While most people are limited on travel due to the pandemic protocols set in place, one restaurant is bringing international flair to the food scene.
Entrepreneurs Lee and Max Lipton have a long-standing business relationship with Executive Chef Jeremy Hanlon that has been applauded in the South Florida market for nearly a decade. Their latest venture called Viva La Playa has them partnering up once again to create a new concept restaurant with mindfully cultivated signature dishes that take you on an intoxicating journey.
The famed restaurateurs joined up to cultivate international cuisine curated in fashionable style that pleases the senses at the Lake Worth Beach establishment off the coast of Florida. Thoughtful and passionate creations originate from Hanlon’s travel, cooking and education throughout the world. His immense background and unique experiences are brought to the table to collectively take you on a sensory experience that leaves you satisfied yet craving more.
And, at a time when most people have cut back on travel due to pandemic protocols and country borders on lockdown, the taste of travel has never been sweeter.
“The earlier part of my career was based on little to zero income learning from the best in the culinary world,” stated the executive chef. “Working endlessly to pursue my love for the culinary craft was my schedule. Daniel Boulud was my mentor at his (New York City) flagship, Restaurant Daniel, where I proceeded to work my way through the kitchen mastering each aspect of the kitchen. I cultivated corporate business sense in over 30 countries while assisting International franchisees and tailored my ability to speak publicly and teach via Food Network.”
Over the years Max Lipton has developed a unique passion for dining. He has globetrotted the continents to discover the world’s best restaurants that he has chronicled on the hit Instagram @max_vs_food. Throughout these experiences he has gained a wealth of culinary and service knowledge that proudly influences the alluring experience at Viva La Playa.
Lee Lipton brings a different dynamic to the table. His strong roots in New York City fashion and entertainment are celebrated. A powerful clothing empire that encompassed Calvin Klein and a top-rated nightclub notably including The Underground are just a few places enriched with his Midas touch. Lee is often seen with famous athletes, actors, and entrepreneurs at his restaurants.
The well-balanced blackboard foundation of these three men has created Viva La Playa’s bold Latin American approach to cuisine – featuring flavors from Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Cuba and Brazil among many other remarkable places.
“After countless rounds of menu engineering in our kitchen I am proud of the entire menu,” reflected Hanlon about the process to launch the restaurant after the team’s initial success with legendary Benny’s on The Beach that launched nearly seven years ago.
To experience Viva La Playa is to indulge in adventure. This Latina cocina features authentic international and artisanal delights.
Our focus is on developing flavor from our key ingredients,” continued the chef. “Where it is commonly a mistake to make flavors muddy, we focus on pulling out all of that great flavor with less ingredients to enhance the dish, making a lasting impression.”
Inspired plates include: Cerviche with citrus poached wahoo, tomatillo ginger juice, avocado, onion, pickled cucumber, and choclo; Tamal with pork shoulder and blackberry, mustard green sauce; and Empanadas with beef short rib or rotisserie chicken.
One can dine solo or be entranced at a shared table over such menu items as Queso Caliente with warm cheese sauce, spice toasted chorizo, poblano pepper stew, queso fresco, and tortilla; or Nachos Chilaquiles with salsa verde, poblano, fresh jalapeno, pickled onion, warm queso, salsa, and egg.
Take joy in also sampling unique salads and soups such as Pozole with savoy broth, hominy, braised pork, cilantro, radish and tortilla; or Strawberry Chiptole with baby carrot, tomato, yellow beets, purple cauliflower, radish, blackberry, scallion, baby greens, and strawberry chipotle dressing.
There is also a superb cocktail menu with local fresh market ingredients and cold press juices. Each signature beverage is meticulously crafted — developed after endlessly testing flavor profiles and preparation methods in effort to perfectly pair the bold flavors that come from the kitchen. Sourced from different regions of Latin America there is a strong focus in agave spirits. Menu highlights include: Coconut Caipirinha with leblon cachaca, rumhaven, coconut water, and cane sugar; Diabla with sombra mezcal, Chambord, beet, cassis, and ginger beer; and Azul Fresco with Gray Whale gin, Mediterranean tonic, rosemary, black peppercorn, and spirulina. Also to note are fantastic flights of featured mezcal, tequila, and cane. The mezcal includes a Leyenda of Durango, San Luis, and Oaxaca.
“We focus on details and intentional service to enhance a guest’s experience,” proudly states the chef. “Our food tells a story of indigenous origin and heightened creativity.”
Take a culinary journey here with them as your experienced tour guides and indulge in genuine service in a resort style atmosphere with authentic quality food and beverage offerings.