Posted March 4, 2014
By EMELIA NUNN
JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — Backyard-grown herbs and humanely raised meat take precedence at 11 Maple Street, a small boutique restaurant located just off the water here.
The restaurant can be found at 3224 NE Maple Ave., from which the restaurant received part of its name, in a historically restored wooden frame house. The front of the building is protected by an ivy-tangled picket fence, with a charming walkway leading to the private front porch with a table for two.
The building itself is not large, and is not made to hold large parties. However, the inside has a lovely, comforting feel to it, with exposed brick walls, antique tables and lace curtains covering the windows. Situated behind the restaurant is its own personal herb garden, where the chef grows many of the ingredients used in the meals, such as watercress, rosemary and thyme.
After arriving a few minutes early for our reservation at 7:30 (reservations are required), my date and I were seated immediately at a table in the back corner of the restaurant.
I found it lovely that the hostess kept all reservations hand written in a leather-bound ledger at the front of the restaurant, in a room that must have once been a parlor.
After being seated, we perused the wine list, choosing a moderately priced Proseco, as many of the wines ranged from $30 a bottle to $300 a bottle. The waitress we had was extremely attentive and recommended wines for the dishes we were considering, while also going through much of the menu with us.
The menu is set up with two types of dishes: small plates and large plates. The small plates ranged from $10 to $25, while the large plates ranged from $28 to $45. It was recommended by the waitress that each person should order two small plates, or one large plate, to enjoy a full amount of food.
Although some of the large plates were tempting, such as the Wood Grilled New Zealand Elk, we chose to have one small plate each, as well as one for an appetizer.
While waiting for our first dish, we were served warm Blue Cheese and Walnut Bread, with extra virgin olive oil for dipping.
Although I was a bit nervous eating bread with blue cheese, as it is not my favorite, the bread was lovely, with the cheese giving a salty flavor that blended well with the crunch of the walnuts. The olive oil mellowed everything out, although the bread was delicious without it.
The waitress was quick to bring us our appetizer, which was wild free range boar salami over blue cheese cheesecake, with a watercress and honeysuckle salad over toasted parmesan, and Tomato Crostini.
The salami was fabulous, although to get the full affect it had to be eaten with the cheesecake, as it helped to mellow the gaminess of the boar.
Although it sounds like a huge plate of food, the servings are small, giving the customer a taste of each powerful flavor, rather than a full plate of a bland flavor. My favorite piece of the appetizer was the salad, as it was hand-tossed with just the right amount of dressing.
For our main dishes, I ordered the spotted skatewing with Baja Bay scallops, tomatoes, caper berries and an herb beurre blanc. I have to say, it was amazing.
I can eat capers and caper berries by themselves, so a dish so full of them was easy to enjoy. However, it was my first time eating skate, so I was not sure what to expect on my first bit; of course I was not disappointed. The lemon of the beurre blance mixed well with the nutty taste of the skate, topped perfectly by the capers and caper berries.
My date ordered the wood grilled octopus with Washington chanterelles, soba noodles and dashi beurre blanc.
Although I did not get a chance to taste it, my date seemed to have a religious moment upon first tasting it. So I assume that his dish was just as delicious as mine.
Overall, my experience at 11 Maple Street was fantastic. Our waitress was very fast an attentive, and we were able to get in and out of the restaurant in under an hour.
The only real downside is the price of the meals, as it is impossible to get out of there with a bill under $100. However, for the quality of the food, the price is completely understandable. Although I will save this restaurant for special occasions, and can’t wait until I am able to go there again.
- 11 Maple Street
- American boutique style restaurant
- Price: $$$$
- Five stars