First Look at Gratify American Gastropub in West Palm Beach
The whole concept behind the gastropub is a place that focuses on custom cocktails, craft beer, and wine while offering a menu that's more creative than just typical bar food. It's a place to drink, to hang, and to relax but also one where you can be surprised and comforted by the cuisine. There is a host of restaurant/bars that have been doing this for a long time without the label gastropub. Some of them, like Brother Tuckers and Tryst, are among South Florida's most unusual places to eat and drink.
|Potato skin from Gratify: Big potato appeal.|
The menu itself has been designed with small plates in mind -- most items top off around $15, with a few more expensive entrées clocking in at just over $20. There's an eclectic spread of dishes that run the gamut: Risotto balls with roasted red pepper aioli, shrimp and grits, and barbecue pork sliders all share spots on the list. This provides a number of different ways to go: Do you want to stick to pub grub like chicken wings and potato skins or go with a vaguely Italian theme courtesy of pizza, salad, and antipasti? Although that may seem attractive at first, it can also lead to a somewhat schizophrenic and ill-conceived meal, especially if diners aren't all on the same page.
I visited over the recent boat show weekend and sampled a few of the items on the menu from each category.
|The shrimp and grits themselves were excellent, but the sauce was a little watery.|
After picking over the potato chips, we received our initial plates. The first was a dish of Florida rock shrimp and grits ($12) with the addition of Manchego cheese. The grits had a lovely, hearty texture and great flavor. Although the sauce accompanying the saute of shrimp was on the watery side, the flavors of garlic, tomato, and bell pepper were nice. I could also appreciate that Gratify chose to steer clear of heavy cream in it as well. Another plus: Those rock shrimp were cooked flawlessly -- tender and sweet and moist.
|St. Louis ribs had a pleasantly tingly vinegar sauce but were poorly cooked.|
Following up those two starters, we tried Gratify's take on gourmet potato skins ($10). Made with thick skins, goat cheese, and oven-roasted tomatoes, these potatoes offered the kind of slightly greasy satisfaction most bar skins do, only with slightly more refined execution. To go with them, we tried an open-faced turkey and egg sandwich from the entrée menu ($12). To be honest, the dish was sort of odd. The menu didn't describe it as a sandwich per se, but it came on a crusty piece of bread layered with turkey, tomato, arugula, a fried egg, and gobs of Muenster cheese. I found it a little heavy and bland, but my tablemate enjoyed it. "The thing I like about this," he said, "is you can eat it any time of day."
|An odd, open-faced turkey and egg sandwich featured a ton of Muenster cheese.|
Look for more on Gratify in the coming months.