Bragozzo Osteria Wine Bar - Pompano Beach
Just had the pleasure of dining here at the Isle of Capri Racino (Pompano Beach Casino at the former Harness Track on Powerline Road just south of Atlantic Bvd.).
We had planned on checking out the buffet but the lines were so long we went upstairs to look at the menus of the 2 new restaurants and wound up easting at Bragozzo.
We requested to be seated at the food bar overlooking the kitchen so we could watch the various dishes being prepared. How glad we are we did! Anyhow, the service was great -- we were waited on by two different servers. We were given a comp taste of a hot cheese dish in marsala (sorry don't have official name; but it's on the appetizer list) -- yummy melted cheese in a nice contrast to the slightly sweet wine. Wound up sharing a few of the appetizers -- all of which will recommend highly. BTW, the bread basket contained bread sticks, flat crackers, and focaccia nicely salted and seasoned. My husband had the prosciutto and melon -- very tender, melt in your mouth thin slices paired with small melon balls that came in a little cup of red port (sherry?). I started with a refreshing arugula salad that was lightly lemony with slivers of parmesan cheese. My husband then had the tuna carpaccio -- seared on the outside like a tataki dish. He ate up every bite. My piece de resistance was a "skinny chicken" (the italian translation) -- which DOESN"T have any chicken in it! Two small toasts top with two large chunks of crab meat each and drizzled with remoulade sauce, Three large (size 12) shrimp, and a half a main lobster tail. This is accompanied by cold, miniature veggies -- like carrots, and beets, olives, capers, small pine nuts...all topped with a tasty seasoned mix of herbs and olive oil. Absolutely wonderful!!
We were too full to try their deserts....
Anyhow, sitting at the counter, we got to watch their home made pastas being prepared and sauced. Especially interesting (and possibilities for the next time we come) were the linguine with clams, the very meaty bolognese sauces, and the lobster ravioli that came with a browned butter sauce. In additon, we could watch the meats being grilled -- items like lamb chops, beef filets, large veal chops. The portions are huge and can easily be shared....and looked nicely plated. Oh yes, a few of the fish dishes caught my eye as well.
During the meal the maite d' came over to check that we were doing okay; one of the chefs had given us the freebie tasting of the cheese in marsala; He shook my husband's hand and asked him to come back as we were leaving; The pasta chef answered our questions about a few of the dishes he had prepared and he asked us to come back; four other people thanked us for coming. The restaurant was packed....Oh, and we were in jeans!!
Would we go back? Absolutely positively!! The only hard part will be deciding what next to try....
Sorry for the delay in answering...but yes! Try it again.
We were just there this evening. Sat again at the counter bar. Had very good service. They kept refilling our water and (my) ice tea glass constantly and double checking on us to see if we needed anything and how we liked our food. And we tried some new to us entrees.
Chef Christopher's comp appetizer tonight was: fresh figs stuffed with gorgonzola wrapped with spec (smoked prosciutto), served warm, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Yummy.
To start, I had the arugula salad -- light and refreshing -- and shared it with my husband. I added a little more olive oil to the greens (there's always a big bottle in front of you).
For entrees -- I had the lobster ravioli with a light cream sauce. They came about 5 med.-large raviolis in the serving..and melted in my mouth. You wouldn't think to look at it that it would be filling but it was! My husband had the mixed grill --on the menu it says for two, but you can order for one. It consisted of a small whole crispy yellowtail fish (with tail on), bones and head removed; plus two large shrimp; and a chunky thick piece of swordfish. Each of the seafood items had bits of bread crumbs and seasonings and were nicely grilled and wonderfully flavored. On the side came a sauce (sorry can't spell the name) made of olive oil, butter, and citrus -- this you could spoon on to taste. I thought the yellow tail was the best of the three -- another delectable choice; the shrimp were quite good too. I'm not a swordfish person but my husband enjoyed it. In the middle of the plate was a small portion of brocolli rabe. Re: the wine -- my husband had Pino Grigio.
For desert: we shared two scoops of blood orange sorbet (you can choose your flavors). The perfect palate cleanser. Once again we enjoyed sitting at the counter and watching Chef Christopher and his staff at work and plan to come back soon.
Sorry to be a one-man band, but just took some visiting friends who are chowhounds from NYC to Bragozzo. They said in Manhattan this place would be packed! They had the fried rice balls with truffles to start -- said they were good but not out of this world; however they loved the yummy gnocchi which were "light as a feather" and the seafood fra diavolo -- which they raved about over the amount of seafood and the tasty diavolo sauce leaving only lobster shells, etc.in an empty plate. Also really good, to start,was the (comp) amuse bouche which this time was a mini pizza cut in six large pieces served on a flat board. Nice mix of flavors with a light sauce that had a bit of a kick. Service was again very good, friendly and personable.
I'm not a wine drinker so not a good one to give you a report on the wine. Just FYI, the bar area is a separate area from the dining room and food counter, but understand you can also eat at the bar. From what I could tell (I didn't really look at it) there's a fairly extensive wine list and my husband did enjoy his two glasses of Pino Grigio but I'm clueless as to the varieties, costs, and selections and of what you can get by the glass vs. the bottle. Sorry, my focus is always on the "chow" part...