FIORE OF TEDESCO’S
2460 E Commercial Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
BY RICHARD DAVID CHAMBERLAIN
Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco. We know this is absolutely the truth because we’ve heard him sing about it 1001 times. And every single time, he convinces us again that his heart is still back there, high up on hill, with SF calling his name. It was only last week that we discovered otherwise. Bennett, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, may have left his heart in San Francisco, but its alive and well and beating on East Commercial Blvd. these days in a restaurant called Fiore of Tedesco’s.
Bennett’s music is heard nightly along with that of Dino, Frank, and Bobby, in this reinvented Italian restaurant, long a legend In Fort Lauderdale. Originally created by Albert and Julie Tedesco, the restaurant was purchased by Fiore and Rose Ann Casale a little less than a year ago. Fiore’s family has been in the restaurant business for over 50 years, so he’s been nursed and weaned on bread sticks and Parmesan. This is a good thing.
You’ll find him in the kitchen most nights making new traditions out of old favorites. New to the antipasti menu: Bruchetta Caprese ($18). It’s Italian bread, layered with mozzarella, tomatoes, roast red peppers and red onions, drizzled with basil oil and balsamic in a portion large enough feed a table for four.
We always judge a Italian restaurant by its lasagna, and at Fiore and Rose Ann’s place, their Lasagna al Forno ($12) is a pleasure dome of wide pasta noodles, with seasoned beef, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and a delectable housemade tomato sauce which is a joy to savor. Magnifico! The Eggplant Parmigiana ($14) is a scene-stealer. A lighted breaded and fried eggplant that is tenderly topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, this dish has only one problem. Everyone at your table will expect a bite, leaving not nearly enough for the more gluttonous among us.
The Pollo Sinatra ($16) is a selection worth tasting for its combination of chicken cutlet, prosciutto, spinach, roasted red peppers, topped with a marinara sauce and, yes, more mozzarella. Gorgonzola has always been our favorite Italian cheese—particularly when its prepared as Pollo Al Gorgonzola ($16), a breast topped with scallions, mushrooms, spinach and a gargonzola glaze.
Fiore of Tedesco’s likes to pride itself on being a seafood restaurant tucked within an Italian eatery. It expresses that best on the menu with a delicious recipe for salmon called Salmone Tedesco ($22). Okay, perhaps not the most original of labels, but yum-yum is all we can say with our mouth full of a bite of salmon graced with artichoke hearts, onions, and garlic, Kalamata olives and fresh tomatoes. This one is the item that will keep you coming back for more.
Think of the Frutti de Mare ($24) as a combo plate with calamari, clams, shrimp and mussels, served over linguine with a light marechiare sauce, made from pink clam juice.
The atmosphere of Fiore of Tedesco’s is definitely Old Worlde, accent on old. There is a slightly tattered look about the place that suggests a thousand dishes served on thick white plates and stainless steel silverware whose second home is a dishwasher. But this is not a bad thing. It falls into the comfort category like your favorite BarcaLounger whose arms are fraying. It may not be the newest piece of furniture in your living room, but it’s the one everyone heads toward. If you’re lucky, you’ll find Tony, Frank, Dino, and Bobby there. Tell them The Florida Agenda sent you.