Dennis Max's Assaggio del Forno to Open February 20
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.
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