1000 North – An Exciting and Unique Dining Opportunity in North Palm Beach County


Marty, Tony and I recently had a grand evening at the very upscale 1000 North in Jupiter. Sitting directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, with an outside Bar, an inside Bar and a dining room that can best be described as the place to be seen in North County its hard not to believe you have arrived!

On a lovely evening the outside Bar is going to be tough to beat sitting almost right on the ICW. When air conditioning is calling the luxurious inside bar has four seating options. No matter your choice you can order from the special Bar Menu or the full dining menu. Both of these spots are going to be jumping with the young to middle age North County adult crowd and those that want to be.

Knowing we are seasoned senior citizens we opted for the main dining room and really enjoyed the walk-in directly in front of the open kitchen – which was jumping and well choreographed by the former Chef at The Palm Beach Grill and Brick Tops on Palm Beach – quite a resume. We passed by the Private Dining Room (Members Only) and saw Michael and friends enjoying the evening. The main dining room is open, very impressive and has a big city feel with a buzz that says this is where you can have a great time. We noted the patrons were sharply dressed and seemed to be enjoying the view, drinks and their food.

Speaking of food there are plenty of options. The feature of the house is their wide selection of very fine steaks. While the prices reflect the quality and portion they are on par with the fine Steak houses in West Palm and Palm Beach. While waiting for our winning lottery ticket to be punched we enjoyed an excellent selection of apps, shared two entrees and loved the desserts. The items we would definitely get again are The She Crab Soup, Steak Tartar, Mac ‘n Cheese (maybe the best ever – so rich) and who doesn’t love a Salted Truffle Fry. Marty is a Prime Rib gal and 1000 North’s Prime Rib may be the best I have ever tasted. It was so tender, moist, prepared exactly as we ordered it and could easily be cut with a dinner knife.

The Staff was very friendly, their service was excellent and they managed to avoid any new restaurant gaffes. 1000 North may not be in the budget for every North County diner but it is worth giving a try to see what all the fuss is about. If you are careful with what you order and avoid expensive wines you can have a great dinner you can afford to pay for – about on par price wise with Kee Grill and several of the Brand Name restaurants in the PGA Dining Corridor.

We all thought 1000 North was very impressive and are looking forward to their Sunday Brunch – reservations strongly suggested.

Restoration Hardware In WPB and their Scenic Fourth Floor Open Air Restaurant


The new Restoration Hardware (RH) and 4th floor restaurant in West Palm Beach is a one time must see for local and seasonal residents & tourists who have some free time on their hands. Marty and I are so glad we went and we had a great time. That said we will probably never go again unless we are shopping for furniture or showing out of town guests the local sights.

What can I say about furniture – even three floors of it? There were a lot of sofas and most of them were white. Despite the success of “The Black Panther” White must be the new trendy color! Or maybe white is the stock color and you order the fabric of your choice? Regardless I felt like I needed my shades on the furniture floors.

We moved quickly to the 4th floor open air restaurant and it is impressive. They have 270 degree views (N, W and S but no E/Ocean) from inside the restaurant and even better ones from the outside relaxing/waiting areas with very comfortable sofas surrounding the dining room.

At 2:00 on a Saturday there was a waiting list of about 20 minutes. They have a small refreshment bar where you can get coffees, water, soda, wine and a very nice Champaign. You can take your drink out on the balcony and or down to the shopping floors while you wait. They take your cell number and text you when your table is ready. Note – they have caller ID and the young lady immediately addressed me as Larry. Since she was cute I was OK with it but know they are capturing your information.

The hostess and server recommended the Brie Plate and they were right. It was excellent! It came with a piping hot/crispy roll of sliced bread – brie of course – a small pot of delicious strawberry preserves and a generous portion of outstanding toasted and sugar coated pecans. This paired marvelously with the sparkling Rose and we thought we had hit the dining jackpot!

Food Wise I should stop right there! Friends who have been to RH recommended the Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwich – the hamburger and especially the French Fries. I love them as people but will never follow their lead on ordering. The Grilled Cheese Sandwich should be listed on “Amber Alert for Missing Truffle Oil.” There was zero hint of truffle! I asked for the burger rare to medium rare and the server said they serve it with two thin slices of meat – about the same as a Big Mac – and the best they can assure me is “Medium” and if grey qualifies as medium then you will like the burger. Marty and I split each entree and we both thought the “pickle” on the burger was a fresh cucumber – which immediately gave me gas.

The biggest disappointment – relative to my expectations – were the fries. They were fine but they do not come anywhere near close to comparing to the Truffle Fries at The Seafood Bar at The Breakers. If fact I prefer Mickey D’s crispy fries but that’s just me.

The staff were super friendly. The service was excellent and very quick. All that said if I go again to the restaurant at RH we will have Champaign while we wait, Sparkling Rose with our Brie Plate and enjoy the view and move on somewhere else for entrees. The room is loud when full. They have a lovely fountain in the middle of the room and it masks the myriad of conversations but does not make it any quieter. Nonetheless Marty had a great time – we are glad we went and we recommend you try it once.

Finally, the valet parking was easy-peasy. You enter from the SE corner of RH in the left lane of East bound Okeechobee Blvd. I have no idea where they put the cars but when we left it came within minutes and your only exit is to the west on Okeechobee which takes you to I95 is less than five minutes. Either that or you take your life in your hands and do a U turn to East bound Okeechobee and hope for the best.

Larry

The Honor Bar, Palm Beach, Sorellina Palm Beach Grill, Open for Lunch and Dinner


The Hillstone Restaurant Group – owners of our favorite place – Palm Beach Grill (The Grill), Houston’s and several other fine Regional Restaurants has opened a great new spot called The Honor Bar, Palm Beach.

If I were Italian I would called it Sorellina The Grill – which I think translates in casual Italian as Little Sister of The Grill. Honor Bar is physically about 30 yards east of The Grill and shares valet parking in he evening. It also shares Restrooms and fortunately the same top flight Corporate Management Team.

The Honor Bar is a “concept” Hillstone has successfully opened in Aspen, Dallas and CA. It is cozier than the Grill but stands on its own with a warm, wood paneled atmosphere – two Bars – and very comfortable leather booth seating. We are so excited for it’s opening because now we can get the high level of food quality and drinks we are accustomed to at The Grill starting at 11:30AM each day with service continuing through dinner. Yesterday Marty, Tony and I stopped in for a late lunch around two o’clock and had a fabulous lunch/dinner.

The Honor Bar’s food menu is limited – relative to The Grill – featuring Small Plates, Appetizers, Small and Large Salads and four truly Great Sandwiches. We were also there Saturday night and over those two meals the things we loved were: Tuna Tartar – Hand Cut French Fries – Honor Burger (cut in half) – Crispy Chicken Sandwich (really great/like the one they serve at Houston’s in Boca) – French Dip and the Picnic Style Tuna Sandwich. Our friend Cousin Larry enjoyed The Macho Salad – which he said had a lot of chicken, great flavors and a nice dressing. They haven’t worked out the Desserts yet.

The two drink bars are NOT limited! The straight up Margarita made with Repasado is so smooth and delicious. In addition to wines by the glass they have “draft” wines and draft beers. Fortunately for me they have my personal favorite “Chamay” made by little porker Belgium Monks who test each barrel before it is shipped:)

We love the feel and vibe of the Adult crowd at Sorellina The Grill – aka Honor Bar. That said if you are in the mood for a full menu dining experience there’s no bitter place that the Big Sister herself.

Uncle Larry

Menu:http://hillstone.com/menus/honorbar/Honor%20Bar%20Palm%20Beach%20Menu.pdf

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/thehonorbarpb/

The Next Big Thing in North Palm Beach County’s Dining Scene


The next big thing on the dining scene in North County is definitely BrickTops and Tiki Hut in Palm Beach Gardens (BT PBG)!

A friend and his Partners have re-opened the old River House restaurant and done it absolutely and fantastically well. If they keep the food quality the same as opening night (tonight) and improve on it some it will be the Palm Beach Grill of North County and there will be no need to drive south for a wonderful dining room – a well balanced and outstanding menu – great service – a large and attractive indoor bar – “The Patio” just off the water with an Intracoastal View and for the “meet and greet” scene the new and super enlarged Tiki Hut bar right along the waters edge.

BT PBG has it all: Food, Ambience, Water Front View, Friendly Folks and a great place to meet your friends!

The parking is the same as the River House but this valet company moves the cars in and out fast! Marty and I will be back soon and will report to you more about our food favorites. Tonight we were with our friends Chris and Barry and he is a Sushi Guru. He declared his Sushi appetizer “top grade Sushi.” I give you his professional opinion because Marty and I like our food cooked. That said, I loved the Tuna Carpaccio – layered with fresh corn. All our entrees were good and we loved the Hot Fudge Sundae and the Carrot Cake. They were out of Joe’s famous Kee Lime Pie by the time we got to dessert but I’m sure more is on the way.

I will update you soon but I can’t encourage you enough to be one of the first to enjoy what is destined to become the “it place” with true food quality, service and ambience in North County.

By the way they ARE taking reservations. Their number is 561-530-4313. Their website is: http://bricktops.com/palm-beach-gardens/ – where you can check out the menu for yourself.

Uncle Larry

City Tap – Spoiler Alert – It’s Not Bar Food


Marty and I enjoyed dinner last night at the relatively new City Tap in City Place. City Tap (CT) is located at the top of the escalator looking down on the fountain. They have indoor and outdoor bars and dining. When we walked inside we were impressed with the quality of the build out, the size of the room, the U shaped bar and the number and size of the TVs. In addition to the bar seats and surrounding high tops CT has three other seating areas: inside in the main dining room – a separate yet covered room that is open to the walkway and the fountain – as well as a private dining room.

If you enjoy “Craft” beers CT has sixty on tap for you to choose from. Yes that’s 60 and from the sampling tray we tasted they were all COLD – the kegs are all kept in a super cold storage locker out of sight but close to the bar.

I’m pleased to say that CT also features “Craft” food. Marty and I feasted on three excellent appetizers: Corn and Crab Hush Puppies with both a Remoulade Sauce and a small serving pot of Honey Thyme Butter – Blended cold Foie Gras with mustard beads and sweet thinly sliced onions with big toast points – and Tuna Carpaccio. The Hush Puppies brushed in the Honey Thyme Butter were addictive – like fresh potato chips or popcorn, you can’t eat just one.

For our entree we shared the Wednesday Night Special – which is a most unusual and delicious Berkshire Pork Arancini. It looks like a large open sided ravioli – whose top and bottom is a square of thin, crisp and tasty pork filled with pulled pork in a delightful sauce. It is as good as it is unique. Each day of the week they have a different special which is listed on the menu.

In addition to a sampling of Craft Beers we had an enjoyable Margarita and one of “Rebecca’s Special Home Brewed Tea.” The menu says if you can guess the ingredients they will give you a second one.

We ate at the Bar and the service was friendly, prompt and courteous. If you want to see a game or just watch sports on TV you are surrounded by GIANT sized TV screens with virtually unlimited sight lines. On the other hand if you are with a date, a four top or a big party there are a variety of seating options available to you.

City Tap – Craft Beer and Craft Food.

The Breaker’s “ReNewed” Seafood Bar


If you have been fortunate enough to visit The Breakers on Palm Beach you know what a first class Property it is – really without peer in the region. You may have had the opportunity to enjoy the Seafood Bar in times past. Be sure to put a visit for lunch or dinner to the just opened and incredibly well renovated, expanded and beautiful old/new Seafood Bar on your lunch or dinner to do list.

“Millions and millions” of dollars were spent and no holds barred to make this classic dining room with a direct ocean view a visual treat to match the menu. The new Seafood Bar appears to be twice the size of the old room – with a very open feeling and a view from every where of the spacious kitchen and the world’s largest aquarium bar – complete with new windows for more ocean front viewing. The Bar is triple the length of the original aquarium bar and was crafted for The Breakers in Nevada and shipped in one piece. The aquarium is also deeper, enhancing your view and giving the fish more room to swim. If the fish swim all the way from one end to the other they will be in great shape.

As we sat at our table yesterday we had the feeling we were sitting in a classic 1920’s wooden ship – so unique and comfortable. If you liked the old menu you will be happy because 75% of their favorites are back. We always loved the Seafood Club and it was great to have it again with their unbelievably rich Truffle Fries. In addition there were a few new treats we really enjoyed. Several of their appetizers and light items are being served tasting style on three small but connected plates. Marty and I were there yesterday with our friend Rebecca and ordering several of these items was perfect for sharing.

We strongly recommend the Tuna Tartar and the Filet sliders. They were great. Speaking of great – don’t forget to start with an order of their freshly baked and buttered Yeast Rolls. I could have eaten ten of them they were so light and tasty. We threw caution to the wind and ordered a few fresh oysters, a side of Gorgonzola/Truffle fries and finished up splitting their rich and delicious Tres’ Leches with fresh pressed coffee.

As you can guess our attentive server had to help us get up after all that great food and the good news is we were at The Breakers and are free to walk off lunch and enjoy their grand interior and exterior views. As always The Breakers welcomes “the local poor” like Marty and I and valet parking is complimentary when you get your parking stub stamped in any of their restaurants, bars and shops.

It’s amazing what “millions and millions” of dollars will get you these days!

The Woods: Tiger’s New High End Sports Bar in Jupiter’s Harbourside


If you are in town or live locally I think you will be pleased if you take the time to stop in and see The Woods – Tiger’s relatively new restaurant in Jupiter’s Harbourside.

The “build out” sends a message – welcome to the cool place in town. Once you get past the modest entry way the main room looks like what I would expect to see if Tiger had an apartment in Manhattan. It “says” modern and youthful with its sharp and clean lines and well blended colors of black and muted brown and grays. Seriously can black and muted browns and grays be called colors?

If it weren’t for the fifty or so flat screen TVs everywhere – including two in each booth that seats six – the Dining Room which surrounds the Bar – would really look like a modern and elegant restaurant. As a sports fan I find the TVs a plus and as a practicing ADD diner I’m always glad to have a sports program I can check on when the food is slow to arrive and or when I get tired of hearing myself talk. Yes, believe it or not I really do get tired of hearing myself talk occasionally but its never stopped me from rambling on.

Speaking of hearing myself talk as I looked around – other than the tall ceiling there is not one soft, sound absorbing material on any surface. When this place gets to jumping I’ll bet you the volume level will make the Palm Beach Grill sound like your High School Library.

If you would like to “see” what Tiger’s new place looks like before you go check out the two websites below. The first is the Official The Woods site. It opens with moving shots of the room and invites you to open the easy to read links. I encourage you to click on The Menu. That way I don’t have to waste your time telling you about what they offer or what it cost. I will say the items we had were slightly above average quality for Jupiter dining – which wouldn’t pass for low quality in Chicago or Manhattan. But hey – you won’t freeze your butt off waiting to get in for your 8:00 reservation at 8:45.

The second site is from Yelp and if you look just to the right you will see an option to open all 46 pictures. Once again sparing me the necessity of getting out my iPhone.

For now there is only one Menu – for lunch and dinner. I would say it’s fully priced for lunch but generally reasonably priced for dinner. Our personable male server from Syracuse (Go Orange) said they will soon be offering several daily “Specials” on the dinner menu.

Marty and I are huge fans of the Seafood Sandwich at the Ocean Bar in The Breakers. The Woods has something that sounds almost like it and comes with Truffle Fries so we all ordered that. Bad move! Its not cold, fresh pieces of lobster and crab but a luke warm “cake” of what could be mystery shell fish with that “fish taste” and a bun thick enough to require a teen ager to pull out their retainer to get their lips over it all. Sadly, the Truffle Fries were fried sometime today but had sit quite a while under the heat lamp waiting for them to turn their crispiness into limp but tasty potato strings.

On the plus side the fried Calamari were good – if not a little chewy – but we really like the breading. Finally one clear winner is the Chocolate Cake whose description sounds like a conglomeration of all things chocolate. It was excellent! We had one for the three of us and had a third of it to carry home.

I am losing to Tony at tennis tonight so I could not have a drink. However, Marty and Nancy ordered the Strawberry and Basil Margarita. They were smiling right away so I took a sip and for a slightly fruity Margarita for the Ladies or Men who want to be – it was pretty good.

Remember to open The Woods Site and Drink in the Corporate By-Line: Relax in Style, Eat Extravagantly and Play better on the weekends than Tiger.

Larry

http://woodsjupiter.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-woods-jupiter-jupiter

Cabo Flats – Jupiter – Sad – Like watching the wake of someone you don’t know!


In the history of restaurant management the decision to close the Downtown at The Gardens Cabo Flats location and move it to US One in Jupiter will go down as one of the top five worst decisions ever – ever – ever.

Cabo at Downtown always had mediocre food but it had a great bar scene – a place to see and be seen and the Bar Staff was friendly, professional and made great drinks.

Cabo in the dead zone on US One in Jupiter has worst food than Downtown and the drinks are below mediocre and weak too boot. The bar scene consisted of ten to fifteen retired guys sitting with their heads down sipping their drinks like Willie Lowman at the end of a bad day of sales calls. The most exciting thing that happened all night was when a bus-man dropped a tray of plates.

When I say “dead zone” I mean it literally. Since we moved here in late 1996 there have been five failed restaurants in this location and my money says it will be six by the end of season two.

If you live in North County your choices for Mexican Food are limited. As mediocre as they may be Rancho Chico and Calaveras Cantino at Harbor Side are better than Cabo Flats on US One in Jupiter. If you are limiting your driving range to North County and you want a good and strong Margarita try the Repasado Double at The Thirsty Turtle or the surprisingly good “straight up” Margarita at Schooners – sitting in the AC at the bar.

Blend Bistro – The most promising new small restaurant opening in North County in the 21st Century


Marty and I had time to kill before a movie at Downtown at The Gardens and we walked past a new place called The Blend Bistro. They have a menu posted on the front door and the food looked very interesting but then the phrase “Organic Food and Wine” caught my eye.

At seventy I’m not concerned about the effect of GMOs in food on my aging body and Organic anything isn’t in the top 10,000 things that I am concerned about in life.

When it comes to food I care about mouth feel and taste. Fast forward to our second meal at Blend and I am a convert. Their fresh organic foods taste better than it’s counterparts. Here’s a sampling of the items we have ordered and really enjoyed at Blend: Onion Soup Gratinee – very tasty. Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs – I’ll be asking Linda to cater them for our next Super Bowl Party. Roasted Stuffed Poblano Chile – there is no way something could be this flavorful and good for you at the same time.

Finally I saved the best for last – Blend’s two Flatbread offerings. Roasted Mushroom & Goat Cheese – Caramelized Eggplant & Brie. The folks at Buccan on Palm Beach would be proud to offer these two crispy, rich and delicious flatbreads.

For dessert the Fudge Cake brought smiles to Marty and our friend Emily – who with her husband Scott treated us for lunch.

We can safely say Blend serves excellent food for the health conscious diner and for us clean eating meat lovers.

Though we did not try any of them “Blend” has a wide-ranging variety of Smoothies and Fresh Press Juices. They serve wine, beer, Sangria and you may bring your own wine for a corkage fee of $15.

We met Linda, one of two owners and she humored an old man who is set in his ways and talked to us about the concept of “organic food.” Her perception of organic is two things: First – organic foods must not have any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). I sort of liken that process to Monsanto altering the DNA of our food for what I’m sure they feel are good reasons. Second – foods that are only served “within season.” If they are not being harvested now Blend isn’t serving them now. Hence, don’t get too attached to the current menu because as season changes so will the menu.

I may not understand what organic food and wines are but I can assure you the food and service is excellent at The Blend Bistro in Downtown at The Gardens. Also, believe it or not they offer a red and a white Sangria that are both excellent. I have never liked Sangria but it was light, crisp and had fresh organic apples bites floating on the top that were very tasty.

Blend’s pricing is very reasonable. “Small Plates” range from $8 to $14 – Salads $12 to $15 – Entrees from $15 to $18 with one Sirloin Steak at $28 – Smoothies are $9 and Juices are $7.

Here’s to healthy, happy and great tasting food! See below for three pictures of items we had Wednesday.

The Blend Bistro – 561-331-8766

Uncle Larry

Ruth’s Chris Steak House on US One in North Palm Beach. Like Uncle Larry She is NOT aging gracefully – just getting more expensive!


Marty and Tony occasionally twist my arm into going to Ruth’s Chris Steak House on US One in North Palm Beach. Last night’s dining experience snapped my arm off at the shoulder joint. Here’s a few low lights of the evening.

We started with a side order of onion rings and there were only enough for us to have one ring apiece. It wasn’t hot or crunchy so I quickly got over my disappointment of not having two. The House Chopped Salad was fine but we slowly discerned they staffed the kitchen to match the lack of a crowd in the dining room. Fortunately Tony has a new love so we did not notice how terribly long it took for the meats to come.

Marty and I ordered the Porterhouse for two at the bargain price of eighty-five dollars. We asked for medium rare and it came with a warm brown center – adding a touch of crunchiness to the chewy Strip portion. Their steaks are like the price of gasoline. The Cowboy Rib-eye with tax and a 20% tip is now only $62.33. For those of you who don’t eat meat the chicken – which used to be excellent was dry enough to have been cooked yesterday.

My favorite side used to be potatoes Au gratin. When they came out looking like potatoes floating in a cereal bowl we asked what happened and our server, who must be living in the Whitehall Retirement Home in Juno Beach said with a cracked voice – “sir, they’ve changed the recipe.” How do you change the recipe of Potatoes Au Gratin which have been around for centuries.

For our final insult – make that touch of the evening we ordered the hot Raisin Bread Pudding with an extra side of the sauce hot also. You guessed it. The Bread Pudding and sauce came straight from the refrigerator. We asked for the Bread Pudding to go so we could warm it up at home and for the check. Bill Gates would have probably thought four hundred dollars for what we had was fine but not an old retired guy living on fixed income.

I’m sorry I won’t be able to review this once fine restaurant again but slow service, overcooked meat, dry chicken, cold bread pudding at prices I haven’t seen since I filled my gas tank up are too much for –

Uncle Larry