Okeechobee Steakhouse’s mighty fine steak

Okeechobee Steakhouse's Filet Black & White is crowned with jumbo shrimp. (Thomas Cordy/ The Palm Beach Post)
Okeechobee Steakhouse’s Filet Black & White. (Thomas Cordy/ The Palm Beach Post)

Expect no foodie lingo here, no “artisan” this or “hand-crafted” that, no menus tripped up in adjectives. Expect no calculated stabs at branding or ambiance. You won’t find proclamations of culinary hipdom here. But you will find a mighty fine steak.

And you will find stellar service, the kind of service that brings you back to the warm, welcoming time capsule that is Okeechobee Steakhouse.

 

READ MORE AT MYPALMBEACHPOST.COM.

Martha Stewart: I had a big, fun weekend in West Palm Beach

Cafe con leche in hand, Martha Stewart tours West Palm's GreenMarket. (Contributed photo)
Cafe con leche in hand, Martha Stewart tours West Palm’s GreenMarket. (Contributed photo)

Martha Stewart came to West Palm Beach and, in true Martha style, she flew away with something more stylish than a lousy souvenir t-shirt.

The businesswoman and lifestyle guru posted dozens of photos from her antiquing, thrifting and green market-shopping adventures on her “Martha Blog.” She also took the time to answer a few of our questions by email.

Read the full story here.

Stewart heads south this weekend to Miami Beach, where she is headlining the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s sold-out rosé brunch with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. We took the occasion to ask her some brunch-centric questions:

We must ask: Is rosé your go-to brunch drink?

“Ever since my first trip to St. Barths, rosé has been my wine choice for brunch.  Year round, I think it accompanies most food perfectly.”

Martha shares her poached eggs secret below. (Photo: Andrew Purcell)
Martha shares her poached eggs secret. (Photo: Andrew Purcell)

What are the keys to creating and serving the perfect Sunday brunch?

“Do as much prep ahead of time as possible.  I have a secret way to make eggs Benedict. Poach the eggs the day before, then store them overnight in the refrigerator in ice water.  The next day, reheat them for a few seconds in simmering water right before you assemble them.  Perfect eggs Benedict every time.”

 

 

 

IndiaFEST: Bollywood pops and masala spices come to West Palm Beach waterfront

IndiaFEST enters its 13th year. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
IndiaFEST enters its 13th year. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

The flavors, rhythms and hues of India will descend upon the West Palm Beach waterfront Saturday, as IndiaFEST celebrates Indian culture, from Bollywood to biryani.

The daylong fest, hosted by the Palm Beach India Association, kicks off at 10 a.m. and goes until 10 p.m. at downtown’s Meyer Amphitheatre.

Expect plenty of music, thanks to Bollywood playback singer Jonita Gandhi, singer Indian-American singer Vidya Vox, rocker Anirudh Bhola, and Bangladeshi-American DJ Sanjoy Deb.

Chef Michael Swamy. (Contributed photo)
Chef Michael Swamy. (Contributed photo)

To that lively soundtrack, yoga sessions will happen, vendors will showcase Indian fashion and jewelry, and aromas will rise from kiosks cooking and serving Indian dishes.

Chief among those cooking will be visiting Mumbai chef Michael Swamy, a Cordon Bleu-trained cook who counts several Michelin-starred chefs as his mentors. Swamy now works with an Indian private chef service called Hopping Chef.

On Thursday night, he offered a taste of his cuisine at a private, multicourse dinner of event organizers and guests, who gathered at Le Rendez-vous restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach. He whipped up two menus, one for vegetarians and one for meat eaters, with dishes that included spicy chili and vanilla-rubbed chicken wings, a light carrot-coriander soup scented with cumin and chili, a Central Indian-style smoked chicken in a herb-spice curry sauce and a spiced crème brulee.

“My food is very experimental,” he told the gathering. “I stay true to the flavors, but using the French culinary techniques I learned at the Cordon Bleu.”

The festival, which enters its 13th year on Saturday, is free to the public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus share favorite recipes in new cookbook

Barbara and Jack Nicklaus with daughter Nan O'Leary. (Allen Eyestone/ Palm Beach Post staff)
Barbara and Jack Nicklaus with daughter Nan O’Leary. (Allen Eyestone/ Palm Beach Post staff)

Food stories have a way of rising like a cheese soufflé in the Nicklaus family kitchen. They linger as long as loved ones around the kitchen island in the Lost Tree Village home where golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara have lived for nearly 50 years, raising four sons and a daughter and feeding 22 grandchildren.

Now those stories are tucked into their newly released cookbook, “Well Done! Life, Love & Food.” Peppered with favorite anecdotes and handed-down recipes, the self-published book offers a glimpse into the family that sat around the dinner table nightly for home-cooked meals, no matter the day’s bustle.

The family meals, inspired by Barbara’s stacks of community cookbooks and jotted-down recipes, unfolded just a stone’s throw from the stretch of State Road A1A that in 2006 was renamed Jack Nicklaus Drive.

Barbara Nicklaus' red velvet cake has a backstory the family loves to tell. (Allen Eyestone/ Palm Beach Post staff)
Barbara Nicklaus’ red velvet cake has a backstory the family loves to tell. (Photo: Allen Eyestone)

When the idea to publish a cookbook came up as a way to raise funds for The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, their powerhouse charitable foundation, Barbara turned to a trusty recipe binder daughter Nan O’Leary had compiled for her in the late 1990s.

“The book would not have happened if not for Nan,” she says. Sales of the book, which costs $39.99, benefit the charitable foundation.

Read the full story and find the recipe for Barbara Nicklaus’ red velvet cake (and how it inspired a favorite family anecdote) here.

Thanksgiving dining picks: central Palm Beach County

Thanksgiving may be America’s most anticipated holiday for home cooks, but if you prefer to make a reservation rather than roast a turkey, you’ve got plenty of options. Listed prices do not include tax and tip.

Central county picks:

Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Avocado Grill

The downtown West Palm eatery is serving healthy holiday options on Thanksgiving Day. In addition to a small-plates menu, chef Julien Gremaud is offering a three-course holiday dinner for $39 per person. The options:

A lightened-up dinner of turkey, quinoa, braised kale, roasted tomatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes and cranberry. Or a traditional dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberry. Each meal option is served with an appetizer and dessert.

Thanksgiving menu hours: 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday. Reservations: Strongly recommended via OpenTable.com or at 561-623-0822

Avocado Grill: 125 Datura St., West Palm Beach; AvocadoGrillWPB.com

Pistache

The bustling bistro, which offers a view of the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront commons, will serve a special three-course menu on Thanksgiving Day.

On the menu: eight appetizer options, including roasted pumpkin and goat cheese salad, Burgundy escargots, foie gras and classic French onion soup, and four entrée options: roast turkey with chestnut brioche stuffing, pan-roasted black grouper, beef bourguignon and steak frites. The dessert selection: apple and pumpkin pies, warm molten chocolate cake, pistachio crème brûlée and dark chocolate mousse.

The special menu, served from 3 p.m. on, costs $55 per person. (For kids, there’s a special $25 holiday menu.)

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

Meat Market

The Palm Beach steakhouse will serve a la carte dinner specials on Thanksgiving night. Chef Sean Brasel has created a holiday menu that includes a fresh turkey leg roulade stuffed with sourdough, house-smoked pork belly and Peruvian corn; a wood-grilled citrus-vanilla turkey breast cooked in the sous vide technique to a tender finish with cauliflower puree and candied bacon-tomato marmalade; and a mixed platter of turkey and American bison short rib crusted with walnut praline demi and bone marrow flan. Reservations: strongly recommended at OpenTable.com.

Meat Market: 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach; 561-354-9800; MeatMarket.net

Cafe Boulud, inside the Brazilian Court hotel, Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Cafe Boulud, at the Brazilian Court hotel, Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Café Boulud Palm Beach

Executive chef Rick Mace is preparing a three-course, traditional holiday menu, to be served from 1 to 9 p.m. (A vegetarian option is available.) Dinner costs $89 per person, $45 for kids 10 and younger.

Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel: 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach; 561-655-6060; CafeBoulud.com/palmbeach

Eau Palm Beach

The Manalapan resort has a few sumptuous options for Thanksgiving dining. The resort is hosting a fancy, “Eau Does Giving” holiday feast in the resort’s ballroom from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ($95 per adult, $40 per child). There’s also a four-course dinner in Eau’s fine-dining restaurant, Angle, starting at 6 p.m. ($85 per person), and a three-course meal (and a la carte dishes) at the more casual Temple Orange ($65 per person).

All dining options promise a portion of the proceeds to the Palm Beach County Food Bank. Reservations are recommended.

Eau Palm Beach Resort: 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-533-6000; EauPalmBeach.com

SEE NORTH COUNTY PICKS

SEE SOUTH COUNTY PICKS

Thanksgiving dining picks for northern Palm Beach County

Thanksgiving may be America’s most anticipated holiday for home cooks, but if you prefer to make a reservation rather than roast a turkey, you’ve got plenty of options. Listed prices do not include tax and tip.

North county picks:

3800 Ocean, Singer Island. (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post)
3800 Ocean, Singer Island. (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post)

3800 Ocean

The oceanfront eatery has a full day of food offerings on Thanksgiving, including a breakfast buffet (8 to 10:30 a.m., $28 adults, $14 kids under 12), a grand holiday brunch (noon to 3 p.m., $65 adults, $18 kids under 12), and a prix fixe dinner menu (5 to 10 p.m., $65 adults, $18 kids under 12).

3800 Ocean: 3800 N. Ocean Drive, inside the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort, 561-340-1795; Marriott.com

Spoto’s Oyster Bar

The seafood-centric eatery serves its Thanksgiving Day feast from noon to 7 p.m., offering a traditional holiday menu with some seasonal and surf-turf options. The full, traditional turkey dinner costs $24.75. Other meal options: New Orleans crab cakes, filet mignon, grilled black grouper, Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab. Reservations are recommended.

Spoto’s Oyster Bar: 4560 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-776-9448; Spotos.com

Vic & Angelo's, Palm Beach Gardens. (LibbyVision.com)
Vic & Angelo’s, Palm Beach Gardens. (LibbyVision.com)

Vic & Angelo’s PGA

The eatery is serving a traditional “Be Grateful” Thanksgiving feast that includes a glass of red or white wine. The meal costs $27.95 per person and will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The regular menu is available as well. Reservations are recommended.

Vic & Angelo’s at PGA Commons: 4520 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-630-9899; VicandAngelos.com

III Forks

The steakhouse is serving a four-course Thanksgiving Day dinner from 3 to 9 p.m. Entrée choices include a spice-rubbed holiday turkey, roasted Midwest beef tenderloin, or a Vermont maple-glazed salmon. Dinner costs $47 per adult and includes options from a dessert table. For $17, kids 12 and younger may choose soup or salad, an entrée and dessert. A la carte dishes are available as well.

III Forks: 4645 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-630-3660; 3Forks.com

SOUTH COUNTY PICKS

CENTRAL COUNTY PICKS

Dining review: Follow the buzz to Brule Bistro, Delray Beach

Brule Bistro's chef de cuisine is Jason Binder. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)
Brule Bistro’s chef de cuisine is Jason Binder. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)

Welcome to the liveliest bistro in Pineapple Grove, a spot where happy hours can easily segue into supper. Clearly it’s a place loved by locals, as they belly up to the stylish bar on weeknights, secure sidewalk tables for alfresco bites and help keep the buzz alive at Brule Bistro.

The buzz factor proved a tad noisy on my first visit to the Delray Beach eatery, which serves a good mix of inspired small plates and heartier American bistro-style fare. As the early evening hum intensified (dramatically so), my tablemates and I had to shout at one another. We loved the food, but couldn’t talk about it until we left the restaurant.

For that reason, I had stayed away from the place. But one can stay away from good grub only for so long.

Brule's braised beef short rib with creamy mascarpone polenta and sauteed spinach in a red wine reduction. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)
Brule’s braised beef short rib with creamy mascarpone polenta and sauteed spinach in a red wine reduction. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)

I returned recently for a weeknight dinner, on a slower, more quiet night. On such a night, the urban charms of the bistro reveal themselves, detail by detail – the warm welcomes, the attentiveness at the bar, the smiling locals, the interesting mingling of flavors.

Those flavors rise from fresh, seasonal ingredients, as the menu shifts and transitions. That means what you may have enjoyed on one visit may be gone the next time you visit. But what remains is Chef Jason Binder’s artful touch on the plate.

Where some pub chefs might include the obligatory flatbread on the menu, Binder offers a crispy pork cheek “pizza” ($13), a crispy, tostada-sized round crowned with slow-braised pork cheek, Asiago cheese, arugula, pickled red onions and oven-dried tomato, served upon a board with droplets of fried rosemary aioli.

Chef Binder's crispy Duroc pork belly is served with rustic sweet potato, a fried organic quail egg in a lemongrass-game reduction with pistachio crumbs. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)
Chef Binder’s crispy Duroc pork belly is served with rustic sweet potato, a fried organic quail egg in a lemongrass-game reduction with pistachio crumbs. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)

His take on the classic Caprese salad, the Fried Cheese Caprese ($14), involves slices of lightly fried mozzarella layered with marinated local tomato slices, organic greens and pesto aioli, all neatly stacked beneath a drizzle of aged balsamic.

His Day Boat Fish Tacos ($12) – recently replaced on the menu by Crispy Shrimp Tacos – are tucked in pickled cabbage slaw, cilantro and Serrano chile aioli for a bite full of flavor and textural contrasts.

On the night of my most recent visit, we enjoyed a nightly special of large, plump Crispy Coconut Shrimp ($14) served atop a ginger-pepper rice pilaf with a touch of soy glaze and chipotle aioli, plus micro cilantro for grassy punctuation.

The heftier dishes are equally delicious here. In fact, Chef Binder’s seared diver scallops ($29) dish, served with roasted local corn and young peas in an arugula fumet (reduction) cream with pasta, is a thing of beauty. But this convivial spot almost begs for the shared plates or small-plates route.

You may find, as we did, that there’s a nicely shareable cheese board on the nightly special menu. Our board ($16) boasted Belton Farm Cheddar, Dolce Gorgonzola, Drunken Goat cheese, Brule Brie and fig jam.

Before the rush: Brule Bistro's bar. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)
Before the happy hour rush: Brule Bistro’s bar. (Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post)

Such a combo invites a glass of wine or beer, both of which Brule Bistro offers well curated selections. The wine list travels from Oregon’s Willamette Valley (Van Duzer pinot noir) to Argentina’s Mendoza region (Tapiz Malbec) to Burgundy, France (Bachelet-Monnot Chassagne-Montrachet). Beers range from the Old World Belgian and Trappist to local craft brews.

There are some menu mainstays worth noting, such as the ginger chicken meatballs ($10), served in a bit of coconut broth with bok choy and chili oil. The seared ahi tuna poke ($15), with pops of cilantro, Serrano chiles, avocado, basil oil and toasted macadamia nuts, is also one of those favorites.

Also worth noting: Brule now offers a “peasant brunch” at lunchtime each day. Highlights include a fried egg and short rib hash with cumin potatoes and roasted tomato salsa ($12), fried eggs and curried lentils with toasted curry oil ($10) and a B.L.T.E. sandwich (apple wood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and farm egg) on multigrain with a smear of tarragon aioli ($10).

If you savor your brunch into the mid-afternoon, you may find yourself tempted to stay for happy hour, which starts at 3 p.m. (great bites, all for under 9 bucks). You can blame this charming little bistro for extra calories incurred.

R E V I E W

Brule Bistro

FOOD: B+

SERVICE: A-

ADDRESS: 200 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach

TELEPHONE: 561-274-2046

WEBSITE: BruleBistro.com

PRICE RANGE: Moderate

FULL BAR: Yes, with separate bar area.

NOISE LEVEL: Lively, often noisy inside when the bistro is packed.

HOURS: Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to close (often till 2 a.m.), Sunday from 5 p.m. to close.

CREDIT CARDS: Major cards accepted

RESERVATIONS: Walk-ins welcome; no reservations taken

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

WHAT THE GRADES MEAN:

A — Excellent

B — Good

C — Average

D — Poor

F — Don’t bother

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

 

Diner en Blanc: Why you may not get into exclusive secret dinner event

Diner en Blanc began in Paris as a picnic among friends. (Contributed by Diner en Blanc International)
Diner en Blanc began in Paris as a picnic among friends. (Contributed by Diner en Blanc International)

Don’t buy those fancy, white duds just yet. Your invite to Diner en Blanc may never come.

The massive outdoor dinner, to be held Nov. 10 at an undisclosed public space in West Palm Beach, can accept 1200 guests. So far, there are 3000 on the waiting list.

Designer Nora David, one of the event’s three local organizers, explains the complex, three-phase invitation process in MyPalmBeachPost.com.

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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