Critic’s pick: 3 courses, wine and live tunes at Boca Raton bistro

Marie Gattacieca and husband/chef Stephane Gattacieca are the owners of Chez Marie French Bistro, located at the Polo Club Shoppes Plaza in Boca Raton. (Contributed by Andrea Mate)
Owners Marie and Stephane Gattacieca at Chez Marie, Boca Raton. (Contributed by Andrea Mate)

South county pick: CHEZ MARIE

This Boca Raton bistro is celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau Day in grand style, complete with a three-course, prix fixe menu and live music.

The eatery is cozy and often lively, featuring some nights of live music. On Beaujolais Day (Thursday, Nov. 19), the entertainment comes courtesy of vocalist and keyboard player Thierry Khalfa, who performs classics from the ’50s to today, plus French pop songs and other global tunes.

The special three-course menu that night, which costs $29.90, includes a sample glass of this year’s Beaujolais.

Chez Marie French Bistro: 5030 Champion Blvd., Suite D3 in the Polo Club Shoppes, Boca Raton; 561-997-0027; ChezMarieFrenchBistro.com

Critic’s pick, West Palm Beach: a lively bistro for sipping new Beaujolais

Customers enjoy dinner at Pistache bistro and bar in downtown West Palm Beach on April 18, 2015.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Alfresco dining at Pistache, West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Central county pick: PISTACHE

There are many reasons to dine at Pistache at lunch, dinner, late-night bites or weekend brunch. There’s also the setting: The eatery is perched by the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront, offering a view of the lively commons. But perhaps the best reason to dine here is the outstanding food.

Chef de cuisine Isaac Cerny and sous-chef Sam Horrocks lend a refined touch to a menu of French favorites. On a recent visit, I tried their delicious “confit” treatment of a chicken leg served over brunch waffles. (The chicken is slow-cooked in fat using a traditional preserving technique.) The flavors on the plate spanned that decadent stretch between rich and richer.

That chicken leg will be on the menu on Beaujolais Nouveau Day (Thursday, Nov. 19), though this time it will be served with a side of maque choux (Cajun succotash), pea tendrils and sauce “diable” (hot sauce).

Other a la carte specials to pair with your glass or bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais that day: chicken “oyster” and andouille gumbo, zucchini blossom beignets, mirliton and Anjou pear salad, grouper in court bouillon and pork tenderloin.

Pistache French Bistro: 101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-833-5090; PistacheWPB.com

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

Critic’s pick: unpretentious bistro fare in Jupiter waterfront setting

CafeDesArtistesSIGN

North county pick: CAFÉ DES ARTISTES

This waterfront café, which is celebrating its 10th year in business, offers a solid menu of French bistro classics (escargot, foie gras, entrecote and plenty of frites-worthy entrees).

Expect food that’s nicely prepared, but not pretentious. Dinner can be a pricey affair, but the splendid setting (at the Jupiter Yacht Club) and warm service will give you a reason to splurge.

The café will celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day on Thursday, Nov. 19, pouring the new wine at dinnertime, starting at 7 p.m.

Bonus: If you stop in during happy hour (5:30 to 7 p.m.) that day, you get two glasses of Beaujolais for the price of one.

Café des Artistes: 318 S. U.S. Highway 1, #101, Jupiter; 561-747-0998; CafeDesArtistesJupiter.com

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

 

Critic’s pick: nice-price wines at Lake Park’s Pelican Café

A selection of wines inside The Pelican Cafe in Lake Park on May 16, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
The Pelican Cafe, Lake Park. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

North county pick: PELICAN CAFÉ

The owners of Lake Park’s charming Pelican Café have returned from vacation in a generous mode. After a short break, they reopened the eatery last week with a terrific “fall back” deal:

All wines by the glass or bottle are half-price through the end of October. The café’s wine selection offers spot-on pairings for the Pelican’s Italian-centric menu.

Bonus: Dine between 5 and 6 p.m. and get 20 percent off your entire check. Reservations are strongly suggested for dinner. Closed Mondays. See full hours on the café’s website.

Pelican Café: 612 US Highway 1, Lake Park; 561-842-7272; ThePelicanCafe.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

 

Critic’s pick: Delray Beach bistro is neighborhood gem

Jimmy Mills, chef/owner of Jimmy's Bistro. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)
Jimmy Mills, chef/owner of Jimmy’s Bistro. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)

South county pick: JIMMY’S BISTRO

The daily fish special that’s featured on Chef James Mills’ menu at this neighborhood gem of a bistro is fresh caught and expertly prepared. Ditto for just about everything that steams out of his kitchen.

In addition to his stellar fish dishes, Mills turns out one comfort dish after another, from schnitzel to ravioli to étouffé to chicken fried chicken.

Pan-seared flounder with olive and basil ratatouille is served at Jimmy's Bistro. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)
Pan-seared flounder with olive and basil ratatouille is served at Jimmy’s Bistro. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)

For the pairing, he offers a well-curated selection of excellent wines.

The place is worth the detour from the Atlantic Avenue bustle. Slip into this bistro, and expect good grub and good service.

Jimmy’s Bistro: 9 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-5774; Facebook.com/JimmysBistro

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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Venus Williams: Her company designed this cool bar

Funky Shandy at Salute Market in Palm Beach Gardens (Contributed photo)
Funky Shandy at Salute Market in Palm Beach Gardens (Contributed photo)The bar

The bar

Salute Market

The vibe

Salute Market is a place without secrets. It is simply a place to enjoy fresh food and hand-crafted drinks in sleek, open, unpretentious setting designed by tennis star Venus Williams’ firm, V Starr Interiors. It’s part deli and market, where you can buy fresh sandwiches with pastrami and corned beef flow in fresh from the owners’ home in Chicago. It’s part wine cellar, and full beer and liquor store where you can sample all of the items before you buy them. And it’s an indoor and outdoor bar, where cocktails are made with top shelf liquors — and the recipes to all the drinks are printed on cards so you can buy the alcohol and make the drinks at home.

Signature cocktail

The Funky Shandy is among the drinks Salute Market makes and prints the recipe to for patrons to take home. A typical shandy is mix of hefeweizen wheat beer and lemonade. This one does it one better by using Funky Buddha’s Floridian wheat ale, Kettle One Citron citrus vodka and ginger liqueur. It at once is refreshing and packs punch.

Grapefruit Negroni at Salute Market in Palm Beach Gardens (Contributed photo)
Grapefruit Negroni at Salute Market in Palm Beach Gardens (Contributed photo)

Other notable drinks

The drinks are seasonal to take advantage of local, fresh ingredients. Among the drinks Salute prints recipes to are its strawberry rhubarb old fashioned, made with bourbon, fresh muddled strawberries and aged-rhubarb liqueur. The watermelon mojito uses freshly muddled watermelon. There are also a selection of craft beers in cans or bottles, including local offerings from Tequesta Brewing Co. and Due South Brewing.

Bar bites

A full deli means you can have anything from a salumi/charcuterie board or a hot sandwich from kitchen. The Sleghtsteak sandwich uses house-roasted eye of round. The Barry uses specially cured corned beef. And all naan bread is fresh baked.

Deals

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., food menu ranges from $2 to $8. Wine starts at $6, champagne at $11.

salutebarcontributed

More info.

5530 PGA Blvd., Suite #101, Palm Beach Gardens. 561-425-5651. www.salute2u.com

 

The Funky Shandy

1 1/2 ounces Kettle One Citron vodka

1 1/4 ounces Stirrings Ginger Liqueur

4 ounces Funky Buddha Floridian beer

2 lemon wedges

Build in a glass. Add ice, vodka, ginger liquer and squeeze lemons. Finishe with beer. Garnish with lemon.