France Via Palm Beach

La Goulue brings Belle Époque grandeur to the island.

Duck à l’orange with wild rice. Photo by Annie Watt Photography.

To step into La Goulue on Palm Beach is to travel back in time to Paris circa 1900. Banquette seating and Majorelle chandeliers evoke the style of that era, while large French doors invite cool breezes and recall the bistro ambience that permeates the City of Love to this day. The food itself is pure Belle Époque decadence—perfectly suited to a restaurant whose name translates to “the glutton.”

La Goulue, which opened on South County Road in October, is the sister restaurant of the New York City eatery of the same name. Restaurateur Jean Denoyer is quick to point out that La Goulue is not of New York or Palm Beach, but of France, complete with a menu of divine classics such as a Gruyère, Parmesan, and white truffle souffle that has been a favorite at the NYC location since 1972. Follow it up with duck à l’orange, steamed mussels and frites, or a daily special such as a wild mushroom puff with herb cream sauce made with gourmet champignons freshly flown in from Italy.

End the evening with some crème brûlée before moving on to the pewter bar for a nightcap. Here, with a background soundtrack of French accents and divine aromas wafting from the open kitchen, one might half expect to turn to either side and come face-to-face with the likes of Gertrude Stein or Toulouse-Lautrec.

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