How Table 26 Owners Tapped The Pulse Of Palm Beach County
It takes more than an impressive menu and cozy setting to wow the Palm Beach crowd. Table 26 owners Eddie Schmidt and Ozzie Medeiros know this, and maintain their local favoritism by continuously giving diners what they want.
There is one thing Eddie Schmidt wants to be clear: Every night at Table 26 must feel like a party. “You know what the key is?” he asks. “We have to have fun.”
Schmidt and his life partner, Ozzie Medeiros, opened the American-style bistro along Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach 3.5 years ago. The duo has since tapped the pulse of Palm Beach, making Table 26 a local favorite. Schmidt says their recipe for success focuses on four ingredients: atmosphere, service, food and community involvement.
On the atmosphere
If you've dined at Table 26 and never looked up, it's time to make a new reservation. The ceiling is lined with a nautical chart that maps out West Palm Beach at latitude 26°—hence the restaurant's name. The rest of the design follows suit with a coastal theme, incorporating shades of blue and yacht-like seating. Most important to the atmosphere, however, is not a permanent fixture—it's the staff.
A spot for regulars
Table 26 boasts 48 employees. This may seem like a lot, considering the restaurant is only open for dinner and Sunday brunch. However, Schmidt says a large staff is necessary to ensure an attentive experience. It's a place where, after a few visits, the valet has your car waiting out front before you get out the door.
Dishes to rely on
After a few meals, the waiter will also know your favorite dish. Schmidt describes the menu as having everyday comfort food with sophistication. “They can order a burger and a $300 bottle of wine,” he says. He also emphasizes a focus on consistency, so that once guests choose a go-to item, they get what they're expecting with every visit. Schmidt suggests ordering his favorite—the Smoked Wagyu Spare Ribs swathed in fig barbecue beside jalapeño cornbread and snap pea slaw.
Schmidt and Medeiros' impact reaches beyond the walls at Table 26 with their philanthropic involvement. During the summer, the restaurant hosted a “Dine for a Cause” wine series, which raised more than $120,000 for participating non-profits, like the Palm Beach Opera, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Place of Hope and more. At the end of this month, Schmidt and Medeiros will serve as the gala chairs for Le Cirque du Palm Beach benefiting 211 HelpLine. The night will unfold at The Colony Hotel Palm Beach, and tickets can be purchased at 211palmbeach.org.