The Patio At Polo is back, celebrating its third year as a Wellington staple. Sheila Motley and chef Mat Allen’s stand-alone seasonal restaurant and event space has returned and is welcoming the community to experience its intimate atmosphere and bold dishes.
The husband-and-wife team, along with their young son Collins, are the driving forces and creative minds behind this enchanting dining locale, situated within the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club. Combining Motley’s talents for event management and catering with Allen’s skills in the kitchen, the family-run restaurant has quickly become one of the community’s most charming jewels.
“We had the idea for the Patio At Polo because we spend so much time here each year that we wanted a way to utilize our skills in the culinary industry, as well as provide Wellington with a new and unique spot to enjoy wonderful food coupled with a great environment,” Motley explained. “I’m so proud that our vision came to fruition. We’ve had such a warm reception, and I’m excited to return for our third year of business.”
Overflowing with character thanks to its open-air concept, creative dishes and a wine list curated specifically with Wellington residents in mind, the Patio At Polo benefits from the combined talents of both culinary expert owners.
Classically trained chef Allen, who has worked for the Queen of England and the Royal Family at Windsor Castle, oversees the menu and food preparation. Guests can expect to be treated to premier cuisine sure to impress.
With a reputation for success in the catering and event planning spheres, Motley knows how to navigate the intricacies associated with event organization. A longtime equestrian, her ties to Wellington go beyond the dining scene and extend into the winner’s circle at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Between Motley and Allen, the dynamic pair pose the perfect skill set to build and grow their restaurant.
“I follow Sheila,” Allen laughed. “Really, our little man, Collins, is the big boss. He runs the show. He preps, he greets tables and he tells the servers when the tables need water or checks.”
Though Allen is quick to credit his wife and son, he is equal part of the family trio holding the reins. With much experience as a first-class chef, Allen brings his culinary expertise to the first-rate menu. The team at the Patio At Polo are experts at preparing both traditional favorites and unique, new dishes. Whether you’re craving to try something new or savor a traditional favorite, the dynamic menu is sure to excite, featuring classics such as a burger trio and fish tacos, complemented by plentiful options for the more adventurous palate, including seared scallops in a butternut puree, shrimp and grits in a bacon marmalade, and sun-dried tomato basil ice cream.
Adding to the appeal, the restaurant offers a uniquely family-friendly setting to appease both adults and children. Situated on an expansive lawn, it allows for children to play together beside the open-air restaurant within clear view of their parents, making for a stress-free and memorable dining experience for the whole family.
“We wanted to give Wellington what it deserves — to give them something new, something creative and something different,” Allen said. “People enjoy the Patio At Polo because they feel like they can escape a bit. You feel like you’re not in town. You get out of the shopping malls, the strip malls and the parking lots. Our space is unique in that sense.”
The Patio At Polo exemplifies the best that Wellington has to offer in a casual, yet elegant, atmosphere. Boasting a charming ambiance and an inventive menu, the unique open-air restaurant has been garnering local praise and attracting sold-out crowds.
“We have been so lucky that the community has accepted the Patio At Polo so warmly. Mat and I had wanted to open a restaurant in Wellington for quite a while, and to have it thriving means a lot to us,” Motley said. “We love inviting first-time diners to experience the restaurant, but seeing returning faces is especially rewarding. All of the support has given us another reason to do what we love.”
The Patio At Polo is located at 11198 Polo Club Road in Wellington. With the winter season in full swing, reservations are recommended. For more information, call or text (561) 660-3300. To view the current menu, visit www.thepatioatpolo.com.