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.
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.
By day, the restaurant occupying 145 NE 4th Avenue goes by the name Crepes by the Sea, a French creperie with fresh-roasted coffee. But at night, it transforms into SWIG Wine Bar, a wine and craft beer lounge serving a melange of French and Italian dishes. Meals might begin with appetizers of sushi-grade tuna tartar with avocado and sun-dried tomato, or a salad decorated with gourmet ingredients such as pears, walnuts, and sweet gorgonzola. Entrees include classic pasta dishes, such as four-cheese gnocchi, as well as specialty creations. Cuts of mustard-crusted salmon plunge into a beurre blanc sauce, and truffle mashed potatoes pair nicely with grilled rib eye steak. On Wednesdays, guests can follow an in-depth exploration of both the food and wine menus with regional pairings, and on Thursdays, live music sets the scene more pleasantly than someone loudly narrating each diner's movements.
As the sun dips below the horizon, the lights framing Taverna Opa's exterior flicker casting a warm glow. Inside, the calm lasts only a few moments at Taverna Opa: once night falls, live DJs take to the stage, furnishing belly dancers with a pulsating beat by which to shimmy and undulate. Waiters often lock arms and break into traditional zorba dancing. And, if the night reaches a fever pitch, patrons may toss their napkins in the air. This raucous atmosphere has earned Taverna Opa the spotlight in a slew of media publications. But though revelry is paramount, Taverna Opa doesn?t shirk cuisine: chefs marinate fresh seafood and lamb in fresh herbs and prepare them on a wood-fired grill, and bartenders pour Greek wines well-suited for the succulent meats or postmeal Trojan horse christenings.