By Peg San Felippo
City & Shore Magazine
There’s nothing better than a cruise on the waterways – unless it includes a stop at a restaurant with great food and great wines. Some seasoned South Florida boaters share their favorites:
Kent and Julie Haeger, originally from Chicago and Maine.
Boating time in South Florida: On and off for 29 years but we’ve been full-time residents since 2012.
Current boat(s): We have a 60-foot Catamaran and a 30-foot Protector to cruise around Florida waterways. The Protector is a rigid bottom inflatable. Not a great social boat but it gets us where we need to go.
Favorite cruising drink: Kent prefers a nicely chilled IPA –
the local Funky Buddha Hop Gun – and I’ve been enjoying sipping on grapefruit Deep Eddy on the rocks with a lime.
Favorite waterfront restaurant: The Boatyard is a great by-the-water restaurant. It’s a nice cruise from the house to their dock, the menu is varied, the food is always fresh, the staff is dependable and the ambience is fantastic. The Boatyard, 1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-7400, boatyard.restuarant.
Favorite wine there: Kent really enjoys the Livio Sassetti and Jordan Cabernet. I’m a Pinot girl and enjoy the Willamette Valley Ponzi.
Favorite dish: The brussels sprouts is delicious as is the grilled octopus. The Bimini bread always calls out to me …. The fish dishes are always fresh and can be prepared in a variety of ways. I usually go with a milder fish, grouper or mahi, blackened; and, dependent on Kent’s mood, he’ll do a tuna dish or the paella.
Quick trip: In 2010 all three kids were down in Fort Lauderdale for a long weekend. The wind was non-existent and the weather window to go to the Bahamas for three days looked great. We packed up the boat [and] zoomed over to a friend’s house in Cat Cay for a long weekend. On the way back we gave the helm to our youngest, who was all of 20, and fell asleep. Funny enough we made record time getting back to Fort Lauderdale.
Sailing to the top: Their daughter, Annie, represented the United States at the 2016 Olympics in the Women’s 470 sailing event.
Mark and Maggie Smith
Both from Detroit, Mich.
Boating time in South Florida: Over 25 years. Growing up in Michigan we were always near water and on boats. Once we had kids in Fort Lauderdale, we thought it would be a fun way to spend family time together.
Current boat: 27-foot Albury.
Favorite cruising wine: We like a lighter wine such as a Rosé when we cruise along with lots of water.
Favorite Waterfront Restaurant: Grille 66. It’s a casual restaurant with nice food. Grille 66 & Bar, 2301 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-728-3500, grille66andbar.com
Favorite wine there: 8 Years in the Desert. It’s a Zinfandel blend by Orin Swift.
Favorite dish: I enjoy the Oysters Rockefeller and Signature Salad while Mark prefers the Spicy Shrimp and Calamari to start followed by the Veal Milanese.
Holiday highlights: We’ve always had fun going out on family cruises, but we especially enjoy the local waterways during the holiday season when many of the houses are decorated with lights.
Originally from Brazil
Boating time in the South Florida: 5+ years
Current Boat: 40-foot Vandutch.
Favorite cruising wine: Definitely white wines. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. My current favorite is La Crema Chardonnay.
Favorite waterfront restaurant: Pirate Republic Seafood Restaurant. The food is always consistently really good, and the service and atmosphere are upbeat. Their food prices are very reasonable too. Pirate Republic Seafood Restaurant, 400 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-761-3500, Piraterepublicseafood.com.
Favorite wine/cocktail there: We normally will have Caipirinha, which is a traditional drink from Brazil; but if we are drinking wine there it would be either Matua or Irony Pinot Noir.
Favorite dish: Actually, there are three. We always go there as a family and everyone either gets the Ubatuba Shrimp, Feijoada de Marisco or Poached Cod with Octopus. All are delicious.
Good things come to those who wait: Over Labor Day weekend five years ago my family got together for a boat cruise. Included on the trip was my son and his then girlfriend of 10 years. Halfway through the cruise my son stands in front of her and then gets down on one knee to propose. Before he has a chance to say anything, she says loud enough so we can hear her, ‘FINALLY!’
Our sommelier recommends on the waterfront
840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-665-8484, deck84.com. Dishes to try: Baja Shrimp Tacos, ½ Rack BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Wines to try: Cuvaison Sauvignon Blanc, Napa ($55 bottle); Drumheller Merlot/Syrah blend, Columbia Valley ($8 glass, $28 bottle).
3300 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-772-2209, kaluzrestaurant.com. Dishes to try: Colorado Lamb Burger, Slow Roasted Prime Rib. Wines to try: Le Figuier Rosé, Provence ($9 glass, $31 bottle); Faust Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa ($92 bottle).
15th Street Fisheries
1900 SE 15th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-763-2777, 15streetfisheries.com. Dishes to try: Pan-Roasted Grouper, Crab Cake. Wines to try: Laguna Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River ($14 glass), Segla Margaux 2012, Bordeaux ($115 bottle).
Serafina Italian Restaurant
926 NE 20th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-463-2566, serabythewater.com. Dishes to try: Carpaccio Di Manzo, Linguini Pescatore Al Cartoccio ($30). Wines to try: Rosato Di Cargnano Rosé, Sardinia ($38 bottle), Produttori Del Barbaresco ($70 a glass). (Yes, a glass).
Blue Moon Fish Company
4405 W. Tradewinds Ave., Lauderdale-by-the Sea, 954-267-9888, bluemoonfishco.com. Dishes to try: The Big Easy Seafood Gumbo, Pan-Roasted Yellowtail Snapper. Wines to try: Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough ($15 glass, $54 bottle), ZD Pinot Noir, Carneros ($17 glass, $64 bottle).
Peg San Felippo is a certified sommelier who has served as a judge on the annual American Fine Wine Competition, South Florida’s homegrown wine event; and THE Rosé Competition.