Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Restaurant News around Palm Beach County

September 2nd, 2012 · 2 Comments

The interior of the still new Assagio del Forno will see few changes as it transitions to Damiano, owners say. /photo from Therealdeal.com

(Editor’s Note: Post updated 9/4 to indicate Linda Bean’s closed for renovation, according to Linda Bean’s source in Maine.)

Assaggio del Forno, a recently opened Italian in Boca Raton, is changing in format and name. Dennis Max is no longer involved, and the menu and style will be reformatted, according to Carlo Vaccarezza, one of the partners in the restaurant. Vaccarezza and his partner John Williams also are behind Frank and Dino’s in Deerfield Beach.

Assaggio will become Damiano – and will more closely resemble the duo’s Deerfield Rat Pack-themed restaurant with traditional Italian favorites that customers want, Vaccarezza said. “I don’t think salume works in West Boca,” he said. “It’s a waste.”

The menu returns to a traditional structure of appetizers, entrees and pastas to replace the small sharing plates. A new price structure will have pastas from $14-$16, and veal from around $22, he said.

Two things from Assaggio will stay: “We’ll utilize the brick oven,” he said, for dishes such as oven-roasted branzino and 12-inch pizzas.  “And the restaurant is so beautiful, we aren’t changing the decor.”

They plan to reopen around the first week in October. The restaurant is at 3011 Yamato Road, Boca Raton in Woodfield’s Regency Court plaza.

Another restaurant switching formats and owners is Palm Beach Steakhouse, which is now closed. It’s rumored to become a northern branch of the modern steakhouse, Meat Market, which has been a success at Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach since its opening. The restaurant is at 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach.

Max’s Grille closes for renovations

One of the longstanding restaurants in entrepreneur Dennis Max’s long string of spots in South Florida is Max’s Grille. Open since 1991 in Boca’s Mizner Park, it’s been a fixture for Boca-ites who lunch, and a cool respite for dinner diners. With a comfortable American regional menu that has twinges of Max’s fondness for California wine country menus and a moderate wine list of by-the-glass choices, it’s a popular destination for the Everycrowd.

It’s closed now, however, until September 27 for a “newly styled environment” according to publicists, who say new floors, color schemes and an “enhancement” of the theater kitchen will be part of the changes. Expect some menu changes, though Max’s corporate chef Patrick Broadhead probably won’t take off some of the things that have kept this local favorite hopping.

Drinks from Bar Louie in West Palm Beach: Elliott’s Pepper, The Dirty Save Me San Francisco, California 37 Cabernet. /photo courtesy PRNewsFoto

Now open

In Downtown West Palm Beach: Tin Fish – the seafood chain from San Diego, Calif. Casual seafood – fish tacos, crab cakes, fried and grilled platters along with burgers and chicken. There are others in Port St. Lucie and in Stuart. They’re at 118 N. Clematis; go to tinfishcleamtis.com. Also now open: Bar Louie – the bar/eatery that moved from CityPlace. Another chain, this one’s from Texas. Lots of sidewalk seating in the space overlooking the fountain at Narcissus and Clematis. Bar foods; more of an emphasis on drinks. They’re at 220 Clematis; bar-

Sushi Jo relocated its northern sushi spot from PGA Boulevard to Juno Beach in the Loggerhead Plaza at U.S. 1 north of Donald Ross Road. With restaurant competition stiff along the PGA corridor, it’s a move owner-partner Joe Clark felt made sense.

Das Chicago dog complete with neon green relish. /photo courtesy DAS dog

Das Dog is a newcomer to the Bluffs Plaza in Juno – serving “gourmet” dogs.

The casual spot offers up dogs done a variety of regional ways – DAS Chicago, DAS Cuban, Hawaiian, DAS Philly, DAS Caprese – then there’s DAS Mac or DAS BBQ Cheddar. Turkey and veggie dogs are on the menu for all those non-red meaters. The all-beef premium dogs are gluten free, though that’s canceled out if you get them served on diner’s choice of a Vienna Poppy Seed or Martin’s Potato roll. They’re at 4050 U.S. 1, Juno Beach; das-dog.com

Marcello and Diane Fiorentino reopen La Sirena in West Palm Beach for their 27th season on Sept. 5. /photo courtesy La Sirena.

Back from vacation:

Two of the Palm Beach Zagat Survey’s top restaurants are reopening after their usual summer vacations. 11 Maple Street in Jensen Beach is now serving diners, with Mike Perrin at the stoves and wife Margie at the front of house. They’re at 3224 Maple Ave.; 11maplestreet.net.

Marcello’s La Sirena reopens Wednesday, Sept. 5 for their 27th season. The popular West Palm Beach Italian is at 6316 S. Dixie Highway; lasirenaonline.com


Thai Bay, a long-time Thai restaurant and favorite of the downtown crowd on Okeechobee Boulevard near the interstate has closed. The plaza’s landlord is refurbishing the plaza and a number of businesses there are now out including Lenscrafter’s. Nick’s Diner and Alyeda’s Mexican restaurant will remain, sources say, at least for now.

Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine, a lobster roll shop along Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue, has closed. (UPDATE: 9/4/12: According to a source at the Maine location for Linda Bean’s, the Delray location is closed for renovations in the dining room. “It will reopen soon if not today.”)

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rae // Sep 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    bummer about Thai Bay– it was good!! Tin Fish is very good– two good asian restaurants now on Clematis and I hear Spice on Congress is very good…

  • 2 CharlieDelray // Sep 4, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I do not think Linda Bean’s has closed.

    I believe they closed for a brief remodeling (yeah, I know what that usually means) over the past 4 days or so.

    Unfortunately, the remodelling and painting company put signs out front that resembled Real Estate for sale signs. But when I walked by a few times this weekend, it simply looked like they were just actually redoing the interior.

    I could be wrong… but I’d wait for some sort of official news before I call this a done deal.
    (Unless, of course, you already have that)!

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