Staying in a hotel right on the Florida Coast, you’ll definitely build up an appetite for seafood. And as Palm Beach’s The Breakers is one of the finest hotels you’ll encounter anywhere, it’s only fitting that its seafood-oriented restaurant, appropriately called The Seafood Bar, serves some of the freshest and most creative fish dishes you’ll ever come across.
The restaurant directly faces the beach, so during the day the ample windows let in plenty of sunlight and a view to the Atlantic beyond. Its blue and white color scheme adds a tranquil note to an already relaxed vibe, and service is friendly and knowledgeable. Each day, 10-15 different types of fish are brought in from the waters of South Florida to Hawaii, and on the day we visited, specials included stone crab claws, pompano from Fort Pierce, Fla., and yellow edge grouper from Key West. While all fish can be prepared blackened, broiled, or sautéed, special preparations include butter crumb crusted branzino with toasted broccolini and Meyer lemon beurre blanc, sea bass Oscar style with boniato smashed potatoes, and IPA-battered hog fish with remoulade and fries.
We started with coconut shrimp, which were huge and perfectly butterflied and cooked. Whereas most coconut shrimp preparations are cloyingly sweet, these were given a slight tropical flavor from the coconut and a sweet chile aïoli and mango slaw served as perfect accompaniments. Seared sea scallops were also perfectly cooked and insanely fresh, and the bed of Florida corn, pearl couscous, and kale they were on was simple and inspired. Sautéed grouper was also as fresh as could be, tender, flaky, meaty, and flavorful, and one of the best pieces of fish I’ve ever had.