I seem to be following Chef James Strine around Palm Beach County. It’s not stalking, it’s just eating good food that this invariably inventive chef adds to various menus.
Strine headed up the kitchen at Grato in West Palm Beach in 2016, then opened Hai House in Palm Beach, then went to The Trophy Room in Wellington. That was all after his earlier years at Café Boulud. He’s now putting his creations on the Taru restaurant in Delray Beach.
Take the opportunity to benefit from all this experience and try the brunch (or dinner) at popular Sundy House in downtown Delray, home of the newly launched Taru. The surroundings are extraordinary, and I can’t think of another spot in Delray to match them. Outside dining means sitting in a botanical garden, with small gazebos housing two to six diners, set along a pond or bamboo glade.
Brunch means bottomless drinks ($15 per person) that can be mixed-and-matched during the meal: mimosas, Bloody Marys, sangria, frosé (frozen rosé) and frozen mules. Start with those, then move onto the warm cider donuts with cinnamon sugar and apple compote ($8). These are light, airy dough balloons and could be a meal if you lack willpower.
But push on and try the shrimp and grits with onions, peppers, and pan gravy ($21). If you’re a grits connoisseur, you’ll taste the butter and cream, and see small yellow bits of corn in these smooth and decadent grits. The pan gravy is light and flavorful, with a scattering of scallions over the eight tender shrimp.
Even the simple is elevated here. The smoked salmon plate ($19)—an everything bagel, whipped cream cheese, red onion, tomato, capers—arrives with heirloom tomatoes, which boosts both the attractiveness of the plate as well as the flavor. Small things, like the thinly sliced loops of red onions, are easy to lay on top of the whipped cream cheese, also a step up in the flavor department.
The menu also has eggs Benedict, prime rib toast, Taru burger, Nutella French toast and more. There are plenty of both sweet and savory options.
At Taru, nature is invited into the restaurant, while Chef Strine brings the flavor. You can’t miss with either. Put brunch back in your week.
IF YOU GO
PARKING: Valet or on the street
HOURS: Mon.-Fri., 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday brunch, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner 5 to 10 p.m.; Sunday brunch 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
PRICES: Brunch, $9-$24
106 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach, 561/272-5678