Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan, Fla., is too sophisticated to hang a sign on the front door of its signature Angle restaurant. But if it did create such a sign, it might read: “Wanted: Adventurous Diners.’’
Those diners would be for Angle’s terrific Leap of Faith menu, which changes nightly depending on what Sous Chef Matt Kelley has in his kitchen. Each course of the five-course meal ($165 per person not including wine pairings) could include anything from duck to fish to ribeye steak.
The Leap of Faith menu must be ordered by at least two people per table. Kelley, in his second season at Angle, visits each table to inquire about allergies and food preferences before beginning his work.
“It gives me a chance to interact with the guests,’’ said Kelley, a native of Melbourne, Fla., who went to college at the University of Hawaii. “I can explain in detail what I’m doing for them – shows off my creativity the creativity of my team. It’s whatever comes to mind. Nobody else in the area does this. We want adventurous diners.’’
The Leap of Faith menu, which debuted late in this past Winter season, earlier this year, is the combined brainchild of Tim Nardi, Eau Palm Beach’s new general manager; Tito Rodrigue, the resort’s food and beverage director; Bryan Long, the resort’s assistant F&B director; resort Chef Matt Gale; and Kelley. The idea, basically, was a way for Angle to remain open during the August-through September months when it traditionally closes, and of course, to attract locals as well as resort guests.
The idea, Long said, has proven to be a good one
“We usually sell a few (Leap of Faith) menus per night,’’ Long said. “It’s the guests allowing us to do what we do and take a ‘leap of faith.’ That’s the way I like to dine. I don’t like to go to a restaurant and have just one entrée. You miss out on a lot of things. The Leap of Faith menu is for people who like food and who like to think outside the box.’’