If you love fresh-flavored Mediterranean fare, the hunt for a new favorite restaurant may soon be over. Burt Rapoport's latest modern pan-Mediterranean eatery, Apeiro, is finally slated to open on Thursday, January 15 in Delray Beach.
The restaurant, in partnership with excutive chef David Blonsky, will open in the Delray Marketplace off West Atlantic Avenue at Lyons Road. In anticipation of the new restaurant, we recently caught up with Blonsky for a closer look at some of his favorite menu items.
"My goal with Apeiro is to open people's minds to a different style of cooking," said Blonsky in a recent interview. "The food scene is getting more progressive here in South Florida, but I want to introduce my own flair, and my idea of what Mediterranean food should be."
For the past six years Blonsky -- who has worked alongside such talent as acclaimed chef Rick Tramonto and pastry chef Gail Gand -- has been cooking in Chicago. As a result, he describes his cooking style as reminiscent of the city's progressive culinary scene.
Here, in South Florida, he hopes to bring that same flair to Delray Beach. To do so, his dishes won't be the rich, heavy plates patrons in the Windy City are used to seeing, however. Instead, they'll be crafted around simplicity.
Blonsky said he'll be using less ingredients to deliver clean, fresh takes on classic dishes, while focusing on fresh, locally-sourced meats, seafood, and produce. That means using pork and beef that doesn't require tons of marinade, whole fresh fish, and specialty products imported directly from Italy and Greece to execute the Mediterranean theme.
But don't let the long-awaited grand opening of the Delray Beach restaurant take center stage. Blonsky is already thinking about bringing additional Apeiro locations to South Florida -- possibly Miami next.
Apeiro's menu will be split into several categories, beginning with small plates -- both hot and cold -- cheese platters, salads, and soup. Here, you'll find many imported selections, including stracchino, a young, creamy Italian cow's-milk cheese with a mild and delicate flavor ($9-$24).
Flatbreads are a unique addition to this menu, made with a fresh dough that is pan grilled before baking in the restaurant's wood-fired oven ($13-$18). Blonsky's favorite choice: a beet-cured gravlax over a fresh dill spread, pickled red onion, and petite herb salad.
Grilled and roasted selections come next, everything from half-roasted chicken and seared wild salmon, to roasted lamb chops. The whole roasted branzino is a stand-out dish served with an acqua pazza sauce, the Italian word for the lightly herbed broth used to poach the fish.
In addition to kebabs and specialty sandwiches, the menu also features homemade pasta dishes ($15-$21). Blonsky describes his handmade orecchiette, which he features with a rich saffron, fennel, and lemongrass cream sauce accented with a house made lamb merguez sausage and fresh watercress.
Apeiro is located at 14917 Lyons Road, Delray Beach. Call 561-826-1790.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.