In 1954, Gino's Italian Market's founder, Anthony Paparella, moved from the teeming fisheries of Bari to Hoboken, New Jersey, where he married a fellow Italian and worked as a builder for nearly 20 years. After retiring to South Florida in '73, Paparella brought a taste of his homeland stateside by opening a bustling bazaar filled with fresh produce, succulent meats, and sweet desserts.
The market's commitment to tradition and family can be found in all of its business practices, from its catered feasts of traditional baked pastas and rib roasts, to e-mail correspondences from the resident Nonna that contain expert advice on party planning, recipes, and optimal angles for cheek-pinching. Shoppers consult Nonna Anna and handy recipe guides to concoct rich sauces and tasty entrees from the store's bountiful selection of cheese, wine, ripe tomatoes, and imported Italian goods.
In addition to rounding out dinner plates with house-made prosciutto bread, fresh chicken, and juicy cuts of beef, Gino's graces weddings, desserts, and banquets with custom cakes and pastries.
Though Abdaliz has graced Cake Whimsy's frosted tops with life-size fondant Mardi Gras masks and delicate swirls of gold-flecked frosting, the seasoned pastry chef doesn’t want her cakes’ exteriors to be their most memorable asset. She recruits fresh ingredients to create her made-to-order collection of baked treats: the juice of ripe limes enlivens her key-lime pie—which has been featured on the Food Network's Follow That Food—and rich cream-cheese frosting tops her carrot cake. Additionally, Abdaliz happily collaborates with customers to create new flavor combinations and designs treats for special events, such as weddings, birthdays, or jury-duty-selection-pool reunions.
Dawn Michelle Simon](http://gr.pn/GRjH5P), a registered dietician, was tired of looking for grain-free baked goods for her clients with dietary restrictions. Rather than poring over the limited options available in stores, she developed her own line of baked goods, drawing upon organic ingredients to forge loaves and confections free of gluten, grain, and casein—a milk protein. She continually tinkers with new recipes, striving to craft products so that her clients can continue to consume the treats they enjoy or recover blackmail photos from a duck with dietary restrictions. Once off-limits, specially crafted breads such as chocolate-chip loaves and hamburger and hotdog buns arrive grain-free with accompanying batches of cupcakes and muffins.
At Rice Paradise, the gluten- and preservative-free signature rice cakes are culled from a European recipe and are all homemade. The culinary crew tops each batch with fresh fruit or nuts, and sticky-sweet sauce, such as chocolate or strawberry. They also craft rice pudding from scratch in flavors such as tiramisu and chocolate chip cookie dough. To give guests a true break from their daily grind, the eatery's walls are splashed with ocean blue and lined with seashells and starfish, and the countertops are fronted with bamboo and topped with tropical plants.
The SweetTooth Soiree spotlights the top bakeries, candy-makers, and dessert experts in South Florida. Vendors dish out samples of their signature sweets, including gooey brownies, artfully frosted cakes, and rainbow-colored candy. The entertainment ranges from DJ-spun tunes to dessert-making demos, which teach visitors to create confections more sophisticated than a mud pie covered in edible gold leaf.
For those who have never been to a self-serve fro-yo place, Planet Yogurt is a veritable dessert buffet for the senses. Heading toward the back of the airy and immaculate space, visitors can find a lineup of machines that dispense ribbons of frozen yogurt into awaiting cups. After filling cups with a single flavor or combination, head to the toppings bar to deck out desserts with fresh fruit or crushed-up candy bars.