A Grill with Cheap Thrills

Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar is a good neighborhood restaurant

Seafood selections are affordable too; a solid square of grilled mahi-mahi, salmon, or sesame tuna swims in the range of $14 to $18. However, beware the cost of nightly specials. One evening our waiter informed us that New York strip was available but didn't tell us, until we asked, that it was $25. This isn't expensive for a steak, but in the context of an à la carte menu, your meal would likely add up to more than you might expect to spend at so casual a spot. On the other hand, Scorch is a penny pincher's paradise for wines; a savvy selection of varied varietals is marked up in modest fashion, and the $2.99 deal for a glass of house wine is great, even if the wine itself isn't (the better stuff goes for about $6 to $8 per glass).

Salads and pastas pad the rest of the menu, with few surprises or standouts in either category. The former grouping includes caesar, oriental, and Greek, which was basically the house toss of greens, radicchio, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, with the addition of black olives, pepperoncini, and crumbles of feta cheese. Linguine and penne noodles are offered in a mix-and-match manner, with a half-dozen ingredients and a slightly smaller selection of sauces to choose from. Thus you can order penne with salmon and red sauce, or linguine with salmon and pink sauce, or linguine with mussels in white wine sauce, or penne with chicken — a cornucopia of combinations, yet none especially enticing. I relied on the old standby, linguine and clams in white wine sauce, which brought a bowl of properly cooked pasta completely covered by shells with a moist mollusk nestled in each one.

Desserts are taken from some tired and trite list of treats that I'm beginning to suspect is surreptitiously handed down from one new restaurant proprietor to the next. Could it be that diners are incapable of enjoying anything but key lime pie, tiramisu, chocolate mousse cake, and flan? The owners of Scorch apparently believe so, although they break the boredom a little with caramel-fudge pecan pie, which isn't a pecan pie at all but a dense dark-chocolate pie with gooey nut topping. It might not be the best dessert I've ever had, but it was decent enough for the money.

JOE ROCCO

Location Info

Map

Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar

13750-A Biscayne Blvd., A
North Miami, FL 33181

Category: Restaurant > Contemporary

Region: North Miami

Details

Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 11:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 10:00 p.m.
13750 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami Beach; 305-949-5588

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