Don’t worry if the name Prezzo’s doesn’t ring a bell, especially if you made your way to Boca Raton after the turn of the Millennium. For those who were around, though, your mouth is probably already watering as the smell of roasted garlic and fresh pizza teases your taste buds.
And if not, it may soon.
The original Prezzo’s
If you lived in Boca Raton in the 1990s, you likely tried, or at least heard of, the popular Italian restaurant, Prezzo’s. As one of the first locations in Boca (and South Florida in general) to install a wood-burning oven, Prezzo’s impressed guests with its signature pizzas and homemade pasta.
For 10 years, they served casual Italian, first in Boca, and later in Palm Beach Gardens and Miami. The food was tasty, the atmosphere lively, and everyone enjoyed the warm and inviting restaurant.
Because of the overwhelming success of the venues, restaurateurs Burt Rapoport and Dennis Max sold all three locations to a group who hoped to expand the Prezzo’s brand. Unfortunately, that plan fell through and all the Prezzo’s locations closed.
How a deli-flop leads to casual Italian
Unless you were paying attention, you might have missed the series of delis that opened in the Park Place shopping center.
Both shops were run by Rapoport, who was hoping to bring a modern take on the deli to Boca. The experiment failed rather quickly, though. As Rapoport tells myPalmBeachPost, “When people hear deli, the old-school deli comes to mind and that’s what everybody wanted, in terms of price and quality.”
Rappy’s, the first attempt, closed in May after only five months. Rapoport tried again with a cheaper version, Park Place Deli, but that ended quickly as well, with doors closing in July.
So you missed out if you’re hoping for a new deli experience in Boca. But that loss is your gain if you enjoy tasty and approachable Italian.
Nearly thirty years after the first Prezzo’s opening, Rapoport announced that he will team up again with Dennis Max to bring Prezzo’s back from the ashes. And they don’t plan on just relying on the name to keep the location successful.
For those who remember the original restaurant, you’ll find some of your old favorites, whether it was the roasted garlic or the foccacia bread sticks. And a new generation will have the opportunity to experience the restaurant’s style, flavor, and pizzas straight from the wood-oven.
The customer service should be top-notch as before. And you’ll find fresh ingredients, crisp pizza, and excellent desserts as expected.
You will have to wait a while, though. The location in Park Place plaza will undergo extensive renovation, and Rapoport hopes to reopen in November.
In the meantime, you can try one of Rapoport’s other restaurants in Delray Beach:
- Henry’s: Specializes in comfort food from Asia and the American Southwest. (16850 Jog Road)
- Deck 84: Offers a “casual waterfront escape” experience along the Intracoastal waterway. (840 East Atlantic Avenue)
- Burt & Max’s: Brings the fun and comfort of a neighborhood bar and grille to the Delray Marketplace. (9089 West Atlantic Ave)
Hopefully renovations will go as planned, since three months is already a bit of a wait. If you had a chance to try any of the original Prezzo’s locations, I’d love to hear about your favorite dish.
Marc Jablon, the Jablon Team