It’s been too long since I did a Road Trips for Food (RTFF) and I couldn’t think of a better one to pick than Jardin in West Palm Beach, Florida to remind me why I love doing them. The website describes Jardin as a restaurant that “offers ferociously seasonal modern American cuisine and craft cocktails.” Very true words, indeed.
Jardin opened up this past spring to overwhelmingly terrific reviews. It is the creation of the very talented husband/wife team of Jordan Lerman and Stephanie Cohen Lerman. To give you some idea of the credentials behind these two, Executive Chef Jordan worked at 11 Madison in NYC before going to one of my favorite Boca Raton spots, The Rebel House. Executive Pastry Chef Stephanie held the same position at The Rebel House after working at Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC.
There were seven us on the RTFF. Leslie is not able to eat dairy and the restaurant could not have been more accommodating. Dishes were modified while staying authentic to the essence of the food and Leslie commented that she was able to eat more on this RTFF than she had been able to in other restaurants.
For the rest of us, we ordered quite a few dishes and shared everything. The aleppo butter complemented the pineapple cilantro flavor of the warm madeleines that started our meal. Favorite dishes were the Sweet Potato and Pork, Duck Wings and the Beef Carpacio. The Fall Salad is made with beets and Jerusalem artichokes, fall vegetables, pumpernickel, grains and house ricotta. It was a perfect blend of texture and taste.
Yet, as we all know, Desserts Required is about the main course – DESSERT and Chef Stephanie exceeded our expectations with her Fall menu! Whereas there were a couple of apps and main dishes that some were not excited about, there was 100% consensus that Jardin’s desserts are outstanding.
You’re Welcome is the clever name for a dessert that must hear ‘Thank you’ on a regular basis. A scoop of each ice cream flavor (chocolate, bacon and peanut butter) sat next to brownie madeleines, banana brulee, cherry meringues, hot fudge and whipped cream. The only problem was that I forgot to order two of them!
Fall is definitely in the air and Jardin’s Fall Brulee with its pumpkin crème brulee, toffee cake, maple sabayon, granola with rum raisin ice cream has all of the comforting warm flavors we all seek. Of course, apple pie is a must have this time of year and I love the deconstructed creative way that Stephanie put hers together. There are three layers of cheddar puff pastry with apple filling in between. Vanilla cream, house apple butter, street nuts and cookie butter ice cream are just the right accompaniments for this dish.
The combination of peaches and cream has always been a personal favorite and Stephanie’s twist on this classic dish was very refreshing. The crust was filled with flavor and the lemon foam filling was topped with compressed peaches. The presentation is fantastic and each step of its assembly is done with care. Don’t leave a drop of the strawberry sherbet or even the brown sugar crumb on your plate. You would regret it later.
Which leads to the last dessert we ate, vanilla custard cake. I had this once before at Jardin and I remember foolishly wondering if this simple sounding dessert would really be special. Guess what? It is! Stephanie has an army of Smurfs in the form of adorable crispy blue meringues that decorate the plate along with blueberries, blueberry sauce and sweet corn ice cream.
As you have figured out by now, Jardin is a restaurant that you have to try. The service was wonderful and it was clear that our server Brittani knew the menu well. The symmetry behind the open kitchen is harmonious and the love, passion and pride that Jordan and Stephanie have for each dish served is crystal clear. Open for lunch during the week and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, you are sure to have many delicious meals at Jardin which is, truly, a gem to be treasured.
330 Clematis Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33401