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2024-01-30 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine The Best Restaurants in Palm Beach

The Best Restaurants in Palm Beach

Beachy keen

The Palm Beach dining scene has become increasingly vibrant over the last few years due to a spate of New York restaurateurs opening outposts in the tony enclave. La Goulue, Swifty’s, Le Bilboquet, and Sant Ambroeus all unveiled locations in Palm Beach, and Gabby Karan’s Tutto il Giorno has just taken space in Royal Poinciana Plaza, with plans to open a location there next year. The newest arrivals: Felice, which opened last season; Harry’s, which premiered in June; and Sushi by Bou, which is about to debut at the PGA National Resort.

360 South Rosemary Avenue, West Palm Beach

Photo courtesy of Felice

The Related Companies, a New York real estate behemoth, helped transform West Palm Beach into what is commonly referred to as “Wall Street South,” with branches of Goldman Sachs and top hedge funds moving in to South Rosemary Avenue. Felice, the more casual sister of Sant Ambroeus, which was born on the Upper East Side, also signed a lease there and began serving its first meals last Christmas. By February, there wasn’t a free seat at the front high-tops, lounge, or wraparound bar, where people were nibbling on fried baby artichoke and calamari. Nor was there room on the leather banquettes and outdoor patio, where diners were enjoying red Argentinian shrimp with avocado and jalapeño; handmade rigatoni with organic and smoked salmon; or crispy chicken Milanese. Even people from the island, who rarely crossed the bridge for dinner, began venturing west for Tuscan food and a vibrant wine bar with a full menu of Negronis.

384 South Rosemary Avenue, West Palm Beach

Photo courtesy of Harry's

The finance crowd is also feeling at home at Harry’s, the New York steak house that has been a Wall Street watering hole since the ’70s and opened this summer. Situated in downtown’s “Square,” it offers creative variations on classics, such as smoked-trout deviled eggs and Barolo risotto with braised Wagyu beef cheek, along with more traditional choices like rack of lamb, bone-in NY strip steak, and swordfish. There are also a host of satisfying sides, from polenta fries with truffle aioli to roasted asparagus with blistered tomatoes. Harry’s is known for its impressive wine list, with sommelier selections by the glass that allow diners to enjoy outstanding vintages without indulging in the full bottle.

400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens

Palm Beach didn’t have many sushi options, until David Bouhadana came to town. He opened his flagship Sushi by Bou in Midtown, winning raves for creative omakase and theatrical pyrotechnics in dishes like torched toro with truffle sauce, as well as his timed concept of 30- and 60-minute-long seatings, which kept the fish fresh and the prices down. He soon spread throughout the city to the Hamptons and Ft. Lauderdale, and now the Florida native has expanded to more locations in his home state: Miami, West Palm, Boca Raton, and the newest inside the PGA National Resort, which just underwent a $100 million renovation. This latest sushi outpost offers a 12-seat sushi bar set amongst a 1920s Palm Beach theme.

2345 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach

Photo courtesy of Al Fresco

One place many New Yorkers are not familiar with, but locals love, is Al Fresco, and it’s one of surprisingly few restaurants where you can experience the magic of watching waves and breathing ocean air while enjoying a meal. Located on Palm Beach’s Par 3 Golf Course, it has views of both the Atlantic and Intracoastal, and draws guests among the duffer set starting at 7:30 in the morning, but it’s also a romantic evening choice. A brick oven turns out an array of thin-crust pizzas; meatballs are made with veal, beef, ricotta, and spicy tomato; and pillows of ravioli all’aragosta are stuffed with Maine lobster and mascarpone. Mediterranean branzino shares a menu with local pompano piccata, and those who prefer something heartier can sink their teeth into a 10-ounce tenderloin, served with a cognac-peppercorn sauce. You may be surprised at the quality of the food, but perhaps you wouldn’t be if you knew it has the same owners as the legendary Renato’s off Worth Avenue.

313 1/2 Worth Avenue, Palm Beach

An outpost of the famed Milanese restaurant, this has become one of the island’s most popular gathering places. Located in the heart of Worth Avenue, with a picturesque garden out back, it serves up an array of Tuscan-influenced dishes, including crab salad with roasted pumpkin, arugula, romaine, corn, and lemon oil; paccheri with lobster, asparagus, and brandy; and veal chop with wild mushroom sauce.

2 South County Road, Palm Beach

Photo courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach

The Breakers has more than spacious oceanfront rooms and a magnificent lobby — it also has collection of the town’s top restaurants, and this American dining room is one of the most picturesque. Beamed ceilings, wood furnishings, chandeliers, and graphic art lend warmth to the interior, while an outdoor terrace overlooks the famed golf course and island beyond. Start with sweet corn and lobster chowder, stone crab claws, or grilled artichoke hearts. In addition to a selection of Black Angus aged USDA prime steaks, including a tomahawk rib chop, and 12 different sauces or crusts, there are options such as rack of lamb and local catch.

100 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach

What could be more relaxing than enjoying lunch by the ocean after experiencing an indulgent therapeutic treatment? The Eau Palm Beach recently opened this terrace café next to its whimsical spa, offering such healthy options as stone fruit salad with grilled peaches, pickled plums, and watercress in an apricot-ginger dressing; an ancient grain bowl of farro, smoked salmon, egg, French green beans, and toybox tomato in a lemon-oregano vinaigrette; and grilled teriyaki chicken on brown rice with pineapple, avocado, and mango salsa.

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