Stephane’s Readies for Boca Debut


A quartet of serious restaurant professionals are getting ready to launch a casual-affordable/elegant-sophisticated French-American restaurant in the old Copper Canyon location just off I-95 in Boca Raton.

Stephane’s (2006 NW Executive Center Circle, 561/893-8838), set to debut in June, is the product of Stephane Lang-Willar, a French restaurateur who built Europe’s largest collection of brasseries, joined by former Hillstone Restaurant Group exec Patrick Keenan as GM, Breakers sommelier (and owner of Virginia Philip Wine Shop in West Palm Beach) Virginia Philip as wine guru, and one-time Opus 5-Umi Fish Bar chef John Belleme heading up the kitchen.

The restaurant proper, done by Fort Lauderdale-based ID & Design International, will boast a sleek, contemporary look, with granite tabletops, mother of pearl accents, posh red velvet-upholstered booths, a bar-lounge, dining room with space for 160 and outdoor patio-lounge seating another 80.

Belleme’s menu melds French and American classics, from duck a l’orange, salmon tartare with dill and pink peppercorns, and trio of crème brulees to aged prime rib, whole rotisserie chicken and, of course, burgers. Also on the menu will be curbside take-out service, where you can get that roti chicken, Caesar salad, crème brulees and other dishes delivered right to your car. Beer and wine too.

Philip’s wine program will offer some 100 different labels, with three-dozen or so by the glass. And in what to my knowledge is a local first, the traditional dead-trees wine list will be replaced by individual iPads, which will allow diners not only to order wine with dinner but see Philip’s suggested wines for whatever dishes they’ll be eating.

Your very own e-sommelier. . . How cool is that?