Some of my favorite restaurants are those family-owned, mom and pop shops with original recipes dating back decades. That is exactly what I found when I visited Lynora’s in West Palm Beach.
The Abbenante family continues its Italian legacy, which started back in 1974 when chef/owners Raffaele and Maria immigrated from the Italian island of Ponza and started making and selling pizzas in Lake Worth. Their first brick and mortar opened in 1976, where Maria used her mother’s traditional Italian recipes to lure in guests with her fresh, locally sourced ingredients and delicious tasting dishes. Since then, the Lake Worth location has closed and West Palm Beach has been home to those same traditional recipes, plus many more modern twists to the classics, since 2014.
I had a chance to meet Maria while dining at Lynora’s, and she is every bit a firecracker as I would imagine her to be. I loved everything from her strong Italian accent to her motherly mannerisms as she told her stories and gave us cooking tips and tricks. As much as I loved talking with Maria, I loved her food even more! When you’re craving real Italian food, Lynora’s is the place to go. The atmosphere is as warm and welcoming as Maria was — and her husband, Raffaele, and son, Angelo, too. I felt at home as soon as I sat down, and that feeling never went away.
Seafood lovers like myself will want to dive head first into the ‘Insalata Di Mare,’ a light, refreshing salad of calamari, scungilli, shrimp, scallops, celery, lemon and extra virgin olive oil — Chef added some lump crab meat in there too. Iloved everything about this dish, and could easily have made a meal out of it. The bright citrus from the lemon really brought out the fresh flavor of each piece of seafood. This is a great starter to a meal, and also great for sharing.
When you go out for Italian, it’s pretty much a rule to try one of the homemade pasta dishes. We opted for the fresh ricotta gnocchi swimming in rich, creamy basil pesto. I could not put my fork down. I wanted to smother everything on the table in this decadent pesto sauce. Burrata is another must-have; it’s served with arugula, avocado slices and tomatoes, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Serving the avocado alongside the burrata was a unique twist that proved very successful. A little tomato, avocado, and burrata together was the perfect bite.
Don’t skip dessert at Lynora’s. Even if you try, Maria won’t let it happened. Her three-layer cheesecake with Heath Bar topping is out of this world. Now, this was not your typical cheesecake. I wouldn’t even call it a cheesecake. I’d call it a mousse. The “cheesecake” layers were light and fluffy, and so was the cake! The toffee flavor and crunch of the Heath Bar was the perfect complement.
I guarantee you’ll be satisfied with anything you try at Lynora’s. Food tastes better when you can feel how much heart and soul goes into it. Read my full review on Take A Bite Out of Boca.
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