Ristorante Santucci – West Palm Beach, FL

August 16th, 2015

My love of all things Italian keeps growing as I make new discoveries and new friends through food and wine.  My latest palate and mind blowing gastronomic encounter is Ristorante Santucci.  This West Palm Beach find is definitely a keeper and one I encourage repeat visits to.  After several meals and getting to know Gianluca and Eugenio, I felt it was time to share the experiences that have made each return rival the previous one.  My go to list of “Highly Recommended” restaurants, just received another member – - yes Santucci is now part of the family of coveted returns.

The family is Italian-Belgium and the food is of old world Mediterranean essences with a new world flare of excitement and innovation.   This father (Emilio) and son (Eugenio) team know how to set fire to food that will in all ways delight and please your palate.  Their first four impressions have truly been outstanding.

Here are dishes from my past visits that will sure to have you making reservations months out, especially before season starts – - heads up “Snow Birds and Snowflakes.”

I now plan my treks to West Palm with confirmed Santucci reservations.

May 25, 2015:

 

Ristorante Santucci

 

Calamari Fritti – Fried calamari accompanied with an arugala and radicchio salad drizzled
with a light citrus dressing and a side of tartar sauce

 

Fettucini Estive – Sautéed baby shrimps in glazed white wine, prepared in a creamy yellow curry sauce, peas, onions and finished with fresh diced tomatoes and fine herbs

 

Grilled Branzino – with fresh lemon and herbs. Side of arugula, sautéed spinach and polenta.

 

Branzino A L’Aqua Pazza – Branzino filet, steamed in a fresh diced tomato broth

 

Eugenio preparing sabayon

 

Eugenio preparing sabayon

 

Sabayon

 

Homemade Cannoli

 

June 29, 2015

 

Scaloppine alla Ricotta: A bed of thin sliced veal with a layer of ricotta cheese and grilled Sicilian eggplant oven gratin with tomato sauce, basil and topped with Parmigiano cheese

 

Scaloppine alla Ricotta: A bed of thin sliced veal with a layer of ricotta cheese and grilled Sicilian eggplant oven gratin with tomato sauce, basil and topped with Parmigiano cheese

 

Agnolotti al Prosciutto San Daniele: House-made stuffed pasta (chef’s selection), prepared in a tomato Parmesan sauce, topped with arugula and San Daniele prosciutto slices

 

Tagliata di Manzo: Grilled choice Angus ribeye steak sliced and topped with shaves of parmigiano, sea salt, truffle oil and truffle glaze, served on an arugola bed prepared with fine onions and sun-dried tomatoes

 

Scaloppine Portafoglio: Thin sliced veal folded and stuffed with smoked ham and fontina cheese, prepared in pan with sautéed wild mushrooms, deglazed with cognac, served in its sauce

 

Homemade Cannoli

 

Wine poached pear

 

Eugenio & Alberto

 

July 6, 2015

 

Italian Herb seasoned eggs, cooked procuttio, thinly sliced ham with arugula Bruschetta

 

Thin slices of prosciutto topped with mushrooms, Parmesane cheese, blasamic vinegar and truffle oil

 

Scampi al Liquo r e di Sambuca: Sautéed prawns and chopped calamari, deglazed in a Sambuca liquor, caramelized julienne bell peppers and onions, light cream

 

Eugenio

 

Festival di Pesce: Assortment of filet cooked in a delicate tomato and parsley broth with caramelized onions

 

Poached pear and deconstructed cannoli

 

Ristorante Santucci

 

August 1, 2015

 

Broccoli & Cheese Bruschetta, and Burrata Cheese, Bacon & Strawberries Bruschetta

 

Broccoli & Cheese Bruschetta, and Burrata Cheese, Bacon & Strawberries Bruschetta

 

Zeni – Pinot Grigio Ramato

 

Hot Fresh Bread with Balsamic vinegar and Olive Oil

 

Branzino A L’Aqua Pazza – Branzino filet, steamed in a fresh diced tomato broth, endive and polenta with micro greens

 

Veal and Aged Beef Bolognese

 

Vino

 

Grilled Steak with Balsamic Vinegar and Truffle Oil

 

Eugenio Delivering Desserts

 

Eugenio Delivering Desserts

 

Assorted Desserts

 

Dessert

 

Gianluca & Eugenio

 

La Cucina 

 

 

Gianluca, Eugenio and Mitch

 

Ristorante Santucci

 

One of our most treasured and now repeated experience is when we give Eugenio the number of courses we desire and he determines what to send to the table.  Be it the seafood pasta with hints of anise, grilled branzino with fresh herbs and lemon, the amazing veal bolognaise or grilled steak with truffle oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, you will experience something special and unique when you are at Santucci.  This is “La Dolce Vita” at its best!

The cozy and relaxing atmosphere surround by exceptional cuisine and amazing personalities is the idea spot to travel to Italy by way of your palate and their hospitality.  So, “Mille Grazie” to  Emilio, Eugenio, Gianluca and Nicla.   Your welcoming us back and always treating our palates to something wonderful and amazing is so very much appreciated.  We look forward to seeing you soon!!!  And by the way, thanks for choosing West Palm and not Brisbane!!!!

 

610 Clematis Street,

Suite CU-1

West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Ph: (561) 337-2532

@: ristorante.santucci@gmail.com

Wynton Marsalis…..

August 3rd, 2015

Speechless is what I was on this rare evening when I met Mr. Wynton Marsalis several weeks ago.  During a private event where I was one of the fifty luckiest people in DC to attend, I had the sheer pleasure of hearing Mr. Marsalis up-close and personal as he played several pieces within arm’s reach.  The second most amazing event that evening was the opportunity to actually “talk” to Wynton and I say Wynton not out of disrespect, being the southerner I am, but out of the most incredible connection we made during our conversation – - one southerner to another, one musician to another and one brother to another!!!!  This was truly a life changer.  And Wynton, when you read this you’ll know what it means as this acronym was the first thing out of your mouth – - Y.C.A.M.

So to an unforgettable evening, which allowed for a once in a lifetime experience, I shall forever raise a glass to that which was an incredible blessing and life lesson.

Play on Wynton, Play on!!!!  Thanks for hanging out after dinner and for the down to earth, on the front porch conversation.

 

Wynton

 

Wynton

 

Wynton

 

Wynton

 

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Louis Roederer “Cristal Wednesday”

July 15th, 2015

My visit to Louis Roederer in 2011 had all the trappings of what I’ve come to enjoy in life: Great Wine, Amazing Food and Dear Friends.  Today, I had the opportunity to experience two out of the three and shall make up for the third this evening.  Today I had the pleasure seeing Monsieur Charles FOURNIER, Export Manager for Louis Roederer and to taste the wines of this renown house. Yes, this is my kind of “Hump Day!!!” Happy Wednesday!!!!

Today’s MacArthur Beveragestasting included:

1.) 2006 Brut Nature – Starck (Philippe Starck)

2.) 2009 Blanc de Blanc

3.) Brut Premier

4.) 2008

5.) Cristal 2005

6.) 2009 Rosé

7.) Carte Blanche (Demi Sec)

 

Louis Roederer

 

Monsieur Charles FOURNIER, Export Manager

 

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed all the Champagnes as each bottling had it’s own distinct character which is ideal for each day of the week!!!

Two photos from my 2011 visit:

Louis Roederer

 

With Monsieur Charles FOURNIER in Champagne 2011

 

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Pierre Gagnaire

July 14th, 2015

Pierre Gagnaire

My 2011 visit was an over the top exploration of cuisine which opened an entirely new and exciting love for food and the masters who take it to its highest art form, this return was no exception.  There was an extra element this evening as we awaited our  last dining extravaganza – - the amazing and incomparable Chef Pierre Gagnaire was present and we had the sheer pleasure of meeting him.   Do forgive me for I lost all sense of detailed note taking and simply indulged as this was our final night in Paris and it was all about letting go and just having some good ole food fun!!!!  I’m only giving you the visual as the menu was extensive and outstanding. As we settled back into the lap of gastronomic luxury, our ever gastronomic desire was fulfilled and we left in awe!!! This meal was simply out of this world.  So here’s the evening…….

 

Pierre Gagnaire

 

The “Grand” Menu

 

Bruno Paillard Rose

 

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With Chef Gagnaire

 

With Chef Gagnaire & Anthony D.

 

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We shut the restaurant down as we had the opportunity to enjoy another successful dining experience, that will forever be a benchmark in service, presentation, decor, professionalism and a MASTER Chef’s pure love of divinity!!!!

Another unforgettable experience with the infamous: Pierre Gagnaire

Amen!!!!

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L’Oiseau Blanc – (Modigliani Quartet)

July 12th, 2015

The saying “To much of a good thing isn’t good for you,” does not apply to The Peninsula and it definitely does not apply to L’Oiseau Blanc.   The return was much anticipated and the final indulgence was light, as we needed to save room for dinner.

Greeted by Rodolphe and Sylvain, we sat down to another amazing afternoon with top-notch service, delicious food and wine, and a great time with new and old friends!!!  With another spectacular sunny day and an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower all was right with the world and my little piece of heaven.

 

L’Oiseau Blanc Rooftop

 

2013 “Hongrie” Saint-Peray M. Chapoutier

 

2013 “Hongrie” Saint-Peray M. Chapoutier

 

Rodolphe

 

Chicken Salad & Chicken Salad Sandwich

 

Fries

 

Lunch

 

As luck would have it, two of our dear friends from the Modigliani Quartet were home in Paris and were able to swing by to catch up.  If you do not know this amazing quartet it’s time you did.  We’ve known “The Mods” since 2007 and the musicianship is simply impeccable and flawless.

 

With Laurent and Philippe

 

Modigliani Quartet – François Kieffer, Laurent Marfaing, Loic Rio and Philippe Bernhard

 

After Laurent and Philippe headed out, we decided to hang out a little while longer just to chill before dinner and enjoy a glass of the Weingut Landauer Spätlese Gewürztraminer – - Rodolphe thanks again for  introducing us to this delightful Gewürztraminer.  And again, a million “Thank Yous” to you and Sylvain for making our time at L’Oiseau Blanc an unforgettable experience and one we are dying to repeat.  All the best and see you both very soon!!!!

 

With Sylvain and Rodolphe

 

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