Sunday, January 08, 2012

Pilar passes, but no awards in Aventura, FL (1-1-12)

Our last night in Florida took us to nearby Aventura and the
unassuming PILAR ( where the hit items on the
menu were the one's that Samuel opted for. Pilar is located in a strip
mall and I think the decor is reflected inside. It is as simple as can
be with wooden tables and chairs, some nice modern oil paintings and
lots of photos of the chef fishing (his favorite pastime).
As we entered the hostess seemed to be in a daze as she walked away.
She returned after almost crashing into a water and seemed to not
notice us at all at the podium. She said follow me to his table, then
said, "no, this table," then , "no, here" and proceeded to crash into
a couple more waiters! She seated us with menus, but forgot the wine
The unexciting plain and raisin breads arrived and we ordered a nice
bottle of WAIRU River Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from New Zealand; Sam
enjoyed his Sprite (or 7-Up). A superb PESTO FLATBREAD came with
Cashew Nut Pesto and Pecorino Cheese was crispy and full of flavor. We
gobbled it all up so fast!
Sam moved on to an excellent RIGATONI with Grilled CHICKEN in a light
cream PESTO Sauce, which was anything but light. The decadent rich
sauce was divine and Samuel devoured nearly the entire huge portion
giving it an AA++.
Roasted BEET Salad with greens, orange vinaigrette and a fried goat
cheese crouton was bland and unexciting save for the cheese; I never
ate such flavorless beets. The Yellowfin TUNA TARTARE was much tastier
with marinated Cucumber, Toasted Sesame Oil and Sweet Soy Sriracha
giving the dish a nice punch. Puffy Fried salty wonton crisps were
great for scooping up the tasty tartare.
When we ordered we asked our server to please give us a good pause
between our courses, but to bring Samuel's pasta right after the
flatbread. When he seemed unclear, we repeated the request and
explained that Sam was very hungry. He lifted our appetizer plates
away and set down the main courses within seconds; so much for our
The Blackened MAHI-MAHI in Brown Butter with Roasted Sweet Plantains,
Marinated Avocado & Hearts of Palm was okay, The avocado and hearts of
palm were in a salsa form giving the dish some flavor which it sorely
The Yellowtail SNAPPER came with dozens of long thin Grilled Asparagus
in a Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette that was also nice, but won no
By this time we had moved on to a nice Chardonnay MACON-LUGNY "Les
Charmes" 2009 from Burgundy, but again still were underwhelmed by the
entire meal save for the flatbread, rigatoni and the tartare.
Hopefully we will fare well on the cruise starting today!