The secret’s getting out about 3800 Ocean on Singer Island
This is one of the area’s best deals, and word is spreading, so snap it up because soon it will be hard to book. It’s the Kitchen Table at 3800 Ocean, the signature restaurant at the Marriott Resort Palm Beach, on Singer Island.
I was invited as part of a small media dinner, and that meant sitting ringside at the chefs’ area, watching all of the action and sometimes forgetting to eat because of it. But you don’t want to forget to eat. For $69 per person, Executive Chef Gustavo Calderon (pictured, recently from The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, also from Ritz-Carlton Naples) will put together his extraordinary take on local food. “My goal is to introduce a menu of local seafood, “ Calderon said, “like grouper and lobster, and then I play with the components.”
For five lucky people, Thursday through Saturday nights, this means dishes such as a compressed bluepoint oyster, with cucumber gelee, and caviar. That sat on top of a white chocolate reef, with edible seaweed (pictured above). And dry ice completed the theater setting! It was a delicate bite, with a combo of intriguing flavors that made me want to try more.
Second dish was yellowtail snapper from the Keys, and local spiny lobster (pictured above), with a truffle cauliflower puree, wild mushrooms, carrots and asparagus. Specifically, a porcini truffle sauce with cognac. Chef Calderon is a master of sauces. The third course was a huge chicken dumpling, and inside was a breast stuffed with rock shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, shallots and panko crumbs. With a celery root sauce. And a black garlic sauce, and a cilantro and ginger puree.
Then, dessert arrived looking like a red, white and yellow art masterpiece (pictured above), with a chevre cheesecake that had coconut mousse and a strawberry gelee, and bits of white chocolate, with graham crumble.
Wine pairings are available for $45 more per person, and I recommend it. We had very good wines, from a prosecco to a pinot gris to a pinot noir to a port, and all brought out the best in both food and wine. The 2013 EnRoute pinot noir from the Russian River Valley (from the Nickel/Far Niente vintners) was swoon-worthy! Chef Calderon will ask about likes/dislikes/allergies, and then create your customized meal. Reservations are required; 3800 Ocean Dr., Singer Island, 561/340-1795.
Closed for September, going on “menu-cations”
Joining the taking-a-break ranks of “September is the toughest month for restaurants” lineup are Table 427, in Northwood, West Palm Beach, and Santucci’s also in West Palm Beach. Table 427 owner/chef Robert Villegas will be in the Yucatan peninsula, opening the doors again on Sept. 29, with a new seasonal menu reflecting his time away. The Santucci family head back to Italy, and they, too, will bring back new menu items and inspirations, after Sept. 21.
Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.
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