Sunday, August 24, 2014

SANTUCCI - West Palm Beach, FL

As I was beginning to decide where we should go for my Husbands bday dinner, I began to ask around for some suggestions.  I had heard a few people recommend a fairly new restaurant off of Clematis called Santucci.
With no official website and only a facebook page, I was hoping I found a diamond in the rough, unfortunately that was not the case.


Walking into Santucci, the restaurant reminds you of being in South Beach or even Vegas.  Modern, clean lines, and all white.  I loved the decor of the restaurant. A long glass that lets you view right inside the kitchen, everyone has a great view.

Once seated, bread was served.  The bread was homemade and warm.  The oil and vinegar was delicious.  You could taste and see that the olive oil was of good quality due to the color and taste of.


We started with a few appetizers.  As a special they had burrata served with tomatoes and a mushroom carpaccio served with truffle oil.  We also tried their prosciutto with melon.

The burrata was fair.  Not creamy enough for me.  Usually when you break into the burrata you would find  a real creamy center, this tasted like mozzarella.  True Burrata is stuffed with cream and curd.  Usually it will ooze out cream when broken into.


The Mushroom Carpaccio was unusual and not something you see on a menu often.  The mushrooms were tasty, however the salad vinegar overpowered the dish.  This dish could have been better if the mushrooms were sliced more finely and just drizzled with truffle oil.



The prosciutto with Melon was probably my favorite appetizer.  The prosciutto was freshly sliced, as we could see the enormous piece sliced in the kitchen.


We started off to a bad start when choosing our entree selection. Lasagna was listed on the menu and probably about 3 people in our party were going to order.  Then we were informed they were out of lasagna for the night, but lasagna has not been on the menu for a few months.  Possibly time for an updated menu?

I ordered the Tagliarelle Al Ragu Di Bologna, tagaliatelle pasta(I asked for rigatoni) in a pork and beef tomato sauce.  The pasta was delicious and the sauce was meaty and full of flavor.  I would recommend to anyone.  The portion was also a great size.


Brandt ordered the Agnlotti Al Prosciutto Di Parma.  Pasta stuffed with ricotta and spinach,served with a tomato and parmesan cheese sauce.  I am not a huge ravioli fan, so I may not be the best judge, however I felt that this dish was lacking flavor.  The cheese was a little overpowering for me.  If you like rich sauces, this may be the dish for you.



Kelli ordered the Risotto Toscano, shrimp and zucchini risotto.  Again, I have had better risotto.  The risotto was fishy in flavor.


Mike ordered the Scaloppine Di Pollo in Portafoglio.  Chicken stuffed with ham and fontina cheese.  Served with mushrooms and pink sauce.  Mike loved it, the sauce is very rich, so if you are an alfredo lover, this one is for you.


Cory ordered the linguine with clams.  Delicious, one of the best things of the night. The noodles were tender and cooked al dente.  The sauce was garlicy and light.



Overall my experience at Santucci was not as expected.  I found the servers to be unfriendly and the food mediocre.  There were a few dishes I would come back for, but as resident of Jupiter, Santucci is not worth the drive into West Palm Beach.

Cheers!


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Santucci
610 Clematis Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
561.331.9640


Saturday, June 21, 2014

KITCHEN - West Palm Beach, FL

As you all know by now Brandt and I love to go out, but we do like to stay in "our area".  We like to stay close to home and travel a little farther for special occasions.   After experiencing Kitchen, I will be leaving "our area"  more often. My parents were in town for Father's Day weekend enjoying the Breakers and what Palm Beach has to offer. Our friends Diana and Cory kept mentioning how fabulous the Kitchen was, so I figured this would be a perfect place to try.  I haven't stopped talking about it since we ate there. ( I can still taste the dessert)

The Kitchen is super small, no more than 10 tables inside and a few table outside.  When you enter you are greeted by Aliza, who is bubbly, adorably cute, and energetic.  Aliza is Chef Mathew's wife, so you truly are experiencing their "Kitchen" at home.

Before ordering we were had our taste buds tickled with a delicious amuse-bouche made with eggplant.  We also brought our own bottle of 2002 Opus.  It drank perfectly with our meal.



All the appetizers sounded amazing, I could have had each one.  I ordered the Ahi, Mango, and Avocado stack.  The Ahi was marinated delicately with a spicy soy sauce.


Ahi Stack


My Mom had my favorite appetizer, homemade Burrata, Heirloom tomatoes, balsamic and EVOO.  The burrata melted in my mouth.

Burrata

My Dad had an appetizer that sounded the most interesting.  The Kitchen considers it their own version of "bacon, eggs, and toast."  Proscuitto  and goat cheese wrapped around asparagus with a perfectly cooked poached egg on top.  Such an unusual dish that is full of flavor.  I am such an egg lover, so anything with egg always intrigues me. 

"Bacon, Egg, and Toast"

Brandt started with the highly recommended corn and crab cake served with a tomato avocado relish.  
The crab cake was full of crab and delicious, but the other three appetizers were ones I would gravitate to order again.  You cant beat how beautiful the presentation is.  I cant wait to also try the salmon carpaccio next time we visit.


Corn & Crab Cake


After tasting everyone's appetizers, I was giddy thinking about our main entrees.  My mom had one of their signature dishes, Chicken Schnitzel.  The chicken was pan seared and served with mushrooms, arugula, and my favorite part, An EGG!  Just loved dipping the schnitzel in the broken egg yoke.  A must try!

Chicken Schnitzel

Brandt had the pork chop that he will be talking about for the next month.  The double cut pork chop was huge.  If you have ever cooked pork chop, you know it is tough to cook and keep juicy.  Did you see the size of this pork chop?  Incredible, how it was cooked to perfection.  The best part of this dish was the apple ginger jam.  The jam makes the entire dish, you will be saying "oh my gosh" even when you lick the plate.

Pork Chop
I was trying to make a healthy choice,so  I ordered the simply grilled halibut.  Honestly, I was more interested in the sides I could choose from.  I could not decide on two, so I had to try three.  I love brussels sprouts and never prepare at home, since it is not one of Brandt's favorites.  I ate the whole bowl right away.  They were roasted with olive oil and tomatoes.   The butternut squash with truffle oil was also heavenly as anything with truffle oil is a must have.   The beets were my least favorite as these were served cold and I prefer my beets warm.


Beets
brussels sprouts and butternut squash
If you are looking for something simple, the simply grilled Halibut is delicious.   It is definitely simple, so make sure you truly do enjoy the fish you order.

Simply Grilled Halibut

My Dad had the veal with eggplant, fresh mozzarella and homemade tomato ragout.  Another item I will be tempted to order next time I visit.  The eggplant was so crispy and I love how much mozzarella was on it! Nothing small about this dish!

Veal- GMR NY

Oh My, so much food.  I was on a food high and of course the delicious wine was adding to this experience.  Yes, I was full, but I had to try dessert.  Of course we couldn't decide, all the items sounded appetizing.
We tried their sampler, which included strawberry shortcake and a chocolate pudding pie.  The strawberry shortcake was light and fluffy, I would have liked a little more juice from the strawberries.  

  
 The best dessert was the lemon cake with raspberry.  This is a must have.  I could not stop eating it.  The cake was light and fluffy and the touch of raspberry makes you keep saying MMMM.  You have to order it!


The Kitchen is a homey farm to table restaurant.  I personally understand why Tiger Woods hired Chef Mathew to be his personal chef.  Chef Mathew is extremely talented and brings flare into simple ingredients.  I cant wait to come back to experience everything Kitchen has to offer.

Cheers!


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319 Belvedere Road #2
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
561.249.228



Monday, June 16, 2014

THE COOPER - Palm Beach Gardens, FL

The Cooper is one of the newest restaurants to open in Palm Beach Gardens. We were all eager to try the newest farm to table restaurant to open in our area.  When I first walked in I thought I just walked into a Pottery Barn/ Hardware Restoration store.  The decor is rustic, shabby chic and I loved it.  Our table was not ready when we arrived, so we had a drink at the bar.  They have a nice variety of craft cocktails which includes unique infused vodkas.


We had a rough start at the Cooper, as we were not seated until about an hour after our reservation time.  Our waitress was apologetic, however extremely slow and uneducated on menu items.  Even when Brandt ordered an Old Fashion she asked what gin he would prefer?  Ha

Due to our delayed start, we were offered a delicious spread of cured meats and artisan cheeses.  The Chorizo was my favorite, a little spicy, but full of flavor.


We also tried the steak tartare served with a sunny side quail egg. The steak tartare appeared cooked, however it was not hot.  I also thought it was seasoned a little too heavily, tartare should be minced raw beef with light seasoning and blended with worcestershire sauce.  



Cory and Diana shared the heirloom tomato and housemade mozzarella salad.  You can never go wrong with farm fresh tomatoes, arugula, and EVOO.



I had the sauteed shrimp and heirloom tomato spaghettini.  This dish was light and delicious.  



Brandt enjoyed the "Cooper Burger"  and added a fried egg.  No complaints on his end and comparable to Burger Bar.  However, I cant resist Burger Bar's truffle fries.  


Katherine enjoyed the Porcini-dusted diver scallops served with a sweet corn fondue and a lemon truffle emulsion!  Yum!  


Diana tried the Mediterranean Chicken Paillard. A fairly simple, boring dish. A fancy way to say a grilled chicken salad :)



Definitely the best part of the night was the dessert.  The Cooper Sundae is a must have!  Vanilla ice cream, bananas, hot fudge, cherries, and pecans.  Amazing.



It was a long night for us at The Cooper.  They have a great concept and a truly beautiful restaurant, but need to improve big time on service.  The Cooper is still new, so hopefully they will continue to work out the kinks.  They use local farmers for as many ingredients, support small batch distillers and local brewers.   They do have a summer happy hour, which I would try in the near future.  More wine and cheese for me please and of course I will take another Sundae :)

Cheers!

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4610 PGA Blvd
Suite 100
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
561-622-0032


Saturday, February 1, 2014

HMF at the Breakers - Palm Beach, FL

Swanky, flapper dresses, luxury, and martinis are words that come to mind when I walk into HMF at the Breakers Hotel.  The minute you step foot into the lobby bar you are taken back to a time what I like to call the Great Gatsby era with a modern twist.  Plush chairs, signature cocktails, waitresses in short black dresses with their hair done oh so perfectly, are a few things that you will experience at HMF.



HMF stands for Henry Morrison Flagler, the founder of the iconic Breakers Hotel.  Attention to detail is highlighted everywhere here.  From the monogrammed wine glasses to how the silverware is placed, you are experiencing true sophistication.




After a few cocktails and waiting for over an hour to receive a table, we were starving.  HMF offers a wide variety of small plates.  From sushi to items inspired by food trucks, you are bound to find plenty of items that spark your interest and senses.

We started with a plate of Artisan Cheeses and an Olive bowl.    The presentation was vibrant and I loved the Membrillo that was served with the cheeses.  Membrillo is sweet, tart and a delicious partner to a strong, bold cheese

Artisan Cheeses
Wood Roasted Olives and Herbs





Next we tried the Old School Steak Tartare.  Probably one of my favorite dishes of the night.  I would re-order at my next visit. The tartare was slightly chunkier then most steak tartares I have tasted.  This consistency was very similar to tuna tartares I have enjoyed in the past.  I loved it!

Old School Steak Tartare
Next up the Wood Roasted Asparagus, Burrata.  Another must try.  My friend Cory loves burrata and if on the menu, it is a must order. I have an Italian background, so cheese was a staple in our house, especially mozzarella.   Burrata is a type of mozzarella with a heavy cream center.  It just melts in your mouth.

Wood Roasted Asparagus, Burrata

Next, we tried a little Asian. Duck Pot Stickers and Shrimp Pad Thai. 

 The duck pot stickers were tasty, however I am not sure I could really taste the duck.  If I did not know, I would have told you they were traditional pot stickers stuffed with pork    


                                                           


As for the Shrimp Pad Thai, I prefer my pad thai very "peanuty" in flavor.  For 21 dollars, I will stick with the local Thai restaurant for about 13 dollars a main dish!






Yep, we are not done yet!  The "Nonnas" Meatball and Gravy was Amazballs!! Ugh, I could have had about 3 orders of these.  The meatball was tender, full of flavor, and no breading.  The sauce was robust, you could taste the oregano, basil, and garlic with every bite.  Delicious!  A must order!

  

Lastly we tried the HMF roll with shrimp tempura and avocado wrapped in rice paper.  I do enjoy rolls wrapped in rice paper, as you get to taste all the good stuff in a roll and not just rice.  I would love to explore the other sushi options during our next visit.


Our experience at HMF was is always wonderful.  Prepare for a wait when you go during season as it is one of the places "to be seen."  The presentation of every item is thoughtfully planned out and unique.  If you have not been to HMF, I urge you to go.  At the very least, get dressed up and enjoy one cocktail at the bar.  My favorite is the champagne cocktail.  HMF is a sophisticated experience everyone should enjoy.

Cheers!


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HMF at the Breakers
1 South County Road
Palm Beach, FL 33480
561.290.0104




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