Story and photos by Mary Thurwachter
In the heart of Delray Beach’s arts community, Pineapple Grove (on Northeast Second Avenue, north of Atlantic Avenue) offers visitors varied options for shopping and dining.
They will also find the Arts Garage (94 NE Second Ave., www.artsgarage.org), a popular venue for musicians; and Artists Alley (at Northeast Second Avenue between Northeast Third Street and Lake Ida Road, www.artistsalleydelray.com), a warehouse district where local sculptors, painters and textile artists have carved out a place to work and exhibit.
No wonder why folks from all over the world are drawn to Pineapple Grove!
What can you do there? Here are five suggestions:
Indulge your love of lavender. “Bonjour,” says the charming Renaud Olivier as we stroll into his lovely, fragrant shop, The Lavender, (162 NE Second Ave.). “Do you like lavender?” he asks.
What’s not to love, we say. The herb smells divine and is used to battle everything from insomnia to joint pain. It also repels clothes moths, Olivier says.
Besides a wide variety of sachets, oils and soaps, the shop sells other products from Provence — gourmet delicacies, wines and cheeses.
Dine alfresco. Pineapple Grove offers several good restaurants (Max’s Harvest, Papa’s Tapas, Yama, Christina’s, to name a few), but we chose Brulé Bistro (200 NE Second Ave., www.brulebistro.com), a bustling, casual eatery that serves French-inflected American food. We opted for a crunchy Cobb salad and a glass of French wine, because we were feeling Parisian.
Bag a bespoke handbag or jewelry. Everything at Furst (123 NE Second Ave., www.ronaldfurst.com is made on site. Visitors can watch French goldsmith and jewelry designer Flavie Furst, who honed her craft at famous fashion houses (Givenchy, Chloe, Yves St. Laurent) creating earrings, necklaces and rings; or see Ronald Furst, who founded his first cult purse company in New York in the 1970s, making handbags with cloths and exotic leathers from family mills in Italy and Spain.
Find out how the cookie crumbles. Shopping burns calories (or at least we like to think so). For added fuel, or at least added indulgence, treat yourself to something sweet at Two Fat Cookies (245 NE Second Ave., www.twofatcookies.com). Cookies, bars, pies, cupcakes and tarts are all made from scratch and are frankly irresistible. Love the Heath bar brownies!