By Tracy Block
The goods: Sometimes, it takes an L.A. makeover to prove the new kid is in it for the long haul. Los Angeles steakhouse staple The Grill on the Alley recently debuted in Aventura Mall, inviting discerning foodies in for a stunning meal. Capturing the scene of 1940s Art Deco, the 200-seat dining room is decorated with black-and-white Old Hollywood snapshots, custom booths are flushed in deep green hues and brushed chrome and white marble floors add a hint of class. Reserve Table One in front of the open kitchen to get an intimate look at the grill.
The grub: For starters, try the lobster martini, a mixture of chilled Maine lobster strewn across a bed of celery root remoulade and topped with caviar. Seafood enthusiasts can continue on with poached grouper, resting in a light, flavored broth surrounded by fennel, garlic, shallots and bok choy, while carnivores will relish the delicate 12-ounce, bone-in filet. Dabble in sides like the skillet mac and cheese — shells swimming in a mix of gruyere, cheddar and parmigiano-reggiano — or the creamed spinach, a smooth mix of greens and a hint of nutmeg. Leave room for a happy ending: Kahlua crème brulee served with hazelnut whipped cream or warm and comforting seven-layer carrot cake, a marriage of allspice, cinnamon and candied walnuts with decadent cream cheese frosting.
The verdict: Aventura Mall upgrades with the famed L.A. brasserie, which is sure towithstand its fallen predecessors in the formerly doomed lot across from The Cheesecake Factory.
The Grill on the Alley in the Aventura Mall, 19575 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-466-7195; lunch plates $7 to $34; dinner entrees $18 to $42. Open Mon-Sat for lunch at 11:30 a.m., Sundays at 11 a.m. Dinner served daily from 4-11 p.m.
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