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Broward County Dining Guide

BrowardCounty-Florida.com is pleased to present this selective restaurant guide for Broward County and Palm Beach County, Florida, featuring reviews from the New Times Broward Palm Beach. Try our online reservations. It's free and books the table immediately in the restaurant's reservation system. You'll also receive Dining Bonus Points redeemable at thousands of restaurants nationwide.

Broward County Restaurants

Morton's, The Steakhouse - Palm Beach
777 S. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Morton's, The Steakhouse, the nation's premier steakhouse group, specializes in classic, hearty fare, serving generous portions of USDA prime aged beef, as well as fresh fish, lobster and chicken entrees. Morton's is famous for its animated signature tableside menu presentation: steaks, whole Maine lobsters and other main course selections, along with fresh vegetables, are presented on a cart rolled to your table, where the server displays and describes each menu item in appetizing and entertaining detail. The menu features a variety of favorite cuts, including a 24 ounce porterhouse, which is the house specialty; a 20 ounce New York sirloin and a 14 ounce double cut filet. Every Friday and Saturday night, enjoy our famous slow roasted Prime Rib. (Description courtesy of Opentable.com)
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Ortanique on the Mile
278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Fusion / Eclectic.
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Ruth's Chris - N. Palm Beach
661 U. S. Highway 1, N. Palm Beach, FL 33408
Steak.
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Samba Room - Ft. Lauderdale
350 East Las Olas Blvd. #150, Ft. Lauderdale FL 33301; Tel. 954.468.2000
Ignore the jerk chicken wings and "Rasta rings" (onion rings) on the menu, and you've got yourself a fairly interesting pan-Latin eatery. It's owned by the folks who run T.G.I. Friday's, but ironically it's not nearly as efficient yet. Regardless, this burgeoning chain does cater to the Latin palate with imagination and flair, serving dishes such as arepas with queso blanco and shredded beef, ropa vieja sandwiches, fried Brazilian calamari, and recado-rubbed roast chicken with rum-vanilla mashed boniatos (white sweet potatoes). Live music and Latin dancing on weekend nights. Lunch and dinner.
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Seager's Restaurant
4000 Sandestin Blvd., Sandestin FL 32550; Tel. 850.622.1500
A traditional New York style steak house, Seagar's specializes in Prime Beef. The upscale restaurant not only offers the finest beef but thick chops & fresh seafood in an atmosphere conducive to an unhurried evening of good food, good company, good wine & good cigars. (Description provided by opentable.com)
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Ta-Boo
221 Worth Ave, Palm Beach, FL 33480
Ta-Boo is an institution in Palm Beach, a legacy of tradition and a notable history. It embodies the classic ambience of a private club: burnished old wood a fireplace, dancing in one room, a long bar that is a tradition in and of itself. It's a hard top think of this of this Worth Avenue gem as a "Bistro," but that's what it is. and the formula is a successful one, after all Ta-Boo is one of the grand dames of the avenue dining experience. But calling Ta-boo a bistro is like referring to Chateau Margaux as a "Winery." There is something special a tried and true patina about the place. (Description provided by Opentable.com)
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Timpano Italian Chophouse - Ft. Lauderdale
450 East Las Olas Blvd. #110, Ft. Lauderdale FL 33301; Tel. 954.462.9119
Timpano Italian Chophouse is reminiscent of the late 50's early 60's in Chicago & New York. (Description provided by opentable.com)
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Reviews - Broward County Restaurants

3030 Ocean
3030 Holiday Dr. (Marriott's Harbor Beach Resort), Fort Lauderdale FL 33316; Tel. 954.525.4000
Located at the far end of a hotel lobby, this divine eatery is eliciting praise from both vacationers and South Florida residents. Executive chef Dean Max's menu provides plenty of opportunity for guests to sample local flora and fauna via dishes like grilled gray grouper or shrimp sautéed with mango and hearts of palm. But his creations also allow the local diner respite from too many familiar products. Try wild sorrel soup with smoked salmon or roasted Maine lobster with snow pea sprouts for a refreshing change. Whatever you order, ask for a side of Brussels sprouts mashed potatoes, a combination that is much headier than it sounds. Desserts such as bittersweet Venezuelan chocolate mousse with praline foam offer a savory end to a meal. Dinner only.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Angelo & Maxie's Steakhouse

Angelo & Maxie's Steakhouse
651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach FL 33401; Tel. 561.833.6550
Like most steak houses these days, Angelo & Maxie's is a chain. Even more telling, in some people's opinion, is that it's a chain run by the folks of Chart House fame, those who first took the idea of fine dining and made it a comfortable commodity for the middle classes. Well, they've applied that concept to the formerly formidable steak house, and the fact is, it works. The Payless of meat palaces, A & M offers quality product for not so much money. And in keeping with the upcoming summer shoe season, it's mostly wedges -- of lettuce with blue cheese dressing, of veal chops, of filet mignon. Order a couple of sides of creamed spinach and garlic-laden smashed taters, a martini (you can keep the glass for an additional fee), and a dessert that will no doubt be served à la mode, and you, along with the Angelo guy and that Maxie dude, have got it à la made.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Anita's Grill Mexicano

Anita's Grill Mexicano
10288 W Sample Rd., Coral Springs FL 33065; Tel. 954.255.1778
Sibling to multiple award-winning restaurant Eduardo de San Angel, this Coral Springs outpost serves the same haute Mexican fare with identical superior protocol. Prices aren't as high as they could be, given the indulgence of items like the crepas stuffed with cuitlacoche (corn fungus) or the empanadas filled with rock shrimp, pickled chili peppers, olives, and stewed tomatoes. Fish and seafood are dependably, impeccably fresh, but it's the meat entrées like the filet mignon with tomatillo and smoked chili sauces or achiote-rubbed pork medallions that blow the narrow American mind. Mango crème brûlée is a signature dessert classic. Dinner only.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Bierbrunnen German Bar & Restaurant
425 Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.. Fort Lauderdale FL 33316; Tel. 954.462.1008
Don't know your kartoffelpuffer from your filetspiess? Your Berliner currywurst from your bauernschmaus? Learn to tell the difference at this super-casual, beach-side German pub that manages to be open-air and dark and smoky at the same time. The décor isn't much but the potato pancakes - kartoffelpuffer - are fabulous, as are the variety of schnitzels, loafs, stews, wursts and roasts. On the fishy side of things, herring in dill-sour cream sauce and red snapper in dill-chablis sauce are worth the gastronomic investment. Apple strudel with ice cream rounds out the food groups.

Bimini Boatyard
1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale FL 33316; Tel. 954.525.7400
It is positioned next to the marina, and everything is huge under this roof -- two bars, an extensive dining room, and portions that could feed that starving child your mom told you about for a week. Next to efficient service, the best part is the baked goods -- the honey-infused loaf as a starter, the sliced dill bread and focaccia as sandwich materials, the biscuits that make brunch beautiful. Enormous salads, wood oven-baked pizzas, and seafood entrées like skillet-seared tuna and lump crabcakes star. Outdoor seating. Brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Bistro Zenith
3011 Yamato Rd., Boca Raton FL 33434; Tel. 561.997.2570
This high-end bistro incorporates influences from around the world, most notably Asia and the Mediterranean. Take for example the steamed chicken-and-spinach won tons served in a roast chicken-soy broth for starters. Or the panzanella bread salad with kalamata crostini. Pastas and main courses range from smoked mozzarella ravioli to mango-barbecued salmon to miso-plum roasted duckling. Count on several things here: The crispy-coated cheesecake for dessert, the polite service for all the courses, and the wait for a table if you don't have a reservation. Lunch and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Black Orchid Cafe
2985 N Ocean Blvd, Fort Lauderdale FL 33308; Tel. 954.561.9398
Chef-proprietor George Telles pleases both the bored and the picky with his eccentric menu items: grilled ostrich, Canadian elk, wild African game pheasant. Whether you go for frogs' legs or snails to start, you'll be delighted with Telles's four-star French techniques. The drama increases with beef Wellington topped with a mousse of foie gras, in addition to dishes prepared tableside, like the Dover sole (deboned) and the bananas Foster (flambéed) for dessert. Dinner only
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Brook's
500 S Federal Hwy, Deerfield Beach FL 33441; Tel. 954.427.9302
Call it classic, call it tried-and-true, but Brook's is still tops in the upscale market. Elegance and sophistication are matched by updated Continental cuisine. Scallops dredged in cornmeal and napped with a tomato-corn salsa are a superb opener -- unless you're a caesar-salad fan, in which case the caesar with smoked salmon is a gravlax given. Among entrées, meat dishes usually score the most points, with mustard-crusted lamb chops and beef tenderloin leading the rankings. The chocolate soufflé sweet requires big eyes, since you should order it ahead of time if you ever expect to see it. Dinner only.

By Word of Mouth
3200 NE 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale FL 33334; Tel. 954.564.3663
More like By Sight of Eye. The diner stands up and chooses from a visual menu, gourmet grub racked and ready to go in the deli case. More Automat than not, this expanded catering operation is not for those who prefer veal chops and tuna steaks cooked to rare specifications. But dessert-lovers won't mind the rich selection. Lunch and dinner.

Cap's Place Island Restaurant

Cap's Place Island Restaurant
2765 NE 28th Ct., Lighthouse Point FL 33064; Tel. 954.941.0418
The ferryboat to Cap's Place is interesting (think of a refurbished, polished, and well-covered African Queen), and it's free. It's not a long ride, just a nice jaunt across the Intracoastal, but once you get there, you're going back a long way. Meyer Lansky and other gangsters still haunt the place. In the bar you can almost still smell the unfiltered cigarette smoke and hear the dames giggling over their martinis. Cap's Place is all about South Florida history, full of rum, illicit gambling, hoodlums, and good times. Eugene Theodore "Cap" Knight, an unabashed bootlegger, opened the place in 1928. The restaurant is actually made from an old barge. Back then, it was called Club Unique, and you could visit for a fish dinner, a stiff (and illegal) drink, and a game of blackjack, roulette, or craps. But Cap had class -- drawing statesmen as easily as crooks. The list of famous patrons is too long to recount, though the fact that FDR and Winston Churchill dined together here should give you an idea. But that's enough of this story. Go out there, have a highball, and soak up some more tales. They're hanging on every wall, carved into every post, soaked into every floorboard.

Casa D'Angelo
1201 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale FL 33304; Tel. 954.564.1234
Chef-proprietor Angelo Elia has been labeled an Italian angel, and justly so. His Tuscan culinary creations are generally heavenly: calamari-and-scungilli salad with garlic and lemon; homemade mozzarella converted on the premises from imported buffalo milk curds; pappardelle with porcini mushrooms; and wood-oven-roasted veal chop in a sage-and-Marsala wine sauce. Elia even turns out a more-than-credible pizza Margherita. Italian rum cake or cannoli for sweets, if you can stuff 'em in. Dinner only.

Chuck & Harold's

Chuck & Harold's
207 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach FL 33480; Tel. 561.659.1440
Founding owner Chuck Muer sleeps with the fishes -- the legendary seafood purveyor was lost at sea trying to outrun Hurricane Emily in 1993 -- but the Palm Beach institution he started more than 20 years ago with real estate maven Harold Kaplan soldiers on. Top-notch fish is the highlight of the menu, but the kitchen, while never adventurous, is versatile enough to offer a constantly evolving, stylish array of dishes. The building's original, Mizner-style architecture and interior are a knockout, the front room originally serving as a railway waiting station in the 1920s. The sidewalk seating out front overlooks the broad, palm tree-lined expanse of Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach's north-end main street, a more sedate alternative to the south side's Worth Avenue (which is overrun with tourists and off-islanders anyway). Tired of watching the swells roll by in their luxury vehicles? You can go inside and still dine under the stars -- the interior Garden Room's roof is retractable.

Cohiba

Cohiba
1715 Federal Hwy., Delray Beach 33483; Tel. 561.278.2133
If you think Miami's the capital of Cuban cuisine, then you haven't been to Delray lately. What Miami has in numbers, Delray has in quality: Cohiba, a mami-and-papi shop that offers above-and-beyond black beans. A pounded palomilla proves its pedigree, while lechon asado and ropa vieja vie for slow-cooked honors. But it's the seafood and fish flesh -- garlic shrimp, lobster Creole, fried grouper -- that's the real hook here. Paella Valenciana is a good way to guarantee yourself some plentiful shellfish, but it's made-to-order. How to cope with the requisite one-hour wait? Two words: stuffed yuca. Sit in front of the palm tree mural and pretend you're back in the home country. At Cohiba, it's that easy.

Culinaros
6897 SW 18th St., Boca Raton FL 33433; Tel. 561.338.3646
Pretend that the deck overlooks the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by mountains, and you might truly feel like you're on a Greek island. Starters, including spanakopita (spinach pie) and tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt dip), make you forget you're in Boca. Entrées like lamb chops sprinkled with rosemary and oregano or roasted shrimp over a portobello mushroom cap are huge and come with soup or salad, so order selectively. And don't skip the fresh fish, displayed in a deli case in the foyer. Gorgeous swordfish, salmon, and snapper speak for themselves. Dinner only.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Dada
52 N Swinton Ave., Delray Beach FL 33444; Tel. 561.330.3232
Named for the irrational art-and-literary movement that characterized Europe in the early 1920s, Dada features Salvador DalÝ-inspired art on the walls and plenty of alternative-type entertainment (think acid jazz and poetry slams). Executive chef Bruce Feingold's menu runs the gamut from grilled Brie with honey-garlic butter to butternut squash ravioli to a bento box filled with orange-soy glazed beef. Salmon is particularly fresh and wonderful, napped with a mango-habanero sauce. Try cobbler of the day for dessert for a down-home touch, but don't expect much else at Dada to remind you of Mama. Dinner only.

De La Tierra
106 S Swinton Ave (at the Sundy House), Delray Beach FL 33444; Tel. 561.272.5678
You couldn't ask for a more organic South Florida experience. Executive chef Johnny Vincznecz has introduced a menu that uses the fruits and vegetables from the Sundy House grounds and the neighboring specialty farm. And his fare matches the beauty and sophistication of this restored historic home's setting. Whether you start by ordering pepper-seared yak with micro-greens and truffled Gouda potato skins or baked stuffed baby conch with a habanero-7-Up tartar sauce, it's guaranteed you'll eat something both homegrown and homemade. Main courses like "Duck, Duck, Goose" -- duck confit, duck meatloaf, and goose breast, all napped by a lychee-flavored demi-glace -- exhibit Vinczencz's novel sense of humor, as do other specialties that dot an ever-evolving menu: Florida lobster finger sandwiches with smoked rock shrimp potato salad, tiny cups of smoked tomato soup with miniature grilled Brie cheese sandwiches, and house-dubbed garnishes like "Hot Damn Mango Jam."
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Echo
230 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach FL 33480; Tel. 561.802.4222
Vibrantly designed Asian restaurant features dishes from China, Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam, categorized according to the elements: Wind ("small plates to start your journey"), Water ("beverages and sushi"), Fire ("from the grill, wok, and fry pan"), Earth ("from the land and sea"), and Flavor ("desserts and sweets"). Any fan of Asian fare will love Echo, as the food is simply fabulous, from dim sum to sashimi, pad Thai to Peking duck, steamed sea bass to lobster lo-mein -- even the desserts excel. If topnotch sushi is all you seek, grab a seat at the Dragonfly lounge, which runs the length of the room and also serves Asian beers, imported sakes, and specialty drinks. Great ambiance, service, and food make Echo a resounding success. Dinner only.

Eduardo de San Angel
2822 E Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale FL 33308; Tel. 954.772.4731
This award-winning gourmet Mexican restaurant amazes clientele with its subtlety. Tantalizing starters include roasted poblano peppers filled with salmon mousse and stir-fried spinach with baked Brie and red chili oil. Entrées such as peppercorn-crusted Keys yellowtail, butterflied pork chop with roasted plum tomatoes and green chilies, and filet mignon stuffed with squash blossoms and goat cheese challenge the conventional definition of Mexican. Outstanding poached pears and mango crème brûlée for dessert. Lunch and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Gary Woo Asian Bistro

Gary Woo Asian Bistro
3400 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton FL 33431; Tel. 561.368.8803
OK, so Gary Woo is about as Chinese as tortillas. So the place is about as much like a bistro as a convention hall. When it comes down to the fare -- which is about as Hong Kong as, well, New York City's Chinatown -- it hardly matters. This is the stuff New Yorkers' dreams are made of: an endless bowl of crisp, fried noodles with duck sauce to start off the meal, along with a stiff drink from the bistro's fully stocked bar. Plus, just the appetizer list alone, featuring nearly two dozen dumplings, deep-fried seafood rolls, and pork ribs, is the equivalent of a good dim sum buffet on Spring Street. Add in beef chow fun with black bean sauce, eggplant and chicken served braised in a hot pot, royal lobster casserole with the mysterious XO sauce and chef's suggestions such as bean curd, shrimp, and crab meat sautéed in a tiny wok and you'll be hard-put to get the snowbirds to leave the snow peas behind.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Johannes

Johannes
47 E. Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton 33432; Tel. 561.397.0007
To be honest, we weren't sure Johannes would make it when it opened up in this eatery-heavy stretch of Boca Raton. Though we were confident in former Plum Room coordinator and Johannes chef-owner Johannes Fruhwirt, we just didn't think the neighborhood would respond to this exclusive -- and exclusively priced -- South Beach-style eatery. Fortunately, we were wrong. Not only has Fruhwirt managed to maintain with only a handful of tables and a velvet rope to his name; he's thrived. A few years later, patrons are returning to lay out the big bucks for his vichyssoise with caviar and his entrec˘te with veal-bone marrow sauce. Though we're risking our own easy access to a table here, we'll also tell you the secret to finding the no-name place: A big J-shaped handle on the door. Pull it open and you'll quickly see that you've arrived.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Ke'e Grill
17940 N. Military Tr., Boca Raton FL 33496; Tel. 561.995.5044
A welcome addition to the north Boca fine-dining scene. Polynesian in looks and named for a beach in Hawai'i, the eatery actually specializes in seafood with international influences. Sure, you can order the macadamia nut-sautéed shrimp entrée for that Big Island flavor, but then you'd miss out on a superb main course of Mediterranean shrimp scampi with artichokes. And while the semifiery sauce on the volcano grilled-shrimp starter may remind you of Hawaiian upcountry, the hot crab-jalapeño dip is actually a spicier appetizer. Excellent steaks and chops, too, in addition to homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert. Dinner only.

Kyoto Sushi and Sake Lounge
25 NE 2nd Ave. Ste 208, Delray Beach FL 33444; Tel. 561.330.2275
Sure, there's lots of fresh, glistening sushi, which you can watch proprietor Chef Lee fillet on closed-circuit TV as you eat. And there are plenty of well-chosen wines and sakes, all designed to enhance the subtleties of Japanese cuisine. But best of all, this clean-lined eatery offers innovative cooked cuisine as well, including appetizers like cucumber "pasta" salad tossed with conch and crab, and main courses like nori-wrapped salmon. Bonzai chicken, stuffed with Gruyère cheese, spinach, and asparagus before being battered and lightly deep-fried, is a signature dish, as are banana-walnut spring rolls for dessert. Lunch and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

L'Escalier

L'Escalier
1 S County Rd. (in the Breakers Hotel), Palm Beach FL 33480; Tel. 561.655.6611
The Breakers has always been known for the quality of its services, and that operating credo extends to its restaurants. At L'Escalier, the waiters are more like butlers, just waiting to pull out your chair or refold your napkin should you retire to the restroom. Water glasses are filled like pools - should the liquid drop below a certain line, an infusion is immediately added. And like the service, the fare is as exquisite as the tapestries that grace the walls: venison carpaccio, vegetable-hazelnut cannelloni, roasted duck with eggplant caviar, and mascarpone strudel. Only a year old, L'Escalier provides such a beautiful yet unpretentious experience that we wish other hoteliers and restaurateurs could take classes here. Is that too much to ask? Dinner only.

Leopard Lounge and Restaurant
363 Cocoanut Row (Chesterfield Hotel), Palm Beach FL 33480; Tel. 561.659.5800
Pricey in that Palm Beach kind of way, but also a total experience. This supper club offers live music and dancing every night of the week, not to mention martini-drinking and bistro dining. Fare can range from unusually good items like the bison carpaccio to classic dishes such as coq au vin to American fusion fare like rack of lamb with port wine-blueberry sauce. Some items are terrific, others merely good. In any case the joie de vivre of this leopard-leopard-everywhere restaurant, located in the 1926 landmark Chesterfield Hotel, is worth a go, if only for a giggle. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Mark's CityPlace
700 S Rosemary Ave (in CityPlace), West Palm Beach FL 33401; Tel. 561.514.0770
(See also Fort Lauderdale.) The food at Mark Militello's Las Olas restaurant is overall more dazzling, and at his South Beach location, it's more personal and refined, but that's to be expected in light of the grander, 240-seat scale of this upscale-mall incarnation. Even at his most formulaic, Militello is better than most, and the food here definitely bears his imprint. That means big, earthy flavors teamed with lighter gastronomic delicacies -- "New American" at the core with French/Mediterranean influences. To wit: A starter of mussels steamed in champagne; a side dish of white-truffle macaroni and cheese; a yellowfin tuna entrée with foie gras veal reduction. If dishes such as these weren't so imaginatively conceptualized, prettily presented, and highly priced, you'd be tempted to call them comfort foods. Other draws include wood-burning ovens pumping out Puckish pizzas, a 12-stooled sushi bar offering imports from Hawaii and Japan, a wide selection of wines, personable service, and a comfortable, stylish ambiance. Dinner only.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Martunie's
10311 W Sample Road Coral Springs FL 33065; Tel. 954.752.3227
The name is double-entendre, doubled: Martinis and tunes vie for the spotlight here. The latter, performed by jazz trios and such, are probably more inviting than the drinks, which can be bland despite up-market garnishes like shrimp and frozen grapes. But a chef-driven menu holds its own with four-onion soup, herb-crusted pork chops, and homemade Polish pierogies in bacon-cream sauce. Dinner only.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Max's Grille
404 Plaza Real (in Mizner Park), Boca Raton FL 33432; Tel. 561.368.0080
The inaugural Dennis Max creation, this upscale diner updates classic comfort food such as meat loaf, grilled spring chicken, roast duck, and even sirloin burgers (by topping them with Maytag blue cheese). The three South Florida locations vary slightly, but customers can count on inventive, regional, and seasonal fare. Daily specials, day-boat fresh fish, and sumptuous desserts make this a grill to remember. Lunch and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Mimi's Ravioli

Mimi's Ravioli
5714 Johnson St., Hollywood FL 33021; Tel. 954.983.3711
Other than your Italian relatives' house on a major holiday, this is the place to be for fresh homemade pasta. The place got its start in 1970 when Joe and Mimi Termine brought a couple of ravioli machines from New York City. Joe figured he'd make some ravioli, maybe sell a bit, and have a nice little hobby. A few years later, he was dragging his cousin, fellow Brooklynite Frank Billisi, down to Hollywood to help him with the business. Billisi then bought the shop from the Termines and has never looked back. The place now boasts all manner of strange machines, constantly churning sauces, kneading dough, and stretching what will eventually become spaghetti. As for those ravioli that gave the place its start and its name: They take Chef Boyardee, tar him, feather him, brand a big MIMI on his butt, and then toss him out of town on his ear.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Mizner Tavern
402 Plaza Real, Boca Raton FL 33432; Tel. 561.392.1633
Don't let the name fool ya. This place isn't for the local yokel but for the experienced culinarian -- prices alone will tell you that. But so will exuberant main courses like goat cheese-crusted lamb chops with beet "tartare" or the "Angry Lobster," a two-pound Maine beauty coated with spices. Smoked trout crabcakes and barbecued quail with napa cabbage slaw connote a terrific beginning to the meal, but desserts could use some work; sip a single-malt Scotch from the well-stocked bar instead. Lunch and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Oh La La
2775 E Oakland Park Blvd., Ft Lauderdale FL 33306; Tel. 954.565.9065
Open a couple of years now, Oh La La is oh-so-good with a blackboard menu that one evening might offer vichyssoise and on another might feature pheasant pate. Inspired regional cooking ranges from North to South with entrées such as roast duck breast with green peppercorns and a bouillabaisse so light and flavorful that the competitions' versions seem like fish-scrap soup. The only drawback is that dishes have a finite shelf life - once they're gone, they're erased from the blackboard. So if you're a late diner, you might find your choices somewhat limited. But never fear. Regardless of your reservation time, your palate and stomach will still be stretched to satiated capacity. Serving lunch and dinner.

Sea Watch
6002 N Ocean Blvd., Ft Lauderdale FL 33308; Tel. 954.781.2200
Fresh sea air and fresh seafood mark this spot, run by the same folks as Bimini Boatyard. International fish, mollusk, and crustacean dishes, including New Zealand orange roughy with dill-chardonnay sauce, bouillabaisse à la Marseillaise in garlic-saffron broth, and South African lobster tails, find their way from menu to mouth. Lunch and dinner.

Sopra

Sopra
110 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach 33444; Tel. 561.274.7077
Expect the best, pay for it, and you just might get it. At least, that seems to be Sopra proprietor David Manero's motto. He and a partner laid out a cool three mil for this renovated spot, then bought the building in which it's housed for $6.3 million more. We give him credit just for his balls -- that is, the roasted garlic meatballs that nestle, along with braised parsley sausage and Parmesan braciola, with trenette. Chef Glen Manfra also whips up superb entrées like oak-grilled Atlantic swordfish with cannelloni mash; salt-and-pepper jumbo shrimp sautéed on stone with Sicilian bread pudding; and a Bell & Evans chicken breast cacciatore. Open only half a year or so, Sopra currently attracts diners as much for the decorative eye-candy -- terrazzo steps, mosaic floors, a pool on the sidewalk -- as it does for the new-age fare. But guaranteed that if you go for the architecture, you'll stay, and return, for the expertly constructed dishes.

Spoto's Oyster Bar
125 Datura St. West Palm Beach FL 33401; Tel. 561.835.1828
Superior fish and shellfish are available here, for fewer clams than you might think, given the ritzy location. Casual, funky, and friendly, this oyster bar offers three varieties of the raw mollusk, along with a host of cooked crustaceans and fish. Baked Brie and bluepoint oysters and creamy oyster stew are particularly good, as are Niçoise salad, yellowfin tuna steak, and jambalaya fettuccine tossed with jumbo shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage. Prime rib, the only meat entrée, is exceptional. House-made desserts such as peanut-fudge pie are almost impossibly lush. Outdoor dining. Lunch and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

Sterling Worth Café & Jazz Emporium
801 S University Dr. Ste C-126 Plantation FL 33324; Tel. 954.474.7738
Live jazz and large servings distinguish this handsome dining room. Begun as a gift shop, the café was added in 1994 and now serves sprightly salads, focaccia-crust pizzas, baked Brie sandwiches, and entrées such as marinated and grilled dolphin, and New York strip steak with blue cheese-butter topping. Lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.

Tails Tropic Island Grill

Tails Tropic Island Grill
2635 N. Riverside Dr., Pompano Beach FL 33062; Tel. 954.946.8245
This being South Florida and all, the competition for this category is fierce. Particularly this year, given that the exceptionally dry weather has pushed almost all of us diners firmly out-of-doors. Aficionados of the alfresco thing make much ado of water views, sea breezes, and lots of shade. Tails complies with all those qualifications, going a few steps further with a pool, a deck, a dock, and an outdoor bar. The venue is ideal for outdoor sipping and supping unless, of course, the sky is spitting rain. We should be so lucky
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.

The French Quarter
215 SE 8th Ave, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301; Tel. 954.463.8000
Sister to Le Café de Paris, the Quarter gives us New Orleans via its French influence. For starters, escargots du chef blossom with wild mushrooms in a Pernod demi-glace, and seafood gumbo is spiked with andouille sausage. Entrées include bouillabaisse, frogs' legs meunière, duck l'orange, and steak au poivre vert. The setting, an old house à la Orleans just off Las Olas, is romantic and private. Lunch and dinner.

When in Rome
3311 N Ocean Blvd. Fort Lauderdale FL 33308; Tel. 954.563.1349
Simply put, one of the best and most authentic pizza places around. But don't mistake this trattoria for a joint. In addition to the 16-inch pizzas, topped with items including salami, prosciutto, black olives and eggs, the other offerings tend toward sophistication. Main courses are especially noteworthy, such as a superior eggplant Parmesan comprising shaved, grilled layers of the vegetable and grouper Amalfi, sautéed in an orange-cream sauce. Pleasant service and friendly wine-bar surroundings make this Galt Ocean Mile export important to locals looking to score the real thing. Lunch and dinner.
Full review available from the New Times Broward Palm Beach.


Excerpts from the New Times Broward Palm Beach are ©2002 New Times Broward Palm Beach and republished with publisher's permission.

Best of Broward County 2002
The Best Of Broward -
Palm Beach 2002


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