Critic’s choice: Tequesta’s temple of refined dishes

Krave, Tequesta. (Bill Ingram/ Palm Beach Post Staff)
Krave, Tequesta. (Bill Ingram/ Palm Beach Post Staff)

North county pick: KRAVE

Within a cozy, comfortable space, Chef Michael Rolchigo creates some of the best fine-dining dishes in north county. He pays close attention to detail, from appetizers to desserts, each course exquisite. It’s no wonder the former Jupiter Island Grill chef has brought in quite a following to this Tequesta space. His food is inspired and creative, but it’s also accessible to the mainstream palate.

041814 acc krave 02The eatery reopens with a new menu Thursday after a month of vacation. Among the highlights are a pistachio-crusted Colorado rack of lamb with goat cheese mashed potatoes, a king salmon with a kale-cashew crust and red quinoa and a bouillabaisse that’s swimming with fresh scallops, shrimp and lobster and served with an optional Pernod mister at the table.

Hours: Krave will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays (5 to 10 p.m.) until full season hours (Mondays through Saturdays) start in November. Reservations are a must.

Krave: 626 U.S. 1, Tequesta; 561-575-9222; KraveRestaurant.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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Critic’s restaurant pick: finding Japanese flavors in Palm Beach

Crudo power: yellowtail at Imoto. (All photos by Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Crudo power: yellowtail at Imoto. (All photos by Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Central county pick: IMOTO

Like Buccan, its wildly popular big sister next door, Imoto (which means “little sister” in Japanese) prizes quality ingredients, preparation and presentation above all else.

Nothing less is expected from chef/co-owner Clay Conley, who fashioned the bar and eatery from his experiences working and living in Japan. The local star chef, who just reopened Buccan after a massive, 11-day makeover, is set to open a third concept in mid-November, an Italian eatery in West Palm Beach named Grato.

Imoto brings izakaya flavor to Palm Beach.
Imoto brings izakaya flavor to Palm Beach.

At Imoto, the menu features crispy starters, crudo (raw) small plates, wood-fired items, rolls and raw fish in various forms. While you decide, try a uni and oyster shooter with a quail egg, sake and ponzu – it’s the umami-rich sip we call “the sea in a shot glass.”

A trio of oyster shooters at Imoto.
A trio of oyster shooters at Imoto.

Imoto at Buccan: 350 S. County Rd., Palm Beach; 561-833-5522; Facebook.com/ImotoPalmBeach

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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National Pancake Day is Saturday: 5 best pancakes in Palm Beach County

pancakes-1000

To celebrate National Pancake Day, here is our Breakfast Club president’s five favorite Palm Beach County flapjacks:

almond joy pancakes

  • Almond Joy Pancakes at Pete’s Place. The Greenacres landmark loads the batter with chocolate chips, then tops the finished ‘cakes with more choco chips, chocolate syrup, slivered almonds and coconuts. It’s like starting your day with a triple-layer cake.6774 Forest Hill Blvd., Greenacres, 561-641-6543

Funky Monkey Panky Doos

  • Funky Monkey Panky-Doos at The Nook. The friendly staff at this popular eatery challenges you to say “Panky-Doo” without smiling. For the Funky Monkey version, the cooks call upon the wonders of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and bananas. The result: Breakfast magic. 223 Center St., Jupiter, 561-745-7477

pancakes

  • Hazelnut UEPs at Juno Beach Cafe. Working from their 54-year-old recipe for Uncle Eddie’s Pancakes, the Juno Beach Cafe dolls up their trademark ‘cakes with Nutella, sliced strawberries, powdered sugar, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. How do you spell “yum”? “UEP.” 13967 U.S. 1, Juno Beach, 561-622-1533

Banana Pancakes

  • Banana Nut Cakes at Benny’s on the Beach. Pecans, almonds and walnuts hijack these flapjacks, which hide under even more chopped nuts and sliced bananas. All those nuts mean this plate contains at least one serving of protein, right? Nod in agreement, please. Lake Worth Pier, 10 S. Ocean Blvd., Lake Worth, 561-582-9001

blueberry pancakes

  • Blueberry Pancakes at The Green Owl. There are some dishes that linger in your mind years after you cleaned your plate. The Green Owl’s satisfying standard-issue pancakes are one of those. Nothing fancy. Just fantastic fare in a funky, 33-year-old diner. 330 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-272-7766.

 

 

 

Restaurant of the week: seafood with a water view in Delray Beach

The jumbo lump crab cake at Hudson restaurant in Delray Beach on June 2, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
The jumbo lump crab cake at Hudson, Delray Beach. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

South county pick: HUDSON DELRAY

There’s nothing like a sparkling water view to remind us we live where many others vacation. Add a menu of expertly prepared seafood dishes and you’ve got a destination spot.

Executive chef Paul Niedermann inside Hudson restaurant in Delray Beach on June 2, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Executive chef Paul Niedermann.

Hudson Delray presents a solidly American menu with notable flair, thanks to executive chef Paul Niedermann, a past winner of “Hell’s Kitchen.” His lemony, olive oil-poached shrimp hum with hints of jalapeño and his crab cake rendition is chock-full of crab meat.

Those delicacies come at a price – this is not an inexpensive eatery. But with a newly debuted outdoor bar, Hudson has rolled out drink specials to greet football season. They’ve got game day covered on their many TV screens and promise to pour you a free draft beer if you wear your team’s football jersey.

Happy hour is also a good time to check out the outdoor and indoor bars – it runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, serving half-price drinks.

Hudson, at Waterway East: 900 E. Atlantic Ave., #22, Delray Beach; 561-303-1343; HudsonDelray.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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“Brew 2 At The Zoo” welcomes beer drinkers and designated drivers alike

One of the breweries involved is Due South.
One of the breweries involved is Due South.

“Brew 2 At The Zoo,” the Palm Beach Zoo’s gift to fans of local craft beers, takes place on Saturday from 5:30-9 and offers more than 25 brews from Florida, about half of them from within a 50-mile radius. Not only does the event offer a $35 barrell-full of goodies for the drinking, including a collectible sampling mug and lanyard, but for $15, the responsible non-drinkers in your party can come in for free water and soft drinks while they enjoy live music and the knowledge that their drinking friends totally owe them.

Featured breweries includ Due South, Saltwater, Twisted Trunk, Accomplice, Barrel of Monks, Native, Inlet, Tequesta Brewing, Funky Buddha, Wynwood, Cigar City and more.

Get Tapped In! Visit The Palm Beach Post's page, TAPPED, for exclusive coverage of Palm Beach County's craft beer scene
Get Tapped In! Visit The Palm Beach Post’s page, TAPPED, for exclusive coverage of Palm Beach County’s craft beer scene

 

Mediterranean at midday: Apeiro Kitchen opens for lunch

Apeiro is located at the Delray Marketplace. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)
Apeiro is located at the Delray Marketplace. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)

Fans of Apeiro Kitchen & Bar can now indulge in some of their Mediterranean favorites at lunch time. The suburban Delray Beach eatery, co-owned by restaurateur Burt Rapoport, rolled out a new, nicely priced weekday lunch service on Thursday.

The lunch menu’s “10 for $10” focus features 10 of chef/co-owner David Blonsky’s most popular dishes, served in lunch portions. Among these favorites: curry chicken salad, crispy eggplant, veggie omelet, chicken pita with fries and salmon salad.

Also on the menu: small plates, salads, flatbreads and desserts.

Margherita flatbread at Apeiro in Delray Marketplace Tuesday, May 26, 2015. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Margherita flatbread is served at Apeiro, Delray Beach. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)

Hours: Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday during those hours.

Apeiro plans a second location next month in Midtown Miami.

Apeiro Kitchen & Bar: 14917 Lyons Rd., Delray Beach; 561-501-4443; ApeiroRestaurants.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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New on Clematis Street: The Dispensary diner and soda fountain

The Dispensary, West Palm Beach. (Contributed)
The Dispensary, West Palm Beach. (Contributed)

The Dispensary, a daylight eatery and soda fountain, has opened on Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. The retro-hip spot is located inside the Center City Pharmacy, where The Vegan Café briefly operated.

On the menu: hefty breakfast dishes, including four types of Eggs Benedict, shrimp and grits, huevos rancheros, chicken fried steak, smoked salmon on bagel, waffles and biscuits with gravy. Lunch offerings include chickpea soup, potato soup, tons of fresh salads, burgers and sandwiches (BLT, prime rib, cheddar-Gruyere grilled cheese), various sides and daily specials. Soda fountain favorites, like shakes and sundaes, are served as well.

“People are loving the food,” says co-owner Christian Wiebel, a local restaurant veteran who most recently worked at the now-closed Garage VV in Northwood.

He opened the new diner with partner Gregory Galgano on Sept. 1 as an intimate, 45-seat eatery.

“We want to add more tables, but we want to start small, with a chance to grow. For now, we want to keep it small,” says Wiebel.

Clematis Street's newest diner has outdoor seating. (Contributed)
Clematis Street’s newest diner has outdoor seating. (Contributed)

Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the full menu offered till 5 p.m. (From 5 to 7 p.m., soda fountain items, croissants and packaged salads are offered.) Open Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Sunday. Hours are expected to expand in season.

Online ordering is available.

The Dispensary: 416 Clematis St. (inside Center City Pharmacy), West Palm Beach; 561-990-2555; TheDispensaryWPB.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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National Cheeseburger Day: 15 best burgers in Palm Beach County

Buccan burger
Buccan’s delectable burgers.

Happy National Cheeseburger Day! As national holidays go, this is a pretty yummy one. To help you celebrate, our Food Editor, Liz Balmaseda, has listed 15 of her favorite burgers in the county. Here is the full list:

15 best burgers of Palm Beach County

Local Funky Buddha Brewery to collaborate on beer for national distribution

Funky Buddha Brewery co-owner KC Sentz, left, is in North Carolina with his brother, partner and brewmaster Ryan Sentz to collaborate on a beer with Sierra Nevada Brewing that will be distributed nationally. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Funky Buddha Brewery co-owner KC Sentz, left, is in North Carolina with his brother, partner and brewmaster Ryan Sentz to collaborate on a beer with Sierra Nevada Brewing that will be distributed nationally. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Ryan Sentz (Libby Volgyes/The Palm Beach Post)
Ryan Sentz (Libby Volgyes/The Palm Beach Post)

Funky Buddha Brewery, founded in Boca Raton and based in Oakland Park, was  asked by one of the country’s largest brewers, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., to collaborate on a special six-pack that will be distributed across the country next year.

For this Beer Camp Across America 2016, Sierra Nevada asked six breweries to each choose four other breweries to join them in Asheville, N.C., to create six different beers in collaboration with Sierra, the United States’ seventh largest brewer. Thirty breweries, plus Sierra, will be involved.

READ THE FULL STORY

Restaurant pick of the week: Daylight eatery dazzles Dixie Highway

Aioli chef/ co-owner Mike Hackman. (Contributed by Kali De Vries)
Aioli chef/ co-owner Mike Hackman. (Contributed by Kali De Vries)

Central county: AIOLI

It’s easy to understand why this small daylight eatery does a brisk take-out business: The food is fresh and delicious.

Chef/co-owner Michael Hackman’s daily special are posted online every morning, and they tell the story of an inspired local cook devoted to local ingredients. Hackman, who operates Aioli with his wife, Melanie, gives a luxurious touch to a strip-plaza, Dixie Highway lunch. Sample the light-yet-creamy custard of his daily quiche and you’ll know this is true.

A lush blueberry-molasses muffin is baked on premises and served at Aioli, a cafe and juice bar in West Palm Beach. (Contributed by Christine DiRocco)
A lush blueberry-molasses muffin is baked on premises and served at Aioli, a cafe and juice bar in West Palm Beach. (Contributed by Christine DiRocco)

In addition to breakfast and lunch offerings (hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads, fresh juices), the chef also prepares a “dinner to go” option daily for those who crave Aioli at night. Recent dinner options include whole roasted free range chicken, roasted tomatoes stuffed with Moroccan couscous, beef lasagna, roasted veggie lasagna and house-made veal cheek ravioli.

Aioli: 7434 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-366-7741; AioliWPB.com

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

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