Dennis Max jumped back into the local restaurant pool with a splash with his terrific farm-to-fork eatery, Max’s Harvest. That was followed a few weeks back by Frank & Dino’s, a retro-Rat Pack Italian-American spot in Deerfield Beach.
And now the third new Max restaurant is open. This one is Assaggio del Forno (3011 Yamato Rd., 561/613-6460) —“Taste of the Oven”— a casually stylish modern Italian café-slash-pizzeria that set up shop in the Regency Court Woodfield in West Boca.
The restaurant sports a rich, rustic-elegant look, courtesy of longtime Max designer Adolfo Galvez, with extensive use of wood and stone, reclaimed wood and Chicago brick, and a palette of muted earth tones with touches of mustard and raspberry.
The menu keeps prices down, with nothing over $20 and most dishes coming in under $15. There’s a roster of pizzas from a wood-burning oven, pastas ranging from hearty pappardelle with meatballs to tonier tagliatelle with lobster, peas and truffle oil, plus a variety of salads and starters and entrees like oven-roasted pork shoulder and salmon with eggplant caponata.
What really piqued my interest, though, was the selection of imported salumi and cheeses, which can be combined with house-made focaccia and breadsticks and a half-dozen or so accompaniments (fruit mostarda, spiced walnuts, sun-dried tomato tapenade) for a light yet satisfying meal. Check it out, sounds pretty cool.