This month’s Delray Foodie Fave features a glammed up guilty pleasure from a local Chef which incorporates one of my all time favorite naughty foods – Buffalo chicken wings.
Chef Clay Conley is perhaps best known for his James Beard Award nominations and uber-chic Palm Beach restaurants, Buccan and Imoto. And while we’re big fans of these wonderful places and his sophisticated cuisine, we were delighted to see something as fun and quirky as Buffalo Chicken Pizza ($20) on the menu at his newest, Italian trattoria-inspired West Palm Beach eatery, Grato. But forget the celery and carrot sticks, this delicious pizza is topped with mouthwatering accoutrements including Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions and Roquefort Caesar. Needless to say, my fellow foodies, I was ALL over it!
The flavors of spicy chicken, Brussels sprouts and Caesar dressing meld together beautifully on the Buffalo chicken pizza and the crust is fresh, flavorful and crispy. The creamy dressing also mellows the spicy heat of the chicken and the Brussels sprouts contribute fabulous flavor and texture.
And as most chicken wing aficionados know, when you’re making wings there’s really only one hot sauce that’ll do. Frank’s Red Hot is a cayenne pepper-based hot sauce that was the secret ingredient in the original Buffalo Chicken Wing recipe invented in Buffalo, New York in 1964. It is spicy and vinegary with a very distinct flavor and the minute I took my first bite of the pizza…I just knew. Conley later confirmed my suspicions.
And while the Hubs and I do enjoy the Buffalo Chicken Pizza at the restaurant, we officially have our own post-Grato ritual which only prolongs the deliciousness. When dining at Grato we fill up on our other favorite menu items such as the Meatballs with Parmesan Polenta (pictured above), Steak Tartare Crostini and Bucatini Carbonara (swoon!) and by the time the pizza hits the table…we’re too full to eat it! So with our precious take out box in hand, we head home, only stopping to hit Carvel for some ice cream on the way (no judgement, please!).
Now, if you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook you might already know, my husband is the Breakfast Master. By that I mean, he loves turning a dish we’ve enjoyed the night before it into a delicious breakfast. This usually involves putting a fried egg on top of whatever the dish was, but he always does a fabulous job.
When he’s working with leftover Buffalo chicken pizza, he fires up the grill the next morning and heats the remaining slices until they ‘re warmed through and crispy on the bottom. While the pizza’s reheating, he also fries up a few eggs in a cast iron pan on the grill. For the presentation, he tops each piece of Buffalo Chicken Pizza with a sunny side up fried egg. The result is pure HEAVEN!
While he’s preparing the pizza, I do my part and open a bottle of bubbles. Sparkling wine just happens to be the perfect pairing for Buffalo chicken pizza, just in case you didn’t already know that (the Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs is one of our faves). When it’s a weekend brunch a deux, I usually forego the traditional method of opening the bottle in favor of the saber. Please see photo below which nicely captures the cork flying off the bottle.
Next time you’re in West Palm Beach, make time to stop by and enjoy Grato’s fabulous Buffalo chicken pizza. They have plenty of other wonderful options as well, please see below for more information. If you live in South Florida too, what are some of your favorite local dishes? I’d love to hear about them in the Comments section below.
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Delray Beach, Florida has certainly come a loooooong way since I moved here 12 years ago. While some may say it’s lost some of it’s old school charm, I like to think we’ve made tremendous gains in the quality of our local cuisine! Unlike neighboring cities, Delray Beach has largely eschewed chain restaurants and given rise its own unique foodie culture instead. In order to spread the word about all this local deliciousness, I’ll be happily highlighting my favorite Delray dishes here on the blog in our segment: Delray Foodie Faves. Our first installment brings us to Brulé Bistro and their positively mouthwatering and supremely comforting Potato Croquettes.
Brulé Bistro is located in Delray’s tony Pineapple Grove Arts District, and since it’s incarnation in 2007, it has evolved from a gourmet market into a delightful American bistro and wine bar that is beloved by Delray locals. While I have enjoyed many delicious meals there over the years, there was just something about these potato croquettes! It was also by pure accident that I even tasted these delicious morsels and I hate to think how close I came to missing them – thanks, Matt!
Hearty, flavorful and perfectly seasoned, the croquettes were served piping hot, topped with a dusting of bright green chives. The generous discs of mashed potatoes were lightly coated in bread crumbs, fried and then crowned with a delicious trinity of applewood smoked bacon, Cheddar cheese and a savory, smoky aïoli. I had already ordered a split of Heidsieck Monopole Brut Champagne and the two together were sheer perfection! Now this is definitely not a healthy dish, nor particularly flashy and definitely does not require any fancy foodie technology, but if you are in the mood for some edible comfort, I defy you to find a better dish! I’m no psychic, but with the Fall and Winter months upon us, I see many more potato croquettes in my immediate future.
If you live in Delray Beach, what are some of your favorite local dishes?
Where: Brulé Bistro, 200 NE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444 or
What: Potato Croquettes – they usually have them in one form or another on their menu but if you don’t see them, ask your waiter!
How much: approximately $7 for an order of 2
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