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Palm Beach/West Palm Beach/Singer Island


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Next week is my friend's and my trip to the Palm Beaches, staying at Singer Island. I posted a note in January, asking for ideas of where to dine, and it was merged with another thread from two years ago. Just in case there are any new members to reply or anybody has any updates, I wanted to check once more before we go. Please let me know if there are any recommendations to add to the earlier thread. Thanks, everybody.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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We've always had a GREAT time at the Reef Grill in Jupiter which is right in the middle of your various locales.

They have great fish and a very reasonable wine list.

When you see the breathe of their menu you may think it's impossible to carry off well but they do. Try sitting at the bar and bs'ing with the cooks, it's lots of fun.

Let me know.

Brian

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Sounds like fun! Thanks, Brian. I have added it to our list. Now, if only we could spend a month and go to every place we have had recommended, or have considered... and I would report back upon my return. I should have been a John Mariani when I grew up.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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  • 2 months later...

Please pardon me for being so late in following up on the restaurants in the Palm Beaches, after several of you were so kind in giving information and recommendations. My friend and I had several good meals, during our three-day girls'-night-out in April.

I'm hoping to go again with my husband, and welcome any more information about dining in the area.

The highlight of the trip was our dinner at Cafe L'Europe. It was one of the best meals in a restaurant I've ever had. The service was impeccable from the moment we entered, when they offered to take our pictures, to when we left and they offered to photo us again, getting into the limo to return to our hotel. They probably could tell it was our first time there, when we walked in all dressed up and wide-eyed, with our digital cameras in hand.

Food and wine were awesome, but I've let too much time go by to remember the wines. We each ordered a glass before dinner and with every course, and the selection of wines by the glass was very good.

I am a sucker for sweetbreads, so I couldn't resist the first course of Sauteed Duck Foie Gras with Pear Raisin Compote, and Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, Wild Mushrooms, and Asparagus. My friend got a quartet of chilled soups. For the "pasta" course we split Maine Lobster Risotto with White Truffle Oil. As the main course I ordered Sauteed Chilean Sea Bass Fillet with Braised Leeks, Shiitake Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy in Kafir Lime-Lemongrass Broth. There was a cheese course, which I couldn't finish, and I brought some of it back to the hotel, where we enjoyed it with a Champagne brunch in our room the next morning. It was Roquefort, Camembert, Petite Livarot, Caprifeuille, and Lincet -- the last two of which were new to me. I do recall that I had a glass of fine vintage Port with that. I skipped dessert except for tastes of Vicky's trio of creme brulees. Everything was delicious and the atmosphere was wonderful.

More briefly... Another very good dinner was at Carmine's -- not as upscale, but lots of good choices on the menu, including sushi, raw bar, seafood, steaks, chops, pastas, homemade pizza, etc., and a fairly good wine and cocktail selection. I went for sushi, and stone crab claws, oysters, and clams from the raw bar. We had gotten a recommendation for a certain server to ask for, and she took real good care of us.

We had a fine lunch at Cafe Chardonnay. The service did not start out good, but after we commented to some of their staff about it, it quickly improved, and by the time we left, we had enjoyed conversation with our server and were each given a complimentary glass of wine and dessert. The wines were great. We each got a Grilled Kobe Beef Burger with Portobello Mushrooms, Gorgonzola, and Truffle Fries. I have seriously been trying to duplicate those truffle fries at home since then, and I have it almost down pat.

While we were at Cityplace, we stopped into Brewzzi for beers and snacks. I was surprised at how good their beer was and enjoyed talking with the brewer. Fortunately for me, a hophead, the Brewmasters's Special was an IPA. The calamari and the gorgonzola chips were very tastey... We would have eaten more if we weren't trying to save our appetites for three meals a day. The other meals, eaten at the hotel and random places on the road while sightseeing were good, but unremarkable.

Again, thanks for the recommendations. When I go back to Palm Beach County, it will be hard not to repeat eating at these places, but there are still several others I want to try.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Thanks for the update. Only surprise to me was Brewzzi. My husband loves beer - and we tried the Boca location. Wasn't so good the night we went. We'll have to give the Palm Beach location a try. I'll be back down in Palm Beach end of this month. Am planning the eating now. Wonder if anyone has tried the Chef's table at Cafe Boulud (although on a Florida summer night - I think the patio would be more romantic :smile: ).

Question to staff - is it possible to attach these two messages to the prior thread on Palm Beach dining? Thanks. Robyn

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Robyn... Staff... I considered posting this under a prior thread on Palm Beach County dining, but I thought this thread had more to do with reporting on restaurants tried, rather than asking for advice before going. However, if the masses think they should be merged, that's fine with me. :smile:

Brewzzi was an unexpected treat. They had several GABF medals on display, and from what I tasted, they were well earned. As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the conversation with the brewer. I don't know if the same brewer works at different locations... maybe that would account for the difference in the Boca location and this one.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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  • 1 month later...

Adding a couple of recommendations -

L'Escalier in the Breakers is one of the best overall restaurants we have been to. Service, food, eberything was A+++.

The nightw we went, they had a special Foie Gras that was SUPERB! They will be closed until 9/30/2004 because of renovations.

Another upscale but casual place is Les Mistral. On Rte 1 just north of PGA Blvd. Excellent food. Closed the month of Sept.

And, Kee Grill. Not as upscale as Les Mistral. EXCELLENT food. Usually a wait because they don't take reservations. Corner of Rte 1 and Donald Ross.

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The best meal I've had in Palm Beach county was at L'Escalier, where I went for Thanksgiving two years ago. It was an awesome gourmet take on Thanksgiving but my god it really cost a lot of money.

I love Cafe Chardonnay, I've eaten there several times but never for lunch. It's my favorite restaurant in PBC.

The buzz right now in PBC is "Little Moir's Food Shack". I ate there in June and it was a stupendous meal. It's in Jupiter. And it IS a shack (well, as much as a storefront in a strip mall could be). I'm all for good value and this is the best value I've had in the Palm Beaches for my money up until now. It's small and there is always a wait, but if you can get past the decor, it's worth it. It's a place I never would have even considered going if I hadn't read about it in Zagat.

Never eaten at Kee Grill though I did show up at the door and didn't like the looks of the crowd. Or maybe it was I was wearing shorts, I can't remember.

Carmine's -- always a good choice. I've also eaten at Carmine's Ocean Grill which I liked but have gotten reports about unevenness of service.

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The best meal I've had in Palm Beach county was at L'Escalier, where I went for Thanksgiving two years ago.  It was an awesome gourmet take on Thanksgiving but my god it really cost a lot of money.

I love Cafe Chardonnay, I've eaten there several times but never for lunch.  It's my favorite restaurant in PBC.

The buzz right now in PBC is "Little Moir's Food Shack".  I ate there in June and it was a stupendous meal.  It's in Jupiter.  And it IS a shack (well, as much as a storefront in a strip mall could be).  I'm all for good value and this is the best value I've had in the Palm Beaches for my money up until now.  It's small and there is always a wait, but if you can get past the decor, it's worth it.  It's a place I never would have even considered going if I hadn't read about it in Zagat.

Never eaten at Kee Grill though I did show up at the door and didn't like the looks of the crowd.  Or maybe it was I was wearing shorts, I can't remember.

Carmine's -- always a good choice.  I've also eaten at Carmine's Ocean Grill which I liked but have gotten reports about unevenness of service.

Ditto re L'Escalier. Close second in my opinion is Cafe Boulud.

For people not totally familiar with the geography - these are both in the city/town of Palm Beach proper - and Palm Beach County is a very large county (so check driving distances before you decide to have dinner in Jupiter when you're staying in Boca Raton). Robyn

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  • 1 month later...

I will be at the Marriott Ocean Pointe on Singer Island for 4 nights next month. I want to eat at 4 really great restaurants while there. They don't necessarily have to be fancy, just very good food. I only have one reservation right now and that is at The Restaurant in the Four Seaons, which I know is fancy. I am undecided on the other 3 nights. The other restaurants I am looking at are:

 1. Cafe Maxx - Pompano Beach (closed for renovation?)

2. 32 East - Delray Beach

3. Cafe Boulud - Palm Beach

4. Cafe Chardonnay - Palm Beach

5. Cafe L'Europe - Palm Beach

6. Sunfish Grill - Pompano Beach

Please tell me what you think I should do. Thanks.

Susan

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Just a little bit north of Singer Island is a great seafood place, Reef Grill, aka Captain Charlie's. It's in a small strip mall, not sure if it's in Jupiter or Juno Beach, but it's right on US Hwy 1. Anyone in the Singer Island/Palm Beach Gardens area should be able to give you exact directions. It gets pretty crowded and they don't take reservations, but it's worth the wait for great seafood. Captain Charlie often brings in his own haul and it doesn't get any fresher. I still dream about the T-Wa shrimp, which is sauteed in butter, brown sugar and red pepper.

If you're there over a Thursday night, West Palm Beach usually has the busiest restaurant and club street (Clematis) blocked off for pedestrian traffic only and it's a fun place to walk around. Years ago we ate at a great restaurant, Sforza, that I'd go back to in a minute. You can take a water taxi there from the nearby marina.

For breakfast or lunch, try John G's in Lake Worth, right on the boardwalk. Gets very busy but the wait is always worth it. The french toast is amazing and the fish and chips are outstanding.

Have fun! We love the Singer Island area.

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My preference is:

1. Cafe Boulud - ask for Levi Dalton

2. Cafe Europa - ask for Rainier

3. Four Seasons Hotel - I know they are having an awesome Wine/Foor Pairing Event this week-end

4. I think Sforza on Clematis is closed - I believe it closed some time ago

5. There is a really good Cuban Restaurant at the end of Clematis, next to Pizza Girls.

6. Best Pizza in WPB is Pizza Girls, which is near a really good Ice Cream Parlor called Sloan's - must get is Mom's Apple Pie ice Cream

7. Love John G's, - but it maybe closed as the pier was damaged heavily in the storm.

You can also check the Palm Beach Post online too. Great dining town. Also, try Taboo's on Worth Avenue, really nice salads and awesome b :raz: urgers.

Hope this helps.

Just a little bit north of Singer Island is a great seafood place, Reef Grill, aka Captain Charlie's.  It's in a small strip mall, not sure if it's in Jupiter or Juno Beach, but it's right on US Hwy 1.  Anyone in the Singer Island/Palm Beach Gardens area should be able to give you exact directions. It gets pretty crowded and they don't take reservations, but it's worth the wait for great seafood. Captain Charlie often brings in his own haul and it doesn't get any fresher.  I still dream about the T-Wa shrimp, which is sauteed in butter, brown sugar and red pepper.

If you're there over a Thursday night, West Palm Beach usually has the busiest restaurant and club street (Clematis) blocked off for pedestrian traffic only and it's a fun place to walk around.  Years ago we ate at a great restaurant, Sforza, that I'd go back to in a minute.  You can take a water taxi there from the nearby marina.

For breakfast or lunch, try John G's in Lake Worth, right on the boardwalk.  Gets very busy but the wait is always worth it.  The french toast is amazing and the fish and chips are outstanding.

Have fun! We love the Singer Island area.

Bouquet du Vin

http://www.bouquetduvin.com

ameyer@bouquetduvin.com

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  • 3 weeks later...
I will be at the Marriott Ocean Pointe on Singer Island for 4 nights next month. I want to eat at 4 really great restaurants while there. They don't necessarily have to be fancy, just very good food. I only have one reservation right now and that is at The Restaurant in the Four Seaons, which I know is fancy. I am undecided on the other 3 nights. The other restaurants I am looking at are:

 1. Cafe Maxx - Pompano Beach (closed for renovation?)

2. 32 East - Delray Beach

3. Cafe Boulud - Palm Beach

4. Cafe Chardonnay - Palm Beach

5. Cafe L'Europe - Palm Beach

6.  Sunfish Grill - Pompano Beach

Please tell me what you think I should do. Thanks.

Of the ones you listed that I'm familiar with - try Cafe Boulud definitely - maybe Cafe Chardonnay (haven't been there for about 4 years - so I can't vouch for it - have been at the others within the last year or so). Skip Cafe L'Europe. Cafe Maxx is too far. Ditto with Sunfish Grill. It would be like driving to Jacksonville for dinner - but with traffic that's about 10 times worse. Robyn

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  • 6 months later...

If you venture further south the next trip, by all means try 32 East in Delray Beach or Sunfish Grill in Pompano Beach. Both are excellent. The latter is small, so reservations are a must even in the off-season, but it is very, very good. While in Palm Beach, try lunch at Renato's (off Worth Avenue). The food is quite good and it would be hard to imagine a lovlier spot to dine. The dinner menu is, however, overpriced. If looking for lunch in Delray, try Sol Kitchen, which I believe is 32 East's sister restaurant, or Tramanti.

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  • 3 months later...

I know this is an older thread, but I had dinner at L'Escalier, and it was fantastic. Whe I return to Palm Beach I'm definitely going back there.

It was pricey, but not outrageous, especially if you compare it to New York better restaurant prices.

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  • 7 months later...

My wife and I will be spending my birthday on August 18th in West Palm, and although there are threads in this forum about restaurants there, most of the recommendations are fairly old. Anyone have any recent updates on their favorite restaurants there? Right now I have reservations at Morton's, which we have never tried before, even though there is one here in Orlando. My other top choice was Cafe Boulud, but having downloaded the summer menu in PDF form last night from their website, it seems pretty limited. I have an allergy to all seafood, so it limits my choices considerably. Another top consideration, thanks to Susan's review, is Cafe L'Europe. I've eleminated L'Escalier as just being too over the top expensive. We will actually be there on the 17th also, and am considering Cabana Nuevo Latino. Any comments?

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Well, never mind then. I've already switched my reservation from Morton's to Cafe Baulud. After talking to them a couple of days ago, they said yes, that was their entire summer menu, but that they had just changed it two days ago. So they faxed me the new menu, and I like it a lot better than the previous one. I have more choices of things to eat. I also contacted the Orlando Sentinel critic, Scott Joseph, and he thought Cafe Baulud would be a wonderful place for my 51st birthday. So now I am looking foward to it, and nothing you can say will get me to change my mind. :smile:

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I think you'll enjoy Cafe Boulud.

I went to Cafe L'Europe a couple of years ago. In my opinion - it was mediocre - and very old fashioned. If you like to eat the kind of "continental food" that restaurants used to serve 15 years ago - then you will probably enjoy it. By the way - it is an expensive restaurant - perhaps just a notch less expensive than L'Escalier. I'd check to see if L'Escalier has any special menus/tasting menus for the summer. Are you staying at the Breakers (I think you may be able to get a discount there if you are)? Robyn

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  • 6 months later...

BUUUUUUUUUUMP! :biggrin:

Before it gets too far away from me, I wanted to add a couple of places to this thread. I was on Singer Island for a few days last month, and have to recommend two very different spots--one on SI, the other in WPB.

Johnny Longboats is a completely casual (think jeans, shorts/t-shirts) beach bar where you can get some great food and remember that you're on vacation. Their specialty is seafood; I had their famous grouper-in-a-bag (app size) and a big salad for dinner, and was totally satisfied. Others had lobsters, scallops, and the kids were thrilled with mac 'n cheese and burgers. The onion strings were well worth the calories, and a big enough portion for sharing. Full bar, huge fish hanging all over the place, fun scene, and a nice big porch for the warmer weather. No web site that I can find, but that doesn't surprise me.

Johnny Longboats

2401 North Ocean Drive

West Palm Beach, Florida 33404

Tel: 561 882 1333

In West Palm Beach (downtown), we had a wonderful meal at Leila Restaurant, which is billed as a "cosmopolitan Middle Eastern grille." Leila is a lovely, small spot with a large patio out back that was very enticing, but the weather was a bit too chilly for us to sit out there in mid-February.

We started with these mezze for the table:

Baba Ghanouj, delicious, crunchy falafel, Simbusik (minced beef, pine nuts and sweet onion, in a light pastry pouch--think empanada!), and my favorite item of the whole meal, the Ma’anek, spiced sausages with port and pine nuts. Forget the weather; I need to get back there ASAP for these sausages! They were fantastic.

For dinner, we ordered most of the kebabs on the menu (beef, lamb, chicken and seafood). I had the Lebanese Lamb Kefta, which is a mixture of ground lamb with parsley, onion and spices that is molded around the skewer for grilling. YUMMY! Entrees were served with pyramid-shaped piles (and I do mean PILES) of couscous, which was very tasty. Many people were surprised that the coucous was served chilled, but we were told that it is traditional. No matter--it was scooped up!

We were a large group for the restaurant (15), but they did manage to accommodate us quite well. Seating was tight, but we were told it would be ahead of time, so I don't fault them for that.

It was a major birthday for my dad, and we had planned this well in advance, but I decided against bringing in a cake, as I wanted desserts that went with the meal. All I did was hand off the numbered candle to the waiter, and asked that they put it on whatever my dad ordered for dessert. Without my requesting it, the staff delivered a dessert with lit candles--before we ever ordered anything. They then took our dessert orders as we passed the pieces of cake around for tastes. In the end, we ordered dupes of all of the desserts on the menu, with the only disappointment (surprisingly) being the baklava. Other items were delicious, and all interesting, with orange blossom syrup and/or floral flavors in the mix with pistachios and other middle eastern flavors. I ordered the walnut turnovers, which were very filling, but wonderful---not overly sweet, and chock full of ground nuts with rosewater and orange blossom.

On Saturday nights, there is a belly dancer who performs for about 15 minutes a few times throughout the evening. She was terrific, and somehow managed to whirl, twirl and twist her way around all of the tables. It's definitely tastefully done, so don't be turned off by the idea of this brief 'show' interrupting your dinner--it was definitely a fun addition, and the 5, 6 and 8 year-olds who were with us were mesmerized.

I can't say enough about Leila--if you have the chance, GO!!!

Leila Restaurant

120 South Dixie Highway (on the corner of Datura and Dixie)

West Palm Beach, FL, 33401

561-659-7373

Validation parking for lunch and dinner at WPB Municipal Parking lot

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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  • 2 years later...

Will be there in a few weeks, staying at the breakers. Usually go to la sirena, but they are closed for the summer. Look for recs in the area, or west palm beach. Must take dinner reservations, and not be a chain. Price not too much of an issue.

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