Dine for charity at The Palm

If you’re looking for a reason to splurge on a restaurant meal, here’s one. The Palm Restaurant group, as part of its aim to raise money for the non-profit organization Dress for Success, has a special menu for lunch and dinner through October 31.

If you order from the Fall for Success lunch or dinner menus, part of the proceeds will go to this charity that provides “economic independence of disadvantaged women.”

Menu items are creative and yummy. Ordering a meal isn’t required. There are appetizers, side dishes, salad and a desert if you’re on a tighter budget.

I’d go for the Parmesan Truffle fries for $8, or for a splurge the Nova Scotia Lobster Nachos for $18. Molten Chocolate cake is the desert offering. (Click here for the rest of the menu.)

The history of the restaurant is another reason to head here regardless of giving money to a worthy cause.

Although there are 25 Palm restaurant locations from Boston to L.A., and in Mexico City and San Juan, the Palm Group is still owned by the family who founded it. The original Palm Restaurant on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan, now a historic landmark opened its doors in 1926 as an Italian eatery featuring dishes from Parma Italy.

This restaurant is one of those famous places worth heading to for its history alone. Back when it first opened, the family couldn’t afford artwork so whenever local newspaper men came to eat, they were given a free plate of spaghetti in exchange for a drawing on the wall. The walls still boast the caricatures and cartoons of their efforts.

Here’s a detail that anyone who has traveled to another country and has struggled to say the name of a place correctly can relate to. The family really wanted the name of the restaurant to be Parma, but when applying for a business license the person who applied had an accent that made Parma sounded like Palm. Considering the restaurant’s expansion to California, perhaps this was unwittingly visionary.