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Victoria’s Secrets: Palm Beach — the other Hamptons

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Stacey and I with Camile D’Amico, Tawny Moore, Michelle Gonzalez and Andrea Rosario after brunch in the “backyard” of Breakers Palm Beach resort.

Since many of my readers at Dan’s Papers go south to Florida for the winter, I thought I should follow them and open a Dan’s Papers Palm Beach+, which would be distributed in Palm Beach County.

So this past weekend, my friend Stacey Baron and her fiancé Dr. Richard Obedian invited me to his condo facing the endless waves of the Atlantic Ocean on Singer Island.

It’s a slim sliver of land with one side facing the ocean, one 36+ story building next to another, with only one tiny shopping center as you go over the bridge entering the island.

Palm Beach is a narrow island connected by bridges to West Palm Beach, which is connected to Singer Island. 

Palm Beach is home to many famous high-end brand stores on Worth Avenue and in the Royal Poinciana Plaza including Saks Fifth Avenue and others that you would find on Fifth and Madison Avenues in Manhattan!

The ocean lent a sweet breeze as I was given a guided tour of my new “neighborhoods” in my friends’ convertible. What I love is how similar Palm Beach is to the Hamptons, here dominated by beautiful swaying palm trees that line the streets everywhere you go.

I found one of Southampton’s most popular restaurants, Sant Ambroeus, has a branch on Palm Beach Island that I visited on my four-day excursion. It’s at the front corner of the Royal Poinciana Plaza, a U-shaped shopping center with luxury national brands.

The restaurant is the anchor of the street-level mall, with charming red umbrellas offering outdoor dining, so I made it a meeting place!

Stacey Baron and fiancé Dr. Richard Obedian hosted me at their Singer Island home.

While there, I got to speak with the manager, who shared with me news that the family-owned Sant Ambroeus will soon add locations in Easthampton, Aspen and Miami! They obviously have a winning formula, with multiple locations in Manhattan, too!

My first meal on my quick tour was Sunday brunch at the historic luxury resort, Breakers Palm Beach. Stacey had invited four business friends to join us and discuss the business climate in the region. It was great meeting new friends and feasting on the fabulous buffet. 

Although it’s pricey — $150 prix-fixe per person — it was worth every dollar and was the best brunch I ever ate.

Our group gathered at a round table looking out on the large, glass-enclosed, sun-filled dining room. It almost felt like an arboretum with large plants in the center of the room with well spaced tables. 

At 11:30, the sunny room quickly filled up with many family groups. The buzz of celebratory diners was suddenly silenced as a guest surprisingly stood up and serenaded us with his operatic voice. We all clapped in appreciation!

In the adjacent room, the buffet tables were filled with extraordinary dishes. My favorite was the caviar and pancakes with toppings of sour cream, chopped egg whites, chopped onions and capers. Then, on to the oysters, lobster, crab legs and shrimp! I had the waiter cut away a bone from the juicy standing rib roast. Every dish was superbly prepared!

On the next table was a crêpe and omelet maker, a sushi chef, salads, breads and rolls.

To finish the meal were two tables filled with pies, cakes and small, bite-size pastries.

The food was beautifully presented, but the best part of the brunch was spending time with the wonderfully successful women gathered around the table!

As I get ready to launch my latest venture, Dan’s Papers Palm Beach+, they offered guidance and support.

The next day, I was off to meetings to learn the “landscapes” of the region. The highlight of my time in the “South” was visiting with Brooklyn friends Peter Meyer and Denise Arbesu. I miss my transplanted friends, so spending time with them was a bonus!

It was a fast but furiously fulfilling and successful beginning to my new adventure. 

To be continued!

Stephen Sondheim remembered

It’s ironic that only a few days ago, I saw the musical genius Stephen Sondheim at the opening of “Company,” which made its return to Broadway after originally opening in the 1970s. He received a well-earned, multiple-minutes standing ovation — no one wanted to sit! A well-earned tribute!

Stephen Sondheim poses as he arrives at a special screening of the DreamWorks Pictures film “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California December 5, 2007. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the original broadway musical “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” on which the film is based. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

As I reported last week, the power of his words and music ring true to this day. My friend said he is our musical Shakespeare, and that’s not an understatement! He was a protégé of the great Oscar Hammerstein, who mentored and guided him to become who he was. 

Sondheim learned by working under this genius and took it to a new level, not with rhymes as much as messages crafted in a new way that will live on forever. He has left his mark for eternity.

Rest in peace, Stephen. 

Holiday celebrations

Spending time with my grandkids is always the highlight of my holiday celebrations. Happy Chanukah from my family to yours!
Charles Antanasio’s family welcomed me into their Dune Road home for Thanksgiving in Westhampton.
The Levin family lights their menorahs on the first night of Chanukah and celebrates Carol and Jerry’s anniversary.

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