Kitchen has gained quite the reputation. In just one year, husband and wife duo Chef Matthew and Aliza Byrne have turned a tiny restaurant on the corner of Belvedere Road and U.S. 1 into a well-respected “foodie” hot spot. But neither is the bragging type. “We want people to feel like they’re having their own private dinner – like they’re with family,” Aliza says of the American brasserie-style restaurant.
A stacked resume
The man behind the scenes is Matthew. He got his start in the kitchens of Philadelphia, eventually working his way into the private chef business. For nearly a decade, he split his time between Philly and Palm Beach to cook for Goldman Sachs executive George Ross, and later Tiger Woods. “I was lucky enough to work for some amazing people,” he says. He moved to Palm Beach permanently with Aliza in 2010, and opening a restaurant close to home was first on their bucket list.
Kitchen’s focus is on healthy, simple, comfort food, Matthew says. “We buy the best ingredients and do as little to them as possible,” he says. Nothing is frozen; everything is fresh. “You’re coming here if you’re a foodie,” he adds. Some of the most popular dishes include the Simple Grilled Fish, the Kitchen Burger, the tuna tartare, and the Kitchen Coconut Cake made with lemon curd and a strawberry sauce. Matthew also recommends the onion rings. He prepares them the same way he first learned to make them in Philadelphia – coated in pancake batter.
The restaurant is known for its tight quarters and strict seatings. Kitchen seats 36 people inside and 16 outside. Reservations are required and seatings are enforced, Aliza says. “Otherwise, we’d never turn the tables,” she explains. Reservations are limited to a two-hour window and are staggered so that tables turn over as many as three times in one night. But for a slower-paced meal, parties of eight to 12 have the option of reserving the private chef’s table. At $70 per person for four courses, it’s a great value for an intimate and tailored dining experience.
Down to earth
Despite the regimented dining hours and high-profile clientele, the Philly couple is humble and laid-back. “We always had the smallest house but we were always the ones doing the entertaining,” says Aliza, who welcomes customers into Kitchen like she’s welcoming them into her home. To help people relax before and after their reservation, the Byrnes are opening a wine lounge next door called The Den at Kitchen. At press time, the lounge was slated to open by the end of October. The goal, the Byrnes say, is to have people linger and stay awhile.