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.
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.”
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).
It’s hard for Fort Lauderdale locals to imagine a summer without taking a dip in the water…well, what about their bagels? Known for a 14-step water filtration process that goes into its authentic Brooklyn-style bagels and coffee, Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. has officially opened its second Fort Lauderdale location. In addition to bagels and coffee, menu items include breakfast and deli sandwiches, baked goods, omelets and “baninis” – bagel paninis, naturally.
This tapas-style restaurant is more casual than its sister restaurants in the growing Angelo Elia empire, but it still provides first-class elegance and healthy portions of both light and hearty Italian fare. Tapas range from familiar to exotic: buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto di Parma, tempura zucchini flowers with mozzarella, and grilled provolone over radicchio. Escarole and beans with roasted sweet Italian sausage is full of flavor, and every pizza is delicate and thin-crusted, just like you’d find in Napoli. Try the basilico bruschetta, served in traditional style with diced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, and pair it with a bold bottle of red Tuscan wine.
Dine in drag and enjoy a themed dinner show. Choose between a fixed price menu or a full menu, with selections including the Martina Skyy South of the Border quesadilla, Shon Telle Alfredo supreme, and Nicole T. Philips chicken margarita. Visit the website for a schedule and description of the nightly shows.
Festive Latin restaurant serving the essentials plus Spanish specialties.