From luau-style pig feasts (and gluttonous goats), to farmers watching out for your waistline to personal chefs crafting dishes just for you, the best new restaurants of the past 12 months have embraced eclectic ways of dining, without forgetting their local roots.
By Rebecca Cahilly
THE FEAST BAR | KITCHEN
Brunch on the beach has never been better, thanks to the new Beauty & The Feast restaurant at the Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort Lauderdale. Bottomless mimosas and bloody Mary’s complement hearty chicken and waffles, scrumptious bananas Foster or tasty bison sliders. This casual yet sophisticated eatery offers terrific views of the ocean from the comfort of the interior or on the breezy terrace. Trend-setting pork dishes, including special-order luau-style roast pig, are among favorites here. Don’t miss Pig & Pints Thursdays.
Oceanfront at the Atlantic Hotel & Spa
601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
Nestled in Boca Raton’s recently upgraded Fountains Center, the Butcher Block Grill is a steak and seafood concept with a passion for meat that is humanely raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free and fed a vegetarian diet. The seafood is wild-caught and locally sourced and the produce comes from pesticide-free local farms. It’s kind of like having dinner at your local butcher or seafood provisioner’s house, if either served fine wine and lived in a rather tastefully decorated home.
Butcher Block Grill
7000 W. Camino Real, Boca Raton
DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE
Chef Michael McLaurin wants you to clean your plate when you dine at the new Del Frisco’s Grille, and that’s easy to do here. Del Frisco’s offers fun American grill classics with a sophisticated twist, alongside local offerings and seasonal flavors. Located in the historic Royal Poinciana Plaza, Del Frisco’s serves up a unique culinary experience amidst inspired décor.
Del Frisco’s Grille
340 Royal Poinciana Way, Suite 300
Anyone who follows a healthy eating regime knows that a few days on the road can unravel a diet quicker than a chef can add charcuterie to a menu. Farmer’s Table aims to correct this – and has been doing so quite well. Located next to the Wyndham Boca Raton, Farmer’s Table caters to weary, over-portioned travelers – and health-conscious locals – offering fresh and high quality ingredients without the excess salt, fat, butter, cream, hormones or processing. You will not find a microwave or deep-fat fryer here.
1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton
Romantic sunset dinners on the terrace or family celebrations in the grand dining room are even more special at the re-opened Flagler Steakhouse in Palm Beach. With a fresh décor and a broad menu of upscale steak and seafood favorites served with five-star service in an elegant social club setting, Flagler is a haven for foodies and the next generation of power players alike.
2 S. County Road, Palm Beach
You may have never pondered the eating habits of goats, but you may find yourself waxing philosophical over a craft brew or tasty cocktail at this Mizner Park hot spot. The unique gastropub-style menu will make even the stuffiest patron feel like a hipster. (Beards welcome).
99 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton
HARDY PARK BISTRO
What do you get when you take a well-traveled former superyacht chef and set him free to craft culinary creations until his heart is content? Chef/owner Phil Darmon and his wife, Jessica, have quickly made a name for themselves at this Fort Lauderdale bistro, a lunch and dinner spot worthy of discerning palettes.
Hardy Park Bistro
21 SW Seventh St., Fort Lauderdale
JOVE KITCHEN & BAR
As if you need another reason to visit the beautiful Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, the newly opened Jove Kitchen & Bar now offers delightfully fresh and exquisitely crafted dishes in a contemporary ambience that complements the sweeping ocean views.
Jove Kitchen & Bar
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach
Imagine heading out to a dinner party at that cool couple’s house where the guest list is perfectly curated, the food is a step above the best restaurant in town and the laughter continues long after you’ve returned home. That’s the experience you’re likely to have at The Kitchen, the vision of Tiger Woods’ former personal chef, Matthew Byrne; and his wife, Aliza.
319 Belvedere Road, #2, West Palm Beach
Tsukuro is challenging Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront dining district to up its game. Serving a variety of fine sushi and Asian-inspired dishes, and signature cocktails, Tsukuro bustles daily with off-the-beach visitors and returning locals alike. The beachfront ambience here is divine, particularly when enjoyed with the sea-inspired menu.
225 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
HONORABLE MENTIONS 2014
BAO BAR + ASIAN KITCHEN
Asian-fusion and fun cocktails overlooking the water on Las Olas Boulevard.
1200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-530-4176, baolasolas.com
Reminiscent of the old seafood houses of days gone by, with an Italian twist.
4331 N. Ocean Drive, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, 954-351-0310, facebook.com/chathamhouserestaurant
FORK & BALLS
A new concept inspired by a visit to the Midwest; rustic, comfort food, wine on tap, bowls of meatballs.
1301 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-771-2257, forkandballs.com
Each dish hand-prepared by Nobu-trained Chef Joe. Go to Sushigo.
477 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 561-347-7888, sushigojoe.com