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Condo News Online - Food, Fun & Entertainment Page

On This Page:

• Il Circolo: Annual End of Season Gala

• Symphonic Band presents American Tapestry

May 15th and May 19th

• Il Circolo: Annual Symphony of the America's Gala

• Symphonic Band's 55th Season Opener: It's Academic!

• Il Circolo Horse Race Party: The Palio

• Il Circolo Holds Season Closer

• Il Circolo Appreciation Luncheon 2015

• Palm Beach Model Railroaders Celebrate 40 Years

• 2015 South Florida Fair, January 16th - February 1st

• Il Circolo Christmas Party, 2014

• Thai Bay Restaurant has New Location

• Tippi's Pizzeria — Delizioso!

F O O D ,  F U N  &   E N T E R T A I N M E N T

Last updated: 05/26/2021

Il Circolo’s Annual End of Season Gala

By Sally ValentiPhotos by Joan Nova

(l-r): Sally Valenti, 

Grace Marquez,

Gloria Ciongoli,

Giovanni Marquez, 

Rose De Angelis

Joseph Ciaburri,

Marie Ciaburri,

Claire Giannamore

Tony Phillips,

Norma Phillips

(l-r): Standing- Marie & Joe Castro; Seated- Dolores Anostario,Lori Mugavero, Elaine Santowasso, Lucia Maggiore,Josephine Schlags,Louise Straney, Carolyn Lafferty

Despite being a rainy day, many members filled Paradiso Ristorante in Lake Worth for "Alla Prossima", Il Circolo’s last event of this season. What better way to spend a dreary afternoon than lunching in famiglia, enjoying a delightful menu which Chairman, Tony Phillips, arranged. Gloria Ciongoli gave a pre-meal blessing and Frank Todaro treated diners with a couple of impromptu acapella songs with all joining in. It’s time to say, "Arrivederci" to the snowbirds and wish everyone a happy, healthy summer.

Alla prossima.

Symphonic Band presents

"American Tapestry"

By Chris Horn

Guest Pianist David Crohan

It is that time of the year, the beginning of Summer, that we celebrate Memorial Day, which is the day that we honor and remember our citizens that died while in the service of our Armed Forces. The Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches join with virtuoso pianist, David Crohan, in a reflective and patriotic tribute to America showcasing our greatest composers’ love of their country and culture.

The first of two concerts will be held at the Duncan Theatre in Lake Worth on Monday, May 15th, followed by the second concert at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday, May 19th. Both curtain calls are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 and may be purchased by phone at 561-832-3115, or online at

The Symphonic Band will perform two classic American pieces. "Variations On A Shaker Melody", as penned by the great Aaron Copeland, and "American Folk Rhapsody No. 2", by Clare Grundman, includes the melodies "Billy Boy" and "Skip To My Lou".

Guest Pianist David Crohan will complete his improvisation of American History in Music. He will pick up at the First World War, which is where he paused at last year’s concert. True American Music Tapestry!

What Americana concert would be complete without marches? The Band’s list includes Sousa’s "The Washington Post March", Henry Fillmore’s "Miami", and a rare performance of Christopher Paul’s "The School Musician March". Meredith Wilson’s signature tune from the musical, "The Music Man", allows the Trombone section to imagine that they are "76 Trombones".

Feel like singing? Join the Symphonic Band in a "Patriotic Sing A Long", "America The Beautiful", and the "Armed Forces Salute". Rounding out the program will be a performance of Offenbach’s "Orpheus in the Underworld", and "Lights! Camera! Action!", a tribute to famous American movies.

Come to the concert, and live our version of "American Tapestry."

Il Circolo: Symphony of the Americas' 25th Annual Summerfest 

Members of Il Circolo Support Summerfest

Renee La Bonte, Sally Valenti


By Sally Valenti

Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society, participated in the Symphony of the Americas 25th Annual Summerfest celebration at Florida Atlantic’s University Theater. The orchestra led by Maestro James Brooks Bruzzese and composed of musicians from all over the world, entertained a full-house audience with familiar pieces as well as originals.

To honor supporters, Renee La Bonte, Vice President of the Symphony, presented a plaque, in recognition of continued involvement, to Il Circolo’s Vice President, Sally Valenti, who accepted on behalf of the organization’s membership. A reception followed where musicians and audience mingled. Such an enjoyable afternoon should certainly be repeated next summer and Il Circolo looks forward to yet another delightful musical experience.

Visit for the 2016-2017 calendar.

Symphonic Band's 55th Season Opener: It's Academic!

Florida's Gulf Coast University Wind Orchestra

By Chris Horn

The Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches opens their 55th season with a program entitled "It’s Academic!" Academic due to our performance partners: the Florida Gulf Coast University Wind Orchestra; Dr. Rod M. Chesnutt conducting. The Band welcomes this 51-member Ft. Myers based orchestra as they prepare for a performance later in the year at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The concert will be presented at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens on Saturday, October 17th; and on the following Saturday at the Duncan Theater in Lake Worth on October 24th. The curtain rises for both concerts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 and may be purchased by phone at 561-832-3115, or online at

Even though it is "academic," Phineas Fogg of "Around the World in 80 Days," would be most happy with the musical selections. In addition to the many locations showcased by the music, Dr. Chesnutt has selected pieces written by current popular composers. First, we head to Naples (Florida, not Italy). James Stephenson’s American Fanfare was composed for a celebratory occasion for a church in Naples. This version was commissioned by the Commander of the Air Force Band of Flight.

We now point our compass east (or west, depending on which route we take) to Greece. Dionysiaques, Op. 62, was composed in 1913 by Florent Schmitt. It celebrates the festivals held to honor Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility and drama. Let the party begin! Now we travel west to France. Martin Ellerby’s personal tribute to a city he loves is reflected in his 1994 composition: Paris Sketches. Bells are featured in this tribute to composers who have lived, worked or traveled through Paris.

The modern city of Memphis is our next stop. Jug Blues and Fat Pickin’ was originally commissioned for the celebration of Tennessee’s "Homecoming 86." Composer Don Freund was inspired by the music of the Memphis Jug Band. The final performance of the evening by Florida Gulf Coast reflects the scope for the struggle for personal and universal peace and is represented by Pacem — A Hymn for Peace by Robert Spittal.

The second half of the concert will feature the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches. Spanish Dance by Dmitri Shostakovich, was composed for the 1955 Soviet film "The Gadfly," which was based on the 1897 novel by Ethel Voynich, but takes place in Italy in the 1840s. Glad I cleared that up. Staying in Mother Russia, the band plays an arrangement of the familiar Night on Bald Mountain. Composer Modest Mussorgsky claimed to have been inspired by the confession of a witch who was then burned at the stake in the 1660s. Our tribute to Halloween!

From the cold steppes of Russia we sail to the island nation of Japan. Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song, by Samuel R. Hazo, tells the story of a Japanese girl who is given a music box by her parents when she was a child. As an adult, she falls in love with her American husband, but is conflicted with the music box reminding her of the love for the culture she left behind. Keep your hankies handy.

The British Empire is represented by a march entitled The Voice of the Guns. This 1917 piece was composed by Kenneth Alford in tribute to WWI British artillerymen. An arrangement was famously used in the movie, "Lawrence of Arabia."

The final three pieces represent the New World. First, we travel to the shrine in Peru known as Machu Picchu (city in the sky). The haunting music represents the rise and fall and re-emergence of the golden Andes city of Cuzco. Moving north to the good ol’ US of A, we arrive at Broadway with A Tribute to Jerome Kern. It should start your feet a-tappin’ with "I Won’t Dance," "Long Ago and Far Away," "Pick Yourself Up," and "All the Things You Are." Of course, we include a John Phillip Sousa march: King Cotton.

Thanks and Best Wishes to the Florida Gulf Coast University Wind Orchestra for helping the Symphonic Band start off their 55th season on such a high note. Enjoy!

The Italian Cultural Society of the Palm Beaches hold Italian Style Horse Race Party — The Palio!

Story and photos by Sally Valenti

Watching the race

Sergio Salani

& Rebecca Noble

Sally Valenti

& Paul Finizio

Maria Kabitzke,

Joe Castro,

& Marie Castro


Palio Cake


Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society held its own horse race party on July 3, 2015. Each year, on July 2nd, in Siena, Italy, a race called the Palio is held. It is a competition of ten of the seventeen "contrade" or districts of Siena. With roots going back to the middle ages it is a deeply emotional experience for every Sienese.

The horses cannot be thoroughbred, but after very careful consideration, each horse is selected to represent a contrada. Specially selected veterinarians rule out any emotionally negative traits, assess their mental attitude toward winning as well as their speed. After three laps or ninety seconds in time, the victorious one makes the represented contrada the next "kingdom" of Siena and is awarded a banner (palio).

In Federico’s Fellini’s words:"You people of Siena have a precious thing and in the conflict between your districts lays your union. All the world is flaking away, but there you are with the aliveness of these rites and with your loyalty to the centuries. I believe you are the only example in Italy. There’s a sort of mysterious cord between you and the Sienese of every other age. It’s beautiful, very beautiful!"

While in the throws of Kentucky Derby parties, it was suggested that we have our own Italian style horse race party, THE PALIO! Sergio Salani said, "Great idea. Let’s do it. We can watch it on television at my house." With the greatest generosity, together with Rebecca Noble, they shared famiglia, amicizia, gourmet food, wine, and music with all who came to his home. Everyone was invited to come and bring along a side dish to accompany the pasta dishes cooked al dente by Rebecca. Bar tenders, Marco Salani and his friend, Daren Newby, kept glasses full.

What a feast!

Palermo Bakery of Boynton Beach donated a huge, unbelievably-beautiful, delicious cake for dessert and afterwards there was a musical program when Guilio Salani, Sergio’s Dad, lifted our souls with his songs and Barbara Salani joined her brother in a duet at the piano.

A guest, young tenor, Marcello Razza, encouraged all to sing along with him, familiar Italian tunes.

Like the Palio, founded in deep tradition, Sergio and Il Circolo project the culture, traditions and love of life that have been passed on to us by generations and these are uniquely Italian.

Grazie Sergio and Rebecca. You have made tomorrow a better day.

Using Fellini’s words "It’s beautiful, very beautiful."


Il Circolo Holds 2014-2015 Season Closer

Story & Photos By Sally Valenti

Lucia Maggiore & Chef Fabrizio

Kathy Miller & Virginia Longo

Yale Fisher & Meg Fisher

Kate Ceresaro, Debi Rodi & Adriano Ceresaro

Claire Ginnamore & 

Barbara Palumbo

Antoinette Vigilante & Debi Rodi

Tony Ventura


Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society of the Palm Beaches, held its last event of the season, celebrating the art of Sardinian food and wine at Café Sapori in West Palm Beach on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Guests were welcomed to beautifully decorated tables with white hydrangea and orchid center pieces. After a greeting by Vice President, Sally Valenti, an announcement of the elections by the nominating committee member, Tony Phillips, and an introduction by Chairperson, Lucia Maggiore, "Tutti in Sardegna" started with an antipasto of zuppa di pesce with a lobster sauce. The next course was homemade Sardinian dumplings with a lamb ragù and traditional pecorino cheese. The wines of Sardinia, Vermentino and Cannonau, were served according to preference of white or red. A typical ricotta raisin cheesecake with goat cheese and anisette ice cream was the dessert served with the coffee of choice. A brief presentation by Monica Ruiu, who was born in Sardinia and whose family still resides there, assured that this meal was authentic and it brought her back to memories of her native land. The one hundred guests who attended were also so pleased with Chef Fabrizio’s preparation and presentation, that they requested his appearance from the kitchen to give him personal accolades.

With lively music provided by Tony Ventura, the closed-for-the-event restaurant rang out with lively singing and dancing while dining. Guests parted with boxes of Baci candies and memories of an enjoyable end-of-the-season celebration and with expectations of more of the same to come.

Thanks to Lucia Maggiore for organizing the event, to Francesco and Fabrizio for its presentation and to all who made it such a fun time.


Il Circolo Appreciation Luncheon 2015

Sally Valenti & Marcello Fiorentino

Robin Miller & Paul Finizio

Amber Johnson 

Paul Finizio

Barbara Finizio, 

Segio Salani 

Chris Salamone

Ilaria Serra 

Emanuele Pettener

Laurel Baker 


Kristen Di Nonno

Caesar Cora

Gino De Marco

Virginia Zeani

By Sally Valenti

Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society of the Palm Beaches, honored all those who helped the organization this past season. A sumptuous luncheon prepared by master chef, Marcello Fiorentino, at La Sirena, was held on May 5, 2015. Invited guests included Il Circolo Board of Directors, Professors Ilaria Serra and Emanuele Petener, sopranos Virginia Zeani and Marilyn Mims, Dean Lloyd Mims, Laurel Baker, Robin Miller, Kate and Adriano Ceresaro, Ivana Regan, Marianna Du Bois, Gregg Beletsky, Laurie Carney, Kathy and Leo Vecellio, Jana and John Scarpa, Mayor Gail Coniglio, Frank De Stefano, Amber Johnson and Michelle Botindari. Although some invitees were unable to attend, thirty-two diners enjoyed the luncheon at the closed-for-the-event restaurant. Marcello’s classic menu started with bruschetta and mozzarella di bufala over roasted peppers, A fresh fish dish oreganata over chopped broccoli rabe was followed by risotto with porcini mushrooms and black truffles, named alla Frank Cava after Il Circolo’s distinguished recently deceased member. It was his favorite dish. Lemon panna cotta with fresh raspberries finished the meal as the coffee was served.

Music by Gino De Marco added to the festive celebration. A special scholarship of $5000 by the Renee Silvester Foundation was given to Amber Johnson for her studies in medical school and another highlight was the presentation of a tribute to Robin Miller of the Worth Avenue Association for a most unforgettable celebration of Il Circolo at this year’s Worth Avenue Italian Week. The tribute read, "In recogniton and appreciation for designating Il Circolo as the featured charity for the celebration of Worth Avenue Italian Week 2015. We are privileged to have you in our circle." Robin Miller’s response included a compliment to the organization for its reliable, dependable cooperation which facilitated the organization and operation of the event. Il Circolo looks forward to next year’s Italian Week.

Thanks to Marcello and Diane Fiorentino and their staff for such an outstanding presentation of over-the-top food and wines and to all who participated in making 2014-2015 an outstanding season in Il Circolo’s history.

Palm Beach Model Railroaders Celebrate 40 Years

Harold Machiz, of Village Green H condominium in Palm Springs, has been a member of the Palm Beach Model Railroaders club for 3 years. Originally from Long Island, Machiz has been in Florida since 1995. He is an avid hobbyist and has had trains in his basement in Long Island. His first model train was a Lionel at age 12, followed by HO scale models.

Modal Railroad Club members Nick Litwin and Vincent Cuomo.

Since 1975, the Palm Beach Model Railroad Club has maintained a model railroad layout in Heritage Hall, Building 8, Palm Beach County Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach, FL. The building is owned by the South Florida Fair Corporation. The layout is HO scale which is the ratio of one inch equals eighty seven inches, or approximately 1/8 of an inch to a foot of actual size. There are 25 club members who live from Jupiter to Pompano Beach, FL.

The club models the area of the United States from Virginia south along the east coast into Florida. Their time era is from the 1950s. The layout is in a nearly constant state of maintenance and improvement and members perform various tasks such as scenery, electrical wiring, electronics, trackwork, rolling stock and motive power maintenance, operations, painting, lighting and design. Club members also give lectures and demonstrations to interested community groups that wish to develop an appreciation of their hobby and actual railroads as a vital part of American history.

The club meets regularly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6pm and other times as needed. The club is open for public viewing during the South Florida Fair and other events at the Fairgrounds throughout the year.

For more information go to their website at: or call Fred Bohle, president at 561-951-6561.


Il Circolo Christmas Party, 2014

Carlos Gonzalez,Marco Capoccia,Sally Valenti,

Kristen Noffsinger, Tony Phillips, James Derry

Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society of the Palm Beaches, combined with Sons of Italy, Pompano Chapter, to celebrate an Italian Christmas at Via Mizner Country Club in Boca Raton on December 7, 2014. Members were invited to bring their children and grandchildren as activities were being planned for them. Guests brought Toys for Tots which were given to Marines James Derry and Carlos Gonzalez to be delivered to the local collection center. A jolly Santa appeared by surprise to give gifts to the attending children as they gathered around the tree. Marco Capoccia showed a video filmed in a small town in Italy where young, costumed dancers sang and performed a typical holiday dance.

A delightful lunch was served while Gino DeMarco played seasonal music, often with guests chiming in. Many door prizes of wines, candies etc., donated by Tony Phillips, President of Pompano’s Chapter of Sons of Italy, were awarded to the lucky ticket-holders, but the big prize, a basket of wine and food, was given to Francine Scaffidi who won the Tombola game, the Italian version of Bingo, traditionally played by families at Christmas time.

A good time was had by all due to the well-planned event orchestrated by Chairmen Tony Phillips and Marco Capoccia and assisted by Il Circolo’s Executive Director, Kristen DiNonno Noffsinger.

Buone Feste

Visit for information about our next events.

Thai Bay Restaurant Has New Location

By Betty Thomas

Thai Bay Food Restaurant has been a favorite of Palm Beach County diners for the past 24 years. Formerly located on Okeechobee Blvd., west of I-95.

They have moved to 1000-A Old Okeechobee Rd., West Palm Beach. Owner/operator Boon Som has been serving up some of the best Thai food in the county for 24 years --- all home made with fresh vegetables, spices and her own sauces and over 100 menu items to choose from.

This writer had the pleasure of dining there Saturday night and I can assure you that you will be totally pleased. The service is courteous and efficient.

My favorite Thai dishes are the curries. I had the chicken vegetable red curry. So-o-o-o good. My co-taster, Jimmy, had the broccoli stir fry with shrimp in a brown sauce. Both our entrees were scrumptious. Soup came with our dinners. He had wonton and I had the hot and sour. Delicious.

Their prices are moderate and their menu is a full menu for lunch and dinner complete with appetizers, beverages, desserts, and, of course, Thai Bay Specialties.

Thai Bay has inside and outside seating and also features a complete take-out menu.

For more information or to make reservations, please call them at (561) 832-6091. Or visit their website at:

Tippi's Pizzeria — Delizioso!

Photo & Story by Jimmy Shirley

A business profile

Tippi Redzepi

Tippi’s Pizzeria is an established business on Okeechobee Boulevard, across from Century Village. Tippi Redzepi, an immigrant from Albania, first moved to New Jersey more than 30 years ago, where he opened two pizza stores.

He moved his family to Florida in 1991 and opened a store at Belvedere Road and Georgia Avenue and ran it with his son, Reggie. Eleven years ago, they moved to their present location at 5778 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach.

They offer a wide range of Italian-type foods, such as spaghetti, calzone, parmigiana, salads, hot and cold sandwiches and so on. This writer has sampled their meatball sandwiches, their Greek salads, and of course their pizza. It can honestly be said you won’t find better fare around.

The late Sam Koppleman, long time adv. salesman for the Condo News, was a frequent patron of Tippi’s. He used to use his quirky sense of humor on them when he would complain they had not properly arranged the beans in his soup, or that they had inadvertently placed the sauce under the cheese on his pizza.

Tippi’s Pizzeria is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 11pm, Saturday from 11am to 12 midnight, and on Sunday from 12 noon to 10pm. They offer take-out, delivery, and limited sit down, and catering. Call them at (561) 681-9224 or just stop by the next time you want to eat Italian. And, please tell them you saw their ad in the Condo News.