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The 14 Best Restaurants In Fort Lauderdale And Beyond

The 14 Best Restaurants In Fort Lauderdale And Beyond

by Heather Carney by Lyssa Goldberg by Alyssa Morlacci March 2016 Also on Digital Edition

From decadent fondue to innovative comfort food (that pairs perfectly with a beer), South Florida has a delicious food scene.

Here, we present 14 of the best restaurants from Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton.

 

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Apeiro Kitchen & Bar

When Apeiro opened in January 2015, it immediately caught the attention of local foodies, bloggers and restaurant reviewers. The Sun Sentinel gave it four stars. Broward Palm Beach New Times named it one of the “10 Best New Restaurants in Delray Beach.” Three years later and the restaurant still lives up to the hype. It has since opened a Midtown Miami location, and is wowing diners with Mediterranean-inspired dishes like the Moroccan-spiced lamb ribs and the roasted branzino. Even a trip to the restaurant for a cocktail and dessert is worth it.

Dishes to Try:

Moroccan spiced lamb ribs ($16); Forest Mushroom flatbread ($14)

Apeiro Delray Marketplace, 14917 Lyons Road, Ste. 100 / 561.501.4443 / delray.apeirorestaurants.com/

(Lead photo above of Apeiro's caramelized waffles by Gyorgy Papp)

 

Chez Marie French Bistro

Chez Marie French Bistro left its first home in Ocala for a spot at the Polo Club Shoppes in Boca Raton, and we're glad it did. The authentic French eatery belongs to head chef Stephane Gattacieca, and his wife, Marie Gattacieca, who were both born and raised in the French Alps. The bistro offers classic dishes like onion soup, roasted duck and filet mignon, which pair with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The restaurant also offers a three-course meal menu for $38.90.

Dishes to Try:

The boeuf bourguignon is stewed in red wine with carrots and pearl onions served with mashed potatoes ($24); the chocolate fondant is a chocolate cake served with creme anglaise and whipped cream coated with roasted almonds ($9)

Chez Marie French Bistro, 5030 Champion Blvd., #D3, Boca Raton / 561.997.0027 / chezmariefrenchbistro.com

 

Rafina Greek Taverna

With seating that overlooks the water, the owners of Rafina Greek Taverna want to transport you to the Greek isles. If the view doesn't do it, the dishes will. Made with fresh ingredients, chef Janis Mucollari's menu fuses traditional entrees, such as lamb chops with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon-roasted potatoes, and the charbroiled octopus appetizer marinated in olive oil and red wine sauce. The drink list features select Greek wines plus imaginative craft cocktails. We loved the artistic “Rafina's Fire” made with Don Julio reposado tequila, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, grapefruit zest red pepper and a touch of lime infused with torched cinnamon smoke.

Dishes to Try:

Athenian stuffed chicken ($23); spinach pie “spanakopita” ($19)

Rafina Greek Taverna, Boardwalk at Boca Raton, 6877 SW 18th St., Boca Raton / 561.409.3673 / rafinaonline.com

 

Fort Lauderdale Restaurants

Boatyard

Remodeled and rebranded from its former days as Bimini Boatyard, Boatyard is located along SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, offering one of the city's best waterfront dining options. Its dockside patio spans the Intracoastal under twinkle lights with outdoor dining tables and lounge stations. Inside, a continued nautical theme includes porthole windows and a chandelier made from 70 spiraling oars fixed above the bar. During lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, experience the raw bar and menu that boasts daily catches from local fishermen. On Thursdays, the restaurant hosts its Boats & Bubbles event from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. During the happy hour, guests take a cruise down the Intracoastal, and ladies drink free.

Dishes to Try:

The Bimini Bread accompanied by honey butter ($4); and the grouper piccata with wilted spinach, cured tomato, caper berries and lemon chardonnay butter ($34)

Boatyard, 1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale / 954.525.7400 / boatyard.restaurant

QBar Burgers & Blues

Gourmet burgers plus live music and craft beer make for a great Friday night. Add to that your furry friend (it's a dog-friendly restaurant) and you've got your go-to spot. Inspired by the French Quarter in New Orleans, the restaurant blends good music and food with burgers named after jazz icons, such as The King (1/2 pound burger with duck bacon and cheddar cheese). Patrons can saddle up to the 78-foot copper and wooden bar to enjoy live music while sipping on a craft cocktail, like the Qbar Smash made with Gentleman Jack, lemon, arugula and peach.

Dishes to Try: Filet mignon chili with beans and cheddar cheese ($8); Fried baked brie and mixed nuts with apple chutney and raspberry sauce ($10)

QBar Burgers & Blues, 2362 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale / 954.565.2299 / qbarfl.com

Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

Burlock Coast is a lot of things. It's an artisanal food market. It's a grab-and-go counter perfect for takeaway lunches on the beach. It's a sit-down restaurant focused on seafood and locally sourced products. What Burlock Coast is not, however, is a stuffy, overpriced hotel restaurant, despite the fact that it's located inside a five-star resort on Fort Lauderdale Beach. That's because at this Prohibition-era themed restaurant, executive chef Paula DaSilva has crafted a menu that embraces both "land" and "sea" dishes, and serves it up in a spacious environment with outdoor seating welcoming in beachgoers. Fittingly, you'll find an indoor-outdoor bar with a cocktail selection heavy on the rum.

Dishes to try:

Tuna tartare with tostones ($16), Artisanal cheese and charcuterie ($29), Niman NY Steak ($46), BC Donuts with white chocolate banana rum sauce ($8), Key Lime Pie For Many ($14)

Burlock Coast, 1 N. Fort Laudedale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale / 954.302.6460 / burlockcoast.com

 

Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

Funky Buddha Brewery's Craft Food Counter & Kitchen

When Craft Food Counter & Kitchen opened in the back of the house at Funky Buddha Brewery, it was a game changer. Since saying goodbye to food trucks parked outside, the brewery has hosted hungry patrons in its back room where it serves good eats made with Funky Buddha beers in mind. Guests can also play giant Jenga, corn hole and coin-operated arcade machines. Chef Jeff Vincent, formerly of Beauty and the Feast at the Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, works at the helm of Craft Food Counter & Kitchen and has created a seriously mouthwatering menu of gourmet bar grub. So next time you stop by Funky Buddha for a cold brew, head to the back, walk up to the fast-casual food counter, place your order and enjoy the craft goodness that awaits.

Dishes to try:

Spent grain pretzel with dipping sauces, like Doc Brown Mustard or Sriracha Honey ($6.95); Yucca tots with chipotle garlic aioli ($7.95); Craft brat sandwich ($9.95)

Craft Food Counter & Kitchen, 1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park / 954.440.0046 / funkybuddhabrewery.com/brewery/craft-food-counter-kitchen

 

Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

Kuro

Famished from cranking slot machines, gamblers at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino can pop into Kuro for shareable Japanese fare. A visit to Kuro isn't complete without a cocktail (or two). The drink menu is divided into five flavor profiles: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Our call: Order the KYU from the sweet section. It's the mix of rum, lemongrass chartreuse, falernum, pineapple and lime juice you'll need to perfect your poker face.

Dishes to try:

Wasabi tenderloin with spinach ohitoshi ($28) and the chocolate hazelnut bar, which looks so much like art that it's hard to dig in ($12)

Kuro, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood / 954.327.7625 / seminolehardrockhollywood.com

 

Fl Lauderdale Restaurants

Louie Bossi's Ristorante Bar Pizzeria

This Italian eatery has taken Las Olas Boulevard by storm. After what seemed like a stealth opening, Louie Bossi's Ristorante quickly became a go-to spot, and remains one to this day. It joins other The Big Time Restaurant Group successes like Rocco's Tacos and Big City Tavern, where Louie Bossi was executive chef before he was offered his own restaurant concept. At Louie Bossi's, Bossi himself crafts homemade neo-Neopolitan pizzas, pasta dishes, salumi, dry-aged steaks, gelato and breads. Every day happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $2 off drinks and half-priced pizzas; and Sunday brunch includes $13 bottomless drink specials.

Dishes to try:

Arancini Con Tartufo, a crispy rice filled with fior di latte and truffle aioli ($12.50); the radiatori short pasta dish mixed with eggplant, San Marzano sauce and ricotta salata ($17); and for dessert, the Italian Ice Cream Sundae comes with three scoops of gelato accompanied by pizzelle, chocolate, fruit and whipped cream ($9)

Louie Bossi's Ristorante Bar Pizzeria, 1032 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale / 954.356.6699 / louiebossi.com

PizzaCraft

It's not your run-of-the-mill pizza joint. The concept from JEY Hospitality Group serves crispy, light-crusted pizzas. Pies are cooked in a Neapolitan wood-burning oven and are served alongside original pasta dishes, salads and appetizers. Through a sliding door toward the back, diners may also access the restaurant's counterpart, Apothecary 330, a secret cocktail bar serving more than 300 types of whiskey. The pizzeria also offers Sunday brunch with menu features like the Hangover Sandwich, meyer lemon and ricotta pancakes and avocado toast to accompany $12 bottomless mimosas and bellinis, the $8 build-your-own bloody mary bar and $5 Aperol Spritz.

Dishes to try:

The Bianca, a white pizza topped with scallion cream, homemade mozzarella, taleggio DOP, ricotta, pecorino, garlic confit and fried sage ($18)

PizzaCraft, 330 Himmarshee St., #101, Fort Lauderdale / 954.616.8028 / pizzacraftpizzeria.com

Top Hat Delicatessen

With an impressive repertoire of restaurants, think The Foxy Brown and Coconuts, the “be nice” restaurant group also has Top Hat on its list. The New York-style deli, which opens for breakfast and lunch, serves hearty, down-home comfort dishes with a twist like a fried bologna with egg sandwich, or sweet pleasers like the challah French toast.

Dishes to Try:

Top Hat Burger made with pastrami and Swiss cheese ($14); Chocolate cake made with nine layers, meant for sharing ($12)

Top Hat, 415 NE Third St., Fort Lauderdale / 954.900.3896 / tophatftl.com

 

Restaurants Fort Lauderdale

The Rusty Hook Tavern

You likely won't find this restaurant unless you go looking for it. The Rusty Hook Tavern opened under the direction of chef Nader Jaouhar, who was previously chef de cuisine at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant, Cielo, in Boca Raton. In addition to the Rusty Hook's menu teeming with seafood options to be enjoyed on the deck lining the Intracoastal, the cocktails are also worth note. Mixologist Kareem Lakchira takes credit for the dangerously well-blended drinks with names like Troublemaker, Guilty Plea and Dark N Stormy. And the good news? Thursday nights, ladies enjoy 50 percent off all drinks.

Dishes to Try:

Cheetos-crusted mahi with pickled pineapple and calypso sauce ($16); the Thai Basil cocktail with orange vodka, Thai basil and grapefruit ($9)

The Rusty Hook Tavern, 125 N. Riverside Drive, Pompano Beach / 954.941.2499 / therustyhooktavern.com

 

Best Restaurants Fort Lauderdale

Tap 42

Like clockwork, every Saturday and Sunday before 11 a.m., a line forms outside of Tap 42, snaking around the side of the building along Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. There are two reasons people wait hours to be seated for brunch: the menu includes dishes like white chocolate strawberry pancakes, and mimosas and bloody marys are bottomless till 3 p.m. Sure, other restaurants offer similar specials, but there's just something about Tap 42 that works—the laid-back vibe, the original twists on traditional foods and a plethora of booze.

Dishes to Try:

The Prohibition Burger white cheddar, applewood bacon, “secret sauce,” dijonnaise and lettuce, tomato and onion ($14.50)

Tap 42 Boca Raton, 5050 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton / 561.235.5819 / tap42.com
Tap 42 Fort Lauderdale, 1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954.463.4900; tap42.com

SuViche

We're glad this Miami-based Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant made its way up to Broward County in 2015. Ever since SuViche, aptly named for the various sushi and ceviche dishes that are staples on the menu, opened up shop on a side street off Las Olas Boulevard, it has won our hearts with refreshing seafood fare and comforting Peruvian plates. What's more, the restaurant's indoor-outdoor bar pours Pisco sours and other cocktails made with the South American brandy. SuViche also offers online delivery, daily happy hour specials from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and buy one, get one half-off sushi rolls on Tuesdays.

Dishes to try:

SuVama ceviche ($12.95/bowl), Perfection roll ($11.50)

Suviche, 401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ste. 150, Fort Lauderdale / 954.656.3663 / suviche.com

 

Check our Best Restaurant Guide for more restaurants list.

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