Restaurant Evaluate: Ember Grill

This month Ember Grill is celebrating its one-year anniversary. The Ray Resort’s trendy bistro opened with grand fanfare—a beacon of progress for a quaint seaside city evolving right into a cool, bohemian vacation spot.

Helming the kitchen is Joe Zanelli, who has labored with famend cooks like Michael Mina, Wolfgang Puck and Laurent Tourondel. He has almost three a long time of expertise, and relocated from Las Vegas to Delray to launch each Ember Grill and Rosewater Rooftop, the lodge’s second eating idea. Like many others, he confronted staffing challenges when the restaurant first opened, garnering harsh feedback from patrons that he frankly didn’t deserve. His meals at Ember Grill is diversified to attraction to quite a lot of palates and has a couple of pleasant twists.

Choose your favourite spirit and also you’ll discover an fascinating cocktail on the menu. I sipped on the Backyard of Eden ($14), a gin-forward drink effectively balanced with basil, mint syrup and lime juice that was tart and refreshing. (The cocktail menu does change, as certainly one of my favourite cocktails was now not on the menu once I dined, however I’m certain the bartender would have been gracious sufficient to re-create it had I requested.)

Duck Pancakes; picture by Aaron Bristol

We began with the Duck Pancakes ($42) and the Flaming Crab Dip ($26). Whereas a $42 appetizer could appear steep, it’s a beneficiant portion that’s shareable or may even double as an entrée. I used to be intrigued to seek out Peking duck on the menu and wasn’t upset. It comes with a stack of ethereal, crepe-like pancakes, hoisin sauce and sliced scallions. You possibly can inform the kitchen takes satisfaction and persistence to organize this basic dish that comes out crispy on the skin and moist on the within. The crab dip provides pleasure to the night when it’s lit on hearth tableside. I’ve had loads of crab dips that had been extra cheese and mayo than crab, however this one was crab-centric, and we slathered it on fluffy naan bread.

For entrées, the Maine Lobster & Candy Corn Ravioli ($28) is an Ember Grill staple. The decadent dish is made with corn pudding stuffed into house-made pasta and topped with a saucy, citrusy beurre blanc. I hardly ever order rooster out, however our waitress offered us on the Josper Oven Roasted Hen ($34), touting that its preparation within the wood-burning oven imported from Spain wouldn’t disappoint. The rooster did come out crisp on the skin and tender on the within, but it surely wasn’t essentially a standout. Nevertheless, the aji verde that complemented it was one thing I’d fortunately pour over many different dishes. Additionally, don’t skip the Loaded Potato Pave ($12) that mixes the perfect of a baked potato and scalloped potatoes into one facet dish of paper-thin slices baked and topped with béchamel and bacon.

Maine Lobster & Candy Corn Ravioli; picture by Aaron Bristol

To finish the night, flash again to yesteryear with an iconic baked Alaska that blazes in your desk and smells of marshmallows. Be certain to get all of the flavors in a single chunk—the white chocolate and strawberry ice cream, cake and gooey heat meringue.


233 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Seashore; 561/739-1705;

PARKING: Valet and avenue parking

HOURS: Each day 5 – 10/11 p.m.

PRICES: $12-$150

This text is from the September/October 2022 concern of Boca journal. For extra like this, click on right here to subscribe to the journal.