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The Italian-Peruvian husband and wife team, of Roberto Colombi and Christie Tenaud, have opened a new “neighborhood eatery” in the City of Wilton Manors (near Fort Lauderdale) and it’s called UNION KITCHEN & BAR – 2309 N. Dixie Highway.

By way of some fun facts, with a population of about 12,243 people, Wilton Manors happens tobe home to the second largest number of gay couples -- with Provincetown, Massachusetts, ranking #1.

Since the restaurant’s owners sport an impressive pedigree -- with Christie having worked as an executive chef at the Boca Raton Resort & Club and having served as chef de cuisine for the award-winning Chef Melissa Kelly (of Tucson, AZ), while Robert worked with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay (in the U.S. and U.K.) – our expectations were pretty high. And although this talented duo did not disappoint, overall, the very first dish we tried … gave us some pause (and had us worried).

We started with their “Tomato Lumache” – beef Bolognese, Parmigiano Reggiano ($13 app/$22 entrée). Now “lumache,” which is Italian for “snail,” is a bulky, shell-shaped pasta which can support chunky sauces. (You’ll find them in your local market, called “conchiglie,” “pipe rigate,” or “shell pasta.”) Even though Union’s house-made version was perfectly cooked, salinity overwhelmed; making it exceedingly difficult to enjoy. (Maybe the restaurant should ease up on the salt and allow customers to apply their own cheese?)

While it rated a lowly “C,” I’ve got a SPOILER ALERT for you: Based on the other dishes we ordered that evening, this particular item was a “fluke” … a “one-off” … an anomaly.

Ready for a more perfect Union?

Stay tuned!

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