A taste of Italy is headed for Palm Beach Gardens.
La Masseria, an upscale Italian restaurant based out of New York City, will soon be opening a location in the PGA West shopping center in the fall. The hope is to open its doors by October.
The restaurant’s three owners—Enzo Ruggiero, Peppe Iuele and Pino Coladonato—all hail from southern Italy. Ruggiero and Iuele are from the isle of Capri, and Coladonato, the executive chef, is from Puglia. However, the menu at La Masseria will reach beyond their region of origin.
“The food covers Italy from north to south,” Ruggiero said.
The Palm Beach Gardens menu will include plenty of fresh pasta—stuffed ravioli in all shapes and sizes, fettuccine, pappardelle and more—as well as some of La Masseria’s signature dishes, such as its signature homemade gnocchi with black truffle sauce and veal milanese topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and arugula.
Because this will be their first venture in Florida, the menu will also include a lot of fish, according to Ruggiero. Seafood will be prepared simply, often with little more than olive oil, garlic, a touch of vinegar and fresh herbs.
“Our chef prefers to do simple things, and everybody loves it,” he said.
Another favorite is chef Coladonato’s homemade stuffed mozzarella. The fresh cheese is prepared daily with whichever vegetables the chef finds available—zucchini, eggplant, roasted peppers or asparagus, for example. Italian meats like prosciutto, speck and bresaola have also been featured as non-vegetarian fillers.
Many of the customers who frequent the original New York and Rhode Island locations also have homes in Palm Beach County, according to Ruggiero. One of La Masseria’s investing partners from Florida encouraged the owners to open in the area, suggesting these snowbirds will be a large part of the Palm Beach Gardens customer base.
Though the New York City restaurant resembles a “masseria,” or large working farm found in the Puglia region of Italy, Ruggiero said the South Florida location will feature a sleeker look, along with outdoor seating and an indoor-outdoor bar.
In place of old world charm, La Masseria at PGA West will still be rustic but appear more modern to appeal to a younger crowd. Ruggiero compared the design to that of Masseria dei Vini, another concept from the owners located in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen district.
“We’d like to do something a little different for Palm Beach Gardens. A little more vibrant, cool, younger,” he said.
La Masseria; 5520 PGA Blvd., Suite 104, Palm Beach Gardens
(Photos courtesy Masseria dei Vini)