themaddiner's Profile

Title Last Reply

Palm Beach Grill

palm beach grill, palm beach
royal poinciana way
february 2009

yes, it's owned by the hillstone restaurant group, the same group who operates houston's as well as a number of other restaurants. chain type restaurants are not allowed in the area so they renamed it and upscaled it a bit to suit the location and clientele. the place was packed as we arrived. the pleasant and attractive hostess handled the crowd well as we checked in. nicely appointed space with a bar running along one side with the single dining area slightly separated. a lively mix of well dressed old and young palm beachers was a welcome change from the shorts, t-shirts and flip flips seen nearly everywhere in south florida. the attentive bar staff made it fairly easy to get a drink at the crowded bar with the offer of transferring the tab to my table without asking. the open kitchen towards the back of the bar was well run with all dishes getting final touches and review before being served. we sat within fifteen minutes of our reservation time, well within reason. the menu is short and simple with something for everyone; fresh seafood, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, prime rib etc. we started with the smoked salmon served with toast and a fresh dill sauce along with crab cakes. both were simply presented and obviously fresh. the salmon is nearly identical to that served at houston's but with a bit more care give to the plating. the grilled snapper was perfect; simple and fresh served with rock shrimp, mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. the prime rib was massive and was well liked along with the center-cut filet cooked to the correct temperature. our server was enthusiastic so we didn't mind her obvious inexperience opening/pouring wine. we didn't have time for one of the three available desserts but will give them a try on a return visit. all in all nothing groundbreaking in the food arena, just solid service, well prepared food and an active atmosphere. a positive and rare combination in south florida.

THE GOOD
• well mannered hostess
• attentive bar staff
• well prepared food
• polite servers

THE BAD
• no reservation confirmation call

THE UGLY
• none

Mar 11, 2009
themaddiner in Florida

Michael's Genuine - Miami Design District

michael's genuine food + drink, miami
design district, 40th st.
february 2009

after hearing and reading so much about this place i was eager to check it out for myself. had reservations well in advance and were seated promptly. parking was easy on the street as we arrived fairly early on a weekday to avoid any delays. i did not receive a reservation confirmation call, but it was not a problem. sat at a lovely table on the window inside. the courtyard outside may have been nice but the kitchen vents outside and i'd rather not smell as if i was working in the kitchen for the evening. our server went over the menu and paced our meal well. we enjoyed a total of seven items from the menu; the house cured mackerel, crispy squash blossoms, double egg yolk salad, duck confit, pork belly, cheese grits and fettuccini special. everything was nicely prepared and presented. i really enjoyed the pork belly as it's not something i eat often, full of fat and flavor! excellent wine service without pushing additional bottles is always appreciated. although nearly full we did have the banana panini which was excellent along with a cremoso to finish the meal. well above anything available in the boca, delray, or fort lauderdale area. a variety of unique, flavorful items served in an upscale yet casual space by a professional staff.

THE GOOD
• good space, both inside and the available courtyard
• very well prepared + presented food
• attentive professional service
• easy parking, depending upon the time of day

THE BAD
• kitchen exhausts into the courtyard?
• no reservation confirmation call

THE UGLY
• none

New York Prime Problems

new york prime, boca raton
executive center drive
march 2009

no trouble getting a last minute reservation for four. the uninterested telephone voice of the junior hostess was not a good sign . . . arrived and allowed my guests to secure our table as i waited for the single valet to return. the interior is well groomed although the muzak can be bothersome. i was reminded again of what's wrong with south florida and the restaurants . . . dress code. i thought perhaps shorts and t-shirts would be out of bounds here but apparently it's acceptable. excellent servers attended to our every need and had no trouble splitting larger dishes for us at the table etc. the baked shrimp in garlic butter, parmesan and bread crumbs were delicious although half the size of those served on our previous visit. the beefsteak tomatoes and onions were perfect. the triple cut lamb chops were cooked as specified but both filets were rare rather than medium rare as requested. the hash browns were good and the banana cream pie and apple pie were very good finishing touches to our hearty meal. aside from the service it was well off the mark based on my previous experiences here.

THE GOOD
• attractive interior
• excellent service
• well prepared food

THE BAD
• disinterested hostess answering the phone
• lengthy wait at the valet, a single valet
• shrimp not at their usual size, should be consistent

THE UGLY
• steaks at the incorrect temperature

Mar 11, 2009
themaddiner in Florida

Jfoods Visit Sundy House (Delray) - Beautiful

Completely agree. Drinks in a beautiful setting only . . .

Jfoods Visit Sundy House (Delray) - Beautiful

Frozen Sea Bass . . . not at any good restaurant. I'd say they may have had a late seafood delivery on that day, not uncommon. Most good restaurants receive deliveries of fresh fish daily, on ice . . .

Zed 451, Boca Raton

*UPDATE

zed 451, boca raton
mizner park
november 2008

took a second look at zed last night . . .
it seems that the well dressed crowd only appears during the opening night and preview dinner events that i enjoyed. they have absolutely no dress code so everyone in shorts, t shirts, flip-flops etc. was wandering in to the bar etc. giving it the appearance of a 'vegas style buffet'. drinks at the outside bar were difficult to obtain as the bartenders were extremely slow to acknowledge anyone. i won't be back for a long time, if at all.

da Campo Osteria - Fort Lauderdale

I have a copy of their initial menu, some items were different last night.
You're lucky I'm an excellent typist!

Warm fresh-made mozzarella pulled tableside with your choice of spices etc.
Simple: olive oil, sea salt & cracked pepper
Spicy: pickled hot pepperoncini peppers
Caprese: sun gold tomatoes, sweet basil
Terra: prosciutto di parma, fig olive oil
Verde e Nero: green & black olive tapenade
Dolce: honey spiced walnuts, blonde raisons

Antipasti

Piatto di Salami
Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Coppa, Soppresata, Bresaola

Verdure
Beets with Pistachio
Wood Grilled Asparagus, Pecorino & Red Onion
Roasted Cauliflower, Italian Bread Crumbs & Egg
Wilted Green Beans & Ricotta Salata
Cremini Mushrooms, Celery Leaf & Parmesan

Pesce
Tuna Crudo, Potato & Lemon
Mussels Caponata
White Anchovy, Fire Roasted Peppers
Rock Shrimp, Beans & Garlic
Oysters, Orange & Smoked Sea Salt

Primi

Insalata
Grilled Trevisano Ceasar Salad
Mom's Wooden Bowl Salad
Fennel, Grapefruit, Olive & Goat Cheese
Tuscan Bread, Tomato & Burrata

Pizze
Fig & Prosciutto
Quattro Fromaggio
Broccoli Rabe, Italian Sausage & Ricotta
Wild Mushroom, Red Onion, Fontina & Truffle Oil
Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil

Pasti
Spicy Calabria Onion Soup with Fontina Frittata
Linguine Vongole, Pancetta, Chilies
Butternut Squash Agnolotti
Penne, Shrimp, Arugula, Candied Lemon
Ricotta Ravioli, Sausage, Roasted Peppers
Bucatini All'Amatriciana
Spaghetti Pomodoro

Secondi

Shrimp Cacciatore
Scallopini of Filet Mignon, Balsamic Wild Mushrooms
Bread Stick Pork Milanese on the Bone, Olive Caper Relish
Yellow Snapper Marsala
Basil Crusted Chicken, Sun Burst Tomatoes
Tuscan Cowboy Ribeye
Garlic Roasted Chicken, Sweet Sausage Bread Pudding
Tonnato Vitello alla da Campo

Continori

Broccoli Rabe, Escarole & Beans
Rosemary Charred Lemon Roasted Potato
Balsamic Sweet Onion
Asparagus Milanese
Polenta Fries

da Campo Osteria - Fort Lauderdale

da Campo Osteria prices:

Antipasti > $8 - $14
Insalata > $11 - $18
Pizze > $10 - $14
Pasti > $13 - 24
Secondi, including meats, fish, & fowl > $24 - $40
Contorni > $8 - $9

Wine from approx. $20 - $60

da Campo Osteria - Fort Lauderdale

da Campo Osteria, fort lauderdale
just off ocean ove. + oakland park blvd. @ il lugano
november 2008

http://www.dacampofl.com/

Il Lugano
3333 NE 32nd Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
(954) 564-4400
http://www.illugano.com/

checked out todd english's new place @ il lugano and had an all around great experience. greeted at the door by the hostess and manager who brought us complimentary glasses of prosecco as we waited for our table. we were seated on time in the small, well appointed dining area. wood floors and modern decor in muted tones with the focal point being the massive copper oven visible in the open kitchen area. service was very attentive and professional yet relaxed as we were allowed to order from the menu as the meal progressed rather than being required to place the entire order at once. ordered a bottle of capezzana barco reale from the efficient wine list of approx. seven whites and seven reds. we began with their signature warm, fresh made mozzarella, pulled tableside with two preparations; 'caprese' with sun gold tomatoes and sweet basil as well as the 'terra' with prosciutto di parma and figs / fig olive oil. the freshness of the mozzarella, prosciutto, tomatoes and figs were memorable although i can't imagine what would happen if every table ordered the fresh mozzarella . . . the preparation cart is rather large and would cause serious service problems if placed throughout the small space. next up was a trio of antipasti; the tuna crudo with potato and lemon which was a simple execution of thinly sliced tuna over wedges of roasted potato. this was fresh but could have used a bit more seasoning and lemon flavor. white anchovies paired with fire roasted red peppers was again simply prepared and perfectly satisfying. a few tasty oysters with orange wedges and smoked sea salt completed our appetizer selections. a small basket of a variety of fresh breads was also provided which was excellent; focaccia along with raisin bread etc. we continued with an excellent fig and prosciutto pizza, featuring a fairly thin, correctly charred, flavorful crust. the penne with shrimp, arugula and candied lemon was very light with tender perfectly cooked shrimp and tangy strips of candied lemon to brighten the dish. a simply grilled / roasted fresh snapper selection was really nice, honest flavors. dessert consisted of beautifully presented olive oil gelato with biscotti, a rich, warm chocolate macadamia dish as well as a tiramisu soufflé which was extremely enjoyable. every dish was composed of high quality fresh ingredients which were well seasoned and prepared, artfully presented and full of flavor. i will definitely return to sample the remainder of the menu.

THE GOOD
• friendly, professional staff
• management clearly visible and attentive
• beautiful space with great attention to details
• small, carefully chosen affordable wine list
• excellent menu variety
• high quality, well seasoned and prepared selections
• artfully presented flavorful dishes

THE BAD
• none

THE UGLY
• none

da Campo Osteria - Fort Lauderdale

I'm trying it out this Thursday . . . will post my review shortly after. I have a printed copy of their initial menu which looks good. Fresh Mozzarella prepared tableside, served warm with your choice of extras etc. . .

Zed 451, Boca Raton

Irish Coffee . . . need I say more . . .

Zed 451, Boca Raton

Opens today (Nov. 10th, 2008).
Well above Chima in variety, preparation, presentation and atmosphere.

Zed 451, Boca Raton

zed 451, boca raton
mizner park
november 2008

headed out on a cool florida evening to explore the newest addition to mizner park . . . zed is extremely well appointed, reminiscent of a resort with great attention to detail throughout. fine woods, polished concrete, stainless steel, rock salt candles, unique ambient lighting, fountains, and flowing water surround you while a very audible eclectic mix of music fills the space. drinks at the lovely outdoor bar first, bourbon ginger lemonade and a blackberry mojito, fresh and light with all juices freshly squeezed. a very friendly service staff aside from some of the numerous hostesses who were a bit flustered at times. a good selection of food is available at the bar. i saw the impressive seafood sampler presented at the bar; crab claws, oysters, mussels etc. . . more than enough for two . . . perfect to start the evening with a glass of champagne! it's new so they were not offering everything on the menu yet but they will offer flights of wine along with their extensive wine list. a beautiful glass wine room is visible from the indoor bar area, perfect for intimate tastings. as we sat we were directed to the 'harvest tables' which are filled with fresh breads, charcuterie, an assortment of cheese, grilled vegetables, and a number of beautifully presented sides. i sampled the grilled mushrooms, asparagus, squash, tomato and mozzarella, focaccia, roasted beets, tomatillos and perhaps a few others i can't recall. everything was perfectly fresh and well seasoned. upon returning to the table our 'sides' were presented; a moist and flavorful corn bread, tender sauteed spaghetti squash and rich goat cheese scalloped potatoes. now the real food begins to arrive, delivered by 'chefs' . . . top sirloin, moroccan chicken, mahi mahi, seared tuna, grilled wahoo and salmon along with various other items. everything was perfectly cooked and simply seasoned. prices will be about $55 for the full experience plus drinks and dessert, around $35 for the 'harvest tables' only plus drinks etc. more than enough food for anyone as you may return to the harvest tables as often as you wish and enjoy as much of the freshly prepared items brought to your table as you like. it's a beautiful space with excellent food although i will need to become accustomed to retrieving my own food at the harvest tables.

THE GOOD
• extremely friendly and helpful staff
• abundance of freshly prepared, flavorful food
• owners / management clearly visible, they care
• beautiful space with great attention to details
• excellent outdoor bar area

THE BAD
• unrefined young girls at the front, more poise please

THE UGLY
• none

Ruths Chris Tampa - Disappointed

Ruth's Chris in Boca Raton
Unable to find the bottle of wine I ordered (by number).
Repeatedly asked me if I'm sure I ordered the correct item.
Asked me if it was a Red or White.
Manager finally discovered it after about 10 minutes.
All steaks were at the wrong temperature, had to refire all.
Requested a candle be placed on a single dessert for someone at our table.
No candle . . .
The manager came over and held a candle in his hand in front of the Birthday person.
It was not my choice and I'll never return.

Nov 07, 2008
themaddiner in Florida

Boca Raton = Town Center

You can skip EVERYTHING in Boca Center. New York Prime for steaks, Bova for Italian, Lemongrass for Asian.

http://www.primesteakhouses.com/new-y...

http://www.ristorantebova.com/

http://www.lemongrassasianbistro.com/...

Nov 03, 2008
themaddiner in Florida

Moquila in Boca

Not upscale . . . casual trendy, along the lines of Houstons, J Alexanders etc. but with a younger vibe and decent 'bar scene' a times.

Michy's Miami Review

For the most part I find the people in Boca, Delray and Fort Lauderdale a bit too casual, lots of jeans, casual shirts, t-shirts and shorts, sneakers and flip-flops even at better restaurants. I saw no shorts at Michy's, a number of men wore jackets, women were in professional business attire or dresses while all other men wore dress pants / designer jeans, nice/stylish dress shirts and appropriate shoes. I may have missed a few more casual diners . . . but overall, a well dressed crowd.

Morimoto at Boca Resort Hotel

I was there after the March of Dimes Signature Chefs event on Monday, Oct. 13th. I can assure you it WAS open . . . unless they've closed it temporarily.

Michy's Miami Review

michy's, miami (2nd visit)

arrived on a rainy evening to find the placed filled to capacity. the valet ran to my car with an umbrella in hand to guide my companion through the downpour. the first thing i noticed upon entering was how well everyone was dressed, a very different clientele compared with fort lauderdale and delray/boca. it has the appearance of a diner and has a good volume level and mildly entertaining mix of music. our table was ready within 5 minutes and we were taken care of by a very professional waiter; no rush, educated on the menu and ingredients and skilled at wine presentation. the miami spice menu was available and they let us know that we could have any mix of items from both the regular and spice menus, no problem. we enjoyed a wide range of menu items as all are offered in either half or full portions; fresh east/west coast oysters, a tender ceviche, creamy polenta, light gnocchi, duck confit, bland orange snapper (the weakest link), and succulent short ribs followed by a creamy bread pudding and slightly dry red velvet cupcake. overall the food was thoughtfully prepared and the service was some of the best i've had recently . . . knowledgeable and available when requested.

THE GOOD
• professional, friendly staff
• owner / chef in action
• superior wine service
• wide selection of items available in full and half portions
• extremely well prepared food

THE BAD
• the location is a bit sketchy, could put off some diners

THE UGLY
• none

Vic & Angelo's Enoteca, Delray Beach

Vic & Angelo's Enoteca, Delray Beach

having been to their original pga location i knew what to expect for the most part. the renovation of the old space was very well done and for the first time i believe a restaurant will survive at the location that has seen so many fail. reservations were honored on time as we were led into the extremely loud dining area opposite the bar room. flat screen televisions are positioned above each table playing movies etc. as the music blasts. the menu is fairly large with something for everyone. they use a team service format which caused minor problems such as confusion over who was bringing which dishes to which table, who was bringing the wine etc. having been open only a few days, i'm sure it's something that will work itself out. service is a bit gimmicky; bringing out the different types of pasta in a colander to explain each one is unnecessary. our server managed to do one of my least favorite things, let me know which items were her favorite for each course . . . thanks, but no thanks. the bread service appears nice but doesn't really make sense. a cutting board is brought to the table with a small white paper bag with a few slices of fresh bread as well as salt, roasted garlic, olive oil and a single bruchetta. who gets the lone bruchetta? a better idea would be to bring one per person. the bag o' bread had the same issue, 3 slices for a party of four? they will provide more if you like but it would save time and make more sense to simply bring the appropriate amount for the party. on to the food . . . the grilled calamari was excellent, served with a crispy salad and balsamic dressing. parmesan fries were fresh. the shrimp bruchetta were very good with plenty of flavor and the roasted artichoke was one of the best i've had, perfectly cooked and flavorful. the lasagne was a serious problem, delicate on top yet rock hard on the bottom and inedible. the butternut squash torteloni were nearly all dough with little filling or flavor. the pizza was acceptable although it suffered from the same problem most 'coal oven' pizzas have . . . simply overdone. i can accept a slight char on my pizza, but not 50% of completely black carbonized crust. pizzas cooked in this manner really must be watched carefully as the cooking method is less forgiving than a standard oven. the tiramisu was bland to end the meal. it's got a good atmosphere and some very good dishes. i'll return for drinks and appetizers.

THE GOOD
• lively atmosphere
• some very good appetizers
• friendly staff overall

THE BAD
• gimmicky service
• typical overly charred pizza

THE UGLY
• inedible lasagne

Oct 21, 2008
themaddiner in Florida

Vic & Angelo's Enoteca, Delray Beach

Vic & Angelo's Enoteca, Delray Beach

having been to their original pga location i knew what to expect for the most part. the renovation of the old space was very well done and for the first time i believe a restaurant will survive at the location that has seen so many fail. reservations were honored on time as we were led into the extremely loud dining area opposite the bar room. flat screen televisions are positioned above each table playing movies etc. as the music blasts. the menu is fairly large with something for everyone. they use a team service format which caused minor problems such as confusion over who was bringing which dishes to which table, who was bringing the wine etc. having been open only a few days, i'm sure it's something that will work itself out. service is a bit gimmicky; bringing out the different types of pasta in a colander to explain each one is unnecessary. our server managed to do one of my least favorite things, let me know which items were her favorite for each course . . . thanks, but no thanks. the bread service appears nice but doesn't really make sense. a cutting board is brought to the table with a small white paper bag with a few slices of fresh bread as well as salt, roasted garlic, olive oil and a single bruchetta. who gets the lone bruchetta? a better idea would be to bring one per person. the bag o' bread had the same issue, 3 slices for a party of four? they will provide more if you like but it would save time and make more sense to simply bring the appropriate amount for the party. on to the food . . . the grilled calamari was excellent, served with a crispy salad and balsamic dressing. parmesan fries were fresh. the shrimp bruchetta were very good with plenty of flavor and the roasted artichoke was one of the best i've had, perfectly cooked and flavorful. the lasagne was a serious problem, delicate on top yet rock hard on the bottom and inedible. the butternut squash torteloni were nearly all dough with little filling or flavor. the pizza was acceptable although it suffered from the same problem most 'coal oven' pizzas have . . . simply overdone. i can accept a slight char on my pizza, but not 50% of completely black carbonized crust. pizzas cooked in this manner really must be watched carefully as the cooking method is less forgiving than a standard oven. the tiramisu was bland to end the meal. it's got a good atmosphere and some very good dishes. i'll return for drinks and appetizers.

THE GOOD
• lively atmosphere
• some very good appetizers
• friendly staff overall

THE BAD
• gimmicky service
• typical overly charred pizza

THE UGLY
• inedible lasagne

Oct 21, 2008
themaddiner in Florida

Morimoto at Boca Resort Hotel

a random excursion to the boca resort led me to the recently opened morimoto by chef masaharu morimoto. it's a beautiful small space with a long marble bar where you can get up close and personal with the friendly sushi chefs and be hypnotized by the videos shown on the array of flat screens behind the bar. an extensive and expensive menu of traditional sushi / sashimi along with a wide assortment of innovative offerings. morimoto offers his own line of sake and beer to pair with your selections. our server was well out of her depth and lacked knowledge of the menu and available sake selections. each seat at the bar was ready for service with the appropriate dishes and chopsticks . . . but of course not where i chose to sit . . . and i had to ask the server to bring chopsticks etc. when our food arrived. i took the opportunity to watch our chef prepare our items and discuss the freshness of the seafood selections. they have items rare for south florida; all grades of tuna > otoro, maguro, chutoro along with suzuki, tai, kinmedai etc. i enjoyed a beautifully displayed appetizer of otoro, sake, kani, hamachi, and aji, a kanpachi carpaccio served with hot ginger infused oil along with kinmedai, aji and far too much junmai daiginjo sake . . . it was an interesting experience mostly due to the opportunity to talk with the sushi chefs. the food was artfully presented but not extraordinary as i expected. a good place to talk sushi and mingle with a new crowd.

THE GOOD
• beautiful space
• artfully prepared dishes
• friendly, experienced, knowledgeable sushi chefs
• wide selection of appealing seafood

THE BAD
• our particular waitress was ineffectual

THE UGLY
• none

CUT 432 - Delray Beach, FL

arrived on a beautiful, breezy evening to join friends for dinner at this fairly new spot operated by the same duo who were in charge of vertical in boca raton. beautifully done menus and attentive service from the start. we began with cocktails, sapphire and tonics before a glass or two of an excellent amarone with our dinners. fresh bread was brought out immediately, although it was more like a breakfast muffin? starters included salmon carpaccio and white truffle gouda grilled cheese with tomato soup. the carpaccio was fresh and light while the grilled cheese was rich and flavorful, well done on both efforts. i enjoyed the simply grilled king salmon while my guests enjoyed the filet and bone-in ribeye. my salmon was perfectly cooked as was the filet (medium rare) but the ribeye was rare but tolerable for my other guests. my salmon came with a trio of tasty sauces served in a playful little dish . . . unfortunately there was no spoon provided to serve these sauces. an assistant brought out steak knives and reached across the face of one of one of my guests to place it in the correct position rather than simply take a step to the appropriate side. the side dishes were excellent; creamed corn, pancetta braised brussel sprouts and potato gratin. a shared dessert of peanut butter chocolate pie was full flavored and enough for four. one of the two owners, brandon, made an effort to say hello . . . he is just not a people person (i've met both before), while brian is clearly more refined and affable. while not perfect, the overall experience defines cut as the best of delray for both food and service.

THE GOOD
• attentive service
• well prepared fresh selections

THE BAD
• missing serving spoon
• reaching in front of guests face to place silverware

THE UGLY
• none

Professionally Trained/Experienced vs. Non-Professional Celebrity Chefs

I've worked in a professional restaurant setting with an 'Executive Chef' who finally feels comfortable calling himself a 'Chef' after 25 years in the restaurant business. He graduated from culinary school and worked his way up from small chain restaurants through various kitchen positions and has been the 'Executive Chef/Owner' of a very successful restaurant for the past 12 years. It depends upon the ego/personality of the Chef. I don't care for 'Personality Chefs' who have an obvious lack of kitchen experience and technique. Let me also add that despite him calling himself a 'Chef' with his experience and skill set I don't consider him an 'Executive Chef' which I reserve for those who seek to constantly innovate and improve themselves, their cooking and their restaurants.

Jul 27, 2008
themaddiner in Food Media & News

Big City Tavern, Boca Center

arrived at this casual restaurant on a pleasant evening to find my dinner guests already seated. the atmosphere is slightly romantic with both indoor and outdoor candle lit tables available. the dark, attractive pub interior has been slightly updated recently as it is under new ownership/management. each table has a small printed menu with the drink specials and evening dinner specials. the service was extremely slow to begin with. i asked which beers were available on tap to which our server replied 'we have many but i'm not sure which are available now'. after our server returned with a bit of knowledge i ordered a sierra nevada . . . server returned to say they were out . . . next i ordered a harp . . . server returned to say they were out . . . i asked which beers were available . . . i ordered a ylang ylang . . . which they did have. we waited far too long to receive our drinks and the server forgot the lemon requested for a vodka soda. upon ordering the dinner special as listed on the card on the table we were told that it was not available and that we had the wrong specials card on our table. we asked what the correct specials were and were told that there were no specials at all available. noticing the same special cards on each table i wondered what poor management would leave the same cards on all tables if there were no special available? everyone ordered off the regular menu and the food was surprisingly well prepared aside from the bland pizza. the spring rolls were tasty with a fresh asian salad on the side, the seared tuna appetizer was massive and fresh. the entrees of kobe sliders, salmon with lobster mashed potatoes, crab cake and mahi mahi were all very nice. the apple tart was freshly prepared and delicious although i should not have ordered dessert at all, no reason to prolong my stay here. did i mention that the table was not cleared properly, glasses and bits of food just pushed towards the center of the table. on my way out i checked out one of the special cards on a nearby table to find that it was completely different than what was on our table. i asked another server if the special items were correct and if they were all available this evening . . . of course they were. needless to say i will not return. it's amazing that i've documented my bad experiences at opus 5, absinthe and now big city . . . all in boca center. i don't care for mortons, cucina d'angelo, uncle tais or sushi ray making the center useless to me aside from total wine.

THE GOOD
• all menu items well prepared + presented
• attractive interior space + outdoor seating

THE BAD
• table not cleared / cleaned properly

THE UGLY
• out of beers offered
• server incorrectly stating that 'no specials' were available

Jul 21, 2008
themaddiner in Florida

Absinthe, Boca Center

dropped in to give absinthe a try. a well appointed interior along with covered outdoor seating is available. the bar staff was a bit rough around the edges but we managed to get drinks at the relatively empty bar. tables remained uncleared in both the dining and bar area . . . not a good sign. we requested a table outside and were seated and provided with menus. that's really the end of our dining experience at absinthe. no server ever appeared to check on us so my party of four left after ten minutes, leaving our drinks and menus on the table. we had an adequate meal at cucina d'angelo before walking back through absinthe on our way to the parking lot behind boca center. our table was exactly as we left it two hours earlier . . . wine glasses and menus patiently awaiting our return.

THE GOOD
• fairly attractive interior space

THE BAD
• uncleared tables

THE UGLY
• complete lack of service

Jul 21, 2008
themaddiner in Florida

Sushi with Ambience for tongiht-Friday

Sushi Jo in Boynton Beach.
640 E. Ocean Ave.
Boynton Beach, FL 33435

www.sushijo.com

Jun 30, 2008
themaddiner in Florida

Bluefish, Delray Beach

I'm aware of that. I mentioned Vertical as it is the same team who own/run CUT 432.

Bluefish, Delray Beach

I have not been to CUT yet but I did have an underwhelming experience at Vertical. I'm fairly knowledgeable about wine while my dining companion knows cheese (worked at Artisinal in NYC). We were not impressed by the high pressure wine sales technique, wine temperature or the cheese plate. That was my first and last visit to Vertical. A family member has really enjoyed both Vertical and now CUT. I may check it out for apps. and atmosphere at some point. Let me add that I'm not a serious meat eater so that appeal is lost on me.

Bluefish, Delray Beach

I've heard it's run is nearly over . . . from unofficial sources. I won't be sad to see it gone.