Published On: Tue, Aug 14th, 2018

Tanzy  – Artisanal Italian cuisine in Mizner Park

“Celebrity Chef Sherry Yard adds new dimension to Mizner Park Hot Spot”

By Kenny Spahn  

Ever since it first opened in 2012, Tanzy has been one of the city’s top Italian restaurants, and one of Boca’s top dining and socializing hot spots, especially with its ideal location at the iPic Theater in Mizner Park.  The Tanzy experience has always been outstanding, but now it’s been elevated to new heights under the leadership of Celebrity Chef Sherry Yard.  Emphasizing “artisanal Italian cuisine,” the new menu artfully melds fresh, seasonal ingredients and contemporary inspiration with classic Italian regional cuisine, resulting in flavor profiles that are uniquely nuanced, modern, and downright delicious. So before you go, here’s a preview:

The Set:  Enter Stage Tanzy, and you’re transported to arboreal recluse, amidst natural and petrified woods, earthy tones, comfy banquets, and subdued lighting.  The convivial front bar provides the perfect launching point for socializing and/or catching some after-party action. Stage Right leads to the main dining room for a more intimate setting, or head to the outside patio for an al fresco experience.  Also check out the enchanted Cocoon Lounge, a ‘secret hideaway’ entangled in trees and branches, evoking images of Middle Earth or Sherwood Forest.  You might expect Frodo Baggins or Robin Hood to suddenly appear (especially after sampling some of the bar’s signature cocktails!).

The Performance:  No matter where you sit, you’re in for a fantastic show, as GM Darren Schnagel directs the cast with seamless editing.  The well-rehearsed crew performs on cue with each act, ever remaining cognizant of impending starting times for movie-goers.  But the real Special Effects take place behind the scenes, where Executive Chef Brian Nelson and his backstage crew deliver all-star performances every night. Tanzy’s approach to “Artisanal Italian cuisine with a focus on garden-fresh modern Italian flavors” sets it apart from your typical Italian restaurant — so don’t expect the same-old-same-old remakes you’ve already seen a few hundred times. Instead, you’ll find authentic regional specialties, elevated to new heights by Chef Brian’s creative contemporary inspirations. The result: You’re in for some unexpected and enticing (and delicious!) plot twists with each bite.

Previews: A sampling from Tanzy’s Parma Board provides a perfect precursor of the show to come.  Options include a Formaggio plate (3 Italian cheeses accompanied by fresh berries, fig compote, maple-glazed pecans, and grilled focaccia); Parma tasting (3 Italian meats with arugula, oven-roasted tomatoes, poached pear, olives, and rosemary mustard); and a heavenly Burrata imported straight from Puglia, co-starring poached pear, wild arugula, pomegranate-balsamic reduction and sea salt trio.

Opening Act:  Made-for-sharing Antipasti are a perfect way to set the scene, or can easily take the leading role on their own. Tuna Crudo is beautifully presented like an artist’s palette, and then equally delights the mouth’s palate — especially with its Meyer lemon vinaigrette, dehydrated Kalamatas, and pickled cucumber accoutrements.  I’d put this up against any tuna sushi or sashimi in town.  Yellowtail Crudo is another all-star, enhanced with a refreshing passionfruit splash, crispy shallot, radish, micro cilantro, grapefruit, and herb oil.  Fresh Calamari is grilled, instantly distinguishing it from the generic and seemingly obligatory fried version appearing on nearly every south Florida menu. The tender tubes are then further enhanced with citrus-marinated artichoke hearts, capers, and roasted tomatoes. Arancini Generoso are an inspired twist on the standard arancini (rice balls) – made with Sweet pea risotto instead of rice, and filled with a creamy Quattro Formaggio (four cheese) explosion.  Fried Artichokes, Beef Carpaccio with truffle aioli, Steamed Mussels in garlic-Pernod cream sauce, Egg Yolk Raviolo, and Braised Brussels Sprouts with garlic-tahini dressing are amongst the other intriguing Antipasti ($9-$16).

Intermezzo: Fresh Salads are equally entertaining, like Chef Brian’s creative twist on the classic Wedge Salad, with crisp iceberg, gorgonzola dolce, marinated tomatoes, pancetta, and fresh avocado served in a hollowed-out lettuce head ‘bowl’ (rather than the usual wedge), topped with a wonderful buttermilk-green goddess dressing.  Other notable Salads include Tuscan Kale, and a wonderful Roasted Beets and Burrata Salad with blood orange vinaigrette.

            

Feature Attraction:  The true stars of the show, however, are the Entrees.  Pressed Chicken Mattone garners standing ovations, especially when teamed with grilled trumpet mushrooms and creamy polenta, heightened with a special appearance of blood orange gastrique.  Black Grouper Puttanesca is another contender for the “Best Entrée” award, seared to a perfect firm-yet-delicate texture in a classic Puttanesca treatment (San Marzano tomatoes, basil, Kalamata olives, and capers), with tender orzo and sautéed spinach playing supporting roles.  Steak fans can definitely get their beef game on, with Filet Mignon, NY Strip, Wagyu Flat Iron, Wagyu Skirt Steak, and a hearty Cowboy Cut Bone-in Ribeye.  All steaks are aged 21 or more days, and served with potatoes, veggies, and choice of sauce ($38 – $48).   Other notable entrees include Branzino in a golden raisin agro-dolce sauce; Pan Seared Scallops, Bone-In Pork Chop Milanese, Braised Angus Beef Short Rib, and Seared Atlantic Salmon (most around $25 – $30, including sides)

  

Pasta creations are just as exciting. Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi are gnocchi-like dumplings comprised of ricotta cheese and spinach in lieu of potato, resulting in a lighter pillowy texture. They’re delicious on their own – but Chef Brian’s treatment of roasted mushrooms, basil pesto, gorgonzola cream, and grana Padano, takes these ethereal pillows into the culinary stratosphere.  Other Pasta offerings ($18- $28) include old-school Pappardelle Bolognese; sumptuous Fiocchi (beggar’s purse pasta filled with caramelized pear) in a rich quattro formaggio (four-cheese) sauce; a spectacular Beet Agnolotti with mascarpone-potato filling, accentuated with poppy seeds, black winter truffle, and Parmesan; and a light vegetarian Whole Wheat Capellini Primavera.

               

Intermission:   Tanzy’s well-scripted wine list provides the perfect accompaniment to any meal, and GM Darren Schnagel is happy to help guide you to the best selection for your meal. Meanwhile, the bartenders shake up some killer specialty cocktails, like the Tanzy Mule with homemade ginger beer, and The Kiss (vodka-spiked lemon berry Arnold Palmer).  The Special Effects come into play with Tanzy’s Spiked Italian Ice, a cool and refreshing liquid nitrogen-frozen “sorbeto,” made to order in enticing flavors like limon, passion-ginger, blood orange-pomegranate, and even chocolate-espresso.  Mojitos Italiano are a kicked-up version of the classic Mojito, with the addition of Italian herbs (fresh-picked from Tanzy’s herb garden), offered in a range of flavors by the glass, or as a Punch Bowl to share (or if you’re really thirsty!).

 

Matinees: The Lunch menu offers downsized versions of many of the Dinner offerings, plus some creative sandwiches and salads, including the 10 ounce Angus beef Tanzy Burger served on a toasted rosemary focaccia. Also check out the fantastic Weekend Brunch, featuring an all-star cast including “Infamously Decadent” Stuffed French Toast, an incredible fresh-made Bread Basket, Steak & Eggs, Seafood Cobb Salad, Monkey Bread Babka, and endless Mimosas!

The Finale:  Tanzy’s “Artisanal Italian cuisine” continues, with a guest appearance of Tanzy’s new tricked-out Dessert Cart.  The custom-made beauty is wheeled tableside, to show off its gleaming display of Italian-inspired artisan desserts created by Executive Pastry Chef James Roselle. Chocoholics will go gaga over Chef James’ Chocolate Concord Cake, a towering compilation of chocolate mousse, chocolate meringue, chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream (wow!).  Red Infiniti Cake literally takes the cake, as raspberry red velvet cake, raspberry buttercream, farmers market fresh raspberries, raspberry sauce, and whipped cream takes ordinary red velvet cake to new heights. Floatanette is a light and refreshing marriage of lime meringue, blackberry sorbet, shaved Italian lemon ice, and lemon cream, crowned with a caramel tuile (light baked wafer). Other new Dessert Cart specialties include Coffee & Doughnuts (Vanilla-dusted doughnuts, mocha mousse, chocolate feuilletine, frozen coffee pebbles, and coffee caramel); Warm Olive Oil Cake with apricot glaze and blood orange cream; and an incredible Cookie Tower.  Most desserts are only $12 and big enough to share (although you won’t want to!) – so movie-goers can forget all about those Twizzlers and Raisinets!  Even if you don’t have dinner at Tanzy, it’s still a perfect after-movie or late night way to end the evening.

 

         

Two Thumbs Up:  This critic says: Tanzy delivers an all-star performance all around – one you’ll want to see again and again!

 Show Times:  Tanzy is located at the iPic Theater in Mizner Park (301 Plaza Real) in downtown Boca Raton, FL. Open for lunch and dinner daily, with extended hours on weekends plus Saturday & Sunday Brunch (11:00 – 3:00).  For more information, call (561) 922-6699; or visit: http://www.tanzyrestaurant.com

Roll The Credits: Tanzy is part of iPic Theaters, one of the nation’s fastest-growing luxury movie-going experiences, based right here in Boca Raton. For more information, visit visit www.iPic.com.
Chef Sherry Yard is the founder of Tuck Hospitality Group, the restaurant division of iPic Entertainment, and Chief Operating Officer of iPic® Entertainment.  She is a highly acclaimed celebrity chef who has garnered three James Beard Awards, plus a lifetime induction into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Chef Sherry has received wide recognition from countless publications, authored several cookbooks, and is a national television personality having appeared on shows like Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, Food Network Star, Top Chef, Cake Wars, and Christmas Cookie Challenge, amongst others (plus a new program coming soon).

TAGS:  Tanzy, iPic, Italian, Boca Raton, Mizner Park, Sherry Yard, Tuck Hospitality, Reviews, Food & Wine, Movies, Theater, Restaurant Placement Group, www.RestaurantPlacement.com; Brunch

 

About the Author

- KEN SPAHN is an award-winning Food Critic and Culinary Author, and a renowned restaurant & hospitality authority and consultant. He has authored over 800 food-related articles; appeared on numerous TV, radio, online, and print venues; served as Celebrity Judge at culinary competitions; taught Hospitality Management courses at local colleges; appeared as a guest speaker at industry events; consulted and recruited for hundreds of restaurant, hotel, and food service operators; and has been intricately involved in countless food, wine, culinary, and restaurant events. Mr. Spahn is widely recognized as one of Florida's most knowledgeable and well-connected restaurant professionals. Ken Spahn is also the Founder and President of RESTAURANT PLACEMENT GROUP, the exclusive recruiting, consulting, and placement firm for the Restaurant, hospitality, and food service industry. For more information, visit: https://www.restaurantplacement.com Boca Raton Tribune is honored to have Mr. Ken Spahn on its team!

Displaying 1 Comments
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  1. Brandi says:

    Wow,

    What a great description of this restaurant. I have been looking for a good Italian restaurant here in Boca. I have to try the Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi. This descriptions sounds luscious!

    Thanks Ken!

    Brandi

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