A Taste of Bar Harbor & A Stay on the “Quietside”

Posted By : denise/ 598

Hello Foodie Friends,

I apologize for the delay in posts…didn’t mean to keep you hangin’, lol! So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I had just wrapped things up in Portland and was heading up to Bar Harbor. I decided to take the scenic route 1, as I was told there were numerous quaint towns along the way that I should check out.  I can’t reiterate enough how much fun I had driving this Mini Clubman (courtesy of Mini of Peabody) up the coast. This car was made for hugging the winding road and I felt so safe behind the wheel.img_2388

I did pass through some quaint towns before making a stop at Rockland where I got out and explored a bit. This town definitely has potential for a future foodie tour. I wish I had more time, as I would have liked to stop in Camden, but it was getting late and I wanted to arrive at my Airbnb and meet my host Anny before dark.

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As I mentioned in earlier posts, I decided to become a first time user of Airbnb and when planning this trip to New England, I researched and selected to stay with these specific hosts which I have been highlighting along the way.  Anny and I had communicated prior to my arrival so she knew more or less what time to expect me. She and Sweetie Pie, her lovely white Great Pirinese welcomed me into their home and showed me to my room. I was staying in the Ancestor’s Room, as Anny explained and pointed to all the photos of relatives adorning the walls. I didn’t have much time to chit chat that night as I had to get over to Bar Harbor to meet with Kristi (my Ops Mgr for our Bar Harbor tours). The drive from Southwest Harbor, aka “The Quietside” (compared to the hustle and bustle of  Bar Harbor in season) into Bar Harbor at sunset was magnificent. The sun was going down over the lake and I could make out the silhouettes of kayakers in the distance paddling across the water.

cherrystones-dinner I was so excited to meet Kristi for the first time in person, after communicating with each other via phone and email for months. I was also super excited that she invited me to dinner at one of her restaurants, Cherrystones, which just so happens to be one of the stops on our Taste of Bar Harbor tour. For a starter, we had their crispy Brussels sprouts and OMG were they delish! Anyone who knows me, knows that my all time favorite Brussels come from Smoke BBQ in Delray Beach, with a close runner-up at The Office, also in Delray Beach. But after tasting these at Cherrystones in Bar Harbor, ME…I certainly have to rethink my hierarchy in which to base all future Brussels to. They were that good! We also enjoyed a couple entrees, and while the fresh fish dish was certainly fresh and tasty, the star in my opinion was the lobster carbonara, which included fresh picked Maine lobster sautéed with smoked bacon and a creamy carbonara sauce, served with penne pasta and topped with fresh chives.

After a delightful meal and meeting, I said my goodbyes until the next morning when we’d meet up with our tour guide Jessica and do a walk through of our tour. The next morning, after luxuriating in the most magnificently updated spa shower at Anny’s (we’re talking a rain shower head from the top and pulsating jets on the sides and music…the whole shabang), I was served a lovely cup of tea and warm pastries. Anny is a great story teller and I was fascinated by the stories she shared with me in the short time we had together. Prior to opening her home to Airbnb guests, Anny had a pie business which she started at age 60 after finding it very difficult to find a job in a new town at her age. The business was called, what else…”Sweetie Pies”.

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“A Taste of Bar Harbor” tour

Guests on this tour will delight in the delicious food with a view at The Fish House Grill where they will get a little clam chowda, lobster roll & an Old Soaker Blueberry soda tasting . The party will then move on, walking through historic downtown Bar Harbor viewing sights that include The Shore Path, Agamont Park and several historic Bar Harbor homes and, of course, a great view of Bar Island.  Our local guide will share fun facts and interesting anecdotes about the town she is intimately familiar with and will impart some local insider’s tips as well.  Next stop, Bar Harbor BeerWorks for a gourmet burger, fries & local Maine brew tasting, followed by a visit to either Peekytoe Provisions or Acadia Country Store where guests will get a live oyster shucking demo and/or tips on selecting the freshest seafood along with a tasting of some local seafood or products native to Maine.  Onward to Cherry Stones for a taste of their famous cherrystone clams & some blueberry pie ala mode. Next, guests will be introduced to Bar Harbor Popcorn and learn how they make their popcorn, the various flavors they infuse, and tastes will be provided of their most popular blueberry and other flavors. Participants will be given an opportunity to purchase bags to take home with them.  The tour will conclude at the now famous MDI Ice cream shop where Obama ate ice cream when he came to Bar Harbor, before returning to The Village Green, a beautiful park in the center of town.

And there you have it. My wrap up of my 5-day adventure in New England getting my tours set up just in time for this season’s Fall Foliage cruises. So far the Norwegian Gem and the Dawn have experienced our Taste of Portland and by the time you read this, we will have passengers from the NCL Gem and the Oceania Regatta taking our tour in Bar Harbor.

Private group tours are available in all these New England towns year round with a minimum of 10 participants. For more info on how we can plan a customized tour for you and your friends/colleagues, please contact me at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Savor Our City™ introduces new Historical Walking Food Tours in New England

Posted By : denise/ 438

Dear Foodie Friends,

Savor Our City Culinary Tours began offering our first tours on May 3, 2014 in Delray Beach, FL. Since then, we have run a series of tours in other South Florida cities such as Palm Beach Gardens, Wilton Manors and Boca Raton. Our tours have always been open to the public as well as to private groups. We entered into an agreement this past year to create brand new food tours up in New England for several major cruise lines sailing into Boston, Portland & Bar Harbor this Fall. I am proud to say that these tours have been created and are starting this month. At this time, the only way you can take any of these tours is if you happen to be sailing on one of those ships calling into those ports OR you book a private group tour through us. (Think: corporate team building, client appreciation, birthday parties)

Here is a sample of what you would experience on our Boston Markets & Cultural Walking Tour:

This 3-hour historical guided walking food tour will take guests through the famed Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, a historic meeting place and market lined with cobblestone streets packed with ethnic foods, unique gifts and street performers, just to name a few of the elements that make this marketplace located near the waterfront so unique. It was here in 1764 that the colonists protested the Sugar Act, which led to the “no taxation without representation” doctrine. George Washington toasted America’s first birthday here, and so many impassioned orators have followed that Faneuil Hall is nicknamed “The Cradle of Liberty.”

Following your visit to Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, you will walk to nearby Boston Public Market, another indoor haven for foodies that opened its doors in the summer of 2015. The market houses 39 year-round vendor stalls which must sell food and other products that are produced or originate in New England, specializing in items sourced from local farms and fishermen.  Your guide will share historical facts, interesting anecdotes, and some local insider’s tips as you sample dishes and delicacies that reflect the area.  Some of the iconic New England delicacies sampled along the way include an award-winning clam chowder, lobster roll, cheese, chocolate, nuts, honey, fresh fruit vinegars, wine, mead (honey wine, the oldest alcoholic drink known to man). Then, it’s on to the Parker House, your final stop and birthplace of the city’s iconic Boston Cream Pie, which you will have the opportunity to sample.

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Photo credit: Faneuil Hall
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Photo credit: Faneuil Hall

 

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Award-winning “Chowda” from Boston Chowda Company located inside Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall
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Red’s Best Retail Manager Valerie with Red’s owner Jared sharing some interesting info on sustainability and the process of catching the fish and bringing them to market.
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Lobster Roll tasting at Red’s Best inside the Boston Public Market
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Mange Fresh Fruit Vinegars
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Wine tasting at the Boston Public Market’s MA Winery booth Photo courtesy of MA Winery/Drink Local

 

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Mead tasting at the MA Winery /Drink Local booth at the Boston Public Market

MA Winery

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Q’s Nuts
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Evan, Beekeeper and Owner of Boston Honey Company

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Taza Chocolate booth at the Boston Public Market. Tour the factory in Somerville

Interested to know where I stayed while in Boston? Click here for the Best Boston Experience Airbnb.

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Parker House
Photo credit: Omni Parker House

 

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This is a miniature version of the famous Boston Cream Pie created at the Parker House.
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Team Boston From the left: Fran Elliott, Tammy Downing, Sheri Hagan, Brian Handley, Timothy Dewart, Roberta Allison & Robin Dexter (not pictured) with Savor Our City Founder/Chief Foodie Officer Denise Righetti

This tour is currently available for private tours only. If you would like to inquire about booking a private tour for your group of 10+ people, please contact us at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.

That concludes Part 1 in Boston.  If you wish to continue to Part 2, click on the link to view the highlights of my visit to the Taza Chocolate Factory in Somerville.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

BRIO Tuscan Grille Introduces A New Contemporary Menu

Posted By : denise/ 441

 BRIO Tuscan Grille South Florida locations are being introduced  to a new  “Moderno” Take on Tuscan Dining! 

Dear Foodie Friends,

Have you been to a BRIO Tuscan Grille lately? If not, it’s time to go back and check out all their new offerings. BRIO’s lunch and dinner menus include grilled-to-order steaks, chops, seafood, made-to-order pastas, flatbreads, entrée salads and more…similar to what one would find in an authentic ristorante in Tuscany. The new menu evolves Tuscan-style dining with a variety of new items including small plates for sharing, two-course lunch plates and a renewed and innovative wine, spirits and craft beer menu. BRIO also offers an ample dessert menu, full wine list and cocktail book, special children’s menu, family-style pans-to-go for off-site catered special events, and online ordering.

Fusing a creative, culinary-forward attitude with the best of the traditional Tuscan table, BRIO Tuscan Grille locations in South Florida have evolved to launch a new, modern menu of food and drinks. While the menu continues to feature many of BRIO’s time-honored favorites, its ample new additions bring an imaginative twist to Tuscan classics, focusing on fresh, chef-inspired ingredients. Those watching their calories and gluten in take can rejoice as there are an abundant number of low-calorie and gluten-free items on the menu and guests can request customized entrées to ensure that their cuisine of choice perfectly suits their palate.

 

“By incorporating a creative, modern twist into many of our dishes, continuing to serve our classic favorites, and adding more opportunities for sharing, we are pleased to evolve the guest experience, while staying true to the essence of Tuscan dining,” said BRIO Culinary Director & Chef Alison Peters.  “The new menu continues to embody our philosophy: ‘to eat well, is to live well.’”

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On a recent visit, I had the opportunity to bring my mom with me and we sampled some of the new menu items and some of their classics. One of the highlights of our evening came not served on a plate but the person serving the plates. His name is Kenny and he happens to be one of the VERY BEST SERVERS I have ever had the pleasure of being served by. Kenny had such a pleasant and patient demeanor and a great “can-do” attitude. We will definitely ask for him the next time we are in, and I suggest you do the same!

The Kale Caesar was terrific and consisted of mixed greens, marinated kale, pancetta, tomatoes, chopped egg, croutons, Caesar dressing & Parmesan.

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Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts: Roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with capers, a sticky balsamic-maple sauce, crisp bacon, and crunchy pecans, then finished with Reggiano cheese. Mark my words, you MUST order these! If you do not, I assure you that you will be missing out on some of the very best Brussels that have ever been created!

Here are some of BRIO’s other new menu items:

Appetizers

  • Brûléed Parmesan Crème: Balsamic roasted grapes, grilled ciabatta
  • Burrata & Ciabatta: Creamy fresh Mozzarella, roasted tomato, extra virgin olive oil and grilled ciabatta

Bruschetta

  • Chef’s Seasonal Bruschetta featuring the season’s freshest ingredients

Seafood

  • Crab Crusted Salmon with roasted vegetables, farro, quinoa and lemon vinaigrette
  • Shrimp Risotto & Broiled Maine Lobster Tail with mushrooms, roasted red peppers, asparagus, basil and Parmesan
  • Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with haricot vert, crispy fingerling potatoes, creamy horseradish and roasted peppers
  • Pan Roasted Tilapia served with orzo, farro, broccoli, asparagus, grape tomatoes, spinach, Feta, Pesto and lemon vinaigrette

From the Grille — New Grilled Entrees with Inspired Sides

  • Espresso Rubbed Ribeye(16 oz.), bone-in grilled to order and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil
  • Center-Cut Filet Mignon(6 oz. & 8 oz.), perfectly seasoned and grilled to order
  • Lamb Chops: New Zealand-raised
  • Seasonal Fresh Catch

Sides

  • Fingerling Potatoes BRIO: Crispy smashed fingerling potatoes with a little crushed red pepper and rosemary, drizzled with BRIO’s signature creamy Parmesan dressing
  • SicilianCauliflower: Tossed with pepperoncini in a lemon garlic caper sauce, topped with bread crumbs and Parmesan, finished to a golden brown
  • Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes: Silky Yukon gold mashed potatoes
  • Creamed Spinach & Kale: Spinach is tossed with garlic and cream, while the kale provides a surprise of flavor and texture.
  • White Bean & Escarole Ragout: A mix of vine ripened grape tomatoes, savory pancetta, roasted garlic, farro, orzo, and white beans
  • Haricot Vert & Roasted Peppers: Garden fresh haricot vert, pan seared, tossed with roasted red peppers, and seasoned to perfection
  • Roasted Tomato Basil Fettuccine: Fresh pasta tossed with roasted garlic, tomatoes, garden-fresh basil and grated Reggiano

Chef’s Specialties 

  • Balsamic Braised Short Rib with butter basted wild mushrooms, roasted carrots, and cauliflower puree
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with white beans, pancetta, rosemary, escarole, tomatoes, orzo and farro 

Sandwiches

  • Burger Americano: White cheddar, heirloom tomatoes, housemade pickles, red onion, lettuce and special sauce, served with fries
  • Prosciutto & Burrata Sandwich: Creamy fresh Mozzarella, grilled peppers, mayo, arugula and ciabatta, served with a field greens salad
  • Short Rib & White Cheddar Sandwich: Open-faced, caramelized onions, arugula and ciabatta, served with housemade chips

Pasta

  • Roasted Tomato Basil Fettuccine: Fresh pasta, roasted garlic, Reggiano

Here are some of the other items we enjoyed on this night:

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Calamari Fritto Misto
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Spicy Shrimp & Eggplant
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Campanelle Carbonara
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Ravioli Di Bello
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New York Strip
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Torta di Cioccolata

For more info on BRIO!, to look at their menu , to find a location near you or make a reservation, visit their website, www.BrioItalian.com.

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BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, its sister restaurant in Jupiter, recently launched a new menu as well, featuring a 2-Course Dinner Menu starting at Only $12.99!!!

Be among the first to try their special 2-Course Dinner promotion, showcasing a selection of five entrées paired with one of three salads, available now and running through Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.

The 2-Course Dinner Menu features dishes from fresh, cut-from-the-sheet pasta to premium quality meats, chicken and seafood with three always-fresh, high-quality Italian salads.

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Photo courtesy of BRAVO!

About BRAVO! Cucina Italiana at Harbourside Place
BRAVO! Cucina Italiana at Harbourside Place is located at 149 Soundings Ave., Jupiter, FL 33477. The beautiful 7,098-square-foot restaurant offers indoor seating for guests (including 28 bar seats), and al fresco dining for up to 36 (including six bar seats) on an Italian-style terrace. A semi-private dining area will accommodate groups up to 20 guests. BRAVO! faces the Intracoastal Waterway, which allows the restaurant to provide dockside carryout service. The restaurant is open Sunday 10 a.m.–10 p.m., Monday–Thursday 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., and Saturday11 a.m.–11 p.m. Brunch is served on weekends from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. For more information, visit www.BravoItalian.com. For reservations, call the Harbourside Place restaurant at (561) 747-4445.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Airbnb: The Best Boston Experience

Posted By : denise/ 739

Dear Foodie Friends,

In planning my 5-day road trip through New England, I looked to Airbnb to see if I might find suitable accommodations in each of the cities I would be visiting. I had never used Airbnb before and thought this would be a great way to meet some local folks and save some money. Although each of my Airbnb hosts opted to provide me a room “on the house” in exchange for a mention in my blog, the costs were considerably less than a hotel room in each of the cities I was visiting.

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I stumbled upon this listing in Somerville which read “The Best Boston Experience”. I liked the fact that it was located in Somerville since I had planned to visit the Taza Chocolate Factory located in Somerville while I was there. But what really caught my eye was that the hosts appeared to be real foodies and had a lovely open kitchen that just beckoned people to gather and share a wonderful meal and conversation in. I contacted Peter, the host, to request a reservation for my first night in Boston. Peter was extremely accommodating and also took it upon himself to make a dinner reservation for me at his favorite restaurant in the North End. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Peter’s wife, Christy who insisted on taking my bags from my Mini Clubman up the front stoop and then straight up a flight of stairs that brought us to the main level of this beautiful tri-level home. My room was on this floor, as was the guest bath, sitting area and kitchen. Peter and Christy lived on the two floors up above.

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Peter & Christy
My hosts, Peter & Christy

house pics

Shortly after getting settled into my room, I announced to my hosts that I had to head into Boston to meet with my vendors in preparation for our walk through the next morning with my tour guides and our VIP client. Peter graciously offered to drop me into town and meet up with me afterward at L’Osteria, the restaurant in the North End where he had arranged for me dine.

L'Osteria North End Boston

 

dinner at L'Osteria

The moment we walked into L’Osteria, I felt like I was one of their regulars,- as if I had been coming there for years. Peter, who grew up in the North End, was a regular and had arranged for Patty (who he has known for 30 years) to take care of us that evening and so as soon as we stepped inside the intimate/cozy restaurant, I was greeted by Patty with a big hello, a hug and welcomed by name. Talk about making a great first impression!

I followed Peter’s lead and allowed him to order for us. We enjoyed a lovely carafe of table wine along with some house specialties which included a chicken parmigiana and sausage and meatballs, aka to the locals as “d’s & b’s”.

My first day and night in Boston couldn’t have gone better. I truly appreciated all those that made this trip possible. If you are planning a trip to the Boston area, I highly recommend you stay with Peter & Christy at their beautiful Airbnb for The Best Boston Experience!

L’Osteria is located at 104 Salem St. in Boston’s North End.  (617) 723-7847  http://www.losteria.com

Interested in trying Airbnb? Click on this link to get $35  in travel credit.

Next up…the road to Portland and a night out on this foodie town.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Part 2 of Boston: Taza Chocolate Factory

Posted By : denise/ 658

Dear Foodie Friends,

As many of you know, I just got back from a 5-day road trip in New England where I traveled from Boston to Bar Harbor, stopping in Portland and other charming little towns along the way. I will provide a detailed description of my adventures in each, but first up is my visit to the Taza Chocolate Factory in Somerville (just outside of Boston).

 

I didn’t know what to expect as I pulled up in my Mini Clubman (courtesy of Mini of Peabody) at the front entrance of the Taza Chocolate Factory. Images of Willy Wonka ran rampant in my mind. I was meeting with Amanda Mallen, Retail Manager for Taza Chocolate and the person who I had been conversing with via phone and emails for the past several months in preparation for our upcoming culinary tours taking place inside the Boston Public Market where Taza has an outlet shop. It was so nice to finally meet Amanda in person. Our tour began in the lobby/retail area where Amanda began to take me through the Bean to Bar process with several visuals. I learned about the flavor development of the cacao beans and how it is a one week process to ferment the beans and another week to dry on the farms in which they acquire their beans before being shipped to Taza’s factory in Somerville. Currently, Taza is receiving their beans from farms located in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Belize & Bolivia.

Taza Chocolate Factory collage

Taza Chocolate from Bean to Bar

Taza Chocolate company was founded in 2005 & their very first chocolate bar was sold on Valentine’s Day 2007.  Amanda shared with me that the first beans were actually brought over to the factory in a station wagon from the airport; fast forward 10 years later, they are now being delivered via ship containers!

The beans are roasted at 230 degrees (farenheit) for about an hour-hour & a half which starts to loosen the shell.  One batch of chocolate will yield 800 – 1300 lbs, depends on how dark the chocolate is. The next process after roasting is winnowing – that’s when they break the shells off and smash them down, to create the final product – cocoa nibs.  The shells that remain after the winnowing process are then packed up and distributed to various organizations such as tea blenders and also used in local community gardens – to be used as organic fertilizer, the soil loves it, I am told.

Stone mills from Mexico are used to grind the nibs.  These stones are hand carved & have unique patterns on them depending on what the product they are being used for.  Another common use of these ancient stones is for milling corn into flour for the making of tortillas.  “Chocolate liquor” is the result of the finely ground nibs that have passed through the stone mills.  The chocolate liquor is then pumped into the chocolate plumbing where they will then add sugar and the quantity depends on how dark the chocolate will be.  The finished chocolate is popped out & packaged.  Check out this video to see the bean to bar process for yourself.

Taza chocolate can be found in 3k retailers nationwide.  (Store locator on their website). Here in Boca Raton, FL, the discs can be found at Whole Foods Market which happens to be a sponsor of Savor Our City Culinary Tours. Taza’s website has great recipes and other useful info.

Taza Chocolate collage

The Taza Chocolate Factory is located at 561 Windsor Street in Somerville, MA 02143  617-284-2232

They are open: Monday- Friday  11am – 6pm & Saturday – Sunday 10am – 6pm.

Take a tour and learn how they make stone ground, organic chocolate and sample the results! Tours are available 7 days a week (although the factory is not in production on Saturdays & Sundays).

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, Taza Chocolate is one of the tasting stops on our new “Boston Markets & Cultural Tour” currently available to private groups of 10 – 14 guests. If you are interested in booking a private tour for your company or group of friends, contact us for a quote at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.

To continue reading on, click here for more about my adventures in Boston.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

 

 

Josie’s Ristorante in Boynton Beach Revamps Lunch, Bar and Dinner Menu

Posted By : denise/ 515

Hello Foodie Friends,

Earlier this month I attended the Boynton Beach Food Wine & Brew Festival and that is where I first heard of Josie’s. Then shortly after that, I received an invite from their PR firm, The Buzz Agency to attend a media dinner there to preview some of their new menu items. For some, these items might be new, but to me, they were ALL new, as this was my first time dining there.

Josie’s Ristorante, a family owned and operated traditional Italian restaurant, was established in 1992 and is located on the southeast corner of Woolbright and Federal next to the Intracoastal bridge and is known for their pasta, gourmet pizza, fish, steak and Osso Bucco.

The atmosphere was open and bright and welcoming. I could see our group gathered beside the bar in the back as I entered.  An assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres, wine and cocktails were generously a’flowin’.  We sampled the Sicilian Pistachio Cracker (tuna tarter with a whipped pistachio topping which kind of resembled guacamole both in color and texture, only a little airier, and drizzled with tangerine oil), Prosiutto, Asparagus, Pecorino rolled inside crispy pastry rolls, House cured Salmon served atop char grilled ciabatta crostini slathered with a schmear of goat cheese. Beautiful pieces of Grandma’s Pizza were presented, each containing generous chunks of slow roasted Roma tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and basil.

House Cured Salmon Crostini
House Cured Salmon Crostini
Sicilian Pistachio Cracker
Sicilian Pistachio Cracker

 

Grandma's Pizza
Grandma’s Pizza
Josie's Exec Chef, Sebastiano
Josie’s Exec Chef, Sebastiano

Josie’s dinner menu includes a variety of antipasti, salads, pastas, fish, Panini, and specialties including stuffed dolphin, rack of lamb, Red Childe Grilled Hatfield Natural Pork Chop, simple grilled salmon, and Tortellini di Bologna.  Their signature dishes include Eggplant Stefania (grilled eggplant, stuffed with angel hair, garlic & oil, marinara, mozzarella, $22), chicken or veal prepared Marsala, Pizziola, Piccata or Francese (chicken $19, veal $26), and Veal Bersaglieri (scaloppini, garlic, marinated artichokes, olives, capers, roasted bell peppers, white wine and lemon sauce, spaghetti pomodoro). Recently they revamped their lunch, bar and dinner menus with new menu items including San Francisco Cioppino (clams, lobster, scallops, calamari in a spicy lobster saffron broth over linguini: MKT), Prime Short Rib Meatball (antipasti menu: $14), Spanish Octopus (wood grilled octopus, fingerling potatoes roasted onions, tomatoes, capers, evoo, Antipasti menu, $14), and Fresh Burrata (red & gold beets, Barolo poached pears, arugula, herb balsamic dressing, toasted crostini, (pictured below; antipasti menu, $12).

Our group was invited to sit down and enjoy the next few courses. We were given our choice of appetizers from the following: Ceviche, Baked Stuffed Clams, Fresh Burrata, Prime Short Rib Meatball and Seared Diver Scallops. I chose the Fresh Burrata and my companion chose the Ceviche which was made with lobster, bay scallops, shrimp, tuna and crab meat with orange, lime and avocado.

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Fresh Burrata
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Ceviche
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Seared Diver Scallops with fresh cherries, capers and Prosecco

For our next course, we were served a trio of pasta dishes:  Porcini Ravioli, Chicken Rigatoni and a Crab & Shrimp Crepe (although technically, I don’t think you can consider a crepe pasta).

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For our entrees, we were given a choice of the Fresh Catch of the Day (Swordfish), Pan Roasted Branzino, Veal Scallopini, Chicken Milanese, Chicken Piccata, Crispy Roast Duck and Roast Stuffed Loin of Hatfield Pork. So many wonderful choices it was hard to make up my mind. I selected the Chicken Milanese and my companion ordered the Swordfish. Portions are quite large that I had enough for the next day too (bonus!)

Chicken Milanese
Chicken Milanese

 

Swordfish
Swordfish

Other diners in our group ordered other items, and of course I just had to take pictures for you to see.

Pan roasted Branzino
Pan roasted Branzino
Crispy Roast Duck
Crispy Roast Duck with fresh Georgia peach sauce, puree of sweet potatoes with vanilla

For desserts we were brought out their key lime pie, a butterscotch budino and a peach tiramisu with pistachio gelato. Boy were these good, but my favorite was the butterscotch budino. Note: must dig down deep into the cup to pull up the chocoloate cookie crumbles from the bottom to be enjoyed with each bite…

Key lime pie
Key lime pie
Peach tiramisu
Peach tiramisu
Butterscotch Budino
Butterscotch Budino

Josie’s offers a full bar with an extensive wine and cocktail list. Happy hour is served at the bar and on the patio daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and after 9 p.m. with special prices on beer ($2 draft, $3 bottle), wine ($4.50 house by the glass and bottles from $26 to $28), specialty cocktails ($6) and specialty martinis ($7).  The happy hour bar menu includes truffle fries ($5) , bruschetta ($6) , fresh mozzarella caprese ($7), calamari fritti ($7), and eggplant napoleon ($7).

The restaurant is offering 25% off the entire menu during the summer months , starting now through September.  This special applies to dine in only, not valid with other offers, discounts or small plates at the bar.

Josie’s is open MondaySaturday starting at 11 a.m. with a lunch menu including a fine selection of paninis, salads and gourmet pizza.  The restaurant opens on Sundays at 4 p.m. and closes nightly at 10 p.m.  Delivery, take out and catering are available.  Josie’s is located at 1602 South Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435,  Reservations are encouraged through OpenTable or by calling 561.364.9601.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Corner Bakery Cafe, Boca Raton

Posted By : denise/ 473

Hello Foodie Friends,

Last week I was invited to dine at the Corner Bakery Cafe in Boca Raton, located in the Glades Plaza at 2240 NW 19th St.  Known for their fresh, made to order hand-crafted artisan breads, hot breakfasts, made-to-order salads, sandwiches, paninis and pastas, seasonal soups and freshly basked sweets, this eatery, in my opinion, is serving up some humble pie. What I mean is, they are dishing out quality product morning, noon and night and making a real effort to appeal to those of us watching our calories* out there, (100 combos under 600 calories) yet they are still flying under the radar. Well, they should be thankful that their PR firm, The Buzz Agency, got ahold of me because now that I know about them, so do you!

I brought my husband with me, who despite living and working in the area, had not even heard of the place and was shocked to discover that they have just celebrated their four year anniversary in that location.  I had been in once before for a late lunch and left satisfied. I chose to have dinner there, as opposed to breakfast or lunch because most people (like my husband) might expect with a name like Bakery in the title, that they were pretty much a breakfast and lunch place and they might have a less than stellar selection of dinner entrees. So with open minds and empty tummies, we were off to either confirm or dispel this assumption…

 

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Head up to the counter, place your order and have a seat. This fast casual restaurant will bring your food right to your table. Enjoy the free wifi while you’re there as well!

On a Corner. That’s Where it Started.

Inspired by great fresh ingredients, the small neighborhood bakery on a corner in downtown Chicago began creating artisan breads and freshly baked sweets. Upon a little success, neighbors began asking the owners for sandwiches made with that fabulous bread, followed by homemade soups and salads, and even made-to-order scramblers. Their guests’ requests continued to inspire them and as a result, their bakery’s menu and business grew.

*There are more than 100 Corner Combos under 600 calories, with each dish prepared to order, and special requests are welcomed. Corner Bakery Cafe has made a commitment to creating food to fit every lifestyle, using only the freshest ingredients and breads fresh from the oven.

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Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad made with spinach, strawberries, oranges, grapes, cranberries, green onions and creamy goat cheese with raisin pecan sweet crisps ad a homemade pomegranate vinaigrette. (small salad only had 220 calories) This salad contained some of my most favorite toppers and was fantastic. 
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Tomato Soup & 1/2 Club Panini – Hickory smoked turkey breast, applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar cheese and plum tomatoes with a touch of mayo. The tomato soup was delicious and perfect for dunking my grilled panini into.
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Spicy Asian Pork sandwich made with shredded fire-roasted pork, sliced cucumbers, spicy slaw, pickled jalapenos and cilantro with spicy Asian BBQ sauce served with a side of mixed greens salad. Think Bahn Mi. Yummy!

 

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GIVING BACK

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photo credit: Corner Bakery Cafe

Corner Bakery has always been part of the neighborhood. That’s why it’s important to the owners to give back to the communities in which they serve. From sponsoring local events to helping children across America get the healthy food they need to grow and thrive, being part of the Corner Bakery Cafe team means more than just enjoying great food.

  • Partnering with Share Our Strength’s “Dine Out for No Kid Hungry,” we raise funds to provide free school breakfasts, after-school and summer meals, and connections to local food pantries.
  • Since 2008, thanks to the support of our cafes, guests and franchisees, Corner Bakery Cafe has raised over $1.6 million in an effort to end childhood hunger in the U.S.
  • To reinforce our commitment to our neighborhoods, Corner Bakery Cafe sponsors hundreds of community events each year. In fact, recently Corner Bakery Cafe was ranked #1 for Community Involvement.*

*Ranked #1 Fast Casual brand by Millennials for Community Involvement (Technomics)

Hours: Mon – Sat: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm  & Sun: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Phone: 561.417.6060

For more information, visit www.cornerbakerycafe.com.

Well, the consensus is in…we both enjoyed the quality of the food, the service was prompt and pleasant and the atmosphere was clean and comfortable. I highly recommend dining in or contacting them to assist you with your catering needs.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CITY!

Posted By : denise/ 462

 

Erika from ESSENTIALLY ERIKA, a blog where she shares her natural remedies and homemade concoctions, recently joined our culinary tour of Delray Beach! “Overall, this tour was fun, informative, and most of all.. delicious! It’s a wonderful way to rediscover your city, and a perfect introduction for newcomers or visiting guests.” Read all about her experience and the adventure we shared on her post here.

Fall in Love (Again) with Italian Classics at BRAVO! at a Price You Will Love!

Posted By : denise/ 351

Hello Foodie Friends,

Tis I, your favorite foodie ((wink wink)), out and about Savoring Our City once again making and sharing new discoveries in Boca and beyond. Today’s post is about my most recent visit to BRAVO! Cucina Italiana at Harbourside Place in Jupiter, FL. (For a look at my previous visit there back on November 2014 where I sampled their brunch, click here.)

With everything “new” for the New Year, BRAVO! Cucina Italiana is inviting guests all across the nation to re-discover and fall in love with Italian cuisine all over again with the release of some of their time-honored and classic – Italian comfort foods. Now through February 27, as part of its special Classic Italian Combinations menu, BRAVO! is featuring traditional favorites such as Baked Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Scampi and Grilled Chicken Picatta, each served with a side vegetable and starch with a choice of soup or salad as a starter for just $10.99, available for either lunch or dinner.

I was invited back to experience this two course menu which I graciously accepted and decided to bring along my friend Sharon, who just so happened to be my companion on my first visit to BRAVO!

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Our server Yasmine had a lovely smile and was warm and personable throughout our visit. To start us off, she brought us each a Flirtini, which we both thought was delicious.

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Team Leader/Manager Darryl came over to our table to introduce himself and after discussing several options, we decided to take Darryl’s suggestion to try the Crispy Shrimp Napoli appetizer.  Note: the appetizer is not included in the $10.99 two course meal, but trust me, you will want to get this! Even if you’re dining alone, get it and eat half and take the rest home. You don’t want to miss out on this. It’s that good! What makes this appetizer so good, you ask? Well, the shrimp are marinated in buttermilk for one and then dipped in a rice flour batter which make them very light and airy. They are topped with a charred tomato & lemon butter sauce. #PerfectionOnAPlate #TasteBudsDoingTheHappyDance.

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The Chicken Parmesan was the first of the entrees to come out. It was breaded and baked and served atop herb spaghettini and housemade Pomodoro sauce. The portion was ample and the chicken was perfectly seasoned and cooked, and the sauce well balanced.

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The next dish to come out was the Shrimp Scampi with linguine, garlic, lemon butter, pesto breadcrumbs, garlic crostinis and diced tomato. Loved this dish, it was delish! Again, a very generous portion, I think they put like 12 shrimp in there. The garlic and lemon butter worked so harmoniously together and really elevated this timeless classic dish.

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The Grilled Chicken Picatta comes with seasonal vegetables (we had the sugar snap peas, carrots and broccoli), mashed potatoes and a lemon butter caper sauce. I really enjoyed this dish too. I think I must be addicted to Chef Jon’s lemon butter sauce. And speaking of Chef Jon, here I am posing with him after he made us very happy with his deliciously prepared meals.

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Here we have Darryl presenting to us a beautiful display of desserts. While they all looked so yummy, our bellies were pretty stuffed by this time, but despite that, we forged on and decided to give the Bravo! Cheesecake a try. It was a NY style cheesecake with a shortbread cookie crust that had been bruleed.

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As the afternoon progressed and we were well into dining bliss, GM Jimmy stopped by to say hi and visit with us for a bit.

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Me with our wonderful server Yasmine.

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Everyone at BRAVO! Cucina Italiana at Harbourside Place in Jupiter was once again, very friendly and attentive. The food was excellent and the value, in my opinion, cannot be beat!

This Two-Course Classic Italian Combinations promotion, featuring generous portions, served at lunch & dinner seven days a week, will end on Feb. 27th, so hurry in and take advantage of this terrific value while you can! Be on the look out also for a special two course Prix Fixe  menu for Valentine’s Day coming out soon. Check their website for details.

Tweet It: Indulge in your favorite #Italian classics at @Bravo_Italian for only $10.99! #mybravo

BRAVO! Cucina Italiana at Harbourside Place is located at 149 Soundings Avenue
Jupiter , FL 33477    (561) 747-4445  

They are open Sun -Thu 11am -10pm; Fri -Sat 11am -11pm; Brunch Weekends from 11 am until 3pm

Until we eat again…
   I send you delicious wishes, xo
Denise
Denise Righetti
Founder & C.F.O. (Chief Foodie Officer),
Savor Our City, LLC
@SavorOurCity on Instagram
@SavorOurCity on Twitter

Hip Hip Hooray for Henry’s, Still Going Strong After 15 Years

Posted By : denise/ 615

Hello Foodie Friends,

Being that I spend much of my time traveling between East Boca and East Delray, with so many restaurant choices available, it takes a little coaxing if you will, to get me to venture out west. But then again, I am an adventurous foodie, always open for a foodie field trip, especially when there’s a chance that my next fantastic meal could be there just waiting for me to discover. Last week I was invited to attend a Media/Blogger dinner at Henry’s, located in the Shoppes at Addison Place on Jog Road in Delray Beach. This was my first time dining at Henry’s. Now even though it was my first, I already had pretty high expectations coming into this evening due to the fact that it is part of Rapoport’s Restaurant Group, (Bogart’s Bar & Grille, which I reviewed last month, Deck 84, Burt & Max’s, Apeiro Kitchen & Bar (Delray & now in Midtown Miami), Max’s Grille (co-owner) and coming this fall to Boca, Rappy’s Deli) led by veteran restaurateur Burt Rapoport who has worked very hard at building his brand by providing high-quality affordable cuisine, a welcoming ambiance, attentive service and as such, has received numerous accolades and has been developing loyal patrons for over 30 years.

On this night, we were introduced to Henry’s new Executive Chef Warren Lee and treated to a sampling of several of the new additions created by Chef Lee for the winter seasonal menu. Chef Lee has also made revisions to some of Henry’s popular favorites. This is Chef Lee’s first full menu roll out since coming on board with Rapoport’s Restaurant Group as Executive Chef this past summer.

The first dish to arrive on our table was the Lobster and Shrimp Flatbread. Here’s what I posted on Instagram:

Ladies & Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that @henrysdelray under the direction of @chef_butchlee has produced the finest, tastiest flatbread to ever hit my pie hole! #genious #lobster &#shrimp #flatbread with roasted garlic purée, fresh tomatoes, Swiss & Parm, mozzarella & old bay sauce. #magnifico

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The Tuna Napolean came next. I loved this dish too. Diced tuna, cucumber, avocado, scallions, ponzu sauce and crispy wontons. I thought the dish was not only visually appealing, but it was light and well balanced.

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The Poached Pear and Crispy Goat Cheese was another home run appetizer!  The mixed greens topped with candied almonds and dried cranberries with the honey citrus dressing was lovely, as were the poached pears and the crispy goat cheese. This appetizer was thoughtfully constructed and the result was a perfectly balanced plate with ingredients that really complimented one other very nicely.

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Now it was time to move on to the entrées. We were each presented a plate with a sampler of three new entrées- Caramelized Onion Crusted Snapper, Smoked Short Rib and Chicken Saltimbocca. Now, given the choice of these three proteins, I would ordinarily go straight for the short rib and expect that would be the highlight for me. But what surprised me was, although the short rib was definitely delicious, the caramelized onion crusted snapper was the star of the night. It was simply, AMAZING!!! I’m not even a snapper fan…um…well I wasn’t, until this dish single-handedly turned me into one. Lol.

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In case you have never witnessed a Media/Blogger Dinner before, it’s not unusual to see bloggers fidgeting with their plates to capture the perfect picture. What is spectacular here is this ginormous Six-Layer Carrot Walnut Cake that these foodies are capturing.

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In addition to the Carrot Cake, we got to try the Classic Key Lime Pie, the Coconut Cream Pie and the Warm Chocolate Molten Cake.  While I have to admit to only trying two out of the four desserts, I can certainly attest to the deliciousness of the Coconut Cream Pie with Oreo Cookie Crust and the Warm Chocolate Molten Cake (which is regularly served with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce.)

Kudos to the Chef and his staff for executing such a lovely tasting for us this evening. Thank you to Henry’s GM Darin Chesley and Shaina Wizov for hosting us. I have already made plans with some friends to return there with them. Lobster & Shrimp Flatbread here we come!

Fun Facts:

Henry’s was named after Burt’s dog Henry and this picture I included here in this post can be found hanging on the wall of the restaurant immediately to the right of the entrance as you walk in.

Henry’s can seat 140 guests inside and 50 additional guests outside.

Happy Hour is available anywhere in the restaurant Monday – Saturday from 12-12:30pm and Monday – Sunday 4:30 – 6pm (at the bar), 5- 6pm (in the Dining Room). Half priced drinks and a bar bites menu is offered.

10 for $10 Lunches – You can enjoy 10 lunch entree options priced at $10 each, including a beverage Monday through Friday from 11:30am – 2:30pm, Saturday 12pm – 2:30pm.

Kids Eat Free ALL Day – Sunday – Thursday, with the purchase of an adult entree.

$20 3-Course Prix Fixe – Available daily between 5 – 5:15pm. Choose from Henry’s favorite starters, popular entrees and Chef’s choice dessert.

Henry’s is located at 16850 Jog Road, Delray Beach, FL 33483  561-638-1949 www.HenrysofBocaRaton.com

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise