Bizaare Avenue Cafe
Bizaare celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, an enduring testament to a good idea that's persisted through Y2K, 9/11, a celebrity baby boom, a decade of the Donald's comb-over, and the final episode of Friends. In fact, owner Al Salopek credits that NBC megahit as the inspiration for his insidiously comfortable and enduringly popular café — plop down on a corner sofa with a good pal and you won't be getting up anytime soon. Salopek spiffed up this old brick two-story (formerly a thrift store) and installed plush couches strewn with throw pillows, overstuffed retro chairs, and low coffee tables (all for sale), lighting the space with antique lamps and filling a clawfoot bathtub with wine bottles. Couples have been making up and breaking up over tapas plates, salads, gourmet pizza, and snifters of pinot ever since. In 2005, Salopek added Upstairs at Bizaare. Now we have twice the space in which to gossip, canoodle, and plan our next ten years.
Prime Catch
Despite its corporate gleam, the nautical paraphernalia, and a sedate view of a patch of the Boynton Beach Intracoastal, Prime Catch (owned by the same folks who gave us Banana Boat) is a waterfront restaurant that makes good on the old Florida promise of easy living. There's enough space in this enormous, vaguely Bahamian-inspired complex (tropical foliage, wood shutters, brass fixtures) so that you can almost find a room of your own — whether it's a window next to the busy bar, in the subdued dining area, outside by a railing on the deck, or cozied upstairs in the wine room. The surprise here is not necessarily the view, although sitting dockside on an early spring evening as sailboats drift under the bridge is deliciously pleasant. It's that such a variety of seafood has been brought in fresh, filleted in house, and gussied up with preparations that elevate these dishes a couple of large notches above high-tourist mess hall. There's cilantro oil and beurre blanc, pecan crab relish and Creole seasonings, orange mango hollandaise sauce and red onion marmalade. And it's all married to a range of fish and shellfish that includes yellowtail, grilled Scottish salmon, mahi, Gulf shrimp, Maine lobster, sole, swordfish, and sea bass. Add appetizers like lobster fritters and oysters Florentine and Prime Catch demonstrates that waterfront fine dining doesn't have to be a contradiction in terms.

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