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Café L’Europe, in Palm Beach.

During season this is THE place to see and be seen in the Palm Beach social scene, for dinner.

The restaurant has two sections: a formal dining room on the right side of the building, and the bistro and bar area on the left side. Obviously, the bistro/bar area gets pretty loud and wild. There’s much more action (ie: “Father/daughter” dinners) in that area than the formal room. If it gets crazy enough, a few women will get up on the piano and dance. Lots of money, old and nouveau, in the room. Men should definitely wear a jacket. Tie is optional.

The food is excellent, but very pricey. First course/appetizers are about $20 each. There is a caviar menu that starts at about $25 and shoots up from there. The main course will run you from $30 to $40. Desserts are about $12. Menu is continental, with an emphasis on fresh seafood.

The wine list is an encyclopedia. Probably 50 pages, separated by type (champagne, white, red), country, and then varietal. Plan on 10 minutes to wind your way through it. Bottles of various vintage Screaming Eagles, Bryants, Harlans, Lafite, Petrus and Margaux, interspersed among more common selections. The California cab list is over 4 pages long. Prices are about 200% of retail, but that’s to be expected. Nothing is a bargain, but you wouldn’t expect to find one here.

Wines are served in Reidel style glass. The ceiling is decorated with a design consisting of wine bottles. The towels in the men’s room are kept in empty Screaming Eagle cases. It received a WS listing as one of its restaurant selections. This place emphasizes wine.

Recommended if you have the cash for an expensive night on the town.
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