Order Up: Gratify Gastropub

This week in Dish: Gratify, West Palm Beach's newest gastropub. The restaurant, which took over the Spoto's location in February, has an onus on small plates and drinks a'plenty. There's craft beer, an eclectic menu that includes bar food and local seafood, and a full service bar with wine. When it's good, it's good -- as with the local snapper blackened with Cajun spices and hoisted by a bed of Louisiana dirty rice. But for Gratify to truly please, the confluence of disparate dishes and the sometimes shaky execution needs improvement. Here's an excerpt:

Take the restaurant's version of St. Louis ribs ($12), which I ordered at a lunch-time visit with a friend. It was during the Palm Beach Boat Show, and both the street side seating and the slick, question mark-shaped bar were packed with folks looking to escape the sun with a pint of beer. We took a seat among the restaurant's only section of interior tables, which run along a wall-length bench, and dug into the ribs, stacked like logs in a campfire.

The analogy isn't far off, actually. Though the ribs were creatively dressed with tart and flavorful balsamic-shallot vinaigrette instead of ordinary barbecue sauce, many of the black, sad spears were leathery and charred completely. "It's a shame," my friend remarked. "The few that aren't burnt taste really, really good."

More on Gratify in our full review.

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