While I was in the middle of reworking this website, I received an invitation from my friend and fellow blogger, Heather McMechan, of LocalMomScoop fame to join her along with a group of lifestyle and food bloggers at a Media Dinner hosted by CafeMed in Deerfield Beach. They were doing a six course tasting menu along with wine pairings — um, yes, I think I can pull myself away from the computer to join you…
Upon arrival, I did a double take. The building and restaurant are landmarks in this area! It was previously occupied by a HoJo’s in a previous life — in fact, I remember taking Emily for breakfast at the Howard Johnson’s when she was just a sprout!
This restaurant has come a long way since then and the friendly, welcoming staff at Cafe Med greeted us with warm smiles and flutes of bubbly. After the meet and greet, we settled into our chairs and were treated to a live demonstration of how to make one of their signature craft cocktails — the Flower Garden Martini. Light and refreshing — made with Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain and cucumber, this martini was one I could drink all night. (And I’m not really a martini — or gin — gal).
After that, the evening fell into a rhythm with Chef Lillo Teodosi and Sommelier Marco Pistella describing the upcoming courses and corresponding Italian wine selection.
We started with Insalatina di Mare Bella Napoli – a gorgeous blend of fresh seafood including Seppie, Shrimp, Octopus, Calamari, Scungilli, Giardiniera (pickled vegetables) and a citrus vinaigrette. The wine pairing was outstanding – light, crisp and perfectly balanced with the seafood. This was probably my favorite course of the night and I will definitely order this as my main course next time I go.
Mezze Maniche al Sapore del Mediterraneo was the next dish in our tasting – Short tube pasta, prepared al dente with shrimp, bay scallops and pea pods, it was lightly sauced with fresh pomodoro and basil. What I liked about this dish was how simple it was and how Chef Teodosi let the individual components shine. It was well prepared and not overdone.
The next tasting was another “Wow!” moment. the Gamberi e Cappesante con Fungi Trifoliate – or for the un-Italian – jumbo shrimp (U-8s, he said), tender sea scallops, with lemon and wild mushrooms over risotto. This dish was rich and meaty, the seafood, impossibly tender and risotto was made by a practiced hand. I wish I could have finished my serving but with 3 more tastings and dessert yet to come, I needed to preserve some valuable real estate in my stomach.
The Chilean Sea Bass with Mussels and Clams came next – I haven’t had Chilean Sea Bass in ages – and this was perfectly prepared with a delicate sear and buttery interior. I ate mine and snuck a piece off of my neighbor’s who wasn’t as fond of fish. Can’t let that go to waste!!!
The Farrotto al Tartufo turned out to be my second favorite dish by a very narrow margin — it almost moved into the top spot, but I couldn’t get the vast seafood offering of that Insalatina out of my mind. Chef prepared farro (one of my favorite grains) in a risotto style. It was al dente and creamy at the same time with sun-dried tomatoes, large pieces of earthy porcini mushroom and — are you ready — black truffles! Holy food nirvana! This is something I’m dying to recreate at home and I may have to pester the chef for some instruction…
The last offering was a Cowboy Ribeye Steak — when you order it off the menu, you’ll get a perfectly prepared 24-ounce, grass fed, bone-in ribeye with a loaded baked potato and roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta. Our tasting portion was but one beautifully cooked medium-rare slice of steak and about a quarter of the potato. I was bursting at the seams.
Breathe Lisa, breathe. Undo the top button of your pants (no-one will notice) – that’s when they arrived with not one, but two desserts. A light, and dreamy Tiramisu and a slice of tart, creamy Key Lime pie. My favorite was the pie — I had two bites vs. the one of Tiramisu, but maybe that’s just because I have an affinity for fruity desserts.
When you’re in the mood for seafood with Italian flare, Cafe Med should be at the top of your list – and be sure to bring your out-of-town visitors here for the ultimate South Florida waterfront dining experience! It’s located directly across the street from the Atlantic ocean in the Wyndham hotel. Cafe Med is floor to ceiling windows – which open completely — allowing guests to enjoy the briny breeze. This will be the highlight of the trip for any tourist and of course, they do private parties and events — just call to enquire!
2096 Northeast Second Street
Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441
Phone: (954) 596-5840