Best New Restaurant in Broward Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2007 - The Four Rivers
Paula Palakawong and Ravin Nakjaroen have their finger on our collective, turn-of-the-century pulse. They take Thai food, upscale it, and purify their menu with organic meats and locally farmed produce and seafood. Then they create from them gastronomic works of art and set the whole caboodle in a space with all the attributes of the most luscious spa imaginable, so that eating becomes an intensified, transcendent experience. What could be more au courant? Raised ponds, geometric rows of lotus flowers, Thai poems written in bas relief, and a menu featuring American products like Niman Ranch pork and Maine lobster cooked with Thai accent and spirit make eating at Four Rivers a thoroughly voluptuous experience. This young couple, who have never run a restaurant before, have managed to outclass the most experienced and well-capitalized restaurateurs in town with an effortless grace that comes from doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment. You've been waiting your whole life for sweet chili-glazed foie gras with spiced lychee and pineapple compote. You just didn't know it.