Buccan Can…


Who knew Palm Beach had delicious food?

Sophisticated cuisine has always run a distant second to adult beverages in the realm of the uptight, affluent Anglos.

Case in point, when I lived with the Kennedy clan, food was white, tasteless and Pouilly Fuisse ruled the night.

A scrumptious meal in Palm Beach has historically been hard to find and then I ran into a woman at the Nike store in Santa Monica, California and my impression of the Lilly Pulitzer pink and kelly green world was turned upside down.

My chance informant informed me that a relative had opened a restaurant on County Road in PB which intersects the rarified world of Worth Avenue.

buccan restaurant can make the fantasy of great food in Palm Beach County a reality.

buccan Dining Room
buccan Dining Room

Knowing that I would be invading the pinky’s up world in December, I dialed up my Open Table app and reserved at buccan for a Wednesday night.

Point of information…buccan is a wood frame for roasting meat over a fire.

I did some homework and became better acquainted with chef/owner, Clay Conley. He has made a big impression on the community. Hailing originally from rural Maine, Conley attended Florida State University and earned his chops in Japan and back in the States, he became a protege of Todd English.

He was the chef at the highly touted restaurant, Azul, at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. After opening buccan in 2011, he was a James Beard semi-finalist nominee for Best Chef.

Chef/Owner Clay Conley

We strolled into buccan and were warmly greeted by the staff. We were early because that’s how my mother rolls.

We sat in the lounge/living room among 60-80 year-old titans of the beach, accompanied by trophy companions. A plethora of plastic surgery graced the couches along with hip, well-dressed preppy and pearl accessorized professionals.

Wood-Grilled Prime Burger
Wood-Grilled Prime Burger

The menu featured a selection of “Raw” treats such as hamachi sashimi and steak and tuna tartare, oysters, and a range of salads. “Crispy” selections ranged from short rib empanada, green cay squash blossoms to crab cakes. “Flour & Water” featured pastas and pizza and “Large Plates” included hamburgers, steak, seafood and fish.

Kale Salad
Baby Kale Salad

Under the guidance of our efficient and affable server, David, we embarked on our culinary adventure with a delicious baby kale salad adorned with pine nuts, currants and parmesan ($15) and an outrageously delicious mushroom pizza with gruyere, grilled green onion and black truffle vinaigrette ($16).

Mushroom Pizza
Mushroom Pizza

Plates are meant to be shared so we took a consensus and ordered local swordfish ($32 with 2 sides) with crispy parmesan french fries and asparagus.

Local Swordfish
Local Swordfish

We selected the featured French red wine which, after breathing for a bit, turned out to be lovely. Manager, Fabrice Saignant, a debonaire Frenchman from Lyon, France, graced our table and added knowledge and panache to the evening.

The piece de resistance was the half order (huge) of decadent, rich, melt in your mouth ricotta gnocchi with lobster cream, Maine lobster, tarragon and baby kale ($18).

Ricotta Gnocchi with Lobster
Ricotta Gnocchi with Lobster

Satiated, we departed with the knowledge that buccan had confirmed that fine dining is alive and well in the Palm Beaches.

Buccan, 350 South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida. Open daily for dinner 5pm-12am. Reservations a must during the high season. www.buccanpalmbeach.com.

One Comment

  1. Dear Toby,

    1st, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy new year, and thank you for the great review of buccan you wrote on your blog. I of course read it and shared it with staff members and owners of the restaurant right away.
    It is such a compliment when our guests take time to write good things about us.
    2nd I want to apologize for the delay of my response. Here at buccan we have been so busy over the holidays, we had an incredible end of the year, and haven’t really slow down.

    Thanks again for the review.

    I hope to see you soon at buccan.


    Fabrice Saignant
    Service Manager buccan / Imoto

    ps: i tried to respond through your email address but it doesn’t seem to work.

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