By GERRY BARKER
North Palm Beach Life
Photos by North Palm Beach Life
What better way, we asked ourselves, to spend a picture perfect, end-of-February day in SoFlo than lunch by the waterfront along Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach? And we happened to know the perfect place: Elisabetta's.
Since its opening in 2021 , it's become the popular choice for anyone seeking authentic Italian cuisine. This is their second location -- joining the Elisabetta's in Delray Beach. Not only is the West Palm version bigger (10,000 square feet, accommodating 300 guests), but also features a large outdoor patio that fronts the Intracoastal waterway.
And that's where we headed: A cozy patio table where we can enjoy a cooling breeze to go with the twinkling lights and flowers.
We were greeted by Drew Shane, the general manager, and our server, Luca Tarantino. Native to Naples, Italy, and now living here, Luca was well-qualified to lend his expertise to our menu choices, starting with drink recommendations.
I had already decided to try their newest cocktail, Siesta, a mix of tequila, Aperol, chickpea water, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and citrus juice. (You can get the recipe HERE). Pam went with his suggestion, a glass of Pouilly-Fuissé, which she said was excellent. Normally, I don't do tequila (or chickpea water), but this cocktail was slightly sweet and hit the right note for a sunny day by the water.
The appetizer special was almost a meal in itself
For food, Luca recommended we start with the appetizer special, three different mozzarella cheeses accompanied by three different kinds of prosciutto, along with homemade breadsticks, olives and pickled vegetables. Shane told us virtually everything they serve here is made in-house, by the way.
Luca was two-for-two. Artfully presented, it was almost a meal in itself. For Pam, it doesn't get any better than a plate of dry-cured meat, delicious Italian cheese and olives. Not wanting to waste any of it, we requested a to-go box for what was left.
The entre special of the day was branzino, grilled whole or filleted, and Pam said "Sign me up." I decided on the chicken panini sandwich. For the record, Luca was keen on their pizza, which he said was the best he's had outside of Italy. That's definitely on the menu for our next time here.
Pam's fish was perfectly prepared, and came with a side of roasted potatoes. My sandwich featured grilled
chicken, mozzerella, basil pesto, arugula and rapini. Did we enjoy it? Let's just say this time around, no to-go boxes required.
Of course we couldn't leave without dessert, and Luca didn't even have to give Pam any choices: She had already decided on tiramisu, her favorite, all the way. I was torn between several, but ultimately went with the Rum Baba, consisting of rum-soaked brioche bread, homemade vanilla gelato, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Something we didn't know: Luca told us Baba actually originated in Naples.
Both desserts arrived in generous portions, and despite her best efforts, Pam did have to get a to-go box for hers, which means I can sneak a bite later. Yum!
Bottom line, if you can't get over to Italy, Elisabetta's is a great way to experience the food and camaraderie that encapsulate la dolce vita right here in South Florida. And newsflash, we were told coming later this year, they plan to open a a third-floor lounge overlooking the water. Sign us both up for that.
Elisabetta's. 185 Banyon Ave. in downtown West Palm Beach. Visit their website HERE.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Due to popular demand, the Center for Visual Communication (CVC) in Wynwood is announcing the stellar exhibition featuring 15 of Miami’s leading artists – The Miami Creative Movement – will be extended through April 8th, and will remain on view for six more weeks.
The group show features powerful new works by: Mira Lehr, Carlos Betancourt, Edouard Duval-Carrie, Karen Rifas, Robert Thiele, John Bailly, Asser Saint-Val, Kathleen Staples, Paola Gracey, Jacqueline Gopie, Robert McKnight, Regina Jestrow, Gustavo Oviedo, Pablo Contrisciani, and David Marsh.
There has never been a show quite like this before that succeeds in grouping together influential Miami artists of this caliber, brilliantly juxtaposed among younger generations who are now taking the baton. Some of these artists led the charge as far back as 1961, they spearheaded the role of art in Miami.
It is also rare to see a show in South Florida of bold paintings spread out over such a large gallery space. The effect upon the viewer is electrifying.
(PRESS RELEASE)_WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach Atlantic University recently celebrated its annual Women of Distinction luncheon at The Breakers Palm Beach, honoring philanthropists Mary Fairbanks Freitas and Monika Preston for their leadership and community contributions to Palm Beach County.
More than 300 guests attended the celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The event was chaired by Frances Fisher.
The Women of Distinction luncheon continues the rich tradition of honoring women in leadership who cherish community and family and want to preserve these ideals for others. This year’s luncheon was among the highest grossing events in Palm Beach Atlantic University history. Proceeds raise scholarship funds for female students who demonstrate outstanding academics, service and leadership. This year, recipients represented four states and five majors:
“At PBA, we cherish the tradition of celebrating women who have impacted Palm Beach County and beyond,” said President Dr. Debra A. Schwinn. “Monika and Mary have pursued excellence, exemplified service and demonstrated integrity throughout their careers and civic responsibilities—reflecting the same values that PBA holds dear. Their actions also inspire and help create opportunities for future women leaders, including our scholarship recipients. Each woman at the luncheon is instrumental in a brighter future."
(PRESS RELEASE)_February 28th, 2023 - Munyon Island Spirits Company launches Munyon’s Paw-Paw, an All-Natural American Aperitif steeped in Florida history. The recipe is an homage to the original Munyon’s Paw-Paw tonic created in 1903 by Dr. James Munyon, the most spectacular and successful proprietor in the history of patent medicine. Dr. James Munyon’s premier place to promote and distribute his elixir was Hotel Hygeia located on Munyon Island in Palm Beach County.
Co-founder Joe Colucci stated, “We are thrilled to bring this great piece of American history back as a modern Aperitif. Dr. James Munyon conveyed a message of hope and kindness. In today’s world we need this messaging more than ever. Our goal is not only to bring Munyon’s Paw-Paw back, but also to amplify the same message of hope that Dr. James Munyon made so popular. What better way to bring this to life than celebrating with loved ones over a refreshing Munyon’s Aperitif cocktail!”
(PRESS RELEASE)_JUNO BEACH, FL (February 27, 2023) A mile-long stretch along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean will once more fill with thousands of handmade works of art and fine craft during the 33rd Annual ArtFest by the Sea presented by Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. The “most beautiful art festival setting in the nation” returns to Juno Beach, FL, on March 11 – 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Produced by the nation’s top outdoor art festival producer, Howard Alan Events, and benefitting the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, more than 300 of the nation’s top artists and fine crafters will be arrayed gallery-style for a mile-long art walk like no other. Celebrating original hand-made works that include paintings, jewelry, woodworking, pottery, glass, photography, life-size sculpture and more, visitors will meet the talented artists themselves who will be on-site to share what inspired their creations and explain how each piece was made.
(PRESS RELEASE)_(Boca Raton, FL – February 27, 2023) The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum (SBRHM) today announced four fascinating and fun events next month. For more information, please visit BocaHistory.org, or call 561.395.6766, ext. 100.
Wednesday, March 1, at 6 pm
Town Hall Talk
Suffrage Era Postcards
Longtime human rights activist Carol Crossed purchased and restored the Susan B. Anthony birthplace in Adams, Massachusetts in 2006. Her book, Vintage Tweets: Suffrage Era Postcards, is an amusing and insightful look back at the women’s suffrage movement. She will explore both domestic and political views of the topic as found through vintage postcards, the social media of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Co-hosted by the Boca Raton Historical Society and the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County, the Town Hall Talk starts at 6 pm with check-in and refreshments, and the lecture begins at 6:30 pm. FREE for BRHS and LWVPBC members, $10 for guests.
(PRESS RELEASE)_(Delray Beach, FL – February 27, 2023) Marjorie Waldo, President & CEO of Arts Garage, today reminded fans of the Great American Songbook of two amazing presentations this week:
Thursday, March 2 – 5 pm
Book-Signing & Discussion
Cabaret sensation Jill Switzer will sign-books and answer questions about her newest release, The Contemporary Singer’s Blueprint: From Amateur to Professional and Beyond. The evening will begin with a live musical performance by Jill & Rich Switzer. Using her decades as a career vocalist, Switzer’s book provides readers with the professional insight and practical steps for building a top-notch, profitable singing career. Filled with enlightening anecdotes, encouraging pep talks, veteran’s words of wisdom, and the tricks of the trade known only by the pros, this delicious and dishy how-to book guides today’s vocalists through the mental, technical and physical challenges for achieving excellence in today’s music business.
Saturday, March 4 – 8 pm
Love Songs from Broadway and Beyond
Hailed by BroadwayWorld for capturing “the authentic songwriting passion of a young Billy Joel with the soulfulness of Ed Sheeran,” Anthony Nunziata has been described as “an explosion of love and entertainment.” For his upcoming concert at Arts Garage, the beloved Italian-American tenor has planned a setlist that includes some of the most romantic music including a selection of classic standards, arias, famed love songs and celebrated original songs including Somewhere, Some Enchanted Evening, Can’t Help Falling in Love, Unchained Melody, O Sole Mio, and The Prayer, along with tunes from his critically-acclaimed, award-winning new jazz/pop release, The Love Album, which is now available on all streaming services.
Tickets for both Jill Switzer and Anthony Nunziata are available for purchase by calling the Arts Garage at 561.450.6357 or by going online to www.ArtsGarage.org
(PRESS RELEASE)_Palm Beach, Fla. (February 27, 2023) – The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties unveiled a new $100,000 matching grant challenge during the organization’s 10th Annual Founders Luncheon held at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. As part of the challenge, the Community Foundation’s newly established Community Mental Health Fund, and three other mental health-focused organizations, will each receive up to $25,000 in matching funds. The Community Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that creates partnerships with donors, nonprofits and community members to solve the region’s chronic and emerging issues.
The match challenge was established and announced by Shawn Donnelley in honor of her mother Margaret Donnelley, a lifelong philanthropist and mental health advocate. Margaret Donnelley was also presented with the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties 2023 McIntosh Award during the luncheon.
“Margaret Donnelley’s vision of a community without stigma for individuals and families suffering from mental illness, as well as her efforts toward prevention, continue to be pioneering,” said Danita R. DeHaney, President & CEO, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. “We are incredibly thankful that her daughter Shawn is following in her mother’s footsteps by supporting the new Community Mental Health Fund with her generous match challenge.”
The four funds benefitting from the match challenge are:
Donations of up to $25,000 to each of these funds will be matched by Shawn Donnelley. The $100,000 match challenge runs through June 30, 2023. To make a donation or learn more about the funds, please visit https://yourcommunityfoundation.org.
"For more than fifty years my mother has fought to make mental health treatment available for everyone in our community,” said Shawn Donnelley. “Although she has accomplished more in one lifetime than even seems possible, the fight is not over. This challenge will allow others to join her in supporting those most in need.”
(PRESS RELEASE)_Elisabetta's invites you to try the Siesta Cocktail. Here's the recipe:
2 ounces Quatro Copas Tequila
1 ounce Aperol
.5 ounces chickpea water (the water you get when you strain chickpeas)
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce lemon/lime juice
Shake all ingredients with ice
Strain into a coupe glass
Garnish with three dashes of Angostura Bitters and a sprig of thyme
Elisabetta's is a highly acclaimed Italian restaurant. Known for homemade pastas, breads and pizzas, the restaurant's menu offers a variety of fresh pastas made in house daily, steaks dry aged in house, salumi plates, fish from a wood burning grill, and fresh desserts and pastries, all made in house daily. It is a Big Time Restaurant Group restaurant.
Elisabetta’s serves dinner seven nights a week, lunch Monday-Friday, and brunch, on Saturdays and Sundays. Elisabetta’s Ristorante and Pizzeria is located at 185 Banyan Boulevard, West Palm Beach and at 32 East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. For more information, visit Elisabettas.com.
(PRESS RELEASE)_(Boca Raton, FL – February 24, 2023) The Boca Raton Historical Society is announcing that the always popular BOCA BACCHANAL, an annual celebration of fine wine and food, will be back for another delicious weekend, April 29-30.
This year’s event will kick-off with BACCHUS BECKONS, a special event celebrating 20 years of fine wine and food, which will be held Wednesday, March 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at Priviara Private Aviation Hangar, 3690 Airport Road in Boca Raton. The BOCA BACCHANAL Vintner Dinner pairings will be announced at this wine and light bites reception. Tickets to attend are $60 and are available now at www.BocaBacchanal.com. This is the perfect lead-up to Boca Raton’s biggest annual two-day wine and food event.
BOCA BACCHANAL 2023
Saturday, April 29 – Vintner Dinners
BOCA BACCHANAL’s unique Vintner Dinners will be held in beautiful private homes, historical locations, or other premier locations throughout Boca Raton. Attendees will enjoy one of four simultaneous evenings that will pair the talents of internationally acclaimed vintners and distillers with delicious 5-course dinners prepared by renowned chefs. Truly an intimate evening to remember.
Sunday Afternoon, April 30 – The Grand Tasting
This year’s Boca Bacchanal Grand Tasting will be held at The Addison from 1 to 4 pm, featuring prized vintners and distillers offering tasting selections of their wines, champagnes, and whiskey, as well as wine and spirits seminars. Attendees will also enjoy generous samplings of signature dishes by celebrated local chefs. There will be a silent auction of wine, dining, travel, and lifestyle packages. Designed by Addison Mizner, The Addison and is considered one of the most important pieces of architecture in South Florida.
Grand Tasting Ticket: $125.
Grand Tasting plus a Seminar Ticket: $160
VIP Ticket: $250
“BOCA BACCHANAL is a festive weekend that celebrates and enhances the appreciation of wine and food, while bringing together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, while providing the entire community with a delightful and tasty opportunity to support the heritage education programs of The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum and the Boca Raton Historical Society,” says Mary Csar, Executive Director.
Sponsors for BOCA BACCHANAL 2023 include Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), The Boca Raton, Boca Magazine, The Addison, Publix, Crown Wine and Spirits, The Berman Group, BRiC and CP Partners, JM Family, and more.
For more information and to purchase tickets to BOCA BACCHANAL 2023, please visit www.BocaHistory.org.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"