The Breakers: Regal Palm Beach
Quick Jaunt for Dinner or Ideal Weekend Getaway
Charles Greenfield is a Miami-based travel writer who has contributed to Travel & Leisure and regional magazines/ newspapers. He also is Cultural Arts Contributor to Artsbeat on WLRN 91.3 FM, South Florida’s NPR affiliate, a producer for WLRN Ch. 17’s Artstreet, and writes on classical and jazz musicians for the Miami Herald.
Palm Beach’s “royal” palace, The Breakers dominates its 140 acres with imposing twin Belvedere towers, a sweeping 1,040-foot main driveway with Florentine fountain, and fabulous Genoese-inspired “Great Hall” main lobby. Part of Henry Flagler’s futuristic 1896 vision of Florida tourism and railroads, the legendary resort has 540 guestrooms, two 18-hole golf courses, a 20,000 sq. ft. oceanfront spa, half-mile Mediterranean-style beach club, 10 tennis courts, chic boutiques (Guerlain, Burberry, Kiehl’s, Steuben Glass) and seven dining venues.
In fact, their signature award-winning restaurant, L’Escalier, in its third season, is creating imaginative and visual dishes that beckon epicureans through ‘molecular gastronomy’ combined with super fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s Renaissance ambiance is transformed into a modern sensibility under the young, talented Chef de Cuisine Greg Vassos who studied with Two-Star Michelin chef Sergi Arola.
Vassos possesses subtle but clear intentions – food that both surprises and reassures. In their Grand Tasting Menu a “Caprese” salad of mozzarella and tomato-basil literally bursts on the tongue. Peekytoe crab is bedded next to cubes of guava rum punch and an oval of avocado. Cauliflower, often tasteless, transforms voluptuously when co-joined to a jelly of cacao and Basque espelette red pepper. And Colorado lamb, both sausage and loin, were beautifully linked to eggplant and goat cheese. Master Sommelier Juan Gomez makes surprising pairings with a Rheingau Riesling, Greek Santorini, a solid Puligny-Montrachet and a sparkling Braida Brachetto d’Acqui for dessert.
The Breakers irresistibly makes for a Midas weekend touch.