Friday, September 7, 2012

Pelican Café - simple pleasures, sophisticated choices - North Palm Beach

Pelican Café
612 US Highway 1
Lake Park, FL 33403

Hours change to accommodate seasons – call to confirm
Breakfast and lunch: Tues-Fri -11 a.m. 2 p.m.
   Sat/Sun: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner Tues-Fri: 5 – 9:30 p.m.
Catering available

By Jane Feehan

A few surprises await visitors to the Pelican Café, a busy restaurant north of West Palm Beach. The owners tout the café as a neighborhood place, “where Nantucket meets the Florida Keys,” but I’d drive miles to return to this eatery.

The décor, with its polished dark wood floors, vibrant watercolor paintings and tables dressed with fresh flowers hints of something special to come from the kitchen.  

Chef/Owner Mark Frangione delivers standards with a twist, Italian specialties from his mother's kitchen repertoire and special customer requests. He doesn’t shrink from the unusual. I savored perhaps the best chicken tacos I’ve ever eaten. Tender slices of blackened chicken, a generous slice of avocado and fresh chopped tomatoes sat atop finely shredded cabbage drizzled with a peppery flavored vinegar. A flavorful, slightly sweet remoulade balanced the savory dish. Fellow diner ordered a mahi mahi sandwich accompanied by sweet, finely shredded coleslaw of green and purple cabbage and carrots – an unusual blend of flavors and texture.
Pelican Café presents an array of lunch or dinner dishes, including Tuscan pizzas with some unusual toppings. Pasta favorites punctuate the menu, along with interesting salads (how about a goat cheese fritter salad?), and taste-tingling appetizers. Rack of lamb and filet mignon join a number of chicken dishes and fresh fish entrees. Their popular breakfast spotlights eggs Benedict, omelets and frittatas.  Moderately priced, the menu also includes a number of award-winning house-made desserts and an excellent wine list.   
Dinner reservations suggested.  A pet-friendly patio provides an excellent dining venue year round.

A word on the converted house the café occupies: The building was the guest house of Boston entrepreneur Harry Seymour Kelsey (1879-1957), once the largest land holder in Palm Beach County. Lake Park was named Kelsey City until 1939, long after Kelsey was hit by financial losses of the land bust of the late 1920s. 
Tags: Breakfast in Palm Beach County, dining Palm Beach County, fine dining Palm Beach County, Sunday brunch North Palm Beach, pet-friendly dining, pet-friendly restaurant, dog-friendly North Palm Beach, Kelsey City, catering Palm Beaches, dining Palm Beach area

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