Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to the folks at City Cellar (700 S. Rosemary Ave., 561/366-0071), the long-time CityPlace standby that’s thrived (and continues to thrive) when so many other eateries at the West Palm shopping-residential complex have failed.
I was there last weekend having dinner after seeing the ridiculous new Die Hard movie, and though it was still pretty early the place was absolutely packed—inside, outside and at the bar. And the staff—both back and front of the house—never missed a beat.
We had some excellent martinis at the bar waiting for a table to come open, then an equally commendable meal that began with a lighter but still potent take on the classic Caesar salad, a flavorful and perfectly medium-rare hanger steak with crisp, greaseless truffle-Parmesan frites, remarkably well-made gnocchi with chicken and spinach in an unctuous tomato-vodka cream sauce, and a fat wedge of killer banana cream pie.
No reinventing the culinary wheel here, but each dish was properly executed with quality ingredients and delivered in an impressively timely manner, especially given the constant crush of diners. It was a big city performance by a crew of professionals.
Also impressive were City Cellar’s separate cheese menu, something you see in SoFla restaurants about as often as snowfall in July, and a wine selection (including by-the-glass) that should make most other restaurant wine managers want to impale themselves on their corkscrews.
It’s easy for a restaurant that quietly keeps turning out consistently good food to get lost in the shuffle of what’s hot and new so consider this some recognition that has probably long been deserved.