Steve Martorano got his start hawking Italian sandwiches out of his basement in Philly. But his strip-mall restaurant a few blocks from the beach went upscale, and diners wait hours during season for a table (Martorano famously turned away Madonna’s entourage when she refused to wait outside). Those willing to wait find Italian classics dressed up with top-notch ingredients, like the eggplant stack featuring some of the crispiest breaded eggplant slices you’ll find sandwiched between fresh-pulled mozzarella. Not everyone will be down with the gangster movies showing on the overhead TVs, the dance music, or the women who sometimes take to the tables and dance. If you’re the type to like that kind of people watching, you’ll also find some of South Florida’s most soulful food.
Dockside dining is just one attraction at this eatery perched on the Intracoastal just south of Oakland Park Boulevard near A1A. The vibe is Florida-casual, and you can expect to see men in Hawaiian shirts disembarking from boats and strutting inside. Traditional bar bites, Floribbean fare, and international offerings comprise the menu, including crabcakes, fried calamari, coconut shrimp, seared ahi, and conch fritters. You can also order half-pound beef burgers, overstuffed wraps, and out-of-the-ordinary takes on fish, like the blackened mahi Reuben sandwich. Cocktails run the gamut, including fruity martinis, thick frozen margarita-like concoctions, and enormous fish bowls filled with fizzy, vodka-based drinks.
Bakery and gelato shop.
Come pig out on the juiciest barbecue around at Smoke BBQ’s new location in Fort Lauderdale. This Kansas City-style barbecue joint offers the best cuts of meat and hearty sides, great for anyone who needs a real tank-filler. Barbecue fans can argue regional superiority until the cows – or pigs – come home. At Smoke, they do things the KC way – great ribs, great brisket, great sauce and even the “burnt ends” are good.
A local favorite, Fishtales offers an indoor / outdoor full liquir bar. the patio offer a great view of 33rd street. Live entertainment and dinner specials are offered every night of the week. Come enjoy the food, fun and friends at “Fishtales on 33rd.”
A menu based around fries? Trust us on this one. This restaurant takes you on a tour of inspired alternatives to and takes on the humble fry. Their French fries come in all shapes and sizes, as well as different root vegetables. Try yucca fries, truffle fries, ropa vieja poutine and churrasco frites. Oh, and wash it down with a craft cocktail from a speakeasy-style menu.
This local market also serves as a restaurant and event space. For example, at “Tempting Thursdays Tastings” you can sample different recommended wines, while there’s live jazz on Fridays and Bubbles and Brunch on Sundays. The café menu features charcuterie and cheese boards with accoutrements, smoked salmon everything toast (with capers, red onion, tomato and arugula) and desserts like French Tropezienne custard cake.
This Mediterranean mecca in the Galt Ocean Mile area is known for Greek meze, or small plates, such as gyros, spinach pie, and pikilia, a sampler of four traditional spreads served with pita. The ambiance is that of a traditional taverna – festive and loud with a lively, casual feel. Red and white checkered tablecloths and Greek paraphernalia stand out within the interior, while diners can also opt for alfresco seating under a ceiling with fans if they want to escape the noise inside.
This Italian bakery/café/wine bar offers a great variety of freshly baked sweets and savory specialties from Sicily. This intimate cafe also serves a diverse range of small plates of classic Southern Italian pastas. Their menu also features paninis, pizzas, arancini, cornetti and more. The most requested pizza dish is the Sicilian lamb pizza, while the chef recommends trying the raviola, fried dough with fresh ricotta inside. And what’s an Italian café without hot drinks? The Bake Bar has all the Italian favorites such as cappuccino. And if you want to keep it cool, try some gelato.
Internationally inspired fare meticulously prepared by Chef Hector Lopez is complemented by an extensive wine bar that will have gourmands and foodistas raving. Doubling as a purveyor of gourmet yacht provisions, this restaurant boasts refined elegance in its 55-seat dining area. Dishes like pan-seared foie gras with truffle strawberry carpaccio, cherry gastrique and blinis, and grilled hanger steak with crushed rutabaga, asparagus, and red wine demi-glace make every bite memorable.
Mastro’s is well-known nationally as a high-end steakhouse chain that also features a line in seafood. Their new location in Fort Lauderdale sits on the Intracoastal near Oakland Park Boulevard, an area that’s quickly becoming a go-to dining locale. Executive Chef Rocco Nankervis aims to give customers plenty of options with a menu that, alongside prime cuts of beef, offers all sorts of seafood and even a sushi menu.
An Asian fusion restaurant specializing in Japanese-Thai tapas, sushi and food that is just as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. Dishes like the Pineapple Fried with shrimp, chicken, chunks of sweet pineapple, cashew nuts and raisins and the Rising Sun Roll with pears, apples, mango and loaded bake seafood will have you begging for more.
Moksha is an Indian restaurant offering a contemporary dining experience featuring 70 South Asian selections composed of traditional flavors with a twist. The 85-seat indoor restaurant’s menu includes signature specialties such as the MOKSHA Feast with chicken tikka malai kabab, tandoori prawns, tulsi kabab, lamb chops, rosemary naan and black lentils.
Sometimes you just crave a plate piled with plantains and black beans and rice. The original restaurant opened in Hollywood in 1984; today there are a dozen scattered around South Florida. People come not just for the Cuban sandwiches and the ropa vieja but for the homey atmosphere.
Well-regarded Chinese cuisine for lunch, dinner and take-out. Begin with the sesame scallops Grand Marnier or the Hunan popcorn squid before moving on to the salmon Gwin Jin, Hunan sesame chicken, or shrimp in Szechuan sauce. There is also an excellent selection of wine.