Since opening a few months ago in Boca Raton, Corvina Seafood Grill has quickly become a favorite in the area.
The restaurant was created by industry veterans Dean Carras, Patrick Marino, David Wizenberg, and renowned chef Jeff Tunks. Tunks' seafood-focused menu leans into a mix of Latin American and Caribbean flavors. Corvina offers indoor and open-air seating for 235 guests and a private dining room that seats up to 32 guests.
Corvina already has a dedicated group of regulars, and after a recent visit I can see why. We arrived at the tail-end of happy hour and found le tout Boca gathered around the indoor-outdoor bar enjoying dishes from the special $9 happy hour menu (shrimp nachos, patatas brava, sushi rolls, oysters, and shrimp cocktail) and $6 cocktails, available at the bar from 4-6:30 p.m. We were seated on the comfy patio (as it appears most diners prefer), and settled back for a luxurious meal, with attentive service and terrific food and drink.
We sipped on cocktails, an enormous, but overly sweet Mai Tai, and a faux CosNo mocktail for my teetotaling honey. On the manager’s recommendation, we started with two of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. The Bar Harbor roll offers a warm take on sushi with gently heated lobster and blue crab atop an avocado roll, crowned with a dollop of agave-lime aioli. The sushi literally melts in your mouth. Tuna taquitos featured fresh tuna and guacamole livened up with a few pickled red onions and chile de arbol. They were crunchy and briny. My only complaint is that the serving is a bit sparse. At $13, they could have provided four tiny tacos instead of three, especially since many people often share an appetizer. We also split an excellent Caesar salad with crunchy sourdough croutons.
Choosing an entrée proved to be difficult. There were so many scrumptious dishes: prawns Diablo served with a Venezuelan sweet corn and cheese cachapa (pancake), red snapper Veracruzana, Brazilian-inspired moqueca seafood stew with prawns, lobster, mussels, and non-seafood dishes, such as brick-pressed Jamaican jerk chicken, beef tenderloin, and NY strip. In the end, we again chose two dishes that are among the most popular menu items. Crab-crusted flounder atop a bed of creamy lobster and pea risotto, and a perfectly fileted and deboned grilled branzino, simply prepared with herbs and lemon.
Desserts consisted of a creamy citrus cheesecake with coconut sorbet (which was so light in flavor it was nearly tasteless) and a rich and decadent chocolate bombe. Corvina certainly deserves its loyal following. If I lived in Boca, I’d be stopping by for happy hour almost daily.
Corvina Seafood Grill
110 Plaza Real S., Boca Raton
If you aren’t in the Boca area and are looking for some good seafood, try one of these Fort Lauderdale spots:
Wild Sea Las Olas
620 E. Las Olas
Rendezvous Bar & Grill
2525 Marina Bay Dr. W.
G&B Oyster Bar
429 Seabreeze Blvd.
1305 SE 17th St
New and Familiar Faces in New Spaces
Look for a Greek restaurant from Montreal-based restaurateur Ted Dranias to open in the space formerly occupied by Mod Lounge next to the Gateway Theater. Revival of “Never on Sunday” anyone? Baires Grill will open a fifth location on Las Olas in the space formerly home to Talento Restaurant. The Argentinean steakhouse hopes to open by mid-February. Peter Tsialiamanis plans to open a second location of his European-style restaurant-bakery, Giorgio’s Bakery & Bistro in the old Whale’s Bar & Grill on Galt Ocean Mile. Expect Greek and American classics similar to his Hollywood spot, popular since 1996; pizzas, sandwiches, baguettes baked on-site, and mouthwatering entrees such as moussaka and baby back ribs. Rob Scruby plans to open a second Rob’s Family BBQ later this month inside Plantation’s Vizcaya Square.