A weekly look back at some of our recommended dining experiences:
Chef Clay Carnes, popular among Wellington’s equestrian set, is a passionate pragmatist when it comes to his cuisine: He believes in well-executed, no-nonsense food.
Armed with locally grown produce, first-rate meats and other quality ingredients, Carnes delivers a menu that’s diverse enough to keep a foodie interested (with pops of Asian, Latin and Mediterranean flavors) and classic enough to keep more mainstream diners coming back to The Grille Fashion Cuisine in Wellington.
Carnes’ meat dishes are particularly strong. Among the entrée list we spotted a dish that promised to fix our craving for comfort food: the free-range roasted chicken with pesto. And it did. Dessert does not disappoint, either. Then again, how could homemade gelato that’s crafted of fresh, sometimes local ingredients disappoint?
Like the rest of The Grille’s offerings, it is fresh, earnestly prepared and delicious.
This is the stylish café that put plant-based cuisine on the map in North county. But Chris Slawson’s eatery and juice bar is more than a simple stop for sustenance. It’s a gathering place, a community hub where the fit and fabulous come to slurp freshly made almond milk, throw back nutritional shooters, devour statuesque salads and sinful vegan pizza. And these faithful are more than willing to pay good money for top-quality grub. The place is more than a restaurant – it is a statement of good health and vital business acumen on PGA Boulevard corridor.
The Commodores once sang about being easy like Sunday morning, and there are fewer places easier to spend lots of local time and money on a Sunday morning than Palm Beach Gardens’ The Cooper. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the farm-to-table favorite offers a dizzying collection of special treats — the Chorizo and Manchego-stuffed dates are a plump, sweet dash of heaven, and the lemon ricotta pancakes are dreamy. And from hipsters extending their drinking to families foraging for sustenance, it’s primo people-watching.
Good grub-loving locals shouldn’t be too surprised to learn two Palm Beach County restaurants made OpenTable’s list for “100 Hottest Restaurants in America for 2016.”
In fact, a few who appreciate the hotness of our local restaurant scene might ask: just two?
The online dining reservations service selected its top 100 from five million-plus reviews posted by verified diners across the country. Those reviews focused on some 20,000 restaurants, including those that are “hip, new,” that are “hot spots,” or boast celebrity chefs and “avant-garde restaurateurs.” The 100 restaurants are not ranked.
Buccan is the domain of nationally acclaimed executive chef Clay Conley, who co-owns the modern American bistro with partners Sam Slattery and Piper Quinn. (It’s also the big-sister eatery to Imoto, the Japanese-style izakaya next door, and Grato, the buzzy new trattoria in West Palm Beach.)
El Camino Mexican Soul Food & Tequila Bar is a hip, popular spot packing in late-night crowds in Delray’s Pineapple Grove dining district. The eatery, which offers a solid menu of street foods, makes everything from sauces to tortillas on premises.
The Palm Beach County duo joins five other Florida restaurants on this hot list. (See full list here.) They are: Café Martorano in Fort Lauderdale, Palace Bar in Miami Beach, Prato in Winter Park, BB King’s Blues Club in Orlando and, also in Orlando (but with a West Palm Beach soul), Rocco’s Tacos.
Here’s the Tequesta restaurant we’re loving best at the moment. Next month, the snapshot might be different.
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. Reservations are a must.
Here’s the Palm Beach Gardens restaurant we’re loving best at the moment. Next month, the snapshot might be different.
The Cooper, Palm Beach Gardens
This spacious, rural-chic restaurant, which offers plenty of indoor and outdoor dining areas at its PGA Commons location, is the buzzy spot at PGA Commons, where locals drop in for happy hour and stay for the flavorful bites. The charcuterie and cheese plates make for great starters, as does the crispy falafel with tahini dipping sauce. Brunch lovers, take note: Chef Adam Brown’s brunch is an inspired affair, with a diverse range of offerings.
The Cooper: 4610 PGA Blvd., Suite 100 at PGA Commons, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-622-0032.
Expect no foodie lingo here, no “artisan” this or “hand-crafted” that, no menus tripped up in adjectives. Expect no calculated stabs at branding or ambiance. You won’t find proclamations of culinary hipdom here. But you will find a mighty fine steak.
And you will find stellar service, the kind of service that brings you back to the warm, welcoming time capsule that is Okeechobee Steakhouse.
Here’s the Boca Raton restaurant we’re loving best at the moment. Next month, the snapshot might be different.
13 American Table, Boca Raton
Post reviewer Carlos Frías put it best when he wrote that this eatery “plays to locals fleeing the Botox Boca glitz. It has the feel of a modern industrial mountain lodge: A chandelier made of concrete wire mesh; textured chartreuse walls; up-lit wooden branches. It has an earthy, rustic vibe with a modern twist — think Daniel Boone in skinny jeans.” Contemplate the visual as you nosh on 13 American Table’s seasonal ceviche, served with an avocado emulsion, or the barbecue pork belly tacos with vinegar slaw or the tender grilled octopus in a tarragon-laced salsa verde. All so eclectically American.
Here’s a current snapshot of Delray Beachrestaurants we’re loving best at the moment. Next month, the snapshot might be different. This list includes only restaurants we have visited.
El Camino, Delray Beach
Mexican soul food reigns at this hipster Tequila bar in Delray’s hot dining district, as Post reviewer Carlos Frías found. Try the smoked brisket enchiladas, lavished with a slow-cooked molé negro sauce. Wash it down with your choice of mescal or reposado — or any of the 200-plus varieties of tequila poured at the bar. Take in a setting that’s all funk and fun, but not in the wild, Cancun-on-Memorial-Day way.
El Camino: 15 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-5350.
Cut 432, Delray Beach
Delray’s Atlantic Avenue is famous for having a little something for every culinary and nightlife craving. Cut 432 provides an upscale, cozy place to peruse the Avenue’s goings-on toward the eastern end of the block. Sweetly classic touches like shiny crystal chandeliers contrast with the crisp, modern marble bar top and the white leather bar chairs.
Cut 432: 432 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-272-9898.
Brule Bistro, Delray Beach
Brule Bistro in Delray is lively in both atmosphere and food. Where some pub chefs might include the obligatory flatbread on the menu, Chef Jason Binder offers a crispy pork cheek “pizza,” a crispy, tostada-sized round crowned with slow-braised pork cheek, Asiago cheese, arugula, pickled red onions and oven-dried tomato, served upon a board with droplets of fried rosemary aioli.
Brule Bistro: 200 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-274-2046.
Max’s Harvest, Delray Beach
In every dish, in every bite, at Max’s Harvest you can taste the commitment to using the freshest ingredients available. In keeping with the eatery’s season-driven concept, executive chef Eric Baker uses as his main ingredient one of the fresh ingredients available. The menu changes regularly to keep presenting diners with a dish that is both new and familiar.