Photo by Ashley Meyer
Bees are circling over Palm Beach, and they’re bringing nature’s bounty with them. Restaurateur Nick Coniglio, known for local eateries such as Cucina dell’Arte, E.R. Bradley’s, and Nick & Johnnie’s, opened Island Bee (561-619-3657) in December in the space formerly occupied by the Tropical Fruit Shop. The vegan café and market is an offshoot of The Bee in West Palm Beach, which has been dispensing a mix of yoga instruction and holistic food since late 2013. “My partners and I wanted to do something that was organic and healthy,” Coniglio says, “but we also wanted it to be creative and fun. There was no health food store in Palm Beach, so we realized we were filling a need.”
Island Bee draws on locally sourced ingredients for its large selection of juices and smoothies and also crafts those raw materials into intriguing dishes. Coniglio’s favorite is the Funky Funghi, a flatbread combining wild mushrooms with arugula, caramelized onion, and vegan cheese. He’s also fond of the Sun Kissed
Italian Bowl, a mix of artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, cauliflower, and local greens in a balsamic vinaigrette. Aside from the food, the most appealing aspect of Island Bee is its collaboration spaces, sections of the restaurant devoted to selling pottery, jewelry, home goods, and art alongside protein powders and bee pollen. “We’d like to rotate artists and craftsmen as often as we can and make the space a showcase for everything being made in the community,” Coniglio says.