Here’s one last look back at some of the biggest dining stories of the old year before we peer into the restaurant future of 2013 tomorrow.
Max is Back. Dennis Max, who with then-partner Burt Rapoport practically invented the modern SoFla restaurant, came back on the local dining scene with a vengeance after a year’s long hiatus. Max’s Harvest, a retooled Max’s Grille, The Mexican and the coming Burt & Max’s all speak to his creativity and staying power.
The Fall of the House of Manero. With a pair of acclaimed Vic & Angelo’s restaurants, The Office and the budding BurgerFi chain of hamburger eateries, David Manero was flying high. Until nasty legal charges started flying and he was booted out of the partnership of the various restaurants. We could be hearing more of this in the coming year.
Paging Dr. Militello. After his restaurant mini-empire crashed and burned in 2008, this celebrated (and wickedly talented) chef surfaced in various local kitchens. Now a consultant with Dania-based Syntuitive, he’s working his culinary magic on under-performing restaurants, like 75 Main in Delray, which quickly went from middling to meritorious.
Atlantic Avenue-Clematis Street Boom Continues. The rich do indeed keep getting richer, at least when it comes to good places to eat. Both downtown West Palm Beach and Delray Beach have become serious dining destinations, with just about every kind of restaurant a hungry foodie could desire. What recession?
Philippe. Fail. Few restaurants opened with such a bang and closed with such a whimper as this elegant, expensive Chinese establishment fronted by Philippe Chow. An iffy Boca site, high prices and some of the worst word of mouth I’ve heard in 25 years in the restaurant-writing biz spelled doom in less than a year.