By Rebecca Cahilly-Taranto
City & Shore Magazine
Each year, 100,000 boating enthusiasts descend on Fort Lauderdale to take in the 1,500 boats and yachts on display at the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Whether you’re in the market for a fishing pole or a megayacht, these local dining options will float your epicurean boat.
ON THE (LAS OLAS) BOULEVARD
American Social Restaurant & Bar – This patriotic-themed lounge offers craft beers via self-serve taps. During the boat show patrons can take advantage of a special dish: clams steamed in Goose Island 312 wheat beer with bacon lardons and flat-leaf Italian parsley for $18. Pair the dish with a glass of Goose Island 312 for $20. 721 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-764-7005, americansocialbar.com.
B Square Burgers & Booze – B Square features a burger called the “Dad Bod,” and need we say more? Fresh burgers, salads, decadent hot dogs and hearty entrées are washed down with micro-brew craft beers, specialty cocktails and boozy shakes at this new indoor/outdoor restaurant. 1021 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-999-5216, bsquareburger.com.
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse – Famished showgoers will love the never-ending rotisseries of rodizio sirloin, lamb, filet, ribs, pork, chicken, sausage and fish served by roaming “gauchos” (meat chefs) at this authentic Brazilian steakhouse. 2400 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-712-0580, chima.com.
Grille 401 – A supporter of local farmers, Grille 401 features a seasonal menu that takes advantage of available local ingredients in a sophisticated atmosphere perfect for business luncheons or romantic wow-we-just-bought-a-boat dinners. 401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-767-0222, grille401.com.
Lobster Bar Sea Grille – With a décor worthy of a spread in an interior-design publication – highlighted by three custom lead crystal and steel chandeliers over the bar that weigh more than 1,300 pounds each – Lobster Bar executes a simple yet elegant menu to perfection. The raw bar is exquisite, and the menu features selections from purveyors from around the world carefully chosen to provide the freshest steaks, lobsters and fish—“from the water to your plate within 48 hours.” 450 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-772-2675, buckheadrestaurants.com.
Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria – The number of house-made items at this hot spot is impressive, from the pasta – all 13 types – to the breads and pizza dough to the gelatos, pastries and cookies, and a mouthwatering selection of salumi. Eat on the patio overlooking the boulevard or request a cozy table in the garden with its retractable roof, fire pit and bocce ball court. 1032 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-356-6699, louiebossi.com.
ON THE WATER
3030 Ocean – With an experienced executive chef – who also happens to be a Chopped champion – at the helm, 3030 Ocean sets the benchmark for fresh seafood and innovative dishes using local ingredients. Located in the recently renovated Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. 3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale, 954-765-3030, 3030ocean.com.
Boatyard – The site of the former Bimini Boatyard has undergone a transformation, and the new Boatyard has emerged once again as a waterfront hot spot. Whether seated at a table in the airy dining room, at the stepped interior bar area, or at a coveted outdoor table under the 35-foot-tall gumbo limbo tree, you’ll enjoy a menu of the freshest seafood, prepared simply and to your liking. 1555 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-7400, boatyard.restaurant.com.
Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits – One of our picks for the best new restaurant of the year, Burlock Coast celebrates local bakers, fresh produce and sustainable seafood in a casually upscale indoor/outdoor setting in the beachfront Ritz-Carlton hotel. 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-302-6460, ritzcarlton.com.
Coconuts – Situated next to the Hall of Fame Marina, this beachy restaurant and its neighboring raw bar, G&B Oyster Bar, is bustling every hour of the day during the boat show, but you’ll be seated and served quickly and able to get back to yacht hopping in no time. 429 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-2421, coconutsfortlauderdale.com.
Secret Garden – You either need to be a member or a guest of the Pillars Hotel to dine at this private venue, but the waterfront view, five-star service and exceptional cuisine is well worth the effort to score a table. 111 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, 954-467-9639, pillarshotel.com.
Shooters Waterfront – This Fort Lauderdale staple has been revamped in recent years to offer high-quality American casual fare in a comfortable al fresco atmosphere. Stop by for the weekday happy hours from 4 to 7 p.m., add a complimentary yoga session to your weekend brunch on Saturdays, or take a break from the boat show bustle to attend the “roll it yourself” sushi class on Friday, Nov. 4. 3033 N. 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-566-2855, shooterswaterfront.com.
Billy’s Stone Crab Restaurant – With stone crab season opening Oct. 15, one must not miss the opportunity to dine on a plate of jumbo claws, served with a side of house-made dipping sauce and a waterfront view to boot. Not in the mood for stone crabs? Billy’s menu is bursting with fresh seafood and pasta dishes to delight all palates. Visit the market for fresh, local seafood on the go. 400 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, 954-923-2300, crabs.com.
Casa D’Angelo Ristorante – This elegant restaurant remains a boat-show must, where authentic Tuscan dishes, a fabulous wine list and the venerable Chef/Owner Angelo Elia make for a memorable experience. (Visit Elia’s new Bakery Bar for a cappuccino and pastry at 2104 E. Oakland Park Blvd., 954-566-6100) 1201 N. Federal Highway,
Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1234,
GG’s Waterfront Bar and Grill – Situated two blocks west of the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk on the Intracoastal Waterway, GG’s Waterfront Bar and Grill is a timeless choice for romantic sunset dinners or decadent Sunday brunch. Steaks, seafood and stone crabs are featured on the menu here, and, when paired with the elegant atmosphere, make for an unforgettable waterfront dining experience. 606 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood, 954-929-7030,
Hardy Park Bistro – With a world-traveled former superyacht chef in the kitchen, Hardy Park Bistro has made a name for itself for its fresh and innovative dishes served for lunch and dinner. 21 SW Seventh St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-652-1475, hardyparkbistro.com.
like a VIP
For the ultimate boat show experience, consider the VIP Experience at the Windward Club, located at the Hall of Fame Marina. Attendees can take advantage of multiple air-conditioned lounge areas, private indoor bathrooms, and catering from The Grateful Palate with options for breakfast, lunch and late-afternoon gourmet dining as well as an open bar. The VIP Experience also offers a dedicated concierge to arrange your yacht tour schedule, and entertainment and access to select after-hours events. A special VIP entrance and valet is located at the Hall of Fame Marina. Tickets are $100 per day and are limited to 300 per day. vip.flibs.com