Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crash landing on oil slick, Runway 84 in Fort Lauderdale

Runway 84
330 Florida State rd. 84
Fort Lauderdale, 33315

Lunch, Tuesday-Friday
Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday

This airline-themed Italian eatery and lively bar with a three-decade history has an enthusiastic following. After a recent visit, I cannot say I am a member of that following.

Oil was in abundance in places it should not have been and was missing in another. This sad experience began with tasteless, slightly burned bread accompanied by a small dish of oil for dipping. We could not find the oil; the dish was mostly grated Parmesan with barely enough liquid to grace one slice of bread. Bread is usually the first sign of what’s to follow; this time was no exception.

Enter an appetizer of clams oreganata drowning in oil that should have come with the bread. Oil was not the only problem; the woebegone clams tasted as if they had been resurrected from the freezer. Onward. Mussels were delivered in a “sauce” that tasted more like water with a few dollops of tomato paste. It was miserably tasteless as was the house salad served with a gimmicky piece of salami holding a single sorrowful olive. Iceberg lettuce, a pepperconi here, a slice of tomato there, all drizzled in a bland dressing fit for a bottle off a grocery store shelf.

Denouement of this meal misery: two plates of pasta overloaded with oil. The rigatoni was perfectly prepared but swimming in cheap olive oil. So much broccoli rabe covered one dish that the pasta was hard to find. My plate was topped with a mushy mess of cauliflower and sliced mushrooms.

Runway 84 may be popular for their free meatballs on Thursday nights and grossly huge portions every night. It’s not cheap however; our pasta dishes were about $25 each.

To borrow from Edgar Allen Poe … Once upon a January Florida night cheery … deep into that dish peering, long I stood there wondering, really? Said this writer, NEVERMORE.

Tags: Fort Lauderdale restaurants, Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, restaurants near Fort Lauderdale airport

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