Around the world on Weston Road

 

The restaurant scene in Weston has become as diverse as the community. Whatever flavors you’re craving, chances are there is something on Weston Road that fits the bill.

By Elaine Walker | ewalker@MiamiHerald.com

The restaurant scene in Weston has become as diverse as the community. Whatever flavors you’re craving, chances are there is something on Weston Road that fits the bill.

La Rural

It’s easy to miss this Argentine grill hidden behind a butcher shop and grocery store in the Waterways Shoppes II. The owner started out selling certified Angus beef and Argentine specialty products, and gradually added tables in the back.

Today it’s a full-service restaurant on a covered patio overlooking the lake behind the shopping center. (On the chilly night we visited, they had outdoor heaters going.) Live music helps set the mood but also makes conversation difficult in the small space.

Although they cater to families, the atmosphere and prices are better-suited to a date night. The menu is dominated by grilled steaks, but there are chicken and pasta dishes. Portions are large, and grilled items include a salad and side dish.

To start, our table shared the Tablita La Rural, a sampler that includes flavorful cured pork sausage, blood sausage, pinwheel sausage, grilled peppers and sweetbreads that had a nice balance of char outside and tenderness inside.

The skirt steak was perfectly grilled and tender, as were meaty, cross-cut short ribs. The grilled chicken breast with lemon and pepper got high marks from our friends.

We let our waiter talk us into ordering a fresh-made apple crepe flambéed with rum and served with nut-coated vanilla ice cream. Shared four ways, it was just enough to finish the meal on a sweet note.

La Rural, 2346 Weston Rd., Weston; 954-389-5009, www.la-rural.net; appetizers $3-$13.50, most grilled meats $18-$30, other entrees $12.50-$18.

Moon Thai & Japanese

Like many Thai-Japanese restaurants, Moon Thai offers an overwhelming selection – two large menus that you could easily spend 30 minutes perusing. We decided to design our own pan-Asian meal of small and large plates for sharing, and were impressed with the quality and the freshness of nearly everything we ordered.

Even on a busy Saturday night, the staff was incredibly attentive and the food arrived quickly. Our server was not at all bothered by our piecemeal ordering as we tried to stagger the arrival of dishes.

Our favorite was the pad Thai with chicken and shrimp, one of the best we’ve had with just the right mix of peanut sauce and spice. Our only disappointment was that the portion was on the small side.

Sushi rolls were another big hit, especially the Miami Dolphin roll with spicy dolphin (mahi-mahi), orange caviar, cucumber, scallion and salmon. If only the team had as much kick this season.

Chicken lettuce wraps with shiitake mushrooms and water chestnuts and chicken yakitori suited the less adventurous eaters in the group. The only miss was the shrimp shumai, which were too doughy in the middle.

Moon Thai & Japanese, 2818 Weston Rd., Weston; 954-384-7275, www.moonthai.com; appetizers $4.95-$12.95, salads $5.50-$9.95, entrees $8.95-$18.95, most sushi rolls $4.95-$13.95.

Lirio’s

This is a place for classic Italian comfort food with more ambience and personal attention than you find at a chain. The atmosphere is cozy, and there’s a gourmet shop in back that sells pastas, sauces, baked goods and wines.

Be aware that dinners don’t come with a salad or soup. There’s a $3.50 charge for a Caesar or house, which at least comes with nice extras like house-made mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers.

Our friend gave thumbs up to an appetizer of shrimp with olive oil, parsley and garlic that would make a meal for a light eater with a side salad. The veal parmesan was lightly breaded with just the right combination of sauce and cheese.

The disappointment was the tilapia Nicola, sautéed with portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and shallots in a lemon butter wine sauce. It arrived cold, and had lost something when it returned reheated.

The meal ended on an up note with a complimentary glass of crème liqueur.

Lirio’s, 189 Weston Rd., Weston; 954-217-1910, www.liriosrestaurant.com; appetizers $7.95-$10.95, salads $6.50-$8.50, pasta $10.95-$14.95, most entrees $13.95-$18.95.

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