Tuesday, September 25, 2012

COOLINARY CAFE - Palm Beach Gardens, FL



For the past month all I have heard about when talking to my fellow foodies is "Have you tried Coolinary Cafe?" This small restaurant, with a max capacity of 47, has been the talk of the town and now I finally can talk with them!  The executive chef from one of my favorites, Leftovers and Foodshack, opened Coolinary Cafe.  The restaurant is nothing but fresh, and what I like to call, "modern soul food."    
The restaurant is cute, small and quaint with an open kitchen and a simple "homey" decor.  LOVED the mason jar chandeliers!


We were a party of 6, which was great because they do take reservations for parties of 6 or more.  If you are a smaller party, I highly recommend coming on the earlier side to ensure a table at the time you prefer to get seated.  They do get busy!
Once seated, I was in awe of their menu.  You will find on one side of their menu their permanent selections, while on the other side you will find a menu that changes twice daily.  Yes that is right, not once, but twice.  You can come for Lunch and Dinner and see different specials!  Something you don't find often.

We brought our own wine, which you know we love!  A 20 dollar corkage fee, not bad at all!  The girls enjoyed the wine and the boys enjoyed some of the local brews.  A great beer menu for all you beer connoisseurs.



We started with a few appetizers for the table.  First, the Crisp Fried Florida Rock Shrimp.  This was my favorite appetizer out of the three.  The shrimp were big in size and the batter was flavorful.  It was served with a delicious goat cheese Aioli.


Next we tried one of their appetizer specials.  Beer Battered Grouper Bites. This was served with Jalapeno slaw and sriracha mustard aioli.  I never knew how many different ways you could prepare slaw before I came to Coolinary Cafe.  You will get to experience the flavors of Slaw!!!


We continued with another appetizer special.  We tried the flatbread of the day.  Served with homemade tasso ham, spanish olives, brussel sprouts and whipped blue cheese.  What a combination...I had to try.  It was a very unique flavor where the spanish olives gave it an interesting flavor. I love olives and cheese, so this was right up my alley.  Tasted great with my Cabernet Sauvignon.


Time for the entrees!!!   I ordered the main dish I have been hearing about for weeks.  Boneless Southern Fried Chicken with coleslaw and a jalapeno and cheddar waffle!!  WOW!!  This is what I call soulfood with a twist.  I honestly am not a huge waffle fan and I rarely order waffles for breakfast, but the flavors of the cheddar and the kick of spice from the jalapeno, made this dish delicious.  The Chicken was cooked perfectly and with the maple sauce..yumm!  A must try!

 
Brandt and Carl enjoyed the Grilled Wagyu Sirloin and added a fried egg on top!  This steak was amazing!  Cooked perfectly and so tasty! The egg on top was a great addition.  (you know I love egg with meat)




Our friend Dave had the Cinnamon Chipotle Rubbed Duck Breast.   This dish was not described as a salad, but it came out looking like one.  The duck was flavorful, however it was described as a more heartier/heavier meal.  If you are really hungry, this might not be the dish for you.



Keir and Jenny enjoyed one of the specials of the night, Key West Pink Shrimp and Black Barley Risotto.  A nice meal with huge shrimp. It was tossed with a lemon Almond Pesto that was light and full of citrus flavor.


After all that food, we had to keep going.  We had to try dessert!  So we tried the chocolate brownie with peanut butter cream cheese frosting!  I am a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate anything!!! The frosting was the best part! We also tried their carrot cake waffle with ice cream!! My favorite was the waffle!!  It was a great way to end the night.



..And we finally stopped eating!  What a meal!  Coolinary Cafe is not your ordinary restaurant.  It is a place where you get to experience new things.  Next time I would like to try their rabbit tacos.  Now, where can you find that anywhere else in town?  Come for a Culinary treat, or should I say a Coolinary treat?

Cheers!



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Coolinary Cafe
4650 Donald Ross Rd. Suite 110
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
561.249.6760



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Thursday, September 13, 2012

BRASS RING PUB - North Palm Beach, FL

Welcome to Football Season!!!  Along with Football Season comes lots of Beer, Wings, Pizza, Burgers, and Nachos!  All of my favorite foods!  Unfortunately, all of these items are not low in fat.  In the next few months, I plan on taking you to some of Brandt and I's favorite local hang outs to watch games as well as trying some new ones along the way.  Last weekend was the first Sunday for NFL games, so our first stop was a local favorite, Brass Ring Pub.


The Brass Ring Pub is a small, old bar with absolutely no windows! Brandt and I refer to it as a "Bombshelter."  Leave your Jimmy Choo's and Louis Vuitton's at home.  No one will be impressed here. Just wear your favorite team's jersey and some flip flops and you will fit in just fine.
The TV's are of fair quality.  Some appear to be HD and others are fuzzy and blurry. Finding the right table is essential. (Maybe that is why they were so busy before kick off.)  You would think a restaurant with below average TV's would struggle to find business, but not Brass Ring.  We arrived around 1pm and the place was slammed!!  We waited for a table for about 45 minutes and then we were seated.  So what is all the fuss about?  The GREAT Bar food and its CHEAP.   You can't find pitchers of beer for 5 dollars anyway other then a college town and you especially can't find a pitcher of beer for 5 dollars in Palm Beach County.  This place serves great food, friendly service, a great crowd, but unfortunately below average TV viewing.

Once we were seated we ordered a pitcher of Coors Light for 5 bucks!!!  Definitely not a corporately owned dive because in order to keep the pitcher cold they added a ziploc full of ice!  I have never seen this before.  Had to laugh about it, but it did the trick.



Next up, their award winning chicken wings.  We tried them mild with garlic for only 45 cents!  Can you believe 45 cents?  They were very good and not breaded, just how I like it.  My only complaint was that the wings were not very meaty.  The sauce was very tasty and I thought and for 45 cents it was worth it.


I always hear they have the best burgers in town, so I had to try.  We ordered their 1/2 pound mushroom cheeseburger, cooked medium.  It was actually cooked Medium.  I have told you before about my pet peeve, ordering a burger Medium and then it comes well done.  Not here, you get what you ask.  Very tasty and Big!  And look at all those Mushrooms!



So after Pitchers and Pitchers of Beer, we had a great time.  Brass Ring is a "hole in the wall" where you can enjoy bar food and watch a game (depending on your seat).  Seriously though, I would return. If football ain't your thing, try your hand at their very own "Brass Ring" game -- very kid friendly. The Brass Ring is a local dive and the locals just keep coming back!!!

Cheers!

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200 U.S. Highway 1
North Palm Beach, FL. 33408
561.848.4748


Monday, September 3, 2012

LIMONCELLO ITALIAN GRILL - North Palm Beach, FL

Brandt's Birthday was a few weeks ago and his parents came in to town to help celebrate.  Of course I was super excited not only because Birthdays are a great excuse to drink Champagne but also to try a restaurant I have been wanting to try since I moved here.  Limoncello Italian Grill is a restaurant I pass by probably everyday.  The Chef, Mario Ghini, was raised in Italy and you taste a piece of Italy with every bite.  The restaurant is small,quaint, and cozy.  You will find an older, more mature crowd, but you can tell all of their customers are loyal. After experiencing Limoncello, I can see why.


After being seated, our waiter John, greeted us with fresh brushetta on toast.  It was yummy with fresh tomatoes and delicious olive oil.  It went down very well with my glass of Cab!


For the table we ordered a plate of assorted cheeses, prosciutto, and marinated vegetables.  Limoncello has an antique prosciutto slicer in the middle of the restaurant.  It was very interesting to see our waiter slice the fresh prosciutto with this machine that you don't see very often now a days!
If you love cheese and salami, this is a plate I would recommend.  The only addition I would have loved to have with this plate is an assortment of olives.


All of their soup is homemade, so Brandt's Mom tried their Zuppa di Verdure.  It is a seasonal vegetable soup or what I like to call it, minestrone.


For the entree's..I had one of their specials for the night.  It was a mushroom ravioli with a very meaty bolognese sauce.  It was very tasty and not too salty. I find often that restaurants bolognese sauce can be salty and ruin the entire dish.  This one had a great tomato flavor with chunks of meat!  I did ask for extra sauce on the side, since I do like my pasta dishes saucy!


Brandt's Mom enjoyed the Rolatine di Melanzane.  Eggplant stuffed with cheese and fresh basil and then covered with marinara sauce.



Brandt's Dad enjoyed the Chicken Parmigana.  A very traditional Italian dish that was a generous portion and full of flavor!


Brandt ordered the Lasagna Bolognese.  Homemade pasta layered with meat ragu and parmigiano.  The ragu was very meaty and it was a generous portion for a Lasagna.


Now you would think we would be full after this delicious Italian dinner, but we just had to try dessert.  Our waiter John insisted we try the homemade Cheesecake and the signature dessert, which was a layered cake with Sherbert on the bottom. (I can't remember what they call it!)

The Cheesecake was just ok to me because I found it very dry.  It was a Ricotta Cheesecake and I don't usually care for those anyway.


Their signature dessert, which was layered with whipped cream, ice cream and sherbet was amazing!!  It was light and refreshing and I would order again in a heartbeat!


Limocello Italian Grill is a place I would definitely return to. It has a small, quaint atmosphere but you can tell that all their customers are ones that have been going to Limoncello for years.  It truly has authentic Italian cuisine and our waiter was so passionate about every meal that was served!  Limocello is a great place to take family and friends or for a special occasion.

Cheers!


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Limoncello Italian Grill
11603 US Highway 1
North Palm Beach, FL. 33408
561.622.7200




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