Las Olas Staying Power

Timpano Chophouse has survived on Fort Lauderdale’s most competitive street by sticking to a few core principles.

By: 

Gisel Habibnejad

Published date: 

Sep. 1, 2017

It can be hard keeping up with the changes on Las Olas. Restaurants and stores come and go, but one Italian eatery has remained: Timpano Chophouse. The modern Italian steakhouse has been a popular go-to spot for locals and tourists for almost two decades, and executive chef Hector Cintron wants to make sure it stays that way.

“Timpano has been a mainstay on Las Olas Boulevard for more than 17 years, so a lot of our customers have become family,” Cintron says of a restaurant that was recently acquired by Tavistock Group and became one of the 16 upscale dining brands that are part of the Tavistock Restaurant Collection. “Timpano has been a different experience compared to my previous work in the way we focus on our guests. That’s our main priority.”

The restaurant has carved out a reputation for Italian dishes done with unique flair.

“We take traditional Italian dishes and give them a little twist to make them our own,” Cintron says. One example? Their lasagne. “Everyone knows how to make it, but what makes ours unique is that we top it with a very flavorful béchamel that’s also layered throughout the lasagne.”

Prior to working at Timpano, Cintron was the sous chef at 32 East in Delray Beach and then executive sous chef at Max’s Grille in Boca Raton.

“My signature style is comfortable and rustic,” he says. “I like to let the ingredients shine and create well-balanced dishes that work together.” Menu items such as black skillet-roasted mussels, flatbreads, artisan salads and aged beef and chops paired with chef’s toppings like brandy-peppercorn sauce make up this top-of-line menu.

However, chef’s recommendations really steal the spotlight. Take, for instance, their osso bucco (which is Italian for “bone with a hole”). “It’s a tender pork shank that we brine for 48 hours and then is braised for four to five hours until fork-tender. It’s served over a Parmesan risotto that’s prepared with a Parmesan stock made from the rinds of Grana Padano cheese,” Cintron explains. “It’s amazing.”

Nothing pairs better with these exceptional dishes than a good glass of wine. To ensure the best pairings, Tavistock Restaurant Collection partnered with select vineyards and winemakers to create one-of-a-kind blends that make up the Tavistock Reserve Collection. It includes everything from those that appear frequently in wine collections, such as pinot noir and rosé, to not-so-typical wines like Chablis, white and red burgundies and South American red blends.

If you ever find yourself enjoying a meal at the restaurant on the weekend, chances are you’ll hear live jazz music flowing through the eatery courtesy of its Starlight Lounge. Live music, libations and light bites make up this lively space. Drinks on the menu include uniquely named and carefully thought-out martinis, such as the Flirtini and Pear-fect Martini.

It could be the classic, laidback ambiance or the modernized Italian dishes that have kept the restaurant lively all these years.

That, Cintron says, and personal relationships. “What really sets us apart is that connection we have with our guests,” he says. “Our passion is evident when you dine with us.”

And if you’re one of the few that have never dined at Timpano, Cintron invites you to “Please stop by and ask for me … I will make sure to come out and say hello and make sure you have a memorable experience.”


Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Ingredients

• 1 ½ tsp olive oil
• 1 ½ oz asparagus spears
• 2 oz lobster broth or stock
• 3 oz marinara sauce
• 3 oz heavy cream
• 5 large shrimp
• 1 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
• ½ tbsp fresh basil
• ½ oz stemless spinach
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp ground white pepper
• 1 tsp or to taste crushed red pepper flakes
• 5 oz fettuccini
• 2 tsp crumbled goat cheese
• 2 tsp toasted pine nuts

Method

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil, asparagus and sauté for 10 seconds. Add lobster stock/broth and reduce by ¼. Add marinara sauce and heavy cream. Add shrimp and lower heat to a simmer, cook shrimp for about 2 minutes and reduce sauce by 1/3. Slowly incorporate butter, basil and spinach. Cook until spinach is just wilted and add salt and pepper. Add crushed red pepper to desired level of heat/spice. In a separate pot, boil pasta for 2 to 3 minutes until al dente. Drain well and toss with the sauce. Garnish with goat cheese, pine nuts, and fresh basil.