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fun hip eats and drinks girls weekend FLL

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I recently moved from (lackluster, as often referred to on this board) Tallahassee to beautiful Fort Lauderdale! One of my best friends from college is coming down for the weekend to explore with me and maybe get in some trouble (30s not too old to cause trouble, is it?). We have both since acquired finer tastes(she has managed catering for 2 super prominent nyc restaurants) and I would like to be able to show off where we have to eat and drink in FLL. I live right off Las Olas and am familiar with the usual mentioned hotspots around here. Unless there is something new? If you could please help steer me to fun and hip establishments that are maybe under the radar or not classified as fine dining but still deliver i would really appreciate it!...and now for the twist-she doesnt like seafood! Appreciate all comments and consideration!!

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  1. i take out of towners to the usual suspects off las olas and a1a such as trina and chima and johnny v. for something new, howabout LIPS drag show on oakland blvd by dixie. Drag queens serve food and perform. Food aint great but its extreme fun.

    1. What about China Grill and Cafe Martorano?

      China Grill is doing a 6 course tasting menu for $69 (except Sat) plus
      Beginning Friday, September 19th from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Sunset Fridays at China Grill Fort Lauderdale offers complimentary Ketel One Cosmopolitans for ladies with the music of DJ Anthony Pisano and Joey Martorano

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

      China Grill FTL
      1881 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

        oooh the chowfather!! i need no other responses now! advice humbly accepted and am absolutely thrilled about the suggestions! thank you!!

      2. By not classified as fine dining do you mean not expensive or not overly fancy? Like Chowfather said -- both China Grill and Martorano are fun places but both are expensive at the same time.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Sobe4u

          not overly fancy-we dont mind paying money for good food, however we prefer a lively atmosphere and the ability to eat at the bar. why do all the reviews online for martorano suck?? because everyman is suddenly allowed a broadcasted opinion-or because it really isnt all that???

          1. re: sotapop

            You said you wanted fun/lively atmosphere, correct? I gave you spots that COMBINE that and food. if FOOD is #1 priority, contrary to your initial post go to Valentino's or Casa D'Angelo. Wait, even better, go follow the opinions on those other online "review sites" and have fun at PF CHANGS

            1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

              the chowfather is right. while somepeople may be up or down on martorano they are known as top flight italian food with a great atmosphere to party. your and the girls(s) will love it. same with china grill although i hear the grill in miami is better. Consider Trina on the beach also for a good time. PF Changs and Cheesecake factory are fine for non chowhounds looking for fun.

              1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                wow. i didnt try to put anyone on the defensive. its just that everyone recommends china grill and martorano. i was hoping there was actually an original idea out there. where an epicurean could simultaneously enjoy conviviality and cuisine. i didnt say the food had to be michelin rated-just something worth paying for. and i didnt need the waiter to sing me a song, but the atmoshere energetic enough that should a fork fall to the floor the entire restaurant wouldnt collectively gasp at the loud sound that disrupted their dining. i value others opinions in a multitude of capacities, however never lose sight that they are still just opinions. i did regard yours with esteem noting that others seem to respect and agree to your comments, but not to then research your opinion would be simple and foolish of me. it would turn a discussion board into an advertisement. other websites didnt give the same praise for martorano, and china grill may be nice, it is still a chain that we both have been to in another city. i was looking to doubt the negative criticisms regarding martorano, thinking their adverse judgements might stem from an unreliable palate or their petulance from getting their feelings hurt. nonetheless i couldnt help but notice negative reviews as the majority. my comment regarding the authenticity of their claims was not because i doubted you, but rather hoped you would indicate why i should doubt them. do not chide me chowfather, this is a discussion board not a fact board. to ask questions and raise concerns is part of intelligent judgement making. to assume i shouldnt have to explore other sites shows hubris and narrow-mindedness. and all you could come up with as a retort was pf changs? i was bored and disappointed by your obvious recommendations when specifically inquiring about fun and hip. "under the radar" is usually implied as not in a mall or in fodors top restaurants by destination guide. we did end up at a place that suited our intents perfectly-himmarshee cafe. wonderful interesting food in a lively location still didnt have to pay exorbitant prices. i just moved here and found a suitable place. maybe its time others went exploring too, who knows what else is out there to find.

                1. re: sotapop

                  For top flight Mexico City type Mexican, try Eduardo De San Angel on E. Commercial Blvd. For Southwestern, you might enjoy Canyon on E. Sunrise Blvd...very lively and excellent food or Armadillo Cafe in Hollywood (off the beaten path but very worthwhile). I also recommend Valentino's for topflight Italian food.