Dolce de Palma Closes in West Palm Beach
|Anthony de Palma|
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 restaurant.
"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 projects anymore."
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