3 Palms Grille opens in The Oak Bridge Club

Locally sourced menu, contemporary décor highlight new restaurant open to the public


Oak Bridge Club Owner Jeff Miller recalls dining with a friend in the club’s newly opened 3 Palms Grille when a longtime Sawgrass Players Club resident walked in.

“He took one look and said, ‘I can’t believe this place – I’ve seen it through the good and the bad and this is the nicest it’s ever been!’” he said.

Such reactions are common, Miller said, among longtime residents, who appreciate the full extent of the restaurant’s transformation. Gone is the bright-green carpeting and snack bar-style furnishings from the 1980s and in their place is an elegant yet comfortable dining space with indoor seating for 65 and outdoor lake view seating on the patio for 115.

The result of a partnership between Oak Bridge owners Jeff and David Miller and the culinary teams behind Eleven South and Cap’s on the Water, 3 Palms Grille is now open to the public, serving lunch, happy hour bar bites and Sunday brunch, with dinner service expected to begin early in the new year. With a full menu of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts ranging from $5 to $18, 3 Palms’ menu was designed with the desires of both Sawgrass residents and the general public in mind, the owners say.

“Our idea was to make sure people knew we wanted to be a part of the community as well,” owner John Nagy said. “We really worked on listening to their input on what they wanted in terms of quality, hours of operation and price point, and we came up with this kind of menu.”

From Spanish grilled octopus and tempura Roman artichokes to fresh fish Francese and oyster mushroom risotto, the 3 Palms menu offers a sophisticated take on casual dining. Traditional fare such as a steak burger and Cuban panini share space on the menu alongside truffle parmesan frites, a roasted beet and goat cheese salad and ahi tuna tartare.

“We think of ourselves as a seasonal restaurant,” Nagy said, “with fresh food, fresh fish and locally grown produce.”

Nagy credits the restaurant’s décor to his wife and partner, Karen Thomas, and Vivian de Raad, who with husband Bernard make up the creative team behind 3 Palms Grille.

“Karen and Vivian spent a lot of time creating a modern concept,” he said. “It has a bit of a modern feel but it doesn’t feel cold. It feels very warm. It was their concept to make it feel that way.”

The restaurant’s indoor/outdoor bar extends to the lakefront dining patio, where patrons can enjoy a meal or drinks around the fire pit in the evenings.

Already the restaurant is winning positive reviews from local residents, David Miller said.

“People love having a community gathering place where they can go to have a drink and a nice meal.”