By Jan Norris
Jeremy Bearman thinks positive. And luckily, pivots well.
In a twist of timing, the landlord for his restaurant, Oceano Kitchen in Lantana, served a vacate order in August.
“We were already looking for a space in Lake Worth Beach,” he said. “We found the old Social House space on Lucerne Avenue, and started securing it. The closing was set for Sept. 15.
“The idea was to start renovating it for a year, then open next season.”
But the landlord’s order to be out by mid-November put the long-term plans on hold and rushed the opening date at the new spot.
“We didn’t want to close for the season, so we had to speed up and change plans for the Lake Worth Beach site,” Bearman said. “We’ll open in November and stay open till June, then close down to finish the renovations.”
The couple plans a farewell celebration for the Lantana location on Nov. 3, a walk- around event with drink, food and dessert stations for $125.
Bearman has a leg up on the new site, because the Social House had a commercial kitchen and bar in place. “We’d been working on it a while. We’re done painting. Some cosmetic changes,” he said.
The new place has the advantage of both indoor seating and a covered patio out back in its 3,500-square-foot space. It also has a courtyard.
A redesign will happen, just not this season, Bearman said.
The indoor seating will mimic the Lantana spot’s outdoor feel, thanks to collapsible windows and doors out front.
The daily menu will be much the same as now with one exception: no pizzas.
“There’s no wood-fired oven there yet. It would take a lot of permitting to put one in now. So we’ll run it with the other menu items guests like from here,” Bearman said.
Based on what’s fresh and available, the menu will change daily, same as usual, he said.
“Right now, we’ll do much more crudos, salads and pastas. We have a full kitchen with hoods, and the smoker outside.”
But once next season rolls around and renovations are complete, “it will be a whole new ballgame,” he said.
The full bar also will wait. “We want to do it right, and have a signature cocktail,” Bearman said. “We’ll offer a cocktail here and there, but it won’t be a full bar this season. Beer and wine.”
There’s no lunch service, either. “Just the same as before: Dinner only. Cash only,” he said.
He’s staying positive about the whole move. “I’ve opened a few restaurants before. We’re pretty laid back about it. We opened Oceano Kitchen in one week,” he said.
The couple had more time to design and open High Dive, a seafood restaurant in The Square in West Palm Beach — but then the pandemic hit. High Dive never gained its audience.
Bearman doesn’t look back. “The past is what’s already happened. I’m not somebody who dwells on things. I’m staying positive.”
Oceano Kitchen will be at 512 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth Beach, starting in mid-November, open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. Cash only.
The Meat Market joins more than 12 other steakhouses within a 10-mile hub in Boca Raton. With counterparts in Tampa, Palm Beach and San Juan, it becomes the fourth in the chain.
If the grand opening party is predictive, the social side of its definition will live up to its name. The long, narrow entrance bar was crowded with partiers. Guests filled tables in the open, gold-and-wood dining room while glittering and mingling.
Chef Sean Brasel and his team worked hard to keep food coming, while on-point servers were quick to see that drinks and appetizers held guests over.
Wagyu and Kobe — premium beef — are stars on the steak menu, with a wide selection of cuts, including a signature 30-ounce wagyu tomahawk ribeye. They’re accompanied by a raft of house-made sauces. (Also don’t miss the bone marrow offering; ask for extra crostini.)
Crudos included an iced seafood tower filled with delicacies, such as the roasted truffled oysters Rockefeller, featuring spinach and bacon with a creamy béarnaise. Oysters on the half-shell were sweet and salty, a selection of Northeast varieties. Tuna tartare was layered with creamy smashed avocado, mango mole and a citrus foam.
Several seafood choices give pescaterians a chance here. The Scottish salmon was a table favorite.
Meatloaf, duck, short ribs and sliders are among alternatives to steak selections. There’s a line on the menu for vegetarians, too: Ask and the chef will prepare something for you.
Cocktails were sturdy and creative; a curated wine list matches the menu. One of the three private dining rooms is in the wine room, of sorts.
A brief walk down a hallway from the dining room leads to the atrium of the Renaissance Hotel, the host property for the restaurant. Soon to be renovated with an outdoor event space around the pool and a tiki bar, the hotel stands to draw public cocktail parties and meetings to the area. The restaurant will be exclusive caterer for the events.
A dress code for the Meat Market is posted on its website. Dress shorts are allowed only on the patio; in the dining room guests must wear proper dress trousers and no garments that expose underwear.
The Meat Market is open for happy hour and dinner only. Later this month, weekend brunch and lunch are planned.
The Meat Market, 2000 NW 19th St., Boca Raton. 561-245-6777. Dinner nightly. Reservations encouraged. Valet available.
If you can forgo the lure of the Jazz Age speakeasy interior, the more casual covered breezeway is the place for a la carte selections — plenty for sharing.
They range from a wide list of fresh basic Bou rolls, sashimi, appetizers, seared seafoods and light desserts.
Spicy tuna with crispy rice features truffle caviar; seared Hokkaido scallops have yuzu butter and roasted red pepper toppings.
The No More Mr. Rice Guy is sans carbs: crab, salmon, tuna and yellowtail served in a cucumber wrap.
A spicy dish, chicken Karaage, is based on a fried chicken thigh, with Holy Tshili Spicy Everything chili crisp, and yuzu aioli.
Signature cocktails also are available.
The patio menu appeared in the sister restaurant in the Hamptons during the pandemic and proved popular. The menu is available only outdoors at the Boca Raton location, where a covered area protects diners from rain.
Omakase is available by reservation at the 12-seat counter indoors.
The partners in the Sushi by Bou franchise, Erika London and chef David Bouhadana, are Boca Raton residents.
Sushi by Bou, 409 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 5 p.m. to midnight. sushibybou.com.
For the ninth season, Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches will sell pies during its Pie It Forward campaign. For $30 or $35, pie lovers can buy a pie through the organization, and the money will feed a homebound senior for a week.
Order an apple, pecan or pumpkin pie by Nov. 15 for $30 (Key lime for $35) and pick it up Nov. 21 — right before Thanksgiving — at Duffy’s Sports Grill in Delray Beach (other locations are in West Palm Beach and Jupiter).
Other options: $100 gets you three pies and a tote bag. An extra $5 buys a slice for a senior in the MOW program. Area chefs from country clubs, restaurants and resorts contribute the 3,000 pies each year. For all info and to order, go to mowpbpie.org. ...
Top country club chefs will stage a Chef’s Showdown, “Iron Chef” style, on Nov. 30 at Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton to benefit Trustbridge Hospice Foundation. The public can buy tickets for the cocktail hour and sampling of the entries from stations set around the room, as well as the competition show. Chefs competing include Samuel Faggetti of Mizner Country Club; Troy Tipton of The Polo Club of Boca Raton; Donnie Young of Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club; and Joseph Leonardi of St. Andrews Country Club. Ticket sales and more information are at Trustbridge.com/event/chef.
Jan Norris is a food writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.