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Excellent Italian Restaurant in Boynton Beach

  • c

The post below is an extract from my much longer one on multiple restaurants we ate in during our recent stay in Lake Worth, but we found it so good that I post it separately for those who want a good recommendation but don't want to read all of my longer post.

We highly recommend you try:

TENTAZIONE RISTORANTE 1412 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach (southwest corner of Congress and Boynton Beach Boulevard, a few doors to the right of the Publix market).
What a great find! It’s a relatively small space (35-40 seats maybe) but the food is outstanding. We tried pastas only on first visit: wife had Fagottini (small purses of pasta filled with pear and cheese, in a cream sauce flavored with pancetta, honey, almonds and rosemary); I had Linguine con Vongole.
The cheese/pear purses were delicious and full of flavors. We go frequently to Rome and Florence Italy and this is the type of dish many people post about eating there. What a delight to find it in Boynton Beach! As for the also delicious linguine with clams, that was loaded with chopped clams in wine and garlic sauce and about 15 or so fresh manila clams in shell. Wine prices by the glass were very reasonable and went well with both dishes. All tables are provided with a delicious ciabatta bread from a local bakery served warm and crunchy.
We returned a week later and tried a nightly special: veal-stuffed ravioli in a wine reduction with sun-dried tomatoes and other lovely ingredients. This time, I had the fagottini and it was as good as the first time we tried it. For a main course, we shared a plate of pan-seared mahi-mahi topped with shrimp, lobster meat, and another wine reduction sauce different from that used in the ravioli dish. The fish was perfectly cooked and all ingredients worked well together.
This is a really good Italian restaurant using well-made pastas and creating great matches between sauces and other ingredients - worth a visit for those who enjoy Northern Italian dishes, not “red sauce” plates. Service is also very personal and helpful.

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  1. Hmm...this is v close to where I live. I might just have to try it out 1 of these days...

    1. I've been to Tentazione many times and it is truly a find. One of the best restos in the area.

      1. Will be taking the folks there on Sunday night if all goes according to plan. Will report back.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Alfred G

            On our first visit, we did not make a reservation, but we were properly served nonetheless and were treated very well. I might suggest reservations on weekend nights, but it's not a must. On the other hand, if they know how many to expect, they can have more on hand - it's not a huge place.

        1. CJT You were a tremendous help to me in finding great chow when I went to Rome two years ago. Thank You. For a person with your experience in Italy to so highly praise an Italian restaurant is significant to me and though I only get to Florida once or twice a year it is the Delray Boca area. I will not miss this place next trip. I will be sure to tell my family that live in the area.

          5 Replies
          1. re: stuartlafonda

            Thanks for the compliment. I would recommend Tentazione Ristorante as being in the class of good Roman ristoranti. Tell your family to try it and they will not be disappointed. Also tell them to try Catfish Dewey's in Oakland Park if they like good seafood at very reasonable prices - go there yourself when you return.

            1. re: CJT

              Hey BAFU! Did you and your folks ever make it to Tentazione this past weekend for dinner? If so, how about your thoughts on the place?

              1. re: CJT

                I never did make it :( BUT I am going tonight with my Dad. I will report back and let you know my thoughts.

                1. re: BAFU

                  Even though you will be only 2 people, I suggest you call to reserve a table. I's not a big place so you'll lower your wait time if any. But it helps them to gauge how much food to prepare as well. Phone is 561-731-2627. When you go, tell Juan Vega the people from Chicago recommended Tentatzione on Chowhound.

                  1. re: CJT

                    No res needed, we walked in at 825 and there were plenty of tables available. My impressions (and remember, these are my opinions): they still need to iron out a few kinks. Service seems to be either excellent or gone when you need it most: we had to ask for water, wine & bread about 3 times before they finally showed up. The menu is a bit sparse (it's a small kitchen after all)- not that much in terms of apps, salads are few, entrees are quite limited and the wine list is short, but affordable.

                    My Dad had the tortellini soup, which was OK apart from the fact that the soup tasted of nothing. As in no flavor at all. I had the pasta fagioli which was quite good. Dad then had the saltimbocca which he pronounced quite good, even though it had a brown sauce...not normally seen on saltimbocca. I had the veal scallopini with mushrooms & truffle sauce, actually very good indeed. Dessert was a shared creme brulee (when oh WHEN are chefs going to realize that while it's "acceptable" for the actual creme to be cold, at least have the decency to broil or otherwise caramelize the top???). 3 glasses of wine to boot and it was an enjoyable meal.

                    There was a 7-top that was occupying most of the staff's time it seems; they were doing a wine tasting dinner and obv management was taking good care of them. As they should, but remember there are others in your establishment who need service too. Our waitress was charming, sweet and fun- she made up for the delays.

                    All in all, a decent place to eat well in Boynton (didn't this place used to be a Vietnamese resto a few years ago?). I would recommend it, save for the few lapses in service and a somewhat slow kitchen. In fairness, it did say on the menu that all dishes were cooked to order and would take some time to prepare correctly. Thanks for the recommendation.

          2. Karen and I were looking for a meatless meal on Wednesday night and decided on Italian which gave us the opportunity to try out Tentazione Ristorante. We arrived late so we passed on the appetizers but the bread with olive oil and tapenade made a nice starter.

            Karen ordered the Linguine con Vongole and I had the Fruitti di Mare. I was very happy with my choice as all of the seafood was cooked perfectly and the marinara sauce was not too heavy for the clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, and scallops. Sometimes this dish (and other mixed seafood dishes like Zuppa di Pesce) can be a problem with some items overcooked but this was really done nicely.

            Karen’s Linguine con Vongole was the star of the evening. Lots of clams in the shell cooked just right so they retained their moist, briny goodness along with a mound of chopped clams and pasta in a delicious white wine sauce. This dish requires extra bread to get the last drop of sauce.

            The service was attentive and friendly and we had an opportunity to talk with the owner for a while at the end of our meal. He even recommended another Italian restaurant closer to us in Boca (Ferraro’s in West Boca, Chef Tulio’s new restaurant). Prices were very good. This is a place worth driving to from Boca.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RickL

              Thanks to BAFU and RickL for reporting on their experiences at Tentazione. On first visit, I also had the linguine con vongole and found it excellent as you did. Might I recommend to both of you that on another visit there you try the Fagottini they offer -- another outstandng dish.