It's a Living

A beautiful day in the neighborhood at Dolce de Palma

The charm, of course, is that you never know exactly what you're in for at Dolce de Palma. There was a veal and butternut squash ragu that looked interesting, but I may never see it again, or the gemelli with turkey meatballs, spinach, and garlic cream sauce. A few of the dishes recur: the house salad with lupini beans, the antipasti platter of cured meats, and the noodles with a Bolognese sauce made from some combination of grass-fed, house-ground beef, farm raised-cinghiale (boar), and San Marzano tomatoes. And from what friends have told me, the short ribs — much improved — are often on the menu, and they're by all accounts divine.

There are always the beautiful gelatos for dessert, but we chose a silky vanilla panna cotta flavored with cardamom and coriander ($6.95), served with a crisp waffle cookie — so delicate it quivered on the spoon — and affogato, gelato "drowned" with cinnamon liqueur, cream, and espresso. And we sat for a long time over our $45 bottle of Barbera d'Alba, savoring the delicious bargain.

De Palma owns another Dolce in North Palm Beach, serving just breakfast and lunch, but he confided that he may close it soon and devote himself full-time to the restaurant in Flamingo Park. He also said he doubts he can continue to work from 5 a.m. till midnight, so he may soon stop serving breakfasts. He'll evidently keep making adjustments to the business until he has a plan that'll support him without breaking his back. Work to be happy in.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

Dolce De Palma

1000 Okeechobee Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Category: Restaurant > Gelato

Region: West Palm Beach

Details

Dolce de Palma Paninoteca, 1000 Old Okeechobee Rd., West Palm Beach. Open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch, 5:30 a.m. till 4 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday for dinner, 5 till 10 p.m. Call 561-833-6460.

If anything positive comes out of this terrible economy, it'll be a correction in long-inflated South Florida menu prices; we're starting to see the check already. I'm hoping more restaurateurs will consider doing just what de Palma has done: dispense with the million-dollar interiors and the $18 martinis and just start serving good food to their good neighbors. The restaurant biz has been in its own bubble — people have been gambling and making fortunes. Maybe it's time they started making an honest living instead.

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