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 Black Panther – Good “Marvel” Entertainment


Marty and I are glad we went to see The Black Panther. We both give it a B+ for entertainment – better than average computer graphics – realistic fighting and action scenes and some well played humor – especially by The Black Panther’s younger sister and technology guru. The lead was definitely “The King” but four women combined to have more screen time and significant contributions to the film. I particularly enjoyed the role of “Women” as the Leaders and Warriors in the King’s Army. Their spear fighting scenes were well choreographed and enjoyable.

If you like the previous iterations of Marvel Comic movies then we recommend you see this one on the big screen.

Just as having a Black Action Super Hero in the lead is groundbreaking so is the Black Action Super Hero killing the almost bad Black Villain. In addition to the “color” difference the movie worked very hard to present several underlying themes – some of which you will like – some which you may not and some that are real issues in our world today.

Like Thor and really all the Marvel movies they do not present the actors with an opportunity to “act.” Rather, in my view they respond to the scene they attempt to visualize in their minds as they stand in front of a “green screen” and portray their role in the moment. My perception, therefore my reality, is this Genre of Film does not allow for significant character development. That said I liked the presentation of previous Super Hero characters and I liked the King – his mother – daughter – love interest and female warriors. The bad guy was not meant to be convincing as a “bad guy” in my view but rather the victim of his youth and circumstances. The women in the audience seem to respond well to the physique of the King and especially the bad guy. I, on the other hand related to the iron clad rhinoceros in the battle scenes. Sort of clumsy but very effective and distracted in the moment by a woman’s gaze!

In closing I share this thought. We sat next to a Black Couple from Riviera Beach. I noted with interest that he and I reacted verbally to the film in all the same places. Entertainment, Action, Fighting and Humor seems to transcend race. Additionally I walked off and left my hat and sweater and they picked it up and brought it to me.

Hostiles – An excellent Western – A film we are so glad I saw but some of you should put at the top of your list for Home Viewing.


Hostiles – this may be the hardest movie for me to review in some time. I was torn between given it an A and suggesting you see it now. That said I don’t think it will lose much if you have a really big screen TV and wait for home viewing.

It’s easy to say that Marty and I are pleased we went to see it – in some ways for different reasons. Marty loved the Cinematography of America’s West and the natural gritty feel of a classic Western. She thought Christian Bale carried this film and was strong throughout. She liked the female lead – Rosamund Pike – who we never heard of but did a really good job with her role as a wife and mother living in the later 1900’s that suffered yet survived her travails physically and emotionally. We both feel that not enough time and attention has been given to the strong, supportive women who “went west” and kept the family ranch or farm together. Kudos to a forgotten century of American Women!

Tony reminded me that there are similar themes in what I recall as one of – if not the best Western of the 21st Century – “The Unforgiven” – Clint Eastowood’s Masterpiece. Both were excellent but slowly paced in the development of their characters. Personally I was never bored and “Hostiles” kept my attention throughout. Not meaning to be crude but I believe this film may set a personal record for bladder discipline.

The theme of this film to me is the reality of battle hardened soldiers – from as far back as at least the 19th Century – who have taken life and seen life taken – as they near the end of their “expendable” life as soldiers. I hesitate to say that what we now call “PTSD” was the primary emotion of these men in America’s Western Cavalry. I suppose that since Cain slew Abel men who have taken life have wrestled with the consequences. A struggle that is immensely personal and complicated by the concept that “the enemy” was defined by the “powers that be” and the taking of life was “just following orders.” It may be easy for our liberal citizens and movie critics to minimize the depth of the personal emotion being felt and I thought expressed by Christian Bale and several of the supporting male actors in “Hostile.” My very strong personal feelings – and ones that I am now in Counseling for – are that you just can’t comprehend how it permeates your life having taken the lives of people that someone in Politics defined as your enemy.

All that said Marty and I recommend you see “Hostiles!” If you like Westerns and character development see it in the theater and pretend the popcorn was fresh and hot. If not, wait for home viewing but don’t miss it.

Larry

12 Strong – OUTSTANDING


As a Patriot I could not get home fast enough to recommend 12 Strong to you! If you are going to watch this film see it on the big screen. As you probably know it is based on the true story of Army Captain Mitch Nelson and his Special Forces Team that spearheaded America’s first Military response after 9/11. The Cinematography is outstanding. 12 Strong is the most dramatic Military Action film I have seen since American Sniper.

Having served I realize it is dramatized and the action condensed relative to actual combat but I could feel myself along with these men and I was drawn in and completely captured by this film. The cinematography and sound track are outstanding in the sense that it all seemed so real. The attention to detail was excellent. The intensity and violence are over the top. 12 Strong is not for impressionable minds or the squeamish.

While Chris Hemsworth is playing “to type” this is the best and most acting I have seen from him. His leadership and relationships with his men and the Afghan General were well played. The role of the horses was an added plus.

The pace of the film started out slow as they developed the characters as “people” – not killing machines – and the intensity built and built into a very strong and dramatic finish. I won’t spoil anything for you but if you are not moved by its ending I really do not want to know.

Marty and I give 12 Strong our highest possible recommendation – with the warning that it is definitely not for children or anyone who is sensitive about seeing and hearing men die in combat.

Jumanji – Entertaining but Adults should wait for Home Viewing


Marty and I thought Jumanji was cute, entertaining, humorous and suspenseful in a light hearted sort of way. The acting could be described as camp – especially by The Rock mocking himself and the characters were all likeable. Any aged audience could see this film and it had a really nice ending.

We are glad we went to see Jumanji in the theater so as an adult you don’t have to. It was slow in more than one place – including the plodding and laborious first 15 minutes. We think we would have enjoyed the movie much more at home where we could take a break or two and picked back up and or fast forward a spot or two.

That said if you have children or grand children between 6 and 12 I think you will be glad you took them to see it on the big screen and share a box of over priced popcorn and a soda.

Larry

Molly’s Game – An Enjoyable Human Interest Story


Marty and I just returned from seeing Molly’s Game – starring the very attractive and talented Jessica Chastain and we really liked it! It was a little longer than some films but I was never bored or tempted to take a potty break.

Molly’s Game is a Human Interest Story! Question? Can a human interest story be a successful selling movie or does everything have to be either “Green Screen” computer generated special effects and or colorful computer animation with famous actors doing voice overs? The answer to that question can be seen in the wonderful work that Adam Sorkin did in creating a terrific screenplay out of the Book of the same name by Molly Bloom herself.

Another Question? Can the central character in a Human Interest Story have both drive and ambition yet flaws and failures that lead to what might be considered a less than happy ending? Once again Molly’s Game answers this question by showing you the ups and downs of an attractive, smart, driven woman who like us all makes some mis-steps along the way.

Final Question? Can a commercially successful film be centered on one woman and can a female actor carry the entire body of work? In my view absolutely! I can not remember a film that was so centered on the lead actress. Molly – AKA Jessica Chastain – was in virtually every scene and she brought home the bacon. Additionally from a man’s perspective she is very easy to look at.

When you are in the mood for a more or less real life story with excellent dialogue and interaction between the actors shot on real locations and sets we think you will really enjoy Molly’s Game.

Uncle 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/

NFL – As Jerry Glanville once said NFL May Stand for Not For Long


NFL – as the old Coach of the Atlanta Falcons Jerry Granville once said to a referee you keep making calls like that one and the NFL will mean “not for long” for you.

Marty, Tony and I decided we will not support in any way a group of super wealthy athletes and owners who disrespect our Nation and support/allow this disrespect to take place in their work place.

We took out our Satellite and dropped our NFL Sunday Ticket. We have not watched an NFL game this year. Thanksgiving might have been a test of our will I thought but between food and devotions and going outside the day was enjoyable and just passed right on by. In our house professional football is already not for long if and until they develop leadership with a spine and do something about this issue.

If you are of like mind you will enjoy this song from a couple of rednecks on Youtube. See site below.

Larry

Is it Thanksgiving Already?


Is it just me or is life simply flying by far too fast? How can it be Thanksgiving already!

Again, is it just me or is there someone else out there who is caught up a little short on the time spent ruminating about being “Thankful” much less really being Thankful.

Maybe it’s all the sunshine and warm weather or that my ability to keep up with my schedule isn’t what it used to be. I was actually caught a little off guard today at Church when Pastor Todd started in talking about Thanksgiving this week. Not a couple of weeks from now but this Thursday!

I’m guessing its time for me to turn off the TV and or Computer and spend a little quiet time reflecting on all the Blessings in our lives here in Juno!

Either way I do hope that God will continue to richly bless you and yours with a spirit of calm and peace this Thanksgiving:)

Larry

Thor Ragnarok – One Comic Too Far!


How can 93% of the critics who write for Rotten Tomatoes be wrong? Doesn’t the $500 Million they say its made world wide mean its a great film?

Marty and I went to see “Thor Ragnarok” tonight and I still can’t figure it out. It’s not the plot or the characters I am having trouble with. Its the concept. Is it a spoof on the Avengers films that have gone before? Is it a spoof on the leading characters – especially Thor? What do you say about a friend that started out making some witty comments about his neighbors at a cocktail party and after one too many went more than one comment too far? Is he ready for Comedy Central or should he have packed it in and headed home?

If you saw this film on the blue screen without the computerized special effects you would not last ten minutes in your seat. I know computer graphics are used in most all films and especially in these type of block buster comic book recreations. But is that all there is? What happened to movies that were just good movies? This certainly is not one of them. Every scene – 100% of them take place in a special effects world. Enough already.

Marty gave “Thor Ragnarok” a D. I gave it a C. But would I tell you to spend $12 or more per person to see it in the theater? NO!

Larry