Happy Hour Tapas at Johnny V's
We started with a cheese plate culled from the restaurant's larger tapas sharing platter,
a spread of Manchego and semi-firm, wine-soaked goat cheese; red hot
cherry tomatoes halved and coated with a sriracha-based hot sauce;
garlic marinated olives and half-dollar-sized rounds of crispy bread on
which to assemble. Pretty standard "cheese and" plate, but the zingy
tomatoes offered a nice, piquant counterpoint to the creamy cheese. A
trio of croquetas were the size of a fat thumb, coated with a crackly
layer of panko and filled with a slick and buttery mash of potatoes.
Some of the pieces had more flavor than others: mine was teeming with
tiny bits of bacon and what tasted like sage, while my companions'
croquetas were nearly just potato.
A blue-corn-shelled fried
fish taco housed a wedge of flaky, battered snapper, moistened with a
dollop of crema and a rustic salsa of onion and mango. Good stuff, all
told, though I found the blue corn shells to be a touch on the aged
side. Another plate featured bits of tenderloin "tips" in a deep sauce
tinged with Worchestershire and dotted with kernels of sweet corn, with
a grilled and rolled-up flour tortilla jutting out of the mixture like
a flag. The tortilla was tasty enough, but the tips tasted more like
sirloin than tenderloin, and the stewish sauce lacked the heartiness or
depth to eclipse the starch.
The final plate -- another DIY
crustini spread with marinated portobellos, balsamic cherry tomatoes,
and creamy goat cheese spread -- was just fine, though a bit too similar
a selection to the cheese plate. Something meatier might have been
better in its place. To go with our tapas: a fruity, crisp class of
Vouvray Chenin Blanc, another glass of pinot noir whose name escapes
me, and an interesting cocktail made with tequila, Cointreau, and just
a light spritz of lime juice -- something like a refreshing "margarita
light." Each beverage was potent enough to qualify for solid happy-hour
fare. Final bill: $66 for three hungry, thirsty people. Not bad,
625 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
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