Photo courtesy of Kali’s View Photography
Fresh from the swankiest kitchens in Palm Beach (The Breakers, Café L’Europe and the Four Seasons to name a few), Chef Michael Hackman brings his culinary prowess to West Palm Beach’s Southend.
Hackman, a Lake Worth native and dedicated family man, opted to leave the crazy restaurant work hours behind and spend more time with his children. He transitioned into a successful role as private “chef-trepreneur” and restaurant consultant, amassing an impressive client roster.
Then, in September of last year, Hackman fulfilled another dream when he opened Aioli, an “industrial-chic eatery” and juice bar in the Southend. SoSo foodies have delighted in the restaurant’s casual, locavore offerings and flavorful gourmet to-go options. The innovative menu has an ever-changing daily specials addendum with varying soups, salads, quiches, sandwiches and even a lemonade of the day. Patrons can experience a new culinary experience each visit or remain true to their established favorites.
To get the inside scoop on his new venture, we asked Chef Hackman some tough questions.
SosSoNews: Describe Aioli in 50 words or less.
Chef Hackman: “Aioli is a neighborhood restaurant. We try to provide good, simple food with a twist. We pay attention to quality and detail and listen to our clientele. Food is personal and we hope to give everyone who walks in the best possible experience.”
SSN: What’s one thing you brought from your culinary “upbringing” in Palm Beach’s poshest eateries when creating Aioli?
CH: “I brought the knowledge of making things from scratch and the drive to always push yourself and try new things. I feel like I have been able to take something as simple as a sandwich to the next level and make it a little bit more.”
SSN: What menu item has created the most addicted patrons?
CH: “The Turkey & Brie Sandwich, the Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies & the Lemonades that we make in house daily. Some flavors, like the watermelon lemonade, the pineapple basil or the cucumber mint keep people coming back day after day.”
SSN: If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one of your sandwiches, which sandwich would it be?
CH: “The Bacon Egg and Cheese on a Buttermilk Biscuit or the Long Stem Artichoke & Pesto.”
SSN: What’s a quote you live by?
CH: “You can’t find the right roads when all of the streets are paved.” -Robert Neston Marley
SSN: What was a “must have” in your new restaurant?
CH: “An open kitchen. I like being able to see what is going on in the restaurant and it enables me to build relationships with my clientele.”
SSN: Why the name “Aioli”?
CH: “We wanted a one word name. The first thing that you do when planning a restaurant is to write the menu. We had aiolis on most of our sandwiches, so it seemed fitting.”
Make a New Year’s resolution to toss those tired take-out menus. Stop in this SoSo hot spot to sample Chef Hackman’s amazing creations and become one of his growing legion of fans.
ALL THE DETAILS:
Aioli is located at 7434 S. Dixie Highway on the south east corner of S. Dixie Highway and Summa Street, 1 block south of Forest Hill Blvd. Keep an eye out for the black & white aioli sign above all the rest.
Kitchen Open Monday – Saturday … 7am – 4pm
After 4pm, stop in and pick up Dinner To-Go until 5:30pm