Buccan & Imoto: Clay Conley’s Globally-Inspired Cuisine Takes Palm Beach Dining to the Next Level!





Acclaimed Chef Sensation, Clay Conley’s magical Palm Beach duo, Buccan and Imoto (little sister) are both Fred Bollaci Enterprises Golden Palate Partners™ , with a recipe from Buccan featured in Fred’s upcoming memoir!

Clay Conley’s inventive American cuisine made with the freshest ingredients from the very best sources. Buccan’s signature small plate, big flavor creations are served in a warm and welcoming space. Chef Clay’s arrival in Palm Beach ushered in a new era of hip, sophisticated, South Beach meets Greenwich Village meets the Island of Palm Beach cool, forever shifting the trend in Palm Beach dining to be more edgy and youthful in its perspective, while upholding the highest quality standards for food, service, and lovely ambience which are expected by Palm Beach’s discerning diners.

Chef Clay Conley opened the doors to Buccan with partners and friends Sam Slattery and Oliver “Piper” Quinn in 2011. Buccan is the result of years of planning, and decades of working, traveling, reading, eating, drinking, and cooking. Buccan represents Clay’s culinary philosophy – small plates with big flavors. Clay Conley was nominated by the James Beard Foundation in 2012 for Best Chef: South, drawing on the enormous success and popularity of his restaurant and concept.

Chef Clay is always influenced and inspired by his travels and surroundings. Travel and work in Europe, Asia and South America broadened his exposure to global cuisine, ingredients and technique. His “progressive American” approach at Buccan blends the flavors of his New England childhood with Asian cuisine, the Mediterranean and the subtle influence of Latin America. The restaurant itself with open kitchen and chic lighting is reminiscent of Latin American sensuality. Highlighting contrasting tastes, textures, and temperatures, Clay applies his flair and sense of balance to traditional flavor combinations and dishes, showcasing the freshest and best ingredients. On a recent visit, the grilled peach salad was out of this world!

A native of rural Maine, Clay grew up tending his family’s orchard and livestock. As the result of the extremes of New England’s climate, he was introduced to the logic of seasonality, the significance of origin and the beauty of fresh ingredients, and an appreciation for and a sense of place. At 13, Clay got his first taste of the business, volunteering to work in the kitchen of a local restaurant. Pursuing his calling, he eventually became a protégé of Todd English. In 2005, Conley was selected by Mandarin Oriental, Miami, to run the kitchen at its signature AAA Five Diamond Award restaurant, Azul.

Chef Clay and his restaurants have been featured in national and international publications. Robb Report named Azul one of America’s finest restaurants. Clay has appeared on The Today Show and Fox and Friends. He was named a StarChef’s “Rising Star Chef” in 2005. Buccan has been recognized in Conde Nast Traveler and Esquire’s “Where to Eat in South FL Now.” The restaurant is Forbes Travel Guide’s “hottest spot” in Palm Beach, and has received “Best New Restaurant” honors from numerous area publications. It also receives a resounding endorsement from Fred Bollaci, both for the outstanding caliber of cuisine, the revolutionary concept, coupled with a dramatic setting and personalized service and attention to detail. With a menu that changes nightly, you are always guaranteed to find something fresh and exciting at Buccan!

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A recent visit featured the following favorites: Petite Maine Lobster Roll, Chilled Cauliflower Soup with king crab, grenobloise, Steak Tartare | grilled bread, black truffle, crispy egg yolk, Hamachi Sashimi with Peruvian chilies, yuzu vinaigrette, and crispy lotus root salad, Burrata with fresh fig jam, and upland cress, Local Squash Blossoms | cheese stuffed, with tomato fondue, Ratatouille, Hand cut Fettuccine | zucchini flowers, chicken, ham, hot peppers (available as a half or full order), Veal Agnolotti “Al Plin” | ris de veau, black truffle, parmesan, fava beans, parsley, U8 Shrimp “Scampi” with grilled bread, and arugula, Grilled Octopus with heirloom tomato “fattoush”, fresh garbanzo beans, yogurt, and mint, Wood-fired oven pizzas, including a classic Margherita, as well as a Mushroom Pizza with gruyere, grilled green onion, black truffle vinaigrette for small plates (perfect for sharing and sampling).



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Large plates included: Pan Roasted Murray ½ Chicken with tomato & zucchini panzanella, chanterelle mushrooms, and lemon thyme jus, Thai Green Curry local black grouper, shrimp, clams, mussels, forbidden rice, and mango, “Lomo Saltado” 12oz ribeye steak, mojo braised yucca, fried egg, ahi panca, Wood Grilled Branzino with ratatouille, black olive polenta, Provençal broth, and a Wood Grilled Prime Beef Burger | brioche, aged cheddar, and cornichons. As one would expect, the restaurant features an excellent wine list to complement all meals, with a great selection by the glass as well as by the bottle, and a list of creative cocktails.

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Chef Clay proudly support local farmers and sustainability efforts–in fact, Palm Beach County is a top source of produce for the entire country during the winter months!

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350 S. County Rd.

Palm Beach, FL 33480


Small plates, big flavor is once again the concept behind Imoto, located directly next door to Buccan, which draws from Japanese and other Asian influences to offer diners innovative interpretations of their favorites. Sushi, sashimi, dumplings, charcoal fired selections, tempura and more, are all made with the freshest ingredients from the best sources, both nearby and around the world.

In Japanese, the word Imoto means “little sister.” 
Inspired by buccan, Imoto expands Chef Clay Conley’s small plates, big flavor concept into Japanese and Asian cuisine. Imoto features a popular Sushi Happy Hour, Monday through Friday from 5:30-6:30pm.


The dinner menu is updated and printed nightly to reflect the freshest seasonal ingredients and chef’s inspiration.

On a recent visit, the menu featured: Tuna Tartare “Yukke” with Asian pear, gochujang, rice cake, quail egg, Aji tartare- spanish mackerel, ginger, scallion, momiji, and ponzu, Uni & Oyster Shooters with quail egg, and shochu, Seared Salmon Sashimi with asian pear, caper, ginger, viniagrette, and crispy gobo, Tuna Tatake with avocado puree, pickled hon shimeji mushrooms, and shallot rings, Hamachi Sashimi with yuzu kosho, Florida heirloom tomato salsa, and fried garlic, Northeast Oysters with citrus granite, grapefruit, thai chili, and thai basil, Kampachi Sashimi with sliced jalapeño and garlic ponzu, and Imoto Salad, a light, refreshing combination of Florida oranges, avocado, and local Swank farms greens.

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Pictured: Blue Fin Sashimi

Selections from the wood-fired grill include: Char Sui Marinated Pork Ribs with hoisin BBQ, and peach salad, Chipotle & Soy Marinated Chicken Thighs with lettuce cups, orange, and cashews, Grilled Fish with gingered spinach, dash sauce, Hamachi Kama with ponzu sauce, Meyer All Natural Strip Steak with truffle, miso sauce, mushrooms, and Tuna & Foie Slider with mango salsa. The Duck Tacos are a house specialty.

The menu features nightly fresh favorites on their Nigiri menu, offered by the piece, including: Blue Fin Toro with uni, fresh wasabi, and soy sauce, Tuna with foie gras, momiji, garlic ponzu, and scallion, Seared Yellowtail with jalapeno, garlic ponzu, Scallop with lemon, shiso salt, and green yuzu kosyo, and Fresh Water Eel with foie gras and orange zest.

Imoto flawlessly combines the highest quality Asian and Japanese basics and enhances them with local flavors (Florida citrus and greens), Latin influences (spicy peppers), and Chef Clay’s own signature brand of contemporary global cuisine. This is innovative, inspired dining at its best!

The menu also features a host of classic sashimi and sushi rolls. Imoto is like the best sushi bar with a twist of lime!

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Clay Conley calls Imoto’s cuisine “Bright. Balanced. Fresh.” While living and working in Tokyo, Clay was inspired by the clean flavors of traditional Japanese cooking, and his frequent visits to the legendary Tsukiji market, which I had the pleasure of visiting on a recent trip to Japan, it is truly remarkable. Subsequent travel in China, Thailand, and Singapore sharpened the chef’s palate and interest in Asian flavors and techniques. In February 2012, Clay opened Imoto (“little sister”), an intimate Asian-influenced expansion of būccan next door. At Imoto, Clay offers his interpretation of traditional Asian favorites – featuring small plates, big flavors, and some of the finest sushi in the world.

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Pictured: Duck Tacos

When in South Florida, you must visit Palm Beach, the gorgeous winter playground of the world’s elite, and you must visit Buccan and Imoto! Be sure to tell Clay that Fred Bollaci sent you!

350 S County Rd.
Palm Beach, FL 33480

About Fred Bollaci

I'm CEO and President of Fred Bollaci Enterprises. I lost more than 100 pounds while living "La Dolce Vita" and I'm now known as "The Healthy Gourmet." Sample the good life with me through fitness, fine food, and good wine. Meet chefs who cater to a healthy gourmet lifestyle through my Golden Palate blog.
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