Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 9:17 a.m.
HMF at The Breakers in Palm Beach isn't just another fancy resort bar. It's also a cocktail party that never ends.
The HMF, which opened in late December, is the Island resort's newest see-and-be-seen spot for social drinking and eating, The Breaker's take on Palm Beach-style cocktail culture. The new lobby bar is named for Breakers founder Henry Morrison Flagler, the railroad magnate and original partner of Standard Oil who helped to pioneer the development of South Florida. Part of that vision meant building magnificent hotels like The Breakers, glamorous social environments where northern travelers could vacation.
Designed to evoke a sense of nostalgic, high-class Americana glamour, HMF has transformed The Breaker's historic Florentine Room into "a contemporary Palm Beach cocktail soirée," according to its creators, a large open area where the line between lounge and bar is blurred.
The focal point is the HMF's long, elegant bar, which is matched with a sprawling lounge area where both locals and resort guests can drink and dine in secluded style. Styled after the speakeasy-era cocktail bar, HMF offers a full menu of signature, handcrafted drinks ranging from the traditional concoctions, to the experimental, with innovative twists that include all the usual trends like fresh-made ingredients, elixirs and sodas ($12 to $14).
For winos, the real attraction is nothing short of a sommelier's dream: a Wine Wall showcasing 3,000-bottles neatly arranged in a contemporary display of polished stainless steel and glass, a quick glimpse of The Breakers' 28,000-bottle collection. The Breakers also enlisted the help of Master Sommelier Virginia Philip to craft its 40-plus page wine list featuring over 1,600 high-end, unique varietals -- even sakes -- from around the world.
If you're hungry for more than cocktails and culture, you're in luck. HMF offers a full menu that includes a wide range of eats, from cured meats and cheeses, to sushi and sashimi. There's salads, oven-baked pizzas -- even bowl-style dishes of pasta, Asian fare and American comfort foods.
The menu highlight, however, is a list of "globally inspired" sharing plates by Executive Chef Joey Tuazon, formerly of Acqua at the Four Seasons Miami. The menu boasts dishes that utilize seasonal ingredients, but the real defining element is the reinvention of the gourmet food truck movement -- indoors. That means top picks from some of the nation's most popular food trucks done-up HMF-style, including duck bao buns, Greek-spiced lamb sliders, SoCal fish tacos, wild boar empanadas and Szechuan chicken wraps ($9 to $28).
Another unique touch: keep your eye out for the bar's cigarette girl. Inspired by the social cocktail clubs of the 50s and 60s, think of her as a sort of high-end server offering various tastings of specialty items, be it an aperitif or specialty dessert sample -- anything to enhance the cocktail party experience.
HMF offers its regular menu from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and a late-night menu from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information visit the HMF Facebook page or website, or call The Breakers at 561-659-8480.
Here, a picture tour courtesy of HMF: