For even experienced foodies, there are some restaurant you are just drawn to like. It could be the menu, or it could be the atmosphere. For me, 3 of Hearts Game Shop and Eatery in Lake Worth has each. Located on Lucerne Avenue – just one block off busy Lake Ave. – owner Robin Popelsky and Chef John Whitmore deliver a tapas-style cuisine, wine, beer from local breweries, along with classic board games that can keep you busy for hours.
Featuring comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, 3 of Hearts – as you might guess – centered around the number 3, a number that Popelsky holds close to her heart. Growing up, she believed there were three parts to every whole, as her and her 2 sisters made up her family. The girls, along with their parents, gathered together every night around the dinner table. In addition to enjoying a meal together, on some Fridays, the family would take out classic board games to further connect.
Now guests of Popelsky’s restaurant can connect with the games and food, but I’m there primarily for the terrific variety of comfort foods on the menu. And true to its name, each menu item is presented in trios, whether it’s the Streak Fries served with three dips – brown gravy, garlic ketchup and cheddar béchamel; the Broche Sliders (pulled pork, seared tuna, pulled chicken; or the Chicken 3 Way (chicken breast, thigh confit, schmaltz aioli).
Chicken 3 Way
The terrific brunch menu features Egg Ravioli (pesto, tomato, alfredo) and Mediterranean Sliders (falafel, curry chicken and spice rubbed shrimp.
“It’s a challenging way to create a menu,’’ said Whitmore, Popelsky’s nephew and a graduate of the culinary program at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. “I think about taking classic dishes and feed off them. If you can handle the basics, you can turn them into anything you want.’’
Still, Popelsky said, incorporate the number 3 into each dish wasn’t easy.
“It was sometimes trying, but we got there,’’ she said. “I go around to each table and explain it to our guests. It’s a good talking point for everybody and it gives us a way to engage with our guests.’’