Be warned: Even with the deep discount, the prices are still stratospheric. And the beautiful people all have weird hair. But we went there a couple of nights ago and had a high time. The rooms with their tall windows and gleaming crystal and fine china are just gorgeous (request a seat in the front bar room to avoid being sent to purgatory). And the food was sometimes stellar, sometimes just marginally underwhelming.
For the best of it, sit at the bar and order appetizers and a bottle of wine. A quartet of chilled soups ($10.50) and Escargots Napoleon cooked in garlic, shallots, asparagus, and white wine butter sauce ($18.50) is fantastic. Each tiny soup cup comes with its own silver spoon, and you eat your way up the flavor scale from mild to hot: a coconut honeydew melon, an asparagus vichyssoise, heirloom tomato gazpacho, and a creamy "Senegalese" with curry. It's impossible to pick a favorite. The escargots permanently raise the bar on snails -- plump and buttery, served under a pastry of sublime lightness. L'Europe's menu offers recommended wine pairings: the Pinot Grigio la Tunella ($12.25) is a perfect match for the soups.
Entrées aren't as risky or refined: tortelloni stuffed with chunks of lobster and crab ($35.95), served in a wine butter sauce, employs beautiful ingredients, but the result lacks the frisson of contrasting flavors. A Tuscan-style tiger shrimp dish ($38.95) combines sautéed spinach, kalamata olives, tomatoes, capers, feta cheese, and lemon essence into a spicy brew that somehow fails to make a final leap into unknown territory. Do the moneyed beauties and bankers of Palm Beach need to play it so safe? Maybe the rich really aren't like you and me.