Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Friday, October 18, 2019

Morton's Boca!

My friend and I went to check out Morton's late night happy hour (9pm to close), and the people watching alone was GOLD. We will definitely be returning. They have a bar bites menu with discounted prices as well.

Elisabetta's Delray!

New, and instant town fave according to their rave reviews, Elisabetta's recently opened up on the Ave, with the same look, feel and menu as Louie Bossi's (same owners!). I love the "vino on tap" feature at Louie Bossi's, and sure enough Elisabetta's offers the same option, unfortunately last night our server told me the taps weren't working, so we ordered glasses of wine off their regular menu.

Appetizer: garlic bread with ricotta. The garlic bread was good, but it came in one large piece of bread, so ripping it up was a little messy and greasy. It would have been nicer, presentation wise if it had come sliced in sections. The ricotta with olive oil served on the side had the consistency of butter, it was delicious!

Tricolore & Pear Salad - my friend ordered this with grilled chicken. The blood orange vinaigrette was zingy and refreshing!

Brooklyn Caesar Salad With Grilled Salmon - I was impressed with the portion size of the salmon, and it was cooked to perfection.

Spaghetti - simple pasta in a san marzano tomato sauce with burrata on top. I was surprised by the heat in the sauce, but I love spicy so it was not a problem. This was delicious!

Carrabas Boca!

I am usually not a fan of chain type restaurants but I was intrigued by Carrabas' fall themed menu. I went with my parents to sample their pumpkin & mascarpone ravioli, as well as their pumpkin bread pudding dessert. The ravioli were a bit on the sweeter side than I'd like, and the bread pudding was an absolute home run! I can't wait to make this at home.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

True Food Kitchen - Review!

A new healthy restaurant opened up relatively recently at the Boca mall, True Food Kitchen (see the full menu here). This restaurant's menu and vibe reminded me of Farmer's Table (also located nearby in central Boca, see their menu here).

Drink: Sparkling Antioxidant Tea Refresher (no alcohol)
Ingredients: Green tea, pomegranate, butterfly pea flower
Verdict: Home run! The color, and taste were absolutely delicious. I'd love to try the cocktail version next time.

Appetizer: Kale Guacamole
Ingredients: Grapefruit, roasted poblano, sunflower seeds
Verdict: This was tasty, and I enjoyed it, however I could not taste any grapefruit, and I would have liked that flavor to pop out more. The crunch of the sunflower seeds (they were mixed it, not pulsed as crumbs) really made it stand out!

Entree: Spicy Panang Curry Bowl (with tofu)
Ingredients: Sweet potato, bok choy, green bean, rainbow carrot, basil, coconut curry broth
Verdict: Mildly spicy, but good! My friend and I decided to split this dish, and added tofu. I'm glad we added tofu, because it felt like it needed a protein. There was way too much sweet potato, and not enough of the other veggies like bok choy and green beans. The broth was creamy, spicy and delicious. I would like to try this again with shrimp, although tofu in this was great too. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Oliv Pit - Review!

I went to dinner with some lovely mama friends and checked out a (new to me) Greek place called Oliv Pit (check out their website here). We ordered several appetizers to share tapas-style.

Tzatziki with pita bread - I would argue that this would be a hard dish to mess up! The ingredients in this simple dip are: yogurt, cucumbers and basic seasonings and oil. It was simple and tasty.


Zucchini Croquettes - I love zucchini, it is easily in my top three favorite veggies, and I love it in all forms (I've even used it in a chocolate muffin recipe!). But these croquettes did not wow me - they were too dense and heavy. 

Grilled Octopus - hands down the winner of the evening! This appetizer did not hold a candle to the other two. Now grilled octopus is one of my favorite things to order, and one of the easiest things for a restaurant to mess up. It has to be cooked just right, and for a relatively short amount of time, otherwise it gets chewy and tough. It's also tricky to season, and most restaurants just over-salt it and leave it rubbery. Well this restaurant NAILED it - it was the perfect texture, and just melted in your mouth. The accompaniments on the tray were perfect - mashed fava beans, briny capers and plenty of fresh parsley. I am planning to return to this restaurant (and SOON), just to order this dish again.

Pumpkin Ravioli!

I had seen pictures of these gorgeous fall-hued pumpkin ravioli on various TJ fan Instagram pages - but I was hesitant. I prefer my ravioli to be savoury and I was concerned the honey roasted pumpkin would be too sweet for me. I was wrong, because these were delicious! I drizzled olive oil and grated fresh Parmesan cheese over it - these ravioli do not need a separate sauce or pesto, the flavor can stand alone.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies!

I automatically love 90% of Trader Joe's fall / harvest themed seasonal items. This tin of pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix was NO exception. I also had a tailgating ice hockey game event coming up and baked these up for snacking. They were perfect! Chewy and tasty, which subtle pumpkin flavor and melty chocolate bites. 

Hello Kitty Cookies!

I was baking with one of my beautiful mama-to-be friends ahead of a Hello Kitty themed baby shower - and she blew my mind by showing up with these gorgeous cookie cutters! I'd never used them before but they worked like a charm. They are a two part piece - one is the outline cutter shape and one is a stamp which imprints the face/design on the sugar cookie. Genius! These were so fun to bake.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry [Instant Pot]!

I saw this recipe come up on my absolute favorite food blog, Pinch of Yum, and thought - ok how can I get my hands on an Instant Pot to make this marvelous creation?

Luckily my best friend's mom has one, so I borrowed it for the sole purpose of making this fabulous curry recipe.

The ingredients are super simple: onion, garlic (I sauteed both on the stove top first), red lentils (dry), a can of diced tomatoes, a can of coconut milk, a bag of frozen diced butternut squash, a bag of frozen cauliflower florets, red curry paste (jar), tumeric, salt and water. As you can see in the photos below, I bought most of the ingredients at Whole Foods (love their 365 brand!) and this recipe can serve 4 people easily (and I believe I cut the recipe in half as I usually do).

I served this with lime wedges, over white rice. Next time I would add a spoonful of plain yogurt or sour cream on top. Would definitely make this again!

Recipe link here!

I was very impressed with the power of the Instant Pot, but found it a bit difficult to work with (it was my first time). The recipe called for dumping all the ingredients (frozen, dry, etc) into the Instant Pot and setting it to high pressure for 5 min, so I assumed there would be a high pressure button, and I didnt expect there to be 8 other buttons! I had to look in the user guide and set it to manual to get it to work, but it came together in the end.

Pumpkin Muffins (Gluten Free)!

At a recent visit to Trader Joe's I came across this pumpkin muffin baking mix, and my eyes somehow skipped reading the "gluten free" label, but oh well! By adding oil, water and eggs, these muffins were flavorful and definitely not overly sweet.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Strawberry Cookies!

Bakers, you know the drill. You open your fridge only to realize that gorgeous carton of berries is half full, and going downhill fast. What to do? Quickly google an easy cookie or muffin recipe and put those delicious berries to good use!

My quick Sunday morning Googling led me to a blog adorably titles, "An Italian In My Kitchen". You can find the recipe link here, and I highly recommend it. I used a cup of finely chopped fresh strawberries, and the cookies baked up soft and chewy, which was a great texture for the fruit.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Lemon Cookies!

Recipe link here!

Pistachio Cookies!

Recipe link here!

La Centrale: Miami - Review!

My best friend and I went to the Ariana Grande concert in Miami on a Friday night, but we decided to make a day of it and explore La Centrale - a huge Italian food hall with several different themed bars and restaurants. My opinion is that it is a fun experience, but definitely overpriced, and very typically Miami. You can find out more info here!