Intimate and Personal
Chef Michael Rolchigo has been in the business for 34 years, but Krave is his first venture on his own – it’s his heart and soul. The upscale, fine-dining restaurant, which opened in November, makes for an intimate experience with space for 32 diners, plus four seats at the bar. Rolchigo opened the restaurant with his brother Phil after years of dreaming about it. The restaurant is an all-around family affair: Phil and his wife, Judy, are partners in the business, Rolchigo’s fiancé, Lisa, helped design the restaurant, and Rolchigo’s children, mother and sister are all involved.
The chef, who was trained at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., credits his first culinary education to his Italian grandmother, Lena Bello. “But this menu isn’t too Italian,” he says. Rolchigo describes the dishes as “new American cuisine with a world influence.” “We use ingredients from Hawaii, Italy, France, Turkey,” Rolchigo says, while listing off items like black truffles, tuna, morel mushrooms and more. And instead of the traditional bread and butter, Rolchigo prepares a daily “chef’s gift” for each table. “It’s just one bite to tantalize the tastebuds,” he says.
A night out
Residents from Tequesta, Jupiter, Singer Island and the Palm Beaches all book reservations at Krave, Rolchigo says. “People are excited that we’re here; that we’re a high-end restaurant with creativity,” he says. The restaurant has a “proper attire” dress code (business casual) and allows for at least a two-hour window between each table reservation. And Rolchigo makes a point to speak with guests at each and every table. In the late springtime, the restaurant was already booked up with reservations two weeks in advance.
The name is all about the food, Rolchigo says. “Craving all of the great things in life – food, friends and family,” he says. And don’t expect anything but the specials to change anytime soon at this Tequesta restaurant. “I’d consider opening up another restaurant, but I’d never touch this one,” the chef says.
What to try
The menu includes two award-winning dishes: the peanut-encrusted ahi tuna (2010 Vita Nova award winning entrée) and grilled Berkshire pork tenderloin (the No. 1 entrée in Palm Beach County by The Palm Beach Post in 2009). Rolchigo also recommends the “deconstructed” Long Island duck made with a scallion pancake, a bok choy medley and a hoisin barbecue glaze with cilantro. For dessert, try the frozen nougat made with pistachios, almonds, Madagascar vanilla and Grand Marnier.