Monday, November 27, 2023

Assaggio del Forno Switches Gears

File this under “It was probably inevitable. . .”

Assaggio del Forno, Dennis Max’s attempt to bring contemporary Italian fare to West Boca, shut down on Saturday for the process of remaking itself into a more traditional Italian-esque restaurant with an emphasis on take-out.

As part of the transformation, Max and partners Fred Stampone and Max’s Grille chef Patrick Broadhead have been bought out by their other partner, John Williams, who will operate the new eatery when it reopens sometime this fall.

I can’t say I’m particularly surprised. When I was at Assaggio it seemed apparent that a menu trying (no matter how tentatively) to present food a real Italian might eat wasn’t connecting so well with an older, conservative crowd more interested in early bird specials and the type of familiar, vaguely Italian dishes served in every “Italian” restaurant from Boca Raton to Ulan Bator.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him eat orecchiette.

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