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THE BEACH GOURMET: Fred Deni’s Back on Broadway:

Along with my publisher, I visited Back on Broadway and enjoyed a very pleasant mid-day lunch at this rustic yet elegant daytime gathering place popular with business, politico and industry individuals seeking sustenance whilst wheeling, dealing and lunching with laptops.

When we arrived we were relieved to find that our party had already secured “office space” in the large and spacious dining room that has a distinct European feel to it, not definitively French, not exclusively Italian and not specifically Spanish but more of a pastiche of all. I really like the ambience of this restaurant and adored the unfeasibly large dishware adorning the walls, for ornamental value of course.

We did not have to wait long before our server came and took our drink orders and all the usual beverage suspects were present here, plus some interesting novelties such as mixed berry and orange mango “Fuze” bottled juices. I chose a sparkling orange drink.

Back on Broadway offers breakfast and lunch with a very thoughtful menu and no extraordinary surprises.  Every day there are different specials available from a supplemental menu that includes an historical “on this day” postscript.  April 25, 1928 saw the birth of blues great Albert King, and in 1901 New York became the first state to require automobile license plates.

Five specials were offered, including Grilled Swordfish with lemon caper sauce served with rice and vegetables ($14.95) and Eggplant Milanesa Wrap with tomato, basil, lettuce and kalamata olives served with fries ($10.95).  Though I was very tempted with this one, I chose the Spinach Cannelloni with pine nuts, light cream, rice and vegetables.

Our entrees did not take long to arrive and after a room temperature bread roll or two (I do prefer mine warmed), I was ready to indulge. All of the dishes were well presented with a clean portion balance and good n’ hot.

My vegetables consisted of a pleasant mix of al dente carrots, zucchini and squash.  The rice was perfectly textured with the nice touch of being dressed with fresh peas.  The cannelloni was delightful with the emphasis on “lightful,” with a lean towards a delicate herbal influence allowing the spinach, mushroom, pine nuts and cream to carry the message of taste to the tongue with a refreshing nakedness.

My publisher had “his usual” of chicken Caesar salad that he described as “always very good.”  It certainly had the visual appeal and was generously apportioned with substantial pieces of chicken breast and fresh salad.

I encourage you to try Back on Broadway, and if your experience is similar to mine you will want to return very soon.  Perhaps I’ll “get back” this weekend for breakfast.  2024 Broadway, 301.453.8919

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