South Miami Goes to Town

Chef Stefano LaCava’s contemporary American menu is pop music for the palate

Even the most ardent of barbecue buffs should draw the line concerning the placement of certain comestibles upon the grill. Poundcake is one such food, and the proof is proffered at Town via four buttery, triangular wedges crisscrossed with grate marks and imbued with an insufferably smoky taste. A thick puddle of pistachio crme anglaise and a bevy of fresh berries were just helpless witnesses to the tragic conceit.

Four "designer cupcakes" were more satisfying. (Cupcakes are enjoying a rather robust revival these days.) The two full-size and two minicakes were nothing out of the ordinary (vanilla and chocolate in paper wrappers), but they were soft, fresh, and tasty, which is about all one can reasonably expect from this dessert. Imported treats such as key lime pie from the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory, ice cream from The Frieze, and espresso from Illy bespeak an admirable quest for quality.

This newcomer misses the mark on a dish here and there but is otherwise flush with fresh food, solid steaks, stellar service, and a dining scene as spirited as an American town square on Labor Day. Town squares are important: They provide communities with a central place to gather and socialize. After many years without such a spot, grateful South Miami residents are going to Town.

JOE ROCCO

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