Favorite Restaurants & Recipes Featured In “The Restaurant Diet”

Over the past several years, Fred Bollaci, CEO and President of Fred Bollaci Enterprises, has culled an A-list of the nation’s most outstanding restaurants/chefs and recipes that will be featured in his upcoming book, “The Restaurant Diet™”  Fred selected these establishments from among his favorite dining destinations in the U.S. because of their passionate commitment to exceptional dining quality, and interest in and dedication to accommodating health conscious diners who refuse to sacrifice flavor.  Fred is delighted to have built such strong relationships with so many outstanding restaurateurs and chefs and to showcase this remarkable collection of recipes, designed to accommodate a health-conscious gourmet diner, complete with nutritional information. Now you, too, will be able to enjoy the fabulous destinations that Fred enjoys, and can now prepare world-class lighter fare gourmet dishes in the comfort and convenience of your own home and know exactly how many calories you are consuming. We invite you to enjoy the La Dolce Vita lifestyle and learn how you too can lose weight eating in great restaurants!

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THE NORTHEAST: NEW YORK CITY, LONG ISLAND, THE HAMPTONS, THE NORTH FORK, CONNECTICUT, MASSACHUSETTS, AND VERMONT

 

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Almond Restaurant, Bridgehampton, NY and New York, NY

In 2001, Jason Weiner and Eric Lemonides opened Almond, which quickly became the “un-Hamptons” restaurant the Hamptons needed, featuring fresh, straightforward, locally sourced, seasonally inspired French-American bistro cuisine. Almond is a favorite for locals, celebrities, tourists, and fellow restaurateurs and has garnered accolades from the New York Times, Newsday, and Wine Spectator. Jason began his culinary career in San Francisco, where he worked with Michael Mina. Eric Lemonides grew up in Brooklyn into a family of restaurant owners, where he learned the business as a child. He later moved to San Francisco, where he managed Piemonte Ovest. He returned to New York to oversee Dellafemina in East Hampton and later F. Illi Ponte in Tribeca, as well as several of his own restaurants until teaming up with childhood friend Jason Weiner to open Almond. Almond proudly supports local growers and features them on their website.

Monkfish Cioppino

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The American Hotel, Sag Harbor, NY

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The illustrious American Hotel, one of Sag Harbor’s historic buildings, was built in 1846 in the height of the whaling era. The hotel is regarded by locals and visitors as one of the most charming, elegant, and professionally run establishments on Long Island’s east end. Situated in the heart of charming, historic Sag Harbor, the Hotel has eight sumptuous guest rooms and an award-winning restaurant, which make guests feel right at home, as if they were staying with family. Staying and dining at the American is truly a pleasure. Everybody knows your name and anticipates your every need.

Bison Carpaccio

Seared Tuna a la Nage

 

 

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Angelo’s of Mulberry Street, New York, NY (See Sister Restaurant Tramonti, Delray Beach, FL in South Florida Section below)

Zucchini Flowers

 

 

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Barbetta, New York, NY

 

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 House-Roasted Peppers alla Bagna Cauda 

New York’s renowned Barbetta, located in the theater district, is the oldest restaurant in New York City to be owned and operated by its founding family. Barbetta celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, and is also the oldest Italian restaurant in New York. The exquisite restaurant with its lovely outdoor patio and beautiful eighteenth-century antiques features exceptional Northern Italian cuisine, with an emphasis on the Piemonte region of northwest Italy. The Maioglio family is from Torino, and Barbetta was the first restaurant in New York to feature authentic Piedmontese dishes, such as tartufi bianchi, or the famed white truffles from Alba, or Bagna Cauda, and numerous other delicacies. Owned and operated by Laura Maioglio, Barbetta’s menu features many classic dishes along with the year they were first introduced in the restaurant. Barbetta has received countless awards throughout the years, and was featured in Wine Spectator in the April 2002 issue, the only restaurant to receive an entire page in their story “Where to Eat.”

Roasted Peppers alla Bagna Cauda
Maine Diver Scallops with a Julienned Potato Crust, in an Intense Jus of Fresh Tomato with Baby Bok Choi

 

 

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Ben’s Kosher Deli, New York City, Long Island, Scarsdale, NY, and Boca Raton, FL

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“Ronnie” Dragoon founded the incredibly popular Ben’s Delicatessen in 1972, which he considers to have been a calling, inspired by his Eastern European heritage. Ben’s has been my long-time favorite for Jewish deli food, since I grew up on Long Island. Ben’s operates a Kosher kitchen under rabbinical supervision. According to Ronnie, Ben’s “cures their own corned beef” and their chicken soup “cures everything else!” I always enjoyed their chicken matzo ball soup (Jewish penicillin) whether I was under the weather or well! Fortunately, Ronnie listened to the flock of New York snowbirds and snowflakes and took his popular restaurant concept to New York South (Boca Raton), so snowbirds no longer have to get on a plane for their fix!

 

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Ben’s Israeli Salad

 

 

 

 

 

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Cittanuova, East Hampton, NY 

 

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East Hampton’s Cittanuova combines European style and sophistication with classic Hamptons casual cool, featuring excellent contemporary Italian cuisine in a chic, sexy, Milanese-style trattoria. Star chef Kevin Penner, who also oversees the outstanding 1770 House has become an icon of the Hamptons restaurant scene with his flawless contemporary American cuisine with international influences.

Scottadito di Agnello alla Sardegna- Sardinian Lamb Chops

 

Dario’s, Rockville Centre, NY

Dario’s, whose owners hail from the Istrian peninsula on the border of Croatia and Italy run what has been regarded as one of the top Italian restaurants in Nassau County for years, owing much of its success to the family’s hands-on approach, the freshest ingredients, and an accommodating staff ready to go the extra mile to please.

Mussels Fra Diavola

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Da Silvano, New York, NY

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Silvano Marchetto, native of Tuscany, opened his namesake Da Silvano on May 1, 1975, combining favorites from both Tuscany and Silvano’s native Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, with an American “rock and roll” vibe to make his restaurant “downtown cool” in Greenwich Village. Da Silvano went on to become one of the most successful restaurants in New York history. Silvano’s cuisine represents simple, earthy flavors, and fresh local, seasonal ingredients, which has won him quite a following. Regulars include Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Jack Nicholson, and fellow chef Jean-George Vongerichten.

 

Spiedino di Pesce Riminese (Seafood Skewers with Squid, Swordfish, and Shrimp, inspired by Rimini)

 

 

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Estia’s Little Kitchen, Sag Harbor, NY

 

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Estia’s, owned by chef Colin Ambrose, has been a Hamptons’ tradition dating back to 1991 when he purchased Estia’s in Amagansett. In 1998, he opened the Sag Harbor location, transforming a sleepy coffee shop into a full service restaurant. Chef Colin grew up on the east end, and grows his own fresh produce, something he is passionate about, having started a chefs garden co-op on Lorne Michael’s Amagansett property. Estia’s is a charming little restaurant that is slightly out of the way, serves wonderful breakfasts, and features local seafood and produce. Despite being out of the way, those in the know line up and wait for a table. The menu is influenced by the flavors of Mexico. Regular Alec Baldwin has a dish named after him, “Big Al’s Burrito,” which contains egg whites and vegetables, and is served with fruit and house-made salsa—It has also become a favorite of regulars Alan Alda and his wife.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

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 Pancakes pictured with mango and pomegranate.

 

 

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Fishbar on the Lake, Montauk, NY

 

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Fishbar is one of the most sought-after dining destinations in Montauk. Chef Jennifer Meadows and Manager Daniel Grimm have teamed up to run this cool, Nantucket-style restaurant, featuring the best, fresh local seafood and exciting, innovative preparations. Jennifer was trained at Johnson and Wales and has been a judge on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown and a contestant on the Food Network show Chopped. Jennifer selects each piece of fish by hand from boats that frequently pull up to the docks on Lake Montauk and knows all the captains by name. For seafood lovers, there is no place like Montauk, situated 120 miles out into the North Atlantic on the extreme eastern tip of Long Island. Fishbar is proud to participate in the Pride of New York Program, which was developed to promote the sale of agricultural products grown in New York State. To view a video interview with Chef Jennifer, click here.

Fishbar’s Cioppino

 

**The Frisky Oyster, Greenport, NY

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A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner

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Chef/Owner Robert Beaver, a Richmond, Virginia native, began his culinary career in Washington, DC. Working as a chef, he found the rush of a busy night in the kitchen captivating. He graduated from and went back to complete a fellowship at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He headed back to Virginia, where he was awarded a position at the renowned Inn at Little Washington, a five-star, world class restaurant ranked #1 in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine. “Robby,” as Chef Beaver is often called, honed his skills under culinary master Patrick O’Connell. He developed relationships with local farmers and enhanced his craft utilizing the seasonal bounty and freshest ingredients possible. Being introduced to “farm to table” and cooking, sustainable farming and fishing led Robby to Long Island’s North Fork, where in 2008 he accepted the Chef position at The Frisky Oyster, and in 2010, when the opportunity presented itself, he jumped at the chance to become the new owner of the extremely popular restaurant. Robby’s cuisine features the freshest local, seasonal produce and top quality, locally-caught and harvested seafood, as well as sustainable and organic products. On a recent visit we enjoyed the delicious Oysters Friskafeller, (Chef’s version of Rockefeller), excellent organic local greens salad, and fantastic Seared Montauk Tuna and Striped Bass. The Frisky Oyster is a MUST on anyone’s North Fork itinerary!
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**The Golden Pear Café, Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and Sag Harbor, NY

Also at The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner 2014, and CHARTER MEMBER 2015

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Since 1987, owner Keith Davis has been serving up delicious breakfasts, lunches, gourmet coffees, baked goods, healthy salads, wraps, and more at his popular minichain of east end cafés that are extremely popular with the Hampton’s crowd, and are a tradition for great food and great people-watching in a relaxed, charming setting. Whenever I am in the Hamptons, a daily stop at the Golden Pear is almost mandatory! The Golden Pear has locations in Southampton, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton, and East Hampton.

 

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Citrus Veggie Tuna Salad
Grilled Fresh Wild Salmon Salad
Garden Vegetable Egg White Omelet

 

 

 

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**La Bussola Ristorante, Glen Cove, NY

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner 

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La Bussola’s tradition of serving excellent Neapolitan-style cuisine can be traced back to sunny Napoli. Italian immigrant Pasquale Lubrano came to America in 1957 and worked in the restaurant industry. In 1980, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening his own restaurant, La Bussola (the compass) in Glen Cove to rave reviews. The business grew and the family expanded to Huntington and Mineola, with each of Pasquale’s four sons joining in the family business. Today Tony, John, and Carlo each manage a restaurant, and Chef Marco oversees the kitchens for all locations. La Bussola has built and maintained a stellar reputation by procuring nothing but the best ingredients (hand-selecting the fish at the Fulton Fish Market) and going “above and beyond” to treat their customers like part of the famiglia, to continue the legacy established by Pasquale. La Bussola was one of my hometown favorites growing up.

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La Bussola Salad

La Bussola’s Vinaigrette

Linguini Puttanesca

Grilled Branzino

Escarole

Pork Chop Scarpariello

 

 

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**La Ginestra, Glen Cove, NY

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner

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For over twenty years, La Ginestra (the broom) has been one of the top Italian restaurants on Long Island, serving delicious, authentic, rustic Southern Italian and Sicilian specialties. A personal childhood favorite when I was growing up in Glen Cove, La Ginestra remains a perennial favorite. Among my favorite dishes there were always their grilled vegetables and Portobello mushrooms, along with grilled shrimp and calamari. La Ginestra’s veal, seafood, and pasta dishes are also delicious.

Grigliata di Verdure- Mixed Grill of Vegetables (pictured below)
Grigliata di Gamberi- Grilled Marinated Jumbo Shrimp

Pasta alla Norma (with Eggplant)

Veal Marsala

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La Grenouille, New York, NY

 

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Since 1962, La Grenouille has been known for the finest upscale French cuisine in New York City, prepared with precision and graciously served. As one would expect, the frog’s legs are the best anywhere. Anyone who has had the pleasure of dining in their lovely, elegant townhouse can attest that the floral arrangements are also magnifique! The prix fixe lunch upstairs is an outstanding value.
In 1962, with a dream and a Double Bourbon Manhattan, Gisèle Masson sent a wire to her husband, Charles: “Congratulations! You are the owner of 3 East 52nd Street! Find a name!” On December 19th, 1962, during a blizzard and newspaper strike, La Grenouille was born. The restaurant quickly developed a loving following and has been frequented by the likes of: Sir Laurence Olivier, Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson, Richard Burton, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Placido Domingo, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Prince, Madonna, Elton John, Alan King, Woody Allen, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Fallon, Salvador Dali, and numerous fashion icons including Yves St. Laurent.

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Summer Vegetables and Aged Balsamic Vinegar

 

 

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La Marmite, Williston Park, NY

La Marmite is recognized as one of Long Island’s top destinations for elegant, Old World‒style Italian-French/Continental cuisine, served in a lovely Victorian home by professional staff. Owners Renzo Pedrazzi and Manuel Gomes combine over sixty years of restaurant experience with thirty-five years at La Marmite, citing consistency as the secret to their success.

Grilled Red Snapper Provencale 

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Matteo’s Ristorante, Roslyn and Huntington, NY and Boca Raton and Hallandale, FL

Matteo’s began twenty-five years ago when founder Salvatore Sorrentino and his two sons, Andrew and Matthew, opened their first location in New York. Since day one, Matteo’s has been synonymous with large, delicious platters of Southern Italian comfort food, served “family-style.” Dining at Matteo’s is ideal for large groups, as the platters are large and ideal for sharing—a full order “Matteo’s-style” can easily serve several guests, and half orders can easily serve two. One of the most popular items is the Shrimp Wendy, which is served with their famous “Burnt String beans.”

Shrimp alla Wendy
Burnt String Beans

 

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Mirabelle Restaurant at The Three Village Inn, Stony Brook, NY

Chef Guy Reuge, who was born in the heart of France’s Loire Valley, has been recognized for years as one of the most celebrated cuisiniers on Long Island. Chef Reuge, who was chef-owner of the incredibly successful, critically-acclaimed Mirabelle in St. James brought his culinary talents to nearby Stony Brook, where he joined Lessing’s Three Village Inn and where he operates two restaurants: the four-star Restaurant Mirabelle and the Mirabelle Tavern. Reuge is the author of the cookbook Le Petit Mirabelle, and in 2010, he was honored as a James Beard Award semifinalist for “Best Chef in the Northeast.”

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Escabeche of Red Snapper
Brook Trout with Basil Pea Coulis

 

 

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Muse in the Harbor, Sag Harbor, NY

Chef Matthew Guiffrida made his splash on the Hamptons dining scene in 2007 when he opened Muse in Water Mill, which became an instant success and garnered rave reviews. Guiffrida made three appearances at the James Beard House, and features contemporary American cuisine with international influences in his restaurant. Muse recently moved to its new, larger location on busy Main Street in Sag Harbor, and will feature Chef Matt’s popular, innovative cuisine, friendly, professional service, and a seasonallyinspired menu.

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Grilled Butternut Squash Carpaccio with Arugula and Pine Nuts
Butternut Squash and Parmesan “Risotto”

 

**Noah’s, Greenport, NY

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Golden Palate Partner 

Executive Chef Noah Schwartz, a Long Island native and graduate of New England Culinary Institute, began his culinary career in Sonoma, California. While working as a chef in Sonoma, he met his wife, Sunita. A restaurateur herself, Sunita always had a passion for wine, having studied under one of the best winemakers in the region. The wine list reflects Sunita’s extensive knowledge of wine, and features many top Long Island wines. It was a pleasure to be able to do a local “wine flight,” 3-ounce pours of 6 whites and 5 reds from local producers. After they wed, the couple relocated to Long Island’s North Fork, an increasingly important wine region, known also for excellent local bounty of produce and seafood to open their own restaurant.

Noah’s is located in the heart of Greenport, a picturesque seafaring town, and offers outdoor seating during summer months. Since its opening in 2010, noah’s has received numerous accolades. Chef Noah has been lauded by Best Chefs America in both 2012 and 2013. Known for its trademark seafood inspired small plates featuring locally sourced ingredients, a raw bar with fresh oysters shucked to order, as well as an extensive wine list that features one of the largest selections of local wines, all hand-picked by our Wine Director, Sunita Schwartz, Noah’s is not to be missed!

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A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner

 

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The Palm Restaurant, New York City, East Hampton, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles (locations nationwide)

 

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The Palm owes its success to a simple philosophy, “treat guests like family, serve great food, and always exceed expectations.” The Palm started in 1926 when two immigrants from Parma, Italy, Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi opened the first Palm at 837 Second Avenue in New York City. Legend has it the Parma natives were looking to call the restaurant “The Parma,” but it got lost in the translation and “The Palm,” the classic Italian-American steakhouse, was born. The Palm survived the depression and began their much-celebrated tradition by allowing artists to paint caricatures on their walls of notable patrons, celebrities, and comic strip characters in exchange for a meal. More than eighty years later, The Palm tradition is alive and well, with over two dozen locations nationwide, serving their signature Italian-American fare, prime steaks, gigantic lobsters, and fantastic salads. The Palm is still owned and operated by members of the Bozzi and Ganzi families.

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Hearts of Palm Salad
The Gigi Salad
The Palm’s Basic Vinaigrette
Monday Night Salad
The Palm’s Roasted Red Peppers

Note: All recipes from The Palm will be re-printed with permission of Running Press, a division of the Perseus Book Group.

 

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Hearts of Palm Salad at The Palm.

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The Plaza Café, Southampton, NY

 

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The Plaza Café offers some of the finest seafood in the Hamptons, where chef/owner Douglas Gulija uses the freshest ingredients to create culinary magic in a cozy, elegant setting in tony Southampton village. The Plaza Café has been one of the top restaurants in the Hamptons since opening in 1997 and hosts amazing wine dinners.

 

Pan Roasted King Salmon with Frisee, Roasted Shallots, Haricots Verts, Red Bliss, and Mustard Seed Vinaigrette

 

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Red Bar/Brasserie, Southampton, NY

Red Bar/Brasserie, a Southampton favorite, has the look of a sophisticated Hamptons house with creamy walls, hardwood floors, large potted palms, wainscoting, and French doors overlooking the garden. In the evening, the ambience is warm, the restaurant glowing from soft lighting and candlelight. Excellent food and friendly staff make RedBar a winner. Check out sister restaurants Little Red, www.littleredsouthampton.com also in Southampton Village, Fresno in East Hampton www.fresnorestaurant.com and the Beacon www.beaconsagharbor.com in Sag Harbor.

Grilled Prawns with Romesco Sauce
Rare Grilled Tuna with Warm Nicoise Vegetables and Poached Egg

 

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**SD 26, New York, NY (Fred Bollaci Enterprises inaugural Signature Golden Palate Partner Restaurant)

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SD26 is owned and operated by the legendary dynamic duo, veteran restaurateur Tony May and daughter Marisa May, two of the most distinguished names in the New York Italian culinary world. Mr. May owned and operated the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center (1968‒1986), then went on to open Palio, and San Domenico on Central Park South, which was one of my favorite New York restaurants growing up. In 2009, Tony and Marisa May moved operations south to Madison Square Park, where along with executive chef Matteo Bergamini from Lake Garda, Italy showcase exquisite, fresh, flavorful modern Italian cuisine in a beautiful, multilevel contemporary space. SD26’s philosophy is simple: “The best food starts with quality ingredients. The finest ingredients are the strength of our cuisine we proudly call Authentic Italian.” Fred is honored to have SD26 as his first partner restaurant, exemplifying his brand of international, healthy, gourmet lifestyle.

 

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“Il Quadrifoglio,” a nutritionally-balanced, four-course prix fixe lunch featured at SD26 weekdays, featuring different delicious pairings each day.

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La Vignarola- Spring Vegetable Soup (featured in Fred’s book and pictured below)

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1770 House, East Hampton, NY

The 1770 house, featuring one of Long Island’s top restaurants and chefs, Kevin Penner, is also a lovely bed and breakfast, featuring six luxuriously appointed guest rooms, a private carriage house, and a staff that caters to guests’ every need. The inn was originally built as the home of William Fithian in 1663, and in 1770 was converted into an inn, beginning “an enduring reputation for warmth and welcome.” The award-winning 1770 House restaurant features refined contemporary American cuisine and an outstanding wine list. Also, check out sister restaurants in town, including Cittanuova (also featured in this book), East Hampton Point, and The Grill. This recipe was featured on the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa with East Hampton’s own Ina Garten.

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1770 House Meatloaf

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**75 Main, Southampton, NY

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner Restaurant.

One of the hottest, hippest restaurants in the Hamptons, 75 Main is the place to see and be seen in Southampton. 75 Main’s motto is “when in the Hamptons, do as the Hamptons does . . . live to love, and love to live!” Owner Zach Erdem has created a sensational spot, with a stylish and graceful café-like feel, where one can dine among celebrities, including guests like Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Bono, Christie Brinkley, and more. In addition to some of the best food on the east end, 75 Main transforms into the hottest night spot in the Hamptons with featured bands and a euphoric atmosphere, with plenty of Louis XIII, Cristal, and signature cocktails.

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The “Chop Chop” Salad

The “Spa Burger”

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Starr Boggs, Westhampton Beach, NY

 

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Starr Boggs began his career as a chef/restaurateur on eastern Long Island nearly three decades ago at the Inn at Quogue. Starr grew up on a farm on the eastern shore of Virginia, where his family raised most everything they ate. Starr gained an appreciation for fresh, local ingredients and a commitment to community. Starr found himself at home on eastern Long Island, whose climate and availability of fresh, local produce and seafood is similar to Virginia’s coast. Starr, along with Chef Frank Lucas and Chef Drew Ostipkwo, have created one of the finest establishments on Long Island in a lovely historic home that has been beautifully renovated, with lovely gardens and outdoor seating areas. Starr Boggs has a wonderful wine list with many local selections. The famous mahogany bar is known for some of “the best people watching in the Hamptons.”

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Grilled Harissa Marinated Calamari Appetizer

 

 

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Stone Creek Inn, East Quogue, NY

Beautiful Stone Creek Inn has graced East Quogue since 1996 when celebrated chef, Christian Mir, from Southwest France, and his wife, Elaine DiGiacomo, purchased and renovated the historic property, creating one of the premiere dining destinations in the Hamptons, with excellent, modern French cuisine in an elegant setting. Stone Creek Inn features fresh, local, seasonal menus and an award-winning wine list, which includes many wonderful selections from the East End.

 

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Chilled Zucchini Soup with Lobster Tail and Avocado

 

CONNECTICUT

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Finalmente Trattoria, Westport, CT

Owner Andre Iodice’s dream of sharing his passion for his native Italian cuisine from the Island of Ponza in the Mediterranean is realized with Finalmente Trattoria! Located in downtown Westport, CT just blocks away from the Westport Playhouse – it’s the perfect place for an intimate dinner before or after your show! The combination of Andre and Executive Chef Guido Tenorio’s dedication and personalized attention to their customers, exceptional service, and delicate cuisine has created the “Finalmente Family.”

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“Squaletto Isolano” (Halibut with Sundried Tomatoes, Artichokes, Capers, Olives, & Prosecco)

 

Thomas Henkelmann at Homestead Inn, Greenwich, CT

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner


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Thomas Henkelmann, who along with wife Theresa, own and operate both the restaurant and inn are both charming and gracious hosts. Chef Henkelmann grew up working in his family’s restaurant in the beautiful Black Forest region of Germany, close to the border of Alsace, France. Chef Henkelmann trained at some of the top restaurants and hotels in Europe before coming to the U.S. and is a recipient of the coveted titles: Relais & Châteaux— Grand Chef, Tradition et Qualite — Les Grandes Tables du Monde and has received a 4 star rating by the New York Times. Chef Henkelmann offers contemporary French cuisine, seasonal specialties and many signatures dishes for which he has become famous. Something this gourmand loves: the food looks as fabulous as it tastes!

Chef Henkelmann calls his philosophy of creating edible art gemütlichkeit. The French call it “l’art de la table.” I call it a winner and one of the best all-around dining and lodging experiences I’ve had in a long time!

Homestead Inn and Thomas Henkelmann restaurant have long been considered one the country’s finest dining and lodging destinations, and is considered the top restaurant in the state of Connecticut, located within an hour of Midtown Manhattan in the prestigious Belle Haven peninsula of Greenwich, Connecticut, surrounded by majestic estate homes, towering trees, just blocks from Greenwich Harbor and a several minute drive to the center of town, a shopper’s paradise. The inn is majestically situated on nearly three lushly manicured acres. The owners sum it up perfectly: “this timeless architectural masterpiece with a luxury hotel and world renowned French restaurant Thomas Henkelmann is an impressive modern showcase of elegance, warmth, and sophistication.” Thomas Henkelmann and Homestead Inn are a perfect combination for an award-winning dining and lodging experience: come for dinner, and stay for the weekend!

 

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Thomas Henkelmann’s Maryland Crabmeat Cannelloni with Leeks and Saffron Scented Sauce

 

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Wheatleigh, a AAA Five Diamond Hotel and Restaurant in the heart of the Berkshires

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises Signature Golden Palate Partner

Wheatleigh was built in 1893 by Henry H. Cook as a wedding present for his daughter (quite a generous father), Georgie, who married Carlos de Heredia, a Spanish Count. Cook was a New York financier, banker, railroad magnate and real estate tycoon. He was a descendant of Captain Thomas Cook, founder of Portsmouth, R.I., and the son of Constant Cook, who helped build the Erie Railroad. Reportedly, Cook built Wheatleigh as a “summer cottage” for his daughter because she had brought a title into the family.

Wheatleigh was designed by the prominent Boston architectural firm of Peabody and Stearns in the style of a 16th century Florentine palazzo. Many of the materials and over 150 artisans were brought from Italy to accomplish the intricate carvings. Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park, was responsible for creating “Wheatleigh Park” on the land surrounding the palazzo. The results are absolutely stunning and a testament to timeless elegance.

For many years a large portion of the 380 acres Wheatleigh estate was used as a working farm. The Count and Countess resided in their “summer cottage” overlooking the 22 manicured acres of gardens– with their forty staff for only six weeks a year, with their permanent address being Fifth Avenue in New York City. During the “Gilded Age” Wheatleigh was the site of many grand parties and musical events.

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Hawthorne Rd.

Lenox, MA 01240

413.637.0610

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The Perfect Wife and The Other Woman Tavern

A Fred Bollaci Enterprises CHARTER MEMBER

2594 Depot Street, Route 11 & 30

Manchester, VT 05255

802.362.2817

Chef/Owner Amy Chamberlain enjoyed cooking since childhood. An enterprising young woman, Amy and her friend baked chocolate chip cookies one summer and set up a stand, making $11.00 a week! This not only kept them out of trouble, it helped Amy define her passion for the culinary arts and the entrepreneurial direction her life would take. She went on to attend and graduate from New England Culinary Institute because of its small student-teacher ratio and its proximity to her hometown of Manchester, Vermont. Amy went on to work for a number of top chefs in New England and in Aspen, Colorado. Three of the largest influences on her style were Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Arrow’s in Ogunquit, Maine and Alex Kim, for whom she was sous chef at Syzygy in Aspen, Colorado.

In 1996, Amy’s dream of opening her own place, The Perfect Wife Restaurant and Tavern, became a reality. She considers her style of cuisine “freestyle” as she likes to start with classics and “twist them just a bit.” The Sesame Crusted Yellowfin Tuna, a house favorite since opening in 1996, served over stir-fried vegetables with Amy’s secret, and most exceptionally delicious Asian sauce is a personal favorite, as is the vegan dish, “The Howling Wolf.” The menu changes to reflect the seasons and the market for fresh, local ingredients. Amy is a member of the Vermont Fresh Network and am a firm supporter of local agriculture and locally produced foods.

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1525334_10204928921890476_8585910895364169068_nFred Bollaci with Chef/Owner Amy Chamberlain, voted Top Chef in the State of Vermont!

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The Reluctant Panther, Manchester, VT

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he Reluctant Panther Inn and Restaurant is southern Vermont’s premier small luxury hotel and gourmet dining destination. Located in the heart of beautiful Manchester Village in Southeastern Vermont, the Reluctant Panther features 20 luxurious rooms and suites and excellent cuisine, and is the preferred luxury boutique lodging and dining experience in the area. The Restaurant at The Reluctant Panther features contemporary American cuisine by Executive Chef Peter Belmonte in a relaxed yet elegant, upscale atmosphere with an emphasis on locally sourced products and an excellent wine list (a perennial Wine Spectator award winner). In summer, the covered patio is available for al fresco dining, and patrons also enjoy The Panther Pub.

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Pheasant with Balsamic Figs & Butternut Squash Puree

 

SOUTH FLORIDA- THE PALM BEACHES, BOCA RATON, DELRAY BEACH, FORT LAUDERDALE AND MIAMI

 

 

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Abe & Louie’s, Boca Raton, FL, and Boston, MA


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Abe & Louie’s is considered one of the top prime steakhouses in Palm Beach County, as well as in their hometown of Boston. Known for prime steaks, excellent seafood, an extensive menu of incredible soups, salads, starters, sides, and specials, outstanding service, and an extensive wine list, Abe & Louie’s is one of the best. Sign up to become a Preferred Guest. Loyal patrons earn points, which may be redeemed with dining certificates.

Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup
Roasted Beet, Poached Pear, and Goat Cheese Salad
Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Abe and Louie’s Vinaigrette

 

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Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, FL, Chef de Cuisine Zach Bell

 

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Addison Reserve Country Club features delicious cuisine prepared by Chef Zach Bell of Café Boulud fame in Palm Beach. Chef Bell, a four-time James Beard finalist, worked for Daniel Boulud in New York since 1999 at Café Boulud and was named the head chef at Palm Beach’s Café Boulud from its inception in 2003 through 2011, when he left to join Addison. Addison, a private member-owned club has been recognized as one of the top country club communities in the United States and designated a Platinum Club of America by Boardroom Magazine. Addison offers a healthy, active lifestyle with 27 impeccably groomed holes of Arthur Hills Championship golf, a state of the art spa and fitness center, a junior olympic heated pool with salt chlorination system, 12 har-tru tennis courts, and a gorgeous 70,000 square foot Addison Mizner inspired clubhouse. Dining options at Addison include Taste, the club’s signature restaurant featuring the freshest seafood and prime meats, as well as Chef Zach’s nightly specials and many member favorites, The Bistro, a casual, resort-like oasis overlooking the pool which offers lighter fare in comfortable surroundings both indoors and al fresco, and Styr, the dramatic lounge which features a great wine list, cocktails, tapas, and live music. At Addison, one can truly live “La Dolce Vita,” a healthy, gourmet lifestyle.

Chilled Curry Cauliflower Soup
Provencale-style Chicken Salad
Herbes de Provence Vinaigrette

 

Ben’s Kosher Deli, Boca Raton, FL, and New York (See New York)

 

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Bice Ristorante, Palm Beach, Orlando, Naples, FL (locations worldwide)

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Bice began in fashionable Milan, Italy, in 1926 as the vision of Beatrice Ruggeri, who was known to her family and friends for her extraordinary hospitality and excellent cuisine. For years, those closest to her tried to persuade Beatrice to open a restaurant. In 1926, she reluctantly agreed and opened a neighborhood trattoria or “friendly gathering place,” calling it Il Ristorante Da Gino e Bice, which later became known as simply “Bice.” It was a family affair, with Beatrice in the kitchen and her brothers and sisters serving in the dining room. Bice quickly became known as one of the top Milanese restaurants and Beatrice’s sons Remo and Roberto expanded the original concept around the world. Today, Bice is overseen by grandson Raffaele and is consistently known across the globe for excellent Italian cuisine, inspired by the original in Milano.

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Branzino alla Griglia con Vegetali Misti e Salmoriglio (Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass with Mixed Vegetables and Lemon/Olive Oil Dressing) (pictured above)

Minestrone di Verdure alla Casareccia (Minestrone Soup)

 

 

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Bistro Chez Jean-Pierre, Palm Beach, FL

 

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Chef and owner Jean-Pierre Leverrier and his wife, Nicole, opened Chez Jean-Pierre in 1991. A true family affair, their younger son, Guillaume, cooks with his father, while their older son, David, runs the dining room with his mother. Jean-Pierre is a beautiful, elegant establishment. The Leverrier family comes from Normandy, France, and the menu is classic northern French. Jean-Pierre is an authentic French bistro with hearty portions and elegant, yet simple presentations and an extensive wine list. Jean-Pierre features a lovely, warm, and elegant décor that makes diners feel at home. Jean-Pierre has been among the highest Zagat rated restaurants in Palm Beach County since opening, and he offers cooking classes during the summer months.

Snapper with Herb Sauce and Ratatouille
Sautéed Pink Key West Shrimp with Citrus Sauce and Endive Salad

 

 

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Boca Raton Resort & Club (a Waldorf-Astoria property), Boca Raton, FL

 

The landmark Boca Raton Resort was originally designed by renowned architect Addison Mizner. The Cloister Building opened in 1926, overlooking Lake Boca Raton. The resort grew over the years, adding the iconic twenty-seven-story tower, a beautiful new golf clubhouse, a tennis and fitness center, a convention center, and a yacht club, in addition to the beautiful “South Beach-style” newly renovated beach club overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There are numerous options for casual and gourmet dining, as well as many cocktail lounges. Spa Palazzo was recently ranked the #1 spa in the world in Conde Nast Traveler.

 

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Restaurants at Boca Raton Resort & Club include: 501 East Kitchen & Bar, The Blue (on the 27th floor), Morimoto, Lucca, The Seagrille, and Serendipity.

Note: Boca Raton Resort & Club is a private resort, open to hotel guests and Premier Club Members and their guests only.

Summer Sun Watermelon Salad
Preserved Lemon and Spinach Risotto from Lucca Restaurant

 

 

 

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The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

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For over a century, The Breakers has lured generations of discerning travelers to this spectacular, oceanfront, Italian-Renaissance style setting. Originally developed by Standard Oil magnate and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, who was instrumental in establishing Palm Beach as the world’s premier resort destination, the hotel we enjoy today was completed in 1927 and modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome. The Breakers is regarded as one of the most lavish resorts in North America, situated in the heart of Palm Beach, America’s number-one winter playground of the elite. The magnificent resort overlooks the turquoise Atlantic Ocean, boasts an impeccably manicured golf course, world-class service, elegantly appointed rooms with modern amenities, a wonderful spa and fitness center, lovely boutiques, and an exciting array of gourmet dining venues.

The Breakers restaurants include: The Circle, Echo, The Flagler Steakhouse, The Italian Restaurant, The Seafood Bar.

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Three Minute Sicilian Calamari from The Italian Restaurant
Grilled Vegetable Salad from The Flagler Steakhouse
Lemon Tomato Vinaigrette

calamari seafood soup

 

 

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Buccan, Palm Beach, FL

Chef Clay Conley has taken Palm Beach by storm with his trendy, modern American-Caribbean masterpiece, Buccan, and has recently expanded nextdoor to open a second, Asian-inspired venue, Imoto, which means “little sister.” Conley, a recent nominee for James Beard’s Best Chef South, started his restaurant career at age thirteen as a dishwasher, growing up in Maine, where he was surrounded by excellent fresh seafood and farm-fresh produce. He worked his way up under the mentorship of Todd English, working in Boston, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, and Tokyo for English, to eventually become the culinary director for English’s Olives Group. After that tenure, Chef Clay assumed the role of head chef at Azul in Miami’s Mandarin Oriental, then moved north to Palm Beach, where he opened Buccan in 2010. The name Buccan refers to a wood-frame grill common in the Caribbean, so as one would expect, many of Conley’s signature dishes are grilled over a wood-fired grill and oven.

Mango Salsa
Grilled Pork Porterhouse with Peach Chutney and Braised Greens
Grilled Shrimp Scampi

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Café Chardonnay, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

 

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Since opening in 1986, Frank and Gigi Eucalitto’s Café Chardonnay has been one of Palm Beach County’s top restaurants, featuring fine dining in a casual, elegant atmosphere that is ideal for lunch, dinner, or a private party. The cuisine is American with Italian, French, tropical, and global influences. Chef Frank offers many creative, delicious specials in addition to the well-appointed menu. As one would expect, Café Chardonnay has a stellar wine list with many great selections by the glass or bottle.

Macadamia Nut Crusted Yellowtail Snapper
Crab Cakes with Mango, Hearts of Palm, and Local Heirloom Slaw

 

 

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Café L’Europe, Palm Beach, FL

For over thirty years, Café L’Europe has been considered one of Palm Beach’s most elegant dining destinations. A favorite destination of the island’s elite, Café L’Europe boasts a 2,000 bottle wine list, sumptuous Continental cuisine, and impeccable service in a lovely old-world setting with live piano music and fresh flowers.

 

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Timbale of Hearts of Palm with Balsamic Reduction
Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche
Guacamole

 

 

 

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Café Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Hollywood, FL, and Las Vegas, NV

Steve Martorano, native of South Philly has achieved the American dream, working his way up from humble beginnings spinning records as a DJ in the 70s, and having his own delivery sandwich shop in his apartment. Steve later expanded to his own restaurant, which featured pizza, sandwiches, pasta, and homemade water ice. During the recession in the early 1990s, Martorano lost everything and decided it was time for a change. He moved to Ft. Lauderdale with $40 to his name and opened Café Martorano, which has turned into a worldwide sensation! Today he is famous for excellent Italian-American comfort food, and a host of celebrity regulars. The restaurant was featured on The Real Housewives of Miami.

Bucatini Amatriciana

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Café Sapori, West Palm Beach, FL

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Pictured: Fred with Chef/Owner Fabrizio Giorgi

Owned by Francesco Blanco and Chef Fabrizio Giorgi, two Palm Beach area legends in Italian cuisine and hospitality, Café Sapori features an extensive menu of modern and authentic old-world delights from Northern and Southern Italy, expertly prepared and served in an upbeat, elegant dining room, a rich mahogany bar with illuminated onyx, or al fresco in the lovely courtyard. Don’t miss Osteria Sapori, the dynamic duo’s casual sibling in Deerfield Beach, blocks from the pier and intracoastal waterway.

Potato Crusted Baked Orata (Mediterranean Sea Bream) with Taggiasche Olives

 

 

 

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Caffé Luna Rosa, Delray Beach, FL

Situated directly across from the beach along breezy A1A in Delray Beach, Caffé Luna Rosa features an extensive menu of Italian-American and American favorites, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With outdoor seating, it is a great spot to enjoy the ocean breeze and great food.

Florida Yellowtail Ceviche
Dijon Mustard-Horseradish Aioli- perfect with Florida Stone Crabs

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Casa D’Angelo, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Atlantis, Paradise Island, The Bahamas

 

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Chef Angelo Elia’s amazing Casa D’Angelo, the top-rated Italian restaurant in Zagat for Broward County for years, and now has a location in Boca Raton and at Atlantis in the Bahamas. Chef Angelo created Casa D’Angelo as a nod to his homeland. His philosophy is “tutto su gli ingredienti,” or “it’s all in the ingredients”—the freshest, best quality available. Casa D’Angelo features authentic, delicious dishes, a vast array of specials, including many fresh seafood and veal dishes. Also in the Angelo family are a several casual restaurants and pizzerias in South Florida, called D’Angelo Pizzeria and D’Angelo Trattoria, www.dangelopizza.com also featuring excellent food and wines.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Endive, Orange, and Mint Salad
Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Broccoli Rabe and Chickpeas

 

 

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City Fish Market, Boca Raton, FL and Atlanta Fish Market, Atlanta, GA

 

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Atlanta Fish Market, owned by Pano Karatassos of the renowned Buckhead Life Restaurant Group (also owner of the Chops Lobster Bar) has been Atlanta’s destination for the largest selection of the freshest seafood available. The menus are printed according to what is fresh, and feature selections from all over the world in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Pano has expanded this award-winning concept to Boca Raton, where City Fish Market features a similar selection of fresh seafood with an extensive menu that also includes prime beef, poultry, salads, and more! The Hong Kong‒style fish is one of the most popular items in both locations. When in Atlanta, be sure to check out Pano’s other outstanding establishments, including Bistro Niko, The Buckhead Diner, the Corner Café at Buckhead Bread, Chop’s Lobster Bar (Atlanta and Boca Raton), Kyma, Nava, Pricci, and Veni Vidi Vici. Pano introduced Atlanta to fine dining in 1979 when he opened Pano’s and Paul’s, and his tradition of excellence continues today.

Hong Kong-Style Fish

 

 

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Charley’s Crab, Palm Beach, FL, and Grand Rapids, MI

 

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Charley’s Crab, originally found by renowned restaurateur Chuck Muer, overlooks the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach is one of Palm Beach’s most popular dining destinations, serving up spectacular views and excellent food. Charley’s Crab, the crown jewel of restaurants in the Landry’s restaurant group features waterfront locations in Palm Beach and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Check out Landry’s other restaurants, which include the popular Chart House, Morton’s of Chicago, McCormick and Schmick’s, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, and many other popular establishments nationwide.

Chilled Gazpacho
Charley’s Crab’s Fat-Free Italian Vinaigrette

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The Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach, FL across the street from Charley’s Crab.

 

 

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Chop’s Lobster Bar, Boca Raton, FL and Atlanta, GA

 

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Chop’s Lobster Bar has been called “The Tiffany of Steakhouses” by Esquire magazine, having earned a reputation as one of the finest steakhouses in the country. Part of Pano Karatassos’s incredibly successful Buckhead Life Restaurant Group based in Atlanta, which owns ten top establishments in Atlanta and two in Boca Raton, Chop’s combines classic steakhouse fare, including prime beef and chops, excellent soups, salads, sides, and service, with outstanding seafood, especially lobster. Lobster Bar Sea Grille recently opened a location in downtown Ft. Lauderdale as well.

Chop’s Spinach Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing

 

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Cut 432, Delray Beach, FL

Cut 432 is the trendy Delray Beach version of a prime steakhouse, specializing in USDA prime beef, Japanese A5 Kobe, top quality seafood, and an eclectic mix of innovative starters, salads, and sides in a hip, modern space along trendy Atlantic Avenue. Owned by bar-managers turned restaurateurs Brandon Belluscio and Brian Albe, along with Chef Anthony Pizzo, a three-time Florida Golden Spoon Award‒winner, Cut 432 brings a refreshing, contemporary take to great steaks, sides, and cocktails.

USDA Prime Steak Tartare (pictured below)

Beef tartare

 

 

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Henry’s of Boca Raton, Delray Beach, FL and Bogarts of Boca Raton, FL

 

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Henry’s, along “country club mile” and Bogart’s in Boca’s Palace movie theatre, are owned by veteran restaurateur Burt Rapoport, are two extremely popular restaurants known for their signature gourmet California-American cuisine with light and healthy features. Henry’s features a gluten free section, as well as lighter choices complete with calorie counts on their menu.

Bogart’s Low Fat Split Pea Soup
Turkey Burger with Cranberry Relish

 

 

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Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami Beach, FL

 

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In 1913, Joe Weiss, wife Jennie, and son Jesse moved to Miami from New York City. Joe moved on the advice of his doctor that a change in climate would be beneficial for his asthma. Immigrants from Hungary, Joe had worked as a waiter, and Jennie cooked in restaurants. In 1918, Joe and Jennie bought a bungalow across the street and opened a restaurant, with seven or eight tables, and a patio. They served breakfast, lunch, and dinner and became very popular. In 1921, a customer brought Joe a bag of stone crabs from Biscayne Bay, which was loaded with them. People were unaware they were edible. Joe threw them in a pot of boiling water, and the rest is history! Over the years, Joe’s Stone Crab has become an icon. Joe’s also ships stone crab in season, direct to your door!

Joe’s Ginger Salmon
Joe’s Crab Cakes
Joe’s Vinaigrette

 

 

 

 

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Kathy’s Gazebo Café, Boca Raton, FL

Setting the standard for fine dining in a friendly, Old-World atmosphere, Kathy’s Gazebo Café features excellent French and Continental fare, expertly prepared and served by a professional, accommodating, knowledgeable staff led by gracious hosts Gerard and Claudio. While there are many excellent dishes, the most popular is the Gazebo’s famous Dover Sole, which is flown in fresh (never frozen) from Holland and is delicately prepared and deboned tableside. It is the best around!

Dover Sole Meunier 
Salmon Tartare
Sugar Free Apple Cheesecake

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Limoncello Italian Grille, North Palm Beach, FL

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Limoncello, a charming Italian restaurant in North Palm Beach, is owned by renowned chef and restaurateur Mario Ghini, proprietor of the famed Pappagallo in Glen Head, Long Island. Today, Mario has brought a taste of his native Emilia-Romagna (its capital—Bologna—is home to the richest cuisine in all of Italy) to South Florida with excellent freshly made pastas, seafood, veal, and other specialties.

Fresh Spinach Pasta
Stuffed Artichokes
Chicken Pappagallo with Agrodolce (Sweet and Sour) Sauce, Grapes, and Olives

 

 

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Marcello’s La Sirena, West Palm Beach, FL

Marcello’s has been a favorite in the Palm Beaches since opening in 1986, and has held the top Italian rating in Zagat in Palm Beach County, an area with many excellent Italian restaurants, for years. Marcello and Diane Fiorentino attend to every detail in creating an elegant, Old-World environment with excellent cuisine, friendly, attentive service, and soft lighting. Their extensive menu and award-winning wine list (recently named one of only 4 Wine Spectator Grand Award winners in the entire state), are sure to please even the most discriminating diner.

SAM_0896-550x350 Fred Bollaci with Marcello Fiorentino at Marcello’s La Sirena.

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Scalloppine di Vitello Sciue Sciue- with Olives, Capers, Grape Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella

 

 

 Mario’s Osteria, Boca Raton, FL

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Since 1985, Boca Raton has been fortunate to have restaurateurs Tony and Laurie Bova in town, where they opened Mario’s and forever changed the culinary landscape by introducing quality Southern Italian food comparable to what people in New York were accustomed to. Mario’s utilizes many traditional family recipes, including soups, sauces, and desserts from Tony’s mother, Josephine. The Snapper Vesuvio, essentially a “Francese” sauce with artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, and capers has been my favorite dish for nearly three decades.

Snapper Vesuvio

 

Matteo’s Ristorante, Locations in Florida and New York (See New York)

 

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Nino’s of Delray, Delray Beach, FL

For over twenty years, Nino’s has been the go-to place in the Boca-Delray area for authentic Southern Italian fare and New York‒style pizzas in a casual, family-friendly setting, with quality food at very reasonable prices. Nino’s features excellent fresh fish, amazing eggplant, and cuisine from Nino Tribunella’s native Sicily, by way of New York. One of my favorite dishes at Nino’s is their Flounder Francese, which is light and lemony. Perfect with fresh fish, chicken, shrimp, or veal, this is a simple and delicious winner. Also don’t miss Nino’s sister restaurant, Josephine’s in Boca Raton.

Flounder Francese

 

The Palm Restaurant, Miami, FL, New York, NY, East Hampton, NY, Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA, and locations nationwide and abroad (See New York)

 

 

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Renato’s, Palm Beach, FL

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For years, Renato’s has been a Palm Beach favorite for elegant Italian dining in a beautiful, romantic setting with roses, candlelight, and live piano music. The food is expertly prepared and graciously served. Renato’s beautiful private courtyard is ideal for dining al fresco and enjoying the ocean breezes. Adorned with flowers, colorful tablecloths and umbrellas, and surrounded by Mediterranean architecture, Renato’s patio is reminiscent of al fresco dining in Italy. Their more casual Pizza al Fresco, located nearby, serves wonderful pizzas, salads, and seafood.

Costoletta di Vitello- Grilled Marinated Veal Chops

 

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Renzo’s of Boca, Boca Raton, FL

Renzo’s has been a Boca Raton staple for two decades. Originally from Sicily, Renzo first opened a restaurant in Islip, Long Island, employing the skills he learned from his mother. Today, Renzo has two restaurants (one in Boca Raton, one in Parkland), and two pizzerias in Boca Raton. Renzo may be best known as an extremely congenial, truly “hands on” owner, who knows how to make guests feel at home with his Old-World charm and dedication. Renzo even grows his own zucchini flowers, which he proudly serves in his restaurants. His passion for what he does is evident.

Chicken Primavera
Shrimp Livornese
Yellowtail Snapper Oreganata

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Cooking with Renzo DVD

 

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Ta-boo, Palm Beach, FL

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This Palm Beach landmark on tony Worth Avenue has been a social hub for the many celebrities and affluent residents and visitors to Palm Beach since 1941. Patrons included John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, among others. The restaurant is the place to see and be seen in the most fashionable winter resort town in America and has been hailed as the best night spot in the country to “drink, laugh, and meet people,” and is on everyone’s to-do list when visiting Palm Beach.

Ta-boo Wellness Salad

 

 

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32 East, Delray Beach, FL

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32 East was an instant success when it opened in 1996 at the site of a former auction house in historic downtown Delray, and continues its success by featuring a distinctive, approachable menu that is created daily, based on what is fresh and seasonal. Executive Chef/Partner Nick Morfogen graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and honed his skills in some of America’s top kitchens, including La Cote Basque, Le Bernardin, and Le Cirque in New York and Tra Vigne in Napa Valley. While Executive Chef/Partner at Ajax Tavern in Aspen, Colorado, Food & Wine magazine named him one of America’s “top new chefs.” Chef Nick’s fresh, seasonal approach draws inspiration from famed California chef Alice Waters. His commitment to quality and creative passion are evident in his inspiring menus and excellent food.

American Lamb Loin with Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, and White Wine

 

 

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Tramonti Ristorante, Delray Beach, FL and Angelo’s of Mulberry Street, New York, NY

Delray Beach is fortunate to have the sister location of New York City’s famous Angelo’s of Mulberry Street, a New York landmark since opening in 1922. Angelo’s and Tramonti feature excellent Southern Italian cuisine, with an emphasis on home-style Neapolitan specialties, including a rich tomato sauce, house made braciole (braised, rolled, and stuffed flank steak), freshly made pastas, excellent seafood, and more!

Zucchini Flowers

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 Trevini Ristorante, Palm Beach, FL

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Since opening in 2000 in Palm Beach, owners Gianni Minervini and Claudio Trevisan have been featuring a wonderful blend of Northern and Southern Italian cuisine, with Claudio being from Stresa in the north, and Gianni from Bari in the south. Trevini recently moved to a beautiful new location in the historic Bradley Park Hotel in Palm Beach, with a modern interior and a lovely, romantic, Old World courtyard, reminiscent of Italy.

Orecchiette con Polpa di Granchio e Asparagi (Ear-Shaped Pasta with Crabmeat and Asparagus)

 

 

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Truluck’s, Boca Raton, FL (also in Ft. Lauderdale and Naples, FL, Austin, Dallas, and Houston, TX, and La Jolla, CA)

 

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Truluck’s, with locations at Mizner Park in Boca Raton, in Ft. Lauderdale, Naples, and Miami, Florida, in Texas (Houston, Dallas, and Austin), as well as in La Jolla, California, is renowned for excellent seafood, snazzy décor, and top-notch service. Truluck’s owns its own fisheries and procures their stone crab fresh daily from the Isle of Capri, near Naples, Florida. Since opening, Truluck’s has become an instant favorite in Boca Raton for its elegant ambience, stellar service, and excellent seafood.

Chimichurri Sauce
Truluck’s Cioppino- San Francisco-style Seafood Broth

 

FLORIDA’S GULF COAST- SARASOTA, NAPLES, AND GREATER TAMPA BAY

 

*(New Addition) Beach Bistro, Holmes Beach (Anna Maria Island) (NEW CHARTER MEMBER)

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The Beach Bistro is currently an eight-time recipient of Florida Trend Magazine’s Golden Spoon Award and has been enthroned in the Golden Spoon “Hall of Fame.” Its wine list regularly receives the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Sean and company’s ambition has been the same throughout the Bistro’s twenty-seven year history. That is, to provide you with one of the best dining experiences anywhere.

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chef Sean graduated from Dalhousie Law School, the “Harvard of the North.” Avoiding a career in law and Canadian winters, he followed his passion for food to New Orleans and learned the restaurant trade under the tutelage of industry renowned Archie Casbarian at the world-famous Arnaud’s. There, he was introduced to Dr. Murf Klauber of the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, where he worked before opening the Beach Bistro.

Sean attributes the success of his restaurant group to the strength of his team. “We have the strongest group of managers and chefs anywhere. They understand that our craft requires two major commitments: What we do must be done perfectly and we must be relentless in the pursuit of that perfection.”

The Bistro’s Famous Bouillabaisse

 

 

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Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa, FL

 

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Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa is an area landmark and dining institution, one of America’s most highly regarded steakhouses. Founded over fifty years ago by Bern and Gert Laxer and currently owned by son David, Bern’s honors their traditions with an outstanding selection of top-quality, dry-aged USDA Prime beef, cooked to exacting standards (you can specify the thickness and the exact cooking time); top quality seafood; farm fresh vegetables; their famous tableside Caesar salad; the largest wine cellar in the world (500,000 bottles), and the incredible Harry Waugh Dessert Room upstairs. Dining at Bern’s is truly an event. Plan to spend several hours and save time to tour the kitchen and wine cellar and to enjoy the Harry Waugh Room.

Grilled Wild King Salmon with Potato Cake and Lobster Vinaigrette

Grilled Salmon Steak

 

 

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The Bijou Café, Sarasota, FL

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Sarasota’s Bijou Café has been a local landmark for fine Continental dining in the heart of Sarasota’s theater and arts district since 1986. Chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs and wife, Shay, have owned and operated the Bijou since its inception and oversee every detail from the excellent cuisine (duck and rack of lamb are two signature dishes) to the quaint, yet modern setting with French windows and doors, fresh flowers, and soft candlelight. The cuisine reflects Jean-Pierre’s French and South African heritage, and many of his recipes were developed and refined as he traveled the world as chef aboard a luxurious private yacht. Bijou is extremely popular for pre-theater dinner, and serves lunch weekdays.

Chilled Tomato Tarragon Soup
Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese Salad with Confit Tomatoes and Sherry Vinaigrette

*(New Addition) Bleu Provence, Naples

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Fred Bollaci with Co-Owner Jacques Cariot at Bleu Provence.

Owned by Provence natives, husband and wife Jacques and Lysielle Cariot, Bleu Provence has been a Naples area favorite for authentic Provencale and healthy-gourmet Mediterranean cuisine and an outstanding wine program since opening in 1993! The restaurant was recently awarded the Wine Spectator Grand Award, one of only four in the entire state of Florida (and all 4 are in my book)! Bleu Provence serves lunch and dinner in season, and dinner during the summer, and offers lovely al fresco dining in their  lovely garden in nice weather!

Chilled Tomato Soup with Avocado Coulis

Chilled Vegetable Salad with Wild Honey-Key Lime Dressing & Eggplant Caviar

 

 

 

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Columbia Restaurant, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach, Sarasota, Celebration, and St. Augustine, FL

Founded in 1905 in Tampa, Columbia is Florida’s oldest and perhaps most famous Spanish/Cuban restaurant. The original location in Tampa’s historic Ybor City features live Flamenco dancing.

Columbia’s original “1905 Salad”

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Donatello, Tampa, FL

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For thirty years, Donatello has been my favorite destination for fine Italian cuisine in the Tampa Bay area. Once you step inside, you feel as though you are in a Venetian villa and could have just as easily stepped off a gondola after a ride on the Grand Canal. Owner Guido Tiozzo brings years of training at the finest hotels and restaurants in Europe to Donatello. His Old-World style, class, and elegance are unmistakable. Donatello is a family affair, where Guido, along with son Gino and wife, Alessandra, attend to every detail, from freshly made pastas to tableside preparation, and the long-stem roses for the ladies to ensure every experience will be memorable. With soft pink lighting, a beautiful piano bar, tuxedoed waiters with Italian accents, delectable food, and a great wine list, Donatello is the perfect place for a romantic evening, a family celebration, or to seal any deal, and has been a personal favorite since they opened. To view video about one of the finest Italian restaurants in Florida, click here.

 

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Ossobuco alla Milanese

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Vitello Dolce Vita- with Ham, Sage, and Mushrooms (pictured above)

 

 

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Euphemia Haye, Longboat Key, FL

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Zucchini Fettuccine recipe in Fred’s upcoming book (pictured above)

For over thirty years, Chef Raymond Arpke and wife, D’Arcy, have owned this renowned restaurant on beautiful Longboat Key. Euphemia Haye offers a wide array of delicious foods, which showcase a combination of international and contemporary dishes. Chef Ray grew up in Wisconsin, where he was raised on the grounds of a mental institution where his father worked as a superintendent. The hospital had its own farm, dairy, and orchard and grew much of their own fruits and vegetables during the summer months. Ray experienced “farm to table” before it became trendy and learned by watching the culinary staff create everything from scratch. Fresh, quality, local ingredients became an important part of Chef Ray’s philosophy. Ray went on to culinary school and worked at some of Sarasota’s best restaurants before purchasing Euphemia Haye in 1980 and making it one of the Gulf Coast’s top restaurants. Chef Ray also hosts cooking classes, and in addition to many decadent treats, features a number of dishes that are healthy and delicious!

Faux Fettuccine (made with Zucchini)
Cauliflower Mash- Substitute for Mashed Potatoes

*(New Addition) K.C. American Bistro, Naples

Award winning Chef and New England native Keith Casey has been delighting Naples area diners since opening KC American Bistro in 2010, featuring excellent Regional New American Cuisine. With the freshest, regional American cuisine, a great wine list by the glass and bottle, delightful service, a hands-on, dedicated chef/owner, and comfortable atmosphere, located around the corner from the Ritz Carlton Naples, K.C. American Bistro is not to be missed!

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Fred Bollaci with Chef Keith Casey at K.C. American Bistro.

Tomato Stack Salad

 

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Louis Pappas Market & Café, Tampa, Clearwater, Lakeland, Odessa, FL

The Pappas family is known throughout Tampa Bay and beyond for having excellent Greek food. The family originally opened their Tarpon Springs landmark restaurant in 1925. The restaurant remained one of the area’s most popular until 2002, when the family decided to launch its new market and café concept, which has grown into a minichain of casual, fun, quality Greek restaurants that are ideal for a quick and delicious Greek salad or bite.

Louis Pappas’ Famous Greek Salad (without Potato Salad for weight loss purposes. Pappas’ Potato Salad recipe may be found online) 

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Mediterraneo, Sarasota, FL

Since opening in 1996, Mediterraneo has been our favorite spot for contemporary Northern Italian cuisine in Sarasota. The restaurant features a wide variety of delicious salads, appetizers, pastas, veal, and fresh seafood, drawing inspiration from all over Italy. The setting is chic and lively, with a wood burning pizza oven, and the walls are adorned with dozens of great photos of Italy. Their Veal Milanese is famous, and is one of the best renditions I have had anywhere.

Veal Milanese with Tomato and Arugula Salad

 

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Michael’s on East, Sarasota, FL

 

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For over twenty years, Michael’s on East has been recognized as one of the best restaurants on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Owned by Michael Klauber and by Phil Mancini, Michael’s features captivating décor, excellent service, an extensive, innovative menu, an outstanding wine list, an intimate piano bar, and many unique daily, special featured menus and items. Michael’s has received the AAA Four Diamond Award for twenty consecutive years, and in 2009, Michael’s was one of ten restaurants nationwide to be inducted into the Fine Dining Hall of Fame by Nation’s Restaurant News. Sarasota is fortunate to have a collection of excellent establishments lead by Michael and Phil, including Michael’s Wine Cellar, Pattigeorge’s, and the Polo Grill. One of their most exciting ventures is the Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club, in which Michael has been personally taking discerning food and wine connoisseurs on trips to top culinary and wine-producing regions of the world, offering unique, behind-the-scenes tours at many of the top restaurants and wineries in France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. www.florida-hospitality.com

Braised Kobe Short Ribs
Phil’s Carved Prime N.Y. Strip with Porcini Rub

 

 

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Mystic Fish, Palm Harbor, FL

Mystic Fish has been recognized as one of the top seafood destinations in Greater Tampa Bay since opening in 2001. Mystic is owned by veteran restaurateur Eugen Fuhrmann, who started the Lobster Pot restaurant in Bermuda (and later in Redington Shores, Florida) and Chef Doug Bebell, the chef from the Lobster Pot, which was a landmark in the area since 1978. Mystic has two sister restaurants, Guppy’s on the Beach, a fun, casual seafood restaurant, and E&E Stakeout Grill in Belleair Bluffs. Fred’s upcoming memoir features three of Mystic’s top selling favorite dishes.

Bermuda Fish Chowder

 

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Chilean Seabass with Hijiki Sauce (pictured above)
Kona Seared Salmon with Pistachio Dill Pesto

 

 

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Ocean Prime, Tampa, FL (locations nationwide)

 

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Ocean Prime is an award-winning restaurant concept from the Cameron Mitchell Group of Ohio, which combines a prime steakhouse with great seafood, to create “the modern American supper club.” With a great selection of food, a comfortable modern atmosphere, award-winning wine list, and locations nationwide, Ocean Prime is sure to please.

Tangerine Tuna

 

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Ophelia’s on the Bay, Sarasota (Siesta Key), FL

Ophelia’s has been a Siesta Key favorite since Stanley Ferro and family opened the charming waterfront restaurant on Little Sarasota Bay in 1988 after owning the successful Cape Playhouse Restaurant on Cape Cod. Ophelia’s is renowned for fresh seafood, beautiful views of the bay (watch dolphins splash while you dine), and has been a perennial people’s-choice winner in Sarasota for best seafood, best waterfront restaurant, and most romantic restaurant. Arrive by car or boat, and in nice weather, guests can dine al fresco overlooking the bay.

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Seared Sea Scallops with Sesame Buckwheat Noodle Stir-Fry and Baby Bok Choy

 

*(New Addition) Osteria & Bar Tulia, Naples

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Osteria Tulia opened in January 2013 in downtown Naples and has quickly become known as Naples’ hottest restaurant. Part of the buzz is due to Chef/Partner Vincenzo Betulia’s passion and commitment to excellence and authenticity, where he has developed a huge following locally and worldwide after 13 years as a leading chef in Naples. Since opening, savvy diners and critics have praised Osteria Tulia as on par with the hottest, chef-driven, rustic Italian restaurants in “foodie meccas” like New York and San Francisco. Betulia was born in Sicily and grew up in Wisconsin, attended culinary school and worked with Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia in Chicago), Michael White (The Altamarea group, based in New York), and Paul Bartolotta (Las Vegas), before bringing his brand of authentic,rustic Italian cucina to Naples.

Cauliflower Salad

Florida Black Grouper all’ Acquapazza

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*(New Addition) Restaurant B.T., Tampa

Restaurant BT is the top choice for the highest quality, gourmet Vietnamese-French cuisine in Florida and offers an exceptional variety of fresh, flavorful, healthy-gourmet options. Vietnam native B.T. Nguyen worked with Roy Yamaguci and Morimoto before opening her own restaurant in Tampa, and exemplifies a hands-on, dedicated chef-owner as well as quality cuisine and a commitment to providing healthy options for discerning patrons, and who creates a masterpiece on every plate that leaves the kitchen!

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Snapper Saigon

 

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The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota

The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, is an elegant, AAA Five Diamond hotel and resort, overlooking Sarasota Bay in downtown Sarasota and convenient to the arts and theater district. In 2012, the hotel opened the trendy new Jack Dusty, featuring fresh seafood, steaks, and local produce. The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, also features a lovely spa, salon, conference center, beach club on nearby Lido Key, and exclusive golf club located east of Sarasota.

Pan-Seared Diver Scallops with Cumin-scented Parsnips, Almonds and a Citrus Emulsion

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Jack Dusty’s Signature Cornmeal Blinis with Mote Marine Local Sustainable Sturgeon Caviar and Lemon Creme Fraiche

 

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Simon’s Coffee House, Sarasota, FL

Simon’s, owned by Michelle and Simon Kirby, is Sarasota’s destination for healthy, organic foods, in addition to great coffee. Simon’s fresh daily culinary offerings include excellent homemade soups, delicious salads, raw foods, healthy smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, panini, and so much more! With a fun, friendly atmosphere, and quality healthy fare, it is no wonder Simon’s is so popular! Michelle Kirby says, “Our raw food is never heated over 110 degrees, in order to keep all the enzymes alive which are lost in many foods when prepared at high cooking temperatures. The benefits and flavors are incredible.”

Raw Beet Ravioli
Jicama Slaw

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*(New Addition) Villa Bellini Restaurant & Lounge (A NEW CHARTER MEMBER), Clearwater

Villa Bellini Restaurant & Lounge is situated in a beautifully restored Mediterranean-style building which has been in existence since 1929 and had been the home of Tio Pepe’s in Clearwater. The extensive renovations respectfully enhanced the historical atmosphere of the building and have created a warm, comfortable, elegant ambiance–classic meets modern. Upon entering you will feel as though you have been transported to an Italian villa! Chef Ciro Mancini, born and raised in Naples, Italy has years of experience in honing his classic style of “Cucina Napoletana.” “My artistry and inspiration as a chef is to provide you with an unforgettable meal that allows me to share my passion for cooking with you”says Chef/Owner Ciro.

Salmon with Champagne Sauce & Caviar

Pasta “Frutti di Mare” with Lobster, Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, and Calamari

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Fred Bollaci with Ciro Mancini at Villa Bellini.

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ATLANTA, GEORGIA:

 

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Buckhead Diner, Atlanta, GA

Buckhead Diner, owned by Pano Karatassos and the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group behind Chop’s Lobster Bar and City Fish Market in Boca Raton is truly a gourmet diner and an Atlanta institution. Featuring a fun, upscale atmosphere, skillful service, and an innovative menu, Buckhead Diner is one of many musts attributable to the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group on any Atlanta itinerary!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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Kyma, Atlanta, GA

 

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Kyma is the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s contemporary seafood taverna, showcasing an upscale, extensive Greek- and Mediterranean-inspired menu with many excellent choices which are low in calories and high in flavor.

Eggplant Stew with Sweet Onions and Tomatoes

 

 

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La Grotta Ristorante and La Grotta Ravinia, Atlanta, GA

 

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Since 1978, La Grotta has been offering fine Northern Italian dining in a lovely, intimate setting overlooking a beautiful garden in the heart of upscale Buckhead. Owned by Chef Antonio Abizanda and Sergio Favalli, La Grotta offers one of the most interesting and innovative Italian menus in Atlanta and has held the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award for years and been voted “Best Italian Restaurant” in Atlanta magazine for many years. Excellent food, a lovely atmosphere, and very cordial, accommodating owners and staff make La Grotta a perennial winner and a favorite of mine in Atlanta. The slightly more casual La Grotta Ravinia opened in 1993 and has also been awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award. La Grotta’s chef is always willing to accommodate guests, whether it be to prepare a favorite dish not featured, or to prepare high-quality vegetarian, cholesterol-free, and grilled specialties, along with excellent pasta, meat, and seafood dishes.

Granchio con Avocado e Pompelmo (Lump Crabmeat with Grainy Mustard over Avocado, Orange, and Grapefruit Segments)

 

The Palm Restaurant, Atlanta, GA (with locations nationwide, See New York)

 

 

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Pricci, Atlanta, GA

Pricci is a contemporary Italian restaurant owned by the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, and is best known for its innovative menu, which includes classic Italian with a fun, modern twist.

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Grilled Lamb Chops with Mushroom Funghetto

 

CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES/SANTA BARBARA:

 

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Bacara Resort & Spa, Santa Barbara, CA

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Situated on a beautiful 78 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean just north of Santa Barbara, Bacara Resort offers a luxurious, peaceful retreat, featuring a world-class spa, excellent dining in their signature restaurant Miro, or more casual fare at the Bistro. Bacara features sumptuous guest rooms in beautiful mission-style buildings, and sprawling, beautifully landscaped, impeccably manicured grounds. Bacara is the ideal getaway with several pools, fitness center, horseback riding, and golf, as well as the opportunity to explore beautiful Santa Barbara and the nearby wine country of Santa Barbara County. Bacara is being featured on ABC’s The Bachelorette.

 

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Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Crème

 

 

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Geoffrey’s Malibu, Malibu, CA

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Geoffrey’s, the legendary Southern California landmark restaurant, is situated in one of the most spectacular locations anywhere in America, high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where guests can dine al fresco and watch the whales and catch a few rays of California sunshine and enjoy excellent cuisine. Geoffrey’s pedigree is as impressive as its location, first opening as the Holiday House resort and watering hole to the stars in 1948. It immediately became THE destination, hosting the likes of Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Lana Turner, John F. Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe. In 1983, Harvey Baskin, a financier/gourmand/nature lover purchased the Holiday House and created Geoffrey’s, first by redesigning the restaurant so every seat had a view of the ocean. In 1999, Geoffrey’s was purchased by Jeff Peterson, who started as a busboy at the restaurant eleven years before, and expanded the restaurant’s presence in the community, by hosting numerous charitable benefits. Geoffrey’s continues to attract Hollywood celebrities, politicians, ambassadors, world travelers, and locals, and was featured on the HBO hit series, Entourage.

 

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Lobster and Scallop Ceviche in Taco Shells

Spicy Shrimp Salad with Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

 

 

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Trattoria Grappolo, Santa Ynez, CA

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The incredibly popular Trattoria Grappolo was an instant hit when it opened in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country in the charming town of Santa Ynez in 1997. Founded by Chef Leonardo Curti from Calabria and Daniele Serra, the restaurant features excellent rustic Italian cuisine, pizzas, fresh pasta, meats, seafood, and an array of antipasti, along with an excellent wine list with many great local selections as well as selections from Italy and Grappolo’s own label.

Pizza with Prosciutto, Artichokes, Imported Olives, and Champignons
Pizza Dough and Sauce
Pasta Fatta in Casa- Homemade Pasta

Note: Recipes courtesy of Chef Leonardo Curti, Trattoria Grappolo, and printed with permission from Gibbs Smith Publisher.

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Note: the dishes pictured on this site are for illustrative purposes showcasing the kinds of foods the above restaurants feature, not every dish is exactly as featured in the restaurant on a given day and not every dish shown will be featured in the upcoming memoir. For weight loss purposes, some of the dishes featured should be shared or enjoyed in later phases of Fred Bollaci’s Four Phase Gourmet Lifestyle Diet™ as will be stated in the upcoming memoir, and some of the dishes are suitable for enjoyment during all four phases. Anyone attempting to lose weight should consult with their physician to assist in developing an appropriate eating plan tailored to each individual’s unique medical and physical needs. Fred will be posting some recipes from his favorite featured restaurants as the release date for his upcoming book nears. Check back often!