Name: Karla Nelson
Occupation: TV Production Manager
Lives In: Lighthouse Point
Restaurant Pick: Sundy House
Reviewed Sundy House: January 11th, 2009
The Sundy house, not Sunday house is a great stay-cation idea for locals. My guests and I agreed that its the type of place that you can “get away” even if only for a few hours. The inviting interior design of the three main dining rooms and the lushness of the Old Florida taru gardens are not to be missed, but they really only set the stage for an evening that will have both food lovers and those wanting something truly special bragging aloud and planning future visits. We arrived 15 minutes before our reservation, valet parked and entered the Bamboo lounge to soft jazz music. The décor put us in the mood for some “old fashioned” kind of drinks and the bartender was helpful as we tried our memories to come up with giblets, Manhattan’s and a sloe gin fizz! Once we were seated (right on time!) the chefs really put on a show as they creatively arranged some of the best tasting food combinations in plate presentations worth a standing ovation. Tasty, a bit of a different twist on the traditional calamari (this one is in an olive and parmesan kind of chunky sauce), or lamb chops (superbly cooked medium rare on the inside with a Dijon and herb crust on the outside) and Panko crusted goat cheese cake (they sure give you a nice cake of warm on the inside cheese, sitting on tasty arugula and crispy bacon bits) that is drizzled in a fig vinaigrette, kind of sweet yet tangy and rich. Appropriately enough for a restaurant with roots steeped in south Florida history (the award winning boutique hotel and the Del La Tierra restaurant are built in the 1902 home of Delray Beach’s first Mayor – bearing the name Sundy), the recipes show off influences of European, South American, African and Caribbean fare. After dinner we enjoyed a cup of coffee and had to share both the Anjou Pear (delicious and how classy does it sound!) and the warm chocolate cake with caramel custard. (This is no ordinary cake – its warm like a molten cake and creamy like a rich pudding). Then, to try and justify our over indulgence in the sweets, we took a stroll through the gardens and smoked cigars among the 500 exotic plants and landscape filled with cascading waterfalls, and little bridges. Then, we returned to the bamboo lounge to away the announcement of our car which much to our disappointment only took about 10 minutes. The Sundy House is one of my favorite places in all of South Florida. Its international, its local, its unique and its moderate prices (50 per person without liquor) are worth every cent.
Name: Larry Lowenthal
Lives In: Cooper City
Restaurant Pick: Paella Grill Tapas and Bar
Reviewed Sundy House: January 9th, 2009
Sundy House serves excellent food in an old, beautifully-maintained house surrounded by spectacular, carefully-maintained, old-growth gardens. We pulled into the front driveway where the valet met us immediately to collect both my keys and a $5 bill representing the valet parking charge. We were led directly to a table after deciding to dine indoors rather than in the garden, where it may have been chillier.
A basket of excellent whole grain breads was delivered to the table along with a dish of butter rosettes. We were in a handsome room a with two-story volume ceiling and walls painted with Florida theme drawings of herons and palm fronds. The east windows were covered with bamboo shades. As for the huge wall of south windows, I realized that the window portions were hinged together and the whole bunch of them could be raised along tracks that ran up the walls and along the ceilings. As it happened, we were seated shortly after the bank of windows was lowered to keep out the evening chill.
To the north, we were separated by a windowed wall from the “Roux Bamboux” lounge, an impressive bar area that makes up the center of the house. Another dining room lies just beyond the lounge’s west windowed wall.
Our server was friendly and competent – very eager to offer his own recommendations from the menu. He was a bit obsequious with us but more natural with other diners, and I cannot explain why.
A quick food summary: the Baby Mixed Greens salad was perfect, the Calamari appetizer was very flavorful but needed a bit more dressing. My Tortellini / Mushroom entrée was wonderfully flavored and a joy to consume, but the 9-piece portion was a little small for the price. My wife ordered the grilled filet mignon with a bleu-cheese crust, pureed potatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms. It was a huge portion prepared exactly as ordered, but everything was served in a stack, with the potatoes and asparagus mushed together and the steak residing on top. That was all right with her, but I believe that diners should be cautioned before meals are served that way, in the event that we want the side dishes to remain on the side as expected.
The wine menu is elaborate enough for most diners, and we selected from a well-populated by-the-glass menu. Madame chose a Malbec from Argentina, while I settled on a fruity Pinot Grigio from Italy. We were both happy with our choices.
As for dessert, we went with the server’s promise that we would like the new item, an apple pear tart with cinnamon ice cream, which we would complement with cups of decaf coffee. What appeared was not recognizable as a tart like the ones we have made, purchased, or ordered, so we were sure that they served us the wrong item. But no, another server confirmed the dish’s identity and we attacked it. There were little twin cakes at each end of the dish, a mound of home-made cinnamon ice cream in the middle, a number of fresh berries to share, and two, thin, caramelized slices of fruit – one apple and one pear.
Despite the possible misidentification of the item, the varied ingredients worked deliciously well together and we scraped the plate clean. The coffee and ensuing service – including the check business -- was excellent. We then walked out to tour the beautiful garden area and saw that many diners had opted to enjoy their dinners outside at the romantically placed and lighted tables amidst the foliage. We questioned our earlier decision to dine inside, but were feeling too good to let self-doubt last more than a few seconds.
Our car was quickly retrieved and we were on our way home about 100 minutes after arriving. On earlier visits, we would stroll the interesting shops of Atlantic Avenue before dinner.
Name: Giselle Ferro
Occupation: Grant Manager
Lives In: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Les Halles
Reviewed Sundy House: January 4th, 2009
Sundy House is a wonderful brunch restaurant. The outdoor dining in the garden is a treat! The quality of food as good, but what made it special was the variety of food options available as well and the wonderful friendly service. I would recommend this restaurant to others looking for a great Brunch as well as a relaxing time outside of the hustle and bustle of Miami. I would also recommend this to someone looking to come with out of town guests.
My experience at the Sundy House for a Sunday Brunch was like going on vacation to wonderful inn. We arrive at the restaurant and valeted the car. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the hostess, who immediately asked us if this was or first time having Brunch. Because it was, we received a tour of the restaurant and the several brunch stations with the assortment of food.
Food included a salad station (with pastas, cheeses, greens), a seafood station (fish dip, crab dip, shrimp), an omelet station (where you could create your own omelet), a pasta station (with several types of pastas), a meat station (lamb, pork loin, prime rib, mahi), other foods were eggs benedict, bacon, sausage, waffles and crepes, an assortment of sweets (cookies, scones, chocolate covered strawberries, peanut butter fudge, apple tart, apple crumb, as well as fresh fruit!
We were asked if we preferred indoor or outdoor seating, and were encouraged to sit outside by the hostess since it was our first time. This was a terrific suggestion, as the outdoor garden location was perfect! Although the restaurant was full of many people, it never felt that way since we were seated in the patio; it felt private and intimate.
Our waitress was extremely friendly and attentive. Both coffee, water and drink (Mimosas and Bloody Maries) service was excellent. The wait staff came around often to check on our drinks.
The quality of the food was good and the taste was also good. What stands out is the wonderful outdoor location, the friendly staff, and the variety of options available to diners. There is bound to be something for everyone. Come with a big appetite!
Once we could not eat anymore, we paid the bill. The waitress brought the check, which included tax and gratuity. Although it was a little pricey, it was definitely well worth the drive and the price. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants a terrific brunch.
Location: 106 South Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach , Fl 33444
Restaurant Owner: Managed by The Kessler Collection
Type of Cuisine: Modern American with European & Caribbean Influence
Meals Served: Dinner, Sunday brunch, lunch seasonally (Nov-May)
Accommodations for Children: Yes