There's no escaping the fact that when it comes to food trends, we're a bit behind the curve here in South Florida. Maybe it's our tropical mindset, but it just takes us a while to notice the latest food fad. But that doesn't mean we don't keep our food game tight. Boca Raton is a foodie city, if for no other reason than it is a temporary and seasonal home to a lot of foodies hailing from the frozen North. They expect, if not the trendiest, then at least the freshest and best-prepared food.
Over the past few years, the city has seen a lot of new restaurants pop up -- ones that deserve to be recognized for both their innovative concepts and well-executed fare. In addition to our list of the Ten Best Restaurants in Boca Raton, these newcomers are helping to make Boca Raton a foodie destination worth checking out.
Try one today, and discover which establishments on these lists deserve to be your new favorites.
See also: The Ten Best Restaurants in Boca Raton
10. Casa Tequila
With a Mexican restaurant in Wellington already under his belt, restaurateur Salvador Gutierrez has opened a new Casa location in the former Campagnolo space in Boca Raton's Lakeside Center. Gutierrez -- who owns the Rancho Chico family of restaurants with locations in Tequesta and Stuart as well as Los Agaves in Royal Palm Beach -- opened Casa Tequila in late 2014. Unlike many places in Boca Raton, the menu, concept, and overall prices are unique to the area. You can find a solid meal for a decent price, and it offers one of the city's few Mexican takes outside of fast-casual Chipotle and upmarket Rocco's Tacos. Casa Tequila is located at 8228 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561-4300-5458, CasaTequilaFl.com.
9. Jazziz Nightlife
Jazziz Nightlife at Mizner Park in Boca Raton Florida is a more than just a restaurant -- it's also a live music venue, nightclub, concert theater, and recording studio. Of course, the food and bar here is nothing to be ignored. Now, thanks to new executive chef George Cocilova, the menu offers a number of new dishes that are worth the trip alone. Jazziz Nightlife earns high marks for ambiance and solid bookings. A large, open dining room and bar area overlook a grand stage where national acts in contemporary and older-school jazz come to provide a night of mellow entertainment for dining and drinking guests. On busy nights, it can be tough finding a seat in the house, where an older but lively crowd usually shows up for the music. Jazziz Nightlife is located at 201 Plaza Real, Suite 1203, Boca Raton; 561-300-0730, jazziz.com.
8. DaVinci's of Boca
The Carvelli family are the proprietors of the new DaVinci's restaurant at Boca Town Center, and they share a cherished memory from their childhoods in Mesoraca, Italy, when the entire family and friends sat at the table to enjoy meals and conversation. Brothers Luigi, Sal, and Francesco re-created the same atmosphere of warmth combined with great food and hospitality when they opened the first DaVinci's restaurant on Marco Island on Florida's Gulf Coast in 1996. Recognized as one of the area's finest dining experiences, DaVinci's popularity is credited to outstanding service, authentic preparations, and the freshest ingredients. The extensive menu offers traditional favorites in addition to innovative selections that reflect the creativity of DaVinci's modern kitchen. Guests choose from classic preparations or more inventive interpretations of appetizers, soups, salads, fresh pasta, meat, fish, lighter fare, and simply grilled items. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant also accommodates those looking for gluten-free and special dietary requests. DaVinci's is located at 6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561-362-8466; website.
This month, Dorsia will be celebrating its two-year anniversary in Boca Raton, having opened in early 2013. Located on North Federal Highway just north of Yamato Road, Dorsia isn't your typical neighborhood Italian restaurant. Instead, this hidden gem has an edgy, modern feel -- and the food to match. Owner Cris Lanza has experience with this sort of thing: He's been in the industry professionally for the past seven years, but his family tree offers decades owning and operating Italian establishments in both New York City and Florida (including Rosario's in Royal Palm Place). Starters include a caprese salad highlighting fresh burrata and kalamata olives; grilled whole calamari; ricotta-stuffed zucchini blossoms; and roasted pear with blue cheese and walnuts. A large pasta selection features both house-made fresh and imported Italian pastas, like squid ink linguine and a daily ravioli stuffed with seasonal flavors. Among the large plates, a pan-seared wild Maryland striped bass with a lemon dijon aioli is stunningly vibrant, while the steaks are notably praiseworthy. A well-composed wine list and homemade desserts seal the deal. Dosia is located at 5837 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 561-961-4156, dorsiarestaurant.com.
6. The Gluttonous Goat
This recently opened gastropub in east Boca Raton brings a Florida-focused aspect to the gastropub scene with a Caribbean-American influence that shows across many of its dishes. The site's decor is vintage-industrial with a welcome outdoor patio. The Gluttonous Goat stays true to its namesake by offering -- what else? -- goat, like the all-day-braised jerk goat leg with coconut ginger mashed potatoes, spicy tomato jam, and curry nage. Pan-roasted monkfish and even a pulled-goat sandwich round out the oddities. Don't forget the craft beer, though, with plenty of local brews and other out-of-town guests like Left Hand Milk Stout, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, and even some lambics and Flemish reds like Rodenbach and Boon Kriek. To hell with it: Just splurge on a bottle of Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine and be done with it. Gluttonous Goat is located at 99 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca; 561-923-9457, gluttonousgoat.com.
5. Butcher Block Grill
This eatery opened in August 2013 at the Fountains Center, a casual fine-dining restaurant that delivers superior quality without the cringe-inducing prices. The restaurant offers an all-natural menu, which translates to meat and poultry that is hormone-free and antibiotic-free (and raised on a vegetarian diet). The produce is locally sourced, and the seafood is sustainable and wild-caught. Signature entrées feature steaks and a show-stopping veal tomahawk chop. For $20 per person, you can get a prime rib special for two every Monday from 5 to 10 p.m. -- a good deal if you're dining out as a couple. Additional menu highlights include hand-pulled mozzarella made tableside; crab cakes free of bread crumbs and mayo; and a goat cheese cheesecake with a chopped pistachio crust. Butcher Block Grill is located at 7000 W. Camino Real Road, Boca Raton; 561-409-3035, butcherblockgrill.com.
4. M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom
Like its sister establishment in Islamorada, the Boca Raton M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom is a restaurant best-known for smoking, grinding, and making its own meats in-house -- everything from house-cured bacon to the sausage and chorizo. Even the condiments -- including a mango chipotle ketchup and caraway and beer mustard -- are made fresh and from scratch. The work of co-owner and executive chef George Patti, the Boca Raton restaurant is his casual approach to gourmet "fast food." Order duck and pickled blueberry sausage, a pulled-pork sandwich, or a chorizo patty burger. Need something a bit less meaty? Lighter options include several salads, like a golden and red quinoa with mango, as well as homemade hummus, tapenade, and a creamy eggplant caviar with veggies. Located at the back of the new Cendyn Spaces office building off Federal Highway just south of Glades Road, it's small, pub-like space that offers fast service that's ready-to-go or eat-in. Despite its size, the space can pack in up to 30 at a bar that features 12 rotating taps of craft brew and a second lunch counter that can accommodate another 20 patrons. M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom is located at 980 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 561-419-2600, meateateryboca.com.
3. Farmhouse Kitchen
When Table 42 closed its doors this summer, Boca Raton residents were already anticipating Gary Rack's new-and-improved concept gearing up to takes its place. Farmhouse Kitchen opened just a few months ago, offering a revamped version of farm-to-table fare with a truly sustainable and eco-friendly approach to healthy eating. The Farmhouse menu has been executed by the group's culinary director, Matthew Danaher. His mission was to redefine "fresh" food with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and dishes based on a series of healthy lifestyle changes made by Rack himself. "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," says Rack. "Beyond serving good food, we have a mission to provide a lifestyle." In addition to its health-forward focus, Farmhouse has a decidedly eco-friendly approach as well. The restaurant is proud to be using the in-house Vero water program, a water purification system that offers both sparkling and still water to patrons while using reusable one-liter glass bottles. Farmhouse Kitchen is located at 399 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-826-2625, farmhousekitchenboca.com.
2. Farmer's Table
Hotelier Mitchell Robbins and chef Joey Giannuzzi teamed up to open this healthy and ethically conscious upscale Boca Raton eatery in November 2013. The sophisticated, rustic-inspired dining room and bar gives way to a menu of fresh whole foods devoid of excess salt, fats, antibiotics, and hormones. Seafood and meats are sustainable, and local produce is sourced as much as possible; the "dirty dozen" fruit and vegetables are always organic. While those buzzwords -- "sustainable," "local," "organic" -- sound expensive, the proprietors are cost-conscious. "The food makes us different," says Robbins. "A lot of organic restaurants come at a high price tag; here, Joe developed a restaurant with reasonable price points. We wanted people to feel that the Farmer's Table could be their healthy choice for eating out." With a Sunday brunch that's not to be missed and a bar program offering locally sourced, cold-pressed juice cocktails with a lively atmosphere, it's a sure bet for a fun -- and nutritionally sound -- night on the town. Farmer's Table is located at 1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton; 561-417-5836, farmerstableboca.com.
1. La Ferme
La Ferme is a modern French bistro in West Boca run by Bobby, Laura, and Alexandra Shapiro, owners of Flex Mussels in New York City. The restaurant offers modern, locally sourced food, with an emphasis on the flavors of the Mediterranean in an elegant yet comfortable setting. The cuisine showcases classic comfort favorites as well as modern interpretations of a bistro menu, with all the usual French fare suspects. Signature dishes include foie gras terrine, moules frites, and escargots. An oven-roasted branzino, duck two ways, and lamb loin Wellington are highlights off the larger-plate selections. La Ferme also features an extensive wine list, with a focus on boutique vineyards; beers from local and international microbreweries; and a craft cocktail list. La Ferme is located at 9101 Lakeridge Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-654-6600, laferme.kitchen.
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.
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