Southern Hospitality: Springtime Dining & Spa Days in Palm Beach County

A mouthwatering dish from Okeechobee Steakhouse
A mouthwatering dish from Okeechobee Steakhouse
Alissa Dragun Photography

At a time when we have gotten used to paying escalated prices for skimpy pours of wine, oenophiles should rejoice at the glasses offered by Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach.

The list includes generous servings of such coveted labels as The Prisoner and Austin Hope, often seen on menus in the area at $30–$35 per glass, for just $20. Pair them with the restaurant’s expertly seared Kansas City sirloin or 16-ounce bone-in filet mignon, and don’t miss sides of Brussels sprouts and fire-roasted creamed corn.

If it happens to be your birthday, it is tradition at Okeechobee that a 10-ounce Palm Beach sirloin, potato and salad are on the house.

While you are ogling all the new buildings popping up in West Palm, treat yourself to some outstanding food. Uber popular Sant Ambroeus, which draws an A-list crowd on the island, has opened a branch of its more casual sibling Felice. Fried baby artichokes, black Angus meatballs or Mediterranean quinoa salad make good starters. Chitarra spaghetti with baby octopus ragu; and pappardelle with sausage, endive and porcinis are standout pastas. And oven-roasted branzino or chicken Milanese are among the popular entrée choices.

Grab a perch at nearby Elisabetta’s, by the Intracoastal with a view to the island, and feast on one of 14 different kinds of pizza, as well as pasta in every shape and size. An array of meats and fish from the wood-burning oven include a Korobuta pork “porterhouse,” Australian lamb chops and market fish.

The luxurious pool at The Ben, an Autograph Collection Hotel
The luxurious pool at The Ben, an Autograph Collection HotelCourtesy The Ben

If you want to spend more time in the booming area, check into The Ben, a stylish hotel in the heart of West Palm. Head upstairs to the rooftop restaurant, Spruzzo, and start with cocktails by the pool, before enjoying Mediterranean-inspired dishes like artichoke flatbread and bucatini with local black grouper, while taking in the spectacular island vista.

Well-loved Taboo on Worth Avenue is hanging on by a lifeline since problems surfaced with a string of landlords. We hope for the best, and owner Franklyn DeMarco is fighting an eviction notice, but while the struggle goes on, you can stop by and enjoy such favorites as smoked salmon pizza and pistachio-crusted salmon.

Corvina's flavorful Bar Harbor Roll
Corvina’s flavorful Bar Harbor RollCourtesy Corvina

For those who love to eat locally-sourced seafood, Corvina in Boca is a must, with such options as pumpkin swordfish and golden tilefish. There is a selection of sushi rolls there as well, including the sumptuous Bar Harbor roll with lobster, crab meat and avocado.

The Ambassador Grill, located on the pool deck of the Ambassador Hotel, has a relative bargain with its twin lobster tails. While other places sell them at close to $100 for two, the succulent crustaceans from Maine are only $54 here and come with two sides.

The oceanfront terrace at Brandon's Palm Beach
The oceanfront terrace at Brandon’s Palm BeachCourtesy Tideline Ocean Resort

Where else can you dine on an oceanfront terrace and savor shima-aji, uni and Hokkaido scallop? Mizu, in the Tideline Ocean Resort, has an extensive offering of nigiri and sashimi, as well as an omakase for those who are feeling adventurous. Of course, you can sit at the bar if you enjoy a more interactive experience.

Tideline’s signature dining room, Brandon’s, which has prime oceanfront seating, also offers some Asian-accented dishes like Indonesian-style stir-fried egg noodles with mixed vegetables; roasted chicken with maitake, shimeji, shiitake, grilled broccolini and dashi butter; and ribs with umami soy, green onions, sesame seeds and crispy rice noodles.

There are other options including baked brie on grilled sourdough with fresh fruit; filet mignon with truffle mashed potatoes and asparagus; and grilled salmon with artichokes, herbed farro and lemon caper sauce.

To make your experience even more special, stop by the Tideline Spa before dinner and indulge in the Escapist massage, which adds aromatherapy to help with relaxation, or the Time Reverse Facial, which stimulates collagen and will give you extra glow throughout the evening.

BeAtala Wellness Spa at Mr. C Hotel in Coconut Grove also has treatments worth checking out, including the Personalized Cellular Activating Facial, the Anti-Aging Cotton Thread Revitalizing Facial that focuses on deep exfoliation and cellular renewal, and the Aurum Radiance Infusion that uses 24-karat gold leaf to reenergize and retexturize the skin.

The Marriott on Singer Island is known for it’s luxe SiSpa, where there is hardly an area left unpampered, so in addition to couples massages and facials, there are both lip and paraffin hand treatments. The hotel’s restaurant, 3800 Ocean, specializes in perfectly prepared local seafood (don’t miss the lobster pot pie or black grouper with coconut rice, crab-mango salad, avocado and cilantro-lime drizzle).

When it’s time to turn in, enjoy sweeping views of the Atlantic and Intracoastal and the fact that your suite has its own washer/dryer!

If you are looking for cutting edge therapies, MedHouse, a longevity-oriented social wellness club in West Palm, is worth checking out. Among the diagnostic and therapeutic offerings are a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, 3D body scanning, red light therapy, a salt suite, PEMF, a Fit Pod and 3D baby scanning. MedHouse encourages those who are serious about wellness to join as members, but you are welcome to experiment with a treatment or two.