A Fresh Look at Caruso Ristorante


So I’d heard that chef/co-owner Lillo Teodosi had left Caruso Ristorante (187 SE Mizner Blvd., 561/367-7488) in Boca’s Royal Palm Place, and being that it is one of my favorite local eateries (if for no other reason than their positively ethereal gnocchi), I made a note to myself to go back and see what’s up.

What’s up is that the food there is as good as ever, that Gina Teodosi has taken control of the charming, very European ristorante, promoted sous chefs Agustin Hernandez and Ballardo Morales to co-executive chefs, and put a renewed emphasis on turning out intricate, inventive daily specials.

The regular menu is unchanged, a good thing as it keeps those excellent gnocchi, as well as dishes I remember from previous visits like impeccably fresh tuna carpaccio with citrusy salmoriglio sauce and giant Hawaiian prawns as big as your fist with tomatoes, capers and artichokes.

The specials too are definitely worth checking out. Among my favorites were a carpaccio surf ‘n’ turf—thin-pounded medallions of beef wrapping spears of pickled veggies with chunks of tender Maine lobster and red pepper aioli—and house-made tortellini stuffed with lightly smoked salmon and scallops and napped with an unctuous asparagus lobster sauce. For heartier appetites, you can’t beat an enormous portion of braised beef short rib—meat so tender it falls apart at a stern look—presented atop cheesy vegetable polenta with Barolo-infused demi and tricolor chard.

If Caruso has fallen off your restaurant radar, now’s the time to put it back on.