"Florida Pompano heirloom carrots and beets, parsley" ($29) was not the most exciting depiction of a straightforward but beautiful dish. The fillet had a nice brown exterior with the slight essence of lemon and was juxtaposed with roasted baby orange and yellow carrots and pink and white beets over a bright-green parsley purée.

For dessert, Key lime pie and house-made doughnuts didn't sound overly exciting. But a molecular-gastronomy edge came through in the Hot Chocolate/Cold Chocolate ($8). Playfully presented on a plate, a teacup of spiced hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows, sat next to a bowl of chocolate ice cream with shaded coconut, everything made from scratch. I was surprised to discover Asian-influenced flavors in the drink: coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander.

Nothing to complain about: Prime Creekstone flank steak, with crispy potato, garlic aioli, and fried egg.
Nothing to complain about: Prime Creekstone flank steak, with crispy potato, garlic aioli, and fried egg.

Details

The Grove, 187 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-266-3750; thegrovedelraybeach.com. Open Tuesday to Thursday 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 to 11 p.m.

Ricotta gnocchi $16

Kumamoto oysters $3 each

Chanterelle cappelletti $24

Hudson Valley foie gras $23

Florida pompano $29

Hot Chocolate/Cold Chocolate $8

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At the end of the night, I racked my brain for some criticisms of the place. Ummm... the lighting could stand to be dimmed? That's about all I had. At the end, we were sent on our way with a handwritten thank-you-card check — literally, a greeting card — a nicely wrapped package of dill corn bread, and a handshake from Strike. It was like leaving a dinner party at a friend's place but with better food and a significant credit card bill.

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