Dennis Max's Assaggio del Forno to Open February 20

Categories: Food News
Assaggio del Forno, an eatery positioned to "take diners on a food journey" around Italy, is scheduled to open February 20 in Regency Court in west Boca Raton. Patrick Broadhead, formerly at Max's Grille, has been named executive chef.

Translated as "taste of the oven," the west Boca restaurant will showcase Neapolitan pizzas with artisan ingredients as well as "our interpretation" of dishes from various regions of Italy.

Max asserts Assaggio as "more of a gathering place" than his recently opened Frank and Dino's, with an open kitchen and an old-school, train-station flapper board above the cook's line to display specials. The restaurant will seat 170 inside as well as include extensive patio seating.

In a phone call today, Max cited one of his first restaurants, the former Max's Place in Miami, which he had opened in the mid-'80s, as representative of his passion for Italian cuisine.

"Back then, we had a wood-burning oven, and the city didn't know what to do with it," he said, citing the difficulty in securing permits as well as customers' reactions to the concept. Max's place spawned Prezzo in Boca Raton, a similar concept that centered on artisan pizzas that he sold in the late 1990s. "This is the evolution of a generation," he says regarding the debut of the new restaurant.

Max and silent investor Fred Stampone traveled extensively in New York, Philly, Chicago, and Italy to cull ideas for the restaurant. As the case is with Frank & Dino's and Max's Harvest, this kitchen will adhere to local and sustainable produce and meats where it's economically feasible, especially during the winter South Florida growing season. (San Marzano tomatoes, olive oils, meats, and cheeses: obviously not local.) Right now, Max's Harvest is the only restaurant in the group that's 100 percent local and sustainable, confirms Max.

At peak, Dennis Max had holdings in 17 South Florida restaurants, including Cafe Maxx, which opened in 1984. He calls the present a "rebuilding phase" during which his group is identifying real estate, raising capital, opening, and managing restaurants. His next restaurant, Burt & Max's, which he'll run with Burt Rapoport, is slated to debut in the former Boca Burger space this fall.

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Location Info

Assaggio Del Forno - CLOSED

3011 Yamato Road, Boca Raton, FL

Category: Restaurant

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