Let’s Go, South Florida host Arlene Borenstein takes a look at entrepreneur Jeff John’s latest venture Warren American Whiskey Kitchen in Delray Beach.
In this week’s episode of Let’s Go, South Florida: South Florida’s leading whiskey-tender makes us a Manhattan, step-by-step, at Warren American Whiskey Kitchen in Delray Beach. And find out why entrepreneur Jeff John’s newest venture is a shift from the local destinations he’s known for.
Eye-catching chandeliers, studded bar stools and a tall, blue-eyed whiskey expert nicknamed “Fitzy” — eager to make the cocktail of your dreams — is only part of the story at Warren American Whiskey Kitchen in Delray Beach.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Jeff John. The Chicago-born entrepreneur came to Florida to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton and never left, building a Fort Lauderdale-based hospitality company over the past 25 years that launched: Revolution Live, Backyard, recently closed CWS Bar and Kitchen, Green Bar and Kitchen and Stache Drinking Den and Coffee Bar.
But John is dealing a new card from his deck, shifting away from the youthful personality of his venues to a destination inspired by family.
“Warren is very personal to me. This restaurant is dedicated to my Uncle named Warren. He was a best friend and mentor,” he said.
Warren lived in downtown Chicago and traveled the world seeking the best food and wine wherever he went, according to John.
“Warren loved a great time. He loved people. We want to give a piece of Warren back to the community,” he said.
The elegant, Old World backdrop of the restaurant is a nod to his uncle and complements the menu. Offerings include: Australian Carrara Wagyu ribeye with sauteed spinach, caramelized onion and roasted garlic butter ($68); a 28-day dry aged prime New York strip with with a parmesan crispy potato and wine merchant sauce ($55); and lobster seafood Bolognese with pappardelle, Maine lobster, scallop, jumbo shrimp and San Marzano tomato ($32).
There is also a shareable section on the menu that hits many tastes with items such as Gloria’s KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) with Gochujang glaze ($12), roasted cauliflower with smoked poblano, smoked pepper coulis, avocado creme and fresno relish ($14) and PEI mussels with sweet sausage, rapini, garlic, shallot, wine wine and grilled bread ($16).
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The restaurant quietly opened over the weekend and is now taking reservations. A date-night calling for any couple, but note to parents: Bringing kids to Warren is not only OK, it’s encouraged.
“When the parents want to come here, we think the kids will want to come here just as much,” said John, who is also a dad. “This is Warren. This is based on family.”
But full disclosure, the dramatic draw to Warren is a 1,000 bottle whiskey list that could be the largest and most unique in Florida. The selection is managed by so-called spiritual advisor John “Fitzy” Fitzpatrick, who wants nothing more than to freestyle a cocktail based on what you like.
“We are going to do an Old Fashioned of the day. We have cedar boards, cherry, maple, oak. Each day we’ll have a different flavored smoke, with a different whiskey, with a different flavored bitters,” Fitzpatrick said.
Warren is located at 15084 Lyons Road Bay 350, Delray Beach. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday. Closed on Mondays.