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EatBeat: Deck 84 from Burt Rapoport Opens in Delray Beach

November 29th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Opening party at Deck 84

Burt Rapoport, local restaurant guru and owner of Henry’s, Bogart’s and Max’s Grille, is back with a new casual new American on the waterfront in Delray Beach, Deck 84. It’s in the old Busch’s Seafood spot, at the bridge.

“I’ve always wanted to do a waterfront restaurant,” he said. “People can pull up in their boats. I think this is what people want, somewhere to go and get a bite and sit on the water and enjoy being in South Florida. It’s what it’s living down here is all about, right?”

It’s how the 60-year-old likes to eat, too. “I like to go in, try a few small plates, have some wine or a drink – just enjoy an easy meal out.”

Casual, mixed menu

The menu’s casual and crosses several cuisines, with a lot of borrowing from the Bogart’s menu (Bogart’s is in the Cinemax movie complex in Boca at the Premiere upstairs). Executive Chef Chuck Gittleman, who’s worked with Rapoport at several other restaurants, oversees the operations.

Burgers and sandwiches (served with sweet potato tater tots – a winner with a tasting crowd), flatbreads, a number of entree salads salads, a wide group of  “light bites” like lamb meatball sliders and lettuce wraps, are on the initial menu. “We will be tweaking it and maybe adding some specials to all the menus,” Gittleman said. Bar snacks include a seven-layer Super Bowl bean dip, and cheeseburger spring rolls. Separate menus for kids, drinks and desserts are handed out.

Prices are moderate – Light bites are $9 to $15; main plates, $14 to $23.

The chef also offers boaters the chance to have their fresh catches cooked on site (for $9). Boaters can use the fish cleaning station at the restaurant to give the chef cleaned fillets or fish steaks.

Drinks and brunch

Happy hour is from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday with drink specials at half-price. Saturdays and Sundays, brunch is served, and features a build-your-own-bloody-Mary bar; a live band performs 1-5 p.m.

Decor is mod

The decor is retro-mod – one diner said the colors reminded him of Howard Johnson’s: aqua and and soft citrus base colors with tropical highlights. Indoor seating is at booths, window-side tables, and the bar; outdoors, there are patio tables overlooking the docks. There’s a firepit for cool weather nights.

The music is turned up at night for the bar crowds, but it won’t be glass-shaking loud, Rapoport said.

Staying in the game

Rapoport has tried several concepts. He wistfully said he really loved Mon Ami – “it was my favorite” – a French bistro with American touches in Boca Raton. It didn’t fly. “It was a tough time to open any restaurant, and then there was that whole anti-French movement,” Rapoport says. Max’s on the Beach and Prezzo, other Rapoport restaurants, were sold. Clematis Social, a casual island-themed restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach, was closed after only a few months. Rapoport said he’ll stay in the Boca-Delray area now. “It’s where I live and I know that market best.”

He’ll see how this one goes before looking into other concepts he says he’d like to try. “Well, I am beginning to slow down a little,” he said, laughing.

Deck 84

  • 840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
  • 561-665-8484; www.deck84.com
  • Open for lunch and dinner daily, from 11:30 a.m.
  • Brunch served Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 dan mcgarity // Nov 30, 2010 at 8:33 am

    A waterfront restaurant with no or very little seafood will fail.

  • 2 Jan Norris // Nov 30, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Of course, there is seafood on the menu; it’s not a totally seafood restaurant, however. They’re still tweaking, listening to the customers. And to contradict you slightly, of the Waterway Cafe, Seasons 52, Panama Hatties and the River House in Palm Beach Gardens – a cluster of restaurants all on the water – none are seafood restaurants. All feature some, but in the case of Seasons 52, very little. And the previous restaurant in the space: Busch’s Seafood, didn’t make it. So I’d argue that seafood isn’t the answer to a successful waterfront restaurant – good restaurant management is.

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