Friday, May 26, 2023

Small Bites: Delray and Boca Updates

Now that “season” is upon us and the frozen tundra is freezing over, the restaurant openings are coming fast and furious. Here’s a few recent ones:

What promises to be one of the most exciting restaurants to debut of late is now open and reportedly packing ‘em in in downtown Delray. It’s El Camino(15 N.E. Second Ave., 561/865-5350), the upscale, ingredient-driven Mexican eatery from the savvy trio behind Cut 432 and Park Tavern. The 1939-vintage former garage is dominated by a giant mural by local artist Ruben Ubiera splashed all over the facade, while indoors offers so many cool design elements there isn’t space to list them all here. The menu channels the fresh-local-seasonal mantra that’s taken root throughout the country, with familiar dishes tweaked and elevated to give them new life. Could El Camino be the restaurant that convinces people Mexican cuisine is more than just ubiquitous street food or cheap filler dumped out of a can? One can only hope. . .

A Canadian company opens an American restaurant with a New York vibe in Boca Raton? That would be Madison’s New York Grill & Bar (2006 Executive Center Circle, 561/994-0808), which opened right before the new year. Located in the old Stephane’s location, Madison’s in Boca is the first found south of the Canadian border. It’s a sleek, modern space. . . big too, with a menu that ranges from fried calamari and Oriental chicken salad to burgers, steaks, ribs and a handful of chicken and seafood dishes. Prices aren’t exactly cheap so it will be interesting to see how the restaurant fares with all the nearby competition.

Also up and running in Boca is Flashback Diner (1450 N. Federal Highway, 561/750-2120), a 24-hour retro diner in the old Viva Partenza/Bova Ristorante spot. In true diner style you can get everything from eggs and pancakes to burgers and sammies to meatloaf, chicken pot pie and fried shrimp, with a few outliers like moussaka and gyros thrown in.

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