Il Paesano emphasizes fresh ingredients, quality food and spreading love. There’s no set menu, only daily specials determined by the fresh ingredients that are found in the market. During the week there are about 15 to 16 different dishes. And owner Vergilio Peixoto has no freezers; from the pasta to the tomato sauce, everything is made fresh in-house. Il Paesano’s chef formerly owned Vesuvio, which was a popular Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale back in its heyday.
Il Paesano has a wide variety of wines and the private wine room can also be used as a more intimate setting for couples to dine. (There have been marriage proposals, Peixoto reports.) And if you want to know more about wine, Peixoto hosts a winetasting class every month. But be quick – the classes tend to fill up within minutes of being announced.
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.
Chef Matteo Migliorini brings his talent and love for fine dining to this northern Italian bistro. The authenticity of the restaurant stems from the cooking traditions of Migliorini’s native north. After training in Italy, he sharpened his skills and gained experience in France and England. The bistro features an outdoor terrace and a traditionally Italian family atmosphere. Menu items include Ravioli All’Aragosta (Maine lobster ravioli and pink sauce) and Scaloppine al Gorgonzola (veal scaloppini, gorgonzola, sun dried tomatoes, demi-glace sauce and roasted fingerling potatoes).
The dishes Myapapaya puts out feature ingredients found in few South Florida restaurants, healthy items owner Adam Kanner says he found while traveling the globe. The kale salad, for instance, features almonds roasted with tamari, a soy sauce brewed with a deeper flavor. The Whole Grain Bowl — overflowing with quinoa, brown rice, tomatoes, peppers, chickpeas, feta, and coconut oil — has a bit of dulse flakes, a snack food from Iceland that provides a nice saltiness to a stunningly beautiful and delicious dish.
The juices, sold in 16-ounce plastic bottles for about $9, are made in a cold-press system that keeps more nutrients and allows them to stay fresh longer. They also feature blends like the Peruvian Pink, with beets, ginger, pear, pineapple, and a Peruvian fruit called maca, which some believe improves libido.
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.
Only USDA prime beef is used for the six signature steaks: filet, petite filet, rib-eye, cowboy rib-eye, T-bone, New York strip and porterhouse (for two). Also available are lamb chops, lobster, stuffed chicken breast and barbecued shrimp.
Bakery and gelato shop.
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.
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.”
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.
Known for its wood-fired dishes, J. Alexander’s serves classic cuisine in a sophisticated setting. Enjoy Tuscan steak, grilled fish with mango papaya salsa, chicken Milanese and seafood czarina. Pair your meal with wine from the full-service bar.
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.
Shake Shack, known for its 100-percent all-natural Angus burgers, fresh-made frozen custard and crinkle-cut fries, has finally opened in Fort Lauderdale. The East Coast rival of West Coast icon In-N-Out Burger also serves chicken sandwiches and griddled flat-top dogs (which have no hormones or antibiotics). Keeping things local, they offer brews from Wynwood Brewing Co., Due South Brewing Co. and Funky Buddha Brewery. Lucky for us, this location includes a collection of frozen custards exclusive to Fort Lauderdale: Pie OH My, S’more and Caramel Crumble (in addition to the classics).