The Newland Smith Team sat down with Jeremy Bearman, the chef and owner of Oceano Kitchen–a local favorite that consistently turns out fresh, inventive, and delicious food. The chef gave us an insider’s look at Ocean Ridge–the beautiful, low key beach town settled between Delray and Palm Beach.
What do you love about where you live? What makes your neighborhood special?
We recently moved to Ocean Ridge in July from West Delray. We had been renting since we moved to Florida in 2017 and between opening two restaurants over the past 3 years, buying a house was always on the back burner. Part of the allure of moving down here from NY, as is probably true for many, was to be near the water and close to the beach. Having driven up and down A1A many times over the years, we had always loved the old Florida feel of places like Ocean Ridge. Living in a an HOA community with houses that all looked the same, never really felt like home to us….it just wasn’t the way we grew up. Ocean Ridge is a small town with lots of charm and a variety of architecture that makes it feel like some of the towns along the coast in the northeast. We live adjacent to a large forest preserve which gives us some privacy and a feeling of being close to nature. The neighborhood is not gated, but Ocean Ridge has their own police department which is incredibly active and visible within the community and which provides one of the most secure communities we have ever lived in. Our neighbors are extremely welcoming and because we have a small restaurant in Lantana, we have many friends and regulars that live just minutes from us. For us, it is the community that we had always wanted. We feel like we live in an oasis…we can walk to the beach with our 7 year old son in just a few minutes and our commute to work takes literally 9 minutes which, after years of long drives and train commutes is a breath of fresh air. The location for us is perfect, since we find ourselves midway between Boca and West Palm, two areas that we regularly travel to. It is also close to the boat ramp in Boynton where we like to boat out of.
What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant?
Well, this is going to be a pretty biased answer for obvious reasons. Our small 40 seat restaurant, Oceano Kitchen opened in January of 2017 on Ocean Ave in Lantana. It has been a labor of love from day one and we have the most amazing staff and guests that we have built over the past three years. The restaurant is unique because we change our menu every night depending on what is fresh from the farms, fisherman and purveyors that we have relationships with. There are no stoves in the restaurant, only one large wood fired oven where we cook everything from pizza, to pasta, fresh caught fish and meats. Oh yeah, and we have a large Texas style smoker in the back where we do some of the best bbq you will find in SF. My wife Cindy, an award winning pastry chef, creates all of the desserts each night and to be honest, some people come just for her sweets. If you have never been, you should check us out at oceanokitchen.com. Almost all of our seating is out on our open air deck although we also have 6 seats inside at our chefs counter where you can watch us cook (unfortunately for now, because of the pandemic we are not seating inside but instead offering takeout). We would love have you come check out our restaurant.
Favorite place to meet friends?
I am not sure we have a favorite place to meet friends….the nice thing about living down here is that we tend to meet up with friends outside, either at the beach, pool or other restaurants. We tend to meet up at other peoples houses where there is always lots of good food and drink.
Favorite place to grab coffee?
Well, our favorite coffee is definitely from Pumphouse Roasters. Alex and Christian who run Pumphouse Coffee up in Jupiter are some of the nicest guys you will ever meet, and have the best coffee in South Florida by far. We love to go up to their small Ice Cream shop up in Jupiter called Coral Cones (if you go, try one of their ice cream and coffee floats….amazing!!) The great thing is that they sell their coffee to a number of different coffee shops and businesses so we can go and get their coffee just down the street at Nomad Juice & Coffee which is just between Ocean Ridge and Briny Breezes. If we are going north, we can get their coffee at our other favorite spot, Aioli in west palm beach where they also make some of the most amazing breads and pastries along with great sandwiches and salads.
Favorite Specialty Store?
We probably go to Bedners in Delray more than any other specialty store. My son loves their chocolate chip muffins, but mainly we go there to pick up great produce for our daily menus at Oceano Kitchen.
Neighborhood hidden gem?
Nomad Juice & Coffee is part of Nomad Surf Shop. It is a cool small surf shop that sells boards, apparel and as well some food and drink. It is one of those small hip shops that adds so much charm to the neighborhood.
You know you’re a local if?
You have begun to name the lizard’s outside your house