Saquella Cafe is celebrating 13 years of business this year. While they have always been known for their amazing coffee and tasty pastries they have been offering much more for some time now. I had the opportunity to taste some of their amazing dinner menu items and was very impressed. Saquella has a European bakery feel with a menu that is Italian and Mediterranean inspired. They pride themselves on being a fry free kitchen and sourcing as many ingredients locally as they can; everything from fresh mozzarella cheese to local pita.
All images appearing in this post photographed by foodinfocus.photography
We started off our night with a Cran-tini with cranberry infused vodka which is made in house. The best part was the fresh cranberries that were super tart. If you are a cranberry lover this is the perfect drink, if not don’t’ worry they have a great wine list and a full bar.
First up was the Goat Cheese Croquette’s which was one of my favorite dishes on the menu. The goat cheese was super creamy and not too tangy and it was served with grilled baguette and a fig jam that was delicious.
Next up was the Medi’ Platter which was a whole plate of Mediterranean goodness. The platter had hummus, tahini, grilled veggies, pita, cauliflower with a lavender dressing that was to die for, and falafel. The falafel was some of the best I’ve had. And bonus is they are chick pea and quinoa based so they are gluten free, making this platter a great option for people with dietary restrictions.
The shakshuka was by far my favorite dish we tasted. Shakshuka is a traditional middle eastern dish of poached eggs in a rustic tomato sauce and at Saquella they top it with fresh local made mozzarella. I’m a big egg fan so I love the concept of this dish but the sauce was to die for! Plus it comes with fresh bread so that you can enjoy this dish in the traditional way by using the bread to eat it.
Saquella offers a full dinner menu with dinner specials as well. The quinoa crusted salmon came on top of a roasted beet goat cheese puree and then it was topped with a fennel radish salad.
Another dinner menu item was the Sunflower Seed Crusted Chicken with celery root puree, avocado, corn ammoglio and micro arugula. I loved the unique idea of encrusting with sunflower seeds and the presentation was beautiful!
The last main dish of the evening was the 6 hour Short Rib Asparagus Risotto. This was the dish that everyone at the table couldn’t stop talking about. The short ribs melted in your mouth the risotto was perfectly cooked.
With Saquella being a bake shop we of course finished out the night with a tasty array of desserts. The peach cobbler French toast was amazing (hint: this is actually on their brunch menu) and was topped with a bourbon salted caramel sauce and candied walnuts.
If the French toast wasn’t amazing enough, we also had the Medi’ Delight which was Petrini Vanilla Gelato (and if you’ve ever been to Saquella you know their gelato is amazing) on a kadaif nest with halva which is made from sesame paste. We also got a small sampling of some of their delicious pastries.
To cap off the night we had an X Rated Affogato which was the perfect ending. I’ve been to Saquella before specifically for their affogato (espresso or latte with gelato added in), the X rated version took that up a notch with some Marula cream liqueur for a perfect after dinner drink.
And just because it’s Saquella and their coffee is amazing, we finished the light off with a latte.
Saquella Café, Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop, is located in Royal Palm Plaza in Boca Raton and is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
Megan is a contributor for The South Florida Sage. She is a trained chef, registered dietitian and food photographer. She has a total love affair with food. You can find her on instagram @foodinfocusphoto and online at foodinfocus.photography. All images appearing in this post photographed by Megan Huard.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary tasting at Saquella Cafe.
Scratch Kitchen and Bakery
And yes… a full bar! Cran Martini
First I have to confess my love for this place upfront. We are both South Florida natives and moved to Boca in 2004. Royal Palm Plaza was struggling to attract quality tenants and we frequented the wine bar behind them, but as far as eateries went there was not much to choose from. Coffee? A wasteland. We enjoyed good coffee and wanted a breakfast and lunch place to hang our hat.
When Abraham Sekerel (Avi) opened Saquella in 2005 he partnered with an Italian roaster named Saquella, known throughout Italy for their fine coffee. This early partnership spawned a local phenomenon. Combining a snappy decor (when was the last time you saw chandeliers in a cafe?) that had class yet was unpretentious- easy to sit and enjoy what turned out to be the finest cappuccino in South Florida. To compliment the fine Italian coffee he added an in-house bakery and a made from scratch kitchen using the finest top quality ingredients. Soon the word was out. Breakfast and lunch would never be the same, offering healthy alternatives to fast food including vegan side dishes, and introducing South Florida to a European staple- a salad with every entree. I soon became hooked on the egg, meat and cheese Croissant with the salad side. Even as Mizner and Royal Palm Plaza filled with new restaurants of every description Saquella expanded to open Prosecco Cafe on PGA, and a third location The Grill at The Bridges in Delray Beach. These two newer versions emphasized dinner over breakfast and lunch and for the last two years Saquella’s original location has offered it as well.
A new dinner and brunch menu has been launched and Chef David Fogel wanted to have us sample his new creations. With a background from the University of Michigan and the Culinary Institute of America as well as private Chef duties and stints at Bocaire and Boca Woods his offerings will redefine the “Cafe” experience you may have imagined. These stack up with any fine dining experience locally with a fresh take on favorites and some surprises too. NOT TO BE MISSED!
SEE FOR YOURSELF
Lets start with Goat Cheese Croquettes sweetened with home made fig jam and honey. Chewy and delicious! Next comes a perennial favorite the Medi’ Platter . This is a dish that can both satisfy the Vegan and Omnivore and can be shared. Roasted fresh seasonal vegetables, hummus, falafel, tahini with wedges of warm pita bread. The Mediterranean Platter is a meal in itself. Not to heavy yet packed with flavor, something missing in many presentations locally. Yes, you can have flavor AND not be over seasoned. This is a testament to the careful selection of local fresh ingredients guided with a skilled hand.
Looking for something a little more Mediterranean? Don’t miss this:
Shakshuka….hearty Middle Eastern dish popular in Israel. A breakfast dish I had never heard of until this meal. Brought to the table in a traditional iron skillet and a shareable serving of their homemade crusty warm bread. Vitos Mozzarella and poached egg top this dish. The sauce would stand up to any Italian kitchen standards, roasted flavors throughout.
NOW for the new dinner specials
Once only off the the menu item this dish is now always available… Quinoa Crusted Salmon. Roasted beet and goat cheese puree with a fennel and radish turshi. You won’t find it better anywhere.
Avi chose a new chicken dish for our next plating. This was especially surprising. Sunflower seed chicken breast, celery root puree complimenting an Avocado & Corn Ammoglio topped with micro arugula. This dish was moist and full of flavor with the sunflower seeds adding an earthy tone.
For the meat lover.a new version of their 6 hour short rib with asparagus and Asiago risotto drizzled with a rich short rib reduction. This literally fell apart at the touch of my fork. The risotto added the necessary creamy element and the asparagus gave it a crunchy snap to the dish. Come hungry for this dish!
X Rated Affogato ..Pertini Gelato..Espresso…Marula Cream Liquor
Saquella makes full use of their bakery and Baker to produce a wide range of fresh, house made deserts. This is special which I implore you to leave room or order a sample to take home.
It’s a daunting task to offer a first class culinary experience for breakfast lunch AND dinner, however Avi, Chef Fogel do it expertly. Saquella is a pioneer in Boca Raton. The first to challenge Starbucks for coffee, Cappuccino and baked goods while quietly forming a culture of scratch cooking using local ingredients. Now that everyone is “artisanal” or “Farm to table” Saquella sets a new standard for inventive and full flavored dinning while keeping their casual relaxed dinning vibe. Bravo.–
Saquella Cafe 410 Via de Palmas Boca Raton FL 33432 phone 561-338-8840
As is our practice, no monetary compensation was received for this review. Our drinks and food were complimentary.
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Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant. No monetary compensation has been received for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
If you’ve spent any time in Downtown Boca, I’ll bet money that you’ve stopped into Saquella Cafe for breakfast — or maybe just for coffee or a taste of one of their delicious house made desserts. While Saquella might be best known for its early morning fare and delectable sweets, there’s a lot more behind the doors of this establishment, which opened in Boca in 2005 all because of one man’s belief that “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” When Owner Abraham Sekeral — Avi to his friends — couldn’t find quality cappuccino anywhere in the area, he decided to take matters upon himself and bring locals a little taste of what he discovered during his travels to Italy — and we are SO grateful that he did!
But that’s not all he brought to us Boca locals. An in-house bakery and made-from-scratch kitchen also came along with the package. I recently had the opportunity to try some of the options on Saquella’s dinner menu — a meal that is often overlooked at this gem of a restaurant. Saquella is a great spot for breakfast or lunch, but now that they have launched a new dinner menu spearheaded by Executive Chef David Fogel and his team, you might as well eat all three meals of the day here!
I was recently invited to check out the new dinner menu — and of course dabble in their desserts too! The night started off with the most perfect Mediterranean platter I have ever laid eyes on. It’s incredible, and basically “me on a plate,” as some of the other bloggers I was dining with pointed out. A gorgeous display of roasted cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, and red peppers surrounded by hummus, tomato salsa, falafel, tahini, and grilled pita. That alone would be good enough for me for dinner, and it has been! I’ve been back to Saquella since just for this dish.
As if I wasn’t overwhelmed with so many of my favorite things already, all of a sudden Goat Cheese Croquettes hit the table. We were served miniature versions of the regular-sized portion — and they were the perfect bite! Creamy goat cheese enveloped in a crispy coating, sitting on top of a sweet fig jam, all nestled perfectly on a piece of crostini. Goat cheese + fig is a heavenly combination. The sweetness of the figs balanced out the tanginess of the goat cheese, and the textures of each ingredient all played well together. Another appetizer I would totally go back again for…
We also had a chance to taste the Lobster Bisque, one of Saquella’s rotating soup options that change daily. It’s a thick, creamy soup filled with flavor from grilled fennel, corn, tomato, and tarragon — and a little brandy to give it extra oomph. I don’t normally order rich soups such as this, but it was pretty tasty and I loved how the tarragon really shone through in the cream-based broth.
Since I was totally smitten with the two main appetizers, I was pretty excited to see what we had in store for the entrees. Saquella’s menu emphasizes fresh top-quality ingredients sourced from local vendors — a movement I fully support and love about the farm-to-table restaurants we have here.
First up was the Salmon Burger made with wild-caught salmon, cilantro, and citrus, topped with a grilled artichoke-lime aioli, avocado, and arugula, on a challah bun — made IN HOUSE! I love me some good challah bread. I’m totally the one that rips off piece after piece after piece at any of our family holiday dinners. It’s the best! So back to the salmon burger. I’m all for meatless burgers — I think that’s a well known fact — and this one left a lasting impression. I loved the texture, and absolutely loved the grilled artichoke-lime aioli. The flavors were fantastic. The best part? You won’t find french fries as a side option at Saquella. Instead, the burger is served with the most perfectly roasted fingerling potatoes. I couldn’t stop eating them one by one, sneaking another when no one was looking. They had just the right amount of crispness to the skin, and the potato wasn’t the least bit mushy. You can have your french fries — I’ll take these fingerlings any day!
One of Saquella guests’ favorite speciality items is the Quinoa Crusted Salmon — although it isn’t technically on the menu, it’s always available and people always know to ask for it. It’s served with Toy Box tomatoes, a microgreen salad and an incredibly tasty side of braised kale. To be honest, I liked the kale more than the salmon!
The meat-eaters at the table got to try the braised short rib, served with horse-radish infused potato waffle, cabernet demi-glace, and horseradish cream, and the grilled garlic and herb marinated skin-on boneless crispy chicken, served with more of those yummy fingerling potatoes, sundried tomatoes, feta, balsamic glaze and a refreshing arugula salad to brighten everything up.
Dessert at Saquella is a meal in itself! There are so many choices of pastries, pies, cakes, cookies, and gelato — all made right in house. It’s impressive and beautiful to look at, and once you’ve tried any of their desserts, you’ll want to go back every night to try something new! We sampled the Strawberry Napoleon — layers of puff pastry, sweet custard cream, and fresh strawberries, the gluten-free Turtle Brownie Sundae, and the Key Lime Pie. All delicious, all devoured. My favorite? The brownie, in all its rich, dense, fudgy glory. Just as I kept going back for more of those fingerling potatoes, I found myself slicing my fork into this brownie sundae way more than I should have. Sometimes my inner chocoholic comes out — and when it does, she’s ravenous!
Avi wouldn’t let us leave without trying a cup of cappuccino. For those of you like myself, who don’t drink dairy milk, Saquella has almond milk! I was super excited about this and decided to get a cup of decaf since it was late. I have, however, gone back again for a regular cappuccino. It is that good — a good cup of coffee or cappuccino is hard to come by. When you find it, must you stick to it.
Saquella Cafe is located in Royal Plam Place at 410 Via de Palmas in Boca Raton.
Last Activity: Sep 28th, 2013
Saquella is a nice cafe that offers a very pleasant atmosphere for breakfast or lunch. While you won’t get a spacious booth like you may in your favorite diner; you’ll get a much more elegant environment and markedly better food.
The place has chandeliers and European pendant lighting to compliment its bright, colorful decor.
We came here for a late breakfast; they serve their full breakfast menu until noon, and you can also get some items all day. They don’t have many of your standard breakfast choices here; you can’t get sausage or cheddar cheese. We both opted for the All-American omelet, which comes with 2 items and a salad. We both twisted our heads at the salad with an omelet concept, and asked if we could get 3 items instead of the salad. The server said OK, so I ordered my omelet with spinach, swiss and onions. It also include bacon and hash browns.
When our server approached the table, it didn’t take long to see what was wrong.
They made the omelets properly, but gave us the salad also. Our server assured us that they didn’t charge us extra, so no harm done. The food was very good; the hash browns where more like a potato pancake and I could have done without it; but the bacon was lean and well done and the omelets had just enough ingredients.
The coffee here was also good, and at only $1.88 for a bottomless cup its not a bad deal.
I never photograph bathrooms, but even the bathroom at Saquella was impressive.
Overall, the Saquella Cafe is one of the nicer places to have breakfast in Boca Raton, with fair prices and good food.
Best reason to go: Give your kids a taste of Europe in a contemporary cafe with moderate prices. Bright red and blue chairs, high ceilings, big picture windows, bakery, coffee and gelato counters and a living room-style upstairs loft create an airy, spacious setting and relaxed vibe. Kids can run around if they get impatient, entertained by the birds that apparently fly in frequently and need assistance in flying out.
For the kids: The kids’ menu ($6.79 each) takes American favorites and gives them a European twist, including hot dog served in a baguette, grilled cheese on flatbread, a peanut butter and jelly croissant and grilled chicken salad. My kids opted for items on the adult menu: Mediterranean turkey wrap ($8.99), which overflowed with turkey, tomatoes and cucumbers, and an omelet ($7.99), which the chef made for us even though the menu said it was served only until noon. An ample green salad came on the same plate as each meal.
For the grown-ups: Tuscan baked goat cheese salad ($11.99) was a little soggy with parmesan and balsamic vinaigrette but the hot baked goat cheese on crostinis were a nice contrast to the greens, roasted red peppers and sunflower seeds. Angus sirloin roast beef bruschetta ($10.99) oozed with juicy homemade roast beef —almost like brisket —on garlic toast, accompanied by a colorful side salad. There are also homemade soups, quiche, panini, antipasti and fish dishes.
Service: Very slow, even though there were few other diners in the place. It took about half an hour for our meals to come. The server was clearly working hard as the only waitress on duty.
Dessert: My kids kept walking over to the dessert counter as we waited for the meal. We ordered chocolate lava cake ($3.95), chocolate chip volcano ($2.50) and rustic tart with pears and blueberries ($4.95). All were homemade and fresh. There were many cookies, biscotti and breads I would like to try next time, along with coffees and gelato.
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