Summer’s here, and that’s when the South Floridians play.
Or at least don’t have to wait at the grocery or the gas station.
That’s right — restaurants.
The seasonal residents have gone North, and you can easily get reservations at the finest restaurants in Palm Beach.
In some restaurants, you even may be able to get in without reservations; but we have reservations about just showing up.
Regardless of how you plan the evening — reservations or not — many of those restaurants may well be offering specials — a $35 prix fixe menu in a place where the typical tab is $100 a head or more is par for summer.
It’s a bargain, and, you know, we’ve earned it.
After all, it’s been 90 degrees for a month, and we feel like we’ve been whupped with a wet towel.
So let’s cool our heels at Palm Beach’s finest and do it at a bargain.
— Scott Simmons
Special deals at special places
Dine in style for a song at some of the classiest joints in Palm Beach.
The Breakers — The resort is synonymous with Palm Beach and is also known for its fine dining.
This summer, it will offer a range of specials at its restaurants on- and off-site.
Echo — Half-price drinks and sushi during happy hour, 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at Echo’s Dragonfly Lounge or terrace. Echo also offers a three-course dinner menu starting at $45 through Sept. 30. 230 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach; 855-435-0061.
The Italian Restaurant — Drink specials during happy hour, 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. A three-course dinner menu, starting at $45, is available through Sept. 30. 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 855-435-4847.
Flagler Steakhouse — A three-course brunch is available through Sept. 1 for $45; 2 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 855-435-2053.
Café Boulud — Daniel Boulud’s signature restaurant offers several summer specials, as well as a seasonal menu inspired by one of his New York restaurants, DBGB.
With Café Boulud’s Wine BOBO (Bring one, buy one), diners can bring a bottle of their own wine and buy one from sommelier Mariya Kovacheva’s list to pair with dinner and pay no corkage fee. Or, bring only and pay a $25 corkage fee.
Executive Chef Rick Mace’s summer prix fixe menus include a three-course lunch for $32 noon-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, three-course brunch for $36 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and three-course dinner for $38 5:30-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. Daily happy hour in the lounge is 4-7 p.m. with half-price drinks and special craft cocktails.
With A Buck A Shuck, Café Boulud offers $1 oysters from 10 p.m. to midnight seven days a week.
The DBGB Takeover, with selections from Daniel Boulud’s New York Restaurant, DBGB, is available for dinner through Oct. 12. Order the Piggie Burger, if you can. It’s a beef patty topped with some of the most tender, heavenly smoked pork you’ll find anywhere.
Café Boulud is at The Brazilian Court, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach; 655-6060 or www.cafeboulud.com/palmbeach/.
Del Frisco’s Grille Palm Beach — Chef Michael McLaurin’s three-course, $35 prix fixe dinner menu is available every evening throughout the summer. Offerings include comfort fare like meat loaf to a crispy brick chicken breast with hand-mashed potatoes, asparagus, and roasted chicken jus.
The restaurant also offers beer, wine and other pairing dinners throughout the summer — look for a Black Coral Rum dinner to take place July 24.
Del Frisco’s is at 340 Royal Poinciana Way, Suite 300, Palm Beach; 557-2552 or www. delfriscosgrille.com.
Meat Market — The restaurant’s Summer Cocktail Dinner Series includes four courses of Executive Chef/Co-Owner Sean Brasel’s contemporary cuisine, paired with libations by Ezra Pattek. The dinner, priced at $75 per person (plus tax and gratuity), starts with a cocktail reception at 7 p.m., followed by the sit-down dinner at 8 p.m.
The restaurant also has launched Signature Steak Sunday, in which steaks are offered at half-price every Sunday through summer.
There also is a daily happy hour, 4-7 p.m., with plenty of snacking options. Cocktail specials include $10 glasses of Veuve Clicquot Brut, Yellow Label; $8 Classic Belvedere Martinis and $7 signature cocktails. Select wines, available by the glass, are priced at $7 and specialty beers range from $3.50 to $4.
Meat Market is at 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach; 354-9800 or www. meatmarketpalmbeach.com.
PB Catch Seafood & Raw Bar — Designer and event planner Bruce Sutka has turned PB Catch’s bar and lounge into an island beach shack with a modern twist, with surfboards, marine lighting and new casual staff attire. The menu includes fresh tuna stack sandwiches, shrimp po’ boys, fish fingers and yellowfin tuna tacos.
The Shack also offers a variety of special drinks on top of the restaurant’s existing beer, wine and cocktails menu. The restaurant has continued to serve its full menu in its formal dining room.
PB Catch is at 251 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach, and is open Monday through Saturday, with the raw bar and lounge opening at 4:30 p.m. Full dinner service begins at 5:30 p.m.; 655-5558 or www.PBCatch.com.
Testa’s — There once was a time when Testa’s closed its doors each summer in Palm Beach and much of the staff headed north to Maine, where the restaurant has a location that’s open during the warm months.
But now the Palm Beach location is open for the summer and dining here has its rewards as well. A sunset menu, served 3-6 p.m., offers a three-course menu, with diners’ choice among four appetizers, including the restaurant’s famous gazpacho, entrees that include salmon, shrimp Florentine, fish & chips and Gorgonzola chicken, among others, dessert, iced tea or coffee and hot bread with olive spread for $18.99 per person.
You can sit outside, watch the world go by and smile knowing you found a bargain. Testa’s is at 221 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach; 832-0992 or www.testasrestaurants.com.
Al Fresco — Ask to sit outside here — this restaurant at the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course has the best views anywhere, from full ocean views to the east to spectacular sunsets over the Intracoastal Waterway to the west.
And the food? It’s classy Italian, with salads, pizzas, pasta and risotto that very nearly equal the views.
It’s open for breakfast, lunch and diner seven days a week. Al Fresco is at 2345 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach; 273-4130 or www.alfrescopb.com.
Buccan — Chef Clay Conley easily has created the hippest spot on the island, with global fare that draws on a variety of traditions. Think shrimp ceviche with a Thai-influenced sauce, General Tso-style sweetbreads, lamb ravioli, grouper sliders and mushroom pizza.
As if that didn’t cover the continents, Conley has opened Imoto, which specializes in small plates, and around the corner, look for The Sandwich Shop at Buccan, which offers sandwiches that draw on influences from around the globe. They’re all in and around 350 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 833-3450.
Café L’Europe — Thirty-four years after Norbert and Lidia Göldner opened Café L’Europe, they still are known for serving some of the finest Continental cuisine on the island, and are known for their wine list. Where are you going to find classic Wiener schnitzel or Long Island duck? Café L’Europe is at 331 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 655-4020 or www.cafeleurope.com.
The Four Seasons — The resort offers several restaurant options, but Graze offers artisanal fare with a view. Sit outside and have brunch or dine on salads and more at this breakfast and lunch spot. The beachfront AB&G is open for lunch and dinner, and offers a sunset menu from 4:30-6 p.m. daily.
Worth checking: The Friday Night Lobster Bake, with three seatings, and the Saturday Night Grill, with steaks, fish and more. Reservations are required for each of those.
Feeling fancy? Then check out the modern Italian cuisine of Jové Kitchen & Bar, which is open for dinner only. The Four Seasons is at 2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach; 582-2800 or www.fourseasons.com/palmbeach/dining.
Flavor Palm Beach — You thought April was the cruelest month, but restaurateurs in South Florida will tell you it actually is September.
It easily is the slowest month for businesses of all kinds, especially dining establishments. But with the Flavor Palm Beach promotion, restaurants from across the county offer prix fixe three-course meals for lunch and dinner menus. Lunch typically is $20; dinner, $30 or $35.
Participating restaurants include Café Boulud, Café Chardonnay, Capital Grille, Charley’s Crab, Deep Blu Seafood Grille, restaurants at The Breakers, The Four Seasons and Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, and The Cooper. More places will be signing on. Info: www.flavorpb.com.