Bistro Chez Jean Pierre has long been considered the best restaurant in Palm Beach. It’s a dimly lit space with three rooms, each with its own personality (that charmingly (or not) do not come close to matching each other). The service is professional without being stuffy, the clientele loves their blue blazers and Escada pant suits while dining on comforting French bistro fare.
Taking one look at the menu and The Monster believes it probably has not changed much since the restaurant opened in 1991. And in this instance that’s a good thing.
We’re out to celebrate The Monster’s birthday so with a great glass of wine in hand he peruses the appetizers. French onion soup, fresh artichoke vinaigrette, and lobster ravioli with fresh tomato sauce are the calls.
The soup is cheesy, crusted over and wonderful. Not too salty or heavy as it often can be, The Monster makes quick work of it.
Similarly, the artichoke is perfectly cooked, though the vinaigrette served in the middle is heavily cream based and takes away from the naturally delicious vegetable. Eating an artichoke heart is such a pure, singular delight The Monster forgives the offending accompaniment.
The ravioli is just slightly overcooked but the sauce is rich and creamy so you don’t hear any complaints from the table.
The Monster is torn when it comes to the entrees but on this night the lobster fricassee, lime and sauternes sauce with leeks, tomato chutney and tourneed vegetables along with the house specialty, Dover sole meuniere with spinach, carrots and rice wins out. The fantastic sounding roasted duck with thyme and honey sauce will be saved for another day.
The lobster is sweet with the fruity sides, it’s a dessert entree that gets its balance from the more earthen greens. It borders on perfection.
The Dover sole is worthy of its high tariff, a hint of cream, of lemon. The accompanying sides however could not be more boring. Lovely dish, retirement home sides.
Frozen hazelnut soufflé is the first call for dessert. One bite and you can’t point a finger at why you love it so much. It’s nutty and a touch sweet, it’s chilled but not cold, it’s interwoven textures of crunch and a soft middle.
The crème brulee however does nothing for The Monster. Skip it.
A full bar and extensive wine list are just one more reason Bistro Chez Jean Pierre is a wonderful spot to celebrate special occasions.
Why go? Your blazer has gold buttons with sailor insignia on it.
Monster rating 4½/5 Monsters
132 North County Road
Palm Beach, FL 33480