Thursday, February 11, 2016

U.S. Adventures: Palm Beach, Florida

I’m going to try and make this pretty quick, because it’s a post from outside Indy, but no promises. For my birthday, hubby took me and the kids to Palm Beach for a little getaway. The thing that excited me about this place when I started researching restaurants was how many great options were.

For my birthday dinner, we went to my number one choice—a place called Buccan. It had great ratings and a great sounding menu. I so wish Indy had a place with a menu like this. Highlights of the appetizers (besides for the amazing bread plate) were Hamachi sashimi ($16) andbeef tartare ($14). On top of that wonderfully seasoned tartare was a breaded and fried poached egg. It had lots of acid and even my daughter loved it.

Highlights of the main part of the dinner were hubby’s pork tacos ($5.50) with avocado crema and salsa verde and the short rib empanadas ($6 each) with salsa criolla and aji Amarillo. They flavor profiles of these small plates were intense. Honestly better than my birthday splurge of house made pappardelle with shaved white truffles, which was fun and tasty and rich, but just didn’t stand out the same way. The other highlight believe it or not was my son’s roasted half chicken “Boudin” with mustard jus ($29). Wow, that skin on that chicken was amazing for real. So much flavor and so super crisp. I would actually order it myself if I went back. I loved this place. We even watched Dr. Oz have a few words with the hostess at the table next to us.

My next favorite dinner was at Echo. This is a Japanese restaurant—they do sushi but so much more, and while both the rolls we had were quite good (gotta love a roll with some real fresh jumbo lump crab in it (the Hurricane roll at $17) and a roll with spicy conch on top (the Palm Beach roll at $16))—the highlight of the evening for me was the two hot entrées that my kids chose. My favorite was the sweet and sour halibut ($32) which had large chunks of tempura fried halibut (perfectly juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside) all tossed in a slightly sweet, but not cloying, sauce. It had a good tang to it and I loved it. We also enjoyed sharing the wagyu flatiron steak ($35) with bulgogi marinade. Ok, really what we really liked about it was the kimchi fried rice underneath. That stuff was amazing. I mean the beef was good—a touch chewy, but that rice was fabulous. The entire table also enjoyed the Peking duck buns ($22). The biggest letdown was the salmon and tuna tartare duo that hubby and I ordered—it was really pretty bland. This restaurant was DARK though. Really dark. I never use my phone as a flashlight in restaurants and there was no other way here.

We also went to dinner at PB Catch, which is your basic seafood place. There was nothing wrong with this place, but nothing stood out in the same was as the first two. I also realized those giant stone crab claws just aren’t that special for me. Give me a Dungeness any day. (We did have a couple and they were really expensive and just ok). Hubby and I shared everything we ordered and the grilled oysters with paprika butter were very good. The oysters here were very fresh. I also ordered another appetizer as my entrée and it was very unique—and one of the best things on the table all night. It was a dish with bay scallops that were deep fried and served with spaetzle, compressed apple (in little balls that almost looked like scallops themselves) and little bits of braised oxtail ($20). It was a wonderful dish. My daughter’s tuna ($42) contained lots of olives and was tasty as well. Hubby’s fish and chips were not good. That crust was soggy.

We also ate lunch in Del Ray Beach one day when we wanted to check out another area (it’s a cute little beachy town with lots and lots of bars and restaurants and a few shops). We ate at City Oyster and had a nice meal there as well. Hubby and I shared the carpaccio of tuna with fennel, capers, and basil ($13.75) and the salmon BLT ($16) served on housemade challah bread with caper aioli. The BLT was heavy on bread, but we ate it open-faced and it was delish. The tuna was unique in presentation and all the sauces along the edge made the dish. The kids were also happy with their clam chowder (son) and seared mahi mahi (daughter). Also, we splurged and had dessert. The key lime pie and chocolate pudding with sea salt ($7) also both very good.

Other than these, most of the meals were in the hotel gazing at the ocean and were wonderful because of the views—and the food wasn’t bad either, although not quite as stellar as the other things we had out. We stayed at Eau Palm Beach if anyone is interested hearing more about it, drop me a line.

All in all, a great trip, great weather, and a perfect way to spend my birthday.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm. I was wandering around Del Ray Beach last week.