I like food. A lot. There’s not much I won’t try, not much I won’t consume. The good, the bad, and the ugly, I’ve eaten them all. But nothing gets my goat more than paying a large sum for a half-decent meal. I’ve done it several times in my life, and then proceed to say a lot of expletives right afterward.
So there’s nothing I like more than good food at a good price. (Well… my love of the Florida Gators sports teams just might surpass that.) And I’m glad to see a South Florida restaurant open that suffices that criteria.
I dined last night at Pinon Grill, adjacent to the Town Center at Boca Raton. Touted as serving “quintessential New American cuisine,” I’ve been told the restaurant has been a big hit with its Boca Raton residents. And I’ve heard tremendously good things about Pinon Grill since it opened seven months ago. My co-worker raved about it – and I mean RAVED. He and his wife went a few months ago for a rare dinner without their two kids. He talked about the cool bar at Pinon, the good service and the good price point. Too, our former intern also mentioned how much she enjoyed it.
Before I went to Pinon last night, I grilled my co-worker:
Me: Do you have to get dressed up for it?
Co-worker: Nah, you can go casually. I mean, it is Boca so there’ll probably be a few people dressed up, but you can get away with wearing jeans.
Me: Is it pricey?
Co-worker: Not at all. We had two entrees and a couple of drinks, and the total was the same as if we’d go out for dinner at TGI Friday’s.
Me: But is it good?
Co-worker: Definitely. It’s really, really, really good. I think I had a chicken sandwich, and I remember it being really good.
With that knowledge in mind, I embarked on an epic media dinner at Pinon Grill last night. With Kevin Blair, the managing director and co-founder of Pinon Grill, dining with us, us media folks got a spectacular glimpse of why my co-worker was raving about this food.
When asked to describe what “quintessential New American cuisine” was, Blair mentioned how the restaurant pays ode to America’s melting pot, and to take beloved American mainstays and add flavor profiles from cultures that have immigrated to the States. “The whole gamut of the representation of food is here,” Blair said last night.
Blair proceed to tell the server to bring out just about everything from their menu. Thank goodness because I was still hungry from my Canyon Ranch journey from last weekend!
Here’s a snippet of the goodness of Pinon Grill. I can’t wait to get back there to eat the other things on the menu.
The smoked beef briskett quesadillas ($15)… yum!!! I’m still thinking about it right now!
The “stacked” tomato salad ($9) is made with locally grown tomatoes and has sweet onion sprinkled on top.
The warm goat cheese salad ($9) was amazing… There was spicy candied pecans and sun-dried cranberries, two of my favorite things.
The grilled tuna burger ($14) had an Asian flavor to it with soy sauce and accompanied by Asian slaw.
The Chilean Sea Bass ($32, and caught by sustainable methods, Blair assured me) is topped with pesto and served with parmesan potatoes. YUM!
The pecan-crusted trout ($22) was equally as good as the sea bass. Blair said all the fish on the menu is sourced locally, a nice ode to our local businesses.
I was assured over and over again the Irish coffee was “authentic.” And even though I could only take a sip or two (whiskey is not for me!), I could taste the great flavors.
My co-worker Jenn had the key lime pie martini.
Dessert included the sundae, created with delicious Haagen Dazs ice cream.
Oh, we topped off dessert with… French toast ($12). I could only eat one bite because I was too stuffed. I’m definitely going to have to eat this one again the next time I’m there!