Best New Restaurant in Palm Beach (2008)

Forte di Asprinio

Stephen Asprinio's Forté is a work of art. It's as though the 26-year-old proprietor, a contender on the first season of Top Chef, had designed his décor and menu to generate argument — and indeed, since it opened this spring, many have loved it and many have hated it. Even we who love it find our feelings shifting from week to week — pleasure, irritation, shock, despair, ecstasy — but the place never bores. There's a balance of tensions and what sometimes feels like deliberate anarchy, the occasional stroke of genius, and the inevitable flamboyant failure. But unlike restaurants that chart a safe course, Forté never shrinks from risk. The menu changes whimsically and sometimes frustratingly — you'll never meet the same amuse bouche; your favorite cocktail has been discontinued (the basil martini, although it was replaced with something even more delicious and elegant); the specific pairing of fruit compote with cheese (or mostarda with salumi) you raved over one night is ancient history. The menu has Italian genes, but in execution it's almost unbearably personal and not a little surreal, as if the butter poached lobster, the miniature pork chops with wild mushrooms and blackberry sauce, or those codfish "lollipops" had taken shape from a fevered dream.

Location Details

225 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach FL 33401
561-833-3330

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