The Ten Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale
2. Canyon Southwest Cafe
Flickr by ThoughtsOnAPlate
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.
1. Valentino Cucina Italiana
Courtesy of Valentino website
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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235 E. Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL