Best Of 2009 Preview: Best New Restaurant in Broward

Sage Oyster Bar

2000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
954-391-9466

Maybe it takes an old hand to spin something entirely new out of two thoroughly timeworn restaurant tropes: the raw bar and the French bistro. Chef Laurent Tasic, having perfected the bistro genre with his country-quaint Fort Lauderdale Sage Café, has set his Hollywood vessel asail in a chic, ultramarine landscape, incorporating such varied terrain -- a backlit bar, leaping flames from an open grill, a glacier-colored shellfish bar, transparent wine cellar, and a tentacular Dale Chihuly chandelier -- that dining here feels a bit like drifting dreamily along a coral reef. Oysters and shellfish flown in daily from Canada, California, or the Chesapeake Bay are cool comfort, but the feeling of weightlessness, the effortless glide, wends its way even through Tasic's menu of updated crepes, steak frites, local snapper served with polenta, and cassoulets -- dishes of great delicacy in spite of their deep sauces and caramelized hues. It's not until you emerge blinking and a little wobbly into the humid Hollywood air that you fully appreciate that Tasic has given you, along with his splendid coq au vin, a temporary reprieve from gravity.

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