By Heather Buchanan
Juan Gando has ruled the Wellington “Fashion Cuisine” scene since he arrived seven years ago, and with partner and Chef Dustin Parfitt has a restaurant empire. Equestrians know The Oasis and The Beach with its amazing view of the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Gando also just took over the Sunday Brunch at the Pavilion in association with Mark and Katherine Bellissimo in their first season owning the International Polo Club.
A huge plus is the patios at Gando’s restaurants which are dog friendly. “Wellington is a community that loves animals,” says Gando. “One day two mini ponies came to Oli’s. We brought water for them and everyone took pictures.” His prediction for this season which is just getting started, “It’s crazy” says Gando, “It’s going to be fun.”
The Grille : The see and be seen hot spot is popular for dinner as well as a lively bar and social scene. Monday 1/2 off appetizers, Tuesday 1/2 off wine and live jazz. A DJ plays Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun late night. Sunday is a big day post polo for a Veuve party and dinner. thegrillefashioncuisine.com
Oli’s : The modern menu features local ingredients and flavors for lunch, brunch and dinner. Monday is ½ of bottles of wine, Tuesday has ½ off appetizers after 5pm, and every day has a Happy Hour from 4 – 6 with drink specials. olisfashioncuisine.com
White Horse Tavern : On the show grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the White Horse Tavern has a big oak bar as well as indoor and patio dining from 4pm to 10 or 11pm. It’s fine to stop by in your boots and britches after the show or come back dressed for dinner. The Americana menu features small plates, bigger plates, and steak and chops. pbiec.coth.com
The Seahorse : A more intimate space serving dinner with fresh seafood specialties. seahorsefashioncuisine.com
Other favorite restaurants in Wellington:
Sushi Moto : Good sushi at reasonable prices for lunch or dinner, take out or party platters. Good for vegetarians. Great lunch specials for a quick break from the show. sushimotofl.com
Romeo’s : Classic Italian fare with home-made pasta and pizza dough as well as a large bar. Happy hour every day 4 to 6:30 with drink specials. Pasta and wine night Monday and Wednesday $18. Lunch, dinner and take out with free delivery. romeositaliancuisine.com
Agliolio’s : Italian bistro and bar for lunch and dinner. A real local favorite that makes you feel at home and the waiters know you by name or maybe just your dog’s name. Reasonable pricing on food and wine. Also has a gluten-sensitive menu. agliolio.com
Franco Italian Bistro : Refined Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner. Nice pergola covered outdoor patio area which is dog friendly. Be sure to sign up for their rewards card. francoitalianbistro.com
Stonewood Grill : Great for steak or fish lovers with a casual bar and booths for dinner. Happy hour until 7pm with specialty cocktails and drinks and special pricing on Tavern Bar menu. stonewoodgrill.com
Kontiki Wine And Raw Bar : A crowd favorite with a unique eclectic décor and menu from sushi and seafood to Thai and American. Good for large groups. Open for lunch and dinner. kontikiwellington.com
Backstreets Neighborhood Bar and Grill : A true casual burger and brew joint with live music. Lunch just during the week and dinner with nightly specials serving ‘til midnight on weekends. Thursday night is live acoustic guitar. And how about a two for one all day Happy Hour every day. backstreetsbarandgrill.com
Bon appétit !