Category Archives: Wellington Table – Signature Dish

Perfectly Portioned, Delicious Meals

Perfectly Portioned, Delicious Meals Convenience Merges With Healthy Eating At Budget-Friendly Ideal Nutrition

By Callie Sharkey

Eating healthier is a common goal — for parents trying to juggle busy schedules with healthy food habits, and for adults trying to lose weight or keep to dietary restrictions. Sometimes, these challenges leave us rushing around and settling for whatever food we can find, which is often fast and less than healthy.

But a City of West Palm Beach police officer named Wolfgang Brunet set out to change the way people eat, recently opening a new Ideal Nutrition storefront in Wellington, one of five operated by Brunet’s company.

“During my law enforcement career, I worked long hours and found it very difficult to prepare healthy meals at home. Other police officers shared this frustration with me. I knew there had to be a better way, so I opened a small kitchen in West Palm Beach and started making fully prepared meals with fresh, locally sourced ingredients,” said Brunet, CEO and founder of Ideal Nutrition. “This idea blossomed into what Ideal Nutrition is today. Making life healthier and more convenient for other people is the greatest joy for me.”

While you may have seen Ideal Nutrition delivery vans around — they currently deliver from Vero Beach to Miami — this is no ordinary meal service. Each meal is perfectly portioned as a single serving for only $7.70 per meal. One price, no matter the meal, and you don’t have to be a subscriber.

“Our meals are never frozen — that is a big staple in our company. The meals are not all pure protein and vegetable, some have a delicious starch on the side, but it’s all balanced and already portioned so you’re not going to overeat,” Ideal Nutrition Marketing Director Dena Chislak said. “I eat the food every day. The Chicken Cordon Bleu is probably my favorite. When you cut into it, it’s cheesy but not too much. It already has your vegetable, your starch, and you’re done. I don’t have to worry about anything else. It’s so delicious.”

Brunet’s kitchen opened in 2016 and was intended as a meal delivery service. Now, Ideal Nutrition has a 43,000-square-foot kitchen where all meals are carefully and safely prepared and packaged for delivery to the five stores, or directly to customers’ homes.

“Consistency is the key: high quality, fresh food that is already prepared for you,” Brunet said. “The work is done for you. Life can be so much easier when cooking is taken care of and there’s no cleaning up. I believe everyone should be able to afford that luxury, and now they can.”

Brunet likes to keep his Florida company supporting Florida by using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. For this reason, the menu rotates several meals each week.

“We like to keep all the traditional dishes for people who count on those, but there is always something new and exciting. A lot of the menu is based on what is local and what is easily available right here. We don’t like to haul food in from outside Florida,” Chislak said. “For the first time, we are making these overnight oats as a meal because it has become a hit lately, and I think people appreciate having options. It doesn’t matter if you are paleo, keto, vegan — we have everything, so that goes back to the convenience factor.”

Chislak recommends anyone looking to try out Ideal Nutrition to visit online and check out the menu, and feel free to call the Wellington store to order or see what is in stock. Don’t want delivery? That is why the storefront exists, and curbside pickup is available for those in a hurry.

“Just take the meals from the bag to the fridge, and you’re done. Put it in your microwave or air fryer, and in two or three minutes, you’re good to go. Unless it is one of the wraps or muffins, which you can eat right away or put it in the fridge for later,” Chislak said. “The containers are 100 percent recyclable and BPA free.”

A mother herself, Chislak is thrilled that her children not only eat healthy food but can also hit the fridge and eat what they want because they love the meals.

“My seven-year-old is one extremely picky eater, so I think she is the best endorsement I could make,” Chislak said.

She used to have a subscription to another popular meal service, but she still had to prep, cook and clean. When Chislak crunched the numbers, it was more expensive than if she went to the grocery store in person. “Now, the price is so affordable, and I love telling people about it,” she said. “It’s healthy and you can afford it. It’s cheaper than getting fast food from the drive through!”

Be on the lookout for Ideal Nutrition at community events, especially ones that involve first responders and the Police Athletic League, including camps for kids. One of the company’s newest partners is the local nonprofit Little Smiles.

Not sure what to try first? Check out Brunet’s favorite, No. 18, the Paleo Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potato Mash, which is gluten-free and often tops the list of favorites.

Ideal Nutrition’s Wellington store is located at 10160 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite C-160, near LA Fitness in the Pointe at Wellington Green. Visit www.idealnutritionnow.com to see the current menu or call the Wellington store at (561) 990-2160. For more information, there is a live chat on the web site, e-mail support@idealnutritionnow.com or call (888) 557-2018. Call center hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays.

 

Facebookpinterestmail

Enjoy Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Enjoy Authentic Mexican Cuisine Casa Tequila Is Celebrating 10 Years Of Serving Taste-Tempting Mexican Favorites In Wellington

By Shannon Anastasio

Looking for authentic Mexican cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds? Be sure to visit Casa Tequila Mexican Cuisine in Wellington, which is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. This cozy restaurant has been serving up delicious Mexican fare since 2013 and has become a local favorite for its flavorful dishes, friendly staff and lively atmosphere.

Manager Mario Rodriguez takes great pride in the food and drinks served at Casa Tequila. “We offer exquisite Mexican cuisine that is truly one-of-a-kind,” he explained. “Our dishes are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and are full of flavor. We also offer a wide variety of margaritas, tequilas, beers and mojitos that perfectly complement our food.”

And the food at Casa Tequila certainly lives up to his high standards. The menu features classic Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos and fajitas, as well as unique creations that you will not find anywhere else. One standout dish is the Sizzling Fajitas, which come with your choice of chicken, steak, shrimp or a combination of all three. The fajitas are served on a hot skillet with sautéed onions and pepper. These tasty fajitas come with all the fixings you need to create your own perfect taco or burrito.

But it is not just the fajitas that keep customers coming back to Casa Tequila. The homemade salsa is made fresh daily and has just the right amount of kick, while the guacamole is made with fresh avocados and a blend of spices that give it a unique and delicious flavor.

The Ensalada de la Casa is another popular dish, with mixed greens, tomatoes, onions and avocado, topped with your choice of grilled chicken or steak. The Caldo de Pollo is a delicious, traditional Mexican soup made with tender shredded chicken, homemade Mexican rice, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, tomatoes and sliced avocado.

Other dishes to try are the Chicken Enchilada, served with refried beans, Mexican rice and fresh salad, and the Carne Asada, featuring thinly sliced skirt steak grilled to perfection, served with homemade Mexican rice, refried beans and garnished with fresh lettuce and pico de gallo.

What trip to a Mexican restaurant would be complete without a margarita? Casa Tequila has a wide selection of margaritas to choose from, including classic, fruit-infused and frozen options. All drinks are made with fresh ingredients and top-shelf tequila, making them the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

End your meal with a great Mexican dessert, such as the Cheesecake Chimichanga, a lightly fried, cheesecake-stuffed chimichanga drizzled with honey and chocolate syrup, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Another sweet treat is the delicious Churros, a lightly fried, thin dough pastry, drizzled with honey, cinnamon, sugar, chocolate syrup and caramel.

Beyond the food and drinks, the warm and welcoming atmosphere is another standout feature that makes Casa Tequila a must-visit restaurant. The restaurant is decorated with colorful paintings, bright red walls and traditional Mexican décor, creating an ambiance that makes patrons feel like they have stepped into a lively cantina south of the border.

Meanwhile, the staff is friendly and attentive, making sure you feel right at home from the moment you walk in.

“We want our customers to feel like they’re part of the family when they come to Casa Tequila,” Rodriguez said. “We take great care in providing excellent service, and we want everyone who visits us to have a great time.”

And that is exactly what you’ll have at Casa Tequila. The restaurant often hosts live music on weekends, and the bar area is a great spot to grab a drink and catch a game on one of the many TVs. The spacious outdoor patio is also a popular spot, with plenty of seating and a relaxed vibe that is perfect for enjoying a meal with friends or family.

Also popular at Casa Tequila is Taco Tuesday. “It’s a chance for our customers to enjoy the flavorful adventure of authentic, home-cooked tacos at a great price,” Rodriguez said. “We want everyone to be able to try our delicious food and have a good time doing it.”

Casa Tequila is a must-visit restaurant for anyone in the Wellington area who loves Mexican food. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, delicious food and excellent service, it is no wonder that this restaurant has become a local favorite over the past 10 years. The next time you are in the mood for authentic Mexican cuisine, head over to Casa Tequila and get ready to indulge your taste buds.

The restaurant features lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and don’t miss happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Casa Tequila is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Delivery is available through DoorDash and Uber Eats, or you can call in an order and pick it up.

Casa Tequila is located at 12795 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the Wellington Plaza. To view the complete menu, visit www.greatmexicancuisine.com, or call (561) 557-1378 to make a reservation or place an order.

Facebookpinterestmail

The Hot New Brunch Spot Is Your Home

The Hot New Brunch Spot Is Your Home Local Foodie Alina Davidov Of Real Gourmet Food Offers Tips For Hosting The Perfect Brunch

Story by Jaime Joshi Elder  |  Photos by Sunman

The hottest new brunch trend is to host one yourself. Delicious gourmet dishes, a perfectly curated playlist, exclusive clientele and the best table in the house can all be found at your home.

Local epicure and the owner of Real Gourmet Food, an online luxury gourmet marketplace, Alina Davidov is a passionate and visionary food lover with a taste for the finer things in life, and a belief that everyone, from beginners to seasoned chefs, can host a delicious and memorable brunch for family and friends without leaving the comfort of their home.

“I can say with confidence that the right dishes can elevate any brunch experience from ordinary to sublime,” she said.

And for Davidov, caviar is king. Her favorite food since the age of two, she was introduced to caviar by her family and distinctly remembers the experience, calling it the most perfect thing she had ever tasted, her comfort food and her indulgence.

“Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook looking to host a truly spectacular brunch, I would recommend simple-to-make, eye-catching, canapé presentations,” she said. “Create a tantalizing caviar and lox canapé by topping a mini blini with a layer of crème fraîche, some smoked salmon and a dollop of caviar for a briny flavor.”

Living in South Florida means access to premium seafood, and Florida fishermen catch more than 84 percent of the nation’s supply of stone crab, pink shrimp and spiny lobster.

By using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients and combining them with more exotic imported items, hosts can create a true gastronomic adventure.

“Spread a generous dollop of salmon mousse on top of a locally grown cucumber slice, fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon for a refreshing and upscale bite,” Davidov said.

Don’t like seafood? She has plenty of options for the discerning palate.

“French delicacies are always a hit. For example, hors d’oeuvre like escargot seasoned with garlic butter and herbs. I like to serve Achatines in shells,” Davidov said. “Duck is an innovative idea for brunch. We sell an amazing pâté that you can layer on a crispy brioche toast and top with a sweet red onion marmalade.”

For the more seasoned home cook, Davidov said that there is nothing more inviting than the heady aroma of freshly baked bread.

“We sell premium pastry butter sheets, imported all the way from France,” she said. “They’re the perfect balance of richness and flakiness, and guests will be delighted when they come over and you pull a tray of freshly baked croissants out of the oven. I recommend serving them with one of our organic fruit spreads. We have classic flavors like strawberry and raspberry, but also more exotic options like red fig and clementine.”

For main courses, Davidov likes to wow her friends and family by pan-searing foie gras or offering an upscale take on the classic breakfast staples of sausages and eggs by serving lamb merguez or wild boar and cranberry sausage with fresh quail eggs.

If celebrating a special occasion with a birthday or Mother’s Day brunch, Davidov loves the simplicity and sophistication of surf and turf — wild-caught lobster tails and Wagyu A5 beef.

A sweet treat is the perfect ending to a perfect meal for both novice and seasoned hosts. For those looking for simplicity, Davidov said that Morello cherries in brandy served over French vanilla ice cream or pre-packaged almond-sweet macarons are a crowd-pleaser. For more enterprising cooks, she turns to France again, recommending crêpes filled with fruit spread or chocolate-hazelnut spread as a must.

Brunch wouldn’t be complete without cocktails. Bottomless mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys are mainstays, but for those looking to really impress their guests, Davidov has a bold suggestion.

“The food scene in South Florida is so rich with different cultures and innovative fusions that we thought it would be fitting to kick things up a notch when it comes to caviar pairing,” she said. “Real Gourmet Food has been working with Don Sueños, an award-winning premium tequila brand, in carefully pairing tequila with caviar.”

Known for its smooth taste with notes of agave, lime and mint, their blanco tequila offers a bright contrast to the rich and buttery flavor of caviar.

“The sweetness of the tequila pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the caviar, while the mint and lime notes cut through the richness of the roe, creating a blend of flavors that lingers on the palate,” Davidov said. “We have found that the experience elevates the palate to new heights.”

For those who prefer the classics, the Don Sueños web site offers a twist on the bloody mary — the Sweet and Spicy Bloody Maria with tequila, Tabasco hot sauce and the secret ingredient, a very Floridian shot of orange juice.

Planning the perfect event is even easier thanks to the Real Gourmet Food web site, which not only offers a vast array of caviar, seafood, fish, meats, cheeses, vinegar, oils and other gourmet delicacies to meet your needs, but also offers free shipping on purchases over $250. With a little planning and creativity, anyone can host a fabulous brunch in their home that will leave guests raving.

“We don’t settle for ordinary when we can indulge in the extraordinary,” Davidov said.

To see all the amazing luxury gourmet items that Alina Davidov has on offer, visit the Real Gourmet Food web site at www.realgourmetfood.com.

Facebookpinterestmail

Fine Dining At Your Home

Fine Dining At Your Home Bring Home The Secret Ingredient With A Meal Catered By Duo Cucina Chef

By Callie Sharkey

Imagine the opportunity to have amazing fine dining without leaving your home. The care and precision of a personal chef at your table is within reach thanks to Duo Cucina Chef. Professional chef Rosana Pacino, owner of Duo Cucina Chef, has built a business out of her passion for cooking — and she quite literally brings it to your home.

Clients can enjoy a wide array of Italian dishes, both traditional favorites like fettuccine and bruschetta, but also try something new. And if you have a sweet tooth, they have you covered as well.

“In my opinion, the most delicious dish we make is the massini dessert. It’s two layers of a light and fluffy cake, with three different creams — a whipped cream, a caramel cream and an egg cream on top,” she said.

Other homemade desserts on the menu are tiramisu, flan, lemon pie or a fresh brownie with vanilla ice cream.

When catering services are designed for large venues and bigger crowds, it can lead to the flavor profiles being more generic. Pacino wants to avoid that by connecting with her clients in a personal way.

“First, we come to your house to see the kitchen layout, then we have an interview with the client to see what they would like served at the dinner or lunch, whatever the event. Then, we ask if there is anyone who is allergic to certain foods or eats gluten-free. We have a flexible menu for vegans or vegetarians. The menu is very personalized — it’s what we do. We try to make it as exclusive as possible for each client,” Pacino explained.

A Duo Cucina Chef experience is approximately three hours, beginning with appetizers and fresh, made-from-scratch soups and salads to follow.

Pasta dishes of gnocchi, fettuccine or ravioli paired with alfredo, Bolognese or marinara sauces, bring the comfort of classic Italian cuisine to the meal. Even the ravioli flavors can be tailored with spinach or squash and ricotta cheese.

Popular main dishes are filet mignon in a red wine reduction or a delectable salmon with lemon caper sauce, both served with fingerling potatoes and an arugula salad. After dessert, finish off a great Italian meal with coffee and a treat, like little brownies with sweet caramel and meringue.

Meals are prepared by hand and tableside, so guests see the magic happen up close. “I love making the pasta, kneading the dough, and the whole process feels like making art,” Pacino said. “To go along with the different kinds of pasta, I like to make a squash-filled ravioli, but my favorite things to make are the desserts.”

More than 20 years ago, Pacino came to Wellington with her husband, Alejandro, and a young daughter in search of growth and opportunity. They both found it in the equestrian community, where her husband is a trainer, and she began cooking for local families. Her family continued to grow with the birth of her son, and even with roots in South America, she sees Wellington as her home.

In Argentina, she grew up with Italian-Spanish grandparents, including a grandmother who taught her to bring love into her food.

“My grandmother was the one who taught me all the tricks and secrets to the cooking side of everything,” Pacino said. “We still have family get-togethers every Sunday, and I always make a pasta dish. It all ties back to just being together as a family and staying together.”

Family gatherings are how she found that cooking alongside her cousin, Ariel Cerezo, worked well. Five years ago, the duo came together in the kitchen as a team and haven’t looked back.

“We cook everything with love and really put a lot of effort into each meal because we want it to be perfect for everyone,” Pacino said.

Reservations for Duo Cucina Chef require a $500 deposit, which goes directly toward the final cost of the dinner. For a meal designed for four people, the fee is a flat $1,000 and includes everything except drinks. Want more people included? There is a $210 charge for each extra person up to a group of 20. While most groups range from four to 20 people, Duo Cucina is happy to serve larger events with about two weeks’ advance booking. Otherwise, reservations must be made at least five days in advance.

The best way to reach chef Rosana Pacino is by e-mail to duocucinachef@gmail.com or by text to (561) 951-1730. For more information, and to explore the menu, visit www.duocucinachef.com.

 

Facebookpinterestmail

Great Brews And Delicious Meals

Great Brews And Delicious Meals World Of Beer Bar & Kitchen Returns With A Reframed Concept That Pairs Hundreds Of Beer Choices With An Elevated Menu

Story and Photos by Melanie Kopacz

It’s a whole new world inside the reframed World of Beer Bar & Kitchen, now open in the Southern Palm Crossing shopping center. WOB invites beer lovers and beyond to have a cold one (or two), along with a delicious beer-paired meal and some interactive fun.

The highly anticipated return of this popular hangout, after closing its previous Palm Beach County locations, hit record-breaking sales at the new hotspot, drawing in hundreds of people to its February grand opening, welcoming back many longtime customers.

“About 10:30 a.m. we had a line about a half-mile long, and it just kept going from there,” said Regional Manager Holly Mauser, who started as a server 11 years ago. “We formerly had locations in West Palm Beach and Wellington, so we knew coming here, we’d have regulars from both, and the showing was above our expectations.”

Previously, WOB did not serve food, but the reimagined concept brings with it a laid-back, but elevated experience, including a full menu with hand-picked recipes that pair well with the hundreds of beers on offer.

“We look for the best craft beers,” Mauser said. “We have a dedicated project manager who works every week with the distributors who order beer, talks to reps, tries samples and then decides exactly what we are going to put on draft and what we’ll put in our cooler.”

WOB is ready to serve up a variety of more than 300 ice cold brews, in addition to more than 40 beers on tap, which are poured to perfection from a rotating selection. Coolers are separated geographically from areas across the United States and around the world. The selection also features specialty kegs and seasonal beers.

“In the winter, stouts; summer, lighter brews,” Mauser explained. “We definitely cater to the season and what customers in the area want. We also work with a lot of local breweries.”

Locally, that includes Royal Palm Brewing Company, Matthews Brewing Company in Lake Worth, Steam Horse Brewing in West Palm Beach and others. You’ll also find a full bar of spirits and wine.

The design is warm and inviting with upscale décor, including an eye-catching antler chandelier in the center of a massive dining room that seats close to 300. The sunny “Florida room” is welcoming with both table seating, or a corner with comfy couches, in a relaxing area with plenty of TVs in every direction.

“We’re very elevated,” Mauser said. “A good mix of casual but upscale, and I think our customers feel that when they come in. The team is meticulous, and so is the service.”

Stay and try a flight of beers. Build your own from local brews, or order a flight of WOB’s proprietary Secret Llama beers.

Long known for its beer selection, WOB now has a full kitchen. Shareables come in large servings, including the popular giant German Pretzel. It’s baked soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, salted and served with house-made, stone-ground mustard. Add amber ale beer cheese for a few extra bucks. It goes well with a Kona Longboard brew.

The WOB Chicken Wings are perfectly glazed and served with celery and a choice of house-made blue cheese or ranch. It pairs great with a glass of the Secret Llama IPA. Other appetizers include the Loaded Taters with amber ale beer cheese and topped with jalapeños, applewood smoked bacon, scallions and sour cream.

Moving on to meals, Mondays are BYO, build your own burger, all day for $6.95, made from fresh Angus beef and plenty of toppings to choose from. The Mac Bite Burger is a must try. It’s made with fresh Angus beef topped with WOB’s award-winning fried pepper jack mac and cheese patty, crisp applewood bacon and lettuce, and finished with sriracha aioli. It pairs well with a pint of New Belgium Fat Tire.

The Steak Frites make for a rich and hearty meal of marinated flat-iron steak that is grilled and thinly sliced, then topped with a dollop of garlic butter, served with broccoli, fries and garlic aioli. It pairs well with the St. Bernardus Abt 12. For lighter fare, the Cali Bowl is a great choice, stacked over jasmine rice or spring greens, with grape tomatoes, shredded carrots and cucumbers, drizzled with Sriracha-lime aioli and topped with fresh avocado, toasted sesame seeds and scallions with several protein options. It goes well with a glass of Schneider Weisse Helle Weisse.

Each menu item has a suggested beer for pairing, and the servers are happy to make recommendations.

Work off some of those calories and have fun in one of two Topgolf Swing Suites — an immersive, virtual, social experience offering guests a comfy lounge to enjoy food and beverage service while playing golf, hockey, football and more. Prices vary by time of day, and reservations can be made online.

“We cater to families, large parties, business meetings, everyone,” Mauser said. “Our patio is pet friendly — we even have a pup menu.”

Whether it’s exploring the massive selection of beers, taking in a great meal or having some interactive fun, there’s something for everyone at WOB, which is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

World of Beer Bar & Kitchen is located at 11121 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. For more info., call (561) 834-2430. Visit www.worldofbeer.com for beer selections, the food menu and rewards.

Facebookpinterestmail

Great Food At Incredible Value

Great Food At Incredible Value The New Ocean One Bar And Grille Specializes In Reasonably Priced Food And Drinks, Served Quickly

Story and Photos by Melanie Kopacz

Ocean One Bar and Grille has been reeling in the customers since its debut in Royal Palm Beach last fall, hooking people with its savory menu of seafood, steaks and more, at an incredible value.

The restaurant sits lakeside along Southern Blvd. in the Southern Palm Crossing plaza. It features a huge open dining area with an aesthetic industrial feel, along with a 30-seat bar. Come for lunch, watch a game or have dinner.

Above all, it’s the hard-to-beat prices that create a fantastic value and great vibes. “The food is really good, and it’s not going to break the bank. The drinks are good — they’re strong. The food comes quickly,” Regional Manager Erik Conway said. “That’s what we’re known for — great food, amazing prices and good drinks.”

The menu offers a diverse selection of full-portion lunch items at a set price of $5.99, every day from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., which makes for either a great lunch or an early dinner. The generous portions come as a surprise to many when the food arrives.

Also, to the delight of many guests, is the all-day, every day premium drink price, set at $11 for three cocktails. It’s part of the never-ending happy hour, where people can mix-and-match or stick with the same drink.

“You don’t have to have the same three,” Conway explained “You can have a Cosmo, then wine with dinner and a chocolate martini at the end. We also have build-your-own. Three Titos for $13. Kettle is three for $11, and Grey Goose is three for $15.”

All beers, meanwhile, are $3.50 for both domestic and imported.

Grab a seat inside or out. There’s ample seating outdoors, whether it’s along the lake or inside the covered patio, with TV monitors and an indoor-outdoor fireplace. Or grab one of the large booths or tables in the dining room, which seats nearly 250 guests.

Lunchtime is a great opportunity to try many of the main menu items. Start off with the Crispy Calamari enrobed in a light breading and cooked to perfection, served with Wakame salad and Szechuan garlic sauce.

Ocean One Wings are the signature appetizer. They’re mahogany glazed and tender with sprinklings of scallions and sesame seeds. The Quesadilla appetizer can be enough on its own. It’s filled with grilled chicken, jack cheese, roasted peppers and caramelized onion, served with salsa and sour cream. The Ocean One Mussels also top the menu, smoked in a tomato chardonnay stew with a toasted baguette for dipping.

The hands-down favorite with lunch-goers is the Ocean One Fish & Chips.

“Big portions, prepared to order. It’s a whole filet,” Conway said. “We sell thousands a day between all of our locations.”

The fish is lightly crunchy outside while tender inside, paired with seasoned fries and creamy coleslaw.

The Grilled Salmon is also in demand, presented over a bed of mashed potatoes, house vegetables with lemon garlic herb sauce drizzled atop. For burger lovers, there’s the Half-Pound Sirloin Burger, prepared to your liking.

There are a number of flavorful salads, including the Breaded Warm Goat Cheese salad with toasted pine nuts, cherry tomatoes and sundried tomato vinaigrette. For chicken and pasta dishes, try the Chicken Parmesan or the Penne Pasta with chicken, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions and parmesan cheese pomodoro sauce.

There is an expanded menu at dinnertime. For a sweet and hearty dinner, try Executive Chef David Stein’s top creation, the Chef DS Snapper with a sweet southern twist. The pan-seared snapper is served over sweet potato mash with sauteed garlic spinach, hearts of palm slaw and a vanilla rum butter sauce. The Lamb Rack is also a must-try. It is Dijon herb marinated on top of a creamy bed of wild mushroom and asparagus risotto.

The Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass is a delicious blend of flavors, served with stir-fried baby bok choy, jasmine rice, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and celery over a black rice vinaigrette.

A kids’ menu is also available with burger options, grilled cheese, pasta and more. Sweeten up the experience with dessert, like the popular Creme Brulee or the Ocean One Mexican Sundae.

The restaurant sees a high number of guests each day with a goal of serving each one in under 13 minutes. “People come here to hang out and have a great time,” Conway said.

This is the restaurant group’s sixth South Florida location, in addition to Delray Beach, Kendall, Davie, Dania Beach and Coral Springs. The original was started in Las Vegas by owner Tony Visone, who then brought the concept to the Sunshine State. He not only created the restaurant’s concept but also coded the software used to track its day-to-day business. Each meal served can be seen in a real-time ticker on the company’s web site.

It’s that sheer volume and hard work that keeps the restaurant growing.

“We’re getting shipments to us three to five times a week. We couldn’t freeze food or buy frozen food if we wanted to. We’re so busy. The same with shipments of liquor and beer. We have to keep up with it,” Conway said.

Ocean One Bar and Grille is located at 11111 Southern Blvd. in the Southern Palm Crossing plaza. For more information, call (561) 270-7373 or visit www.oceanonefl.com.

Facebookpinterestmail

Tasty Sushi Served With Great Flair

Tasty Sushi Served With Great Flair Fujisan Asian Bistro Opened Recently In Wellington’s Town Square Shopping Plaza

Story and Photos by Melanie Kopacz

It’s a splash of color mixed with happy vibes and fun décor as you enter the new Fujisan Asian Bistro in Wellington’s Town Square shopping plaza. That flair is also shown through the artistry put into the food.

“People like sushi in this area,” Fujisan Manager Nicole You said. “People like healthy food, and sushi is a great option.”

Fujisan officially opened its doors this past fall, welcoming sushi lovers to quench their cravings for fresh, mouthwatering and handcrafted creations ready to be devoured and enjoyed.

“We also do hibachi, but sushi is our specialty,” You said. “But people like it all.”

There’s a huge selection to try from, with about 50 sushi rolls in all on the menu.

Sit at the sushi bar with its soothing soft colors amid an array of fresh and colorful fish on display, and where patrons can watch the chef’s artistic talents put into each order with precision and pride.

That presentation is just as pleasing as the food itself, like the Tuna Tartare. The beautifully stacked diced fish with cubes of avocado are displayed with vibrant-colored tobiko and kimchi sauce. The Seared Tuna Over Crispy Rice makes for a gorgeous display of colors, with a flavorful combination of textures. It is topped with kimchi sauce, spicy mayo, wasabi sauce, tobiko and cilantro.

The Sweetheart Roll is a must try and a perfect sharable. This features a beautiful presentation of four individual heart-shaped rolls by combining two pieces of sushi, as rose petals line the plate. Inside is spicy tuna and avocado, topped with tuna and wasabi sauce. Each bite makes for a rich mix of flavors, while the tuna melts in your mouth.

The specialty rolls across the board are widely ordered, while there are also a number of traditional kitchen appetizers, such as the Gyoza (pan-fried pork dumplings), as well as the Rock Shrimp, which is fried and served with a spicy cream sauce. Both are staples on the menu.

As you wait for your food, check out the wall design that’s filled with traditional and whimsical Asian lucky cats, whose purpose is to bring cheer and luck. The steel blue seating and décor make for a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant’s quaint dining room seats about 30, with a few tables for two outside.

“We try to keep it fun and a little different, so we did the wallpaper, and the lighting, and tried to keep it cozy,” You said.

The sushi bar entrees are beautifully displayed and perfectly placed. The Sashimi Deluxe is a top choice, filled with 15 pieces of fresh, assorted raw fish layered among decorative pieces.

The are about 25 special roll offerings, with the Lobster Roll being one of the favorites. Inside is lobster katsu and mango, topped with avocado, steamed shrimp, fried kani and special sauce.

The Monster Roll lives up to its name, with shrimp tempura, cream cheese and avocado, topped with imitation crab meat, eel sauce and spicy sauce. The Dinosaur Roll is huge in flavor, deep fried with tuna, eel, cream cheese, avocado, scallion, eel sauce and spicy mayo.

There’s also a selection of soups from traditional miso to seafood hot and sour. A number of salads are also offered, including an Avocado & Crab Salad, and a Sunomono Salad with octopus, shrimp, conch, kani and cucumber in a vinegar sauce.

Those not looking for sushi can order hibachi, which is served with clear soup and a shrimp appetizer, vegetables and hibachi noodles. Order a single item or a combination from vegetable, chicken, shrimp, steak, scallops, lobster and more. There’s also teriyaki options.

Kids have their own menu, which includes chicken, steak or shrimp teriyaki with lo mein, as well as some traditional kid favorites, like chicken nuggets.

Lunch specials are offered Monday through Friday and come with soup or salad, and any of two or three roll combos.

Lunch bento boxes are also a favorite, from sushi to shrimp tempura, salmon and more, served with edamame, a spring roll and four pieces of a California roll. Rice and noodles or hibachi are also available lunch items.

Whether it’s lunch or dinner, the selection is sure to fill both the stomach and soul with the tasty food and cheerful, elevated presentation that Fujisan hopes will bring people back for more, as the beckoning cats await your next visit.

Fujisan serves lunch and dinner daily. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. for dinner. Friday hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. for dinner. Weekend hours are noon to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Fujisan Asian Bistro is located in Wellington’s Town Square shopping plaza at 11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33. For more information, call (561) 513-8888 or visit www.fujisanasianbistro.com.

Facebookpinterestmail

From Oprah To ‘Shark Tank,’ Cheese And Charcuterie Board Company Boarderie Is On A Roll

From Oprah To ‘Shark Tank,’ Cheese And Charcuterie Board Company Boarderie Is On A Roll

It has been an outstanding end to a successful year for the locally owned cheese and charcuterie board company Boarderie, which offers beautiful and taste-tempting products for the holiday season and all year round.

Boarderie has truly been a group effort on the part of four partners — Aaron Menitoff (co-CEO and managing partner), Rachel Solomon (co-CEO and partner), Julie Larson Menitoff (co-COO and partner) and Angel Jerez (co-COO, partner, sommelier and cheesemonger).

The team operates very much like siblings who have strong opinions and rely heavily on each other for guidance and assistance to make it through the long days and stressful decisions. They laugh, agree, disagree, support each other, and at the end of the day, they love each other as siblings do.

Boarderie was honored by Oprah Winfrey in November on her exclusive “Favorite Things” list and featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank” TV show on Friday, Nov. 18, where they sealed a deal with Shark Lori Greiner. Boarderie is the first and only company shipping completely pre-assembled, catering-quality cheese and charcuterie boards overnight, nationwide.

Aaron Menitoff and his wife Julie Larson operated a gourmet catering company in the Palm Beach area for 20 years. With deep roots in Wellington’s equestrian community, and working with clients like Prince Harry, Ferrari International and StubHub at the Super Bowl, they were at the peak of their career.

However, when the pandemic hit, all events were canceled overnight, and they needed to pivot to keep their staff employed and business afloat. They knew cheese and charcuterie was one of the fastest-growing culinary trends, and that e-commerce was the only way to adapt to the new COVID-19 world, so they set out to create the first-ever completely pre-arranged cheese and charcuterie boards that could be shipped overnight from coast to coast.

Aaron and Julie literally bet the farm on Boarderie. They used all of their savings, took a home equity line against the farm, a Small Business Association loan and a line of credit against the catering business.

They used the money to retrofit their catering facility to accommodate board production, keep the staff paid and buy inventory. The company launched its first online sales channel with Goldbelly in October 2020, and by December of that year, they were one of the top-selling products out of 1,000 competitors!

The focus has been providing hassle-free, catering-quality displays that could be shipped overnight directly to customer’s doors… taking catering into the e-commerce space, where it has thrived.

But even after a storied life and career to date — including having built and operated a surf and yoga hotel in Nicaragua; living on a farm with chickens, goats, bunnies and horses; and having served thousands of meals doing disaster relief food service post hurricanes in Florida for the past six storms — they did not know or really anticipate that Boarderie would fill a major gap in the edible gifting market.

Traditional food gifts have fallen behind, Aaron Menitoff explained. They underserve their customers with inefficient, outdated and impersonal products. Boarderie, he said, serves customers whether they are hosting at home, sending a spectacular gourmet gift or simply want to indulge on their own. The company even does custom logo engraving on the keepsake wood boards for corporate gifting, which has been a big hit for companies looking to send a unique experience.

“One board has dozens of flavor combinations, so mixing and matching various ingredients in different assortments gives endless pairings for guests to experience,” Menitoff said. “We like to call it ‘Eventertainment,’ which we think is an experiential activity based around the sharing of food and friends, which are our two biggest passions in life.”

He is particularly proud of the wonderful boards available for this holiday season.

“This holiday season, we have our best boards yet and are shipping overnight nationwide all season long,” Menitoff said. “Don’t forget to schedule your holiday orders as soon as possible. At Boarderie.com, you can select delivery dates up to 365 days in advance and ship all of your holiday orders to multiple addresses in one simple order by selecting ‘ship to multiple addresses at checkout.’”

Visit www.boarderie.com to see the full range of boards available from Boarderie.

Facebookpinterestmail

Enjoy A Fusion Of Delicious Flavors Mediterranean Plate In The Mall At Wellington Green Brings Together The Cuisine Of Three Distinct Cultures

Enjoy A Fusion Of Delicious Flavors
Mediterranean Plate In The Mall At Wellington Green Brings Together The Cuisine Of Three Distinct Cultures

Story and Photos by Melanie Kopacz

Fill your plate with fresh and delicious Mediterranean cuisine reflecting a blend of three cultures — Greek, Egyptian and Lebanese — at Mediterranean Plate, also known as Med Plate. A gem that has been serving high-quality food at the Mall at Wellington Green for several years, Med Plate has now moved to a new location inside the mall’s food court area.

This casual eatery features delights from specially grilled lamb gyros to tabbouleh salad, homemade hummus, lentil soup and much more. All are the creations of the husband-and-wife duo Raymonde Ibrahim and Joseph Esnasuos. The couple pride themselves on bringing a mix of their eastern Mediterranean backgrounds to others through the love of food, which is all made from scratch each day, finessing each recipe to the liking of their customers.

“We try many times to make it better and add our own thoughts to the food,” Ibrahim explained. “All our recipes come from our experience.”

They also put a unique spin on their two main sauces. “Tzatziki sauce is Greek, but we make it Lebanese style. The Greek people make tzatziki with dill. We don’t make it with dill, we make it with fresh peppermint,” she said.

Their top sauce — the Mediterranean garlic with dill — is so beloved, it’s often suggested by customers that it be bottled. It’s always in high demand, with diners liking it on virtually everything.

The food variety at Med Plate is wide with portions just as big. Including many specials, like the Churrasco Platter.

“It’s a Spanish item. We grill it with our Mediterranean seasoning. We have a combination of our own seasonings. We use on the meat, beef, chicken and shrimp,” Ibrahim said. “My husband makes the combination of seasoning himself to marinate the meat. We make it fresh every day.”

A combination of seven seasonings, with a twist, gives the food a flavor all its own.

“We use nutmeg, a little cinnamon and ground clove,” she said. “The cinnamon has a very light taste, along with some paprika, garlic powder, dill and onion.”

All the meat is grilled, including the lamb. “People like the lamb,” Ibrahim said. “Most places put out the spinning machine. We don’t. We shave it while it’s still raw and grill it on both sides. It’s thick. We grill both sides to give it a better taste.”

Gyros are always top sellers. The Gyro Plate comes with sliced lamb and beef, Greek salad, rice, a soft pita and tzatziki sauce. The Chicken Kabob Plate is a hearty serving with two skewers of tender and juicy cubes of grilled chicken between red peppers atop two sides.

The tasty sides include Egyptian sauteed eggplant with red peppers and tomatoes. Lemon potatoes, rice pilaf or spicy rice are also options. Tabbouleh salad is a big favorite. It’s made with parsley, tomatoes, bulgur wheat, peppermint, onion, olive oil and lemon juice.

“It’s a Lebanese item, so it’s made with a lot of parsley,” Ibrahim said. “We also have kibbeh. This is a Lebanese and Syrian item. It’s cracked wheat stuffed with ground beef, but it can also be vegan.”

There are a number of vegan choices. From a plate of six grape leaves stuffed with herbs and rice to the popular homemade hummus with pita bread and choice of sauce. All are on a one-price menu. Another vegan entrée option is the Koshary Plate.

“It’s Egyptian. It’s a combination between rice, black lentil, fried crispy onions, marinara sauce and chickpeas all layered like a cake, and then you put the marinara on top and serve it with a choice of sauce,” Ibrahim explained.

To sweeten things up, the baklava is a must try. It’s perfectly flaky phyllo dough layered with walnuts and drenched in honey. Other variations include pistachio with a chocolate drizzle, making an incredibly rich and deliciously indulgent dessert.

The fusion of all these flavors comes largely from the couple’s time living in Port Said, Egypt, along the Mediterranean Sea.

“Ships coming west to east have to go through the Suez Canal and to my city,” Ibrahim said. “So, we have a lot of culture, and it’s what gives us inspiration in sharing the Greek, Egyptian and Lebanese cultures.”

The restaurant is a labor of love. They hope many more will explore their food and love it as much as they do. “Me and my husband are here every day,” Ibrahim said. “This is our life here. We try to satisfy our customers. We value and appreciate them.”

Mediterranean Plate is in the food court at the Mall at Wellington Green at 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd. For more info., call (561) 762-3132 or visit https://mediterranean-plate.business.site.

Facebookpinterestmail

Bimini Twist’s 20th Anniversary

Bimini Twist’s 20th Anniversary The Popular Seafood Restaurant On Okeechobee Blvd. Has Been A Fine Dining Favorite For Two Decades

Story and photos by Melanie Kopacz

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, Bimini Twist restaurant is a popular destination for fresh seafood, hearty steaks and more. The award-winning eatery — an institution on Okeechobee Blvd. — is a fan favorite for both locals and visitors.

Bimini Twist shines all its own with twinkling lights that beam for all to admire from the road. Illuminated palm trees create an island appeal.

“You can’t help but notice the restaurant from the outside, because it’s so stunning to look at,” General Manager Cheryl Averta said. “And you don’t realize how big it is until you walk through the door.”

When you arrive, you’re certain to be struck by the sound of everyone having a great time at a high-quality restaurant that features a vast menu of offerings from sea or land, as well as several new specials, like escargot. The Blue Point oysters are also widely popular.

“All of our shellfish comes from the cold water of the North Atlantic. Our oysters come from Long Island,” Averta said. “They’re crispy and clean. If you want to eat an oyster to define what it tastes like, this is the first one you’d want to try.”

The Chargrilled Octopus is also a must-try, deliciously meaty, yet light.

“It’s Mediterranean inspired. We marinate, grill and serve it over roasted potatoes with a lemon-inspired dressing and a few red pepper flakes,” Averta said. “I tell people that if they want better octopus, they have to go to Santorini, Greece. While we’re predominantly a seafood restaurant, we have something for everybody.”

That includes fresh delicacies like hog snapper when in season. It’s Bimini Twist’s overall top seller, coming fresh from the Yucatan Peninsula and served with a butter and white wine sauce, or piccata style, with capers over linguini.

“For people who’ve never heard of it, I describe it as God’s perfect fish. It’s the richness of grouper, the sweetness of scallops and the flakiness of mahi,” Averta explained. “It’s caught with a spear. I tell people if they don’t like it, it’s on me. That’s how confident I am that they’re going to like it.”

Their yellowtail snapper is also a fan favorite. White, flakey and mild, it’s sautéed in lemon, white wine and butter. Lobster lovers can get their fill with the Twin Lobster Tails entrée. “Our lobster tails come from Maine,” Averta said. “You get a full pound of lobster on your plate.”

For a hearty taste of both worlds, mix it up with a 7-ounce lobster tail and a 12-ounce prime New York strip steak from the “Land & Sea” selections.

“There’s something for everybody — shrimp scampi, ribs, pork chops, Alaskan king crab, a full pound of it. We serve it open split, so all you need to do is take your cocktail fork and pull the meat right out of the shell,” Averta said.

The Seafood Pescatore is a bright and colorful dish full of flavor. It includes a half a lobster tail, mussels, shrimp, scallops and calamari atop red seafood sauce over imported Italian linguine.

Choose either an appetizer or entrée of the Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna. The beautiful color and texture make for an uplifting presentation.

There are also a few pasta dishes, like the Chicken Florentine served with linguine over an alfredo sauce with spinach. For the steak lovers, there are a number of choices, including a 16-ounce Delmonico ribeye or the 36-ounce Porterhouse served with bacon shallot butter.

The sides are incredibly tasty too, like top-pick Spinach Maria encrusted with breadcrumbs. “If you like creamed spinach, it’s like creamed spinach on steroids. The best you’ll ever have,” Averta said.

For kids, the menu has a variety of offerings, from fried fish to pasta.

When all is done, there’s dessert. Shareables are popular, including the apple crisp, which is served warm with praline pecan sauce and three scoops of vanilla ice cream, or the white chocolate bread pudding, also served with ice cream and a raspberry drizzle.

A delicious culinary experience is what this longtime staff of 60 strives for with traditional and elevated creations from Executive Chef Charles Wright, whether for an event or a weekly dinner.

People line up daily before open to get their favorite table and a taste of their beloved meals. Special events are hosted almost daily with private table service available for parties.

Complimentary valet parking is offered Fridays and Saturdays, and Thursdays in season. Catch the early bird menu Sunday through Thursday. Order before 6 p.m. and get 20 percent off several popular items.

The bar, which is the cornerstone of the restaurant, serves up an extensive drink menu with new twists on old favorites, like the Passion Fruit Martini, or the Bourbon Berry Smash, made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Beer on tap is ice cold and poured to perfection.

There’s seating near the open kitchen for those who enjoy watching the action. For a quieter area, request a table “under the fish.”

The ambiance is relaxed with low lighting, greenery creating privacy, bamboo-style woodwork throughout, and a playlist of music that took years to curate to the customers’ liking. The fun atmosphere extends out to the patio.

“We have people who want to stay because they want to sit through a song,” Averta said. “That’s when you know you have a good playlist.”

Bimini Twist as a destination is expanding with new experiential businesses that are part of what’s now called “Bimini Boulevard.” All are connected in the same plaza, allowing people to enjoy a broader experience.

“We wanted to make this strip a destination where you can come out for dinner and have other things to do while you’re here,” Averta said.

Enjoy an after-dinner cigar at Stogies Cigar Lounge. Indulge in a macaron and espresso at Merci Bimini French Café. Anchored on the end is a breakfast and lunch place, Portside. Then grab some flowers for your special occasion at Flagler Floral.

They’ll all be celebrating Bimini Twist’s 20th anniversary Saturday, Oct. 22 with a family fun day to include pumpkins, a hay maze and live characters, as well as two car shows. The weekend will be topped off with a formal dinner gala, with two seatings on Sunday, Oct. 23 with a live tenor singing. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the MiniMe Foundation, which helps children battling cancer.

“We’re like a family,” Averta said. “A key ingredient when we hire is kindness. It’s not every day a restaurant gets to be 20 years old.”

Bimini Twist is located at 8480 Okeechobee Blvd. Reservations are highly recommended. For more information, call (561) 784-2660 or visit www.biminitwistwpb.com.

Facebookpinterestmail