Openings and Closings

Vagabondi Restaurant in West Palm Beach: Ten Tables and Only Fresh Food

"We don't have any old food here -- there's nowhere to put it," says Fernando Diaz, who is partners with Carlo Sernaglia in the 4-month-old Vagabondi restaurant in West Palm Beach.

The restaurant is the first for the duo. Sernaglia, of Venezuela and Italy, is the chef and most recently worked as executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton Key West. Diaz handles the front of the house.

All the dishes at the tiny, 32-seater across from Hotel Biba on Belvedere Road are made from scratch daily, Diaz said. "We have a two-door refrigerator/cooler. There's no room to store anything but one night's foods." The menu is only a page long and changes with the chef's whim or the weather -- or whatever the suppliers provide that day.

Fish not on permanent menu

"If we serve fish, it goes on our specials board -- we won't serve it

if it's not fresh that day," Diaz explained. The partners have cultivated a source, a

local spearfisherman with a commercial license who delivers his catch

to them whenever possible. "If we don't get fish, we take it off the


The menu of simply prepared dishes is mostly Northern Italian, with

some nods to Southern Italy. Salads, a few pastas (paparadelle with

veal ragu, or fettucine with wild mushrooms and arugula), four or five entrées (veal Saltimbocca, chicken Paillard), and a couple of desserts

round things out.  Beer and wine are served also.  

Reservations are a must for the ten-table restaurant. Note that it's closed Monday and Tuesday.

Vagabondi Restaurant

319 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach


Open Wednesday-Sunday; dinner only, from 5 p.m.

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Jan Norris