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2 nights, 2 dinners Fort Lauderdale

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I will be staying in FL for a girls weekend 11/30-12/2. I would like to know what we should not miss. We are looking for excellent food and price is not important. We like all cuisines, but the more unusual, the better. Thanks!

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  1. Johnny V's on Las Olas is probably your best bet. Himmarshee ,Trina and Canyon are also options but not sure I'd classify any of them as unusual. Opa is an option if you like Greek food and want to party too.

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    Johnny V
    625 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

    Trina Restaurant & Lounge
    601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

    Himmarshee Bar & Grill
    210 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

    Taverna Opa of Fort Lauderdale
    3051 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

    Canyon Restaurant
    1818 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sobe

      I don't know why it gets such little mention on this board, but Sage Cafe is amazing. Don't let the location fool you. It's in a Winn-Dixie shopping mall on N. Federal Highway. The rustic French cuisine is surprisingly authentic and reasonably priced. It's like my little secret!

      http://www.sagecafe.net/

      1. re: Dawn_in_FL

        Sage Cafe sounds quite interesting. What is it like inside? What are the wines priced at? Although it's never really "winter" in Fla., does the chef make a cassoulet? Would like to hear other opinions on this place. Thanks

        1. re: hoppy2468

          i used to frequent Sage but since i moved a little farther away, I now go to La Vie en Rose in Margate instead for french. Excellent food at both but I prefer La Vie en Rose. I have dreams about the incredible cassoulet at La Vie en Rose

        2. re: Dawn_in_FL

          FYI, Sage is opening on Harrison St. in Downtown Hollywood in October in the old Michael's Kitchen spot.

      2. Have been to Sage several times. They do offer classic French comfort food. I am not certain if cassoulet is on the menu. Pretty inside. Quite busy on the weekends. Good food and service. Johnny V's is excellent. Casa D'angelo on Federal Highway north of Sunrise has excellent Italian food in a beautiful setting. Himmarshee Bar and Grill on SW 2nd St. has an innovative menu. Have eaten there many times and have not been disappointed. Get an outside table if you can. Las Olas Cafe at 922 E. Las Olas Blvd., telephone 954.523.4300, is a charming restaurant set back from Las Olas Blvd. It has a continental menu and a spectacular courtyard for dining under the stars. Not cutting edge cuisine. In South Florida, unusual cuisine means either Latin American or Russian. That would mean a drive into Miami-Dade county. If you want that information, there are many unique options. Casa Juancho on SW 8th St. in Miami is unique. Spanish tapas in a spectacular setting. It would be a 30-45 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale.

        1. One more very unique option. Tatiana at 1710 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd. in Hallandale Beach, telephone 954.454.1222. Russian restaurant and nightclub from Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. Full floor show on the weekend. Plenty of vodka flowing with many courses of hearty Russian food. There is a large Russian population in South Florida and they love to party.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rebus1805

            For brazilian churrasco, Chima is a great restaurant on Las Olas (between the beach and the main drag of restaurants and shops). Its a pretty place, with a nice outdoor garden for drinks. Its delicious, but a lot of food (we usually go for lunch.) Definitely unique if you guys haven't tried churrasco.

            I agree with Himmarshee too- nothing too unique, but good food and fun spot to be on the weekends.

          2. One more not to miss is La Brochette Bistro in Cooper City. www.labrochettebistro.com
            Nice short menu with excellent daily specials

            2 Replies
            1. re: mrotmd

              That may be true (never been) but Cooper City is not Ft Lauderdale. How would an out of towner know that?

              1. re: Sobe

                Very true about the location, but since it was brought up, I gotta throw some props to the best place for fish in all of South Florida - and in Cooper City no less! All you South Beach folks gotta make the drive up there just once for his specials. Amazing and not expensive either.

                I highly recommend ordering from the long list of specials rather than from the regular menu.

                From the site:

                "In 1993 they opened La Brochette Bistro in Cooper City, Florida, where Chef Aboud has been fine tuning his talents ever since, exemplifying his creativity and his experiences gained from traveling the world. On any given evening you can find hints of his Middle-eastern background, his strong base of French cuisine, his experience with Scandinavian food, and of course the influences of Florida seafood. Having a constant desire to create and improve on his craft has lead Chef Aboud to experiment with many of the wonderful fresh Hawaiian seafood obtainable, only adding to the large variety of seafood made available to him here in South Florida. What has resulted is a menu both eclectic and full of surprises encompassing a wide range of meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables and desserts too broad to remain on a fixed menu and warranting a list of verbal specials presented each evening that only our knowledgeable servers could handle so well. "

            2. These sound great, now all I have to do is choose. Does anybody have any feedback on Sunfish Grill? Heard that also has great food. Johnny V's is at the top of our list and Sage Cafe too. Tatiana's sound unique, but I'm not a caviar/borscht kind of chick. Thanks for all the feedback so far...

              6 Replies
              1. re: chocolate chick

                The Sunfish Grill is WONDERFUL. Excellent fish, good service etc. It's on E. Oakland Park Blvd, near Bayview. On the other side of Bayview is Herban Kitchen which is excellent. The best fish restaurant is Blue Moon Fish Company - right on the intercoastal off Commercial Blvd.
                If you want to venture down to Miami Beach - Barton G is a FUN place w/ good food.
                Make sure you have reservations for any of these restaurants. Bon Apetit!

                1. re: GoodEaterJLN

                  Sunfish is good but I disagree on Blue Moon and Barton G. Both are mediocre at best

                  1. re: Sobe

                    Sunfish is good but not at the level of Johnny V's. Some of the dishes at Sunfish either try too hard, or not hard enough. A recent tasting menu at Sunfish was much more notable for the great wine we had (they have a great list) than for the food.

                    I would pencil in Johnny V's and Canyon for your two dinners in Ft. Lauderdale.

                    1. re: johnloomis

                      Thanks for the feedback. Sunfish was rated a 28 for food by Zagat, so it's interesting to hear that it might not be the best choice. We will definately go to Johnny V's. Canyon was tops on my list too.

                    2. re: Sobe

                      I don't always agree with your opinions Sobe but you are spot on in regards to Blue Moon Fish Company. I have given them 3 chances and they have struck out with me! With service that made us feel rushed, fish and shellfish consistently overcooked, and lackluster seasoning/ingriedient balance on many dishes I just can't understand why people continue to recommend this place!

                      1. re: LiveRock

                        Also agree - this place is disappointing.

                2. my wife and I just came back from vacation in Ft Lauderdale and had a great meal at Hollywood Prime in the westin diplomat, great steak etc...$$$$,Its a great palce for a special night out.

                  1. Hey Chocolate Chick,

                    Definitely check out Cafe Martorano. Best Italian food Ive had outside of Boston and its quite a scene. Food comes in HUGE portions. I last went there with another guy and 2 girls and we ordered the meatball appetizer (A MUST DO) and then 3 entrees. We couldve gotten away with only 2 entrees between the 4 of us because the leftovers fed me for the next 3 nights! The owner is a big musclehead from Philly and he's also a cook and a dj. Believe it or not, this dude cooks and djs at the same time. He also just opened another location in Vegas. Its usually a quieter atmosphere until about 9pm when they kick up the music. Everyone I know has had not only a great meal there but a great time as well. Enjoy!

                    They have a website if you want a preview before you go... www.cafemartorano.com

                    PS - I tried that fancy link thing but nothing comes up...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Blind Mind

                      Funny, I was going to recommend Martorano initially but deleted it b/c of the "girls night" thing. Seems more like a guys night out place to me. Regardless, I'm a fan and they serve great comfort Italian food plus it is a fun place.
                      OP, if you are into that I would go with Johnny V and Martorano.

                      **BlindMind is correct. The meatball app is a must do**

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                      Cafe Martorano
                      3343 E Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

                    2. Johnny V still has it, Canyon is good, if you've never had churrascaria Chima is good, but I find more of a guys place than a girls - basically a whole lotta meat.

                      You might be interested in Hi-Life cafe in Wilton Manors (basically Ft Lauderdale - the chef is a season 2 contestant from Top Chef - Carlos.

                      Finally, Taverena Opa is always a popular girl's night out kinda place.

                      1. Eduardo De San Angel always gets my vote in FLL. Gourmet Mex unlike you will find anywhere else. Gracious service and a beautiful setting.