The Grove is the vision of chef/partner Michael Haycook and partner Paul Strike. They met while attending the Culinary Institute of America, back in 2003; Strike went on to work the front of house at Area 31 in Miami, and Haycook was a sommelier at DB Bistro and Zuma. To round out the team, they brought in resident chef Meghan O’Neal, an alumnus of Alinea and Next, two Chicago restaurants by Grant Achatz that are at the forefront of the American molecular gastronomy scene. Together, the three run the small, 26-seat “neighborhood” spot in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove, focusing on simple yet beautifully executed dishes made with the finest ingredients, like a Hudson Valley foie gras. Every two weeks, the menu changes completely — with Haycook and O’Neal handling the stoves and switching from entrées to appetizers and desserts. Between the food, environment, customer service, and extensive wine list, this little spot is well worth the slightly elevated prices.
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