Enjoy dishes passed through generations from Ponza, Italy, at West Palm Beach’s Lynora’s Osteria.
When Maria and Raffaele Abbenante closed their Italian restaurant in 2003, family meals became a bit overwhelming. The couple’s son, Angelo Abbenante, says his mother continued to cook enough food to feed a large dinner crowd. So, last year when Angelo decided to reopen Lynora’s Osteria on West Palm Beach’s Clematis Street, it didn’t take much convincing to get his parents, both in their 70s, on board. “They were kind of itching [to go back to work],” Angelo says.
Angelo estimates that about 70 percent of today’s customers at Lynora’s Osteria were regulars who used to dine at his parents’ old restaurant in Lake Worth more than a decade ago—that’s how memorable the food is. When they come in, they expect Maria’s cooking. So, she works nearly 12 hours each day, seven days a week with the help of about five other kitchen workers.
Coming to Florida
Raffaele and Maria immigrated to New York from Ponza, Italy, a small fishing island, in 1974. Disliking the crowdedness of the city, the couple decided to relocate to South Florida to open a small pizza shop. In addition to selling pizza by the slice, Maria began cooking daily specials using recipes she’d learned from her grandmother, Lynora. Those classic recipes have made their way onto today’s menu, tossed in with new items.
Meshing old with new
Lynora’s fuses stable dishes with modern flares. The classic Pasticcio Bolognese dish—Angelo’s favorite—shows up on the dinner menu, but Sunday brunch includes contemporary twists, like the Nutella-stuffed French toast coated in syrup and powdered sugar. The restaurant’s interior design follows suit. Entering through folding glass doors, guests’ eyes are drawn to the old-school wood-fired oven where Raffaele makes the pizzas. Globe light fixtures and light brown brick walls establish a contemporary feel, but large olive oil bottles and tomato sauce cans lining shelves near the kitchen give a classical Italian vibe.
When you go
The menu splits its wine list into regions of Italy. Angelo says Northern Italian wines are strong, while Southern wines take a lighter, fruitier taste. With a Southern wine, order the Gnocchi al Forno, which skips the potato and instead uses flour, egg and cheese. The dish is coated in tomato, basil and mozzarella, and baked in the wood-fired oven. And of course for dessert, try the Tiramisu, which Maria constructs using her made-from-scratch limoncello and white chocolate.
Lynora’s Osteria, 207 Clematis St., West Palm Beach / 561.899.3117 / lynoras.com