renato's in west palm beach, fl


On a graduation trip disguised as a weekend getaway, my family and I recently made the trip down to West Palm Beach, Florida to celebrate a milestone in the life of the family's youngest, now armed with a college degree and the determination to face the world head-on.

While graduations tend to be a whirlwind of events and ceremonials, making time to eat was the first thing we planned upon arriving in the balmy tropical air. Palm trees, with their leaves swaying in the heat above our heads, lined the roads as we drove through the coastal town to little Grace's front door.

The place? Renato's just off of Worth Avenue, a West-Palm-Beacher's version of Rodeo Drive. Tucked away in a corner, Renato's offered a garden seating area, fresh roses on every table, and a pianist casually striking the keys with soft, welcoming music.

The staff and maitre'd were luminously inviting, guiding us to watch our step as they led us to our outside table, just in time to enjoy the beginning of typical Floridian evening weather.

While the summer heat subdues my appetite ever-so-slightly, it could not convince me to pass up trying the Insalata Renato, a mixture of radicchio, Belgian endive (my fave), Boston Lettuce, diced tomatoes and shaved Parmesan with a light balsamic vinaigrette. Simple yet refreshing.

For my main course, though the some of the rest of my family enjoyed one of Renato's meat-based entrees, I was content with a homemade three-cheese ravioli in a tomato-basil sauce.

Gram's selection, penne vodka.

While no meal is complete without dessert (and we had it, don't you worry), the quickly setting sun only allowed for photographic evidence by candlelight, none of which would serve as proper pictorial justice.

I do have to say, however, that the tahitian vanilla bean créme brulée was one of the best desserts, no FOODS, I have ever eaten. (Also enthusiastically sampled: a molten chocolate cake and an espresso toffee ice cream. Divinity.)