South Florida may be one of the yachting capitals of the world, but it's not often that you find yourself sailing, drinking rose, enjoying the flavors of Mediterranean food. Well, we hate to break it you to: it's most likely not going to happen this year either.
Unless, of course, you're a winter resident of Palm Beach, chances are you're going to be sitting in your air-conditioned cubicle, looking out at hot and rainy South Florida. Sorry, that's us too.
Regardless, if you want to pretend you're enjoying that dream Mediterranean getaway, the Boulud Sud popup at Cafe Boulud is coming back to town. We spoke to Executive Chef Jim Leiken about its return.
Based off Daniel Boulud's New York restaurant Boulud Sud, from July 3 to September 2, the popup will operate as its own restaurant on Cafe Boulud's terrace.
Open for dinner seven days a week, the food and atmosphere are intended to mimic the sights and sounds of the Mediterranean. In a similar fashion to last year's popup, the dining room will be decked out with Southern Mediterranean accents.
"Dressed up with full-grown olive trees, herb plants, Moroccan tagines, lavender and candles; it really felt like a little trip to a Provencal garden. The big added bonus for this year is that we are moving it 'outside', to our newly air-conditioned terrace, which for my money is one of the most beautiful dining spaces in the entire Boulud empire," said Executive Chef Jim Leiken.
The menu is based off of fare found around the Mediterranean coast: ranging from North Africa to the Cote D'Azur.
"The menu takes us a little bit out of our normal comfort zone, but once we started doing some digging and research about all the different cuisines of the Mediterranean region, you realize the incredible diversity of ingredients and techniques found in one (relatively) compact area," said Leiken.
Dishes include a wide selection of grilled fishes and lamb such as Lamb Merguez, Octopus A La Plancha, and Gambas al ajillo. The menu foregoes the heavier sauces and richer techniques of traditional French cuisine.
According to Leiken, "A lot of the cuisine is olive-oil based, with seafood, spices, and herbs figuring prominently, so we are cooking vibrantly-flavored food that is at the same time light and healthy, which a lot of our customers appreciate."
Desserts include lighter, more refreshing flavors: grapefruit givré with sesame halva, Provencal moelleux, an almond pistachio cake with strawberries and merengue, and mint chocolate pavé with chocolate sorbet.
P. Wagtouicz Grapefruit Givre
The popup will serve an al-a-carte menu daily starting at 5:30 pm, with apps ranging from $10 to $18, Entrees $23 to $35, and desserts $8 to $13. A $35 prix fixe three-course menu is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
For those looking to take the stay-cation up a notch, the Brazilian Court is offering a Wine, Dine, & Stay deal, which includes an uber-luxurious room for two and three course prix fixe dinner with glass of rosé per person starting at $299 a night.
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