Neighborhood Joints

George's Italian Restaurant & Lounge: Make Mine Veal!

​Located in North Miami Beach, George's Italian Restaurant & Lounge features Americanized Italian comfort food in an upscale-casual setting. There's white linen on the tables and music of generations past overhead. Thankfully, the room is not decorated with hokey red-and-white checkered tablecloths and photos of Sinatra.

George's starts diners off with warm, buttery rolls, like challah bread, and marinated tomatoes in olive oil, basil, garlic, and pepper. Prepackaged bread sticks are also included. Under the meat heading on the menu are a few veal dishes as well as skirt steak ($13.95 lunch, $23.95 dinner) and filet mignon ($29.95 dinner).

Veal Parmesan ($14.95 lunch, $18.50 dinner) is breaded veal topped with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. The meat is tender and pounded to order (we could hear them beating the veal in the kitchen). They pound it right. The final product comes lightly breaded and with a good amount of cheese and sauce.

Veal piccata ($14.95 lunch, $18.50 dinner) arrives covered in a light, caper-studded sauce of white wine and lemon butter. The tangy, savory flavors of lemon and capers make this a solid dish.

Entrées come with a choice of pasta (penne or spaghetti), vegetables, or mashed potatoes. We tried a side of pasta (spaghetti) -- tossed with in olive oil, basil, and garlic -- and the steamed vegetables.

The portions are decent. Though the veal cuts are not the biggest slabs of meat, they are enough for a satisfying meal. You won't go hungry ordering only an entrée. But George's doesn't prepare heavy Italian food that'll send you home feeling overstuffed.

The staff is friendly and on par with the atmosphere and prices. Although the food, service, and ambiance won't blow you away, you won't be disappointed.

And to finish things off, the tiramisu ($6) is a delectable, well-balanced effort without too much liquor flavor. Unfortunately, our cappuccino ($4) wasn't served hot.

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John Zur