By David Minsky
By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
By Candace West
By Emily Dabau
By Doug Fairall
By Candace West
By Laine Doss
Whether you choose land or sea, count on your entrée ticket costing under $20 — unless you order the $29 center-cut eight-ounce filet mignon, which is accompanied by a choice of any two of a dozen side dishes. They include sautéed bok choy, grilled asparagus, sweet potato mash, French fries, and polenta ($5 each à la carte).
Like everything else here, prices have remained steadfast. A shrimp spring roll on the 2003 menu was $6; nine years later, it's $8. Desserts were $6 to $8; they're still $6 to $8.
A wine list favoring California and Italy features bottles averaging $30 to $50. Some 20 wines poured by the glass cost on average $7 to $9.
Pilar Restaurant & Lounge, 20475 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305-937-2777; pilarrestaurant.com. Lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner daily 5 to 10 p.m.
Yellowfin tuna two ways $12
Rock shrimp and goat cheese risotto $19
Grilled mahi-mahi $18
Yellowtail snapper with polenta $19
Chocolate chip banana cake $6
Just about anything you order here feels like a steal, including desserts such as homemade chocolate chip banana cake (more chocolate flavor than banana) — two moist and generous hunks that can easily be shared. Warm walnut-apple pie paired with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream likewise satisfies. Key lime pie and ice cream are the alternate choices.
In an interview many years ago, Fredel charted his mission: "To show that a restaurant can be friendly and affordable without sacrificing creativity, style, and quality."
With his steady hand at the helm, Pilar has stayed that course.