Like a sudden change in the wind, Todd English swooped into Boca Raton and resurrected the stale Opus 5 at The Boca Town Center, by turning it into his newest Mecca, “Wild Olives by Todd English”. With English’s fresh, yet classic take on Mediterranean cuisine, this sexy and sophisticated space now has a reason to shine.
Recently I was invited along with 11 other discriminating food bloggers to preview TE’s new menu. We were wowed and pampered with an elegant wine pairing dinner, prepared by the talented Chef Jeff [Steelman], the recently appointed Corporate Chef, for the Todd English brand.
The candle lit table sparkled with long plates filled with fresh cheeses, ribbons of prosciutto and sweet figs and Carpaccio dotted with walnuts and slices of candied bitter orange.
The Perrier-Jouet flowed as thick loaves of artisanal bread were served with fresh tapenade and a creamy white bean spread, followed by a parade of flatbreads that were brought to us one by one. Shrimp and chorizo, classic pepperoni and white pizza with broccoli rabe, my favorite!
On my left, Miss “C” began slathering the tapenade on a thick piece of bread.
Our first course was TE’s signature “Carpetbagger Oyster” paired with a crisp and citrusy Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. Perched on a bed of sea salt and peppercorns, the oyster is nestled inside its shell, wrapped in a sliver of beef Carpaccio, floating on a cushion of truffle whipped potatoes.
Miss “C” was busy topping another piece of bread, with a spoonful of tapenade.
Next, the Boston Bibb with shaved red onion, a shower of Maytag blue cheese and toasted walnuts was lightly coated in a delicate walnut vinaigrette and beautifully paired with a spicy and lightly oaky Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay.
Miss “C” was asking for more tapenade.
The Butternut Tortelli in brown butter and fried sage was the dish I had been waiting for all night. The sweet and spicy center with just a hint of sage, gave me that “ah-ha” moment, tasting how true TE stayed to his culinary roots.
The Lemon Sorbet w/mint was a refreshing intermezzo and left time for the tweets to start flying at breakneck speed.
After the break, a tender and juicy piece of Swordfish was placed on a bed of asparagus risotto and topped with warm shrimp vinaigrette. Not a fan of swordfish, I was blown away by this sumptuous and complex dish, which had been perfectly paired with a new wine called “Evolution”, a spectacular blend of nine different grapes featuring Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer, which held up to both the vinaigrette and the fussy asparagus.
The Brown Sugar Rib-Eye on silky parmesan potatoes arrived shortly after and melted in our mouths. Paired with the BR Cohn “Olive Hill Estate” Cabernet, a well balanced Cab with supple tannins and a heady aroma of plum, black currant, and cherry. Mmmm!
And last, but certainly not least, the most exquisite slice of heaven on earth; TE’S signature Ricotta Cheesecake, was presented with the fanfare it deserves. Light and airy with a splash of cranberry coulis,
it was served with Dolce, the impeccable prized dessert wine by Far Niente.
By now the deep sultry sounds of “OMG” could be heard rumbling from our table… while Miss “C” bit into the last piece of bread dripping with tapenade.
How Wild your trip will be?
The Shops at Boca Center,
5050 Town Center Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33486