By Victoria Pesce Elliott
The Grill on the Alley, a Beverly Hills landmark and growing chain that opened in Aventura Mall late last year, has that cozy, retro, supper-club feel down pat. The Grill’s interpretation of American classics includes lots of burgers and chops, steaks and butter-sauced fish, ribs and creamy pastas, onion rings and potatoes sliced, diced and spiced every which way. With truly pleasant waiters, a comfy setting and lots of choices, a meal at The Grill on the Alley is a step up from the food court – but with prices more like Morton’s, you might want to reconsider your options.
Coffee-colored leather banquettes, curvy Deco fixtures and enthusiastic young waiters in trim-fitting white jackets contribute to a dapper feel.
- The choicest choices are from the grill. A perfectly fine boneless rib-eye and a juicy prime New York steak were competently seasoned and seared, but lacked real depth of flavor.
- Salads, among them a spiced pecan romaine number and a simple iceberg wedge, are large and fresh enough but lack that extra oomph.
- A 100-label international wines by the glass list with plenty of decent selections under $45
What Didn’t Work
- A double-cut Kurobuta pork chop was sawdusty.
- A platter of bony short ribs in a sauce as thick and dark as chocolate pudding hid a bunch of salty, mushy root vegetables. The floppy-topped chicken potpie as big as a steering wheel had nice morsels of tender
- white meat, peas, carrots and mushrooms, but the bland creamy sauce seemed more appropriate for a nursery than a dining room.
- A prosaic mahi mahi fillet in a pool of watery butter sauce and a similarly sauced Dover sole seem
- like afterthoughts.
Desserts suffer from an abundance of sugar and a lack of finesse. The “seasonal” fruit cobbler, for example, had the same gooey, undercooked crust as the pot pie as well as tasteless blueberries and chunks of apples. A brownie sundae big enough for a classroom of second graders was tooth-achingly sweet.
The Grill on the Alley, Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305-466-7195; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (later on weekends). Prices: Appetizers $10-$17, entrees $26-$50, sides $8-$10, desserts $10.
FYI: Reservations suggested; available at opentable.com. Full bar; corkage $15. Free lot parking or $5 valet. AX, DS, MC, VS.