Friday, October 14, 2011

Buccan - Tapas, West Palm Style

On our first night in the Palm Beach area, Nick's mother made reservations for the three of us at Buccan, a really fun small-plates restaurant in Palm Beach.  When you walk in you are immediately struck by the relaxed white-washed style with a contemporary flair.  We had looked at the menu before we even left Massachusetts and knew we were in for a treat.  However, before we even got started on the food we ordered some cocktails - they were too delicious looking to resist.  Nick's mom ordered the watermelon martini which was garnished with real watermelon.  That is how you know that you are in Florida!
Watermelon Martini
I went immediately for the Rose, St. Germain and a lemon garnish!

Nick chose a Dark and Stormy, but this one had a twist: it actually was made with Prosecco, which was a fun change of pace from the traditional.  Tropical even!
"Dark and Stormy"
Even after having only a few sips of our drinks and seeing how fresh the ingredients were, I knew the food was going to be delicious.  Rather than limit ourselves, and since we were sharing, we decided to go a bit overboard!  While we perused the menu, we enjoyed some delicious focaccia bread and oil.
Bread and Oil
The server had a bit of a challenge ahead of her: when dealing with small plates the timing of the courses is key.  The last thing you want is to have all your food at once, sitting and getting cold on the table!  We lucked out because our server did an amazing job timing the food.  Once we finished one item another was immediately being served - nothing sat, even for a moment.

The menu had a real mix of cuisines, everything from Ipswich clams (in Florida!) to whipped ricotta ravioli. Making decisions was a bit tough, but we finally settled on a few items.  The first to arrive was the arancini - golden brown and crispy on the outside and warm and creamy on the inside.
In reading some of the tips from Four Square, everyone gave rave reviews for the Shortrib Empanadas.  The crispy fried outside was filled with tender shortrib, salsa criolla and aji amarillo.  Each bit had a perfect consistency and flavor.  Four Square strikes again!
One of the most interesting dishes we ordered was the Steak Tartare, which came with grilled bread, black truffle and a crispy egg yolk.  The little pouch on top of the tartare is actually the deep fried yolk that literally pops open and spreads perfectly over the streak.  The flavors of this dish were so good - the steak almost seemed like tuna and and the egg yolk added a whole other dimension to the dish and also made the bread that much more fun to use to sop up the dish.

Steak Tartare
Next to arrive was the Squid Ink Orrechiette with sausage, conch, basil and chilies all sitting together in a lovely little pot.  This was my other favorite dish of the evening.  This seemingly random combination of ingredients worked so well together, and the left over bread came in handy for sopping up the yummy broth.
Squid Ink Orrechiette
After having delicious corn at Frontera Grill, I couldn't wait to try the Florida Corn covered in aioli, cotija, Mexican chilies, and lime.  Between the wood-fire and the lime on the corn, it really had a delicious kick in each bite.

Finally, we couldn't help but order a flatbread after seeing the open wood fire oven and seeing a flatbread topped with mushroom, gruyere, green onions, and a black truffle vinaigrette.  I had high expectations for all my favorite things on one pizza and it definitely did not disappoint.  The crispy crust and the mushrooms had that wood fire flavor that elevated the rest of the ingredients.
Flat Bread Pizza
After a delicious meal, I enjoyed the atmosphere with a frothy cappuccino. 
Even with loads of good food, we could not resist an apple crisp with ginger ice cream - did they know Nick was coming, since these are his two favorite things?!  The apples were nicely sliced so you could get a nice bite each time, and the crunchy toping ws warm and flavorful.  I didn't love the ginger ice cream, but I am not a huge fan of ginger in general.  However, the ginger lover of the group (Nick) loved it!
Apple Crisp
I really enjoyed Buccan.  The atmosphere was lots of fun and the food was delicious!  The server did an amazing job taking care of us and timing our meal.  I would highly recommend Buccan for a great night out with friends.   

Buccan on Urbanspoon


  1. A Dark & Stormy with Prosecco? Sign me up!

  2. We need to go out for drinks some time. I think we have very similar taste in drinks!

  3. ooo i see everyone is commenting on the DnS - which is an all time favorite of mine. I recently had one with a twist as well - they added peppercake bitters to make it spicy!

  4. OK, the next time I visit my grandparents in W.Palm I am totally going here! The empanadas and squid ink orrechiette sound incredible. And those drinks sound perfect also!

  5. i really like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out it's for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies. It’s still in beta version, but would love for you to start adding some photos and help get it going.


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