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Apr 4, 2012 05:34 PM

Your Thoughts on My Ft. Lauderdale Picks

Hi All -- I'm new to posting on Chowhound but have been lurking for some time. My husband and I have a 3-day trip coming up to Ft. Lauderdale, and I would appreciate your opinions on my restaurant choices for dinner. We'll primarily be ordering seafood. We don't mind if the restaurant is fancy or casual . . . we just want really good food, good service, and a nice atmosphere. These are my picks:

Cafe Sharaku


Market 17

What do you think? Also, any thoughts on Cafe Maxx? We had dinner there a couple of years ago and enjoyed it.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. All good choices. Cafe Maxx is as solid as ever and you'll have plenty of fish (more so than seafood) choices there.

    1. If you want casual, good food, you might consider SEA, Tony Sindaco's newish venture.

      4 Replies
      1. re: gblcsw

        +1 for SEA. I've eaten there twice and it's really good. All the soups are outstanding - it's fish and seafood only.

        1. re: tlubow

          SEA looks like it'd be right up our alley. Funny, I received an email when he opened the restaurant, and I wasn't quite sure why I got it. Now that I've read his bio, I see that he was associated with Sunfish Grill, and I was on their mailing list. It's nice to put two & two together. I'd completely forgotten about SEA.

          I'm showing my ignorance here, but I've never differentiated between fish and seafood. I've always lumped fish and shellfish in the same category, seafood. Therefore, I should clarify that we'd be happy with both fish and seafood. :-)

          Nice to hear that Cafe Maxx is still good, too.

          1. re: VeronicaL

            You're absolutely right! I meant fish and shellfish (and they have mostly fish, not shellfish).

        2. re: gblcsw

          +1 on SEA, Calypso and Maxx. Keep in mind Calypso not open Sat or Sun, but is open for lunch unlike the others.

          Another possibility, I have never been, shame on me, but people I respect still praise Eduardo de San Angel.

          Not your ordinary "Mexican" resto. And there's no shortage of seafood on the menu...

          Key Lime Oil Brushed Grilled Loin of Sashimi Grade Yellowfin Tuna ~ Fresh plum tomato, cilantro and green peppers tossed with angel hair pasta accented with xerers wine vinaigrette. Served at room temperature. 30

          Toasted Almonds and Fresh Thyme Crusted Pan Seared Keys Yellowtail fillet ~ Cilantro and garlic oil spiked with Mexican pico de gallo. 30

          Gulf Shrimp ~ Green olives, onions, plum tomatoes and pickled jalapeƱo peppers, over linguini pasta. 26

          Fresh Cracked Black Peppercorn Dusted Grilled Keys Yellowtail Fillet ~ California avocado, green tomatillo and serrano chile mash. 30

        3. The original chef at Market 17 left and I have not been back since and have not heard anything good or bad.

          Cafe Sharaku is very good and unique to the area.

          I have not been to Calypso but have heard very good things.

          Wild card/sleeper- small casual (byob) Italian place across the street from Calypso called Cafe la Buca. They do whole fish in their wood burning oven.

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Chowfather

            When did the chef at Market 17 change? 've been a few times n the last few months and didn't notice any drop off in food quality or service. As an aside, they have a very good happy hour.

            1. re: zook

              Looks like in January.... if not sooner

              "Lauren DeShields has been hired as executive chef of Market 17 to replace Daniel Ramos who left in early August. She takes the helm this week at the Fort Lauderdale restaurant that is among the most stringent practitioners of the farm to table mantra of any in the area."


              Review from just yesterday is also here:


          2. Based on everyone's comments, I'm moving SEA to the definite list. Does anyone know their hours/days open? I couldn't find the info on their website.

            I'm concerned that the Market 17 chef has changed, so maybe I'll take it off the list.

            Thanks for the recos for Eduardo de San Angel and Cafe la Buca. Both look intriguing.

            I wish I didn't have to pick just 3.

            1 Reply
            1. re: VeronicaL

              From a SEA Email: "Our hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 5pm-10pm.
              The menu will be changing once a week and can be found on our Facebook page at SEA, and on Twitter at @SEAwineanddine. Call ahead for reservations: 954.533.2580"

            2. Let's not forget the wonderful 3030. Still great seafood.