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.

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

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 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
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.