One of South Florida’s iconic restaurants has returned to Palm Beach Gardens. The new incarnation of Prezzo, Burt Rapoport’s groundbreaking Italian eatery, opened last month in the space that formerly held Scusi Trattoria. The original Prezzo, which launched in Boca Raton in 1989, was the first restaurant in South Florida to have a wood-fired pizza oven; the concept expanded to five locations before its demise. Eddie and Christina Pozzuoli, who had operated an Italian restaurant in Coral Springs, partnered with Rapoport for the reinvented Prezzo in Boca and Palm Beach Gardens. “We’re building on a legacy,” says Eddie Pozzuoli. “Everyone who remembers the original Prezzo talks about the ambience, the vibe, the music, and most of all, the energy. It was the go-to place for so many people.”
The executive chef for the new location is David Garcia, who worked with the Pozzuolis in Coral Springs. “I admire [David’s] drive and passion,” says Pozzuoli. “He’s able to do things simply but also make everything intensely flavorful. He’s open-minded and innovative, which are great qualities for a chef to have.”
The menu reads like a roll call of classic Italian dishes. Many old favorites have been retained, such as chicken Parmesan and the 14-ounce veal chop. Popular items include snapper oreganata and the arrabbiata pizza—a spicy pie with a tomato sauce spiked with Calabrian chilis and topped with pepperoni, smoked mozzarella, and basil-infused extra virgin olive oil. The wine list features a mix of selections from California and northern Italy alongside classic cocktails such as the bellini and negroni, plus rotating seasonal specials such as a pumpkin spice martini and harvest sangria.
Many of the elements that created the original Prezzo’s high-energy vibe have been carried over as well. The restaurant seats 100 diners indoors and another 75 outside with bars in both locations. The famous happy hour and bar bites menu are offered daily, and there’s live music on the patio every Friday and Saturday. Oenophiles will appreciate “Wine Wednesday,” which offers a 50-percent discount on bottles up to $100 and 25 percent off on wines over that amount.
Pozzuoli’s concept of hospitality is simple: Make guests feel welcome and special. Says Pozzuoli: “We tell our team to always find a way to say yes. Christina and I love what we do, and we really enjoy watching employees grow into their roles. We’re fortunate to be able to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and all the other high points of our customers’ lives with them. We look forward to becoming part of the community and participating in festivals, fundraisers, and charity events.” 4520 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561.429.6938