Sunday, April 14, 2024

10 in ’10: the Year’s Top 10 Restaurants

Despite the continuing economic woes that drove local restaurateurs to drink (and some out of business), new restaurants opened and established restaurants kept on keeping on, in the process making for some delicious and exciting dining experiences. Here are my picks for the best eateries of soon-to-be-gone 2010.

Kubo Asiatic Cuisine. Former Mark Militello sushi maestro Roy Villacrusis’s spare, obscure North Palm Beach restaurant is easily one of the most exciting and original new eateries to open anywhere in South Florida. If you only go to one restaurant in 2011, make it this one.

Caruso Ristorante. Another upscale Italian restaurant in Boca sounds about as exciting as another grain of sand on the beach. . . unless it’s this stylish establishment that took over the former Cafe Joley space. Chef-owner Lillo Teodosi breathes new life into Italian classics.

Sushi Simon. “Nobu of the North,” is as good a way as any to describe this tiny but hugely popular sushi bar in an unassuming Boynton Beach shopping mall. Though elaborate sushi rolls seem to capture most diners’ palates, it’s the more inventive dishes that really rock.

Vic & Angelo’s. The menu of David Manero’s Delray trattoria isn’t a lot different from those of dozens of other local Italian eateries. What is different is the quality of its ingredients and the level of their preparation. No surprise, then, that the food here just tastes better.

The Office. Manero strikes again with this whimsically designed Atlantic Avenue cafe that offers hearty, comforting American fare at mid-market prices with an up-market twist. Throw in big-city ambiance and Atlantic Avenue bustle and you’ve got a winner.

La Cigale. Finely crafted Mediterranean cuisine served in an elegant, poshly appointed dining room by a calmly professional staff. . . what’s not to like about Francis Touboul’s sophisticated restaurant just off the beaten Atlantic Avenue path? In a word, nothing.

Cafe de France. Despite a minuscule kitchen and even tinier dining room (both soon to expand) Olivier La Gloahec turns out classic French dishes that reminds you why they became classics. Sometimes all the fusion in the world can’t top a perfect bouillabaisse.

Table 42. David Manero wasn’t the only local restaurateur to strike restaurant gold twice in 2010. Gary Rack’s remake of his Coal Mine Pizza turned was what already one of the area’s best Italian pizzerias into a fine and affordable Royal Palm Place osteria.

Racks Downtown Eatery + Tavern. Gary Rack’s Mizner Park restaurant offers its take on American cookery in all its multi-culti glory. Combined with an over-the-top design and thriving bar scene, they’ve made the former Cafe Pranzo space into one of the area’s hottest hotspots.

Cabana Las Palmas. Moving a few blocks west on Clematis Street didn’t hurt this sleekly modern pan-Latin eatery, where the vivid colors in the dining room are matched by the vivid flavors of its cuisine. Take a break from the same ol’, same ol’ and dive right in.

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