Crowds descend here for breakfast and lunch (be prepared to wait) only partly because of its location inside Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Eat your eggs Benedict, pulled pork or Reuben – or perhaps you’d prefer a Thai chicken flatbread – while watching private jets take off and land.
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.
Serving more than 15 gourmet burgers along with vegetarian options, the new burger house has a 15-step cooking process along with its proprietary blend of all natural, no-antibiotic and no-hormone beef. Add in a good selection of craft beers, specialty cocktails and an extended selection of wines by the glass, and this looks like an interesting new addition to the Las Olas restaurant and bar scene.
This family-owned restaurant specializes in German-American food, including seven types of schnitzel, two types of calf’s liver, bratwurst and sauerbraten. For more American meals, there are baby back ribs, steaks, and surf and turf.
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.
A Fort Lauderdale staple since 1982, this Italian-American eatery will bring you back to Sunday dinners at your Nana’s house – if you’re Italian, that is. Expect Sinatra to play in the background as Chianti flows and platters of shrimp oreganata, veal Francaise, and zuppa di pesce are shared family-style. Intimate meals also work inside Runway’s setting, with its low lighting and mellow atmosphere. Don’t miss the Sicilian stuffed peppers (served cold with red wine vinegar and stuffed with bread crumbs, capers, olives, anchovies, and grated cheese), and the plump meatballs with marinara. Big-time diners will want the surf and turf entree, a combination of New York strip and South African lobster tail.
A part of the Ocean Manor Beach Resort, this casual spot serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s brunch on Sunday, followed by a late-afternoon Caribbean pig roast buffet. Mondays are dedicated to Italian food, and parties are held whenever the moon is full.
Beehive Kitchen is creating a buzz with fresh, flavorful ingredients and an innovative approach to build-your-own-bowl dining. Dishes include a wide selection of savory vegetables, wholesome grains, proteins and made-from-scratch sauces all for customers to create their own unique bowls. If you don’t know where to begin, they offer several planned-out bowls including the Mediterranean Bowl – cranberry almond kale salad, whole grain brown rice, Parmesan, roasted broccoli, wok-seared mushrooms, rustic herb-grilled chicken and soy-charred steak-roasted pepper sauce. Fresh ingredients don’t stop there; Beehive Kitchen prepares fresh cold-pressed juices daily. Grab a bowl, eat and bee happy.
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.
This restaurant in the Marriott Renaissance Hotel serves up an assortment of American and French-inspired items. Early arrivers can indulge in omelets, French toast, and interesting offerings like alligator eggs Benedict with blackened alligator medallions and orange hollandaise sauce. Small plates like shredded pork sliders with pineapple barbecue and chicken lettuce wraps with sesame ginger dressing are served as midday snacks. For dinner, it’s all about the filet with port wine cherry reduction. For dessert, there’s warm bread pudding with vanilla and caramel or the Florida Key lime pie with chopped fruit and orange Grand Marnier sauce.
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.
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.
Chef Oliver Saucy and general manager Darrel Broek have earned this restaurant distinction as one of the nation’s best, with a menu updated daily featuring the best local ingredients. Dishes include: duck confit phyllo purses with raspberry-glazed beets, pearl onions and chives; and three-peppercorn filet mignon with three-cheese potato au gratin and shallot-thyme butter.
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.
The mission-style building with a Spanish tile roof and quaint porch packs in diners for that impressive view of the surf across the street. The menu is something-for-everyone-style, with the likes of fish and chips, Cajun alligator, chicken quesadillas, and grilled wahoo with sun-dried tomatoes. At night, the dim setting and ocean nearby has helped define it as a go-to spot for the romance seeker.
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.
Fort Lauderdale’s first gluten-free restaurant specializes in vegetarian dishes – excellent salads plus Portobello and raw lentil burgers – but it also offers a tuna melt and a BLT (with turkey bacon) on house-made waffle bread. Save room for delicious quinoa cupcakes topped with seasonal fruit jam and goat cheese icing.
The Foxy Brown serves an eclectic menu such as “bangers and smash” (English-style pork sausages and mashed potatoes), nicoise salad (with sliced rare ahi tuna to change things up), and Mabel’s chicken (which comes with house-made spaetzle and herbed pan gravy). Additionally, there are three flavors of milkshakes, innovative appetizers like “little shorties” (lollipop chicken wings with red bean, garlic ginger sauce), and enticing sandwiches like the Bratburger with house-made sauerkraut and shallot jam on a pretzel bun.
The brewery’s Oakland Park taproom recently launched its Craft Food Counter and Kitchen. Chef Jeff Vincent has come up with a menu that mixes down home with uptown – it’s bar food, but not as you might know it. Perfect-with-beer dishes include the Mighty Tatanka (a bison/pork belly blend with sweet onions and buffalo mozzarella), Craft Brat or Main Street Pork Sandwich.