Key Lime Pie Flambé, CPB at The Colony Hotel
“Key lime pie has always been on our menu,” says pastry chef Emma Isakoff. “I wanted to put a modern take on it and also give it a winter flavor profile.” To accomplish this, she begins with a layer of cinnamon- and ginger-flavored blackberry puree. Traditional key lime filling is placed on top, along with a spiced financier, or almond cake. A Swiss meringue, which Isakoff caramelizes with a blowtorch, signals the grand finale. The finished product is a Florida staple à la Jackson Pollock.
Wiener Schnitzel, Café L’Europe
When the late Norbert Goldner and his wife, Lidia, opened their café in 1980, it was an age of excess. Champagne corks were flying, and aristocrats and celebrities lined up out the door. Certain parts of the menu, however, paid homage to Goldner’s early restaurant training in Berlin. Café L’Europe continues to put fresh flowers on every table and play piano music every night, and customers can still order a classic Wiener schnitzel: lightly pounded cutlets of veal breaded and sautéed, served with spaetzle, red cabbage, and spinach.
Chicken Curry, The Leopard Lounge
Nestled in the British-bred Chesterfield Hotel, The Leopard Lounge alludes to Gilded Age glamour and Colonial spirit. The chicken curry has survived for nearly half a century and is available at each of the Red Carnation hotels. According to founder and president Beatrice Tollman, the dish began as a staff meal at their restaurant in Johannesburg until the Indian maître d’hôtel taught her how to make it. Executive chef Gerard Coughlin pairs it with jasmine rice, poppadoms, and mango chutney, and declares it to be a popular item that guests request as soon as they arrive in Palm Beach.
Mahogany Rotisserie Duck, Ta-Boo
A Palm Beach institution since 1941, Ta-boo early on focused on French classics such as frogs’ legs Provençal and filet of sole Véronique. While tastes have evolved, the mahogany rotisserie duck provides a link to an era when Sinatra was a regular. “Everything is cyclical, and food comes back as well as fashion,” says co-owner Franklyn Demarco. “The dish is delicious and also ties into the culinary traditions of Ta-Boo.” His partner, Nancy Sharigan, tinkered with the recipe until she got the orange blossom and honey-ginger sauce, succulent duck, and accompanying cinnamon carrots just right.