Exclusive: Tiger Woods’ former chef to open new restaurant on Dixie dining corridor

The husband-wife team behind Kitchen, the Belvedere Road hotspot popular with local and visiting celebs, are deep into the planning stages for a neighboring restaurant.

Chef Matthew Byrne and wife/partner Aliza Byrne will open Patina, a Greek and Israeli-inspired restaurant, on West Palm Beach’s happening Dixie Highway dining corridor. They expect to debut in the fall of 2017.

“What’s the best place to open a restaurant? Next to a busy restaurant,” Matthew Byrne told The Post this week. “That’s restaurant 101.”

Growing the business: Kitchen's Aliza and Matthew Byrne. (LILA PHOTO)
Growing the business: Kitchen’s Aliza and Matthew Byrne. (LILA PHOTO)

The busy restaurant next to the Byrnes’ upcoming concept? That would be Grato, the acclaimed trattoria opened by South Florida star chef Clay Conley and his Buccan Palm Beach partners 11 months ago.

The Byrnes hope to infuse a Mediterranean feel into the 2500-square-foot indoor space and courtyard. The building’s vintage floors inspired the name Patina, they say.

Matthew’s experience in the kitchen of a longstanding Greek restaurant in the couple’s native Philadelphia partially inspired the concept, as did Aliza’s Middle Eastern roots. (Her father is Israeli.)

“Think lemon, sea salt, rosemary, whole fishes, tons of squid, charred lamb,” says the chef. “I’m really excited about some vegan items on the menu.”

The vegan plates will come naturally to the concept, as will the fish and meat dishes, he says. And while he admits he’s not a disciple of the “small plate-y” approach, he expects to offer some shareable dishes, hummus, baba ganoush and other classics.

“It’s my version of Greek-American and Israeli food,” says Byrne, a former private chef who worked for golf star Tiger Woods.

The upcoming restaurant will have a full bar, unlike Kitchen, which serves only wine and beer, he says.

New item: salmon carpaccio with hearts of palm and cukes in lemon-dill dressing. (LibbyVision.com)
New item: salmon carpaccio in lemon-dill dressing. (LibbyVision.com)

The chef offers a kind of preview of the Patina cuisine on his revamped Kitchen menu. You’ll find hints of it in his carpaccio of salmon, buttery slices of raw salmon served with hearts of palm and cucumber in a fresh lemon-dill dressing ($16). It’s also in the pan-roasted halibut with artichokes in a heady truffle-clam broth ($32).

The prospect of a new up-market spot in the Flamingo Park area will likely intensify the Dixie dining corridor’s heat as a dining destination.

The Byrnes purchased the 1817 S. Dixie Highway space in January from Palm Beach resident Jeffrey Cole’s Blenheim Holdings for $770,000. (Cole is a loyal Kitchen customer.) Until recently, the property housed Solar Antique Tiles.

The couple is in the permitting stage for renovation of the space.

Matthew Byrne's halibut in truffled clam broth. (LibbyVision.com)
Matthew Byrne’s halibut in truffled clam broth. (LibbyVision.com)

The Patina project is underway as the Byrnes’ Kitchen, which celebrated its third anniversary in October, continues to expand. By December, they expect to spread their presence in the Belvedere plaza to include the space where Shoppe 561 now operates. That space will house a wine bar/retail space they call Prep Kitchen.

The 1600-square-foot space would host visiting winemakers, wine tastings with Chef Matthew and other wine-related events. It also will serve as a spillover space for diners waiting for their table at Kitchen. During the day, the space will serve as a retail shop, selling wines as well as grab-and-go items such as salads and Kitchen’s desserts.

Once Patina opens, the chef says he will likely shuttle between the restaurants, located just blocks apart. He says he’s confident his Kitchen crew will keep his current restaurant on point.

“It’s my original team,” says Byrne. “They’ve been with me for three years, since Day 1.”

Kitchen: 319 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach; 561-249-2281; KitchenPB.com

Tiger Woods’ top-rated restaurant keeps name and delicious menu!

Relax! Even though Tiger Woods just announced the rebranding of his Harbourside Place restaurant, The Woods Jupiter will keep the same name and delicious menu!

A game-changer for Harbourside Place, The Woods, opened in August of 2015. The eatery boasts fine food and faultless service: Read our full dining review – The Woods at Harbourside Place.

photo tiger woods restaurant
The Woods’ lobster and jumbo crab cake: fresh lobster and jumbo lump crab cake, served with a warm mustard sauce and roasted corn relish. (Contributed by The Woods Jupiter)

Another stand-out about the restaurant is the service. The Woods Jupiter was voted our Critic’s Choice pick for ‘Best Service’ in 2015!

Critic’s Choice: Which restaurant has the best service in Palm Beach County?

photo the woods restaurant
The Woods’ lobster and jumbo crab cake: fresh lobster and jumbo lump crab cake, served with a warm mustard sauce and roasted corn relish. (Contributed by The Woods Jupiter)

An excerpt from our Food Editor’s 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards:

Best service in Palm Beach County: The Woods

Tiger Woods, superstar golfer and restaurateur, brought a stroke of excellence to Jupiter’s Harbourside Place when he opened The Woods in August. The place has steakhouse sophistication and sports bar accessibility, good meat dishes and top-notch service.

Related: Our full review – “The Woods is a game-changer for Harbourside Place”

This is where servers in Nike kicks and sportswear hand out luxuriously hot towels after rounds of finger food. Servers check in often and command the menu. Their bosses check in as well.

All this in a jammed, busy restaurant, in a region stricken by spotty, inconsistent service. It is clear exceptional service is a priority here. Nike sneaker-induced speed accounts for only part of it.

The Woods: 129 Soundings Ave., at Harbourside Place, Jupiter; 561-320-9627; WoodsJupiter.com

Related: The full list of our Critic’s Choice picks for 2015

photo the woods restaurant
The Woods Jupiter at Harbourside Place in Jupiter. (Contributed)


Kitchen eatery marks milestone in West Palm Beach

Aliza and Matthew Byrne own and operate Kitchen, West Palm Beach. (LILA PHOTO)
Aliza and Matthew Byrne own and operate Kitchen, West Palm Beach. (LILA PHOTO)

In its two short years on the scene, Kitchen has transformed a sleepy Dixie Avenue plaza into a buzzy meeting place for well-heeled locals, powerbrokers and celebrities. One should expect no less from chef/co-owner Matthew Byrne, who worked as private chef for Tiger Woods before opening the charming spot with his wife, Aliza Byrne.

This month, as Kitchen turns 2, chef Byrne has rolled out an updated menu of refined American comfort classics. (Like charred corn and crab cake with tomato-avocado relish, seared salmon with kale-corn-white bean succotash, and pan roasted double-cut pork chop with apple-ginger jam.)

A good way of savoring Kitchen’s highlights is to book the chef’s four-course tasting menu ($70 per person). The menu, which changes by season, is available to parties that book the eatery’s private chef’s table as well as larger parties in Kitchen’s more recently added Den space.

Kitchen: 319 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach; 561-249-2281; KitchenPB.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda