Grand Opening, Luigi Di Roma opens in Deerfield

Posted on 01 May 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

There is a new Italian restaurant in Deerfield Beach. Celebrating its grand opening, Luigi Di Roma is located in the old Frank and Dino’s (which has moved to East Boca Raton). Chamber members had a chance to sample some cuisine at the ribbon cutting on April 20. This new locale, owned by Al Bova and his fiance Kristine Plesniak (pictured, pg. 1), features regional Italian cuisine.

I have long felt a high end Italian restaurant with large portions and reasonable prices would do well here,” said Bova. “Most Italian restaurants are overpriced and the quality is not good.”

Here, you will find selections like meatballs or Italian sausage slow simmered in Sunday gravy and ricotta over rigatoni, snapper francese, chicken parmigiana, fettucine alfredo, seafood fra diavolo, panini sandwiches and so much more. On Sundays, they have brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They have a full bar and a happy hour every day from 4 to 7 p.m. with cocktails, wine and beer for half price and six light bites for $6 each. Ask about their family dinner, available on certain days, in which you can get a four course meal for $20.

They have entertainment Wednesdays through Saturdays starting at 6:45 p.m.

Luigi Di Roma is open starting at 4 p.m. every day but Sunday and closes at 10 p.m. during the week, 11 p.m. on weekends. They are located at 718 S. Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-281-8788 or visit www.LuigiDiRoma.com.

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Review: BRIO Tuscan Grille

Posted on 11 February 2017 by JLusk

 

Start your meal with delicious calamari served with marinara and garlic aioli.

By Rachel Galvin

BRIO Tuscan Grille has become a go-to locale for Italian lovers over the last five years. Nestled within the Shops at Boca Center, the restaurant has a wide range of specialties, from Gorgonzola Crusted Beef Medallions to Veal or Chicken Milanese, Balsamic Braised Beef Short Rib to Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, and more. They have brought in lighter selections like quinoa and farro, to name a few, and even have a gluten free menu available.

One of General Manager Elvin Baoilli’s favorites is the Kale Caesar Salad. The key is taking the kale and preparing it ahead of time by marinating it with virgin olive oil.

Walking up to BRIO, you hear the muted hum of happy customers chatting while sitting on the outdoor patio, a perfect place for people watching. Inside, they have a full bar and plenty of places to sit in its large interior. But the place gets busy so making a reservation is a good idea.

Ready to try what BRIO has to offer? Start with an appetizer. A great choice is the calamari. It is perfectly cooked, slightly crispy and served with your choice of garlic aioli or marinara sauce, perfect for sharing. Next, you may want to try their Shrimp and Lobster Fettuccine, one of their specialties. The shrimp, especially, bursts with flavor. Even traditional standards like Pasta a la Vodka serve up some surprises here. Each piece of pasta is actually like a little purse that wraps around the delicious goodness inside. Whatever selection you choose, pair it with one of their wine selections, which come via bottle or glass. Don’t forget dessert. Their tiramisu come refreshingly cold and deliciously creamy.

Although their menu may have changes, their dedication to flavor has remained the same, according to one of the chefs, Sous Chef Steve Shoemaker, but the presentation has changed to a more rustic feel.

“We want people to feel like they are eating in their own home,” he said, adding that even some of the crockery feels more homestyle.

Try this specialty: lobster and shrimp fettuccine.

BRIO is a franchise so they have plenty of restaurants around the country, including 14 locations in South Florida alone. They also do catering.

The Boca Raton restaurant is located at 5050 Town Center Circle, Ste. 239. For more information, call 561-392-3777 or visit

Their Pasta alla Vodka has little pasta “purses” filled with delicious goodness.

www.brioitalian.com.

 

 

 

No Italian meal is complete without dessert. Try the tiramisu. In the background is the Torta di Cioccolata. Pair with one of their coffee selections.

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Biondo’s Pizza Plus: The Plus means more variety

Posted on 12 January 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

For five decades, Joe Biondo has been creating his pizza creations. In 2015, he moved from his location in The Cove Shopping Center, where he had been for five years, and moved to his current location in the Deerfield Square Shopping Center (606 S. Federal Hwy.) He credits the move as his best decision yet, citing his increased visibility and easy access to parking as the reason for his increase in customers.

As his business has grown, he has also expanded his menu, and that is where the Pizza Plus comes in, including deli different sandwiches – reubens, pastrami and more; wings; burgers; chicken fingers, calzones; strombolis and salads.

Our Philly Cheese Steak is filled with 12 oz. of meat and cheese,” said Biondo, who added, “Nobody uses Italian cold cuts like we do. We use Black Angus beef. We make our own pizza dough, sauce, everything is homemade and hands-on.”

They have plenty of sides to add, such as French fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, garlic knots, meatballs and Italian sausage.

Their pizza remains a staple. It comes in various sizes, including a 10 in. personal pizza, a 12 in. and a 17 in. All the pizzas come with grande cheese.

The regular pizza is called Napoleton, which in Florida is called New York style. We also have double dough, which is like a pan pizza – thick, and our Sicilian is a tomato pie, with lots of herbs and Romano and Mozzarella cheeses, virgin olive oil and fresh basil,” he said, adding, “We have gourmet pizzas, including chicken pesto, Florentine, Hawaiian Chicken and pineapple and white pizza (with Ricotta, Romano and Mozzarella) and Margarita (with fresh tomato and fresh basil). Our signature pizza is the Biondo Supreme.”

The secret ingredient is tradition. He uses his family’s longtime recipes. They hail from Cinisi, Sicily. Today, the business is run not only by Joe, but also his wife, Janet, and her son, David.

In addition to a wide variety of Italian specialties, they also have beer and wines available, including some selections from Italy, as well as soda.

Don’t forget dessert! They have cannolis, NY Style Cheesecake and zeppolis.

Biondo’s has always been known as a take-out and delivery locale, but they are really hoping people sit within their seating area, get away from the grind for awhile and enjoy. They even have a flat-screen TV to watch. Their prices are so affordable it makes it easy to feed the whole family.

They deliver within a 3-mile radius ($10 min. delivery). For more information, call 954-427-7754 or visit www.Biondo’s pizza.com.

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Cafe Med

Posted on 29 September 2016 by LeslieM

cafemed092916By Rachel Galvin

Walk toward Deerfield’s ocean breezes, head down near the pier and into Cafe Med, a ristorante that is both elegant and welcoming.

We are an extension of your dining room,” said General Manager Diego Oppo, whose goal is to make the atmosphere classy but not stuffy.

The staff, from the managers to the waiter, is very hands-on and goes out of their way to make you feel at home.

Giving good service doesn’t cost any more,” added Diego, who makes sure the staff is well-trained. “The only thing we don’t change is the personality of the server.”

Personality abounds here as everyone is like one big family, most hailing from Italy to add an air of authenticity.

The restaurant, which was revamped in 2012, has a new chef, Lillo Teodosi, who was at Boca Raton’s Caruso Ristorante before this and worked in Chicago for 30 years before that. Teodosi is originally from Rome, Italy. He also lived in England for five years working on a cruise ship so he has learned international flavors.

When you hear these guys saying ‘I learned how to cook from my mama, don’t believe it. My mama kicked me out of the kitchen. Boys weren’t allowed. But I worked in restaurants since I was 9 years old. My mom wanted me out of the house,” he said.

What he brings to Cafe Med is not only authentic flavors but simple, light recipes. He loves seafood and has a wide array of steaks available. The meal begins with crispy bread and a choice of three sauces – an olive tapenade, a red bell pepper sauce and a chimichurri sauce. Then, have one of their appetizers, everything from fried calamari to grilled octopus. As for entrees, one of their most popular items is their hog snapper. Lighter than a mahi mahi, it comes with mashed potatoes, asparagus and lemon caper berries. The hog snapper is so popular that a restriction has been placed on fishing for them, making them even rarer. Here you can find fresh seafood salad or figs and prosciutto with goat cheese – both light entries perfect for a hot day. For something more filling, try the Farrotto al Tartufo, farro made risotto style with black truffles, Porcini mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and Parmigiano. It is rich, wonderful and satisfying. Farro is an ancient grain, similar to barley, and is packed with protein.

All of his dishes leave you not feeling super full. His fettuccine Alfredo is so light with more cheese and less cream,” said Oppo, who said many of the chef’s dishes take him back to his own childhood.

Pair whatever selection you choose with one of their many varietals of wine, like their light but dry Savu rosé, or get a mixed drink whipped up by the mixologist using fresh herbs. Make sure to end the evening with one of the chef’s homemade desserts, including a melt-in-your-mouth tiramisu, as well as crème brulee, key lime cake, ricotta cheesecake and more.

They also have breakfast available from 7 to 11 a.m. (12 p.m. on weekends). They have everything from omelettes and Eggs Benedict to waffles, pancakes, French toast, Monte Cristo, smoked salmon on a bagel and more. One of their most popular is the lobster omelette or lobster wrap. When breakfast is through, they close for four hours and re-open for dinner.

Listen to live music every night and sit inside or outside on the patio. They also host private events like rehearsal dinners, holiday parties, corporate dinners and more.

Café Med is located at 2096 NE 2 St. in Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-596-5840 or visit www.CafeMedDeerfield.com.

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Blooming Bean Coffee opens

Posted on 15 September 2016 by LeslieM

coffee091516By Rachel Galvin

At the grand opening of the Blooming Bean Coffee Company on Sept. 10 at Bailey Contemporary Arts (BaCA), guests listened to live entertainment, drank free coffee and bought pastries, cookies and more.

Our pastries are made by local culinary artists and include vegan, gluten-free and sugary treats,” said owner Rick Stephenson. “This has been my wife’s [Sharon] vision for years. We wanted to create a place where you can bring kids to participate in the art or music while mom is enjoying coffee.”

Before it had its own location, Blooming Bean Coffee was working with the city of Pompano and serving up coffee at local events, green markets and at BaCA.

For 20 years, I knew I was going to do this,” said Sharon. “I just didn’t know where. It is about bringing the community together.”

Proceeds from the locally roasted coffee locale help to stop child trafficking. They contribute financially to organizations like Hepzibah House and There Is Hope for Me. They want to go into the community and teach people about this problem and also mentor young people, girls especially, so that they can learn entrepreneurial skills and be able to stand strong (and not succumb to bad influences and peer pressure of those who may want to harm them).

We want to captivate [the young girls’] hearts and help them find their passion, tell them they are of value,” said Sharon.

Also at the event, artist Steven Mikel was in the other room creating sepia-toned paintings made with coffee, both realistic and abstract. He mixes coffee with water and cooks it down until barely any water is left and uses that as his media. He either paints with it or he will paint it across the canvas and use a twisted wet T-shirt to pull coffee off. (www.stevenmikel.com)

Blooming Bean is located within Bailey Contemporary Arts [BaCA] in the Old Town Arts District in Pompano Beach (41 NE 1 St.). For more information, call 954-295-2225 or visit www.bloomingbeancoffee.com.

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Taste of old Italy: Mozzarita — your neighborhood cheesemaker

Posted on 18 June 2016 by LeslieM

olditaly061616By Rachel Galvin

In today’s world of high tech, big equipment and high paced processing; it is nice to know that some people still do things the old-fashioned way. Vito Volpe is one of those people. He works with his employees to make mozzarella from scratch all handmade with 100 percent cow’s milk, no preservatives.

The art of cheesemaking began far before recorded history and seemed to become a more sophisticated endeavor during the times of Ancient Greece and Rome. For Vito, his days of making cheese began as a child in a farm near Bari, Italy. He learned how to make it from his mother.

From little kids, we learned from our mother how to make cheese. We made our own pasta, bread … We had a sheep we would milk and ride. We were not rich,” said Vito.

He moved to New York on Feb. 26, 1972 and opened up an Italian deli. He moved to South Florida in 2006.

Nobody was doing this here,” he said. “Others try and think they know what they are doing and close.”

Today, he creates cheese daily with his workers, which number six and up to about 11 in the busy months (September through May), including his wife Lucrezia. He gets up at the crack of dawn and the process begins. His hands are sore from being in boiling water daylong. Mozzarella (which is derived from the Italian verb mozzare, which means “to cut”) starts with pasteurized hormone-free milk, which he gets delivered from a place in Tampa in 5 gal. bags. Curd is created by adding enzymes and citric acid. The large mass of curd is added to hot whey (liquids from the drained curds) and stirred until the curds melt and begin to form a smooth, shiny mass.

Some of the cheeses he offers are Mozzarella Fior di Latte, Fior di Latte (smoked), Ovolini, handmade Trecce Braid, handmade Nodini Knots, Scamorza, fresh Ricotta, Ciliegine Cherry, Sfoglia di Mozzarella, Bocconcini, Burrata and Mozzarella di Bufala.

His high quality cheeses have been sought out by fine dining establishments, at places like The Breakers and Fountainbleu, The Polo Club, as well as Boca Raton’s Saquella Cafe, Trattoria Romana and Villagio. It is even at certain Whole Foods and elsewhere.

Now, he has been asked to distribute at Publix in 200 stores in South Florida. For that, which will be a much bigger order, he has purchased a new machine to aid in the processing. It will speed up the process. It normally takes a few hours to separate the curds and whey and then as little as 15 minutes to take it and shape it into the proper shape and set it in a cold water bath to be placed into a container to be shipped.

Vito also sells other products like pasta, butter and olive oil.

People can come in and buy products directly from him, but usually they will see him out at events and green markets. Sometimes he sends other people to sell, but he always likes to attend the one in Parkland himself.

It is a nice day off,” he said. “One day to relax.”

What makes his mozzarella different is not only that it is made by hand, but that it is preservative free.

We do handmade with 100 percent milk, not powdered milk, no chemicals. The mozzarella may last only three weeks. Other [companies] say three months, because they put in preservatives. You get pizza with [cheap cheese] and it is like plastic you can crack in half. You feel sick. I don’t like to trick people. If you look for a bargain, don’t call me. If you look for quality, call me,” he said.

He added that olive oil bought from others is usually not pure, but mixed with another kind of oil.

My father used to be able to spoon out olive oil like butter when it was cold. When you look at [another company’s] olive oil, you may see a small ball formed at the bottom. That is the percentage that is actually olive oil,” he explained.

Vito also just opened up Mozzarita Bar (at 9704 Clintmore Rd., #A-105 in Boca Raton), six months ago. He hopes to turn it into a franchise.

There is wine, beer, food with mozzarella, like eggplant parmesan, burrata with salmon and prosciutto, cheesecake with ricotta, ciabatta bread with mozzarella and tomato [and more],” said Vito.

Mozzarita is located at 5392 NE 13 Way, Pompano Beach FL 33064. For more information, visit www.mozzarita.com.

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Mawi’s Café: New Italian Bistro open in The Cove

Posted on 31 March 2016 by LeslieM

restmawi033116By Rachel Galvin

A large crowd attended the ribbon cutting at Mawi’s Café on March 25. The Italian bistro has been opened since the end of December in the location where Cove Bagel used to be. Owners Ilaria Romano and Danilo Salatino just moved here from Rome, Italy with two daughters, ages 6 and 4, to create better opportunities for their family.

Their café serves up American breakfast and lunch specialties with Italian flavors, including omelets; egg sandwiches and platters; bagels; pancakes; French toast; waffles; paninis and salads at very reasonable prices. They also have bakery and dessert items, and beverages like espresso and cappuccino. Ask for their special Kuoppos, or pizza cones, and take them to go.

They are currently open every day but Tuesday and will be open for dinner soon. Their hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. They offer free delivery. Call 954-481-8600.

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Olympia Flames Celebrates 24th—TODAY

Posted on 12 August 2015 by JLusk

Enjoy 24 percent off your bill ALL DAY- TODAYOlympia Flame 8-6-15

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Experience a tour of Italy at Antonio’s Ristoranté

Posted on 22 August 2013 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Becki Coffy

If you are looking for authentic, wonderful Italian food, then look no further than Antonio’s Ristoranté in The Cove Shopping Center.

Owners Alex Poulous and Paul Ferorelli have created a little piece of Italy right here in Deerfield Beach.

As soon as my husband and I walked through the door, we were greeted with the tantalizing scents of tomato, basil, garlic and fresh bread. White tablecloths and soft colors invite you to sit and relax. Fried calamari,mussels and Calamari Antonio, Scungilli salad, mozzarella sticks and homemade soups are available to start your meal.

We chose to skip the appetizers and head straight for the entree. Before we ordered, we were served a big basket of fresh garlic rolls. The rolls can be ordered with or without garlic, but when in Rome … The rolls were soft, warm, tender and covered with fresh garlic and olive oil.

For his entrée, my husband tried the Chicken Dijon. This chicken dish is sautéed with mushrooms and artichoke hearts and served in a white wine and Dijon mustard sauce with cream. There are many other chicken dishes to choose from, including Chicken Marsala, Francese, Parmagiana and Cacciatore, to mention a few. His meal included either soup or salad and a side of pasta with red sauce.

He chose to start with the Pasta Fagioli soup that was thick with beans, pasta and a hearty broth. I began my meal with the garden salad. Creamy Garlic, an Italian vinaigrette and Creamy Romano dressings are available. I tried the Creamy Romano, and it was delicious.

Since Antonio’s is wellknown for its fresh fish, I decided to try one of the daily specials and ordered the Snapper Francese. The fish was tender, moist and lightly breaded and cooked in a fresh lemon, broth and cream sauce. To go with my snapper, I chose the broccoli sautéed with toasted fresh garlic and olive oil and could not have been happier. The garlic was crisp and complemented the vegetable perfectly. My partner selected the pasta with red sauce as his side. The homemade sauce was thick and rich and full of spices and tomatoes. It was a wonderful delicate sauce for his pasta.

Shrimp Scampi, Fra Diavolo and Armando (shrimp sautéed with scallions, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts in a rose sauce) and Linguini with white or red clam sauce are just a few of the seafood dishes available. Of course, the traditional Lasagna, Ravioli and Ziti are always popular selections.

Antonio’s menu offers veal choices such as Veal Milanese, Marsala, Francese and Parmagiana.

Pasta dishes include pasta with garlic and oil, meatballs or sausage, or marinara sauce, Fettuccine Alfredo, Penne alla Vodka, Angel Hair Carbonara and more.

For a more casual dinner, you may order a Calzone or Stromboli or try one of their homemade or specialty pizzas.

There are daily specials that should not be missed. The night we dined at Antonio’s, we could choose from Snapper, Tilapia and Salmon. All fish may be ordered Francese or broiled.

Paul Ferorelli feels the secret to their wonderful cuisine is the consistency. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try their cheesecake or any of their traditional Italian desserts such as Cannoli, Tiramisu and Spumoni ice cream.

Be sure to give this restaurant a try the first chance you get. You will not be disappointed. Antonio’s has been part of the Deerfield Beach community for over 40 years. They also have FREE delivery.

Antonio’s is located at 1636 SE 3 Ct. in The Cove Shopping Center. For reservations, call 954-427-4871 or 954-427-9002.

For more information, including menu, visit www.antoniosdeerfieldbeach.com.

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Boca Burger Battle

Posted on 18 July 2013 by JLusk

IMG_1703By Rachel Galvin

The rain poured, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from crowding into Sanborn Square to enjoy the Boca Burger Battle July 13. Over 20 restaurants served up their signature burgers and 11 judges, including restauranteur Dean Max, radio personalities , the Burger Beast Sef and others, waited to try them. There was also live entertainment and other vendor booths, including the Big Green Egg company, who showed off their unique cooking concept, a unit that bakes, grills and even smokes. Students from Le Cordon Bleu helped chefs. There also were beers, wine and spirits on-hand. A portion of the proceeds benefit PROPEL. There was an after party at Jazziz Nightlife in Mizner Park. SCROLL DOWN for more pictures and WINNERS. For more information, visit http://bocaburgerbattle.com/

 

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The rainy weather did not prevent hungry guests from arriving to Sanborn Square to take in the ambiance, mouth-watering burgers and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINNERS

Judge’s Pick for Best Grill Master went to:
1st place – Bite Gastrotruck
2nd place – Potions In Motion
3rd place – Shake Shack

Judge’s Pick for Best Alternative Grill Master went to:
1st place – 4th Generation

People’s Choice for Best Boca Burger went to:
1st place – Morton’s Steakhouse
2nd place – Rebel House
3rd place – Potions In Motion

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Many vendors showed off their wares, including In the Biz Solutions, which showcased their unique bathing suits.

 

 

drunk girls

Ashley Esnes and Isabel Stolk were having a blast playing in the rain. Ashley’s one regret was that there was not a best raincoat contest.

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Robert Stanfield manages to not only brilliantly pull off a stylish yellow poncho of sorts, but also serve the judges some delectable onion rings from Tucci’s Fire N’ Coal Pizza while coordinating the entire festivities. Stanfield and Russell Spadaccini are the pair behind making events like this and others possible in the tri-state area. To see more about their culinary events, visit www.bocaraton.com.

 

 

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Red Brick Grille was one of the 20 restaurants who braved the rain to serve their hamburgers.

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Anisha Staton gave out samples of her gourmet fortune cookies, pictured here. This is her own business and she makes the cookies herself! www.atasteoffate.com.

 

Kapow!

Sylvia Alfonzo, a student at Le Cordon Bleu, helped serve up burgers at Kapow! These unique burgers were created with three types of meat: chuck roast, sirloin and beef shank, along with a kimchee sauce aioli wrapped in a banana leaf and served in a peking duck bun.

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The burger from NYY Steak House at Seminole Coconut Creek Casino was a combination of dry aged pine brisket and ribs topped with aged white cheddar, among other tasty ingredients. They even make their own bacon in-house!

judges

Eleven judges decided the fate of the Burger Battle competitors.

big green egg

Big Green Egg grills it up! This unit not only grills, but can bake cookies, smoke fish or pretty much cook anything. The headquarters is based in Atlanta, but these units can be found here in Florida, including at Culinary Concepts in Pompano Beach, which was also on-site.

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The crew from BirthdayComp.com told business owners and guests about their wonderful service that allows everyone to get special offers fro free on their Birthday day, week or month just by signing up! Businesses benefit from free exposure and guests get free stuff, from a discount on clothing or a free piece of pizza to a mini-golf game, karate class, limo ride, champagne and more. Visit www.birthdaycomp.com for details.

 

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