With elements of a friendly Roman trattoria in the heart of Las Olas, Gran Forno Pronto serves up authentic Italian comfort food in a fresh and informal atmosphere. Wood fired pizza, award-winning Ciabatta, modest prices and an extensive wine list.
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.
Occupying the west side of the historic Riverside Hotel, this upscale restaurant has a changing menu heavy on seafood, though there is also back-40 honey brown ale-braised beef cheek. The raw bar is stocked with shellfish as well as royal red shrimp ceviche. Dinner only.
Modeled after classic taverns of New York and Chicago, BCT has high tin ceilings, wood floors, brick walls, and a patio overlooking the heart of Las Olas. The bar offers an extensive selection of libations, from California wines to locally brewed craft beers. The menu includes pan-seared Chilean sea bass with seasonal greens, and rigatoni Bolognese with Chianti-braised beef and veal topped with Grana Padano cheese. For lunch, stop in for a griddled burger with parmesan-truffle fries, or snag a stout-braised short-rib grilled cheese on sourdough with smoked maple cheddar. The late-night menu (Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to midnight) features pizzas, paninis, salads, and appetizers.
A trendy chain in the center of downtown, Cheesecake Factory is known for its massive menu with more than 200 selections and its decadent cheesecakes available in over 50 varieties. Inspiration comes from the world over. Unexpected offerings include the Moroccan chicken with spicy harissa sauce, miso-glazed salmon, and a macaroni and cheese burger with deep-fried macaroni and cheese balls and cheddar cheese sauce. Lunch specials cover all areas of the menu and are reasonably priced. For cheesecakes, go all-out with Dutch apple caramel streusel or wild blueberry white chocolate.
A libation-lover’s paradise, this gastropub produces American-style grub and serves up frosty pints of craft beer, more brews from frozen “pour-it-yourself” beer taps, and spirits infused with sweet fruits. The decor incorporates old gas lanterns and Chicago bricks with an array of historic Life magazines. Flatbreads with barbecue chicken and marinated pork and snacks like parmesan-truffle fries and short rib sliders with bacon-onion jam pair well with darker, bold-bodied brews, while the arugula shrimp salad with toasted pecans, cranberries, and goat cheese works with lighter Belgian white beers including Hoegaarden.
Headed by two-time James Beard-winning chef partner Guillermo Pernot, the 9,200-square-foot eatery celebrates Cuban culture through its interior design, music and of course, cuisine. The menu is as authentic as it gets as chef Pernot takes his inspiration from travels throughout the island and experiences with the local chefs and restaurants. Selections include Octopus a la Parrilla, malanga fritters and Pernot’s Pineapple Guacamole Cubano. The rum bar offers more than 90 premium varieties of dark, light, spiced and aged rums.
As you might have guessed, the Capital One Café on Las Olas belongs to Capital One Bank. Their goal is to have customers experience their digital and financial tools while grabbing some coffee and mingling with their ambassadors. Plus, they have free Wi-Fi.
The Italian restaurant features modern décor with plants and greens as the main aesthetic throughout. Staying true to the theme, they offer salads, smoothies and healthy bowls (like the Vegan: tofu, quinoa, arugula, avocado, alfalfa, sprouts, sunflower seeds, carrots, radish, pickled cabbage and green tahini dressing). In addition, menu items include the Marsala Bistec (sliced steak medallions with Marsala sauce and four cheese potato gnocchi) and lobster ravioli.
Empanada Top specializes in Argentinian-style empanadas and serves wines and beers perfect to wash down the Latin delicacy. Their menu includes unique empanadas such as Hawaiian (ham, mozzarella cheese and pineapple), corn and pumpkin (corn, pumpkin, onion, red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese and seasoning) and guava and cheese.
This quaint French provincial restaurant is known for crepes that come filled with just about anything you can imagine. Sweet crepes include fresh fruit, Nutella, caramel, and ice cream. Savory ones come with seafood, meat, scrambled eggs, and cheese. Signature crepes include the Crepe Orleans, with blackened chicken breast, sliced tomato, and Gruyere cheese. The Crepe Nova Superbe is stuffed with smoked salmon, asparagus, capers, and béchamel. For dessert, try Johnny’s Favorite crepe, stuffed with fresh strawberries, banana, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce.
A modern take on Mexican food has hit Las Olas in a big way – 6,000 square feet to be exact. The highly anticipated Mezcal and tequila bar offers a modern take on “Mexican soul food” and also has more than 400 varieties of tequila and Mezcal along with specials like $3 margarita Mondays and $2 taco Tuesdays. Unique dishes include Swiss chard and hongos quesadillas (herbed mushrooms, Swiss chard, queso blanco and ranchero sauce), smoked brisket enchiladas and Nutella flan. They’ve also partnered up with Funky Buddha to create a New England-style IPA, which is available at the restaurant.
This spot, the new Fort Lauderdale location of a popular Delray Beach restaurant, offers an upscale, lively atmosphere and a brunch experience unlike many others. We can guarantee – you’ll come for the food (which is amazing) but you’ll stay for the party. Their dinner menu includes Chianti-braised short ribs (baby portobello mushroom risotto, winter squash, white truffle, pecorino Romano and natural jus), citrus-crusted ahi tuna (roasted jalapeno potato puree and grilled Japanese eggplant) and bone-in ribeye steak.
Already a staple in Miami Beach, Sushi Garage picked Las Olas for its second location. The Japanese restaurant’s kitchen is overseen by partner chef Sunny Oh and his protégé, chef Kaoru Chang. Oh’s prior experience includes more than a decade as the executive chef at Nobu on South Beach. Menu items include unique nigiris ranging from truffle shiitake nigiri to hamachi chili tosazu. Behind the dessert menu is award-winning corporate pastry chef Gregory Gourreau – his offer includes matcha mille crepes and a Japanese cheesecake.
This attractive main street bistro serves more than just pasta and sandwiches. Sit on the terrace and people watch, or take a table inside under large black-and-white photographs, and enjoy pan-seared Canadian salmon or a classic eggplant parmigiana. The mozzarella is made in-house.
National chain Del Frisco’s Grille has opened its first South Florida location in downtown’s newly renovated Las Olas Square complex. The modern menu is curated by chef Shawn Quinn and features prime, hand-cut steaks and freshly caught seafood with bold flavors and fresh ingredients. The award-winning wine list and handcrafted cocktails are also worth trying. The 8,083-square-foot restaurant includes a private event space.
A swanky restaurant at the office end of main street with a chef, Eric Baker, who has a Superior Diploma in French cuisine. The emphasis is on seafood, though there are steaks (filet mignon, NY strip, rib eye) as well as eight different types of fish served whole. The live lobsters, “steamed and cracked,” weigh in at two, three and four pounds.
Big red wines, martinis, bone-in steaks, and juicy chops combine with Chicago Supper Club sophistication at this high-end Italian-style steakhouse in the heart of downtown. Live music is performed at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Thursday in Timpano’s Starlight Lounge, providing a backdrop for aged beef, savory flatbreads, and classics like calamari fritto misto and osso bucco.
Calabrian owner Tony Cupelli brings his family’s ancient recipes to this chic, modern Las Olas eatery. There’s pan-fried rigatoni with meatballs and specialty pizzas topped with smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, eggplant and parsley. Cupelli’s pollo alla Francese in white wine-lemon sauce pairs with Venetian pinot grigio.