Farm­house Kitchen

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - South Broward - - DINING -

The slo­gan at Farm­house Kitchen reads, “just-good-food,” and can be seen on ev­ery­thing from printed nap­kin rings to em­ployee T-shirts. It de­rives from ex­ec­u­tive chef Matthew Dana­her’s menu, which re­port­edly uses sea­sonal, sus­tain­able and lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents. It also re­flects owner Gary Rack’s de­sire to cre­ate a restau­rant con­cept that em­braces an un­pre­ten­tious life­style of­fer­ing guilt-free, sat­is­fy­ing cui­sine.

In May, Farm­house Kitchen opened its sec­ond lo­ca­tion, in Delray Beach. Pre­vi­ously, the space was home to Fat Rooster, an­other Rack-owned restau­rant that served tra­di­tional South­ern fare. The suc­cess of the orig­i­nal Farm­house Kitchen in Boca Ra­ton led to Fat Rooster’s be­ing re­placed with a health­ier, veg­etable-fo­cused con­cept. (Rack also owns Racks Fish House + Oys­ter Bar in Delray Beach and Racks Down­town Eatery + Tav­ern in Boca Ra­ton.)

On a re­cent, rainy Thurs­day evening, the Delray Beach restau­rant was jump­ing. At­lantic Av­enue has a way of draw­ing crowds re­gard­less of time or weather, and only a few damp pa­tio ta­bles re­mained un­oc­cu­pied.

The ru­ral dé­cor in­volves dis­tressed wood floors, re­pro­duc­tions of vin­tage tin signs and Ma­son jars filled with pick­led veg­eta­bles and spice mix­tures. The bar seats about 20, and a row of three booths lines the open kitchen, where I wit­nessed a staffer vi­o­lat­ing a ba­sic rule of restau­rant eti­quette by eat­ing in view of cus­tomers. This should never hap­pen.

We took a seat un­der air­con­di­tion­ing vents, and be­gan to feel a steady drip. A sweet and ac­com­mo­dat­ing host­ess took charge, found a step stool and cleaned up the con­den­sa­tion.

Our server pre­sented us with 204 E. At­lantic Ave., Delray Beach 561-266-3642, Farm­house­KitchenDel­ray.com Cui­sine: Farm to ta­ble Cost: Mod­er­ate Hours: Lunch and din­ner seven days; weekend brunch Reser­va­tions: Not ac­cepted Credit cards: All ma­jor Bar: Full Sound level: Con­ver­sa­tional Out­side smok­ing: No Wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble: Yes Park­ing: Street, pay lots two menus. The smaller menu in­cluded a list of 20 veg­etable, grain and potato sides, a veg­e­tar­ian’s de­light. We started with grilled ar­ti­choke ($12), served with a spring-onion re­moulade. When mixed with the gar­nish of shaved fen­nel, wa­ter­melon radish and sun­flower sprouts, the dip­ping sauce cre­ated a de­li­cious slaw. I ap­pre­ci­ated the clean, trimmed, ready-to-eat heart. Who wants to deal with fuzz from a choke?

On the reg­u­lar din­ner menu, the grilled chicken wings ($13) with fen­nel, pine nuts, ca­pers and grapes sounded like a fresh al­ter­na­tive to the norm. The smok­i­ness from grilling with a touch of sweet­ness from a mari­nade made a tasty com­bi­na­tion. But two in­gre­di­ents that at­tracted us, pine nuts and ca­pers, never made it to the plate, though chia seeds did. Crushed avocado toast ($9) with kale pesto served on a smear of herbed ri­cotta and gar­nished with sun­flower sprouts, wa­ter­melon radish and chile threads was the first ap­pe­tizer to dis­ap­pear. It was clean and full of fla­vor. Zesty flo­rets of Buf­falo-style cauliflower ($10) could be veg­e­tar­i­ans’ an­swer to wings. Paired with an herby bleu cheese sauce and topped with toasted, sliv­ered al­monds and sprouts, it all seemed to work.

A choice of five sal­ads ($10-$14) starts with or­ganic greens and

PHO­TOS BY CLAIRE PEREZ/COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Crushed avocado toast with kale pesto at Farm­house Kitchen in Delray Beach.

The warm brownie with mixed berries..

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