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The 20 best restaurants in Palm Beach County right now

Here’s a current snapshot of Palm Beach County restaurants we’re loving best at the moment. Next month, the snapshot might be different. This list, which is organized by city, includes only restaurants we have visited.

HMF at The Breakers, West Palm Beach

The Breakers’ snazzy lobby lounge, named after Breakers founder Henry Morrison Flagler, is a throw-back to the glam cocktail era – but it offers more than a nifty concept. The food is terrific. Pair the inspired bites with a classic cocktail or two and take in the vibe. For a little vintage drama, try the Baked Alaska.

HMF: In the lobby of The Breakers resort, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561-290-0104.

La Sirena, West Palm Beach

Chef and restaurateur Marcello Fiorentino has set the standard in fine Italian dining here. His fresh-made dishes and service are impeccable. His wine list is stellar as well, as underscored by “Wine Spectator,” which bestowed its Grand Award on La Sirena last year. This place of understated elegance is a must for any local who loves excellently prepared, authentic Italian food.

Marcello’s La Sirena: 6316 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-585-3128.

Grato, West Palm Beach

The fab new pizzeria on South Dixie Highway has been packed every night since its debut. Evenings at Grato, opened by the powerhouse team behind Palm Beach’s wildly popular Buccan bistro, is marked by the glow of a wood-burning pizza oven. Grato’s non-fussy menu lists crostini, pizza, pasta, salad and roasted meats.

Grato: 1901 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-404-1334.

Kitchen, West Palm Beach

Chef Matthew Byrne creates refined takes on comfort classics while his wife/partner, Aliza Bryne, keeps a gracious pace in the front of the house. The menu is seasonally inspired and beautifully executed. In addition to the small main dining room, there’s a lounge area as well as a private dining room to accommodate larger parties. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Kitchen: 319 Belvedere Road, #2, West Palm Beach; 561-249-2281.

Okeechobee Steakhouse, West Palm Beach

Expect no foodie lingo here, no “artisan” this or “hand-crafted” that, no menus tripped up in adjectives. But you will find a mighty fine steak. And you will find stellar service, the kind of service that brings you back to the warm, welcoming time capsule that is Okeechobee Steakhouse.

Okeechobee Steakhouse: 2854 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-683-5151.

Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach

There’s a good reason why Chef Julien Gremaud’s hip, sunny eatery is a busy spot at night: His small plates and shareable selections are both refined and decadent. But why limit your visit to this downtown West Palm eatery to nighttime when it serves one of the best weekend brunches in the county? Gremaud’s eggs Benedict dishes are sinful, as are his gently scrambled eggs dusted with piment d’Espelette, and his crab-avocado toast topped with an oozy egg. And if you’re lucky, that day’s special menu will include his outstanding rendition of shrimp and grits. The Jerez-spiked shrimp alone are worth the price of admission.

Avocado Grill: 125 Datura St., West Palm Beach; 561-623-0822.

Queen of Sheeba, West Palm Beach

Voted the ‘best new restaurant’ in the Post’s 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards, Queen of Sheeba is South Florida’s only Ethiopian restaurant. The Ethiopian-born restaurant owner and cook, Lojo Washington, presents the foods of her native land and the lightly sour injera bread, which serves as a scoop for stewed dishes and veggies she serves.

Queen of Sheeba: 716 N. Sapodilla Ave., West Palm Beach; 561-514-0615.

Pistache, West Palm Beach

It’s easy to see why Pistache has become a favorite on finicky Clematis Street: French favorites offered with a sophisticated touch, warm hospitality, lovely setting. The bistro never fails to impress. Come for lunch, dinner, cocktails or one of the most pleasant, a la carte Sunday brunches in central county.

Pistache: 101 N. Clematis St., #115, West Palm Beach; 561-833-5090

Buccan - Palm Beach

Whether you stop in for one of chef Clay Conley’s supreme small plates (he’s masterful with raw fish and seafood dishes) or settle in for a 14-ounce, wood-grilled prime New York strip steak and a night of people-watching, you’ve come to the best bistro in Palm Beach. Reservations are a must.

Buccan: 350 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561-833-3450.

Meat Market, Palm Beach

This steakhouse in Palm Beach was voted ‘best restaurant’ in the Post’s 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards. Chef Sean Brasel has created a sleek temple of food and drink designed to wow diners beyond the carnivores. Yes, carnivores will find nirvana in a menu that offers a selection of reserve cuts, such as dramatically presented mega-steaks, all tender beneath a gorgeous char.

Meat Market Palm Beach: 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach; 561-354-9800.

Café Boulud, Palm Beach

Chef Daniel Boulud’s Palm Beach eatery offers more than a stylish backdrop for dining — it offers some of the best food on the island. Executive chef Rick Mace is a true star, a culinary storyteller who knows how to capture the imagination and palate with food and presentation.

Café Boulud: 301 Australian Ave. (in The Brazilian Court hotel), Palm Beach; 561-655-6060.

PB Catch, Palm Beach

PB Catch not only has the best raw bar in town, where the fresh oyster selection is hard to beat, it has Chef de Cuisine Aaron Black’s fanciful “sea-cuterie” creations, as well as his beautifully prepared fish and seafood dishes. The interiors are serenely rich, the ambiance relaxed and the service polished.

PB Catch: 251 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach; 561-655-5558.

The Grille, Wellington

It’s not unusual to spot equestrians in their riding gear at this stylish Wellington spot. It’s a reminder that you’re dining in horse country. It’s also Clayton Carnes country. He’s The Grille’s talented chef and co-owner, the guy who recently won an episode of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”. Carnes is a meat-lover’s chef, but delicious steaks is not all he does superbly – his menu, tailored to a mainstream but sophisticated set, is nicely varied. He also makes some pretty incredible gelato.

The Grille:12300 Southshore Blvd., Wellington; 561-793-2110.

El Camino, Delray Beach

Mexican soul food reigns at this hipster Tequila bar in Delray’s hot dining district, as Post reviewer Carlos Frías found. Try the smoked brisket enchiladas, lavished with a slow-cooked molé negro sauce. Wash it down with your choice of mescal or reposado — or any of the 200-plus varieties of tequila poured at the bar. Take in a setting that’s all funk and fun, but not in the wild, Cancun-on-Memorial-Day way.

El Camino: 15 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-5350.

Cut 432, Delray Beach

Delray’s Atlantic Avenue is famous for having a little something for every culinary and nightlife craving. Cut 432 provides an upscale, cozy place to peruse the Avenue’s goings-on toward the eastern end of the block. Sweetly classic touches like shiny crystal chandeliers contrast with the crisp, modern marble bar top and the white leather bar chairs.

Cut 432: 432 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-272-9898.

Brule Bistro, Delray Beach

Brule Bistro in Delray is lively in both atmosphere and food. Where some pub chefs might include the obligatory flatbread on the menu, Chef Jason Binder offers a crispy pork cheek “pizza,” a crispy, tostada-sized round crowned with slow-braised pork cheek, Asiago cheese, arugula, pickled red onions and oven-dried tomato, served upon a board with droplets of fried rosemary aioli.

Brule Bistro: 200 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561-274-2046.

Max’s Harvest, Delray Beach

In every dish, in every bite, at Max’s Harvest you can taste the commitment to using the freshest ingredients available. In keeping with the eatery’s season-driven concept, executive chef Eric Baker uses as his main ingredient one of the fresh ingredients available. The menu changes regularly to keep presenting diners with a dish that is both new and familiar.

Max’s Harvest: 169 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach; 561-381-9970.

13 American Table, Boca Raton

Post reviewer Carlos Frías put it best when he wrote that this eatery “plays to locals fleeing the Botox Boca glitz. It has the feel of a modern industrial mountain lodge: A chandelier made of concrete wire mesh; textured chartreuse walls; up-lit wooden branches. It has an earthy, rustic vibe with a modern twist — think Daniel Boone in skinny jeans.” Contemplate the visual as you nosh on 13 American Table’s seasonal ceviche, served with an avocado emulsion, or the barbecue pork belly tacos with vinegar slaw or the tender grilled octopus in a tarragon-laced salsa verde. All so eclectically American.

13 American Table: 451 E. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton; 561-409-2061.

The Cooper, Palm Beach Gardens

This spacious, rural-chic restaurant, which offers plenty of indoor and outdoor dining areas at its PGA Commons location, is the buzzy spot at PGA Commons, where locals drop in for happy hour and stay for the flavorful bites. The charcuterie and cheese plates make for great starters, as does the crispy falafel with tahini dipping sauce. Brunch lovers, take note: Chef Adam Brown’s brunch is an inspired affair, with a diverse range of offerings.

The Cooper: 4610 PGA Blvd., Suite 100 at PGA Commons, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-622-0032.

Krave, Tequesta

Within a cozy, comfortable space, Chef Michael Rolchigo creates some of the best fine-dining dishes in north county. He pays close attention to detail, from appetizers to desserts, each course exquisite. It’s no wonder the former Jupiter Island Grill chef has brought in quite a following to this Tequesta space. His food is inspired and creative, but it’s also accessible to the mainstream palate. Reservations are a must.

Krave: 626 U.S. 1, Tequesta; 561-575-9222.

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