Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Miami - Fort Lauderdale >
Mar 5, 2013 06:15 AM

Sophisticated, Chow-Worthy Spot - Delray to Boynton

My husband and I will be visiting my parents in Delray Beach in a couple of weeks. We're staying in Boynton Beach. One night while we're there we'd like to find a nice place to have dinner by ourselves. We like hip, energetic scenes; we enjoy eating at the bar; and we like really good food, preferably farm-to-table. No restrictions on type of cuisine or cost. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Did you have any satisfactory results from your last visit three years ago?

    In any event, the obvious big addition to the Delray scene since then IMO, is Max's Harvest.

    I am not sure about how "hip" it is (of course, who ever knows just what that means!), but the atmosphere is definitely vibrant and lively.

    And the food is most definitely really good, farm-to-table.

    There is a small bar (appx 8 seats) in the main dining room where you could eat if you like, it's amidst all the action.

    If you can get the 2 seats on the end closest to the entrance, you can face the dining room and open kitchen rather than just be looking at the bar / bartender / bottles.

    Lots more food for thought on Maxs here including comments from visiting / transplanted NYers etc...

    1. CFByrne,
      We've eaten at 50 Ocean (above Bostons's), Tryst, Dada, Joseph's Wine Bar, 32 East, City Oyster, Vic and Angelo's, Caffe Luna Rosa, Lemongrass, Cugini Grille, and Cafe de France. (I guess we've been coming to Delray for quite a while now, as I look at this list.) I have positive things to say about all, some more than others. But I don't want to go someplace we've been before. By hip, I meant "sophisticated," which I included in the title of my post. Max's Harvest is on my list. What about Brule Bistro or Bistro 241? Thanks for your reply, your comments, and the links you sent. Very helpful!

      2 Replies
      1. re: pamE

        Pam I've not had dinner at Brule yet but I am hearing good things lately, and several lunches have been excellent.

        Recent comments on Brule and lunch in Delray:

        I've not yet been to Bistro 241 (the newer store from the folks behind Joseph's across the street). However I can tell you it is not (yet?) drawing a crowd, so you would likely be disappointed if you were looking for hip and lively.

        Brule, on the other hand, is now full almost every time I pass by at night. It looks to have become, next to Max's, a favorite dining spot in the off-Atlantic Pineapple Grove area.

        1. re: pamE

          I'mm not sure what "hip" means either. I suppose it depends on age group and your residential location. (Are you from NYC area?)

          While none of the places mentioned are "hip" in the sense of places like Atera, Battersby, or Mission Chinese, (to use references of places I've liked back home in NY), you can get good food at Max's. I would also recommend Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana. I am also planning to check out the SybaritePig in far west Boca..but mind you, I care nothing about hipness, and only about what is on my plate!!

          Anotehr idea, if you can forego the hip requirement, would be Cafe La Buca in Pompano, where the decor is reminiscent more of a trattoria on the edges of Potenza than a snazzy place on Atlantic Avenue. But stick to the antipasti and the first courses, and you will have an excellent meal. This place would be mobbed if it were in the NYC boroughs. BYOB. Most diners will probably be speaking Italian, or French (Canadian)

        2. Thanks, CF and erica. Unfortunately, Brule does not take reservations. If it's as busy as you say, it might be tough to get a table without a long wait. We liked Josephs a lot, so maybe we'll try 241. Even though it may not have a lot of energy yet, they do take reservations. Pompano is a little too far in the wrong direction, but Pizzeria Oceana in Lantana might be someplace we'll try at some point during our visit, as that's where we'll be flying in to, from CT. As always, I appreciate your time and look forward to trying these recs.

          4 Replies
          1. re: pamE

            Pizzeria Oceano is about as unsophisticated, no frills as you can get. They even have those exact words, "No Frills", right on their front window! Take that into consideration before you go.

            1. re: freakerdude

              I guess that depends on one's definition of "sophisticated!" If you mean dressy and fancy, with linen tablecloths, Oceano is not that. But then, neither are most of the more interesting restaurants in NYC right now. (Does a woman swathed in Jil Sander or Celine appear less sophisticated than one glitzed up and glammed out with sequins?)

              To my mind, Tertulia, Battersby, and certainly MIssion Chinese (places I've liked in the past year, some of which I had mentioned above) are certainly more "hip," and at least as "sophisticated" in a food sense, than an old-line restaurant like Daniel (talking NYC here). I guess a better word would be "understated," in terms of decor. (This is not meant as a criticism of any kind of Daniel)

              Much of this probably depends on the age group of the any case, it's all good..did not mean to veer off on a rant here...

              We had another rewarding visit to Oceano last night; will post details on the Oceano thread, but for now:

              I would highly recommend the special of the Kale Pizza; three cheeses, shallots and capers are showered with leaves of kale. Even the green-market-adverse diner at our table was impressed. I will add a few further details to the Oceano thread.

            2. re: pamE

              Pizzeria Oceano is the best pizza I've ever had. Better than anything I've had in Boston, NY, Philly, or otherwise. Perfect sauce, dough, and crust. Toppings are great too. Also, their apps are fantastic. Can't recommend the place enough. BUT it's ridiculously low-key. If you want get-dressed-up-fancy or a place that serves cocktails with a lively bar scene, this isn't what you're looking for.

              I've not been yet but you may want to check out Rack's just off Atlantic Ave behind Linda Beans Maine Lobster Roll (which is best, most authentic lobster roll I've had outside of MA where I'm from). I liked Rack's food in Sunny Isles and although this spot in Delray is a different format I gotta think it will be pretty good.

              1. re: pamE

                You could take a look at The Grove. I was not thrilled by the food but the ambience is sleek and attractive, and I may have visited on an off night.

              2. Blind Mind,

                Rack is news to me. I'll check it out. Thanks.