Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cool'a Fishbar, Palm Beach Gardens

Yesterday it was the t-shirt, today its was the haircut. I took my haircut for a long overdue outing to the Cool'a Fishbar at Legacy Place. We arrived at around 6.00pm and the place was creeping up to full with a mix of couples and singles with a few traditional Florida early diners thrown in. The greeter took one look at me, Dr. Dave, Mimi (3) and Ceci (10 months) and said, 'we have no high chairs or booster seats'! I felt like I was back in London already! I'm HOME! Not to be deterred Dr. Dave cleverly retorted, 'She doesn't need a booster and I can get the stroller from the car' GENIUS! The girl said, 'well it'll be a wait as we only have a couple of tables that can take a stroller but we'll see what we can do'. We waited for about 25 minutes - not their fault - the earlybird crowd were milking those discounted drinks for all they were worth.

We got stuck straight into a watermelon martini and a sauvignon blanc; both under $10 and put in an order for the crab cake appetizer $9.95. This was probably the best crabcake I've ever had. It was flaky, pure crab meat, if there was any filler used in its preparation it was undetectable and the quality of the crab was excellent. It also delivered where most freshmade crabcakes seem to fail; it didn't have one scrap of shell! Perfect. Admirably, this restaurant manages to contain its menu to a single sheet. I'd much rather a place executed a few things brilliantly than attempt to spread themselves thin over too broad a menu. I went with one of the house specials; Corvina in a lemon & caper sauce $19.95 and Dr. Dave went with the King Crab Legs $24.95. I always try to go with a special at a fish restaurant; you can be pretty much guaranteed its the freshest and the chef gets to put his own personal touches on an item. Both dishes came with a choice of sides, coconut rice for him and the house signature grated potatoes for me. I highly recommend the potatoes - a sinful mix of grated potato, sour cream, chives & jack cheese baked in a ramekin until molten. How could this be bad?! The fish was perfectly cooked, just done, the sauce made with a light hand and respect for the raw ingredients. The crablegs were fresh & juicy, served 'easy to eat' which is always a bonus. They don't have an official 'kids' menu but at Mimi's request they made her a scaled down shrimp dinner - I was SO proud - no chicken fingers for her!

This restaurant has a great atmosphere and beachy vibe. Think Tommy Bahama meets Gilligan's Island; in fact I think a few of the cast were dining there. As the name suggests, Cool'a Fishbar is unashamedly a fish place - there's not so much for your fishphobic friends - embrace that concept; get a babysitter for those pesky under 3's and head over.

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