Back in December, my friend Shaina and I reviewed DaVinci’s shortly after they opened. (Click here to read that review.) Well, today I am pleased to share with you my latest review after being invited back to try some brand new items to commemorate their newly revamped menu executed by new Executive Chef, Ardany Rivas. Chef Rivas may be DaVinci’s new Executive Chef, but he is no stranger to the Carvelli Family. He has been working in the family owned restaurants since he joined them in 2005 working in Naples, FL and Wisconsin Dells, WI before coming to Boca to head up the kitchen.
“Ardany has worked with our family for more than ten years now, providing insight and inspiration for this location, as well as our other venues, so it made sense to move him into this role,” said Luigi Carvelli, who launched the restaurant with his family in September 2014. “Ardany shares the Carvelli family’s passion for delivering authentic Italian dishes that are prepared with the best, freshest, ingredients possible. We are thrilled to have him managing the DaVinci’s of Boca kitchen full-time.”
Shortly after we sat down, GM Francesco came to our table and asked us about our wine preferences. Luckily we were able to agree on a bottle of Rosso di Montalcino, a wonderful baby Barolo.
First thing to arrive on our table was their yummy warm bread basket and trio of dipping sauces that I fell in love with the first time around. (The Mascarpone with lemon zest & thyme is my personal favorite). Thank goodness this is one thing that they did not change when they created a new menu, I am pleased to announce.
Francesco informed us that Chef would be preparing a special tasting menu for us highlighting some of the new menu additions. Shaina and I especially love when Chefs do this for us. When Shaina and I dine together, we are kind of like a “Surf and Turf” duo; Shaina only eats seafood and I prefer meat, lol. Fortunately, we both really enjoy vegetarian type dishes. Speaking of which, our first course was a Vegetable Terrine appetizer which consisted of layers of eggplant, roasted red peppers, zucchini, portobello mushroom, goat cheese, arugula and topped with a balsamic glaze drizzle. I really liked this dish. It was a cold dish which didn’t surprise me as much as it seemed to have surprised Shaina. But I do agree with her assessment that it could have just as easily been served and enjoyed warm as well. To read Shaina’s review, click here.
The next dish to arrive was the charred octopus. For those of you who follow my posts, you know that Shaina and I are both huge fans of octopus. Last year when we were first introduced to DaVinci’s we tried their Polipo Grigliato al Salmoriglio, aka Octopus. It was a chilled version and although it was quite tasty, both Shaina and I agreed hands down that this new version was much more to our liking. It was served atop arugula with a lemon dressing, potato confit, drizzled with a pepperoncini aioli and served with a side of the most fantastic squid ink/white bean puree.
The Kale & Beet Salad was next. This colorful salad was visually very appealing and consisted of golden and red beets, pecans, pistachio-crusted goat cheese, kale tossed with a basil citrette dressing, topped with pickled onions and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. The salad was well composed and we both enjoyed it very much.
The next dish that came out was the homemade spinach gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce garnished with strawberries. At first I was like, strawberries? But after trying it, I can definitely see that the sweetness from the fresh berries cuts some of the richness of the Gorgonzola and it works… very well, in fact. This was definitely one of my favorites of the night and I’d have to say that these gnocchi were my absolute favorite that I have ever been served (sorry mom).
When it came time to ordering our entrees, I selected the Veal Porcini, one of the new menu items, while Shaina ordered the seafood special of the night, Shrimp-stuffed Branzino. Both dishes were accompanied by scalloped potatoes in a lemon sauce, asparagus and baby carrots. The veal was cooked with a porcini Marsala wine and cream sauce. I enjoyed this dish, although it was just a tad over salted for my preference. Shaina loved her Branzino, which was presented in quite a unique manner in that it was filleted and stuffed rather than served whole. Pretty, isn’t it?!?
We skipped on dessert this time, since A) we were pretty stuffed and B) there weren’t any new desserts on the revamped menu. We had tried the Salted Caramel Tiramisu and the Lemon Meringue Mascarpone the last time and they were both delicious. Anything that has the words “Salted Caramel” is a must have in my book. So I encourage you all to make your way over to DaVinci’s and try some of these delicious items I’ve described for you here or anything else that catches your eye on the menu. I promise you one thing, you won’t be disappointed. Exceptional food, service and ambiance.
DaVinci’s offers Happy Hour 7 days a week from 11am – 6pm at the bar and patio only, as well as a late night Happy Hour from 9pm – close. They also have live entertainment and an indoor private dining room which can accommodate groups up to 40 guests and an outside patio/lounge area which can accommodate much larger groups. They are located at 6000 Glades Rd. (next to Nordstrom at the Town Center Mall). 561-362-8466. For more info, visit their website.