Our waiter strongly recommended the delectable, pan-roasted, yellowtail snapper ($36), a flaky fillet topped with a rich buttered wine sauce, lump crab, capers, and chopped tomatoes. Because the fillet was accompanied by smooth mashed potatoes and three sole spears of sautéed asparagus, it became evident that the bistro is big on the protein/starch/vegetable trio. The six-ounce petite filet ($32) could rationally be considered petite only if we hadn't touched any appetizers. The steak was classically prepared, with mashed potatoes and a side of julienned zucchini, carrots, and haricot verts. Diners have a choice of three sauces for an additional cost of $3: béarnaise, brandy peppercorn, and roast garlic bordelaise.

A pause between courses gave me time to think about how Bistro Mezzaluna fits into the current dining scene. Executive chef Brian Rutherford has been leading the cuisine for more than ten years, and while the restaurant may not be breaking new frontiers of excitement or trendiness, it certainly is consistent. He may not be the coolest kid on the block, but that's OK; many a restaurateur these days would gladly trade an entire internet full of buzz for a steady stream of paying diners. Although only Mezzaluna's owners, bankers, and landlord yet know whether the move to new digs was a wise one financially, it seemed to me that Mezzaluna is at the point where it has nothing left to prove. It's not the Carly Rae Jepsen of restaurants; it's the Paul McCartney.

My thoughts were interrupted when our waiter set the Bistro's apple crumble pie ($10) at our table."It's good for you. It has fruit in it," he joked. The menu states that the slice of pie is enough to share; geez, it could have added that warning with every dish. The scrumptious, six-inch-tall apple pie was filled with Granny Smith apples, topped with a slightly crunchy crumble, and served with a large scoop of Gelato Fino vanilla ice cream. The moist, flourless chocolate cake ($8) was also wonderful, with a tart wild berry sauce and lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Pan-roasted yellowtail snapper.
Pan-roasted yellowtail snapper.

Location Info

Map

Bistro Mezzaluna

1821 SE 10th Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Fort Lauderdale

Details

Bistro Mezzaluna, 1821 SE Tenth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-522-9191. Open Monday to Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 5 to 11 p.m., and Sunday 5 to 10 p.m.

Homemade meatballs, $12

Maryland crab cake, $14

Pear salad, $10

Goat cheese ravioli, $25

Rigatoni alla Bolognese, $22

Pan-roasted yellowtail snapper, $36

Bistro's crumb apple pie, $10

As we finished our meal, I noticed two women sliding away from their booth at the opposite end of the dining room. "I'm so full," one said with a piercing sigh and a pleased smile. Her friend nodded, and they both exited with two large carry-out bags full of leftovers.

A few minutes later, we also left the big bistro with two hefty carry-out bags. Two days later, I opened my refrigerator and realized that the food from the bistro was still there, completely untouched. It had been delicious the first time around, amid the classic setting of kind waiters, soft music, dim lighting, and muffled chuckles of a regular crowd. Without that, all I had was a cold chunk of rigatoni alla Bolognese, enough minced parsley to open a parsley store, and plenty of time to wonder: Did I really pay $22 for pasta?

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2 comments
Jenn
Jenn

Right on, Matt. I'm neither a hater nor a fan of Bistro Mezzaluna, but this dated gonzo journalism has got to go. Jen Karetnick did it well, and all the reviewers after her have tried to mimic her style and failed dismally. It's not even about the restaurant anymore. I am so sick of listening to hipster wannabe "writers" who ramble on about themselves. It's not cute, clever, nor interesting. Give it a rest already.

 

If Emily were actually a good writer, she wouldn't have to distract with all the cutesy observations and would focus on doing an actual review. Sun-dried tomatoes are "chewy"? Really?

 

On to the next, please, New Times. She is awful.

Matt
Matt

Sorry, but what bland writing.......

 
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