Thursday, December 15, 2016
Palm Beach Daily News
Opening night at the Plaza: Sant Ambroeus restaurant holds debut dinner event
A signature restaurant finally has returned to the Royal Poinciana Plaza.
Sant Ambroeus, a popular New-York based Italian restaurant, opened Tuesday night. Owners Dimitri Pauli and Gherardo Guarducci and Chef Marco Barbisotti welcomed more than 450 people to their event.
The Milanese restaurant, located at the entrance of the plaza at 340 Royal Poinciana Way, took the place of previous tenant Del Frisco’s Grille, which shut down last November.
It’s the first restaurant outside of New York for Sant Ambroeus, which is known on Madison Avenue and in Southampton, N.Y. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday . The layout accommodates up to 174 guests and includes a private dining room.
The menu includes Sant Ambroeus favorites such as caprese, Vitello Tonnato, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese, and Cotoletta alla Milanese. It also features new dishes inspired by Florida ingredients.
“The menu will focus on seafood and will incorporate local citruses and herbs to accentuate the fresh, luminous surroundings that encompass Palm Beach,” Barbisotti said earlier this year. “Colorful salads with texture, grains and fruits will highlight the simplicity of the local produce.”
A dessert cart in the main dining room will feature housemade cakes, pies, tiramisu and millefoglie. The restaurant also includes a coffee bar and gelateria. The drink menu will offer craft cocktails and fine Italian wines.
The landmarked Royal Poinciana Plaza, managed by Up Markets, recently underwent a major restoration. A key component was revitalizing the outdoor space with shade and citrus trees as well as adding seating. Crews also installed cast-stone sidewalks, restored the courtyard fountains, repainted the buildings, and altered the flow of traffic at entrance and exit points.
Resident Simon Taylor sued the town and Sant Ambroeus in April objecting to the Town Council’s approval of two variances that paved the way for the restaurant to open. The approvals reduced the number of seats in the landmarked Royal Poinciana Playhouse from 860 to 725 and diverted 135 parking places from the theater to the restaurant. The theater has been closed since 2004.
The Palm Beach County Circuit Court dismissed the suit in September saying Taylor lacked standing. Taylor, president of the Palm Beach Theater Guild, recently asked the Fourth District Court of Appeal to take up the case.