Dining & Divining

One of the prettiest and historic restaurants in Palm Beach has to be the 264 Grill.
Historic, because it is housed in an old Mizner building at 264 South County Road
with an unique conversion that still has the original wooden beams in the ceiling and
the old stone fireplace. The prettiest because the interior reminds one of a Tuscan
farm house, with the warm red tones and rustic colors on the walls, with lots of
greenery and colorful prints on the walls. The atmosphere is European with the
influence of the Mizner touch. Part Spanish, part Italian and the food is just as varied.
Seafood is a speciality, and has been for many years. The owners, Patti Gatti
and the Chef, Avery Watson welcome loyal customers who return many times.

House specials include Maine Lobsters prepared in various ways at market
prices. The lobster is flown in daily from Maine, the other seafood is
delivered fresh not frozen. At the Grill, the Chef manages to create dishes
so varied, some cooked totally plain with melted butter, others with secrets
sauces that are truly delicious. The prime steaks, chops and pasta are also
very popular. The Grill is also known for its three courses “Prixe Fixed Theatre
Playbill Menu
” starting at $21.95 till 7pm.

I recommend the Lamb Shank. One of the best served anywhere in Palm
Beach. The salmon and steak are also excellent, and their specialty
salads and burgers are delicious. The Pork Schnitzel with capers and
white wine sauce
is another very popular choice.

There is a Happy Hour at the Bar nightly, and now a special bar menu if you
prefer.Drinks are $5 or two for one. Open daily between 11:30am they serve lunch
and dinner. I found the service there better than most other Palm Beach restaurants,
the staff very friendly and helpful.

The Grill has now become a well-known place to go for dancing and/or listening to live
. They have had live piano music there for years, but suddenly it is the ‘in’ spot
to hear top musicians play.

Every night except Monday and Tuesday, there is the Susan Merritt Trio for dancing at
7:30pm. Friday and Saturdays, the Switzer Trio at 8:30 and Sunday is Jazz night at 7.30.

Visiting artists drop by, sometimes after they have appeared elsewhere and join the regular players. For example, in January there is a special evening of cocktails and cabaret for the Mabel Mercer Foundation starring KT Sullivan and special guests Charles Cochran and Sandy Stewart.

Not only do you enjoy good food at very reasonable prices but now you can also listen to good music and dance if you feel like it. The location is in the heart of Palm Beach so it should be a very popular place during the winter because of the live action there. Bon Appetit!

Elizabeth Sharland Elizabeth Sharland has written three books
on food and restaurants. “A Theatrical Feast
of London,” “A Theatrical Feast in New
York” and “A Theatrical Feast in Paris.”

264 The Grill in Palm Beach

“We’re on The Island!” my friend, Stephanie, would say when we crossed the Flagler Bridge, over the Intracoastal Waterway connecting West Palm Beach and the wealthy island enclave. That was 1991, when my friend and I moved from chilly Boston, trading ‘lob-stahs’ and winter coats for coconuts and sunshine. Almost 25 years ago, we first crossed that bridge and saw those neat, palm-trees lined up and standing at attention along the streets. It was a thrilling grand entry to ‘The Island’ and still is.

Also 25 years ago, I dined at 264 The Grill. And that thrill is still there, too. Why has this restaurant survived and surpassed so many that have come and gone? It’s their pure devotion to quality and their ability to change with the times. Patricia (“Patti”) Gatty was there when I visited in 1991 and again when I just dined there a few weeks ago. She started as a waitress there in 1976, devoting almost 40 years of her life to working and then managing through 4 owners. Then she bought it herself. What a success story! Not bad for a gal who started as a cocktail waitress at the Breakers.

In this 100 year old Addison Mizner building, Gatty developed 264 into a noted icon. She works 7 days a week with partner, Chef Avery Watson on creative cuisine and trendy events. “Singles Night” and Thursday “Ladies Night” begins in October, and a “Great Gatsby Party.” After-Hours Networking events, “Spotlight Tuesdays” once a month has live singers; Wednesday through Sunday has live trios and a Jazz Jam.

Ah, the food! Don’t miss the “Lobster Explosion”! It feels like Boston again—only better; or the “Filet Maison” topped with a pan seared lobster cake and béarnaise sauce.

What a marvelous combination of great entertainment and fine dining. The Zagat Survey called 264 "one of the best restaurants in Palm Beach County" and Town & Country Winter /Travel Magazine described 264 as "The best restaurant on the island." Yes, this restaurant on “The Island” is a charmer. Its secret: relentless devotion to details. We can’t think of a better place to revel in that devotion.

Deby Goldfarb
Stepping Out Florida
"The Premier Event Website in S.Florida"

Palm Beach Daily News

Plate and Cork: 264 The Grill Owners favor classics, comfort foods

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

If you are hankering for a taste of home-style cooking, a great place to find it in the heart of Palm Beach is 264 The Grill. 
 This American bistro has been at the same location for 36 years, housed in a historic building designed by Addison Mizner to house E.F. Hutton’s office at 264 S. County Road. The airy Mediterranean interior, accented with pecky cypress ceilings, tile floors and soft lighting, dates from the early 1920s.

The establishment has had four owners. Patricia Gatti and Avery Watson worked together in the restaurant, on and off, for almost three decades before they became its owners. Gatti runs the front of the house and Watson, the kitchen.

Palm Beach Dramaworks

is honored with celebrity bartender evening for annual fundraising gala at

"264 The Grill"

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Bartenders include: Seaview Radio Hosts Joe Ranieri & Jo Ann Pflug + Dramaworks’ Bill Hayes

Palm Beach Dramaworks is thrilled to announce that Palm Beach’s own “Grill 264” Restaurant will honor the acclaimed theatre company with a special celebrity bartending event on Thursday, February 24th (5:30-7:30) . Located at 264 South County Road, celebrities from the world of show business are planning to be guest mixologists and tend bar for the evening. Some of the celebrities include Seaview Radio Hosts Joe Ranieri & Jo Ann Pflug as well as Dramaworks’ producing Artistic Director Bill Hayes. There is no cover charge for this evening.

This special event is sure to bring additional excitement to Dramaworks’ popular annual spring benefit entitled Sardi’s South, an evening of dinner and entertainment slated for Saturday, March 19th (6:30PM) to benefit and celebrate West Palm Beach’s longest residing theater company. At a recent planning meeting for the gala in Manhattan, Sardi's owner Max Klimavicius graciously granted the Gala's co-chairmen Calla and Ralph Guild, permission to use the restaurants well known logo, elements of the restaurant, and their legendary caricatures as themes for what promises to be a "must-attend" event this spring. Co-chaired by the Guilds, the evening will feature a celebratory cocktail hour in the beautiful Cohen Pavilion lobby. Guests will then be magically transported to Times Square and into the world famous Sardi’s restaurant, where countless caricatures of theatre and film stars will line the walls. Talented students from The Dreyfoos School of the Arts will whet the crowd’s appetite performing a medley of Broadway classics with direction by musical theatre teacher Bruce Linser. Table flowers courtesy of PRA Orchids, will compliment the evening which will be enhanced by a setting of dramatic style for dinner, dancing, and sensational musical entertainment by Wayne Hosford and dance music by The Platinum Band.

In celebration of the organization's eleven-year reputation of bringing some of the finest theatre to the Palm Beaches, a "behind the scenes" special presentation will highlight the company's remarkable artistic achievements and its planned new move to the Clematis Street Theatre. The coveted Shelly Award - bestowed for singular support of theatre - will also be presented during the festivities.

Susan Bloom and Sydelle Meyer will serve as Grand Benefactors, joined by Elfriede Grevendick and Virginia Sand, the evening's honorary chairwomen.

The dedicated Gala Committee members include: Ilene Adams, Pat Bradshaw, Pat Cook, Peter Cromarty, Esther Dinerstein Rita and Gus Hauser, Sally Ann Howes, Rhoda Kleid, Dorothy Lappin, Carlton & Joan Moody, Elizabeth Neuhoff, Joann Pflug, Faith Schulstrom, Linda & Donald Silpe and Chet Tart.

Proceeds from the benefit will support Palm Beach Dramaworks. Tickets are $350 - tables of 10 start at $3,500 and are tax deductible as provided by law. (The Kravis Center is conveniently located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL).

Peter Cromarty
Cromarty & Co.
New York 212. 580. 4222
Palm Beach 561. 233. 9918
Palm Beach Society

Unless you are fortunate enough to live in an original Mizner house, it is quite
unusual to eat in an historic landmark restaurant designed by the great
Addison Mizner. (There is a plaque outside on the wall beside the
front door in honor of him). I believe when dining out, that the interior
and ambiance of a restaurant is most important, and this place
certainly proves it. Elegant and spacious, the colors are
sensational as you walk in.

Burnt sienna walls, huge old cypress wood beams, clever posters
and art work, and dozens of fairy lights illuminating the old fireplace,
the greenery and the solid stone pillars It reminds me of Tuscany, of
dining in an old rustic villa. Fellini would have loved this place it is so
full of je ne sais pas, as well as excellent food.

Patti Gatti and Chef Avery Watson have owned the Grill for the past six
years. Patti must hold the record for longevity in the business, as well
as her devotion to this place. Amazingly she has worked at 264 The Grill for 36
years, under four different owners, till finally she and Avery managed to buy it.

There are two menus. The Twilight Menu from 5.30 to 7pm ($19.99 for three courses) offers a tantalizing selection of dishes. The first course consists of either Soup du jour, Gazpacho or French onion soup topped with cheese, or several salads including the classic Caesar. The second course has 18 different entrees to choose from but space limits listing them all. Beginning with the Braised Beef Brisket, Lobster Rivoli a la Vodka to BBQ ribs, Roast Chicken, Salmon glazed with citrus and Lamb Shank.

The main a la carte Dinner Menu has even more choices. The 18 appetizers include Brie and Strawberry Bruschetta, Mussels Chardonnay, Smoked Salmon plate, Steamed Artichoke, Maryland Crab cakes and stuffed Portobello mushrooms. The meat and poultry choices feature Fillet Mignon, Steaks, Pork chops and Chicken dishes including chicken curry.

However the house specialty is Lobster. The lobsters are flown in from Maine, and fresh crab from Maryland. You well find many fish and lobster dishes here besides the usual ones. It was a hard choice deciding on a main course because they all sounded delicious. I chose my favorite Lobster Newburg as it is hard to find in Palm Beach restaurants, and my companion chose the Lobster Thermidor served with a small Filet Mignon. It is listed as Surf and Turf but the Lobster comes in a creamy sauce with mustard and the Newburg with a white sherry sauce They were both full of delicious ingredients including tiny mushrooms, garlic and the sauce béarnaise served with the steak was really heavenly. The best.

Besides the classic boiled lobster with drawn butter there is also Lobster Ondenne which is a lobster curry with shrimp, scallops and pineapple ($38) and Seafood Provençale with shrimp, scallops and herb garlic served in an artichoke over rice. A Seared Salmon Florentine a daily fresh catch Siciliano which contains mushrooms, artichokes, olive oil, caper, basil, tomatoes in a white wine sauce. Sesame Seared Tuna ($30), Maryland Crab Cakes and more! We are coming back to sample the other dishes.

The Twilight Menu must be one of the most reasonably priced in Palm Beach, considering the selection they offer. Christopher, our waiter was very attentive, as well as describing each dish and helping us decide from the menu.

The desserts are the old-fashioned kind including Apple Pie, Rice Pudding, Key Lime Pie, Brown Betty, cookies and ice cream. House wines are served by the glass (Pino Grigio $10) and there is an extensive choice ranging between California and Italy.

There is a happy hour. 5.30 to 7pm when drinks are two for one and live music including the celebrated pianist Georgie Cort from Wednesdays onwards at 8pm. A visit a must!

Elizabeth Sharland

Elizabeth Sharland

Food Editor
The Palm Beach Society Magazine