The Potato Chip Chronicles

Fine dining ends not with a bang but a crackle

Still, they're doing the dance better than Beach House Bistro — the same lineup here is so mediocre that it verges on inedible. At Beach House, opened last spring by Cindy Rosa, who also owns that Palm Beach institution Hamburger Heaven down the street, the potato chips ($4.95) were the highlight of our meal — Beach House serves them with a minuscule ramekin of homemade smoked onion dip (way yummier than the onion soup mix/sour cream concoction beloved of '60s housewives, even if there wasn't near enough of it): Here I'd found the ideal nosh for my next Dark Shadows marathon. From there, it was straight downhill. Pleasant service and attractive, vaguely 20th-century Marriott décor couldn't do a thing for greasy duck rolls ($8.95). Our bland "Simon and Garfunkel roast chicken" ($18.95) emitted not a whiff of the parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme it had been named for. Snapper en papillote ($23.95), cooked in parchment paper with julienned carrots and celery, was flavorful but oversalted (in the comfort-food kitchen, salt isn't a seasoning; it's the main ingredient), and the thin fillet had turned mushy.

For dessert at Yolo, there's an ice cream sandwich ($7, rescued from utter infantility by an accompanying shot of white chocolate liqueur with cream and cinnamon), not significantly tastier than the same treat plucked from the cooler at 7-Eleven — the cookie was certainly just as flaccid. There's also banana cream pie and bread pudding — you don't need teeth to eat these desserts. At Beach House, it's mom's apple pie, a fudge brownie chocolate sundae, strawberry shortcake, and more bananas — this time in the crème brûlée. Any grownup in the vicinity is obliged to drink her dessert from a liqueur bottle — thank God these joints have a full bar.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

YOLO Restaurant and O Lounge

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

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Fort Lauderdale

Details

Yolo Restaurant and O Lounge, 333 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Open 11:30 a.m. till 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, till midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon till midnight Sunday. Call 561-523-1000. Beach House Bistro, 350 S. County Rd., Palm Beach. Open 11:30 a.m. till 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 561-833-7119.

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Dining options for fully fledged adults are going to dwindle to a pinprick with the economy in the tank: Restaurateurs are in mad retreat, and they've swallowed the hokum that all we want on a Friday night is food that's "approachable." Fifteen bucks used to buy you a plate of handmade, imported salami — now it gets you a hamburger. In other words, it's been an amazing ride, foodies — a crazy fucking couple of decades when we all learned to love semifreddo, miracle fruit, dancy oranges, Pacific oysters, Iberico ham, pumpkin oil, crème fraîche, and smoked Anglesey sea salt — the ambition and scope of our palates fueling a culinary renaissance the likes of which we may not see again. That was then. And this is now: We're just scared little animals huddled in the dark, gnawing on homemade potato chips. Crackle, crunch.

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