Gratify American Gastropub debuted in earnest this past weekend, to ride the hoopla that was focused on yet another downtown West Palm rebirth -- this time on the waterfront. Gratify replaces the old Spoto's Oyster Bar on Datura.
Chef Scott Helm returns to the downtown as its co-owner and chef -- he formerly was at the Samba Room at One Clematis. "I like the area," he said. "I'm still playing with the menu, but it's pretty solid so far. I've brought things I've done on a bunch
of other menus here and in Chicago," he said. "Ideally, it's comfort
foods that people recognize, almost regional, things like shrimp and
grits -- but with a twist to keep it interesting and still casual enough
for the bar diner. Prices are really moderate -- in this climate, people
don't want to spend half their paycheck on one dinner anymore, but
they still want good food."
He and Gene Playter, co-owner and
general manager, opened up the tight interior of Spoto's somewhat. New bar
seats put diners directly overlooking the cook's line. The décor is
stark, with blank walls and decisions still being made whether to keep
it edgy and warehouse-like, Playter said. A younger crowd is the goal,
thus the thumping music that gets louder as the hours get later.
Outdoor seating will be on the west side of the building in this
Jan Norris is editor and publisher of JanNorris.com -- a website focusing on South Florida food.