Best New Restaurant in Palm Beach - 2007
Housed in an old bank building at the foot of the Southern Boulevard Bridge, Sapori exerts a gentle magnetism upon Palm Beach island's "smart set," though judging from the placidly banal conversation of these sartorially challenged plutocrats, the smart set could use some reeducation. Owner and Chef Francesco Blanco and Fabrizio Giorgi fled Worth Avenue's Bice to strike out on their own this year, and while Sapori is as pricey and its clientele equally annoying, they've clearly and successfully avoided Bice's creeping mediocrity and built themselves a restaurant far lovelier and more pleasing, thanks in part to their gracious, well-trained staff. A huge menu of tapas, Italian specialties, and weirdly sushi (perhaps as a sop to those size-0 socialites) is outstanding, from warm chickpea cake with goat cheese and sautéed mushrooms to mini rice balls stuffed with mozzarella and meat, from baby spare ribs in apricot sauce to homemade white pizza. The kitchen's attention to detail is so exacting that even a simple roast chicken almost outshines a perfectly composed plate of osso buco. Don't be put off by the Maseratis at the valet station; sitting amid flickering candles on the outdoor patio, forking up hand-rolled ricotta cavatelli, you'll feel like you could buy and sell every one of those assholes three times over.