The burgers are back! …and they gathered on Huizenga Plaza to do battle once again. For the most part the weather cooperated with an occasional drizzle here and there. Look for an album of all the food pix on my Facebook Page. Under these competitive conditions, it’s tough to make a perfect burger, however this year I really liked Charm City Burger, ROC:BGR and Big Bear Brewing Company. Timpano also had a flavorful steakhouse burger that stood out for me. In all I tasted about 12 of the 19 burgers. The Burger Battle is a major undertaking for the Restaurants who cooked & served the food, the Judges who had to taste each entry and the organizers and their volunteers from the Riverwalk Trust who made this event a SELLOUT success.
Where do you go for a good steak in Fort Lauderdale? That has got to be the most frequent question I’m asked and it’s a tough one to answer, as this area has no shortage of fine restaurants producing good steaks. So for me it’s a personal choice based on my tastes. What I look for is a place that has dry-aged beef and the know-how to grill it. Timpano is one of those places. Although they bill themselves as an “Italian Chop House,” I’ve never had their Italian food. I come here for the steaks! I learned about Timpano a few years ago from a friend who was a Restaurateur, Club Owner/ Bon vivant man about town in New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale. One evening we were discussing local restaurants and he asked if I’d ever been to Timpano. Apparently he and his brother were regulars. When I said no, he grinned and his eyes widened as he began a thorough description of the place and precisely what to order. “You take my advice and you’re going to have an enjoyable meal”, he said. And with slight variation, I’ve been ordering this meal happily for several years.
For starters try the signature Black Skillet-Roasted Mussels tossed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and spritzed with a shot of fresh lemon before serving. The mussels are brought to the table on the skillet they were cooked on, steaming & sizzling…a nice show. This dish is so simple and yet so tasty, that I always dip a piece of bread into the pan after. The entrée is always steak and the two cuts I enjoy are the 20 Oz. Bone-In Rib Eye and the 14 Oz. Aged Bone-In Filet. If you don’t like navigating the bone there is also a 12 Oz. Aged Hand Cut Filet, which is more than enough food for most. The meat is dry aged, which increases tenderness and flavor unique to that process. I order my steaks “Pittsburgh-style” — charred on the outside, medium-rare on the inside. If you’re still ordering steaks well done we need to talk! The Grill people here know their stuff and consistently produce meat cooked to proper doneness. Side dishes are a must and my favorites are the Sautéed Spinach With Garlic And Chili Flakes (the spice is not over powering) and Baby Portobello Mushrooms With Fresh Herbs.
Sadly my friend Bob, who put me on to Timpano, is no longer with us. I remember his legendary enjoyment of life and his eagerness to share his dining adventures with others as I do now. So, as he wished, when family and friends join me over dinner, I raise my glass and remember…this one’s for you Bob!