I love everything about hotels. I love that feeling of first walking in to a fresh, clean room (definitely not something that happens every day in my own home). I love discovering the array of bathroom goodies that I’ll most certainly steal and stash in my luggage each day, only to be replenished with more. I love jumping up and down on the bed and never once having to make it myself. But there’s one thing that I love more than anything else, and that is when the hotel has a restaurant so incredible that I never even have to leave the premises. Cafe 5150 inside the Boca Raton Marriott Town Center is one such restaurant.
I was invited in for a Sunday night rendez-vous with my E.P.I.C., Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca. Offer us a night’s stay at a gorgeous hotel with the promise of a delicious meal, and we will dress to the nines! (My dress is by Free People, by the way). After an appropriate amount of selfies, we finally took the elevator up to our room.
I always expect to be greeted with a deliciously soft marshmallow bed, but I certainly did not expect to be welcomed with chocolate bars, chocolate covered strawberries, flowers and champagne! The hotel really knows the way to a blogger girl’s heart – I could already tell this experience was going to be special. I felt like I was on my honeymoon, minus being single and shacking up with my best friend. But enough about YOUR fantasies… let’s move on to mine… a decadent dinner.
I can’t start discussing this dinner without first mentioning how incredibly upbeat the staff was, particularly our waiter. Having been a server and bartender myself, I know that good service is good, but above-and-beyond service turns the meal in to an experience. I felt like we were friends by the end of the meal, especially because he took all of our preferences in to consideration to make us the perfect drink! I love cucumber flavored cocktails and Shaina swoons for St. Germaine, so he concocted this beautiful gin-based cocktail for us to kickoff the meal. Service with a smile and a side of custom alcohol – that’s basically what I’m looking for in a husband.
If you bring me and Shaina anywhere and there’s an opportunity to order beets, we’re gonna order beets. So we first chowed down on an Arugula and Beet salad with candied pecans, mandarin oranges, and crispy goat cheese, topped with a lemon vinaigrette. I often see beets paired with goat cheese, but the fact that this goat cheese was warm and crispy definitely upped the ante. It was a great, light start to a meal that was about to get real, because the next thing we were brought was 4 different flatbreads.
Luckily the flatbreads aren’t huge, so 4 was a very appropriate amount for 2 people (or at least in the world of food bloggers who eat like truckers it is). We sampled the BBQ Chicken Flatbread, the Pancetta Flatbread, the Garden Flatbread, and the Wild Mushroom Flatbread.
All the flatbreads were terrific (I mean, hello, the Wild Mushroom DID have truffle in it), but without a doubt, the Pancetta stole my heart. I think that’s probably because there were so many unique flavors that I don’t always get to indulge in – caramelized onions, garlic cream, gruyere cheese, baby arugula, and of course the salty, crispy, heaven-sent taste of the pancetta. It was such a treat, you’ll find yourself ordering more (and with a staff so nice, they won’t judge you, even if your date does).
Time for the main show. Top of my list to try was the Smoked to Order Salmon, but the chef decided to make a little off-the-menu twist for us. Served on top of farro and bulgar wheat and topped with roasted asparagus (a favorite vegetable of mine when cooked perfectly like these were) and blistered tomatoes, the salmon was encrusted in whole grain mustard. Salmon can go either way for me; if it’s not cooked well or with enough flavor, I will take one fishy bite and not even look at the rest. But this salmon certainly did not disappoint – the flavor was uniquely out-of-this-world. Seeing the chef’s cooking skills, I’m certain the Smoked to Order Salmon would have been a great choice as well, but if it’s a slow night, I definitely would recommend seeing if they could accommodate this request.
Since I am the meat eater of us two, I got to enjoy a sampling of Churrasco Steak and juicy piece of chicken smothered in cheese and tomatoes. The steak was thinly sliced, tender, charred just right, and the sauce completely enhanced the taste. The chicken was equally as delicious, as was the roasted vegetable stack that was served alongside it. The plate also came with a hearty helping of mashed potatoes, which I tried because, well, research, but you know where my mind was…..
SKINNY FRIES WITH HARISSA AOILI! Dear Lord. Typically skinny fries are TOO skinny (something I’ll never be), but these were my perfect size ratio. Deliciously salted, and THE SAUCE. I don’t love to cover up the taste of perfect fries, but this sauce gets a pass because it was so interesting. It was spicy and creamy and an all around win.
That is one happy camper right there. (BTW, side braids are so my go to right now and great for keeping your hair out of your french fry sauce. Click here for a tutorial).
Even though we still had chocolate in our bellies from our incredible greeting, we couldn’t resist their Chocolate Molten Cake. There’s something about the way that warm chocolate oozes out of its cakey vehicle that sends shivers down my spine, puts goosebumps on my skin and makes me feel safe and warm (and full. and fat.) A very sweet ending to a beautifully done meal.
There’s plenty to do in Boca, but when you’ve got a delicious bed, and a delicious restaurant, and Netflix hookup (no, Shaina and I did not Netflix and chill – yes, we did Netflix and food coma), I don’t know why you would ever leave the hotel!
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.