"It took them five years before they would let me handle the fish," says sushi chef Jo Clark about his extensive training. He began his culinary journey at 13 years old and spent a decade in an apprenticeship at the Japanese restaurant Yama. There, he honed an ability to prep rice and sauces, wield a knife, and select sushi-grade fish while shadowing chefs from different regions of Japan. In his spare time, Jo enjoys paddle-surfing and once skillfully maneuvered alongside a lively school of sharks.
At the restaurant, however, he deftly manages cuts of salmon, flounder, hamachi yellowtail, and shellfish to craft more than 40 inventive sushi rolls. He toys with the traditions of sushi, wrapping some rolls with thin slices of European cucumber and creating a sashimi pizza on a tortilla crust. The aromas of ginger, eggplant, and garlic wander from pots of Thai-style dishes in the kitchen and out into dining rooms. Though each location has distinct decor, diners mingle among elements such as exposed-brick bars, hardwood floors, and hanging Japanese paper lanterns in the exciting bright colors of a furious traffic cop viewed through a kaleidoscope.
Some chefs wake up to a steaming pot of coffee, but Glenn Cockburn?s morning fix is Maine lobster, which arrives at his fish house by 10:30 a.m. each day. Informed by his training at the Culinary Institute of America and more than 35 years in the restaurant business, Glenn steams the elegant crustacean whole to release its natural flavors. He unleashes his talents on other seaborne species as well, blackening yellowfin, grouper, and rainbow trout to form dinners as healthy as a jog through a field of wheatgrass. Non-seafood specialties, such as aged new york strip steak, pair nicely with staples from the wine list, including Don Gascon malbec and Ferrari Carano chardonnay. Guests flock to the outdoor patio on sunny days, where they can enjoy lunches of mahi-mahi tacos and desserts such as key-lime pie with raspberry coulis. Lined with ocean-blue accents and reef-themed tile mosaics, the interior summons daydreams about scuba-diving trips and sojourns at Poseidon?s lake house.
The printer inside Tasty Image hums its monotone song and produces a high-definition photograph?on a thick sheet of chocolate. But It's not a waste of candy. The machine uses FDA-approved, food-grade inks to create readily consumable, framed chocolate photographs or personalized lollipops. The ink is entirely odorless and flavorless and serves as mere decoration for the cocoa beneath. It?s treats like this that make Tasty Image so different from other chocolate stores.
The international chocolate shop's offerings go well beyond the simple printed image as well. Using another method, the staff provides kits with edible-ink markers that kids can use to color in chocolate butterflies before devolving them back to caterpillars with a few swift bites. Each shop also carries boxes of truffles, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and even raw chocolate, which is used in Tasty Image?s BYOB chocolate making classes.
Every day, Cynthia, manager of Jupiter Pointe Paddling, opens her hibiscus-adorned rental hut to let adventure seekers set sail from the sandy banks of a crescent-shaped private beach. A complimentary lesson accompanies every kayak or paddleboard rental, letting beginners get their bearings before they glide toward a nearby sandbar to spot sea turtles, manatees, and majestic stingrays. More experienced water skimmers can paddle up to the Jupiter Lighthouse, which grants a glimpse of 120 palm-studded acres punctuated by 25 special-status species of wildlife and one boring labrador. The staff of water warriors also mixes up the aqueous activities with Mommy and Me sessions, standup-paddleboard-yoga classes, and kids' lessons, along with exalting the outdoors with full-moon celebrations and sealife-spotting tours.
Since 1985, when Paul Flanigan opened the first of five Florida locations, Quarterdeck Seafood Bar & Neighborhood Grill continues to ply diners with succulent seafood and delectable libations. Each location’s culinary team crafts handmade burgers, blackens or grills delicate fish filets, and heaps plates with oysters and yellowfin tuna from the raw bar. International wines, martinis, and shooters refresh palates between bites, and when weather permits, sliding windows and doors fill the restaurant with wafts of fresh air. The Quarterdeck complements its oceanic menu with its decor of old-maritime equipment, saltwater-fish tanks, and the understudy shark from Jaws, and its flat-screen televisions and billiards tables entertain through the day and night.
The Connection’s walls feature numerous frames, which each contain pieces of history, ranging from newspaper clippings to autographed photos. Encased in one of the frames is the sub shop’s original menu from 1974, which included $0.95 genoa salami sandwiches and $1.35 meatball subs. Aside from inflation-adjusted prices, much of The Connection remains the same. It still specializes in subs and sandwiches, makes its salads fresh daily, offers kosher pickles, and prepares party platters that can feed groups of people or one competitive eater.