Dinner at Coolinary–Jupiter, Florida
|April 3, 2013||Posted by jcogswell1 under Dinner, Travel|
Florida doesn’t have the best culinary reputation on the planet. Before I started frequenting restaurants like Campiello, Chez Boet and Sea Salt in Naples with my parents, I was convinced that all Florida had to offer were chain restaurants like Outback and Chili’s. And while those restaurants are good every once in awhile, I really enjoy finding great restaurants that are so good you swear you were sitting in Chicago or New York and not Florida. Coolinary, located in Jupiter, Florida, is definitely one of those restaurants.
Coolinary has a farm-to-table concept that focuses on using meat, dairy and produce from local purveyors. Tim Lipman is the executive chef and owner of the restaurant and was personally involved in cooking my dinner!
Based on what I ate on this night (and, true to my style, I tried a bite of almost everyone’s food – there were six of us), I can honestly and authoritatively say that everything that we ate at Coolinary was exceptional.
We also had a really great “experience” outside of just the food. Our waiter was knowledgeable and friendly and helped guide us through the menu offering lots of different suggestions. Also, because we sat at the “counter,” we got a front row seat of much of the cooking action, including the preparation of my whole deep fried fish – see below!
Seeing all of the chefs prepare the food made the whole dining experience really interactive and I think made me enjoy my time there even more! The company wasn’t half bad either – I had a wonderful time with Tommy, his brother Johnny, his Mom Carol and his Aunt Pat (who is my number one YoungFoodies fan!) and Uncle Bill.
Me and Johnny
Pat and Bill
Perhaps even better than the company (just kidding) was the food. Coolinary encourages sharing food so that everyone gets to try a bit of everything. For the appetizers, the group got a couple orders of Beets 3 Ways, an order of fried shrimp and deviled eggs!
The Beets 3 Ways salad was fantastic and included roasted beets, pickled beets and boiled beets that were each served alongside some some tangy goat cheese. I cannot wait to recreate the pickled beets at home – they were slightly sour and had great flavor.
The deviled eggs were served four to an order and were a great “nibble” (which is what they are categorized as on the menu). I am a huge deviled egg fan and these were as good as any I have tasted.
The fried shrimp appetizer, which Johnny ordered, was probably the biggest surprise of the bunch. In addition to having large pieces of shrimp, the dish also featured fried artichoke leaves, candied cashews and green chili goat cheese aioli. Strange sounding combination? Yes. Delicious regardless of the strange combination? Double Yes! Any time you change up an already delicious dipping sauce like homemade aioli and make it better, I am pretty much going to be all over that dish (goat cheese is genius!).
After we finished the appetizers, we moved on to my favorite part of the meal which included a whole fried sea bass, shrimp udon dish, boneless southern fried chicken and waffles and grilled chicken sandwich (with the volume turned up!).
Carol ordered the shrimp udon that was served in a flavorful shrimp stock with lots of fresh vegetables.
Johnny had the grilled chicken sandwich which was no ordinary grilled chicken sandwich. In addition to the grilled chicken, the sandwich also had lots of melted brie, fresh basil, bacon and a “seasonal preserve” that added a bit of sweetness to the whole thing. Johnny didn’t love the preserve all that much, but I thought it was needed to cut the richness of the melted brie.
Tommy and I split the remaining two dishes fried chicken over waffles and whole fried sea bass (Pat also ordered the fried fish). The fried chicken and waffles was a lot like what I had at Little Goat a couple weeks back. Although Little Goat’s was bone in chicken, the slaw, breading and waffle were all very similar to Coolinary’s and both were equally delicious!
Finally, I have to finish this post with my favorite part of the meal – the whole fried sea bass. I think that the pictures do the best job of showing how much I really enjoyed this meal:
I literally loved this fish so much, which thanks to the frying, was perfectly moist on the inside with crispy skin on the outside, that I ate every edible part of it including the skin, meat and even the eye ball! Everything was perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. This was a special on the menu, so I am not sure how often you will be able to find it, but if you can, order it! It was absolutely delicious.
Overall, if you couldn’t tell by my overly enthusiastic post, I loved Coolinary! The menu is big enough that you could go back over and over (which I plan to when I am visiting Tommy’s family in Jupiter) and try something new each time. I am already eying a couple of different dishes – I am looking at you Pork Shoulder in a Coconut Curry! So if you find yourself in the Palm Beach area of Florida, please give Coolinary a try.