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South Florida restaurant veterans to open new spots

Staff writer

Three veteran South Florida restaurateurs are opening new restaurants later this year.

Burt Rapoport (Max’s Grille, Henry’s, Deck 84, Burt & Max’s, Bogart’s Bar and Grille) is partnering with chef David Blonsky in a new Mediterranean restaurant called Apeiro Kitchen and Bar, set to open in December at Delray Marketplace on Lyons Road in Delray Beach.

Rapoport, who operates Burt & Max’s in the same development, was eager to open something else next door.

“I knew somebody was going to go in there and open a restaurant,” he says. “I wanted to control my competition, and I’ve spent all of these years at Max’s Grille [in Boca’s Raton’s Mizner Park] watching people not wanting to wait for a table and going to a place next door.”

Rapoport saw that Blonsky, who was working with celebrity chef Fabio Viviani in Chicago, had the chops to oversee Apeiro. Viviani will open a Miami branch of his Sienna Tavern later this year.

Apeiro’s menu will span the Mediterranean, and feature dishes influenced by Morocco, Italy, Greece and Portugal. Highlights include simply grilled octopus, baked pastitsio and Colorado lamb chops.

Fort Lauderdale-based Manhas Designs will design Apeiro as well as Max’s Social House, another upcoming Delray restaurant from restaurateur Dennis Max, who three decades ago introduced California cuisine to South Florida.

Set in the former Falcon House, Max’s Social House — SoHo for short — will feature local produce and fish, seasonal craft beer and classic cocktails. Look for a November opening.

In Miami Beach, chef Michelle Bernstein, her husband and business partner, David Martinez, and Miami-based KNR Hospitality Group, by November plan to open Seagrape inside the new Thompson Miami Beach.

The 267-seat “casually elegant Floridian brasserie” will showcase ingredients that Bernstein has commissioned local farmers to grow. The host of WPBT-Ch. 2's “Check, Please! South Florida” will also oversee the kitchen at Thompson’s 1930’s House, where Spanish-inspired small plates and crudos will be on the menu.

Seagrape, 1930’s House and a cocktail bar and lounge called Crown Room will open at 4041 Collins Ave. For more information, go to ThompsonMiamiBeach.com.

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