Every Wednesday, two friends and myself get together for dinner to talk politics, religion, gun control and the joys of sex. Just kidding on the last one, but after a few martinis the subject does come up every now and then!
This week our usual get-together also involved a birthday celebration so we wanted to go somewhere a little special instead of one of the regular restaurants we hit up. We’ve been talking about Kathy’s Gazebo Cafe in Boca Raton for a while now and never seem to make it over, so we decided a birthday celebration warranted dinner at this French-Continental spot on Federal Highway and Spanish River Blvd.
We had a 7pm reservation, we arrived on time and were seated immediately as the restaurant only had a few tables. The maitre’d and the servers were clad in tuxedos reminiscent of a by-gone era of fine dining. The décor of the restaurant seemed lost in time as well. Pinkish colored velour booths and chairs, silver flatware and fine china made one of my table mates say, “I feel like I’m in a cruise ship dining room.”
It definitely was a throw-back with service and ambiance you don’t experience everyday and a dress code where “jackets requested” is the norm.
While the table was elegantly set, one of the servers came around with a litre of water in a plastic bottle, filled our glasses and left the bottle on the table.
Definitely didn’t see that one coming. Suddenly a plastic bottle was alongside fine china and seemed as out of place as one of the tuxedo clad servers checking out customers at a Walmart.
Our drinks arrived as well as several pieces of crusty French bread which we just couldn’t get enough of.
In addition to the regular menu, there is a special fixed price menu being offered “off season.”
We settled on a few appetizers, one of them being Escargots Bourguignone. As they say, “when in Rome!” Served with traditional garlic butter, the snails were large and cooked perfectly according to my table mates who couldn’t convince me to partake of this French delicacy.
I took the safe route and ordered a shrimp cocktail, three jumbo shrimp with a traditional cocktail sauce. Nothing special about this appetizer.
Next up were our main courses.
Off the fixed price menu came the Beef Wellington, a nice size piece of filet wrapped in pastry and cooked to a perfect temperature. It was thoroughly enjoyed and some of it even went home as it was a hearty dish.
Diner number two opted for something you don’t get just anywhere – Calf’s Liver with Bacon & Onion. By the look of his plate at the end of the meal, I can only assume it was delicious. It’s also one of those dishes you can’t talk me into trying. On a serious note, he did say it was a great choice and was very tasty.
Diner number three ordered the two tournedos of beef. We usually hit up a steakhouse, such as Abe & Louie’s or Ruth’s Chris on our Wednesday gatherings, and his comments when asked how his filet was went something like this – “it’s one of the best filets I’ve had.”
What did I choose for dinner? I couldn’t not go for anything but the house speciality, the Dover Sole which is said to be flown in fresh from Holland. While it wasn’t filleted table side, our server brought the whole fish out on a silver platter for me to look at before being filleted, then quickly returned with it deboned and accented with a lemon butter sauce.
It was mild, buttery and simply delicious. At $52 it’s the most expensive item on the restaurant’s menu.
I did, however, encounter four bones that were not removed during the filleting process.
Since we were celebrating a birthday, the celebrant received a free dessert, a Raspberry Pillow while the rest of opted for the ice cream filled Profiteroles topped with a chocolate sauce.
A perfect ending to a great meal.
While a bit on the expensive side, Kathy’s Gazebo is perfect for one of those special occasion dinners like we had tonight. Just be ready to experience dining the “old fashioned way.”