What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (2024)

M.M. Cloutier

Guess who’s coming to lunch in Palm Beach? A more diverse crowd, say island restaurants that launched lunch service this season.

The much-appreciated ladies who lunch are still out in force, although they’re not the army they once were, observers say.

And it’s rare to see the midday martini-maulers of yesterday.

But as Palm Beach continues to reign as an “it” place, there are more vacationers, businesspeople, stay-at-home parents and late-lunchers skipping dinner as part of recently popular nighttime fasting regimes.

P.B Catch

251 Sunrise Ave.

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What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (2)
What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (3)

To fulfill all of their needs and wants, “we’ve found out how important it is to have variety,” said PB Catch managing partner Thierry Beaud.

Since PB Catch launched lunch service in December after having been a dinner-only restaurant for a dozen years, the Sunrise Avenue seafood restaurant and raw bar has aimed to please everyone from “guests enjoying a leisurely lunch experience similar to what we offer at dinner” to “busy guests who want to be in and out quickly,” veteran restaurateur Beaud told the Daily News.

Popular items so far on the new lunch menu by chef de cuisine Kevin Sawyer have included raw-bar fare; New England clam chowder ($15); a lobster roll ($38) on a butter-toasted bun with a side of cole slaw; and grilled branzino ($33) with tomato confit and lemon-artichoke sauce.

Another popular lunch dish at PB Catch: a spicy tuna stack ($21) with Ahi tuna, avocado, mango, sambal, sweet soy, toasted sesame seeds and crispy wontons.

Acqua Café

2875 S. Ocean Blvd.

What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (4)
What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (5)

Acqua Café, formerly dinner-only, also launched lunch in December.

The South Ocean Boulevard restaurant in the South End is known for its “Mediterranean coastal cuisine”— including Italian specialties by Italy-native executive chef Pierangelo Badioli — but at lunch, American favorites also shine.

Think Cobb salad ($24); crispy corn “ribs” with paprika crème fraiche ($12); and an eight-ounce burger ($25) made with beef brisket, short rib and Angus topped with Gruyere, crispy shallots, mushrooms and more.

Other popular lunch items at Acqua: chicken “lollipops” with spicy buffalo or teriyaki sauce ($15); pan-roasted salmon ($32); and a lobster roll ($30) piled with avocado and salad greens.

“It’s an interesting time to serve lunch in Palm Beach,” Acqua’s managing partner Jose Duran told the Daily News. “There are now many different people who enjoy lunch out and the important thing is to be there for all of them.

“The demographic (in the South End) includes retired people and nearby hotel guests, but these days also stay-at-home moms,” he noted. “We’ve been really pleasantly surprised by the appreciation (to Acqua’s lunch offerings).”

Lola 41

290 Sunset Ave.

What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (6)
What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (7)

Elsewhere, LoLa 41, the Midtown restaurant known for its cuisine influenced by countries on the 41st parallel, is placing a renewed emphasis on lunch.

While it has served lunch since 2020, it debuted a new lunch menu in January.

With about 40% new items, lunch at LoLa 41 now offers such dishes as Korean beef buns ($24) with gochujang beef, kimchi pickles, yuzu kewpie, crispy garlic and scallions; and wild mushroom fried rice ($24) with chili-mango sauce, egg, carrot, snow peas, crispy chili, scallion, lime, mint and cilantro.

A new Bento box ($30) is a multi-course meal-in-one presentation with miso soup; jasmine rice or fried rice; edamame or kimchi pickles; a half sushi roll (shrimp tempura, beet maki, California, spicy tuna or salmon) and two pieces of sashimi or nigiri (salmon, tuna or yellowtail).

“Lunch has been really busy for us this season,” general manager Anthony Budd told the Daily News. “As the signature hotel of the White Elephant, we enjoy a lot of hotel guests, but beyond that we see businesspeople, locals and then others celebrating events like birthday and weddings and baby showers.

“Part of the reason why we enhanced the décor on our outdoor patio this season is because we noticed a big response with lunch. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

Savor

100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan

What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (8)
What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (9)

Meanwhile, patrons also are diverse at Eau Palm Beach Resort’s new al fresco restaurant, Savor, but they all have one thing in common: Endeavoring to eat more healthfully — at least while lunching at this daytime terrace eatery in Manalapan.

With trickling Zen-like water-décor features, it serves Eau hotel and spa guests, plus members of the general public looking for a tasty bite, Eau officials noted.

Savor offers such menu items as avocado toast ($20), edamame hummus ($18) and an artisanal cheese-and-fruit plate ($24).

A chicken pesto sandwich ($22) with basil pesto, tomato, mozzarella and arugula are among hand-held items. “Bowl” dishes also are featured, such as the toasted chickpea Mediterranean bowl ($26) with quinoa or mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, olives, red onion, and tzatziki sauce.

What's for lunch in Palm Beach? From lobster rolls to Korean beef, possibilities abound (2024)

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