Aggravated Battery at Town Center's Blue Martini

Just short of his 26th birthday (which is today), Hugo Bretas was arrested for two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. From court and police records it appears that this incident occurred at the Blue Martini lounge.

Martinis & champagne accompany a global tapas menu, live music & daily specials at this upscale bar.

Mr. Bretas was mentioned in a 2008 article about a fatal shooting, though he does not appear to have been involved in that crime.
Court records show that there were multiple victims now protected by a court order:
We think Bretas is an Olympic Heights graduate but are unable to confirm this.

Bistro N in Nordstrom at Town Center: Review

We recently had a great lunch at Bistro N, a restaurant inside the Nordstrom store at Town Center Mall. The restaurant entrance (above) is on the second floor on one side of the shopping area.
Inside it’s spacious and they fill the tables up with customers.
We started with the Bleu Cheese and Pear Salad. It was excellent, with a variety of ingredients that all had distinct flavors with none overpowering the others. The candied pecans did stand out a bit.
Please note that I did not have my good camera with me so the pictures do not do the food justice.
For entrees one of us had the Chicken with Angel Hair. This was also excellent and came with plum tomato, mushroom and spinach, along with two separate sauces. The tomato sauce was good, but the “rosemary butter” sauce was wonderful. The chicken itself was cooked perfectly and very tender.
For the other entree we had the Crab Stack, which is actually on the salad menu. It was colorful and came with mango, avocado, and a cilantro lime vinaigrette. While pretty, it was not as flavorful as we expected. Somehow I think it would have been better if drizzled with olive oil.
We also had a side of mushroom parmesan risotto. We liked it very much.
We tried two desserts. The Bread Pudding was splendid, warm and tasty.
We also had a Crème brûlée with lemon curd. The lemon curd was good but not our thing, so we pushed most of it to the side. The rest of it was delightful. Notably the “pudding” underneath was slightly less firm than we expected, but that was not a bad thing in this dish.
We should add that there is a kids menu. It’s only $4.95 and includes a drink.
If we have a criticism, it’s a bit noisy due to the acoustics. So if you’re looking for a quiet meal this might not be the best spot. But other than that we highly recommend it and will be back.
Please note that we were invited by the restaurant and our meal was on the house. Because of that we ordered more than usual for lunch.

Review: Sicilian Oven on St. Andrews

We previously reported in April that a Sicilian Oven would open in Boca Village Square on St. Andrews near Town Center mall. We followed up in June when we reviewed Aladdin’s Eatery next door, and got some interior shots.
Sicilian Oven opened a few weeks ago and we got a chance to stop by today and have lunch. We liked it. It’s on the backside of the plaza, facing Town Center:

It’s not huge inside but there’s enough room and it’s attractive.
We started with an extra-cost Tuscan bread. It was about $3. We thought it was good, with oil and various herbs, but we’re not sure we’d order it again for only two of us. It’s filling and makes more sense for a party of four.
Lunch seems like a bargain. The lunch dishes are mostly $8 or $9, and come with a salad. One of us has the regular side salad, which was nice and came with chick peas. The other got the Sicilian side which cost a few bucks extra and had a lot of extras in it, including candied walnuts and olives.
For entrees we had chicken parm and lasagna, which were both good.
The chicken parm was pretty good, but not spectacular. The lasagna was better. Here’s another shot of the insides:
Altogether it was a lot of food, and we took more than half of the lasagna home.
One of the hazards of restaurant reviewing is they sometimes figure out who we are. We were punished with a free carrot cake a la mode. It’s not my dessert of choice, but it was delicious.
We’ve heard the pizza is good. They have a wood-fired oven. But of course, the world of pizza and Italian food is competitive. Maggiano’s is practically next door, for example.
For those who live west of Lyons Road, there are a lot of choices that are closer. Steve’s Wood-Fired Pizza is in Boca Lyons Plaza, with Stallone’s on the north side of Glades, Davito’s in Boca Greens, Villa Rosano on Clint Moore, Meatball Room, and so on.
But if you’re going to Town Center or thereabouts, it might be worth it to stop by Sicilian Oven for lunch or dinner. It’s good food at a good price.
Update: We went back and tried the pizza. I thought the sauce was a little too sweet but the other five in our party like it.

Mother-Daughter Felony Shoplifting?

Two women were arrested Saturday night accused of felony shoplifting at or near the Town Center Mall. The reported address of the incident fits with Macy’s.
Per the Sheriff’s blotter, Valbuena Greeny (64) and Talavera Grenny (45) were charged with the same offenses and booked one minute apart. Both have the same reported address off Del Prado Circle north of Palmetto Park Road. The Boca Police blotter says the two “were arrested for shoplifting and possession of a countermeasure device after they stole $900.40 worth of clothing.”
Living at the same address with ages 19 years apart suggests they may be mother and daughter, or perhaps some other family relationship. They were released on bond early Sunday morning.
Their cases are assigned to different judges but both are scheduled for the state to file charges by October 2nd. We see no criminal history for either of them.

Town Center Nightie Arrest – Questions

moralesThe Sun-Sentinel has an interesting story about an arrest in one of the parking garages in Town Center. The salacious details are that the woman is supposedly wearing lingerie and sleeping in her car. When confronted by police she eventually tries to drive off and they accuse her of aggravated assault.
I looked at the facts as described in the article and have some questions and thoughts. Here’s some excerpts from the article:

Officers found Suzanne Morales, 45, sleeping in the car. They knocked on the car window …. Morales woke up and locked her car doors. Officers asked her to step outside the car, but she refused ….
Police also said they could smell alcohol and suspected she might be drunk ….
They told Morales if she continued to refuse, they would knock out her window.

As a defense lawyer it looks like the police violated her rights.
First of all, it is not illegal to sleep in your car.From the facts in the article, she had every right to lock herself in the car.
Second, they smelled alcohol from outside the car? With the windows closed? I’m sorry folks, but I’m a defense lawyer and that sounds like a routine police lie.
And even if it were true, it’s not illegal to be drunk in your car when you’re parked.
Third, they threatened to knock out her window? That sounds like excessive force and there’s a federal case on it – Deville v. Marcantel.

Officers may consider a suspect’s refusal to comply with instructions during a traffic stop in assessing whether physical force is needed to effectuate the suspect’s compliance. … However, officers must assess not only the need for force, but also “the relationship between the need and the amount of force used.” …
Taking the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, a jury could reasonably find that the degree of force the officers used in this case was not justifiable under the circumstances. A reasonable jury could infer from Deville’s deposition testimony that Marcantel engaged in very little, if any, negotiation with her — and find that he instead quickly resorted to breaking her driver’s side window and dragging her out of the vehicle.

Morales is actually in a better position than Deville was. Deville had been stopped for a traffic violation. Morales had done nothing wrong – and note that she is not charged with any offense for what happened before the police threatened her.
In our opinion, based on the facts we’ve read, the case should be dismissed and Boca PD needs to take a look at how they handled this incident.
We followed up with Sun-Sentinel writer Kate Jacobson on Twitter. She wrote back to us:
KJ: She was on private property & manager complained. Surprised she didn’t get a trespass charge but owner just wanted her out.
WBN: Not trespassing if she wasn’t told to leave.
KJ: According to the [probable cause report] that’s what the cops were there to do. Then she tried to run one of them over, allegedly.
But that’s not what they did. They didn’t order her to leave the property, and it’s not clear that they would even have the authority to make such an order. It’s not their property. State law says they have authority only if they have written authorization from the right entity. That’s the requirement under Florida’s trespassing statute, § 810.08(3).