More restaurant news from around the area, a follow up on my recent post about openings and closings.
The Island Restaurant & Lounge has opened in Lake Worth in the former Bizarre Avenue Cafe location on Lake Avenue.
With a Caribe flair, the restaurant offers dishes such as locally caught whole red snapper stuffed with lobster, stewed pork in ginger sauce, and fried Key West grouper. Curries, and tropical spices figure prominently in the foods.
Local and organic produce is the goal when possible, owners say. Tropical fruits are a mainstay, along with classic and reinvented rum cocktails.
The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m.. The upstairs lounge features live music nightly.
The Island Restaurant and Lounge, 921 Lake Ave., Lake Worth; 561-5884488; theislandlakeworth.com
Still fairly new, The Chickpea, a casual hummus bar and Mediterranean grill, opened on Clematis in downtown West Palm Beach in April. It gets top reviews from vegetarians and gluten-free diners as well as mainstream diners (there are beef and chicken offerings).
It’s a multiple-choice menu – choose a pita wrap, a bowl or platter, then start adding fillings (chicken, falafel, beef, hummus) and sauces. Add-ons include all the special hummus varieties, and spreads like guacamole made from chickpeas, m’hamara – walnuts and red peppers, baba ganoush. Side salads are quinoa, tabouleh or a chopped cucumber salad.
Chickpea is open from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
The Chickpea, 400 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-755-5151; the-chickpea.com
Garden City Cafe is a new Italian opened last weekend in Palm Beach Gardens by a former Carmine’s chef, Scott Guli. He learned from his father’s restaurants in New York, and brought his skills to South Florida working at CG Burgers, Carmine’s Coal Fire Pizza, Noche nightclub and Carmine’s Ocean Grill.
Along with Italian trattoria classics – pizzas, calzones and rolls and a variety of pastas – a Chef’s specials list includes St. Louis ribs, Garden City “old school” fried chicken, and sliced sirloin steak chimichurri. Contemporary flatbreads include the Garden City – with goat cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, Kalamata olives, mozzarella and a crispy onion topping. The Brisket flatbread has caramelized onions and red cabbage slaw while the Bang Bang shrimp contains Stilton cheese.
Guli also has a “Good for you” menu featuring gluten-free and vegetarian offerings along with modern salads. Pizzas and pastas can be made gluten-free for a $3 upcharge.
It’s open for lunch and dinner daily. An early-bird menu is served 3-6 p.m.
Garden City Cafe in PGA Commons West, 5520 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-370-3436; gardencitycafepga.com
Mrs. Smokey’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q of Lake Park is planning to open its second location in Jupiter in the Abacoa Plaza. A September opening is the goal.
Eat-Scene, based loosely on Eataly in New York and the original, Eatzi’s in Dallas, Texas, is a gourmet market/deli/bakery/cafe concept coming to downtown West Palm Beach. Owner Tony Solo is a West Palm Beach resident.
The hand-out statements project 20 independent vendors offering fresh produce, meats and seafoods, spices, teas, coffees, chocolates, baked goods and more. A deli and prepared food section will be indoors along with four “micro-eateries.” A traditional bier garden is shown outdoors in renderings.
The “mission” as stated is “to create a ‘market culture’ for wine and food enthusiasts.”
Eat-Scene will be at the corner of Quadrille and Fern Street – a block east of Publix at CityPlace. It’s planned to open in December.
California Pizza Kitchen, which has a flagship in Sawgrass Mills in South Florida, has changed up its menu with more sophisticated choices – and a few contemporary twists on old favorites.
At a media dinner in Boca Raton last week, samples of the new menu included a Bianco California flatbread – with whipped truffle cream layered on a flatbread crust with Gorgonzola and mozzarella cheeses, studded with a bit of garlic and sage leaves. It was a winner – even for the 8-year-olds I had in tow to try out the kids’ menu.
Another favorite was the Harvest kale salad. The kale paired nicely in this fresh mix of farro – a much underused grain – carrots, Napa cabbage, cranberries, grapes and goat cheese. A light vinaigrette let the flavors come through.
Cedar plank-roasted halibut, a wood-fire grilled boneless ribeye (also Little Leaguers-approved), and a roasted garlic chicken with vegetables round out the entrees.
From the pizza and flatbreads menu, a new Lobster roll flatbread is just that – lobster roll mixture on a flatbread – makes a light lunch and is chunky with lobster meat.
The new cocktails on the bar list are standouts, too – the unique California Roots has a creamy froth thanks to avocado. It’s mixed with vodka, mint, agave sour and has a fennel salt rim.
The Boca store interior has been opened up to include more tables and fewer booths – with the view of the pizza chef, who was kind enough to toss some for the crowds, and with the kids.
California Pizza Kitchen has numerous locations in South Florida, including the Boca Town Center, 6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561-368-2805; cpk.com
3rd and 3rd in Delray Beach is closed, management says for the summer (Sept. 1). A sign on the door indicates they’re renovating and making some changes while taking a break for the summer.
Bistro Gastronomie in Yamato Village Plaza in Boca Raton has closed. The well received restaurant said it’s closed for restructuring of management. They responded to an online note about it with their own note – in their words:
“We regret any inconvenience that has been caused due to the temporary closure of the restaurant while it undergoes a reformation of ownership. Bistro Gastronomie and it’s former staff genuinely appreciated the opportunity to serve all of our valued guests. We look forward to your valued patronage again very soon and with all of the excitement with a fresh start. Thank you for taking the time to write. Best Culinary wishes.”
In Lake Park, Out to Lunch, a breakfast, lunch and catering spot on U.S. 1, has closed.
Also in Lake Park, Philly’s Sub Joint on U.S. 1. has closed.