Even before he opened his popular West Palm Beach eatery Kitchen, chef-owner Matthew Byrne had his eye on the building located just down the road at 1817 S. Dixie Hwy. Little did he know that just three years later he'd be planning the menu for his second establishment at that very location, just as he'd always dreamed.
This time next year, Matthew and his wife/business partner, Aliza, will be adding to West Palm Beach's growing restaurant row with Patina, an Israeli-themed eatery serving Byrne's take on Mediterranean fare.
In January, the couple purchased the building next door to Palm Beach chef Clay Conley's Grato, formerly Solar Antique Tiles. Aliza says the building’s vintage, mismatched tile floors inspired the name, while Matthew’s experience cooking for a Dmitri Chimes' Greek restaurant in his hometown of Philadelphia inspired the concept, as did Aliza’s Middle Eastern heritage.
"In Philadelphia, when I was working at Dmitri's, [Chimes] and I would go to the fish market every day to buy for the restaurant, and his philosophy was to buy the best and do as little to it as possible, similar to my approach at Kitchen today," says Matthew. "At Patina, expect a very seafood-driven menu with a lot of whole-fish options, both local and from the Mediterranean, as well as my Americanized take on Israeli- and Greek-inspired dishes, similar to the way my wife and I like to eat it at home."
The 2,500-square-foot space will offer a new focus for golfer Tiger Wood's former personal chef, who is best know for serving straightforward American classics at 3-year-old Kitchen. Those hungry for a taste of Patina can find it nightly at the restaurant, where Matthew is currently preparing a number of Greek-inspired dishes like paper-wrapped salmon (pictured above).
Although Patina won't open for another year, you can find some big changes over at Kitchen, adds Aliza, who is working to organize a new pop-up concept dubbed Prep Kitchen, set to launch in the restaurant's neighboring Shoppe 561 space.
"During season, we are always so busy, and even though we have the 'den' for spillover, it's never enough," says Aliza. "Matthew and I always wanted to do a grab-and-go store where we could sell our cakes and sandwiches as well as have space for a retail wine bar, so we decided to expand with a pop-up. It's something I think can organically grow into a permanent fixture."
By day, Prep Kitchen will serve as a retail space and market offering affordably priced boutique wines; grab-and-go items such as salads; Matthew's popular desserts; and a special section curated with hostess-inspired items.
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In the evenings, the 1,600-square-foot auxiliary space will morph into a wine bar and waiting area for Kitchen diners and will be also be used to host visiting winemakers and offer wine tastings or pairing dinners as well as events or trunk shows featuring the local artisan crafters found in the retail space.
"We pride ourselves in the quality, the food, and the clients," says Aliza. "What makes all this special are the people who've supported us throughout the years. I really do believe that good things happen to good people. Work hard, and the stars will align. We've been blessed."
Kitchen. 319 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach; 561-249-2281; kitchenpb.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