GourmetPhile, which opened in October, is a great addition to Boca Raton’s already impressive array of restaurants in Royal Palm Place. Founders Blair and Zhanna Deavell previously had careers in software and teaching, respectively, but they’ve always had a love for gourmet food, and it shows here.
GourmetPhile aims to be an eatery that doesn’t serve a full-course meal; rather, they want patrons to “munch, drink and relax.” Although the store itself isn’t large, the owners use every inch of that space to recreate the vibe of an Italian market. With products such as Petrossian salmon and caviar, GourmetPhile provides a truly “gourmet” alternative to big chains stores like Publix or Whole Foods.
After we were seated in an intimate room with about five sets of tables and chairs, we started off with a plate of smoked salmon (from gourmet food carrier Petrossian) with crème fraiche garnished with organic micro chives, along with a salad of mixed organic greens and pickled fennel. The crème fraiche went beautifully with the salmon and felt like a cloud in my mouth. Although fennel tends to have a strong licorice taste, this pickled version pleasantly tasted nothing like that. It gave the salad a refreshing crunch, and it made me more open-minded about what fennel could be.
Smoked salmon with crème fraiche and organic microchives
Mixed green salad with pickled fennel
I was a little worried about tasting the cognac duck liver paté (any food with a strange body part in its title puts me on edge), but it turned out to be smooth and delicious. The light sweetness of the candied Turkish figs on top melded well with the savory paté. A side of Amarena cherries offered a rich, more intense sweet that complimented the overall plate.
Cognac duck liver paté topped with candied Turkish figs
The cheese plate consisted of double crème Cremont brie with French heather honey, speck and smashed salami, Moliterno Tartufo pecorino with truffles, and Fromager D’Affinois Blue sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. There’s no such thing as too much truffle, and the Moliterno was packed with a delicious layer of it right in the middle. The blue was my favorite of the cheese plate; it was the creamiest I’ve had yet.
Cheese plate (from left to right): double creme Cremont brie with French heather honey, speck and smashed salami, Moliterno Tartufo pecorino with truffles
We tried the Salty Caramel flavor of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, a chain based out of Columbus, Ohio, along with chocolate and raspberry macarons. The ice cream exploded with a real caramel flavor that I haven’t tasted anywhere else.
Macarons with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Salty Caramel
The rich and delicious food at GourmetPhile left me feeling satisfied but not stuffed, and it certainly expanded my palate. If you’re looking to make a cheese plate this holiday that your guests will love this holiday season, look no further than this charming place in Boca Raton. Like them on Facebook, follow on Instagram and tweet them on Twitter!
Olivia Feldman is a contributor for The South Florida Sage. Her favorite foods are anything that involves pasta and her mom’s cooking. When she’s not eating and drinking her way through South Florida, you can find her going to concerts, planning her next travel destination, and hosting her biweekly music show, “Back in Our Minds,” on Jolt Radio. You also can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @oliviafelds All images appearing in this post photographed by Olivia.
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