For the first time in 15 years, the menu at Café Boulud Palm Beach may be something completely unrecognizable.
According to chef-owner Daniel Boulud, the restaurant — located at the historic Brazilian Court Hotel — was in need of a refresh.
Several weeks ago, Café Boulud quietly unveiled a fully renovated dining room featuring an expanded 15-seat bar — three times its former size — including a new cocktail list, craft-beer taps, and full-menu service offered all day. In a shift away from tropical and traditional Palm Beach decor, the dining room and lounge is more elegant and contemporary, achieved by a shimmery ceiling made from seashells and pecky cypress, improved lighting, and warm wood flooring surrounding a glowing white marble bar.
The biggest change: a new menu featuring the French cuisine Boulud is known for, yet decidedly more casual, in which Café Boulud Palm Beach executive chef Rick Mace spotlights South Florida's local seafood and produce.
"This menu is a bit of a departure from the original focus, but the foundation is still the same," says Boulud. "It was time to bring the restaurant into a new era. This is the next evolution of Café Boulud Palm Beach. We still focus on the same principles we are known for but with a more approachable format."
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That means appetizers like beet and endive salad, pheasant pâté en croûte, or pumpkin velouté, each highlighting the season's freshest bounty. Small plates feature a selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches, including new favorites like the Cubano with house-cured pork, pickles, and mustard; a Maine lobster roll; and the CBPB Burger.
The biggest changes: a rotating selection of seasonal, house-made pastas like sweet potato gnocchi; a new raw bar with oysters, local rock shrimp, shrimp cocktail, and Florida stone crab claws; and an in-house charcuterie program featuring everything from house-cured lomo and coppa to a homemade foie gras terrine and head cheese.
Main courses keep it more traditional, offering local blackened mahi with buttermilk squash gratin or Dover sole meunière filleted tableside. And, of course, old standbys like a luxurious Chateaubriand for two or a truffle-flecked, hand-chopped steak tartare.
"After the remodel, we wanted to reopen with a new identity," says Mace. "Our thinking was to make the menu a little easier to understand, a little more straightforward. I think we've done that."
Café Boulud is located at 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach. Call 561-655-6060, or visit cafeboulud.com/palmbeach.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.