Did you know that downtown Delray Beach -- what has been a go-to South Florida dining destination for more than 25 years -- has about 111 restaurants, many of which you'll find on Atlantic Avenue?
With long-standing favorites like Vic and Angelo's, City Oyster, and Cafe de France among the many establishments to have welcomed tourists and locals alike over the years, it's easy to see how there can never be too many good restaurants on one street -- and we're excited to see several newly developed locations that have expanded Delray's already vibrant food scene.
Now you can sip a cocktail at an outdoor, oceanfront tiki bar, sample 3-for-1 cocktails during happy hour at an Asian gastro-lounge, or grab a small-batch bourbon flight at a tavern-style eatery. Here, our list of five new dining options in Delray Beach:
32 SE Second Ave., Delray Beach
Park Tavern, which opened at the start of this year, is the brainchild of Cut 432 owners Brian Albe, Brandon Belluscio, and Tony Pizzo. While Cut is the upscale steak joint, the trio have branded their second Delray establishment, Park Tavern, as the more contemporary counterpart with a hipster menu and tavern-like bar scene.
Park Tavern boasts "housemade everything" -- from the bread and cured meats to condiments and sauces. Like many up-and-coming South Florida establishments, executive chef Victor Meneses uses ingredients sourced locally and sustainably, from farmers and fishermen alike.
The menu features moderately priced appetizers and entrées, as well as nightly specials that include a list of unique desserts. Appetizer specials highlighted on the restaurant's Facebook page include fresh clams cooked with leaks and a lemon fume. For dessert: a coconut panna cotta with toasted macadamia nuts and served with a house-made pineapple sorbet.
The liquid menu is equally appealing: 50 rotating wines by the glass and 150 selections of by-the-bottle, hand-picked, small-batch selections and boutique labels. The same goes for the varied selection of handcrafted cocktails, infused spirits, high-end liquor, and more than 20 specialty craft beers on tap. Can't decide? Try a flight of tequila, gin, or bourbon to sample a few of their specialty labels.
Set back from the street off a small grassy area at the western end of Atlantic Avenue, Park Tavern's location allows for a measure of serene privacy with the covered outdoor patio. To take advantage of its unique location, the restaurant recently added additional outdoor seating with plenty of shade, compliments of a spacious tent-like canopy -- just the place to grab a bite and drink à la Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, who were recently spotted dining outdoors at Park Tavern with their children.
Park Tavern will be open for lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) starting October 1.
8 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach561-330-4236
First time restauranteur and co-owner Scott Kennedy has revamped the former Caliente Kitchen space into an Asian-fusion gastro-lounge. What does that mean? It's a restaurant with a heavy focus on fusing good food and drink with a killer late-night atmosphere.
The long, deep space was redecorated for a contemporary feel, white-washed rough wood walls complemented by a cement-lacquered bar and matching high-top tables. Low lighting and disco ball and LED strobe lights make it feel like a classy disco, but what really catches your eye: the back wall, where you'll find Palm Beach County's largest flat-panel TV, a 16-foot screen that often defaults to a vibrant undersea panorama when it's not set to the game.
Union's menu, recently revamped by newly appointed executive chef Daruth "CK" Bank, has stayed true to the Asian-fusion approach, an updated mix of Thai and Chinese-focused fare reasonably priced from appetizers ($5 to $10) and entrées ($14 to $16) to specialty dishes ($25 to $35). That means you'll find a little bit of everything -- noodles and rice dishes as well as standard Chinese favorites like beef with broccoli, orange chicken, or sweet-and-sour pork offset by Thai dishes like mango curry, pad Thai and pad kee mao (drunken noodles).
The best thing about Union is its happy hour. Although Kennedy has done away with the half-priced fare, you can still cash in on what is quite possibly the best deal on Atlantic: Three-for-one drinks that allow you to sample any of the bar's specialty mojitos, margaritas, martinis, or cocktails made with top-shelf liquor. Can't finish all three? No problem. Staff will give you a ticket to redeem later.
Union is open 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The three-for-one happy hour is Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.
32 SE Second Ave., Delray Beach
The Salt7 opened for business in early April, a bright and contemporary establishment newly built at the corner of 2nd Ave. and Atlantic Ave. Open for lunch and dinner, Salt7 serves seafood focused fare that combines prime cuts of meat, sushi, and premium cocktails for an upscale, trendy dining experience.
Owned by the same restaurant group as Ohio-based Sushi Rock, the Salt7 menu offers a little bit of everything for lunch -- think sushi, sashimi, Japanese bento boxes, sandwiches, salads, soups and entrees. Come dinner, the menu shakes off the casual vibe for a sexy take on specialty sushi rolls, prime steaks and chops -- even a raw bar.
The restaurant shares the same patch of grassy lawn with neighbor Park Tavern, making way for plenty of outdoor seating and people-watching day or night. The bar -- visible from the street with seating both inside and out -- makes for a casual, sophisticated setting to sample small plates, apps, and cocktails. Inside, a clean and contemporary design makes for a quiet, intimate dining experience.
270 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
75 Main is a touch of New York elegance in South Florida thanks to New York restaurateur and night-life maven Zach Erdem, a former right-hand man to Nello Balan, owner of New York's Nello on Madison Avenue and Nello Summertimes in the Hamptons.
Erdem left the popular New York eateries in late 2010 to take over 75 Main, another venerable Southampton establishment, and today the venue has expanded to include 75 Main Delray. Erdem spent more than a year searching South Florida for the perfect location before settling on Delray Beach, where he hopes to bring "a touch of Hamptons sophistication with a definitive dose of South Florida hospitality."
Indeed, 75 Main Delray offers a sophisticated dining experience where a fusion of "art, food and culture" come together, 4,600 square feet of white leather Barcelona chairs, walnut porcelain floors, a marble-topped bar, and textured wave walls accented with original artwork by artist Raphael Mazzucco.
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Open daily for brunch, lunch, and dinner (the late-night lounge opens Thursday through Saturday), the menu highlights contemporary American cuisine with Mediterranean accents. That means you'll find everything from whole-roasted branzino and tuna to Kobe beef sliders and veal chops, with dishes priced $20 to $35. Daily specials include entrées like a dish of grilled, marinated duck breast plated with tasso sage polenta, asparagus, white balsamic applesauce, foie gras butter, and apple chips for $32.
The best way to experience 75 Main: during its daily happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m., when you can sample select appetizers and all cocktails for half-price Monday through Sunday.