Where: 52 N. Swinton Ave, Delray Beach 561/330-3232
The lowdown: Imagine an eclectic house with pop art covering the walls, quirky living room furniture, a lawn covered in wooden picnic tables, large overhanging trees and strings and strings of lights. This is Dada, an off-the-beaten-path kind of place that brings Downtown Delray good food, arts, and culture — and a killer cocktail list with at least ten kinds of mojitos.
What is Dada? It’s actually a French word, meaning “hobby-horse,” an avant-garde art movement in the early 20th century. The house — yes, the building where Dada lives used to be a home — was built during this era. This gives you a little hint as to the kind of clientele you’ll find when you walk into comfy-casual Dada-land. It’s full of artsy, hipster and innovative minds all congregating together in one of the busiest yet relaxed places you can find in Downtown Delray. You will most likely be met with a wait, whether you want to sit outside on the funky, dressed-up lawn or in one of the mod, art-filled rooms of the house. It’s worth waiting though. The food is eclectic and completely distinctive of Dada’s brand. The staff is super cool too: knowledgeable about the menu and always ready to help figure out seating arrangements for your party, since sometimes it can be a bit of a struggle. I’m telling you, this place is always packed.
The intangibles: Dada’s menu is simple: you start at the “Beginning,” choose one of their many tapas-style appetizers such as the Gazpacho of the Moment, Mediterranean Plate, or the Fondue served with pretzel bread, fruit and veggies. Then you move onto the “Middle” where you’re met with classic comforting entrees like Butternut Squash Ravioli and the Seven Cheese Grilled Cheese made with cheddar, swiss, goat, blue, sheep feta, American and provolone cheeses and served with tomato bisque. No night is complete without reaching the “End.” Indulge in desserts like the Warm Banana Bread with caramelized banana caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream or The Dada S’mores — graham cracker crust and dark chocolate mousse topped with a marshmallow meringue. Prices range from $10-$30.
On top of the incredible food, Dada is known for its appreciation of the arts. Local artists and musicians have plenty of opportunity to show their stuff at one of the restaurants many events. Chill out every Monday at 9 p.m. to Basement Jams, where everyone who signs up gets a free beer. Local artwork is displayed at the Dada Craft Bazaar on the second Thursday night of every month, hosted by Couture Accessories by JK. There is live music just about every night of the week, as well as the occasional dinner pairing or holiday celebration. Dada is a place that everyone should experience — sit outside under tree-lined lights, listen to good music, sip on a cocktail, eat a good meal and relish in one of the best that Delray has to offer.
Hours: Dada is open everyday from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m.