10 New Palm Beach Restaurants to Put on Your Radar

Palm Beach County’s eclectic dining scene is flourishing, thanks to a fresh crop of chef-driven eateries.

Aaron’s Table

Don’t be surprised if you spot heads of state dining at Aaron’s Table. Aaron Fuller, President Donald Trump’s former Mar-a-Lago executive chef, opened his eponymous Jupiter resto at the shuttered location of Rooney’s Public House in Abacoa Town Center. The farm-chic watering hole boasts an expansive pewter bar, leather seating, chalkboards, botanical wall fixtures, and a private chef’s table. Chef de cuisine Merrick Beatty complements the setting with rustic dishes, including a port-poached pear salad with candied pecans and Florida goat cheese, lamb shank braised in an IPA by Civil Society Brewing Co. for up to four hours, and heavenly dessert jars inspired by Fuller’s mother. On Thursdays, locals congregate for wine tastings and sommelier-led discussions about subjects like vitrification. (561-855-2628, aaronstable.com)

 

Bread Pudding at Aaron's Table

Aaron’s Table Bread Pudding | Photo by: LibbyVision.com

 

Banko Cantina

A bar needs tequila like a nightclub needs music. Banko Cantina has both. Sam Sanchez, a restaurant veteran from Chicago, transformed a 13,000-square-foot, circa-1921 building into an upscale taqueria with vibrant murals and Latin-themed street art. Executive chef Manuel Briseño channels Mexico’s northern cowboy region of Nuevo Leon with plenty of skirt steak and hanging skewers of mesquite-grilled shrimp and chicken. The bar serves more than 30 tequilas and signature drinks like the Holy Water, rimmed with black-lava sea salt. Banko’s rooftop bar, Cielo Sky Bar, delivers a striking view of the downtown West Palm skyline. Every Tuesday is Motown Night, and Sunday means brunch and a drag queen show. (561-355-1399, bankocantina.com)

Passion Fruit Sangria

Passion Fruit Sangria | Photo c/o Banko Cantina

Hanging Skewers at Banko Cantina

Hanging Skewers at Banko Cantina | Photo c/o Banko Cantina

Costa Palm Beach

What’s in a name? In Spanish, costa means “coast.” For Greeks, it’s a nickname for Constantine, a common moniker that, in Latin, translates to “constant” or “steadfast.” At Costa Palm Beach, owners Sascha and Danielle Bennemann are hoping for stability at this seafood-centric eatery located in Worth Avenue’s Esplanade. Local hospitality branding agency Experimar designed the white and sky-blue environs, where guests linger over curated cocktails and graze on charred octopus and other Mediterranean delicacies. Executive chef David Valencia, who previously worked at both The Modern and Adour Alain Ducasse in Manhattan, made his name in the South Florida dining scene when he opened Miami’s Catch with Top Chef alum Hung Huynh. At Costa, Valencia crafts sea-inspired entrees, like salt-baked branzino with arugula emulsion, grilled lemon, and an olive-caper-tomato relish. (561-429-8456, costapb.com)

 

Salt Baked Branzino at Costa | Photo by: Samuel Thornhill/Mas Appetit

Fries to Caviar Garden Bistro & Bar

Jimmy Mills won’t fence in his food. His menu at Fries to Caviar in Boca Raton has no fixed theme and is suffused with what he calls “borderless flavors.” A childhood growing up on his family’s farm in Wallback, West Virginia, fostered an appreciation for sustainability and seasonal provisions. He developed a talent for exquisite yet simple food by working for David Ruggerio of Le Chantilly and Charlie Palmer of Aureole, and also spending two years in Paris learning the art of French cooking. These experiences have led to an endless stream of gastronomic delights, from braised rabbit with bacon and fennel on buttered noodles to the namesake french fries with salmon caviar. Fries to Caviar also offers a feast for the eyes with custom ash-wood furnishings (built by Mills), a 20-seat bar, and a coral-stone patio with native flora, palms, and bamboo. (561-617-5965, friestocaviar.com)

 

Fries with caviar roe | Photo by: Candace West Photography

 

Grato

Grato proves Clay Conley isn’t slowing down for a second. Last year, Conley and his partners, Sam Slattery and Piper Quinn, converted a lighting store on Dixie Highway into one of West Palm’s hippest dining enclaves. Architectural details, like exposed beams, oversized windows, hand-carved rococo chandeliers, and Carrara marble bars, create an elegant backdrop to executive chef Jimmy Strine’s hand-formed pastas and more interpretive offerings, like orecchiette with duck cacciatore. Grato has also introduced a full day of happy hour specials for the on-tap beer and wine selection. Grab a seat early at the pizza bar and you may spot James Beard Award­–nominated chef Conley flipping your pie. (561-404-1334, gratowpb.com)

 

Eggplant parmigiana at Grato

Eggplant parmigiana at Grato

 

Jardin

Everyone loves a love story. Chef Jordan Lerman and pastry chef Stephanie Cohen met at the Culinary Institute of America and trained in some of New York City’s most esteemed kitchens, including Eleven Madison Park and Dominique Ansel Bakery, before moving south to open a bustling West Palm eatery. Meaning “garden” in a trio of languages, Jardin boasts floral murals and a lush garden patio overlooking Clematis Street. Dishes like chorizo madeleines and braised alligator empanadas reflect the couple’s South Florida and Panamanian roots. They recently added monthly craft cocktail classes, where spirits enthusiasts can shake up esoteric tipples with bar chief Deanna Thibeau and also receive food-pairing guidance. (561-440-5273, jardinrestaurant.com)

Chorizo Madeleines | Photo by: South Moon Photography

 

Louie Bossi Boca Raton

When Louie Bossi made a massive splash in Fort Lauderdale, Todd Herbst of Big Time Restaurant Group knew he had a hit on his hands. Herbst and his partners are set to welcome a second location in Boca Raton and have a Delray osteria planned for next year. Drawing inspiration from midcentury modern design, the 8,000-square-foot ristorante features antique copper tables, vintage lighting, and a massive oak-carved fireplace similar to ones Herbst saw during an Italian wine trip. Chef Bossi’s large preparations (think charcuterie platters loaded with house-cured salumis and 12 styles of made-from-scratch pastas) shine in this bigger-is-better setting. Custom neo-Neapolitan pizzas, like the meat-lover’s quattro carne pizza, are baked in a 900-degree, wood-burning oven for 90 seconds. If this all sounds like a calorie overload, don’t worry: There’s a regulation bocce ball court outside for after-dinner calisthenics. (561-336-6699, louiebossi.com)

Quattro Carne at Louie Bossi | Photo by: Experimar

 

The Regional Kitchen & Public House

Every time we eat at The Regional, we feel like we’re doing something good—like minimizing our carbon footprint. Chef Lindsay Autry and her partner, Thierry Beaud, serve only fresh, seasonal produce from regional purveyors, including Kai Kai and Swank farms, as well as seafood from Cod & Capers in North Palm Beach. Interiors exude an elegant, country-home atmosphere, with dark-wood flooring, barrel light fixtures, and a 1,500-bottle wine room. The cuisine is comforting and approachable. Dishes like tomato pie, seafood stew, and coconut cake play to Autry’s Mediterranean roots and her North Carolina upbringing. Sunday brunch on the sun-dappled patio is a must. (561-557-6460, eatregional.com)

 

Tomato Pie at The Regional

Tomato Pie at The Regional | Photo by South Moon Photography

 

Sant Ambroeus

Nestled inside the revitalized Royal Poinciana Plaza, Sant Ambroeus’ natty Palm Beach outpost conjures a 1950s Italian café, with green jasper columns and terrazzo floors. In the mornings and afternoons, islanders stop in for an espresso at the coffee bar or to grab a panini or gelato to go. For dinner, executive chef Marco Barbisotti specializes in traditional Milanese recipes with an emphasis on seafood, high-end salads, and pastas like aragosta, a spicy lobster ragù placed on spaghetti chitarra. Before you say “fin,” wave over the dessert cart laden with pastry chef Guido Mogni’s sublime treats, including tiramisu and fruit tarts. (561-285-7990, santambroeus.com)

Lobster Risotto at Sant Ambroeus | Photo by: Nicole Franzen

 

Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox

Brian Cartenuto turns out an impressive cheeseburger in paradise at this Boca gastropub, naming each creation after his friends’ dogs. The signature Tucker Duke (so christened in honor of Cartenuto’s own 110-pound Great Dane) is a beefy eight-ouncer speared with a steak knife and layered with fried onion rings, melted American cheese, and a special Tucker sauce. The James Beard­­–nominated chef and two-time Food Network Cutthroat Kitchen winner also makes comfort food with a twist, like nacho tots topped with pulled pork. Many patrons come just for the desserts, such as the fried peanut butter balls served with jam and a milk shooter. (561-717-8153, tuckerdukes.com)

Burger at Tucker Dukes | Photo by: essentiallyerika.com

Fried peanut butter balls | Photo by: Samuel Thornhill

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