|Address:||313 Worth Ave., 561/835-1600|
|D.O.B.||1990 in Palm Beach (1926 in Milan)|
|Ambiance:||Lovely and sleek interior with modern upscale feel; airy room perfect for people-watching; ample space for revelry; inviting Tuscan-style courtyard for dining al fresco.|
|Signature drink:||Bice martini (topical fruit-infused vodka with cranberry, sour mix and orange juice)|
|Signature dish (lunch):||Strigoli con pesto e gamberi (little dumplings with pesto and shrimp)|
|Signature dish (dinner):||Pappardelle al telefono della Bice (large fresh noodles with tomato, mozzarella, basil and a touch of cream) and cosciotto di vitello al Milanese (veal chop with arugula and Parmesan)|
|Celebrity sightings:||Bice manager Francesco Blanco says his regular customers are so special that he and his staff do not fuss over celebrities, nor pay them any special notice. Ahh, to be a local!|
Worth Avenue's Bice remains one of the best dining places for Palm Beach's "see-and-be-seen" crowd, especially at lunchtime. It's no wonder the food is relentlessly good and the setting is stylish and inviting. There are immaculate white tables, a geometric ceiling treatment and a wall of lovely French doors flooded with South Florida sunlight. When asked what makes Bice special for lunch, General Manager Francesco Blanco says, "Bice is wonderful because it offers a convenient location to the shops, with indoor seating and a happening bar at which to dine if one chooses to have a nice glass of wine and a salad. Our outdoor dining is perfect if one prefers the beautiful sunshine."
Tabletops are spacious, with lots of elbow room if you need to review the day's haul. And, oh yes, there's an endless parade of cosmopolitan people coming and going during lunch hours, amping up the atmosphere to Beautiful People Land.
The lunch menu is a modified version of Bice's dinner menu, with the exception of the meat dishes, which are more robust at night. Chef Fabrizio Giorgi ensures an enticing selection so decision-making is difficult (sometimes it's best to allow the waiter to help you choose). Giorgi's masterful blend of rich flavors makes a delicious event of each dish; for example, a Bice sandwich might be made with olive bread, roasted smoked duck breast, smoked mozzarella and onions or a warm crispy Piadina bread with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto ham and arugula.
Giorgi also produces a wide range of fresh pastas with delicious authenticity, including raviolis stuffed with sausage, spinach and potato; orecchiette with broccoli rabe, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes; tagliolini with Bolognese sauce; and gnocchi with lobster, brandy tomatoes and zucchini. Of course, you may opt for a nice, fresh piece of fish or a gorgeous salad if you prefer a lighter meal.
Francesco Blanco, always a gentleman (not to mention dreamy Italian), runs a handsome team of European servers who seem to have been selected for their clairvoyant abilities. Remarkable at anticipating your next wish, one of the many attentive waiters is at your service before you're able to raise an eyebrow. Yet they will never approach you with the bill; you may linger as long as you please. And you'll notice that no matter what the nature of the lunch--business or pleasure--most diners are quite pleased to linger at Bice for a long while.
Bice's Tuna Tartar (serves 2)
Chop the tuna, avocado and cucumber into thin pieces and place each in separate bowls. Blend the sauce ingredients by hand. Mix the tuna with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the avocado with lemon juice and two tablespoons of olive oil.
With a small cylinder cooking shape, create three levels starting with the cucumber on the bottom, tuna tartar in the middle, and finish with avocado on top. (The end result will look like a mini cake.)
Drizzle the soy sauce mixture on top and serve.
12 ounces sushi tuna
3 tablespoons soy sauce
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