Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Darling Evening At Darbster

On my recent trip to Florida to visit my grandma, we dined at one of my favorite restaurants: Darbster. The restaurant has two locations and we opted to go to the West Palm Beach one, since we were nearby shopping at City Place. It just so happened that night that they posted a fantastic deal on their Facebook page to reward their loyal fans. The deal was a complimentary order of the palm cakes with an entree order. I was excited because not only are the palm cakes valued at $8, but they are one of my favorite dishes at Darbster.

The palm cakes were brought out fairly quickly, which was great, since my grandma and I were both famished.

The palm cakes were just as scrumptious as I remembered. The outside was crispy and fried to perfection, which the inside was nice and crumbly. The hearts of palm had a slightly fishy flavor that enabled it to mimic crab cakes very well. The palm cakes were coated in a creamy aioli taste that had tasted of harissa and bell peppers. It added a great depth to the dish and took it over the top.

Next, my dish came out: the Quinoa Loaf.

This is a very innovative dish, since the quinoa and vegetables have been combined to simulate a meat loaf. The end result was a very crispy, savory dish, which did not resemble quinoa at all. My favorite aspect of the dish is the crunchy fried onions on top, adding a nice bitterness to the dish. The gravy provided the loaf with even more flavor and even had a slightly sweet taste. The steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes were nice accompaniments and made the dish even more of a comfort food.

Lastly, my grandma had the Barley Filet Au Poirve w/ Cognac Creme, Asparagus, and Caramelized Shallot & Rosemary Fingerling Mash. This was a special Entree, since it was French week. 

This dish was spectacular. Thankfully, the dish was too much for my grandma and I was able to finish it for her. The filet had a great texture and a fantastic crispiness and savoriness that was reminiscent of its meat counterpart. I enjoyed the cognac creme, which had a slight tartness and enhanced the flavor of the barley filet very well. The caramelized shallot and rosemary fingerling mash had a unique blend of spices and seasonings. The balsamic reduction was a nice touch and added an extra tartness and slight sweetness to the dish. 

Darbster is a must go to when in the South Florida area. The West Palm location overlooks a picturesque river and the patio provides a lovely, relaxing view of the wildlife. On top of that, the restaurant is always full of adorable dogs that provide an extra level of entertainment. While Darbster is quite pricey, the restaurant constantly offers deals to email and Facebook subscribers, as well as donates its proceeds to its own animal rescue organization. I cannot wait to dine there again on my next visit to Florida.