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Eat like a mogul at luxurious Solu

Jorge's menu is small and precisely focused. You get the sense of harmonies deftly woven — there is no appetizer, for instance, that wouldn't make a terrific starter for any of the entrées. The flavor profiles of each dish are distinct, yet the whole menu is of a piece. It's a quiet, modest vision that's immensely pleasing when you realize how rare it is for chefs these days to exert such self-control.

We started with the Kobe beef salad and fried ravioli stuffed with lump crab and celeriac ($18). The Kobe salad is a 210-million-dollar-take on Thai beef salad — emerald-green stalks of watercress tossed with daikon radish and cucumber, larded with paper-thin slivers of melting Kobe beef, a hot-and-sour dressing given texture and weight with ground peanuts. This was wonderful. Oversized ravioli were golden and gently crusted, stuffed with a flavorful mix of lump crab and faintly celery-scented celeriac, a drizzle of shrimp and lemongrass nage to swipe each mouthful through. This too came with a perfectly dressed watercress salad, fresh and cool and peppery.

We followed these with seared branzino fillet ($32); the fish of the night — mahi — which comes with your choice of three sauces (market price was $29.95); and a lobster salad ($22). The branzino — a Venetian striped bass — was superb, fillets bathed in a broth made with white miso and flavored with ginger, with the lightest of vegetables — wilted bok choy and cubes of kabocha squash, the Japanese version of pumpkin or butternut. The branzino's skin had been seared crisp for texture, and it exuded a condensed, sea-rich flavor against the tender white flesh. Since we couldn't decide which sauce to have with the mahi, we asked for two, the first a gorgeous raspberry-colored vinaigrette made from the sweet, lavender-fleshed Okinawan potatoes from Hawaii, the second a mustardy, pale-yellow Dijon wakame. The potato vinaigrette was fruity and faintly sweet; the Dijon-wakame, flavored with brown seaweed, was sharper on the palate — but both were excellent, unexpected accompaniments to this very fresh fish. Along with a deconstructed lobster salad (baby arugula on one side, on the other, a terrine of lobster chunks, mined with hearts of palm and mango tahini dressing and set on a pink round of watermelon), these three dishes made one of the prettiest palettes of tropical colors I've ever seen on one table.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

Solu

3800 N. Ocean Drive
Singer Island, FL 33404

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: West Palm Beach

Details

3800 N. Ocean Dr., Singer Island. Open for breakfast Monday through Friday 6:30 till 11 a.m., Saturday and Sunday 7:30 till 11:30 a.m. Lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon till 2:30 p.m. Dinner nightly 5:30 till 10:30 p.m. Call 561-340-1795.

Desserts at Solu are a knockout — particularly the chef's choice "dessert flight" ($28), enough for three of us and as varied and delightful an ending as you could ask for. A baked chocolate egg roll, warm and soft in the center, came topped with luscious mango-banana salsa; lychee fruit coated in milk chocolate had been set on a sugared mille feuille alongside a chunk of sake-soaked mango; there were miniature cinnamon-sugared churros; a fantastic crème brûlée decorated with candied ginger; and a deep-purple sweet potato pie festooned with a taro chip and served alongside chewy, housemade minimarshmallows.

Prices are high. Solu may be a special-occasion restaurant for most of us — but what an occasion! Our nice waiter was content to let us linger as long as we wanted, tucked into our leather booth by a window, and truly we didn't want to go anywhere at all — if we'd planned ahead, we might have just commandeered one of those $400-a-night suites (discounted for the grand opening) and stayed the night, with a massage the next morning and a dip under the waterfall. No doubt the view from the 21st floor is spectacularly unobstructed. When you've got a choice, it's always preferable to be on the inside looking out. 3800 N. Ocean Dr., Singer Island. Open for breakfast Monday through Friday 6:30 till 11 a.m., Saturday and Sunday 7:30 till 11:30 a.m. Lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon till 2:30 p.m. Dinner nightly 5:30 till 10:30 p.m. Call 561-340-1795.

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