An outsider may not detect the crisscross of paths at Celis Produce, the tiny shop owned and operated by brothers Felipe, Alex and Camilo Celis. But this is more than a place where one can stop in for a juice or salad components – it’s a place that’s helping to build a community of creative, indie souls in West Palm Beach.
As the shop celebrates its first birthday Friday, it does so as it does its business – organically and with a focus on collaboration with other local, independent enterprises.
All day Friday, the shop will be offering snacks from local vendors and 10 percent off everything in the store.
“Big thank you to all of our customers and friends for the year-long support,” the brothers posted on the shop’s Facebook page. “It’s been nothing short of amazing.”
Local vegans, rejoice. The immensely popular Christopher’s Kitchen will open its long-awaited sister restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach on Tuesday.
Meraki Juice Kitchen, as the new spot is named, will serve cold-pressed juices and tonics as well as breakfast bowls, soups, salads, gluten-free baked goods, nondairy soft-serve, coffees, beer and wine.
If Christopher’s Kitchen is any indicator of Meraki’s fare, one can expect fresh-made almond “mylks” and a range of savory and sweet dishes enhanced by rich, delicious house-made nut creams and cheeses. One can also expect generous, varied salads and unparalleled gluten-free items.
Co-owners are plant-based foods chef Christopher Slawson and his uncle Richard Slawson, who transformed Palm Beach Gardens’ Midtown plaza when they opened Christopher’s Kitchen five and a half years ago. The stylish cafe has generated a loyal following among vegans and non-vegans alike.
Christopher Slawson’s creative ways with dish flavors, dressings, sauces and textures has set the place apart from crunchy vegan places of yore.
His philosophy is referenced in the very name of Meraki Juice Kitchen, for the name means “to do something with soul, creativity or love, to put something of yourself into your work,” as the Slawsons’ explained in a press release Wednesday.
The restaurant, which will offer outdoor seating, will serve as a template for future locations. The owners have chosen a Meraki location in Boca Raton and are working to secure another in Delray Beach.
Also new is the Slawsons’ 5000-square-foot production kitchen, where they prepare juices and other items.
Meraki Juice Kitchen
Location: 328 Fern St., West Palm Beach
Hours: Opening on Tuesday, Aug. 16; will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Here’s a current snapshot of the restaurants we’re loving best at the moment in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach. Next month, the snapshot might be different. This unranked list, which omits eateries closed for summer break, includes only restaurants we have visited.
Grato, West Palm Beach
The fab new pizzeria on South Dixie Highway has been packed every night since its debut. Evenings at Grato, opened by the powerhouse team behind Palm Beach’s wildly popular Buccan bistro, is marked by the glow of a wood-burning pizza oven. Grato’s non-fussy menu lists crostini, pizza, pasta, salad and roasted meats. The eatery serves a terrific a la carte brunch on Sundays, and has recently kicked off a lunch service.
Grato: 1901 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-404-1334.
Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach
There’s a good reason why Chef Julien Gremaud’s hip, sunny eatery is a busy spot at night: His small plates and shareable selections are both refined and decadent. But why limit your visit to this downtown West Palm eatery to nighttime when it serves one of the best weekend brunches in the county? Gremaud’s eggs Benedict dishes are sinful, as are his gently scrambled eggs dusted with piment d’Espelette, and his crab-avocado toast topped with an oozy egg. And if you’re lucky, that day’s special menu will include his outstanding rendition of shrimp and grits. The Jerez-spiked shrimp alone are worth the price of admission.
Whether you stop in for one of chef Clay Conley’s supreme small plates (he’s masterful with raw fish and seafood dishes) or settle in for a 14-ounce, wood-grilled prime New York strip steak and a night of people-watching, you’ve come to the best bistro in Palm Beach. Reservations are a must.
Buccan: 350 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561-833-3450.
Kitchen, West Palm Beach
Chef Matthew Byrne creates refined takes on comfort classics while his wife/partner, Aliza Bryne, keeps a gracious pace in the front of the house at Kitchen. The menu is seasonally inspired and beautifully executed. In addition to the small main dining room, there’s a lounge area as well as a private dining room to accommodate larger parties. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Kitchen: 319 Belvedere Road, #2, West Palm Beach; 561-249-2281.
Jardin, West Palm Beach
This newcomer has raised the bar on creativity on Clematis Street. The food here is gorgeous to the eye – and to the palate. It’s the handiwork of executive chef and co-owner Jordan Lerman, whose credits include stints at New York’s celebrated Eleven Madison Park and Momofuku Ssam Bar. Like his talented pastry chef/ general manager/wife, Stephanie Cohen, Lerman is a chef who seems unafraid to heap excess love on a plate.
This young couple is on an adventure, one defined by seasonal harvests and whims. Their excitement spills from their menu and into their disarming hospitality style.
Jardin: 330 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-440-5273.
Chez l’Epicier, Palm Beach
Just as a grocer’s shop is driven by the harvest, Chef Laurent Godbout’s menu celebrates seasonality. Godbout, who owns and operates the restaurant with his wife, hostess Veronique Deneault, is an exceptional chef whose artistry is reflected in a dish’s heightened flavors as well as stunning looks. His whimsical style is evident from the welcome tray of fresh savory macaroons.
There’s a sense here that one is in good hands. The chef cooks with style and authority.
Nicely removed from the more bustling blocks of Clematis Street, this eatery seems to exist in a city apart, one that finds serenity in polished, white-on-white décor, warmth in service and sheer pleasure in Old World dishes that have been mastered and modernized. This lustrous city is not exactly social-media obsessed, which is why you may not have heard about Ristorante Santucci.
If you haven’t been, you’re missing out on authentic, high-end Sicilian cooking. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth it.
This steakhouse in Palm Beach was voted “best restaurant” in our 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards. Chef Sean Brasel has created a sleek temple of food and drink designed to wow diners beyond the carnivores. Yes, carnivores will find nirvana in a menu that offers a selection of reserve cuts, such as dramatically presented mega-steaks, all tender beneath a gorgeous char. (Photo by Bill Ingram/The Palm Beach Post)
Chef Daniel Boulud’s Palm Beach eatery offers more than a stylish backdrop for dining — it offers some of the best food on the island. Executive chef Rick Mace is a true star, a culinary storyteller who knows how to capture the imagination and palate with food and presentation.
Café Boulud: 301 Australian Ave. (in The Brazilian Court hotel), Palm Beach; 561-655-6060.
Okeechobee Steakhouse, West Palm Beach
Expect no foodie lingo here, no “artisan” this or “hand-crafted” that, no menus tripped up in adjectives. 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. (Reopens at 5 p.m. July 28 after weeks of remodeling.)
Voted the “best new restaurant” in The Post’s 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards, Queen of Sheeba is South Florida’s only Ethiopian restaurant. The Ethiopian-born restaurant owner and cook, Lojo Washington, presents the foods of her native land and the lightly sour injera bread, which serves as a scoop for stewed dishes and veggies she serves.
It’s easy to see why Pistache has become a favorite on finicky Clematis Street: French favorites offered with a sophisticated touch, warm hospitality, lovely setting. The bistro never fails to impress. Come for lunch, dinner, cocktails or one of the most pleasant, a la carte Sunday brunches in central county.
Pistache: 101 N. Clematis St., #115, West Palm Beach; 561-833-5090.
PB Catch, Palm Beach
PB Catch not only has a terrific raw bar, where the fresh oyster selection is hard to beat, it has Chef de Cuisine Aaron Black’s fanciful “sea-cuterie” creations, as well as his beautifully prepared fish and seafood dishes. The interiors are serenely rich, the ambiance relaxed and the service polished.
By Ashley McBride Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Happy National Oyster Day! There’s no shortage of fresh seafood in Palm Beach County, oysters included. And there are plenty of ways to eat and prepare oysters. Popular ways to eat molluscs are on the half shell, raw, baked, fried, steamed or boiled.
Here are five places to get your bivalve fix to celebrate the holiday.
Spoto’s Oyster Bar: Deal is $1.75 blue point oysters from 4 to 6:30 p.m. There are two locations, one in Stuart and one in Palm Beach Gardens. Check their website for more information.
Hurricane Alley: Happy hour deal on oysters, for $9 a dozen raw oysters from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Hurricane Alley: 529 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach; 561-364-4008
Mayo’s company Subculture Group posted an “official goodbye” on the restaurant and bar’s Facebook page late Tuesday night.
“We have decided to close this chapter with Longboards and bring you another new, exciting concept to be unveiled soon,” read the statement. “In the meantime, please join us at our other restaurants, bars (and) nightclubs throughout South Florida.”
With its relaxed vibe, LongBoards was a space of light wood floors and rough-hewn walls of repurposed paneling from an old farmhouse. Those walls were appointed with surfboards, as vintage surfing movies streamed on TV screens.
When Mayo opened LongBoards in July 2011, he set off a wave on the 500 block of Clematis Street, home of his longstanding Respectable Street club. At the time, the new restaurant sat next door to The Lounge, a Mayo-owned bar.
At the time, Mayo talked about his vision for the area. “You need that critical mass of restaurants to make Clematis a destination, rather than any individual restaurant – so people come to Clematis first, then decide where they want to go,” he told me then.
Two years later, Mayo’s Hullabaloo would breathe gastro pub-by life into the Lounge space. Then his co-owned Subculture Coffee would bring hordes of caffeinated hipsters a few doors to the east of Hullabaloo.
Soon enough, the 500 block would buzz with its own identity, one that was decidedly more hip than the rest of the street. For evidence of this, just take a peek at the vintage Airstream trailer parked in the back patio that’s shared by Hullabaloo and LongBoards – it gives a whole new meaning to private-room dining.
What is headed to the LongBoards space? Mayo could not be reached for comment. Industry sources tell us it’s likely to be a second location for Mayo’s Boca Raton Asian-themed restaurant, Kapow.
For now, there’s this from his Subculture group:
“Stay tuned and thank you for your continued patronage. See you on the flipside.”
Palm Beach Post staffer Jim Hayward contributed to this report.
Whole Foods Market dives into the Rio Olympics spirit this week by offering a “Taste of Brazil.”
Consider it a Brazilian happy hour of sorts, a two-hour window glimpsing Carioca food and drink. The tastings event goes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at every Whole Foods Market in the Florida region.
The market invites customers to “take a lap around the store,” sampling Brazilian items.
For example, you can taste Brazi Brazilian cheese bread, inspired by Brazil’s cheese-stuffed pao de queijo, at one grocery aisle. In the meat department, find linguiça pork sausage. In the seafood area, sample salted codfish. In prepared foods, the market’s chefs will feature hearty feijoada (black bean stew with meats).
Find Sunrise Papaya in the produce section, and queijadinhas tart at the bakery. Sip on Brazilian Macaw wine in the wine department and sample some Brazilian acai berry soft chews in the store’s “whole body” department.
Here’s a current snapshot of the restaurants in north Palm Beach County we’re loving best at the moment. Next month, the snapshot might be different. This unranked list omits eateries closed for summer break, includes only restaurants we have visited.
Palm Beach County is mad lucky to have Chef Tim Lipman cooking his heart out on the northern edge of the Gardens. His sliver of a restaurant has been a game-changer since opening in early 2012, serving honest, inspired dishes that are driven by the season and by Florida ingredients.
Lipman is not one to simply tread water, working some farm-to-table shtick. He continues to learn, to soak up inspiration and grow as a chef. We, the diners, reap the rewards.
Coolinary Café: 4650 Donald Ross Road, (Donald Ross Village), Palm Beach Gardens; 561-249-6760.
Little Moir’s Food Shack
If any restaurant has defined Palm Beach County cuisine it is Mike Moir’s Food Shack. Thanks to Moir’s love of the ocean and fresh ingredients, north county went from a monotonous landscape of bland fillets and frozen veggies to a boldly adventurous one. The Ontario-born chef and his talented team gave his adopted hometown (Jupiter) a signature cuisine. And 14 years after opening Food Shack (and later Leftovers Café), Moir, his chef partner Drew Shimkus and their fellow cooks, continue to keep the concept fresh. Food Shack: 103 South U.S. 1 (in the Publix plaza), Jupiter; 561- 741-3626.
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. (Closes for vacation on Sept. 4, reopening Sept. 29.)
Owned and operated by the Arruda family for 11 years, this bakery is well known for its freshly baked loaves of pao Frances. But Gabriel Arruda, whose family owns the place, suggests a few must-have bites:
The coxinha (or little chicken drumstick). “It’s the most popular thing here,” he says. It’s a teardrop-shaped chicken croquette that’s filled with shredded chicken and cream cheese, then fried.
The flan. “It’s out of this world,” he says. It’s made in a Bundt pan and it’s rich with heavy cream and cream cheese.
The pao de queijo (cheese bread). Magically, it’s gluten-free. It’s made with yuca instead of wheat flour, says Arruda.
Casa do Pao (House of Bread): 22829 N. State Road 7 (just south of Palmetto Park Road), Boca Raton; 561-852-8390
Picanha Brazil Restaurant
Perched on a corner of the plaza, this casual restaurant sets out a sumptuous buffet daily, complete with traditionally grilled meats, a large variety of salads, sides, entrées and desserts. You pay just under 9 bucks a pound for your buffet selections. Word of warning: It’s easy to load your plate here. It will weigh more than a pound before you know it.
Don’t miss: the array of Brazilian candies available for sale at the cashier on the way out.
Amid the selection of Brazilian canned goods, Brazilian tapioca, coffees, teas, juices and candies, you just may find a bin of jilo, a small green, eggplant-like fruit. You’ll also find house-made Brazilian sausage and charque (dried, salted beef) and other specialties.