Not Ready For Prime Time

Timpano Italian Chophouse

The mashed potatoes turned out to be unworthy anyway -- the bodiless mass had been topped with whole, unincorporated cloves of roasted garlic. Another potato dish, Tuscan fries, usually accompanies the 14-ounce top sirloin, but our waitress was kind enough to order a portion for us so we could try them. I'll say this for the service -- it may be misrepresentative, but it's plenty accommodating. (And did I mention perky?) Too bad the Tuscan fries, which were giant steak fries rather than something slightly more interesting (and Italian), were not only soggy but spiced with an odd sour flavor.

As for the saltimbocca, this was perhaps the best entrée we sampled. The scaloppini of veal had been dredged in flour, layered with prosciutto, and sautéed. Melted provolone and a dark sage sauce finished the dish, which was oddly paired with nutlike wheat berries instead of pasta or risotto. Strange, again too salty, but overall at least tasty.

The lasagna Bolognese, on the other hand, was easily the most disappointing of our main courses. The baked dish was served not in a casserole but on a plate, in a brick so large it could have carried a body down to the bottom of a river. The enormous portion might have been a boon had the lasagna not been so dry and pasty. It was set on a smear of sauce but had little to none oozing out of its interior. Instead of a single noodle sheet, several sheets were used between each layer of ricotta and spiced meat, making the dish unnecessarily dense. The whole block was covered in a swath of melted mozzarella. A lighter touch and an infusion of sauce throughout the casserole would be an improvement.

The classic setting for our Italian tragedy
Sherri Cohen
The classic setting for our Italian tragedy

Location Info

Map

Timpano Chophouse & Martini Bar

450 E. Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Fort Lauderdale

Details

Lunch and dinner Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. till 11 p.m.; Friday till midnight. Dinner Saturday from 5 till midnight and Sunday from 5 till 11 p.m.
450 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-9119

We almost lost interest in dessert when the server described a "Tuscan key lime pie" as "your basic key lime pie" (insert lackadaisical tone here). But her countering enthusiasm for a house-made tartufo (truffle cake) turned out to be warranted. Sized more like a slice from a timbale (a large, drum-shape dish) than from a tartufo, the wedge of rich chocolate cake was layered with both white- and dark-chocolate mousse, a little dense but still quite creamy and satisfying.

The Italian steak house could be an interesting addition to the Las Olas area if Timpano would ease up on the salt, present prices honestly, and do some more authentic Italianizing of the food. The formula has been tried before and meets with success in places like Tuscan Steak in Miami, where the tasty fare warrants its terrific fan base. Add other Italian steak houses to the list of Timpano's possible rivals, and the chophouse actually has a triple dose of competition out there. And frankly, right now it's paling in comparison thrice over.

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