Collab Hospitality has opened Hai House, a Chinese-American dining experience in the heart of Palm Beach’s historic Worth Avenue. The restaurant is led by award-winning chef James Strine.
Located in The Esplanade at 150 Worth Avenue, Hai House is the brainchild of Collab Hospitality’s Manuel Bornia, who is working with The Esplanade to bring the concept to fruition as part of an effort to reinvigorate the historic shopping center.
With a career spanning nearly two decades, Strine is recognized among his peers for being a visionary chef with an in-depth knowledge of the marketplace. Most recently, Strine held the executive chef title at Buccan and Grato restaurants in Palm Beach County.
Strine spent nearly a decade at Café Boulud in Palm Beach, most recently as executive sous chef. At Boulud, was recognized for his ability to create beautiful, bold dishes with a focus on seasonality. In 2016, Strine received the Palm Beach Post’s “Best Chef” award.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to bring a mix of classic and modern interpretations of Chinese food to Palm Beach,” Strine said. “And bringing it here to Worth Avenue in this elegant setting is the perfect way for guests to enjoy the culinary experience we’ve created with Hai House.”
Chef Strine will lead Hai House’s hospitality team, while Ryan Zemel, former Buccan Group general manager, will oversee the front of the house.
The Hai House menu features dim sum, noodles, seafood, and various classic Chinese-American dishes. The full bar offers a hand-crafted cocktail program, as well as a curated wine list and authentic Chinese beer and teas.
Guests will begin their dining experience with complimentary tea service and crispy noodles. Next up, shareable starter options include salt and pepper squid with fried garlic and ginger, char sui ribs, chicken satay, and a scallion pancake with Asian pear.
The Dim Sum menu consists of handmade dumplings and potstickers, ranging from familiar options such as steamed shrimp and pork shumai, and steamed pork buns, to modern interpretations such as edamame & tofu dumplings, duck andscallion dumplings, and pork an ginger potstickers.
An assortment of noodles and rice follow, with Strine’s show-stopping black forbidden fried rice as the “must-order’’ dish.
Strine’s signature house specialties include whole crispy snapper with wok fried vegetables, emperor’s lobster, Mongolian beef and broccoli with dry-aged prime NY strip steak, and Peking duck served with steamed buns and traditional accoutrement. The menu also offers a variety of vegetarian options, such as wok-fired Chinese long beans, sweet potato noodles, mushroom chow fun, char sui cauliflower, and crispy Cantonese eggplant.
Hai House is located on the second floor of The Esplanade at the top of legendary Worth Avenue, the historic shopping district built in the 1920s and located just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, the main dining room featuring a mix of modern Restoration Hardware furniture, traditional Asian accents, and industrial fixtures. A select number of larger dining tables offer communal seating for happy hour and full-service dining.
The space also features custom wall coverings and floral installations from Palm Beach-based artist and former Rhode Island School of Design Provost Bruce Helander and his wife Claudia.