The founder of Anthony’s Runway 84 and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Anthony Bruno teamed up with restauranteur Michelangelo Mozzicato to open a casual restaurant with a Santa Maria-style grill as the centerpiece. The menu consists of American classics with a Florida twist – appropriate for a place in the old Dirty Ernie’s building.
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.
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.
Valentino’s cheaper cousin (and occupying its former space), this warm, neighborhood place offers an array of pizzas (including prosciutto with shaved Parmesan and arugula) as well as other tempting Italian dishes. The eggplant sliced thin, fried and layered like lasagna is a popular item.
Chef Stefan cooks up chicken Marsala with spätzle, wiener rostbraten, Hungarian goulash and Holstein schnitzel. With the warm décor, and the music, it always feels like Oktoberfest inside. The large, attractive bar next to the dining room is a cozy place to sit with a mug of German beer.
Anthony Bruno, of Runway 84, opened this pizza joint in 2002 because he couldn’t find the “well done” pizzas of his native New York here in Fort Lauderdale. The flagship location has since become a nationwide chain. Ashy flavor permeates the crust of pies like the “Paul & Young Ron,” piled with meatballs, sausage, ricotta, and hot or sweet peppers. Oven-roasted chicken wings and salads round out the menu, and beer and wine are served.
Arrive by boat or auto at this seafood mecca tucked inside Lauderdale Marina to experience breathtaking views of the 17th Street Causeway drawbridge. Seafood dominates here, from shrimp ‘n’ grits with trugole cheese and applewood-smoked bacon to wild blue crab cakes with double mustard cream, scallions, tropical slaw, and yuzu tobiko. Waterfront cocktails are a major draw here, but don’t leave the kids at home – they can help feed the tarpon that crowd the dock while you order another round of margaritas.
The first thing you receive, after the warm welcome, is a basket of warm bread and a small bowl of garlicky chimichurri sauce to dip it into. Run by Salvadorans, the restaurant has a cozy elegance and serves generous portions of everything, including ceviche, mariscada soup and churrasco.
Owners Sean and Blaise McMackin revamped the former Brownie’s Bar location with this eco-friendly gastropub known for American craft beer, bourbon, and artisanal burgers. Many unique dishes are offered, such as tuna-watermelon sashimi with jalapeno and lime, and Berkshire crispy pork belly with huckleberry jam and farro. Burgers come with surprising toppings like fried green tomatoes, beets, Bibb lettuce, apples, and Rogue River blue cheese.
After a long four-year process, Bar Rita has finally opened its doors. The two-story, 5,500-square-foot restaurant serves up modern Mexican food with an eclectic margarita menu. You can enjoy rooftop city views alongside menu items such as build-your-own bodega bowls and a selection of tacos including truffle barbacoa and carne asada cheesesteak. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
Toss Up Salads brings flavor without sacrificing health. That means hormone-free chicken or organic fresh produce (no added preservatives) with a side of freshly squeezed juices. The vast menu features dips, soups, acai bowls, energy shots, wraps, smoothies, grain bowls and, of course, salads.
Located in the Pier 66 marina, this handsome restaurant has waterfront views and a menu featuring Caribbean seafood chowder, Bahamian conch fritters, giant all-beef hot dogs and a jerk chicken sandwich. Watch the sunset while sipping a specialty drink.
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.
Chef Dario De Pasquale was born in Battipaglia, Italy, and from a young age developed a love for pizza. Before coming to America he worked as a chef in different parts of Italy including Capaccio, Salerno and along the Amalfi Coast. Menu items at his new locale reflect that experience and include homemade meatballs, capriciosa (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, salami, ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives) and gnocchi alla Sorrentina, as well as a full pizza menu.
If a tourist ever made his way to this neighborhood hangout just south of the swing bridge, you’d feel inclined to reward him with a beer, which would be easy, as craft brews line one wall of the place (under poster-sized vintage postcards of Fort Lauderdale). A friendly, eclectic crowd comes here for beer and food that goes well with it – fish tacos and pizza being the most popular.