When it comes to the Palm Beach dining scene, images of stuffy servers presenting elaborate, multi-course dishes may quickly come to mind, but Buccan has set out to prove otherwise.
A staple on the island for more than a decade, the upscale restaurant first made a name for itself offering inventive American menu featuring “small plate, big flavor creations.” Since then, it has become one of the most popular restaurants on Palm Beach.
Thanks to six-time James Beard Award nominee Clay Conley, the menu features approachable favorites like Maine lobster ceviche, steak tartare, and an inventive grilled carrot salad, along with some unexpected finds (think hot dog panini with Gruyere, English pea ravioli, and grilled Florida pink shrimp saltado).
The beautifully designed, industrial-style dining room features high ceilings and exposed duct work. Both the restaurant and buzzing bar were bustling the night we visited. Adding to the vibrant scene is an open kitchen showcasing the culinary talents of Chef Conley and his team.
Request to be seated in one of their sumptuous booths or at a table offering a front row view of the nearby lively kitchen.
We recommend starting off with a creative cocktail like the smoked jalapeno margarita or a classic Martini.
Pair it up with an order of the decadent tuna crisps or rich short rib empanadas, which are two of their signature offerings and should not be missed.
The spicy pork tacos, which you can order by the piece, arrived overflowing with melt-in-your-mouth meat topped with a flavorful salsa verde.
For main events, the squid ink orecchiette was a tasty standout filled with conch and Italian sausage. The Prime New York strip was cooked to perfection and accompanied by white asparagus and ham gratin. Additional sides large enough to share include parmesan fries and garlic spinach.
Some of their comfort fare offerings come with a nice twist like the sweet corn agnolotti featuring bacon, ricotta and Espelette butter or the bone-in “Char Siu” pork chop featuring black garlic turnip puree.
In addition to Buccan, the team also operates the gourmet to-go Buccan Sandwich Shop located right next door with a second location in West Palm Beach; Imoto, an Asian-inspired “little sister”; and Grato, a “neighborhood joint” in West Palm Beach that serves upsophisticated-yet-casual Italian fare.
Buccan is located at 350 S. County Road.