High Mark's

Mark's CityPlace

The fourteen entrées can be broken down as follows: one risotto (with wild mushrooms and white-truffle oil); two poultry dishes (mahogany-glazed duck and Bell & Evans chicken, both roasted in the wood-burning oven); three pastas (sausage-and-broccoli rabe, chicken and white beans, and Bolognese); a quartet of red meats; and the Big Four in the world of restaurant seafood (Atlantic salmon, Chilean sea bass, yellowfin tuna, and mahi mahi). We sampled the latter two fishes; both were pristine and scrumptious but mildly marred by execution. Oregon chanterelles and a luxurious foie gras veal reduction teamed with celeriac purée and a chive-tied bundle of haricots verts for a uniquely delicious take on black peppercorn-crusted, seared rare yellowfin tuna. Unfortunately the otherwise fantastic dish suffered from that trademark Mark's lukewarmness, thanks to the meticulousness of the plating process.

No such problem with jumbo lump crab- crusted mahi mahi or its robust embellishments of oven-roasted rosemary potato spears, a salsify-and-wild mushroom ragout slightly salty with pancetta and horseradish butter. The fish was cooked perfectly, but the crabcakelike coating didn't brown or crisp as well as it should have.

Roast garlic-stuffed tenderloin of beef has been a staple at Mark's since his first restaurant; when something is this terrific, it makes sense to keep it. The filet's juicy, ruby red center was as tender as a kiss, accompanied by crunchy-fresh spring peas, baked Gorgonzola polenta, a sweet-onion confit glazing the top of the meat, and a deep rosemary-cabernet sauce below. It's the ability to produce this balanced diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures that gives chefs such as Militello "big name" status.

The sushi bar is the only real nod to Asian influences at Mark's CityPlace
Joshua Prezant
The sushi bar is the only real nod to Asian influences at Mark's CityPlace

Location Info

Map

CityPlace

700 S. Rosemary Ave.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Category: Music Venues

Region: West Palm Beach

Details

561-514-0770. Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. till 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday till 4:45 p.m. Dinner Monday through Thursday from 5 till 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday till midnight, Sunday till 10:30 p.m.
700 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach

A generous slice of molten chocolate torte with coconut ice cream came to the table very cold and not at all molten. We spared the kitchen the trouble of extra zapping in the microwave by just going with our other two choices: double-chocolate croissant bread pudding paired with luscious white-chocolate-chip ice cream and a sweet, crumbly apple tart with honey-vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce.

Mark's CityPlace can't help but suffer by comparison: The food at his Las Olas location is overall more dazzling, at South Beach more personal and refined. Yet these seeming shortcomings are very likely by design. The operating strategy at Mark's CityPlace seems focused on keeping appreciative family diners coming back rather than trying to impress restaurant reviewers looking for gastronomic epiphanies. Residents of West Palm Beach should not feel cheated; even at his most formulaic, Militello is still better than most chefs at their ground-breaking best.

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