Upscale Neighborhood Italian Restaurant
This neighborhood Italian eatery, like Vito's, has aspirations of upscale elegance. With a subdued decor, tuxedoed waiters, soft lighting, and tablecloth service the setting is relatively elegant for a local restaurant. Prices are slighty higher than average with entrees up to $23-25, and appetizers, salads, and pastas in the $7-16 range. The clientele is considerable more senior than at many restaurants, and the kitchen realizes what makes an older crowd happy. Seasonings and spices are limited with relatively bland and uninspired food. Zest and sophistication are noticeably absent here, with a more middle of the road approach. The over friendly and over zealous waiters cannot offset a kitchen incapable of getting all the orders correct. Mediocre food at above average prices makes La Luna, no matter how popular with the geriatric crowd, difficult to recommend. And La Luna gets my award for the ABSOLUTELY WORST RESTAURANT MARTINI EVER. Far better to eat at Vito's described above or Florentino's on Lyons than this overcrowded restaurant.
American Melting Pot Cuisine
Pinon Grill offers a moderately priced menu which incorporates selections from many of the cultures which have contributed to the modern American dining experience. Boca is one of many branches of this chain, but menus appear distinct and directed to location to some extent. Classic offerings are supplemented by many more au courant choices in a pleasant setting and with relatively modest prices for quality meals. As with the decor, there is a slight excess of southwestern influence, as reflected perhaps in the name. The bar is striking with bottles lined up in rows in a backlit wall. The dining areas include comfortable banquette seating as well as tables, spaced widely enough for comfort, and in the mid evening as the place emptied out a bit, the noise level was more than acceptable. Recessed ceilings help. Overall, service has improved considerably in Boca over the years, and was well paced, knowledgeable, and friendly here. The walls are decorated by conceptual art by Marcia Moore.
Drinks were very good, a nice properly made martini always starts the meal well. Soups, salads, and hot appetizers run $8-15. Appetizers run the gamut from Kobe sliders to tuna tacos and ceviche. There are several large salads including a seared tuna salad with cabbage and noodles, caprese salad, and a grilled salmon salad with green beans and roasted corn and potatoes. Sandwiches and a variety of burgers are also available. Entrees are all below $30 except a few steaks. A very good roasted herbed half chicken was accompanied by excellent shoestring fries. Baby back ribs and marinated grilled salmon were also done very well. And the portions are more than adequate. We passed on desserts.
We were very pleased indeed with the food here across the board and would certainly return to try different entrees from the extensive varied menu. And having eaten at Truluck's the night before, the prices were a welcome relief. Our dining companions eat here frequently and are never disappointed. Parking is free in the Town Center lots. A small outdoor dining area is probaby to be avoided, located adjacent the bar and band in the Blue Martini next door and insufferably noisy.
~ Boca Raton, Florida ~
Located in southern Palm Beach County between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Boca Raton boasts beaches alongside turquoise waters, boats galore, and its own share of South Florida luxury. Among the residential condos that line the Intracoastal Waterway rises the Boca Raton Club Tower, a pink skyscraper that is the city's tallest building and signature icon. Aside from driving through here on several occasions on both Interstate 95 and the A1A coastal route, I also explored the campus of Florida Atlantic University back in the 1990's when my brother was contemplating attending there. Florida Atlantic looked like a typical mid-sized public university.
Boca Raton is part of the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Metropolitan Area.
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