Bon appétit

by Donna Lewis Apr 2017 Also on Digital Edition

Bon appétit

I have a healthy, simple recipe that I make similar to Italian wedding soup minus the orzo or pasta, comprised of ground chicken, rolled into small meatballs, cooked cabbage and spinach. One night I improvised when my grocery store was out of green cabbage and substituted purple cabbage. Well, as you can guess, the purple cabbage permeated the entire dish, soaking clean through the chicken meatballs, and turning the soup into a Sci-Fi sight. My son absolutely refused to eat it, my husband had his doubts about whether it would taste the same, and I admit, even I was skeptical. Let’s face it; food has to look good in order for our eyes to make the connection with our brains and salivary glands. We’ve been conditioned to see foods a certain way. Sight influences perception, and as we all know, perception is reality. Professional chefs know presentation is key, and good food, presented in a unique, creative way, is the secret to exciting, buzz-worthy cuisine. In “Food Gone Wild,” we bring you the bad boys of gastronomy that will wow your sense of taste and sight (unlike my purple soup!). From a colossal cotton candy dessert and caramelized bacon clipped with a clothespin, to a massive burger the size of manhole and a flight consisting of a meal, drink and dessert all rolled into one, these tantalizing treats will tease your taste buds and entertain you tableside. As one restaurateur says, “It’s culinary theater.”

In the Palm Beaches, food + drinks = entertainment, so we have no shortage of great local restaurants and bars offering the perfect after-work happy hour hotspot, with many offering up live music to boot. You don’t need to work for the weekend around here; these local establishments have weekly specials every day of the week. Plus you can enjoy rock, jazz, Motown, classics and acoustical music at dozens of bars and restaurants, and outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment districts. Check out “Live Music & Libations” on page 47 for a sampling of hotspots to start your night out right. 

Great cuisine isn’t always found at a brick-and-mortar establishment, some come on wheels. With the increasing popularity of Food Truck events, the selections are as diverse as the people that operate the trucks. Not your typical hot dog stand, these gourmet food trucks pride themselves on originality, usually focusing on one genre and often offering fresh local ingredients that change with the seasons and even vegetarian options. Read about the people making their dreams a reality with their mobile enterprises and whet your appetite for elevated street food on page 82. 

If this annual food issue has you hungry for some great eats, check out our dining guide in print and the expanded version in our digital editions, offering a myriad of choices in Northern and Central Palm Beach County. Our last reader survey showed 88 percent of our readers frequent the places we write about and 83 percent frequent our advertisers’ businesses, and I know this issue will be no exception!