Restaurant Review: 75 Main, Delray F-L-A!

Zach Erdem can best be described as extraordinary—a word not to be used lightly, but when describing this Turkish-born restaurateur, it is appropriate. Erdem’s culinary journey to success did not come without years of dedication, focus and passion. After arriving in the United States almost 15 years ago at the age of 17, he didn’t know what to expect— what he did know was that he had a vision.

By working his way up from the ground level and gaining experience, business savvy and knowledge while helping to manage famed places like Nello’s (NYC and Southampton) in addition to many others, Erdem became ready to take charge of his own destiny. His leap of faith, business smarts and hard work led him to make one of the best decisions of his young career—opening 75 Main, Southampton.

It wouldn’t be long before Erdem was ready to forge ahead and, this past spring he opened a second restaurant in Delray Beach, Florida. Much like the Southampton location, Delray Beach offers a chic and elegant atmosphere. The open and airy dining room is inviting with its crème and chocolate furnishings complemented by a display of beautiful artwork created by Canadian-born Montauker Rapheal Mazzucco. Big Band music plays softly in the background providing the imagery and vibe of modern day cool meets the days of Sinatra, Martin and Davis—a perfect blend.

Every table in the house offers a view of downtown Delray, perfect for those who like to people watch while at the same time providing an intimate and cozy atmosphere. In other words—it wasn’t a difficult job to find the right table.

Upon arrival, my dining companion and I were greeted by Giuliano Zaratin, 75 Main’s General Manager who has been in the business himself for more than 25 years. We were escorted to our table and began to peruse the intriguing menu. Our waitress, Katy, kindly took our drink orders and made a few recommendations. 75 Main offers New American cuisine with Mediterranean influences in addition to other innovative options.

There were a variety of great choices, but we decided to start with the Fresh Tomato Bruschetta made with ravioli dough chips topped with diced plum tomatoes, red onion, ricotta salada and dressed with basil, savory garlic, infused olive oil, balsamic glaze and fresh basil. This refreshing starter was the perfect beginning to a very enjoyable meal.

For our main entrées, I chose Cabernet Lamb Bolognese comprised of sautéed ground lamb and delicate, sweet Mirepoix vegetables tossed in a delicious tomato sauce and served atop perfectly cooked rigatoni pasta.

The combination of the vegetables and the tomato sauce was superbly flavorful without being too rich and filling. My dining companion decided on the Clams over Linguini. Executive Chef Robert Mastromino prides himself on creating dishes that are robust, but perfectly balanced. The linguini was cooked al dente, the way it should be, and topped with a light translucent clam sauce chock-full of sweet little clams and mixed with fresh herbs and a zing of lemon zest.

The menu is constantly evolving and GM Guiliano Zaratin, Executive Chef Robert Mastromino and Erdem frequently collaborate to offer the most delightful choices. A few other favorites include a succulent Seared Diver Scallops and a divine Grilled Chilean Sea bass.

In addition, 75 Main Delray boasts a spacious bar area with comfortable seating—the perfect setting for a holiday gathering, special celebration or simply meeting friends for a cocktail or two. If you’re looking for a little nightlife, 75 Main Delray is the place to be—a state-of-the-art nightclub designed by Erdem provides hours of late, fun entertainment.

Atmosphere, great food, excellent service and a cool vibe encompass all the makings of a successful restaurant. 75 Main Delray combines all of those elements and much more.

75maindelray.com, 270 East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, Florida, 561-243-7975. When in Southampton visit 75 Main at 75 Main Street, 631-283-7575.

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