It’s been a while since I was at Bob’s Pizza / Amante’s Italian Cuisine in Deerfield Beach. A couple years in fact, so when a group of friends suggested we meet there for dinner, I was in.
The place with two names has been around since 1975. Inside the restaurant, a half wall splits the dining room into two. The right side is the pizza place, the left is the Italian restaurant and small bar. Both sides serve the same menu.
Outside, there are a few tables for those who want to eat al fresco and listen to the live entertainment. Those who choose this option should be prepared to share their table space with passers-by and car bumpers.
Last time I was here, parking was free for those eating at Bob’s / Amante’s in the rear of the restaurant. This time, meters were there with a rate of $5 an hour! I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll say it again…. If I’m eating at your restaurant, don’t charge me to park.
Our group arrived in three separate cars, not wanting to be “booted” as the signs warned, we all paid for 3 hours of parking – do the math…. $15 x 3 = $45, and we didn’t even have a drink yet.
There are about four or five free spots in front of the restaurant, but the odds of scoring one of those is slim. All of us were very disappointed with the restaurant’s parking lot now being a paid one, with no option to have parking validated by the restaurant to avoid the fee.
We arrived at 7pm on a Sunday, and the restaurant was not busy. There were two tables taken outside, a group of four at the bar, and when we sat down we were the only people in the dining room. The dining room only had us and a max of three other tables occupied during the time we were there.
Our server came over to drop off menus and tell us that they were taking $7 off bottles of wine, so why not… we ordered a bottle and some cocktails.
The menu itself is full of your typical Italian specialties. Appetizers range from a $24 Broccoli Rabe & Sausage for two to a $10 Homemade Fried Mozzarella (which looked amazing by the way). Veal, chicken, seafood and pasta round out the entrees with the pasta being the least expensive starting at $13. Other dishes ranged from $22 for chicken up to $38 for the Zuppa de Pesce.
After our drinks were brought over our server asked if we wanted bread or garlic rolls. Of course, we chose the rolls that were dripping with butter and plenty of garlic. Don’t pass them up, although keep some breath mints handy as they are garlicky!
None of us ordered appetizers, but when we were placing our orders, three of us ordered a Garden Salad ($8). Our server suggested we go with the Bob’s Chopped Salad (black and green olives, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella and romaine lettuce, chopped and tossed in balsamic dressing – $12) which is enough to share for the table. A good choice and a money saver – nice recommendation.
I went with a dish that I used to get all the time to see if it was good as I remember – the Chicken Martini (Parmesan crusted chicken breast in a lemon martini sauce – $24). The chicken had a light crust and very moist. The sauce was pretty much a twist on a Francaise sauce, but a bit thicker.
Another diner chose the same dish but went with the $5 upcharge for the Caprese style which added a slice of tomato and fresh mozzarella on top.
Diner number three went with Eggplant Rollatini ($18). Two very large rolls of stuffed eggplant were topped with cheese and tomato sauce. The eggplant was sliced thin and the portion was so large that half the dish was taken home.
Diner number four chose the Chicken Rollatini ($24), which was a boneless breast of chicken stuffed with spinach and mozzarella and topped with a marsala mushroom sauce. Again, a large portion that was narrowly finished with the help of diner number 2! Rave reviews came in for this dish as well, with “tender and juicy” and “a great sauce” used to describe it.
My husband went with one of his pasta favorites, baked ziti ($15). I was expecting this to come out in some type of casserole dish, but it was served on a plate. Actually, it was overflowing on the plate. The portion was huge and I challenge anyone to finish this dish in one sitting. He asked for it to be done with meat sauce, a $5 upcharge, and had large chunks of meat scattered throughout. A winner all around.
A side of pasta came with the chicken dishes. If you wanted a different sauce on that pasta such as Alfredo, garlic & oil, vodka, or meat, it was a $5 upcharge, as was subbing vegetables for pasta.
All in all, the restaurant with two names, got good reviews from all of us. My only complaint and one of the reasons I stopped going to Bob’s a few years ago was the bar. A group of four people was there and the female of the group was visibly intoxicated, so much so that we kept waiting for her to fall off the bar stool as there were several close calls! She got loud with one of the guys she was with and started hitting him, prompting him to leave.
Now I’m all for going out and having a few drinks and a good time, but every restaurant needs to know when to cut off a customer and get them home safe after having one too many. Granted this is a neighborhood joint, close to the beach and other bars, but I would prefer to enjoy my meal without a side of drunk.