Next up, at Polpo Palm Beach — which is on the grounds of the “five-star” Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, 100 S. Ocean Blvd, Manalapan (Fl) — was the “ORECCHIETTE ALLA BARESE, Broccoli Rabe, Sausage, Garlic, Oil” ($36 pre-tax/tip).
Food historians are all over the place when it comes to this pasta’s origins. Some trace is roots back to ancient Rome, because of a printed reference to “lixulae,” a round-shaped offering with a concave center, made with flour, water and cheese. Others contend it dates to the 13th century, when the Angevins introduced “crouzet,” (made with flour, water, and oil).
Whatever you believe, the name of this dish literally means, “little ears in the style of Bari.” And while it’s considered a cornerstone of Southern Italian cuisine, everyone has a different way of making it. Actor Stanley Tucci, for example, uses broccoli rabe, olive oil, garlic, anchovies, pepperoncini, and salt/pepper. In our view, the greens should add a “bitterness” to the dish. Some also describe the taste as “slightly peppery” and “nutty.” The flavors we experienced here, though, were extremely muted.
While we asked for our dish to be made without the sausage (due to a guest’s religious observance), that didn’t mean we wanted the plate to be lusterless or that the substituted chicken be salty and dry. But that’s what this was. At $45+ (after tax/tip) this needed to be better, so it was no surprise when this dish scored a “C-.” (Of course, given what we got, the price-point adversely impacted the scoring. But, frankly, I thought it deserved an “F” … but that’s just me.)
I guess you could say, I found this dish extremely ear-itating.
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