REX BARON opening soon at Boca Town Center!
Cutting-edge “Survivors Kitchen” and VRex Lounge brings “Art of Food/Art of Survival” to Boca
By Kenny Spahn
Get ready, south Florida – for the most exciting and unique dining experience around, as the new Rex Baron is almost here!
“Ready to excite, astound and surprise” is how the Rex Gryphon Restaurant Group describes Rex Baron, it’s astonishing “REX” (Restaurant, Entertainment, Xperience) destination to the Town Center at Boca Raton. This bold experience goes where no restaurant has gone before, with a blow-your-mind, 8,500-square-foot interactive, multi-sensory experiential restaurant, bar, hi-tech Virtual Reality lounge, and completely off-the-hook scenario.
Step into Rex Baron, and you’re suddenly immersed into a completely different environment, resembling a bizarre conglomeration of restaurant, movie set, futuristic museum, VR lounge, and lively bar where assorted bad-asses from across the post-apocalyptic world come to gather (you might expect Han Solo to show up any minute now…)
Michael Norris, the creative genius behind the Rex Gryphon Company describes the concept as “an avant-garde post-apocalyptic themed restaurant — where food, culture, community, interactive tech and art thrive. It engages guests (aka Survivors) with characters (aka Vigilantes), who together are building a peaceful, inclusive new world.” He further explains, “To disrupt and excel in an ever-evolving industry, we have created and mastered the REX at our posts by offering a high quality, healthy and delicious menu with a storied, rustic, new world cross-generational atmosphere that engages and stimulates.” Sounds pretty cool, huh?
“Everyone Loves A Good Story”
Rex Gryphon’s “Vigilante Posts” concept appears more like a post-apocalyptic movie than a restaurant. The main stars to the Rex Baron “ReStoryä” (restaurant story”) are Rex Baron, and his crew of 18 “Vigilante” characters, who all play a major role in the New World. Each character has his or her individual identity, name (Rex Baron, Farmer Yamato, Roughneck, Drifter, etc.), background story, specialty skills, weaponry, and one-of-a-kind, custom-made outfit straight out of a Mad Max movie.
The menu, described as “inspired by Mother Nature and the human instinct of eating well and spoiling palates” is intriguing and befittingly creative – an artful blend of classic American comfort food, popular preferences, and cutting-edge innovation. “Rex Baron’s Modern American cuisine is based on classic world techniques with new and old world flavors,” notes Culinary Director Ralph P. Fernandez, “we focus on high-quality locally-sourced ingredients; fresh vegetables and highest-grade organic meats, seafood, poultry and spice blends and “unusually served” themed cocktails.”
Taking center stage is high-quality protein tableside cooking program, where the “Survivors” (guests) get to experience an interactive cooking process. Seated at literally the ‘hottest tables in town,’ diners can be their own chef, cooking at their table on a 600-million-year-old Pink Himalayan Salt Block, or even a Black Lava Rock, heated to a blazing 650°C. An in-house butcher brings out the already prepped and cut meat (steaks, chicken, lamb), fish, seafood, and/or vegetables of your choice, and then shares tips on personal seasoning and block/rock cooking that offers many health benefits.
Protein options include 5 kinds of steak (including organic Ribeye and A5 Wagyu!), Fish & Shellfish (Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Scallops); free-range Chicken, and a whopping half-pound Barbarian Burger. You can also go meatless, with the Vegan Burger or Vegan Board, loaded with assorted wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, Tri-Color Carrots, Broccolini, Brussel Sprouts, and Butternut Squash) – which I would chose as an excellent appetizer, or side dish to accompany any other entrée!
In addition to its complex flavor enhancement, the searing hot Pink Himalayan Salt (PHS) also adds incredible health benefits. Containing over 80 trace minerals and other elements, the PHS helps to balance a body’s pH, stabilize hydration levels, and improve digestion. Another cool factoid: Due to the crystalline structure of the PHS, heat spreads evenly through the entire block so food prepared on the block will cook at the same pace regardless of whether where it is placed on the block. Whatever meat, fish, or veggie you go for, you then get to add your choice of the specially-made signature spices, rubs and sauce combinations, dubbed “Wasteland,” “Guts & Glory” and “The Grasslands.”
But the tableside cooking is just one option, and menu offers an enticing array of exciting offerings, including many vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The menu even lists any applicable allergens with each dish, another good touch. Look for my full review in a few weeks after Rex Baron actually opens, but based upon what I’ve seen and tasted so far, some soon-to-be best sellers include:
Starters: Whole Chicken Wings, Tuna Tartar (with sliced chorizo and saffron cream), Flatbreads, and a wonderful-sounding Mushroom Ricotta Toast.
Salads: Ancient Grain (with Quinoa and Farro) and Burrata Caprese.
Sandwiches: Boca Sizzle (sliced Filet Mignon with caramelized onions and three cheeses), Surf & Turf (Filet Mignon and Crab Cake with Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese!), Vegan Burger, and Grilled Portobello.
Entrees: Latin Lobster, Pan Seared Scallops (with roasted corn & cilantro lime crema), Pan-Seared Salmon, Lobster Pappardelle, and Wild Mushroom Rigatoni.
Sides: Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Goat Cheese Arancini, Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese, Grilled Broccoli
The bar scene is likewise creative and impressive, including 16 signature cocktails (some emboldened with fire!), like the Flame Thrower, Vigilante, Tea-Rex, Gryphon, Ginslinger, Survivor Espresso and Salvation Sangria. Even more creative, certain cocktails presented in post-apocalyptic barware, or even playfully “administered” in military-grade IV bags perched on rolling frames, allowing guests to move throughout the main restaurant (“
indoor sanctuary”), as well as the outside terrace dining, the VRex Lounge, HD Sports Hangar, and Battle Bar next to the live weekend entertainment.
Virtual Reality is now a reality.
Step into the adjacent VRex Lounge for yet another unique experience, and enter a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality world unlike anywhere else in south Florida. In fact, it’s the only VR venue in the world offering XTAL, the world’s first VR headset with AutoEye and embedded Leap Motion with 5K resolution. You don’t need to know what all that means, other than it allows each person to experience an incredibly realistic journey, from swimming with sharks, to sky diving, to climbing Mt. Everest, to floating through space (all of which becomes even better when enjoying one of those specialty cocktails in your IV bag!). The VRex Lounge is separated from the main dining, and even has its own separate bar, and promises to be a major attraction on its own.
Wow, Rex Baron sounds like an amazing concept and overall experience – and a sorely needed boost for Town Center — and the entire Boca dining & entertainment scene. It’s scheduled to open soon (mid-late October, as this goes to print), so look for my upcoming full review — and stay tuned!
Rex Baron is located at Town Center at Boca Raton (6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton, Fla.), in the Nordstrom wing (next to California Pizza Kitchen), and expected to open in October. Serving lunch and dinner every day, plus late night fun on the weekends. Private party and group events are available. (561) 447-6993. www.TheRexBaron.com. For private events, email: email@example.com.
About the Author: Kenny Spahn is a renowned food critic, culinary columnist, and restaurant authority, and has published over 800 culinary articles. Mr. Spahn is also the CEO of Restaurant Placement Group, an exclusive recruiting, placement, and consulting firm for the Restaurant and Hospitality industry. https://www.restaurantplacement.com.