Deli Delights on Palm Avenue

Good Bite

New York deli staples will be featured at Palm Avenue Deli. Photo by Mae Mu and courtesy of Unsplash.

Sarasota doesn’t boast a food hall, but the city doesn't need one thanks to Hi Hospitality Group, the creative minds behind Kojo and Bar Hana on Palm Avenue. With the opening of its newest restaurant, Palm Avenue Deli, the team is building out a block chock full of culinary experiences that draw on traditions from across the globe, from the sun-drenched shores of Hawaii to the bustling delis that define New York City.

“This concept is a tip of the hat to the classic New York delis, pulling from institutions like 2nd Ave Deli, Carnegie Deli and Katz’s Delicatessen. For decades, they have been staples of the Jewish community there,” says Robert Castellon, the group’s director of operations. “The food has Eastern European, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish influences that come from the Jewish immigrants in that in the 1940s to 1960s, opened delis serving up dishes reminiscent of the food with which they grew up.” While Sarasotans could experience these restaurants by visiting The Big Apple or viewing them in television shows and movies like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or When Harry Met Sally, Palm Avenue Deli represents an opportunity to experience this slice of Americana in our hometown. According to Culinary Director Hart Lowry, “The majority of the deli’s menu is comprised of our team’s family recipes, which pay tribute to the generations who have passed them down.” Guests can enjoy stuffed cabbage, as well as corned beef, pastrami and other iconic sandwiches. They will delight in Natalia’s Syrniki, pancakes made with sweetened farmer's cheese. This comfort food hails from Russia, and the deli serves it with condensed milk and raspberry preserves, making it an ideal breakfast option. The team puts a few twists on the menu, like the dill pickle fried chicken and chilled beet and watermelon gazpacho, a play on borscht, but keeps their focus on tradition.

Emulating its big city cousins, Palm Avenue Deli offers convenient grab-and-go prepared meal options that can be enjoyed at home or on the run. While the team wanted to create a casual environment in which guests can be in and out within one hour, they sprinkled in higher-end touches, like a caviar selection. A Staten Island native bakes the desserts, including New York cheesecake and rugelach cookies, a favorite at Zabar’s, giving the menu’s sweet offerings an authentic touch. The restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch, with the goal of expanding to 24/7 service.

“This type of cooking is greater than the sum of its parts,” adds Lowry, who hopes that the simple pleasure of classic favorites served in a nostalgic setting complete with black and white tiles, mid-century modern touches and a wall dedicated to celebrity photos will appeal to all visitors. “We wanted to create something that would leave you thrilled,” he says “whether you’re a New Yorker from a Jewish family or a sixteen-year-old who’s never visited the city.”

Palm Avenue Deli, 1297 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, palmavenuedeli.com.

New York deli staples will be featured at Palm Avenue Deli. Photo by Mae Mu and courtesy of Unsplash.

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