There are meals, and then there are dining experiences. If you’ve never had the pleasure of partaking in a dining experience, the difference can be summed up as such: it’s a journey of food that heightens not only your taste buds, but all of your senses (and it possibly ends in a foodgasm). It’s more than just eating to cure hunger, it’s entertainment. Publix Aprons is known for hosting cooking classes, but you may not know that Chef Rich Wilson also hosts private dinners, where he and his sous chef create phenomenal dishes right in front of you and pair each with a glass of wine, with all drinks and ingredients that are available at your local Publix. If you’re not from South Florida and have never experienced a Publix, just know that it’s the go-to supermarket in the area, so much so that residents visit it more often than the gyms and tanning salons combined (and that’s saying A LOT).
My 8 course meal – yea, that’s right, Aprons believes in ‘pre-appetizers” and “pre-desserts” just like every good foodie should – started with White Chocolate Blueberry Popcorn. No need to check your vision, you read that correctly – WHITE CHOCOLATE BLUEBERRY POPCORN. My only issue with this lil’ snack was that I couldn’t sneak off with it into a dark room to devour every last drop. I had to behave and share. It’s called adulting, and I totally conquered it that night. But it wasn’t easy. You’ll see when you go.
This wasn’t the appetizer. This wasn’t the pre-appetizer. No, this was still only the Amuse Bouche – the night’s journey was far from over, and not a single person could complain about that. Vanilla Bean and Apricot Glazed U-15 Scallop with Citrus Scented Micro Greens. I feel like I could write a friggin romance novel talking about how it melted in my mouth with all the flavor hitting my palette at just the right spots….. If I ever write “50 Shades of Scallops”, it will certainly star this dish.
Next up, we watched as Chef Rich prepared our pre-appetizer – a Sesame Crusted Tuna Loin with Sweet Chili Soy Reduction and Spring Herb and Candied Almond Salad. In every last way possible, this was one of the BEST cuts of tuna I’ve ever had. And I loved the unique flavors that were chosen to accompany it. Did I mention we’re still only on the PRE-APPETIZER??
One of the things I appreciated most about this gourmet dinner was how unique each dish is. I’ve always been a believer in changing up every aspect of your life so as to not get bored – food included. So get a load of this: Macerated Blackberry Chopped Pork Shoulder over Spring Time Farro Cake. Ok, that description is sexier than a room full of muscular men who just want to cuddle and play with your hair while you watch your favorite reality TV show (side note I guess this is what you fantasize about in your 30’s?? Don’t grow up kids). Every single last expectation I had for this dish was met.
Real talk, it’s always a little difficult for me to review a dish with duck because I don’t prefer duck meat – I don’t give a quack about it. However, I always try to take what I can from a duck dish, and this Duck Confit with Cherry Glaze, Watercress Puree, and Porcini Foam certainly made great use of blending sweet and savory flavors.
After that marathon, we still were not at our entree until we were served the Maple Pecan Smoked Lamb Chops with Fried Asparagus Shavings, Caramelized Mushroom and Onion Bundt Cake with Blueberry Demi-Glaze. I’ll give you a minute to let all those flavor-fully descriptive words to set in, because it’s a lot to handle. Starting to think Chef Rick is the Willy Wonka of dinner parties.
So pre-dessert exists, and I love whoever decided that pre-dessert is a thing. Check out this combo of Dark Chocolate, Puffed Millet, and Pomegranate Infused Cranberry Tiffin. Someone needs to package it and sell it everywhere, because this minx was beyond belief delish. Guaranteed it’s more addicting that your latest Netflix binge. Holy yes.
Only the strong survive. Finally made it to the last dish. Which as you can guess was equally amazing Strawberry Banana Blintz with Farmer’s Cheese and Orange Scented Maple Syrup. Pro tip: order a wheelbarrow for the ride home. You’re gonna wanna get every last bite no matter how full you are.
Publix Aprons in Boca always has classes and dinner events going on, so don’t miss out on this unique dining experience. You can view their calendar of events here.
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.