The season’s hot dining trends

Chains blossom on Palm Beach, hotel cuisine gets a reboot and Delray is exploding…again.

One doesn’t need a crystal ball to foresee the tasty fare on tap this season. But one does need an appetite and some sense of adventure.

Looking beyond the year’s closings and summer stagnation, the fall season promises a whole new crop of eateries as well as the reinforcement of some trends.


One quasi-trend that seems to be gaining traction on Palm Beach is the sprouting up of the once-shunned chain restaurant. And this is significant — after all, here’s a place where a popular Hillstone chain eatery goes by the indie-sounding name, Palm Beach Grill.

Into the neighborhood come several new, non-indie spots:

The newly opened Del Frisco’s Grille, an upscale bar and American grill which proudly wears its corporate name, opened for business in late September.

South Beach’s Meat Market is on schedule to open an outpost of the high-end steak house at 191 Bradley Place, in the former Palm Beach Steakhouse locale, in November.

And BrickTop’s, a Nashville-based chain of upscale but accessible restaurants, plans to open its eighth location in the former Amici location on South County Road later this fall.

Oh-so-particular Palm Beach granted BrickTop’s owner, Joe Ledbetter, permission to use the corporate name for the eatery, instead of the alternative “BT Palm Beach.” However, like any chain eatery that ventures onto the island, BrickTop’s will have to make sure this concept is not a carbon copy of the other restaurants in its chain. In this case, Ledbetter assured the eatery’s layout and uniform will be different. One thing we suspect will remain: the Palm Beach entrée salad on its menu – crab meat, shrimp, avocado and eggs, $17.


Speaking of chains, hotel chain Four Seasons will open Jové, a modern Italian restaurant and bar in December. The new concept — which is likely to showcase the adventurous side of executive chef Darryl Moiles, one of the best culinary talents in the county — will take over the space where The Restaurant operated. Working alongside Moiles, the new restaurant chef is Italian-born Mauro Zanusso, who comes to the resort from the Four Seasons Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

“The kitchen will take the essence of Italian cuisine and infuse it with modern techniques, creativity, Palm Beach flavor and the passion to make everything from scratch. The bar will represent the art of mixology and theater of cocktail making, featuring a collection of eclectic premium vermouths, grappas and artisan liqueurs,” says Laurie Zuckerman, Four Seasons director of public relations.

Across town, at The Breakers Palm Beach, another classic space is getting a redo. The resort’s Flagler Steakhouse is set to unveil its dramatic makeover (in design and menu) in mid-November. The revamped digs were designed by Adam D. Tihany, the celebrated designer (Per Se, Le Cirque 2000, Restaurant Daniel) who gave the resort’s HMF bar its retro-glam look.

The Steakhouse is set to open on the second floor of the resort’s Ocean Clubhouse a year after the launch of HMF. The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.


Across the bridges, in West Palm, the CityPlace scene intensifies with the imminent opening of Decks Fish Market in the spacious upstairs spot where Taverna Opa operated. It joins the entertainment complex at a time of significant transitions: the openings of Tequila Cowboy’s, WannaBs, The Brass Tap, the renovations of Il Bellagio and Saito’s, and the slated openings of the 35,000-square-foot Revolutions Bowling Bar & Grille, Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Auntie Anne’s pretzels.


In South County, the scene continues to sizzle as it anticipates the arrival of a third Angelo Elia eatery in Palm Beach County. The Broward-based chef/restaurateur is set to open D’Angelo Pizza, a wine bar and tapas spot, at The Shoppes at Addison Place in Delray Beach, later in October.

Farther east in Delray, Taverna Opa, the festive Greek eatery, will whoop it up in the space formerly occupied by 75 Main.

Across Atlantic Avenue, in Delray’s hot district, El Camino will vrrroom into a spot on Northeast 2nd Avenue. The Mexican soul food joint is a concept by the team behind Cut 432 and Park Tavern, both on Atlantic Avenue.

But perhaps the biggest news in south county is the coming of the new Saltwater Brewery, preparing to open in the former Delray Beach Farm Supply building next to the Tri-Rail tracks on Atlantic Avenue, just west of I-95. In addition to a brewhouse, Saltwater will have a tasting room and Dade County pine-lined bar, as well as a tropical beer garden.

The brewery, which is expected to open by the end of October, joins a growing local movement of craft beer lovers, home-brewers and breweries that include Tequesta Brewing Co., Due South and Funky Buddha. The craft brew wave has not only re-stocked our supermarket shelves, it has re-written local menus to include an array of craft on tap, revamped the dining scene to include beer pairing events and breathed life into local festivals.

Like food trucks, craft brew is ubiquitous across the county. Fad? Don’t bet on it. Street food and suds are here to stay.

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