To dine on the rooftop of the new, four-story Restoration Hardware “mansion” on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach is to peer at the city through its grand, sparkly crown.
Chandeliers shimmer beneath soaring glass ceilings. Leafy ficus trees grow in handsome planters. A lavish stone fountain cascades into a circular pool, and through the blur of droplets one can see clusters of diners at tables or seated upon crisp-white sofas.
Lunchtime is a buzzy affair at the RH Rooftop Restaurant, where one sits high atop downtown’s main drag and its guardian force of royal palms. And when it’s a clear November day, the view is particularly splendid atop the funky gray structure that made its splashy debut on Nov. 19.
If you’ve driven along Okeechobee Boulevard near CityPlace, you know the structure – it’s the one inscribed with a famous artist’s proprietary language of hieroglyphics and illuminated text symbols. Inside, the 80,000-square-foot home furnishings gallery is anything but gray – it is a crema world where vintage French, rustic Belgian and industrial Dutch décor find clean common ground.
But if you’re hungry, leave the meandering for later and take the elevator to the fourth floor. Here’s a taste of what you might expect.
The food: RH Rooftop Restaurant is a concept by celebrated Chicago restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, who launched Restoration Hardware’s 3 Arts Club Café in his city’s flagship store and became the founding president of RH Hospitality. He brings a small but discerning menu to RH Rooftop in West Palm. In fact, the menu here is the same as the Chicago café’s menu. The (pricy) prices are the same as well.
A good place to start at any time of the day is the Délice de Bourgogne Cheese board ($18), a generous wedge of the classic triple crème, cow’s milk cheese from Burgundy served alongside glazed pecans, a warm, crusty baguette and strawberry preserves. Add a glass of wine from the small but inspired wine/beer list and you’re living large.
A board to share (there’s also a smoked salmon board, $23, and a prosciutto board, $23) and any of the handful of salads on the menu (priced from $15 to $17) makes for a filling lunch.
For heartier appetites, there’s a truffled grilled cheddar sandwich on sourdough ($17), a lobster roll ($28), a prime rib French dip au jus ($24), a nicely stacked burger ($19), simply prepared fish ($26), and even market-priced stone crabs.
I found the turkey club ($18) to be perfectly shareable and delicious. Ample slices of turkey are layered with bacon, Bibb lettuce, tomato and a good smear of avocado spread on multigrain. You get that sandwich with a choice of salad or fries. Go for the fries – that way you can dip them into the garlicky aioli sauce that comes on the side.
Those not ready to venture beyond breakfast will find a selection of pastries, toast, granola and even a breakfast scramble of eggs, crème fraiche, avocado and chives on the menu. (Priced from $7 to $13.) To sip with your pastries and such there’s a variety of specialty coffee drinks ($2.50 to $4.50) as well as tea service ($5).
Dessert options include warm, house-made chocolate chip cookies ($9) and a banana split ($16).
The service: It seemed as if an entire team of servers attended to us. We found them to be efficient and polite. They visited often to remove empty dishes and empty sugar packets.
The setting: The indoor/outdoor feel of the sprawling spaces on the fourth floor, with potential conversation nooks, may tempt you to grasp for comparisons to other grand cities. But look at the view, that splendid view. You’re in beautiful West Palm Beach.
Every emergent metropolis needs a grand entrance, a statement structure that welcomes the world. In West Palm Beach, as the city rises as a cultural and lifestyle destination, that structure is this funky gray mansion. Its core may be a furniture store, but its crown is a place for dining and daydreaming.
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Walk-ins only; reservations not accepted.
Parking: Valet parking costs $8. Enter the driveway via the southeast side of the building. If you prefer to skip the valet, Restoration Hardware is an easy walk from CityPlace.