Restaurant pick of the week: something to purr about in Palm Beach

The club sandwich at The Leopard Lounge features avocado and egg. (Palm Beach Daily News file)
A club sandwich at The Leopard Lounge, Palm Beach. (Palm Beach Daily News file)

Central pick: LEOPARD LOUNGE

Oh, sure, this place is great at night for Palm Beach people-watching amid black lacquered walls, shiny leather banquettes and leopard print carpeting. But there’s more to the Leopard than the lounge and dinner scene. There’s excellent service, the “welcome” of hot rolls tucked into a basket, and delicious lunch.

The chicken schnitzel ($22) is a thing of beauty: Chicken breast that’s tender and juicy chicken beneath a crispy, buttery crust is topped with lemon béchamel sauce and served with haricot vert and French fries. Order the schnitzel as part of the Flavor Palm Beach lunch menu during the month of September and you can get an appetizer (like shrimp cocktail) and dessert (like double chocolate Belgian cake), all for just $20, plus tax and tip. That’s something to purr about.

The Chesterfield Hotel revamped its rooms and famous Leopard Lounge in 2011. (Chris Salata/ Palm Beach Daily News) 120711 PBDN Chris Salata 4 Photos
The Chesterfield Hotel revamped its rooms and Leopard Lounge in 2011. (Palm Beach Daily News)

Leopard Lounge: 363 Cocoanut Row (in the Chesterfield Hotel), Palm Beach; 561-659-5800; ChesterfieldPB.com

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

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See which local craft beers now available at renovated Dolphins stadium

Due South's Caramel Cream Ale put the Boyton Beach brewery on the map. (Handout photo)
Due South’s Brewing’s (Boynton Beach) Caramel Cream Ale will be available at the renovated Dolphins Stadium. (Handout photo)

The Miami Dolphins clearly know how to draught.

The renovated Sun Life Stadium will toast the team’s home opener on Sept. 27 with two new taprooms, serving 16cq varieties of Florida craft beer on tap and 15 others in bottles and cans. There will be as many as 52 craft beers available — including national and local breweries, such as four from Palm Beach County.

Miami Dolphins Craft Beer
Courtesy of Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are emphasizing local beers. All of stadium’s draft craft beer will be from Florida.

“Our fans have told us that they want more variety and more local flavors, not only in the food they eat, but in what they drink,” said Ben Metzger, the Dolphins’ director of concessions. “We wanted great beers from great breweries that represented a wide range of tastes. Our hope is that fans will be able to come and get the beers that they already know and love, but also be able to try and discover new ones that will become new favorites.”

Due South Brewing’s Caramel Cream Ale and Saltwater Brewery’s Screamin’ Reels IPA — a Palm Beach Post Beer of the Week — will be available in cans. Tequesta Brewing Co.’s Der Chancellor golden ale is in bottles. Funky Buddha Brewing’s Floridian wheat ale, Hop Gun IPA and Crusher IPA will be on tap, alongside other South Florida craft breweries such as Miami’s Wynwood Brewing, Doral’s MIA Brewing, the Islamorada Beer Co. and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing.

Metzger said the stadium wanted to serve beer that paired well with South Florida’s weather.

“Many of the breweries are developing beers that are tweaked to the local palette, or are perfecting beers that just taste great on a hot and humid Florida day,” He said. “This allows us to offer that breadth – so you’ll be able to enjoy a great pilsner, hefeweizen, or blonde ale; but then still be able to carry a couple fantastic IPAs for the people who are craving hops.”

(Hat tip to Palm Beach Post Dolphins beat writer Hal Habib for getting his hands on the beer list.)

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What is the best local beer of the week?

Best Local Beer of the Week

Blood orange Belgian wheat ale from Copperpoint Brewery

The blood orange Belgian wit wheat ale from Copperpoint Brewery. (Contributed photo)
The blood orange Belgian wit wheat ale from Copperpoint Brewery. (Contributed photo)

What it is

One of the summer favorites at the three-month old Coppperpoint Brewery in Boytnon Beach has been its Belgian wit wheat ale (also known as a witbier), the Witness. But one particular variant of that carefully crafted beer is a blood-orange variety. To the standard Witness, which is brewed with Florida oranges and coriander to give it a citrusy, peppery flavor, brewmaster/owner Matt Cox adds hard-to-source blood oranges (peels, juice, everything). This treatment gives an already flavorful beer a tart bite and a fragrant citrus scent. The beer takes extra long to make, costs more, but as Cox said, “we do it because it’s good. And good things never come easy.” Except drinking this finely crafted beer; that comes very easily. It’s the perfect goodbye to summer.

Where to get it

Copperpoint won’t begin distributing its beer to local bars and restaurants for at least another 30 days. Until then, its beers are available only in its taproom. The blood orange wit is a limited beer, so get it while it’s available. It costs $5.50 for a 13-ounce pour in a snifter. But during happy hour Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., all beers are $4.

Copperpoint Brewing, 151 Commerce Rd., Boynton Beach. 561-508-7676

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Relax at the best waterfront restaurants in south Florida

Today is National Relaxation Day. When we think of relaxing, we think of sitting back at a waterfront destination and enjoying the view. So, for your enjoyment, we are re-posting our list of the best waterfront places in south Florida:

Motoring your boat down the Intracoastal Waterway to get a beer or a meal is a Florida tradition.

A few weeks ago, we wrote about 10 north Palm Beach County bars and restaurants you can visit by boat.

And now, we’re showing southern Palm Beach County some aquatic love.

From north to south, here are eight waterfront spots to have a drink or a meal, no car required.

1. Old Key Lime House Restaurant

Old Key Lime House
Old Key Lime House in Lantana. (Photo by Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post )

Missing the Keys? For some salty charm, head to what its owners claim is the oldest waterfront restaurant in Florida, in an 1889 former pioneer home. Just west of the Lantana bridge, near headquarters for drift boats and charter fishermen, this Margaritaville melange of marine artifacts and University of Florida souvenirs (beware, anyone sporting garnet and gold,) has dock space, outdoor bars and indoor historic charm. 300 E Ocean Ave, Lantana; 561- 582-1889.

kona bay cafe
Kona Bay Cafe in Lantana.

Lakeside Anchor Inn
Lakeside Anchor Inn.

4. Two Georges

Two Georges
Two Georgesin Boynton Beach.

Since 1957, this former fish shack, where patrons once sat outside on wooden cable spools, has been serving locally caught seafood. Expanded into a sprawling compound of restaurant, and tiki bars, it still has the salty tang of a fisherman’s hangout, with an air-conditioned dining room, if you must. 728 Casa Loma Blvd., Boynton Beach; 561-736-2717.

5. Banana Boat

Banana Boat
Banana Boat in Boynton Beach.

12 million. That’s how many people the Banana Boat estimates it has served since opening in 1978 in then-sleepy Boynton Beach. Today, this bustling spot next to Two Georges is boat bar central, with weekends seeing a steady stream of mariners tying up for a frosty few, peel ‘n eats or conch fritters. 739 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach; 561-732-9400.

6. Prime Catch

Prime Catch
Prime Catch in Boynton Beach.

Owned by the same family that owns the Banana Boat, this fine dining spot on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway, just south of the Woolbright Rd. bridge has dock space for plenty of boats, plus outdoor and indoor dining. 700 E. Woolbright Rd., Boynton Beach; 561-737-8822.

7. Deck 84

Deck 84
Deck 84 in Delray.

Cleat off on the 150-foot dock on the west side of the Intracoastal, just south of the Atlantic Avenue bridge, and you’ll usually find the party has already started on the big outside deck. Looking for quiet romance? Head inside to the dining room. And if you catch it, they’ll cook it. The Friday Night Fish Fry heats up to live music from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 840 E. Atlantic, Delray Beach; 561-665-8484.

8. Hudson at Waterway East

Hudson
Fish tacos are on the menu at the new Hudson eatery in Delray Beach. (Contributed by Gyorgy Papp)

Where to eat at this spot on the southeast side of the Atlantic Avenue bridge? The outdoor Pier? The Bar? Or the Parlor? Small-batch liquors, craft beer and menus featuring seasonal ingredients and Florida seafood elevates the usual boat-in restaurant to Delray-style sophistication. Half-off drinks every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 900 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-303-1343.

Related: Burt Reynolds visits Hudson after reading about it in The Palm Beach Post.

 

 

 

 

National Watermelon Day: Celebrate with a Watermelon Martini at Buccan

Watermelon Martini
The summery vodka Watermelon Martini, made with chunks of watermelon, at Buccan, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Palm Beach. (Brianna Soukup / Palm Beach Post)

Today is National Watermelon Day. And what better way to celebrate this awesome summer holiday than with a Watermelon Martini from Buccan in Palm Beach.

One of Palm Beach’s (and our) favorite places to see, be seen and look fabulous over a cocktail, Buccan’s just a few blocks from Worth Avenue but the center of its own bustle.

The popular restaurant debuted their Watermelon Martini just in time for summer. It’s not the kind you had in the late ’90s made with sugary artificial flavored Pucker or some such ickery (I feel like the cocktail gods would have me spit and throw salt over my shoulder to ward off the bad Pucker vibes.) This is real, made of fresh watermelon, lime, simple syrup and vodka. Real delicious!

But, if you are going, go soon! Buccan will close Aug. 10 for a massive 11-day makeover. They are expected to reopen Aug. 22.

If you go: Buccan, 350 S. County Road, Palm Beach. 561-833-3450.

National Oyster Day: Deals at Boca, Delray restaurants

The oyster bar at Racks Delray. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)
The oyster bar at Racks Delray. (Thomas Cordy/ Palm Beach Post)

National Oyster Day doesn’t arrive until Wednesday, but some south county eateries are kicking off their celebration today.

Restaurateur Gary Rack’s restaurants – Racks Downtown Eatery + Tavern in Boca Raton and Racks Fish House + Oyster Bar in Delray Beach – are running buck-a-shuck deals through Thursday.

The deal: Blue Point oysters are $1 each from open to close. The oysters are sold by the half-dozen.

Racks Downtown Eatery + Tavern: 402 Plaza Real, Mizner Park, Boca Raton; 561-395-1662

Racks Fish House + Oyster Bar: 5 SE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-450-6718

MOLLUSK MADNESS: FIVE PLACES FOR OYSTERS (AND CLAMS) 

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Best restaurants of 2015 (so far): Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast

Jereve Culinary Studio, West Palm Beach. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
Jereve Culinary Studio, West Palm Beach. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

I am not quite done devouring 2015, but I have feasted on my share of excellent dishes. Here’s my half-time report on my favorite reviewed restaurants so far this year.

JEREVE CULINARY STUDIO

Jereve's palm hearts with kohlrabi, mango, and bread crumbs. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
Jereve’s palm hearts with kohlrabi, mango, and bread crumbs. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

They call this West Palm Beach eatery a studio for good reason: The food is a work of art. But beyond the stunning presentations on the plate, the food is delicious.

The restaurant is tucked into the multiuse EmKo art space on South Dixie Highway in the Flamingo Park neighborhood, and its positioning makes sense: beautiful, thoughtful dishes served in a setting where creativity is celebrated and encouraged.

Jereve: 2119 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-227-3511; EmKoPB.com

MEAT MARKET

Meat Market's mammoth dry-aged Prime Certified Angus, 32-ounce porterhouse steak. (Bill Ingram/ Palm Beach Post)
Meat Market’s mammoth dry-aged Prime Certified Angus, 32-ounce porterhouse steak. (Bill Ingram/ Palm Beach Post)

Welcome to the sexiest steak house in Palm Beach County, where the cuts are stellar and the service is sensational.

Chef-restaurateur Sean Brasel’s hard work has paid off, as have the countless miles he’s logged between the 10-month-old restaurant and its original Meat Market location in Miami Beach. Start with a fresh tuna tartare and a glass of chilled wine at the bar, where happy hour is a refined affair. Then settle into a seat at the dining room for an extraordinary meal. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth the splurge.

Meat Market: 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach; 561-354-9800; MeatMarketPalmBeach.com

THE GRILLE FASHION CUISINE

Executive Chef Clay Carnes, The Grille, Wellington. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)
Executive Chef Clay Carnes, The Grille, Wellington. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)

Rising star chef Clayton Carnes has no use for bells and whistles. He relies on premium ingredients and mad skills. The secret behind The Grille’s quality and success is as simple as that.

There’s little wonder why Carnes won an episode of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and, more recently, a semifinals round in the summer-long Feast of the Sea’s Chef’s Challenge Series.

At The Grille, his menu is simple and accessible, and it’s inspired by what’s fresh, local and prime.

The Grille: 12300 South Shore Blvd., Wellington; 561-793-2110; TheGrilleFashionCuisine.com

DISTRICT TABLE & BAR

District Table's roasted grass-fed marrow bones are served with onion crust, IPA mustard, herbs and toast. (LibbyVision.com)
District Table’s roasted grass-fed marrow bones are served with onion crust, IPA mustard, herbs and toast. (LibbyVision.com)

This cozy and casual eatery, which sits in a quiet suburban plaza in Stuart, is where Chef Jason Stocks and his wife Mirka Stocks pay homage to local and regional ingredients.

The chef’s Southern roots – he’s a Palm City native – are evident throughout District Table’s eclectic menu. Whether it’s his Sweet Tea Fried Chicken and jalapeño-cheddar waffle, his deviled yard eggs or his insanely good beef tartare, the chef’s talent is revealed daily in dishes that are worth driving many miles to enjoy.

District Table: 900 SE Indian St. (heading north on U.S. 1, turn left on Indian Street), Stuart; 772-324-8357; DistrictTableAndBar.com

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