While opening the doors to La Masseria for dinner, the words “buona sera” (good evening) roll off the tongues of charming staff throughout the restaurant. It’s this warm welcome that makes it feel as if you’ve traveled from the shores of Palm Beach to the shores of southern Italy—at least for a few hours. If you’re lucky, the charismatic manager Massimo De Luca is the one greeting you, insisting on a glass of prosecco to get things started.
De Luca is a native of Sorrento, Italy, but he didn’t leave his culture back home. He brought it to Palm Beach Gardens for diners to experience a culinary journey filled with traditional flavors. And yes, there’s homemade limoncello made the same way you’d expect to find it on the Amalfi Coast.
“[La Masseria] is the finest, most authentic Italian restaurant in not just Palm Beach County, but South Florida as a whole,” De Luca says. “You can take a trip to experience Italy’s finest cuisine without even leaving the country.”
Hello, South Florida
La Masseria got its start in New York and Rhode Island before heading south to Palm Beach Gardens. During the years, clientele who lived up north and vacationed in South Florida requested a La Masseria near their summer homes; and to their relief, it has arrived.
The restaurant’s name means “ancient farmhouse” in the Puglia region of southern Italy. “It’s the building where produce is preserved and where everything—from tools to live animals—is housed, and it’s where we draw inspiration for the restaurant,” De Luca says. “We aim to use only the freshest ingredients from land and sea.”
There’s plenty of freshness to go around. What’s not to miss is the restaurant’s outstanding service, beautiful food presentations and elegant design.
Order a bottle of wine for the table before trying the appetizers like De Luca’s recommendation: the Mozzarella Farcita Dello Chef (homemade stuffed mozzarella cheese). For the main course, have the Gnocchi Al Taleggio e Radicchio (potato gnocchi with radicchio and Taleggio cheese sauce) that melts in your mouth; or the Branzino, a Mediterranean sea bass, that brings the real wow factor. Or, select the special served tableside with a sizable portion of fresh fish presented alongside a plate of whipped potatoes and a vegetable like broccoli rabe. Need we say more?
Next, order that chilled limoncello. Indulge a little and ask for the Tiramisu ‘Al Caffe’ and a few forks to go around. It’s a classic dessert rich with flavors of espresso and mascarpone cheese.
La Masseria, 5520 PGA Blvd., Ste. 104, Palm Beach Gardens / 561.660.8272 / lamasseriapbg.com