You can tell it’s fall by the chill in the air. . . it’s all the way down to 80 degrees. Or maybe you can tell it’s fall by the changing restaurant menus, like those from a pair of local Italian eateries. And since the weather is still nice enough to walk around half-naked, Burt Rapoport’s three restaurants are serving up a roster of healthier, lower calorie dishes. Don’t want flab in your abs, after all.
At D’Angelo Trattoria (9 SE 7thAve., 561/330-1237), the superlative downtown Delray hotspot has added the kind of hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that are just the thing when nighttime temps drop into the 60s. There’s wood-oven cooked lasagna with sausage ragout, mozzarella and ricotta; bucatini carbonara with crispy pancetta in the classic egg-thickened sauce; lusty chicken scarpariello (“shoemaker’s” style) with sausage, olives, peppers and potatoes; and one of my favorite dishes in the universe, crisply fried mozzarella and bread spiedini with garlic-anchovy sauce. My wife and I used to eat this dish at our neighborhood Italian restaurant in San Francisco every chance we got so it’s great to see it make the journey all the way to South Florida.
At Brio Tuscan Grilles in Boca (5050 Town Center Circle, 561/392-3777) and Palm Beach Gardens (3101 PGA Blvd., 561/622-0491) they’re dishing new items for lunch, dinner and the bar, plus several gluten-free offerings. Among the newbies: braised beef and white cheddar panini with balsamic onions and horseradish, crab and shrimp fondue with Parmesan crisps, and mahi-mahi fresca with farro, spinach and tomato-basil vinaigrette. Gluten-free dishes include salmon griglia salad (with tomatoes, asparagus, feta and lemon vinaigrette) and pasta Brio (chicken, seared mushrooms and red pepper sauce).
Finally, at Henry’s (16850 Jog Rd., Delray Beach, 561/638-1949), Bogart’s (3200 Airport Rd., Boca Raton, 561/544-3044) and Deck 84 (840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561/665-8484), five new menu items have been added, all between 452 and 520 calories, created by Henry’s exec chef (no kidding) Ben Burger. And here they are: grilled galmon with ratatouille and pistachio-basil pesto; citrus-marinated mahi with quinoa pilaf, spinach and piquillo yogurt; mojo-marinated chicken with wild rice-quinoa pilaf and orange-tarragon carrots; turkey chop steak with steamed seasonal vegetables; and grilled petit filet with warm potato, green beans and roasted tomato salad and red wine vinaigrette.