BOCA Magazine April 2024

Page 1

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22 Editor’s Letter

Caribbean food is close at hand in South Florida—and so are the islands themselves, teeming with as much character and flavor as their cuisines.

27 The Local

85 Backstage Pass

160 Hometown Hero

Meet the executive making sure the Palm Beaches’ ships always come in, take a closer look at the antique binoculars of one of the county’s most unique businesses, and catch up with a CEO who has provided a “Place of Hope” for families in need for 25 years. Plus, locals share their favorite springtime plans, we explore the best tools for the home chef, and more.

36 The Look

Even rain gear is stylish this season—along with designer belts, bucket bags and bedazzled sneakers bursting with springtime color.

From shooting in treacherous rip currents to avoiding sharks just beyond his lens, adventure photographer Ben Hicks goes the extra mile—and fathom—to bring his eco-conscious images to the public. Plus, “Hamilton” at the Kravis, bluegrass at the Flagler, a Buddy Holly musical at the Wick and more A&E happenings.

125 Florida Table: Eat & Drink

See what our food critic has to say about Oceano Kitchen and 388 Italian Restaurant By Mr. Sal. Plus, we share what we heard through the grapevine about the most underrated white wines—and discover breakfast picks from top international chefs.

152 Social

Worth Avenue welcomed a new retailer, pro mascots enlivened the opening of an autism care center, Men Giving Back raised $530,000 for worthy charities, and other community events of note.

A giant in Boca’s philanthropic community, Robin Deyo has contributed to the betterment of the city’s educational, medical, social, historical and cultural nonprofits.


PHOTOGRAPHER: Warner-Prokos Photography

MODELS: Angel Mom Brunch Event Co-chairs: Renee Feder, Susan Brockway, Kathy Adkins, Wendy Sadusky, Rebecca D’Emic, Haley Winstead

FASHION: provided by Oscar de la Renta, Royal Poinciana Plaza, Palm Beach

12 • • • • April 2024 85
APRIL 2024 VOL. 44, ISSUE 4 125 160 36
when it comes to style, never settle for less designer evening wear mother of the bride special occasion day dresses resort casual accessories no appointments taken 210 n.e. 6th avenue, delray beach 561.276.5714 private parking available open seasonally october - june

Web Extras

Visit for bonus items you won’t see anywhere else—extended stories, recipes, news and more.


Want to learn even more about Sarasota’s vast cultural landscape (page 58)? We extended our trip for a visit to Sarasota Art Museum, the city’s first such institution dedicated to contemporary art. Read about it at april-2024.



In this issue, Tim Balloo, chef and owner of Fort Lauderdale’s The Katherine, shares his expertise on the nuances of Trinidadian cooking (page 74). Visit for the recipe for one of Balloo’s specialties—his mother’s famous oxtail stew. was honored with the Charlie Award for best website at last year’s Florida Magazine Association awards! This is the organization’s top honor, given in recognition of the excellence of our site’s content, navigability and design. Visit bocamag. com and see why our site was voted the best!

Launched in early 2020, Boca Goes Live is still keeping you connected to the community through conversations streamed live on Facebook with a curated roster of some of South Florida’s leading officials, entertainers and innovators. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss new reels and visit to see the full library of videos and watch them on demand.


Don’t miss Boca on everything from FACEBOOK (facebook. com/bocamag) to INSTAGRAM (@bocamag) and TWITTER (@bocamag) for community news, retail trends, foodie updates and much more.

Best Bites

Think our dining guide is long? You haven’t seen anything until you’ve visited our digital version. We’ve got critic-reviewed restaurants from Jupiter to Miami on the web. Visit the Dining Guide tab to view the guide.

City Watch

Boca Raton is anything but sleepy, and Randy Schultz is the go-to for all the city politics, development and business news you need to know. For updates delivered straight to your email every Tuesday and Thursday, visit the City Watch tab on our website.

14 • • • • April 2024


Marie Speed


John Thomason


Tyler Childress


Lori Pierino


Rafael Quiñones


James Karpinen


Aaron Bristol


Jan Engoren, Paul Haynes, Margie Kaye (promotional writing)


David Shuff


Christie Galeano-DeMott


Nicole G. Ruth


Bruce Klein


Gail Eagle


Karen S. Kintner

Julie Osten

Jenna Russo

Boca Raton magazine is published eight times a year by JES Media. The contents of Boca Raton magazine are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Boca Raton magazine accepts no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs and assumes no liability for products or services advertised herein. Boca Raton magazine reserves the right to edit, rewrite or refuse material and is not responsible for products. Please refer to corporate masthead.

16 • • • • April 2024



Margaret Mary Shuff


Marie Speed


Jeanne Greenberg


Boca Raton magazine

Delray Beach magazine

1926 Worth Avenue

Boca Raton Chamber Annual

Salt Lake magazine

Utah Bride and Groom

Utah Style & Design

Salt Lake Visitors’ Guide



CHARLIE AWARD (FIRST PLACE) best website ( best custom publication (1926)


best overall magazine best editorial, opinion, commentary best department design

best custom publication (Worth Avenue) best advertorial story or section

BRONZE AWARD best in-depth reporting best advertorial story or section


GENERAL EXCELLENCE magazine of the year best overall magazine

CHARLIE AWARD (FIRST PLACE) best overall writing best in-depth reporting best custom publication (1926) best advertising for a client

SILVER AWARD best feature best use of photography best advertising for a client

BRONZE AWARD best custom publication (Worth Avenue)



best public service coverage best in-depth reporting best feature best service feature best humor writing best column best photo essay/series best advertorial

best overall: digital innovator best special theme or show issue

SILVER AWARD best overall writing best public service coverage best department best use of photography best social media best custom publication (Worth Avenue)

BRONZE AWARD best traditional illustration

April 2024 • • • • 17


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Letter to the Editor

Boca Raton magazine

1000 Clint Moore Road, #103 Boca Raton, FL 33487

Arts & entertainment

Where to go, what to do and see throughout South Florida. Please submit information regarding galas, art openings, plays, readings, concerts, dance or other performances to John Thomason (john.thomason@ Deadline for entries in an upcoming A&E section is three months before publication.

Dining guide

Our independent reviews of restaurants in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. A reliable resource for residents and tourists. For more information, contact Christie Galeano-DeMott (



A photo collage of social gatherings and events in Boca Raton and South Florida. All photos submitted should be identified and accompanied by a brief description of the event (who, what, where, when). Email images to

US ON INSTAGRAM @ROBYNESOBEL 18 • • • • April 2024

First issue

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April 2024 • • • • 19
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Islands in the Stream

Our constellation of offshore islands is yet another South Florida gift

t was only a matter of time before island food would drift into this magazine. (page 74) The islands themselves are so close, places bobbing off the coast of South Florida and outward, with their own languages and customs and music and romance. I’ve been fascinated with this aspect of living here for decades; I’ve never gotten over the notion that you can get in a regular powerboat and be in Bimini in a few hours. Bimini, where Hemingway used to fight on the docks and set out after massive blue marlin in water the color

My first trip to Bimini was back in the smuggling days. The Compleat Angler was still there; random single-engine planes were frozen nose-down in shallow water where they had crashed near the landing strip. And I’ve been many times since then as the island has assumed its offshore resort air, like so much of the Bahamas. The last time I went, though, you could still get great conch fritters at one of the many makeshift conch stands, washed down with a Kalik or a Red Stripe.

Eleuthera and Harbor Island are also not far from us. Back when I went, it was well before the near-islands had been consumed by vacation resort developers and Vrbos. We stayed at the ramshackle Rainbow Inn, and we rented a beat-up Ford from a random guy at the airport who just gave it to us and collected money when we were about to leave. Back then you could ask the women at the little store down the hill to bake you a loaf of sweet Bimini bread, and people waved whenever you passed them on the dusty roads. We stumbled into a fresh fish fry at a dance club we found. The fish eyes were delicacies.

Cuba was another whole story. I went only a few years ago, but the island vibe was long calcified by decades of revolutions and political oppression and poverty and out-migration. The once grand and promising city was now a lacy skeleton of crumbling buildings and starkly retro 1950s Americana hotels. Small Russian cars shared the roads with sedans from the ‘50s and mule-drawn carts. I’m not sure how the food is these days in Havana; there are so many shortages and ration books and so little money. I do recall the coffee, though, and the bread and fresh fruit and eggs we got to have at breakfast. And the Havana Club rum.

Every island has a different idea of itself; I imagine the sparsely populated out islands are fixed in a different time entirely than places like Staniel Cay and its swimming pigs, or farther out in the French West Indies, places like St. Barts, an impossibly chic European playground (with sublime French food). Jamaica is verdant and rich with history, and the Abacos entertain generation after generation of expats. All of them are in our backyard to some extent; all have become part of South Florida. Now may be the time to start exploring them again.

22 • • • • April 2024
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To learn more, call 561-955-4600 or visit





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April 2024 • • • 27 THE LOCAL BOCA CHATTER › 28 HOT LIST › 30 DO-GOODER › 32 PORT MASTER › 34 THE LOOK › 36 BEHIND THE BIZ › 48 TOOLS › 50
Sarasota landmark Ca’ d’Zan (turn to page 58 for more)

Don’t-Miss Events


WHEN: April 18-20, Expo Center, South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach

WHAT: This is like an annual convention for gearheads, offering multiple auctions, educational symposiums, acres of vintage cars, and the popular Barrett-Jackson Automobilia Auction (described as a “colorful array of fine, rare and one-of-a-kind hood mascots, vintage gas pumps, dealership signs, racing posters and more”), happening daily throughout the long weekend. Ticket prices vary; visit


Boca Bacchanal is the signature culinary event in Boca Raton, celebrating wine and food through world-class chefs and vintners that come together at select vintner dinners and at a grand tasting to cap off the festival. Proceeds benefit programs of the Boca Raton Historical Society. This year, the much-coveted Vintner Dinners will be held in magnificent private residences and historic venues throughout Boca Raton on various dates, from March through April 6. The Grand Tasting will be hosted April 7 at The Addison from 1 to 4 p.m., with more than 200 tasting selections of wines and Champagnes along with spirits and craft beers. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items such as wine, food and travel packages. For more information, visit or call 561/395-6766, ext. 100.


WHEN: April 12-14, Downtown Delray Beach, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

WHAT: This longtime arts and crafts festival has been a spring ritual in Delray for 62 years. It features more than 500 artists and rambles down 12 city blocks. In addition to the vendors, there will be live music at the Old School Square Beer Garden, a wide selection of great food (don’t miss the conch fritter ladies!) and more. Visit

Locals sound off on issues affecting our community.

What is your favorite springtime ritual?

“My favorite spring ritual is getting out and hitting the dusty trail for a Spring Break trip to parts unknown with my family!”

Terry Lessard, husband, father, bon vivant, raconteur, rapscallion and ne’er-do-well

“I enjoy spending more time outdoors during spring. I ride my bike more frequently, visit local gardens, and take walks in nature in the balmy temps!”

Angela Cruz Ledford, director of PR and communications, Discover The Palm Beaches

“My favorite springtime ritual was last month: wearing green, eating a corned beef sandwich and hoisting a few cold ones with family and friends on March 17 at The Irishman, Biergarten or both.”

Bob Tucker, storyteller consultant



It’s springtime, gardens are bursting with our seasonal vegetables ... and the hens are working overtime, too. We were wondering where to go to get an egg fix—from breakfast to baked goods—and here’s what our intrepid foodies on staff said:

“The deviled eggs at Jimmy Everett’s Driftwood in Boynton Beach are famous, and they should be. Smoky, with just the right dash of tart flavor and garnished with a teensy touch of fried chicken skin … worth the trip for those alone.”

Marie Speed, editor-in-chief

“The Huevos Rancheros Divorciados at Rocco’s Tacos: This authentic chain gets everything right in this classic brunch dish, with fresh ingredients, a mélange of flavor and a true Southwestern kick.”

John Thomason, managing editor

“Fried eggs with ajvar sauce (tomato, eggplant and red pepper) from Una Bakery in Lake Worth Beach. The ajvar sauce’s smoky, sweet and spicy flavor makes it perfect for slathering over eggs.”

Tyler Childress, web editor

“Delray’s Boheme Bistro’s croissant egg sandwich is fluffy, savory and cheesy. It’s simple and delicious, and that’s all I need in the morning.”

Christie Galeano-DeMott, food editor

“The caviar pie with egg salad at Cafe Maxx is still divine after all these years.”

Margaret Shuff, publisher



Temperature at which people are most comfortable


Minutes spent outside that can improve mood and memory


Percentage drop in daily crime during Daylight Saving Time


The Easter bunny has come and gone, but here are a few wild hares you can enjoy all year long.


Harvey, the invisible star of a 1950s movie by the same name, is Jimmy Stewart’s best pal, a 6-foot-3-inch invisible white rabbit only he can see, but who kicks off a whole comedy of errors when the family tries to have him committed for his insistence that the rabbit is real.


Peter Rabbit, invented by children’s author Beatrix Potter, first appeared in 1902 in The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and then in five more books; together, they’ve sold more than 150 million copies. Peter is mischievous, wears a blue jacket with brass buttons, and is best known for sneaking into Mr. McGregor’s garden. The rest is history.


Bugs Bunny was created in the late 1930s at Warner Bros. Cartoons and voiced originally by Mel Blanc. He is best known for his roles in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated short films, has a Brooklyn accent, and popularized the phrase, “Eh... What’s up, doc?” He has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Roger Rabbit is the star of a groundbreaking live-action and animated 1988 movie, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” about a scandal involving Roger’s wife Jessica Rabbit, a detective on the case and a man who shows up dead. Chaos ensues.



The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog appears in “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” (1975) as the murderous cave-dwelling rabbit who is hell-bent on killing the Knights of the Round Table.

April 2024 • • • • 29


WHEN: April 10-28

WHERE: Theatre Lab at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

COST: $35-$45



We all want what’s best for the children, but we disagree often on how to arrive there—and we can’t all be right. Adult meddling in the well-being of our young ones is at the heart of this world-premiere comedy by Idris Goodwin, a timely work whose central character, Whit Forsythe, has just been elected as the first Black chairman of his state’s school board committee. This means he’s on the front lines of what gets printed in (and, just as importantly, what’s omitted from) the state’s textbooks, as various and sundry characters attempt to influence his decisions. “What’s Best For the Children” is the playwright’s first start-to-finish comedy, one complemented by music and audience interaction.


WHEN: April 6, 8 p.m.

WHERE: The Parker, 707 N.E. Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale

COST: $45-$75

CONTACT: 954/462-0222,

A term like “renaissance man” only scratches the surface of Alan Cumming’s singularly diverse résumé. The puckish Scottish-born thespian got his start on the London stage, performing the work of Shakespeare, Beckett and Kander & Ebb, whose “Cabaret” eventually landed one of Cumming’s defining, Tony-winning roles, as the show’s mischievous Master of Ceremonies. But he hasn’t just stuck to the boards: He’s embraced all forms of new media and entertainment, appearing in movies both commercial and cultish, directing a podcast series, record ing a duet with a Gaellic rapper, and even hosting a “Clue”-like murder-mystery reality series,“The Traitors.” He’s worked with legends from Stanley Kubrick to David Bowie and even conceived of a dance theatre piece inspired by Scottish bard Robert Burns. In this brand-new cabaret production, he’ll combine many of his talents—for musical eclecticism, cheeky humor and heartfelt storytelling.


WHEN: April 6, 6 and 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach

COST: $50-$55

CONTACT: 561/450-6357, It took only three years into his recording career for Stanley Jordan to release what would become his landmark album: 1985’s Magic Touch introduced many listeners to the prodigious guitarist’s“touch technique,” an all-but-patented formula that allowed Jordan to play both chords and melodies simultaneously and open up new avenues for sonic richness. The album became a groovy cocktail-party classic, topping Billboard’s Jazz charts for 51 weeks. It even contained a surprising cover of Jimi Hendrix’s“Angel,”which may have planted the seed for Jordan’s current venture. In“Stanley Jordan Plays Jimi,”the bandleader jettisons his typical acoustic guitar for an electric, raising the temperature from cool to searing while indulging in what he calls“a fantasy Jimi Hendrix concert if Jimi were still alive and playing today.” He even dresses the part, donning studded black leather and a red headband, with an ace rhythm section laying the foundation for his impassioned tribute.


WHEN: April 20-Aug. 11

WHERE: Norton Museum of Art, 1450 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach

COST: $15-$18, $5 students

CONTACT: 561/832-5196,

Portraits, wildlife sketches, roiling seascapes, tributes to the first Industrial Revolution, satirical cartoons, pointillist landscapes—all are among the half a millennium’s worth of prints from this eclectic Florida-based collection. Collector Frost amassed all manner of European and American prints from masters such as Rembrandt, Thomas Moran and Grant Wood, whose 1939 selection“Fertility”finds a double entendre of human sexuality in a rendering of a farm silo.“The Paper Trail”is presented chronologically, offering something of a history of the western world and its many technological and cultural advancements alongside gradual shifts in art styles and techniques. Other artists on display include Marc Chagall, Albrecht Dürer and Anthony Van Dyk, alongside lesser-known names whose work was just as impactful.

30 • • • • April 2024 THE LOCAL HOT LIST
Stanley Jordan as Jimi Hendrix “The Finish” by Louis Anquetin Alan Cumming
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My mindset is to live intentionally and to lift others up. I’ve spent my years well, and I enjoy what I do.”

Charles Bender III: A Man on a Mission

The longtime Place of Hope CEO has been changing lives for 25 years

Aman on a mission … that’s Charles Bender III, 54, CEO of Place of Hope, a faith-based, state-licensed children and families organization with five campuses throughout Palm Beach County, including the Leighan and David Rinker Campus in Boca Raton. With housing and support services designed to end the cycles of abuse, neglect, homelessness, poverty and human trafficking, Bender and his organization offer a continuum of care specializing in residential and extended foster care, emancipated youth, human trafficking, emergency placement, maternity care and outreach programs.

Since the first child moved in, in May 2001, Place of Hope has served more than 40,000 children, youth and families, and last year alone served more than 10,000 children.

“I’m right where I want to be,” says Bender, a Florida native, who, as founding CEO, has been in his current role for 25 years. Married 31 years to his wife, Trish, an RN, the couple has three grown children and a new granddaughter.

“It’s been a great run,” he says, noting that he’s built a solid team of people who are philosophically invested in Place of Hope.“I love the idea of putting people together to support our mission and to own a stake in it.”

With the highest 4.4 rating on Charity Navigator and loyal donors, Bender is proud of the fact that Place of Hope is a catalyst for

change and has shattered statistics (and has the metrics to prove it) on home lessness, foster care and human trafficking.

“It’s satisfying to see so many lives changed for the better,” says Bender, who credits his Christian faith and belief in Judeo-Christian values for shaping the philosophy of care.

Many of the children and families he sees have endured homelessness, family violence, neglect, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, loss of parents or caregivers and other forms of trauma.

“But,” he says,“kids are resilient. I know if we invest in them, provide a healthy and holistic environment in which to heal and flourish, care for their basic needs, and focus on what the future can be, these kids will grow up to live successful and fulfilling lives.”

He believes people can move on from trauma and reach their full potential.

“While I haven’t experienced these issues personally, I know if you are going to be successful, you have to take steps to move forward,” he says.“We will give you the toolbox for success, but it’s up to you to take those tools and use them.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of working with these residents, Bender says, is seeing the success stories—kids who come back and give of their time and service, become foster parents

themselves, act as role models for younger children, get a good education and stable job, and go on to create their own healthy families and contribute to society.

“We have so many amazing stories of young adults who not only defy the odds and break the statistics but who then turn around and give back of themselves,” he says, crediting Place of Hope’s philosophy of a “hands-up” program, in which residents take personal responsibility for themselves and show a willingness to move forward.

“We can show them the way, but they have to want it,” Bender says.“We’re raising up a strong generation of future citizens.”

A self-described “social entrepreneur,” Bender is not a “typical social services guy.”“I believe in business principles and entrepreneurship,” he says.“We try to invest in ways that create a return on our investment.”

Bender credits his parents— both small business owners—for his family values. A “fairly decent” high school competitive swimmer, he says,“I saw how hard they both

32 • • • • April 2024 THE LOCAL DO-GOODER

worked, and that gave me a respect for an entrepreneurial mindset.”

“I took that with me,”says Bender.

Planning for the next decade, Bender and Place of Hope are one year into the plan“God’s Children: Our Future,”a $100 million campaign to meet the need for more foster homes and affordable housing. It is creating an endowment to help with long-range operational success and deferred maintenance, and plans to build out each campus debt-free.

In addition to a new Treasure Coast campus, in February it broke ground on new transitional housing, the Schmitt Family Housing Complex, on the Boca Raton campus, thanks to a gift by Boca Raton residents Dru and Debbie Schmitt. It’s being built alongside the Gary Peters Family Transitional Housing Complex, which has served 21 young adults since opening in 2020.

Additionally, the Schmitts pledged funding to pilot an early childhood education program for the children of young mothers living on campus.

Bender says that not all gifts come in such generous packages. “The average person can help with corporate or civic engagements, such as mounting a drive to solicit diapers, formula, clothing, car seats, etc.,”he says.“Or, volunteer your time.”

The Palm Beach Gardens resident adds that he and Trish are both foodies and love to dine out in Boca Raton at their favorite Italian and French bistros. In addition to spending time with family, in his downtime, he admits to watching“Downton Abbey” (“Trish got me into it, but now I love it,”)“Yellowstone”and the Christian thriller“Sound of Freedom,”which deals with sex trafficking in South America.

Known for being tenacious (“I don’t give up until you tell me to go away”), Bender, a longtime member of Christ Fellowship Church, lives a life of purpose.“My mindset is to live intentionally and to lift others up,” he says.“I’ve spent my years well, and I enjoy what I do.”

“I can honestly say, I have no regrets,” he says.


Place of Hope Angel Moms celebrates the 10th-annual Angel Moms Brunch and Benefit, “Love of Flowers,” presented by philanthropist Michelle Hagerty on April 12, inspired by the iconic and timeless elegance of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Angel Moms serve as ambassadors in the community for Place of Hope.

The event is co-chaired by Angel Moms Kathy Adkins, Susan Brockway, Rebecca D’Emic, Renee Feder, Wendy Sadusky and Haley Winstead, and will raise funds to offset the cost of services and housing expenses, in addition to meals, education programs and counseling, as well as case management and other services related to their affordable, transitional housing programs.

The keynote speaker will be Tori Hope Petersen, best-selling author of Fostered, who inspires her audiences to be resilient and to change the world by loving the people in front of them.

Petersen, a leading advocate in foster care, has been featured on “Good Morning America” and in Essence magazine, sharing her story of being a foster youth and surmounting her situation to become an advocate and foster parent herself. She is also the founder of the Beloved Initiative, a nonprofit which empowers youth in foster care to advocate for themselves and tell their own stories.

The Love of Flowers Brunch will be Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at the Main Clubhouse, Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive. For details, sponsorship information or tickets, visit or contact Monica Speer, regional events manager, at, or Lisa McDulin, director of advancement, at

April 2024 • • • • 33
Tori Hope Petersen From left, Renee Feder, Susan Brockway, Kathy Adkins, Wendy Sadusky, Rebecca D’Emic, Haley Winstead WARNER-PROKOS PHOTOGRAPHY

Taking on this responsibility, the first thing I noticed was, it becomes a big part of your life. It is, 24 hours a day, a part of who you are.”

Sea Worthy

The Port of Palm Beach’s executive director presides over a boom time for South Florida seaports

Michael Meekins couldn’t have joined the Port of Palm Beach at a more fraught time. It was April of 2020 when Meekins came aboard as the port’s director of business development. Like the rest of us, he watched as a virus raged, an economy tanked, and all passenger cruise ships, which had yielded a steady source of revenue for the port, were moored for the foreseeable future. He was soon to appreciate the importance of the term essential business

“We didn’t skip a beat,” he recalls.“We worked closely with our tenants to ensure that they kept cargo moving despite the challenges that arose during the pandemic. The fact that we were primarily an export port, rather than an import port, means the people in the Caribbean are dependent on us—all sorts of cargo goes into the Caribbean, including medical supplies, which were significantly needed during the pandemic.” (Tropical Shipping, the port’s largest tenant, exports to 30 Caribbean islands; approximately 60 percent of the food consumed in the Bahamas is sent through the port.)

“We assisted our tenants with the vaccination process by scheduling the health department to come out,” Meekins adds.“While the pandemic did cause a slight dip of about 2 percent from 2019 to 2020 in the number of containers that moved through the port, the district continued to maintain the port’s facilities and invest in capital projects. That’s without levying any taxes, which the port has not done in 50 years.”

In the past four years, the Port of Palm Beach has not only returned to pre-pandemic levels of output— it has surpassed them. In January, a study from the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council reported that the ports in the state experienced record-high cargo growth in 2023 for the second year in a row.

as all-encompassing.“Taking on this responsibility, the thing I first noticed was, it becomes a big part of your life,” he says.“It is, 24 hours a day, a part of who you are. I’m fortunate that my wonderful wife is completely understanding of the time and effort this position requires. As far as the job, it has required me to work with the board and the staff in taking a more holistic approach to understanding all of the port’s operations.”

Meekins’ tenure has not been without its hiccups. In his first year on the job, he narrowly survived two efforts by two of the port’s commissioners to terminate him for cause, with the other three commissioners voting in the majority to retain him. In contentious commission meetings, the“nay”voters cited issues such as overspending and questionable hiring practices.

Publicly, Meekins has remained mum on these criticisms, telling Boca,“here at the Port of Palm Beach, business is going on as usual. My main focus remains on ensuring the growth of our port, fostering strong tenant relationships and actively supporting our local communities.

As Florida’s fourth-busiest container port, the Port of Palm Beach saw an 11 percent increase in net operating revenue for fiscal year 2023. And this past February, for the first time in more than a decade, every berth in the port was occupied. The port’s cruise ship, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, enjoyed a 183-percent increase in passenger traffic from 2022 to 2023, a period that saw numerous renovations to the two-night, Jimmy Buffett-themed vessel, including a pickleball court and a dueling piano bar.

Much of this growth has occurred under Meekins’ management. He accepted the port’s executive director position in March 2023, a promotion he describes

“I’m always working to work with the commissioners as best I can,”he adds.“Everybody is always looking to improve, including myself. I’m not perfect by any means, but every day I come in and give 100 percent.”

Meekins continues to lean in to the port’s robust economic numbers as a testament to his leadership. He expresses his dedication to the business in more prosaic ways, too; as a resident of Merritt Island, his commute spans about four hours daily—ever more reason for him to cherish his downtime.

“We have three boys and one girl, all grown, and all out of the house,”he says.“We are empty nesters, but we do get together quite often for Sunday dinners with all of the kids, and that’s what I enjoy the most in my time off. I couldn’t be happier with my wife—and she’s a NASA engineer, so she wins most of the arguments.”

34 • • • • April 2024 THE LOCAL PORT MASTER

“Women need to be involved in their financial plans and have an understanding of where all of their assets are, and what they are used for,” says Certified Financial Planner™ Elizabeth Bennett.

As a woman who has reared a child, been through a divorce and is working toward her own financial future, she forges a relationship with her clients from her own personal experiences.

“You need be in control of your finances and not leave that responsibility to someone else,” she cautions. “Knowing the types of investments that you have, the log-ins for your accounts, and sharing that information with your spouse is very important. Being involved in reviews with your financial advisor and understanding how to access those assets is imperative,” Bennett says.

“Taking responsibility for your financial wellbeing, starting at a young age, is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. You should take advantage of your employer’s retirement plan, understand what your short-term savings need to look like and what your assets’ tax implications are. Be aware of your spending habits and where all of your money is going, whether you are single or married. As women, we know the value of delegating. My advice is to take one thing off of your plate and reach out to an advisor to get your financial house in order with someone you can trust. I am here for you,” she says.

Aaron Bristol
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April Showers

Getting all wet this time of year earns its own style points


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42 • • • • April 2024 THE LOCAL LOOK
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There are very few buyers for [the antique binoculars], but the people who do buy, they have a significant checkbook. It’s really one-of-akind stuff.”

The Eyes Have It

A Palm Beach gallery brings new life to vintage WWII binoculars

Each set of antique “big eye” binoculars in Luxxoptica’s showroom off Worth Avenue has its own backstory. One was discovered hidden in the wall of a former U.S. Navy escort ship as it was being salvaged. Another four pairs were found in a bunker during the occupation of Japan in World War II and wound up in the hands of the U.S. military because, as the adage goes, to the victor go the spoils.

Many of the objects—some designed to peer over the Berlin wall, or gaze above Japanese trenches—remained in the possession of soldiers’ families for generations. Others are still, quite likely, entombed in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. But for those pieces lost and found, Luxxoptica is often where they turn up, resurfaced and repolished in aluminum and nickel, and swiveling proudly on teak tripods.

“This is an original piece that came off a German U-boat,” says

Mike Colombo, Luxxoptica’s general manager, gesturing to one such binocular.“It’s a very unusual optic, with a massive field of view, and they produced about 250 during the war. They were considered critical military hardware, and there are stories of sailors being threatened with execution if anything happened [to them] during their care.

“The funny thing about those, is before the U.S. entered the war, the German U-boats used to patrol three miles off the coast, and use those binoculars to look on shore right here in Florida. The sailors would even come to the beach, and go to the bars in Jupiter to get a beer.”

An interest in history—particularly WWII naval history—compels many of Luxxoptica’s deep-pocketed buyers. The shop’s restored binoculars can run from around $12,000 to the granddaddy of them all, a pair of 150mm Nikkos, discovered in 2021, with serial No. 1 stamped on the left prism housing; it will set you back a cool quarter of a million dollars.

“Pieces like this, there are very few buyers for it, but the people who do buy, they have a significant checkbook,” Colombo says. “It’s really one-of-a kind stuff.”

Colombo describes the binoculars as “functional artwork,” not all of which caters to the 1 percent. Luxxoptica produces four reproduction models—christened the Asahi, Midway, Yamato and Katori—that start at $5,900. For these buyers,“it’s a high-end optic, in a space that has a view,” Colombo says.“It’s quite often a talking point in a room. Some end up in businesses; a couple have ended up in high-end yachts.”

Luxxoptica opened its first showroom in 2021 in a Palm Beach

storefront off North County Road, then moved to its current location, in Via Newsome, in 2022. Foot traffic is copious outside the glass-walled gallery, and the shop gets plenty of oglers for an inventory that stands out among the clothiers, jewelers and restaurants that surround it.

The business side of Luxxoptica is officially headquartered in Boca Raton, in a nondescript office building on Federal Highway, and it has a presence in one of the city’s landmarks: Four of its binoculars are on display at The Boca Raton, which also sells them in its gift shop.

Though only open for three years, Luxxoptica has all but cornered the market on its niche product. Its owner—who is media-shy and requested anonymity—sells to collectors around the globe. Celebrity clientele have included Guy Fieri, Sylvester Stallone and the late Jimmy Buffett, who “used to ride his scooter around and pop in the shop,” Colombo says.

As for the“functional”aspect of the art?“They’re looking at the water, they’re looking at the mountains, or they’re looking at the neighbors,” Colombo says with a chuckle.

In terms of optical devices, he’s aware that more-affordable options are plentiful.“You can find other binoculars out there, that are, for lack of a better term, the Radio Shack version,” he says.“They’re good technical pieces; they’re just not beautiful instruments you want to look at. What we focus on is finding the antiques, bringing them back, preserving the history in a way that they’re going to stay in families for probably hundreds of years.

“It’s a tiny market, we’re a tiny business, but I think we’re the biggest in this tiny little space.”

48 • • • • April 2024 THE LOCAL BEHIND THE BIZ
Above, an example of Luxxoptica’s restored binoculars; right, General Manager Mike Colombo AARON BRISTOL

The Cutting Edge


1 2 3

Forget the trendy gadgets; We’ve come up with some no-fail basic kitchenware that will take your home cooking game to the next level


Having a good knife is the difference between having sliced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, which is why you need a blade specifically designed for slicing them. A tomato knife is serrated, which allows it to slice through the tomato’s skin without tearing or crushing, and the end of the blade is forked for easy coring. Pro tip: Tomato knives are also great for slicing bread, bagels and hard cheeses. When it comes to tomato knives (or any knife, really), you can’t go wrong with trusted knife brands like Wüsthof or Lamson.


There aren’t too many dishes that don’t require the use of a spatula, but finding the right one for the job can be tricky. Out of the range of different spatulas used for lifting, spreading, stirring and flipping, the one that gives you the most utility is definitely a slotted spatula. Those slots aren’t just for aesthetics; they actually reduce the surface tension on the spatula, allowing liquids to drain more easily. This makes slotted spatulas the best candidates for cooking fish and other meats, because they prevent excess oils from ruining the flavor of the dish. Most major kitchenware brands offer slotted spatulas, but only the Victorinox Swiss Army Slotted Fish Turner was voted the No. 1 spatula by Wirecutter.

If you buy in bulk or meal prep, a vacuum sealer is an indispensable tool for keeping foods fresh. Vacuum sealing works by removing the air from a package before it’s sealed, preventing harmful bacteria from growing on food. Preserving food in vacuum-sealed bags also helps prevent freezer burn, a scourge that has led to many a good cut of meat being tossed in the trash. Vacuum sealing can be used on everything from dry goods like cereal and coffee to perishable foods like meat and vegetables, adding months of shelf life (and, more importantly, flavor preservation) to your entire grocery list. For those in the market, Food & Wine recommends the Nesco Deluxe Food VS-12.

vesting in a digital thermometer. Digital thermometers have been found to be more accurate than their analog counterparts, providing the exact internal temperature of a dish down to a tenth of a degree. A good digital thermometer will cost you quite a bit more, but their speed and accuracy more than make up for the price tag. One that we found and like is the Thermapen® ONE, which boasts readings as quickly as one second or less.



There’s nothing more frustrating than having to pop that roasted chicken back in the oven after cutting into it and realizing you’ve been misled by your “trusted” meat thermometer. That’s why we recommend getting with the times and in-


Any home chef worth their salt knows that kitchen shears are a must-have item for everything from opening food packaging to cutting meats. But for the more delicate task of cutting herbs, you’re going to need a pair of herb scissors. The design stacks five pairs of blades to ensure an even slice with every snip, and the blade guard also functions as a “comb” to scrape any lingering herbs off the blade. Whether you’re cutting green onions or fresh parsley to garnish a dish, herb scissors make adding that extra bit of flavor quick and easy. You can grab yourself an affordable pair at Crate & Barrel for $12.



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Ca’ d’Zan west facade Ca’ d’Zan terrace facade

It didn’t happen overnight, but the transformation of Sarasota from a beach party town with a few cultural venues into one of the state’s artistic fulcrums can still take newcomers by surprise. The city of 55,000 about three and a half hours northwest of Boca Raton has, in time, accrued an impeccable reputation for performing and visual arts, to the point where there are now 13 stages within a one-mile radius of downtown. Sarasota County’s tourism authority even trademarked the phrase Florida’s Cultural Coast to describe this emphasis on the arts. We discovered as many of these attractions as we could over a two-night visit.

of various greens, Mable Ringling’s favorite color. The mansion was constructed to accommodate an Aeolian organ, one of only 10 in existence, that happened to be removed for repairs during our visit. But, when played during the Ringlings’ tenure at the house, its 2,000 pipes were heard even on the barrier islands across the bay.

It ’ s a Circus Out There

The Ringling is the cultural nexus of Sarasota, promising, as its tagline touts,“One location. Endless Experiences.”At the heart of this vast campus on Sarasota Bay is Ca’ d’Zan, the 1926-vintage winter home of circus maven John Ringling and his wife Mable, and it’s essentially the West Coast equivalent of our own Flagler Museum. Like that Palm Beach landmark, Ca’ d’Zan (“House of John”) is a restored totem to Gilded Age opulence, complete with 56 rooms constructed in the Mediterranean Revival style.

Guided tours of the estate explore such prominent areas as the Great Hall, where, as in many of Ca’ d’Zan’s spaces, hand-painted art graces the vaunted ceilings. The East Ballroom, where a gong serving as the Ringlings’ dinner bell still stands, and the Taproom, with its Italianate bar and stained-glass artwork, are as extravagant as any cathedral. The Breakfast Room features a Delft birdcage and palette

The Ringling is also home to the Circus Museum, a tribute to John Ringling’s day job. Its centerpiece is the World’s Largest Circus Model, a 3,800-square-foot diorama under glass that contains more than 42,000 miniature pieces of exquisite detail—from the trains carrying the circus entertainers, animals, employees and equipment to the Big Top itself and the city-like backstage infrastructure required to mount the event. Rotating platforms, lighting cues, TV screens with vintage circus footage embedded in the various tableaux, and the piped-in sounds of neighing horses, train whistles, circus music and crowd noise add immersive elements to the diorama. The remainder of the Circus Museum consists of historical ephemera, including costumes, props, photo ops and advertising posters, presented in an inviting, colorful atmosphere.

The Ringling complex also abuts the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts, the opulent host venue for both the Sarasota Ballet and the Asolo Repertory Theatre. The latter is the largest repertory theatre in the southeastern United States, and seeing a play here—we caught the company’s extraordinary rendition of “Inherit the Wind”—is one of the signature cultural experiences of Sarasota. The space itself is a throwback to the theater as palace, with red-carpeted staircases, filigreed balconies

April 2024 • • • • 59
Ca’ d’Zan dining room Ringling Museum of Art Bayfront Gardens at the Ringling
Part of the World’s Largest Circus Model

and the heads of cherubs framing the stage, while the onstage and backstage talent is among the finest in the state. (Its current production, the play “Dial M For Murder,” runs through April 25.)

Completing the indoor attractions at the Ringling is the Museum of Art, established by John Ringling in 1932 and featuring 21 permanent galleries full of works by Old Masters, late Gothic and Renaissance Art, plus newer wings housing contemporary and Asian art exhibitions. The venues are nestled among the Bayfront Gardens and Arboretum, where towering banyans shade the walkways and

where the sprawling Rose Garden, established by Mable ca. 1913, still provides aromatic delights at every turn. The Secret Garden, a nook just off the main path, culminates in the gravestones of John and Mable Ringling, at rest under a tangle of bamboo.

Tropic Thunder

If the Ringling’s Ca’ d’Zan’s is the Flagler Museum of the West Coast, then Sarasota’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the region’s Morikami or Mounts. An oasis of order and tranquility in the bustle of downtown Sarasota, the 15-acre property is divided into 22 sections representing multiple biomes. To stroll the gardens is to be delighted at the panoply of colors and scents at every turn, from a koi pond and waterfalls and bonsai to the succulent garden, mangrove walkway, tidal lagoon and hardwood hammock. Art exhibitions related to nature and ecology change throughout the year in the on-site Museum of Botany & the Arts.

But the Selby’s crown jewel—something our own gardens cannot boast—is its Tropical Conservatory, which contains the most diverse collection of living epiphytes, or air plants, in the world, collected by Selby scientists from expeditions to Central and South America. This alone is worth the price of admission: a veritable jungle of ferns, bromeliads and orchids, some so rare they’re kept under glass, but most going their own way, snaking paths around arches, over trellises and among enormous palm trees. Lingering in this sensorial escape, the Amazon rainforest doesn’t seem so far away.

FUN FACT: Post-punk legend Patti Smith is the Selby’s official artist in residence, and plays intimate concerts in the gardens a couple of times a year.


BOCA, 19 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota; 941/256-3565, Boca Raton itself would be fortunate to have a restaurant as hip as its West Coast namesake, a cozy but upscale spot in downtown Sarasota for superior farm-to-fork cuisine. The “Southern Caviar” burger with pimento cheese, tomato jam and bacon is a signature entree.

GROVE, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941/893-4321, One of the culinary highlights of Lakewood Ranch, a posh Sarasota suburb, Grove offers innovative New American dining at reasonable prices. Maple bacon deviled eggs, fried green tomato flatbread, and crab artichoke pesto only begin to tell the story here.

THAI SEED, 5215 University Parkway, Suite 108, University Park; 941/306-5592, thaiseedutc. This first-rate Asian outpost is near University Town Center, a shopping and dining megacenter. Its hours are weirdly specific—11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and 4:30 to 7:45 p.m. most days—but if you’re lucky enough to find it when it’s open, the gyoza, pad Thai and curries are second to none.

60 • • • • April 2024
Towering banyan at Selby Gardens
Selby Gardens

Let ’ s Get Whimsical

Then again, there are attractions that have no correlative in South Florida. There may be nothing anywhere quite like the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy, an institution specializing in good vibrations since 2010. Recognizable from its Tamiami Trail location by the giant flamingos—in seashell crowns and top hats— flanking the entrance, the museum is a menagerie of delight encompassing two large indoor galleries, a sprawling art-filled courtyard and a sculpture garden. It’s certainly the only museum I’ve visited where the volunteer docents greet each guest with a curtsy. My greeter called the museum “an elixir for all the ills of our world,”“the most enchanted destination in Florida,” and a place “committed to lifting people’s hearts.”

The Marietta is named after its founder, Marietta Lee, a graduate of Sarasota’s Ringling College of Art & Design who noticed a deficit of humor in the art world and sought to correct it through the collection and exhibition of whimsical pieces spanning from fine art to amusing décor. Indeed, there is no distinction between blue-chip paintings and ornamental tchotchkes, so long as they make visitors smile. It’s the place to find miniature dioramas of bustling barrooms and ocean ecosystems sculpted from boiled potato and plaster; glass cupcakes and women’s footwear that resembles desserts; a poodle made from recycled buttons; and abstract metal monkeys dangling from trees.

Art is placed absolutely everywhere, from the oversized inchworm crawling up a wooden post to the hand-painted hog sandwiched between the roots of two foxtail palms. Much of the art is kinetic—with motors and movements—and some is delightfully interactive, with bells and whistles and more. Even the toilet seats in the restroom are painted art pieces, and there’s a 5,000-pound cast-iron bathysphere diving bell on display, because why not? Chess and checkerboards are set up strategically throughout the property, encouraging playfulness. You’re unlikely to notice everything in one visit—ever more reason to return on your next West Coast pilgrimage.


THE RITZ-CARLTON SARASOTA, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota; 941/309-2000, Sarasota’s only five-star hotel offers beachfront access—along with special Beach Club privileges— an on-site spa, two pools and a championship golf course, plus balcony suites with bay views.

ART OVATION HOTEL, 1255 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota; 941/316-0808, This boutique hotel in downtown Sarasota features a neon-lit rooftop bar, a Mediterranean restaurant (Tzeva) and dynamite views of Sarasota Bay and marina. But what really sets it apart are the artistic quirks that live up to its name: art installations throughout the property, live performances and a playable ukulele in every room.

THE WESTIN SARASOTA, 100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota; 941/217-4777, This Marriott Bonvoy Hotel features a heated rooftop pool and bar, an acclaimed in-house restaurant (EVOQ) and a spa.

LIDO BEACH RESORT, 700 Benjamin Franklin Drive, Sarasota; 941/388-2161, This coastal retreat on Lido Key Beach near downtown Sarasota promises 300 feet of private, impeccably soft sugar-sand beachfront and two heated pools, one of which is for adults only.

CARLISLE INN, 3727 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota; 941/296-1343, Near the tourist throngs of Siesta and Lido Key beaches, the Carlisle trumpets the “simple pleasures of Amish Country” with hand-crafted décor and an understated sensibility, and breakfast here is complimentary. A three-star hotel, it’s a slightly more budget-conscious option than the others on this list.

April 2024 • • • • 61
Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy Carlisle Inn PRESCOTT STUDIO
“A young guy having a very clear-cut vision is rare in art. Guys are always trying to find themselves and where they fit in. I know where I fit in.”
George Merck with a piece by Tony DeLap

The Collectors

For as long as art has been created, people have wanted to amass it—to glorify it, to appreciate it, to shepherd it through generations and centuries. Without art collectors, many of our most esteemed museums—the Whitney, for one; the Guggenheim, for two—wouldn’t exist, artists would starve, and art enthusiasts would be culturally poorer for it. Collectors are a vital link between art as a form of creation, education, enrichment and, yes, capitalism. We caught up with three prominent South Florida collectors whose focuses are as varied as the art world itself, but who share a feeling of stewardship for the artworks under their care.

The Kid

When 34-year-old George Merck meets with colleagues, he’s used to being seen as “the kid” in the room—fresh of face, starch of collar and oftentimes half the age of his fellow-collectors. Those who meet him for the first time are often taken aback.

“If people aren’t familiar with me or haven’t done their due diligence, and they underestimate me, I find that to be to my advantage,”says Merck.“It ends up a pleasant surprise when individuals realize that, he’s not just young; he does know what he’s talking about. I’m not saying I like conflict, but a little intellectual sparring is not something I shy away from.”

Indeed, if you spend even an hour with Merck, you begin to grasp his preternatural air of confidence. I met him in the icy confines of the George Merck Art Collection (GMAC), the immaculate one-room office and appointment-only gallery he opened on Palm Beach in 2023, where he showcases exhibitions of the artists in his collection. Because of the climate control the art requires, the space is kept so chilly that he provides guests with zippered sweatshirts— emblazoned with the GMAC brand—for extended stays.

A native Palm Beacher and a lifelong art lover, Merck comes from a powerful surname. He is a scion of the prominent family of German nobility, banking and pharmaceuticals, and his great-grandfather, chemist George W. Merck, christened the cover of Time in 1952.

Merck caught the art bug at a young age, when his father took him to New York’s MoMA for the first time, and he discovered the modern art of Piet Mondrian. After attending high school in Boca at Saint Andrew’s, and earning his B.S. in Economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he moved to New York for nine years and began building his collection before returning to Palm Beach.

He collects minimalism and contemporary art, and specializes in a gnomic movement called Light and Space, in which light and sensory phenomena supplant traditional paint and canvas. His

collection has grown to more than 100 works at the time of this writing, with dozens placed throughout his Palm Beach home, six streets from GMAC.

Merck only collects what inspires him.“I will not purchase work I do not like,” he says.“I don’t care if it is a great opportunity. To me, artwork is not an investable asset the way a stock or bond is. Can you make money in art? Absolutely. Do you hope the value of the work you buy goes up? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, if that is your main focus, or even one of your primary focuses, I don’t think you’re a true collector.”

Even when he’s not scouting for work to add to his collection, Merck lives and breathes art. For the past seven years, he has chaired the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian, and is the institution’s youngest member in its history; he is also the youngest board member ever at the Norton Museum of Art.

A millennial with a boomer’s avocation, Merck is full of contradictions. He’s as comfortable commuting around Palm Beach on a skateboard as he is a golf cart. Well-read and indefatigably passionate, he can speak at length, in intricate sentences, about the artists he admires, down to the most picayune details of their techniques. But he’s also prone to studied, sweeping aphorisms, as if normal conversations were TED Talks: “I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of giants, and I’m never here to be a disrupter, but I am here to provide some new perspectives.”And: “I don’t always want [GMAC] to be this small space, but the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. This is my first step.”

When he’s at his most reflective, Merck channels both—the unreserved fan and the student of Bartlett’s.“When I look at [these works], they inspire me. I think about how much time, the type of wood they used, why they chose it. You can fall into a rabbit hole where it’s so rewarding to lose yourself in art, and that’s its true value. It creates a world.”

April 2024 • • • • 63

The Institution

As a 12-year-old girl growing up in New York City, Beth Rudin started collecting with a laser-focus befitting a tween in 1964: She amassed Beatles memorabilia. Six decades later, Beth Rudin DeWoody is one of the nation’s preeminent art collectors, a cosmopolitan jet-setter with homes in Los Angeles, New York and West Palm Beach. She has been a patron to countless artists, a lender to museums the world over, and a role model for younger collectors. “I respect her focus, and I respect how she’s held steady to it,” says George Merck. “She doesn’t collect for herself; she collects so works can be appreciated for the general

I met DeWoody in The Bunker Artspace, a former Art Deco munitions factory turned not-quite-museum she established in West Palm Beach in 2017 to showcase annual exhibitions curated from her collection. This year’s themes include“The Endowed Chair,”a four-room survey of artist-made chairs spanning the political to the whimsical; a self-portrait gallery; and works inspired by the odalisque, an eroticized pose popular in 19th century painting. The hundreds of works on display include pieces by Irving Penn, Patti Smith, David Hockney, Cindy Sherman and DeWoody’s son, artist-designer Carlton DeWoody—all of which constitute an infinitesimal portion of a collection that purportedly exceeds 10,000 works and growing.

“Over the years I’ve developed an eye of what appeals to me and what doesn’t,” she says.“It just has to be aesthetically pleasing to my eye, and to have an interesting message to it. A big chunk of it’s contemporary, but I also love to discover overlooked artists from the ‘60s and ‘70s. … I collect prints, and I have paintings from the ‘20s, ‘30s, ‘40s. I even have a few Old Master works, maybe five pieces.”

DeWoody, who has a shock of silver hair and wears lots of bracelets, speaks with the self-awareness of someone whose passion has long eclipsed any guardrails she may have set for it.“It’s crazy,” she says. “Maybe it’s because I’m a Taurus—I just have a collecting bug. I want to have it. Also, I feel like I’m a caretaker for these works, a steward for these works that will eventually go to museums.

“I love it when people send me art and I don’t like it, and don’t feel the need to get it,” she adds.“That

Like George Merck, DeWoody comes from a well-to-do bloodline. Her father, Lewis Rudin, was a prominent New York real estate investor and developer whose family empire was worth north of $5 billion in Beth became interested in art while attending the private Rudolf Steiner School (one of its mottos: “eliciting academic excellence through educational artistry”).“We started off learning to make candles and knitting and sewing and woodworking,” DeWoody recalls.“So that was fun. [And] I

But she changed her focus to anthropology and cinema studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. DeWoody briefly worked in the film industry, as a production assistant on “The Front” and “Annie Hall” in the mid-‘70s, and has held jobs in the corporate and nonprofit world; she is currently president of The Rudin Family Foundations and

But her collection has become, from the time expended in cataloguing, in scouting fairs and galleries for new works to add to her collection, and in fielding constant requests for loans, something like a full-time job. She’s been on the board of New York’s Whitney Museum for more than 40 years, among other art institutions, and is of the firm belief that art collecting shouldn’t be an activity just for the wealthy.

“If you’re collecting art, you have to have a little bit of spare income,” she says.“But I find really interesting work for under $1,000. And most people have a little discretionary money. Some people choose to spend it on cigarettes and booze or lattes. And

“I think art is so rejuvenating, and so good for you—for

Left, sculpture by Henry Taylor; right, “Dinner For One” by Kate Millett; both from the Beth Rudin DeWoody collection
“I’m kind of all over the place. That’s the problem with me; a lot of people only collect minimalism, or they only collect art of women—I like all of it.”
FIROOZ ZAHEDI Beth Rudin DeWoody

The Regionalist

Schlesinger Law Offices in downtown Fort Lauderdale is the sort of building that oozes character, starting with its striking exterior. The three-story edifice, complete with sweeping balconies, arch-top windows and a cupola, is an intentional historic time warp, designed to emulate a 19th century Florida cracker house.

Inside, the architecture is no less distinct, starting with the simulated courtroom, complete with jury box,“scales of justice”sculpture, antique stenograph machine and comically oversized gavel. The room is a novelty—a space where Scott Schlesinger and his colleagues have hosted mock trials and the occasional film and TV production—but it’s also, like every room in the building, an art gallery, its walls lined with a few of the 1,500-plus paintings Schlesinger has amassed.

The courtroom in particular is a solo showcase for the landscapes of A.E.“Beanie” Backus, a selftaught painter of Old Florida landscapes both placid and tempestuous. Backus famously mentored members of the Highwaymen, some 26 itinerant painters clustered around the Fort Pierce area from the 1950s onward—all of whom, like Backus, are central to Schlesinger’s collection.

“The [Highwaymen] became artists in the segregated south of Florida, where they couldn’t go across the bridge to Vero Beach, and they couldn’t get gallery representation,”Schlesinger says.“They would paint like crazy—painting on building material like gypsum board, framing the paintings themselves with Lindsey Lumber crown molding, and selling the paintings. It coincided with suburbanization and the Florida Land Boom. So folks had a sofa—they needed a 2-foot by 4-foot painting to put over the sofa.”

Schlesinger, a personal-injury attorney and public health advocate in practice since 1984, is as much a historian as a collector—a gregarious advocate for Florida art, and an encyclopedic curator of the same. He discovered Backus and the Highwaymen in the mid-1990s when he fell in love with the landscape paintings hanging in the waiting area of a Polk County courthouse while on the job.“Each painting was slightly different, but they all seemed to have a theme, which was the area in Bartow—water tower, fishing hole, a pine forest, maybe a hunting dog,” Schlesinger recalls.“I looked at the name of the artist—Robert Butler. … Next thing you know, I called Robert Butler. I said, ‘maybe I’ll get a couple of your paintings.’ He said, ‘I’m a Highwayman.’ I’m like, ‘What’s that?’”

“[Collecting is] good, clean fun. As my dad used to say about habits and hobbies and behaviors that are good, clean fun, ‘hey, it keeps you out of the pool halls.’”

So began Schlesinger’s obsession for collecting every Highwaymen and Backus painting, which has since spread to other 20th century paintings, predominantly landscapes, predominantly of a bygone, untamed Florida. This includes, Schlesinger says,“minor artists, artists who would have been forgotten from the ‘30s and ‘40s, but whose work is fantastic and charming, and depicting things about Florida that don’t look this way anymore. That’s my bag.”

Schlesinger’s collection has extended to objects, too, that fall under the rubric of “Floridiana,” from ancient shark teeth collected from riverbeds to an antique Tripmaster, a boxy roadside-diner tchotchke that, when spun, revealed the routes between any two cities in Florida; it was “the original Google Maps,” Schlesinger says.

Schlesinger Law Offices has become his de facto museum. Schlesinger, who built his collection during the early days of eBay, and by word of mouth, and by establishing a website (, hired a detail-oriented decorator in 2022 to curate and display a fraction of his collection on all of the office interiors.“We had to make sure we fed him, because he would be so focused and so locked-in that he wouldn’t eat,” Schlesinger says.“I gave him carte blanche.”The third floor of the building is closer to a storage space for excess art and recent acquisitions—an explosion of paintings covering nearly every foot of wall space, leaning on cabinets and sitting on tables, some awaiting frames.

“You have a tendency to just overreach,” Schlesinger admits.“You can’t help it. And sometimes there are opportunities where you’re like, ‘I’ve got to get this. I’m not going to get another crack at it.’”

Aside from a small portion of Hawaiian art—his brother has a place on Lanai—the collection is entirely, and proudly, Floridian.“Being a regionalist is a worthy pursuit,” he says.“You can’t buy it all; I love western art. But I feel the sense of obligation to preserve the art history of Florida.”

66 • • • • April 2024
Scott Schlesinger AARON BRISTOL
April 2024 • • • • 67
68 • • • • April 2024
New techNology sheds light oN a decades-old string of south Florida murders

he 1970s were a playground for violent predators in America. It was a time when the perfect storm of factors converged to spawn an epidemic of sadistic deviants who preyed upon strangers for sport. In news headlines, they were called “sex slayers,”“mass murderers,”“phantom killers,”“rippers” and “stranglers,” and they emerged in such numbers that the FBI established a dedicated unit to study and help catch this most vexing breed of monster. It was there, inside the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, that the term “serial killer” was born.

In 1975, before serial killers were called serial killers, and when the Behavioral Science Unit was still in its infancy, law enforcement agencies across the country were ill-equipped for this most difficult-to-crack variety of case: strangers killed by strangers. In the Pacific Northwest, investigators scratched their heads trying to pinpoint the identity of the mysterious “Ted,” who had been linked to the disappearances and slayings of at least eight women in Washington State. By the end of the year, the murderer’s name—Theodore Robert Bundy— would first appear on investigators’ radar.

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the U.S., in South Florida, a similar killer—or killers—was plucking hitchhikers from suburban roadsides and abducting women from shopping mall parking lots. It was a crime wave that claimed a dozen or more victims but never saw any resolution—in any of its cases—and would soon be largely forgotten to time.

As would the names of the victims; names that, between 1978 and 2022, only appeared in newsprint twice.

Barbara Schreiber and Darlene Zetterower, both 14-year-old students at Attucks Middle School in Hollywood, were the best of friends. And like any normal teenager from any era, they liked hanging out with friends, doing their own thing, and staying out past curfew. Occasionally they used marijuana. And sometimes, like many young people in the 1970s, Barbara and Darlene hitchhiked.

April 2024 • • • • 69

On the evening of June 18, 1975, the two girls entered the wrong vehicle. They got into a van with a man, or men, who drove them out to the nightmarish pitch-blackness of U.S. 27 and sexually assaulted them at gunpoint. Afterwards, the girls were forced to lie down beside a canal that ran parallel to the highway, where .45-caliber bullets riddled their bodies. There, at the edge of the Everglades in the swampy dark, they were left to die. Their bodies were found the next morning, in the spot where they were killed, by a man on a fishing excursion with his two young sons.

Only four days earlier, another young woman had been found slain just 200 yards away from that spot. On the evening of June 13, 19-year-old Nancy Lee Fox stepped out of her apartment on Southwest 22nd Street in Fort Lauderdale. She was headed on foot to the coin laundromat half a mile away. She never made it.

Nancy was known to hitchhike. While little is verified about the circumstances of her murder, investigators believe Nancy’s killer was driving west on Southwest 24th Street when he eyed the teenager struggling with a cumbersome load of laundry. Posing as a Good Samaritan, he offered her a ride—and she accepted.

Whatever unfolded during that walk, it led Nancy into a canal abutting an isolated stretch of U.S. 27—raped, beaten and choked to death.

On the surface, Robin Losch was a lot like Barbara Schreiber and Darlene Zetterower. She was 14 years old. She used marijuana. She was known to hitchhike.

On the afternoon of July 8, Robin strolled into a convenience store on Riverland Road and Davie Boulevard called the Majik Market (now a Mobil station). The owner paid close attention to Robin as she browsed the food aisles. She appeared to be stoned. He didn’t like this. Uncomfortable with the young woman’s presence, he asked his manager to eject her from the store.

As they observed her walking south on Riverland—in the direction of her home just a few blocks away—the Majik Market’s owner and manager became the last known individuals to see Robin Losch alive. Two days later, a picnicking family’s lunch was cut short by the sight of a mottled arm protruding from a canal parallel to U.S. 27.

According to the medical examiner, Robin had drowned. No signs of violence or foul play were noted. She had been fully clothed when pulled from the canal. A dime

bag of marijuana was found in the pocket of her blue jeans.

Canals alongside U.S. 27 were the obvious link between these four deaths. And while local media outlets speculated that a single killer was responsible, and dubbed him the “Canal Killer,” investigators disagreed—and chose to place their focus on what they felt was another common bond shared by these four victims: their lifestyles. Detectives working the cases proposed calling the series the “Lifestyle Murders.”

“They were always going somewhere with their thumbs out,” one investigator told the Miami News at the time.“They exposed themselves to dangers.”

The same investigator described two of the teenage victims as “habitual hitchhikers, drug users, sexually promiscuous, with poor school records.”

About Robin Losch, he told the same publication: “She was a free and easygoing individual … [who] detested authority and didn’t like anyone telling her what to do.

If you’d tell her no, [that] she couldn’t do something, she’d go out and do it.”

This investigator made it clear that he did not believe her death was a homicide.“We have information that she went to a pot party a week before her death and decided

“They were always going somewhere with Their Thumbs out,” one invesTigaTor Told the Miami news aT The TiMe. “They exposed theMselves To dangers.”
70 • • • • April 2024
robin losch barbara schreiber Judy oesTerling
nancy Fox

she could walk on water,” he shared.“Her friends had to pull her out of some water.”

Was it possible that Robin, her mind altered by drugs, had simply walked into the canal and drowned?

Her family challenged this notion. Robin was a champion swimmer with several competitive medals under her belt. The canal in which she was found was more than 16 miles from where she was last seen. Like Darlene Zetterower and Barbara Schreiber, she was 14 and without a driver’s license. She didn’t walk to where she died. She was driven there. But by whom, much like the circumstances around her death, was a mystery.

An Ongoing Pattern

In some ways, Robin’s death was a carbon copy of one from three months earlier.

On April 9, 17-year-old Arietta Tinker’s husband gave her a lift to the Hippopotamus restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard, where she worked as a server. Before they parted ways, Arietta told her husband not to worry about picking her up after work. She’d make alternate arrangements. Three days later, an off-duty cop cycling along U.S. 27 came upon Arietta’s body floating face down in a canal. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as drowning and deemed it suspicious—but stopped short of classifying it as a homicide.

Arietta Tinker left behind an infant son whose first birthday party followed just a week after his mother’s death.

Like Losch, Tinker was also “known to hitchhike and use marijuana,” according to police in 1975.

Twenty-seven-year-old respiratory therapist Ronnie Sue Gorlin had made the big leap, leaving her native South Florida for Pennsylvania, where she met the man of her dreams and became engaged. In 1975, she returned to her parents’ home in Hallandale Beach to spend the summer, her last summer as an unmarried woman, with her folks. That July, Ronnie and her parents vacationed in the Caribbean, and her mother returned with the worst kind of travel souvenir: a debilitating stomach flu. Ronnie’s mother’s condition ultimately took a downturn that landed her in the hospital.

On the afternoon of July 22, Ronnie left her parents’ house to visit old colleagues at the Children’s Asthmatic Foundation in North Miami, and from there, she was ex-

pected to visit her mother at Parkway General Hospital (now Westchester General). On her way to the hospital, Ronnie made a pit stop at the 163rd Street Shopping Center. When she failed to show at Parkway General for her scheduled visit, her family grew concerned. That night, they didn’t hear from her, and she didn’t return home.

The next day, a security guard at the 163rd Street Shopping Center responded to complaints of an abandoned car blocking traffic in the parking lot near Burdines department store. It was Ronnie Gorlin’s leased 1973 Oldsmobile, backed halfway out of a parking space with a flattened front tire.

That same day, Ronnie’s nude, battered body was found floating face down in a drainage canal off a dirt road, in an undeveloped area just east of U.S. 27—14 miles away from the 163rd Street Shopping Center.

Unlike the previous victims, Ronnie was not known to hitchhike, and was not known to use marijuana or other drugs.

While her murder generally fit the pattern ascribed to the theorized “Canal Killer,” Ronnie was safe from posthumous attacks on her “lifestyle.”

And in Ronnie’s case, the ordeal she’d been put through was clear: She had been raped, sodomized, asphyxiated, bitten on her breasts, beaten about the head, and rolled while unconscious into the canal, where her lungs filled with murky water, and she drowned.

Miami-Dade homicide detectives surmised that Ronnie’s killer had first noticed her in the Burdines parking lot and proceeded to puncture her front passenger tire after she entered the store. It was further theorized that he then waited for her to return to her car and discover the flat before he popped up and presented himself as a Good Samaritan, offering her a lift.

One week later, this exact crime was repeated in near-perfect rhyme.

Elyse Rapp, 21, was new to the area.

April 2024 • • • • 71

on the

“Canal MurderS” preSented a tally of a dozen puzzling deaths and unsolved MurderS dating back to February 12, 1975.

She had moved down from New York in June and lived alone with her cat in a small apartment complex in Hallandale Beach. Her landlady, Phyllis Ianuzzi, felt an almost immediate maternal attachment toward Elyse and bonded with her. The older woman looked after her young new tenant, and when Elyse didn’t return home one night after what was intended to be a quick trip to the store, Phyllis called the Hallandale Police to report her missing.

The following morning, Elyse’s nude body was discovered by a road grader operator, floating in the same canal where Ronnie Gorlin had been found a week earlier.

The medical examiner determined that Rapp had been struck on the head forcefully enough to inflict a concussion, after which the unconscious woman was dumped into the canal to drown. Her killer had raped and sodomized her, and she had bite marks on her breast and thigh. Her body also bore evidence of asphyxiation and sexual mutilation.

And just as in Ronnie Gorlin’s case, Rapp’s car was discovered in the parking lot of the 163rd Street Shopping Center. With a punctured tire.

Miami-Dade detectives had zero doubt that Gorlin’s and Rapp’s nearly identical murders were the work of the same killer.

By February the following year, stories on

the “Canal Murders” presented a tally of a dozen puzzling deaths and unsolved murders dating back to February 12, 1975. On that date, a 23-year-old woman named Barbara Stephens had vanished after a trip to a shopping plaza across the street from the Dadeland Mall. Eight days later, her decomposing remains, dotted with stab wounds, were found in a vacant lot two miles away. Stephens’ vehicle, similar to the later 163rd Street Shopping Center abductions, was located in the parking lot of the shopping plaza with the keys still in the ignition.

Other proposed“Canal Killer”victims included Marlene Annabelli, 26 years old, who disappeared while vacationing in Fort Lauderdale and was found four days later strangled to death in a weedy field near what’s now Weston; 17-year-old Michelle Winters, strangled with the strap of her purse and deposited in a Pembroke Pines canal; and 15-year-old Mary Coppola, whose skeletal remains were found by snake hunters on New Year’s Day 1976, near a canal in a remote field outside of Homestead.

Media coverage of the “Canal Murders” would cease completely after 1977. As the American obsession with serial killers flared into the 1980s and 1990s, this series of murders faded from consciousness, overlooked and forgotten—save for an entry in a couple

of serial killer compendiums by true crime writer Michael Newton, volumes in which some of the victims’ names were misspelled (e.g.,“Elyse Napp”).

In his books, Newton called the series the “Flat-tire murders,” after the only two crimes in the series that were definitively connected. His text was later recycled (misspellings and all) on a serial killer aggregation website, which itself became the initial primary source for a Wikipedia page created in 2012, eventually snowballing into multiple podcast episodes covering the murders and a book, The Flat-Tire Murders, by Michael P. Burns. Rich with original research, Burns’ book is (to date) the definitive text on this series of crimes.

The Narrative Lives On

If there’s an upside to the ethically unstable true crime explosion of the last decade, it’s that forgotten cases of this ilk are now regularly salvaged from obscurity, because they are content. Once one podcast covers a case, others follow. The more present in the consciousness of readers, viewers and listeners, the more present these cases remain

72 • • • • April 2024
Belinda zetterower ronnie gorlin elyse rapp arietta tinker Mary coppola
“I thInk what made thIs case live on and resonate wIth InvestIgators was the Innocence of these kIds. ... they were your neIghbors, they were your daughters, they were your sIsters.”

in the attentions of cold-case investigators.

One such investigator is Detective Andrew Gianino of the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s cold case unit. Barbara and Darlene’s unsolved murders haunted Detective Gianino for years.

“I think what made this case live on and resonate with investigators was the innocence of these kids,” Detective Gianino says—in stark contrast to the victim-blaming judgments of his predecessors, in the 1970s.“They were your neighbors, they were your daughters, they were your sisters.

“These were typical teenage kids in the mid-‘70s. The hitchhiking, the alleged marijuana use … it was that universe where, in the ‘70s, it was not unusual to hang out at the beach with your friends; it was not unusual to hitchhike short distances. I think they were just kids.”

Detective Gianino’s determination to solve Barbara and Darlene’s murders moved him to postpone his retirement. And after initial failures to recover trace DNA from the clothing of the victims, the BSO crime lab implemented an innovative, cutting-edge tool called the M-Vac, developed by Utah-based M-Vac Systems.

According to the company’s website, the M-Vac is a “sterile wet vacuum” that works when “collection solution is sprayed onto the surface while simultaneously being vacuumed off of the surface. It creates a ‘mini-hurricane’ that loosens the DNA material which is transferred to the collection bottle and later concentrated onto a filter.”

The M-Vac is marketed for collection of DNA from surfaces where DNA might otherwise be impossible to reach. And in the case of Schreiber and Zetterower, it worked. Traces of biological evidence were detected on the victims’ clothing, and a DNA profile was subsequently developed.

In February 2023, this profile was uploaded into CODIS, the national DNA database,

and it soon returned a hit: The DNA belonged to a convicted sex offender named Robert Clark Keebler. But this development came four years too late for justice to be served. Keebler died in Miami in 2019, at the age of 66.

Keebler, whose rap sheet included sexual assault, armed robbery and aggravated assault, was 22 years old at the time Schreiber and Zetterower were killed. And investigators believe he did not commit the crime alone. A second, partial male DNA profile was also recovered from the victims’ clothing—and that partial profile has yet to be matched to a suspect.

Gianino credits the original investigators for laying the groundwork for the case’s resolution, five decades later. “With the technology they had at the time, I would say that these cases were unsolvable,” he says.“The investigators at the time did an incredible job with the collection and preservation of evidence … for the cold case detectives that investigated it thereafter.”

The Broward Sheriff’s Office continues to explore Keebler’s potential connection to other homicides in the area, including the “flat-tire” murders of Ronnie Gorlin and Elyse Rapp—which are being investigated by the Miami-Dade Police Department— while seeking the identity of the second man involved in the Zetterower and Schreiber killings.

The agency is also in the process of implementing a forensic genealogy program with in-house testing. Forensic genealogy (also known as “investigative genetic genealogy”) is the process of uploading an offender’s DNA profile into a public genealogical database, locating DNA relatives, and weeding out the perp by examining his family tree. The first widely publicized use

of forensic genealogy was in 2018, when California’s elusive Golden State Killer was identified through third and fourth cousins. In the six years since, forensic genealogy has helped identify perpetrators in more than 200 unsolved cases—some dating back more than six decades.

With powerful tools like the M-Vac and forensic genealogy, together with the doggedness of committed cold case investigators like Detective Gianino, it’s a new era in homicide investigations. Call it the post-DNA era, the genealogy era, call it what you’d like—it’s a time for wiping away the opaque grime of America’s peak era of sexual violence, for pulling the masks off the killers who were previously unidentifiable, for putting a face and a name to this and all other canal killers, however many there are.

It’s a time where, if you’re reading this and you took someone’s life decades ago and seemingly got away with it, I wouldn’t blame you for feeling uneasy.

April 2024 • • • • 73
Detective Andrew Gianino AARON BRISTOL

A Taste of

74 • • • • April 2024

the Islands

show how the Caribbean Basin has shaped South Florida’s cuisine— through flavors rooted in cultures and history

he influence of the Caribbean islands on Florida’s distinct regional cuisine can be tasted in just about every dish our state is known for. From something as small as squeezing a lime over fried gator bites to savoring a hearty bowl of conch chowder on a winter day, each bite tells a story that spans continents and centuries.

April 2024 • • • • 75

Floribbean Flavor

What’s now known as “Floribbean” cuisine—a portmanteau of Florida and Caribbean—consists of a combination of flavors that stem from hundreds of years of colonization, cultural exchange and commercial trade that brought diverse populations of Western Europeans and Southeast Asians to the Caribbean islands. Beverly Jacobs, chef and owner of Delray’s Bamboo Fire Cafe, recalls growing up in Guyana among Indians, Chinese, Afro-Guyanese and other groups whose ancestors were brought to the country as slaves and indentured servants.

“Originally you have your indigenous peoples, who were the equivalent of American Indians throughout the Caribbean islands,” says Jacobs. With the development of the sugar industry, African slaves were brought in to work on the plantations, followed by Portuguese indentured servants and Chinese migrants. With each culture, the region’s cuisine evolved.

“All of those have had an influence. We get our curries from the Indians. We have Portuguese [recipes]; we also have Chinese food, and then there’s a British influence as well,” says Jacobs.

This diversity is, for Jacobs, what defines and distinguishes Caribbean cuisine.

“That’s what Caribbean food is,” says Jacobs.“It’s a mix of everything, and even though all of the islands are different, there are certain things that may be unique in terms of ingredients. But typically our food is all interrelated.”

The proximity of the Caribbean islands allowed recipes and traditions to spread to other countries in the region, with each culture having its own unique spin on different staples like beans and rice, plantains, and the ubiquitous jerk chicken.

“I try to translate what I’m used to, what I grew up with, what I know.”

“Jerk is uniquely Jamaican. That was something that was [used] as a means of preserving meat by the runaway slaves. Jerk is not unique to some place like Guyana, but its use has spread throughout the entire Caribbean, because everyone visits each other or moves to other islands.”

While the recipes may vary, food, and the passion of its preparation, is the universal language that unites the disparate cultures of the Caribbean.“You eat and you drink, families get together and that’s what we do,” says Jacobs.“We drink rum and we eat.”

Jacobs carries on the tradition of her Guyanese roots with dishes at Bamboo Fire Cafe like the oxtail pepperpot. It’s cooked low and slow in cassareep, a sauce invented by the indigenous populations of Guyana that consists of cassava (a root vegetable also called yuca) that is grated, boiled and concentrated to form a thick, sweet mixture.

“I try to translate what I’m used to, what I grew up with, what I know,” says Jacobs.“I don’t want to homogenize the food; I want to give people an experience as close as possible to what we eat and what we like.”

76 • • • • April 2024
ABOVE: Beverly Jacobs; BELOW RIGHT: snapper in Guyanese sauce from Bamboo Fire Café AARON BRISTOL

Can’t-miss Dishes

Here are a few island-inspired dishes to take your palate for a ride:

JERK CHICKEN: A Jamaican staple of chicken that is seasoned with Scotch bonnet peppers or other hot peppers, allspice pimento, thyme, garlic, ginger, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, and smoked traditionally over the wood of a pimento tree.

CURRY GOAT: A common dish throughout the Caribbean that combines slow-cooked, tender goat meat with rich, spicy curry—trust us on this one.

RICE AND PEAS: A simple, yet flavor-packed dish consisting of rice that is cooked with coconut milk and pigeon peas, a type of bean that grows in the Caribbean and can be found at grocery stores.

CONCH CEVICHE: There’s no better way to enjoy the Bahamas’ most beloved export than in a marinade of lime, cilantro and onions. If you’re feeling extra Caribbean, throw in some Scotch bonnets for additional heat.

OXTAIL: The tail of a cow (not necessarily an ox) that is traditionally braised and served with rice and peas.


There’s no way we could highlight the best Caribbean dishes without mentioning Cuba. This simple yet authentic delicacy of pulled mojo pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard reigns supreme in the world of sandwiches.

Season and Region

At the core of Caribbean cuisine is versatility—the ability to craft flavorful dishes using whatever can be found in the surrounding environment.“You eat the region, you eat the season,” says Timon Balloo, chef and owner of Fort Lauderdale’s The Katherine.“You’re thinking about what’s growing at the time, what’s growing in the region, how can you sustain this and use this product to feed a family.”

Balloo was born to Trinidadian and Chinese parents that passed on the culinary techniques that are common throughout the Caribbean, like cooking“low and slow”and the use of marinades. He began cooking more than 30 years ago for his mom’s catering company that she ran out of their house. Since then, he has traveled the world and worked under Michelin-awarded chefs and opened several of his own concepts. The Katherine features a globally inspired menu, but Balloo gives a special nod to his heritage with dishes like his mom’s Trinidadian oxtail recipe, served with coconut rice and peas and root vegetables.

Oxtail, now a delicacy in many Caribbean countries, was once considered a “peasantly” and undesirable cut of meat.“After all the dignitaries get all the primal cuts of rib-eye steak and filet and all these things, you’re left with literally the tail,” says Balloo. The fact that it is such a sought-after dish now is a testament to Caribbean flavors and cooking techniques.

“How have cultures made offcuts of tail, tripe, ear? It’s through soulful cooking, it’s through true artistry of knowing how to use ingredients,” says Balloo.“From my family, that’s what we know from home cooking. How you start curing, seasoning, allowing acid and fat to break down collagen in tough cuts in meat to make them tender, how you slow-cook things.”

Slow cooking, marinating, stewing and the use of fresh ingredients often picked from your own backyard are all hallmarks of Caribbean cuisine, which Balloo says “embodies so much of the universal language of cooking.” But what really packs that unique island flavor punch are the spices.

“The one key is a well-stocked pantry, [having] all your spices on hand,” says Balloo. Spices like allspice (also called pimento), nutmeg and cloves can be found in many Caribbean dishes (see opposite page for more details), each adding a layer of complexity and aromatic richness. For those cooking at home, Balloo also suggests to “think about the duality of use,” how skills for cooking one dish can be applied to another.

“If you can make mashed potatoes, you can make boniato (sweet potato) mash,” says Balloo.“If you can make potato chips, you can fry yuca.”

For Balloo, the influence of the Caribbean is readily apparent wherever you look around South Florida.“Everyone may not realize how Caribbean their day-to-day is,” says Balloo. From the refreshing minty zest of a mojito to the corner cafe serving up Cuban sandwiches, a taste of the islands can be found just about anywhere.

“We’re all Caribbean,”says Balloo.“If you’ve got a coconut tree in your backyard ... you are Caribbean in a sense; that has imparted its reverence in you.”

78 • • • • April 2024
Mom’s Trini Oxtail from The Katherine Tim Balloo


Here are the spices and basic ingredients that will ensure your pantry is well stocked for island cooking:

Allspice (also called pimento) Cinnamon Cumin Nutmeg Star anise Fresh thyme Cloves Lemongrass Coriander Parsley Bay leaves Cayenne pepper Ginger Mojo criollo marinade (for Cuban dishes) Scotch bonnet and habanero peppers (for a little less heat, try jalapeños)

The Haitian Connection

In Haitian culture, almost every dish is a labor of love that takes hours to prepare. Haitian cuisine is built upon layers of marinades, herbs and techniques, but Marco Normil of West Palm’s Hallelujah Kitchen says that the number one ingredient is time.

“You can’t rush in, and you can’t be like, ‘I’m hungry, I’m going to make some Haitian food,’” says Normil.

At the foundation of every Haitian dish, Normil says, is epis.

“It’s a combination of herbs, spices and vegetables that are all put together and blended into a marinade that is used for the meat, it’s used in the rices,” says Normil.“It’s basically the base for Haitian cuisine.”

“Once you’ve come in contact with griot, your taste buds will forever be changed.”

The most popular dish in Haitian cuisine is griot, chunks of pork that are marinated, cooked, then fried. Cooking griot requires a three-step process of cleaning the meat with vinegar, salt and lime juice before being marinated in epis. After marination (the longer the better), the meat is boiled for an hour before it’s ready to be fried. Griot is traditionally served with diri djondjon (pronounced jon-jon) rice, which is made using the djondjon mushroom that is only found in Haiti. That’s where the real work begins.

“Instead of starting off with just water and then pouring in the rice, we work backwards,” says Normil.

The process begins with epis, followed by an infusion of chopped peppers, on-

ions and pigeon peas. After sauteeing the ingredients, the water that’s been infused with dry djondjon mushroom is added, as well as coconut milk.

“By this point you haven’t even gotten to the rice yet, but the kitchen is just jumping,” says Normil. The finished product should have a rich, earthy and savory taste.

While a Haitian meal isn’t something you can throw together for a quick dinner, Normil says you’ll be well rewarded for the effort.“Once you’ve come in contact with griot, your taste buds will forever be changed.”

LEFT: Marco Normil; ABOVE: perfect griot platter from Hallelujah Kitchen AARON BRISTOL

It’s an Island ‘Ting…

As any chef will tell you, there are no shortcuts when it comes to preparing an island meal (see opposite page on preparing Haitian cuisine). The flavors of the Caribbean are uncompromising, and if a single ingredient is missing or substituted, your tongue will tell you. But there’s no exact science to crafting the perfect dish, which is why chefs like Shari Bedasee, owner of West Palm’s FIWE restaurant, let instinct be the guide.

“A big part of our culture is that we don’t use measuring cups or measuring spoons,” says Bedasee.“It’s a dash of this, a dash of that, and just knowing how much to put, whether it’s going to be one pound of meat you’re cooking or 10 pounds.”

Bedasee jokes that when she was a child growing up in Jamaica, she couldn’t even boil water. She discovered her passion for cooking through her husband, after leaving a cushy job with the Department of Defense. That’s when she decided she wanted to open her own restaurant to share her Jamaican culture as well as the many different cultures throughout the Caribbean.

“It’s not uncommon for you to be a stranger and be walking down the street in Jamaica and say hi to somebody, and they go, ‘would you like to come inside for some food?’” says Bedasee.

“If you taste our flavor, our culture, our food … it opens a whole new world, because you’re now getting a piece of the island in West Palm Beach.”

Bedasee honors this tradition of Jamaican hospitality at FIWE, where she hosts classes on preparing traditional Caribbean dishes from her menu for guests to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the cultures that created them. As with her own cooking, she encourages her students to let taste be their guide.

“When you’re tasting as you go along, there’s that familiar taste in the back of your mind that’s etched in there, that you know what it’s supposed to taste like,” says Bedasee.“And if you don’t feel or get that taste from it until you put that right spice in it, then you’re not satisfied.”

Cooking a traditional Caribbean meal isn’t something you do on a whim. To do it right, the seasonings need to be perfect, the meats need to be slow-cooked after a lengthy marination period and, perhaps most importantly, rum needs to be shared. The food is cooked on island time but is well worth the wait.

“I don’t think that we see the amount of time that we put into it [as excessive], because the pleasure that comes with it is natural,” says Bedasee.

For Bedasee, the best part of preparing food is sharing it with others.“We are so proud of what we have and our flavors, that we want to share it with the world,” says Bedasee.

“If you taste our flavor, our culture, our food … it opens a whole new world, because you’re now getting a piece of the island in West Palm Beach.”

April 2024 • • • • 81
ABOVE: Shari Bedasee; BELOW: island chicken salad from FIWE AARON BRISTOL

WAA Membership List

120% Lino | Acqua Café | Aerin | Akris | Ala von Auersperg

Al Fresco Restaurant & Bar | Apollo Parking | Benchmark of Palm Beach

Bice Ristorante | Bonpoint | Bottega Veneta | Brazilian Court Hotel | The Breakers

Brioni | Brown Harris Stevens | Café Boulud | Café Delamar | Carolina Herrera

Casa Branca | Chanel | Charlotte Kellogg | Christofle | Churchill Cigar Company

The Colony Hotel | Daniella Ortiz | Daren Rubenfeld Law | David Yurman

DEA Fine Italian Linens | Dream Luxury Cruises | DTR Modern Galleries

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa | Edward Beiner | Esplanade | Ferragamo

Flowers of Worth Avenue | Frank Cassie Beauty | Frascione Gallery

Friedrich’s Optik | The Four Seasons Resort | G/FORE | Graff

Grand Champions Polo Club | Greenleaf & Crosby | Gucci | Hamilton Jewelers

Historical Society of Palm Beach County | Il Papiro | Irene Lummertz | IWC

Schaffhausen | Jaeger-LeCoultre | Jewelmer | J. McLaughlin | Jennifer Garrigues

Kassatly’s | Lilly Pulitzer | Loro Piana | Love Binetti | Lugano Diamonds

Luxury PR Group | Luxxoptica | Mariko | Marina St. Barth

Marley’s Palm Beach Collection | Maus & Hoffman | Max Mara

Mindful Divorce | Mirror Mirror | Morgenthal Frederics | Oumere | One Parking

Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce | Palm Beach Facials | Palm Beach Illustrated

Panerai Boutique | Dr. Paul Melchiorre, DMD | Peruvian Avenue Corp.

Peter Millar | Piccolo Gelato | Piccolo Mondo | Pizza al Fresco | Poupette St. Barth

Provident Jewelry & Fine Art | Rangoni Firenze Shoes | Raptis Rare Books

Renato’s | Richters | Rosenbaum Contemporary | Seminole Casino Coconut Creek

Sharis | Sherry Frankel’s Melangerie | St. John Boutique | Stefanie’s

Stubbs & Wootton | Surovek Gallery | Tamara Comolli Fine Jewelry

Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa | Tiffany & Co. | Tiziano Zorzan

Trianon/Seaman Schepps | Van Cleef & Arpels | Versace | Via Roma Café

Vilebrequin | Vineyard Vines | Walker Zabriskie Furniture

William R. Eubanks Interior Design | William Ravis Real Estate

Woody Michleb Beauty Salon | Worth Avenue Magazine

Worth Avenue Yachts | Yafa Signed Jewels

For Tickets 561.995.0709 Venue: Countess de Hoernle Theatre at Spanish River High School 5100 Jog Road • Boca Raton, FL
artist subject to change. a mixed repertory concert part of the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation 2023-24 Season of Dance Artistic Directors: Dan Guin & Jane Tyree Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation Chastain Charitable Foundation Boca Ballet Theatre presents Spring Menagerie April 20 – 7:30pm & April 21 – 2:00pm The Kettering Family Foundation Edith & Martin Stein Family Foundation
more) April 2024 • • • • 85
wildlife photographer Ben Hicks on the job (turn the page for

Ben Hicks

Turtle power is at the forefront of this wildlife photographer’s eco-conscious work

When you’re discovered by the world’s preeminent science-and-nature nonprofit, people tend to notice. Boca Raton photographer Ben Hicks discovered this firsthand when National Geographic published his image “Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Florida” in 2012. In the photograph (opposite page), taken just below the shallow waters off of Palm Beach, the titular hatchling swims toward the surface of a gently breaking wave.

The image went viral.“That was when social media and Instagram started to take charge of our phones,” Hicks recalls, standing on the second floor of his capacious Boca Raton studio and gallery, looking down on a framed print of that very image.“It made a huge difference in the direction of how I made a living. It made its rounds online for months and months. From there, I made a lot of connections in the nature world.”

A native of Venice, Fla., Hicks moved to Boca to enroll at FAU, and in his freshman year he started to take to photography like, well, a turtle to water. He majored in Graphic Design and Photography, shot the first season of FAU football, and spent some 10 years primarily as a surf photographer, traveling the world for the most exciting waves.

Hicks is still an adventure photographer, but he’s also an environmentalist, spurred by his passion for documenting sea turtles in our increasingly polluted oceans. He won an Emmy for his cinematography on the PBS documentary “Troubled Waters: A Turtle’s Tale,” and was part of the Emmy-winning team behind “We Are All Plastic People Now,” a PBS doc from 2023 about microplastics. Hicks discusses his work in advance of his annual appearance at the Delray Affair.

What are some of the risks you’ve taken to get your best shots?


WHAT: Ben Hicks will be selling his work at the 62nd-annual Delray Affair

WHERE: Downtown Delray Beach

WHEN: April 12-14

COST: Free



My most dangerous moments are shooting in large hurricane surf, and shooting large waves in Indonesia, in very shallow reefs. I’ve been caught in rip currents, thrown out to sea, almost at dark, numerous times.

What does it take to get that perfect shot in the wild?

It takes a lot of understanding weather—currents, the clarity of the water, and so on. And then studying species, and building relationships with biologists so they trust you to come on whatever they’re doing. And then obviously

putting time in. The more time I’m on the beach walking in the mornings in the summertime, the better chance I’m likely to see something. It’s just a numbers game.

Do you end up deleting hundreds—even thousands— of images to discover one keeper?

I see the ratio as about five to 1,000 photos. If I shoot 1,000 [hatchling photos], I might get two to five images that’ll make it to being shared on social media or in print. … Some days I don’t get anything; they’re all out of focus, or the clarity’s bad, or it’s too rough. The ratio is pretty steep.

What parts of Florida most inspire your work?

We live in an area very close to the Gulf Stream. It is so close to our coast that it keeps a lot of nutrients running through our waters. That is what brings up our sea life, especially from Palm Beach and Singer Island down to Boca. You have all different kinds of species that visit our coast. Obviously sea turtles are very prevalent; a lot of nesting happens. But other stuff too; last summer I shot manta rays. There are also areas where there are seahorses and octopi— nowhere else in North America. The clarity of the water is the most important thing. That’s what keeps me here.

Doing this for so many years, what have you come to take away regarding the condition of our oceans?

Early on, I realized that my images were impacting people in more than just an emotional way, but also in the story of survival for a turtle. In their first part of life, there is such a small number that make it—one in one thousand. I adapted environmental awareness with the images as soon as I realized it. I said, I can make a difference by not just showing this turtle but also highlighting the fact that, we can all make a difference just by changing some of our common habits. With that said, plastic is a huge problem, not just for turtles but for everything in the world.

I’ve gone down different paths to be a part of environmental campaigns and to donate my images to those campaigns. Because the majority of us understand that the ocean is, for the most part, the lungs of the planet.

86 • • • • April 2024 BACKSTAGE PASS TAKE 5
“It’s not hard to find plastic and show people the problem— that this is where the hatchlings are immediately eating plastic instead of microorganisms or microshrimps, because they look exactly the same.”

April 2024

Through April 14:

“Death of a Salesman” at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; $89; 561/514-4042, Arthur Miller’s seminal tragedy plumbs the fractured consciousness of traveling salesman Willy Loman, the ultimate unreliable narrator, who is increasingly unable to separate his illusions and memories with contemporaneous events. A blistering account of the withering American Dream, the play won a Tony and Pulitzer upon its 1949 debut.

Through May 12:

“Smoke and Mirrors: Magical Thinking in Contemporary Art” at Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; $12-$16 museum admission; 561/392-2500, bocamuseum. org. The museum’s high-season exhibition explores magical thinking in dual contexts—as the fodder for ostensibly innocent stage illusionists and as the pernicious calling card of professional charlatans— asking us, rightly, to question everything.

April 3:

Las Cafeteras at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 7:30 p.m.; $35; 561/832-7469, This six-piece Chicano band from East Los Angeles cuts a wide musical swath, with a style that coalesces spoken-word poetry with folk music, Afro-Mexican beats and traditional zapateado dancing. Expect to hear unique instruments such as the cajon, jarana jarocha, glockenspiel and Native American flute.

Through April 14:

“Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau” at Flagler Museum, 1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach; $26 museum admission; 561/655-2833, Born in what is now the Czech Republic, artist Mucha moved to Paris in the late 1800s and quickly became a figurehead of the burgeoning art nouveau movement. This revealing exhibition showcases his mastery of the sinuous, harmonious style, as well as the heady milieu from which it sprung.

April 4:

Vanilla Fudge at Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road, Suite 10, Boca Raton; 8 p.m.; $62.50$102.50; 561/483-9036, A crucial link between the psychedelic wanderings of 1960s rock and the heavy thunder of ‘70s metal, this enduring Long Island outfit specializes in extended and intricate renditions of pop favorites, such as its famous and sprawling take on the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”

April 5-7:

Palm Beach Opera: “Norma” at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $25$180; 561/832-7469, kravis. org. Vincenzo Bellini’s rarely produced bel canto masterpiece will close out Palm Beach Opera’s 2024 season on a shattering soprano note. The title character, a druid high-priestess, broke her vows of chastity when she fell in love with a Roman proconsul—leading, literally, to a fiery conclusion.

88 • • • • April 2024 BACKSTAGE PASS CALENDAR
“Smoke and Mirrors” Vanilla Fudge Las Cafeteras FARAH SOSA

Through April 28:

“Nora Maité Nieves: Clouds in the Expanded Field” at Norton Museum of Art, 1450 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; $15-$18 museum admission; 561/832-5196, Nieves, a New York resident by way of Puerto Rico, is the Norton’s 20232024 Artist in Residence. Her innovative, multidisciplinary work consists largely of abstracted visual motifs of architectural details, and includes paintings, sculptures and video, some of which will be created during her Norton residency.

Through May:

“Reimagining Palm Beach” at Cornell Art Museum, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; free, but donations accepted; 561/654-2220, Painter Serge Strosberg focuses his distinctive and eye-popping style—a hyperreal combination of expressionism and naturalism—on the titans and eccentrics who helped transform swampland into an upscale playground, including Solomon Spady, Henry Flagler and Addison Mizner.

April 5-21:

“Ragtime” at Lake Worth Playhouse, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth Beach; various show times; $38; 561/5866410, lakeworthplayhouse. org. Set in the early 20th century, Terrence McNally’s Tony-winning musical mosaic charts the revelations, crises, maturations and injustices of three subsets of the American melting pot: Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia; Coalhouse Walker Jr., an African-American ragtime musician; and a well-to-do suburban white family in New Rochelle.

April 6:

Hoot/Wisdom Recordings 20th Anniversary Concert at University Theatre at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 7 p.m.; $10; 561/2976124, Since 2004, this student-run, faculty-supervised record label has provided an indispensable outlet for FAU’s most talented music students, releasing 32 albums and earning three Latin Grammy nominations. The label will celebrate its 20th anniversary at this eclectic concert from student and faculty artists.

Through June 16:

“Ellen Graham: [Unscripted]” at Norton Museum of Art, 1450 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; $15-$18; 561/832-5196, Photographer Graham, who photographed actors, authors, royals and what would later be termed influencers for more than five decades, had a way of cutting through her subjects’ pretenses, capturing them unawares or at ease. This retrospective includes her work from Vanity Fair, Vogue, Time, Newsweek and more.

April 6:

Bluegrass in the Pavilion at Flagler Museum, 1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach; $40; 561/655-2833, The Flagler’s annual celebration of the great musical art form features two of its top purveyors: The Kody Norris Show, a quartet beloved for its retro concert getups and the award-winning work of fiddler Rachel Nalley-Norris; and the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, a Grammy-nominated quintet from East Tennessee.

April 2:

Pattie Boyd: “My Life in Pictures” at Society of the Four Arts, 102 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach; 3 p.m.; $20; 561/655-7227, Boyd, an English model, photographer and definitive “It Girl” of the swinging sixties, married both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, inspiring songs from “Something” to “Layla.” She will speak on her remarkable life and sign copies of her photographic memoir.

April 9:

The Rock Orchestra by Candlelight at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 8 p.m.; $62-$125; 561/393-7890, Opposites attract in this singular marriage of disparate genres, as 14 classical musicians join rock instrumentalists for inspired interpretations of Metallica, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, AC/ DC and more, supplemented by elaborate sets, costumes and lighting.

April 2024 • • • • 89
Pattie Boyd The Rock Orchestra by Candlelight Hoot/Wisdom Recordings Concert The Kody Norris Show

April 2024

April 10-24:

“Hamilton” at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; various show times; $59-$199; 561/8327469, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s worldwide phenomenon about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s pivotal involvement in the American Revolution combines serpentine raps, contemporary pop songs and Broadway ballads alike, effectively teaching civics and history through 21st century musical vernaculars. Don’t wait on purchasing tickets.

April 11:

BoDeans at Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton; 7 p.m.; $50-$60; 561/3952929, With 17 albums to their credit, these heartland rockers from Wisconsin have weathered shifting industry tides, remaining productive for nearly 40 years. Famous for its hit TV theme song “Closer to Free,” the group is supporting its latest release, 2022’s 4 the Last Time

April 11-14:

“Tiny Beautiful Things” at Schmidt Family Studio at Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton; 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun.; $25; 561/237-9000, lynn. edu. Playwright Nia Vardalos adapted this dramedy from the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, who adopted the persona “Sugar” for an online advice column. In this poignant play, Sugar forges a connection with an anonymous reader, and together they create what the New York Times raved as “a sustained theatrical exercise in empathy.”

April 17:

Time For Three at Society of the Four Arts, 102 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach; 3 p.m.; $20; 561/655-7227, fourarts. org. 2023 Grammy winners for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, this unorthodox trio of professionally trained string musicians dubs itself a “classically trained garage band.” The players dress in street clothes and mix up their traditional string-music repertoire with rock, bluegrass and hip-hop favorites.

April 18-27:

“America’s Sexiest Couple” at Delray Beach Playhouse, 950 N.W. Ninth St., Delray Beach; various show times; $39-$69; 561/272-1281, In this play by Ken Levine, 30 years after starring in a beloved American sitcom together, two celebrities once named “America’s Sexiest Couple” reunite after the funeral of a costar, where the two actors find themselves torn between their past and future lives.

April 20-21:

Ballet Palm Beach: “Peter Pan and Tinker Bell” at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 2 and 7 p.m. Sat., 1 and 5 p.m. Sun.; $45; 561/832-7469, This homegrown take on J.M. Barrie’s timeless characters follows Peter and Tinker Bell as they journey into Neverland and encounter the Lost Boys, Prince Tiger Lily, Captain Hook and others, complete with new choreography and imaginative costumes.

90 • • • • April 2024 BACKSTAGE PASS CALENDAR
Time For Three “Hamilton” Charles Peachock JOAN MARCUS LAUREN DESBERG

April 11-May 5:

“Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” at the Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; various show times; $94; 561/995-2333, Writer Alan Jones’ energetic stage musical charts the short but influential life of rockabilly pioneer Buddy Holly, from his days fronting the country outfit the Crickets to the fateful 1959 plane crash that took his life at 22. The show features 26 hits from Holly and his contemporaries.

April 12:

Coco Montoya at Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton; 9 p.m.; $40-$50; 561/395-2929, This left-handed blues guitarist learned his craft under legends Albert Collins and John Mayall, performing with both before striking out on his own with 1995’s Gotta Mind to Travel. He has released eight forceful but melodic albums since then, most recently 2019’s prizewinning Coming In Hot .

April 21:

Charles Peachock with Dale K at Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road, Suite 10, Boca Raton; 3 and 7 p.m.; $37.50$42.50; 561/483-9036, The highest-finishing juggler in the history of “America’s Got Talent,” Peachock has helped elevate his specialty from circus act to art form. Opening act Dale K is a mentalist whose “mind reading” techniques bring the audience’s power of suggestion to the forefront.

April 12-21:

“The Cemetery Club” at Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton; various show times; $25; 561/347-3948, In this heartwarming drama produced by Curtain Call Playhouse, three Jewish widows of varying personalities and temperaments meet monthly for tea before visiting their husbands’ gravesites. Their friendship is tested when a romance buds between one of the widows and a local butcher.

April 26:

Musha Ningyō: “Avatars of the Human Spirit” at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach; 1 p.m.; $9-$15 museum admission; 561/995-0233, morikami. org. The creation of intricate samurai dolls, or ningyō, is a tradition that dates back centuries in Japan, as a tribute to the warrior’s martial ethos. Alan Scott Pate, a museum curator, academic and expert on the subject of ningyō, will present an informative and entertaining lecture.

April 13:

Tab Benoit at Funky Biscuit, 303 S.E. Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton; 7 p.m.; $40-$50; 561/395-2929, A student turned master of Delta blues, this electric guitarist has been performing his scorching and soulful music since his head-turning 1992 debut Nice and Warm, a release that earned comparisons to Albert King and Jimi Hendrix. He remains a road warrior, playing 250 dates a year and weaving environmental activism into his music.

April 28:

Palm Beach International Jazz Fest at Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 6 p.m.; $45$60; 561/832-7469, kravis. org. This sixth-annual celebration of jazz and its many iterations features three artists spanning bebop, Brazilian and Latin jazz: Latin Grammy-winning violinist Federico Britos and his trio; vocalist Yvette Norwood-Tiger; and saxophonist and educator Mickey Smith Jr.

April 28:

Noah Haidu, Buster Williams and Lenny White at Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach; 7 p.m.; $40-$45; 561/450-6457, Three firstrate improvisers perform this tribute to pianist Keith Jarrett’s legendary Standards Trio, offering adventurous interpretations of American Songbook classics: Pianist and bandleader Haidu; drummer White; and bassist Williams, whose collaborators have included Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.

April 2024 • • • • 91
Noah Haidu, Buster Williams and Lenny White Coco Montoya Tab Benoit VICTORIA SMITH JEAN FRANK
Join us on the Links to Celebrate The 25th Anniversary Benefiting the Ron and Kathy Assaf Center for Excellence in Nursing On Three Championship Courses at Boca West Country Club Monday, April 15, 2024 For more information, please contact Terrie Mooney at 561-955-6634 or Visit
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Boca magazine’s 2024 Top Doctors

Top Doctors spotlights select physicians who have been carefully chosen for their standing and contributions to the medical communities in which they serve.

Florida Magazine Association

Award-winning section 2020 Silver Award

South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

SPECIALTIES: The Center focuses on personalized treatment for people with periodontal (gum) disease, missing teeth, dental implants and complications encountered with previous treatment. Our treatment methods are tailored to each patient’s individual needs using innovative and scientifically proven strategies.

The South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is known for clinically proven technologies that advance treatment, support patient satisfaction and comfort and provide predictable, high-quality outcomes. They are the first practice in the world to offer Yomi® robotic-assisted surgery, the first and only FDA-approved robotic system designed for dental implant surgery. The Center’s boardcertified dentists continually stay ahead of the curve with advanced procedures and technologies, including the S.M.A.R.T.™ bone graft technique, Piezo surgery® bone surgery, LANAP® laser-assisted gum surgery, Pinhole® gum grafting, regenerative endoscopic periodontal regeneration, accelerated orthodontics, permanent solutions to “gummy smiles” and much more.

“Our commitment to every patient is to provide compassionate and evidence-based care for your oral health and your overall well-being and comfort,” says Dr. Jeffrey Ganeles, whose work was recently recognized by the prestigious International Team for Implantology (ITI).

“We believe that people should have healthy teeth for a lifetime,” says Dr. Liliana Aranguren. “Healthy mouths are closely tied to good general health. Our standards and expectations for our results are exceptionally high; we ensure that patients receive an appropriate individualized treatment plan when treating gum disease and tooth loss.”

“We excel at treating complications from other practices and rescuing good results from poor circumstances,” adds Dr. Frederic Norkin. “We welcome all referrals, including straightforward as well as complex cases. We are among the only periodontists in South Florida to offer IV sedation with our certified periodontists or board-certified anesthesiologist.”

Dr. Samuel Zfaz explains, “For us, dentistry is a passion. We strive to create the most professional, comfortable, and stressfree dental experience possible.”

We are proud to announce that Dr. Lili Aranguren has been named Partner of the practice. She is an exceptional clinician with tremendous compassion for her patients.

We also welcome Dr. André Barbisan De Souza, an ITI Scholar from Harvard University, and teaching faculty at Tufts University, helping us upgrade our digital technology while also practicing periodontics and implant dentistry.

Contact the Center directly to schedule an appointment; a referral is not necessary.


Frederic J. Norkin, DMD

Board Certified in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery Fellow, ITI

Samuel Zfaz, DDS

Board Certified in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery Fellow, ITI

Liliana Aranguren, DDS, MDSc

Board Certified in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery Fellow, ITI

Jeffrey Ganeles, DMD, FACD

Board Certified in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery Fellow, AO, ITI Board of Directors, Academy of Osseointegration

André Barbisan

De Souza, DMD, MSc Diplomate, American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry Fellow, ITI

(Not pictured)

Eitan Gross, DMD

Diplomate American Board of Dental Anesthesiology

SOUTH FLORIDA CENTER FOR PERIODONTICS & IMPLANT DENTISTRY 3020 North Military Trail, Ste. 200 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561-912-9993

Anesthesia & Interventional Pain Management

SPECIALTY: Interventional pain medicine, anesthesia neuromodulation, spinal cord stimulation therapy, minimally invasive treatment

UNDERGRADUATE: BS, Biology, University of Miami

MEDICAL TRAINING: MD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

FELLOWSHIP: Pain Management, University of Alabama, Birmingham

INTERNSHIP: Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans

RESIDENCY: Anesthesiology, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, Chief Resident

Double board-certified and fellowship-trained in interventional pain management, Dr. Seth MacMahon specializes in acute and chronic pain conditions of the spine, joints and other chronic painful conditions. A member of the Florida Spine Associates (FSA) team, MacMahon offers interventional and non-interventional treatment options and recommendations, including injections, medications and other conservative measures such as physical therapy, massage, bracing, ice, heat, etc.

“I am proud to offer the latest and most up-to-date interventional treatment options for different pain conditions from spinal stenosis, joint pain (hips, knees, shoulders), myofascial pain, headaches, neck and lower back arthritis, sacroiliitis, chronic neuropathic pain, acute vertebral body compression fractures and more,” he explains.

MacMahon specializes in spine injections (neck and middle and lower back) including epidural steroid injections, facet medial branch blocks and radiofrequency ablations, sacroiliac joint injections, kyphoplasty, spinal cord stimulator trials and permanent implantation, trigger point injections, and more. Many of these injections are tolerated well and performed in the office with local anesthetic.

Board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Robert Norton is a founding partner of FSA and is skilled in the most advanced surgical techniques and emerging technologies. Joining MacMahon in treating patients’ various pain issues is Dr. Brian Burroughs, board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist.

With more than 50 years of combined expertise in all aspects of orthopedic care, the doctors at FSA share the same goal of helping patients get back to a more active lifestyle.

FLORIDA SPINE ASSOCIATES 670 Glades Road, Suite 200 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561.495.9511

Brian J. Burrough, MD

Anesthesia & Interventional Pain Management

SPECIALTIES: Interventional pain medicine, anesthesia neuromodulation, spinal cord stimulation therapy, minimally invasive treatment

MEDICAL TRAINING: MD, University of Miami

RESIDENCY: Anesthesiology, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL; Interventional Pain Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

FELLOWSHIP: Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School

Robert P. Norton, MD, FAAOS

Orthopaedic Surgeon

SPECIALTIES: All aspects of spine care, including cervical and lumbar degenerative or deformity conditions, minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial cervical disc replacement and in-office kyphoplasty treatment of vertebral compression fractures

UNDERGRADUATE: BS, Exercise Science; Magna Cum Laude, Rutgers University, New Jersey

MEDICAL TRAINING: MD, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA; Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Magna Cum Laude

FELLOWSHIP: Spine Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases

INTERNSHIP: Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital

RESIDENCY: Orthopaedic Surgery, Administrative Chief Resident, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital

Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery

SPECIALTIES: Skin cancer detection & treatment, Mohs’ surgery, dermatologic plastic surgery, laser treatments, thread lifting, toxins & fillers

UNDERGRADUATE: The George Washington University, Bachelor of Arts

MEDICAL TRAINING: The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Doctorate of Medicine with distinction

FELLOWSHIP: Mohs’ and Dermatologic Plastic Surgery, Affiliated Dermatology--a program affiliated with Columbia University

RESIDENCY: Dermatology, Allegheny University Hospitals-Hahnemann, Philadelphia, PA; Internal Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital

Dr. Robert S. Bader’s formula for success in his full service dermatology practice, R.S.B. Dermatology Inc., is to be honest with his patients, to work with them to find the best treatment options from a surgical and medical standpoint and from a cosmetic standpoint, he strives to make people look as youthful and natural as possible with the least amount of risk and cost.

“My focus is to provide a full-service dermatology experience, where you come to one comfortable office and get almost any skin-related procedure performed on the premises: fillers, toxins, age spot treatments, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, acne scar treatments, micro-needling with radiofrequency, earlobe repair, and blood vessel removal. I also perform sclerotherapy for spider veins, laser hair removal, stretch mark treatments, scar treatments, and the latest in fat reduction treatments. I listen to my patients’ desires and try to achieve their goals, while working within their budgets,” Bader explains.

“In this area of the country, the cost of medicine is significantly higher. I want to make myself affordable for everyone who needs my services. Practicing in Deerfield Beach is especially unique. I see billionaires in my waiting room sitting next to patients on Medicaid. Every one of my patients is on an equal playing field for me when it comes to their care and treatment, whether they are paying me cash, or under financial assistance. I have my patient’s best interests in mind and strive to give them the best care and experience possible,” he says.

R.S.B. DERMATOLOGY, INC. Cove Shopping Center 1500 E. Hillsboro Blvd., Ste. 204 Deerfield Beach, FL 33441 954-421-3200


Rafael C. Cabrera, MD, FACS

Plastic Surgery

SPECIALTIES: Aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery; facial rejuvenation/reconstruction


B.A. with Distinction, Cornell University, NY

MEDICAL TRAINING: New York University School of Medicine

RESIDENCY AND FELLOWSHIP: General and Plastic Surgery Residencies, Wound Healing and Microsurgery Fellowship, New York University Medical Center, Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery; Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital

Dr. Rafael Cabrera, a seasoned plastic surgeon with more than 25 years of experience in Boca Raton, embraces a nuanced approach to cosmetic enhancements. In this era of advanced options, invasive surgeries no longer monopolize the pursuit of youthful appearance. Dr. Cabrera stands as a trusted partner, utilizing his extensive tool kit to help individuals choose procedures tailored to their unique anatomic needs.

Specializing in a spectrum of procedures, Dr. Cabrera offers surgical rejuvenation for the face, neck, eyes, breasts and abdomen. Additionally, he employs a wide range of non-invasive approaches, including neurotoxins and fillers, as well as the Emsculpt Neo to enhance body contour. Tightening muscles and ligaments are often necessary to achieve a youthful contour. Additionally, augmenting and rejuvenating the face with natural tissues like one’s own fat and stem cells offers a long-term solution to facial deflation associated with aging.

Transparency and safety are paramount in Dr. Cabrera’s practice. His success is rooted in a dedicated commitment to patient well-being, delivering transformative results without conspicuous signs of intervention. The surge in social media has propagated unrealistic beauty standards through digital filters. Dr. Cabrera warns against these illusions, emphasizing the guidance of experienced aesthetic professionals for realistic goals.

N.W. 13th Street, Ste. 4-A
Raton, FL
33486 561-393-6400

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

SPECIALTIES: Oral and maxillofacial surgery and dental implants

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: AB, Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, MO

MEDICAL TRAINING: Fairleigh Dickinson Dental School, NJ

RESIDENCY: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, NJ; Lincoln Hospital, NY

Board-certified Dr. Gary J. Wayne specializes in face, jaw and mouth surgery. A 30-year solo practitioner with a compassionate and gentle approach, Dr. Wayne offers the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery, including dental extractions, oral pathology, single and multiple dental implant surgeries, and grafting procedures for bone and gums. His practice has an emphasis on wisdom tooth removal and dental implant surgeries.

“I do everything I can do to make the dental experience as easy and comfortable as I can for patients, both surgically and post-operatively. I offer IV sedation for all of my patients. I make it a point to sedate teenage and young adult patients for wisdom tooth extractions to avoid subjecting them to inhumane treatment that could possibly have long-term negative effects on their lives, emotionally and physically. This also applies to young children who need my care. When applicable, I avoid narcotic prescriptions for pain control. We can use nonopioid pain medications, as well as time-released injectable pain medication,“ Wayne explains.

“I have been providing dental implants since 1990, utilizing conservative procedures that save people from having multiple surgeries as well as a lengthy recovery. More complex cases, like revision surgeries, bone grafting and zygoma implants, are sometimes indicated, and are all within the scope of my practice.”

Summarizing his aesthetic model, Wayne says, “People are supposed to look natural, and I follow the surgical principle which states that ‘Form always follows function.’ If you put people back to the way nature had originally intended, it will always look right.”

MICHAEL CONNOR PHOTOGRAPHY GARY J. WAYNE, DMD 2500 N. Military Trail, Ste. 308 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561-443-7001

Cosmetic Dermatology

SPECIALTIES: Non-surgical aesthetics, skin rejuvenation, facial balancing, natural enhancements and corrections

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, Microbiology, Oklahoma State University

MEDICAL TRAINING: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University of Health Sciences

RESIDENCY: Chief Resident, Dermatology, Nova Southeastern/Universal Medical Center

With an illustrious career spanning nearly three decades in South Florida, Board-certified Dr. Janet Allenby is an artist dedicated to harmonizing medical prowess with an aesthetic touch. Allenby’s approach goes beyond traditional dermatology, with a focus on sculpting timeless beauty that enhances both the physical and mental well-being of her patients.

“My passion lies in helping patients actualize their aesthetic goals using cutting-edge technology in injectable products, devices and skin care. Each patient undergoes a comprehensive assessment, leading to a personalized treatment plan targeting specific concerns. Our most sought-after services include skin rejuvenation, facial balancing and structural correction, with the aim of minimizing downtime and delivering efficient, effective results.”

Included in her scope of offerings is BodySquad, wholly dedicated to non-invasive BodySculpting services including CoolSculpting, CoolTone, Morpheus8 and Resonic.

“From permanently reducing stubborn pockets of fat to building muscle, our specialists are adeptly trained to help patients reach their goals without resorting to surgery or enduring downtime. We’re particularly excited about our newest offerings— semaglutide and tirzepatide—a safe and effective weight loss solution,” she explains.

“Having been at the forefront of cosmetic dermatology since its inception, I’ve cultivated a deep understanding of what works best for people. Whether correcting procedures done elsewhere or guiding patients towards their best selves, our mission is clear: to have patients feel and look their best. Because, as we firmly believe, looking good feels good!”

BODYSQUAD 151 E Palmetto Park Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33432 561-903-4945 ALLENBY COSMETIC DEMARTOLOGY 6290 Linton Blvd UNIT 204, Delray Beach, FL 33484 561-499-0299


SPECIALTIES: Treatment-resistant major depression, bipolar disorder, trauma/ PTSD, borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), substance abuse

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: B.A. Chemistry, Florida International University, Magna Cum Laude

MEDICAL TRAINING: M.D., University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida

INTERNSHIP: University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital

RESIDENCY: Psychiatry, University of Miami/ Jackson Memorial Hospital; Chief Resident 7/2000-7/2001

With more than 23 years treating the most challenging mental health and addiction issues, Dr. Raul Rodriguez has developed comprehensive and highly specialized outpatient programs at the Delray Center for Healing with an emphasis on interventional psychiatry and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This model is engineered to handle more challenging conditions including treatmentresistant depression, trauma/PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and any number of other psychiatric conditions.

“Many of the hard cases require a creative, individualized, out-of-the-box approach to get the patient better. The last eight years have been spent utilizing a simultaneous combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), photobiomudulation of the brain (PBM), intravenous ketamine infusions, neurofeedback and DBT, all guided by brain network analytic (BNA) sequential brain mappings to identify target areas, direct individualized treatment, and monitor progress,” he explains.

Dr. Rodriguez notes that many of his new patients seeking mental health treatment believe they are hopeless cases when they first come in.

“We give them new hope that an effective solution does exist for treating their severe condition. In addition to the newest therapies, we also incorporate an advanced combination of traditional psychiatric treatments as well as myriad holistic methods to help solve the complex puzzle of each patient’s mental health syndrome, so they can enjoy life again.”

DELRAY CENTER FOR HEALING 403 SE 1st Street Delray Beach, FL 33483 561-266-8866


915 Middle River Drive, #213 Fort Lauderdale, FL 954-565-7575

SPECIALTIES: Cosmetic and plastic surgery


MEDICAL SCHOOL: State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine

RESIDENCY: University of New York at Stony Brook; Baylor College of Medicine

FELLOWSHIP: Microvascular Research Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. John Pinnella is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon committed to providing the newest techniques and technologies to his patients. He brings nearly 30 years of experience to his practice and has repeatedly earned the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award in acknowledgement of his commitment to advances in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Pinnella has served as chief of plastic surgery at four local hospitals. He completed volunteer surgical missions to Africa and South Korea. Dr. Pinnella’s hobbies include oil painting and other fine arts, for which he has won awards.

Brandon Elnekaveh, MD

SPECIALTIES: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery


MEDICAL SCHOOL: SUNY Downstate College of Medicine

RESIDENCY: Harvard Medical School; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. Brandon Elnekaveh completed two residency programs, one in general surgery and a second in plastic surgery, where he specialized in aesthetic surgery. He offers a wide range of aesthetic procedures for the face, breasts and body, as well as vaginal rejuvenation surgery, in a state-of-theart facility. Dr. Elnekaveh delivers personalized care through his compassionate approach and expertise and holds licenses to practice medicine in New York State, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Florida. He has privileges at nine hospitals, including Broward Health Imperial Point in Fort Lauderdale. In his spare time, Dr. Elnekaveh enjoys traveling, photography, playing the guitar, movies and reading.


James Fishkin, MD

Emergency Medicine at Sollis Health

SPECIALTIES: Emergency medicine

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: BA, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

MEDICAL TRAINING: MD, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

RESIDENCY: Los Angeles County / USC Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine; Attending Physician, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA; Lead Airway Physician, Los Angeles Rams; Examiner, Board of Emergency Medicine

Dr. James Fishkin joined Sollis Health as South Florida Medical Director after 28 years in Emergency Medicine at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, CA.

In addition to his work at the hospital, Fishkin has served as chair for Cedar’s Disaster Response Committee and its Symposium for Emergency Medicine for the last 20 years—providing leadership and lecturing on critical topics in emergency medicine.

Sollis Health is the first members-only, concierge provider staffed with board-certified ER physicians, and with ER-level diagnostic capability, in order to treat both everyday concerns and acute emergencies. Membership provides access to all Sollis Health locations nationwide, as well as unlimited consultations, both in-center and via telehealth, routine lab procedures, wound care, and specialized orthopedic and ENT medical services. By bringing his vast experience to Sollis Health, Fishkin will help patients with top-of-the-line medical care, providing immediate access to the highest-quality treatment without delays, including trauma and critical care—on-demand 24/7, 365 days a year for in-person and telehealth appointments.

“I always believed the health care system could do better: see patients more quickly; call them until they are healthy again; and spend more time learning about them as a person, rather than just a case. Sollis Health is a leader in providing toplevel personalized care and can deliver this care model in a comfortable and tranquil environment, far exceeding the usual experience of discomfort or rushed consultation to which patients have unfortunately become accustomed,” says Fishkin.

SOLLIS HEALTH BOCA RATON 1905 Clint Moore Road, Ste. 303 Boca Raton, FL 33496 561-560-7600


951 N.W. 13th Street, Bldg. 5-E Boca Raton, FL 33486 561-392-1818

Stuart H. Isaacson, MD, FAAN


SPECIALTIES: Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: BS, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

MEDICAL TRAINING: MD, Northwestern University School of Medicine

INTERNSHIP: Columbia University St. Luke’sRoosevelt Hospital, NYC

RESIDENCY: Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC

FELLOWSHIP: National Institutes of Health; Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC

Dr. Stuart Isaacson is an internationally recognized expert in Parkinson’s disease, with more than 300 scientific publications and a history as lead investigator in global research programs. A boardcertified movement disorder neurologist, Isaacson established the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center of Boca Raton in 1999, a nonuniversity academic center with a team of clinicians, nurses, research coordinators and social workers who combine a comprehensive approach to treatment with access to one of the largest Parkinson’s clinical research centers in the U.S. The Center’s vision that “No One Should Have to Wait for Parkinson’s Care” ensures new patient evaluations with a movement disorder specialist within one week.

Sagari Betté, MD Neurology

SPECIALTIES: Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: BS, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

MEDICAL TRAINING: MD, UT Southwestern School of Medicine, Dallas, TX

RESIDENCY: Harvard Medical School / Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

FELLOWSHIP: University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Dr. Sagari Betté is a board-certified, fellowship-trained expert in movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease who joined the Center in 2019. “Our Center complements clinical care and research, offering daily lectures, therapy, counseling, and exercise available at no cost to the community, supported by the Parkinson’s Research and Education Foundation.”


Regenerative Medicine/ Orthopedic Surgery

SPECIALTIES: Orthopedic regenerative medicine/ anti-aging medicine

MEDICAL TRAINING: Georgetown University Medical School; University of Florida Medical Center (Surgical Internship); Orthopedic Residency, University of Miami- Jackson Memorial Hospital

FELLOWSHIPS: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; American College of Surgery; American Academy of Pain Management; Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine; Board Certified by the American Academy and Board of Regenerative Medicine (Past President)

Devoted to the study of science and how to improve patients’ health, looks and mobility through a comprehensive approach, Dr. Joseph Purita’s practice, PUR-FORM, encompasses all aspects of orthopedics from back conditions to joint injuries to muscle and ligament problems.

“We specialize in regenerative solutions as an alternative to traditional orthopedic surgery,” he explains. “Our fundamental philosophy is that cells, not doctors, heal patients.”

PUR-FORM uses cutting-edge regenerative cell therapies to improve many orthopedic injuries and degenerative conditions where only invasive surgeries were previously implemented.

What makes PUR-FORM unique is having an experienced, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, who is entirely focused on regenerative techniques, as its medical director.

A comprehensive range of regenerative treatments, from PRP injections to regenerative cell therapies using bone marrow aspirate and adipose tissue, are offered as patented techniques designed to further enhance the effectiveness of regenerative therapies. Essential pillars of Dr. Purita’s techniques include cellular therapies utilizing regenerative cells and growth factors to promote tissue and joint repair, speed injury recovery, and slow aging.

“We are also pioneering the future of regenerative medicine by combining cutting-edge therapies to unlock the body’s innate healing potential,” Dr. Purita adds. “We recognize that whole-body health depends on a complex interplay of systems.”

CONNOR PHOTOGRAPHY PUR-FORM 3600 FAU Boulevard, #101 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561-368-1880

Charlton Stucken, MD, FAAOS

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine

SPECIALTIES: Sports medicine and shoulder surgery

UNDERGRADUATE: Cornell University

MEDICAL SCHOOL: Boston University School of Medicine

INTERNSHIP: Boston Medical Center

RESIDENCY: Boston University Orthopaedic Residency

FELLOWSHIP: Rothman Institute at Jefferson University, Sports Medicine Surgery

Dr. Charlton Stucken is a Double Board-Certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and shoulder surgery. Stucken trained with world-renowned surgeons in prestigious programs in Boston and Philadelphia, and he is now part of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Division of the Hospital for Special Surgery Florida, anchored by Drs. David Altchek, Ryan Simovitch and James Carr.

“Many of my patients have already experienced failed surgery elsewhere, and are often reluctant to undergo a corrective revision procedure, but these are some of my best outcomes: taking people who are at their worst and giving them their life and lifestyle back. The athletes whom I care for vary from high-school and collegiate athletes to weekend warriors to seniors looking to stay active.

“While it may be intimidating to visit a surgeon’s office, most knee and shoulder pain can be resolved with non-operative treatment and guidance. For those patients that do need surgery, our newer techniques such as computer navigation allow faster recovery with minimally invasive surgery. The same personalized and innovative treatments that we use on our professional athletes I also recommend for the rest of my patients,” Stucken explains.

“My goal is that patients choose my practice for their surgical care, knowing that I am guided by the belief in providing the most exceptional care, without exception.”

HSS FLORIDA 300 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard West Palm Beach, FL 33401 561-657-4850


SPECIALTIES: Arthritis and rheumatic diseases

MEDICAL SCHOOL: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

RESIDENCY: Brookdale Hospital, Brooklyn, New York

FELLOWSHIP: Rheumatology, Jackson Health System, Miami, Florida. Served as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Board-certified Rheumatologist Dr. William A. Sunshine finds purpose in helping others by diagnosing and treating the most complex inflammatory diseases for the last 29 years in his private practice.

Dr. Sunshine’s office offers the best of both worlds, as he practices with the personalized care and attention of a solo practitioner while at the same time leveraging the support of his membership in AARA (American Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates), the largest rheumatology super-group in the nation powered by Bendcare™. Collectively, AARA has created optimal clinical algorithms to support proper pathways of care for chronic inflammatory patients. This empowers each physician to provide consistently high-quality care using the latest innovations.

With a care philosophy that is built upon creating and maintaining a compassionate partnership with each patient, Dr. Sunshine’s approach to treating rheumatic disease includes an analysis of patientreported outcomes, whereby patients gain an understanding of their disease states and become an active part of the decision-making process.

From the moment he greets his patients in the waiting room, it is clear Dr. Sunshine embraces his profession as a physician and sincerely feels a responsibility to support patients in creating individualized treatment plans that meet their goals for optimal health and comfort. Dr. Sunshine has conducted several clinical trials and authored multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals. He has appeared on television, radio and the internet addressing current topics in rheumatology.

AARON BRISTOL WILLIAM A. SUNSHINE, MD 660 Glades Road, Ste. 306 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561-862-0401

Vivian Hernandez, MD, FACS

Facial Plastic Surgery

SPECIALTIES: Plastic Surgery of the face and non-surgical aesthetics

MEDICAL TRAINING: General Surgery, Cornell University Teaching Hospital

RESIDENCY: University of Illinois Hospital at Chicago

FELLOWSHIP: Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, New York University Hospital/Manhattan Eye, E ar & Throat Hospital; Aesthetic Fellow, Drs. Baker & Gordon, Miami, FL

Dr. Vivian Hernandez sets herself apart as a premier board-certified plastic surgeon in Boca Raton. Female patients in particular derive comfort from working with a plastic surgeon who has a unique insight into their aesthetic goals and desires. The doctor’s personalized boutique-like practice is focused uniquely on the face and is distinguished by her signature style of care. Having trained with many of the nation’s top plastic surgeons, she is uniquely positioned to provide numerous options for the person considering facial rejuvenation, from plastic surgery of the face to a complete range of non-surgical treatments. Along with her surgical expertise, Dr. Hernandez is also a skilled injector for dermal fillers and other rejuvenating injectables. Even for her nonsurgical treatments, she applies the same care and artistry to make her outcomes as natural and pleasing as possible.

Dr. Hernandez believes in creating a youthful, natural look and that the best results should be noticeable in the right way. That means your friends, coworkers and loved ones will only see a more rejuvenated, confident you.

“The aging process takes its toll, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally,” Dr. Hernandez says. “I want to make my patients feel good about themselves again. I enjoy my work and strive to help each individual find the right procedure to recapture a radiant self-image that reinforces their confidence and self-esteem.”

AESTHETIC PLASTIC SURGERY, P.A. 4799 N. Federal Highway, Ste. 4 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561-750-8600


At Levis JCC Marleen Forkas Camps, summer is all about friendship, laughter, and FUN! Don’t miss this chance to give your children a summer filled with the best activities, adventures, entertainment, and so much more!

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Robert Irvine is a world-class chef, entrepreneur, and philanthropist and the host of Food Network’s hit show Restaurant: Impossible. He has given struggling restaurateurs a second chance to turn their lives and businesses around in over 300 episodes and counting. He would know a thing or two about running a successful business. In addition to his restaurants—Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana in Las Vegas and Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine within the Pentagon—he is the owner of FitCrunch, whose protein bars, powders, and snacks are available nationwide. Featuring fine wine, exquisite auctions, dinner, dogs and lots of fun between courses!

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Cover photo courtesy of: P&H Interiors

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Designing exquisite interiors with a modern approach and working with a boutique clientele, Camila Farley’s studio, Quarter2one, is in demand.

Originally from Brazil, Camila has lived in the United States for 12 years.“I love bringing a fresh, clean and modern look to each space,” she explains. Camila finds inspiration for each project from her client’s desired style, their personality, and the space itself.

“In South Florida, we have a lot of outdated Spanishstyle homes,” she adds.“We’ve been very successful at reviving them with a modern approach without losing their character. For new builds, the studio focuses on the organic modern approach.”

Quarter2one Design Studio is a small boutique studio, and Camila is involved in all of the projects. “Developing a relationship with each client is a crucial part of delivering the best possible final product,” she explains.“Therefore, we only work with four to five clients at a time. Each client is unique, and the final product must be a reflection of their personality and lifestyle.” She adds,“These are our clients’ homes, so they need to be aesthetically pleasing and livable.”

Being from Brazil and living in California’s multicultural San Francisco Bay area for several years, Camila had the opportunity to design different styles, which enriched her portfolio.



From the initial entry to the living spaces, color, lighting, geometry of furniture and the combination of textiles, it is Linda Ruderman’s passion and expertise to ensure these elements are all interconnected. As president and owner of Linda Ruderman Interiors (LRI), Ruderman has created award-winning interior designs for residential and commercial properties throughout the United States for more than 30 years. Her projects range from the design and decoration of newly built construction to the complete restoration and renovation of Historic Landmark structures nationwide. Her formal education was bolstered with independent study courses in architecture and the history of furniture as well as lecture study tours around the world. Her wanderlust for her business and her own pleasure has been extensive.

With strong expertise in classical interiors, Ruderman prides herself on her attention to detail and her ability to interpret classical models for today’s lifestyles. Her professional nationwide success is due to her seemingly uncanny ability to make a design look as though it has always been in its current environment. She is equally adept at both classic and contemporary design and is equipped to handle any challenge.

While space planning is one of Linda’s greatest assets, creating improved living spaces is her greatest passion. Her approach to interior design is distinctly a holistic one. She primarily creates the background that will showcase and incorporate her clients’ most valued belongings, artwork and furnishings, and relishes in connecting each significant detail with one vision to develop a harmonious feel.“We have also been commissioned to acquire and assemble important art and antique collections for many clients throughout the country,” Linda says.


Michael Connor Photography


Striking and subtle, a tranquil calm flows from every project pictured on Interior Designer Susan Connor’s captivating website.“A welcoming sense of warmth is a must in each home, in every room,” says the 35-year veteran of her craft.

Full home renovations and new construction keep Susan and her team at P & H Interiors elevating clients’ homes, and those of their friends and families, into showcase properties from Palm Beach County to the country’s favorite bucket-list locales.

“We begin with an extensive interview to understand and really speak to the needs of the client and their lifestyle, and make sure that they are all-inclusive in the process. It’s a very personal integration,” she explains.

“The architect creates the footprints of the house, and what people may not realize is that the interior architecture is the designer’s creation from the beginning.We create the flooring details, bathrooms, kitchen, moldings, ceiling designs, etc.We are designing and specifying every feature for the builder to execute. We then put in the many layers of furnishings and accessories that reflect the clients’ preferences.

“For the most part, people are looking for a more neutralized, fresh base, which is especially well-suited for Florida.We make the design versatile for the client to surround themselves with all that makes a house a home,” says Susan.


Michael Connor Photography


Just Tile & Marble

For more than 36 years, Just Tile & Marble has been specializing in exclusive lines of imported porcelain tiles, slabs and other beautiful natural stones, waterjet mosaics, and unique glass and handmade tiles from around the world, earning owner Michael Hummel a prestigious standing in the industry.

Featuring porcelain slabs for exterior cladding, main flooring and bathrooms, the showroom that houses the incredible eye candy selections has grown to more than 4,000 square feet, a testament to Hummel’s endless quest to bring the largest and most exquisite and sought-after selections for his clients to create an environment they love to live in.

In terms of porcelain tiles, Hummel will tell you that bigger is indeed better, as he is renowned for being one of the largest facilities in the country for 48X48 tiles.

“I stock over 80 48X48s and over 90 24X48s, and have over 200 slabs on display. My infrastructure had to grow based on the demand of my clients to have the endless choices not found anywhere else. I even had to raise the ceiling to accommodate the statuesque 63X127 jumbo slabs,” explains Hummel.

Hummel is ecstatic about the caliber and artistry of his latest acquisition.“I always strive to bring only the most exclusive products to the forefront of the marketplace, with 85 percent of imports from Italy’s finest factories.We have just partnered with a new factory that does all custom carved natural stone designs. It’s an incredible, sophisticated new addition to the showroom, and just another way we distinguish ourselves at Just Tile & Marble. Please call for an appointment to experience all we offer.”


Michael Connor Photography


With more than 30 years of expertise as an interior designer, Fran Brady has been a fixture in Clive Daniel Home in Boca Raton since its opening in 2016.The Chicago native met Clive and Daniel on Florida’s west coast and felt an immediate connection.“They are warm, talented people, and I couldn’t see myself working for anyone else,” she shares.

That sentiment resonates with her esteemed team of colleagues, who together navigate the 70,000-squarefoot design studio and showroom, providing an endless world of design possibilities for their clients. “I begin by learning about how the client lives their life and what the style direction might be. I ask if they have inspirational pictures of homes or places that they’ve seen that they like, because that will give us a starting point of how the design elements will evolve.With either a line drawing or a computer-aided design (CAD), it’s an excellent opportunity to give clients insight into what I see in my mind’s eye. I can already visualize the space completely; otherwise I wouldn’t be in this business,” she says confidently.

Fran’s breadth of experience in new construction projects guides clients on a seamless journey, from reviewing the architect’s plans to choosing cabinets and appliances, reviewing the electrical, furniture choices and placement, and all of the colors, textiles, flooring, accessories and finishing touches that give a home its unique personality. “I manage the project from beginning to end, with all of the resources available under one roof,” Fran emphasizes.


Michael Connor Photography


David Holiday Owner

AudioTEC Designs

The advances in home technology have matured far beyond most consumers’ dreams since the early ‘90s, when home theaters were first making the scene. A vast, user-friendly world of technology available to homeowners today is provided with the expertise of David Holiday and his team at AudioTEC Designs, who have spent the last 35 years providing clients with integrated systems.

“We’re taking the lighting, air conditioning, motorized shades, music and entertainment, television and security systems, and we’re integrating them together in a unified, well-defined and managed way so that they’re working and complementing each other, making it simple for the homeowner.”

People may want to have all these features and capabilities in their home, but rather than working with multiple apps and several steps, an AudioTEC Designed system uses just one app, and touchscreens or remotes, to select a predefined “scene”—Away, Arrive, Entertain, Goodnight—from anywhere.

Fueled with the fascination David has had for electronics and engineering from an early age, and bolstered by 37 years of learning how technology enhances our lives, Holiday and his expertly trained team meet with clients to discuss their style of living and their wish list for the latest technology in their new or existing home.

“We orchestrate and custom-tailor systems specifically based on our client’s needs, with concierge-level service to follow.When our job is done, a whole new world of convenience and enjoyment is in their hands, with just the simple touch of a button,” he says.


Michael Connor Photography


The closet is one of the first rooms you visit each morning, which is why Lori Hoyt of California Closets says it’s essential for the space to elicit a sense of serenity. “You don’t want to walk into something where your clothes are falling all over, your shoes are underneath your clothes and you can barely see anything,” Hoyt says.

Achieving a calming closet isn’t just for aesthetics; it can save you the headache and time it takes to get dressed in a disheveled space. The key to organization is creating designated places for everything—hampers for dirty clothes, built-in storage for jewelry and customized shelving with specific sections for short sleeves versus long sleeves.

Hoyt doesn’t just know a thing or two about beautifying closets—she’s a business woman throughand-through. Since she stepped in as president 25 years ago, the company’s yearly rev-enue has grown from $1 million to $12 million.

A true family affair, Hoyt works alongside her brother Scott Schiff and sister Patti Schiff.

With a staff of about 40 designers and installers, California Closets also extends its expertise into garages, offices and pantries alike. Projects range from $2,500 to upwards of $400,000, depending on each client’s budget and vision.


Michael Connor Photography
THANK YOU To All Of Our Generous Sponsors of the 22nd Annual INSPIRATION BREAKFAST ADT The Boca Raton Casa de Montecristo CohnReznick CPG Cares Florida Blue Florida Peninsula/ Edison Insurance The Harbor Group at Morgan Stanley Mithun Foundation The Mulhall Family NCCI Holdings, Inc Plastridge Insurance Agency / CRC Insurance Services Deborah Van Buskirk and The Rhodes Group at Raymond Siegal Law Group Sklar Furnishings Toshiba Business Solutions Truist Vertical Bridge Amy and Mike Kazma PLATINU M SPONSOR PLATINU M SPONSORS PRESE NT IN G SPONSOR GOLD SPONSORS E XCLUS IV E MAGAZIN E SPONSOR CUSTO M SPECIALT Y SPONSORS

Boca Raton Insider


Jenna Studio is the premier destination for luxury fashion, driven by a mission to help customers express themselves through relevant and inspiring style. Since our inception in 1985, we have delivered one-of-a-kind shopping experiences, featuring an expert assortment of elegant fashion and highly personalized customer service. Our unique approach combines an emphasis on customer experience and personal interaction in unison with detailed garments that make every woman look and feel beautiful!

Town Center at Boca Raton, next to Saks Fifth Avenue



After over 25 years in Boca Raton we’ve definitely carved out a niche. Come by and be ready to let one of the “fillies” dress y’all up! Remember “Life can be hard, clothes should be fun!”

Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.

Garden Shops, 7050 West Palmetto Park Road (at Powerline) Boca Raton FL 33433




Nina Presman is the owner and founder of the newest, most advanced noninvasive technologythat replaces plastic surgery and delivers permanent, immediate results with no pain or downtime. Since 2013 she has developed her newest technology that tightens and lifts skin, removes wrinkles, fat, cellulite, and other signs of aging including crepey arms, sagging neck and jowls.

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Executive Chef / Restauranteur Steven Botta has added the former Kathy’s Gazebo to his portfolio of high end restaurants. The 40 year tradition of excellence continues in a newly reimagined and newly renovated space.

The name and decor may have changed but the menu has all the old menu favorites with some exciting new ones which will delight the palate. From the moment you arrive you will quickly realize that you have entered a restaurant where old world service is still the norm rather than the exception.

A throwback to the days when where guests become family and a place to make new memories while reminiscing about past ones. Come join us and see what all the excitement is about. We look forward to seeing you. Yevette, Steven and Anthony.

Yevette, Steven and Anthony

New Bedford scallops and grits from Oceano Kitchen

Oceano Kitchen

512 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth Beach; 561/400-7418

Late last year, the announcement came through that Oceano Kitchen was closing. I almost wept. But then it was followed by the revelation that it was just moving. What a sigh of relief. Chefs and owners Jeremy and Cindy Bearman bought a former co-working and events property just a few minutes up the road in Lake Worth Beach. The Bearmans’ talent for crafting simple dishes that explode with flavors garnered them a distinguished James Beard Award semifinalist nomination for “Best Chef” in the South last year. So I knew their creativity would transfer to the new, more expansive space, but would its charm? I made the trek north to see.


PARKING: Street parking

HOURS: (through May; check the website for summer hours)

Tues. – Sat., 5:30 p.m. until close

PRICES: $5.50 – $42

The quirks that loyal patrons remember—cash only, daily menu, no reservations—are still there, but it’s the people who make this a special place. From the moment we stepped inside, we were warmly greeted by a passing server and then by longtime GM Sue Brown, who offered us a glass of wine while we waited for a table. The usual wines are available, but there are also unique finds like Sancerre, Albariño, rioja and Amarone. For someone who always looks for the “off the beaten path” varietals, I was thrilled. We settled into a cozy nook in the back until two seats at the chef’s table/bar opened up.

I couldn’t believe my luck; I had a front-row seat to the kitchen magic. Jeremy, in relaxed jeans and a hoodie, directed the culinary symphony with grace and calm, calling for service in almost a whisper and always punctuating his requests with “please” and

“thank you.”

Since the menu constantly changes, I won’t go into much detail about our meal. Still, I will dish about the house-made mozzarella ($21)—warm, gooey and sharing a soft slice of bread slathered in garlicy pesto with the most delicious baby tomatoes I’ve ever savored. The sea bream ceviche ($24) was superb, an edible piece of colorful modern art with pieces of ripe orange, juicy grapefruit and tender avocado balanced with crunchy red onion and cancha corn.

Halfway through the mains, I noticed the timing of the evening. At times, when I order sharable dishes, they tend to all arrive at the same time, overflowing onto our table and pushing me to rush through them before they lose their heat. At Oceano, each dish was delivered with the perfect duration between courses. I also appreciated that our plates were changed before each course, and each dish arrived with serving spoons. It’s all about those details.

The rigatoni with lamb ragout ($39) and New Bedford scallops ($41) rounded out the dinner. The al dente pasta, with its melt-in-your-mouth meat and crunchy breadcrumbs, was equally as savory as the perfectly prepared scallops.

Sitting at the bar enabled us to interact with most of the small staff. Servers chatted with us as they poured their guests’ wine, each one friendlier than the next. And it made me jealous of those who live closer to Oceano, because if it were in my backyard, I would happily dine here every week.

126 • • • • April 2024 EAT & DRINK REVIEW
From left, charred Spanish octopus, wood-fired local swordfish and house-made ricotta agnolotti DUSTIN WRIGHT


Rino Aprea / Owner

Rino’s of Boca

39 S.E. First Avenue • Boca Raton, FL 33432  561-244-8282 •

From Italy with Love:

How a Restaurateur bridged Brooklyn and Boca with the Motherland

The “American Dream” is alive and well, and Rino Aprea is living it every day. Rino is the son of Italian immigrants Giovanni and Enza Aprea, who settled in Brooklyn, NY, in 1965.  Rino often accompanied his father to work (as a line cook) at Angelo’s of Mulberry Street, an iconic Little Italy restaurant. As luck would have it, Giovanni was offered an opportunity to buy Angelo’s—and the seeds of his son’s future were planted.

“As an immigrant, I taught myself to speak English,” explains Rino. In 1988, he became the second-generation restaurateur in his family when he opened Areo in Brooklyn.

“My parents taught me lessons in the kitchen, and the values and respect that shaped my life and future,” he adds. History is repeating itself as Rino’s son, Giovanni, is putting his time into Ponte Vecchio Restaurant in Brooklyn.

When AriZona Beverage Company founder John Ferolito (who had delivered beer and soda to Rino’s father at Angelo’s) and his business partner, Ron Cohen, decided to open a restaurant in Boca Raton, they asked Rino to join them. The area’s beautiful beaches and warm weather were too alluring for him to pass up. Rino’s of Boca, a wonderful new Italian restaurant with favorites like “Pasta in the Foil,” opened in 2023, and reflects Rino’s “winning personality, charm and cooking skills.”

Off-premise and in-house catering, and afternoon and evening parties and events are also offered. Visit Rino’s of Boca today.

Photography: Michael Connor Photography

388 Italian Restaurant By Mr. Sal

3360 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 561/794-3888

Irarely get dumbstruck when I visit a restaurant these days, but it happened when I entered 388 Italian Restaurant By Mr. Sal. It was a Sunday, so I imagined a quiet evening in a subdued, dimly lit restaurant. To my surprise, 388 (as those “in the know” call it) is more of a Miami clubstaurant (restaurant with nightclub energy) with beaming pink lights, lively music, all-white décor, bustling waiters schlepping hulky dishes, and a symphony of clinking glasses. As I looked around, allowing my senses to catch up, I was delighted to see the hordes of patrons in pure merriment, sharing in 388’s massive family-style dishes. Yes, it’s a scene—so be prepared—but everyone was happy and enjoying themselves, and that joyous feeling superseded the unexpected noise level and illumination. Come here for an Italian meal but stay for the party atmosphere. 388 is owned by a family of restaurateurs who also operate the 388 flagship in Roslyn on Long Island, among other establishments. Now, the younger generation is expanding the brand, but the family continues to honor the elders. Mr. Sal, with his white suit and salt-and-pepper coif, is lauded in a framed portrait by the front door.


PARKING: Valet, parking lot

HOURS: Mon. – Thurs., 5 –10 p.m.; Fri. – Sat., 5 – 11 p.m.; Sun., 5 – 9 p.m.

PRICES: $11 – $59

Most of the menu’s dishes come in half and whole portions. Half portions are hearty, but they enable your table to share more dishes, which I always welcome. We started with the Kobe beef meatball ($25). The massive sphere should have been an indication of how substantial the rest of the dishes were going to be. Bathed in to-

mato sauce and sporting an impressive dollop of ricotta cheese, it was tender, savory and exactly what I would want from a meatball. The pasta options are classic, like the alla vodka, marinara, baked ziti and spicy rigatoni ($30), which we ordered. It’s a timeless dish served with prosciutto and perfectly al dente.

Like the quintessential pastas, the chicken and veal entrees include beloved preparations like masala, Milanese and parmigiana. We ordered a chicken entrée, but the waiter insisted, as newcomers, that we try the Chicken Krak ($33) and even pledged to pay for it himself if we didn’t like it. With that offer and a name like that, we were intrigued. The towering mains arrived together, and I appreciated that our pleasant waiter offered to serve each of us instead of us having to balance plates and serving spoons. The thin, lightly breaded chicken cutlets were drenched in a marinara cherry pepper sauce with whole garlic cloves. Every enjoyable bite reminded me of a slightly spicy buffalo chicken dip.

As I finished the last of my pasta, I realized that patrons come here for that familial scene of camaraderie and nostalgic dishes. Throughout dinner, I kept glancing at the IG-worthy floral wall with its dazzling neon sign proclaiming,“So now you know.” Upon first being seated, I didn’t know what to think. I asked myself,“What do I now know?”Well, let me tell you: After experiencing 388—because that’s the best way to describe dinner here, an experience—I get it. Now I know. And once you dine here, you’ll get it, too.

128 • • • • April 2024
Clockwise from bottom: Kobe beef meatball, stuffed mushrooms, tartufo and shrimp Krak

Celebrate 21 years of fine wine and food

APRIL 4TH AND 5TH EVENING VINTNER DINNERS Rendezvous. Indulge. Experience.

Dinners in Private Residences • Champagne Reception Acclaimed Wine & Spirit Producers

Renowned Chefs • Multi-course Pairings


At the historic Addison | Sip. Savor. Learn.

Fine Wines • Spirits • Craft Beers

Local Chefs’ Culinary Creations

Educational Seminars • Wine & Lifestyle Silent Auction



Palm Beach County BOCA RATON

Abe & Louie’s —2200 Glades Road. Steakhouse. All Americans are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them the right to a thick, juicy, perfectly cooked steak. At this posh, comfortable (and expensive) meatery, the USDA Prime steaks are indeed thick, juicy and perfectly cooked, also massively flavorful and served in enormous portions. Don’t miss the New York sirloin or prime rib, paired in classic steakhouse fashion with buttery hash browns and ubercreamy creamed spinach. Chased with an ice-cold martini or glass of red wine from the truly impressive list, it’s happiness pursued and captured. • Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner nightly. Brunch on Sat. and Sun. 561/447-0024. $$$$

AlleyCat—297 E.Palmetto Park Road. Japanese. Chef Eric Baker’s Japanese izakaya, or a casual spot for drinks and bites, is serving up dishes like sushi, dumplings and fried rice that have an unexpected whimsical element. Here you’ll find king crab tacos and hot fried chicken alongside the hamachi ponzu and spicy scallop roll. And to deliver the freshest sushi in town, he has partnered with celebrated sushi chef David Bouhadana of Sushi by Bou. • Dinner Tues.-Sat. 561/353-5888. $$

Arturo’s Ristorante —6750 N. Federal Highway. Italian. Arturo’s quiet, comfortable dining room; slightly formal, rigorously professional service; and carefully crafted Italian dishes never go out of style. You’ll be tempted to make a meal of the array of delectable antipasti from the antipasti cart, but try to leave room for main courses like the veal shank served on a bed of risotto. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Dinner nightly. 561/997-7373. $$$

Burtons Grill & Bar —5580 N. Military Trail.

New American. Known for its reliable food as well as its non-gluten, Paleo and “B Choosy” kids menu, the first Florida location for this restaurant is deservedly crowded, so make reservations. Don’t miss the General Tso’s cauliflower, the pan-seared salmon (Paleo), the crab cakes or the Key lime pie. Popular half-portions are available, too. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/465-2036. $

The Capital Grille —6000 Glades Road. Steaks. This is one of more than three dozen restaurants in a national chain, but the Boca Grille treats you like a regular at your neighborhood restaurant. Steaks, dry-aged if not Prime, are flavorful and cooked with precision, while starters from the pan-fried calamari to the restaurant’s signature spin on the Cobb salad (lunch only) are nicely done too. Parmesan truffle fries are crispy sticks of potato heaven; chocolate-espresso cake a study in shameless, and luscious, decadence. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Dinner nightly. 561/368-1077. $$$

Casa D’Angelo —171 E. Palmetto Park Road. Italian. Chef Rickie Piper, who has mastered the menu and cuisine of this fine-dining staple for more than a decade, knows when to say when with both plating and ingredients. His dishes, including the sides and accompaniments, are visually appetizing and aromatic. A grilled veal chop easily 3 inches thick proved tender and juicy, and the wild mushrooms served alongside in a marsala added earthiness. • Dinner nightly. 561/996-1234. $$$


$: Under $17

$$: $18–$35

$$$: $36–$50

$$$$: $50 and up

Basilic Vietnamese Grill —200 S. Federal Highway. Vietnamese. This popular restaurant offers satisfying food and reasonable prices. Plus, there’s bubble tea. Opened in 2014, it has a wide range of Vietnamese favorites, such as cha gio tom heo, fried shrimp and pork Imperial rolls, all kinds of pho, noodle bowls, chicken curry and more. • Lunch and dinner six days a week; closed Tuesdays. 561/409-4964. $$

Bluefin Sushi and Thai—861 N.W. 51st St., Suite 1. Sushi/Thai. Arrive early for a table at this Asian hot spot—it’s popular with no reservations for parties fewer than six. Don’t skip the tempura lobster bomb, big in both size and taste. The ginger snapper will impress both Instagram and your stomach. Try the chicken satay and pad Thai. Bluefin offers a variety of dishes from multiple cultures, all well done. • Dinner daily. Lunch Mon.-Fri. 561/981-8986. $$

Casimir French Bistro—416 Via De Palmas, Suite 81. French. Take a trip overseas without leaving the city and enjoy excellently prepared traditional French dishes, such as duck l’orange or beef bourguignon, or go with Cajun chicken and veal Milanese. The comfortable dining room is a Parisian experience, as is the apple tarte tatin. This is a local favorite, and may we add they have what is as close to real French bread as anyplace in Boca? •

Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. 561/955-6001. $$$

Chez Marie French Bistro —5030 Champion Blvd. French. Marie will greet you at the door of this nicely decorated, intimate, classic French restaurant tucked in the corner of a strip shopping area. This feels like an intimate neighborhood bistro and is a welcome discovery. From escargot encased in garlic butter, parsley and breadcrumbs to a tender duck a l’orange to an unforgettable crepe Suzette, you’ll be in Paris all evening.

Voila! Also on the menu: pan-seared foie gras, tasty onion soup, coq au vin, rack of lamb, salads and more desserts. French food in an unassuming atmosphere.• Dinner Mon.-Sat. (closed on Mon. in summer) 561/997-0027. $$

Corvina Seafood Grill

Chops Lobster Bar —101 Plaza Real S., Royal Palm Place. Steak, seafood. There is nothing like a classic chophouse every now and then for a special dinner. At this upscale downtown restaurant, steaks are aged USDA Prime— tender, flavorful and perfectly cooked under a 1,700-degree broiler. There’s all manner of fish and shellfish, but you’re here for the lobster, whether giant Nova Scotian tails flash-fried and served with drawn butter or sizable Maine specimens stuffed with lobster. Let’s face it: Trendy menus come and go, but a great steakhouse is a win-win on all occasions. • Dinner nightly. 561/395-2675. $$$$

Corvina Seafood Grill —110 Plaza Real S, Boca Raton. Seafood. The seafood-centric menu incorporates South Florida’s varied Latin and Caribbean culinary influences into it. Peruvian and Honduran ceviches share the menu with Brazilian fish stew. You’ll also find plantain crusted corvina in a Creole curry sauce alongside Jamaican jerk chicken and island spiced pork ribs. With a focus on sourcing local ingredients, the menu spotlights several daily specials so look out for those. Then there’s the indoor/outdoor bar that invites you to come in and stay a while, especially during its daily happy hour. • Dinner & Sunday Brunch. 561/206-0066. $$

Cuban Café —3350 N.W. Boca Raton Blvd., Suite B-30. Cuban. One thing Boca needs more of is coffee windows—and real Cuban restaurants. Part of the charm of South Florida is its melting pot of Latin cultures, and Cuba is the granddaddy of them all. Which is undoubtedly why diners pack this traditional Cuban restaurant for lunch specials that start at $10.95, including slow-roasted pork served with white rice and black beans. Other highlights include the Cuban sandwich, the media noche and (on the dinner menu only) lechón asado. Full bar. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Dinner Mon.–Sat. 561/750-8860. $

Dorsia —5837 N. Federal Highway. Continental. The simple pleasures of the table—good food, personable service, comfortable ambience—are what this modestly stylish restaurant is all about. The menu has a strong Italian bent, evidenced by dishes like a trio of fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with an airy three-cheese mousse, and a cookbook-perfect rendition of veal scaloppine lavished with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and a tangy lemon-white wine sauce. • Dinner nightly. 561/961-4156. $$

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood —201 Plaza Real. Steak & Seafood. Eddie V’s is famous for its seafood and premium steaks, but this restaurant has also perfected the art of entertaining with nightly live music and a few tableside surprises. • Dinner nightly. 561/237-0067. $$$$

Farmer’s Table —1901 N. Military Trail. American. In the pantheon of healthy dining, Farmer’s Table is a standout in Boca, one of the first restaurants to elevate natural foods to fine dining. Fresh, natural, sustainable, organic and local is the mantra at this both tasty and health-conscious offering from Mitchell Robbins and Joey Giannuzzi. Menu highlights include flatbreads, slow-braised USDA Choice short rib and the popular Ramen Bowl, with veggies, ramen noodles and shrimp. • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 561/417-5836. $$

Gary Rack’s Farmhouse Kitchen —399

S.E. Mizner Blvd. American. Natural, seasonal, sustainable. You’ll enjoy the varied menu, and won’t believe it’s made without butters or creams. Try the too-good-to-be-true buffalo-style cauliflower appetizer, the seared salmon or buffalo burger, and have apple skillet for dessert. Healthy never tasted so good. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/826-2625. $$

Everyday Favorites

For an affordable bite at any time, consider these durable chains and homegrown Boca favorites— where the attire is understated and reservations are rarely necessary.

Biergarten—309 Via De Palmas, #90. German/Pub. Part vaguely German beer garden, part all-American sports bar, this rustic eatery offers menus that channel both, as well as an excellent selection of two-dozen beers on tap and the same number by the bottle. The food is basic and designed to go well with suds, like the giant pretzel with a trio of dipping sauces and the popular “Biergarten burger.” • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/395-7462. $$

Bonefish Grill—9598 Glades Road. Seafood. Market-fresh seafood is the cornerstone, like Chilean sea bass prepared over a wood-burning grill and served with sweet Rhea’s topping (crabmeat, sautéed spinach and a signature lime, tomato and garlic sauce.) • Dinner nightly. Lunch on Saturdays. Brunch on Sundays. 561/483-4949. (Other Palm Beach County locations: 1880 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, 561/732-1310; 9897 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, 561/9652663; 11658 U.S. Highway 1, North Palm Beach, 561/799-2965) $$

The Cheesecake Factory—5530 Glades Road. American. Oh, the choices! The chain has a Sunday brunch menu in addition to its main menu, which includes Chinese chicken salad and Cajun jambalaya. Don’t forget about the cheesecakes, from white chocolate and raspberry truffle offerings. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/393-0344. (Other Palm Beach County locations: CityPlace, West Palm Beach, 561/802-3838; Downtown at the Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens, 561/776-3711). $$

Nick’s New Haven-Style Pizzeria—2240 N.W. 19th St., Suite 904. Italian. Cross Naples (thin, blistered crust, judicious toppings) with Connecticut (fresh clams and no tomato sauce), and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the pies coming out of Nick Laudano’s custom-made ovens. The “white clam” pizza with garlic and bacon is killer-good; Caesar salad and tiramisu are much better than the usual pizzeria fare. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/3682900. $$

P.F. Chang’s—1400 Glades Road. Chinese. There may have been no revolution if Mao had simply eaten at the Boca outpost of P.F. Chang’s—the portions are large enough to feed the masses—and the exquisite tastes in each dish could soothe any tyrant. We particularly like the steamed fish of the day, as well as the Szechuan-style asparagus. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/393-3722. (Other Palm Beach County location: 3101 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, 561/691-1610) $$

The Sandwich Shop at Buccan—350 S. County Road, Palm Beach. Takeout stop. Like big sister Buccan Italian restaurant, the Sandwich Shop is full of flavor and builds your favorite sandwich with just a touch of delicious creativity you won’t find elsewhere. Owned by celeb chef Clay Conley and partners, the menu has hot or cold sandwiches, salads, sides and drinks (both alcoholic and non). Good-sized portions mean the Italian and prosciutto subs include leftovers if you have some willpower.• Lunch daily. 561/833-6295. $$

Shake Shack—1400 Glades Road. American. We’re not sure there is really any such thing as a bad burger joint and when you have a really good one—like Shake Shack— there’s a little piece of heaven just a short order away. Shake Shack in University Commons has great all-Angus burgers, non-GMO buns, and a frozen custard that makes grown men weep. Throw in some crinkle-cut fries and life is the way it should be. And the outdoor patio is a definite bonus in these times. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/932-0847. $

Tap 42 —5050 Town Center Circle, Suite 247. Gastropub. This hugely popular nouveau-Industrial gastropub is not for the faint of eardrums when packed, but don’t let that discourage you. The kitchen here executes the hell out of a short, simple all-day menu. Grilled salmon chopped salad with tomatillo ranch dressing is delightful, as is guacamole studded with fat chunks of bacon and charred corn. Same goes for decadent shrimp mac-n-cheese. The wicked-good chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel sauce would be the envy of any Big Easy eatery. • Lunch Mon.-Fri. Brunch Sat.-Sun. Dinner nightly. 561/235-5819. $

The French Gazebo —4199 N. Federal Highway. French. Formerly Kathy’s Gazebo, this space has been a staple in our community for 40 years, but its new owners updated the design while keeping the same French classics

on the menu like escargots, crêpes, dover sole and duckling. Its vintage character still reigns but now with an airier, contemporary undertone. Dinner Mon.-Sat. 561/395-6033. • $$$

April 2024 • • • • 131

Rise and Shine

Wake up to worldly breakfast options from our top chefs

We all grew up on cereal, eggs and maybe an occasional Pop-Tart or Eggo waffle. But what about the rest of the world? We chatted with local chefs to learn about their childhood breakfasts in their home countries.


Huy Hoàng, Executive Chef, Le Colonial Vietnamese eat a heavier breakfast that can include rice or noodles, and it’s mostly enjoyed before 8 a.m. Pho and Vietnamese hoagies are simply two of the many breakfast options, and noodles are served in various broths, from pork to fermented anchovies. Hoang says,“Every bite in the breeze in early morning Saigon gives people joy and enthusiasm. It’s indeed a luxury cuisine experience. Vietnam is a cuisine hotspot. The complexity of foods and everything the cuisine offers is wondrous.”

fast 99-percent of the time; 1 percent is for the sweet tooth!”


HOÀNG: “Fresh soymilk. My mom took me to the market every morning to shop for our restaurant, usually around 5:30 a.m. She always left me at the soymilk shop while waiting to place an order at the butcher shop next door. I drank soymilk every morning for at least 14 years.”


Nicolas Kurban, Owner, Amar Mediterranean Bistro

“Generally, breakfast is consumed on the go, stopping by the corner bakery and grabbing a hot, freshly baked za’atar manakish and eating on the way to school or work. This doesn’t mean that Lebanese don’t enjoy breakfast, but traditionally, it has not been considered a main meal to gather with the family.”

throughout the day but is especially satisfying during breakfast. The coffee is poured from a rakweh into cups the size of espresso cups and can be served with sugar.”


Chef Dieter Samijn, Executive Chef, Café Boulud

“In my home country, we have a tradition of going to a bakery in the mornings. Thus, most of our breakfast meals are heavy on bread and pastry. We eat breakfast together as a family when possible and take time to enjoy it.”


feast, named after the town where it originated, is fueled by large chunks of fried pork belly or pork shoulder. It is served on a large plate with fried sweet potatoes, a tamale, bread rolls, salsa criolla and a side of aji.


MONTES: “I am a savory person all day! Even though I do enjoy sweet items with black coffee, I don’t feel like I truly have had a substantial breakfast if it wasn’t a savory one.”


MONTES: “Fresh fruit is so abundant in Peru and South America, so we are spoiled with freshly squeezed or blended juice with no additives; it is so good and healthy for you. Maracuya is my fave!”


Chef Soontorn


HOANG: “Com Tam, or broken rice with grilled pork chop over charcoal, and sweet and sour fish sauce. And Hu Tieu XÍ QUÁCH, or egg or rice noodles with pork broth, shrimp, barbecue pork loin or shoulder or poached pork shoulder and fried pancetta confit.

Growing up in a restaurant business, I woke up to these foods, as my mother always prepared them for our restaurant. The first thing I could smell in the morning was the pork broth my mom cooked overnight and the smell of the barbecue pork chop over charcoal and beef short ribs.”


HOÀNG: “Savory break-


KURBAN: “Knafeh is a traditional Lebanese dessert made with shredded phyllo dough stuffed with cheese, topped with chopped pistachios, and generously drizzled with sugary syrup. It was a Sunday ritual. My father or mother would take us to the corner pastry shop, and we would have it on our way back from Sunday church.

But one can’t talk about Lebanese breakfasts without mentioning the iconic manakish. These simple, pizza-shaped flatbreads are baked and come with different choices or spreads, like the za’atar spread or melted Akkawi cheese.”


KURBAN: “Lebanese coffee, or kahweh, is one of the strongest coffees you can have. It is enjoyed

SAMIJN: “Pistolet, or a crunchy, crusty bun, much lighter than a baguette. Traditionally, we eat it with ham or a young Gouda cheese, but one can fill it with various meats, cheeses and condiments. It takes me back to my childhood—such great memories with family.”


SAMIJN: “As a kid, we had this powdered chocolate milk that I loved with ice-cold milk. These days, I like black coffee, but it has to be a good one!”


Chef Jorge Montes, Owner, Sazoned “Being

Peruvian has shaped my love for food and my culinary career as a chef. Like many South American meals, breakfast is ruled by meat, including Desayuno Lurín, what Peruvians call brunch. The Sunday

Promsa (or chef Tony), Lemongrass Hospitality

“While each region in Thailand enjoys breakfast differently, food here isn’t necessarily designated as solely breakfast food. Any food, including rice, noodles, soups and even desserts, can be savored for an early morning meal. It depends more on the person’s preferences.”


PROMSA: “Nostalgic breakfast foods that my mom would make before school include Kao Tom Kung, or steamed jasmine rice in a chicken broth with shrimp and topped with cilantro, scallions and fried garlic; and a Thai omelette with ground pork, mushroom soy sauce, scallions and fresh Thai chili oil, and served with steamed jasmine rice.”


PROMSA: “Hot soymilk my mom used to make.”

132 • • • • April 2024 EAT & DRINK DISCOVERIES

Fries to Caviar —6299 N. Federal Highway. Contemporary American. Going one better than soup to nuts defines this Boca restaurant, an easygoing, affordable bistro that really does offer fries, caviar and more. Four varieties of fish eggs are shown off nicely crowning a quartet of deviled eggs, while the thick-cut fries complement a massively flavorful, almost fork-tender hanger steak in the classic steak frites.Try the seasonal soups as well. • Dinner Tues.-Sun. 561/617-5965. $$

Gallaghers Steakhouse —2006 N.W. Executive Center Circle. Steakhouse. At this chophouse, the staff is laser-focused on service, the bar pours stiff drinks, and the kitchen dishes out perfectly cooked steaks—a pure embodiment of what you’d expect from a steakhouse. While Gallaghers proved itself a master of its craft, don’t overlook the other items on the menu, like the stuffed shrimp and veal chop. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/559-5800. $$$$

The Grille On Congress —5101 Congress Ave. American. Dishes at this longtime favorite range from tasty chicken entrees and main-plate salads to seafood options like Asian-glazed salmon or pan-seared yellowtail snapper. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Dinner Mon.–Sat. 561/912-9800. $$

Houston’s —1900 N.W. Executive Center Circle. Contemporary American. Convenient location, stylish ambience and impeccable service are hallmarks of this local outpost of the Hillstone restaurant chain. There are plenty of reasons why this is one of the most popular business lunch spots in all of Boca, including menu items like Cajun trout, the mammoth salad offerings and the tasty baby back ribs. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/998-0550. $$$

Il Mulino New York Boca Raton —451

E. Palmetto Park Road. Italian. From the four pre-menu bites to the after-dinner coffee from freshly ground beans, this is a white-tablecloth venue that delivers on its upscale promises. Try the langostino, the red snapper, the risotto, the pasta, or go for the ceviches, caviars and seafood tower. Save room for dessert and complimentary lemoncello. Make a night of it. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/338-8606. $$$

Josephine’s —5751 N. Federal Highway. Italian. Tradition trumps trendy, and comfort outweighs chic at this Boca favorite. The ambience is quiet and stately but not stuffy, and the menu is full of hearty dishes to soothe the savage appetite, like threecheese eggplant rollatini and chicken scarpariello. • Dinner nightly. 561/988-0668. $$

Kapow Noodle Bar —402 Plaza Real. Asian

Kapow delivers an effervescent ambiance that makes you want to relax and stay a while. Its varied menu has something for every craving, from crispy rice and tacos to rolls and even Peking duck. Up your dinner game by reserving a seat at the separate omakase bar serving chef-curated bites that aren’t on the regular menu. And if you’re looking for a memorable night out, book one of the three karaoke rooms.• Lunch and dinner daily. 561/567-8828. $

Ke’e Grill —17940 N. Military Trail, Suite 700. Traditional American. In this busy dining scene for more than 30 years, you will find a lot of seafood (fried calamari, blue crab cakes, yellowtail snapper Francaise and lots more), a few steak, chicken, lamb and pork options, and a quality house-made apple crisp. Your traditional choices are baked, fried, breaded, grilled, broiled, sauteed. With Provencal, Francaise, maple mustard glaze, toasted macadamia nut pesto and piccata twists. A consistent crowd for a consistent menu. • Dinner nightly. 561/995-5044. $$$

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Kousine Peruvian Asian —1668 N. Federal Highway. Peruvian/Asian. Chef and owner Danny Kou shares his Peruvian heritage with a curated menu of dishes that accurately represent his country’s famous ceviche while introducing patrons to unique dishes that are just as tempting. Kousine’s space is bright and modern, with exposed industrial ceilings complemented with warm woods and greenery. Lunch and dinner daily. 561/430-3337. $$

La Condesa —3320 Airport Road. Mexican. Mexico’s bold, colorful and lively culture is reflected in its cuisine, and it’s evident at La Condesa. This family-owned restaurant’s take on Mexican fare offers a sizable menu with a wide selection of popular drinks and dishes like margaritas, nachos, street tacos and burritos. You can also opt for less mainstream dishes like the mole cazuelitas, and you won’t be disappointed. Lunch and dinner daily. 561/931-4008. $

La Nouvelle Maison —55 E. Palmetto Park Road. French. A dining experience at a French restaurant is never just about satiating your hunger. It’s about the entire experience, and La Nouvelle Maison embraces that joie de vivre from the moment you step inside. Whether you delight in the garlic-infused escargots, steak tartare or beef Bourgogne, none of the classic French dishes disappoint here.• Dinner nightly. 561/338-3003. $$$$

La Villetta —4351 N. Federal Highway. Italian. This is a well-edited version of a traditional Italian menu, complete with homemade pastas and other classic dishes. Try the signature whole yellowtail snapper encrusted in sea salt; it’s de-boned right at tableside. Shrimp diavolo is perfectly scrumptious. • Dinner nightly. (closed Mon. during summer). 561/362-8403. $$$

Le Rivage —450 N.E. 20th St., Suite 103. French. Don’t overlook this small, unassuming bastion of traditional French cookery. That would be a mistake, because the dishes that virtually scream “creativity” can’t compare to the quiet pleasures served here—like cool, soothing vichyssoise, delicate fillet of sole with nutty brown butter sauce or perfectly executed crème brûlee. Good food presented without artifice at a fair price never goes out of fashion. • Dinner nightly. 561/620-0033. $$

areas. It’s known for familiar dish names with new tweaks: smoked fish-hummus dip, falafel fish fritters, crab guacamole, mussels in coconut curry broth, plus the paella on Sundays only. Don’t leave without the enormous slice of the Key lime pie, topped with meringue on a graham cracker crust. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/609-2660. $$

Maggiano’s —21090 St. Andrews Blvd. Italian. Do as the Italians do, and order family-style: Sit back and watch the endless amounts of gorgeous foods grace your table. In this manner, you receive two appetizers, a salad, two pastas, two entrées and two desserts. The menu also includes lighter takes on staples like chicken parm, fettuccine alfredo and chicken piccata. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/361-8244. $$

Mario’s Osteria —1400 Glades Road, Suite 210.

Italian. This popular spot features rustic Italian fare in a sleek environment. Signature dishes like the garlic rolls, lasagna and eggplant “pancakes” are on the new menu, as are butternut squash ravioli and thick, juicy rib-eye served “arrabiata” style. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/239-7000. $$

Matteo’s —233 S. Federal Highway, Suite 108. Italian. Hearty Italian and Italian-American food, served in giant “family style” portions, needs no reinventing. Though there is no shortage of local restaurants cooking in that genre, it’s the details of preparation and service that make Matteo’s stand out. Baked clams are a good place to start, as is the reliable chopped salad. Linguini frutti di mare is one of the best in town. • Dinner nightly. 561/392-0773. $$

Max’s Grille —404 Plaza Real. Contemporary American. After 24 years in Mizner Park, This modern American bistro is a true local classic. The food and decor are both timeless and up to date, and the ambience is that of a smooth-running big-city bistro. Service is personable and proficient. The menu is composed of dishes you really want to eat, from the applewood bacon-wrapped meatloaf to the wickedly indulgent crème brûlèe pie. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Brunch Sat–Sun. Dinner nightly. 561/368-0080. $$

Maine Event

Mondays are lobster night at Loch Bar, with $10 lobster rolls and other specials involving the delectable crustacean.

Loch Bar —346 Plaza Real. Seafood. This sister restaurant to Ouzo Bay includes fried oysters, moules frites and Maryland crab cakes. The bar offers literally hundreds of whiskeys, a noisy happy hour crowd and live music most nights. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/939-6600. $$

Los Olivos Bistro —5030 Champion Blvd. Argentine. The family-owned bistro’s menu honors familial Argentine roots with typical crave-worthy dishes like empanadas and plenty of red meat. Still, it also honors the cuisine’s Spanish and Italian influences with its standout paellas and housemade pasta. • Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. 561/756-8928. $

Louie Bossi’s —100 E. Palmetto Park Road. Italian. This jumping joint serves terrific Neapolitan pizza (thin crust), but don’t miss the other entrées. Start with a charcuterie/ cheese plate and grab the amazing breadsticks. All breads and pastas are made on the premises. Other faves include the carbonara and the calamari, and save room for house-made gelato. Unusual features: Try the bocce ball court included with the retro Italian décor. • Lunch and dinner daily, weekend brunch. 561/336-6699. $$$

Luff’s Fish House —390 E. Palmetto Park Road. Seafood. A renovated 1920s bungalow houses this shipshape restaurant, in addition to two large, outdoor deck and patio

Meat Market — 2000 NW 19th St. Steakhouse . Meat Market has infused Midtown Boca Raton with glamour. Its posh interiors and high energy complement its diverse menu that revolves around steak but is also sprinkled with daily specials and sushi that shouldn’t be overlooked. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/245-6777. $$$$

Medi Terra —301 Via de Palmas #99. Mediterranean. Embracing western Mediterranean cuisine, the menu is seasonal and revolves around what the owners can freshly source, so make sure to wait for the specials before making any final decisions. The father-son duo bought Ristorante Sapori in Royal Palm Place and redesigned it to reflect their passion for Mediterranean cuisine. Lunch and Dinner Mon.-Sat. 561/367-9779. $$

Morton’s The Steakhouse —5050 Town Center Circle, Suite 219. Steakhouse. There’s seemingly no end to diners’ love of huge slabs of high-quality aged beef, nor to the carnivores who pack the clubby-swanky dining room of this meatery. While the star of the beef show is the giant bone-in filet mignon, seasonally featured is the American Wagyu New York strip. Finish off your meal with one of the decadent desserts.• Dinner nightly. 561/392-7724. $$$$

New York Prime —2350 N.W. Executive Center Drive. Steakhouse. This wildly popular Boca meatery Monday, Monday packs them in with swift, professional service, classy supper club ambience and an extensive wine list. And, of course, the

134 • • • • April 2024
Funghi misti pizza from Louie Bossi’s AARON BRISTOL
6750 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton 561-997-7373 www . arturosrestaurant . com Celebrating our 41st year serving Authentic Italian Cuisine

Slow-roasted rack of lamb from Six Tables a Restaurant

Go For a Wok

Popular wok-cooked dishes at Boon’s Asian Bistro feature basil sauce, cashew nuts or hot sweet red chili sauce.

beef—all USDA Prime, cooked to tender and juicy lusciousness over ferocious heat. The bone-in rib-eye is especially succulent, but don’t neglect the New York strip or steak-house classics like oysters Rockefeller, garlicky spinach and crusty hash browns. • Dinner nightly. 561/998-3881. $$$$

Patio Tapas & Beer —205 S.E. First Ave. Spanish. Be transported to the Iberian Peninsula with a variety of tapas. Chef Bryant Fajardo, who trained under celebrated chef José Andrés, specializes in one of Spain’s most traditional and iconic cuisines and delivers both classic selections like Manchego cheese and anchovies alongside premium nibbles like seared duck and foie gras. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/419-7239. $

Prezzo —5560 N. Military Trail. Italian. A reincarnation of a popular 1990s Boca venue, this version has updated the dining room, kept the yummy oven-baked focaccia bread slices, and added a 21st-century taste to the menu. Don’t miss the tender bone-in pork chop, thin-crust pizza and seafood specials. Vegetarian and gluten-free choices are on the menu, too. • Lunch Mon.-Fri. Dinner nightly. 561/314-6840. $$

Rafina —6877 S.W. 18th St. Greek. If you find the ambience of most Greek restaurants to be like a frat party with flaming cheese and ouzo, this contemporary, casually elegant spot will be welcome relief. Food and decor favor refinement over rusticity, even in such hearty and ubiquitous dishes as pastitsio and spanakopita. Standout dishes include the moussaka, the creamy and mildly citrusy avgolemono soup and the precisely grilled, simply adorned (with olive oil, lemon and capers) branzino. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/409-3673. $$

Red Pine Restaurant & Lounge —1 Town Center Road. Chinese. The menu is designed to be enjoyed family-style, with substantial portions of classic dishes like housemade vegetable eggrolls, fried rice and General Tso’s chicken, to name a few. The space is bright and lively, with floor-to-ceiling windows, an expansive bar, and several dining spaces accentuated with crimson banquettes. • Dinner Tues-Sun. 561/826-7595. $$

Ruth’s Chris—225 N.E. Mizner Blvd., Suite 100. Steakhouse. Not only does this steakhouse favorite emphasize its New Orleans roots, it also distinguishes itself from its competitors by just serving better food. The signature chopped salad has a list of ingredients as long as a hose but they all work together. And how can you not like a salad topped with crispy fried onion strings? Steaks are USDA Prime and immensely flavorful, like a perfectly seared New York strip. The white chocolate bread pudding is simply wicked. • Dinner nightly. 561/392-6746. (Other Palm Beach County locations: 651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561/514-3544; 661 U.S. Highway 1, North Palm Beach, 561/863-0660.) $$$$

Seasons 52 —2300 Executive Center Drive. Contemporary American. The food—seasonal ingredients, simply and healthfully prepared, accompanied by interesting wines—is firstrate, from salmon roasted on a cedar plank to desserts served in oversized shot glasses. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/998-9952. (Other Palm Beach County location: 11611 Ellison Wilson Road, Palm Beach Gardens, 561/625-5852.) $$

SeaSpray Inlet Grill —999 E. Camino Real. American. Unobstructed views of Lake Boca Raton, soaring palm trees and coastal décor peppered with fringed umbrellas all set the mood for a relaxing experience that will make you feel as if you’re on vacation. The menu accommodates different dietary preferences with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Don’t sleep on the pear tortellini pasta starter; it’s a star item. Portions are hearty and can be easily shared. • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 561/226-3022. $$

Six Tables a Restaurant—112 N.E. Second St., Boca Raton. American. The dimly lit chandeliers, burgundy velvet curtains and smooth Sinatra lyrics set the mood for a memorable evening that’s dedicated to fine dining without pretention. With a seasonal menu that’s ever changing, you can rest assured that whatever husband and wife chef-proprietors Tom and Jenny Finn prepare for you, it will truly be special and made with love. • Dinner Thurs.-Sat. 561/347-6260. $$$$

Taverna Kyma —6298 N. Federal Highway. Greek/ Mediterranean. Hankering for a traditional Greek meal, and a menu that offers just about everything? This is where you want to try the meze plates (cold, hot, seafood, veggie), saganaki, grilled entrees and kebobs. From the taramosalata to the branzino and pastitsio, servings are generous and good. Don’t forget dessert. • Lunch Mon.-Fri. Dinner nightly. 561/994-2828. $$

Trattoria Romana —499 E. Palmetto Park Road.

Italian. This local mainstay does Italian classics and its own lengthy list of ambitious specials with unusual skill and aplomb. The service is at a level not always seen in local restaurants. Pay attention to the daily specials, especially if they include impeccably done langostini oreganata and the restaurant’s signature jumbo shrimp saltimbocca. • Dinner nightly. 561/393-6715. $$$

Twenty Twenty Grille —141 Via Naranjas, Suite 45. Contemporary American. You’ve probably licked postage stamps that are larger than Ron and Rhonda Weisheit’s tiny jewel box of a restaurant, but what it lacks in space it more than makes up for in charm, sophistication and imaginative, expertly crafted food. Virtually everything is made in-house, from the trio of breads that first grace your table to the pasta in a suave dish of tagliatelle with duck and chicken confit. Don’t miss the jerk pork belly and grilled veal strip loin. • Dinner nightly. 561/990-7969. $$$

Villagio Italian Eatery —344 Plaza Real. Italian

The classic Italian comfort food at this Mizner Park establishment is served with flair and great attention to detail. The reasonably priced menu—with generous portions—includes all your favorites (veal Parmesan, Caesar salad) and some outstanding seafood dishes (Maine lobster with shrimp, mussels and clams on linguine). There is a full wine list and ample people-watching given the prime outdoor seating. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/447-2257. $$

Vino —114 N.E. Second St. Wine Bar/Italian. An impressive wine list of some 250 plus bottles (all available by the glass) offers a multitude of choices, especially among Italian and California reds. The menu of “Italian tapas” includes roasted red peppers with Provolone, as well as ricotta gnocchi with San Marzano tomatoes. • Dinner Tues.–Sat. 561/869-0030. $$

Yakitori —271 S.E. Mizner Blvd. Asian. This Japanese restaurant that has sat for nearly a decade in Royal Palm Place is still welcoming devoted diners and delivering consistent, premium dishes. Sip on one of its refreshing cocktails like the lychee martini or green tea mojito before perusing the vast menu that offers everything from sushi and sashimi to fried rice, ramen and entrées from the robata grill. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/544-0087. $$


Boon’s Asian Bistro —19605 N. State Road 7. Japanese/Thai. This is one of two Boon’s (the other is in Delray Beach), and it’s where the rush to eat excellent sushi started. The fast-moving staff is choreographed to deliver dishes such as shrimp pad Thai that’s light, delicate and happily filled with shrimp. The Thai fried rice is unusually delicate too, with lots of egg, and is some of the best around. The sushi rolls are as fresh and inventive (try the

136 • • • • April 2024
39 SE 1st Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33432 Live Music Daily Open Mon-Sun 4pm to 10pm Chef Rino Aprea Brings Brooklyn’s Fine Italian Fare to Boca Raton From Angelo’s of Mulberry Street and Ponte Vecchio in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Rino’s brings fine Italian fare and a lively atmosphere to downtown Boca Raton. Specializing in Bachelorette Parties • Private Room Available Prix Fixe or Ala Carte Menu • Special Occasion Parties Day & Night Off-Premise Catering • Afternoon Entertainment CALL FOR RESERVATIONS 561-244-8282 Authentic Italian Cuisine

Grape Expectations

Enjoy spring with white wines that are off the usual menus

Spring awakens our sense of renewal and transformation. So why not infuse a crisp freshness into your white wine selections this season? Wine specialist and Wine Talks Miami founder Sarah Phillips McCartan is sharing her favorite off-the-beaten-path white wines so you can embrace spring with some new, bright selections. And for those who can’t think about ever giving up their Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio sips, don’t worry: She has some top-notch alter natives just for you.


EXAMPLE: Corta Y Raspa Mahina Palomino is widely planted in Spain but is mainly used for making sherry. Today, more dry table wines are being made from the grape. They borrow some of sherry’s winemaking techniques, making them tangy, nutty and delicious.

PAIRING: Perfect with Manchego cheese before or after dinner.


EXAMPLE: Fosil by Zuccardi

This delicious, fresh, chalky white wine is Argentina’s answer to Chablis, with just a little more fruit flavor. Enjoy this with friends who think they don’t like Chardonnay— and change their minds! It’s not at all buttery.

PAIRING: Crisp, fresh salads.




Reyneke Vinehugger Chenin Blanc

South Africa is a source of many delicious red and white wines, and Johan Reyneke is one of my favorite winemakers. This refreshing dry white has bags of quince, ripe red apple, yellow peach and beeswax. This is an excellent alternative to Chardonnay.

PAIRING: Its vibrant fruit profile pairs well with savory pastry dishes.

ASSYRTIKO FROM SANTORINI, GREECE EXAMPLE: Estate Argyros Assyrtiko Santorini Assyrtiko has it all: alluringly complex aromas, silky rounded texture and zippy freshness. It’s best enjoyed at a dinner party with friends, especially wine lovers who will be impressed by your hidden gem choice.

PAIRING: It goes without saying, but enjoy this with any of your favorite Greek dishes.



EXAMPLE: Benanti Etna Bianco Etna is one of the most impressive wine regions that I’ve visited. When you walk around, it feels alive— perhaps because it is on an active volcano! The wines are lively and energetic, too, especially the zesty whites.

PAIRING: Complete the Sicilian experience by pairing it with arancini.


EXAMPLE: Domane Wachau’s Ried Achleiten Riesling is not all sweet. In fact, Riesling from Austria rarely has any sweetness. This is a country of primarily dry white wines. What the best examples do have is grandeur: rich, waxy textures and intense flavors. Brace yourself.

PAIRING: Cooking dinner that should be paired with a bold red, but you’d prefer a white? Go with this wine.


EXAMPLE: Domaine Font Mars Picpoul de Pinet Picpoul, a native grape in southern France, is your Pinot Grigio alternative. It’s wildly popular in English pub gardens but flies under the radar here in Florida. It’s crisp, fresh, dry, rarely over $20 and highly drinkable.

PAIRING: This is a super easy drinker—one for sipping on its own on a boat or with snacks by the pool.

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Sarah Phillips McCartan

Daimyo roll) as they are beautifully presented. Go early or call for a reservation. • Lunch Mon.-Fri. Dinner nightly. 561/883-0202. $$

Chloe’s Bistro —6885 S.W. 18th St. Italian. One of the few venues that’s on the water, with food to match the view. Try the seafood linguine, the large snapper filets in Marechiara sauce, and the desserts to end on a sweet note. House-made pasta and a good wine list ensure a pleasant, satisfying meal. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/334-2088. $$

City Fish Market—7940 Glades Road. Seafood. A multimillion-dollar remodel of the old Pete’s has turned it into an elegant seafood house with a lengthy seafood-friendly wine list, impeccably fresh fish and shellfish cooked with care and little artifice. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Dinner nightly. 561/487-1600. $$

Ditmas Kitchen —21077 Powerline Road. Contemporary kosher. This west Boca restaurant is named after a Brooklyn avenue in a district known for its food. Here you’ll find very good casual food, and no dairy products are used. Try the Hibachi salmon, all-kale Caesar salad, the shnitzel sandwich. • Dinner Sun.-Thurs. 561/826-8875. $$$

DVASH —8208 Glades Road. Mediterranean. The menu, a collection of Mediterranean fusion dishes with a variety of daily specials, caters to an array of diets, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. The Cohen family, who previously owned Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar in Coral Springs for more than a decade, now welcomes diners to this West Boca restaurant that’s tucked away in the Publix Greenwise strip mall. • Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun. 561/826-7784. $$

Oli’s Fashion Cuisine —6897 S.W. 18th St. Modern American. With the unusual name comes a menu sporting lobster risotto to tuna tacos, grilled mahi and more. There are Italian, vegetarian, steak, flatbreads, salads and desserts, all pleasing to the eye and palate. Inside is a bit noisy, so try the outdoor, lakeside patio for a quieter meal. • Lunch and dinner daily, breakfast weekends. 561/571-6920. $$

Oliv Pit Athenian Grille —6006 S.W. 18th St. Modern Greek. The owners’ goal of bringing together the best of Greek cooking under one roof, much like the melting pot that is Athens, is covered here in an extensive menu. The best way to enjoy the food is to share it: the Pikilia trio with tzatziki, spicy feta and eggplant spread is a starting place. Try the mix grill platter and the hearty red Greek wine. End the night with a unique, velvety frappe cappuccino. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/409-2049. $$

Skyfin Asian Bistro —8221 Glades Road. Asian. After nearly a decade of dishing out elevated Beijing cuisine at MR CHOW inside the posh W South Beach, chef Aden Lee left his sous chef position to venture out on his own. Here, you’ll find both playfully named sushi rolls and fresh sashimi alongside protein-rich house specials, fried rice and noodles. Don’t miss the Toro Roll and Tangerine Peel Beef. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/556-1688. $$

Villa Rosano—9858 Clint Moore Road. Italian. You can be forgiven for imagining yourself in some rustic Italian hill town as the smells of garlic and tomato sauce waft through the air. Start by sopping up the house olive oil with slices of crusty bread, then move on to a stellar version of clams Guazzetto and delicate fillets of sole done a la Francese. • Lunch Mon.-Sat. Dinner nightly. 561/470-0112. $$


Driftwood —2005 S. Federal Highway. Modern American. Take food combos that sound unusual (popcorn sauce, avocado chocolate ice cream) but that taste wonderful

and you’ve got Chef Jimmy Everett’s ideas on the table. They don’t last long, because they taste terrific. Try the smoked swordfish, the lobster with pickled okra, ricotta dumplings, the burger with gouda, the grilled octopus and pastrami’d chicken breast with roasted cabbage. • Brunch Sun. Dinner Tues.-Sun. 561/733-4782. $$

Josie’s Italian Ristorante—1602 S. Federal Highway. Italian. Famed chef and South Florida culinary godfather Mark Militello is back at Josie’s after a brief stint at Boca’s Prezzo, and his magic in the kitchen of this cozy, old-school Italian restaurant is duly noted. His influence is evident in the daily specials, but old favorites like beefy short rib meatballs, an upmarket version of the classic San Francisco cioppino, and Josie’s signature veal Bersaglieri (veal medallions with artichokes, olives and roasted peppers in lemon-white wine sauce) don’t fail to satisfy either. • Lunch Mon.-Sat. Dinner nightly. 561/364-9601. $$

Prime Catch —700 E. Woolbright Road. Seafood Waterfront restaurants are few and far between in our neck of the woods, and those with good food are even more rare. Prime Catch, at the foot of the Woolbright bridge on the Intracoastal, is a best-kept secret. The simple pleasures here soar—a perfectly grilled piece of mahi or bouillabaisse overflowing with tender fish. Don’t miss one of the best Key lime pies around. • Lunch and dinner daily, Sunday brunch. 561/737-8822. $$

Sushi Simon 1628 S. Federal Highway. Japanese

It’s been called “Nobu North” by some aficionados, and for good reason. Local sushi-philes jam the narrow dining room for such impeccable nigirizushi as hamachi and uni (Thursdays), as well as more elaborate dishes like snapper Morimoto and tuna tartare. Creative, elaborate rolls are a specialty. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/731-1819. $$


50 Ocean—50 S. Ocean Blvd. Seafood. The former Upper Deck at Boston’s on the Beach is now the more upscale, seafood-oriented spot. The menu ranges from familiar to slightly more inventive, from a classic lobster bisque and crisp-tender fried clam bellies to rock shrimp pot pie and baked grouper topped with blue crab. The cinnamon-dusted beignets are puffs of amazingly delicate deep-fried air and should not under any circumstances be missed. • Lunch Mon.-Sat. Dinner nightly. Brunch Sun. 561/278-3364. $$

800 Palm Trail Grill—800 Palm Trail. American. This contemporary space is serving up American fare and classic cocktails. The menu has a steak-and-seafood-house feel to it but without any stuffiness. Instead, you’ll find dishes that entice the palate, like the loaded baked potato eggrolls and Wagyu boneless short rib. • Lunch and dinner daily, with patio dining. 561/865-5235. $$$

Akira Back —233 NE Second Ave. Japanese Chef Akira Back’s Seoul restaurant earned a Michelin star a few years ago and now he’s showcasing his talented take on Japanese cuisine at his namesake restaurant inside The Ray hotel. Born in Korea and raised in Colorado, Back blends his heritage with Japanese flavors and techniques he has mastered to deliver dishes that are unique to him. With plates made to be shared, the menu is divided into cold and hot starters followed by rolls, nigiri/sashimi, robata grill, mains and fried rice. Dinner. 561/739-1708. $$$$

Amar Mediterranean Bistro —522 E. Atlantic Ave. Lebanese. From the moment you step inside, there’s a familial feeling, a hidden gem that everyone is drawn to. Amar is a quaint bistro amidst the buzzy Atlantic Avenue that serves Lebanese food. But this isn’t your typical hummus and pita joint.

Buzz Bite I

Celebrity Chefs for Canines

Chefs, mixologists and dog lovers unite on Saturday, April 6, to raise funds for the Big Dog Ranch Rescue, the local dog rescue and rehab nonprofit. The Opal Grand Resort & Spa in Delray will host the food and wine experience, featuring a delectable assortment of sips and bites curated by philanthropic chefs, winemakers and mixologists. Guests can also enjoy plenty of dancing and exciting auctions to cap off the evening. The event runs from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Which celebrity chefs will be in attendance this year? You’ll have to buy your tickets to find out. Admission starts at $400 per person. Visit for more information.

Here, the proprietor’s family recipes take center stage alongside Mediterranean favorites that have been elevated with slight tweaks. • Dinner nightly. 561/865-5653. $$

Angelo Elia Pizza • Bar • Tapas — 16950 Jog Road. Italian. Nothing on the menu of Angelo Elia’s modern, small plates-oriented osteria disappoints, but particularly notable are the meaty fried baby artichokes stuffed with breadcrumbs and speck, delicate chicken-turkey meatballs in Parmesan-enhanced broth, and Cremona pizza with a sweetsalty-earthy-pungent mélange of pears, pancetta, Gorgonzola, sun-dried figs and mozzarella. • Lunch Tues.-Sun. Dinner nightly. 561/381-0037. $

Atlantic Grille—1000 E. Atlantic Ave. Seafood/Contemporary American. This posh restaurant in the luxurious Seagate Hotel & Spa is home to a 450-gallon aquarium of tranquil moon jellyfish and a 2,500-gallon shark tank. Savor inventive cuisine that takes the contemporary to the extraordinary. Bold flavors, inspired techniques and the freshest ingredients make every meal a culinary adventure. • Lunch and dinner daily. Brunch Sat.–Sun. 561/665-4900. $$

Avalon Steak and Seafood—110 E. Atlantic Ave. Seafood/Steakhouse. The enticing reasons we all go to a steakhouse are present here—boozy cocktails, a diverse wine list, dry aged steaks, prime cuts, rich accompaniments, decadent sides and more. The menu is then enhanced with a selection of seafood like a raw bar medley of oysters, shrimp and crab alongside the customary octopus, fish, scallops and lobster. Don’t miss Avalon’s signature dish, the Angry Lobster. • Dinner nightly. 561/593-2500. $$$$

Bamboo Fire Cafe —149 N.E. Fourth Ave. Caribbean. The Jacobs family joyously shares its Latin and Caribbean culture through food that’s bursting with bright island aromas and flavors. Tostones, plantain fries and jerk meatballs share the menu with curry pork, oxtail and conch. A quintessential Delray gem. • Dinner Wed.-Sun. 561/749-0973. $

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Beets and burrata from Costa By OK&M

Bar 25 Gastropub —25 S.E. Sixth Ave., Delray Beach. American. Taking inspiration from the Northeast, the menu boasts staples like Philly cheesesteak, Rhode Island clams, pierogis, Old Bay fries and plenty of mootz (aka mozzarella). Loyal to its gastropub DNA, dishes here aren’t complicated or complex but satisfying, interesting takes on the familiar without being boring. • Lunch and dinner daily, weekend brunch. 561/359-2643. $

Beg for More Izakaya —19 S.E. Fifth Ave. Japanese Small Plates. The large sake, whisky and beer menu here pairs beautifully with the small plates full of everything except sushi. No sushi. And that’s fine. Try the takoyaki (octopus balls), the crispy salmon tacos and anything with the addictive kimchi, such as the kimchi fried rice. There are pasta, teriyaki and simmered duck with bok choy dishes—or 16 varieties of yakitori (food on skewers). You’ll be back to beg for more. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/563-8849. $$

Brulé Bistro —200 N.E. Second Ave. Contemporary American. The regular menu of this Pineapple Grove favorite always has satisfying dishes. Its specialties include crab tortellini with black truffles, chicken meatballs with coconut broth and cashews, plus signature dessert pistachio crème brùlée. Spirits and house cocktails steeped in speakeast style are paired with an ever-changing menu. Outside tables offer the best option for conversation. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/274-2046. $$

Burt & Max’s —9089 W. Atlantic Ave. Contemporary American. This bastion of contemporary comfort food in west Delray is approaching local landmark status, forging its own menu while borrowing a few dishes from Max’s Grille, like the hearty chopped salad and bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Other dishes are variations on the comfort food theme, including a stellar truffle-scented wild mushroom pizza. • Dinner nightly. Sunday brunch. 561/638-6380. $$

Cabana El Rey —105 E. Atlantic Ave. Cuban tropical. Little Havana is alive and well in Delray. The menu is a palette-pleasing travelogue, including starters like mariquitas (fried banana chips) and main courses such as seafood paella (think mussels, shrimp, clams, conch, scallops and octopus). • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/274-9090. $$

Caffe Luna Rosa—34 S. Ocean Blvd. Italian. This multiple Delray Beach-award winning restaurant has sparkling service, comfort food taken to a higher level, and a setting just steps from the Atlantic. A success from day one, they dish up big flavors in a tiny space, so call for reservations. Try the calamari fritto misto, then the rigatoni pomodoro and leave room for dessert. Or come back for breakfast. • Open daily from breakfast through dinner. 561/274-9404. $$

The extensive menu caters to any palate, dietary restriction or craving and features both traditional and creative dishes. Soups and salads lead into sushi selections and appetizers divided into cool and hot. Cooked and raw rolls are followed by rice, noodle, land and sea entrée options. • Dinner Mon.-Sat. Sunday brunch. 561/908-2557. $$

Costa By OK&M—502 E. Atlantic Ave. Contemporary American. Costa takes chef/owner Coton Stine’s dedication to farmto-table fare to an elevated level with its seasonal menu. Working closely with local farms and vendors, Stine curates deliciously healthy dishes that tempt your palate while fueling your body. For those with dietary restrictions, the dishes are clearly labeled gluten-free or vegan, which adds a sense of ease to the experience. The corner space is comfortable and embraces natural elements with its wicker chairs, lanterns, greenery and expansive sliding doors. • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 561/501-6115. • $$

Cut 432 —432 E. Atlantic Ave. Steakhouse. Hipper decor, a more casual vibe and an inventive take on steak-house favorites make this sleek restaurant just different enough to be interesting. Starters such as ceviche (prepared Peruvian style) and ultrarich oysters Rockefeller are first-rate, while the wetaged beef is appropriately tender and tasty. • Dinner nightly. 561/272-9898. $$$

Dada—52 N. Swinton Ave. Contemporary American. The same provocative, whimsical creativity that spawned Dada the art movement infuses Dada the restaurant, giving it a quirky charm all its own. The comfort food with a moustache menu has its quirky charms, too, like shake-n-bake pork chops with sweet-savory butterscotch onions, and a brownie-vanilla ice cream sundae with strips of five-spice powdered bacon. The wittily decorated 1920s-vintage house-turned-restaurant is, as they say, a trip. • Dinner nightly. 561/330-3232. $$

Deck 84 —840 E. Atlantic Ave. Contemporary American. Burt Rapoport’s ode to laid-back tropical dining is like a day at the beach without getting sand between your toes. Though the restaurant is casual, the kitchen takes its food seriously, whether the stellar flatbreads, the thick and juicy 10-ounce special blend burger or homey seasonal cobbler. And the waterfront location just seems to make everything taste better. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Brunch Sat.–Sun. Dinner nightly. 561/665-8484. $

Anchors Aweigh

Sit amongst the sea at the nautically inspired Drift, whose five distinct social and dining spaces are inspired by the salt life.

Casa L’Acqua Ristorante Italiano —9 S.E. Seventh Ave. Italian. Casa L’Acqua is touted as a fine-dining establishment, and correctly so; diners can expect white tablecloths, tuxedoed staff and attentive service. The wine list is Italian-focused but does offer a variety of bottles from around the world, and each dish is expertly prepared with sizable portions. The main dining room, with its vibey bar and wine cellar, is cozy, and so is its fully enclosed patio in the back. • Dinner nightly. 561/563-7492. $$

City Oyster —213 E. Atlantic Ave. Seafood. This stylish mainstay of Big Time Restaurant Group serves up reasonably priced seafood that never disappoints, such as shrimp and grits with a jumbo crab cake. This is the place to see and be seen in Delray, and the food lives up to its profile. • Lunch Mon.–Sun. Dinner nightly. Outdoor dining. 561/272-0220. $$

Coco Sushi Lounge & Bar —25 N.E. Second Ave. Asian. Local hospitality veterans Tina Wang and chef Jason Zheng continue to grow their restaurant empire with this concept.

Drift —10 N. Ocean Blvd. American . Inside the Opal Grand Resort & Spa, the restaurant’s coastal décor is polished with warm woods, textured stone walls, rope detailing and living walls. The bar is spacious, and several nooks overlook the ocean and the buzzy Atlantic Avenue. The all-day menu covers all the bases. You’ll find easy dishes to snack on after the beach, or if you’re craving an extended Happy Hour experience, enjoy the cheese board, hummus, baked oysters and poke alongside casual burgers, flatbreads and salads. The entrées offer something for everyone, including chicken, steak, lamb and fish. Lunch and dinner daily. 561/274-3289. $$

Eathai —1832 S. Federal Highway. Thai. If you’re craving approachable and affordable Thai food, put Eathai at the top of your list. While you can expect to find curries, noodles, soups and fried rice on the menu, the dishes here aren’t the typical ones you’ll find around town. Indulge in the Thai Chicken French Toasted or Crispy Duck Breast with Lychee Curry Sauce or Oxtail Basil Fried Rice to savor the true talent of owner and chef Sopanut Sopochana. • Lunch and dinner daily, except Tuesday. 561/270-3156. $

El Camino —15 N.E. Second Ave. Mexican. This sexy, bustling downtown spot is from the trio behind nearby Cut 432

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and Park Tavern. Fresh, quality ingredients go into everything from the tangy tomatillo salsas to the world-class fish tacos clad in delicate fried skin, set off by tart pineapple salsa. Cinnamon and sugar-dusted churros are the perfect dessert. And check out the margaritas, especially the smoky blend of mezcal and blanco tequila. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/865-5350. $$

Elisabetta’s —32 E. Atlantic Ave. Italian. An ornate Italian spot, with classically prepared dishes including spiedini shrimp, burrata de prosciutto bruschetta, costoletta di vitello (veal), a guanciale pizza, cacio e pepe pasta, malfadine Amatriciana and gemelli puttanesca. Portions are large and that, thankfully, goes for the homemade gelati, too. The best seating outdoors is the second-floor balcony overlooking Atlantic Avenue. • Lunch and dinner daily; weekend brunch. 561/650-6699. $$

The Grove —187 N.E. Second Ave. Contemporary American. The Grove, which has been tucked inside the tranquil Pineapple Grove district for nearly a decade, continues to surprise diners with its vibrant dishes. The upscale but casually comfortable nook has an international wine list that spans the globe and a seasonal menu that’s succinct and well thought out. • Dinner Tues.-Sat. 561/266-3750. $$

The Hampton Social —40 N.E. Seventh Ave. American. The Hampton Social is known for its “rosé all day” tagline, but it doesn’t just slay its rosé; its food is equally as tempting. It does a standout job of incorporating its casual coastal aesthetic into not just its décor but also its menu, from its seafood-centric dishes to its droll cocktail names like the vodka-forward I Like It a Yacht. • Lunch and dinner daily, weekend brunch. 561/404-1155. $$

Henry’s —16850 Jog Road. American. This casual, unpretentious restaurant in the west part of town never fails to delight diners. Expect attentive service and crisp execution of everything—from meat loaf, burgers and fried chicken to flatbreads and hefty composed salads. • Lunch Mon.–Sat. Dinner nightly. 561/638-1949. $$

Il Girasole —2275 S. Federal Highway. Northern Italian. If you want Northern Italian in a low-key atmosphere, and nobody rushing you out the door, this is your spot. Start with something from the very good wine list. Try the yellowtail snapper, the penne Caprese and the capellini Gamberi, and leave room for the desserts. Reservations recommended. • Dinner Tues.–Sun. 561/272-3566. $$

La Cigale —253 S.E. Fifth Ave. Mediterranean. Popular venue since 2001, with Greek and Italian dishes and more. Highlights are seafood paella, roasted half duck and grilled jumbo artichoke appetizer. Lots of favorites on the menu: calf’s liver, veal osso buco, branzino, seafood crepes. Nice outdoor seating if weather permits. • Dinner Mon.–Sat. 561/265-0600. $$

Latitudes —2809 S. Ocean Blvd. Modern American. You should come for both the sunset and the food. This oceanfront restaurant is a gem tucked inside the Delray Sands resort. From the airy, bubbly interior to the raw bar, the décor is soothing and fun. Try the lobster and crab stuffed shrimp, the miso-glazed Skuna Bay salmon, the branzino or the veal Bolognese. • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 561/278-6241. $$$

Le Colonial 601 E. Atlantic Ave. Vietnamese French. Le Colonial radiates classic elegance that is as sophisticated as it is comfortable. Created to showcase Vietnamese cuisine and its French influences, Le Colonial has a standout method of curating classic Vietnamese dishes that appeal to various palates, from meat lovers and pescatarians to vegetarians. The space immediately transports you back to Saigon’s tropical paradise of the 1920s. Lush birds of paradise and palms line the halls that lead into intimate dining nooks throughout the 7,000-square-foot restaurant.• Lunch (on weekends) and dinner daily. 561/566-1800. $$$

Lemongrass Bistro —420 E. Atlantic Ave. PanAsian. Casually hip ambience, friendly service, moderate prices and a blend of sushi and nouveau pan-Asian fare make this a popular destination. The quality of its seafood and care in its preparation are what gives Lemongrass its edge. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/278-5050. (Other Palm Beach County locations: 101 Plaza Real S., Boca Raton, 561/544-8181; 1880 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, 561/733-1344). $

Lionfish —307 E. Atlantic Ave. Seafood. Focusing on sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, Lionfish’s menu is diverse while its coastal décor is both stylish and comfortable. Choose from oysters, octopus, specialty sushi rolls, fresh catches and, of course, the namesake white flaky fish in a variety of preparations including whole fried and as a bright ceviche. Make sure to save room for the Key lime pie bombe dessert. • Dinner nightly, brunch weekends. 561/639-8700. $$$

Moody Brews

MIA Kitchen & Bar recently began serving draft selections from Moody Tongue, the world’s first Michelin two-star brewery.

J&J Seafood Bar & Grill—634 E. Atlantic Ave. Seafood. This local favorite on Atlantic Avenue—owned by John Hutchinson (who is also the chef) and wife Tina—serves up everything from burgers and wraps to a menu brimming with seafood options. Don’t forget to inquire about the stunning array of 10 specials—every night. This is is a bona fide local go-to spot that never disappoints. • Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sat. 561/272-3390. $$

Jimmy’s Bistro —9 S. Swinton Ave. International. Jimmy’s Bistro is a casual neighborhood concept serving consistently delightful dishes from a diverse menu that can transport diners to Italy with house-made pasta or Asia with its delicate dumplings and tender duck. • Dinner nightly. 561/865-5774. $$$

Joseph’s Wine Bar —200 N.E. Second Ave. Mediterranean-American. Joseph’s is an elegant, comfortable, intimate nook in Delray’s Pineapple Grove, and an ideal place for a lazy evening. This family affair—owner Joseph Boueri, wife Margaret in the kitchen, and son Elie and daughter Romy working the front of the house—has all tastes covered. Try the special cheese platter, the duck a l’orange or the rack of lamb. • Lunch Mon.–Sat. Dinner nightly. 561/272-6100. $$

Lulu’s—189 N.E. Second Ave. American. Lulu’s in Pineapple Grove offers a relaxed ambiance with unfussy, approachable food. The quaint café is open every day and serves an all-day menu including breakfast until 3 p.m. and a selection of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and entrées that are ideal for an executive lunch, lively tapas happy hour, casual dinner or late night snack (until 2 a.m.). • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 561/453-2628. $

MIA Kitchen & Bar—7901 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Contemporary American. Owner Joey Lograsso and chef Jason Binder have curated a balanced choreography of fascinating yet approachable dishes. The menu travels the world from Italy to Asia and showcases Binder’s formal training with elevated dishes that are exceptionally executed. It’s vibey with a great playlist, and the design, reminiscent of a cool Wynwood bar, is industrial with exposed ducts, reclaimed wood and sculptural filament chandeliers. It’s a place that amps up all your senses. • Dinner Tues.-Sun. 561/499-2200. $$$

The Office —201 E. Atlantic Ave. Contemporary American. Your office is nothing like this eclectic gastropub, unless your office sports more than two dozen craft beers on tap and a menu that flits from burgers and fries to mussels. Don’t miss the restaurant’s winning take on the thick, juicy Prime beef burger and simply wicked maple-frosted donuts with bacon bits and two dipping sauces. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/276-3600. $$

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Crispy Long Island duckling from Henry’s JERRY RABINOWITZ

Buzz Bite II

Boca Bacchanal

The Boca Bacchanal returns with its beloved vintner dinners and lively grand tasting this month. The exclusive dinners will be the lead into the Grand Tasting festivities that will take place on Sunday, April 7, at The Addison. Vintner dinner guests can look forward to a five-course meal at The Boca Raton, The Addison, and at three private homes, where local chefs will curate the dining experience paired with sips by award-winning wineries. Tickets are $350 per person.

At the Grand Tasting, attendees can savor more than 100 wines and unlimited bites from local restaurants. There will also be a silent auction and live entertainment. Tickets for this are $150 per person.

The Boca Bacchanal is the annual fundraising event for the Boca Raton Historical Society and Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum. They aim to conserve the city’s past and advocate for historic preservation and education through lectures, exhibits and tours. For more information, visit

Papa’s Tapas —259 N.E. Second Ave. Spanish. This family-owned restaurant will make you feel welcomed, and its cuisine will satisfy your craving for Spanish tapas. Start with a few shareable plates and then enjoy a hearty paella that’s bursting with a selection of seafood, chicken or vegetables. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., dinner Sun. 561/266-0599. $

Park Tavern —32 S.E. Second Ave. Contemporary American. Check out the high-top seating or bar stools during an excellent happy hour menu that includes deviled eggs, pork sliders,

April 2024 • • • • 143
Boca Bacchanal Grand Tasting

chicken wings and a happy crowd. Entrees are generous and well executed. Try the fish and chips, one of six burgers, fish tacos and more. • Dinner nightly. Brunch Sat.-Sun. 561/265-5093. $$

Racks Fish House + Oyster Bar —5 S.E. Second Ave. Seafood. Gary Rack, who also has scored with his spot in Mizner Park, certainly seems to have the restaurant Midas touch, as evidenced by this updated throwback to classic fish houses. Design, ambience and service hit all the right notes. Oysters are terrific any way you get them; grilled fish and daily specials are excellent. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/450-6718. $$$

Rose’s Daughter—169 N.E. Second Ave. Italian. While not your traditional Italian trattoria, it is a place to find new favorites and revisit old standards updated with delicious ingredients and high standards. Try the Monet-colored lobster risotto, or house-made pasta, pizza, bread and desserts. From the mushroom arancini to the tiramisu, you will be glad Owner/Chef Suzanne Perrotto is in the kitchen. Indoor and outdoor seating. • Dinner Wed.-Sun. 561/271-9423. $$

Salt7—32 S.E. Second Ave. Modern American. All the pieces needed to create a top-notch restaurant are here: talented chef, great food, excellent service. From the pea risotto to the crab cake to the signature steaks and a lot more, this is a venue worth the money. There is new ownership here and private rooms. special events and a yummy catering menu. Downtown Delray dining never looked so good. • Dinner Mon.-Sat. Brunch Sunday. 561/274-7258. $$$

Sazio —131 E. Atlantic Ave. Italian. This long-lived venue on crowded Atlantic Avenue is a reason to sit down and take a breath. Then take up a fork and try the linguine with white clam sauce or the ravioli Sazio or grilled skirt steak or pretty much anything on the menu. Prices are reasonable; leftovers are popular. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/272-5540. $$

Taki Omakase —632 E. Atlantic Ave. Japanese. Taki Omakase, a shining example of omakase done right, has opened not one but two locations in our community (the other is at 1658 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton). It is pricy—an experience is more than $100 per person—but it’s worth it, with one caveat: You must enthusiastically love eating raw fish. Every night is different because it prides itself on importing fish, meat and seasonal ingredients from Japan that arrive daily. So, if you do pine for the delicacies of the sea, buckle in and get ready for the talented chefs at Taki Omakase to guide you through a culinary journey unlike anything else.• Dinner nightly, lunch hour Fri.-Sun. 561/759-7362. $$$$

Strings Attached

Acoustic guitarist Eric Hansen, whose styles encompass rock, jazz and new age music, performs every Sunday evening at Terra Fiamma.

Terra Fiamma—9169 W. Atlantic Ave. Italian. The pleasures of simple, well-prepared Italian-American cuisine are front and center here. Enjoy the delicate, pillow-y veal meatballs in Marsala sauce; lusty chicken Allessandro with mushrooms, spinach and artichoke hearts; and a finely crafted tiramisu that’s as satisfying as it is familiar. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/495-5570. $$

Tramonti —119 E. Atlantic Ave. Italian. In a world where restaurants chase trends with the relentlessness of Casanova in full Viagra heat, Tramonti stands out as a classic outpost of authentic Italian cookery. Not trendy hardly means stodgy, however, as evidenced by expertly crafted, robustly flavorful dishes like the signature spiedini di mozzarella Romana, spaghetti al cartoccio and braciole Napoletana. Torta della nonna is a triumph of the highly refined simplicity that lies at the heart of true Italian cuisine. • Lunch Mon.–Sat. Dinner nightly. 561/272-1944. $$$

Vic & Angelo’s —290 E. Atlantic Ave. Italian. People watching is a staple ingredient here, a complement to the Italian fare. The wine menu is robust, mainly grounded in Italy but with choices from around the world. Larger than personal pies, thin-crust

pizzas are family-friendly, while you won’t want to share the Quattro Formaggi Tortellini, fluffy purses filled with al dente pear and topped with truffle cream. For a protein, try the traditional chicken parmigiana, a hearty portion of paper-thin breaded chicken breast topped with a subtly sweet San Marzano sauce under a gooey layer of fresh mozzarella, and a substantial side of linguine pomodoro. If you have room for dessert, the classic sweets include cannoli and tiramisu. • Dinner nightly; brunch weekends. 561/278-9570. $$


Paradiso Ristorante —625 Lucerne Ave. Italian. A Tomasz Rut mural dominates the main dining room, and there is also a pasticceria and bar for gelato and espresso. Chef Angelo Romano offers a modern Italian menu. The Mediterranean salt-crusted branzino is definitely a must-try. Plus, the wine list is a veritable tome. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/547-2500. $$$


The Station House —233 Lantana Road. Seafood. If you’re hungry for Maine lobster, plucked live out of giant tanks and cooked to order, this modest replica of a 1920s train station is the place to go. Lobsters come in all sizes (up to 6 pounds) and are reasonably priced. • Dinner nightly. 561/547-9487. $$


Bice —313 Worth Ave. Italian. Bice continues to hold the title of favorite spot on the island. The venerable restaurant offers a marvelous array of risottos and fresh pastas and classic dishes like veal chop Milanese, pounded chicken breast and roasted rack of lamb. The wine list features great vintages. • Lunch and dinner daily. Outdoor dining. 561/835-1600. $$$

Buccan —350 S. County Road. Contemporary American. Casual elegance of Palm Beach meets modern culinary sensibilities of Miami at the first independent restaurant by chef Clay Conley. The design offers both intimate and energetic dining areas, while the menu is by turn familiar (wood-grilled burgers) and more adventurous (truffled steak tartare with crispy egg yolk, squid ink orrechiette). • Dinner nightly. 561/833-3450. $$$

Café Boulud —The Brazilian Court, 301 Australian Ave. French with American flair. This hotel restaurant gives Palm Beach a taste of Daniel Boulud’s world-class cuisine inspired by his four muses. The chef oversees a menu encompassing classics, simple fare, seasonal offerings and dishes from around the world. Dining is in the courtyard, the elegant lounge or the sophisticated dining room. • Dinner nightly. 561/655-6060. $$$

Café L’Europe —331 S. County Road. Current International. A Palm Beach standard, the café has long been known for its peerless beauty, the piano player, the chilled martinis and the delicious Champagne and caviar bar. Try one of its sophisticated classics like wiener schnitzel with herbed spaetzle, grilled veal chop and flavorful pastas. • Lunch Tues.–Fri. Dinner nightly (closed Mon. during summer). 561/655-4020. $$$

Echo —230A Sunrise Ave. Asian. The cuisine reverberates with the tastes of China, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam. The Chinese hot and sour soup is unlike any other, and the sake list is tops. This offsite property of The Breakers is managed with the same flawlessness as the resort. • Dinner nightly (during season). 561/802-4222. $$$

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Buzz Bite III

Las Olas Food & Wine Festival

For t Lauderdale’s famous thoroughfare, Las Olas Boulevard, is hosting its 28th-annual food and wine festival on Friday, April 19. Closed to traffic and open to hungry guests, the event will host more than 40 local restaurants serving delectable bites alongside wineries, breweries and spirit brands. There will only be 200 tickets sold, so don’t delay. Tickets are $160 for general admission, which includes unlimited sips and samples. VIP tickets are $250 and will get you into a pre-event VIP rooftop party and early access to the festival. Proceeds will benefit the American Lung Association. For more information, visit

Henry’s Palm Beach —229 Royal Poinciana Way. American Bistro. Part of The Breakers’ restaurant properties, this venue opened in 2020 and is an elegant addition to The Island. Try the pigs in a pretzel dough blanket, beer can corn, the lobster roll, butter crumb Dover sole and chicken pot pie. All comfort food with a Palm Beach twist, and it’s all delicious. • Lunch and dinner daily. 877/724-3188. $$$

HMF—1 S. County Road. Contemporary American. Beneath the staid, elegant setting of The Breakers, HMF is the Clark Kent of restaurants, dishing an extensive array of exciting, inventive, oh-so-contemporary small plates. Don’t depart without sampling the dreamy warm onion-Parmesan dip with housemade fingerling potato chips, the sexy wild boar empanaditas, chicken albondigas tacos and Korean-style short ribs. The wine list is encyclopedic. • Dinner nightly. 561/290-0104. $$

Imoto —350 S. County Road. Asian Fusion/Tapas. Clay Conley’s “little sister” (the translation of Imoto from Japanese) is next to his always-bustling Buccan. Imoto turns out Japanese-inspired small plates with big-city sophistication, like witty Peking duck tacos and decadent tuna and foie gras sliders. Sushi selection is limited but immaculately fresh. • Dinner nightly. 561/833-5522. $$

Meat Market—191 Bradley Place. Steakhouse

“Meat Market” may be an inelegant name for a very elegant and inventive steakhouse but there’s no dissonance in its food, service or ambience. Multiple cuts of designer beef from multiple sources can be gilded with a surprising array of sauces, butters and upscale add-ons. Whole roasted cauliflower is an intriguing starter, while a meaty Niman Ranch short rib atop lobster risotto takes surf-n-turf to a new level. Cast your diet to the winds and order the dessert sampler. • Dinner nightly. 561/354-9800. $$$$

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Renato’s —87 Via Mizner. Italian with continental flair. This most romantic hideaway is buzzing in season and quietly charming all year long with Italian classics and a Floridian twist— like the sautéed black grouper in a fresh tomato and pernod broth with fennel and black olives and the wildflower-honey-glazed salmon fillet with crab and corn flan. • Lunch Mon.–Sat. Dinner nightly. 561/655-9752. $$$


Austin Republic —4801 S. Dixie Highway. Barbecue. The casual backyard atmosphere sets the scene for chef James Strine’s unpretentious barbecue with a unique Mexican flair. The menu isn’t extensive, but all the barbecue greats are there alongside its Mexican counterparts. Brisket, ribs and pulled pork share the space with tacos, burritos and enchiladas. And don’t sleep on the chicken sandwich. Trust us. • Dinner Tues.-Sat. $

Banko Cantina —114 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach. Northern Mexican. Start with the Adelita cocktail and don’t look back. The bacon-wrapped shrimp, the Al Carbon steak tacos and the house guacamole add up to a full-flavor dinner. The west-facing rooftop bar is a nice sunset option, and the Pan de Elote (homemade sweet cornbread with vanilla ice cream and berries) is a delightful end to the evening. • Dinner daily. 561/355-1399. $$

Café Centro —2409 N. Dixie Highway. Modern American. A cornerstone in the Northwood neighborhood, this venue draws because of a complete package: food, drinks and great nightlife and music. Take some char-grilled oysters, add shrimp pesto capellini or a marinated pork chop with polenta, plus local singing fave Tessie Porter, and you have a fun and delicious night out. • Lunch Mon.–Sat. Dinner nightly. 561/514-4070. $$

French Corner Bistro & Rotissorie

4595 Okeechobee Blvd. Classic French. It’s France in a tiny venue, with big-taste dishes that include all the faves: beef bourguignon, rack of lamb, duck à l’orange, frog legs Provencale, veal kidneys, tender branzino and simple desserts to end the meal. Reservations are mandatory for dinner. • Lunch and dinner Mon.Sat. 561/689-1700. $$

Belly Up

Belly dancer Dawn Rhys, classically trained in ballet and jazz and who has danced onstage with the B-52s, performs at 7:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night at Leila.

Grato —1901 S. Dixie Highway. Italian. “Grato” is Italian for “grateful,” and there is much to be grateful for about Clay Conley’s sophisticated yet unpretentious take on Italian cookery. Anyone would be grateful to find such delicate, crispy and greaseless fritto misto as Grato’s, ditto for lusty beef tartare piled onto a quartet of crostini. Spinach gnocchi in porcini mushroom sauce are a revelation, so light and airy they make other versions taste like green library paste. Don’t miss the porchetta either, or the silken panna cotta with coffee ice cream and crunchy hazelnut tuille. • Dinner nightly. Sunday brunch. 561/404-1334. $$

Leila —120 S. Dixie Highway. Mediterranean. Flowing drapes and industrial lighting complete the exotic decor in this Middle Eastern hit. Sensational hummus is a must-try. Lamb kebab with parsley, onion and spices makes up the delicious Lebanese lamb kefta. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Dinner Mon.–Sun. 561/659-7373. $$

Marcello’s La Sirena —6316 S. Dixie Highway. Italian . You’re in for a treat if the pasta of the day is prepared with what might be the best Bolognese sauce ever. • Dinner Mon.–Sat. (closed Memorial Day–Labor Day). 561/585-3128. $$

Pistache —1010 N. Clematis St., #115. French. Pistache doesn’t just look like a French bistro, it cooks like one. The menu includes such bistro specialties as coq au vin and steak tartare. All that, plus guests dining al fresco have views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Centennial Park. • Brunch Sat.–Sun. Lunch and dinner daily. 561/833-5090. $$

Planta —700 S. Rosemary Ave. Vegan. For those who savor every juicy, tender and flavorful bite of a well-prepared burger, patronizing a vegan establishment may seem like a sacrilegious act. But what if a restaurant served up plant-based dishes that surprised your taste buds with exploding flavors? Here vegans don’t have to worry about ingredients making the cut, and non-vegans can enjoy approachable and appetizing plant-based dishes that won’t make you yearn for a steak. • Lunch and dinner daily. 561/208-5222. $$

Rhythm Café —3800 S. Dixie Highway. Casual American. Once a diner, the interior is eclectic with plenty of kitsch. The crab cakes are famous here, and the tapas are equally delightful. Homemade ice cream and the chocolate chip cookies defy comparison. • Dinner Tues.–Sun. 561/8333406. $$

Rocco’s Tacos —224 Clematis St. Mexican. Big Time Restaurant Group has crafted a handsome spot that dishes Mexican favorites, as well as upscale variations on the theme and more than 425 tequilas. Tacos feature house-made tortillas and a variety of proteins. • Lunch Mon.–Fri. Dinner nightly. 561/650-1001. (Other Palm Beach County locations: 5250 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, 561/416-2131; 110 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561/808-1100; 5090 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, 561/623-0127) $

Table 26°—1700 S. Dixie Highway. Contemporary American. Take a quarter-cup of Palm Beach, a tablespoon of Nantucket, a pinch of modern American cookery and a couple gallons of the owners’ savoir faire, and you have Eddie Schmidt’s and Ozzie Medeiros’s spot. The menu roams the culinary globe for modest contemporary tweaks on classically oriented dishes. Try the fried calamari “Pad Thai.” • Dinner nightly. 561/855-2660. $$$

Tropical Smokehouse —3815 S. Dixie Highway. Barbecue. When you take the distinct tastes of Florida/Caribbean/Cuban dishes and pair them with barbecue, you end up with a place you visit a lot. Local celeb chef Rick Mace smokes the meats himself, and his recipes include all kinds of citrus in tasty spots (sour orange wings, pineapple carrot cake); you’ll discover new favorite flavors. Don’t miss the BBQ pulled pork, brisket and ribs. Try the hot and sweet hushpuppies or the homemade chorizo queso in this very casual spot that we can happily say is also unique—there’s nothing else like it. • Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun. 561/323-2573. $$


Chanson —45 N.E. 21st Ave. Contemporary American/French. A little bit of Palm Beach, a little bit of Italy comes to Deerfield Beach in the form of this elegant, sophisticated restaurant in the oceanfront Royal Blues Hotel. Service is as stellar as the views from the cozy, modestly opulent dining room, notable for the 1,500-gallon aquarium embedded in the ceiling. Consistency can be an issue with the food, but when it is good it is very good. • Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Tues.-Sat., brunch Sun. 954/857-2929. $$$

146 • • • • April 2024
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Oceans 234—234 N. Ocean Blvd., Deerfield Beach. Contemporary American. One of the only oceanfront (as in, on the beach) options in South Florida, this familiar-with-a-twist venue is fun to both visit and eat. Try the Infamous Lollipop Chicken Wings, a starter that could be an entrée. Seafood is definitely top-shelf, as are the desserts. A true Florida experience. • Lunch and dinner daily. 954/428-2539. $$

Tradition —626 S. Federal Highway. French. This is a petite place with a large following, for good reason. Owners Eric and Anais Heintz start meals with an amuse-bouche and a menu that spans the length of France. Order a creamy Caesar salad with a light anchovy-based dressing. Try the coq au vin (sauce cooked for two days), and if you like calves’ liver, this is the best you’ll find in the area. End with a Grand Marnier soufflé (worth the 15-minute wait), and make your next reservation there before going home. • Dinner Mon.-Sat. 954/480-6464. $$


Cap’s Place 2765 N.E. 28th Court. Seafood. Eating here requires a boat ride, which is very SoFla and terrific for visitors. This is one of—if not the only—family-run, old-Florida seafood restaurants you’ve never heard of, open since the 1920s. The heart of palm salad is the best and purest version around. Seafood abounds; fish can be prepared nine ways and much more. (There are non-seafood dishes that are done well, too.) Go for the short boating thrill and for the food. • Dinner Tues.-Sun. 954/941-0418. $$

Le Bistro —4626 N. Federal Highway. Modern French.

The menu is modern and healthy—98-percent gluten-free, according to chef Andy Trousdale and co-owner Elin Trousdale. Check out the prix-fixe menu, which includes pan-roasted duck to beef Wellington. • Dinner Tues.–Sun. 954/946-9240. $$$

Seafood World —4602 N. Federal Highway. Seafood

This seafood market and restaurant offers some of the freshest seafood in the county. Its unpretentious atmosphere is the perfect setting for the superb king crab, Maine lobster, Florida lobster tails and much more. Tangy Key lime pie is a classic finish. • Lunch and dinner daily. 954/942-0740. $$$


Calypso Restaurant—460 S. Cypress Road.

Caribbean. This bright little dining room and bar (beer and wine only) has a Caribbean menu that is flavorful, imaginative—and much more. Calypso offers a spin on island food that includes sumptuous conch dishes, Stamp & Go Jamaican fish cakes and tasty rotis stuffed with curried chicken, lamb or seafood. • Lunch and dinner Mon.–Fri. 954/942-1633. $

Darrel & Oliver’s Café Maxx —2601 E. Atlantic Blvd. American. The longstanding institution from chef Oliver Saucy is as good now as when it opened in the mid1980s. Main courses offer complex flavor profiles, such as the sweet-onion-crusted yellowtail snapper on Madeira sauce over mashed potatoes. Parts of the menu change daily. • Dinner nightly. Brunch Sunday. 954/782-0606. $$$


NYY Steak —Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 N.W. 40th St. Steakhouse. The second incarnation of this Yankees-themed restaurant swings for the fences—and connects—

EAT & DRINK RESTAURANT DIRECTORY 204 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33444 • 561.272.6654 1185 Third Street South, Naples, FL 34102 • 239.643.8900 Mashpee Commons, Cape Cod, MA 02649 • 508.477.3900 UNIQUEBOUTIQUEJEWELRY.COM
148 • • • • April 2024

with monstrous portions, chic decor and decadent desserts. The signature steaks are a meat lover’s dream; seafood specialties include Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab. • Dinner nightly. Brunch Sun. 954/935-6699. $$$$


15th Street Fisheries —1900 S.E. 15th St. Seafood. Surrounded by views of the Intracoastal, this Old Florida-style restaurant features seafood and selections for land lovers. We love the prime rib. • Lunch and dinner daily. 954/763-2777. $$

3030 Ocean —Harbor Beach Marriott Resort, 3030 Holiday Drive. American. Now led in the kitchen by Adrienne Grenier of “Chopped” fame, the new-look 3030 has a farm-to-table focus, along with an emphasis, as always, on locally sourced seafood. • Dinner nightly. 954/765-3030. $$$

Bistro 17—Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel, 1617 S.E. 17th St. Contemporary American. This small, sophisticated restaurant continues to impress with competently presented food. The menu is surprisingly diverse. • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 954/626-1748. $$

Bistro Mezzaluna —1821 S.E. 10th Ave. Italian. The bistro is all Euro-chic decor—mod lighting, abstract paintings. It also has good food, from pastas to steaks and chops and a wide range of fresh seasonal fish and seafood. Don’t forget the phenomenal wine list. • Lunch and dinner daily. 954/522-9191. $$

Café Martorano—3343 E. Oakland Park Blvd. Italian. Standouts include crispy calamari in marinara sauce and flavorful veal osso buco. Our conclusion: explosive flavor, attention to all the details and fresh, high-quality ingredients. Waiters whisper the night’s specials as if they’re family secrets. • Dinner nightly. 954/561-2554. $$

Canyon —620 S. Federal Hwy. Southwestern. Billed as a Southwestern café, this twist on regional American cuisine offers great meat, poultry and fish dishes with distinctive mixes of lime, cactus and chili peppers in a subtle blend of spices. The adobe ambience is warm and welcoming, with a candlelit glow. • Dinner nightly. 954/765-1950. $$

Casablanca Café —3049 Alhambra St. American, Mediterranean. The restaurant has an “Arabian Nights” feel, with strong Mediterranean influences. Try the peppercorn-dusted filet mignon with potato croquette, Gorgonzola sauce and roasted pepper and Granny Smith relish. • Lunch and dinner daily. 954/764-3500. $$

Casa D’Angelo—1210 N. Federal Highway, #5A. Italian. Many dishes are specials—gnocchi, risotto and scaloppine. The marinated grilled veal chop is sautéed with wild mushrooms in a fresh rosemary sauce. A delightful pasta entrée is the pappardelle con porcini: thick strips of fresh pasta coated in a light red sauce and bursting with slices of porcini mushrooms. • Dinner nightly. 954/564-1234. $$

Chima —2400 E. Las Olas Blvd. Steaks. The Latin American rodizio-churrascaria concept—all the meat you can eat, brought to your table—is done with high style, fine wines and excellent service. The sausages, filet mignon, pork ribs and lamb chops are very good. • Dinner nightly. 954/712-0580. $$$

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WHERE: Worth Avenue

WHAT Worth Avenue added another luxury fashion boutique to its ranks with the debut of Carolina Herrera Boutique. Herrera herself was joined by the boutique’s creative director, Wes Gordon, to cut the ceremonial ribbon that officially marked the opening. Guests enjoyed bites and cocktails from the neighboring Colony Hotel as well as live music from Pamela Tick. The festivities benefited the Society of the Four Arts and its mission to inspire and engage people through its various programs. The 2,200-square-foot location will feature Herrera’s signature collections, ranging from handbags and shoes to jewelry and beauty accessories.

SOCIAL 152 • • • • April 2024
3 2 5 1 4 6
1: Carolina Herrera, Wes Gordon 2: Rackel Gehlsen, Gail Worth, Emilie Rubinfeld 3: Kit Pannill, Melinda Hassen 4: David Lucido, Michael Harb, Ori Harpaz 5: Mark Lucas, Edward Celata 6: Mary Willis, Pam Patsley, Carolina Herrera, Jeffrey Tousey


WHERE: Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club

WHAT: Men Giving Back continued its tradition of fun and philanthropy with the third-annual Golden Grant Awards ceremony, which brought in a record-breaking $530,000 to benefit 24 local nonprofits. The nearly 250 attendees enjoyed live music, a raffle with jewelry donated by Diamonds Direct, dinner and top-shelf cocktails as they awaited the “Golden Ball” drawing to determine grant finalists. A wheel spin determined which four nonprofits would walk away with $100,000 grants each. Semifinalists ($2,500 grant winners) included the George Snow Scholarship Fund and Boca West Children’s Foundation. Finalists ($12,500 grant winners) included Best Foot Forward and Fuller Center, and the four major grant winners ($100,000) were the American Association of Caregiving Youth, Boca Helping Hands, the Hanley Foundation and Love Serving Autism. Sponsors included Amzak Capital Management, The Brad Ginsberg Family Foundation and more.

April 2024 • • • • 153
1: Major grant winners Boca Helping Hands, Hanley Foundation, American Association of Caregiving Youth and Love Serving Autism 2: Ellyn Okrent of Fuller Center, Dr. Nathan Nachlas and Bill Donnell 3: Justin Ely selecting Golden Ball winners 4: Robert Snyder and Laura Kallus of Caridad Center 5: Dr. Nathan Nachlas and Vanessa Havenet of Boca Raton Rotary Fund
4 5 6
6: Matthew Ladika of HomeSafe, Dr. Nathan Nachlas, Laura Barker of HomeSafe, and Bill Donnell
2 3


WHERE: Lugano Diamonds

WHAT: Worth Avenue’s Lugano Diamonds hosted a lavish VIP reception ahead of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts’ annual Gala. The kick-off celebration honored Gala chairs, sponsors and committee members in the luxurious salon space, where guests were able to admire Lugano Diamonds’ unique wearable art. Attendees were welcomed at the door by Gala chairs William A. Meyer and Kristen and David Lambert alongside honorary Gala chair Monika E. Preston before enjoying wine, Champagne and hors d’oeuvres.

SOCIAL 154 • • • • April 2024 5 1 3 6 4 2

1: Jill and Bill Wachter

2: Sondra and David Mack

3: Jane Mitchell and Jeffery Bland

4: Sherry and Tom Barrat

5: Moti Ferder, Diane Quinn

6: Elizabeth Chu, Diane Sculley

7: Martha Rodriguez and Jesus Perez-Mendez

8: Beth and Robert Fishel

9: Craig Dickmann, Tom Rosin

10: Jeff and Gina Sabean

11: Jim and Judy Harpel

12: David and Kristen Lambert, William A. Meyer

April 2024 • • • • 155
12 11 9


WHERE: ABA Centers of Florida in Boca Raton

WHAT: ABA Centers of Florida hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to debut its new Florida flagship autism care center in Boca Raton. Guests were treated to a tour of the state-of-the-art facility, which was designed to be sensory-focused and allow children with autism spectrum disorders to learn through play. The kids in attendance were treated to a meetand-greet with surprise guests Stanley C. Panther, mascot of the Florida Panthers, and Billy the Marlin, mascot of the Miami Marlins. “Nearly 5 percent of children in Florida have autism, and we understand that when we make an impact in those kiddos’ lives, we make an impact in their siblings’ lives, in their parents’ lives, in their teachers’ lives,” said ABA Centers of Florida CEO Christopher Barnett. The new clinic in Boca Raton will provide autism therapy services to 60 local children.

1: Lisa McCusker, Quatiba Davis, Michael Holzum, Kristy Johnson, Chris Barnett, Javier Cabrera, Alyssa Ozer, Joseph Heilner

2: Billy the Marlin, Brad Johnson, Humberto Miranda, Chris Barnett, Cristina Corpion, Daniel Kerwin, Stanley C. Panther

3: Grant Wilson, Alexis Demmery, Chris Barnett, Shawn Thornton, Stanley C. Panther

4: Stanley C. Panther with ABA Centers of Florida client

5: ABA Centers of Florida Team

SOCIAL 156 • • • • April 2024
2 3


WHERE: The Colony Hotel

WHAT: MorseLife Health System kicked off the 16th season of its “Breakfast with the Authors” Literary Society Series with its special guest, National Book Award-winning author James McBride. Over a delicious breakfast provided by The Colony Hotel, MorseLife supporters were able to learn more about McBride’s writing process and the inspiration behind his latest novel The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store The literary series continued throughout February and March and included awardwinning authors Abraham Verghese and Jeanette Walls.

1: Mary Goldberg and Joanne Trivero

2: Ellen Wolf and Wendy Phillips

3: David Brodsky and Julie Cummings

4: Sandy Taub and Ron Gross

5: MorseLife President and CEO Keith A. Myers, James McBride

6: Beth Goldberg and Wendy Levy

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April 2024 • • • • 157
3 5 1
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7: Rande and Mike May
561.703.7942 EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY PORTRAITS REAL ESTATE INTERIOR DESIGN Theatre Lab Florida Atlantic Boca Raton April 13-28, 2024 Offbeat Comedy for Adults! | 561-297-6124
LAST CHANCE! CLOSES MAY 12, 2024 Celebrate in style in Downtown Delray Beach in our sleek and savvy banquet space. Come check out our beautiful and spacious pool deck and terrace for outdoor events. 1.561.469.0550 Aloft Delray Beach 202 SE 5th Avenue Delray Beach, Florida 33483 THE PERFECT EVENT BEGINS HERE ADB-Cultural-Ad-2023.indd 1 9/29/23 12:15 PM May 1 at 8pm Tickets start at $30 • Group sales: 561.651.4438 All programs, artists, dates, prices and seating are subject to change.

I’m a big believer in karma. If you put out positivity, and you’re a go-getter and you’re going to make a difference, it’s going to come back to you.”

Robin Deyo

This community leader knows what goes around comes around—including giving

Robin and Charles Deyo moved to Boca Raton in 1997 after stints everywhere from Chicago to Hawaii and Miami working in the hospitality business, and starting their own blockbuster company Cendyn, which Robin describes as offering “a suite of web-based software products for hotels and the travel industry to sell themselves and to drive revenue.” In addition to building a successful company, the Deyos became involved in Boca philanthropic and civic circles; Robin’s experience with the Junior League paved the way for much of what she’s done in Boca.

“The Junior League was my training ground, and I still think it’s one of the best organizations in town. If you’re new to town, you join the Junior League, you get 300 girlfriends and a whole bunch of training.”

Other organizations in which Robin has been involved include Boca Helping Hands, Boca Raton Historical Society, Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation, the Fuller Center, George Snow Scholarship Fund, Impact 100, the YMCA of South Palm Beach County, the Center for Arts & Innovation, AVDA, Best Foot Forward, Place of Hope and many more. Her awards are also impressive, with several from the Junior League, the George Snow Scholarship Fund and others.

By the time the Deyos sold Cendyn in 2019, the company was one of the hospitality industry’s most respected firms, with products and services in more than 30,000 hotels and venues in more than 140 countries. Robin says,“The timing was just right, the market was good, [and] some of our competitors had gotten really aggressive

evaluations, so we didn’t want to miss that opportunity.”

Since that time, Robin has plunged into her volunteer and civic work, acknowledging that,“I really decided I am a much better person if I have a purpose.”She says she took her Junior League training and an impressive skill set in executive leadership and sales and marketing to assume pivotal positions such as board chair of the George Snow Scholarship Fund, and helping lead the capital campaign for the YMCA.

Which may be just the beginning of this new chapter.


[In the Junior League] we worked on In the Pines, we worked on hunger, we worked on different problems, and they were all worthy. But, like with our daughter, education was the thing I could give her as a parent. She can take those skills and that knowledge and that experience and go on and do whatever she wants with it. [In terms of the George Snow Scholarship Fund], let’s say I grew up as the caretaker of a disabled parent, and I just need a little help. … That education can really just change my trajectory and where I can go. … and I’m not going to be in a certain lane for the rest of my life. I find that very enabling and powerful.


I have to go back to George Snow. That is where I’ve put all my eggs right now. As board chairman, the organization is in an amazing part of its [development]; the first year, they gave out $8,000 in scholarships and we did millions this year. The growth is phenomenal. I did also agree to be on the capital

campaign for the YMCA. I’ve never personally done a capital campaign, so I thought this would be a good learning experience for me.

WHY GIVING BACK IS IMPORTANT: Twofold. It’s the right thing to do; my parents taught me that. My parents were always involved in various nonprofits in their church. That was an example growing up.

Beyond that, I’m a big believer in karma. What goes around comes around. If you put out positivity and you’re a go-getter and you’re going to make a difference, it’s going to come back to you. I am very fortunate that it has. And it makes me feel good. I feel productive, I’ve added value, I’m contributing, I’m making a difference. These are the personal things that make me feel good. I like the camaraderie of working with other people and accomplishing a goal. I love that connection.

HOMETOWN HERO 160 • • • • April 2024
This page is a tribute to community citizens who have demonstrated exemplary service and leadership to the city of Boca Raton and is in memory of John E. Shuff. Robin Deyo AARON BRISTOL

now open IN BOCA RATON

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