When in South Florida, you would be remiss to pass up the opportunity to visit The Breakers Palm Beach, one of the country’s most legendary resorts.
And even if you can’t manage an overnight stay (or more), making dinner reservations at HMF The Breakers has to be the next best thing. This one-of-a-kind dining experience immerses guests in a spectacular setting with the classic charm of a bygone era.
It’s an idyllic place to catch up with friends or relatives, and a romantic setting for couples.
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HMF: What’s in a name?
HMF The Breakers is named after the property’s founder and patriarch—railroad and oil magnate Henry Morrison Flagler—who built this grand dame of American hotels. A true visionary, Flagler also laid much of the foundation for the growth of Palm Beach and other parts of South Florida.
First built in 1896, the sprawling, 140-acre oceanfront resort is still owned by direct heirs (the Kenan family), who have perfected the formula for balancing modernization with preservation.
Open since November 2013, HMF pays homage to its founder as a gathering place imbued with glamor and nostalgia. Located on the main floor of the hotel, it is sophisticated but lively, a perfect venue for dining, drinking, and people-watching.
What’s on the menu at HMF The Breakers Palm Beach?
The HMF Breakers menu is both extensive and diverse, with enough choice to appeal to every palate. It offers an innovative take on small plates that spans global cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Korean, South American, and more.
The portions are meant for sharing, a virtual aperitif that will stimulate conversation and comfort. The stylish Italian silver forks are long enough to help you easily reach over to your tablemate’s dish.
The “nibbles and bites” portion of the menu offers plates that pair perfectly with cocktails, as do the freshly sliced sushi, sashimi, and specialty rolls.
Heartier fare includes charcoal-roasted meats and pizza; delicious preparations of sun-ripened vegetables dressed with herbs grown in the hotel’s garden; rice and pasta bowls; and a wide range of food truck offerings (like Duck Bao Bun with Blood Orange Ponzu, Greek Spiced Lamb Sliders on Pita, and Wild Boar Empanaditas with Spicy Sauce).
To-die-for desserts include the Warm Chocolate Whoopie Pied Sunday, HMF Baked Alaska, and the gluten-free Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Caramel Sea Salt Gelato.
HMF: A showcase for the art of the cocktail culture
HMF sits in what once was The Breaker’s Florentine Room; it took some three years to restore this historic space to its original splendor.
Sited a few steps off the lobby, the room was originally patterned after the 14th-century Palazzo Davanzati in Florence. Elements such as the hand-painted, high-beamed ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers, and Flemish tapestries offer a glimpse at its history.
Working with architects Peacock and Lewis, the interior design group of Adam D. Tihany reimagined it, channeling sophistication with warmth. Although the room is large (about 11,500 square feet), the seating is intimate with groupings of banquettes, club chairs, and tables. The custom mahogany furniture is bathed in shades of cognac and green with brass accents throughout the room.
A throwback to the cocktail culture of the 40s and 50s, the attentive and well-trained wait staff is attired in custom-tailored black dresses with ponytails.
The room features two contemporary bars and a stunning 70,000-bottle wine wall anchoring the private dining room. The wall houses only a small portion of the resort’s collection of 50,000 bottles: Two Master sommeliers curate the 2,000 unique selections appearing on the HMF wine list.
The extensive cocktail menu (which also includes beers, sparkling wines, sakes, ports, sherry, and grappa) harkens back to a Golden Era. As inventive as the food and decor, the libations range from vintage classics to contemporary.
One of the signature drinks, The Redhead (a riff on the Cosmopolitan), is a mix of vodka, blood orange liqueur, and cranberry juice topped with lime foam. The Railcar #91 (named after H.M. Flagler’s private car) is a mix of cognac, fresh lemon juice, local honey, and orange foam.
See the complete HMF Drinks Menu here.
A short backstory of The Breakers Palm Beach
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Flagler created much of the resort (including HMF The Breakers) in the image of Italian Renaissance-style villas from the 1400s. The building’s architecture, with soaring towers and gracious arches, grabs your eyes as you approach the hotel’s porte-cochere.
Once inside the doors, the lobby is just as impressive. Its design dates back to 1926, when architects Schultze and Weaver (who also built the Pierre, the Sherry-Netherland, and Park Avenue’s Waldorf Astoria in New York City) rebuilt the property after a fire. The 200-foot-long space, with vaulted ceilings and hand-painted elements, is reminiscent of the Great Hall at the Palazzo Carrega (now the Palazzo Carrega-Cataldi) in Genoa.
The Kenan family continuously invests in the resort’s restoration to preserve their family legacy. For more than a decade, the hotel has partnered with celebrated hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany. The eye-catching carpet covered with bouquets of lilies, amaranths, irises, and other florals that look as if they’re in bloom is one part of the most recent refresh.
Before you leave, be sure to stop at the magnificent floral display in the Lobby, which has served as a backdrop for countless photos and selfies taken by visitors from around the world.
IF YOU GO
Operating hours at HMF The Breakers Palm Beach
- Open daily Sunday thru Thursday: 6 PM – 11 PM
- Friday & Saturday: 6 PM – 12 AM (food service till 11 PM)
- HMF does not have a Happy Hour.
- Reservations are not accepted.
Dress Code at HMF The Breakers
- Cocktail chic (throughout the resort, cover-ups are required for swimwear. Tank tops, torn jeans, or cutoffs are not permitted.)
- Staff wear masks · Staff get temperature checks · Staff required to disinfect surfaces between visits
Other Dining Venues at HMF The Breakers
HMG is one of nine unique dining venues at the resort.
All photo credits: The Breakers Palm Beach (unless otherwise noted)
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