You know an area is on the up-and-up when a well-known name in the local dining scene makes an appearance, and that seems to be the case for West Palm Beach's quaint Northwood restaurant row and its latest addition, The Garage VV.
A few months back Clean Plate Charlie listed a variety of dining options in Northwood Village with our pick of the area's best dining options. It's too bad we missed the opportunity to add The Garage VV to that list, however, the modern American bistro that opened in early November.
A sister establishment to Jupiter's Food Shack and Leftovers Café, The Garage VV is following in their footsteps, shaping up to be the third in line to offer fresh fish and a menu of special dishes that changes daily. The brainchild of Food Shack founder and chef Mike Moir's wife, Vivian Bordieri -- who partnered with West Palm's Nina Wasserman and Kimberly Levine -- The Garage VV is meant to recreate the Little Moir north county experience at a spot more accessible to south Palm Beach County residents.
The former Coco China Beach space has been completely revamped with a touch of industrial-chic decor and an open layout. Diners can choose seating both indoors and out, from the spacious dining room to the lounge-style bar and tent-covered outdoor patio complete with a custom painted wall mural by artist Anthony Hernandez.
Like Food Shack and Leftovers, The Garage VV has a focus on fish -- a choice of several fresh catches from grouper cheeks and mahi-mahi, to flounder and pompano -- baked with the "crust" of the day, here a blend of seasonings that change daily, but always include the Moir's signature sweet potato hash (pictured above). The result is a melt-in-your-mouth marriage of crisp sweet potato crust and moist, flaky white-fleshed fish placed on a heaping bed of greens and vegetables marinated in the Moir's own creamy house dressing.
In addition to the usual favorites, the Garage VV also presents a selection of creative modern American dishes prepared by executive chef Tyler Deken, a young chef hailing from Miami who served at several high-profile establishments including Estiatorio Milos Miami before making the move to Northwood. His special touch includes fresh-baked breads and pastas made on-premise daily, as well as a list of specialty daily appetizers, soups, salads, main plates and desserts.
A simple yet pleasurable dish was one of our favorites: a roasted avocado starter. The fruit is cut in half, and the pit's hollowed-out center provides the perfect space to fit the yolk of a soft poached egg, creating dual layers of velvet creaminess under a veil of crunchy queso crust. It's finished with fresh pico de gallo and a tangy-sweet Korean BBQ, and served with tri-color tortilla chips for use over fork and knife. Fresh ingredients with a unique twist, the dish is enough to prove that Garage VV is keeping in-line with the Little Moir's approach to chalking up inventive daily specials, here on a printed paper menu over Foodshack's chalkboard, where selections are erased throughout the night as ingredients disappear. At The Garage, you'll just have to ask the waiter what's still available.
The Garage VV is located at 409 Northwood Rd. in West Palm Beach and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for lunch, dinner and brunch. For more information call 561-802-4441, or visit the website and Facebook page.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.