BOCA RATON’S CHIC NEW RESTAURANT & LOUNGE, SET TO TANTALIZE PALATES BEGINNING JUNE 2012

America and France will meet, deliciously so, in Boca Raton when Stéphane’s opens its doors in June 2012. Here, diners will find a contemporary menu of sophisticated, unpretentious, deliciously affordable French-American fare served in a casually elegant ambiance. To ensure Stéphane’s brings something unique to Boca Raton, owner Stéphane Lang-Willar has compiled an all-star crew to help bring his vision to life. Manning the ovens is executive chef John Belleme, formerly of the highly successful Umi Fishbar & Grill in Palm Beach. Taking wine service to the next level, Stéphane’s will feature an exquisite wine program created by nationally renowned Master Sommelier Virginia Philip; a recent James Beard Award semifinalist. Along with exceptional food and wine must come exceptional service – that’s where general manager Patrick Keenan comes into play. Keenan has several years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry under his belt, having served as manager for Hillstone Restaurant Group in California, New York and South Florida. With its amazing team of professionals, mouth-watering menu and $4.5 million build-out, Stéphane’s is positioned to be a hot dining and lounge destination – Boca Raton’s new, must-try spot to see and be seen.

The ambiance at Stéphane’s will be the epitome of casual elegance. Created by acclaimed designer, Sherif Ayad, president of ID & Design International, the restaurant will evoke a cool European vibe with a sleek, modern design, from stunning granite table tops to polished mother of pearl tile accents. Despite the contemporary blueprint, Stéphane’s will make diners feel warm and welcome. Red velvet upholstered booths in the dining room create the perfect setting for an intimate dinner, while soft, recessed lighting sets the mood. Stéphane’s’ indoor bar and lounge will seat 23, the ample dining room 162 and the private dining room will accommodate 12. The restaurant’s gorgeous outdoor patio lounge will seat 80. Leaving no detail unnoticed, at Stéphane’s, a one-of-a-kind, self-produced mix of lounge music will play for guests’ enjoyment. The mix will be available for purchase at the restaurant or via download from their website.

Exquisitely crafted by Chef Belleme, the moderately priced, value-oriented menu at Stéphane’s has plenty of delicious, diverse options for lunch and dinner. Serving only the freshest sustainable seafood and hormone-free meat from animals raised on a 100% vegetarian diet; diners can enjoy raw bar selections such as a fabulous array of chilled oysters from the East and West coast, with black pepper mignonette, horseradish, cocktail sauce and lemon (MP) and split Alaskan king crab legs ($9 per leg). No doubt a selling point for bivalve fans will be the selection of mussels at Stéphane’s, served in a cast iron pot, eight different ways ($12-15), from white wine and Provencal to Mumbai (curry, crème fraîche, parsley).

Appetizers include salmon tartare with olive oil, capers, onions, dill and pink peppercorns ($10); warm melted fresh Brie with orange glaze, fresh fruits and toasted French baguette ($12); and Stéphane’s charcuterie – assorted cured meats, pork rillettes, cornichons and toasted French baguette ($14). Delicious entrées include duck a l’orange served with potato cakes, carrot purée and cauliflower purée ($21); Mediterranean sea bass with rice pilaf and mushroom ($26); and roasted aged prime rib on the bone “au jus” served with a loaded baked potato ($29). Stéphane’s also offers a variety of pastas, salads, soups and burgers. A meal isn’t complete without one of the tempting home-made desserts, such as the petit ménage a trois – a crème brulée trio: orange Grand Marnier, vanilla and pistachio ($7).

A special prix-fixe lunch will be served Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., priced at $19.90 per person. Every Saturday and Sunday, Stéphane’s will serve a special a la carte champagne brunch, beginning at 10 a.m. A variety of brunch favorites will be offered including Virginia ham – eggs Benedict with diced tomato, green onion and Hollandaise sauce ($13) and Belgium chocolate chip pancakes with chocolate sauce and whipped cream ($9). To pair, a refreshing bubbly cocktail such as the New Bellini – peach nectar and St-Germain liquor or a classic mimosa ($9). Omelets, waffles, pastries and fresh fruit juices will also be on offer.

Stéphane’s will take “to go” dining to a new level with gourmet curbside service. No need to call ahead or place an order online; simply park in a designated space and a server will come to the car. Menu items for curbside service: juicy whole rotisserie chicken, St. Tropez style, with roasted seasonal vegetables and potato purée ($15); classic Caesar salad or mixed greens salad ($5); vanilla crème brulée ($4); and a side of whole French baguette ($2). Beer and wine by the bottle can also be purchased curbside. Created by esteemed Master Sommelier Virginia Philip, one of 21 women in the world to hold that title, and Lang-Willar, the wine program at Stéphane’s is perfectly tailored to pair with the diverse flavors on the menu. Stéphane’s will have more than 100 wines available with approximately 35 selections by the glass. Along with the array of wines, the restaurant’s bar manager, Melvin Negron, is creating a spirited list of signature cocktails and molecular martinis. Stéphane’s will offer a small bites menu during cocktail hour every afternoon, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and again during late-night cocktail hour, beginning at 10 p.m. until close, with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights. It will be the perfect place for a stress-relieving cocktail after a long day at work or late-night drinks with friends.

Stéphane Lang-Willar is no stranger to the culinary world, having owned and operated the successful Leon de Bruxelles, the first restaurant chain in France to go public. Originally from Paris, France, Lang-Willar has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry and is committed to providing the healthiest and most sublime cuisine to his patrons, in line with his philosophy that “in order to live well, one must eat well.” After visiting Stéphane’s, he is confident diners will adopt this philosophy as well. Stéphane’s is located at 2006 NW Executive Center Circle, off Glades Road, in Boca Raton and scheduled to open June 2012. Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to midnight. Telephone: (561) 893-8838; www.stephanesrestaurant.com