When the Ocean Bleu restaurant she owned and operated with partners closed this past May in Tequesta, Fla., Cheryl Averta had two choices. She could learn from her three-years of experience and walk away; or she could learn from her experience and create a second act.
The New Jersey native chose the latter in the form of Maxine’s, an American-bistro style restaurant that opened this past October in Tequesta Plaza.
“The difference between the two is that we are not white linen here,’’ said Averta, whose middle name is Maxine. “Ocean Bleu sort of catered to the country club set. I’m catering to locals.’’
The country club set, of course, is more than welcome at Maxine’s, which has indoor and outdoor seating and live music on the weekend. Averta recently unveiled a weekend brunch menu to go along with its daily dinner (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) menu.
Averta’s vegan-friendly menu features appetizers such as the Cauliflower Wings (Sweet Chili and Soy Glaze or Spicy Buffalo) and a terrific Charred Corn Chowder with Key West Pink Shrimp.
The main menu features an outstanding double cheeseburger with sticky bacon, crispy buttermilk fried onions and Rémoulade, pan-seared corvina, pan-roasted chicken thighs with orange-jalapeno glaze and a Triple Taco with zucchini and carrot slaw and roasted corn.
“My menu is very approachable in what’s offered and at price points,’’ Averta said. “And were a scratch kitchen. The only things that aren’t made in-house is the burger buns and flatbreads. Every sauce, every glaze, every dressing is made-house.’’