I was recently invited to a media dinner at Renzo’s of Boca, a fine Italian restaurant that has been serving the community for the past 25 years under the leadership of Chef/Owner Renzo. Now under the ownership of long time South Floridian restaurateur & Executive Chef Angelo Romano of Paradiso Ristorante fame in Lake Worth along with partner Marco Turano, who hails from Milan, Italy with a background in the food and wine industry, and 15 years in New York working along side some of the most sophisticated chefs in the city. Together, this dynamic duo and their staff are eager to welcome back long time patrons of Renzo’s and continue a Boca Raton legacy with new passion and a new perspective on fresh, bold Italian flavors, opting to infuse some of Renzo’s traditional classics along with introducing brand new dishes to the menu.
Renzo’s is tucked away in a mini strip center off of N. Federal Highway, a little north of Jeffrey Street. This little hidden treasure is sure big on charm! There are two distinct dining rooms with an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining. We were invited to enter the dining room to the left which housed the bar and piano. A lovely trio of holiday cocktail concoctions welcomed us as the piano man tickled the ivories.
Once all the guests had arrived, we were seated at a nice large round table and treated to our first dish, Quarteto di Antipasti. Let me begin by commenting on their choice of plating. It certainly had the “WOW” factor. The Antipasti consisted of Burrata with Pickle Eggplant, Calamari Salad, Beet & Apple Salad and Tuna Carpaccio. Each and everyone of these dishes was wonderful. So fresh and packed with so much flavor. My favorite however, was the Burrata. I am a huge fan of Burrata and I have to say that this one was the best tasting one I have had to date, bar none! Very, very impressive for sure.
Next course was another beautifully plated feast; this time a trio of Pasta e Risotto. Fiocchetti Pasta with Pear, Gorgonzola & Walnuts; Risotto Frutti di Mare; Gnocchi Vodka Sauce. This was a tough one to decide which I liked best because I really liked them all. If I had to pick just one though, I would say the Fiocchetti with Pear, Gorgonzola & Walnuts rose slightly to the top for me; it reminded me of a dish I have had called a “beggar’s purse” which I was very fond of. Anyway, you won’t be disappointed with any of these dishes, trust me.
For our next course, Pesce (Fish) we were treated to a Pistachio Encrusted Branzino and a Shrimp Zingara. The Branzino was served with a delicious Champagne Mustard Sauce and was cooked to perfection. It was light and flaky and the pistachio crust provided another dimension of flavor and texture. Yum! The shrimp were cooked just right and were accompanied by a lovely medley of sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms.
For our Carne (Meat) course, we were treated to Chef Angelo’s award-winning Polpetta di Vitello (Veal Meatball) over Sheep Ricotta Cheese which was debuted in the BocaLocals March Meatball Madness Competition in 2014. The meatball was very good but the bed of ricotta cheese it sat upon was amazing!
Throughout the evening Marco poured two wines for us: a Tiefenbrunner Chardonnay and an Il Grigio Chianti Classico. They were perfect selections that went well with the courses that were served. Italian wines as well as wines from around the world can be found on the wine list. Domestic and Italian beers are served as well as an array of craft cocktails.
For our final course (Dolce), we were served a Ricotta Cheesecake. Given the choice of a NY Cheesecake and a traditional Italian Ricotta Cheesecake, 9 times out of 10 I would opt for the NY Cheesecake, but I definitely have to give kudos to the Chef for his wonderful rendition. It was very good and the fresh fruit on the side was a nice compliment.
Renzo’s is located at 5999 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton, just north of Yamato Road. They are open daily for lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm and dinner 5:30pm to 10pm. Live entertainment Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm. Renzo’s can accommodate private groups for dinner parties, anniversaries and other special events. For more info, call: 561-994-3495. Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on their specials.