Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: New Home for Maison Carlos in West Palm Beach

March 30th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Maison Carlos, a white-tablecloth Italian, has a new maison on South Dixie — and a new menu. “We like this neighborhood,” said Lanie Farias, co-owner, and spouse of the eatery’s namesake, Carlos Farias. They live in the nearby El Cid area south of Belvedere Road between Flagler and Dixie Highway.

Clematis no longer a good fit

They left their former 162-seat site on Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach last summer. “The landlord was fabulous.  He was the reason we kept staying,” Lanie said. “But Clematis wasn’t going in the direction we hoped it would be. It’s becoming too watering-hole-ish again. We were hopeful it would be more upscale dining, but there are more clubs and bars opening now.”

The club scene is incongruous with their older diners, who told her they don’t like the parking situation and aren’t comfortable walking blocks away to park in garages, she said.

 A make-over of chicken take-out

So the Fariases picked up the small, 4o-seat spot that was left when Chix-on-the-Block, a rotisserie chicken take-out, left. “We gutted the whole place, down to the ceilings. The floors and walls are new. We have new equipment. It was the first time I’ve been involved in remodeling and tear down – it was a lot of work, but worth it. I learned a lot,” Lanie said. “It has a clean, neat look – chic but simple.”

Their original chef, Robert Dedrick, came with them, as did several other staff members. Popular pasta dishes (Bolognese, alla vodka) will remain on the menu, as will the veal picatta, and chicken and mushroom risotto –  best-sellers from the previous incarnation. But there are several new ones that make the menu “more contemporary,” she said.

Lobster, snails and hangar steak are new

“There’s a lobster-black truffle mac n’ cheese that’s my favorite. It’s amazing…so decadent. We do a nice hangar steak with our house fries that are ‘kissed’ with truffle. We have a fun new appetizer: snails in a pail. A covered dish is full of snails cooked with garlic, lemon and wine. It’s great.”

A tilapia is on the menu – crispy, and served with a tarragon cream sauce and though it’s been met with lukewarm reception, she deems it “better than yellowtail. Maybe it’s because I like mild fish.”

 About 100 bottles fill out the wine list, and there are a few beers.

Three tables are on the sidewalk for al fresco dining, but don’t go for lunch – it’s not served. “We wanted to spend more time with Alex,” Lanie said of her 1-year-old. “Now we have most of our days with him, so that’s nice. We love being near home.”

Maison Carlos

  • 3010 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach
  • Phone: (561) 659-6524
  • Open Monday-Saturday, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 ellen lowry // Apr 1, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Better than ever. Atmosphere chic, food fabulous. Can’t wait to try everythong on the menu.

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