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Allen Susser - Delray Beach?

I heard that Allen Susser might be opening in Delray. Anyone have any news?

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  1. "• Allen Susser, one of the original Mango Gangers (with Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello), will open a gastropub, Taste, in the Pineapple Grove area of Delray Beach sometime early next year. Look for small plates of comfy food and a roster of swell cocktails."
    Broward Newtimes 11/09

      1. re: CFByrne

        Construction continues - they are getting closer but this was a major job, basically stripping two previous storefronts (one was the old Nate's Jamaican) down to the dirt.

        I see that they are entered in the 2010 Delray "Savor the Avenue" event coming back on March 18 (One very long table on the closed Ave). So they better get hopping if they're at least going to have an area for prep, storage etc!

        Also they have a website but as of today there's nothing on it but a logo
        http://www.tasteofdelray.com/

        1. re: CFByrne

          Furniture has arrived and was being arranged when I went by today. There are rumors of an April 1 opening.

          Florida Table has a write-up. "On April 1 Susser expects to debut Taste Gastropub in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove neighborhood. Like many chefs around the country who made their reputations doing high-style, high-priced haute cuisine, Susser is applying finely honed culinary skills to more approachable, less expensive fare. . . taking comfort food to a higher, more refined level."

          http://www.floridatable.com/Florida-T...

          New Times has a menu preview:

          http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/cle...

          Yum... pork belly. I'm there. And Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon!

          -----
          New Time
          2120 NE 123rd St, North Miami, FL 33181

          1. re: CFByrne

            I'm still fantasizing over the "48 Hour Duck Confit Pot Pie". Really, this sounds like it should be illegal.

            1. re: CFByrne

              That menu has a very limited appeal and I doubt that it will last too long. I can't imagine two couples, who want to eat out together, with all four people finding something that appeals to them. No successful restaurant in the Boca/Delray area has such a narrowly targeted market. I recently sold a small chain of restaurants and my wife and I eat out every night but I wouldn't go near that place.

              1. re: BocaHerb

                There's tons of goodies on there for me. But anyone looking for pasta, pizza/flatbread, or most anything resembling salad or vegetables is going to have a tough time. It's definitely a very carnivorous-oriented menu. .

                1. re: CFByrne

                  Looks yummy, tho' expensive. The real test is if it can make it through the summer intact and still good.

                2. re: BocaHerb

                  Are you insane?

                  I live near Delray, and I have found nothing in the area that comes close to this menu, for innovation and creativity, while still giving the nod to classical preparations. Where else around here can you find duck confit, spec, octopus, and pork belly in a restaurant around here? I'm a huge taster, so I love the "tapas" feel the menu has. And the prices!? Sounds like they're almost giving it away, though I'll admit, as much as I love it, a "Daily Braise" on a summer menu in Florida, may be taking a bit of a risk.

                  I'll be first in line on opening night..

                  1. re: BocaHerb

                    I see chicken wings, croquetas, fish n chips, tuna burger, chicken salad sandwich, crabcake sandwich, grilled cheese, bbq grilled chicken and skirt steak at a quick glance. What about that is limited appeal? I see your point with some menu items (and many that I cannot wait to taste) but what would you like to see on the menu that is not there? A burger? Pastas? Pizzas?

                    1. re: mikek

                      How many people want, shell bean and ham hock stew with their scallops? My wife and I eat out every night but we never felt the need to find a place that served carbonated cucumber gazpacho or yuzu-aioli. In general the ingredients listed in a good portion of his menu won't appeal to the vast majority of the market. We'll see how it works out over the summer when things slow down.

                      1. re: BocaHerb

                        Right, but the ingredients and preps listed in a good portion of the menu will appeal to that same majority of the market (assuming the food is cooked well, etc.).

                    2. re: BocaHerb

                      Is it just you, or is all of Boca/Delray so parochial that it won't things that are considered pretty pedestrian for even the rest of South Florida, to say nothing of the rest of the dining nation?

                      potato chips w onion dip, tuna tartare, cured salmon, ham & cheese croquettes, clam chowder, lobster mac & cheese, fish & chips, beets & goat cheese, wagyu sliders, grilled cheese, bbq chicken, skirt steak w roquefort butter, brisket, coq au vin, beef bourgignon, etc. hardly strike me as the kind of dishes that are going to featured at El Bulli or Alinea any time soon.

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        "Is it just you, or is all of Boca/Delray so parochial...?"
                        I proclaim myself NOT parochial! I can't wait to try this place!

                        I would drive to MIA all the time if 1. it was closer, and 2. I had a job so I could afford my palate. :)

                3. Opening Monday April 12 at 6PM, reports Clean Plate Charlie.

                  I've seen chefs and cooks prepping, staff meetings, bar is stocked... pretty much looks good to go right now - but I guess they're polishing off some last minute details.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: CFByrne

                    Walked by this evening around 8PM and a soft opening was underway. Looked fully staffed and packed.

                    Struck up a conversation with waitress as I walked by the front tables outside later, around 9:30PM when things looked to be winding down.

                    She said all went well. I was fishing for an invite in, she said further soft openings coming Fri and Sat. She went inside to check if she could get me in but came out, "we are all booked up". Hmmm I guess I need more... gravitas.

                    "But do come back for grand opening on Monday". Yeh yeh. Okay. I will.

                    1. re: CFByrne

                      BTW by "soft opening" above I meant "private by invitaion only" - not simply that they were open but didn't announce it. So to clarify... AFAIK you can't dine there until Monday unless you're invited.

                    2. re: CFByrne

                      Haven't made it in yet, but Taste is definitely open for business.

                      Information write up (not review) from Katie McBroom today in PB Post...

                      http://www.pbpulse.com/dining/2010/04...

                    3. have a reso for this weekend,
                      will report back :-)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Asumnuthin

                        Just wondering how your experience was. Still not much coming out about this place.

                        1. re: Asumnuthin

                          Interesting experience at Taste Gastropub. Decent Beer list, so happy to see the apricot chapeau available to me, although banana is my preference. Although I had to repeat my order 3 times and then point to my selection on the menu, I don’t care if the restaurant just opened, all the more reason so have your staff trained well to keep people coming back. Another disappointment was I had to pour my own wine, they place these mini decanters on your table and for some reason the waitress decided to only pour my husbands wine, yes that peeved me a bit. I was sad to see the Coq Au Vin Riesling was not available, considering this was one of the reasons I wanted to dine here. Some of the dishes worth trying were the Taste Hot Potato Chips with caramelized onion, garlic & chive dip; Roasted Mushrooms with caramelized onions, thyme; Oysters with carbonated cucumber gazpacho; Mushroom Tostada on toasted baguette; Hamachi Tiradito with yuzu sorbet, red radish, Asian pear (my personal fav); Grilled Asparagus with melted blue cheese and the Snake River Farms Wagyu Kobe "Sliders" (husbands fav). Misses for us were the Taste "Fish N Chips" honey aioli, pickled lemon, malted fries (just to sweet), the Peeky Toe Crabcake "po’ boy" which came highly recommended by the servers just fell flat taste wise; and the Cobb Salad which was seriously under seasoned, my biggest disappointment of the night considering I am a huge cobb salad fanatic. I was dinning with two chefs and although they tend to be very critical of our dinning out they were both very receptive to the ideas backing the menu and the ability to season most of the dishes well. I hope they continue to work out the kinks because I would like to try in on my next visit. Allen Susser happened to be sitting behind us throughout our meal and my husband stopped to chat with him about our impressions. Hopefully they will improve upon what has the potential of being a very great restaurant.

                        2. Yikes... this gives me no pleasure as I live just blocks away and am hoping for good things... but...

                          NY Times food writer Mark Bittman ("The Minimalist") slams (what certainly appears to be) Taste. Maybe his group was just in a bad mood since it sounds like it was actually their Plan B for the evening...

                          http://markbittman.com/an-open-letter...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: CFByrne

                            Sounds like he wanted to go to Bamboo Fire...

                          2. Ok after reading Bitman's review, I want to pass on this. I think I'm confused though - for now.

                            One thing I did NOT like was their promotion on facebook:

                            "Ohhh yeah, the weekend is in high gear. Happy Hour about to start at 5pm - 50% off. Dress casual and enjoy a frozen cocktail at the backyard patio bar with Alexis. Dress Snazzy and sit inside where you can watch Chef Jamie command his kitchen to attack your senses. Or just come to the main bar and listen to Kurts bad jokes and toasts. Whatever you are looking for its at Taste - The Elite Locals Hangout!"

                            Please, gag me now. *barf* elitists, pfft. This is not the first time they've thrown out that word either. I was looking for it from a while ago and I just found this one that they posted 3 minutes ago!

                            I don't know, but that REALLY bugs me. A lot.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: OysterHo

                              I don't know Delray Beach restaurants or their diners at all, but I assume there is a certain target audience they are going after with that stuff. What concerns me more is a kitchen that's going to "attack your senses." Not sure that's what I want in a dining experience.

                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                IMO their facebook "writer" is a pretentious a$$. LOL

                                Delray has trendy people, yes, but it's much more laid back and has quite a mix of people. Not everyone is 80, that's for sure lol.

                              2. re: OysterHo

                                Translation: dress casual and you have to sit outside in the blistering heat on the patio.
                                dess spiffy and you get to eat inside where it's air conditioned.

                              3. ok here is my review of Taste.

                                Greeted by the Chef which was a nice touch - we ate in the yard out back. Yes it's June but there were a lot of mosquitos and we asked 4 times for bug spray which finally was found by which time the Taste mozzies had had their dinner (on us)!

                                We probably had the most irritating waitress ever, her lines felt very scripted (maybe the same one that Marc Bittman had, we got expressions like 'an explosion of taste' (bleh), 'the concept of this restaurant is small plates, order as much as you like'. Would Mr Susser please get rid of her or ask her to be more natural. She was like a robot and if asked a question looked blankly at us because it was off script. Belatedly she told us about the Julia Childs Beef Bourgignon with some garbage about the chef having worked with Ms Childs and as a tribute to her .................

                                Onto the food and drinks, nice ish cocktail menu but $12 is wow. We had, chicken 'lollipops' no stick so not sure why they are called that but they were good, beet salad (beets very over cooked), creamy mushrooms on toast (nice), chix liver pate also good but meagre amounts of toast and please don't charge $2 for extra toast because that's insulting. We shared a key lime pie which I didn't get to taste because it was gone by the time I had waited for extra toast for the pate.
                                About $100 for 4 with a cocktail each, we were certainly full. An aside to Marc Bittman the average age was about 40 (not 80).

                                Would I go back? Meh probably not, it was nice, a little different, but not soooooooo special. Maybe a less irritating server who could interact with us and guide us better rather than have studied her script.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: smartie

                                  Smartie, just want to clarify - it sounds like your party of 4 had 4 drinks, 4 apps (small plates), and 1 dessert and yet you "left full". This doesn't seem quite right... maybe I'm missing something, or the apps were big, or you had a LOT of toast?

                                  1. re: CFByrne

                                    actually we had 5 apps (two of them beets). I don't think any of us were hungry to start with as in starving - the liver pate was big for an app which is why it could have come with more toasted 'artisan' bread because they start you with 5 small pieces.

                                    I guess what we are saying is that we had 4 drinks and cocktail size snacks for $100. The main plates were in the $18-$25 range. We went for apps because they make a big thing of them, but they take a while to come out piece by piece so by the time the last one comes out you are quite full because you eat slowly. This may be their downfall if customers don't order main plates, though it turned out afterwards you can have half plates of the main plates. Like I said our waitress was not good at guiding us, she followed the opening script and we floundered a bit.

                                    If I was to go back, a better plan would be to have a couple apps to share and then go for a main dish. Yes it works out to be quite expensive.

                                  2. re: smartie

                                    Has there been a change in chef's?

                                    It had been Jamie DeRosa but recent news releases have only mentioned "Chef Chris".

                                    ?

                                    1. re: CFByrne

                                      Chris Palmer, formerly of Cafe Boulud. Great guy.

                                  3. Re Taste: Had an excellant waiter, don't remember his name. He didn't seem to belong there, was much better than the rest of the experience. Food was "average" and very pricey. There were 6 of us and on the ride home, the restaurant or experience wasn't even mentioned. Cocktails very $$$.

                                    1. The news doesn't look good for Taste. I predicted back In March that his menu wouldn't appeal to many people and now they are reduced to having coupons on the front page of Clipper Magazine. I never saw any "gourmet" restaurants couponing in that magazine before but there they are just in front of the coupons for the Tropical Cafe. Not a good sign

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: BocaHerb

                                        I think more than menu, that was location and price point. The menu reads amazing and would have been fine if directly on Atlantic (do not see much of a difference in menu between that and The Office, and the Office is doing fine). Would not be so proud, since there are about 100 factors that could have led to it's demise, not the least of which, to me, was its awful location.