The blueberry pancakes were my favorite. I know, I know, for lots of folks it was Testa’s signature strawberry pie or their 30 oz. sirloin Steak for Two that brought them in—and then back again and again. Whatever your fav, the Testa family had been feeding Palm Beachers and guests from near and far since the 1920s. That’s epic. And historic.
So historic that the closing of Testa’s restaurant on Royal Poinciana Way on July 15, 2017 brought with it the end of an era in Palm Beach. An era that in its only-as-the- Testa- family-could-do way melded the uber-wealthy with the not-so-financially secure in a cozy, knotty pine environment.
But those days are now gone. And worse yet, the only open-to-the-public Palm Beach establishments that have been around since the 1920s numbers only five: Two churches, Bethesda-by-the-Sea and St. Edwards and three hotels, The Breakers, The Brazilian Court and The Chesterfield.
In case it’s slipped your mind, while Mar-a-Lago was built in the 1920s, it’s never been an open-to-the-public joint.
And while I’m on that subject, plenty of royalty, movie stars, heads of state, star athletes, musicians, rich-and-famous so-and-so’s—- including President John F. Kennedy, Alexander Haig, Greg Norman, Dustin Hoffman, Jimmy Buffett, Elton John, John Lennon, etc.etc. —have all dined at Testa’s over the past 96 years. One obvious exception: Donald J. Trump.
I had breakfast with Judy Testa Storey two days before the place closed and asked her if the president had ever been there. “ Nope,” she said. “Never.”
His loss for sure.