Welcome to the first series of my new series ‘The Best Restaurants in South Florida.’
As many of you from Instagram can tell… I LOOVE to eat. I mean who doesn’t, it’s basically how we all survive. I’m not going to be talking about just eating to survive here tho. I’m talking about culinary experiences and food that blows your mind.
While I pride myself on being a Skinny Legend, if I’m going to have a cheat meal I obviously am going to find the right places to do so. One of my favorite sayings is “if it’s not good, it’s not worth the calories.” So I thought I’d share with many of you the places where I like to Indulge and bring out my inner fat kid.
Now let’s talk about Stage Kitchen & Bar!
Stage Kitchen & Bar is a newer restaurant located at 2000 PGA Boulevard Suite 5502, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33408.
I would personally describe the food as Indian with a flare of some global inspired flavors.
Stage is an integrated, small-plates experience, inspired by diverse culinary influences from Chef Pushkar Marathe’s homeland Nagpur, India to restaurants across the Caribbean, Cayman Islands, the US, and the Middle East. He began his training in Switzerland before embarking on a decades-long, exploration of international cuisine. At Stage I can guarantee you’ll experience innovative dishes interwoven with traditional Indian heritage, utilizing fresh and often local ingredients that come together in vital, new and flavorful ways.
General Manager and Partner at Stage, Andy Dugard is staple in the Palm Beach restaurant scene. He’s managed a few of my other favorite restaurants including the opening of Meat Market Palm Beach, and General Manager of Clay Conley’s acclaimed Buccan and Imoto restaurants. So as you can imagine, this is a man who knows what he’s doing.
I have to say the service at this restaurant was across the board spectacular. For being packed on a Saturday Night, we were seated within a couple minutes and our server came to the table immediately offering us water and helping us select our cocktails. His overall knowledge of everything on the Menu blew me away, and that’s coming from a former Food & Beverage Manager myself. These guys know what they’re doing and it shows.
While the restaurant was packed for a Saturday Night, there wasn’t a feeling of being rushed. Everything felt seamless and calm which made for an amazing experience. The culinary creativity from the food to the drinks was truly spectacular. When you walk in the door you could instantly feel that everyone who works there genuinely loves what they do, and are happy to be apart of the amazing things happening within Stage.
It’s all in the details…
The design and layout of this restaurant is genius. You can tell that the restaurant was perfectly laid out for social gatherings with your friends.
The service was quick and friendly, while the vibe seemed very laid back and professional. This is a great place to get a group of friends together for dinner on a Friday or Saturday Night, considering most of the plates are large enough to share among 3-4 people.
My friend and I personally had such a lovely time chatting in the vibrant atmosphere enjoying all the delicious food that Stage had to offer. It’s a new local hot spot to enjoy great food, with even better people.
I can honestly say that I will be coming back here over and over again. I’m craving this meal as we speak and I had just the most amazing experience here dining. The service was spot on, the way the dining room was set up all just seemed to perfectly fall into place.
The Cocktails at Stage are a work of art.
All their cocktails are batched, which means they mix all their ingredients together beforehand and let them sit to marinate for 1-2 days before serving. This pulls all of the unique flavors out of each ingredient into the cocktail in a smooth and refreshing way.
The Most Popular Cocktails
Hot & Bothered (Left) ghost pepper tequila, guava, lime, agave
Don’t let the ghost pepper scare you on this cocktail, the guava added a nice finishing sweetness to this beverage. I’m personally not a fan of spicy but this cocktail was so good I couldn’t stop enjoying it.
Tulum Soon (Right) corazon tequila, lime, bell pepper pampelmousse cordial
The Tulum Soon was a pretty earthy cocktail, with notes of bell pepper. It complimented the food quite nicely. I have to say it was a pretty unique cocktail, more for those who are looking for something more subtle.
Oh Me Oh Mai plantation white, dark & gold rum, passion fruit, pineapple, orange, orgeat
We saw everyone ordering this drink, so naturally I had to ask what was in the “blood bag” that everyone was ordering. This rum drink was so delicious. It was definitely on the sweeter side but in a very delicious and refreshing manner. This comes with about 3-4 drinks per bag so it’s great to share with your friends, but tbh I could have finished it myself. (SHHHH)
Now ladies and gentleman, presenting the part you’ve all been waiting for….
(drum roll please)
I can’t believe how fast the food came out, and how all the flavors were so authentically balanced across each dish. I cannot rave enough about the presentation, as well as the flavors you experience at Stage. You can tell that the creative individuals behind everything here was thoroughly thought out and planned meticulously.
Breads, Chutneys & Things
“Our” Ricotta, Petite Basque Cheese, Trufetto Cheese, Cana De Cabra Cheese, Apple & Tamarid Chutney, Truffle Honey, & Liver Pate
I could have filled up on this board alone. This was a perfect way to graze, before the meal came out. Not to mention, the Liver Pate was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. I highly recommend trying this when you go.
On top of that the selection of cheeses to jams & honey blended like a symphony in my mouth. You can never go wrong with a cheese board.
Bang Bang Cauliflower
mushrooms, paneer, mint & cilantro
Talk about a punch!
This bang bang cauliflower was spicy but I couldn’t stop eating it. If you wrap up a couple pieces in a lettuce wrap, it makes for the perfect starter that balances out the spice a bit. This lite bite is the most popular item on the menu and a “must try” if you go.
Tandoori Niman Ranch Prime Churrasco
tomato, blue cheese, black garlic ranch
Let me just say, I am still dreaming about this steak.
This beautifully seared steak was cooked to perfection, my compliments to the chef. The balance with the tomato salad on the side melts seamlessly in your mouth. I haven’t had a meal this good in a long time.
Triple Chocolate Cookie
While our pants were busting at the seams, we still managed to find some room for dessert. I’ve never been one to skip dessert afterall.
These triple chocolate cookies, were the perfect bite size desserts to end the meal. The chocolate melted in your mouth and I was say it was totally worth the last couple hundred calories.
On that note I would say that Stage Kitchen & Bar is by far one of new favorite restaurants in Palm Beach Garden, Florida. If you’re in the area you have to add this restaurant to your list of hot spots. I have nothing but amazing things to say about my overall experience and I can assure you it’s worth your time and money.
This restaurant has been so packed, and all over Instagram lately that I just had to see what all the hype was about. I was so impressed at the entire level of service from entering the building to leaving. I almost didn’t want to leave!
Stage Kitchen & Bar has an amazing thing going on, and you just have to see it for yourself. I promise it’s completely worth the hype.