Best New Restaurant in Palm Beach - 2003
De La Tierra
Readers' Choice: Savanna's P.B.
Go ahead, write in to the editors. We know that technically, this isn't a new restaurant. The Sundy House, where De La Tierra is located, was restored about five years ago and has since undergone various menu and design changes. But the most recent transformation, which took place at the end of summer last year and continues in its evolution to date, is the one that has truly made Sundy House a dining destination of national note. The truth is, we could have given the De La Tierra restaurant any number of awards -- Best Outdoor Dining for its tables poised under fruit trees so ancient they could have inspired Adam and Eve to sin with a mango instead of an apple. Best Organic Fare, not just in terms of the lack of pesticides that many of the tropical, locally grown ingredients boast but in the sense that the New World dishes derive naturally from the very land on which they are served. And let's not forget Best Chef on the Fast Track for a James Beard Award, Johnny Vinczencz, who migrated northward from South Beach and has recently been tapped to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. So you might prefer the word reinvented or maybe even renovated. But we'll stick with new, not just because this eatery has been so dramatic in its turnaround but because that's how we feel -- new as a just-born, subtropical, martini-lovin' babe -- every time we dine there.