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Need Boca Raton and Delray Beach Dining Recs.

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I will be in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton in at few weeks and am looking for dining recommendations. I have a reservation at Cafe Boulud at Palm Beach and, being familiar with his restaurants, assume it's got to be "solid" at worst. However, I'm at the end of my rope in terms of options in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton area.. Two years ago, I cam down for a weekend and dined at 32 East, which was "Okay" but hardly interesting, memorable or worth the price relative to what I could get for the same money in SF or NYC. Actually, the most memorable part of the experience was the sight of a muscular, jewelry-adorned guy ostentatiously parading about the dining room with a dangerously over-tanned woman on his arm, stopping by different tables to say hello. I later learned he was a "prominent" local restaurateur. While it was fascinating to watch this man's behavior, ultimately it was not not worth the price of the meal.

In any case, I really could use some killer picks or lunch or dinner, and am open to any kind of food so long as it's a really good example on a national level and not just, "The best in Delray or Boca." If it's a place where I'm going to spend more than $50 a person, I'd prefer that the menu not be circa 1995. For instance, the Sundy House looks like a lovely place but, sorry, the menu is a snooze to read and doesn't exactly make me want spend $35 an entree. These days, in NYC, where I'm from, many top restaurants are offering $35 three-course prix fixe menus. Obviously, Boca and Delray are not NYC, but there's got to be something in your area that will help make the trip memorable. Thanks for your help.

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  1. do a search on here, everything has been listed a number of times including all the recently opened restaurants.

    btw I have to agree with you about 32E. On a recent visit I had the iceberg wedge at $11 !!!!!!! I kid you not. Soggy iceberg and watery blue cheese dressing with no cheesey lumps. There is more flavor in a Publix own brand jar of blue cheese dressing. We were a large group and the waiters had no clue who was eating what when the food came round because the runners were not assisted by the server who took our order.

    I thought the food was nothing special. they were more concerned with getting us to drink alcohol. Absolutely not worth the money or the noise.

    1. I write this extreme regret but there are no GREAT places to eat in Boca/Delray however there are decent places. CONSISTENCY IS A REAL ISSUE. Some suggestions for you:
      La Cigale - it's a mix of French/Med. Their sweetbreads are wonderful and the mousaka is as well, had both last night. They do a nice job with the coq au vin too. I have tried the foie gras twice that I won't be ordering anymore. Their corkage fee is only $20.
      Abe&Louies - Was there several times for lunch, last wk was the first for dinner. I had the "house specialty" bone in filet, I was shocked, it was perfect, a ton of flavor. Also if you drink vodka they are the only place that has Stoli Elite.
      New York Prime - They have great seafood there as well as steak. You can get a dish for the table with the shrimp and oysters etc. that they do a nice job with. There meat is back to the way it used to be which is a good thing.
      I'll get back to you if I think of more places. What a shame, thinking so hard to find a great place to eat, thank God we travel as much as we do!

      6 Replies
      1. re: emn76

        Thanks for the feedback, so far. Can anyone at least think of an exceptional ethnic restaurant. At this point I'll even take a stellar artisan bakery.

        1. re: Benjamin68

          What sort of ethnic are you leaning toward?

          1. re: emn76

            I am completely open to anything so long as it's not generic, American-ized stuff. I'm particularly partial to Turkish, Thai and Mexican. Thanks, again, for your thoughts.

            1. re: Benjamin68

              Turquoise - Turkish - in Royal Palm Plaza. We go there often because it is the closest to authentic in Boca/Delray. We just took our friend who is from Turkey there a couple of days ago and he felt that although it wasn't what he could get from Turkey he felt a lot of the things were real good. They do a Kofte in Yogurt that we love, it's not on the menu but they will make it. Grilled octopus is great every time, never over cooked, it does need the lemon though that it comes with. Great pitas as well just be prepared, the hummus is "eh" The mousaka that we had at La Cigale is better. Had their "gyro" but I wasn't thrilled. I would definately go there. There is also Leilas but that's in West Palm.

              1. re: Benjamin68

                Here is their address if you want to check it out: turqmed.com

                1. re: Benjamin68

                  For Thai I would try Lemongrass. It is really Thai/Japanese! There is one location in Delray that is excellent people watching if you sit outside and they just opened a new location in Boca in the Royal Palm Place which was excellent. For Mexican I would recommend Moquila off of Palmetto. It is "trendy" Mexican but their guacamole is amazing!

          2. Boston"s on Delray Beach front ..excelent Lunch and great veiw from up stairs deck .

            3 Replies
            1. re: big1515

              Uh, no offense, based on looking at the web site, that recommendation seems wildly off the mark for what I'm looking for.

              1. re: Benjamin68

                I agree about the website, probably shouldn't have sent it. It doesn't give a good representation...but if you change your mind at least you know it's there..it really is good. Good Luck finding something!

                1. re: Benjamin68

                  There is definitely a huge disconnect if you are looking for a Cafe Boulud type place and someone sends a reco for Boston's! :-)

              2. Hey Ben-
                I am from NYC (born and raised!) and have been living in Boca and now Delray for 6 years. I miss the city desperately especially for the plethora of restaurants but my hubby and I try to make the best of what's offered down here. Some of our faves are:

                Morimoto at the Boca Resort. Then go 20 feet across the lobby to Serendipity for dessert!
                Chops Lobster Bar in Boca.
                Matteo's in Boca (it's a small chain from NY!)
                Taverna Kalamata in Boca (located in the old Matteo's.)
                New York Prime steakhouse in Boca.
                The Melting Pot fondue restaurant in Boca. (Yes, it's a chain but this is one of the nicest locations and always a fun experience.)
                La Bamba in Delray for Mexican and Spanish. Cheap but good. Mon. and Tues. they offer $1.99 margaritas!
                Tramonti Ristorante in Delray.
                La Cigale in Delray.
                The Station House Restaurant in Lake Worth for lobster. (We'll be there tomorrow for Valentine's Day dinner!)
                Taboo in Palm Beach.
                Cafe Boulud is good- I was there last year for a rehearsal dinner so I didn't get to choose my meal though. I don't think I liked it as much as Daniel (now Cafe Boulud) or DB in NYC.

                2 Replies
                1. re: saltnseltzer4me

                  From NYC to Boca - my condolences! When the Melting Pot (yikes!) is one of the better restaurants, it speaks volumes about the local cuisine.
                  In Delray Which do you recommend - Tramonti or La Cigale?

                  1. re: eatsie

                    Tramonti (sorry -haven't been on this site for a few months.)

                2. My grandmother lives in Delray, and we always eat well when I visit. For somewhat pricier but very good Italian, Il Girasole right by the Delray/Boca border is great. We nearly swooned over their eggplant terrine appetizer last time (more like the world's best eggplant parm with plenty of basil). On E. Atlantic Ave in Delray our standby is Sazio's. Great brick-oven pizza, my grandmother swears by their lobster bisque (which is higher praise than it sounds like - the lady's got taste!) You can also get a pretty outstanding Japanese lunch at the Morikami museum, plus their gardens are just stunning - it's worth a visit in any case.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Emmmily

                    Thanks for your help. I'll let you know how it goes.

                  2. Ben

                    This is the 5-6th city you have asked for recomemndations and there has been zero feedback from you on any of these visits. Remember these are interactive sites. People like to hear if their recommendations worked for the OP.

                    If you come to DR/BC with the NY edge, you will leave with one memory, a NY edge. If you tone it down and enjoy the local flavors you'll enjoy yourself much more.

                    If you think Sundy House is a snooze, you are sadly mistaken. You will find nothing more romantic than sitting amongst the beautiful gardens eating very good food with great service. And there are only 2 items over $35, but hey it's your money. But you probably wont like it

                    Jfood also like Tramonti's, the hustle and bustle of the restuarnt, the price point is good, you can eat outside (beware smoking allowed there) and people watch while you eat. Jfood sat next to Larry David on his last visit. But you probably wont like it

                    Another one a few doors down is City Oyster. The fish is very fresh and the service also good. But you probably wont like it

                    Then there is Cabana, some really good ethnic food. But you probably wont like it

                    After dinner jfood always walks to Kilwins for some great ice cream served by kids that remind jfood of the litthe jfoods. But you probably wont like it

                    This may be controversial in Boca, but jfood likes Seasons Too. It's a southern chain that has a concept of managed calorie count. Jfood thinks the flatbreads are really godd. But you probably wont like it

                    Then for good ethnic when jfood misses the north east he goes to Flakowitz in Boynto. They have a great chocolate Babka muffin, the novey is the best in the area. But you probably wont like it

                    So there are jfood's recommendations. Go to their websites and decide. But you probably wont like it

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: jfood

                      Way to go, jfood. By the way, I think you meant Season's 52, not Too.

                      -----
                      Seasons 52
                      2300 N.W. Executive Center Drive, Boca Raton, FL 33341

                      1. re: Alfred G

                        That's the ticket. The website has some interesting videos as well.

                      2. re: jfood

                        Very well put jfood. OP needs to lower his expectations or he will only be disappointed again.

                        1. re: jfood

                          That's funny.

                          1. re: jfood

                            There's a very good Japanese buffet in Boca but he probably won't like it either (funny post by you)
                            The Pastrami Queen in Boca is very good bt haven't made it up there yet. Jeff Eats reviewed it http://www.google.com/search?num=100&...

                            1. re: jfood

                              Hi JFood,

                              My baby came down with a cold so I was only able to go out one night, and that was to Cafe Boulud, which was pretty close to perfect and on a par with the one in NYC, but with better atmosphere (at least in terms of the outdoor seating; indoors looked a little boring). I'm sorry if you read "NYC attitude" in my comments. I was genuinely hoping to find some transcendent food in your neck of the woods, but -- and you probably won't like it -- found scant evidence that it exists. You may not think that I've done enough eating there to make that statement, but I did try 32 East, supposedly one of the best places in town, and it was a - "whatever." Moreover, there are many ways to infer things about a restaurant without actually dining at it (menu, decor, atmosphere, prices) and I didn't see any place that had all of those going for them and was endorsed en masse by your brethren. Not even close. Yes, Sundy house looks like a nice place for a drink, but is it worth $65 for dinner? I may be wrong but my sense is, absolutely not. Not when I can do the $45 early-bird outside in a beautiful courtyard at Cafe Boulud and have complex interesting food. Next time I'm going to do the prix fixe lunch, which is an even better deal.

                              The Curmudgeon From Up North

                            2. curious: what site were you referring to? Bostons or Turquoise? I thought it was Turquoise...but I just noticed it was reply to someone else, i think.

                              1. Ben,
                                If thats they type of food you want then your sadly mistaken.
                                South Fl is all about the the food, the water and the friends.
                                Take a chill pill and enjoy a mojtio.
                                The place i love to chill is the Old key lime house in Lantana on ocean blvd.
                                Great place. Some bar, Some sports bar, Some dining but great views of the intercostal. Sit on the swing and have a nice dinner looking at the the water.
                                Thats what South Fl is all about.