THE DRIVE TO DINE: Top restaurant choices within minutes of Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach

Dramatically presented mega-steaks take center stage at Meat Market Palm Beach.

Dramatically presented mega-steaks take center stage at Meat Market Palm Beach.

 

The Palm Beach area has no shortage of excellent dining options. We’ve chosen a dozen just a short drive from the South Florida Fairgrounds that have topped the list of foodie favorites in recent months. The good news is that most of them are open late for dinner, so you won’t have to miss a minute of auction excitement.

Town of Palm Beach

Chilean Sea Bass Chez L'Epicier.

Classically prepared Chilean Sea Bass at Chez L’Epicier.

Meat Market Palm Beach features a stylish crudo bar with classic raw-bar items, creative cocktails, and appetizers that range from white tuna tartare to an incredible whole roasted cauliflower – but at center stage are the prime-cut and dramatically presented mega-steaks. Open for dinner daily (until 10 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday; until 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday). 191 Bradley Place. www.meatmarket.net

PB Catch is a seafood restaurant and raw bar featuring rich interiors, a relaxed atmosphere and polished service. Chef Aaron Black is known for his fanciful “sea-cuterie” creations and beautifully prepared fish and seafood dishes. Open for dinner daily until 10 p.m. 251 Sunrise Avenue. www.pbcatch.com

Chez L’Epicier offers French Canadian cuisine in beautiful French country décor. Chef Laurent Godbout’s artistry is apparent with every dish, from steamed mussels and duck confit to seared Chilean sea bass and beef filet tartare. Don’t forget to order a side of authentic French Canadian poutine! Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday until 10 p.m. 288 S. County Road. www.chezlepicier.com/palmbeach

Mushroom Pizza Buccan

Mushroom Pizza with Gruyere, Grilled Green Onion and Black Truffle Vinaigrette at Buccan.

Another option for fine French fare is Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel. The menu balances signature dishes from Chef Daniel Boulud and French favorites (think Dover sole, duck, foie gras, steak au poivre) with the region’s incredible seafood and produce. Open for breakfast daily, brunch Saturday/Sunday, lunch Monday to Friday and dinner daily until 10 p.m. 301 Australian Avenue. www.cafeboulud.com/palmbeach

Buccan is a popular high-end bistro where you can stop in for one of chef Clay Conley’s supreme small plates (specialties include raw fish and seafood dishes) or settle in for a 14-ounce, wood-grilled prime New York strip steak and a night of people-watching. Open for dinner daily (until 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; until midnight Friday/Saturday). 350 S. County Road. www.buccanpalmbeach.com

 

West Palm Beach

Pistache West Palm Beach

Pistache in West Palm Beach looks like it was transported from the streets of Paris. (Photo by Chris Fay)

Pistache, a classic Parisian café with a Mediterranean twist, features a wide selection of small plates and main dishes, including traditional French favorites like Coq au Vin and Beef Bourguignon. Ask for the “Frite Sheet” to custom-order traditional or truffle-style French fries with a variety of dipping sauces. Open for brunch Sat/Sun, lunch Monday to Friday, and dinner daily (to 11 p.m. Sunday, 10 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, and midnight Thursday to Saturday). 101 N. Clematis St., #115. www.pistachewpb.com

For delicious artisanal small plates, a coastal-fresh raw bar and creative craft cocktails served in a relaxed and friendly vibe, check out Avocado Grill. From craft tacos and avocado dishes (of course!) to creative vegetarian options and seafood dishes, there is much to like here. Open for brunch Saturday/Sunday, lunch Monday to Friday and dinner daily (until 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 p.m. Friday/Saturday). 125 Datura Street. www.avocadogrillwpb.com

Chef Lindsay Autry The Regional Kitchen & Public House

Chef Lindsay Autry’s fried chicken at The Regional Kitchen & Public House is said to be the stuff of legends. (Photo by South Moon Photography)

Craving Italian eats? Head to Ristorante Santucci for authentic, high-end Sicilian cooking centered around the freshest ingredients, family recipes, house-made pasta, and delectable meat and fish entrees. Open for dinner Monday to Saturday until 10 p.m. 610 Clematis Street. www.restaurantsantucci.com

“Top Chef” finalist Chef Lindsay Autry blends her experience in Latin America, classic French styles and her North Carolina roots at The Regional Kitchen & Public House at CityPlace. Her fried chicken is said to be the stuff of legends; other favorites include pimento cheese with Florida blue crab, tomato pie and locally sourced pork shank. Open for brunch Sunday, lunch Monday to Saturday and dinner daily (until 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 p.m. Friday to Sunday). 651 Okeechobee Boulevard. www.eatregional.com

Butternut Agnolotti at Grato.

Butternut Agnolotti at Grato.

A wood-burning pizza oven is at the heart of Grato, which offers a non-fussy menu of not only pizza, but house-made pasta dishes, small plates and rotisserie items in an attractive, open Meditteranean-designed space. Open for brunch Sunday, lunch and dinner daily (until 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 11 p.m. Friday/Saturday. 1901 S. Dixie Highway. www.gratowpb.com

Once personal chef to Tiger Woods, Chef Matthew Byrne now creates refined takes on comfort classics at Kitchen. The brasserie has a changing seasonal menu with inspired vegetable, meat, fish and pasta dishes, along with creative sides and house-made desserts. Open for dinner Monday to Saturday until 10 p.m. 319 Belvedere Road, #2. www.kitchenpb.com

Just a short drive from the auction site is Okeechobee Steakhouse, the oldest steakhouse in the state of Florida. No fancy foodie frills here, just mighty fine steaks (made all the more incredible through their “secret” aging process) and stellar service. Open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner daily until 10 p.m. 2854 Okeechobee Boulevard. www.okeesteakhouse.com

Bon appetit!

 

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