Best Palm Beach County Restaurant - 2012
There's a danger in getting too attached to any one dish at Dennis Max's "farm to fork" restaurant in Pineapple Grove. Although one may be tempted to develop a dependency on pan-seared gnocchi spiked with morel mushrooms and truffled fondue, or a tempura-battered squash blossom stuffed with creamy goat cheese, that would be a mistake. With its reliance on purveyors like Green Cay Farms, Heritage Hen Farm, and Farmer Jay Pure Organics, the restaurant's daily menu depends entirely on what is good, fresh, and sustainable. There are mainstays, of course, but dishes evolve with the seasons, following nature's arc of availability. With two outdoor seating areas (one streetside and the other on a quieter back patio complete with a waterfall) and two dining rooms, the environs can vary just as much as the offerings on the table. The kitchen is open, a wise design move that gives diners a bit of a show. Executive chef Chris Miracolo and crew work magic with their fleeting stock, finessing, say, something as flat as microgreens into a vessel that one uses to sop up every last speckle of a guava pepper jelly. If it's something you can't live without, order seconds. Nature is an ever-fluctuating supplier, and Max's Harvest intends to keep up.