After a string of restaurant closures last year, the dining scene at Boca’s Royal Palm Place is coming back with a vengeance.
Juiceteria’s next-door Raw Garden Cafe opened in late 2013, and coming later this year are Another Broken Egg Cafe in the old Raffaele spot, Havana Nights Cigar Lounge where Jake’s Stone Crab used to be, Ichiyami Buffet & Sushi in the space formerly home to Rosario’s, and Sapphire Indian restaurant in the one-time home to Fusionarie.
And there’s more. Like the old Caruso’s, which never quite recovered from the departure of chef-partner Lillo Teodosi, who while there made the charming, bistro-esque eatery a shining outpost of food that reflected the highly refined simplicity at the heart of authentic Italian cookery.
Well, Teodosi is back in the former Caruso’s location, now called Piattini (187 SE Mizner Blvd., 561/367-8851). The space itself has gotten a more contemporary makeover, with faux-painted walls hung with stylized portraits of Tony Soprano and others, including a giant mug of Marilyn Monroe done by hotshot commercial artist Michael Israel.
As the name suggests, Piattini’s menu focuses on small plates and moderate prices, with dishes ranging from fennel salad with orange, arugula and lemon to shell pasta with shrimp, scallops and pea pods in fresh tomato sauce to traditional chicken cacciatore. In an Italian restaurant scene still dominated by old-fashioned red sauce joints, it’s nice to see a chef of Teodosi’s talents and sensibilites back doing what he does best.