Puerto Rico relief: Local restaurants, chefs plan various fundraisers

With a heap of good will and good grub, local chefs and restaurants are hosting fundraisers for the storm-stricken people of Puerto Rico

As the island attempts to rebuild amid a widespread power outage and poor access to drinking water, some here are building bridges of compassion. Here’s a roundup of local efforts: 

Puerto Rico Pop-Up 

At Pistache, Thursday, Oct. 12 

Clematis Street’s favorite French bistro is hosting a special Puerto Rican-themed night Thursday to help those still reeling from Hurricane Maria’s impact last month. 

The bistro, which hosts “Tour du Monde” culinary events in the off-season, will offer a three-course prix fixe menu that pays tribute to the island’s cuisine. On the menu: sancocho (beef stew), avocado salad, roast pork belly with pigeon pea rice and sweet plantains, arroz con pollo and coconut flan. All this and Bacardi piña coladas and DJ-spun rhythms. 

The special dinner costs $50 per person. Pistache pledges to donate 100 percent of the night’s proceeds to Puerto Rican hurricane relief via UNICEF USA. 

Dinner service starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes through close. Reservations are accepted. 

Pistache: 101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-833-5090  

Dine for a Cause 

At Casa D’Angelo, Monday Oct. 16 

For Boca Raton chef/restaurateur Angelo Elia, Puerto Rico is quite special – he worked on the island for several years as a young cook. 

On Monday, he will create a fine, four-course Italian dinner with wine pairings at his upscale Northern Italian restaurant to help raise funds for those impacted by Hurricane Maria. On the menu: appetizers including creamy burrata with grilled zucchini, beef carpaccio, pan-seared scallops over warm cannellini salad, pastas including smoked mozzarella ravioli and risotto with porcini and truffles, entrees including branzino piccata and veal rollatini, and a cappuccino panna cotta for dessert. 

Reservations are required for the special dinner, which costs $150 per person. All proceeds will be donated to UNICEF USA Puerto Rico Relief. 

Casa D’Angelo: 171 E. Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton; reservations at 561-338-1703 

Puerto Rico Relief Fundraiser

At Rafiki Tiki, Thursday Oct. 19, 3-10 p.m.

This casual waterfront spot will host a Puerto Rican buffet to raise funds for storm victims. They will donate 20 percent of the meal proceeds to the “Unidos Por Puerto Rico” charity, and 100 percent of the funds collected in a silent auction. 

The restaurant also is collecting food and other essentials (baby wipes, formula, water, insect repellant, batteries, blankets, etc.) 

The all-you-can-eat buffet costs $35 per person and includes two drinks and live music. Reservations are recommended.

Rafiki Tiki: at the Riviera Marina, 190 E. 13th St., Riviera Beach; 561-812-2240  

Puerto Rico in My Heart 

At Bistro Ten Zero One, Thursday Oct. 26, 7 to 10 p.m. 

From his kitchen at Bistro Ten Zero One at the West Palm Beach Marriott, Chef Christian Quiñones could feel the winds of Hurricane Maria as it slammed into his homeland. He was nowhere near Puerto Rico, but his heart was on the island, where his parents and young daughter live. 

He calls it “miraculous” that he could speak to his mother as Maria’s winds were picking up and that he could hear her voice again after a few days of silence. But communicating with his daughter was more difficult. He sent pleas and messages to the island via friends and social media, hoping someone could give him a post-storm update on his daughter. 

Then came a glimmer of good news via text from a friend: “I saw your daughter playing on the grass. She looks good, smiling as always.” 

There’s a happy ending here: Quiñones was able to bring his little girl to Florida. 

Unfortunately for those who remain on the island without power and with limited access to food and drinking water, there have been few such tidy conclusions. 

For them, Quiñones is organizing a hurricane relief grand tasting event called “Puerto Rico in My Heart.” For the event, the chef has enlisted Meat Market chef/co-owner Sean Brasel (who has a Meat Market location in San Juan), chef Rafael Velazquez (executive chef at Starr Restaurant Group) and other prominent South Florida chefs. 

Tickets for the all-inclusive event (food, drinks, live music) are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. All funds raised will go to the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce’s Fiesta de Pueblo Disaster Relief Fund. For tickets, visit http://bit.ly/puertoricoinmyheart. 

Bistro Ten Zero One: at the West Palm Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-833-1234  

Salute 2 Puerto Rico 

At Salute Market, Friday Nov. 3, 5 to 8 p.m. 

This Palm Beach Gardens restaurant and bar is partnering with the “House Our Heroes” charity to host an evening of appetizers and cocktails to help raise funds for Puerto Rico’s needy. 

The charity will work with the county’s Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to help relocate and house veterans and families from the island to Florida. 

The ticket price, $25 in advance and $35 at the door, buys one cocktail and appetizers (plus DJ-spun tunes). For tickets, visit the Eventbrite site or the event’s Facebook page

Salute Market: 5530 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-425-5651

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