A restaurant revolution has come to Palm Beach

Sant Ambroeus in Palm Beach, Florida is known for its simple, continental-style grilled seafood.Nicole Franzen/Handout

mirror hanging on the back wall St. Ambrose, but probably not as they do in most restaurants. Not to make a beautifully allocated space appear larger. Instead, they’re likely there so that guests can better blend in.

Regulars breeze through Palm Beach restaurant at lunchtime on Wednesday Has the temperament of a master. At a round table in the center of the room sat a large group of men with hundred-dollar hairstyles and polo shirts with a random extra button, and women in sleeveless, flowing dresses. A man in boat shoes and aviator shoes over a mop of curly hair led a much younger friend, wearing what looked like a runway dress made of ribbon, to a stand in the corner. A couple who spend a lot of money keeping their 40s (or maybe 60s?) snuggled up in the mirror, surveying the room.

This is a group of people who know why they come to Sant Ambroeus. Yes, good Italian food – simple European grilled seafood in the hotel restaurant. But the real draw is the mealtime entertainment. Crowd watching in Palm Beach is like watching the Stanley Cup playoffs; what you see is the best the sport has to offer.

For years, dining out in Palm Beach was just an exercise in pretending to be part of high society, or, for a lucky few, an opportunity to be with the other 1% in a place where modesty could be shed . Today, however, Palm Beach Island and the surrounding county of the same name are undergoing a dining revolution. Since the pandemic subsided, notable restaurants have opened, brought in by big-name chefs and established restaurant groups that have finally locked down this wealthy corner of Florida’s east coast.

An ice cream truck in Sant Ambroeus, Palm Beach, Florida.Nicole Franzen/Handout

That’s not to say the rich are new.Gentlemen have been wintering in Palm Beach ever since Henry Flagler brings his railroad to town in 1894 built later whitehall, a gleaming 100,000-square-foot Gilded Age palace along the water.Eight-figure mansions now dot the island as if they were spread by seed, now seemingly headlined by a former president whose club serves as a symbol Lucky class agency here.

After Flagler arrived, dined in Palm Beach, The Towns That Now Have At Least 35 BillionairesMeant mostly stuffy eatery known for catering to prep school buddies Ladies at lunch while serving as Matron on Charity Committee. Daniel Boulud recalls visiting the area before opening Bruder’s Cafe here in Brazilian Court Hotel Year 2003. “Dining options are very limited. It’s certainly not a destination,” he said by phone from New York. “For me, it’s a bit like going back to the 60s or 70s. The restaurant is really predictable and traditional. Very classic. But nonetheless, very interesting and has a very loyal clientele.”

Stage chef Pushkar Marathe opened the restaurant in 2019, combining the flavors of his native India with culinary delights he’s discovered at restaurants around the world.Explore Palm Beach/Handout

Loyal customer base includes from Daniel, his award-winning French restaurant on New York’s Upper East Side, he knows these frequent travelers understand fine dining. “When we came, the goal was to create a restaurant that not only catered to socialites, but also served food.”

In the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Palm Beach’s dining scene is finally starting to change. While much of North America remains closed, Florida largely reopened in the summer of 2020.Quebec, New York and Philadelphia accents soon became common MermaidA West Palm restaurant that has served the socialite community for a third of a century.

In response, restaurants opened across the region, from Palm Beach Gardens to Boca Raton, especially popular fine dining chains and chefs.Shanshi Catering Group brings honor bar From Beverly Hills.Miami celebrity chef Jeremy Ford heads north to helm butcher club PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens.New York’s major food group opens Flamingo BBQ At Boca Raton, those pink birds are in motion from another era, and there’s a shrimp cocktail and porterhouse steak menu reminiscent of “South Florida’s golden age.”

Steak and salad at The Stage.Explore Palm Beach/Handout

All of a sudden, tourists are coming to restaurants in town to dine — and not just to wink at aristocrats, says David Sabin, founder of the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival and president of public relations for Brickhouse. “You’re seeing this incredible movement. You’re going to see more options than ever before. If you haven’t been here in a while, you’re probably listing just coming in since your last visit a few months ago 10 new restaurants.”

These restaurants, Saban said, are leading to new levels of creativity.A few days ago, he was stagea creative attraction created by talented chefs in Palm Beach Gardens pushka malatHe ordered a salad (little gem veggies, grilled corn, tomatoes, avocado, crispy shallots and sherry shallot vinaigrette) so good he had to call his wife on the way home . (By the way, his wife is Lindsay Autry, regional In West Palm Beach, so she appreciates the calls. ) “I told my wife, ‘Oh my God. This is incredible. It’s incredible when a restaurant can get you excited about salads.'”

A former Miami chef, Marathe opened Stage in 2019, followed by a second location, Ela Curry Kitchen, in 2022, combines the flavors of his native India with the culinary delights he finds in restaurants around the world.Another local chef who broke out on his own during the pandemic is Rick MaysRaised on a farm in Ohio, he got his big break in his restaurant career, moving to Palm Beach in 2013 to become Executive Chef at Cafe Boulud.

Florida’s swift lifting of lockdowns has boosted surviving locations and opened up opportunities for chefs like Mays to open their own restaurants. Many locations now have more reservations than restaurants did in 2019, Mace said.

After leaving Cafe Boulud, Mace opens in January 2021 Tropical Smokehouse, an unconventional Florida barbecue restaurant serving brisket empanadas, pulled pork magic sandwiches and alligator sausage. While many of the old-school restaurants that opened in 2013 still exist, Mace says dining in Palm Beach is a lot more fun now. “It’s become a much richer restaurant landscape,” he said. “Now you’re seeing a boom cycle where everybody wants to come to Palm Beach.”

Ten Restaurants to Try in Palm Beach

David Sabin, founder of the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival, knows the local eateries inside out. He’s also married into the industry, with his wife, Lindsay Autry, a chef at Regional. He offered 10 places to hit during his trip there.

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