The Ten Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

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Flickr by ThoughtsOnAPlate
2. Canyon Southwest Cafe
Long hailed as the gourmand haven of Fort Lauderdale, this place continues to never disappoint. Executive chef and owner Chris Wilber delivers a flavorful selection of Southwestern -- and globally inspired -- menu items celebrating bold and spicy flavors. Although the menu changes regularly, expect to see adventurous yet not-unfamiliar options ranging from cornmeal-crusted herb goat cheese poblano and smoked salmon tostada to ancho crusted salmon fillet with green chili black bean ragu and shrimp pico de gallo. Few restaurants truly stand the test of time -- this one does so with a vengeance.

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Courtesy of Valentino website
1. Valentino Cucina Italiana
For years, Valentino Cucina Italiana sat in a small strip mall on Federal Highway just south of the tunnel; the food was always great, even if the location wasn't. Then it got an upgrade, moving to a bigger and better space across the street, complete with a huge open kitchen, chef-side seating, artistic pastries, a bar with a mixology program unparalleled in these parts, a private dining room, and an overall boost in ambiance. The kitchen now churns out a dynamic menu of innovative dishes such as homemade pastas, venison with butternut squash, braised red cabbage, and blueberry as well as monkfish accompanied by sunchoke, black trumpet mushroom, and crispy shallots. Posh digs, creative cocktails, and imaginative cuisine earned this spot our pick for Best Broward County Restaurant - 2013, and we're yet to change our minds.

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Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.



Location Info

Venue

Map

Sea Restaurant

235 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL

Category: Restaurant

3030 Ocean Restaurant

3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

Hot and Soul

3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

Thasos Greek Taverna

3330 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille

620 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Music

Casa D'Angelo

1201 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

Market 17

1850 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

d.b.a./cafe

2364 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

Valentino's Cucina Italiana

620 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

Canyon Southwest Cafe

1818 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@saraventiera

well i guess BILLY JOEL agrees with me !

like i said people outside KNOW what's great here

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

FWIW zagat has this ...............Top 5 Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale: LaSpada's Original Hoagies ( Zagat.com / September 27, 2010 )

it's NOT what we think as MUCH AS those who know the real deal PICKED a sub shop as a FT LIQUORDALE number 1 "restaurant"

NO ONE comes here specifically for the F O O D so it's really no shame that our food is basically average and picking the "best" is widely perceived as "for here" realizing full well that the "worst" elsewhere would be better than our "best" in most comparisons

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

be prepared to be OVERcharged and UNDERwhelmed - most are here today gone tomorrow TOURIST traps that scrounge around during the off-season with reduced service and less-than-top-shelf quality food offerings - enhancing their revenues with higher VALET and PARKING FEEs and excessive mark-ups on alcohol

the really great ones like FULVIOs in hollywood smartly simple shut down for the summer rather than screw up summer offerings and risk a decades long reputation with followers for that duration being common

i would be very suspicious of any OPEN during off-season

tikal
tikal

I mostly agree with the list. Johnny V's deserves to be on there and Wild Sea does not. Johnny is always spot on with very good service. Wild Sea has underwhelming service and very limited menu that is just ok.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..........................so IF 3030ocean is such a great place why did ZAGAT respondents pick a hoagie shop as the "best restaurant" ?

like I posted above - it's not what we think in our make believe bubble here in ft liquordale - it what others who can really COMPARE elsewhere to here say

RebeccaDittmar
RebeccaDittmar

@frankd4Wait a minute - you are "very suspicious" of any restaurant that stays open during the summer? As a born-and-raised lifelong Floridian, I'm mildly appalled by that idea. If a restaurant caters to locals shouldn't it remain open when the tourists leave to serve its supportive, local base? If anything, restaurants should use the summer to offer specials for locals and experiment with the menu. Or they should just keep on with business as usual since this isn't the 1920s or even the '60s anymore. "Season" still exists, of course, but we aren't quite the itinerant, retiree population we used to be.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

for example CASA D'ANGELO charges $90 for a discount retail $12 bottle of a particular common red wine - that is an outrageous MARK-UP for an ordinary brand wine of no particular year of note

the food is good YES but like i said be prepared to be screwed just like the cork

SethPlatt
SethPlatt topcommenter

Although Sea Restaurant is in Luaderdale by the Sea not Fort Lauderdale

SethPlatt
SethPlatt topcommenter

@tikal When was the last time Johnny Vs updated their menu?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@RebeccaDittmar @frankd4 


otherwise i recently used the off-season to have an otherwise busy place during SEASON to cook my GOOSE

i arranged in advance for this particular restaurant to COOK ME A GOOSE on a particular sunday afternoon and invited anyone GAME enough to try GOOSE to join me eat it !

the german-american place had all the sides to PROPERLY go with it  - including of course the bier - and we all had quite an experience !



frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@RebeccaDittmar @frankd4 


i should have been CLEAR to specify i was posting about HIGH END restaurants ONLY - or else the patron should be prepared to be OVERcharged and UNDERwhelmed

it is just too expensive to run a high end place including linens and real silverware and fresh flowers and live music and proper service without turning the room - so many do close for the off-season


frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@saraventiera @frankd4 

well like i told DAN MARINO who once was asked the same question in public and he said FULVIOs when it was in DAVIE 

i told DAN that now that he opened his pie-hole it would be near IMPOSSIBLE for us to get a table at our own restaurant

not that i had any financial interest in it it was just that their veal chop was like crack to me

otherwise i have the luxury of being honest without risking a paying advertiser pulling their support or losing a reader or pushing a place

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@RebeccaDittmar @ FatHand @saraventiera

or else i go to places that are looking to be ready for the next "season" before much promotion puffing..............such as SUNSET CATCH which has and is spending a lot of resources on Mario's newest addition here and is currently in full bloom partly as practice for the up-coming snowbird season getting any and all of the kinks out

the ambience is a little much, but the SERVICE and FOOD PREP is the real focus anyhow, and at the price-point they are in, BOTH service and food prep better be in tip top shape come the winter season snowbird migration

at $70 to $85 per person ALL IN - at a hard to find location it had better give its patrons GREAT reasons to come and be inconvienienced by the limited and tight parking, beach traffic, no ocean, towards-the-west (inland) view

it was on my daughter's MUST TRY list so i went and really did enjoy it - mostly because those pain-in-the-ass northern snowbirds i moved down here to be away from were absent !  we basically had the whole place, indoor-bar and outdoor-patio to ourselves - and to me that's worth it !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@FatHand @RebeccaDittmar @frankd4 


well certain MARINOs team- mates and former coach have made a name for themselves in bagels and donuts and steakhouses that push other stuff to sell during off-season - having $30 t-shirts and other dol-fan related items to go with a bagel OR having coach show up for photos at the steakhouses will squeeze extra out of the off-season

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@saraventiera

well i guess BILLY JOEL agrees with me !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@FatHand @frankd4 

i just called and spoke to JIM who pushed ANTINORI MARCHESE CHIANTI 2008

personally as an aside i don't TRUST an ANTINORI but that's another story

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