For those of you who don’t reside in the 305 or just don’t want to deal with Miami’s infamous traffic and parking, there are many restaurants north of County Line Road where one can have a delicious and memorable Valentine’s Day. Whether you decide to dine on bustling Las Olas Boulevard or in quirky Delray Beach, Joonbug’s Broward/Palm Beach dining guide for V-day will help point you in the right direction. Here are a few of our picks:
Big City Tavern
609 E. Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Locavore. That seems to be the word on the proverbial gastronomic street these days, and chefs seem to be going to great pains to bring diners produce, meats, cheeses, honeys, and libations that are as local as possible. However, it seems as if Sundy House in Delray Beach has every farm-to-table restaurant in South Florida beat when it comes to shrinking the space between where a restaurant sources its produce and its final destination on a diner's plate. Anyone who hasn't been to Sundy House (read review here) is in for a an unforgettable and almost enchanted experience. The property, which features a boutique hotel and exquisite restaurant, is a tropical oasis just off the main drag of downtown Delray Beach, which is perhaps one of the most culturally and culinarily vibrant areas north of MiMo. Perhaps the most unforgettable part of Sundy House are its tropical gardens featuring dozens of edible flora, some of which are even new to the most seasoned horticulturist.
It seems as if Delray Beach is where it's at if you're a foodie in search of a good deal next week. Angelo Elia's restaurant D'Angelo Trattoria will be offering a four cours prix-fixe menu with wine pairings on Tuesday, August 7th for only $50 per person. Chef Rickie Piper has created a sumptuous menu featuring classic Roman dishes that will beautifully accent the selection of Northern Italian wines from the region's best boutique vineyards:
PROSCUITTO DI PARMA E PERE COTTE NEL VINO BIANCO
Thinly Sliced Parma Proscuitto with White Wine Poached Pear and Balsamic Reduction
Like many native Miamians, I often find myself entertaining the idea that between between County Line Road and New York City, there is nothing but farmland and highway. To give Miami some credit, we all consciously know this isn't true, but subconsciously we have this idea that Miami is the most important cosmopolitan city in the Southeastern United States, and this prevents many of us from exploring some other towns and cities that don't get quite as much publicity. Last week I convinced myself to visit a place called Sundy House in Delray Beach, a city that had previously seemed so far away and exotic to me that it was classified under "road trip destinations" along with Key West, Orlando, Tampa, and Saint Augustine. I was surprised at the fact that even during rush hour, it took me only thirty five minutes to get there from Fort Lauderdale (I'd tack on at least anouther half hour if coming from Miami), and yet when I arrived at my destination it appeared as if I was worlds away from Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The vibe of Downtown Delray Beach reminded me of Coconut Grove in the nineties: a lush tropical jungle dotted with old Florida homes and vibrating with an artsy, creative energy. Anticipating just a restaurant, I was initially surprised and then enchanted when I approached Sundy House and discovered an entire compound surround by dense tropic foliage that took up nearly an entire block. This was unlike anywhere I had ever been to before, and as my evening progressed I realized that Sundy House is unlike anywhere else in South Florida...or perhaps the world.
Insatiable restaurateur Dennis Max is at it again with his newest Restaurant, Max’s Harvest, in Delray Beach. This cozy “farm-to-fork” restaurant promises in-season food, grown locally and brought right to your table. Dennis Max, along with Executive Chef Chris Miracolo and General Manager Pete Stampone, use their ties with local farmers and growers to put only the freshest, most high quality ingredients on your plate. Max’s Harvest offers an outdoor seating area to enjoy those beautiful South Florida days while you dine, as well as a cozy indoor seating area complete with full bar and an open kitchen. It also offers another outdoor seating area with its own bar, lush greens, and a zen-like waterfall to ensure the most pleasant dining experience you can imagine. Combine that with an incredibly friendly staff, and you will leave Max’s Harvest satisfied.
The fabulous Max’s Grille in Boca Raton is celebrating it’s 20thAnniversary. Though this stellar restaurant is a mainstay in the community, it’s still got quite a spring in it’s step. Having never been to Max’s before, I was anxious to see what proprietor Dennis Max had to offer (other than superb choice of first name, of course). I made sure to ask around beforehand and heard not a single bad review, which of course made me just a teensy bit skeptical. Can a restaurant really be as good as advertised? Well, two hours and a stomach full later, the answer was clear… No. It can actually be far better.
Unfortunately, Japan suffered yet another earthquake and a tsunami warning yesterday, almost a month since the initial earthquakes and tsunami hit the island country. Thankfully, many national and local businesses are still offering ways to continue helping Japan relief efforts. Joonbug will post ways you can help businesses whose proceeds go to rescue and relief efforts.
Next week, City Oyster & Sushi Bar, one of Downtown Delray Beach’s most beloved restaurants for 10 years running, is making a commitment to support disaster relief efforts in Japan by donating 10% of sales from all sushi menu items from April 11-17 to the American Red Cross. You can help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami throughout the Pacific by ordering any of their sushi menu appetizers including Seaweed Salad, Shrimp Goyza or Kobe Beef Tataki. Or, choose from their 30 plus roles including the Kamikaze (tuna, masago, scallions, jalapeños, tempura flakes, spicy soybean mayo), Beauty & the Beast (half eel, half tuna, scallions, avocado, cucumber, red and black topeko, eel sauce), Oyster Dynamite (oysters, clam, real crab meat, baked with soybean mayo & spicy mayo), or the Mexican (shrimp tempura, spicy mayo, avocado, scallions) to name a few.
Stayed tuned for other Japanese relief efforts that we post throughout the month.
City Oyster & Sushi Bar
213 E. Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach