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Deck burger; Photography by Gyorgy Papp

Featured Article

Waterfront dining on Atlantic Av.

There are dozens of restaurants along Delray’s famed Atlantic Avenue, but few command the breathtaking waterfront view of Deck 84. Situated right by the Florida Intercoastal, Deck 84 has been named among the Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants by OpenTable on multiple occasions. With 150 feet of dock space, diners can arrive by boat and even bring their own fish to be cooked.

 

The sprawling covered patio offers unobstructed views of the water. With a refreshing breeze coming off the Intercoastal, and a Florida-casual vibe, this is a place to linger.

Deck 84 offers live music from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm on weekends, so it can get pretty lively. There may be a wait for a table, but there is ample seating at the generous outdoor bar.

Burt Rapoport’s dedication to excellent service is evident here. The wait staff are helpful, quick, and knowledgeable. A special hat tip to my waitress, Lisa, who expertly guided me through the array of choices and knew absolutely everything about the menu.

Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays. The smoked brisket hash is a crowd pleaser. It is slow smoked in house and served with crispy potatoes, caramelized onions, peppers and spinach, then topped with two fried eggs and creamy hollandaise sauce. Another brunch favorite is the caprese avocado toast. While avocado toast seems to be ubiquitous these days, the fresh local burrata and oven-blistered tomatoes coupled with arugula pesto and balsamic reduction all combine to bring this dish to another level.

Starters include typical favorites like spinach & artichoke dip and shrimp cocktails, but a highlight is the "Green Goddess" hummus, made with lime and roasted garlic. The vibrant green dip is accompanied by a wonderfully warm and zesty za'atar-spiced pita, quinoa tabouleh and a light, tangy tzatziki. This dish simply bursts with fresh, healthy ingredients and is safe for those with nut allergies.

For those craving something more substantial, the prime deck burger is a winner. The patty is made with a special blend of brisket, sirloin and chuck and assembled with asiago aioli, juicy vine-ripe tomatoes, lettuce and American cheese and topped with crispy onions, fried egg and applewood bacon for added crunch.

New to the menu and very popular with diners is the coconut chicken Milanese, served with marinated arugula salad, a sweet corn-tomato relish, pickled onion, toasted coconut, mango-pineapple chutney, and charred lemon.

Situated as it is beside the Intercoastal, Deck 84’s menu is naturally replete with a variety of seafood options. The trio of baja fish tacos served blackened, fried or grilled is a solid choice. The tacos are topped with a light cilantro-lime coleslaw, crema, and hot, crisp house-pickled jalapenos and are served with a charred tomato salsa. The truffle fries are a tasty foil for these tacos – perfectly crispy with a subtle hit of umami. This dish pairs well with the Benvolio pinot grigio, which is light with a pleasingly subtle mouthfeel.

For those in the mood for something stronger, the deck punch is a good option for fans of rum runners. It is made with Bacardi Pineapple Fusion Rum, orange and pineapple juices, grenadine, and a Bacardi 8 Dark Rum Floater. The Key Lime martini is crafted with Grey Goose Vodka, KeKe Key Lime liqueur and house-made sour mix and is finished with a coconut flake rim. This positively tart martini tastes exactly like key lime pie.

There are lots of local IPAs here for tourists and residents who are serious about their craft beers. One to try is Saltwater Screaming Reels IPA, brewed just down the road on Atlantic Avenue.

Dog lovers are not only welcome but accommodated with a special chef-prepared doggie menu. Owners and their pups can choose chicken, fish or beef, coupled with brown rice and Greek yogurt. Canine diners are served in their very own doggie bowl.

  • Deck burger; Photography by Gyorgy Papp
  • Baja fish tacos; Photography by Gyorgy Papp
  • Key Lime martini; Photography by Gyorgy Papp
  • Photography by Deck 84
  • Photography by Jerry Rabinowitz
  • Photography by Danika Dahl