Ristorante Claretta in Palm City is renowned locally and beyond for its classic Northern Italian cuisine and top-notch service. It is owned and operated by the Ingegnoli family; Christina manages the dining room, taking each order personally, and her brother Francesco is the chef. The interior is warmly lit and cozy, with an intimate dining room and a small bar area at the front serving beer and wine.
Claretta’s menu features a variety of appetizers, pasta dishes, and entrées. My husband and I began our meal by sharing the bruschetta; a dice of bright red, garlic-infused tomatoes atop crisp crostini—perfetto! For our next course, we each had a half-portion of chef Francesco’s specialty: fresh, house-made pasta. I had the potato gnocchi alla Sorrentina—pillowy nuggets in a basil tomato sauce—and it was excellent. My husband’s ribbon-like taglierini were glossed with a light, creamy sauce and dotted with crispy bits of prosciutto and asparagus.
For my entrée, I chose the veal scallopini with capers and lemon. I’ve had this dish at many other restaurants, but this was by far the best version I’ve tried. The veal was pounded so tender and thin it melted in my mouth. My husband ordered the beef filet with peppercorn. The filet was perfectly cooked and exceptionally tender, glazed with a creamy and slightly piquant peppercorn sauce.
For dessert, we selected the Trio Claretta: miniature portions of tiramisu, crème brûleé, and chocolate mousse. It was an indulgent ending to an outstanding, authentic Italian meal.
Ristorante Claretta, 1315 SW Martin Highway, Palm City; 772.219.9940; ristoranteclaretta.com