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Delray Beach
Saturday, June 15, 2024


European Style Dining In The Heart Of Delray Beach

It’s summertime and the living is easy, the traffic is manageable and dining out is a simple pleasure.

That is why Caffe Luna Rosa, the beloved seaside Italian restaurant, is bringing back their fanciful Wine Dinners. The four-course explosion of flavors begins with a wine pairing for each dish.

If you’ve been to Caffe Luna Rosa you know the aristocracy of its presence and the laid-back countenance of its surroundings. Add that to the wonderful food, mahogany interior and excellent service and you have an upbeat yet soothing place that caters to your highest culinary instincts.

The Summer Wine Dinners are so special that some guests make this special pilgrimage to all four of them. The ladies of Polo Trace are a perfect example. “We always have a great time at the wine dinners and attend all of them. The food is terrific and they treat us like queens,” said Lynda.

Lynda isn’t the only one who savored the flavors and delved into the first course of Braised Short Rib Risotto with zeal. Chef Ernie brought his A-game once again and created a tasty, yet flavor-filled Angus Short rib Risotto, marinated for six hours and topped with crispy homemade onion rings.

Served with a Chianti Classico “Poggio Bonelli” it was a revelatory moment for foodies. Rarely has this dish tasted so flavorful yet light at the same time.

The second course had an even lighter touch – and one that would make your cardiologist rejoice. It was a Baby Kale Salad with spiced walnuts, caramelized sweet Vidalia onions and citrus vinaigrette. The appetizer-sized dish was served with an Italian white wine.
There was also a perfectly choreographed assortment of dishes that came exactly on cue with different paired wines (red and white). Lump Crab Stuffed Lemon Sole in a Citrus beurre blanc sauce was riveting, as was the dessert that could win an academy award from those who honor the sweeter side of life. The Home-made Peanut Butter Pie with buttered graham cracker crust and rich chocolate ganache was wickedly delicious.

Dreams are often made of perfect meals. And this was one of them. The good news is that there are four more Caffe Luna Rosa Wine Dinners for you to attend.

They are on August 1st, August 22nd, September 12th, October 3rd and 24th and November 14th.

For those who know the backstory of Caffe Luna Rosa you know that this homage to great Italian food was the first of its kind in Del-ray Beach. Bordered by the breathless beauty of the ocean, it was originally a sandwich and gelato shop.

Owner Fran Marincola’s father was in the food business and taught his son that quality ingredients were important when running a fine restaurant. So that’s what he did. He also knew that an outdoor café with a view of the ocean would be irresistible to guests. He was right. He was also right to make the four most important people partners – Chef Ernie, Bonnie Beer, Marvin Barrera and Aaron Hallyburton. The team has an eye for perfection with fresh food as their legacy.

The beef dishes are grass-fed and the chicken and veal are hormone and steroid free. The pasta is homemade and the seafood is fresh with sauces made with fresh ingredients and natural juices.

It’s part and parcel of Chef Ernie’s grand ability to create masterpieces out of ordinary ingredients. He apprenticed at age 16 and never looked back. Chef Ernie has been cooking up stellar meals for 38 years, but paid his dues in kitchens of all varieties. His passion for culinary greatness is legendary (he cooked for VIPs at the Olym-pics and celebrities in South Hampton) and his ability to woo critics and guests has garnered the restaurant accolades and awards.

That is the reason that Paul and Lisa Arcella and their neighbors Ian and Daniel made the trek from Lighthouse Point to Caffe Luna Rosa for the first summer Wine Dinner. “We brag about this place all the time,” said Daniel. “All the courses were amazing and the Peanut Butter Pie was ridiculously good. I love this place.”

The other bright spot at this Italian seaside hot spot is their Brunch. Hailed by locals (and tourists) for its authenticity and scrumptious offerings, the Caffe Luna brunch is a celebrated tradition. The Maine Lobster Eggs Benedict with homemade Hollandaise sauce remains a fan favorite, as well as their hefty hand-cut French Toast with organic warm maple syrup. There are homemade Belgium waffles with strawberries, blueberries or bananas, French toast and more. Add that to the natural blaze of the sun and surf and you’ll be looking for your boarding pass when you leave.

Caffe Luna Rosa offers alfresco seating seven days a week, an elevated open-air dining room with authentic artwork (some from Chef Ernie) and an intimate insular embrace. Their team of Italian chefs also use the finest ingredients available to prepare their signature dishes.

The professional wait staff offers customer-centric service and their wine list is carefully curated. It’s also a calming respite from the outer chaos of life.

Caffe Luna Rosa is open seven days a week and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Their bar up front is a gathering place to hunker down and stop the spin of earthly activity. You can also sit outside and dine alfresco, or sit inside with open-air walls that welcome in the breeze and the sweet salt air.

If life should be punctuated by fine wine, friends and freshly prepared food, then Caffe Luna Rosa is the recipe for world peace.

Buon appetite!

34 South Ocean Blvd.

Valet parking available

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