Buddha Garden

A walk past the wine cellar reveals a graceful cherry-blossom tree in the middle of the dining room that matches the dishware at the new Buddha Garden in Delray Beach. (Benjamin Rusnak, Courtesy / January 2, 2013)

Buddha Garden

217 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-450-7557, BuddhaSkyBar.com

Buddha Sky Bar, the year-old pan-Asian fusion hideaway on the third floor next to the railroad tracks amid Atlantic's pageantry, has vertically expanded into the downstairs floors of the former SpoonFed as Buddha Garden.

The same red, gold and chocolate colors unite the two entities, Sky and Garden. But the first floor is more spacious and elaborate even though it retains an intimate feel. Guests may feel transported to Asia in the front-entrance mini lounge with red couches and a grand, serene Buddha fountain centered in a wall of lush plants.

A walk past the wine cellar reveals a graceful cherry-blossom tree in the middle of the dining room that matches the dishware. Mezzanine seating overlooks this area anchored by four red semi-circular booths under an alcove of arches and a LED wall screen displaying scurrying koi. An indoor/outdoor bar with a lighted floor in the dining room bridges to sidewalk seating.

"We've worked hard to train our staff, many of whom have been here from the very beginning," co-owner Chris Licata says. "It's a true family, and we want everyone who visits us to feel like they are a part of that."

Also debuting: an expanded wine list, beers on tap and four new cocktails such as tropical Thai basil margarita ($12). Favorites, such as scallops baked in the shell with blue crab ($14) and black cod miso skewers ($22), are still here.

Dinner is served nightly, and a DJ enhances a lounge vibe until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. The second floor is reserved for private parties.


52 N. Swinton Ave, Delray Beach, 561-330-3232, Sub-Culture.org/Dada

This quaint historic house with a front-yard oasis is running seasonal dishes until April.

Feeling whimsical? Dip a pork-belly waffle dog into spiced raspberry maple syrup ($9.50) for a kick. Or, start with gazpacho ($5) and kale Caesar salad ($9), perhaps accompanied by three new mojitos: grapefruit, ginger and the razzmatazz with raspberries and Chambord ($10).

Back by popular demand are gruyère fondue with pretzel bread, fruit and veggies ($13), grass-fed filet mignon with surprisingly sweet sautéed kale with shallots and crusty-top potato au gratin ($29.50), and the Chicken Del Rio with avocado, provolone, barbecue black beans and yellow rice ($19).

"We had several pleas to put them back over the year, so we brought them back to the season menu," co-owner Scott Frielich says.

Other seasonal entrées are Sunray Venus clams and pappardelle with basil-sage brown butter ($22) and vegetable flatbread with walnut spread and blue cheese ($15).

Finish with chocolate truffle shuffle or mango streusel cake (both $6).

Some versions of these items are available on the gluten-free menu.


2364 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-3392, dba2z.com

This 60-seat wine bar and bistro with brick walls, tin ceiling and rustic touches has moved into the former Café Jamm in the Union Planters Plaza.