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SoFlo's Top Chefs Highlight Their Favorite Dining Destinations

Kerry Shorr

The art of determining whether a restaurant's worth sampling, or skipping, may be easier than you think. Some swear by the descriptive dining reviews posted in the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and Yelp while others employ the "parking lot" theory: packed is hot, empty is not. We prefer a simpler strategy: round up the region's best chefs and find out where they go for a memorable meal (outside of their own kitchens, of course).

   Here, we tapped seventeen area chefs – from iconic restaurateurs and talented up-and-comers to James Beard Award nominees, a Check, Please! hostess and a bubbly Top Chef finalist – to fork over their favorite gastronomic destinations in South Florida. Pack your appetite, we're going on a culinary adventure!

Lindsay Autry, Executive Chef of Sundy House, Delray Beach - Top Chef finalist - recommends buccan in Palm Beach

Lindsay Autry

Sundy House, Delray Beach

"I know that I can always rely on buccan in Palm Beach for a memorable experience. I enjoy the upbeat atmosphere, the inventive cuisine and the attentive service. It’s a place that I can take family and friends or feel comfortable enough to grab a bite by myself on a night off or after work."

Photo by Alissa Dragun


Caleb Holman, Executive Chef at Kapow! Noodle Bar, Boaca Raton - Recommends V&S Italian Deli in Boca Raton

Caleb Holman

KaPow! Noodle Bar, Boca Raton

"One of my favorite things to eat is at V&S Italian Deli in Boca Raton. The prosciutto, tomato, and mozzarella which is served up on hard, handmade Italian bread with balsamic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. It's a simple, flavor-packed sandwich with fresh all-American ingredients."


Tim Lipman, Owner and Chef of Coolinary Cafe, Palm Beach Gardens - Recommends dining at Sweetwater Bar & Grill in Boynton Beach

Tim Lipman

Coolinary Cafe, Palm Beach Gardens

"Sweetwater Bar & Grill in Boynton Beach is my pick for a celebration. The space is well thought out and the dishes are simple and well-executed. Mozzarella (pulled to order), roasted brussel sprouts and charcuterie are a few favorites. Pralinato, a pecan-infused bourbon with homemade figcello, is a show-stopper. My wife loves their extensive line of small batch gins and the restaurants's co-owner, Sean, is always shaking up something special for guests."


Patrick Broadhead, chef at Max's Grille, Boca Raton and Max's Harvest, Delray Beach - Recommends Sushi Rock, Bocar Raton and Fort Lauderdale

Patrick Broadhead

Max's Grille, Boca Raton

Max's Harvest, Delray Beach

"Three years ago I would have given you a completely different answer, naming any number of restaurants from here to South Beach. However, in July 2010, we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy and how do times change! These days, we don't have a lot of time to go out and when we do, returning home is at the front of our thoughts. For a quick night out, we love Sushi Rock on Las Olas because they substitute rice paper for nori and they have some pretty unique and creative sushi complemented by a lively atmosphere. If we are looking for well executed food in a lovely setting, we trek up to buccan in Palm Beach where Chef Clay Conley does a great job with small plates and creative American fare."


Blake A. Malatesta - chef at 50 Ocean and Bostons on the Beach, Delray Beach - Recommends dining at Bakery of France in Boca Raton

Blake A. Malatesta

50 Ocean and Bostons on the Beach, Delray Beach

"I enjoy breakfast at any hour of the day. So when I found the Bakery of France in Boca Raton, it was a match made in heaven. I am in there at least once or twice a week and there's always something to linger over – whether it's warm pastry, a handmade omelette, or a charcuterie board paired with a glass of wine. The dining pace is laid back and time seems to slow down which, considering how fast paced my work can be, is the most indulgent part of all."


For more dining hotspots, check out Page 2

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February 2015