Hot spot: A December kind of bar awaits in iconic Lake Worth restaurant


The scent of fresh rosemary floats above the clink of barware and finds our table at Bar Amaro, the stylish lounge located within Paradiso restaurant in Lake Worth. The woodsy herb is as fragrant as a drift of balsam fir at Christmas, which seems appropriate on this pre-holidays weekend night.

This is a December type of bar, a civilized spot where the cocktails are festive and the bites are inspired. 

That’s bartender Brett Hart, scenting up a drink at the bar (rosemary mystery solved). He prefers to take an omakase (“trust the chef”) approach to bartending, asking customers to put their faith in his muses. I’m glad I did. He created a zippy little negroni bianco that was just bitter enough to hold my attention. 

Tucked into the restaurant’s entrance, the bar and lounge got its swanky makeover and cosmopolitan name about 10 months ago. But given holiday season is here, the place seems to beckon those in search of a dressy drink on Lucerne Avenue. Inside the bar, they’ll find creamy-white seating, a silken bossa nova soundtrack and a menu of food and drink essentials titled “Ephemeral Curiosities.” 

At my table those curiosities include a fresh, pink drum of salmon tartare ($18) served beneath a layer of radish slivers. The flavors are bright and exquisite: Sweet-tart Granny Smith apples and fresh ginger serve as contrasts for the buttery salmon. 

On a more classic note, an orb of rich, dreamy burrata is served with large green olives, roasted red peppers and finely sliced salami and prosciutto ($18). It’s a satisfying starter that can be shared by two over a glass or two of Italian red. And Bar Amaro’s crispy zucchini blossoms ($18), stuffed with sheep’s milk ricotta, mozzarella and prosciutto, are utterly delicious beneath salty shavings of Parmesan and served alongside lightly dressed greens. 

Should you be tempted to order dessert, you’ll have many options. The restaurant’s full menu can be ordered at the bar. But your calories may be better spent on the salty, the kind of savory notes made all the better by a well-mixed cocktail. 

Bar Amaro at Paradiso Ristorante: 625 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth; 561-547-2500


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