Marty and I dined last night with our friend Ali at Matteo’s Garden Club Restaurant in Palm Beach – located one block off the Ocean at 140 Sunrise – 844-6300. Matteo’s is a small dining room that seats 72 inside and a few outside tables with umbrellas. I believe it used to serve as a club for the adjoining Condo Association and this is its first year under Chef Matteo and his wife/manager. I understand in season it is quite busy with the Seniors who live in the Condo and that was also reflected last night. Other than the staff Uncle Larry was one of the younger diners and that doesn’t happen often.
Overall we thought it was a very pleasant dining experience and quite reasonably priced for The Island. In fact it is reasonably priced compared to the full service dining rooms in North County. We tried a variety of dishes and quite enjoyed the food.
For apps we liked the Granny Smith Apple Ravioli with Sausage. Usually I don’t like to mix my food groups but the apples were in the ravioli and it had a brown butter/apple sweet sauce that was delightful and brought it all together. The three moist and nicely seared Diver Sea Scallops were very tasty.
We shared a second course of Penne Bolognese and it was just OK.
For entrees we had the Veal Shiitake and it was very good. The veal, mushrooms and side of spinach souffle were all excellent. Our second entrée – Osso Bucco was very flavorful but they must have been running low on the meat budget as it only had about four bites of meat as opposed to the generous portions I am accustomed to when ordering Osso Bucco. It was also their most expensive item at $32 so I think you can fairly assume we wouldn’t have the Penne and Osso Bucco a second time.
We had two desserts and they were outstanding. The Chef’s special Fresh Strawberry Napolean was filled with whipped cream and delicious. Personally, I couldn’t stop eating the Almond Macaroons. They were really more like a moist cookie stuffed with a rich almond paste and I only shared one with Marty and Ali. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you eat four very rich cookies.
Their wine list was modest in size and price. We had a Jordan Chardonnay for $45 and I ordered a nice glass of an Italian Tuscan for $10. If you have a favorite wine you can bring it for a $10 corkage fee.
Overall we had a good time and would recommend you give Matteo’s Garden Club Restaurant a try. They are open for lunch and dinner. It won’t make you forget Chez Jean Pierre or Palm Beach Grill but it was tasty, reasonably priced and nice for a change.