Jump to content
laniloa

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Recommended Posts

laniloa   

Had a very enjoayble meal last night at Seasons 52 on Sunrise Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale (at the Galleria Mall). There are a cluster of restaurants that were slammed at 8:45 -- Blue Martini, Capitol Grille, and PF Changs in addition to Seasons 52. Walking past the line of Bentley's waiting for the valet, I began to feel more then a little grubby having spent the better part of the day on a boat looking at potential new bridge sites tog gauge environmental impact.

The restaurant has an upscale woodsy lodge feel to it which seemed out of place in South Florida when I first walked in, but I really warmed up to it over the course of the meal. My brother and I were seated in a large booth next to the open kitchen. The waiter walked us through the concept -- regular size portions, no butter, and seasonal food in an effort to cook healthy and still provide tasty meals. The portions were much larger then I expected, but still smaller then many places that seem to serve double portions, and I think they have ditched the original concept of calorie caps for the dishes.

We started with a tomato basil flatbread that had paper-thin crispy crust, a line of equally thin tomato slices that allowed them to dry out a little while cooking to have a not-quite sun-dried tomato feel to it, generous amount of basil, and an almost negligible amount of parmesan. Very tasty and much lighter then I expected it to be.

I had the pork tenderloin over polenta with spinach and mushrooms. The end pieces of pork were beyond dry but the middle pieces were juicy, well seasoned, and just wonderful. The pan sauce over the polenta was a great savory-creamy blend.

My brother had the ruby red trout with potatos and the night's veggie special -- pan roasted brussel spouts.

Dessert service is geared to letting you indulge without overindulging. Individual portions are served in basically tall shot glasses. The waiter brought over what to me resembled a test-tube rack with an assortment of 8 dessert options including boston cream pie, tiramisu, apple pie, chocolate mousse, cobbler, others I can't remember, and key lime pie -- my brother's choice. I had a taste and it was more lime pudding then key lime pie.

The wine list included an extensive by-the-glass list with a broad range of prices. I had a lovely rioja that I enjoyed so much I wrote down the name and then promptly lost the slip of paper. I'm going to call them tomorrow.

My only real gripe with this place is how hard the push the seasonality angle when they are in a place with almost no seasonal differences and the 80 degree weather just wasn't right for rich autumn foods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JLK   

I am headed to Fort Lauderdale on a rather long business trip, and hoping to find some good, cheap eats. My expense report after nine (nine!) days will be big enough without eating room service once a day. Oh, and my waistline too.

If you have suggestions, I'm all ears. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yuca   

You might want to try Ernie's on U.S. 1 (1843 S. Federal Hwy - 904 523-8636). It's a dive, but great conch chowder & bimini bread & conch fritters. Their bbq pork sandwich is also supposed to be good. And, you can knock down a drink or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonRocks   

I am headed to Fort Lauderdale on a rather long business trip, and hoping to find some good, cheap eats. My expense report after nine (nine!) days will be big enough without eating room service once a day. Oh, and my waistline too.

If you have suggestions, I'm all ears. Thanks!

This is exactly what you don't want, but I had a good dinner at Johnny V when I last went. However, it's an expensive restaurant, and I vaguely recall that the wines were quite overpriced. I'd happily go again, but only if someone else was picking up the tab. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heather   

I had reasonably good meals last month at Tarpon Bend and Mangos. Local friends speak well of Himmarshee Bar & Grille. (My dinner at Mangos featured a surprisingly good bar band that played nothing but prog-rock hits of the 70's, including a Moody Blues set. :angry: )

Tarpon Bend

SW 2nd Street

Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33301

Ph: 954-523-3233

Hours of Operation:

Mon - Thur11:30am - 2am

Fri & Sat 11:30am - 3am

Mango's

904 East Las Olas Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

954.523.5001

Himmarshee Bar & Grille

210 SW 2nd St

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

(954) 524-1818

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JLK   

Thanks, all!

Don, I'll probably need one of those once the client gets sick of the closest steakhouse. :angry:

Daniel, I don't know the geography well at all. I just know that I'm right on the beach smack dab in the middle of Fort Lauderdale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DanielK   

That describes several miles of waterfront, FWIW.

On the cheaper side, I had a good meal at Basilic Vietnamese Grill in Lauderdale Lakes my last trip home. They deliver, if you're close enough.

Primanti Bros., the ubiquitous Pittsburgh sandwich joint, just opened up a branch in Sunrise.

Just north of the airport on Rte. 1, there's Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, which is pretty good.

It's stone crab season, so lots of places will have them, but they're not cheap. If you don't mind eating in your hotel room, or grabbing a table at your pool outside, go to the Fish Peddler East and get them there. Don't forget to get some mustard sauce!

Pomperdale's, on Commercial, is a pretty decent deli. I've heard ok things about La Spada's (a chain) but haven't been there.

There's a huge ex-NY-Italian community in South Florida. Ask around, and you're bound to find a family-run place nearby serving pretty decent pizza and red-sauce Italian.

There's plenty of crappy touristy places on and near the beach. Save the chains, however, most of them can still do a decent job at simply grilling a piece of locally caught fish, like Pompano, Grouper, Red Snapper, Cobia, Wahoo, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi).

The local rotisserie chicken chain, Pollo Tropical, is pretty good. Go for the chicken, beans & rice, plantains and fried yuca - the rest of the menu is barely passable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JAC13   

I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, and though I don't go back as often as I would like, some are my favorites are below:

Cafe Martarano: My family discovered this tiny hole-in-the-wall 15+ years ago and it has since expanded and turned into quite a scene, complete w/the chef spinning music, its own bottled sauces, and celebrity hangout. The scene-y-ness is really not my thing but if the down-home Italian food is half as good as I remember, it is so worth it.

Anthony's Runway 84: old-school Italian; I have no idea if this is still any good but I remember it was a dining fixture some years ago.

Chicken Kitchen: much smaller chicken chain that pollo tropical that I was addicted to when I lived down south

LaSpada's subs: a few minutes outside downtown Ft. Lauderdale in Davie, this place makes the best subs I have ever had- blows Italian Store out of the water IMHO.

Flakowitz Deli: This is just a little north of Ft . Lauderdale in Delray but ooooo so worth it- one of my all-time favorite delis of all time.

Sundy House: amazing, romantic brunch spot also in Delray.

La Bonne Crepe: on Las Olas, this is another favorite breakfast/brunch spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DanielK   

Flakowitz Deli: This is just a little north of Ft . Lauderdale in Delray but ooooo so worth it- one of my all-time favorite delis of all time.

Delray is at least 30 minutes drive from Ft. Lauderdale, so not exactly "a little north", but they've also slipped a lot in recent years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heather   

Delray is at least 30 minutes drive from Ft. Lauderdale, so not exactly "a little north", but they've also slipped a lot in recent years.

I fell in love with Doc's hamburger stand in Delray last summer. Not gourmet by any means, but solid patty melt and milkshake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MBK   

Flying into FLL tonight and need a dinner rec (nothing fancy) between there and Delray. Thoughts?

Then, 48 hours in Delray. Flakowitz's is the best option in that area?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heather   

Lester's Diner, Ft. Lauderdale. Since 1967. Standard diner fare like meatloaf & chicken fried steak, a few Greek specialities, hot fresh coffee, and housemade cakes.

The food is good, but the highlights of our visit were overhearing a tall blonde with huge breast implants thanking her companion for dinner because "that's not usually part of the arrangement," and witnessing the very young hostess talking up their vegetarian offerings, like the turkey burger, to a disgruntled vegan patron. :lol: I can't wait to go back.

Lester's Diner

250 State Highway 84

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heather   

When your weather-delayed flight lands at F. Lauderdale at 11PM the dining options are pretty limited. Fortunately there's Lester's right around the corner. I had one the best diner turkey club sandwich of my life at Lester's last night (fresh roasted turkey, plenty of bacon, and a very ripe tomato) and washed it down with a fine, ice cold glass of milk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pat   

Asking for someone who is looking for a good lunch spot for a group* in Fort Lauderdale next week, preferably with outdoor seating. Does anybody have any suggestions?

*I'm assuming it's not a large group. Doesn't sound like it, anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to Hollywood, FL for the firm's partners retreat. The budget is $150 per person, including taxi fare from the hotel, which is the Westin Diplomat. Johnny V looks good but it's too far away (and will eat too much into the food/drink budget). Any recommendations for seafood-centric high end restaurants in Hollywood?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DonRocks   

Going to Hollywood, FL for the firm's partners retreat. The budget is $150 per person, including taxi fare from the hotel, which is the Westin Diplomat. Johnny V looks good but it's too far away (and will eat too much into the food/drink budget). Any recommendations for seafood-centric high end restaurants in Hollywood?

I haven't been to Hollywood in a few years, but I think you're going to have trouble - I'll ask a friend of mine who lives in Fort Lauderdale.

---

Okay, here's her response (she's *not* a foodie!)

Sushi Blues in HWD FL is pretty good. But if staying at Westin in FT Laud why go to HWD if cab fare eats into budget?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to Hollywood, FL for the firm's partners retreat. The budget is $150 per person, including taxi fare from the hotel, which is the Westin Diplomat. Johnny V looks good but it's too far away (and will eat too much into the food/drink budget). Any recommendations for seafood-centric high end restaurants in Hollywood?

Downtown Hollywood is very cute but the restaurants tend to be fun more than serious. Sushi Blues is OK. The live blues music is a big draw and the sushinis just OK. The restaurants IN the diplomat are supposed to be good. I've only eaten at the bar. You can take a water tqxi from right outside the Diplomat to FT. Lauderdale. It's a fun boat ride and it opens you to lots of FLL options.

Eric, if you get a break, walk north from the Diplomat along S. Ocean Drive about 3/4 mile. There is a little beachy-looking taco place right on the street that is quite good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked with my best friend, who lives in Hollywood very near the Diplomat. One suggstion was Market 17. I've eaten there twice. It's pretty nice inside, and I recall not much except feeling fine with the experience. Another suggestion...there is a place just up S. Ocean Drive from the Diplomat (it would be a very short cab ride, and so close that perhaps the Diplomat would shuttle you). It's called GG's, but it used to be Georgio's. There is a very casual side (with a bakery) and a more formal, white-tablecloth side. There are great water views, and it is (or at least was, last year) fancy enough to be considered special occasion.

There is also a lot of new development near the Gulf Stream rack track, and this is not too far from the Diplomat. I don't know what is there now, but I ate at two places (a "Mexican" place and the Yard House) and both seem to aim squarely at the main-stream, middle-budget diner who seeks quantity over quality.

I vist that area a lot to see my friends, and my conclusion is that unless you are in a real seafood dive on the water, or an ethic small restaurant, the quality of the food in the area is surprisingly mediocre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had lunch at Le Tub yesterday. It's been years since GQ annointed this place the best burger in the country (it was 2006). Since then many burger joints have popped up and Le Tub has been overwhelmed with tourists and copped a bad attitude. We received mediocre service. The table that arrived after us ordered first and received their food first. When we tried to order drinks and food at the same time, we were told she can't take our food order because she doesn't have her pad and can't remember the food and beers. The burger did take a long time, as promised. We ordered a medium burger which came out with barely a hint of pink, which is well done in my book. We dare not send it back. Nevertheless, it was pretty tasty, well seasoned ground sirloin packed quite tightly. The steamed clams were also good. The best may be their smoked fish dip, served with saltines. Can say what kind of fish it was, but it was suitably fishy and smoky. Would rather eat it on some toast rather than crackers though. It was a perfect afternoon to sit by the intra-coastal waterway, watch needle nosed fish swim by, and drink ice cold Red Stripes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On day 2 of our annual gathering to schmooze each other, I declined to eat the hotel provided lunch and took a water-taxi to the Hollywood boardwalk. As I strolled from the intra-coastal strip to the beach, I passed by a restaurant called Pachamamma. Having been to Peru, I immediately recognized it as a Peruvian restaurant. All of a sudden, I wanted a cold Cusqueña so I ascended a half flight of stairs into the restaurant. I ordered a tiradito (when asked if I wanted it spicy, I said yes) and aji de gallina. The tiradito was really good. Again, not sure what kind of fish it was (I flipped one over so everyone can see it's a white fish) but the seasoning was fantastic. Unfortunately I can't even tell what seasoning was used other than citrus juice and a hint of spiciness. The chicken was just so-so. They used dried shredded breast meat which did little to soak up the flavor of the sauce. The lunch menu that I received at the restaurant wasn't quite as comprehensive as the one shown on the website.

For dinner I was attracted to Sardelli's because they offered a number of half portion pastas. My first course was a special of clams and fregola. The main ingredients were fresh littleneck clams, fregola, garlic, and some kind of cured pork product (pancetta perhaps). I loved this dish, the texture of the fregola was firm but it definitely absorbed the juice of the clams, white wine, garlic, and pork. My other two pastas were less stellar and they were black tagliatelle/ mussels/ jalapeno/ mint/ garlic & oil and green pappardelle bolognese/ veal/ pork/ beef/ parmigiano. I thought the mussels in the pasta were overcooked and the pappardelle was overcooked. They were good dishes, just not something to rave about.

That evening, in my drunken stupor I dropped my iPad and the screen cracked. So on the 3rd day I went to a local repair shop to have the screen replaced. Nearby was the Gulfstream Village, a combination of race track, casino, and outdoor shopping mall. I had lunch at an upscale Mexican chain called Cantina Laredo. The chips were served with two salsas, both being red but one was smoky and bitter while the other was pretty darn good. I had some spicy chicken tacos (pollo cascabel) and an avocado and artichokes enchilada. Both were good, better than La Sandia. I was disappointed at not seeing lengua and other more interesting tacos.

Dinner was had at GG's Waterfront on the intra-coastal. I had read the stone crab claw catch was poor this year and the prices were up. $45 for 4 "large" claws, is that ridiculous? I don't know, having never had stone crab claws before but they were delicious. Not so delicious that I'd spend that kind of money on them again. For $45, I'd go get a fresh dungeness at one of the local Chinese joints. The pasta with white clam sauce had probably a whole can of baby clams in them - unfortunately I don't care for canned clams.

If I ever go back to Hollywood, I'd wonder around and eat at a bunch of different restaurants. Fish dip at Le Tub, tiradito at Pachamamma, stone crab claws at one of several joints (hopefully the price will be lower), and some pasta at Sardelli's. But I see no real reason to go back to Hollywood. It's boardwalk is filled with typical pizza/cheesesteak/gyro joints. Most of the nicer restaurants were on the intra-coastal, where you can sit and watch boats, fish (saw tarpon, needlenose fish, stingrays), and manatee go by.

post-4391-0-73268200-1366679939_thumb.jp

post-4391-0-96860100-1366679947_thumb.jp

post-4391-0-05298500-1366679962_thumb.jp

post-4391-0-25577900-1366679975_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DanielK   

I had read the stone crab claw catch was poor this year and the prices were up. $45 for 4 "large" claws, is that ridiculous? I don't know, having never had stone crab claws before but they were delicious.

Holy shit, yes. They were expensive last fall, though I can't compare straight up because we did takeout from a counter, not seated at a restaurant. But we paid about $20/lb for large claws, and there are 4-5 claws in a pound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick trip to FLL this weekend yielded a good restaurant find in downtown Hollywood: Lola's on Harrison. It's a small place, sparely decorated, and quiet enough for reasonable conversation. I had grilled swordfish with a lovely red curry sauce. I often avoid swordfish because it gets overcooked so often. Not the case here. The bartender recommended it, and I am glad I listened. The goat cheese/beet salad to start was generously sized, very nice. My friend's steak looked lovely...she said it was great but that the fries with it were even better. Apps/salads average $9/$10 and mains generally in the mid-$20s. There is a large, cheap parking garage a block away on Harrison, making this a convenient destination, at least on the early (7:00) side of the evening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long weekend in Ft. Lauderdale. Two good finds so far. Las Vegas Cuban restaurant is a small Florida chain. We at at the Oakland Park location. Lunch specials are cheap, $8-9 range. Roast pork was fabulous, served with delicious plantains and black beans and rice. Bicilic Vietnamese is located a block off of A1A on Commercial St. In Lauderdale by the Sea (5 minutes from Oakland Park drive, easy for anyone in North Lauderdale area). Large portions of excellent food. The curry, with chicken, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, etc. was luscious. Roast pork fried rice was so much better than fried rice usually is, studded with lots of delicious roast pork.

We had a glass of wine at Da Campo Osteria, A Todd English restaurant in the posh il Lugano hotel near Galt Mile. One of the specialties is fresh mozzarella pulled tableside served in about 7 different ways (e.g. with pesto, or with pruscuitto and fig balsamic). Want to go back and try that on our next visit. A customer at the bar said the pizzas (lunch only) were very good, and there's a large pizze oven visible to the dining room. It's a very pleasant room right on the waterway, and the water taxi stops there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×