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
"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
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