Have you visited J. Mark’s lately?

Posted on 03 January 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

If you haven’t been to J. Mark’s in a long time, now is the time to revisit the restaurant. They have a brand new menu brimming with fresh and tasty options, as well as many of their traditionally popular items.

Start with an appetizer. Their guacamole and chips is an easy choice, but they also have something more refined—their spinach artichoke dip. You can add Maryland Blue crab — rich and decadent — for $3.99. For seafood lovers, they also have mussels now on the menu. They have healthy options like salads, including their new Blue Pistachio Kale for kale lovers, in addition to Oriental Chicken, Pear Beet and many others.

When it comes to burgers, they have some great choices. If you want to indulge, get a Havarti Cajun burger. This melt-in-your-mouth bite includes the richness of cheese and a little kick. It is garnished with crispy onion rings and topped with pickles. They also have other options like their Blue Peppercorn or Hickory Burger, and more. Looking for a more affordable option, try their Trade Burger. At only $8.99 (as opposed to other burgers that range $14.99 to $18.99), this burger is a quarter pounder topped with lettuce, tomato and pickles. It is their alternative to fast food option — not only less expensive but also higher quality.

They have plenty of other sandwiches available, including chicken, quinoa, deep sea tuna, fresh fish and more as well on their standard menu. You can get half a sandwich and soup too.

Meat lovers may want to choose a steak instead. They use aged Certified Angus Beef. You can get a New York Strip or a Skirt Steak, but if you really want to dive into it, ask for their filet mignon. Their steaks can come with an Exotic Mushroom or Red Peppercorn sauce, as well as Oscar style, or topped with Blue Cheese or Balsalmic Caramalized Onions. For sides, try their delicious asparagus or Loaded Backed Potato.

Prefer pasta? Their veggie Lovers Pasta has always been on the menu, but it has had a reboot with more parmigiana and the addition of zucchini noodles, which you can also substitute for other pastas on the menu. It includes crunchy broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted eggplant, peppers, kalamata olives and red chili flakes.

Seafood lovers can try their new crab cakes made with lump blue crab, as well as many other items that have been traditionally on the menu, like their salmon, Mahi Mahi, scampi and more. But, you may want to try this reporter’s favorite bite from the new menu — their Shrimp New Orleans. I had it with Basmati Rice but it comes with Angel Hair Pasta. Yes, it is spicy, but you’ll want to dive right into it. This gem comes with blackened shrimp, Andoulle sausage, sauteed mushrooms, peppers, onions all served in a cajun cream sauce. Yum!

Looking for a smaller bite? Look at their Sliders section. They have surprising selections like the Green Tomato BLT Slider and Ahi Tuna slider (which you can also get without a bun.) They also have more traditional items like burger, prime rib and buffalo chicken sliders.

Make sure to pair your order with one of their specialty drinks like their mojito, margarita or martini, which all come in different varieties. They also have a wine list and a full bar. Ask about their happy hour specials.

Did you know that they also offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.? They have many selections, including a wide variety of Egg Benedicts!

With all these choices, there certainly is plenty to find for everyone.

Besides the food, J. Mark’s has great ambience perfect for a date or just a nice family dinner. Owner Steven Koch ensures that the place always looks new.They are constantly renovating something. Not only is there a brand new menu, but he is going to put in new flooring soon. He is always replacing the awning out front.

If it doesn’t look like new, there is something we need to do,” he said.

This is one of two J. Mark’s. The other one is located at 1245 N. Federal Hwy. in Ft. Lauderdale.

I grew up in restaurants,” said Steven Koch, who owns the restaurants with his brother who is a silent partner.

Koch came to Florida from Ohio and grew up in the country, so, to him, “being around all this activity and people is stimulating.”

This is exactly what I was meant to do. I can’t believe anyone else’s work is as exciting as what we get to do. It’s not just one component. It’s the design, the people, the menu – nothing feels better than being in the restaurant. The time flies when I’m here. I wish everyone loved the restaurant business as much as I do,” he said.

Visit Koch and his staff at J. Mark’s. Tell them The Observer sent you. The restaurant is located at 1490 NE 23 St in Pompano Beach (by the Pompano Citi Centre). For more information, visit www.JMarksRestaurant.com.

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Luigi Di Roma Venetian wine dinner

Posted on 21 December 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Being a part of Luigi Di Roma’s Venetian Wine Dinner on Monday, Dec. 10 was like traveling to Italy. Not only was the food and wine delicious, but the fellowship, the ambiance and the appearance of two guests from Italy made it so authentic. Banfi Family Ambassador Luciano Castiello returned to host yet another wine dinner. His wit and wisdom about wines was really a special touch, as always. His motto: “If you like the wine, drink it; if you don’t, drink it real fast and go on to one you like…” In between courses and wine pours, he regaled guests with details on the intricacies of the wines and more. Another visitor was Enrico Cerulli,a winemaker from Cerulli Spinozzi Wine, who had just gotten off a plane coming from Abruzzo to join the group. He also talked about the region and the wines, including a “surprise wine” to add to the list.

The menu included an antipasto paired with a light and refreshing Cerulli Spinozzi Peccorino, followed by a seafood salad paired with Sartori Regolo, braised short rib paired with Sartori Valpolicella and Osso Buco paired with Sartori Amarone, ending with tiramisu for dessert paired with Florio Targa Riserva Marsala. (This reporter made a few substitutions based on food preferences, including a mouth-watering trout, which was delicious!)

To find out more about upcoming wine dinner events or to make a reservation for dinner any day, call 954-531-6151 or visit www.luigidiroma.com. Luigi Di Roma is located at 718 S. Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach.

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Feeling like Italian? Olive Garden has new selections

Posted on 17 February 2018 by JLusk

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Loaded Pasta Chips

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Parmesean Zucchini Bites

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Salmon Piccata

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Chicken Giardino

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Meatball Pasta Bowl

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Spicy Calabrian Chicken Breadstick Sandwich

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Chicken Parmesean

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Fettucine Alfredo

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Cannolis

(c) 2018  Rachel Galvin

Their popular salad always paired with breadsticks…

Photos & story by Rachel Galvin

Have you been to Olive Garden lately? This inexpensive family restaurant has added some new selections to their popular traditional items. Maybe it is time to give them another try.

Perhaps their most well-known combination is their soup and salad with breadsticks. You can get unlimited for only $10.99. The Chicken Parmigiana is one of their classics, as is the Chicken Alfredo, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Rigatoni with Five Cheese Marinara and Lasagna Classico. You can mix it up when you go are done eating and ready for more. These classics are only $11.99.

Some of their entrees, like Braised Beef Bolognese, are available for a limited time. They also have your lasagna, ziti, ravioli, you name it. You want eggplant parm? They make it. They have choices for meat and pork lovers, or those who prefer chicken or seafood selections – something for everyone. They even have specials for early birds – early dinner duos for $8.99.

If those sound a little too ultra for your taste, you may want to try one of their lighter selections. Their newest items are possibly the tastiest yet. Their Taste of the Medeterranean items are all under 600 calories! Try the Salmon Piccata. Flaky and perfectly pink salmon is paired with thinly sliced Parmesan-crusted zucchini, topped with sun dried tomatoes and capers and a lemon butter sauce. It is hard to believe it is only 590 calories. They also have a Chicken Piccata. Their Chicken Giardino has creamy Pappardelle pasta, flavored by a light, lemon chicken herb sauce, on top of slices of grilled chicken with fresh vegetables mixed in. Their Spiralized Veggie Pasta is perfect for pasta lovers who want something lighter. It only has 560 calories and the pasta is made from zucchini and yellow squash. That pasta is mixed with whole grain linguine and topped with tomatoes and garlic in a scampi herb sauce. The Shrimp Scampi and Chicken Margarita round out the selections.

Before you even begin your entree, you might want to try an appetizer. They have so many to choose from, including their new Loaded Pasta Chips. Pasta… chips? Yes, believe it or not, they have made chips from lasagna pasta and they load it up with meat sauce, cheeses, a few cherry peppers and a drizzle of Alfredo sauce to make a great Italian alternative to nachos. For those who love cheese, you might want to grab a few Parmesean Zucchini Bites, a fun pop of fried-up flavor while waiting for your entree. They also have items like stuffed mushrooms, calamari, spinach artichoke dip and more.

If you stop by at lunchtime, you may want to partake in their new Meatball Pizza Bowl — speaking of cheese… Loaded with cheese and meat sauce, these meatballs are nestled in pizza dough that has been crafted into a bowl. This is a choice that both parents and kiddies will enjoy. Kids may also want to try the new Spicy Calabrian Chicken Breadstick Sandwich. It is the classic breadstick with the spicy breaded chicken placed inside tossed in their Calabrian sauce with gorgonzola and over Italian cheeses spread upon it. It is served with parmesean-garlic fries. Note, when they say spicy, they mean it. There are other items crafted into breadstick sandwiches as well. Their lunch duos pair an item with soup or salad. Their lunchtime entrees start as low as $6.99.

Of course, no matter what your choice, you just can’t leave without having dessert. They have plenty to choose from, from tiramisu to cheesecake to zeppolis… and now cannolis. You could choose vanilla, chocolate or strawberry filled, whatever suits your fancy.

Note: They also have gluten free options for those who have sensitivities.

Olive Garden is a fun place to go because there are so many different choices. You can even create your own pasta combinations. They have inexpensive options like the lunch duos or the never ending classics for $11.99 if you are really hungry.

Olive Garden also has a full bar. Try their delicious Watermelon Moscato Sangria!

[Media was invited to a complimentary meal to try some of these options on Feb. 5. This reporter’s favorite entree was the Salmon Piccata. But I liked the lightness and great flavor of all of the Taste of the Mediterranean options best… and the amazingly good Watermelon Moscato Sangria for its light sweetness!]

Olive Garden is a national chain. The closest one to the local area of The Observer is at 5550 N Federal Hwy, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308. This locale from the 1980s just did some remodeling. For more information on Olive Garden and to see their menu, visit www.olivegarden.com. #OGTastes

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Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys

Posted on 12 October 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

On Oct. 6, 150 revelers got to see Boca Raton in a unique way during the Boca Raton Historical Society’s 6th Annual Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys event. The party began at the Boca Raton Resort & Club with cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres. Beloved philanthropist Madelyn Savarick, who also sponsored the event, received a cake and a Happy Birthday song as she turned 94 on this day.

Next, it was off to the trolleys. Everyone was assigned to a certain Molly’s Trolley; this reporter boarded the Saks Fifth Avenue one. They were another one of the sponsors, along with Joni & Al Goldberg.

Everyone stopped at a different location first and rotated through each. Yvette Drucker, president of the Boca Raton Historical Society Board of Trustees, told historical tidbits about Boca Raton on our trolley along the way while offering up wine, beer and Prosecco. Each location also offered up spirits. Our trolley’s line-up began with Mizner Park’s Truluck’s (351 Plaza Real) and we were presented with a beautiful plate filled with several tastes, including crispy shrimp with a spicy sauce, vegetarian crabcake and braised shortrib. General Manager Richard Grigelis and Special Events Coordinator Stacy Babb talked a bit about the restaurants, including their happy hour and live entertainment.

Also in Mizner Park, we went to Ouzo Bay (201 Plaza Real), which has been open for only six months and has undergone plenty of renovations. They served up items like lamb meatballs and spanakopita.

We stopped by 101 Via Mizner, new luxury apartments located on Federal Highway. The staff from Penn-Florida served up hors d’oeuvres and drinks while explaining more about their development, as well as their other exciting project — the build-out of the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, at 105 E. Camino Real, which will be linked to the hotel portion and will include plenty of luxury amenities and retail space. When we got back into the trolley, cookies were waiting for us, along with information on the 101 Via Mizner property to take home. More on the company and its projects at www.pennflorida.com.

We also went to Domus Italian Restaurant, in the Royal Palm Plaza (187 SE Mizner Blvd.), where we were given a drink called Paloma, which had ingredients like tequila, grapefruit juice and club soda. They also served up samples of items like calamari, bruschetta and “rice balls.”

Finally, the trolleys went back to the Boca Raton Resort & Club for a wide variety of desserts, dancing and a cash bar.

The event was a fundraiser for the Boca Raton Historical Society, which always has events and exhibits. Currently, they have on display memorabilia from IBM, which opened a plant in Boca in 1967, artifacts from architect Addison Mizner and landscape paintings by the artists of Plein Air Palm Beach.

They will be holding an event on Nov. 8 to recognize several people and organizations for their Walk of Recognition, which is located in Royal Palm Plaza and looks like Hollywood, California’s Walk of Fame. They recognize people who are still living who have made an impact on the community. They have recently added institutions to the list of honorees. They last honored the Boca Raton Regional Hospital. This year, they are honoring Lynn University, in addition to golfer Morgan Pressel Bush and Dr. Joseph “Jody” Forstot. James A. Rutherford, known for his contributions to the Parks & Recreation Dept., will also be added to Wall of Honor, which is for honorees who have passed away.

To find out more about the Boca Raton Historical Society, visit www.bocahistory.org or call 561-395-6766.

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Local chef went back to hell

Posted on 06 October 2017 by JLusk

Robyn speaks.

By Rachel Galvin

Local Florida chef Robyn Almodovar went back to hell… “Hell’s Kitchen,” that is. Known for her appearance as one of the contestants from Season 10, Robyn also has made a name for herself locally for her food truck Palate Party and her newer venture of becoming co-owner of a brick and mortar restaurant called Rumor’s Bar & Grill. Now, she is back in “Hell’s Kitchen” on TV every Friday on Fox to battle it out in Season 17’s All Star season with some of her old competitors and some new ones, all from previous seasons, as well as Gordon Ramsay, of course.

On the first night of the show, on Sept. 29, she held a special premier party in Rumors. Hosted by Seph Mason and with performances by drag queen Sasha Lords, the event featured plenty of appearances by Robyn, who thanked many in attendance and gave out raffle tickets and prizes. She danced with Sasha, paced and nervously watched the show on the big TVs all around the bar. This was the first time she had seen it, and seemed pleased with the way the producers featured her.

Media in attendance were treated with amazing selections, including her crabcake, nachos, meatballs and dates stuffed with goat cheese, and wrapped in bacon … all rich and delicious. Other guests also were served passed hors d’oeuvres.

The event was plenty of fun; Robyn was warm and welcoming to all inside and out of the locale who had stopped by, and feisty as ever. Break a leg, Chef Robyn! We will be watching…

Decadent dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon was just one sumptuous selection presented at event.

Rumors Bar & Grill is located at 2426 Wilton Drive, in Wilton Manors. For more info., visit www.rumorsbarwiltonmanors.com.

Sasha Lords performs.


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Hell’s Kitchen Cocktail Party

Posted on 22 September 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Is it getting hot in here? It isn’t the SoFla sun. It’s the Hell’s Kitchen chefs, who were here in Boca Raton on the first weekend of September. On Sept. 1, five chefs who were on the FOX TV show Hell’s Kitchen came to The Loft in Boca Raton to be part of the first ever cocktail party of its kind hosted by Potions in Motion catering and promoted by LivingFLA.com.

The owner of the catering company Potions in Motion, Jason Savino, said the day after this event, the chefs would go on to create a five course, four hour dinner for over 500 guests at his restaurant, Prime 7 in Seven Bridges in Delray. The sold-out event would allow guests to vote on the courses and who made the best dish. Each chef, he said, would take on one course. [The winner, announced later, was Chef Sterling Wright].

But, before they could get cooking for that event, the chefs had to show their stuff at this cocktail soiree, handing out samples and spending quality time with the intimate crowd.

Season 14’s Chef Christine Hazel served up chicken and waffle sliders with chipotle aïoli and Maple slaw. She flew in from Philadelphia to attend. Since she was on the show, she has transformed from culinary student to private chef. She is influenced by the places she goes and enjoys contributing in any way she can.

I love giving back to the community,” she said, talking about how she just fed 120,000 people through United Way and will be helping the American Heart Association next.

Regarding the show, she laughed, saying, “We were an animated bunch. There were a lot of personalities and I have made a lot of friends.”

She added, “People look to you as an example [when you are on a show]. I realized ‘I want to do this career for the rest of my life [so I think before I act].’ Every day I want to get a little bit better.”

Barret Beyer, a Long Island, NY chef from Season 11, also enjoys helping others. He helped feed first responders during Hurricane Sandy.

Although he wasn’t sure what he was going to make this night until a few hours prior, he whipped together the perfect tasty bite involving brined salmon, cucumber and a lemon caper dill cream cheese.

About Hell’s Kitchen, he said, “The show gave me a platform to do what I do — make people happy and make sure they eat good food, and have a good time.”

When it comes to giving back, Nashville’s Sterling Wright (from Season 13) takes the cake. He beamed as he showed an online story on his phone about him donating his bone marrow to save someone’s life last year. He also enjoys being a role model for kids.

He said, “I wasn’t always this happy. I was a young man running around in a gang. I got shot. After being in the hospital and in jail, I said I am ready for you God … If I can do it, you can do it.”

Chef Bret Hauser, a Delray Beach chef from Season 14, described what it was like working with Chef Gordon Ramsey, saying, “Being able to stand next to him and watch him cook was an incredible opportunity of a lifetime … watching a true professional in his element. I was in awe.”

He added, “This event is a great time. I am looking forward to doing more. I think it is a great turnout.”

South Florida Chef Robyn Almodovar has been busy with her Palate Party food truck since her stint on the show back in Season 10. She also is co-owner of her own brick and mortar called Rumor’s Bar & Grill, located at 2426 Wilton Dr., she said as she handed out her crunchy melt-in-your-mouth mini ahi tuna tacos made with fresh smashed avocado, chile paste and sesame seeds with cilantro.

Robyn will be rejoining Hell’s Kitchen for Season 17 “All Stars.”

When asked what she will do differently this time around, she said, “Keep my mouth shut, head down and focus.”

She has an upcoming viewing party of her on Season 17 on Sept. 29 at Rumors Bar & Grill starting at 7 p.m.

Also at the event was Avi Zenatti and Ilana Brodt who brought their Karawan Tahini and Hummus. Ilana has been in the states for 30 years, but her husband Avi just moved here three years ago from Israel. He is a chef and wanted to cook with good tahini so had it shipped in.

The tahini here just didn’t taste right,” said Ilana, who now lives with her husband in Jupiter. “You look at it and see it separates. Ours doesn’t.”

They liked the product, which came from Israel’s West Bank, so much they started importing it into America and got global exclusivity to distribute it a little over a year ago.

Costco said ‘People like ready-made. Why not hummus?’ So we came up with four different types of hummus [a month ago]. Others have seven to 12 percent tahini. Ours has 25-30 percent. No cholesterol, no preservatives,” said Ilana of the tahini, which they call a “superfood.”

Potions in Motion/ Prime 7 Executive Chef “Sexz Chef,” as he is called, handed out samples and drinks as well, talking about the importance of presentation in addition to quality. See Potions in Motion upcoming events on their Facebook page.

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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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