A famous Milan-based restaurant best known for its coffee and lunch-heavy fare is coming to South Florida this fall.
Sant Ambroeus, a celebrated Italian pasticceria and confetteria with several stateside locations in Manhattan, has announced it will open its first establishment outside New York this November at the Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach. It will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, according to a press release.
The establishment will bring authentic Milanese cuisine and hospitality to the island, building upon the success of its 30-year-old Madison Avenue location as well as additional ones in Southampton, the West Village, SoHo, the Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar at Loews Regency in midtown Manhattan, and the Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar at Sotheby's.
"I myself have a home in Palm Beach County, and I am certain that Sant Ambroeus will resonate with the local community," Dimitri Pauli, partner at SA Hospitality Group, said in a press release. "Many of those who frequent Palm Beach and the surrounding areas have either experienced Sant Ambroeus in New York, or have heard about our legacy."
The original Sant Ambroeus, named for the city's patron saint, opened its doors in Milan in 1936. In its early days, it's said the establishment acquired a devoted following in northern Italy's cosmopolitan city where it became a meeting place for the local intelligentsia who would dine by day on Sant Ambroeus’ legendary cappuccino and cornetto, enjoy a panini for lunch, and later spend an evening feasting on more refined cuisine in the establishment's elegant dining room.
Now, you can dine like you're at the Sant Ambroeus in Milan too. Each Sant Ambroeus remains authentic to its Milanese origins, added Pauli, serving everything from breakfast and lunch to formal afternoon tea, dinner, and dessert.
According to the restaurant’s designer, Robert McKinley, Sant Ambroeus Palm Beach will even look the part, with a design inspired by the “Gran Caffés” of Italy in the 1950s — a mix of clean, modern lines accented with rich and noble materials like mahogany and Italian stone. The space will accommodate up to 174 guests, and — in addition to the fine dining experience in the main dining rooms — guests can enjoy more casual seating at the signature coffee bar and gelateria.
As for the food, it's touted as authentic too. Overseen by Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group's culinary director Iacopo Falai, the Sant Ambroeus Palm Beach menu will stay true to the brand's traditional Milanese dishes while incorporating new menu items exclusive to the Florida location.
"The menu will focus on seafood and colorful salads with texture, grains, and fruits [that] will highlight the simplicity of the local produce," said executive chef Marco Barbisotti.
Popular signature dishes to keep an eye out for include Sant Ambroeus favorites like the Vitelli Tonnato (chilled, thin-sliced veal with a tuna sauce garnished with capers), Caprese (buffalo mozzarella, Kumatoe tomatoes, and fresh basil), Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (the restaurant's own tagliatelle in a light veal ragu), and Cotoletta alla Milanese (traditional Milanese-style breaded veal chop).
If you're craving something sweet, the Palm Beach restaurant will also feature a special dessert cart that will be displayed in the main dining room, offering a glimpse at housemade cakes, pies, tiramisu, and a creamy millefoglie — a sweet Italian pastry akin to Napoleon that consists of layers of puff pastry and chantilly cream — prepared by in-house pastry chef Guido Mogni.
Beverage director and mixologist Alex Berlingeri will be on hand to prepare a number of handcrafted cocktails with a focus on digestivi, after-dinner drinks that aid in digestion. The restaurant will also offer a wine program comprised of fine Italian wines, including esoteric options from more obscure regions.
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"We find that many of our Sant Ambroeus clients spend a great deal of time in Palm Beach, and we are thrilled to bring our vision of Italian excellence to the community," said Gherardo Guarducci, a partner at Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group.
Sant Ambroeus Palm Beach. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. 340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach; santambroeus.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.