il Sandalo Italia – Palm Beach, Capri, Sardinia

Retail Therapy abounds in Palm Beach. Shoes, jewelry, snappy pastel attire is offered on every flower bedecked corner. Specifically prowl the boutiques, all the chic shops are represented on Worth Avenue. The individual boutiques are far more interesting. il Sandalo is an exceptional example of style and old world craftsmanship.

Colors and more colors, jewels and more jewels accessorized sandals are popping up for the upcoming season by the Tesorone brothers who own il Sandalo. The il Sandalo brand is recognized around the world as the premier in custom handmade women’s sandals. In their Palm Beach store, I was thrilled to have a sweet pair of pale pink leather sandals made for me in one hour!

Certainly, sandals were the first footwear ever made possibly due to their simplicity. All ancient civilizations have come across at least one sandal version.

True to Italian shoemaking traditions and following in the footsteps of their father Luciano, Fabio and Pier Paulo, two young Neapolitan entrepreneurs with a passion for the design of sandals, felt the varied needs of the high fashion sandal market. In 1985, the company found fame in Italy and France with their award winning designs for originality and high quality workmanship within their collections. Hand-crafted leather, fabric and materials are carefully cut and stitched by expert craftsmen utilizing only the finest leather soles and heels, the sandals are assembled with unique accessories such as glittering laminates and genuine coral.

The Isle of Capri

Thanks to the creativity in design and highly skilled shoemakers, many small shoemaker-shop-owners brought forth a burgeoning industry as sandals became the attraction of many tourists visiting the Isle of Capri in the 1960’s. The jet set world of celebrities such as Sophia Loren and Jackie Kennedy were fascinated with the sandal designs in the region inspiring a global obsession. Today, these small shop-owners continue to thrive, as the public continues to travel to Capri in search of unique sandals.
Capri is a divine Journey, but Palm Beach is just on right coast. Stop in and select multiple colors and styles created while you stroll Worth Avenue.


In Search of Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie is an American dessert made of key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk in a pie crust. The traditional Conch version uses the egg whites to make a meringue topping. The dish is named after the small key limes that are naturalized throughout the Florida Keys.The origin of Key Lime Pie has been traced back to the late 19th century in the Key West, Florida area. Its exact origins are unknown, but the first formal mention of Key Lime Pie as a recipe may have been made by William Curry, a ship salvager and Key West’s first millionaire; his cook, “Aunt Sally,” made the pie for him.

 In 2006 both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate passed legislation effecting that key lime pie is the “Official Pie of the State of Florida.”I was introduced to Key Lime Pie over 30 years ago and mastered the recipe; thus a week in Florida inspired the hunt for the finest. A nightly ritual of sampling yielded several delectable versions. Unfortunately, due to lack of parking, the historic Old Key Lime House missed the assessment. Although, I enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Intercoastal waterway from the roof top deck, the valet turned away our driver, thus we left without a bite.

Bon Appetite magazine featured it as an award winning pie; so disappointed that it missed the official evaluation.
 We forged out every evening seeking a creamy pie with the perfect crust, we discovered that each restaurant had its own interpretation: a few were topped with a meringue, the Conch version. Shockingly, several restaurants didn’t offer the official pie of Florida.
Ought to be a law.

Two Georges, on the waterfront, managed to find a spot for the car, thus it qualified for the evaluation team. The pie was worthy enough to request the recipe; the restaurant manager could only offer the brand of Key Lime Juice that his Haitian baker uses: Mrs.Biddle’s, this is a new one to me; I’ve always cooked with Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice. High marks for Two Georges pie.

Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach is teeming with trendy cafés and congested clubs. Among them, 32 East is sophisticated and clubby; the award winning chef Nick Morfogen sources seasonal products around the country, his menu is innovative and contemporary. Loved every course here and the manager produced a superb Key Lime Pie for our testing trial. Most excellent and the best of the week – a perfectly piquant lime filling and a dollop of meringue teetered on the edge of the flawless graham cracker crust.
A close competitor was at a private dinner beneath a clear pavilion at The Ocean Club. A dear friend delivered the last piece of Key Lime Pie; however, later meandering at the dessert bar I discovered a small bite size Key Lime Pie cup. Technically, it didn’t qualify, as it lacked the traditional graham cracker crust – but a mere morsel was scrumptious!
Ta – boo, the legendary Palm Beach bistro, must have offered the dessert; however, I was so distracted by the chic crowd and the posturing models peddling jewelry, I forgot to request pie following lunch. Apparently, it is a haven for well-known patrons who generate tantalizing gossip including a tale of Joseph P. Kennedy barricading himself and Gloria Swanson in the ladies room for an entire evening. For people watching, it wins hands down.I’m certain dining on healthy fish every night balanced out the sugary pie tasting.

Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice is available locally; you can secure Mrs. Biddles on an escape to the south coast of Florida, which isn’t a bad idea!

Old Key Lime House  Recipe
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup bottled Key lime juice
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Key Ingredient: The Old Key Lime House uses Nellie and Joe’s Key lime juice in its pie.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and stir to coat well. Press crust into 9-inch diameter glass pie dish. Bake 5 minutes. Cool.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Whisk all ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake until center is set, about 25 minutes. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until peaks form. Spread atop pie and serve.