A new modern take on modern Pan-Asian cuisine will launch in Palm Beach County later this fall when 3 Amigos LLC partners Scott Frielich of Subculture Group, Angelo Abbenante of Lynora’s Restaurant, Cleve Mash of Clematis Social, and executive chef Tim Nickey bring Blackbird to Jupiter.
Set to open in September, the restaurant will offer local denizens a taste of Chinese-American mainstays like Peking duck. The four say they love the classic preparation so much, they almost named the restaurant after the dish.
Instead, the group tells News Break they chose the name Blackbird, a bird they feel embodies mystery, magic, and samsara — or rebirth.
Nestled along Old Dixie Highway near the foursome’s popular Mexican restaurant and bar, PapiChulo Tacos, on U.S. 1 in Jupiter, the restaurant occupies a prime corner once belonging to the iconic Jupiter Crab Company.
Frielich and Abbenante say they share fond memories dining at the popular seafood eatery with their families. When the property's most recent iteration, Shipwreck Bar & Grille, shuttered and hit the market in early-2021, the partners quickly snagged it.
"It represents a slice of Old Florida we respect and want to keep preserved for our community," Abbenante adds.
To that end, a total renovation has breathed new life into the space. The two-story, 5,500-square-foot space features 150 seats and banquets, three dining venues, and two vibe-led cocktail bars, including an alfresco setting on the second floor with expansive, southwesterly vistas of the Jupiter Lighthouse, Loxahatchee River, and beyond that guests can access inside or by an exterior staircase.
Blackbird serves up a sophisticated feast for the eyes. Tapped to create an opulent mise en scène inspired by the Far East, West Palm Beach interior designer Kat Solomon of Kat Solomon Interiors collected luxurious textiles, mixed vintage and contemporary furnishings, and added avant-garde touches like a 12-foot Buddha, a ceiling adorned with inverted white umbrellas, and flocks of tiny paper birds — lit with LED lights — that wing around the main dining room.
Per her clients’ request, Solomon, who formerly worked with Venus Williams and was her design protégé, kept the restaurant’s preexisting footprint intact while salvaging as many architectural elements as possible, including cast iron railings and the soaring mahogany ceiling and millwork.
In the kitchen, Nickey — who has commandeered two of Miami’s most popular Asian kitchens including David Grutman’s Komodo and Jeffrey Chodorow’s China Grill — has prepared a gastronomic team to transport diners to cities across eastern and southeast Asia.
Coupled with Nickey’s innovative interpretation of Pan-Asian fare, the menu is dotted with dim sum favorites and Chinatown-style staples remastered with bold flavors.
Highlights include Shanghai soup dumplings, smoked salmon and everything bagel rangoons, Australian wagyu tomahawk with truffle ponzu butter sauce, and sweet and sour pork with chunks of pineapple and dragon fruit. And, as a signature dish, the Palm City toque will present fork-tender Szechwan ribs, delivers to the table inside a smoke-infused glass dome that will be removed table-side.
Complementing the kitchen’s neoteric creations is a libations menu offering scratch cocktails concocted with fresh herbs and exotic fruits, new and Old World wines, and an expansive collection of Japanese sakes.
"We’ve created an uncompromising bar program where the liquid does the talking," Mash says.
And don't miss dessert, a stunning list of offerings created by executive pastry chef Denise Elrod. An experienced chocolatier, she is also a winner of Guy's Grocery Games in 2019 (Season 22, Episode 3).
Blackbird opens daily for dinner at 4 p.m. Entertainment and a live dj will be featured on Friday and Saturday evenings from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dim sum brunch showcasing upscale versions of tried-and-true classics prepared with modern twists will be hosted on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.