Restaurant Roundup

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Fast-casual Asian eatery Bento expands to Boca Raton

Bento, a fast-casual pan-Asian restaurant, has made its way to Boca Raton.

The Gainesville-based concept, popular among University of Florida students, has expanded into other Florida cities over the past several years including Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, St. Pete and Davie.

Now, Boca Raton has its own Bento location at the Park Place plaza on Military Trail next to the Office Depot Headquarters.

Owner Johnny Tung said the restaurant thrives when it is located near universities. The Davie location is near Nova Southeastern University. With Lynn University and Florida Atlantic University nearby, he said Boca was on his radar.

When he saw the Park Place plaza, he said he knew he found the location. There are other fast-casual concepts in the plaza, including Fresh Kitchen and Habit Burger, and he said he wanted to be around similar locations.

During a grand opening last month, Mayor Scott Singer welcomed Bento to Boca.

“We want to wish you the best of success,” he said.

The restaurant hosted officials and media to a sampling of sushi offerings, boba tea and signature items. There was a live chef demonstration that included filleting an entire fish and how to smoke sashimi.

Fifth Avenue Grill closes

Delray’s Fifth Avenue Grill shut its doors last month.

The restaurant had been open for 30 years before it shuttered. The restaurant was a favorite during the holiday season for its Christmas decorations.

Elisabetta’s replaces 32 East

Big Time Restaurant Group has opened another eatery in downtown Delray.

The sister restaurant to Louie Bossi, which has a location in Boca, offers Italian fare with homemade pastas, breads, and pastries.

During a recent media dine, we started the meal with a charcuterie of a selection of salamis made-in-house and mozzarella cheese. The platter came with breadsticks, grapes and honey for dipping.

Paired with a glass of a Super Tuscan wine, the sampling supplied bites of sweet and savory.

For the main course, we tried the nightly Thursday special of veal chop alla parmigiana. The veal was served bone-in with a side of spaghetti. We paired that with a dish exclusive to Elisabetta’s, not found on the Louie Bossi menu, cappelinni e calamari. The long pasta option featured pasta with calamari with a san marzano sauce and the heat from calabrian chili peppers.

Entrees were large and we took home leftovers. We did leave room for the gelato sundae dessert with three different flavors and a homemade cookie.

The extensive menu also offers pizzas, entrees from the wood burning grill and steaks that are dry-aged in house.

The cocktail menu offers Italian classics and creative tastings along with an extensive wine list.

Elisabetta’s is open daily for dinner and lunch and will serve brunch on weekends.