and compete in a reality competition cooking show. The show is called Food Truck Face Off, the show is a mix between The Great American Food Truck Race and Chopped. Rand brought one of he and Chris’s signature dishes, the Mac’n Cheese Ball. He won the competition, bringing the spotlight to the Mac n’ Cheese Balls and the already well-known Miami Press Food Truck. The lines became even longer as their food truck became more and more popular by the day.

As the success out grew the food truck, Chris and Rand finally knew it was time to open up a Press Gourmet Sandwiches Restaurant. Press Gourmet Sandwiches, or PGS for short, is a fast casual sandwich restaurant serving pressed sandwiches. All of the sandwiches are made to order from scratch and pressed on ciabatta bread until crispy on top and soft in the middle. It’s made with all fresh and local ingredients.

Press Gourmet Sandwiches has two locations, one in Ft. Lauderdale and one in Boca Raton. They are open Mon – Sat 7am – 8pm, closed Sundays. For more info, check out their website.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila

Posted By : denise/ 260

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s post features one of my favorite fast casual foods: tacos!  I received an invitation to dine at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Ft. Lauderdale a few weeks ago and I’m happy to share my experience with you today.

Since opening its doors to their original location in South Beach, just steps away from the famed Lincoln Road Mall on 16th Street in 2015, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, founded by Menin Hospitality’s Keith Menin and Jared Galbut and led by Culinary Director Bernie Matz, has been offering traditional Mexican favorites as well as unconventional and innovative interpretations, Bodega specializes in tacos and tortas, homemade sodas and authentic beverages in a dynamic, eclectic “puebla” inspired setting.

“We’ve always loved Fort Lauderdale and have been waiting for the right moment and location to open a Bodega Taqueria y Tequila there since we opened our first flagship location in South Beach in 2015,” said Keith Menin, Co-Founder & Principal of Menin Hospitality. “When we saw that they were developing and re-envisioning the riverfront, the new towers, and the Wharf, we found an iconic historic corner that just felt like Bodega. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome guests to Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Fort Lauderdale.” 

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila has been revered as one of the hottest Mexican restaurants in America. GQ Magazine has named Bodega “the most popular restaurant in the entire state of Florida for late-night eats”;  InStyle Magazine said it’s one of “4 hot spots worth visiting on your next trip to Miami”; HuffPost called it the “hottest Mexican restaurants in America”; and Elite Daily boasted it as one of “Miami’s hottest nightspots.” A favorite among celebrities, fans include Michael B. Jordan, Niall Horan, Brody Jenner, Diplo, Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Travis Scott, Nina Agdal, and Joe Jonas, to name a few.

The dining area inside the restaurant is quite small offering up just one high top communal table, however, there are plenty of picnic tables set up along the sidewalk just outside for guests to sit down and enjoy their meal. Head up to the window of a decked out converted Silver Stream trailer and place your order.
Cervesas and Fruity Flavored Frozen Margaritas are available for your drinking pleasure.
Me with that happy look on my face as I knew I was about to dig in to some tasty food any moment
We tried a sampling of four of their tacos: carnitas (pork), carne asada (steak), pescado (fish) and tequila camarones (shrimp). To my surprise, the tequila camarones were both our faves.
The roasted pork quesadillas with a side of fresh guacamole were terrific.
I’m a huge fan of Mexican Street Corn and this one did not disappoint!
These churros with nutella were highly addictive!
We had no idea what was in store for us when Tyler, the awesome GM, lead us through this door to what appeared to be a graffiti walled “bathroom”…

 

But turned out to be the entrance to this amazing Late-Night Speakeasy!!!! (See details below)

Inside the taqueria, a door leads guests to Bodega’s late-night speakeasy – the perfect spot for happy hour, daytime fun, and late-night debauchery – that features an extensive cocktail menu and live music by local bands and DJs. Signature cocktails include the Pico Picante (Herradura Silver, Ilegal Mezcal, Cucumber, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Lime, Orange Bitters)La Diablita (Don Julio Blanco, Apricot, Blackberries, Ginger, Fresh Lime); and Mezcal Old Fashioned (Casamigos Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Old Fashioned Syrup). Additionally, every Monday, Bodega is activating ‘Margarita Monday’ specials, where guests can enjoy a curated $5 margarita menu from 6 PM-close. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 6 PM – 8 PM, and offers $2 Classic Tacos, $3 Chips & Salsa, $4 Chips & Guac, $4 Bottled Beers, $5 Frozen Margaritas, and $7 Bottled Cocktails.

Open daily from 11:30 AM – 12 AM, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, Fort Lauderdale mirrors the flagship South Beach location, doubling as a fast-casual taco joint and a late-night speakeasy-style lounge. The front half of the venue is a taqueria featuring an authentic Mexican street food menu created by culinary director and Chef Bernie Matz. Signature menu items consist of Loaded Carne Asada Nachos (Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Chili Queso, Cotija, Red Onion, Tomato, Cilantro, Chili Crema, Sliced Jalapeno); Late-Night Burrito (Guajillo Braised Short Rib, Roasted Pork, Roasted Chicken, Mexican Rice, Black Bean Refrito, Oaxaca Cheese, Potato Sticks, Salsa Rosada); and Steak Chimichurri Tacos  (Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Purple Cabbage, Tomato, Potato Sticks, Radish, Cilantro, Chimichurri Aioli). Guests order from a full-sized, retrofitted vintage airstream trailer turned into a taco truck and then dine in the garage chic seating of picnic tables, neon bar stools, and graffiti walls. In addition to the regular menu, a weekend brunch menu is available.

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Fort Lauderdale is located at 21 W. Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL and can also be experienced in South Beach and in American Airlines Arena.  For more information, please visit BodegaTaqueria.com and follow on Instagram @BodegaTaqueria.

*Hours of operation are in accordance with mandated COVID-19 regulations and are subject to change. 

 

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Avalon Restaurant is a welcome addition to Delray Beach’s Atlantic Ave.

Posted By : denise/ 327

Hello Foodie Friends,

I’m super excited to introduce you to Avalon, a beachy, coastal inspired steakhouse influenced by Montauk flair and Nantucket panache presenting approachable elegance and attentive hospitality that officially opened on Tuesday, February 23rd on Delray Beach’s famed Atlantic Avenue.

Conceptualized by New York’s veteran hospitality operators Host Restaurants, the 30-year visionaries behind award-winning dining institutions including Scarpetta, Campagnola, American Cut, Bill’s Townhouse, and many others, Avalon showcases the best in land and sea from all coasts with modern dishes taking star at the dinner plate inside an atmosphere designed to radiate approachable, unstuffy elegance.   

Affectionately named Avalon, after the legendary island in the Arthurian legend, a place of haven and purity fabled for its restorative healing powers, Avalon is intent on providing guests a new comfort-minded steakhouse experience designed to evoke an air of modern tranquility and escapism through the art of delivering upon a great quality night out.

“At Avalon, we want you to linger longer, enjoy your time here and not feel pressured to rush your meal. Dinner was made to savor; life is too short to not enjoy a great quality steak,” explains Host Restaurants President and Founder Curt Huegel.

Avalon brings a robust, sustainably-sourced premium selection of prime, organic, grass fed, hormone, steroid, and antibiotic free offerings, including steaks, beef, poultry, and seafood to South Florida’s dining scene, anchored by an esteemed 250 bottle wine list for wine lovers of all regions, showcasing sought after labels from unique wineries around the world. Guests who prefer spirit-centric pairings to their meal will also delight in Avalon’s creatively conceived cocktails presenting inventive twists on classic libations.

Avalon’s beachy yet stylish interiors were also designed with intention. Bright, naturally lit and intimate, pristine and nautically-inspired, the atmosphere and palette is soft, soothing and designed to evoke the feeling of relishing in a tranquil and relaxing, stylish day at sea. Elegant neutrals and oceanic blues are topped off by the addition of picturesque coastal greens. The expansive indoor/outdoor bar was designed for laid-back and non-formal easy eating, keeping parties of one and two in mind. There are two traditional dining levels – al fresco street dining for guests who prefer sight-seeing passerbys and second floor dining for a more intimate, social dining experience. All dining areas at Avalon will be implementing the strictest of COVID-19 protocols and are mindful of personal space and superior comfort.

Avalon has created accessible price points that won’t compromise quality and will honor that premise by always staying innovative and fresh with weekly rotating specials and a unique haven where friends, coworkers and associates can gather routinely to relax and enjoy this exciting new happy hour destination.  

Signature dishes at Avalon encompass modern steakhouse classics cooked to preferred temperatures such as Filet Mignon, 28-Day Dry-Aged Prime Ribeye, 36 oz. Tomahawk for 2 , to sustainably-sourced seafood specialties including Whole Roasted Fish of the Day, 32 oz Aged Bone In “Tuna Ribeye”, Scallop Carpaccio with Huckleberry Agro Dolce, Spiced Cashew, Citrus Segments Basil Oil, Marigold, Angry Lobster with Fermented House Sriracha, Ginger, Pullman Toast, to light entrees for those health minded or vegetarian such as Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini, Herb Vinaigrette, Goat Cheese, Basil as well as inventive comfort dishes including Kimchi Fried Rice.            

 

I was invited to Avalon to preview a few select items. Every one of the staff I encountered from the Maitre D to the GM, the Partners and my server was extremely welcoming and gracious. To start off, I had the most tender, succulent octopus I can remember having,..ever. Antonello, one of the Partners brought over a lovely bottle of Sauv Blanc from New Zealand for me to enjoy with the octopus. The pairing made my tastebuds dance and put me in my happy place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next out was their Caesar Salad with soft boiled egg on top. This unique presentation was not only gorgeous, but thoughtfully orchestrated. My server Jerry gave me the back story filling me in that their Caesar dressing is the very same one that was created by Caesar Milano from Tijuana, Mexico, who came up with this recipe during Prohibition times. Seriously guys, this dressing is the bomb!

 

The BLT appetizer caught me eye and I’m sure you can see why!  The “B” or bacon is represented by pork belly which was seasoned beautifully and cooked to perfection. Arugula comprised the “L” and the “T” was represented by tomato jam. It was a fun interpretation and a tasty whimsical dish indeed.

I was offered a lovely Cab to enjoy with my BLT and Steak entree. Avalon takes great pride in the quality of the food they serve and I for one was excited to see both wet aged and dry aged steaks on the menu. Do you know what the difference is? Here’s a little fun fact for you: Dryaged beef is hung in the air to dehydrate at a temperature just above freezing for weeks, or up to months. … Wet aging is a newer technique where beef is vacuum-sealed and refrigerated so that natural enzymes can tenderize the meat. Wet aging takes just a few days, so it’s cheaper than dry aging. So which is better? Well that is a personal preference and I’ll let you make that decision yourself, but this little extra info might be useful: The more common aging method used today is wetaging, a process in which meat is vacuum-sealed in plastic and allowed to age for 4-10 days, or sometimes longer. Similar to dry-aging, the process allows enzymes in the trapped juices to break down collagen between muscle fibers, increasing tenderness. Dry aging a steak makes it more tender and flavorful. … Eat a steak that’s been properly dryaged and there’s really no competition: It has a richer, beefier flavor, a more tender, more buttery texture, and a minerally, slightly funky scent. Dryaged beef puts all other steaks to shame. I chose this incredible 20 ounce dry aged ribeye with a side of truffle Parmesan fries and let me tell you, this steak just melted in my mouth. There really is a noticeable difference when you have a steak of this quality. Bravo Avalon, bravo!

Finally, for dessert, I was presented with an attractive plate consisting of a duo of decadence: cheesecake and chocolate mouse cake. I truly loved both of them and cannot play favorites here, so don’t ask me to! LOL.

Me with the best server on The Ave, Jerry

 

Meet the Partners:

Curt Huegel, Creator/Founder

Host Restaurants (Avalon Steak & Seafood and other concepts)

Curt Huegel is a 30-year veteran American restaurateur recognized for award-winning destination restaurant brands such as Scarpetta, Campagnola and American Cut. Huegel, a New Jersey native hailing from Manhattan, has done business with the country’s most respected standalone landlords, casino and hotel developers in premier establishments around the country which include Fontainebleau in Miami to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Huegel’s first venue, The Mill opened in 1992, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Over the next several years, Huegel expanded his hospitality portfolio, developing key concepts such as Rebar in New York City and Miami, Dakota Bar and Grill and Local, also in Manhattan. In 2008, Huegel founded LDV Hospitality, establishing renowned restaurant brands Scarpetta and American Cut, Luga Caffe, Dolce Italian. Under his leadership, LDV expanded globally and partnered with celebrity chefs like Alain Allegretti, Scott Conant and Marc Forgione.

In late 2013, Huegel sold LDV and started Host restaurants, bringing together concepts including Bill’s Townhouse, Campagnola, Printers Alley, Lucy’s and Galli. Host’s portfolio ranges from eateries with a storied New York City history and classic Italian cuisine, to mid-market galleys, wine bars, Italian Cafes and steakhouses to new concepts, such as Printers alley, which brings a Nashville- themed country music bar to Times Square. With each venture, Huegel keeps his customers top of mind, always striving to exceed his guests’ and the industry’s expectations. Host Restaurants average venue square footage ranges from 1600 square feet to 1200 square feet, with their newest brand, Avalon, an elegant yet approachable steakhouse concept with a Hamptonite flair expected to launch in Delray Beach’s famed Atlantic Avenue, January 2021.

 

Antonello Paganuzzi

Director of Operations, Avalon Steak & Seafood

Antonello Paganuzzi is formerly the Director of Operations for LDV Hospitality for over 10 years. Paganuzzi holds over 25 years of experience under his belt, working for Le Cirque and the Maccioni family for over 14 years, bringing a keen insight into the hospitality industry and a high standard of service, acquired over the years from leadership positions as some of the most impressive fine dining establishments in New York, Las Vegas, Miami & London.

Avalon is now open for dinner and happy hour 7 days a week from 5pm with brunch to come at a future date. For more information, visit www.avalondelray.com.       

They are  located at 110 East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444  (561) 593-2500  

Until we eat (and drink) again…

   I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise      

Lionfish Restaurant Opens on the Ave in Delray Beach

Posted By : denise/ 677

Hello Foodie Friends,

I get asked all the time for restaurant recommendations and often I am asked for the name of a good seafood restaurant. Of course this should come easy, being that we are located on the coast. But up until now, I really hadn’t found one that just rolled off my tongue. But today, I am super excited to share with you my new favorite seafood restaurant which recently opened in Delray Beach, FL. It’s called Lionfish.

Lionfish, the beloved San Diego hotspot boasting a fresh-catch menu meshed with seasonal ingredients, has opened the doors to its second location in the heart of downtown Delray Beach, Florida.

Situated along the famed Atlantic Avenue, Lionfish has been twice-recognized as a James Beard Foundation Smart Catch Leader, offering a sea-to-table approach with a mouthwatering menu served in the form of simplistic yet expertly-flavored coastal cuisine. The Delray Beach location is led by esteemed restaurant and entertainment specialists, Clique Hospitality.

Originally slated to open before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the new timeline has allowed Lionfish to deliver the best possible product to an eagerly-awaiting audience. In addition to a socially-conscious, locally-sourced menu, Lionfish is continuing to contribute to ocean conversation by serving its namesake dish in a variety of delicious appetizers and entrees. The rare, delectable white flaky fish is a species that is ravaging the ocean by devouring fellow sea life and damaging coral reefs.

“We are so thankful to call Delray Beach our new home, having recently established our second corporate headquarters here, and can’t wait to show locals and tourists alike the coastal dining experience that is Lionfish,” says Andy Masi, founder of Clique Hospitality. “Opening this fall has allowed us to launch with our full brand concept versus having to restrict menus and offerings during the pandemic.”

Guests of Lionfish can expect a menu of wild-caught catches from the surrounding Atlantic Ocean coupled with grass-fed meats and fresh ingredients from local farmers, ranchers and regional purveyors inside a high-energy, sophisticated atmosphere. A full beverage menu of cutting-edge cocktails along with time-honored classics is served by a team of master mixologists. In addition, guests can sip from an all-encompassing wine list and a vast array of craft beers.

Executive Chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz of Lionfish’s San Diego location serves as Corporate Chef with locally-renowned Chef Johnny Demartini overseeing the kitchen as Executive Chef.

About Clique Hospitality
Clique Hospitality, founded by Andy Masi, is a collaboration of talented food and beverage professionals who have helped shape the dining and nightlife landscape along the West Coast for the past two decades. Masi has dedicated his life to making guests feel that a simple night out was more than just a memory, but also an experience. Clique is a boutique hospitality and marketing company with operations in Las Vegas, NV, San Diego, CA and Delray Beach, FL. Clique specializes in approachable dining that sets trends, rather than following them. In its partnerships with many of the country’s most prestigious hospitality corporations, including MGM Resorts International, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas,Hotels, Montage Resorts, and Red Rock Resorts, Clique is transcending hospitality through service, quality, and trendsetting design.

Lionfish Ceviche  : Cucumber, Avocado, Key Lime, Coconut Agave Pickled Serrano, Spring Onion

Had to try a dish with the namesake in it. We really enjoyed this ceviche. The secret to the deliciousness of this ceviche  we were told is the use of key lime in the curing process which gives it a little more tartness but balances out the sweetness of the coconut agave.

 

Japanese Tomato Caprese : Market Heirloom Tomatoes, Red Shiso, Nori Furikake, Burrata, White Amazu Ponzu Sauce

 

What a lovely combination of flavors. Clever spin on a traditional caprese salad. This Asian inspired version was very tasty.

Yellowfin Tuna Pizza : Truffle Mustard Aioli, Shaved Red Onions, Micro Shiso

 

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a Sushi Pizza Connoisseur. I try this dish wherever I go when I see it on a menu. This one served at Lionfish is definitely one of the best. It’s a close runner up to the one at Pubbelly. I really enjoyed the truffle mustard aioli and the micro shiso added a nice textural component.

 

Oh my! These mini lobster rolls are heavenly! The petite buns are made especially for Lionfish and are the perfect vessel for this scrumptious lobster salad. Delish! Great for sharing or enjoying as a meal on your own.

Mini Maine Lobster Rolls : Buttered Poached Lobster on Warm Griddled Brioche Buns

Tableside Hot Rock Sliced Wagyu with Shoyu Sauce

 

This was a fun interactive experience cooking your food over the hot rock. There are two Hot Rock options; the Wagyu Beef and the Giant King Oyster Mushrooms with Smoked Miso.

 

Crispy Rock Shrimp with Japanese style Aioli

 

The aioli coated the hot rock shrimp, rather than being served as a dipping sauce. You could detect its essence but I believe a side of this sauce for dipping would go a long way. I’m sure they would bring one out if asked.

And now on to dessert….soooo many interesting selections…

 

Key Lime Pie Bombe : Florida Key Lime Curd, Brown Butter Graham Crunch, Blackberry Compote

 

Oh my gosh. Words just fail to do this dessert justice. A deconstructed key lime pie. We savored every single bite!

 

Message In A Bottle Sundae Proper Ice Cream, Caramel & Chocolate Sauce, Cookie Crumble, Whipped Cream, Crispy Phyllo Sails

Just when you think you had the perfect dessert,, one that can’t be topped, you take a bite out of this one. Wow! We loved the creativity of the presentation of this dessert and the sundae itself with all the little crumble bites was awesome! Our message in the bottle read, “Save A Reef, Eat A Lionfish! #GetHooked”

Well there you have it folks. This new seafood restaurant on the Ave gets two thumbs up and our stamp of approval. If you haven’t been there yet…what are ya waiting for? Enjoy and tell Sean the Manager that your friend Denise from Savor Our City sent ya!

Lionfish is open daily starting at 4pm and serving Brunch on Saturdays & Sundays from 10am – 3pm, with dinner served until 11pm on Sats and 10pm on Suns. They are located at 307 E Atlantic Ave  Delray Beach.  561.639.8700

Me with my dining companion

 

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

 

Denise

Denise enjoys New England Seafood Shack in Coral Springs

New England Seafood Shack In The NY Bagel Factory

Posted By : denise/ 858
NY Bagel Factory in Coral Springs
Coral Springs NY Bagel Factory and New England Seafood Shack

AUTHENTIC NEW ENGLAND SEAFOOD IN NY BAGEL FACTORY

Coral Springs, Florida

Dear Foodie Friends,

I was lucky to visit The New England Seafood Shack in the NY Bagel Factory in Coral Springs recently. This the ideal spot for the many transplants in the South Florida area from the Northeast. This little hidden gem is sure to satisfy any craving for the beloved foods from back home. Choose between two authentic traditional favorites from up north all in one place – bagels (just like they would find on the streets of Brooklyn) and now popular seafood specialties from New England.

Fresh Biscuits from New England Seafood Shack
NY Bagel Factory and New England Seafood Shack

A HIDDEN GEM IN CORAL SPRINGS

NY Bagel Factory in Coral Springs has tucked the New England Seafood Shack right inside their traditional delicatessen.  Favorites such as Monstah Lobstah, Clam Chowda, Crab Cakes, Fish & Chips, Fried Clams, and Stuffed Quahog are just a few of the items that can be found on their menu.

I was fortunate to have been invited to sample some of this New England fare over the Memorial Weekend with a couple friends. Chef Steven LaBiner of the former Hobo’s Fish Joint hosted a Pop-Up over the holiday weekend where he created a wonderful menu which featured his popular Clam & Lobster Bake. Chef Steven and NY Bagel Factory also gave an extra 20% off the “Clam Bake + Lobster Special” to all First Responders to express their appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

The Best Clam Chowdah I have probably ever tasted.
Crab Cakes from The New England Seafood Shack

CHECK OUT THE LOBSTER ROLL FESTIVAL GOING ON THIS WEEKEND

Due to the tremendous response they received for the Seafood Bake this Memorial Day weekend, the NY Bagel Factory has now permanently added the Monstah Lobstah to their. This is a monstah meal filled with 9oz. of meaty lobster served inside out or on a toasted and buttered bun. But the most exciting news of all, is they are having a Lobster Roll Festival this weekend to celebrate.

Plans are in the works to turn the deli into a full seafood restaurant during the dinner hours. I hear they will also have a raw bar live music. Stay tuned for more updates on this…believe me, you don’t want to miss anything coming from The New England Seafood Shack in the NY Bagel Factory.

Yummy Desserts from The NY Bagel Factory and New England Seafood Shack
Chef Steven, NY Bagel Factory and New England Seafood Shack

Be sure to go to the Lobster Roll Festival this weekend. To get more infomation on the NY Bagel Factory and The New England Seafood Shack visit them online at: www.newyorkbagelfactory.com

Be sure to check out our exciting lineup of LIVE ONLINE Experiences coming soon!

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

 

Denise

 

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar Debuts Festive New Fall Menu

Posted By : denise/ 537

Hello Foodie Friends,

I was invited back to Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, in Delray Beach for the recent launch of their new seasonal menu and to try out some brand new additions to the menu spearheaded by their new Executive Chef Amit Jain.

 

Their new fall menu features an assortment of seasonal dishes including new additions such as Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten Free Farm-To-Table Dishes, refreshing cocktails and over 40 wines available by the glass available throughout the fall season.  As the seasons 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 now available. Fall menu highlights include: Plant-Based Spicy “Chorizo” Flatbread bell pepper, kalamata olive, micro basil, vegan mozzarella Kennet Square Mushroom “Cheesesteak” sharp provolone, roasted bell pepper, caramelized onion, pickled banana pepper, hoagie roll Pasta-less Vegetable Lasagna butternut squash, horseradish-pumpkin seed pesto, macadamia nut “ricotta”, spinach, tomato sauce, vegan mozzarella, crispy plantain Seared Everything-Spiced Ahi Tuna orange soy-glazed carrot, wild rice, snow pea, winter radish Butternut Squash Soup toasted pumpkin seed, local honey Grass-Fed Bison Burger baby Swiss, shiitake mushroom, truffle aioli, fresh poppy seed onion roll Pumpkin Ravioli butternut squash purée, sage brown butter, dried cranberry, baby spinach, toasted pumpkin seed, gingerbread dust Impossible Meatloaf celery root purée, sweet & spicy ketchup glaze, roasted sweet potato, haricot vert.

Fall Apple Martini ($12) Absolut Eryx Vodka, Domaine de Canton, Ginger, Honey, Lemon, Cinnamon

My companion and I were seated in Jake’s section again, who was our wonderful server from our visit last Fall. You can read about that post here. My companion enjoyed the wine that Jake had recommended so much on our last visit that she ordered it again. Involuntary Commitment Cab Franc. Me? I went with one of their Fall specialty cocktails, the Apple Martini. The apple slice garnish was not only pretty but soaked up all the deliciousness that lay underneath.

Latin Inspired tostada – tuna tartare with smoked Southwest chipotle aioli on a baked wonton Butternut Squash Dip Asiago – caramelized onion, sage, crispy kale, pumpkin seed, on marble rye

 

PLANT-BASED SPICY “CHORIZO” Bell Pepper, Kalamata Olive, Micro Basil, Vegan Mozzarella (gf)

 

Orange Sesame Cauliflower

 

Bacon wrapped Bison meatloaf
PAN-SEARED RAINBOW TROUT Mushroom, Israeli Apple-Celery Slaw, Horseradish-Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Celery Root Purée

 

Seasonal mini desserts: we had the peanut butter mousse with flourless chocolate cake and the chocolate mousse with flourless cake & salted caramel – both gluten free

 

Executive Chef Amit

 

For Chef Amit Jain, a perfect meal at Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar begins with a flatbread. The Palm Beach County native, who has been working in restaurants since he was a young boy, knows good food when he sees it. Born in Freeport, Bahamas, Jain moved to Wellington, Floridawith his family early into his childhood, a place where he would eventually begin his career and find his calling. Some might call the westside city “rural” but for Jain it formed his love of animals while working and living on a farm, and is a reason why Harvest’s menu, with ingredients always sourced from responsible farmers, fisheries and butcheries, speaks to him. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University withprevious stints in notable establishments including Palm Beach’s Table 26 and Todd’s by Todd English,Jain has cooked for the likes of former President Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Alan Jackson and more. Yet, the now Boynton Beach resident feels most at home as Executive Chef at Harvestwhere he says he wants to help continue to create a space where everyone is welcomed.“Organic, hormone-free, all-natural, and grass-fed all add to the uniqueness of our menu,” says Chef Jain. “We support all local businesses that provide sustainable clean products that we can share with our guests under the motto “Farm to Table for everyone”.Today, Jain and his wife, Brooke, along with their two children, Willow and Rowan, live amongst 10 horses, three barn cats, two dogs and a potbelly pig named Pirate on their ranch. When he’s not in the kitchen, Jain can be found working on the farm. Next up is a move to add hens to their clan for fresh eggs as well as plant vegetables to sustain their family meals and guests

Harvest Seasonal Grill is a Pennsylvania-born harvest-centric eatery and wine bar. The farm-to-table concept offers a mostly under 500 calorie, seasonally-changing, local menu; 50+ wines by the glass; seasonal cocktails and local beer; along with eco-friendly décor, a patio, bar dining and private dining

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar: Delray Place, 1841 S. Federal Hwy. #402, Delray Beach, FL 33483. (561) 266-3239

So in closing, if you are hankering for some good healthy farm to table fare that changes seasonally, be sure to get yourself over to Harvest Seasonal Grill. You are sure to find many items to please your palate just as we did.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

MAKE WAY FOR NIKKEI! SURFSIDE’S 26 SUSHI & TAPAS INTRODUCES NEW MENU

Posted By : denise/ 669

Hello Foodie Friends,

Savor Our City was recently invited to attend a media dinner at 26 Sushi & Tapas in Surfside for the launch their new menu.

Since 2014, 26 Sushi & Tapas has been and remains one of the Miami dining scene’s best kept secrets. This unique Latin-Asian fusion eatery is 100% certified Kosher, serving the vibrant, flavorful Japanese-Peruvian cuisine known as Nikkei. But those in the know – kosher or otherwise – have embraced the restaurant for its casually chic ambiance, wallet-friendly pricing and delicious cuisine. Now, with newly-appointed Chef Miguel Gomez at the helm, the restaurant is unveiling a refreshed menu featuring creative additions to abundant offerings.

Passion Rita Cocktail

“The goal with 26 was to go beyond what many think of as ‘kosher food,’” says owner Morris Kaplan. “We wanted to provide something exciting and different to that community but also deliver a compelling and delicious menu for everyone. We’re excited about the new menu and hope it keeps our loyal fans engaged and gives folks who never gave us a try a great reason to come in.” 

The menu remains vast, offering plenty to explore and countless ways to mix & match to create a unique, immersive experience for each diner. Signature favorites – like the Nitro “Scallops” made from tempura battered scallops, rocoto aioli, sweet sauce,mixed greens and sesame seeds. Corvina Lettuce Wraps, made with Flounder tempura, Asian slaw, cashew pistachio crumble and aji amarillo aioli. Both of these items were extremely tasty, crowd pleasers for sure!

Nitro Scallops & Corvina Lettuce Wraps

Tuna Tower and Truffle Tiradito – remain. They’ve been huge sellers for years and are going nowhere. Joining them on the playing field are their new hot and cold tapas including: Causa Krab Tower – cold, savory potato layer cake typical in traditional Peruvian cuisine, served with Krab salad and fresh avocado;

Tuna Tower
Causa Krab Tower

Nikkei Tuna Salad with fresh greens, enoki mushroom, carrot, and tri-colored peppers tossed in ponzu sauce and topped with sesame seeds; and Nao Ceviche Ball – traditional Corvina ceviche cured in a house-made leche de tigre, red onion, lime juice and aji limon then tempura battered with panko and deep fried. This was a really unique dish and fun to eat too!

Nao Ceviche Balls

Also debuting, several new sushi additions including the Nigiri 5-star – Chef’s choice of five nigiri selections served atop sushi rice;

Nigiri 5-star
Tropical Roll
Tropical Roll

Tropical Roll – tuna, salmon, kiwi, guava and dynamite sauce topped with tuna and rocoto aioli;

Crispy Kani Roll – soy paper, plantains, avocado, scallions and cream cheese topped with Krab tempura, masago and curry aioli; Sandra Roll – a rice-less roll with Krab salad, avocado, cream cheese, and tempura topped with fresh tuna; and the Acevichado Roll – Whitefish tempura, sweet potato and avocado topped with Corvina ceviche. A word to the wise – the new rolls may be amazing but you would be missing out BIG TIME if you didn’t have their popular Maduros con Coco Roll – flounder tempura, avocado and cream cheese topped with sweet fried plantains and coconut flakes – Just order it, you’ll thank me later!

Assorted sushi: Karate Kid – Tuna/avocado/scallions/masago/aji amarillo/topped with salmon  El Miamito – Tuna/salmon/mango/coconut flakes/guava sauce/topped with avocado OMG Tuna/avocado/jalapeno/crispy shallots/hamachi & tataki on top/citrus sauce Pink Dragon – Krab tempura/avocado/sweet sauce/topped with dynamite Maduros con Coco – Flounder tempura/avocado/cream cheese/plantains/coconut flakes/sweet sauce

 

Maduros con Coco

 

Two unusual offerings worth a try: Sushi Burritos, which come in two styles – the Saltarito with sautéed salmon, fried egg, plantains, French fries and guacamole and the Three Amigos – fresh raw tuna, salmon and Hamachi with guacamole, scallions and a chimichurri ponzu – and the new Sushi Sandwich. Meant to be eaten with the hands, it consists of salmon, mango, avocado, scallion and dynamite sauce, layered between “slices” of pressed rice, served with guava dipping sauce. 

Sushi Sandwich

New larger plates include Branzino Livornese – fresh Branzino filet served on a pool of fragrant Livornese sauce of capers, Kalamata olives, garlic and cherry tomatoes, dressed with house-made shakshuka and served with potato wedges; Tuna Kovi, sesame-crusted, seared tuna served on a bed of quinoa risotto huancaina, topped with pico de gallo and a balsamic reduction; and a sweet & sour Red Snapper, grilled and served with grilled vegetables and rustic mashed potatoes.

Miso Bass
Strawberry Pavlova

The restaurant’s vibrant desserts have also received a seasonal upgrade; not to be missed offerings include a fresh Strawberry Pavlova served with whipped cream and the sinfully creamy Goat Cheese Ice Cream.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream

 

Apart from updated summer offerings, 26 Sushi & Tapas also boasts an impressive, four-hour long Happy Hour available Sunday through Thursday from 5PM-9PM. The Surfside mainstay has updated their Happy Hour food selection to include several Tapas-style items priced between $6 and $8 dollars. Guests 21 and over can enjoy 2-for-1 drink specials depending on the day:

  • Sunday: “Sunday Funday” – 2-for-1 Mimosas (available all day)
  • Monday: “Mojito Monday” – 2-for-1 Mojitos
  • Tuesday: “Tequila Tuesday” – 2-for-1 Tequila cocktails
  • Wednesday: “Watermelon Wednesday” – 2-for-1 Watermelon Elyx cocktails
  • Thursday: “Whiskey Thursday” – 2-for-1 Whiskey cocktails

Looking to spice up your next soiree or corporate event? As a premiere service caterer, diners can bring the 26 Sushi & Tapas experience to any home, office, or event space. The restaurant’s versatile catering menu offers a wide variety of crowd-pleasing options and can accommodate special ordering requests allowing guests to customize menus that make the most of an event and reach budgeting goals. For more information, contact Natalia Suarez at (305) 570-2626 or email her at nsuarez@26sushitapas.com. 

    

26 Sushi & Tapas is located at 9487 Harding Avenue in Surfside, FL. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday: 9AM-10:15PM; Friday: 9AM-2:30PM (closed for Shabbat) and Saturday: 9:15PM-11:45PM. Happy Hour is available Sunday through Thursday from 5PM to 9PM. Follow 26 Sushi & Tapas on Instagram: @26Sushi_Tapas and Facebook: @26SushiTapas; Telephone: (305) 570-2626; http://www.26sushitapas.com/

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

The Balcony Las Olas Rolls Out All New Menu Items

Posted By : denise/ 522

Hello Foodie Friends,

My Assistant Marti & I were invited to The Balcony, a vibrant New Orleans-Inspired restaurant on Las Olas Blvd which opened approximately 8 months ago to check out their new menu which recently launched and now features even more dynamic dishes including some American favorites and tapas for sharing. To celebrate the launch of their new menu, The Balcony is offering a buy one entrée, get one 50% off special on Monday, March 25–Thursday, March 28 from 4–7 p.m.

Our server Myana (pronounced like Bryanna), was super nice and very knowledgeable about the menu items. The cocktail list was quite extensive and loaded with lots of interesting concoctions. Marti had the Sazerac which was made with Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Pernod Absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters & Lemon ($15) I opted for the Pink Pearl which was made with Stoli Elit Vodka, Disaronno, Fresh Strawberries & Lime ($15). They were both excellent. Off to a great start. Then GM John and Chef Simon came over to welcome us and let us know that they would be sending out a variety of items for us to try and informed us if there was anything else we saw on the menu that we wanted to try, we were welcome. We were in for a treat for sure!

First out was the gumbo soup. This soup hit all the right notes and flavor profiles for me. It was a great surprise since I had never been one to fancy gumbo before. The warm crusty bread was a nice compliment as well. Great job, Chef! Next up was the Natchitoches Beef Pies (beef empanadas). Natchitoches is a city in Louisiana that is famous for making these little pillows of heaven. They were packed with flavor and I enjoyed the garlic dipping sauce it came with. The other sauce, we were given advance warning, was hot so I stuck to the garlic one. The crab cakes were not only adorable but very tasty. The perfect shareable dish. Chef sent out their signature salad, the Mardi Gras Peach & Berry. What a gorgeous salad; it just popped with color. Chef Simon explained to us that he pickles and poaches the peaches in the peak of season so that he is able to use them year round. We both really liked the freshness of each component of the salad. Our next tasting was the Baton Rouge Beef Sliders and the Shrimp Po Boy. The beef sliders were topped with housemade bacon jam, abita beer cheese, caramelized onion and pickled serrano (I actually didn’t know there was a serrano pepper in there, so if you’re a wimp like me in the spice/heat department, don’t worry). This burger was THE BOMB!!! I am love with it for sure. The Shrimp Po Boy, on the other hand, lacked a little flavor for me and out of all the dishes we tried, was my least favorite. But not to worry, we got right back on track again with the Lobster Bisque made with cognac cream. It was heavenly and I would highly recommend this dish. It ranks up there as one of my favorite lobster bisques of all times. Marti had never tried fried green tomatoes before and I’m a fan when done right and boy did these deliver in the flavor department. They too, raised the bar on which all fried green tomatoes will forever be judged. OK, I’m sure by now you’re wondering how in the world we could still fit anything into our bellies, right?!? Well, we couldn’t resist at least trying a beignet. When you think of beignets, most undoubtedly the famous place in New Orleans, you know the one comes to mind. After popping one of these lovelies in my mouth, I just closed my eyes and within seconds, I began to feel as if I had been transported to New Orleans. These beignets were served with 3 unique dipping sauces; berry jam, spiced chocolate and orange marmalade. 

 

Besides the Lobster Bisque, other new menu items include Vegetable Dumplings, Braised Meatballs, Chicken Cobb Salad, Oyster Po’Boy and more.

“This new and diverse menu offers something for everyone!” said Kim Bokamper, former Miami Dolphins player and partner in PDKN Restaurant Group, which owns The Balcony. “Boasting the savory tastes of New Orleans along with American favorites, the menu merges a variety of appetizing flavors within many unique dishes.”

Both the lunch and dinner menus offer the following new dishes:

Tapas: Vegetable Dumplings with sweet serrano chili sauce ($12), Coconut Crusted Shrimp with sweet mango serrano sauce ($15), and Braised Meatballs with house made tomato sauce ($13).

Soup: Lobster Bisque with cognac cream ($7 on lunch menu; $8 on dinner menu)

Salad: Chicken Cobb with avocado, Applewood smoked bacon, Point Reyes blue cheese, egg, heirloom tomato, romaine lettuce, and creamy Cajun dressing ($14 on lunch menu; $16 on dinner menu); Seared Ahi Tuna with heirloom tomato, cucumber, arugula, and lime dressing ($16 on lunch menu; $18 on dinner menu).

Hand Helds: Oyster Po’Boy with heirloom tomato, lettuce, Meyer lemon remoulade, and fries ($15 on lunch menu; $16 on dinner menu); The Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion and fries ($1 add cheese, $2 add Applewood smoked bacon) ($12 on lunch menu; $14 on dinner menu).

SidesMash ‘n’ Collards with Applewood smoked bacon, mashed potato, and collard greens ($7); Fries with moonshine ketchup ($5); Mashed Potatoes with cream and butter ($6); and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with pecan maple glaze ($7).

The following new dishes are available only on the dinner menu:

Main PlatesHalf Roast Chicken with red beans and rice ($19); Shrimp ‘n’ Grits with Carolina BBQ shrimp and cheese grits ($26); 8 oz. Filet Mignon with Mash ‘n’ Collards, crispy onions and Madeira sauce ($32); 14 oz. Prime New York Strip with sautéed mushrooms and fries ($38); Grilled Salmon with corto poached potatoes, sautéed Brussels sprouts, and Meyer lemon herb butter ($28); Grilled Ahi Tuna with glass noodles, stir fry vegetables, and sesame seeds ($36); and Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with corto poached potatoes and Sicilian ragout ($39).

SideGlazed Sweet Potatoes with toasted pecans and marshmallow ($7).

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Some noteworthy mentions: Sunday Jazz Brunch, “Sip, Tipple, Savor” Happy Hour (1/2 off drinks and bar bites, M-F 4-7pm), Tableside Crepes Suzette and Bananas Foster every day after 4pm.

Daily Specials:

Mon (all day) 50% off signature cocktails, Kids Eat Free

Tue (all day) $6 Burgers, $3 Beers: Corona/Light, Heineken/Light, $5 Dixie Vodka Cocktails

Wed HUMP DAY ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR 50% OFF DRINKS & BAR BITES, $5 HUMPSTER HURRICANES, 50% OFF BOTTLES OF WINE (bottles $100 & under), $9.99 SHRIMP PO’BOY & DRAFT BEER

Thu (7pm – close) Ladies Night: FREE Tito’s Vodka Cocktails, FREE Bubbles – Live Music – DJ

Fri (2 – 5pm) Ditch Friday: $3 Abita Draft Beer, $4 House Wines, $5 Tito’s Vodka Cocktails & Martinis, Happy Hour: ($4 – 7pm Half off Drinks & Bar Bites

There’s actually more, so to get a complete list or for more information about The Balcony and its new menu, visit www.thebalconylasolas.com or call (754) 200-6344.

ABOUT THE BALCONY

The Balcony, a PDKN Restaurant Group concept, offers a New Orleans-inspired restaurant with a twist. Located on trendy Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, this two-story restaurant features the dynamic tastes of New Orleans, which blends French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, German, Italian, Irish and Vietnamese ingredients. Guests enjoy New Orleans-style small plates, craft cocktails and live music. The Balcony is owned by former Miami Dolphins player Kim Bokamper and his three partners, who also own Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill, with locations in Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Plantation, Naples, and Estero. The Balcony is located at 1309 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301. The restaurant is open Monday-Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Thursday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, visitwww.thebalconylasolas.com or call (754) 200-6344.

ABOUT PDKN RESTAURANT GROUP

PDKN Restaurant Group was founded by former Miami Dolphins player Kim Bokamper and his three partners, P.J. Kavanagh, Damon DeSantis and Noel Cullen, in 2008. Following Bokamper’s successful sports and broadcasting career, he was approached by current partner Kavanagh about furthering his brand through a restaurant. The first Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill was founded in 2008 in Plantation, Florida. Today, the group owns five Bokamper’s restaurants locations in Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Miramar, Naples, and Estero ― all dedicated to providing exceptional service, great food, and an unparalleled atmosphere for friends, families and sports fans of all ages. PDKN Restaurant Group also owns and operates The Balcony, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard and Bo’s Beach, featuring fresh seafood and stunning ocean views on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise