Gary Rack's Farmhouse Kitchen to Replace Fat Rooster in May

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So goes the old saying, "When one restaurant closes, another opens" — or something like that.

GR Restaurant Management Group — the one behind Delray Beach's Racks Fish House + Oyster Bar and Racks Downtown Eatery + Tavern in Boca Raton — has announced plans to rebrand Gary Rack’s Fat Rooster in downtown Delray Beach into the company's health-focused concept Farmhouse Kitchen.

The Delray Beach Farmhouse Kitchen is slated to open in May. When it does, it will be the second location for the concept specializing in "guilt free" and "farm fresh" dishes that first opened in Boca Raton's Royal Palm Place in 2014.

According to GR Restaurant Management Group CEO Gary Rack, the transformation from Fat Rooster to Farmhouse Kitchen is due to overwhelming local and visitor support for the eco-friendly Boca Raton location. Rack, who has been in the restaurant business for more than a decade, said he carefully considered comments from local supporters before deciding to swap concepts to one modeled after his own healthy lifestyle.

"The Fat Rooster was unique in concept and positioned well in central downtown Delray Beach. However, due to popular demand and dining trends, I feel transforming the location to Gary Rack's Farmhouse Kitchen will suit diners' cravings more than Fat Rooster's Southern-style cuisine," says Rack. "Farm-to-table isn't just a concept to me. It's a way of life, and I am thrilled to share this with Delray Beach."

Guests can anticipate the new Farmhouse Kitchen to be modeled after its flagship location. Despite a smaller space — the indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant once housed Linda Bean's Maine Lobster at the corner of SE Second Avenue and Atlantic Avenue and seats only 80 — the restaurant will continue to promote an identical mission of supporting local purveyors.

Farmhouse Kitchen executive chef Matthew Danaher cooks according to season while employing his own back-to-basics mentality. That means a strict focus on using only seasonal, sustainable, and locally sourced ingredients while also cooking without butter, cream, or excess fat.

A new signature vegetable menu is being offered, a series of $6 dishes that feature produce sourced from local farms that change with the seasons. Right now, selections include smoked Gouda cauliflower mash, honey-roasted carrots, beluga lentil salad, and a sesame, sunflower, and mushroom slaw. 

In addition, both the Boca Raton and Delray Beach locations will now feature a reserve wine menu of hand-selected wines for true connoisseurs, adds Rack, as well as the in-house Vero water program.

"It’s been a dream of mine to open a restaurant with a menu that captivates the better-for-you foods, that leave you happily satisfied while not guilty. Beyond serving good food, we have a mission to provide a lifestyle," says Rack.

Gary Rack's Farmhouse Kitchen opens in Delray Beach this May. The restaurant will be located at 204 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-266-3642, or visit farmhousekitchenboca.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer 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 the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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