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Dolce de Palma Closes in West Palm Beach

Chef Anthony de Palma has shut the doors to his namesake Italian restaurant, Dolce de Palma, in West Palm Beach. He auctions off the equipment tomorrow.

It came down to "issues with the landlord and the building," the chef said. "It was an uphill battle, and I just didn't want to do it anymore."

But look for a return soon -- he already has several offers for backing and restaurant locations, he said.

"It's a great feeling to get all these calls," he said in a phone interview. "People do care about good food -- they want to see me back on my feet fast."

De Palma opened on April Fool's Day 2007 in a small restaurant always

described as "across the tracks" off Okeechobee and Parker Avenue near

the Kravis Center. It became popular immediately for its food -- rustic

and authentic Italian, with dishes of rabbit or liver and handmade

pastas and gelatos.

From Rome to Manhattan, restaurant investors and others are contacting

him, he said. He's meeting with Leo Balestrieri, volatile owner of

the former Apicius (now Bar Italia) in Lantana, today to discuss that

restaurant.

"It would be great for me -- it's a beautiful location," De Palma said. The nearby

bridge connecting the road to Palm Beach and Manalapan, closing for

repair sometime next year, is a concern, however. "I'm just

talking right now," he said.

Other options include Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach -- the

former Bonds space, big enough and with a full large bar -- appealing to

de Palma. "I want to go bigger," he said. "I'm not looking to do little

projects anymore."


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