Forget the folding chairs this year and gather family and friends to celebrate the holidays in style at one of these flavorful local venues. Each one offers a private dining space to make your holiday gathering all the more memorable.
By Rebecca Cahilly
Atlantic Surf Club
17 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.,
Fort Lauderdale, 954-256-SURF (7873), atlanticsurfclub.com
Bound to transform the bawdy reputation of Beach Place on A1A in Fort Lauderdale, the newly opened Atlantic Surf Club serves up innovative casual fare – beef and brisket burgers topped with Maine lobster served with duck-fat French fries are but the tip of the iceberg – in a casual “surfer-style” setting. Executive chef Kevin Monti keeps the locals in mind with his menu offerings, from the grilled branzino to fig-and-watermelon carpaccio to the outrageous selection of gourmet burgers, pizza and hot dogs. Dine in the open-air dining room with stunning panoramic ocean views or book the private party room seating up to 50 and enjoy the view through floor-to-ceiling windows. Either way, Atlantic Surf Club is a great venue for out-of-town guests and family of all ages – don’t miss the build-your-own milkshake menu; available with touches of holiday cheer for the adults.
1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale,
A waterfront setting and the Caribbean wood-fire grill are but two elements that distinguish this long-standing Fort Lauderdale restaurant. Having undergone an interior renovation in recent years, Bimini has now unveiled a new menu that includes lighter dishes with a Caribbean flair. Choose from starters like the shrimp flatbread and the artichoke, spinach and crabmeat dip and new entrées such as the St. Bart’s scallops – bacon-wrapped and served over roasted vegetables and cous cous – and the Belize seafood pasta featuring wood-fire grilled shrimp, scallops and Belize lobster tail over linguini in a house-made basil pomodoro sauce. Private dining is available for parties up to 100 in three private dining rooms, while the Palm Bar, located on the waterfront patio, is also available for private events.
350 S. County Road, Palm Beach,
Reserve the semi-private wine room for 40 or make your holiday event a one-of-a-kind luncheon at Palm Beach’s hottest dining destination, būccan. Each private function can be customized to suit your preference and draws upon the ever-changing seasonal menu that has sent this relatively new establishment to the top of the list of dining spots in South Florida. Enjoy prix-fixe family-style offerings that range from hamachi sashimi, Swank Farms baby kale salad or short rib empanadas to squid ink orrechiette, mushroom or Italian sausage pizza and Florida corn ravioli, finished with a fresh baked chocolate chip and nut cookie, or work with Chef Clay Conley and his stellar team to create a menu to make yours an event to remember.
The Capital Grille
2430 E. Sunrise Blvd.,
Fort Lauderdale, 954-446-2000
6000 W. Glades Road,
Boca Raton, 561-368-1077
11365 Legacy Ave.,
Palm Beach Gardens, 561-630-4994
With locations in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens, The Capital Grille offers world-class steak and seafood matched by impeccable service. Private dining is a specialty and groups are catered to with a private room and dedicated staff providing stellar service for the complete fine-dining experience. Audio/visual is available should you wish to show family vacation photos. From the appetizer platters to full four-course menus, Capital Grill’s staff will work with you to create a memorable holiday dinner.
1201 N. Federal Highway,
Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1234
171 E. Palmetto Park Road,
Boca Raton, 561-338-1703
Whether you’re of Italian descent or not, you’ll be won over by the cuisine at this award-winning Tuscan restaurant. With one location in Fort Lauderdale and a second in Boca Raton, Casa D’Angelo will tailor its menu for the holidays, offering such authentic Italian holiday dishes as seafood salad, shrimp scampi and baccalà. The Boca Raton location will feature specialty meat dishes including elk chop and venison shank, all available à la carte in addition to regular menu items. Private dining rooms with views of the wine cellars are available for parties of 10 to 60 and the restaurant’s Special Events Coordinator can work with you to create a custom menu for your party.
4331 N. Ocean Drive,
Fort Lauderdale, 954-351-0310,
Fresh local seafood and hand-cut Angus steaks are the specialty of this rustic yet refined restaurant in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. The once-Italian menu has been transformed into surf-and-turf, and is welcomed by locals and visitors alike. A private dining room seating 50 (70 for a reception) is available with its own bar and a private dining menu can be customized
to suit your occasion.
2400 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-712-0580, chima.com
Delight the in-laws with never-ending rotisseries of rodizio sirloin, lamb, filet, ribs, pork, chicken, sausage and fish served by roaming “gauchos” at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. The fixed price menu allows Uncle Henry to eat until his heart is content and even better, children under 6 eat for free. Chima also offers a gourmet salad bar as well as a wide selection of wines, champagnes and liquors and decadent desserts. Entered through a courtyard spectacularly lit for the holidays, Chima also offers a VIP room for up to 80 guests.
401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-767-0222, grille401.com
Grille 401 on Las Olas puts its excellent service to work when it comes to private dining. Parties of 100 or more can be accommodated on the mezzanine level, which overlooks the main dining room; while a smaller, private dining room is available for intimate gatherings. Grille 401’s chefs and staff will work with you to create a unique custom menu and cocktail offerings for your occasion, and extras such as audio/visual are available to
round out the evening.
201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton,
Enjoy live jazz by top-notch acts from your private dining room at the Jazziz supper club in Boca. Accommodating parties of eight to 20, the Ella Room features a partial view of the stage while the Executive Chef Private Dining Room features a communal table enclosed in glass affording a direct view of the stage, giving you and the guests the option to hear the show or curb the sound for better conversation. At the hands of executive chef Justin Flit, the menu is a fine selection of the classics with a modern twist, from buffalo-style fried calamari with Maytag blue cheese to hand-rolled penne with braised beef short rib and Di Stefano burrata. Traditionalists will never be disappointed, as the menu also features slow-smoked baby back ribs with cornbread and a fennel slaw as well as a simply delicious free-range chicken breast in an apricot glaze served with fingerling potatoes and haricots verts.
Lobstar Bar Sea Grille
450 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale,
You and your private party of up to 40 will love the menu offerings at the new Lobster Bar Sea Grille on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Not only does Lobster Bar fill a void in a city with a dearth of fine dining seafood options, it does so with a level of service that rivals Michelin-starred resorts. With a décor that features custom touches worthy of a spread in an interior design publication — including three custom lead crystal and steel chandeliers over the bar that weigh over 1,300 pounds each — Lobster Bar executes a very simple yet elegant menu to perfection. Purveyors from around the world are carefully selected to provide the freshest steaks, lobsters and fish “from the water to your plate within 48 hours.”
5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek,
Entertain the out-of-town guests with a visit to the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and a five-star gourmet dinner in the private dining room of NYY Steak. With an on-site butcher shop featuring 21-28-day dry aged USDA Prime steaks, NYY Steak also offers fresh seafood and signature desserts. An award-winning wine list and fine selection of high-end single malt whiskeys, bourbons and cognacs will round out any holiday celebration. New York Yankee fans will be particularly welcomed, as NYY Steak was established as a joint venture between the New York Yankee baseball team and Hard Rock International.
Sardelli Italian Steakhouse
331 Van Buren St., Hollywood,
Three spectacular private dining rooms make Sardelli Italian Steakhouse a must on your holiday dining list. On the second level of this converted private residence, the Wine Cellar Dining Room seats up to 34 for dinner, or up to 50 for a cocktail reception or wine tasting. The third floor accommodates 40 for dinner; 60 for receptions and features a grand piano, chef’s kitchen and private balcony affording fantastic views. On the fourth floor is the largest private space, accommodating 50-60 for dinner and up to 70 for a reception. The private balcony here offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway and is perfect for a sunset holiday party.