I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
Garlic + Zest is focused on food that you and I can make at home. I do that, because I genuinely believe that cooking together and eating as a family connects us in a way that a speed-dial pizza, can’t. But sometimes, you need a break from the stove and when you have occasion to get out (away from the kids), you’ll want to give Pat’s Wine Bar & Grill your full attention.
When we go out, Scott and I make it a point to go to smaller, non-chain establishments that really care about food and your entire dining experience. We like restaurants that have a varied, but concise menu, high standards, reasonable prices and a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. We found it at Pat’s Wine Bar & Grill.
I wrote about Pat’s as part of a Food Tour I was invited on last week, where we enjoyed generous pours of California wine and those fiery Sriracha chicken tacos. Well, the love affair continued last night, when I had the opportunity for a follow-up visit with a group of local bloggers arranged by Denise Righetti, of Savor Our City Culinary Tours.
Chef and Owner, Pat Hennessey, welcomed us with a warm smile and a chilled Benziger Sauvignon Blanc! He had prepared a tasting to take us through the highlights of his menu. Though I’d tasted the chicken tacos last time, I was more than happy to try them again. They were tossed in a house made sriracha and topped with sweet white onion and fresh cilantro. Three of those tacos and a glass of wine would make me a happy lady, any night of the week.
Between courses, I got to know my dining companions and fellow bloggers, Erika of Essentially Erika, Heather from Local Mom Scoop, Wayne from 2 Forks and a Cork, Shaina of Take A Bite Out Of Boca, Anika of Miles + Mimosas and Megan from The GypSea Foodie.
We were laughing and having a great time when our second course arrived, a black truffle burrata with vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil and aged balsamic. I mean, he had me at burrata. This hand-crafted, locally made, milky-soft cheese with the oozy interior was perfectly dressed with a sprinkle of truffle salt and surrounded by ripe, seasonal chunks of tomato, kissed with just a hint of balsamic vinegar. Outstanding. My only criticism is of myself for not having a large enough stomach to enjoy the entire portion. When I go back, I’ll order this as something to share with a dining companion, and perhaps request a crust of bread to sop up the juices.
Next on the menu was a simple carbonara — except there’s nothing simple about carbonara. It can easily be over-sauced, over-cooked and over-done. Here, it was anything but. Bowls of carbonara arrived with the savory pasta swirled into a neat nest. A well-trained hand executed this dish with thin strands of al-dente linguine, tossed and lightly coated in a romano cream and studded with salty prosciutto di parma and fresh English peas. A flurry of grated cheese settled on the summit of noodles. This is what carbonara is supposed to taste like and I’ll go back for more.
Our next course (I know — there’s more???) was a seared lamb loin chop with scallop potatoes au gratin, paired with a glass of Cartlidge & Browne Pinot Noir. The lamb was lightly seasoned and cooked to medium. I caught several diners gnawing on the bone, anxious for those last tender nuggets. The potatoes were tender and mild with a golden crust — and I mean, who doesn’t like scalloped potatoes? This is actually something that Scott and I make regularly at home because it’s so simple and satisfying. They do it well at Pat’s.
Dessert, a creamy slice of homemade cheesecake — garnished with a shimmery spoon of salted caramel — sent me over the edge. Some of our diners enjoyed a glass of port with their dessert, but I was more than satiated. I thanked our generous host and promptly rolled myself and my food-baby home and into bed.
Pat’s Wine Bar & Grill
Open Tuesday- Sunday from 5pm-2am
409 SE Mizner Boulevard (on the East Side of Royal Palm Place)
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Happy Hour: Tuesday-Sunday 5pm-7pm
$4 Full Sail Bottles
25% Off All Bottles of Wine