Monday, September 8, 2014
29 Miles (to golf course in Jupiter)
Our plans to hit up the fitness center this morning quickly disintegrate as we ignore our early alarm. However, we did get up early enough to enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out to meet Jack in Jupiter for a round of golf. But first we meet in the lobby “Living Room” for coffee and newspapers.
The breakfast restaurant here is one of my favorites. We always choose to sit outside overlooking the pool and the ocean. The servers are attentive, the coffee strong and the breakfast delicious. This morning I go off the menu (are you surprised?) and order 2 poached eggs, spinach, sliced tomatoes, smoked salmon and fruit along with a decaf latte. Rich orders 2 poached eggs with toast and ham and regular coffee. We both considered the “green” energy drink, but passed on it for today – maybe tomorrow.
Breakfast is delicious and we make an effort to linger, but we must get moving. Too bad. Tomorrow we have nothing scheduled and can sit as long as we like.
The Golf Club of Jupiter was chosen for today due to it being halfway between where Jack is staying and the Four Seasons. All the reviews say that the staff is super friendly and the course is playable. It is also inexpensive. When we arrive, we are immediately greeted by one of the staff who is, indeed, a really friendly guy. That theme continues in the Pro Shop. How can you not like it here?
The driving range is cool – you hit your balls into the water just like we had at Coeur d’Alene in May. (Read about it HERE).
The course has some interesting holes and is in pretty good shape. We have a lot of fun playing with Jack and noticing that his game has come leaps and bounds since he has been working on it. I end up shooting very well and Rich does, too. Makes me happy after getting beat up so much at PGA National!
The Golf Club of Jupiter may not be the fanciest golf course nor the best manicured, but it definitely wins points for being the friendliest. That is a very important factor in a game that is as frustrating as this one!
We say our goodbyes to Jack and talk about how we will be meeting up with him at his home in Georgia in just about a week so that he and Rich can start their bike journey. On our drive back to the Seasons, we take the scenic route along the coast to view the yachts in the harbor and the hug mansions on the water. It is incredible how much $$ there is in Palm Beach. Most of the homes are still boarded up (it is not yet the “season” of course). They are winter homes… I check up on some of the properties on Zillow as we past. The ones on the water range anywhere from several million to a whopping $40 Million!
After a little down time, we prepare to go out for our annual dinner at Buccan – a local restaurant that we fell in love with when we first visited here back in 2011. We saved a drop of our bottle of rose last night in our fridge and elect to sit on our balcony for a small happy hour before going to dinner. The breeze has cooled it off and we enjoy watching a couple of kite boarders gliding back and forth being whipped around by the strong wind.
Rich knows his way around this area very well and gets us to Buccan without the need for any gps guidance. As usual, we have booked “our” table (Table #2) that is overlooking the kitchen. We feel like rock stars when they greet us and take us to our place. Buccan is most definitely a Palm Beach “see and be seen” sort of place and tonight we have the prime spot. Our server comes over and introduces himself (Norman). He tell us we are going to have a fabulous evening and he will be taking care of us all night. Perfect.
A glass of rose champagne is shared while we contemplate the menu. Most of the dishes have not changed since last year and we are happy about that. There are some standards that we love. We order the white anchovies to start and are pleased when they are presented to us as “boquerones” (Spanish for anchovies). We ate a lot of boquerones while in Spain and these can stand up to them. They have a chili oil on them that is addictive (Janel, you should try this at home).
Every time Norman comes to our table to discuss the menu with us he flips a little switch on his reading glasses and has “headlights!” The glasses are awesome! I found some online later – HERE
Since Monday night is half price bottle of wine night, we ask for help in choosing a bottle of white. Norman makes a suggestion and brings us a tast of a New Zealand Sauvignon, but it is a bit bright for our tastes. He sends for the sommelier to assist. Levin is a great somm. He is friendly and approachable. He helps us choose a Sancerre and brings out a taste before bringing the bottle. We love it.
For our second course we also stick to an old favorite – Warm Brussel Sprout Caesar. This is simply a standout dish and one that is hard to pass up.
To continue we put in a request for the Sweet Corn Ravioli with King Crab. It was recommended by the Amex concierge when I made our reservation. Norman confirms that it is outstanding. They are both correct.
It is so much fun to watch the young chefs in action. The entire kitchen staff moves like a well-oiled machine. They take notice of us (since we are practically sitting in their laps and commenting on all their food) and give us nods and smiles.
Our dinner concludes with the Grilled Octopus. It is also nothing less than amazing.
What a fantastic night. I will have to say that Norman really made it special for us. He is one of the best servers we have had anywhere and we really appreciated his efforts. At the end of the evening Levin came back by our table and gave us his card. He told us that it can be very hard to get in during the “season” and that we should contact him if we want to come. Perfect service. Perfect food. Perfect company.