Packing punches bigger than Rocky...Balboa Italian, the new kid on the block. Adding to Palm Beach's already impressive lineup of bucket list eateries. If it's not the mouth-watering Italian cuisine and the delicious cocktails, it's at the very least the phenomenal fit-out, the glamorous chandelier or the bright red Vespa that will leave you yelling ADRIANNN...
Firstly, let's take a minute to appreciate the monumental precision that has gone into creating Balboa's fit-out. A two storey Italian escape with red brick walls, big open spaces and head turning features. Wrought iron is used as a feature throughout the restaurant and can be seen on the staircase, the custom made shelves (which hold a fine range of liquor)and the exposed beams that seperate the two levels. Traditional Italy meets urban classic, the brick walls, polished concrete floors and big wooden bar framed with wrought iron panelling set the theme.
Balboa's lower level offers seating both inside and out, and leaves you immersed in the thick of the action. Head upstairs and enjoy a more intimate dining space, with plush velvet lounges, even a private dining area separated by a chained curtain. Then there are the finishing touches, lush greenery, a variety of antique lights, a bright red Vespa that sits on a steel beam above the main entrance and the main head turner, a giant 12 tier chandelier which proudly hangs beside the bar.
If you can manage to keep your gaze focused for a short while, your attention will be drawn to the main event, food! "insert eye of the tiger here". They've kept the menu simple and embraced the traditional authentic flavours; pizzas, pastas, risottos, antipastos, steak... the essentials. If we're talking about contenders for the champion belt, it's going to be a tough fight; Chestnut Gnocchi, black truffle, vegetable essence, sage and Grana Padano VS the Pizza Bianche Pollo, caramelised pears, chicken, fontina, thyme, mozzarella and balsamic. Or the Polpete, house made meatballs, beef, pork, veal, tomato sugo and crostini going head to head with Fiorentina Style T-Bone Steak, Tuscany style potato, confit garlic, rosemary and pan seared tomato.
Rehydrate between rounds with one of Balboa's delicious cocktails, a glass of local or imported wine or a cold refreshing beer. The attentive wait staff awaiting in the corner with towel in hand ready to make sure you're well looked after. Finish up the final round, the big K.O, with a homemade dessert... Salted Caramel Panna Cotta anyone?
The gloves are off, Palm Beach home to yet another winner.
Dinner: Wednesday - Monday 6pm - late
Lunch: Friday - Sunday from 12.30pm - 2.30pm
By Amy Merridan