Special Dinners to Thrill, HMF Lauded by “Wine Spectator”

Chef Julien Gremaud

 Take a break from the chaos and schedule some “me time” at one of the terrific special dinners being offered this month. Here are some options:

Avocado Grill and four chefs on Dec. 13, part of PBFWF: Happening at the Palm Beach Gardens location for this restaurant, Executive Chef Julien Gremaud (pictured above) will be joined by three Food Network chefs to host a dinner that’s part of the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival. Gremaud’s guest chefs are Amanda Freitag (co-star of “Chopped” and “American Diner Revival”), Robert Irvine (“Dinner: Impossible”) and Marc Murphy (“Chopped” and “Chopped Junior”). The five-course Caribbean-themed dinner from 7 to 10 p.m. is one of the few fest events still available, at $185 per person. Find tickets hereAvocado Grill, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave., Palm Beach Gardens; 561/766-2430; avocadogrillwpb.com/avocado-grill-2

Ristorante Santucci: This lauded restaurant has some great wine dinner deals all year long, but this one may be at the top—an annual white truffle dinner. On Dec. 17, the five-course menu with dishes such as carpaccio di Daino (venison), taglioloni al tartufo bianco and filet mignon di cervo al Barolo, among others, will be paired with five wines from Piedmont (Arneis, Dolcetto, Barbera, Barolo). Cost is $150 per person; reservations are required. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. 610 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561/337-2532; facebook.com/ristorantesantucci

Café Centro: On Dec. 11, Executive Chef Jamie Steinbrecher pairs with Anthony Ceccarelli of Schenk Italian wineries for a five-course meal, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $89 per person, excluding tax/gratuity. Reservations required. 2409 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561/514-4070; cafecentrowpb.com

Planning a New Year’s Eve outing – with bubbles?

If so, take note that “Wine Spectator” just released its top 13 restaurants nationwide known for Champagne cellars, and our own HMF at The Breakers was No. 3!

This comfortable-and-uber-classy restaurant/bar is known for the glamour of Grand Era chandeliers, big teal-blue armchairs, delicious small plates and for more than 100 selections of Champagne. “Wine Spectator” points out several bottles are priced under $100, and there are some glasses of bubbly available in either 3- or 6-ounce pours. The enormous wine list—more than 50,000 bottles—is overseen by wine director Virginia Philip and has earned the magazine’s Grand Award since 1981. It’s a destination, and during the holidays it’s a magical place with all the lavish decorations.

HMF, The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561/659-8480; thebreakers.com


Hungry for more food news? Visit our food page, and subscribe to the magazine for the most delicious coverage of Boca and beyond.