La Sirena snags second wine Grand Award, reopens for season

La Sirena's wine program has earned Wine Spectator's top award. (Credit: Andrew Meade)
La Sirena’s wine program has earned Wine Spectator’s top award. (Photos: Andrew Meade)

Marcello’s La Sirena is more than your neighborhood Italian restaurant. It’s a global destination.

That’s thanks to the West Palm Beach restaurant’s extensive wine selection. For the second consecutive year, La Sirena just earned a rare Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine.

lasirenaownersandrewmeade
Marcello and Diane Fiorentino

The restaurant reopens Wednesday night for its 31st season with an updated dining room and, according to chef/owner Marcello Fiorentino, expanded food and wine options.

“Some new dishes will be added to the menu,” says Fiorentino by email. “We continue to grow our wine list, adding 250 more selections than last year.”

Fiorentino, who spent three weeks in Italy last month as part of his annual search for culinary inspiration, has planned a new series of La Sirena’s popular wine dinners. The season’s first takes place next Tuesday.

To keep La Sirena’s fans updated, Fiorentino has added a blog to the restaurant’s website, LaSirenaOnline.com.

La Sirena: 6316 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-585-3128; LaSirenaOnline.com 

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

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Two weeks left to snap up Flavor Palm Beach dining deals

Cafe Boulud offers a terrific Flavor Palm Beach menu. (Contributed by Noah Fecks)
Cafe Boulud offers a terrific Flavor Palm Beach lunch menu. (Contributed by Noah Fecks)

Because we are midway through Flavor Palm Beach month, otherwise known as September, it’s a good time to update our dining whim list.

We have just two weeks to take advantage of the month’s discount dining deals, the multi-course lunches and dinners offered at top local restaurants for nice prices.

Cashing in on the promotion is easy. The Flavor website (FlavorPB.com) offers one-stop-shopping in the form of links to the prix fixe menus as well as links for online reservations.

The site also shows which restaurants impose restrictions on the days Flavor menus are offered. Only four restaurants cite exceptions this year. But here’s a tip to avoid a disappointment: Before you reserve, call the restaurant to make sure the special menu is offered at the time/day of your desired visit.

The 52 participating Flavor restaurants are scattered throughout the county and include seven in Boca Raton, one in Delray Beach, 14 in Palm Beach, eight in West Palm Beach, 11 in Palm Beach Gardens, four in North Palm Beach, one in Singer Island, five in Jupiter and one in Tequesta.

Among those restaurants are some fancy chain steakhouses — you know, those special-occasion spots that may be too pricey for a routine weeknight dinner. If you’re a steakhouse fan, Flavor offers an affordable way to dine well at some upscale chain spots.

The Capital Grille, whose Flavor menu extends to both its Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens outposts, is featuring both surf – with the above Seared Citrus-Glazed Salmon – and turf, with the Dry Aged Sirloin with Roasted Pepper, Fresh Mozzarella and Arugula Salad. (Courtesy:
On The Capital Grille’s Flavor menu: Seared Citrus-Glazed Salmon.  (Courtesy: The Capital Grille)

The Capital Grille menu, for instance, is too good to pass up. For $20, you get a three-course lunch that includes a choice of wedge salad or bacon clam chowder, four tempting entrée choices and two dessert options. For $35, dinner is a deal – appetizer, entrée (options like filet mignon and bone-in NY strip), a side dish and a dessert.

Other participating chain steakhouses include Ruth’s Chris, Morton’s and III Forks.

Flavor Palm Beach menus to love

  • Considering the price, some of the special prix fixe menus are particularly inviting. Take Seasons 52, for instance. The Flavor lunch there is $20, dinner $35 – and at dinner, you get four courses, including a starter flatbread, a salad, a choice of five entrée options and dessert. Plus, there’s a wine upgrade option that offers wines normally priced from $10 to $12 for $7 a glass.
  • At $25, a three-course lunch at Café Boulud Palm Beach is a steal. One possible combo: golden tomato gazpacho with chive oil, Boulud’s Piggie Burger (prime beef patty and barbecue pulled pork), and chocolate bread pudding. The café’s lunch deal is offered Monday through Friday.
  • Lunch at the Leopard Lounge in Palm Beach is a hearty affair – for 20 bucks. One possible combo (my favorite) begins with a baby green salad with poached pears, goat cheese, candied pistachios and golden raisins in a lemon vinaigrette. It segues to an outstanding chicken schnitzel in lemon béchamel, haricot vert and French fries. The sweet finale: a knockout double-chocolate Belgian cake. The lounge serves a different prix fixe menu at dinner for $45.

 

 

 

New restaurants joined this year

Flavor founder Briana Beaty counts nine “freshman” restaurants in this year’s promotion. They include Jupiter restaurants Craft Bar Kitchen, Rustic Inn and Nitrogen, Palm Beach Gardens-based Salute Market, West Palm Beach restaurants Burger and Beer Joint and Jardin, Palm Beach-based Al Fresco and Boca Raton restaurants Tanzy and The Little Chalet.

 

FLAVOR PALM BEACH

For info, menus and reservations, visit FlavorPB.com.

What’s to eat at Palm Beach International Airport?

Passengers walk by Rooney’s Public House at Palm Beach International Airport. (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post file)
Passengers walk by Rooney’s Public House at PBIA. (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post file)

Hungry, dear traveler? Believe it or not, it is possible to find a lunch so yummy at Palm Beach International Airport.

Rooney's fried cod sandwich. (Liz Balmaseda/ Palm Beach Post)
Rooney’s fried cod sandwich. (Liz Balmaseda/ Palm Beach Post)

I had a delicious fried cod sandwich several days ago. It was served on toasted ciabatta-style bread with a pickle-intense tartar sauce.

It landed on my rustic, dark-wood table with a side of hot, homemade potato chips, which proved to be the fried tuber equivalent of cute puppy videos. I gobbled them all up.

I gobbled them up as I watched the shuffle of suitcase-toting passengers heading to their gates.

Rooney’s Public House and its specialty ale-battered cod ($11.99) and “double-pickle” tartar sauce did not disappoint.

READ ABOUT PBIA DINING OPTIONS HERE.

Related: Hot new restaurants in downtown West Palm Beach

 

Openings: Hot new restaurants in West Palm Beach

Avocado Grill's crispy green tomato salad with avocado, corn, watermelon, pickled red onion, Fourme d'Ambert cheese and cardamom-honey yogurt. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Avocado Grill’s crispy green tomato salad with avocado, corn, watermelon, pickled red onion, Fourme d’Ambert cheese and cardamom-honey yogurt.  The eatery has proven to be pivotal in the downtown dining scene. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Welcome to one of South Florida’s hot new dining destinations: downtown West Palm Beach and its environs. With a large crop of newly opened restaurants and more on deck, the district is rising to regional relevance.

READ  ALL ABOUT WEST PALM’S BUZZY NEW DINING SCENE.  

Here are some recent restaurant openings in West Palm Beach:

Grato – A neighborhood trattoria by the Buccan group. Opened in January at 1901 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; GratoWPB.com

Grato: Chef Clay Conley dishes out homemade pasta. (LibbyVision.com)
Grato: Chef Clay Conley dishes out homemade pasta. (LibbyVision.com)

Banko CantinaTri-level restaurant and bar serving Northern Mexican-inspired food. Opened in May at 114 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach; BankoCantina.com

A mariachi moment at Banko Cantina. (Contributed)
A mariachi moment at Banko Cantina. (Contributed)

JardinModern cuisine by husband-wife chef team Jordan Lerman (executive chef and bar manager) and Stephanie Cohen (pastry chef and general manager). Opened in April at 330 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-440-5273; JardinRestaurant.com

At Jardin: crispy hummus with lemon aioli. (South Moon Photography)
At Jardin: crispy hummus with lemon aioli. (South Moon Photography)

Dorrian’s Red Hand – Southern outpost of New York’s Upper East Side pub. Opened in April at 215 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; Dorrians-WPB.com

Caramel apple bread pudding at Dorrian's Red Hand. (Meghan McCarthy/ The Palm Beach Post)
Caramel apple bread pudding at Dorrian’s Red Hand. (Meghan McCarthy/ The Palm Beach Post)

Johan’s JoeA stylish, Swedish-style coffee shop. Opened in October 2015 at 401 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; JohansJoe.com

Johan's Joe: coffee break, Swedish style. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Johan’s Joe: coffee break, Swedish style. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Queen of Sheeba – South Florida’s only Ethiopian restaurant. Opened in September at 716 N. Sapodilla Ave., West Palm Beach; QueenOfSheebaWPB.com

Queen of Sheeba's celebration dish: Ethiopian "doro wot," chicken stewed in African chili spices. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)
Queen of Sheeba’s celebration dish: Ethiopian chicken stewed in African chili spices. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

Southern Railway Taphouse – A bar and late-night eatery. Opened in November at 314 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

Upcoming restaurant openings in West Palm Beach:

Restaurateur Thierry Beaud (l) and chef/partner Lindsay Autry discuss their upcoming Regional Kitchen. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Restaurateur Thierry Beaud (l) and chef/partner Lindsay Autry discuss their upcoming Regional Kitchen. (Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post)

The Regional Kitchen & Public House – Locally inspired restaurant and bar headed by restaurateur Thierry Beaud and executive chef Lindsay Autry. Opens this summer at 651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; EatRegional.com

Cholo Soy Cocina's Chef Clay Carnes. (LibbyVision.com)
Cholo Soy Cocina’s Chef Clay Carnes. (LibbyVision.com)

Cholo Soy CocinaAndean-inspired eatery by Wellington chef Clay Carnes. Opens this summer at 3715 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; cholosoycocina.com

Christopher’s Kitchen – Vegan outpost of popular PGA Boulevard eatery. Opens soon at 326 Fern St., West Palm Beach

The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill – Outpost of Wynwood (Miami) meat shop and eatery. Opens in September at 209 Sixth St., West Palm Beach

Lost Weekend/ The Lounge – A reinvented pool hall and bar coming to 526 Clematis St., West Palm Beach.

Take our poll. Which is your favorite new restaurant?

Discount seekers, are you leaving a lousy tip?

How much to tip on that discounted dish? Either way, your server must bring it to your table. (Cox Newspapers)
Is that a discounted dish? Either way, your server must bring it to your table. (Cox Newspapers)

There’s a reason why restaurant servers dislike discount coupons, gift cards and freebie deals: They get shortchanged when the final bill is tallied.

Are you one of those discount-seeking diners who leaves a lousy tip?

Here are a few signs that you just may be one:

1. You use a coupon that considerably lowers the cost of your meal — but you tip on the discounted amount.

2. Your party splits the bill four ways. You pay your fair share of the gratuity, but say nothing when your table mates leave woefully low tips. Did you not all enjoy the same meal and level of service?

3. You pay your bill with a gift card and think it magically covers the tip.

What’s the proper way to tip on a discounted meal or gift card-purchased meal?

Here’s our full story!

 

Which Palm Beach County city is one of ’15 Best’ food cities in the country?

Buzzy Buccan: Palm Beach's hottest bistro, shown here in full effect, is where Chef Clay Conley creates inspired small plates and raw seafood specialties, while elevating dinner classics. (LILA PHOTO) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buzzy Buccan: Chef Clay Conley's festival dinner at Buccan bistro, shown here during the 2013 Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, is always a hot ticket. (Contributed by LILA Photo)
Buccan in full effect: inspired small plates, crudos and plenty of buzz factor. (LILA PHOTO)

Conde Nast Traveler just unveiled its readers’ choice list of the “15 Best Food Cities in the U.S.,” and guess what?

Palm Beach skates in as No. 15.

To which Buccan bistro fans everywhere say with an eye roll: “Obviously.”

Panache on PGA: The Cooper's dining room. (LibbyVision.com)
Panache on PGA: The Cooper’s dining room. (LibbyVision.com)

By “Palm Beach,” the magazine means the county at large. One of the three restaurants named in the “15 Best” blurb is The Cooper, which is located at the PGA Commons in Palm Beach Gardens.

Also mentioned was Bistro Chez Jean Pierre (Palm Beach), hailed by Traveler for its “impeccable classics” and extensive wine collection.

Warm baguettes at Chez Jean-Pierre, Palm Beach. (Meghan McCarthy/ Palm Beach Daily News)
Warm baguettes at Chez Jean-Pierre, Palm Beach. (Meghan McCarthy/ Palm Beach Daily News)

And, yes, there’s Buccan, the buzzy bistro where Chef Clay Conley and his partners transformed the dining scene in Palm Beach five years ago.

One other Florida city makes the Traveler list: Sarasota, where the farm-inspired eatery Indigenous and the sidewalk café C’est La Vie are mentioned.

Those dining aficionados stung by the recent James Beard Awards snub of Florida chefs on its list of finalists might find a measure of solace in Traveler’s tidy readers’ choice lineup. It excludes Miami, Tampa, Winter Park and other culinary hot spots.

But it loves Palm Beach.

Obviously!

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Palm Beach’s Buccan celebrates 5 years today with greatest-hits menu

Chef Clay Conley opened The Sandwich Shop at Buccan in Palm Beach in December. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Chef Clay Conley opened The Sandwich Shop at Buccan in Palm Beach in December. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Time flies when you’re winning awards.

The restaurant Buccan, which shot to national prominence thanks to two-time James Beard Award semifinalist chef Clay Conley, is celebrating its five-year anniversary today. The restaurant will offer some of its most memorable dishes since its debut, focusing on the small plates and world-inspired ingredients that have been its hallmark on Palm Beach.

CRITICS CHOICE: See food editor Liz Balmaseda’s best of 2015

Among the many dishes today: Colorado lamb with harissa chili paste; grilled Florida corn with Mexican cotija cheese; short rib empanadas; and squid ink orecchiette pasta with Italian sausage and conch.

Their signature cocktail, the Buccan T (an acronym for its ingredients: basil, unsweetened iced tea, cranberry, citrus, agave nectar) will be served all night for $5.

 

Thanksgiving dining: southern Palm Beach County picks

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.

South county picks:

Farmer's Table, Boca Raton. (Photo by Gyorgy Papp)
Farmer’s Table, Boca Raton. (Photo by Gyorgy Papp)

Farmer’s Table

The healthy foods eatery is offering a prix fixe menu (with vegan option) from noon to 8 p.m. The special menu costs $45 per adult, $22.50 per child.

Farmer’s Table: 1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton; 561-417-5836; FarmersTableBoca.com

Vic & Angelo’s Delray

The eatery’s south county location is offering a three-course Thanksgiving Day prix fixe menu that features carrot-ginger soup, roast turkey or honey-bourbon glazed ham, sweet mashed potatoes, Italian sausage-mushroom stuffing and cranberry sauce with pear and cardamom. Dinner costs $22.95 per person; add $5 for a glass of red or white house wine. The special holiday menu will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the regular menu is available as well. Reservations are recommended.

Vic & Angelo’s: 290 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-278-9570; VicandAngelos.com

The Office

The popular Delray Beach eatery kicks off Thanksgiving Day with a la carte brunch, served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Options include turkey sandwich with cranberry-fennel jam and brie, eggs Benedict, a sausage-stuffing frittata, bagels-and-lox, and pancakes with raspberry compote.

A full Thanksgiving buffet will be served starting at 3 p.m. Offerings include such carving-station as lemon-thyme turkey, garlic-rosemary duck and honey-glazed ham. The buffet costs $37 per person. Reservations are suggested.

The Office: 201 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-276-3600; TheOfficeDelray.com

Hudson Delray

The waterside, seafood-centric restaurant and bar will serve a three-course Thanksgiving Day feast from noon to 8 p.m. On the menu: roasted butternut squash bisque, wild mushroom risotto, roast turkey with sage-sausage stuffing, honey-cured ham, pan-roasted salmon, and various seasonal, classic desserts.

The special menu costs $40 per person. A children’s menu is available as well.

Hudson Delray: 900 E. Atlantic Ave., #22, Delray Beach; 561-303-1343; HudsonDelray.com

50 Ocean, Delray Beach. (Contributed)
50 Ocean, Delray Beach. (Contributed)

50 Ocean

Arrive during daylight and you’ll get a Thanksgiving Day feast served with a side of ocean views. On the menu: turkey with whipped sweet potatoes, pretzel-Gouda stuffing, green beans gratin and Hawaiian rolls. For dessert, there’s spiced pumpkin tart made with local ricotta, vanilla-egg cream and almond brittle.

The three-course menu, which costs $45 per person, is offered from noon to 8 p.m.

50 Ocean: 50 S. Ocean Blvd. (second floor), Delray Beach; 561-274-2339; 50Ocean.com

Tanzy Restaurant

The Boca Raton eatery serves a three-course Thanksgiving Day feast with herb-roasted turkey and a large selection of sides and dessert. The special menu costs $45 per adult, $20 per child age 12 and younger.

Tanzy Restaurant Boca Raton: 301 Plaza Real, at Mizner Park, Boca Raton; 561-922-6699; TanzyRestaurant.com/boca

NORTH COUNTY PICKS

CENTRAL COUNTY PICKS

 

 

 

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