Palm Beach's Best Fine Dining Options for the Sophisticated Palate

By Kristopher Neild, Travel Expert

Maybe you are fortunate enough to enjoy fine dining weekly, or perhaps you have saved up for a special meal out. Either way, you want a restaurant you can count on to provide the highest quality services. Thankfully, you don’t have to travel far from Palm Beach/West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas to find an eatery that will meet your extraordinary standards. There are several great steakhouses in the region: Okeechobee Steakhouse, Morton’s, and Flagler Steakhouse, that all offer a unique dining experience. Okeechobee Steakhouse has been in business since 1947 and boasts the well-known feel of a historic steakhouse. Morton’s and Flagler Steakhouse have more of a contemporary setting as well as several private dining options.

If you want to dine on Palm Beach but everyone in your group isn’t in the mood for steak, then you will be pleasantly surprised by all of the wonderful cafés and bistros. Located on the famous Worth Avenue, Café L’Europe has a great three course menu and an extensive wine list, as is the norm for Palm Beach. For fine dining al fresco on Palm Beach, Café Boulud in the Brazilian Court Hotel has a beautiful air-conditioned terrace and a great happy hour to beat the Florida heat. The venue is so beautiful that weddings are a common occurrence there. Continue on with the list to see what authentic French bistro on Palm Beach is worth checking out. 

10. Morton's, The Steakhouse

Tuxedo-clad waiters set the tone for a Midwest classic that's staked a claim on the Atlantic coast. Known for tableside presentations (yes, that's a live lobster on the cart), this steakhouse is famous for its 24-ounce porterhouse and its hearty portions. Sides must be ordered separately at additional cost, and the menu offers seafood, chicken, and veal for those who don't relish red meat. The menu provides wine recommendations to complement entrees. Expectedly, the atmosphere is plush, and Sinatra croons in the background to add to the whole experience. Reservations recommended.

9. The Restaurant at the Four Seasons
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons

Gleaming stone, soft light and muted colors make for an eminently soothing evening at this elegant establishment. Flawless service adds a pampering touch, and the cuisine is anything but ordinary. In fact, it meshes Florida's freshest ingredients with culinary ideas from Latin America and the southern US. Fire-roasted beef tenderloin, molasses-glazed duck breast, guava-braised beef short ribs, buffalo tenderloin, and rice-noodle crusted sea scallops provide hints of the succulent entrees you'll find. Fresh fish is also a delicious option, and the tasting menu is an incredible bargain, especially when accompanied by appropriate wines. Exotic desserts include cactus pear sorbet, airy fruit souffles, homemade ice cream and a luscious tiramisu.

8. Café L'Europe
Photo courtesy of SinglePlatform

A constant outpouring of accolades renders this spectacular restaurant one of Palm Beach's best known establishments. A romantic ambiance is set with arched windows, mirrors and candlelight, and glorious flower arrangements. Guests are graced by impeccable service and cuisine, not to mention live music, courtesy of a pianist and a jazz combo. Representative entrees include roasted veal chop, rack of Colorado lamb, wiener schnitzel, tempura style ahi tuna, and crispy duck breast and leg confit. A celebrated and extensive wine list promises a wealth of possibilities, and the caviar and champagne bar extends dining options, as does the late-night menu. Whether you want to honor a special occasion or simply indulge for a moment, Cafe l'Europe guarantees excellence.

7. Flagler Steakhouse

Lit by candlelight and accented with brick columns and greenery, this hotel steakhouse is convenient for guests at The Breakers and makes for a nice excursion for other patrons. Top-quality meats are served and are prepared to your specifications. Steaks in a range of sizes and cuts allow you to cater the menu to your appetite, and you'll also find pork, veal, and chicken. If you're in the vicinity around the lunch hour, stop in for one of their fresh, crisp salads or a hearty sandwich. The joint functions like a classic social club but has none of the exclusivity or pretentiousness.

6. Chez Jean-Pierre

Although it entertains Palm Beach's elite, this fashionable eatery is refreshingly without pretense. Its cozy rooms and imaginative artwork grant patrons license to relax and enjoy the ambiance and the food rather than the social scene. Under the chef's capable hand, authentic French cuisine takes on a Provençale accent, redolent with fresh herbs and seasonings. Poultry in particular is well prepared, crisp-skinned and juicy, and seafood benefits from unfailing attention as well. Desserts beg sampling too, whether you opt for a frosty sorbet or perhaps the delicious excesses of homemade profiteroles. Cross the intracoastal and experience cuisine mastery at Chez Jean-Pierre.

5. Pistache French Bistro

Pistache is a Parisian-style French bistro with a Mediterranean twist. It serves simple, delicious meals made with fresh, local and imported products. It seats 200 people and is open seven days a week for all meal periods.

Prices are moderate and the recipes nutritionally healthy. Service is casual and efficient. The atmosphere is upbeat with a definite European flair. The interior is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau, which defined most brasseries and bistros opened in the 1920's Paris. It boasts cozy seating with numerous red leather banquettes, a full bar and giant antique mirrors. The restaurant has a feel of "Always been there". It is classic, retro-modern and sophisticated but unpretentious.

The outdoor patio overlooks Centennial Park, the Fountains and the Intracoastal Waterway. It is shaded with large umbrellas and seats 30 people in a Riviera-like setting.

4. Maison Carlos
Photo courtesy of Maison Carlos

Potted green palms and wrought iron furnishing line this restaurant's cheery, yellow interior. The owner, Carlos, made this place quaint on purpose, so guests receive the hospitality and service they deserve. Chances are, Carlos himself will come by and strike up a conversation with you while you wait for your food. Patrons graze on lovely French and Italian works such as the fusilli di pollo, with grilled chicken, portabella, sun-dried tomato or trout almondine. For added pleasure, the staff will prepare dessert – bananas foster or zabaglione with berries – at your table. A $30 3-course meal is offered before 7pm. Wine list available.

3. Okeechobee Steak House
Photo courtesy of Okeechobee Steakhouse

In business since 1947, this neighborhood institution still pulls in crowds of patrons, and it's not unusual to wait for a table on weekends. Rich cherry woodwork and forest green walls create an intimate environment, and booth tabletops capture an assortment of rocks beneath slabs of acrylic, making for an interesting design element. The menu places a premium on steaks, which are well-seasoned and cooked to a tantalizing sizzle. Each one comes with a starch and either a caesar salad or a trip to the salad bar. Desserts and a full selection of alcohol guarantee that appropriate vices are met, and you'll often find couples celebrating special events or groups of friends gathered for an evening of merriment.

2. Cafe Boulud
Photo courtesy of Cafe Boulud

Housed in the Brazilian Court Hotel, Cafe Boulud is exquisite, contemporary-designed French-American restaurant with an irresistible dining terrace. Before dinner, enjoy a cocktail in the comfortably revamped bar overlooking the patio. An interesting variety of starters includes smoked salmon with herbed salad and Scandinavian brown bread, a Spanish tapas platter, and veal ravioli. Diners feast on artfully prepared mains such as the squab tartine with mushroom duxelle. Exquisite desserts draw the meal to a close; try the pear struesel with cinnamon ice cream.

1. Marcello's La Sirena
Photo courtesy of Marcello's La Sirena

Subtlety and grace characterize this established restaurant, well known in the area for its attentive, unobtrusive service and impeccable cuisine. The Northern Italian menu focuses on al dente-perfect pastas, light as air and accompanied by sauces crafted of pungent cheeses, fresh herbs, tomatoes, cream and mushrooms. Just-caught seafood, especially salmon and snapper, benefit from the kitchen's skill, and veal in its variety of incarnations is impossibly tender and satisfying. Salads, crisp and refreshing, are just as you'd hope, and the French onion soup is a house classic. Luckily, desserts follow suit: Everything from zabaglione to tiramisu and fresh fruit is luscious, and there's a great selection of Italian wines and dessert wines as well.