Ovenella in Boca Raton: Wood-Fired Oven Pizzas and Lots of Cheese and Garlic
The exterior of Ovenella on Federal Highway in Boca Raton.
All photos, Tricia Woolfenden
The not-so-secret ingredient at Ovenella -- an Italian restaurant that focuses on traditional entrees and pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven -- is garlic. The aromatic bulb appeared in spades during a recent dinner at the Boca Raton joint. It arrived as whole, roasted cloves with the complimentary bread basket (which appeared after the presentation of the appetizer) and absolutely dominated the wood-oven-roasted beet salad ($9) rendering nearly every other flavor on the dish (gorgonzola cheese, arugula, gorgeous red and golden beets) untraceable.
One of the daily specials at Ovenella.
The cheese is piled high on the marghertia pizza.
A nice spot to go when it's not 90 degrees.
Our servers -- a waiter and a runner -- were fairly prompt most of the time but an awkwardness seemed to prevail throughout the meal. When it was discovered that my fiance's chosen draft of Stone IPA was out, our waiter offered Brooklyn Lager as a stand-in, trailing off as he described it as "very hoppy" (it's not). Upon delivery, however, he did offer to bring something else -- on the house -- if the brew wasn't to his liking. When a runner delivered our appetizer to the table, he seemed to tense up, telling us; "It's very...just don't touch it," referring to the hot dish. And when it was time for the main course we sat for a few minutes until my fiance could flag down another staff member to get new silverware and clean plates. Little missteps, but worth noting.
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