upscale rec need for Palm Beach Gardens area
I need a somewhat upscale rec for the PBG/Jupiter area next weekend. I don't care for steak houses in general, no matter how high end. I want there to be a bit of atmosphere and have based my findings below on this.
Here is what I have to decide on and maybe you can offer me some other advice. Thanks in advance.
Aqua Grill (I have my doubts though)
Follow up on our visit to Cafe Chardonnay Friday night with a big group. Funny the differences between Miami and Palm Beach - we got there around 8:30 and the place was starting to get quiet, that's when most Miami places just start getting really coming alive. Anyway ... they accomodated our group of about 12 in an upstairs loft spice which was nice and semi-private - they used a few tables squeezed together instead of one (which was obvious because one was a notably different size than the others) but I assume this was primarily because the number of our group was up in the air until about an hour before our arrival. It worked just fine. The menu was very similar to what's online, but in addition to which they had a lengthy list of daily specials (probably at least a half dozen each of apps and mains to choose from).
We had some difficulties getting our meal started as we tried to order wine but multiple choices either were out of stock or our server couldn't find them. Unfortunately as we played hide and go seek with the wine, the rest of the table waited - increasingly impatiently - to place their orders (which ideally someone else could have done as we sorted through the wine issues). Eventually we did indeed get some wine (including a nice Priorat) and ordered our food.
I started with a butter-basted lobster w/ morels and a spring pea emulsion, a nice spring combo. The lobster was good, though not quite as tender and ethereal as a butter-poached lobster has the potential to be. The morels were flavorful but seemed reconstituted rather than fresh, having a little bit of a pickled quality to them. The pea sauce was a nice match. A nice dish which had the potential to be even better.
I had a veal scallopini for a main, served with butternut squash ravioli, a marsala sauce and wilted spinach. The presentation was a little unusual, with the scallopini and ravioli layered on top of each other. Nice tender veal, a good sauce (with additions of quartered mushrooms and a couple roasted tomato slices), good spinach, the ravioli were a bit lacking in punch. A little crown of crisped prosciutto I thought just didn't integrate well. Both the scallopini (which was really a modified saltimbocca) and the ravioli were calling out for a certain ingredient - sage - which unites the two, but I didn't get any hint of it. Again, a good dish, but one I thought could be better.
I didn't get to try others' dishes but the lobster bisque looked and smelled good, a duck two ways had an interesting looking shepard's pie w/ confit, but the breast looked overcooked.
General impression: thought it was good but unexceptional - certainly a place I'd consider going back to if I was in the neighborhood, not anywhere I'd go out of my way for. Don't know what was going on with their wine inventory but that was the source of a bit of frustration.
re: Alfred G
That's where I reserved for tomorrow night. Popped over last night to take a peek, looked nice.
Also had a solo meal at Metronome to try it out. Interesting tapas menu at the bar, however, chicken "croquettes" were not croquettes at all, but rather a couple crispy chicken tenderloins. Smoked paprika aioli didn't quite have enough bang but a little salsa of roasted peppers was good. A lot of food for a $4.50 tapas. Triple truffle burger (truffle butter, truffle oil, truffle cheese) was quite good.
Freaker.......I love the Kee Grill....Not the upscale that you may be looking for.......But I am not looking for the waterview, boats, fancy tablecloths.I am in it for the food...My gosh..This post is two months old........ In the words of the reknowned news achor .RoseAnne Roseanna Danna...NEVERMIND
Oakwood is a GREAT option. I have frequently mentioned them on this board, their wine list is fabulous, their steaks are superb, and their fish is as fresh as can be. The Oak fired grill is fantastic and adds a wonderful touch to the meats and fish.
Another great option in the area is the classic Cafe Chardonay, or if you want something a little more off the PGA strip, head up Alt. A1A to the Gazebo Cafe, great food and quiet atmosphere.
I'd avoid the river house. Salad Bar is fantastic, but the food is Ho-hum.
Same for Aqua, I've eaten there twice, both times the fish tasted weeks old.
You also might want to think about the new Metronome Grand Brassiere. It is the sister to the New York staple Montparnese and offers a wonderful high class french bistro atmosphere and decadent food.
230 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022
4533 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
2151 S Highway A1A Alt Ste 100, Jupiter, FL 33477