Monday, January 16, 2012

Palm Beach Restos, The Continuing Saga: Chez Jean Pierre, Pizzeria Oceano, Buccan.

Chez Jean Pierre

Chez Jean Pierre has become one of my go to restos here in Palm Beach, particularly for their wonderful filet of sole. They fly the fish in weekly from France and simply pan fry it in a bit of butter....but, to perfection. You would be hard pressed to find sole done better anywhere in North America.

Pizzeria Oceano

Another resto that I love to frequent is Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana just immediately south of Palm Beach. As I have previously blogged, here you will enjoy what I consider one of the very best pizza's in North America and perhaps it would rank as in the top 5 to 10. It is so good, I just had to mention it again. It is so good that this little place that doesn't seat more than about 20 people was just featured on CBS.

Once a month, Pizzeria Oceano does a spontaneous middle of the month Sunday brunch, "Sloppy Sunday". These were our wonderful choices.

The “house pizza” (tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese) with the addition of red onion, spring raab, fresh cut garlic slices and baby escarole. The crust, perfectly crispy and flakey as always, with it's wonderful flavour working so well with all the ingredients on the perfectly unsoggy (as is often found in most restaurant pizzas) crust. No wonder this resto was just featured on CBS!

Sour cream omelet, with onions, manouri cheese, gingered chick peas, bight sized potato chunks, all topped with a moderately spicy, curried, heirloom tomato gravy. The omelet was gently fluffy, a bit creamy in texture and perfectly prepared. Another great Sunday morning wakeup dish.

Baby escarole, smokey bacon with a bacon vinaigrette, soft poached egg, pickled onion and pecorino cheese.

"Johnny cakes", pancakes with a toothsome slightly dense but airy texture, the perfect pancake, with a lovely complementary honey butter sauce and berries. I am not a pancake lover but these were exceptionally edible.

The Royal Red shrimp hash. Small, savory chunks of sauteed country ham, bight sized chunks of perfectly cooked, sweet tasting, Royal Red shrimp with a very fresh flavour redolent of the sea, mini fingerlings, mini purple potatoes, bits of sweet pepper and fontina cheese, all together in a “hash”, dressed with "dirty" gravy and a fried egg topped with chopped scallions. What a perfect morning combination of flavours and textures.


Buccan is a relatively new resto in Palm Beach. It is very noisy and no matter where you sit it is very hard to hear what your friends are telling you. However, the food is pretty good, in general.

Brick oven roasted pork taco, charred tomatillo salsa, avocado. Mild smokey with a great range of pleasing sharp flavours of cilantro, lime juice (which i squeezed on) and tomatillo. The lime juice enhanced all of the flavours. I could crave these.

Wedge of iceberg lettuce with smokey bacon chunks, chopped tomato and a very creamy blue cheese dressing without the chunks (thankfully) . The old fashioned iceberg was terrific, crispy and cold.

Hot dog panini, sauerkraut, gruyere, mustard, chili (on the side). Eating this hot dog was like eating a crispy fried bread, grilled cheese sandwich. The "bun" was grilled bread with slices of hot dog in the middle.

Squid ink orrechiette, sausage, conch, basil, chilies. Very tasty with earthy flavours and a rich stock strongly flavoured with citrus and garlic. One of my 2 favourite dishes at this meal.

Marguerita pizza (but ordered with no cheese except a sprinkle of parmesan), oven dried tomatoes, fresh basil and slices of garlic. Crispy thin crust that was a bit too dense. It was pleasing but had none of the flavour and flakeyness of the gold standard Pizzeria Oceano in Lanata. It's a good pizza by most standards though. Ok sauce, a bit too sharp...would be more mellow if the sauce was prep cooked lower and longer. Perhaps use San Marzano tomatoes as well?

Wood grilled shrimp scampi, perfectly cooked, with arugula, on grilled bread and with a strong lemon flavoured dressing that overwhelmed the wood oven flavours.

Wood grilled burger, medium rare, no cheese requested (I never like cheese with meat except aged thin parmesan slices on carpaccio), on brioche. This is a very juicy burger, quite tasty too, with very good flavour and perfectly cooked. Fries crispy on the outside (requested crispy) but a bit soggy\greasy on the inside. Ok flavour.


Crispy potato cakes, nicely peppery, with very good flavour and a nice crispy skin. I liked these better than the fries.

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