12239048065?profile=RESIZE_710xOne of the signature dishes at the Artist’s Palate is this cheese, meat and fig assortment served on a painter’s palette. Photos provided

By Jan Norris

A new coffee takeout near the beach in Delray Beach opened in mid-September, but it’s been a few years in the making.

Monica Laskay and her three partners opened the Artist’s Palate Cafe on the Avenue a couple of blocks from the beach just after Labor Day.

Already it’s packed with customers morning, noon and even late night.

“They love coming in for the coffee in the morning, and desserts, maybe a bite like charcuterie, at night,” Laskay said.

The Colombian native says the shop is her dream come true in a city that she has adopted and fallen in love with.

“I am a healer — spiritual, mental and physical. I had a spa-retreat in Malibu for several years. My sister was living in Delray, and every time I came to visit, I fell in love with the town.

“It reminds me of Malibu. So much peace, and so much beauty. It grabbed my heart,” Laskay said.

She was going to open a wellness center in town, but the pandemic hit, and her plans were stopped.

“When I was in Bogotá, talking with a partner and drinking coffee, she said we should open a cafe to serve coffee and bless people through food. I said I would only want to do it in Delray.”

She and her daughter and two partners began looking for a space to put the cafe. Often, she had passed a shop with beachwear on a corner near the beach, and thought it would be perfect for their idea. As they were narrowing their choices, though, it remained occupied.

“Just as we were getting ready to choose a spot, I decided to take one more look and drive by the shop. It was vacant for rent.”

Laskay got the partners together and they immediately signed on at first sight.

“Magic happens,” she said.

Beyond coffee, the shop has an international variety of foods sourced from local artisans.

“Our cook is Colombian and she makes delicious drinks and pasteles, and rice puddings. We have a Cuban baker; he loves mousses and makes mousse with fruit flavors. A local French baker supplies our croissants and brioche and desserts. A chef from Mexico makes our macarons. I really never liked them before, but these are delicious,” Laskay said.

Of course, the star attraction — the coffee — is Colombian, she said. It’s the reason for the shop.

“I grew up drinking coffee. People say oh, children drinking coffee! But from when we’re little in Colombia, we would sit in the morning, and had a cup of milk and sugar with a little coffee in it. We grew up with coffee,” she said.

“The aroma is beautiful. We use all organic coffee. It’s mild to medium, not too acidic, and easy to drink any time.”

The shop also offers cacao, a drink made from the bean that chocolate comes from. “We add water or milk and spices. It’s so good,” Laskay said.

Laskay runs the shop. Her daughter Paula Bast created the branding and offers the shop as a rotating art gallery. Pieces from local and emerging artists are for sale.

The small shop has no seating, but Laskay said she has applied for outdoor seats for guests to use after counter-service purchases.

The shop is open daily, with late hours on weekends. Word of mouth has brought in crowds, and Laskay and her team are tweaking menu items and hours as they settle in.

The Artist’s Palate Cafe, 1200 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Online on Facebook and www.theartistspalatecafe.com.

***

12239051664?profile=RESIZE_710xA picture perfect presentation of an assortment at Sushi by Bou.

The Sushi by Bou experience has come to Boca Raton.

Popular with groups, the omakase-style bar with a speakeasy’s intimacy opened last month in Royal Palm Place.

With a lavish and dramatic art deco setting paying homage to Addison Mizner (look for a nod to his monkey Johnnie Brown in the bathrooms), the restaurant is a modern take on a traditional sushi counter experience.

Diners will reserve their one-hour seat for a 12- or 17-course omakase. They leave choices for dishes and preparations up to the chef who works in front of them, preparing each dish separately.

Fish and proteins served include hamachi, botan ebi (spotted prawn), ikura (salmon roe), scallops, otoro (fatty tuna), unagi (barbecued eel), and a signature Wagyuni — surf and turf. Additional pieces, such as hand rolls and other favorites, can be purchased a la carte. Seasonal items also will be offered.

This is the 14th Sushi by Bou location nationally. It is owned by the SimpleVenue hospitality group, founded by Michael Sinensky and Erika London, both of South Florida.

Sushi by Bou Boca Raton, 409 SE Mizner Blvd. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 to 11 p.m. Reservations required and diners must be punctual; go to sushibybou.com or reserve through Open Table.

***

12239051878?profile=RESIZE_710xAt Eddie V’s, the filets are signature dishes.

Another steak and seafood house debuts in Boca Raton at Mizner Park. Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has brought Eddie V’s Prime Seafood to join the plaza restaurant lineup next to Yard House.

Seasonal specials, seafood dishes and prime steaks, or combinations of these, anchor the menu. Crab fried rice and a trio of filets are signature dishes.

A butcher is on the premises to hand carve meats, and desserts are made in-house.

In the V Lounge, “theatrical” cocktails are served. Example: a smoky old-fashioned finished at the table.

Modern lighting and decor and live music nightly set a supper club-type mood. Four private dining rooms are available.

South Florida native Michael Adelman is managing partner.

Eddie V’s, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Open seven days for dinner. www.eddiev.com.

***

Yet another addition to the burgeoning number of steakhouses in South County: The Meat Market, a Miami-rooted chain, planned to open Oct. 5 in Boca Raton. The meatery, described by its publicist as “feminine friendly,” has a chic Halston design and super-club vibe. Chef Sean Brasel is known for unusual twists on the classics.

Happy hour and dinner now; brunch and more scheduled for November. 2000 NW 19th St.

In brief
Congratulations to Suzanne Wright of Delray Beach for winning the first Delray Beach Public Library Key lime pie contest. Judges considered appearance, texture, flavor, crust and creativity in deeming hers the best of the 11 entrants. People’s Choice award went to Terry Berger of Boynton Beach. The contest was such a success, it will be repeated next year, said library program coordinator Isabella Rowan.


• Coming soon to the former Taverna Opa spot on Atlantic Avenue will be the new concept from the Voodoo Lounge people. An Asian-tiki mashup, it will be called Roka Hula. Expect an opening later this fall.


• After a four-month delay waiting for permits, DalMoros Fresh Pasta To Go opened at 439 E. Atlantic Avenue. The fast-casual mini-chain originated in Venice, Italy, and serves pasta made on the spot with a variety of sauce combos. Tiramisu, garlic rolls and mini-meatballs round out the menu. Takeout in containers, or call for delivery.

Sandwiches by the Sea, the Delray Beach shop we wrote about last month, is reopening with the same name and in the same location at 1214 E. Atlantic, but with a new owner.

Jan Norris is a food writer who can be reached at nativefla@gmail.com.

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