When sitting down for a meal at Palm Beach newcomer Sant Ambroeus, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve been transported directly into a scene from the classic Italian film, “La Dolce Vita.” With its mid-century flare, sharply dressed staff and whimsical touches, the chic locale feels like a Milanese café circa 1960.
This feeling has captivated the South Florida food scene ever since the Italian favorite arrived to Palm Beach’s Royal Poinciana Plaza in December 2016 and quickly became the epicenter of the neighborhood.
“We have customers that come in the morning for coffee, people who at the same time every day go and have their espresso,” says Dimitri Pauli, partner of SA Hospitality, the team behind Sant Ambroeus. “We’ve become part of the community.” And a chic member of the community at that.
The 3,300-square-foot space oozes Italian glamour and the design’s luxurious, yet decisive materials echoes the menu’s simple, elegant and ingredient-driven Italian cuisine. Elevated all-day dining is available in the main room with options like perfectly cooked al dente pastas, creamy risottos, crisp salads, buttery cheeses, pizzas and tender fish and meats serving as the highlights.
For those looking for a more casual dining experience, they can grab a seat at the café for a quick sandwich, an espresso from its signature coffee bar or pick up one of its many pastries that are made daily in-house. With its plush coral seating and pink wallpaper adorning the walls (the same print that can be found on the brand’s iconic wrapping paper), the café exudes a purposely confectionery feel that is meant to be sweet and playful.
And since it’s South Florida, frozen desserts are always a good idea. Outdoors, guests can grab a scoop of gelato from the restaurant’s imported Italian ice cream cart.
These small, yet special touches found throughout the space help to create an experience so authentic, it’s hard to find outside of Italy.
“If you close your eyes—or step back and walk the plaza—it’s almost like you could be in Italy,” says Pauli.