For the better part of a decade, the bar and restaurant has been one of the go-to spots at the northeast corner of the Galleria Mall – the bit of the shopping center that’s been redeveloped into an upscale dining and nightlife hub. It’s a little spot mostly given over to upmarket national chains – Capitol Grille, Seasons 52, P.F. Chang’s. (Blue Martini is headquartered in South Florida, which is also where four of its six locations are.)
Then there’s the weekly fun, such as Wednesday-night ladies night – a fairly recent addition that includes half-off cocktails all night, $5 Tito cocktails all night for everybody and complimentary cocktails and champagne from 9 to 11 p.m.
Seasonal cuisine and an award-winning international wine list make this casual-chic chain at the Galleria a consistent draw for locals and out-of-towners. Nothing on the menu tops 475 calories, kept down either by portion control or careful ingredient selection. Flatbreads are popular, such as spicy chipotle shrimp with grilled pineapple, feta, and roasted poblano chilies, as are vibrant entrees like caramelized sea scallops, wood-fired pork tenderloin, and roasted artichoke-stuffed shrimp. Chef’s tables are available with an amuse bouche and a five-course meal with wine pairings for each course, as is private dining for special, intimate occasions. For dessert, go with guilt-free mini-indulgences – shot glass-sized sweet treats, such as Key lime pie, old-fashioned carrot cake, and chocolate peanut butter mousse.
White tablecloths, dark wood accents, and landscape and portrait paintings adorning dark red and brown dining room walls give this chain in the Galleria Mall a classic, sophisticated ambience, as do the food and lengthy wine and spirits list. Appetizers like Wagyu beef carpaccio with wasabi arugula and the cold shellfish platter with fresh lobster, jumbo shrimp, and oysters are perfect for kicking off any VIP dinner. Entrees like the Kona coffee-crusted, dry-aged bone-in sirloin with shallot butter and porcini-rubbed Delmonico with 12-year-aged balsamic further stamp the feeling of luxury. Seafood lovers should try the seared citrus-glazed salmon with haricot verts, asparagus, and roasted cipollini onions with a side of decadent lobster mac and cheese. For dessert, try coconut cream pie, flourless chocolate espresso cake, or the trio of house-made ice creams.
This trattoria offers authentic Italian cuisine in a romantic, candle-lit setting, complete with Italian-speaking staff. Chef/owner Michele Viscosi creates dishes inspired by his homeland, including carpaccio di manzo, lasagna tradizionale and osso buco d’Angello.
Located on the eastern side of the Gateway Shopping Center, this restaurant mixes Japanese and Thai food. Signature sushi rolls include Dancing Eel, Red Dragon (built around tempura shrimp), Yamu (broiled salmon) and Monster Lobster. Also available are fried rice, pad Thai and a variety of teriyaki dishes.
BRGR STOP’s second location has opened in Broward (the first is in Coconut Creek). The burger joint features boozy shakes and 18 burgers including the Peanut Butter Jelly Time (made with peanut butter tomato jam, cheddar cheese and candied bacon) and the El Chapo – fresh chorizo with taco seasoning, avocado lime crema, taco beer cheese sauce and pico de gallo. Grownup shakes include the Strawberry Shortcake (vodka, liqueur, Fruity Pebble milk, strawberry ice cream, strawberry jam and shortcake rim, topped with Fruity Pebble whipped cream, cereal, Twizzlers and Shortbread cookies).
Located in the Gallery ONE DoubleTree on the Intracoastal, this restaurant offers contemporary cuisine overlooking the water and hotel pool. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with seating indoors and on the 30-seat patio. Menu favorites include crab cakes, short ribs and swordfish.
Southwestern American cuisine with international undertones mixes with a seductive ambiance at this Fort Lauderdale culinary oasis. Chef Chris Wilber leads a talented team that prepares detailed dishes like blue corn fried oysters, barbecued shrimp tostadas, and scallop ceviche with popcorn. Standouts include: swordfish with Swiss chard-white bean ragout, tomato-avocado salsa, and green chili chorizo crumbles; and filet mignon with poblano pesto, goat cheese, zinfandel sauce and cilantro potato mash.
Chicken marsala, veal picatta, meatballs, and Milanese are what’s for dinner at owner and Chef Marco Vico’s Fort Lauderdale fixture, voted one of America’s 1,000-best Italian restaurants by Zagat. Indulge in hearty bowls of pasta fagioli, lasagna that features a mix of meat sauce and béchamel. The ambiance is like a resplendent Tuscan villa, complete with walls adorned with old family photos.
This ’80s pizza parlor features free retro video games – as well as gourmet pizzas like the Godfather (steak tips, caramelized onions, Gorgonzola blue cheese, mozzarella and cheddar cheese) and Cheeseburgerlicious (burger pieces, pickled onions, bacon and tomato, over Thousand Island dressing, mustard, mayo, ketchup, topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese and finished with lettuce). Other menu items include salads, wraps, subs, wings, stromboli and calzones.
The lunch menu at this Italian restaurant offers sandwiches, brick oven pizzas and pasta dishes, while the dinner menu includes pasta, meat and seafood specials. For dinner, the restaurant also offers anelli, folded pizza crusts with savory fillings, and calzones.
Owner and Chef Angelo Elia has created a South Florida restaurant empire out of his original North Federal location. His dishes are punctuated by an attention toward great ingredients, like the branzino, so fresh it needs nothing more than a light butter sauce. The outstanding antipasti includes truffle-lemon carpaccio and pancetta-wrapped tiger prawns over broccoli rabe, and the fresh pasta is made in-house. Or go big with the oak-grilled NY strip, marinated in olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.
This locally owned restaurant offers a wide selection of classic American dishes. The lunch and dinner menu includes Jamaican grilled wings, crispy walnut shrimp, orange chicken and a deep-sea tuna burger. On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can choose from a selection of made-to-order brunch dishes, including six styles of eggs Benedict.
Park & Ocean sits in a shady grove on the southeast side of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, facing A1A and the ocean. Located in the park’s old, partially indoor beachside entrance, the place’s menu includes tacos, salads, burgers and fun bar food like the scrumptious, not-so-traditional grilled cheese sandwiches made with truffles, garlic shrimp and manchego cheese. There’s an extensive beer menu, including several local brewery favorites, as well as a good selection of wines and other beverages. You can also catch some live tunes – check the schedule, but Park & Ocean usually has live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. That’s not counting the music of the lapping waves while you enjoy a cool beverage.
A Caribbean-American fusion kitchen and bar, influenced by the multicultural island flavors of South Florida.
Located inside the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale, this beach-vibes restaurant combines full-service dining with cafe food items throughout the day.
This Mexican restaurant specializes in family-style servings. Their recipes use homemade sauces and locally grown ingredients whenever possible. They’re best known for their tacos al pastor.
Located at the North Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale Beach, serving gourmet American dishes and cocktails.