Restaurant Assessment: Purple Pine Restaurant & Lounge

1 City Heart Highway, Boca Raton; 561/826-7595

Purple Pine opened earlier this 12 months to a lot fanfare. Would this arrival be capable to substitute Boca’s much-beloved Uncle Tai’s? Whereas I by no means made it to Uncle Tai’s earlier than it closed its doorways in 2018, I’ve heard a number of Boca residents reminisce about its traditional dishes and heat ambiance.

Other than its proximity to its predecessor, Purple Pine is completely totally different—it’s swanky and fashionable the place Uncle Tai’s was classic and subdued. I have to admit it was tough to seek out, as a result of I used to be on the lookout for a standalone restaurant and was unaware that it was contained in the foyer of the One City Heart workplace constructing. I additionally didn’t see any exterior signage to assist ease my confusion.

As soon as I discovered the restaurant, I found that proprietor Mitchell Robbins, who introduced us Farmer’s Desk, created a vivid, vigorous house with floor-to-ceiling home windows, an expansive bar and several other eating areas accentuated with crimson banquettes.

Lobster shrimp shumai

We had an early reservation, and the bar was busy with a Pleased Hour crowd. We have been seated within the again nook in an area that may double as a non-public eating room, separate from the vitality of the primary eating room and bar space. The solar was shining, and there weren’t many individuals eating, but we have been relegated to a darkish nook, which was stunning. As we settled in, our waiter, who would grow to be a reliable information all through our Chinese language culinary journey, warmly welcomed us.

The menu is designed to be loved household type, and the lazy Susan in the midst of our desk inspired sharing. We began with a few appetizers: the selfmade vegetable egg roll ($16) and lobster & shrimp shumai ($20). The 2 huge egg rolls have been by far one of many standout dishes of the night. For events of 4, the waiter cuts them in half on the desk utilizing razor-sharp scissors. Full of numerous greens from carrots to cabbage, these egg rolls weren’t overly fried and served with a chili apricot duck sauce that added a satisfying sweetness to every chunk. Whereas the shumai have been properly offered and tender, they didn’t have the flavour punch I anticipated.

red pine
Crispy wok oyster mushrooms

We continued with the hoisin orange duck salad ($23). For its value level, it was a considerable portion that was simply shared. Once more, the presentation was on level, however this dish additionally delivered on taste. The duck was tender and paired with the crunchiness of the greens and the refreshing citrus dressing; it was a well-balanced and pleasant dish I might order once more.

The crispy garlic hen ($32) was subsequent. Once more, a big portion to share, it was moist inside, with a splendidly crunchy pores and skin. It’s additionally topped with crunchy garlic and onions that add to its texture. The honey soy sauce contributed a touch of sweetness, and I might have preferred extra of it.

We completed the meal with the milk tea sponge cake ($15) that jogged my memory of a tres leches cake. Except you’re lactose illiberal, this dessert is a dream. As I spooned a bit of vanilla cake that I had slathered in ice cream after which dipped in condensed milk, I mirrored again to Uncle Tai’s accolades and contemplated whether or not Purple Pine was what the group has been hungering for. I positively have excessive hopes.


PARKING: Parking zone
HOURS: Tues.–Solar., 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
PRICES: $10-$83

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