Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Hello Foodie Friends, I had the great pleasure of attending this year's 2nd Annual Hess Select South Beach Seafood Chef Showdown event this past Friday at Lummus Park on South Beach. It was a battle between 11 restaurants in the categories of: Surf & Turf, Octopus, Lobster, Tuna and Fish. Despite the intermittent rain, a good time was had by all. Here are some highlights from the event: 

Host and friend Chef Ralph Pagano from Naked Taco with friend and fellow food blogger Shaina Wizov of Take A Bite Out Of Boca.

Battle Surf & Turf: Park Central Cafe vs. Cafe Avanti 
Park Central Cafe
Seared Scallop paired w/short ribs & served over a parsnip puree garnished with micro greens (my vote went to Park Central Cafe)

A spectacular display of amazing treats from the sea, all provided by Whole Foods
Scallops, Oysters, Prawns, Langostinos, Mussels, Salmon

Battle Octopus: Dolce Italian vs. Poseidon:
Dolce Italian
Grilled Octopus on top a salad of chickpeas, farro, and a pistachio vinaigrette

                   Greek-style Octopus with Mediterranean herbs and lemon oil sauce (my vote went to Poseidon)

 Battle Lobster: Naked Taco vs. Siena Tavern
 Naked Taco’s Lobster Empanada served with a Pineapple Rum Shooter
(my vote went to Naked Taco)
Siena Tavern Lobster Roll
 Top Chef Fabio Vivinai (left) Siena Tavern

 Battle Tuna: Red The Steakhouse vs. Cibo South Beach
Cibo Wine BarSeared Tuna over an arugula salad with tomatoes and olives

Red The Steakhouse
Tuna Tataki with yuku aioli and wakame (Red got my vote)

Battle Fish: Oceanaire Seafood Room, Florida Cookery, and City Hall The Restaurant

Florida Cookery
Smoked Cobia with a lemongrass vinaigrette and a quinoa salad

City Hall
Sesame seared salmon with jasmine rice and bok choy 

 Oceanaire Seafood RoomJerk Oceanaire Seafood Room, Florida Cookery, and City Hall The Restaurant

Here are the official results:
Battle Surf 'n Turf
Judges: Park Central Cafe
People's Choice: Cafe Avanti

Battle OctopusJudges: Poseidon
People's Choice: Poseidon

Battle LobsterJudges: Siena Tavern
People's Choice: Naked Taco

Battle TunaJudges: Red The Steakhouse
People's Choice: Red The Steakhouse

Battle FishJudges: Oceanaire
People's Choice: Oceanaire

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, October 26, 2014

O is for the Office and it is also for Outstanding New Menu Items!!!

Hi Foodie Fans,
I have to say I was rather ecstatic to not only learn that one of my favorite places on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach was getting some new menu items, but that I received this wonderful invitation:

**********YOU’RE INVITED!**********
Unveiling Of The Office’s New Menu - Private Media Tasting Event

The Office, a local new-aged gastropub restaurant, celebrates the launch of its new menu, join us for a taste of our new sample menu items with Executive Chef, Kelley Randal
October 21, 2014, 6 PM

WHO:              You and your guest are invited to attend The Office’s media preview dinner. Executive Chef, Kelley Randal will showcase the new menu and walk guests through a preview of this season’s newest offerings.
WHAT:            Savor The Office’s new menu items and see why this local casual-meets-refined establishment dedicated to protecting and nurturing the local economy – has become a charming neighborhood watering hole offering only the freshest food and drink options.
New items to sample include: Lobster Tacos, Fried Head Cheese, and Espresso Short Rib.
WHEN:            Tuesday, October 21, 2014
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
                        **By invitation only.  Seating is limited, please RSVP**

WHERE:           The Office Delray  
                        201 East Atlantic Ave
                                              Delray Beach, FL 33444

Coconut Cloud
The Office has a great selection of Signature Cocktails. The two they were featuring on this night were the Pink Slip, made with Kettle One Vodka, Grapefruit Juice, Pomegranate Liqueur, Agave Nectar with a Lemon Twist. The second was the Coconut Cloud, made with Vanilla Vodka, Malibu Rum, Coconut Milk, Pineapple Juice, Fresh Mint and Coconut Flakes. I have had the Pink Slip on occasion when we include them on our Savor Our City™ Culinary Tour and it is delicious, so on this night, I opted to try the Coconut Cloud. Doesn't it just sound like it's going to be delicious?!?
House Salad
Tomato Burrata Salad
 Under the section titled "Go Green" two all natural salads were introduced; the House Salad is a 50/50 blend of Mixed Greens & Arugula and has Golden Raisins, Cashews, Asian Pear & Manchego and is tossed in a White Pear Balsamic Dressing. This combination was magical.  

The Tomato Burrata consisted of Mango Spears and Pickled Onions with a drizzle of Fig Infused Vinegar Basil Oil. I'm a big fan of Burrata and I'm a big fan of Mango, but I have to admit that I had never thought to pair the two. It was a creative combination that provided an interesting twist on a classic preparation. 

The next round of tastings we were presented with fell under the category of "Office Supplies". The three Appetizers were: Lobster Tacos: Yuzu Amarillo Ceviche, Bean & Mango Salsa, Shaved Radish and Microgreens served in a crispy homemade taco shell;  

Lobster Tacos
Fried Green Tomato B.L.T.
Fried Green Tomato B.L.T.: Fried Green Tomato topped with Tomato Jam, Pork Belly, Saint Andres cheese, and Frisee.

Fried Head Cheese
The Fried Head Cheese is NOT at all what we (Shaina and I were expecting) and I would expect many of you might not be familiar with this item as well. So here goes...It's NOT Cheese, at ALL!! It's actually the byproduct of cooking an entire pig's head (you could use the head of other animals, but pig is the most popular), picking the skin off and setting it aside while continuing to make a stock with only the skull. Once the stock is ready, you pour some of the liquid over the cooked pork meat and cover and refrigerate so the gelatin in the stock gets firm and you get this meat jelly that people call Head Cheese. Chef Kelly's version came out fried and set atop a whole grain Dijon Remoulade Sauce and topped with a Corn & Fava Bean Hash and diced Apple and Baby Watercress. The presentation was beautiful and the taste...well, it was very interesting. I have to admit that I was starting to get full at this point and I didn't finish it, but the more I think about it, the more I think I would try it again. I hope if you are a pork fan that you will try it and let me know what you think about it.

Black Grouper
Espresso Short Rib

The next category was called "Board Room". These Main Plate Entrees included the Espresso Short Rib set atop Cheesy Grits, and topped with Natural Jus and a Wasabi Creme was outstanding. The meat was cooked so tenderly that it was fork tender. It was perfection on a plate.

The Black Grouper was cooked in a Raisin Brown Butter and Tasso Sauce with Faro, Corn and Black Eyed Peas. While I enjoyed the Grouper, The Faro combination took center stage to me!!
Yours Truly with GM Marcello and Shaina Wizov 
Yours Truly with Manager Joe & Shaina Wizov

My Foodie Partner in Crime, Shaina Wizov of Take A Bite Out of Boca
Fish Dip on homemade tortilla chip
 Not necessarily on the new menu item, but the gang at The Office were thoughtful to bring this dish out for Shaina in place of the Short Rib, as she doesn't eat meat. It was very tasty.

Chef Kelly and his team
Chef Kelly and Stacie Lange, Director of PR for BurgerFi Int'l/The Office

Oxtail Spaetzle
 As an added bonus and not on the Tasting Menu, Chef Kelly had brought out two additional dishes; the Oxtail Spaetzle and the Miss Piggy Goes to Vermont.

Spaetzle, if you're not familiar with  this, are a soft egg noodle or dumpling found in the cuisines of Germany and Austria regions. Although I do not know for sure how the Chef prepares the Spaetzle, I can surmise that the cooked pasta has been sauteed with the other ingredients because they were super flavorful. These other ingredients consisted of Corn Pickled Red Cabbage, Oyster Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts and Pumpkin and topped with a Fried Egg. This was another "O"utstanding dish of the night. I hear they already serve this one on their Sunday Brunch menu, so you don't have to wait for the release of the new menu items if you want to get your hands (and mouth) on this one right away, and I'm sure you do.  But leave room for this one- Miss Piggy Goes to Vermont. It was a perfect way to end the night. A nice balance of savory and sweet.

Miss Piggy Goes to Vermont

I like the title, although I was a bit confused as to the reference to Vermont. I kept thinking that it must be related to Maple Syrup, but in fact, it was in reference to the fried dough commonly found at a Vermont County Fair.  These scrumptuous homemade doughnuts come topped with bacon bits and both chocolate sauce and creme anglais are provided for dipping.
Hats off to Chef Kelly for taking traditional dishes and adding a fun twist to them which has inspired him in the creation of many of The Office's new menu.

The Office has Happy Hour Daily from 3 - 7pm and 10pm to Closing. All Draught Beers are $4. Their Happy Hour Bar Menu is also available from 3 - 7pm with a nice selection of apps from $5-7.50. They are located at 201 E. Atlantic Avenue. For more info, please visit their website at: www.TheOfficeDelray.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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A is for "Avocado Grill" and it also is for Amazing Grub!

Hello Foodie Friends,
I have been a busy girl attending several Grand Openings this month and today I'm here to share with you my latest one: Avocado Grill. "AG" is located in West Palm Beach, on Datura Street, just off Flagler.
Duck Taco
My friend Bryan Ralph is the new GM of AG. I had worked with Bryan while he was GM of Tryst. I had brought a group there earlier this year for a Foodie Event and Bryan was an early supporter of Savor Our City™ Culinary Tours. So of course, I was both saddened to see him leave Tryst, but excited for him and his new opportunity to work with AG's Owner/Chef Julien Gremaud- former Chef/Partner at Palm Beach's PB Catch and Pistache French Bistro.  
Stuffed Mushrooms
Shrimp Tempura, Duck & Avocado Roll
Avocado Grill features small plates, specialty sushi rolls and a full raw bar. Gremaud, a St. Tropez native, is featuring fresh locally-sourced artisanal ingredients. The menu is divided into eight sections: Avocado, Salads, Veggies, Sea, Land, Pasta, Sushi and Large Plates, with around four selections offered for each. 

Crispy Artichoke Hearts with a Key Lime Dipping Sauce

Lamb Sliders
Everything I tasted this evening was delicious, but the lamb sliders, OFF THE CHARTS!! Bursting with flavor. Although WPB is not my usual stomping ground, I think I may make a point to frequent it more often now, just so I can get more of this Amazing Grub!!
My Fabulous Bartender Making a Special Concoction For Me

Beef Tenderloin Crostini Topped With Bearnaise Sauce 

Cucumber Lollipops: Paper Thin Strips of Cucumber Wrapped around Tuna, Salmon and Hamachi
For more info on Avocado Grill, visit their website at www.AvocadoGrillWPB.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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

V is for Vino and it also is for Very Good!

Hello Foodie Friends,
I am delighted to share with you my dining experience at Vino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas, located in Mizner Plaza in Downtown Boca (in the little strip plaza on the south end of Mizner Park). Although Vino's is not a newly opened establishment, it was the first time I have actually sat and enjoyed a meal there. Their bar is very inviting and the locals can be found hanging out there enjoying a great selection of wines, nibbling on terrific tapas, engaging in conversation whilst listening to live music being performed. Vino's has live music nightly. Last night we heard the sultry sounds of Ms. Chris Janes.

Assorted Olives and Parmesan Reggiano

 The ambiance in the restaurant is quaint and cozy and we had a perfect table adjacent to the bar where we could see the entertainment as well. As an invited guest of Vino's (yeah, it is definitely one of the perks of being a food blogger), we didn't have to make any decisions when it came to ordering. The Chef prepared a wonderful tasting menu for us each paired with the perfect wine selection.
Grilled Calamari with Arugula Salad
Paired with this lovely Chenin Blanc

 The grilled calamari with arugula salad was off the chart fantastic and it paired really nicely with the Chenin Blanc!
Jumbo Prawns wrapped in Prosciutto and served with sauteed spinach on top a Ciabatta crostini
Paired with this lovely Pinot Grigio
The gnocchi, we were told were not made of potato and were very light and "pillowy" and the sauce was extremely flavorful. It paired perfectly with the Montepulciano D'Abruzzo.

Paired perfectly with this Montepulciano D'Abruzzo

Eggplant Parmigiana 
Meatball with Ricotta

 Ah, the Eggplant Parmigiana and the Meatball...these were two outstanding dishes that both myself and my companion enjoyed very much. They also paired very well with the Chianti we were served.
Paired with this lovely Chianti
And just for good measure, we were poured a glass of this amazing Silver Oak Cab

My dinner date, Laura with owner Gary
Gary, the owner of Vino's visited with us for a short bit and was not only charming, but funny too.

Flourless Chocolate Torte 
Paired perfectly with this Malbec

The Flourless Chocolate Torte was out of this world! I have to say it was THE BEST one I have ever had, no lie! It paired very well with the Malbec with its underlying notes of cherry. Yumm!!

Well folks, there you have it. I will definitely be back to Vino's and highly recommend you check it out as well if you have never been or even if it's been a while since your last visit. It's a great local's wine bar where you are bound to run into someone you know (as I did). The staff make you feel welcome and the food and service were excellent. Heather was our wonderful server on this night. On other nights, you just might find her tending bar. 

For more info on Vino's, 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.