Jardin, the new restaurant from rising star newlywed chefs Jordan Lerman and Stephanie Cohen, has opened its doors to the public in West Palm Beach, Florida, at 330 Clematis Street. With a menu drawing from multiple global influences, Jardin is set to elevate the level of dining in the Downtown West Palm Beach area. The restaurant encompasses 3,300 square feet of space, accommodating 150 guests. An open kitchen allows diners to peek into the Jardin team’s intricate approach to creating each plate, while a lush courtyard out back offers an al fresco dining experience with the same brilliant flavors.
Lerman is a Palm Beach County native proud to be involved with the dining renaissance currently happening in his hometown. “I always hoped I’d be able to return home to open my own restaurant—and the timing is perfect here in West Palm. There is a movement afoot, a revitalization that definitely includes the dining scene and Stephanie and I very much want to be a part of it. We couldn’t be more excited to bring our take on great food made from the highest quality ingredients to our community,” Lerman says.
With a varied menu offering several ambitious snack, appetizer, entrée, dessert, and after-hours selections for dinner, visitors would be prudent to begin their meal by sharing some items from the “For the Table” ($8 to $22) menu. The house-made charcuterie and cheese plate is true to its name with grilled bread, house mustard, pickles and seasonal jams all made on-site. Other dishes Lerman thinks will shine are the crispy hummus with shaved chorizo and lemon aioli and the crispy cauliflower, served with maple yogurt, cashews, and grapes.
Appetizers ($12 to $16) offer larger sharing options and draw attention to Lerman’s skill in reinventing well-known dishes – opting for interesting proteins, fresh ingredients, and a bright flavor profile. The duck choripan is a riff on a popular South American chorizo sandwich; in this case, the chef substitutes duck for the traditional beef or pork sausage and serves it on a homemade challah bun with cherry pepper relish and buttermilk. Another dish that embraces the restaurant’s farm-to-table ethos is the ricotta gnudi, served in a ramen broth and topped with black garlic.
Entrees ($16 tp $38) will be locally sourced composed plates, changing with the seasons. Diners can enjoy local pan roasted chicken with carrot puree and snap peas or a delicious spaghetti nero with grilled squid, among other large dishes.
Desserts ($5 to $12) are Cohen’s area of expertise and Jardin could certainly exist as a standalone dessert destination for downtowners seeking to appease their sugar tooth. The Donut Tower is as described, a vertical donut tower—maple Bavarian cream, chocolate glazed, and candied bacon—served with honey soaked churros and orange glazed sour cream. Fondue lovers will enjoy dipping cinnamon marshmallows, orange madeleines, donut holes, Key lime bites, and carbonated fruits into Cajeta caramel sauce and Republica del Cacao chocolate. To accompany their lineup of sweet treats, the Jardin team has created unique dessert cocktails, such as the Hot Chocolate Crème Brulee—dark rum, brown butter, cream, and vanilla sugar crisp.
Speaking of cocktails ($12 to $15), both classic and creative craft cocktails will be offered along with local craft brews and a moderately priced wine list. Lerman has created complex cocktail flavors with signature options like the Moon Lit, a whiskey drink containing ingredients such as buttermilk whey, egg, honey, and cracked pepper. The drink menu also includes a rotating list called “The Traveler’s Companion.” These libations consist of obscure, global spirits designed to expose guests to unique and hard-to-find beverage selections such as aquavit, mastiha, and tempus fugit, among others.
Jardin’s lunch menu offers several tasty midday options such as cucumber gazpacho, a steak salad garnished with to-die-for fries and a must-have cider glazed pork belly BLT.
Considering its location on trendy Clematis, Jardin is destined to become a top spot for after-dinner drinks and late-night treats. The restaurant serves after-hours’ grub ($5 to $11) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Every month will feature items inspired by street food staples from countries around the world. For Jardin’s first month of service, Downtown denizens and theater fans looking for a dose of umami will be able to enjoy Asian-influenced favorites, including multiple ramen options and crispy rice cakes served with mojo pork ragu, sweet plantains, and crispy shallots, among other Far East-themed late-night choices.
Jardin owners, Lerman (27) and Cohen (26), met at the Culinary Institute of America before garnering experience in some of New York’s most notable restaurants and bakeries including Eleven Madison Park, Momofuku Ssam Bar (Lerman), Ai Fiori and Dominque Ansel Bakery (Cohen). Upon relocating to South Florida, the two honed their skills at Boca Raton’s Rebel House, he as sous chef and bar manager and she as executive pastry chef. Now, in a perfect union, the two will divide the duties at Jardin: Lerman as executive chef and bar manager, while Cohen serves as general manager and pastry chef.