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By Word of Mouth

Tabatha Mudra
Having dinner at By Word of Mouth is a bit like being invited to dine at the home of a fussy middle-aged matron, a person considered a very good cook in her day, someone who once published a newsletter widely admired by friends and neighbors ("Kathryn's Kitchen") and who occasionally contributed recipes to the local daily between editing the annual Junior League cookbook and organizing the school bake sale. Nothing about the place - not the sponged walls and faux-grained paneling, not the menu of seafood lasagna and beef tenderloin and homemade squash soup, not the iced layer cakes beckoning from the refrigerated case - suggests how the world, and the kinds of things we tend to eat, has changed since the day Ellen Cirillo opened her catering business and restaurant off Oakland Park Boulevard in 1981. Still, these two simple rooms, the hearty food, and the happy service are as comforting and cozy as ever.

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