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Feb 28, 2008 12:07 PM

32 East best of Delray . . .

My thoughts on a local favorite . . . 32 East. We should have much better and more interesting restaurants in the area . . . It's a very average yet constant 'award winner'.

overall the best restaurant on the avenue. the dimly lit bar, mix of jazz + modern classics + constantly updated menu sets it apart from the others. i'm not very interested in the menu for the most part as items are often trendy + contrived, looking good in print but not working well as finished dishes. the bar area is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail along with a margharita pizza which is always available. appetizers can be rather small (seared tuna), house made pastas can be very good as well as fresh fish although the presentation is often uninspired. the desserts are really hit + miss. often a unique sorbet or ice cream will be your best best. a door man would be welcome on weekends when the college kids filter in. they should be pushed towards sol kitchen (owned by 32 east). senior hostess can be rude + forgetful. be sure to check back often to let her or the other girls know you are there as they may forget about you. tables in the bar area may be reserved. the owner is there often + is very pleasant + accommodating.

• extremely friendly bar staft (don't forget other customers)
• margharita pizza is always available
• upscale, intimate bar area during the week
• very good dishes, when the ingredients mesh

• servers are a bit robotic at times
• menu item combinations often unsuccessful
• routinely small appetizer portions + weak presentation
• bar staff often too focused on individual customers

• college kids mixing in late night on weekends

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  1. Have reservations this week-end at 32 East for my Aunt's b-day but having some second thoughts after reading your post. Was wondering if anyone else had any comments????

    Also, since my uncle always picks up the tab when we eat out, I tend to feel guilty if the place I pick isn't that great and overpriced. Is this one of those places???

    3 Replies
    1. re: chocolate

      Please let me know your experience at 32 East. As I've said, it's constantly a top rated restaurant in the area as is Opus 5 which is far worse in my opinion. What restaurants in the area do you like and I'll attempt to point you in the right direction.

      1. re: themaddiner

        Still deciding whether or not to keep our reservations there..What do you think??? I am aware that it has always been top rated in the past and has always been recommended by the Ritz whenever we have stayed in that area but some of your comments on your experiences make me wonder as well as some others I have read here on Chow. If I weren't going with my Aunt and Uncle, I wouldn't be thinking so much about it. I decided this is the last time I pick the restaurant. Knew I should have joined them on Sunday when they went to Joe's Stone Crabs in MB and been done with it. Oh well.

        Also, is everything on the menu alacart? Doesn't appear you get anything with the entree. Other restaurant I'm thinking about is Sundys which is just down the street. They were there for lunch recently and really liked it or maybe Cafe Boulud. Any suggestions or advice??? Thanks again themaddiner.

        1. re: chocolate

          As far as 'what you get' with entrees at 32 East . . . each comes with assorted sides, vegetables + a starch, standard items. Sundy House has a beautiful setting but I've not dined there in some time. Café Boulud should provide a more refined experience on every level. There is really nothing higher end in Delray/Boca worth recommending. Palm Beach and Miami offer more interesting options.

    2. I dined there once and found it to be yet another quasi-upscale disappointment.

      1. Went there ONCE. It was, by far, the noisiest restaurant I ever went to. Couldn't even here people at my table seated across from me. Would never go back.

        1. i agree we need some better restaurants in delray, it sucks having to drive to palm beach to cafe boulud for a "real" good meal. it seems all restaurant owners in delray have a super cocky attitude too. jat chefsap

          1 Reply
          1. re: chefsap

            the food at Gol and Cabana is great at both restaurants and probably works out a little cheaper.

          2. Was just out of town for a month... and upon return...

            It appears Sol Kitchen (32 East "sister" restaurant) has shuttered their doors.

            I also heard same has happened to Shore over on A1A and Atlantic although I have not seen that in person.

            18 Replies
            1. re: CFByrne

              OK, Sol Kitchen is def closed - sign on door says Coming Soon - "Tryst".

              Shore is also MOST DEF closed. The interior is being totally gutted (and this just a few years after someone spent a TON of money to totally gut the interior when they opened Shore).

              Another possible Delray closing - drove past Roadhouse Grill on Linton and Federal at 5PM Sunday and there were zero cars in the lot.

              1. re: CFByrne

                a few delis have closed locally, New York Diner and Lox Around the Clock up on Jog and Lake Ida. I can't see the Addison West staying around much longer.

                Wow Shore closed? It was bad at first then improved but the interior was definitely expensive.

                1. re: CFByrne

                  Roadhouse Grill looked done in last winter and never appealed to me anyway. If "Shore" is in the location I think (next to Cafe Luna Rosa on A1A) there is no doubt it just could not compete - not that Luna Rosa is the sun moon and stars. Having "wintered" in the Delray area many years, it is the loss of the simpler places that disturb me and 32 East has yet to be tried - price being the main turn off. In fact price vs value is perhaps my cut off perhaps unfairly so as then I miss a few good places having not even tried them in person (rather relying on Chow Hound's good taste testers).

                  1. re: feelinpeckish

                    Wow, Shore closed. They seemed crowded when I was in town (though not as crowded as Caffe Luna Rose or Boston's) and the food wasn't bad. The one time I went they sat my party ouside at the furthest table away from the interior, even though there were many empty tables (and a few full ones) closer to the door. Kind of miffed about that.

                    1. re: Fibber McGee

                      A question, really! When directed to a table unsatisfactory to you/(your party), do you complain and request one more suitable? I am pretty easy going on seating but my wife speaks up promptly if the table is in an undesirable location and points out where she would rather sit. She is almost always accomadated, though some places may be less willing to please. Just a thought!

                      1. re: feelinpeckish

                        Very fair question and points. Usually, yes. And I am usually accomodated. I'm normally easy going about seating, myself, but it just seemed odd how we were shuffled to the far corner while the other occupied outside tables, and there were a few when we got there, were located closer together as well as closer to the interior. The view itself was good, as I wanted to be able to see the beach as we dined, but I felt like we were immediately treated as pariahs, and moving us likely wold not have changed that. Everyone there were dressed casually, as we were, and there was nothing outrageous about our appearance, no weird sayings on our clothing, we had taken the effort for hygiene, and we weren't loud or rude. I'm just not sure why when they weren't that busy felt the need to shuffle us off to the end of the world.

                  2. re: CFByrne

                    To follow up, the shuttered Delray "Roadhouse Grill" is becoming a Duffy's Sport Grill... Perhaps giving Bru's some local competition in the "large Sports bar / family restaurant" market.



                    1. re: CFByrne

                      And the old "Shore" is still gutted... does not appear to be a LOT of progress in past 2 months or so. Perhaps they are waiting for permits but this is usually not a good sign.

                      Meanwhile, Vic and Angelo's by the RR tracks looks ready to open any day now, filling the Ave's untapped need for an Italian restaurant. :-)

                      Tryst (nee Sol Kitchen) still has papered windows "coming soon".

                      1. re: CFByrne

                        CFB it amazes me that Shore has been gutted again, even the roof is off! Which means that whatever is going in there will not be ready for season.

                        I went to the new steak house on Atlantic last Saturday, forgot the name but the one on the south side near the tracks. Food was good but it's very pricey.

                        1. re: CFByrne


                          "filling the Ave's untapped need for an Italian restaurant."

                          What happened to Tramonti and Louie Louie Too? Aren't they Italian? Aren't they "on the Avenue"?

                          119 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444

                          Louie Louie Too
                          201 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL

                          1. re: Alfred G


                            I was being sarcastic - sorry! Considering... within about 1000 feet...

                            Louie Louie

                            And that's not to mention just blocks away...

                            Luna Rosa
                            Pizza Rustica
                            Veri Amici
                            Dolce Amore

                            and probably a few I've left off!

                            1. re: CFByrne

                              CFB - I believe that Rocky's is closed.

                              1. re: RickL

                                It was still open Wednesday, we walked by and there were only 2 tables occupied inside...

                          2. re: CFByrne

                            Vic and Angelo's had private soft opening over the weekend and opened to the public on Monday.

                            Just had lunch there. It is gorgeous. It was quiet on a Thursday afternoon but food was very good and service was excellent. The staff has been well--trained.

                            Local foodies may want to investigate.

                            Open kitchen and pizza coal oven, at the very least, fun to watch. I think this "jinked" location may finally have a success. If they keep their prices reasonable I can see this being a big hit.

                            Right across from City Oyster.

                            Will be a nice spot to have a drink at the bar in the evening and look out onto the Ave - not many others like that.

                            Plenty of indoor and outdoor dining. Of course the trains will be loud, but what the heck...

                            1. re: CFByrne

                              the trains are my favourite - love sitting at Elwoods at night with the music and the trains. We will try Vic and Angelo's, thanks CF for the thumbs up. We would have tried it last Saturday but it wasn't open yet, it was pouring and we ended up at Louis Louis which surprisingly was better than usual.

                          3. re: CFByrne

                            Looks like Tryst is just about ready to open. Website is up, I've seen job postings, etc.


                            "Tryst is a local restaurant with a neighborhood pub feeling. We will offer lunch, dinner, Sunday Jazz-Gospel brunch or a late night bite. The menu is inspired by the rich bar culture of Europe, with an emphasis on seasonal, mostly local, farm fresh ingredients. Tryst prides itself on using only the best in artisanal and organic farmers."

                            Jan Norris wrote about it last summer:

                            Coming soon: Tryst, a collaboration of Delray Beachers Scott Frielich (Dada), Rodney Mayo and Dave Robinson (Delux Nightclub) and Butch Johnson (32 East). It's going into the old Sol Kitchen space on Atlantic Avenue and will feature "great food," (their PR line); wine, classic cocktails and micro brews. No opening date has been set yet...