Friday, December 26, 2014

DaVinci's is D'vine!

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today's review is of DaVinci's of Boca Raton.
DaVinci's, a family owned restaurant, is located in the Town Center Mall in the former Legal Seafood spot, next to Nordstrom. They just opened a few months ago and I was very excited to check it out with my friend and fellow food blogger Shaina, from Take A Bite Out of Boca. 

DaVinci's of Boca is owned by the Carvelli family (who also own the successful Ristorante DaVinci in Marco Island) with classic Italian specialties and innovative creations by Chefs
Francesco Carvelli and Chris DeGenova.  Originally from Mesoraca, Italy, the family recreates the warmth, hospitality, fine food and drinks reminiscent of their childhoods back in Italy.  

Italians love to entertain and according to DaVinci's Co-Owner & GM, Luigi Carvelli, that's what his family is all about. When you step through the door, you feel the warmth of the restaurant. They chose a lot of earthy colors and a lot of stone. Guests will feel right at home in the environment they have proudly created.  

Shaina and I began our night at the beautiful outdoor bar, a 60' bar which extends both inside and outside.  Like the kitchen, the bar focuses on fresh ingredients and the friendly and helpful bartenders are serving up some unique & modern concoctions as well as some timeless classics. I tried the Wild Berry Mojito made with Flor de Cana Extra-Dry Rum, Fresh Mint, Lime Juice and Fresh Berries. Shaina ordered the Fall Light, which was made with Grey Goose Pear Vodka, St. Germain, Grapefruit Juice, Peach Bitters and Zardetto Prosecco. We both enjoyed our cocktails very much.
Wild Berry Mojito
We then moved inside to the main dining room to enjoy our dinner. The menu is thoughtfully divided into two sections; the classico, which consists of recipes that have been in their family for generations and the moderno, which consist of recipes that their chefs are developing every day. 

Warm bread with Trio of dips 
 The first arrival to our table was a warm bread basket accompanied by a trio of dipping sauces -  eggplant caponata, extra virgin olive oil with aged balsamic imported from Italy, Mascarpone with lemon zest & thyme. Our taste buds were off to a great start!
 Under the Antipasti section of the dinner menu under the Moderno selections, you will find the Polipo Grigliato al Salmoriglio, aka Octopus. If you enjoy octopus as much as Shaina and I do, you will definitely want to try this version. It's served chilled and flavored with lemon, olive oil, parsley, potatoes, peppers, arugula and pepperoncino.
House-made mozzarella 
Another antipasti I tried, under the classico selection, was the house-made mozzarella stuffed w/prosciutto, roasted peppers, arugula w/tomato bacon jam & balsamic reduction. (Although I would go out on a limb and say that this could easily cross over to the moderno section, because the tomato bacon jam was ridiculously good and definitely a twist on the classic mozzarella caprese).
Pappardelle con Porcini e tartufo
 The Pappardelle con Porcini e Tartufo and the Chilean Sea Bass came out next. If you have been reading my posts, than you know that anything with truffle in the title is going to get Shaina and my interest. We both also happen to love pappardelle so when we saw this dish on the moderno side of the menu, we were all over that! The pappardelle was cooked perfectly and the porcini, asparagus tips, shaved black truffles and light cream sauce married so perfectly together. Our taste buds were now beginning to party in our mouths.
Chilean Sea Bass
Chilean Sea Bass is my favorite fish and whenever I see that on a menu at a fine dining establishment, I am tempted to give it a try. When our server, Michael, announced this particular version of sea bass as one of their specials of the night, we were both on board for trying it out. The sea bass was served on a bed of squid ink risotto and drizzled with a saffron cream sauce. Delicioso! Into wine??DaVinci's has a great selection of red and white wines from their 3,000 bottle cellar. I enjoyed a lovely baby Amarone during dinner.  
Salted Caramel Tiramisu
For dessert, Luigi had decided to have the Salted Caramel Tiramisu and the Lemon Meringue Mascarpone brought to our table for us to try. OMG! These dishes were truly pieces of art work on a plate. Not only that, but they were as tasty as they were beautiful.

Lemon Meringue Mascarpone

 Check this out, DaVinci's has Happy Hour 7 days a week from 11am - 6pm at the bar and patio only (how cool is that?) as well as a late night Happy Hour from 9pm - close. 

Private Dining area
The indoor private dining room can accommodate groups up to 40 guests and their outside patio/lounge area can accommodate much larger groups.

Still looking for ideas where to go this New Year's Eve? DaVinci's has some options for you to consider...

DaVinci's is open 7 days a week Mon - Thu 11am - 10pm; Fri & Sat 11am - 11pm and Sundays 12pm - 10pm.
They are located at 6000 Glades Rd. (next to Nordstrom at the Town Center Mall). 561-362-8466. For more info, visit their website.

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.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Out of Denmark is Out of the World, Good!

Hello Foodie Friends,
Today I am pleased to share with you my latest Boca Food Find, Out of Denmark. I was recently invited to attend a media dinner here, although they have been open (re-open) for about a year now. You see, there's a little bit of history about Out of Denmark that you must know in order to fully appreciate where they are today. According to Jorgen Moller, Sr. his family has served an estimated 4 million guests since opening their first restaurant, Prince Hamlet in Miami in 1969.

Me with Jorgen

Gravlax & Deviled eggs
 Jorgen took a seat at our table and was forthright with tales of his family's legacy, where they had been, the charities they have served and the steps they take to ensure they are converting visitors to loyal customers, one phone call at a time. That's right, Out of Denmark takes customers' comments very seriously and someone from the restaurant calls each guest the very next day to get their candid feedback on their dining experience. Jorgen says that most people won't give their honest opinion to the owner or Manager, so they decided to take this unique approach. In a time when everything is trending towards technology, it's nice to know that someone still holds on to old fashioned, time-tested tactics like picking up a phone to actually speak to their customers and mailing out postcards to each of their guests.
Koldt Bord

Shortly after I was seated, our server Kate greeted me warmly and took my drink order. (I had a nice Sauvignon Blanc, in case you care to know that little tidbit.) I thought it'd pair nicely with the gravlax that sat King of the Mountain atop a 3 tiered appetizer tower known as a Koldt Bord.  

What they're doing here has become their signature trade mark, as they have been doing this for years. I say, why break tradition?!? I'm glad they agree! They have created what they call a table top buffet, comprising of items that they know their clients really like. The gravlax is a popular and tasty item there. They make their own cured salmon, pickled herring, a European cucumber salad, a spinach dip - all things that one would normally pay extra for are brought to each table at no extra charge. 

Jorgen and his son Christian re-opened Out of Denmark last year after a brief hiatus from the business when Jorgen left to care for his wife who, unfortunately lost her battle to cancer. The father-son team agreed that immersing themselves back into the business and doing what they both loved, was the best medicine of all. 

 Chef Christian is no stranger to the kitchen. According to his father, Christian, now in his 40's, has a long history of cooking; at the ripe old age of 7 he was standing on a milk crate behind the line and putting food on the plate.

Pickled Beets, European Cucumber Salad, Marinated Mushrooms in a Dijon Mustard Sauce

Deviled egg with caviar & Home cured salmon

Red Lentil Soup with sweet carrots

This was the best schnitzel I have ever eaten! Ever! This is a "Must Try" dish. Period. It is an herb crusted veal cutlet served with some really tasty mashed potatoes and some seasonal vegetable. All cooked to perfection.

Rice Pudding

Belgium Chocolate Cake

Seven Layered Danish Custard & Raspberry Cake

I know, I know. How do I do it? How do I keep going out, night after night and eat like this and then on top of all the yummy food, there's not one, not two, but three desserts to sample on this night. Ay yay hay! I don't know how I do it, but somehow, (I must be a glutton for punishment), I keep coming back for more. (If you call getting fed all these wonderful meals punishment). I do it all for you, my dedicated fans. (Let's see if anyone is actually reading this. If that's you (no not you, mom), then make a little comment below this post for me.)

All the desserts are made in house and are just as delicious as they are works of art. I happen to really dig the rice pudding. 

When you step foot into Out of Denmark, Their moto is "Our House is Your House" and you will certainly feel as if you've stepped into someone's home. The Moller's and their entire staff want you to feel as if you are part of their family. I got that feeling and look forward to coming back again and again...

Out of Denmark is located at 2275 S. Federal Hwy. Delray Beach
Visit their website for more info. (561)-276-2242

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.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ba Ba Ba Benny's on the Beach

Hello Foodies,
'Tis I again, your dedicated foodie friend eating my way around South Florida to share with you my fabulous food finds. Today's blog post highlights Benny's on the Beach in Lake Worth. I was invited to attend a special Seafood Bake & viewing party in honor of Benny's Chef/Partner Jeremy Hanlon and his debut on The Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay". This was not Chef Jeremy's first time on The Food Network though, he has previously appeared on Chopped. So the invites were sent out and guests arrived to experience what became the kick off of Thursday night Seafood Bake at Benny's on the Beach. 

The night started out with a VIP reception on the pier. It was a breezy night, but a lovely one at that.

Lots of delicious cocktails were offered. I selected the Blue Hammerhead LIT and found a surprise at the bottom of my drink- a yummy gummy hammerhead, lol! 

Pier Tacos
"The Sneak Peak"
Waffle Fry Sliders

The passed apps were all nicely presented and each one was delicious. We had their Pier tacos, a home made taco shell filled with tuna, roasted local sweet corn, poblano pepper and a tomatillo relish; "The Sneak Peak", Chef Jeremy's Florida Grouper "Fish n Chips" as seen on BEAT BOBBY FLAY; Waffle Fry Sliders, waffle fries topped with house beer-braised BBQ brisket and aged white cheddar.

Maine Lobster Ravioli
Slow poached lobster filled ravioli and a sweet corn & herb broth
The lobster ravioli was delicious!

Florida Black Drum
Pan roasted Drum, vegetable hash and roasted green tomato sauce
I never had Drum before. It was a very tasty fish and the veggie hash was packed with flavor. I enjoyed this dish very much.

Seafood Bake with all the trimmins

Seafood Bake: Atlantic Coast Clams & Shrimp, P.E.I. Mussels, Gulf Coast Snow Crab and Alaskan King Crab and of course...Corn and Potatoes

The Seafood Bake...who doesn't like a traditional seafood bake?!? We were provided all the proper tools to dig right in. Bib, check. Mallet, check. Shell crackers, check. Dig in, check check!! lol

Tracy & I got our bibs on & are ready to feast on a the Seafood Bake

Funnel Cake Fries
 Sweet twist on a classic carnival fave. These are just as addicting as regular fries.
Chocolate Oreo Bread and Pineapple Upside Down
The Oreo Bread was good, but, in my opinion, the Pineapple Upside Down was really really delicious, and I've never even been a fan of this type of cake in the past. So kudos to them on this one.
Maple Bacon Milkshake

We ended the evening with this little guy. A maple-bacon milkshake. Genius. Loved the flavor combination. Well executed.
Benny's has been sort of like an institution here in Lake Worth for 20+ years and up until the date of this event had only been open for breakfast and lunch. Well, that is about to change! They have just announced that they are now open for dinner on Thursdays, featuring of course the Seafood Bake and also Friday - Sunday from 5 - 9pm. Guests can select from a nice variety of items on the new dinner menu that will appeal to all palates from fresh fish, pasta, salads and even burgers. You can visit their Facebook page  or Website for updates and more details. 

If you're interested in finding out how Chef Jeremy did against Bobby Flay, you can check out the next showing of "Beat Bobby Flay" episode By Land or By Sea on Sat. Dec 20th at 1:30pm on The Food Network.

Benny's on the Beach is located at 10 S. Ocean Blvd, Lake Worth
(561)- 582-9001
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.

Friday, December 5, 2014

La Ferme is Le Magnifique!

Hello Foodie Friends,

I recently had the pleasure of dining at La Ferme and I am pleased to report that this place is a winner; a "must-get-there-as-soon-as-possible" kind of place!

La Ferme is a modern Mediterranean Bistro located in West Boca next to Doris' Market. The food is locally sourced, with an emphasis on quality in an elegant, comfortable setting. The cuisine showcases both classic comfort faves as well as modern interpretations of a bistro menu. La Ferme also features an extensive wine list, with a focus on boutique vineyards, beers from local and international micro-breweries and a craft cocktail list.

There are two sides to the restaurant. To the left you'll find an elegant dining room with 30 tables and to the right, you'll find a more casual setting with a large bar and a number of tables available on a first come, first served basis. 

Angel's Penicillin cocktail

Amuse Bouche: Lobster consomme
My friend Shaina and I were seated in the main dining room on this evening. Brought to our table shortly after our cocktails was an unexpected surprise of an Amuse Bouche of Lobster Consomme. This hearty little cup of deliciousness was packed with flavor and warmed our tummies, leaving us with a feeling as if we had just been hugged from the inside. The description we were provided was that it contained salmon, scallop mousse dumpling, Shiitake mushrooms, cilantro and truffle oil. To be honest, I'm not quite sure where the namesake lobster was in this dish, lol, but it was quite tasty. This dish can be ordered as a soup starter.
 Ah, the octopus!!! I am still thinking about how wonderful this dish was. It was THE BEST Octopus I have had to date. It was so incredibly fresh and cooked to perfection with just the right amount of char to give it a slight smokiness. It was served with gigande beans and a charred tomato vinaigrette. Loved it. You should definitely try this one!

Beet cured gravlax
 Next up was the Beet Cured Gravlax. The beets added a nice hue and subtle flavoring to the salmon. It was topped with a mustard aioli, capers and tendrils and served with a buttered layered pumpernickel bread. This was not only a beautifully plated dish, but one that made my taste buds sing. 
Pepper encrusted Ahi Tuna
The pepper encrusted Ahi Tuna was served with sautéed spinach and a pearl onion au jus and topped with crispy parsnips. The tuna had a wonderful sear and the au jus and parsnip crisps perfectly complemented the dish.
Oysters from WA State
 We decided to try a couple different types of oysters, both from Washington state. The larger ones were the Shikoku and the smaller ones were the Kumamoto. The west coast estuaries have more fresh water hence provide more minerals which tends to give it a subtle melon flavor. While both oysters were good, we both agreed that we liked the Kumamotos the best.

Pisco Verde cocktail
Thai Coconut Curry Mussels
Shaina enjoys mussels and decided to give these Thai Coconut Curry ones a try. Although I am not much of a mussel fan, I am a fan of Thai Coconut Curry so just the name intrigued me enough to ask for a bite. Not only was the broth A-Mazing, but the mussels were big and meaty and not over cooked or "rubbery"which is my usual gripe with mussels. These mussels were harvested by the de Koning family from ME. I would highly recommend you give these a try too!
Truffle Parmesan Frites
We'd be remiss if we didn't have the Truffle Parmesan Frites to go along with our mussels, right?!
Creme Brulee 
 Ok, so on to dessert...the creme brulee served with fresh berries was a classic and was delicious.
Chocolate Mousse cake
But the star of the desserts was this lovely chocolate mousse cake covered in the most decadent chocolate ganache. We devoured every last bite!

LA FERME   9101 Lakeridge Boulevard Boca Raton, Florida 33496  561 654 6600
DINING HOURS   Sun-Thurs 5:00-10:00  Fri-Sat 5:00-11:00. Bar opens at 4:00 daily.

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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mussel Beach, much more than mussels!

Hello Foodie Friends,

Earlier this week I was invited to dine at Mussel Beach right in the heart of Downtown Delray, on the corner of 5th & Atlantic Avenue. Now, I've passed by there a gazillion times, but hadn't been in there until now.

Mussel Beach is home to 12 different flavors of mussels,  imported daily from Prince Edward Island. They offer a variety of flavors such as-- creamy lobster bisque, spicy Fra Diavolo, Thai curry, and many more. Mussel Beach also serves a variety of non seafood dishes, so there is something to satisfy every palette.

Baked Kale
 While we waited for everyone to arrive, we were brought out this plate of baked kale. Tossed in olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper, it was quite addicting.  I don't see this item listed on their main menu, but it is on their Happy Hour menu.

Truffle Fries

Instead of bread baskets, guests at Mussel Beach receive a basket of Truffle Fries - now that's an unexpected and tasty way to start, wouldn't you agree?!?

Roasted Beet Salad

The Roasted Beet dish was delicious. It came with red and golden beets, a fried goat cheese fritter sitting atop a bed of arugula,mandarin oranges, pistachio crumbles and a drizzle of balsamic reduction . Very well thought out and composed dish. This item can be found under the appetizer section.

Lump Crab Cake

The crab cakes are divine at Mussel Beach and appear under several categories. We had the Crab Cake appetizer which was made using jumbo lump crab and horseradish mustard, served with a side of ginger soy slaw. You can also opt to have it on a salad or between two pieces of bread in a sandwich.
Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps - photo credit: Take A Bite Out of Boca

Another item found under the appetizer section is the Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps. Crispy pork, pickled cucumber, carrots, scallions and ponzu sauce placed delicately on top Boston Bibb lettuce cups. This dish contained the perfect balance of fat from the pork and acidity from the pickled cucumber and ponzu sauce.  

Tuna Tacos: Photo credit by Take a Bite Out of Boca

Another tasty appetizer we tasted was the Ahi Tuna Crudo topped with radish, jalapeno, cabbage and chipotle aioli and served with a side of beer battered avocado. This dish was exploding with flavor. Yummo!

Nut Crusted Grouper

Under the Fresh Fish Frenzy category, one could select from Grouper, Salmon, Cod, Mahi Mahi or Swordfish and then choose how its prepared. I chose the Nut Crusted Grouper which was served with wild rice pilaf, seasonal veggies in a vanilla rum butter. The fish was cooked to perfection and the sauce was a perfect compliment.
The next several photos are just a few of the dozen different varieties of  specialty Mussels they serve here at Mussel Beach. Did you know that one pound of mussels has only 10g of Fat, 2g of Saturated Fat, Only 300 Calories, 54g of Protein and Only 17g of Carbs? So feel free to indulge guilt-free!
Chowder Mussels: Photo credit by Take A Bite Out of Boca

Chowder: Cream, smoked bacon, potatoes and middle necks

Lobster Bisque: Photo credit by Take A Bite Out of Boca
 Lobster Bisque: Rich tomato cream, Maine lobster and parsley

Danish Blue Point: Photo credit by Take A Bite Out of Boca

Danish Blue Point: Roasted garlic cream, smoked bacon, blue cheese and scallions

Florentine: Photo credit by Take A Bite Out of Boca

Florentine: Spinach, shallots, roasted garlic, cream, Parmesan and fennel

French Onion: Photo credit by Take a Bite Out of Boca

French Onion: Baked, caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and croutons

And for dessert...
Samoa Cheesecake

Salted caramel, chocolate ganache & coconut

Crack Pie

Vanilla bean, oat crust and ice cream

Ice cream sandwich: Photo courtesy of Take a Bite Out of Boca

Chocolate, peanut butter, whipped cream and tempura bananas.

Every dessert we tried was fantastic, but my personal favorite was the Ice cream sandwich!

Mussel Beach offers a Gluten Free menu and also is available to Cater!

Mussel Beach is located at 501 E. Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. (561) 921-6464.

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.