This Gardens restaurant is one of Venus Williams’ favorites

Christopher Slawson, owner of Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

When Venus Williams isn’t competing at Wimbledon or trotting the globe, she’s relishing the hot dining scene in her adopted hometown of Palm Beach Gardens.

Read the full interview here. 

The tennis star and BallenIsles resident gave a shout out to the popular vegan restaurant Christopher’s Kitchen in a Q&A with the New York Times this week. The eatery in the Midtown plaza on PGA Boulevard has a plant-based menu that’s friendly to Williams’ vegan diet.

RELATED: Christopher’s Kitchen owners open second Meraki Juice in Gardens

She told the Times her favorite dishes at Christopher’s are the raw vegetable lasagna and the smoothies.

Venus Williams and Dick Stockton atthe grand opening of the Wellington Tennis Center. Williams firm, V*Starr, designed the interior of the pro shop featuring her exclusive clothes line, Eleven. (Photo by Lois Spatz)

Christopher Slawson and his uncle Richard Slawson opened the restaurant in Midtown six and a half years ago. They branched out to include Meraki Juice Kitchens, first in West Palm Beach and then in Donald Ross Village in Palm Beach Gardens this June.

READ: Christopher’s Kitchen debuts new West Palm Beach juice bar

When the interviewer asked about her favorite vacation destination, she revealed she prefers more of a stay-cation.

“My favorite vacation destination is Palm Beach Gardens, where I live. People actually come to vacation here, and why wouldn’t they?” she told the Times.

The Q&A made no mention of a June 9 car crash involving Williams’ SUV and a couple’s Hyundai Accent on Northlake Boulevard between BallenIsles and Steeplechase.

Jerome Barson, 78, died two weeks after the crash. His widow, Linda, who was driving the Accent, is suing Williams.

At first, Palm Beach Gardens police declared Williams at fault for the accident. They later said she won’t be cited.

Surveillance video released July 7 showed a third car, a Nissan Altima, cutting left in front of Williams, forcing her to stop to avoid a crash. Police have not publicly identified the driver.

What’s nitrogen-frozen ice cream? Get a free taste in Gardens

Deb Terzi watches as Soldiah Jean mixes made-to-order yogurt frozen with liquid nitrogen at Dr. Freeze, a new dessert shop at 4773 PGA Blvd. in the Mainstreet at Midtown complex in Palm Beach Gardens. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

A Palm Beach Gardens treat shop specializing in liquid-frozen ice cream and fancy desserts will celebrate National Ice Cream Day Sunday with free samples and an eating contest.

RELATED: Dr. Freeze nitrogen-frozen ice cream shop in Gardens is first in U.S.

Dr. Freeze had a soft opening at 4773 PGA Blvd. in the Midtown Plaza in April. In addition to the free samples and eating contest, the celebration 12 to 4 p.m. will feature a dessert decorating contest and giveaways every hour, according to a news release. One of prize is an ice cream party for 10 people.

RELATED: This popular Davie-based nitrogen ice cream shop just opened in Boca

The ice cream frozen on the spot with liquid nitrogen contains less air than traditional ice cream, which means it has better flavor and melts faster, owner Jorge Belem said in April.

Jorge and Helena Belem pose for a photo at their Dr. Freeze dessert shop, 4773 PGA Blvd., in Main Street at Midtown in Palm Beach Gardens. The first shop is in Brazil, and the Belem’s franchise is the first in the United States. Dr. Freeze sells ice cream frozen with nitrogen, artisanal desserts and milk shakes. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

Jorge and Helena Belem, Dr. Freeze franchise co-owner and Jorge’s wife, are originally from Curitiba in the state of Paraná in the mountains of Brazil, south of São Paulo. They moved to the United States in 2014.

“We are pleased to offer something fun and unique for the residents and contribute to the community as small business owners,” Jorge Belem said in a news release.

Dr. Freeze operates seven stores in Brazil. This store is the first Dr. Freeze franchise in the United States. Another store is being built in San Diego, according to the news release.

Syracuse pizza joint opening new spot in Gardens

Twin Trees III, a popular pizza and wings restaurant in North Syracuse, New York, is putting down roots in Palm Beach Gardens.

Twin Trees will open a Syracuse-style pizza restaurant in Promenade Plaza in the former Slice of Palm Beach Gardens north of Publix.  (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

RELATED: The 20 best restaurants in Palm Beach County right now.

The new Italian casual restaurant is expected to open this month in Promenade Plaza on Alternate A1A and Lighthouse Drive, according to a post on the company’s Facebook page. It replaces the former Slice of Palm Beach Gardens next to Publix, on the north side.

RELATED: New pizza restaurant and bourbon bar now open in downtown West Palm Beach

Bonnie and Lou Rescignano own Twin Trees III in North Syracuse and Twin Trees Cicero. The Palm Beach Gardens restaurant to be run by their daughter will be their third, according to Syracuse.com. The menu will include Utica greens, lasagna, wings, salads and sandwiches, Bonnie Rescignano told Syracuse.com.

READ: How NBA great LeBron James is connected to pizza joint coming to Palm Beach Gardens

Their pizza with a thick crust cooked in a pan is a favorite in the hometown, with customers ranking it in the “Elite Eight” and reviewers raving about its perfectly melted cheese and blended flavor. They’re consistent, using the same type of mozzarella cheese, sauce and meat for 20 years, they said.

The pizza is cut into strips rather than triangles.

Venus Williams wipes away tears at Wimbledon over fatal crash

Venus Williams shook her head and wiped away tears at a news conference at Wimbledon Monday when asked about a fatal crash police said was her fault.

RELATED: Venus Williams in Palm Beach Gardens crash resulting in man’s death

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 03: Venus Williams of the United States plays a backhand during the Ladies Singles first round match against Elise Mertens of Belgium on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Williams was on hand to field questions about her 6-4 win over Elise Mertens in the opening round at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in London, when a reporter asked about the crash.

“There really are no words to describe, like, how devastating…” Williams trailed off. “I’m completely speechless.”

RELATED: Venus Williams crash: What caused ‘other traffic’ at intersection?

She shook her head and wiped away tears before leaving the media room, the video posted by ESPN shows.

Palm Beach Gardens police say Williams, 37, was at-fault in the crash at the intersection of Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive on the afternoon of June 9. Williams told police she was leaving the Steeplechase community and crossing Northlake to go to BallenIsles, where she has a home, when traffic forced her to stop and block a lane.

Linda Barson, then 67, was driving west on Northlake Boulevard and told police she proceeded through a green light. She said Williams cut in front of her, and she was unable to avoid crashing into Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia, according to the crash report.

Barson’s husband Jerome suffered head injuries and was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died on June 22.

Firefighters and police respond to a June 9, 2017, crash involving tennis star Venus Williams at Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive in Palm Beach Gardens. Linda and Jerome Barson, who were in a Hyundai Accent, were involved in the crash. Jerome Barson died two weeks later. Photo Provided By Barson Family

Williams, who was uninjured, and the Barsons were all wearing seat belts, according to police. The news of the crash emerged on the gossip website TMZ last week.

This is Williams’ 20th Wimbledon. Her next match is Wednesday against Wang Qiang.

Palm Beach County students bring hope to struggling families in NOLA

Joshua Berkowitz, Spencer Linkhorst and Andrew Taylor collect and sort canned goods at Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans. The second annual community service opportunity for Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s Project Tikvah (Hebrew for “hope”), is aimed at making a lasting impact by serving those in need. Submitted photo

Twenty-one Jewish teens from Palm Beach County rolled up their sleeves to serve as they were immersed in the culture of New Orleans this week.

RELATED: How a trip to South Carolina gave Gardens teens a lesson in gratitude

Beignets were on the menu, but so too was packing food for the 1 in 6 hungry families in the area served by the Second Harvest Food Bank. The teens sorted donated Mardi Gras beads that will be sold by the Arc of Greater New Orleans to benefit its programs for people with intellectual disabilities. They worked on a building a house.

Palm Beach County high school students volunteer at the Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans as part of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. Submitted photo

Hope Lerman, a 16-year-old junior at Dwyer High School, was inspired by meeting a woman who was helped by the home-building organization and told the group about the suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina, even 12 years later.

“It made our work very meaningful,” Lerman said.

The experience taught her to be content with what she has and make the most of it, she said.

It’s the second year for Project Tikvah, a hands-on service program named after the Hebrew word for “hope.” The teens’ trip was organized by the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s Jewish Teen Initiative and new Jewish Volunteer Center, according to a news release.

Evan Josza, a 16-year-old junior at The Benjamin School, said he enjoyed sorting the thousands of pounds of donated Mardi Gras beads. The Arc also pay people with disabilities minimum wage or more for their work sorting and reselling the beads.

“I thought that was really impactful, because not only did it give those people jobs, it benefited their organization. All the money just keeps coming right back,” Josza said. “It helps them grow.”

The group ate at Cafe Reconcile, which helps young adults ages 16 to 24 learn hospitality skills. The fried oyster po’boy with spinach artichoke aioli, fries and bread pudding were a hit with Zachary Jacobson, a 16-year-old junior at Wellington High School.

Sorting the food at the food bank was Jacobson’s favorite service project. He proudly sported a sticker with the words, “I fed someone today.”

“I’ve learned not to take things for granted,” he said. “It really puts things into perspective.”

Gator chomping on fish at Gardens golf course goes viral [VIDEO]

Palm Beach Gardens’ Sandhill Crane Golf Club is next to the Loxahatchee Slough and not far from the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

The video of an alligator feasting on a big fish Saturday afternoon at the Sandhill Crane Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens has gone global.

Dave Mack said Monday he’s been fielding phone calls from London and Paris from news outlets who are interested in the video he shot Saturday at the course on Northlake Boulevard.

RELATED: Gators in the Gardens? Yes, they are everywhere and signs urge caution

The Daily Mail ran the video with the headline: “Filet on the fairway! Enormous alligator chows down on giant fish out on the golf course.” Barstool Sports posted the video to its own Instagram account, where it had about 1.2 million views and nearly 3,000 comments by Monday afternoon.

“It was cool,” Mack said. “I took the video without thinking, the next thing you know, it’s in London. It’s crazy how that works.”

It all started with Mother’s Day trip home. Mack, now of Miami, said he was home visiting his parents in Palm Beach Gardens. He and his dad were playing a round at the course when they heard the gator make his catch at the ninth hole, he said.

“We heard a splash and looked down, and the gator had the fish,” Mack said.

Mack said he was about eight feet from the alligator, which he estimates was between eight and 10 feet long, when he shot the video. His dad can be heard in the video saying, “Get the picture and get out of here, David.”

So how was the rest of the round of golf? “I barely remember,” Mack said after a laugh. Too much excitement.

He said he’s used to seeing alligators on the golf course, where they sometimes make themselves at home. That’s especially true at the Sandhill Crane Golf Club, which borders the Loxahatchee Slough.

Sandhill crane, deer, bobcats and alligators have been spotted at the course. The course is on the west end of Northlake Boulevard, not far from the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area.

The city added docks to the lakes a few years ago to give the alligators a place to sunbathe away from the greens. The alligator in the video and the others that frequent the golf course will stay, city spokeswoman Candice Temple said.

“We have several. They’re not aggressive, but we do warn people not to approach them,” Temple said.

Charlotte Presensky, special projects director at the golf course, said she usually sees the alligators feeding on turtles, not fish.

An adult alligator’s diet includes rough fish, along with snakes, turtles, small mammals and birds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

TONIGHT: Dwyer H.S. freshman to be featured on NBC Nightly News

Kayla Abramowitz, 14 of North Palm Beach, will be featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. You can watch with her at the Duffy’s on PGA Boulevard and U.S. 1. Courtesy photo

Kayla Abramowitz, a North Palm Beach teen who has collected items for children’s hospitals in all 50 states, will be featured on national news Monday night.

READ: North Palm Beach teen honored with national award

The William T. Dwyer High School freshman got the idea for her Kayla Cares 4 Kids nonprofit when she was just 11 years old after noticing a limited selection of DVDs during her own hospital stays for Crohn’s disease, colitis and juvenile arthritis. She founded the nonprofit in 2013 to collect entertainment and educational materials for kids like her.

RELATED: It’s more than business for this seventh grader

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, which starts at 6:30 p.m., will feature a large donation the charity made to Ronald McDonald House in Miami. Kayla Cares 4 Kids donated 31 DVD players – one for each family’s room, 100 DVDs and dozens of books, according to the organization. Support from the community, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures and Philomel Books made the donation possible.

Kayla’s family and supporters are holding a watch party starting 6 p.m. at Duffy’s Sports Grill, 11588 U.S. Highway 1, in the Oakbrook Square Shopping Center in North Palm Beach. The shopping center is at the corner of PGA Boulevard and U.S. 1. The segment runs at the end of Nightly News.

Abramowitz is in the finance program at Dwyer. In 2015, she was named the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Pro golfer who withdrew from Masters has $2.9M North Palm mansion

Dustin Johnson walks off the 1st tee after deciding not to play in the opening round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, April 6, 2017. The world’s No. 1-ranked player was forced to withdraw from the Masters on Thursday because of a lower back injury suffered less than 24 hours earlier in a freak fall at the home he was renting for the week. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 golfer in the world who withdrew from the Masters because of a freak fall, has plenty of Northern Palm Beach County real estate where he can recuperate.

RELATED: Pro golfer Dustin Johnson buys $4.95 million house in Palm Beach Gardens

The 32-year-old golfer in December bought a $2.9 million waterfront home with a private dock in the Harbour Isles in December, Realtor.com reported last week. The house has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half-bathrooms, according to Palm Beach County property records. Its other amenities include a boat lift and dock, elevator, BBQ, pool and patio, property records show.

Johnson, who won his last three tournaments, withdrew from the Masters Thursday because of injuries he suffered in a fall down a short flight of stairs at the home he was renting in Augusta, Ga., for the week.

RELATED: 2017 Masters: It’s a royal pain but Dustin Johnson can’t play

He told reporters he was wearing socks but no shoes when he went to move his car. He landed on his left side, where his lower back took the brunt of the impact, he told reporters. Sergio Garcia went on to win the tournament at Augusta National.

Johnson owns another mansion along the Intracoastal Waterway in unincorporated Palm Beach Gardens that he bought for $4.95 million in August 2015, according to Palm Beach County property records. He has a homestead exemption on that property this year, meaning it’s his “permanent residence.”

The Palm Beach Gardens-area home has five bedrooms, six and a half bathrooms, a wine room and pool. It also has a walkway to an islet and a private boat ramp.

The real estate should help accommodate Johnson’s growing family with Paulina Gretzky (Wayne Gretzky’s daughter). The couple announced in February that they are expecting their second child, a boy, GOLF magazine reported. Their first son, Tatum, was born in January 2015, according to GOLF magazine.

 

Three new Gardens Council members take office tomorrow

Matthew Lane, Rachelle Litt and Mark Marciano will be sworn in at the Palm Beach Gardens City Council meeting Thursday, April 5, 2017,

Palm Beach Gardens residents, meet your new City Council.

Three new City Council members will be sworn in at the 7 p.m. meeting Thursday at City Hall, 10500 North Military Trail.

RELATED: Marciano, Lane win in Gardens; third race goes to runoff in 2 weeks

The new officials are: Mark Marciano, a 46-year-old optometrist; Matthew Lane, a 61-year-old family law and divorce lawyer; and Rachelle Litt, a 61-year-old pharmacist at Jupiter Medical Center.

READ: Litt touts organization, experience in defeating Gardens race

They replace Councilman Bert Premuroso, Mayor Marcie Tinsley and Vice Mayor Eric Jablin, none of whom could seek another term in office because of retroactive term limits voters approve in November 2014.

The newly-elected officials join Councilwoman Maria Marino and Councilman Carl Woods. Marino was unopposed in the March 2016 election after Takeata King Pang dropped out of the race because of a family emergency.

All participated in a daylong City Council orientation Monday that was live-streamed on the Palm Beach Gardens website. You can watch it here.

Woods was sworn into office last summer after a lengthy court fight that ended when Judge Martin Colin declared him the winner as the only eligible candidate in a court-ordered runoff election. A higher court had previously ruled Woods’ opponent, David Levy, shouldn’t have been allowed to seek re-election because of the term limits.

This restaurant chain closed its Palm Beach Gardens location

TGI Fridays in the Legacy Place shopping center has closed.
(Jennifer Podis/The Palm Beach Post)

TGI Fridays, the restaurant chain best known for its burgers, steaks and booze, has closed its Palm Beach Gardens location.

The restaurant across the street from Chili’s Grill & Bar in the Legacy Place shopping center was closed by late February, according to a post on Legacy Place’s Facebook page. The Feb. 22 post read: “Fridays decided to close this location but there are plans for something new and exciting. As soon as we can release information, we will make an announcement.”

No word yet on what the replacement will be.

READ: Buzzy Avocado Grill to open Palm Beach Gardens location

Newk’s Eatery, a fast-casual restaurant, opened in the shopping center across from Downtown at the Gardens last year. Other restaurants in Legacy Place include Cool’a Fish Bar and the Capital Grille. Legacy Place is also home to a Five Guys, Jimmy John’s and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

TGI Fridays’ other Palm Beach County locations are in Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Boca Raton.