Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Eighth Annual Boca Pointe Meal Deals

So here we are now with the eighth issue of “Meals,”
Where we’ll describe once again good values and deals.
But I wonder myself why a poem is required,
It just seems that’s the way that my brain has been wired.
But nevertheless my intentions are pure,
To provide you with info that’s valid and sure.
So just like last year we’ll review what took place,
In the no-ending struggle in the Summer Deal race.

But where have they gone, the restaurants of yore?
Even many we liked, now are no more.
It’s a business that’s risky with perils abundant,
Yes, even in Boca some were considered redundant.
But there’s good news to come, new restaurants have started,
And some have replaced the ones that have parted.
The economy’s weak with no end yet in sight,
And restaurants are aware of their dangerous plight.
With Northerners gone the summer season is slow,
That’s a problem the owners of restaurants full know.
So whether the restaurant is old or it’s new,
A meal deal’s their solution to attract me and you.
So here are the new deals for two thousand ten,
And I hope that like last year, you will once again,
Cut out this page so you can answer outright,
When next someone asks, “What restaurant tonight?
If you lose this list and thus fail to retain it,
Go to my blog and you can then attain it.

Over much of the past seven years that the Summer Meals Deals articles have run, the high failure rate of restaurants has been emphasized. Out of curiosity I checked the 2004 issue of this column and found that of the 27 restaurants then listed, a stunning number, 19 have closed –– that’s 70 percent. Of the 27 listed last year, seven –– 25 percent –– were shuttered. Following are the fatal seven: Basil Garden; Bova Cucina; Bova Ristorante; Café Bellino; Gigi’s; Opus 5; Pranzo. However, in addition to those, here are others that did not survive since last year’s Summer Meals Deal article: Gatsby’s, Jasmine, Big City Tavern, Eilat Café, the Draft House, Cucina D’Angelo, Addison Steakhouse.

Despite the above failures, several new restaurants have opened. Listed below are mini-reviews of three that I believe deserve special consideration.

2010 Summer Meal Deals

Unless noted otherwise, the offerings are for a three course dinner including soup or salad, entrée, and dessert. Because of the fast changing nature of the current restaurant business environment, it is suggested that you check the accuracy of the listings below when you phone for a reservation.
  • Bistro Provence: Sunset Dinner: Nice choices in all categories; coffee or tea. $14.50. Separately, 2 for 1 glass of wine. Monday-Sunday, 5:00-5:45. Cash only. 2399 N. Federal Highway.368-2340

  • Brooks Restaurant: $ 32.00 per person. Coffee or Tea. Carafe of wine per couple. No time restrictions. (If Saturday, call to confirm). 500 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach. 954 427-9302

  • Campagnola: 4 Course. $19.95 each. Family Style –– Two people share 1 Appetizer or Salad, 1 Pasta, 1 Entrée, 1 Side Vegetable, and 1 dessert. I gather each gets a Coffee or Tea. Also Summer Early Menu till 5:30: $10.95-$12.95. House or Caesar Salad, Choice of 12 entrées, Italian or NY Cheesecake. 8228 Glades Rd. (Lakeside Center). 488-7960

  • Ferraro’s Ristorante: 4 Course with appetizer.), $19.95. Sunday through Thursday 4:00-7:00. (Chef Tulio is one of the most creative). 8208 Glades Rd. (Lakeside Plaza). 477-2750

  • Gary Woo: Soup, Appetizer, Entrée, and Ice Cream. From $13.95. Cash Only. Nightly. Closed Tuesday. Usually a coupon is required, however, mention Boca Pointe to Gary, and the Summer Special will apply. 3400 Federal Highway. 368-8803

  • Hurricane Grill: See mini review below.

  • Josephine’s: Appetizer, Entrée, Dessert, and Coffee. $25.00. Sunday-Friday. 5;00-6;30 5751 Federal highway. 988-0668

  • La Luna: Sunset Dinner $12.95. Sunday-Thursday till 6:00. Friday & Saturday till 5:30. 20% off entrée on regular menu. Friday and Saturday only. $7.95 Lunch Special. 5030 Champion Blvd. 997-1165

  • Kathy’s Gazebo: (Very expensive normally). Considered by some to be best in Boca. 3 Course for $35.00. Monday-Friday. 4199 N. Federal Highway. 395-6033

  • Max’s Grill: Nice selection ofAppetizer or Soup or Salad and Dessert. Three menus –– $17.95, $19.95, or 23.95. Sunday-Thursday 5:00-10;00; Friday and Saturday 5:00-7:00. $5.00 House cocktails with three-course dinner or ½ price selected wine bottles. Mizner Park. 368-0880

  • Milos: Greek restaurant. $19.95. Good selection of Soup, Salad, or Appetizer. Eight entrée choices plus seven others at higher prices. S1600 Federal Highway. 750-6720

  • Positano’s: 4 courses $26.95. Choice of 8 Appetizers plus Pasta or Salad. Dinner served with Vegetables or Pasta. Dessert, and Coffee. Every night. 4400 Federal Highway. 391-2120

  • Renzo’s of Boca: First time summer discount. 20% off entire meal. (One of the best Italian restaurants in Boca). 5999 N. Federal Highway. 994-3495.

  • Rosario: (Former owner of La Viola): 3 Course with Appetizer, Entrée, Dessert and Coffee. $22.95. Every night. 145 SE Mizner Blvd., Royal Palm Place. 393-0758

  • St. Tropez: $16.95. All night, every night. ($15.95 before 5:30). Cash only. Mention Boca Pointe for the deal. 7000 W. Camino Real. 368-4119

  • Stallone’s: Sunset Specials: Soup, Salad, Entrée, and Beverage staring at $9.95 –– add Dessert starting at $12.95, till 5:30. Dinner for Two with Soup or Salad (Choice of 5 entrées) Thursday-Saturday, $24.95-$26.95. All night. Same deal Sunday-Wednesday $19.95. Lunch Combo: Soup, Salad, Half Sandwich –– Pick two $5.95. All three $8.50. 9181 Glades Rd. 483-0009

  • Station House: See mini review below. Cove Shopping Center. 1544 SE 3 rd St, Deerfield Beach. 561 547-6022

  • Shanghai City : See mini review below.

  • Swanky’s Vesuvio Ristorante: 4 courses including appetizer and coffee. $26.95. Tuesday through Friday. 3360 N. Federal Highway. 368-5520

  • Tiramasu: Appetizer, Entrée, Dessert, and Coffee. $21.50. All night, every night. Cash only. 170 W. Camino Real. 338-9692

  • Truluck’s: Soup or Salad, Entrée, Shared Dessert. $35.00. Happy Hour till 7:00. Excellent seafood. Mizner Park. 391-0755

  • TW Steak & Seafood: 4 Course Dinner. From $15.00. Bottle of House Wine $10.99. 2 for 1 House Drinks till 6:00. All Night, Every Night. 7104 Beracasa Way, 391-6525

  • Villagio: 3 Courses. $19.95. Monday through Thursday. Mizner Park. 447-2257.


Station House

Any numbers of Boca Pointers are very familiar with this well-known and well-established restaurant. Its success can be summed up in three words –– Lobster, Lobster, Lobster. This axiom has been earned based on its claim that they sell more lobsters than any other restaurant in Florida, some 4,000 to 6,000 a week, depending on the season. Located for some 17 years in Lantana, in what was purportedly the original railroad station, Fodor’s travel book reviews it as follows: “The best Maine lobster in South Florida might well reside at this delicious dive, where all the seafood is cooked to perfection. Sticky seats and tablecloths are an accepted part of the scene, so don't wear your best duds.” The latter part of that description refers to the fact that unless you are charmed by old, cramped, and rather dingy interiors, the only enticement is the food.

However If you are a lobster lover, it is no longer necessary to take a half hour trip; to the Station House in Lantana since a new one opened less than 15 minutes away in the Cove Shopping Center (that is scheduled for an upgrade by next summer) in Deerfield Beach. With a bright yellow façade (in keeping with the Cove’s new requirement for a Key West theme), the new 6400 Sq. Ft. restaurant’s fresh contemporary design is a far cry from the original. It is highlighted by two huge fish tanks containing exceptionally beautiful and unusual small tropical fish as well as the most unique living coral I have ever seen,

But it is the food, especially the lobsters, that is the main attraction. Since this is a mini-review I won’t go into all the details, especially since the selection of fish, seafood, chicken, and steak (as well as menu prices) are comparable to other upscale seafood establishments. Most lobster lovers seem to be primarily attracted to the early bird lobster dinners (4:30-6:00 all week long), consisting of a 1-1/4 Lb Maine Lobster for $20.95, a 1-1/2 Lb for $25.95, and Twin 1.15 to 1.25 pounders for $30.95. After 6;00 the price of the singles go up $2.00 and $3.00 for the twin. The dinner consists of a House Salad, choice of a side, Potatoes, rice, or coleslaw. The largest lobster on the menu (8 Lb) costs $110.95.

It is sad and ironic that the owner of Station House, Steve Jankun, passed away the middle of June, just shortly after the new restaurant opened. However, the good news is that the new restaurant has the services of Dave Greenfield, the former owner of Gold Coast Seafood Grill in Boca, a favorite of Boca Pointers (now closed), and one in Coral Springs, that he sold recently. Say Hello to him when you dine there.

Shanghai City

Possibly the best Chinese restaurant in Boca. Replacing Jasmine, in the same location (overlooking a lake and fountain) this restaurant’s chef is remarkable since the food is so much noticeably better than most. My favorite, Sweet ‘N Sour Chicken, is the best I’ve had since the first time I ordered it in New York’s Chinatown more years ago than I’d like to remember. Shrimp in Lobster Sauce (Boston Style) is significantly different and wonderful. Lucy, the owner (along with the chef), is a charming and watchful hostess. The only improvement I would suggest is that the noodles could be improved.

Summer Special includes Egg Roll, Soup, Vegetable Fried Rice, Entrée, and ice Cream. Typical prices range from $11,95 to $14.95. We have arranged with Lucy that if you tell her you are from Boca Pointe you get a 10 % discount. Cash Only.

Hurricane Grill and Wings

Opened in the Palm Plaza just in front of the Garden Shops, Hurricane Grill is an interesting hybrid, one that has grown into a chain with more than 30 other locations (all but a few in Florida, and another scheduled for Mission Bay Plaza). It has developed a restaurant formula that obviously works. It is not a typical sports bar, bu it is a casual fun style establishment with an almost Key West ambience.

Specializing in excellent Wings, it also serves great 100% ½ pound Angus Burgers (all less than $9.00). A good assortment of Salads and tasty Appetizers are available. Chicken and Fish sandwiches are also on the menu all under $10.00. In fact, other than a large number of Wings, nothing on the menu is over $10.99. A great value lunch menu at only $6,99 includes two different Wings, a Burger, Chicken Sandwich (all with Fries), Chicken Caesar Salad, and Firecracker Shrimp. Happy Hours and Beer specials prevail.
Marion, the male General Manager agreed to a 10% discount on the check to Boca Pointers, and will provide an identification card for future use.