That’s all folks! We’re officially done with season. Parties are over, the downtown West Palm Beach GreenMarket is gone and no more charity events to go to. Snowbirds have flown back up north and we have our beautiful little city back to ourselves for another six months.
It’s been an eventful season. Our beautiful weather is always a draw, but much more so when our northern counterparts were experiencing one of the coldest winters in years.
Our dining scene has been energized, both in downtown West Palm Beach and in our north and south dining districts. It seems that there’s a new place popping up every few weeks and they all seem great. And now, with the season behind us, it’s time for us locals to check them out.
Featuring “New World Comfort Food,” Mazie’s is located on S. Dixie Highway’s Restaurant Row. It’s owned and operated by chef Eric Baker, formerly of Delray Beach’s Max’s Harvest, and Jason Lakow, the former GM of Café Boulud.
Brunch is served from 11 to 2:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 5 p.m. The dinner menu features a variety of entrées ($19-$30) and plenty of choices.
With each entrée, patrons can choose two sides from an amazing selection of 12 options. Entrées also come with a sauce, and there’s another 12 to choose from. The dinner menu also features shared platters. There’s also daily specials ($20-$40) as well as weekly favorites, including “Chinese Take Out” on Sundays.
Basque at Biba
The fresh new Basque opened in March at Hotel Biba at 320 Belvedere Rd. in West Palm Beach’s El Cid neighborhood. The menu features both classic and modern interpretations of Spanish food. Tapas, boards, entrées and paella ($28-$38) are served from a custom-built, sleek 22-foot mobile kitchen.
With our legendary rainy season getting started, Basque recently started a “When it Rains, We Pour” promotion featuring half-price tapas and drinks until the rain stops.
“We don’t shut down for rain. We party!” exclaims owner Manny Bornia. Basque is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m.
Pétanque Kitchen & Bar
Since the closing of Le Rendez-vous, we’ve missed the work of French brothers Vincent and Olivier. They’re now back with a fantastic concept in Northwood Village.
Pétanque Kitchen & Bar, at 517 Northwood Rd., is named after a courtyard ball game that originated in coastal towns in southern France. It serves up a charcuterie ($16-$32) and burgers, as well as tartarines, salads and desserts. (You must try the Nutella Banana Panini!)
Pétanque is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to midnight. You can enjoy happy hour, listen to live music, and of course play a game of Pétanque in the backyard patio.
Loic Bakery Cafe Bar
One of the most stunning entrances into the West Palm Beach foodie scene is Loic Bakery Cafe Bar at 480 Hibiscus St., next to City Palms Condominium.
Loic Autret, who co-owns the bakery with wife Pauline, is a former French paratrooper who rebooted his career in South Florida. With 22-foot high ceilings and a gorgeous outside patio area, Loic serves breakfast and lunch and boasts the best croissants in South Florida. It’s open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Since we’re on the topic of lunch spots, the long awaited Pipeline Poke is finally open. Located at 310 S. Dixie Hwy., Pipeline Poke serves fresh build-your-own poke bowls.
The large, open windows and cafeteria-style seating has been very popular among the downtown lunch crowd.
Aioli, at 206 S. Olive Ave., seems to be everyone’s favorite sandwich spot. This husband and wife team opened the original location in the south end of the city and are keeping that same level of quality and freshly-baked bread in their brand new downtown location.
Aioli is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Oh, wait. I said the parties were over. I lied. Don’t miss Pairings food & wine event in downtown West Palm Beach on May 31. Walk through downtown while tasting food and drinks from area restaurants for just $25 ($30 the day of the event).
I’m sure I’ll see you there.
Pictured above: The half Artichoke & Pesto Sandwich and half Chopped Cobb Salad from the Pick 2 menu ($10.50) at Aioli in downtown West Palm Beach.