Critic’s pick: cozy vibe, scratch-made eats in Northwood

Chef Roberto Villegas opened Table 427, a cozy spot on Northwood's main drag, in 2013. He makes everything from scratch, from the bread to the salad dressings to the gnocchi. (Jennifer Podis/ The Palm Beach Post)
Chef Roberto Villegas opened Table 427 in 2013. (Jennifer Podis/ The Palm Beach Post)

Central county pick: TABLE 427

In Northwood’s primetime bustle, it may be easy to overlook this quiet, cozy eatery.

Located on the historic district’s main drag, Table 427 is the domain of chef/owner Roberto Villegas, a versatile cook who often takes inspiration from his Mexican roots. His dishes are not precious, but they are earnestly prepared and lovingly served.

Villegas is the culinary equivalent of a DJ – he takes requests. And for those who enjoy surprises, he offers a “No Menu” option, a five-course dinner of his own design.

The pace here may be slower than at other neighborhood eateries, as the chef does most of the cooking himself. Consider the lag a chance to have a glass of wine and an invitation to be treated like family.

Table 427: 427 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach; 561-506-8211; Table427.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

Critic’s pick: baklava and belly dancing in Northwood

A variety of mezze dishes are served at Agora Mediterranean Kitchen in the Northwood district of West Palm Beach. (LibbyVision.com)
Mezze madness at Agora Mediterranean Kitchen, West Palm Beach. (LibbyVision.com)

Central county pick: AGORA MEDITERRANEAN KITCHEN

Travel to Turkey without leaving this friendly eatery in West Palm Beach. Go the mezze route, dabbling in Aegean dips, dolma (stuffed grape leaves), grilled octopus and other small plates. Or feast on fish dishes such as red snapper in parchment, or a range of Mediterranean classics.

Salads are outstanding – and ample. Desserts are homemade. And if you over-do the calorie count on a Friday or Saturday night, you can always burn it off when the belly dancing starts at about 8 p.m.

Agora Mediterranean Kitchen: 2505 N. Dixie Highway, Northwood district, West Palm Beach; 561-651-7474; AgoraKitchenWPB.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda