Every now and again, the high faloutin’ members of the FTLC enjoy some posh winin’ and dinin’. Recently, Kate and Mercedes J took pleasure in each other’s company at the intimate and swanky restaurant, The Grateful Palate. Tucked inside a strip mall off 17th Street Causeway, we were surprised to find such a culinary gem located beside a pawn shop and a Subway sandwich shop.
Upon entering the Grateful Palate we were greeted with a welcoming smile from the host who escorted us to a table. The gorgeous restaurant is small and intimate with warm earth tone décor, dim lights, and lounge-esque furniture. The eatery is separated into two halves with one being a wine bar and lounge, the other a small dining room with approximately 10 tables. We were seated in the lounge section at a cozy table for two which was almost too comfortable. “It’s like sitting atop a soggy marshmallow,” Mercedes J remarked regarding the plush seat cushions.
As beautiful a restaurant as The Grateful Palate was, the service was not necessarily up to par. Maybe it was just the server we had, and it would appear that way, but she didn’t belong in this type of establishment. First, she had to ask the stunningly-attractive female Sommelier to help her describe what the dish, Gorgonzola Fiocchetti was. There were not many menu items to begin with and she couldn’t have guessed that this was probably a pasta? Mercedes J then went on to order the Duck Three Ways and within minutes our blond (this had nothing to do with the fact that she wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box) server came back and apologized that the “duck had been 86’d.” How were we supposed to understand what “86” meant? Unless, by the not-so-rare chance that either of us have worked in the service industry before. Again, minutes later, the server was back out at the table to inform MJ that the duck was in fact still available, it was only “86’d” after she had ordered it. The food arrived and Mercedes J was without a knife and we had to flag down a male server to request one and saw very little of our server throughout the meal. It was ok though, because when she was at our table our conversations did not always go well. When MJ asked where the third duck was in her meal, Kate mistakenly overheard the server say “You’ll figure it out.” Kate looked at MJ in disgust and gasped “Did she really just say that?” Turns out, however, she did not say that and she quickly returned to our table to explain the (lack of) third duck.
The Food & Wine
Thumbing through the wine novella at GP is no easy task and the assistance of a sommelier would be very helpful, but as described above, the service was lacking and we knew we were on our own. We chose a $35 French Syrah; Mas de Gourgonnier (2006). The wine was lovely with an earthy bouquet, flavors of smoky black current, hints of vanilla, and a dry lip smacking finish.
Mercedes J started with the Foie Two Ways all while trying to ignore the look of disgust and disapproval on Kate’s face. On one side of the plate was a perfectly sadist seared foie gras with sauternes gelee. On the opposite end, was the foie’s ugly step sister – a foie gras black truffle mousse atop a stale brioche cracker. The fatty goose liver pate tasted as if it was drunk from absorbing a stinky fish broth, not delectable.
For our main course, Kate ordered The Gorgonzola Fiocchetti — a dish you dream about. The soft, pillowy blankets of pasta wrapped thinly around a light and calmly-aromatic gorgonzola cheese melted as they touched your lips. In the center of the nicely-portioned meal was a bed of shredded squash topped with a decadent but also indescribable sage-infused beurre noisette. Kate highly recommends this dish if you are looking for something light and summery or as a vegetarian option. Mercedes J selected the Duck Three Ways. A slow braised leg of duck sat atop a bed of lentils. Crispy seared duck breast rested on the duck leg as the second portion. We both looked for the third portion of duck as if we were playing some sort of gustatory game of Where’s Waldo. As you read above, the third portion was a bit of mystery and it turns out that the broth served with the lentils was the third way. GP’s Duck Three Ways is analogous to a fake ménage a trois, where the adventurous couple are actually only fantasizing about the third party – it doesn’t really exist.
As we rubbed our satisfied bellies, we couldn’t fathom eating another bite, so we missed out on dessert. The dessert options sounded lovely with options such as Chamomile & Vanilla Panna Cota, or $2 scoops of ice cream with several creative flavors to choose from. First course runs $6-$20, second courses cost $14-$32.
Overall, our experience at the Grateful Palate was wonderful and we recommend you check out these events happening this week:
- Wednesday, August 18 – Italian Wine Tasting. Try 4 wines for $10. It’s safe to assume that the portions of wine will be small but judging from their extensive wine list, I’m sure the chosen wines are exceptional.
- Thursday, August 19 – Fixed 4 Course Meal for $50. Add an Italian wine flight for $15-$25. Live Italian music from 6-9pm.
The Grateful Palate
817 SE 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316