Review: Healthy and Incredible Eats At Green Bar & Kitchen

I recently went to Green Bar & Kitchen for the first time to meet up with a group of health coaches who also attended Integrative Nutrition. We enjoyed some amazing eats and discussed positive ways to help others through clean eating and healthy living.

Here we are with GBK co-owner and fellow health coach, Elena Pezzo. Feeling happy and healthy after eating delicious and healthy food.

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Photo courtesy of Jackie Jacobs Read more

Market 17 Hits The Mark With High Quality Local And Gourmet Dining

On Saturday night, my husband and I decided to venture out on the town a little further from home. Typically we dine anywhere that’s within a 10 minute drive. We decided to head down to Fort Lauderdale to see what was new and good. We consulted with of course and Google maps. After reading some reviews of places we wanted to try I read about Market 17 that someone mentioned in their Yelp review of another restaurant. I yelped Market 17 then jumped over to their website, they had me at local, organic, and farm-to-table(!!). They also have an outstanding happy hour 4:30-7pm seven days a week, so my husband was willing to check it out.

We arrived around 6pm and there was one other couple at the bar. That worried us a little, but we decided to at least stay for a drink and appetizer, why not for half off! Creative cocktails and a beautiful ambiance set the mood for a wonderful evening, we ended up staying a few hours Smile. By the time we left around 9pm, there restaurant was quite full! We were surprised more people did not arrive early for their outstanding happy hour specials.

Here’s a photo of the mostly devoured charcuterie we ordered. You can get 3 items for $15, 5 for $25 and 7 for $32. It was absolutely delicious, almost forgot to take a picture! We ordered the chicken pear sausage (my favorite), andouille sausage (Heman’s favorite), and chocolate stout cheddar (Heman really like this one, no cheese for me). The chicken pear sausage was juicy, sweet, and a little crispy on the outside, I loved it! My husband preferred the andouille sausage, it was flavorful but not too spicy as sometimes andouille can be. He really liked the cheese as well, the chocolate stout was different but the flavor combination was delicious. Drink pictured below is the Partridge in a Pear tree made with pear vodka and pear nectar, I asked them to hold the fennel syrup. We also sampled the M-17 (a take on an Old-Fashioned), and Prickly Passion Martini, fruity but not too sweet.

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On the side of the menu, you can see where your food comes from…veggies, meats, cheeses, eggs, seafood, it’s all there!! This aspect of Market 17 had me jumping up and down. To top it off, the meal was amazing with kind and generous service. Very impressed and happy we ventured down to Fort Lauderdale to check this place out!

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Menu with starters, salads, charcuterie, entrees (petite and regular portions, which I love), and sides/snacks.

The menu changes often, check out their website for the latest and greatest:

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Gorgeous ambience at Market 17. We dined at the bar, there are high top tables in the bar area as well. Dining available outside and, indoors next to glass doors so you can feel like you’re outside. They have another dining area as well away from the windows with dim lighting. This restaurant is fairly large so they can accommodate larger parties. Decorations are beautifully done!

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Complimentary bread served with dinner. Butter with garlic and chives.

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My husband ordered the Pan Roasted Guinea Hen (regular portion) with aged cheddar grits, rainbow carrots, heirloom tomatoes, and kale. Heman loves grits and said the meat was tender and perfectly cooked, and he said the tomatoes were very flavorful as well. Typically he only like pasta sauce or salsa, so the tomatoes were definitely tasty enough for my picky eater.

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I enjoyed the Grilled Grassfed Beef Striploin (petite portion – 4 ounces meat) with braised greens instead of the yukon mashed potatoes (since they contain milk and butter) along with roasted cauliflower and sauteed kale. This dish was incredibly good, I love a high quality piece of meat with greens – my favorite! They had me at grassfed beef and it was quite tender and perfectly medium rare as requested.

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We finished the evening with espresso and then headed home having fully enjoyed this dining adventure.

If you are really adventurous, they have a food event called Dining in the Dark. You can call to reserve and the concept is exactly that, dining in the dark. You tell them your likes and dislikes and notify them of any food allergies. They create the menu and you dine in the dark, not knowing what is on the menu. It’s a way to expand your palette safely in a gourmet meal. This method is to heighten your other senses while eating, rather than just eating with your eyes. Smell, taste, texture play a bigger role when dining in the dark. Call 954.835.5507 to make your reservations.

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Good Bye and Good Night Market 17, we will be seeing you again soon!

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Market 17

1850 SE 17th Street

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Located on the SW corner of the 17th St. Bridge, parking next to the Convention Center.

Eat Well At Wicked Awesome Snackbar

I have to admit I love the name of this place, Wicked Awesome Snackbar! Being from the Northeast, I grew up saying wicked awesome or wicked cool. I believe the roots of those sayings are from Boston, but they somehow made it to my small upstate NY community.

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If you are out and about 441 & Glades in West Boca, you have to stop in for some amazing food for lunch or dinner! My husband and I stopped there for lunch on a Saturday afternoon to replenish and take a quick break from our adventures. There is a unique selection of house made salads, sandwiches, pizzettes, and meatballs(?). I highly recommend The Leftover, which originates as a sandwich on the menu, but I ordered it as a salad. My husband ordered The Leftover sandwich and was equally delighted with his choice. The turkey is roasted in house, topped with bacon and avocado, served with house made cranberry relish over a bed of organic and greens with a side of dressing. This dish really blew us both away!! The turkey meat was succulent, juicy, and incredible paired with avocado and cranberry relish – a perfect marriage of flavors.

I also want to compliment Wicked Awesome Snackbar for serving hormone free meats and organic fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. Yes it can be done. The lunch portions were just right too, we were both happily satisfied.

Most of their dishes are tapas, which is a great idea, because you will want to try multiple items on the menu. They also make their own breads, cookies and cakes. I spotted a whoopie pie on the counter, how often do you see one of those! My husband enjoyed the fresh baked brioche bread for his sandwich. If you are into craft beer, you will be pleasantly surprised by their large selection, including local Florida microbrews. All of their beers are currently served in bottles.

The staff is very friendly and accommodating. I told them I am allergic to gluten and dairy and was served a wonderful meal to meet my needs and was absolutely delicious!

Wicked Awesome Snackbar:

20642 S State Road 7 (441) Glades and 441, store front Facing 441

Boca Raton, FL 33498


A Memorable Evening At The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille is well known for their high quality food, wine, and wonderful service. For my husband’s upcoming birthday I wanted to take him somewhere very special and when our friends raved about The Capital Grille it was set that we would go there. We checked out their menu online and I called to make reservations. They asked if it was a special occasion and I said yes, my husband’s birthday. It must be common that people go for a special occasion and now we understand exactly why. They told me for birthdays they offer a complimentary flourless chocolate espresso cake, perfect!

The menu looked great to me, but I wanted to make sure there were gluten free and dairy free options, it’s hard to tell when it comes to sauces and preparation methods aren’t always explicit about ingredients. I filled out a contact form on their website with my concerns and they sent me an e-mail from the head chef the very next day. They explained how they would keep everything separate to avoid contamination as much as possible. They gave me a list of gluten free foods by appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert selection. I was so pleased by their response and was confident we could dine there worry free.

Below is what they wrote:

Dear Mrs. Higgins:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us and for your interest in The Capital Grille.  Please notify the Chef or a manager upon arrival of your food allergies and we will use new tongs and pans to prepare your food and take extra steps to keep your food away from items with gluten.  While we do have flour, dairy, soy, and corn in our kitchens, and as such, cannot guarantee an absolutely allergen free experience, the items listed below are made from recipes that do not include gluten.
– Wagyu Carpaccio
– Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella ordered without croutons
– Oysters on the half shell
– Shrimp Cocktail
– Cold Shellfish Platter
– Caesar Salad ordered without croutons
– Garden Salad ordered without dressing
– The Wedge Salad
– Spinach Salad
-Roasted Crimini, Portabella, Shiitake, Oyster Mushrooms
-Baked Potatos are typically available upon request
-Fresh Asparagus with Hollandaise
-Sams Mashed Potatoes
– Any steak ordered without sauce
– Lamb Chops without Cherry Mostarda
– Fresh Lobster
– Fresh Seared Salmon fillet ordered without citrus glaze
– Fresh Swordfish with lemon shallot relish
– Sesame Seared Tuna ordered
– Roasted Chicken
Crème Brulee
– Fresh Berries with Vanilla Cream
– Sorbet
– Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake
-Handcrafted Ice Cream ordered without the biscotti
We look forward to serving you. Please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to further customize a meal that suits your needs.
Jim Nuetzi
Corporate Executive Chef
The Capital Grille

We were immediately seated when we arrived and they had a birthday card and metallic confetti on the table waiting for us. A printed gluten free menu was waiting for me and we were offered a complimentary Champagne toast to start off the evening. Thank you! The server was very helpful and let us know they could accommodate all of our needs. We asked a few questions and took our time ordering a bottle of wine. An outstanding selection with several different types of wines and wines by country and regions. We selected a Mark West Pinot Noir which was an excellent choice.

Dining at The Capital Grille was an experience similar to what we remember from our vacation in Paris a few years ago. There was no rush to order, the evening was relaxing, and you never feel rushed by any means. This is how dining is really meant to be. Turning tables is not the point at this establishment, creating a memorable experience is the whole intention, and that’s exactly what they did for us.

My husband ordered a cup of the French Onion soup to start which was filled with rich caramelized onions, draped by a blanket of bubbled up broiled cheese on top and the signature piece of bread at the bottom of the cup. He was delighted! We were served bread at the table with butter, my husband enjoyed a few slices of what looked like focaccia bread with soft butter.

I ordered the Filet Oscar without the sauce Béarnaise Sauce. My husband ordered the special of the evening, Filet with Butter Poached Lobster. We also ordered half portions of the sides, Sautéed Spinach cooked with olive oil and whole roasted garlic cloves(yum!) and Au Gratin Potatoes. The server let us know we could place half orders of the sides since the portions are large and it was just the two of us. This worked well as my husband had the Au Gratin Potatoes to himself, since they are filled with cheese and topped with bread crumbs. He said they were the best he ever had! I remember eating Betty Crocker au gratin potatoes from the box when I was younger, these looked absolutely delicious – no comparison.

The filets were cooked perfectly, medium rare, they were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, nothing more was needed. A good quality piece of meat needs nothing more than a little S+P, quite amazing! The crab meat on top, tender and moist chunks, quite excellent!

We just had to save room for dessert so a take home box for dinner was needed. Dessert arrived with a lit candle and the server took our picture, another complimentary offering! We also each had a single shot espresso that went perfectly with the flourless chocolate espresso cake. The cake was moist with a rich chocolate espresso flavor, not overpowering by any means, the flavors were just right.

The evening was wonderful, we could not have wanted for anything more. My only request is to go back for my birthday in September!

The Capital Grille

Boca Raton Town Center Mall

6000 Glades Road

Boca Raton, FL 33431


Restaurant Review: The Green Gourmet

I have been meaning to try out The Green Gourmet for several months and I finally got the chance tonight! They are an all organic and natural foods market and café, and buy from local farmers as much as possible. My friend Melissa and her family were in town for a couple of nights, and we decided to check out The Green Gourmet for dinner. Walking in you see the display case on the right and a couple of chalk boards with juice, smoothie, and information on specials. Juice Bar happy hour is 3-5pm, noted! Read more