Tuesday, November 25, 2014

B is for Bruce and it is also for the most delicious Bobka French Toast Ever!

Hello Foodie Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you today my review of Bruce's of Great Neck in West Boca, in the Boca Greens Shopping Plaza on 441, just north of Kimberly Rd. and south of Yamato. Now, even though Bruce's has been open for a little over a year now, it's still brand new new me, so bear with me while I sing its praises if you are one of the clever ones out there reading this who have already discovered this wonderful gem of a place.

Everything is baked fresh on premise and each table is given this beautiful assortment on the house, upon being seated.

On this day, I got to sample some new menu items which consisted of their cinnamon and chocolate Bobka French Toast, something I never had before but fell in love with and will now undoubtedly be back for again and again...

A trio of salads: House Chicken, Chunky Shrimp and Lobster.
All were very tasty, but the Lobster salad was my fave!

 Ham & Swiss Quiche,
Packed with lots of yummy bits of ham pieces...

A Roasted Turkey Panini

The Roasted Turkey Panini was to die for. It was made with freshly roasted turkey, fresh spinach, Brie cheese, Bartlett pears, and a horseradish mayo. I think there's talk of possibly adding a little dollop of cranberry on there after Thursday to create the perfect Thanksgiving  "left over" sammy!

A fabulous dessert platter

Who is Bruce and how did he get his start?

Bruce Zipes founded Bruce's of Great Neck back in 1976 in Long Island NY. What started out  strictly as a high quality bakery for many years, eventually expanded into a full service one-of-a-kind restaurant where one could not only get the traditional Jewish fare they were accustomed to, but other specialties such as gourmet paninis and savory omelettes were being served there as well. 

Bruce has made quite a name for himself in his home town where he was was deeply committed to serving his community; whether donating a dinner for 100 returning Gulf War veterans and their wives, making a road more attractive in Great Neck, being a major sponsor for the Great Neck Art Center or making daily donations to senior citizen group homes or soup kitchens. Bruce was honored to be the recipient of the Giraffe Award, Great Neck's most prestigious award for continued outstanding community service. As former President George Bush Sr. said in his letter of commendation to Bruce's: "You are to be commended for your spirit and deep involvement in your community. Our Nation thrives on civic pride and you are a local institution that Great Neck (and now Boca) can be proud of!"

Bruce has been seen on numerous television shows including: The Regis Philbin Show, The Today Show, The John Stewart Show, The Food Channel and major news shows on NBC, CBS and ABC. He has also won the prestigious award from the Metro Channels "NY Eats" for the best challah in New York City. Write ups have also appeared in several publications including Newsday and the NY Post to name a few. Over the years, Bruce has been proud to be associated with hundreds of celebrities and luminaries from all walks of life.

Some of Bruce's highlights:
Bruce once received a visit from Hillary Clinton who proclaimed to "love the chocolate ruggies". Bruce had appeared on the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars". Bruce appeared on the Today Show with a portrait cake and new dessert cookbook; He created an anniversary cake for "The Howard Stern Show".

Bruce's Caters
for the holidays &

For any occasion

Bruce's is open everyday from 7am - 3pm. 
They are located at 19575 State Rd 7, Boca Raton
(561) 483-2331   website

There is something for everyone at Bruce's of Great Neck!

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

Denise Righetti
C.F.O. (Chief Foodie Officer)
Denise's Foodie Events & Savor Our City™

Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive news on upcoming Foodie Events and special discount offers exclusively available to our subscribers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

You Had Me At To Go

Hello Foodie Friends,

I was recently invited to dine at the new Bravo! Harbourside in Jupiter so I decided to bring my good friend Sharon along with me for brunch this past Sunday. Although this took me out of my usual Boca/Delray stomping ground, the 45 minute leisurely drive was well worth it!

The beautiful new 7,098-square-foot Jupiter restaurant offers indoor seating for 239 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. 

To get us in the brunching mood, we kicked it off with a Bloody Mary for me and a nice refreshing glass of white wine for Sharon. After a brief glance of the menu, we asked our server Chase for his recommendation. He did not hesitate to suggest the stuffed French toast. The Berries & Cream French Toast was made by stuffing two perfectly battered and browned pieces of bread with sweet cream cheese, honey and cinnamon and topped with a fresh berry compote. It came with a side of Applewood bacon, which Sharon and I agreed was the best cooked bacon that both of us had ever remember having. 

For our next tasting, we chose the Open-Faced Biscuit Sandwich which consisted of two over-easy cage free eggs, house made
biscuit, marinated tomatoes, arugula, spicy candied bacon, cheese, green onion mayo and served with a drizzle of spicy Sriracha over the top. Now those of you who have been following my posts for some time know that I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy/hot things, but I have been working on "toughening up" my taste buds and it seems to have paid off. I took that sandwich down with nary a need for an extinguisher. LOL. The sandwich was very creative and well executed and we loved every bite of it.

Next, I wanted to try the Lobster Bisque. I'm a huge fan of this soup so whenever I see it on a menu, I am tempted to give it a try. This one ranked up there on my list of all time favorites. They seemed to hit the mark with this one. It had the perfect viscosity and balance of sherry, cream and chunks of lobster meat. So yummy. I have to mention that every dish that was brought out to us was served at the optimum temperature, something we both were impressed by.

While we were enjoying our brunch, Manager Lindsay had come by to check on us and asked if it would be alright for the Chef to prepare a couple signature dishes for us to try. Of course we said yes. Sous Chef Jon came over to our table and presented what he said was the House favorite; a Balsamic Glazed Chicken served on a bed of orzo/faro pilaf with artichokes, fresh basil, Kalamata olives, garbanzo beans, tomatoes and Feta, with grilled asparagus.

The second dish Chef Jon brought out for us was his personal choice: the Bravo! Classic Grilled Pork Chop. A thick glazed chop topped with an herb butter sauce and served with seasonal vegetables and Tuscan mashed potatoes.

Both of these dishes could be found on their dinner menu and were excellent, but they were just too heavy for us to have more than a bite or two after all the other food we just ate. Which meant we got to take home leftovers for dinner!

I could have finished right there, but was convinced by Sharon, that we had to round out this amazing brunch by trying at least one of their desserts. My belly reluctantly agreed and out came Chase with not one, but two trays of freshly prepared dessert options. We chose the Warm Chocolate Cake, a rich chocolate "molten lava like" cake with a warm center oozing out served with a scoop of vanilla bean gelato. The cake was moist with just the right density. It had the perfect amount of sweetness. It really was an exceptional dessert. Heavenly!

By this time, our To Go containers arrived with our left over pork chop and chicken dishes and Sharon took one look at these branded containers and went gaga. It's not every day that one sees take out containers that have the business's logo etched into the container. Yes, logos on the bags or boxes, but this seemed to be unique. This attention to detail was just the icing on the cake so to speak, that exemplified the kind of service that the folks behind Bravo! put forth and what really sets them aside and puts them at the top of their game, if you ask me. 

In conclusion, I want to say "Bravo" to the staff at Bravo! Harbourside Jupiter. Everyone there did an outstanding job from service, food and ambiance and I am looking forward to my next visit.

BRAVO! at Harbourside Place offers Brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; and Bar Bites starting at $3.95, featuring standouts such as Beef Carpaccio, Pulled Pork Sliders and Crispy Shrimp Napoli. The Bar Bites menu, available in the bar only, will be available Monday–Friday from 3:30–6:30 p.m. and Monday–Thursday from 9 p.m. until closing. Guests will also enjoy $5 Martini Wednesdays during select hours for various specialty and classic martinis. BRAVO!’s Viva Vino will feature $5 select wines every Thursday evening. The restaurant will also offer $7.95 lunch specials on weekdays until 3 p.m., a gluten free menu, special children’s menu, family-style pans-to-go for off-site catered special events and business occasions, and online ordering.  

BRAVO! at Harbourside Place is open seven days a week: Sunday–Thursday from 11 a.m.–10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Reservations and call-ahead seating will be accepted and walk-ins welcomed. For reservations, please call 561-747-4445 or for more information visit www.bravoitalian.com.

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

Denise Righetti
C.F.O. (Chief Foodie Officer)
Denise's Foodie Events & Savor Our City™

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nick's New Haven Style Pizzeria & Bar

Hello Foodie Friends, 

Today's Boca Food Find is Nick's New Haven Style Pizzeria & Bar. 

Now, there is pizza, and then there is apizza, New Haven-style pizza is the latter; a hotter, crispier, and dirtier descendant of Neapolitan style pie. What ribs are to Kansas City, cheesesteak to Philadelphia, and crabcakes to Baltimore, pizza is to New Haven. So how did Connecticut's second largest city become ground zero for some of the best pizza in the United States? And just what is New Haven-style pizza exactly?
At the turn of the twentieth century, New Haven became a popular town for Italian families who settled in the United States in neighborhoods such as Wooster Square bringing with them palates that appreciated the thin-crusted Neapolitan style pizza of their homeland.
What makes New Haven-style pizza so unique and sets it apart from the other styles is its signature charred, thin-crusted, crispy and chewy pies that use the perfect balance of sauce, cheese and toppings throughout.

First you must get the lingo and the pronunciation right; It's apizza, (pronounced a-BEETS) not pizza. The word "apizza" is itself a distinguishing characteristic of New Haven. The "a" is a harbinger of the Italian dialect spoken in the Naples region.

Coal:  In the twenties and thirties coal was abundant and cheap. It is also responsible for the blistered, sooty, and smoke-imbued flavor of the pies at Nick's, whos brick oven is coal fired and cooks at an excess of 750 degrees, creating a darker crust which they call "charred" or "done well".

A long, cold fermentation: New Haven-style pizza dough relies on a longer fermentation than that of its quick rise New York style pizza neighbor. Allowing the dough to proof more slowly over the course of an overnight refrigeration, in combination with letting the dough come to room temperature before shaping and baking, allows for a much more nuanced flavor and chewy crust.

Now, although I have had my share of pizzas over the years representing different styles, I would not claim to be a pizza aficionado by any means. All I know is that the pizza I like best is crispy but not burnt and can hold up to the toppings placed upon it without making it soggy and droopy. That's it, I'm not asking for a whole lot, am I? 

So when my friend Shaina asked me to join her at Nick's, I was excited because I had not yet been there. We started out with the Escarole & Beans which we both thought were excellent. Perfectly seasoned with the right amount of oil and acidity.

Escarole & Beans
 They had a section on their menu dedicated to bruschettas, which we both thought was really cool. An order comes with 3 or 5 pieces of toasted rustic bread that has been rubbed with garlic oil and topped with your choice of any three toppings from the following categories: Marinated, Cured & Cheeses. We chose to top ours with tomatoes, eggplant and shaved Parmesan cheese. This was one of my faves of the evening.
Shaved Bruschetta

Fried Calamari

1/2 Roasted Garlic, Spinach, Mozzarella & Tomato
1/2 Roasted Peppers & Caramelized Onions

 Because there were were both apizzas and pizza flats on the menu, we decided we had to try both, so we could make the comparison for you. So here's my take on it. Of the two apizzas we had, the roasted garlic, spinach, mozzarella & tomato and the roasted pepper & caramelized onion, I enjoyed the one with the spinach the best. It held up to my crispy test the best. The second one didn't hold up quite as well, although it was tasty, the toppings made it a bit too soggy for my liking.

Nick's Famous White Clam Pizza Flat 
 A visit to a Nick's New Haven Style Pizzeria & Bar would not be complete without at least trying their signature white clam pizza (either on their traditional apizza or on their pizza flat). If you are a lover of clams, this combination will certainly not disappoint. Made with Parmesan, cherry peppers, lemon and garlic. Our white clam pizza flat was very flavorful and perfectly crispy and most importantly, it stood up to my test with flying colors.

OK, now we are getting to my next favorite part of the night; Dessert. Shaina had her eyes set on trying the chocolate mousse cheesecake and me? I was eyeballing the salted caramel gelato affogato. Nick's make's their desserts in house and we were both thoroughly impressed with what they brought out. I would come back here for the desserts alone! They also have quite a selection of specialty drinks and wines by the glass and bottle.

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Decaf Cappuccino with Salted Caramel Gelato   
Nick's has two locations; one in Boca Raton and the other in Coral Springs. We visited the one in Boca which is located at 2240 NW 19th St. (561) 368-2900 www.NicksPizzeriaBar.com
Until we eat again...
  I send you delicious wishes, xo
Denise Righetti
C.F.O. (Chief Foodie Officer)
Denise's Foodie Events & Savor Our City™

Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive news on upcoming Foodie Events and special discount offers exclusively available to our subscribers.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Alchemist Gastropub & Bar, Where Business Meets Casual & Classic Meets Cool on Clematis

The Alchemist Gastropub & Bar, a vintage-inspired eatery and speakeasy opened its doors to locals and visitors on Oct. 13th. The restaurant, proudly developed by Daiza Restaurant Group LLC, which also operates Fort Lauderdale Beach’s popular Atlantic Surf Club, brings to West Palm Beach's bustling Clematis Street an extensive handcrafted menu of libations and modern comfort classics creating a perfect fusion of gastronomy, mixology and entertainment.

 The stunning 4200-square-foot restaurant and lounge offers indoor seating for 150 guests, and al fresco dining for 15 guests. Designed by the Daiza Restaurant Group’s Vice President of Development and Training Mark Siders, The Alchemist’s vintage interior features details such as a silver tin ceiling, apothecary-style bar, Jules Verne-inspired artwork, motifs and pillows, industrial lighting, and dark woods.

Created by Daiza Restaurant Group’s Director of Culinary Operations Martin Verano and executed by Executive Chef Tim Farley, The Alchemist’s menu is an eclectic collection of Mediterranean influenced dishes, and contemporary interpretations of comfort classics with a special nod toward farm fresh ingredients and global fare.

With a dish sure to arouse the taste buds of any and all foodies, the menu is divided into Nibbles & Bites,  Signature Appetizers, Farm-to-Table Salads, Pub Fare staples, Petit Buns, In Burgers We Trust, World Street Fare, Woodfired Crust pizzas, and Big Plates.


My friends and I went in to check the place out this past Thursday night and I am excited to share with you my wonderful experience. But first, here's a little parking tip. There is valet parking across the street by Rocco's Tacos for $10, but we happened to find the parking garage just literally around the corner which cost us just $3 for 3 hours. Yes, we indulged for 3 hours! LOL

Okay, so now on to the indulging part...the Grade A Ahi Tuna we sampled was THE BEST tuna sashimi I have EVER had! It was SO fresh and the sauce they used to marinate the tuna in was extremely flavorful. (This item is not yet a staple on their menu, and was served as a special for our table on this night, but...I am hoping that they will soon make it one!)

Dark & Stormy Cocktail
Grade A Ahi Tuna
The stunning 4200-square-foot restaurant and lounge offers indoor seating for 150 guests, and al fresco dining for 15 guests. We sat at a cozy table tucked into a little nook.

We next indulged in the Mezzette Platter and the Calamari Fries. The burnt baba ghanoush was delicious and the crispy chick peas, well I was popping them into my mouth like they were bar nuts. Couldn't get enough.  My friends and I all agreed that the Calamari Fries were so unique. We never had anything like them and we really enjoyed the dipping sauces served with them too.
Vegetarian Mezzette
Hummus, citrus radishes, cured olives & orange salad, Ima's Tahini & crispy chick peas, burned baba ghanoush served with Za'atar pita
Calamari Fries
served with aioli and tatziki sauces
Craig, our Sommelier

Lamb Tajin
Lamb Tajin with the most flavorful rice
Herbed Lamb chops, Ras El Hanout rice, braised chick peas, Medjoul date gremolata and celery leaf & radish salad

Fried Shishito Peppers
with olive oil, sea salt & miso dipping sauce
Carnitas tacos
Milk-braised pork, avocado mayo, Latin slaw & pork crackling crunch
With my friends Melisa, Mandy and Daiza Restaurant Group CEO Eli Levy

We couldn't have been treated better. From the CEO to our wonderful server and everyone in between. We were especially impressed with the great attitude that seemed to start with Eli and spread amongst his team. In the short time we spent with Eli, we could tell how excited and passionate he is about food & wine and the culture he is creating here at The Alchemist and it shows in all areas of the operation.

“We are delighted to be a part of West Palm Beach’s exciting gastronomical and mixology neighborhood,” says Daiza Restaurant Group CEO Eli Levy. “We feel that The Alchemist will be an outstanding restaurant choice for those seeking a taste of tomorrow with the look of yesteryear.” 
Grilled peach served with a basil and peach gelato, berries and rose water.
Chocolate tart filled with a raspberry mousse, wild berry compote & white chocolate creme.

The most delicious chocolate chip cookies
served warm and with both Vanilla and Strawberry Milkshakes to wash them down.
If I have at all peaked your interest at all, then be sure to mark your calendars for their official Grand Opening party taking place on Tuesday, Nov 18th from 5:30 - 7:30pm. You must RSVP though.

 The Alchemist is located at 223 Clematis Street inWest Palm Beach

 The Alchemist Gastropub & Bar is open seven days a week: Sunday from 11 a.m.–1 a.m., Monday–Thursday from 11:30 a.m.–1 a.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m. Reservations and call-ahead seating will be accepted and walk-ins welcomed. For reservations, please call 561-355-0691, or for more information visit www.thealchemistgastropub.com.

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


Denise Righetti
C.F.O. (Chief Foodie Officer)
Denise's Foodie Events & Savor Our City™

Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive news on upcoming Foodie Events and special discount offers exclusively available to our subscribers.