Goodbye Grub: Jordan’s Steak Bistro says goodbye in Wellington

Jordan’s Steak Bistro, Wellington’s only independently owned upscale steakhouse, closed Sunday, management announced.

The Cowboy: 18 ounces of broiled beef, at Jordan's Steak Bistro. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
The Cowboy: 18 ounces of broiled beef, at Jordan’s Steak Bistro. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

The family-owned restaurant, which opened in March 2013 in a plaza near the Mall at Wellington Green, specialized in hearty steaks cooked in an 1800-degree broiler. The big daddy on the menu: Jordan’s bone-in cowboy steak ($59), weighing from 18 ounces to 2 pounds. A heap of matchstick French fries completed the feast.

Jordan's truffled Parmesan frites. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)
Jordan’s truffled Parmesan frites. (Bruce R. Bennett/ The Palm Beach Post)

Jordan’s owners, Jordan and Ivette Naftal, announced the closing in a special email to regular customers:

“Big news. We would like to thank our loyal guests for a wonderful four years!” said the email. “Stay tuned for a future announcement letting you know where we land.”

That “next adventure” could come “very soon,” the owners suggested on the restaurant’s Facebook page last weekend.

Jordan Naftal, a former Baltimore-area restaurateur, opened the steakhouse in the space Pangea had operated.

Jordan Naftal, his wife Ivette, and son Jake. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
The Naftals: Jordan (at right), his wife Ivette, and their son Jake. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

On Sunday, the Naftals’ son, Jake Naftal, posted a message of his own on Facebook:

“I have adored being a part of this place, a part of your lives, and a participant in all the splendorous evenings we provided here. I’ve made many friends out of you, and learned so much… We love making food, we love making you smile, and you make us smile, too. See you at the next cookout.”

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.



Palm Beach makeover: The Colony Hotel updates restaurant, menu, look

New, punchy look: Polo at The Colony Hotel. (Contributed)
New, punchy look: Polo at The Colony Hotel. (Contributed)

The Colony Hotel gave its iconic, centerpiece restaurant a complete makeover, from interiors to menu to its very name.

The freshly unveiled Polo at The Colony Hotel debuts a menu that takes flavor and inspiration from the hotel’s large herb garden, where tarragon, basil, chives, oregano and mint thrive.

“Having fresh ingredients is a true complement to any dish,” the hotel’s Chef de Cuisine, Stephen Darling, said in a news release. “At The Colony, we believe strongly in having sustainable, fresh, locally sourced ingredients in our culinary creations and know that it is something our guests appreciate as well.”

Cocktail pillars at Polo. (Contributed)
Cocktail pillars at Polo. (Contributed)

Those herbs now accent dishes such as Maine lobster salad, Dover sole (which is fileted tableside), Snapper filet meuniére, chicken schnitzel, horseradish and brown sugar-crusted Alaskan salmon, Chateaubriand for two and prime steaks that are dry-aged in-house for at least 28 days and delivered to diners upon a silver cart.

Formerly known as Polo Steaks & Seafood, the restaurant now serves this menu in a refreshed setting, on recently redone by interior designer Carleton Varney.

The look: Pillars that look like cocktails sweep from floor to ceiling. Mural sized polo-themed photos by Harry Benson drape the walls. Shamrock green fabric covers chair cushions at tables dressed in blue-and-white checkered tablecloths.  The restaurant’s renovation is part of a larger $15-million makeover at the hotel, where a decades-long parade of distinguished visitors have included U.S. presidents, European royalty and Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra.

That vintage spirit is ingrained in the hotel’s restaurant and its throwback days (such as Motown Fridays and Sunday Jazz Brunch with pianist Bill Mays), as well as in its Royal Room cabaret.

Polo at The Colony Hotel: 155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach; 561-655-5430;

Which Florida eatery made top ‘essential’ U.S. restaurant’ list?

Beef is king at Bern's Steak House House, Tampa. (Contributed)
Beef is king at Bern’s Steak House House, Tampa. (Contributed)

What’s an “essential” restaurant in Florida? According to the gastronaut site,, it’s not some new, trendy spot.

It’s an iconic Tampa steakhouse.

The website, which surveys the nation’s dining scene, from haute to hip to humble, features Bern’s Steak House, which turns 60 this year. The venerable meat palace is one of 38 U.S. restaurants – and the only one in Florida – listed in Eater’s newly released “National 38” list of “essential” American eateries.

“It’s our guide not to what is newest or trendiest, but to what defines and anchors us,” writes Eater’s editor-in-chief, Amanda Kludt, on the “Essential Restaurants” package, released Wednesday. “The restaurants on the list are young and old, upscale and accessible, and together, they go a long way toward cohesively defining the food scene of our great nation and its multifaceted, ever-changing dining landscape.”

Bern's joins 37 other 'essential' U.S. eateries, according to (Contributed)
Bern’s joins 37 other ‘essential’ U.S. eateries, according to (Contributed)

Bern’s is listed in distinguished company, alongside Berkeley’s Café at Chez Panisse, New Orleans’ Herbsaint, New York’s Estela, Charleston’s FIG, Austin’s Franklin Barbecue, Washington D.C.’s Rose’s Luxury, Chicago’s Alinea, and L.A.’s Trois Mec.

About Bern’s, Eater notes: “Baronial chophouses are a cornerstone of America’s restaurant culture, but Bern’s, which opened in 1956, exists in its own west Florida dimension of eccentricity and excellence.”

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

Okeechobee Steakhouse marks 68th year with new addition

Okeechobee Steakhouse, West Palm Beach. (Thomas Cordy/ The Palm Beach Post)
Okeechobee Steakhouse, West Palm Beach. (Thomas Cordy/ The Palm Beach Post)

West Palm’s iconic Okeechobee Steakhouse celebrates its 68th year this month. And for the first time in 41 years, the restaurant has expanded. A new patio was debuted this week at the steakhouse’s western edge.

The addition comes after some summertime sprucing up of the longstanding restaurant.

(Madeline Gray/ The Palm Beach Post)
(Madeline Gray/ The Palm Beach Post)

Okeechobee Steakhouse: 2854 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-683-5151;

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda