12344530101?profile=RESIZE_710xIndoor and outdoor dining at Polpo in Manalapan provides panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Photo provided

By Jan Norris

At last! Cooler weather is upon us. Finally, it’s comfortable enough for outside dining.

Plenty of options exist, thanks to changes during the pandemic. Here are some that may be below your radar.

Palm Trail Grill, 800 Palm Trail, Delray Beach. Phone 561-865-5235. A large outdoor patio with tropical plants and decor accommodates diners here. A steak and seafood grill menu features the popular entree snapper oreganata. It’s a nice, quiet spot to take visitors.

Jimmy’s Bistro, 9 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. 561-865-5774; online jimmysbistrodelray.com. This small, chef-owned restaurant has a menu that changes often and draws mostly locals to the tables. Fresh catch is just that: seafood from local purveyors daily. Limited sidewalk seating.

Papa’s Tapas, 259 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. 561-266-0599; papastapasdb.com. Authentic Spanish tapas plates, perfect for sharing, are found here. Paella is the signature dish, however — and it is made to order. If you go, order it first and enjoy sangria and small bites while you wait. Happy hour is a best bet, too.

Bamboo Fire Cafe, 149 NE Fourth Ave., Delray Beach. 561-749-0973. Go island style and find unique menu items at this family-owned spot. Food is served family style — share large portions of curried goat, oxtail pepper pot and jerk chicken, among other Caribbean mainstays. Take care in ordering the level of spice, which is offered as American or Caribbean (where Scotch bonnet peppers live).

Phyllis G’s Enigma Bistro, 2717 N. Federal Highway, Delray Beach. 561-243-6377. The enigma refers to the fusion on the menu — a little Cuban, Italian, Caribbean and American grill. Seafood is a star; the hazelnut grouper and Havana snapper win raves. A don’t-miss is a slightly spicy conch chowder. A white sangria is the drink to order.

Ravish Off Ocean, 210 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana. 561-588-2444; ravishkitchen.com. There’s plenty of outdoor seating at this popular gathering spot for fun-lovers. Cocktails are made with fresh ingredients. Vegetarians and dessert fanatics have options, as do carnivores and pescetarians. Large groups are accommodated here, and Ravish regularly hosts events and entertainment.

Latitudes, 2809 S. Ocean Blvd., Highland Beach. 561-278-2008; opalcollection.com/delray-sands/restaurants/latitudes/. An upscale seafood and American grill is beachside in the Delray Sands Resorts. The Ocean Terrace seating is what you want when you take visitors for that “I live in paradise” brag. Also open for breakfast and lunch. For early risers, the sunrise setting can’t be beat. Vegetarians and vegans accommodated.

SeaSpray Inlet Grill, 999 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton. 561-226-3022; seasprayboca.com. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway with a tropical-patio vibe, the restaurant within the Waterstone Resort serves up American favorites. Plenty of main-dish salads, including gluten-free options, are served along with churrasco chimichurri, salmon with an Asian-tropical flair and casuals such as fish tacos and wagyu burgers. Come by boat, if you wish.

Polpo Palm Beach, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. 561-540-4923; polpopalmbeach.com. An import from Connecticut, Polpo brings upscale seafood and Italian offerings to the oceanfront restaurant within Eau Palm Beach Resort. Lunch and brunch are good options (ocean views aren’t as nice at dinner). Go for the traditional panzanella — chilled bread soup — and an authentic northeast Italian pizza. Vegans have choices off the main menu.

The Butcher and the Bar, 510 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach. 561-903-7630; butcherandbar.com. A small, “clean food” butcher shop — emphasis on small, so seating is limited — also serves small plates off a limited daily menu. Lunch features sandwiches made right from the meat cases. The shop offers house-made everything, including ketchup and sauerkraut. A Sunday brunch and prime rib night are popular; good idea to call ahead, and you can even order in advance. Hot dog lovers, take note: The owners are going national with their wieners, a big favorite. Be aware of the “no substitutions” policy. Have it their way, or …

Al Fresco, 2345 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach. 561-273-4130; golfontheocean.com/palm-beach-restaurant/. Overlooking the ocean, the terrace on the restaurant at the Palm Beach Par 3 golf course is another of those places you want to take visitors on a winter’s day. Watch the duffers play through below. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it offers an Italian and American grill menu. Thin-crust pizzas are notable, and a gluten-free version is available. Salads and gazpacho also are favorites.

Rapoport refreshes Delray’s Deck 84
Deck 84 in Delray Beach has a refreshed menu and has undergone a staff shake-up after owner Burt Rapoport noted complaints about the food.

First, however, he had to deal with a foul odor in the restaurant that put off diners in November.

The smell was coming from under the restaurant, but king tides prevented plumbers from rooting out the cause.

Once waters receded, workers determined that a broken pipe from the kitchen was the culprit. They sealed the leak and spread enviro-safe enzymes to soak up the spill.

After that, Rapoport fired the top tier in the kitchen and hired chef Fernando Marulanda and a new chef de cuisine, Katt Dreyfuss.

Marulanda brings a New York pedigree that includes Per Se, the Thomas Keller group’s Michelin-star restaurant, and a chef de cuisine post at Tavern on the Green. Dreyfuss comes with her own fame as a February winner on Guy’s Grocery Games, Guy Fieri’s Food Network competition.

Rapoport wanted to assure diners things were better all around and invited those who left poor reviews to come in and dine — on his dime.

New menu items include a roasted beet and arugula salad (gluten free, and if you ask for no goat cheese, it can be vegetarian); a Hawaiian chicken-fried rice with a pan-Asian medley of flavors; a miso-glazed corvina, and Southern-fried schnitzel.

The restaurant offered a stellar seat for the boat parade last month, and with tourists and returning snowbirds, it’s back to seasonally crowded once more.

In brief
The newest grocery sensation is Euroland in Deerfield Beach. It’s a 25,000-square-foot store stocked with international foods, emphasis on Europe, including a bakery, a hot food buffet, and café. Two aisles have chocolate, candy and cookie offerings. The store has canned/jarred foods; gourmet items including caviar and foie gras; a deli with dozens of sausages, smoked fish and cheeses; plus fresh produce and breads. European football plays on TVs at the café. It’s at 1835 W. Hillsboro Blvd. Open daily at 8 a.m.

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

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