Candela in Wilton Manors Mixes Mediterranean and More
In Spain, food has a different meaning. It's both fuel and fun, consumed and enjoyed in a series of small, snack-like bites throughout the day. This all begins with a family meal, meat from a whole pig's leg sliced onto bread for a portable breakfast.
As the workday rolls to a halt, you quiet a growling belly with a quick stop at the local tasca, the working man's tavern, where tiny pintxos, tapas, and montaditos are washed down with wine and beer.
Later, you'll stroll home to enjoy the final meal of the day, a late-night feast and a few bottles of wine shared with friends and family that can stretch long past midnight.
In South Florida, where the recent small-plate obsession has tainted our palates (and pockets) with pricey, upmarket concept foods, we have no understanding of the Spanish art of celebrating food and drink.
But at Candela Restaurant in Wilton Manors, you can get an idea of what it's all about. Just one block south of Oakland Park Boulevard and over a canal that hems the northern edge of the Island City, you'll find one of the area's best-kept secrets.
You may be familiar with a restaurant where the chef knows your name and delivers your dish as if you were family. This is the type of experience you'll get from chef-owner Armando Vega and his wife, Yudaris. They aren't looking to thrill with fancy farm-to-table fare, seasonally rotating menus, or fancy cocktails. And this is neither some newfangled gastropub with craft beer coursing through its veins nor the type of place that offers 20 different small-batch bourbons. It's no bar at all, for that matter. The main draw is the food, the Cuban-born couple's version of authentic Latin and Mediterranean cuisine.