This elaborate confection of waterfalls, gardens and thatched roofs along U.S. 1 has been around so long that things Polynesian are once again hip. You can enjoy dinner and a show (dances of the South Pacific) or hang out at the Molokai Bar – which hosts a popular happy hour – with the other retro trendies.
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.
Japanese meets American cuisine at this newly renovated, chic Japanese buffet. The buffet has an array of choices featuring not only American and Japanese cuisine but also Chinese and Italian. Diners have more than 30 different options of sushi to choose from, and a cold bar where customers can have their choice of seafood served chilly. If you see a little smoke, don’t worry – that’s the hibachi grill firing up some food.
Don’t be a chicken – try it hot. Spatch is a sleek, family-friendly sit-in serving up healthy, hormone-free chicken. The restaurant has created five signature sauces using the African bird’s-eye chili pepper, peri-peri. The menu focuses on peri-peri marinated grilled chicken; customers can choose from the selection of peri-peri sauces, white or dark meat and a selection of sides. The menu also offers platters, bowls, salads and sandwiches. Try the Spatch sandwich – grilled chicken thigh, sharp cheddar, coleslaw, house pickles, sweet hot peppers, and Spatch Peri-mayo. There’s also a children’s menu in case the peri-peri’s too spicy for the little ones. Grownups feeling the spice can wash it down with local craft beer.
The same people who gave us Phat Boy Sushi have opened their spin on pizza and chicken wings. You will find unique pizza options like the Spicy Lobster (lobster, mozzarella, onions, spinach, garlic and sundried tomatoes) and Avocado Smash (smashed avocado, pickled red onion topped with lemon vinaigrette and sesame seed). They even pay homage to their parent company with the Phat Boy (mozzarella cheese, kimchee napa, bacon, sausage, avocado and sweet garlic sauce). In addition to pizza and wings, their menu includes salads, sandwiches and desserts.
One half is the market, with products from around the world, the other half is the café, serving soups, salads, patés, and Italian specialties like lasagna and baked ziti. Sandwiches with names like Fat Freddies BBQ and The Big Easy (a muffuletta served on ciabatta bread) are hard to resist.
A casual restaurant built on an interesting concept: international comfort foods. You can start with soba noodle salad or mushroom manchego toast and follow it with gumbo or pulled pork on a focaccia bun with bacon dill potato salad. A number of items come in small or large servings. There is also an excellent selection of wines and craft beers.
This artsy eatery boasts more than just an innovative American contemporary menu and lengthy wine list – it has swagger. Co-owner Domenick Falcione is the chef and responsible for the colorful abstract paintings on display throughout the swanky interior. Marked by blue ambient lighting, the decor is comprised of white chairs and barstools, white linen tablecloths and drapes, ornate light fixtures, and accent walls painted red and sky blue.
This new Peruvian eatery is the product of two brothers experienced in the local culinary scene. Inkanto serves classics such as lomo saltado and fusion dishes like Italian-Peruvian pappardelle. And if that’s not enough, the menu features about 16 different combinations of ceviche and seven options of tiraditos.
As displayed on their wall, “toast” is a homonym that serves well for this new cozy diner. Sliced bread browned on both sides by radiant heat? They’ve got that along with delicious ways to have your bread. Call to a gathering of people to raise their glasses and drink together? Their wide selection of wines, option for bottomless mimosas and friendly environment will take care of that for you. Their Greek-inspired menu offers traditional dishes as well as modernized classics.
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.
A family-owned restaurant serving upscale comfort food from chicken potpie to pigs in a blanket to Janice’s meatloaf and fried green tomatoes. And yes, drinks are served in Mason jars.
Festive Latin restaurant serving the essentials plus Spanish specialties.
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.
Fresh Flash Fire Pizza! is the place for the perfect place for a pizza. Ingredients are farm fresh the portions are more then generous, so bring your appetite. if your not into the pick and eat, you can always build your own. and don’t forget to have a plate of veggie greens.