Lake Worth: Changes on the menu for city restaurant scene

By Jan Norris

    Though John G’s move from the Lake Worth Casino to Manalapan’s Plaza del Mar is a fait accompli, several other Lake Worth restaurants have changes in the works.
    Brogue’s, the Irish pub that opened in 2002 at the corner of Lake Avenue and K Street, has been sold.
    Emily Regan, owner of the Bees Knees in Lake Worth, bought it, and with her husband, Rob, and daughter, Tania, will convert it to Brogue’s Down Under.
    “We’re going to change it to an Australian bar and restaurant,” she said. “We used to own a deli and restaurant in Australia.”
    They’re changing the food first. “We’re going to have nice food like different salads, fish dishes, quiche, and Australian and New Zealand wines.”
    She and Rob are from New Zealand, but moved soon after they were married to Australia, where they reared their family. “We’re citizens of Australia, and our children were born there,” she said.
    As for traditional foods, they’ll be there, too. “Bacon and egg sandwiches, sausage rolls, chicken pie — that sort of thing. We won’t have Vegemite till Christmas when our grandson is bringing it over from Australia.”
    They’ll have music for the bar, to be renamed the Aussie Boomerang Bar. “I don’t know if we can find someone to blow the didgeridoo for the opening, but I’m going to try. If you know of anyone who plays the didgeridoo, let me know.”
    While they officially take over at the end of June, they’ll ease into the re-do of the restaurant over the summer, she said.          Safire, the Thai restaurant on the west end of Lake Avenue near Dixie, also has sold. New owner Nok Krusan is familiar to many diners. She owned Thai Garden near Publix in the Boynton Plaza in Boynton Beach. “I lost my lease when Publix expanded,” she said.
    Safire, at 817 Lake Ave., became available, and she moved in. The menu won’t change much yet, she said. “We do specials, you get more for your money now. Instead of just an entrée — Chilean sea bass, we have it for the same price, $25, with choice of sauce — you can have basil, garlic or ginger — and with soup or salad and green tea ice cream for dessert. It’s a special.”
    She’ll wait till fall to implement other favorite dishes when the weather cools and heartier foods are on diners’ minds, she said. “In fall, we’ll do beef shortribs. They were very popular at my other restaurant,” Krusan said. “Beef shortribs with basil sauce, or sometimes, with panang curry — and I make that with noodles sometimes, too.”
     Matthew Lamstein, a bread baker from New England, has partnered with Jacqueline Moore to open the J Street Bakery in the old Dolce Vita wine shop location at 9 N. J St.
    Lamstein handles the bread side of the bakery. For the last three years, he’s sold his Common Bread to residents and restaurants in the area. He now brings artisan breads, such as challah, Brooklyn rye, M Street sourdough onion rye and some fruit and raisin breads to his customers.
    Moore handles the sweet shop side, called Sweets 4U2 — focused on diabetic and gluten-free cakes, cupcakes and cookies. All natural ingredients like whole grains and natural sweeteners are used in her products. Carrot cake, Chocolate Bliss cake, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies are some of her offerings.
    Dolce Vita Wines has moved from its small quarters on J Street to the old Soma Center at 609 Lake Ave., and set up shop as a wine and tapas bar and store.          Asher White, one of the co-owners with his parents, said, “We’re thinking about opening the back room Wednesday to Saturday night as a lounge. We’re just kicking around ideas in the summer.”
    The room seats 20 to 25. Right now, it’s where tastings are held every Friday night from 8 to 10 with food pairings.
     “We do live jazz every Saturday night, Sexy Jazz is the group. They’re drawing in a lot of people. They’re so amazing.”
    An expanded menu also is in the works, White said, but they’ll stick to the current list of small tapas plates for the summer.
    Rum Shack has closed; the sign on its door indicates it will become the Tin Roof BBQ and Sports Bar when it reopens. Renovations are planned, possibly to include moving the bar and opening the two rooms into one, our sources say. The “barbecue” sign indicates a new concept is also planned for the menu. It’s slated to reopen sometime in September.       Ú

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