Local treat: Juno Beach’s guitar-fueled Sunday brunch

When it comes to brunch spots, this is not the most pizzazzy. There’s no Bloody Mary or Mimosa bar. There’s no ocean view or lush garden.

A tot pours maple syrup on his Sunday pancakes. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)
A tot pours syrup on his pancakes. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)

Still, there’s a line that stretches into the parking lot as the sun glints on passing traffic along U.S. 1. And there’s a sweet guitar weaving Sunday morning tunes, some standards, some bluesy, some folksy.

Related: Our Brunch Guide – 50 must-try ‘Sunday Funday’ parties in Palm Beach County

It wouldn’t be Sunday brunch at the Juno Beach Café without guitarist and singer Jordan Lee, who says he hasn’t missed a Sunday morning gig at this daylight café for the better part of two decades. He’s not a “look at me” type of entertainer, but one who gently enhances the ambiance.

Jordan Lee, a singer and songwriter, entertains brunchers. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)
Jordan Lee, singer and songwriter. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)

The attention-grabbing stars here are the “UEPs,” the stacks of “Uncle Eddie’s Pancakes,” which are some of the most popular items on the extensive breakfast menu. Last Sunday, I pondered the eight pancake options offered here (from $5.99 to $8.99), from Nutella-slathered UEPs to Banana Nut Loads of Walnuts UEPs, and settled on a stack of plain originals, which fixed my pancake craving just fine.

Uncle Eddie's Pancakes, the original UEPs. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)
Uncle Eddie’s Pancakes, or UEPs. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)

The pancakes join the heaps of French toast, eggs, meats, breakfast skillets and other morning dishes spirited from the café’s kitchen.

Within that extensive menu are some true gems. The potato pancakes, for instance, are killer. Patted of shredded potatoes and onions, these thick and toasty latkes are offered in a combo ($10.29) with two eggs, bacon or sausage and a choice of applesauce or sour cream.

The toasty finish that elevates these potato pancakes also can be found in any side of hash browns here. Not too long ago, I enjoyed those with a spinach-tomato-cheese omelet, rye toast and bacon. And on another occasion, I had them with Eggs Benedict. (Breakfast joy: crispy potatoes that don’t ooze fat onto your omelet.)

Toasty hash browns are on point here. In background: potato pancakes. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)
Toasty hash browns are on point here. In background: potato pancakes. (Liz Balmaseda/ The Palm Beach Post)

Beyond potatoes and pancakes, menu highlights include migas ($11.19), a Mexican-style scramble with eggs, beans, peppers, avocado, corn chips and several other whims. There’s also chicken and waffles that are served with poached eggs and hollandaise ($11.29), cheese blintzes and apple crepes ($9.99), pecan praline French toast ($6.79, $8.79) and six types of Eggs Benedict ($9.99 to $12.49).

Service is harried and as friendly as one can expect during a Sunday morning bustle. But servers do their best to keep your mug hot and filled with fresh-brewed coffee.

And then there’s Jordan Lee, the gentle guitarist. He fills in the gaps of ambiance and service at brunch time. He provides that thread of a melody you may catch while waiting for a table, the raspy rendition of Johnny Mercer’s “I Remember You,” perhaps.

The regulars here have come to learn Lee’s own songs, like the one he titled “Cruise for Two.” It floats on a light reggae beat and can transport a breakfast patron eastward, across U.S. 1 and toward the sea:

“Hey, there’s a place where I’d like to be/ Sailing the ocean, from sea to sea,

“Jamaica island, Bahamas too/ No crowd of people, just me and you,

“Spending time together, just me and you/ On a cruise for two.”

Juno Beach Café: 13967 U.S. Highway 1 (at Donald Ross Road), Juno Beach; 561-622-1533; JunoBeachCafe.com

Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Superstar pastrami: Dorrian’s will serve Katz’s Delicatessen favorite

Call it Temptation Tuesday: Some big-time pastrami has been added to the specials menu at Dorrian’s Red Hand pub in downtown West Palm Beach.

Superstar sandwich: a scene from the 2013 book 'Katz's: Autobiography of a Delicatessen,' published by Bauer and Dean. (Photo by Baldomero Fernandez)
Superstar sandwich: an image from the 2013 book ‘Katz’s: Autobiography of a Delicatessen,’ published by Bauer and Dean. (Photo by Baldomero Fernandez)

There’s pastrami and there’s Pastrami. This is the latter. It’s Katz’s Delicatessen pastrami, which is considered to be the superstar of pastrami.

It’s the pastrami that made a cameo appearance during the most memorable scene of “When Harry Met Sally.” But Sally’s fake orgasm aside, Katz’s pastrami is prime stuff – people flock to New York’s Lower East Side just for a bite of it.

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in 'When Harry Met Sally.' (Palm Beach Post file)
At Katz: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal in ‘When Harry Met Sally.’ (Palm Beach Post file)

Starting this week (Wednesday, to be exact), a Katz’s pastrami-on-rye sandwich is as close as Clematis Street. It’s on the newly announced weekly specials menu at Dorrian’s, another New York institution which opened the West Palm outpost in May.

The American bar of Irish roots, an Upper East Side fixture for 56 years, opened on Clematis at the urging of regulars with ties to Palm Beach County. The owners set out to give the place a New York feel, with Guinness brown interiors and Tiffany-style bar lamps.

Dorrian's Red Hand pub, downtown West Palm Beach. (Meghan McCarthy/ The Palm Beach Post)
Dorrian’s Red Hand pub, West Palm Beach. (Meghan McCarthy/ The Palm Beach Post)

Now, the New York flavor will be heightened on Tuesdays. That’s Katz’s pastrami day at Dorrian’s. The pastrami will be shipped weekly to Dorrian’s, according to a restaurant publicist. If it’s popular, the pub might put it on its regular menu.

A Katz’s pastrami sandwich at Dorrian’s will set you back $17. It’s served with coleslaw (or fries) and half a sour pickle.

Note: This week only, the pastrami special will be offered Wednesday instead of Tuesday, according to Dorrian’s publicist. Next week and on, the specialty will be offered Tuesdays. (Other weekly specials include pot roast on Mondays, spaghetti with meatballs on Wednesdays, and prime rib on Thursdays.)

Dorrian’s Red Hand: 215 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-355-1401; Dorrians-wpb.com

 

Swanky new restaurant coming to downtown Abacoa

Downtown Abacoa, home of frosty beer and comfort grub, is about to welcome a swanky new restaurant with a menu that includes epicurean terms like “verjus” and “nage” and “confit.”

Aaron’s Table & Wine Bar will debut Sat., Nov. 6, in the former Rooney’s Public House location.

Aaron's sauteed langoustines in a sweet corn sauce. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)
Aaron’s sauteed langoustines in a sweet corn sauce. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)

It is the namesake of Aaron Fuller, a former resort and private club chef who was most recently executive chef at Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach. An Abacoa resident, Fuller aims to bring globally inspired dishes prepared with a refined touch and often a dramatic flair.

But despite the Baked Alaska dessert that’s flambéed at tableside, Aaron’s setting will be more “farmhouse chic” than opulent.

Baked Alaska will be flambeed tableside at Aaron's. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)
Baked Alaska will be flambeed tableside at Aaron’s in Abacoa. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)

“I think this community is starving for a new experience that focuses on fresh, interesting and high-quality dishes without having to travel too far from home,” Fuller said via news release. He called the restaurant “an extension of my own kitchen and family.”

Fuller has named his Mar-a-Lago protégé, Marc Cela, as Aaron’s Chef de Cuisine. Cela hails from a restaurant-industry family – his father owned and operated the now-closed L’Anjou in Lake Worth.

On the menu at Aaron’s: bar bites ($5 and up) like avocado fries, Philippine chicken lumpia and truffle Parmesan gaufrette (wafer), starters such as port-poached pear salad, truffle-ricotta ravioli, pork belly with Thai peanut brittle and sautéed langoustines in a sweet corn nage (broth), main plates (up to $36) like roasted duck in a dark cherry gastrique (sweet-sour sauce), lamb shank braised in local IPA (by the Civil Society brewers across the street) and pan-seared bronzino with coconut rice.

Aaron Fuller, downtown Abacoa. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)
Aaron Fuller, downtown Abacoa. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)

Several dishes, both savory and sweet, are presented in jars as a nod to Fuller’s memories of his mother’s homemade jellies and jams.

One interesting daily special is one rarely offered to the public at other establishments: the “family meal,” or whatever the chef and his crew are eating that day.

As for the “wine bar” part of the restaurant, Aaron’s will pour a selection of interesting wines by the glass and bottle. The bar has nitrogen-contained wine dispensers to help keep those by-the-glass wines fresh. On Thursday nights, the wine bar will offer wine tastings.

 

Aaron’s Table & Wine Bar: 1153 Town Center Drive, Jupiter; 561-855-2628; AaronsTable.com; hours are Tuesday through Sundays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with happy hour offered from 4 to 7 p.m. On Wednesdays and Fridays starting Nov. 11, there will be live music. Dinner reservations will be taken starting Oct. 15.

 

SEASON PREVIEW: Five local food and drink highlights to enjoy

As season approaches, hungry minds wonder what’s on the horizon for the local food-and-drink scene. Glad you asked.

Here’s what we’re hoping to enjoy this season.

The Regional's fresh-baked Parker House Rolls are served with seasoned butter. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)
The Regional’s fresh-baked Parker House Rolls. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)

WEST PALM’S BUZZY NEW SPOTS

From The Regional Kitchen to Cholo Soy Cocina, West Palm Beach is shaping up as the county’s foodiest city.

Cholo in chief: Chef Clay Carnes. (Photo: Alissa Dragun)
Cholo in chief: Clay Carnes. (Credit: Alissa Dragun)

Drop into The Regional for some of Chef Lindsay Autry’s Southern-meets-World cooking and you’ll witness a chef rising into her prime. The space may be cavernous, but it still feels cozy, thanks to seating layout and attention to décor detail.

At the other end of the size spectrum, there’s tiny Cholo Soy, an Andean street food-inspired spot where Chef Clay Carnes offers a variety of smoked and roasted meats and hand-made tortillas.

The Regional Kitchen + Public House: 651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-557-6460; EatRegional.com

Cholo Soy Cocina: 3715 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; @cholosoycocina on Instagram; www.cholosoycocina.com.

GREEN MARKET MARVELS

Hello, pup: The West Palm Beach GreenMarket loves the pooches. (Greg Lovett/ The Palm Beach Post)
Hello, pup: The West Palm Beach GreenMarket loves the pooches. (Greg Lovett/ The Palm Beach Post)

Forget summer. The sunniest, most delicious time of the year in Palm Beach County is the fall and winter harvest season. Just drop into any of the county’s top green markets and you’ll find a bounty of locally grown produce, freshly harvested ingredients, prepared foods and other items. We love the West Palm Beach GreenMarket (Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) not only for its great variety, but also because it’s super pooch-friendly. But chances are that no matter where you live, there’s a good green market not too far away.

Check out our full green market guide for one near you.

PALM BEACH FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

The Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival runs from Dec. 8-11. (LILA PHOTO)
The Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival runs from Dec. 8-11. (Credit: LILA PHOTO)

This festival is a little gem. Each year, it brings a constellation of food stars — and their cooking — to Palm Beach and environs. And unlike far bigger national food fests, this is one in which festival-goers get plenty of opportunity to interact with some of the nation’s top chefs. The four-day fest celebrates its 10th year this December. Tickets are on sale at pbfoodwinefest.com.

FARM-CHIC EVENTS

Swank Farm will host nine farm feasts this season. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)
Swank Farm will host nine farm feasts this season. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)

The now cliché “farm to table” tag takes on wider dimensions in this agriculture-heavy area. The county, which produces the most sweet corn, sugar cane and bell peppers in the country, boasts some $1.41 billion in total agriculture sales, according to Palm Beach County data. And what better place to soak up the flavors of a local harvest than on a boutique veggie farm?

Swank Farm in Loxahatchee Groves offers a series of harvest feasts throughout the growing season. These barn-chic affairs feature top chefs, locally brewed beer, sommelier-poured wine and live music. See this year’s schedule at SwankSpecialtyProduce.com.

Speaking of farm events, the Jupiter-based OBEO Society is hosting a “Boots, Brews and BBQ” event featuring a lineup of acclaimed local chefs and local beers at Jupiter Farms’ Lucky Old Sun Ranch. The cookout happens Sat., Nov. 12 from 3 to 11 p.m. For more information, visit ObeoSociety.com.

WHAT’S NEW IN BREW

David Bick of Sons and Daughters Farm and Winery pours a glass of Ginger Kombucha. His family opened their business to the public in April, making available their organic crops, wine and beverages. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
David Bick of Sons and Daughters pours Ginger Kombucha. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

The local brewery scene continues to expand, from Boca Raton to Tequesta, and the expansion involves more than beer. Accomplice Brewery in West Palm Beach is making some popular ciders. Sons and Daughters Farm & Winery is making fruit and flower-based wines and kombucha. The family-owned farm opened to the public for tastings in April.

And, yes, there’s beer. You’ll find the full run of local breweries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish deli dreams: Rappy’s restaurant draws from Manhattan memories

An artist's view of Rappy's dining room. (Courtesy: Rappy's)
An artist’s view of the dining room at the upcoming Rappy’s deli in Boca Raton. (Courtesy: Rappy’s)

It’s an inspiration he relegated to back-burner status for decades: the familiar embrace of a Jewish deli.

Restaurateur Burt Rapoport knows that embrace better than most. His grandfather owned a deli for 50 years. His father managed it for many of those years. The lower east Manhattan establishment was home to Rapoport and his family – literally so. They ate most of their meals there, and they lived upstairs.

The vintage Rapoport’s deli was a traditional dairy restaurant, meaning it served no meat but plenty of blintzes, breads, fish dishes and potato soup. This is where a young Burt would grow up (on bowl after bowl of that hearty soup) to be a third-generation restaurateur and an influential figure in Palm Beach County’s hospitality world.

Now the restaurateur behind some top south county concepts (Deck 84, Henry’s, Burt & Max’s and Bogart’s Bar & Grille) has a deli-themed spot on deck in Boca Raton, inspired by those old Manhattan memories.

Rappy’s Deli will open in November, says Rapoport. The newest member of Rapoport’s Restaurant Group will debut in Boca’s new Park Place, a soon-to-open plaza on Military Trail, between Yamato and Clint Moore roads.

“I felt it would be great to go back to my roots,” Rapoport said in an interview this week.

Man behind the deli: Burt Rapoport, photographed at his Deck 84 restaurant in Delray Beach. (Palm Beach Post file)
Man behind the deli: Burt Rapoport, shown here at Deck 84 in Delray Beach. (Palm Beach Post file)

Named after his late father, Ray “Rappy” Rapoport, the new restaurant is more “deli-themed restaurant than classic deli,” he says. He describes the concept as “soulful Jewish food with a modern interpretation.”

The casual spot will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and will boast a 30-foot deli takeout counter as well as a full, indoor-outdoor bar, says Rapoport, who laments that true Jewish delis are few and far between in the country.

But there’s good news to be found amid the “glorified diners with zero atmosphere,” he notes.

“Now you see this resurgence with younger people who are reinventing delis all around the country,” says Rapoport. “So maybe the time is right to do this thing.”

Rappy's rendering: This deli counter will offer daylong takeout. (Courtesy: Rappy's)
Rappy’s rendering: This deli counter will offer daylong takeout. (Courtesy: Rappy’s)

The menu will mesh old school Jewish food with “a lot of fun items,” he says.

Expect franks in a blanket wrapped in puff pastry that’s sprinkled with “everything bagel” seasoning, deli-style sushi in the form of nova-wrapped tuna salad, pastrami spring rolls and house-smoked pastrami dishes. Also on the menu: classic chicken in a pot, corned beef and stuffed cabbage, plus homemade mustard, malts, boozy shakes and sweets.

“We’re taking it up a couple of notches and also hoping to appeal to a broader base,” says Rapoport, whose company was listed this year among Restaurant Hospitality magazine’s annual RH 25 list for “Coolest Multi-Concept Companies.”  

With touches of vintage subway tile, stained concrete floors and chalkboard menus, Rappy’s 4300-square-foot space will offer indoor dining as well as alfresco seating in the covered patio.

Rappy’s: Coming in November to Park Place plaza, 5560 N. Military Tr., Boca Raton; RappysDeli.com

 

 

 

Glam up your guac: Here’s a recipe for National Guacamole Day!

Kicky mash up: Avocado Grill's ginger guacamole. (Contributed by Jennifer Martinez)
Kicky mash up: Avocado Grill’s ginger guacamole. (Contributed by Jennifer Martinez)

The unexpected can happen when National Guacamole Day falls on a Friday (which would be today). The craving for blinged out, creamy avocado dip and those unruly TGIF thoughts can build – and before you know it, you’re swigging micheladas and diving into a bowl of green goop.

Then again, the unexpected can involve something less basic. It can involve ginger, as does the Ginger Guacamole at Avocado Grill in downtown West Palm Beach.

How does one use ginger in guac? We’ve got the recipe. TGIF, indeed!

Avocado Grill’s Ginger Guacamole

Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Julien Gremaud.

3 ripe avocados

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons diced red onion

2 tablespoons diced tomato

2 tablespoons diced jalapeño

1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped ginger

1 tablespoon Sriracha

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Slice avocados in half. Discard the seed. Scoop flesh out of shell with a spoon and place in bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 of the lime juice immediately to prevent browning. Use a fork and mash to desired consistency.
  3. Add chopped onion, tomato, jalapeño, ginger, Sriracha, and cilantro. Stir gently to mix ingredients.
  4. Add remainder of lime juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir just slightly, until incorporated.
  5. Serve as a dip with your favorite tortilla chips, or use with your favorite dish.

Golf star Ernie Els to open ‘Big Easy’ wine bar in Miami

Beyond golf: Hall of Famer Ernie Els is also a winemaker. (Courtesy: Ernie Els Hospitality)
Beyond golf: Hall of Famer Ernie Els is also a winemaker. (Courtesy: Ernie Els Hospitality)

Golf star Ernie Els is taking his culinary interests to Miami. The Jupiter resident known as “The Big Easy” is set to open a downtown area restaurant inspired by his South African roots and passion for wine.

The Big Easy Winebar & Grill by Ernie Els is expected to open Nov. 3 at the upcoming Brickell City Centre complex.

The announcement came this week from the Miami-based Grove Bay Hospitality Group, which partnered with the Hall of Famer and plans a 200-seat restaurant inspired by Els’ “lifestyle and spirit.”

The upscale-casual grill restaurant will carry the flavors (and wines) of the Western Cape region of Els’ native South Africa. A South African native chef with extensive experience in American restaurants will command the kitchen, creating comfort dishes from Els’ motherland.

On Chef Maryna Frederiksen’s menu: unusual meats like sprinkbok (gazelle) loin and ostrich filet, “bobotie” spring rolls (stuffed with traditionally spiced ground beef curry), “sosatie” mini skewers and grilled boerewors (a sausage that is said to be Els’ favorite).

Yes, there will be burgers, as well as Florida seafood and fish, and universal dishes like lobster risotto.

Ernie Els in action at this year's Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. (Daniel Owen/ The Palm Beach Post)
Els in action at this year’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. (Daniel Owen/ The Palm Beach Post)

For the pairing, there will be a variety of Ernie Els Wines, which the golfer produces with winemaker Louis Strydom. Perhaps this is what Els is most excited about.

“One of the really wonderful things about Big Easy Winebar & Grill is the opportunity it gives Louis and me to share our passion for wine and to introduce our portfolio of wines, of which we’re extremely proud, to a wider audience,” Els said via news release.

All this in a setting reminiscent of the Western Cape, with imported wood touches, clay pottery, white brick walls and leather seating.

Miami will be the first U.S. location for the Big Easy concept, which has three locations in South Africa and Dubai.

Big Easy Winebar & Grill:

The restaurant is expected to open Nov. 3 at the upcoming Brickell City Centre in Miami’s financial district, near downtown. It will serve a weekday lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., dinner nightly from 4 to 11 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Three dishes we loved at The Regional Kitchen and Public House

The Regional Kitchen & Public House at CityPlace is spacious but cozy, eclectic but soothing and elegant with a reasonably priced menu.

Here are three bites we loved during a media tasting this week at downtown West Palm’s buzzy new restaurant:

Fried Chicken Thighs, $9

Executive Chef Lindsay Autry is well known for her buttermilk-marinated Southern fried chicken.

“It’s not greasy. It has a light coat on the outside that’s perfect for someone who’s craving fried chicken but doesn’t want to feel guilty afterward.” Kathleen Devaney, Social Media Producer for The Palm Beach Post

Rocky Road Bar $10

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Rocky Road Bar photo provided by The Regional Kitchen & Public House

Pastry Chef Sarah Sipe made this sweet confection for the visiting press and lucky for you it’s a permanent menu item. It includes toasted house-made marshmallow, almonds and a chocolate sauce. We also sampled a yummy coconut cake.

“The coconut cake is the chef’s grandmother’s recipe — it was delicious! But, the Rocky Road Bar complemented with a light almond chocolate ice cream was it for me. The best part? It’s glutenfree.”  Corvaya Jeffries, Social Media Reporter for The Palm Beach Post

Pimento Cheese $11

DSC_1434.jpg
Pimento cheese and home-baked club crackers photo provided by The Regional Kitchen & Public House

The Regional offers pimento cheese prepared table-side, a la guac. It’s amazing.

“Rich in flavor and almost addictive. I’d indulge in Chef Sarah’s home-baked club crackers and Chef Lindsay’s pimento cheese over a cocktail and be satisfied.” Julio Poletti, Entertainment Reporter for The Palm Beach Post


The Deets:

What: The Regional Kitchen & Public House

Where: CityPlace, 651 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach

Cost: Expect to pay between $5—$14 for an appetizer and $15—$28 for an entree.

Boca Raton makeover: Max’s Grille shuts for renovations on its 25th year

Grilled jumbo artichokes at Max's Grille, Boca Raton. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
Grilled jumbo artichokes at Max’s Grille, Boca Raton. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

UPDATE: Due to looming Hurricane Matthew, Max’s Grille’s official birthday party has been postponed until Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m.

 

ORIGINAL POST: Call it a millennial makeover. Just in time for its big 25th birthday, Boca Raton’s iconic Max’s Grille has closed for renovations.

The Dennis Max-owned restaurant, which closed after dinner Sunday, will debut its refreshed look on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m.

Workers will replace the kitchen floor, replace ceiling soffits, reupholster banquettes in deep-red tufted leather, and add a white granite top to the outside bar and new wicker seating to the patio. Updates will continue later (while the restaurant is fully functioning) and, in a stroke of nostalgia, the bar overhang will be restored to its original state.

Patio will be further pretty-fied at Max's Grille. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
Patio will be further pretty-fied at Max’s Grille. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

The updates, which come nearly six months after area flooding damaged the restaurant, have forced the delay of the second annual “Bar Brawls,” a local bartender competition.

However, the restaurant is on track to celebrate its 25th birthday on Oct. 6 Oct.18, when it hosts a bash for its designated VIPs and its former and current staff.

Said Max via new release: “We are excited to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year by revitalizing the restaurant, inside and out.”

Serving modernized American classics to packed houses daily, Max’s Grille is the only of the original Mizner Park restaurants that remains.

Max’s Grille: 404 Plaza Real (Mizner Park), Boca Raton; 561-368-0080; MaxsGrille.com

 

A place to sip Pappy: Okeechobee Steakhouse unveils Bourbon Room

Twice the bourbon: Okeechobee Steakhouse owner Ralph Lewis says bourbon demand has increased. (Contributed by Okeechobee Steakhouse)
Owner Ralph Lewis has doubled the bourbon list. (Contributed by Okeechobee Steakhouse)

West Palm Beach’s most iconic steakhouse has unveiled a Bourbon Room for private dining and special functions.

The Okeechobee Steakhouse will break in its new bourbon-themed space at a special six-course, bourbon-pairing dinner next month that includes rare pours of Pappy Van Winkle.

The room, constructed on one side of the restaurant, can seat 28 people by day or night. It will accommodate parties of 10 to 28, says owner Ralph Lewis, whose family has owned and operated the steakhouse for nearly 69 years.

Palm Beach Post file.
Palm Beach Post file.

The designated bourbon space is a direct response to growing customer demand, says Lewis, who calls the space “a beautiful room.”

“Bourbon sales went back up again and we have a large, large variety of bourbon. We’ve always had a relatively good variety, but now we’ve doubled it,” he says, noting an increased demand on vintage drinks, such as the Old Fashioned.

Okeechobee’s expanded bourbon list includes intriguing and in-demand selections such as Angel’s Envy, Buffalo Trace, Hirsch Reserve, Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea and Willett Pot Still Reserve.

As for the bourbon pairing dinner, here are the details:

Six-Course Bourbon Dinner

When: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6 p.m. to close

Where: Okeechobee Steakhouse, 2854 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-683-5151; OkeeSteakhouse.com

Cost: $150 per person

Menu: Six courses paired with various bourbons and bourbon cocktails. Dishes include poached pear salad, carrot ginger soup, smoked salmon crostini, prosciutto-wrapped lobster tail, all matched with drinks. The feast continues with a prime ribeye spinalis-wrapped tenderloin paired with an Eagle Rare Manhattan, and bacon-wrapped Bananas Foster matched with Prichard’s Double Chocolate and root beer float. As grand finale, attendees will toast with Pappy Van Winkle.