Thursday, December 18, 2014

Palm Beach: Jove at The Four Seasons Hotel, Pizza al Fresco, Cafe Cellini, Bistro Jean Pierre, Tucci's Fire 'N Coal Pizza Boca, Temple Orange, Manalapan.

Palm Beach is not a city of particularly good restos, but they have restaurants that do the classics very well. Below, I have featured some of the restaurants that I frequent most often. I did not mention Pizzeria Oceano only because I have mentioned it so often. For me, one of the best crusts of any pie I have experienced in North America.

Worth Avenue/ Pizza al Fresco

I always go for lunch at Pizza al Fresco, where the crust is thin, crisp and delicious and available with a terrific variety of toppings. Here, crumbled sausage, broccoli rabe and roasted garlic with mozzarella.

Jove at The Four Seasons Hotel

Jove is a new resto opened in the hotel, with an Italian born chef who previously cooked at a Four Seasons in Egypt. "Specialty" breads were presented that were so unappealing and bland, they were left in the basket. The house made breads were a poor beginning. Stone fired pizzas were then ordered.

They do make a good pizza with a crispy thin crust. Here Shiitake mushrooms, Italian parsley and chanterelle topped pizza

Pizza topped with tomato sauce, fennel sausage, padron peppers and ricotta cheese.

A delicious, warm burrata, with a creamy center, tomatoes, chopped basil and cocoa tuile in a prociutto broth. Worth having.

Pasta carbonara with a poached egg, guanciale and white sturgeon caviar. I found the pasta inedible and sent the dish back. No apologies or replacement offered.

This dish completely befuddled me because, here we have an Italian born chef and I am served  what is to me, a virtually inedible pasta. The texture made it inedible, thick, and mushy-firm. I have never experienced any pasta with texture like this in almost 40 years of traveling all over Italy, eating in restos from the most rustic to the most sophisticated and sublime.

Brodetto di pesce with shrimp, clams, scallop, calamari and branzino in a very good tomato and fennel broth.

Caramel semifreddo with orange sorbet, biscotti and orange flavoured jelly. The sorbet was so tasty we ordered a sorbet as a separate course to follow. 

Cafe Cellini (NOW CLOSED)

Visiting this resto is like visiting palm beach 40-50 years ago, with many patrons of "vintage", except the decor feels fresh, the mood romantic and the food prepared is so well executed. They keep to the classics and whatever they do, they do well.

A very good vegetable soup in a vegetable broth. Remarkably rich tasting.

A dish I start with every time I visit this resto, rigatoni bolognese with aged parmesan. They do an extremely good, rich tomato sauce.

They also do a very good classically prepared veal Milanese (no photo).

Apple pie.

Cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

Bistro Jean Pierre

The dishes that you see below is what I order virtually every visit. Unusual for me, but they are that good.

Classic fish soup served with croutons and rouille. Sorry, jumped the gun again before taking my photo!

The restaurant's classical filet of Dover sole, meuniere, perfectly cooked and just about as good as one could get anywhere sole is prepared "the best", served with spinach, carrots and rice, rather mundane but acceptable accompaniments.

Tucci's Fire 'N Coal Pizza, Boca Raton

Boca, is just about 30 minutes south of Palm Beach and easily accessible. Tucci's makes a very good pizza and it is "famous" in Florida, but, Pizzeria Oceano, in Lantana, immediately just south of Palm Beach, is still my "gold standard" for pizza, one of my 3 favourite pizzas in North America.

Cannellini beans and escarole, sauteed in olive oil with red onions and roasted garlic, accompanied by pizza oven mad flat bread. The dish is normally finished with romano cheese, but I skipped the cheese as preferred. A very tasty and addictive dish.

Eggplant rolatini, lightly breaded and fried, sliced eggplant in the house's "famous", and it is indeed very good, tomato sauce. Again, this dish is typically stuffed with ricotta cheese and topped with mozzarella and romano cheeses, but I skipped the cheeses as I prefer this dish without them. It was very good this way.

Marguerita pizza topped with arugula. A good pizza. Nice crust but not exceptional.

Whole wheat pizza crust topped with their "famous" tomato sauce, roasted garlic cloves, red onions, basil and arugula. It was a good pizza but the white flour pizza was better tasting and had a preferable crunchy texture. Perhaps this crust is healthier?

Temple Orange at the Eau Palm Beach, Manalapan

The former Ritz Carlton has become the luxurious Eau Palm Beach Hotel and Spa. It has 2 restaurants.

 “Gold Coast” Israeli style cucumber tomato salad, with diced cucumber, diced Tomato  and chopped  red onions and picked herbs. Quite good, nice texture and flavours.

 Roasted eggplant soup topped with giant couscous and roasted eggplant.

A very tasty charred eggplant dip topped with pomegranate, served with warm pita. Nice flavour and texture but sitting in far too much oil of very little flavour, so after a a few scoops, most was left. The dish would have been terrific without all the added oil.

Roasted cauliflower (typically served with pine nuts, mint and parmesan. I requested the dish be made without all 3 ingredients), with roasted sweet red peppers. Again, very tasty but a bit too oily/greasy.

Tamarind glazed short ribs with green lentils, celery root, hazelnuts and mint (did not get the culinary connection of the nuts with this dish at all). A very tender, slow cooked flavourful piece of beef.

Green lentils with celery root (typically made with hazelnuts and mint which i requested not be included with the dish). Very good flavour, but unfortunately, over salted.

Buckwheat noodles with eggplant, mango and herb salad. My favourite dish of the meal. 

Cheesecake, "New York style", with raspberry coulis. Nice flavour but a bit too dense.

No comments:

Post a Comment