By Rebecca Cahilly
Dining early has its perks, particularly when it comes to waistline and wallet. While “Early Bird” dining specials have been replaced at many restaurants by Happy Hours offering small bites, a few establishments are offering special late- afternoon, early-evening menus at equally special prices.
Recently transformed from an Italian restaurant to a cozy steak-and-seafood dining experience, Chatham House offers a menu of fresh local seafood and hand-cut Certified Angus Beef steaks often accompanied by live musical entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. The Sunset Dinner Menu features a selection of pastas, chicken and veal dishes, steak and seafood items and house specialties such as eggplant rollatini at reduced prices and served with a choice of soup or house salad, coffee and homemade dessert. The Sunset Dinner Menu is available daily 4:30-6 p.m., excluding holidays.
4331 N. Ocean Drive,
Chuck’s Steakhouse has been the spot to go for a great steak and superb salad bar for nearly 40 years. Although the first location on 17th Street Causeway recently closed its doors, the location on Commercial Boulevard continues to draw a crowd – and its Early Bird menu is a hit. The Early Bird menu, 4-6 p.m. daily, offers a choice of entrée including tilapia, chicken teriyaki, top sirloin or grilled pork chop served with a choice of salad bar, Caesar salad or soup and choice of side dish, finished with either Key lime pie or ice cream, all for a fixed price of $16.
2428 E. Commercial Blvd.,
Dockside Sea Grille
Nestled under a tiki hut, the waterfront Dockside Sea Grille in Lake Park offers several options for early diners. The Sunset Dining menu includes a house salad, entrée – such as pecan-encrusted snapper or shrimp scampi – and dessert for $12.95, available 4:30-6 p.m. every day except Friday. Friday night’s Seafood Buffet (6-9 p.m.) features salmon, oysters on the half shell, stuffed flounder, crab cakes, seafood salad bar and dessert for $21.95 per person.
766 Northlake Blvd.,
Seafood House & Grill
The iconic Old Florida Seafood House & Grill has welcomed locals and out-of-town guests for nearly 40 years. Recently purchased by Andrew Dan-Jumbo, former star of TLC’s Take Home Handyman and other shows, the restaurant has undergone an interior renovation and menu update. Think fresh herbs and vegetables in place of dried and frozen, and now there’s also live grand piano music alongside a menu that continues to pay homage to its namesake with classic signature dishes alongside new seafood and steak-inspired plates. The popular Early Bird menu features a selection of entrées priced at $20.95, $22.95 and $24.95, each served with warm bread, choice of small house or Caesar salad or a cup of clam or conch chowder, and two signature sides, followed by coffee or tea and dessert. The Early Bird is available daily 4-6:30 p.m. Closed Mondays.
1414 NE 26th St.,
Okeechobee Steakhouse has been pleasing Palm Beach locals and cultivating a reputation as one of the top steakhouses in South Florida since 1947. Known for its Certified Angus Beef offerings, Okeechobee is also popular for its Early Dining menu. Served Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 4-6 p.m., specials include prime rib, herb roasted chicken breast, maple mustard-glazed prime pork rib chop, simple sautéed shrimp or the day’s fresh catch, among other entrée items, at prices ranging from $17.13 to $20.13.
2854 Okeechobee Blvd.,
West Palm Beach
Tropical Acres Steakhouse
Now celebrating its 65th anniversary, Tropical Acres Steakhouse is not only Broward’s oldest steakhouse and seafood restaurant, it has also been run by the same family for nearly four generations. In addition to monthly specials running throughout 2014 to celebrate the anniversary – in April, spend $65 and receive an engraved Tropical Acres steak knife – Tropical Acres continues to cater to longtime patrons and early diners with a complete meal special. From 4:30-5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, each menu item comes with a choice of soup or salad, a side dish, coffee or tea and dessert.
2500 Griffin Road,
The Waterway Café has been a favorite for locals and visitors since 1986 thanks to its spectacular waterfront location, great service and fine food. From 4-5:30 p.m. daily, Waterway Café offers its Twilight Menu featuring entrées such as fresh Florida dolphin, meatloaf, shrimp and scallop alfredo, fish and chips, Cajun chicken pasta and more, at reduced prices and served with rolls and butter, a choice of soup – conch chowder or soup du jour, or salad, coffee or tea and a choice of Key lime pie, ice cream or sugar-free Jell-O. If you love the Twilight Menu, join the Twilight Dinner Club and enjoy every sixth dinner free.
2300 PGA Blvd.,
Palm Beach Gardens