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: Dry–aged 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 wet–aging, 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 dry–aged and there’s really no competition: It has a richer, beefier flavor, a more tender, more buttery texture, and a minerally, slightly funky scent. Dry–aged 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
What a lovely combination of flavors. Clever spin on a traditional caprese salad. This Asian inspired version was very tasty.
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.
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.
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…
Oh my gosh. Words just fail to do this dessert justice. A deconstructed key lime pie. We savored every single bite!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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” Flatbreadbell pepper, kalamata olive, micro basil, vegan mozzarellaKennet Square Mushroom “Cheesesteak” sharp provolone, roasted bell pepper, caramelized onion, pickled banana pepper, hoagie roll Pasta-less Vegetable Lasagnabutternut 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 Burgerbaby Swiss, shiitake mushroom, truffle aioli, fresh poppy seed onion roll Pumpkin Raviolibutternut 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.
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.
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.
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 ChefMiguel Gomez at the helm, the restaurant is unveiling a refreshed menu featuring creative additions to abundant offerings.
“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!
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;
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!
Also debuting, several new sushi additions including the Nigiri 5-star – Chef’s choice of five nigiri selections served atop sushi rice;
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 CocoRoll – flounder tempura, avocado and cream cheese topped with sweet fried plantains and coconut flakes – Just order it, you’ll thank me later!
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.
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.
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.
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)
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 email@example.com.
26 Sushi & Tapas is located at 9487Harding 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/
As a second generation native South Floridian, born and raised in Miami, I have seen a huge transformation in Miami, and in particular, Miami Beach. When we were young, I fondly remember riding on the long stretch of road that connected the main land to the beach; this was an indication that we were getting close to Great Grandmother’s.My Great Grandparents (Bessie & Frank) were direct descendants from Russia, a cute couple, each standing about 5′ tall. I don’t remember Frank too much as he died before Bessie, but my Great Grandma lived until the ripe ol’ age of 106. (She received two letters from the President of the time congratulating her on making it to a 100 years!) Back in that time, Collins Ave/Ocean Drive was lined with condos occupied by the senior community. You would find many of them just hanging out in rocking chairs on the front porches. That was until the developers stepped in and the gentrification process officially took off. Today, the landscape is one of youth and vibrancy. The hip, chic place with plenty of nightlife to keep you busy until the wee hours.
I received an email inviting me come taste A Fish Called Avalon, Located in the iconic Avalon Hotel on Ocean Drive, the setting offers an authentic, sophisticated South Beach experience. Many locals tend to have an impression that dining out in South Beach is for tourists, but I’m here to dispel that belief right here and now, at least when it comes to A Fish Called Avalon. Now in it’s 30th year, this marks quite a milestone in the restaurant world. Fun fact: this time-tested landmark had been the back drop for the 1983 film, Scarface.
TIME-HONORED SEAFOOD TRADITION IN MIAMI BEACH
A Fish Called Avalon is a legend in South Beach. For nearly 30 years, they have been serving up the freshest seafood and delivering an exceptional dining experience to all who partake. The superb cuisine, relaxed Ocean Drive setting, and impeccable service have been delighting diners for nearly three decades.
Garnering attention for its superb seafood cuisine, impeccable hospitality and intimate setting, the restaurant is a favorite with locals and visitors alike.
Chef Kal& A Fish CalledAvalon offer a seafood-dominated menu with tropical influences using the very best local and seasonal ingredients delivered daily. Each item shines with a variety of unique presentation and flavors.
Chef prepared a wonderful selection of tastings for my Product Development Manager, Annette and I to taste. We sat on the lovely terrace and it was a beautiful night. Annette and I enjoyed every morsel. Our taste buds were literally (well ok, figuratively) jumping up and down in joy! While I really liked everything that was placed in front of us, I thought the Bang Bang Shrimp were very unique here and were a definite stand out for me. The Macadamia Nut crusted snapper was another nice surprise for me. I am a huge fan of octopus when cooked right and Chef did an outstanding job with this as well. The presentation on the paella was top notch and packed full of fruits from the sea.
Tempting appetizers like the Bang Bang Shrimp and Orzo Seafood Paella for a main course are perfect for a romantic date night to evoke Mediterranean memories. The menu also offers prime and dry-aged steaks, organic chicken, and vegetarian-friendly options each with a perfect complement from the extensive award-winning wine list. Delectable desserts end the evening on a sweet note.
A Fish Called Avalon Accolades
Top 10 Best Restaurants and Best Outdoor Dining Winner in South Florida by OpenTable reviewers.
Ranked 30 of 787 Restaurants in Miami Beach TripAdvisor
A Fish Called Avalon is perfect for romantic dinners, a family affair, or a night out on the town. I can’t wait to go back and hope that I have inspired you to want to check it out as well. Pro tip: Diners can park in the parking garage conveniently located at the corner of 7th and Collins.
For more info on the restaurant, please click here to visit their website:
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.
Recently, Savor Our City was invited to attend the opening of the new Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Bar in Pembroke Pines, FL, a fantastic place to visit for any occasion. What a unique concept. Not only are their signature wine pairings reason enough to visit, but their culinary selections, all made in their scratch kitchen, are delivered to perfection to compliment one’s wine pairing. Each recommendation is made by their highly trained Chef and house staff along with a professionally trained management team.
Truly a unique culinary and wine tasting experience.
The Cooper’s Hawk concept includes four different components: an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, and Napa-style tasting room with a great adjoining retail store. All under one roof.
Upon arrival, we were directed to the large Napa-tasting room which was quite impressive. For a set fee or with the wine membership they offer, you can sample their latest reserved and private label wine selections. The tasting room is a great way to learn about the wines and you actually feel like you are in a true winery tasting room.
Then came the real fun part…sampling all of Cooper Hawk’s favorites on the menu which included 9 courses, each selected with wine pairings all recommended by their head Sommelier, Emily Wines…She is amazing!
Whether you’re an avid wine enthusiast or a novice, Cooper Hawk’s has make it easy for their quests to select the perfect pairings; each food item is offered with a wine pairing suggestion labeled on the menu by bin number, as suggested by the winemaker.
My personal culinary favorites were the Candied Bacon & Artisan Cheeses, delicious award-winning Asian Pork Belly Tostadas, Fresh Pan Roasted Barramundi with Thai Lemongrass Sauce and my favorite of all….Short Rib Risotto with White Truffle Oil…OMG!!! Just to die for… And then of course to top it all off, the Cooper Hawk’s Chocolate Cake.
Their menu is extensive, so more reasons to go back time after time to experience it all. They also offer a Life Balance menu as well as a Gluten Free menu.
At the end of this memorable dining experience, along with making new friends over sensational food and wine pairings, I had left feeling VERY content and probably a few pounds heavier as well… It was so worth it.
I highly recommend Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant & Bar Pembroke Pines any time and for any occasion.
I am excited to share with you part one of a two-part series on my experience at the Marriott on Singer Island. I had been invited by the property’s PR firm for quite some time now to come experience a meal at their signature restaurant, 3800 Ocean and I finally was able to make that happen. Let me tell you, it is well worth the 45-minute drive it took us from South East Boca. Speaking for myself and I’m guessing that many of you might fall into this category as well, when it comes to deciding on where to dine, hotel restaurants may not be on the forefront of your mind with the multitude of choices that abound. Well, I’m here to set the record straight and possibly get you to rethink this notion forever more. 3800 Ocean at the Marriott Singer Island is as good as it gets and shouldn’t just be enjoyed by visiting guests, but by us local foodies as well.
The Marriott Singer Island has several dining experiences available:
3800 Ocean: Ocean views share the spotlight with South Florida’s abundant harvest at the resort’s signature restaurant. The 3800 Ocean menu reflects a “collective kitchen” inspired by the cultural backgrounds of each of its chefs – from New England and Long Island to Mexico and Jamaica – who bring their own personal influences to a rich bounty of local seafood and produce. Complementing the menu is an extensive wine list. Elegant interiors and an expansive covered patio give guests a choice of dining environments. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Kitchen Table: This one-of-a-kind experience, for groups of no more than five, takes diners with adventurous palates into the 3800 Ocean kitchen for a five-course menu created on the spot by the executive chef. The dinner typically spans three hours and is priced at $69 per person, with cocktail and wine pairings on request. Available Thursday through Saturday evenings; reservations required a minimum 24 hours in advance.
3800 Ocean Lounge: An inviting gathering spot for guests and locals, the lounge serves a casual lunch menu daily, exotic cocktails and bar fare every evening, and happy hour Monday through Friday.
Reef Tiki Bar: A casual menu of Pacific Rim cuisine is offered on the beach, complemented by cocktails handmade with fresh juices. The resort’s signature Coconut Island Breeze is served here in a fresh cracked coconut and is a popular choice at the bar’s Bubbles on the Beach happy hour. Open for lunch and happy hour daily.
Lagoon Cantina: Fresh-made margaritas, Mexican specialties and grilled fare are the draw at this poolside, Caribbean-style cantina. Open for lunch to resort guests and spa members/guests only.
Ocean Breeze Café: Starbucks drinks, pastries, salads and wraps are served to guests seeking a quick bite on the go.
In case you’re not familiar with Singer Island, it’s a peninsula (barrier island) on the Atlantic coast of Palm Beach County, Florida, in the South Florida metropolitan area. Most of it is in the city of Riviera Beach, but the town of Palm Beach Shores occupies its southern tip. The Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is Palm Beach County’s only all-suite beachfront hotel, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other, it offers a wealth of opportunities for adventures on land and sea.
3800 Ocean has a VERY extensive & impressive wine list along with a whole lot of hand crafted cocktails and bourbons to choose from. For starters, we tried the seafood ceviche and the tostones rellenos. Both were superb dishes. I could have stopped right there (along with the glass of New Zealand Sauv Blanc) and had been a happy camper, but wait…there’s more…
Even though I was already quite stuffed, I just had to make room for what has to be one of the most creative desserts I have ever had. The S’mores pot de creme. Take a look at this beauty! House Made Marshmallow, Graham Shortbread, Chocolate Pot De Crème, Biscoff Malto (OMG, Yum!!!)
After lunch, we were given a tour of the property which we really appreciated. The grounds are gorgeous and although non hotel guests are invited to dine at 3800 Ocean, you must be staying at the property in order to access these other areas:
Later this summer I will be coming back to stay overnight in order to fully immerse myself into all the amenities that this lovely beachfront property has to offer. Stay tuned for part two of this feature highlighting this hot staycation destination.
I had the great pleasure of dining at Chops Lobster Bar’s sister property Lobster Sea Grille in Miami Beach this past week. I came to Miami for the purpose of building & solidifying new partnerships with restaurants in the Miami market for our new culinary tours and experiences being presented to our cruise line and destination management partners. Exciting stuff going on, I tell ya! Anyway, I had met Dawn Bryan, So Florida Marketing Manager for the Buckhead Restaurant Group, a couple years ago when I was invited for a tasting at Chops Lobster Bar by Chef Sean (who, by the way, creates stunning masterpieces, both visually and in taste).
On this occasion, I was joined by my product development manager, Annette, and Dawn. The place is gorgeous, inside and out. The restaurant occupies the former China Grill spot, for those who need a familiar landmark. Shortly after being shown to our table, Matt approached and asked if it would be ok if he selected the tastings for us for the evening. After confirming we didn’t have any food allergies or specific dislikes, he was given the go-ahead to surprise us. I always enjoy and prefer the tastings to be done this way, actually. To get the evening started, I began with a lovely glass of Cloudy Bay New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which paired exceptionally well with the calamari, tuna tartare and quinoa, and jumbo lump crab cake.