By Jan Norris
Spring brings a number of new spots, moves and closures in the area.
Chef Eric Baker, owner of Rebel House and Uncle Pinkie’s Deli on Palmetto Park Road, has decided to change those spaces out for his other format, an izakaya-style restaurant, Alley Cat, now in Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton.
The move will afford staff a much larger kitchen and dining room, including a private sushi bar/dining room at Uncle Pinkie’s.
Although Baker has owned Rebel House for four years, he’s been connected as a former patron since its opening more than a decade ago.
Izakaya is a Japanese format of small-plate, sharable dishes paired with cocktails and sake, and is popular with groups.
Some of Baker’s dishes include lobster ceviche with sweet potatoes and coconut; crab tacos with nori shells and avocado; and barbecue lamb ribs finished with yuzu, chili and sesame. A pastrami sandwich on the menu is a nod to Uncle Pinkie’s.
The new Alley Cat is slated to open in early April at 297 E. Palmetto Park Road.
Seems the burlesque brunch that helped launch the rebranding of Ravish Off Ocean in Lantana was too much for the town. The brunch was shut down after only three weeks after the town hit the place with a code enforcement violation as “activities going on at the burlesque show were not up to town code.”
Ravish co-owner Alexandra Dupuis says the show involved dancers who would shed some of their clothes during their performances, but it was tasteful dancing.
The weekly brunch show that began Feb. 12 was so popular it was sold out for weeks ahead. “I’ve had to call and cancel reservations for weeks out,” she said.
Town Mayor Karen Lythgoe was a frequent attendee, Dupuis said.
“Yes, code enforcement shut down the burlesque show,” Lythgoe said. “It was a fun time for all in attendance and attracted a lot of business. However, code needs to be adhered to. We are in the process of reviewing all code as part of our Master Plan project so of course the burlesque show will be discussed.” Dupuis was told Ravish didn’t have a permit for live entertainment or live music. That stumped her because the previous incarnation of Ravish that she took over had featured music and live entertainment, as do several other venues on Ocean Avenue — also with no special permits.
While waiting for the town to reexamine the code that Dupuis calls outdated, she is now featuring an Arabian Days brunch with belly dancers.
She’d like to bring back the burlesque show, but for now, doesn’t want to rock any boats.
“I’ve got a talented chef,” she said, “Johnny Demartini, who’s got a great reputation. We have a great menu.”
He opened Lionfish on Atlantic Avenue, has been a sous chef with the Max Group and worked at various other area restaurants.
Ravish Off Ocean, 210 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana. Phone 561-588-2444; ravishkitchen.com. Reservations taken for Sunday brunch.
Bōken, a new omakase restaurant, is part of the Eau Palm Beach’s multimillion-dollar renovation that started in 2022. The 10-table Japanese “chef’s choice” spot is the first of its kind in the area.
Guests leave the menu design and ingredients entirely up to the chef, Chris Cantrel. From a menu of sushi, sashimi and nigiri, including fresh catch and premium imported fish, Cantel will craft a five-course meal for diners, along with a sake menu and wine pairings.
The restaurant hosts two omakase seatings Thursday through Saturday from $155 per person. Monday through Wednesday, diners can choose a la carte from the menu.
Polpo is the new Italian restaurant in the Eau, which also has several bars and cafés.
Bōken, at Eau Palm Beach, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. Phone 561-533-6000; eaupalmbeach.com.
In May, a New York steakhouse plans to open its first outpost, in Boca Raton. Gallaghers Steakhouse, based on a speakeasy from the 1920s in Manhattan, will be off Glades Road on Executive Center Circle.
Known for 21-day, dry-aged steaks cooked over hickory grills, Gallaghers cuts the meats in-house — a practice owner Dean Poll says is disappearing.
Gallaghers opened in 1927 on 52nd Street in Manhattan. It’s an upscale, relaxed experience, Poll said, featuring silver place settings, custom linens and a professional service team. Photos of celebs who have dined at Gallaghers will line the walls.
Decor will be 1920s speakeasy, South Florida style. The kitchen will be visible from the 200-seat dining room, and the glass-enclosed meat locker will be visible from the bar. Outdoor seating for 100 will be available, and two private dining rooms will accommodate groups.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily.
In brief: Ta-boo, the iconic “ladies who lunch” restaurant on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, has been served an eviction notice by its landlords. The new owners of the building say they already have a new tenant to liven up the place. But if hue and cry from the old-timers who revere the meet-up spot have their way, the restaurant may get a reprieve. Stay tuned. …
A revival of the former Falcon House, in a 100-year-old Delray Beach house, didn’t make it. Sean Iglehart of Boynton Beach’s Sweetwater closed the renamed Falcon in March. No word on what it will become. …
A special chef is making an appearance for the annual “More Than a Meal” Meals on Wheels luncheon April 5. Lorena Garcia, of TV and restaurant fame, will speak at the Kravis event to raise money for the program that feeds homebound seniors in the county. Tickets are $225; go to mowpb.org for more information.
Jan Norris is a food writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.