The Pavilion Grille

This place has it all! The outside of the two story glass building is deceiving. Inside the FNBCC Bank/Seeman Holtz building is a large open lobby, with glass elevators that shoot up to business oces on the upper floors. But the surprise is in the rest of the main lobby. Continue on past the open area and you’ll ­nd a stunning step-down lounge area, a circular bar with more lounge area and a breathtakingly large dance floor. The Pavilion Grille has “location, location, location” (the top three all-important assets according to realtors); it’s got “Food, Glorious, Food” as per the title song in the Broadway play “Oliver” and the benchmark to which food critics compare; and the live music almost every night that encourages visitors who “Gotta Dance” to burst into Gene Kelly or Michael Jackson moves on the dance floor. The Pavilion Grille in Boca wins in every arena: location, food, music, tons of free parking, and more. With its indoor “Atrium” of tropical palm trees, fountains, and arts-y ceiling canopy, it’s a classy place, yes, a class act, indeed.

It is rare to ­find a venue that offers an evening of dining and dancing in a one stop location. In addition, it’s not just dining, it’s award-winning cuisine; and it’s not just dancing, it’s a variety of musical styles each night including Doo Wop and Oldies, Ballroom and Latin, and Motown, Disco,Top 40 and more from top local bands that appeal to a spectrum of different musical tastes. The Pavilion just completed a considerable renovation that included new dining furniture, new lobby tile floors, and most signi­ficantly, its huge, new 2500 square foot dance floor that makes this venue a dancer’s delight and one that stands out as the envy in the area.

On almost any given night, both singles and couples fi­ll the center bar area, the dining tables along sides of the dance floor, the upper level dining tables and, of course, the spacious dance floor.  Others fi­nd quiet nook areas on the sofas in the outer lounge for intimate conversations away from the music. Still other groups may be having a separate gathering in “The Grille Room,” a perfect meeting and dining place for smaller groups or parties of up to 60 guests. And speaking of parties, almost nothing compares to what the Pavilion offers. Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Quince, Sweet Sixteen, Private Functions, Corporate Happy Hours, Holiday Parties and celebrations both large and extravagant are easily accommodated. Marketing Director, Elizabeth Stark-Perez and her staff, have more than twelve years of experience and they know how to creatively fulfill a theme, a scheme or a dream. They change colors in lighting and decor, they change menus and entryways. The Pavilion Grille provides custom design menus for parties, including Specialty Station Menus. They have even had not only a Bar Mitzvah boy but on another occasion, a Bride & Groom,  ride down the glass elevator from high above as guests watched him make a most memorable grand entrance. The sky’s the limit and the creativity is endless.

The Pavilion Grille has been the home of huge Expos. The entrance lobby area is filled with individual vendor tables while seminars are simultaneously on-going in sections of the dance floor. Recently, the Pavilion entertained a large number of guests with hand-passed appetizers, vendor tables, and an entertaining tribute band that followed the Expo. The main dance floor area has also served well for Charity Casino Nights with poker and black jack tables.

Dinner at the Pavilion is a true dining experience. Elizabeth Stark-Perez, and her husband, John Perez, are ever-watchful of every detail, making sure all goes smoothly in the kitchen, at the bar, and with the servers. John has had a lifetime of experience after living in New York and working in two family-owned restaurants. John described how he went “from washing dishes, to tending bar, to management” and learned every aspect of the business. His mantra is, “be respectful but firm.” General Manager, Glenn Schwartz, buzzes around the entire area answering questions, solving problems and helping anywhere it’s needed. Handsome new Assistant Manager and Floor Supervisor, Ricardo, from Brazil, lived in Chicago for 13 years, and welcomes guests warmly and professionally to the Pavilion. The new chef, Cristian, comes with a Culinary Degree from a prestigious 3-year program at a Chilean Culinary School, and extensive experience in California as well as in well-known area restaurants such as Josephine’s, Casa d’Angelo and Tavelino. He prepares all his dishes from scratch and said, “I like to be inside cooking.”

We started our dinner with the Pavilion’s Crab Bisque — the aroma alone is a treat. Loaded with chunks of real crab meat, and healthy tomatoes, carrots, onions, and potatoes, one guest said, “this is the best I’ve ever had” and another said, “it’s the perfect starter for the chilly night tonight” (though a rarity in South Florida.) We also tried the Crispy Calamari and liked that it was not just the “rings” and that it was served with two different sauces, a thick, chunky Marinara and a Sweet Chili. We all enjoyed the eye-appealing presentation of the Seared Ahi Tuna, thinly sliced and coated around the edges with crunchy black and white sesame seeds, and served with separate dabs of seaweed, ginger, wasabi and soy sauce. The Hawaiian Poke Tuna features small cubed bits of rare tuna served in a clean white three-sided bowl with fried Wonton Crisps on the side.

For entrées, our favorites were the Pan Roasted Fresh Atlantic Salmon with Orange Ginger Glaze which was sweet (but not too sweet) and the Salmon cooked on a Cedar Plank so it guaranteed a natural woodsy flavor, served with Quinoa on the side… both  sh dishes were cooked to perfection. The elegant presentation was surpassed only by the delicious harmony of flavors. We enjoyed a crisp Chardonnay wine from the Pavilion’s well-stocked bar that went oh-so-well with the fresh salmon.

Another stand out dish is the mouthwatering Chicken Marsala, smothered in sliced mushrooms and the most exquisite Marsala sauce (made with a generous amount of divine Marsala wine) and paired well with the out-of-this-world mashed potatoes and tasty sauteed string beans on the side). The Lamb Shank was braised in a Burgundy wine sauce with a hint of tomato taste. It was a generous portion, both lean and tender and, again paired with those most delicious garlic potatoes. The Pavilion’s eclectic array of dishes offers choices to excite every palate.

Be sure to save room for Chef Cristian’s homemade desserts. We were lucky enough to sample his rich and feathery light Tiramisu. It’s an added bonus to be able to stay after dinner and enjoy the great music (at no extra charge), the kind of music that draws you to the dance floor, especially by my favorites: Joey Dale, Cachet Band or high energy Fusion Band. The Pavilion Grille is so popular that it closes often for Private functions so be sure to check their website for availability.

It’s no wonder that this is the area’s premiere go-to destination for dinner & dancing, mixing & mingling, and events & occasions. • (561) 912-0000