Paradiso Ristorante Serves Up Rare White Truffles

Categories: Restaurant News
IIf you've ever been tempted to plunk down a hundred bucks an ounce for truffles, you know there's a pressure that comes with such a purchase, because the rest of the dish better hold up to that exorbitant purchase.

Chef Angelo Romano at Paradiso Ristorante in Lake Worth hopes to help with a special one-time menu titled Piemonte, Tartufo & Vino, which will pair truffles with food and wine.

The event will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 the night of December 10 and will feature white truffles from Alba, France.

The cost is $180 a person, with tax and tip. For reservations, call 561-547-2500 or book online here.

South Florida Jewish Food Festival: A Likely Place for Fine Kugel

Categories: Restaurant News
Photo by Flickr user marilyn819

If there's one dish that symbolizes Jewish food, it's the kugel. Sure, the matzo ball is better known, and a well-baked brisket can just about revive the dead. But the kugel is everything good Jewish cooking ought to be -- simple comfort food cooked in one dish.

If you've never had a good kugel, it's an eggy casserole either served as a side dish with stuff like potatoes and ground vegetables or made sweet and served as dessert. You're likely to find a good kugel this Sunday at the first South Florida Jewish Food Festival. Also called Nosh Fest, it's being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Temple Beth Emet in Cooper City.

Ask for the kugel.

Looking for Smoked Turkey with Crispy Skin? Try Adding a Torch

Categories: Homebrew
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Photos by Eric Barton
The smoker makes a mean turkey, but the skin? Not so much.

If you smoked a turkey this Thanksgiving, you probably ended up with what's been on my plate in the past: a juicy, flavorful bird with skin as supple as rubber bands. So in an attempt to avoid that this year, I tried a new trick: After the bird hit 165 degrees, I pulled it out of the smoker and hit it with a crème brûlée torch.

The results were, at the least, fun to watch. The skin fissured and split as it

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Purge the Bird and Braise Yourself Some Short Ribs

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Photo by Flickr user Dave Lifson

I love me some good poultry. I've basked in the glory of wings, become reverent in the presence of a well-cooked turkey, waxed lyrical about Thanksgiving leftovers. But it's right about this time every year that I find out I have a poultry limit. It's time to flush the bird from my system. It's time to come home to red meat; red meat that mooed.

So what I want now is a hearty dose of cow, meaty and tender, that I can use to quiet my red meat cravings and feed any particularly tenacious friends and family who might still be lurking around. What I want is a copious amount of short ribs.

Unlike the beef ribs you see at a barbecue, short ribs are trimmed from the ends of ribs in the chuck and plate primals, either across the bone (flanken) or parallel to the bone (English style). They're short, extremely meaty, and tender. So get out your Dutch oven (the one that's a cast iron pot, not the one you use to torture More »

Exported Rosquillas: Like Honduran Dog Treats

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Photos by Eric Barton

It's never good when you're first thought after biting into something is, wait, there's something wrong here. And there's definitely something wrong in this package of Rubi brand rosquillas.

Perhaps it's that the package is "para exportacion" only -- maybe the Hondurans More »

Weirdos, Dicks and Iron Chefs

Well, the Next Iron Chef is Jose Garces, proprietor of six restaurants in Philadelphia and Chicago and dubbed (insulted?) by some as "the Latin Emeril," who over the past weeks blew off nine other chefs from around the country and last night edged New York toque/pastry chef Jehangir Mehta to join the "veritable pantheon of culinary giants" in the Food Network's Albert Speer-by-way-of-Disney World Kitchen Stadium. 

A few thoughts on the battle of, if not the ages, at least 9 p.m. on Sunday night. 

•    Garces deserved to win, because, one, flavor and execution are always more important than "creativity," as anyone who's had to choke down the multiculti slop dished up by too many SoFla chefs in the name of pushing the culinary envelope can attest, and, two, Mehta is just way too weird.

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Iron Chef

Drag Down Cancer, Hot Dogs Stomp Boca, Brunch in Fort Lauderdale

Chicago dogs are coming into port in Boca.
• Says a Boca Raton friend to me a few weeks ago: "There are no good hot dog places in Boca Raton!" Not so now, as Hot Dog-Opolis opened on November 16 at 6020 N. Federal Highway. The hut slings Chicago-style weiners made with Vienna Beef in a plethora of sizes from mini to jumbo as well as Maxwell Street Polish sausages with any combination of toppings you like. HDO is cheap too: A Chicago special with daily-cut French fries fried in peanut oil and drink will run you just $3.95. You'll find plenty of other Chicago-style treats, too, like Italian beef and brisket sandwiches, cheese fries, burgers, and chili. I'm getting heartburn just thinking about it. Call 561-988-5959, or visit

• Next Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale's fab-tabulous drag revue Lips will host Drag Down Cancer, a nightlong celebration benefiting Gilda's Club. In addition to a knock-down, drag-out show by La-di-da's best female impersonators, Lips will throw down with prizes, drinks, and a prix fixe dinner menu from 7 p.m. to midnight. $50 gets you in a ticket to the show. Call 954-567-0987.

• Let's face it: brunch is just an excuse to wake up late and keep drinking from the night before. And I'd be curious to see just how many late night hook ups return to YOLO on Sunday mornings to reprise their adventures with the restaurant's new brunch menu. Salmon BLTs, made-to-order omeletes, smoked pork hash, and breakfast burritos may fill the stomach, but they can't cure regret. Only copious amounts of booze can do that, which YOLO has in fierce supply. There's even a custom bloody mary bar where patrons can instruct tenders just how they like their liquid love. The brunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 954-523-1000.

Cheap Wines That Don't Suck Thanksgiving Edition

Categories: Booze Hound
Cheap Wines That Don't Suck (for Thanksgiving) There's nothing like a holiday to bring the latent suckitude in everyone and everything. Sucky relatives, sucky jobs, sucky airports, sucky traffic, sucky food, sucky weather, sucky expectations. . . it's a sucky world, and we're just living in it. 

But even if everything about Thanksgiving sucks--or at least purses its lips really, really hard--one thing that doesn't have to is your wine. So Charlie went back through several months of non-suckable wines (all $12 and under) in search of those that might bring a smile to your face and a quiver of delight to your taste buds while all around you is the giant slurping sound of. . . yeah, sucking. 

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Getting Grilled (by the Boyfriend's Parents) at Morton's

Categories: Love Bites
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Photo by Flickr user thesecheckeredfeet

"Your parents want to do what?" I shrieked.

"They want to meet you," my darling boyfriend said, "so they've planned a pre-Thanksgiving holiday dinner at Morton's. C'mon. It'll be fun!"

Soon images started flipping through my mind like a View-Master. Click. Shot No. 1: Sis giving me the once-over. Click. Shot No. 2: Mom watching to see if I put my hand on her only son's body in any inappropriate manner. Click. Shot No. 3: Me chatting with creamed spinach in my teeth. It wasn't going to be pretty.

But then there was the thought of getting my hands on enough chopped salad, tender filet mignon, bacon-wrapped scallops, garlicky green beans, and steamy hot chocolate

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Restaurant News: Jimmy's to Delray, Golf Grub in WPB, Dinner at La Bonne Bouche

E.R. Bradley's in full swing.
•    New to the ever-burgeoning restaurant scene in Delray Beach is Jimmy's Bistro, a casual, affordable café on Swinton Avenue from long-time East Coast chef Jimmy Mills. Po-boys are on the menu at lunch, while dinner might see anything from braised short ribs to pasta with salmon.

 •    The Coniglio family, operators of E.R. Bradley's in West Palm and Cucina Dell'Arte and Nick & Johnnies on the island, have taken over the restaurant and bar at the just-renovated West Palm Beach Golf Course. Called E.R. Bradley's Hole-in-One, it will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and boasts big-screen TVs and a billiard room.

•    La Bonne Bouche, the Lake Worth café best known for its stellar pastries and croissants, is now open for dinner Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Chef-owner Eric Regnier's bistro-style menu might include escargot in garlic cream sauce, coq au vin and steak au poivre.

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