The three men behind Park Tavern have been partners in arms for more than eight years. Their friendship began when Brian Albe and Brandon Belluscio tended bar at the restaurant where Anthony Pizzo manned the kitchen. Soon the symbiotic team broke out on their own, opening the wine bar Vertical 114 and the steak house Cut 432 before realizing their third venture together, Park Tavern.
The seasonal menu centers on locally procured fare, with veggies arriving at the kitchen so fresh that their roots are still intact. Signature dishes include the tavern burger, made from house-ground short rib and sirloin before being topped with locally grown tomatoes and onions. Each order of barbecue ribs is paired with a housemade buttermilk biscuit and green-apple-jalapeño chutney, which marries sweetness with spice as seamlessly as a donut maker whose custard gun is filled with wasabi.
The from-scratch mentality carries through to the specialty drinks, some of which are served in mason jars and cooled by just one large ice cube. The oversize cubes, frozen and shaped in house, melt more slowly than smaller squares, keeping flavors fresh and undiluted for longer. Fresh-squeezed juices complement drinks such as the Strawberry Fields of Kentucky—made with Tap 357 maple-infused bourbon, strawberry jam, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Rustic decor completes the Park Tavern experience, with exposed brick walls and a stained concrete bar top. The American flag on the rear wall was painted by one of the staff bartenders, who also salvaged the wood paneling from pallets. Extensive outdoor seating offers the opportunity for up to 125 guests to share the same french fry.
Fresh, seasonal ingredients, harmonious flavors, artful presentation, and eclectic gastronomic touches are the core tenets behind Patio Delray's tropical-inspired menu. The creative bill of fare highlights fresh local seafood?including Florida blue-crab cakes and a catch du jour?as well as Asian-inspired dishes such as braised boneless beef short ribs that the Sun Sentinel praised as "slow-prepared to practically dissolve in your mouth." An intimate purple-and-gray bar pours more than 30 craft and local beers, plus a menu of specialty cocktails and martinis, each one devised by owner Miss Lily.
Patio Delray?s namesake space?a covered outdoor patio area?situates diners amid lush tropical plants and casual patio tables, and an interior dining room offers a more refined experience, complete with crisp white tablecloths, silk draperies, and forks that whisper in French. The yellow-and-orange walls are made all the more colorful with the addition of artwork from Dr. Mark H. Widick, a local photographer who captures cityscapes, space-shuttle launches, and vivid underwater scenes in vibrant high-resolution images.
Housed in a restored 1924 bungalow, Dada feels more like a chic friend's home than a typical restaurant. The owners use its different rooms to their advantage, offering a choice of spaces with different artwork and ambience. In one, you might eat a quiet, romantic dinner next to a fireplace; in another, there might be a reggae band playing well into the evening. Other performers take to the open mics in the basement, and outside voices are allowed to run free in a huge yard twinkling with lights. It all adds up to an experience that's quite different from the usual mold of South Florida nightlife, and the name Dada reflects that art movement's love for incongruous juxtapositions.
There's nothing absurd or surreal about two-time Delray Beach Garlic Festival champion chef Bruce Feingold's cuisine, however?it's simply creative, eclectic, and accessible. There is, for instance, a sandwich spilling over with seven different kinds of cheese?ranked as the second best grilled cheese in the area by the New Times (which has also given Dada high marks for its late-night eats and its bartenders). There are also more grown-up options, including lots of fresh fish. But for dessert, it's hard to resist the pure decadence of the Bunny, a sticky brownie with ice cream and bacon caramel.
75 Main in Delray Beach opened in April as the southern outpost of 75 Main, a three-year-old hotspot in Southhampton, New York that attracts celebs such as Jodie Foster and Pierce Brosnan, according to Boca magazine. Like its parent venue, the Delray Beach version blends a restaurant serving European-influenced seafood with a nightclub-like atmosphere after dark. The restaurant's 31-year-old founder, Zach Erdem, has sprinkled the modern space with abstract art pieces whose richly colored paints evoke the bold sauces blended by chef Walter Hinds.
Sliding into a cushy white booth, diners can nosh on appetizers such as sautéed mussels, pan-fried crabcakes, and truffle-accented mushroom risotto. Mahi mahi, swordfish, and shrimp sauté in garlic wine sauce as salads toss with fresh fixings of crumbled blue cheese and shaved parmesan. After finishing off the last Little Neck clam, guests can retreat to the outdoor patio and enjoy a sunrise cosmo in a cushioned lounge chair, or impress a date by ordering a signature midnight cocktail at exactly 11:59.
A blue awning and fragrant wall of tropical flowers transform Taso’s Greek Taverna’s patio into a private enclave, illuminated by a string of twinkling lights. Inside, the ambiance is no less welcoming: sunlight streams through windows and illuminates pale-yellow walls and paintings of Mediterranean vistas. At the restaurant’s sister location, Taso’s Greek Taverna 2, the atmosphere is just as charming, with glistening wooden tables and a serpentine ceiling outlined with fluorescent light.
The ambiance is the first sign of Chef Taso Katechis’s commitment to celebrating Mediterranean culture. In the kitchen, chefs roast lamb and beef, stuff fresh fish and flaky filo dough with spinach and feta, and garnish their edible masterpieces with traditional accoutrements of Greek potatoes and warm, homemade pita. Additionally, they serve up a kid’s menu of Greek specialties to help create an experience that’s pleasing to both children and parents, much like a sock-puppet rendition of Law and Order.
Jimmy and Joe Castello, the father-son proprietors of Mamma’s Pizza Co., trace their culinary origins to 1969, when their family bought a small bakery. They commemorate this milestone by proudly displaying a black-and-white photo of their family posing in front of the shop’s quaint, striped awning. Today, they continue their journey by slinging traditional and sicilian pizzas that host toppings ranging from pepperoni and sausage to fresh basil and mozzarella. In addition to Italian-American favorites such as toasty subs and calzones and pasta dinners, they also whip up chicken wings slathered in mild, hot, or barbecue sauce.
Inside their cozy dining room, pale-yellow walls festooned with rolling pins and potted plants on the counter help maintain a cheerful atmosphere. The Castello family picture still stands watch over a few wooden tables, making sure that diners practice proper table manners and pizza-origami technique.