Monday, April 7, 2014

Boca Locals March Meatball Madness

Hello Foodie Friends,

A panel of 7-8 food critics, food bloggers, media and foodies visited 16 restaurants throughout the month of March as part of the inaugural Boca Locals March Meatball Madness competition, of which yours truly had the opportunity to participate. Samples of meatballs were showcased to our panel and judged in the criteria of: 
taste, texture, presentation and originality. The Chefs were asked to think out-of-the-box with unique recipes offering alternative twists on traditional meatballs such as vegetarian-style and turkey meatballs.

Throughout the competition, our panel of judges kept their followers up to date by posting on their facebook pages (My pics and commentary following each restaurant can be found on my facebook page:  A few of the blogs besides BocaFoodFinds are Fork Notes, South Florida Sage, 2 Forks and a Cork and  
Solita: Photo Credit: Fork Notes

The results will be posted on the web site and in press releases to over 50 media contacts at the Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, BOCA RATON TRIBUNE, Simply The Best Magazine, Boca Observer, Boca Raton Magazine, Florida Table…to name a few.
Table 42  Photo Credit: Fork Notes

The restaurant with the winning meatball will have a plaque to hang on their wall for bragging rights and an event sponsored by BocaLocals inviting the public for an opportunity to taste
the BEST meatballs in and around Boca.  Here was our line up:

Meatball Room
Vic & Angelo's
South Shores Tavern
V&S Deli
Cafe Med
La Stella's
Table 42
TwentyTwenty Grille
Trattoria Romana
Tierra Fiamma
13 American Table

Segreto's meatball caprese

Meatball Room

La Stella's
La Stella's

La Stella's
La Stella's
TwentyTwenty Grille  Photo Credit: Fork Notes 

TwentyTwenty Grille  Photo Credit: Fork Notes

Trattoria Romana
Trattoria Romana
Trattoria Romana

*From my friend Tim on his blog, New Vision Wines

Old School Meatball at Terra Fiamma

Veal Marsala Meatball at Terra Fiamma

Buffalo Chicken Meatball at Terra Fiamma

Spicy Pork Meatball at Terra Fiamma
I absolutely loved both the Veal Marsala and the Spicy Pork Meatballs and they were so close, but my favorite of the two which actually surprised me, was the spicy pork ones. While I loved the flavors of the veal meatball, it was the mushrooms and marsala that really transported this dish to the next level for me. The spicy pork was packed with flavor all the way through and the sauce they topped the meatball with was made with hot cherry peppers, with only a slight amount of heat detected and caramelized onions. For me, it was perfect. 


1ST PLACE: Twenty-Twenty Grille, Boca Raton!

2ND PLACE: Trattoria Romana, Boca Raton!

3RD PLACE: TIE between 13 American Table & Paradiso Italian Restaurant!

4TH PLACE: TIE between Segreto Restaurant, Boca Raton and SoLita, Delray Beach!

(very close with Terra Fiamma following behind)

BEST OF SHOW in 4 categories:


1 - Dead tie between: Trattoria Romana and Twenty-Twenty Grille
2 - Paradiso Italian Restaurant
3 - Henry’s (lamb ball)


1 - Trattoria Romana
2 - Paradiso Italian Restaurant
3 - Segreto Restaurant (appetizer stack)


1 - Paradiso Italian Restaurant
2 - Meatball Room
3 - TIE: Vic & Angelo’s - and - Twenty-Twenty Grille


1 - Twenty-Twenty Grille
2 - La Stella’s (chicken ball)
3 - TIE: Segreto (appetizer stack) - and - Trattoria Romana

Other blogs covering the story:

Until we eat again...
   I send you delicious wishes, xo


Thursday, March 27, 2014

SoBe, sooooo much to offer both tourists and locals alike!

Hello Foodie Friends,

It's been a while since (my last my last visit to South Beach, even though I am a native South Floridian from Miami. This time, it took having family in from Michigan and trying to come up with something fun to do with them that prompted this most recent excursion.

Since I had such a great time on my friend Grace's Wynwood tour only a couple months back, I thought this tour would be perfect to take my mother and sister in law on.

We met at the designated meeting spot just before noon and were greeted by Mierca, our tour guide. Our first of 7 stops was Bolivar, with a Peruvian-Colombian inspired menu, where we were served a glass of Colombian beer mixed with Colombian soda. The hue of this drink was a beautiful shade of rose, and given the vessel it was served in, they had us thinking we were being served a glass of wine. This combination of beer and soda was so unique and quite refreshing and paired perfectly with the ceviche and papa rellenas.

fish ceviche, marinated in lime and passion fruit juice

Papa Rellena
Papas rellenas is a traditional Peruvian dish, which literally translates to stuffed potatoes

Our next stop was Manolo where we were treated to the most incredible Churro I have ever experienced in my life. This magnificent creation came filled with dolce de leche and I savored it one slow bite at a time.
Dolce de leche Churro from Manolo
 As one might expect on a Culinary Walking Tour, we walked; and as we walked, Mierca talked. She shared lots of interesting facts and trivia as we strolled along Collins Avenue. Mierca did an excellent job captivating the attention of our group of approximately 20. We passed by The Carlyle Hotel, where Bird Cage was filmed, as well as The Cordoza Hotel where Something About Mary was filmed. We stopped in front of the Versace Mansion where she gave us the low down on the unfortunate and untimely death of famed designer, Gianni Versace. She shared with us that the Versace Mansion is the 3rd most photographed house in the US after the White House and Graceland.

Collins Ave.

Headquartered in Miami, Burger King launched their first location with a bar right here on South Beach.
 Next on our tour was a stop at David's Cafe Cuban Cuisine where we were treated to a ritual of a mid afternoon pick-me-up of Colada.

Moving right along, our next stop was at Polo Norte (North Pole) where we were treated to a vaca frita slider with chimichurri sauce and homemade plantain chips (mariquitas) with a mustard mojo sauce. Delicioso!

At Block's Pizza Deli, we were presented with a nicely packaged pocket of spinach, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, feta and pesto.

A tasty savory treat was in store for us at Charlotte's Bakery; a Venezuelan empanada filled with shredded chicken, onion and tomato.

And our final stop was at Mani Geleteria on Espanola Way, a charming tree-lined pedestrian street. We each got to pick a couple scoops; I selected the hazelnut and pistachio. They were amazing!

All in all, we had a great day, learned a lot, ate a lot, walked a lot and met some new friends. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to get a taste of this city from a true local's perspective.

If you are interested in booking this tour, or learning about Miami Culinary Tours' other tours to Wynwood and Little Havana, contact them by clicking on this banner and use this code to save $5 on each ticket.

Until we eat again...
  I send you delicious wishes, xo


Denise Righetti
C.F.O. (Chief Foodie Officer)
Denise's Foodie Events

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The American Fine Wine Competition & The Sonoma House present the 3rd annual 
AFWC Wine Carnival
  & Consumer Challenge

TASTE!      PLAY!     WIN!

The AFWC continues celebrating the best wines produced in the U.S. and prepares for the most prestigious All-American wine event of the year, the AFWC Charity Wine Gala.
At the Wine Carnival, visit Sponsors of the AFWC at their Carnival Booths where you'll play their wine-themed games like Ring the Wine Bottle, Toss the Ping Pong Ball, Pull a Winning Cork, See if You Can Guess...non-stop fun!  :-)   

Taste more than 50 all-American wines supplied by Total Wines, the official AFWC retail wine sponsor, and from this years American Fine Wine Competition.  You can also expect surprise tastings from visiting wineries who will pour even more amazing wines!

Indulge in fabulous delicacies from area restaurants like Segreto, Terra Fiamma, Publix Apron's, and others. Try wine pairings with a Flair For Fudge and Cabot Cheese.  

AND... How well do YOU know wine?  Ten guests will have the chance to win a seat at the AFWC Consumer Challenge Table to see how much they really know about wine.  The most wine-knowledgeable (or best guesser) will win two tickets to the AFWC Charity Wine Gala (a $600 value)!

This is a fun, exciting and unique evening for all wine lovers to experience the AFWC, network with area professionals, and help raise funds for this years benefiting charity,
Deliver the Dream.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
6:30- 9:00 PM
The Sonoma House, 220 NE 11th Street, Boca Raton
$50 per person includes everything! Plus lots of great networking 
($60 at door)

Deliver the Dream 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The 12th Annual Boca Bacchanal - Unleash Your Inner Wine Connoisseur

Hello Foodie Friends,

In this blog, I bring you info on the highly anticipated, creme de la creme of Wine & Food events in Boca Raton, the Boca Bacchanal. Now in its 12th year, this weekend-long epicurean party boasts award-winning, highly acclaimed international vintners and chefs and is recognized by national media outlets including Esquire Magazine, the Food Network, Forbes Travel Guide and Oprah's, The "O" List.

A festive weekend which celebrates and enhances the appreciation of wine and food, Boca Bacchanal brings together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, while supporting the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum and their historical preservation and heritage education programs.

Celebrate Everything Food & Wine at the 12th Annual Boca Bacchanal
Benefiting the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum

Boca Raton, FL – February 2014 – Get ready to indulge in a weekend of wine, food and luxury at the 12th Annual Boca Bacchanal benefitting the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum. Guests will savor wine produced by top vintners from around the world and delectable cuisine prepared by an elite group of renowned chefs. This year’s stellar lineup of vintners and chefs will excite both foodies and wine enthusiasts alike. 

World Class Vintners

Boca Bacchanal has invited highly acclaimed, international vintners to showcase their exclusive wine selections. Boca Bacchanal 2014 vintners include:

·         Cakebread Cellars – Napa Valley
·         Darioush Winery – Napa Valley
·         Chateau Tanunda – Australia
·         Hollywood and Vine 2480 – Napa Valley
·         Benziger Winery – Sonoma Valley
·         Champagne Piper-Heidsieck – France

·         Matthias Mergt: Yusho, Chicago
·         Chris Jakubiec: Plume at The Jefferson, Washington DC
·         Joanne Weir and Gonzalo Rivera: Copita, Sausalito
·         Ian Schnoebelen: Mariza, New Orleans
·         Brian and Shanna O’Hea: Academe, Kennebunk
·         Daniel Zeal: The Cloister, Sea Island

The weekend begins with the Vintner Dinners on Friday, March 28, 2014 at six magnificent venues in Boca Raton. Each dinner will feature a vintner and chef working together to create an unforgettable five-course dinner that perfects the art of food and wine pairing.

The excitement continues the following Saturday, March 29, 2014, with the Bacchus Bash at the historic Boca Raton Resort & Club.  Guests will enjoy an interactive food and wine experience when they meet award-winning chefs and vintners while savoring their signature cuisine and wine selections. Silent and live auctions will offer fabulous wine, travel, cuisine and lifestyle lots; music and dancing will round out this unbelievable evening. 

On Sunday, March 30, 2014, Boca Bacchanal’s Grand Tasting will be an afternoon, open-air event at the Mizner Park Amphitheatre. Attendees will enjoy over 140 wines, by-the-bite specialties prepared by exceptional chefs from South Florida restaurants as well as the back-by-popular-demand beer garden that will include craft beer, ales and lagers. New this year will be a live performance by the popular Miami band – PALO!   Early booking discounts and specials to The Grand Tasting are $85 in advance and $100 at the door. You can purchase your tickets here:

“The annual Boca Bacchanal event benefits the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum’s mission to preserve and share our local history,” states Mary Csar, executive director of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum. “By offering the community the opportunity to celebrate Boca Raton’s history and lifestyle through exceptional wine and food tastings provided by world-class chefs and vintners and our local restaurants, we strive to raise funds to continue our heritage education and historic preservation programs in the community.”

12th Annual Boca Bacchanal Event Times

·         Vintner Dinners:       7:00 pm  
·         Bacchus Bash:           6:30pm   
·         Grand Tasting:           1:00pm – 4:00pm

12th Annual Boca Bacchanal Ticket Options

·         Vintner Dinners:                               $325
·         Bacchus Bash:                                   $225
·         Grand Tasting:                                   $85 in advance / $100 at door
·         Patron Ticket:                                    $600

o   Includes tickets for one to a Vintner Dinner (first or second choice), the Bacchus Bash and the Grand Tasting
      Grand Patron Ticket:                                    $1,500
o   Includes ticket for one to a Vintner Dinner (first choice), the Bacchus Bash, and the Grand Tasting with transportation provided to the Vintner Dinner and Bacchus Bash as well as recognition as a Grand Patron sponsor of  Boca Bacchanal.

Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge on the art of food and wine pairings, or looking for that one-of-a-kind gift to give your loved one for the holidays, the 12th Annual Boca Bacchanal Wine Weekend Getaway is the perfect gift for all. The Boca Raton Resort & Club is offering an exclusive weekend package to Boca Bacchanal that include deluxe accommodations at the resort. Find out more information by visiting

12th Annual Boca Bacchanal Chairs

Boca Bacchanal has named Robert B. Campbell as the honorary chair of Boca Bacchanal 2014.  Event Chairmen are Joyce DeVita and Betsy Fletcher. Vintner Dinner Chairmen include Yvette Drucker, Julia Johnston, Lauri Saunders and Kirsten Stephenson. Bacchus Bash Chairmen include Thom DeVita, Kathryn and Bo Gillespie, Joni Goldberg and LouAnn Such. Grand Tasting Chairmen include Jamie and Eric Sauer and Kathy Qualman.

12th Annual Boca Bacchanal Partners & Sponsors

Founding sponsors of the 2014 Boca Bacchanal include the Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton Magazine, and Republic National Distributing Company. Additional sponsors are Cendyn, Saks Fifth Avenue Boca Raton, JM Lexus, City of Boca Raton, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, Crown Wine & Spirits, The Schmidt Family Foundation, Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation, Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council, Palm Beach County, Champagne Taittinger, The Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Atlas Party Rental, Saratoga Water, and

For more information about Boca Bacchanal, including a full list of attending vintners, chefs and participating restaurants, or to purchase tickets, visit


About the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum

The Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving the past to enrich the future. Now in its 42nd year, the Historical Society & Museum actively promotes historic preservation and education through its archival services, guided tours and educational programs. For more information or to become a member, go to

Yours truly will be covering The Grand Tasting on Sunday, March 30th, which coincidentally happens to be my birthday and I couldn't think of a more perfect way to spend the day!

Until we eat again...
  I send you delicious wishes, xo