The gastropub is growing in South Florida, a new era of dining that's sparked a spate of food-serving bars. The portmanteau of "gastronomy" and "pub," these hybrid establishments are meant to evoke the boisterous gathering spots originating in London in the early 90s. They're a place where you can get some stellar grub and a tasty drink -- all for a good price, and with a lively, communal atmosphere.
Luckily, the concept meshes well with the nation's other hot food trends of the moment: a focus on local, seasonal fare; cooking with the entire animal; boutique spirits; and a celebration of craft everything. All these elements play out in casual, tavern-like atmospheres, and you have a recipe for almost certain success.
To continue the momentum, a new gastropub dubbed the Gluttonous Goat will be celebrating its first day of business tomorrow in Boca Raton. The team behind the new establishment is using the name "craft house," to describe the theme as an outlet for everything small-batch, local and craft served up in a casual, tavern-style atmosphere.
Gluttonous Goat is not just a name, according to owners Brian Marcotte and Michael Amato, but a blend of two symbols that create the vision of what the two men would like to share with their guests. The word gluttonous meaning to over consume; the goat symbolizing ambition and independence. Combined, they represent the idea of "over consumption with ambition, to gain Independence."
Marcotte, formerly of Rebel House in Boca Raton, has extensive restaurant experience, holding various positions in the industry during the course of his career including mixologist, general manager and executive chef. Marcotte is also a restaurant concept developer, and a partner for three establishments in the West Indies, where he travelled extensively before relocating to South Florida. His partner, Amato, has over 20 years of business experience as a successful investment banker and entrepreneur, with an extensive background advising various restaurants on how to maximize profits and build their brand. Together, they plan to be very hands-on with Gluttonous Goat, be it behind the bar, in the kitchen -- or even at the front door greeting guests.
The restaurant itself will set up shop in the old MoQuila space in Boca Raton, just south of Mizner Park. The 1,500-square-foot space has been revamped with a hint of vintage-industrial chic, complete with a temperature-controlled outdoor patio that doubles as an herb garden.
The Gluttonous Goat will take a specific focus with its menu, offering diners a decided Caribbean flare. Described by the owners as simple, yet unique, many of the dishes will highlight the flavors and cooking techniques Marcotte said he developed while living in the West Indies. Entree highlights include an herb charred lamb shank, crawfish and gator stew, pan-roasted monkfish and jerk goat ($18-$20).
American-style favorites with an exotic twist can also be found on the "pub grub," section, small plates that include mussels in a creole sauce; cardamom and cayenne-laced grilled fruit salad; ostrich sliders; and a crawfish pie ($8-$12). Dishes under the "simple and charred" portion are served alone, or with a choice of side, and include a one-pound cowboy ribeye; NY strip; or a half-pound cut of grouper; and ribs. The a-Typical burger, a pulled goat sandwich, and a "poor man's" lobster roll of monk fish and fried green tomatoes rounds out the selections ($10-$28).
Behind the bar, diners will find the same creativity, with a generous use of fresh fruit and juices, through a variety of rotating, food-driven craft cocktails. Absinthe is a main focus, said Marcotte, while boutique wines and craft beers round out the menu.
The Gluttonous Goat will be open for business beginning Friday, June 20th from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. The restaurant is located one block north of Chops at 99 SE Mizner Blvd. in Boca Raton. Call 561-923-9457 for more information.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.
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