We love food around here.
Whether it's flavorful Vietnamese, seafood-centric Japanese, bold Peruvian, or classic French fare, we'll try just about anything -- and enjoy it as long as it's done properly.
That being said, some cuisines stand out. And it just so happens that Italian is one of our favorites. Full of flavor and completely unpretentious, Europe's boot offers a wide range of styles and ingredients, all of which we're more than happy to shove down our gullets. (No matter our current diet.)
North Palm Beach was recently received it's newest Italian resident. Barolo Ristorante offers a wide range of authentic Italian fare with a huge selection of wines to match.
After more than two years of working on the concept, owner Bill Habansky opened the doors of Barolo, in the Crystal Tree Plaza, late last month.
A lover of all things Italian, Habansky aims to serve traditional fare from across the country and a wide range of Italian wines with attentive service.
According to him, the restaurant plans to offer regional dishes in a sort of "Tour of Italy," with selections from areas like Sicily, Veneto, Toscana, and Piedmonte. That being said, Habansky realizes that many locals are more accustomed to Americanized versions of Italian fare.
"We have to be mindful of the American palate and therefore include other dishes such as francese, which isn't even known in Italy; although, many restaurants and diners in our country are very familiar with veal or chicken francese," says Habansky. "We offer a sole francese on our menu, but are able to apply the recipe to just about anything."
Chef Will Figueroa heads the kitchen, but he is currently working with consultant Stuart Partridge, the former executive chef at Michelin-rated Hotel Hassler in Rome as well as executive chef to the late King Hussein of Jordan.
Together the pair have developed a menu filled with creative takes on Italian classics, composed of local ingredients whenever possible along with line-caught fish from the Atlantic.
Expect to see dishes like gamberi Barolo, a combination of steamed shrimp with mushrooms, scallions, lemon, and olive oil. Polpette Barolo, already a menu favorite, is comprised of house made meatballs with tomato sauce and creamy polenta. Pasta lovers should try, gnocchi Amatriciana, hand made gnocchi with pancetta, shallots, tomato sauce, and basil. Carnivores: bistecca al ferri, a gorgonzola crusted grilled New York prime steak with balsamic reduction and rosemary potatoes. Seafood selections round out the menu, including salmone Adriatico, grilled Scottish salmon with cherry tomatoes, capers, and white wine served over artichoke risotto.
On the beverage side, Barolo specializes in -- you guessed it -- wine. While the offerings are extensive (the restaurant features a 1500 bottle climate-controlled walk-in), the focus is really on serving each bottle as its supposed to be served.
"I have always believed that in most restaurants the reds are served too warm, and the whites too cold," says Habansky. "We believe that we have a very good wine list and we want to make sure that our wines are served properly."
According to Habansky, it's a well-balanced list, with approximately 65 percent Italian wine, 25 percent California, and the rest from other international regions. Prices range from the low $30's to over $800 a bottle.
To celebrate its opening, Barolo is offerings a special summer prix fixe menu. For $32.95, guests can enjoy a four-course dinner with a glass of wine, from now through September 30.
Barolo Ristorante is located at 1201 US Highway One in North Palm Beach. Call 561-626-1616, or visit barolopalmbeach.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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