Dining — 05 January 2013
Wine bars, craft beers and small plates

BY REBECCA CAHILLY

“In Vino, Veritas.” In wine, [there is] truth, as they say. We’d like to add to that craft beers and small plates, which firmly round out any truth-seeking experience. These special boutique shops, bars and watering holes are worth discovering, whether for truth or simply for a great glass, pint or bite.

Vino 

Nestled on Harrison Street in Hollywood, Vino offers over 60 unique vintages by the glass that will delight the connoisseur and neophyte alike. Sample the wines at leisure thanks to the state-of-the-art Enomatic Wine Service System, or let the knowledgeable staff introduce you to a new varietal. Tasty antipasti bites and a selection of craft brews are also on offer, making Vino much more than a wine shop; it’s an experience. Now serving lunch.

Vino

1910 Harrison St., Hollywood, 954-929-8686, www.vinohollywood.com

 

The Blind Monk
Classy, sophisticated, refined with hints of whimsy … could easily describe the ambience at The Blind Monk in West Palm Beach, a hip wine bar with a young vibe and surprisingly mature selection of wines. Over 200 wines by the bottle, craft beers, delightful tapas, knowledgeable staff and fun and informative events make this a neighborhood gem worth going out of your way to find.

The Blind Monk

401 Evernia St. No. 107, West Palm Beach, 561-833-3605, www.theblindmonk.com

Virginia Philip
Wineshop & Academy
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that this wine shop is owned by someone who can claim the title: “Best Sommelier in the United States.” Whether you are looking for a lovely table wine for the evening meal or are searching for a unique Brunello you once tried in Tuscany, the Virginia Philip Wineshop & Academy is overall an educational wine experience. Award-winning master sommelier Virginia Philip and resident sommelier and instructor Richard Paladino will guide you along in your discovery of fine wines, whether it be for a simple purchase or through one of the Academy’s educational events, which range from winemaking to craft beers to group or private tastings, chef events or an eight-week Master Sommelier immersion course.

Virginia Philip Wineshop & Academy

101 N. Clematis, Suite 150, West Palm Beach, 561-721-6000, www.virginiaphilipwineshopacademy.com

 

 

Tap 42 Bar & Kitchen
This oasis of brew opened a little over a year ago in Fort Lauderdale and has developed a loyal following that ranges from lunching lawyers to happy-hour hipsters. As the name would suggest, Tap 42 focuses on offering exceptional craft brews on tap (there are actually 51, but who’s counting?) some harder to find and keep in stock than others. Hand-crafted cocktails and “craft” foods – meaning fresh and locally sourced – send Tap 42 well out of the “local pub” category and into the world of the Craft Beer Revolution. Grab a pint, in either 10-oz. or 16-oz. denominations, and support the cause!

Tap 42

1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-463-4900, www.tap42.com

 

The Royal Pig Pub & Kitchen
When it comes to celebrating pork-related products, this place doesn’t mess around. The same goes for craft beers and, while we’re at it, attention to free-range poultry and quality ingredients. There are plenty of non swine-based items on the menu and lots of what I would call “comfort” dishes that give a subtle nod to New Orleans-style cooking. But The Royal Pig makes this list for its healthy selection of quality craft brews, available in pint or schooner. If you request the latter, have it accompanied with the hormone-free rotisserie ribs and pig out. I did and no one looked at me funny.

The Royal Pig Pub & Kitchen

350 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-617-7447, www.royalpigpub.com

 

American Social
Local and regional craft beers are the specialty at American Social, which draws a crowd not only for its Las Olas location and old world ambience but for the pour-it-yourself wall taps, cocktail offerings and all-American cuisine. Two self-serve beer tap tables represent the next generation of sharing a pitcher with friends – here everyone can enjoy from the Lazy-Susan draft selection of four craft brews. A friendly reminder to the non-professional bartenders in the crowd: tip the glass sideways when you pull; otherwise you’ll be sitting there sipping foam for an hour like yours truly.

American Social

721 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-764-7005, www.americansocialbar.com

 

Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar 

South Florida is alive with Latin influences, and when the trend of small plates and tapas-style offerings combines with this colorful cuisine the result is something special. The newly opened Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar at The Village at Gulfstream Park is not your typical Latin restaurant, rather it offers a fresh interpretation of Latin cuisine in a casual indoor/outdoor setting. Small plates here emphasize traditional Latin dishes – from mojo pork tostones to chicken empanadas, and of course, the twist – spiced coconut milk steamed mussels and mango chimichurri crusted calamari. While it’s not wine or craft beer, we think the rum bar complements this menu splendidly.

Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar

The Village at Gulfstream Park, 801 Silks Run, Suite 1580,Hallandale Beach, 954-455-0700, www.paladarlatinkitchen.com

 

 

Yard House
Yard House in Boca’s Mizner Park boasts over 140 beers on tap and a name that pays homage to the 3-foot-tall ale glasses that originated in Britain in the 17th century. Although a yard glass is not an option, you can have your favorite lager, pub cream ale or stout served in a more respectable half-yard glass. With a selection like this, you may want to be conservative and start off with a pint, goblet or shorty, or even a six-pack sampler of their great micro brews and imports. Wine and cocktail drinkers are not left in the cold, and the diverse American fare on offer ranges from fresh and light to hearty and satisfying, intended to complement your beverage of choice. A lively atmosphere and friendly, attentive service make Yard House a great place to check out for your next Happy Hour or gathering with friends.

Yard House 

Mizner Park, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-417-6124, www.yardhouse.com

 

HMF 

Palm Beach is justifiably abuzz over the exciting new drinking and dining experience at The Breakers resort. Set in an atmosphere of timeless American glamour, HMF (named after the initials of Breakers’ founder Henry Morrison Flagler) intends to restore the social rituals of the cocktail culture – complete with a “cigarette girl” a la the 1940s and 1950s who offers tastings and specialty items for sale. The extensive menu offers globally inspired sharing plates with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and organic, locally sourced items. An award-winning selection of 1,600 wines curated at the hands of The Breakers’ master sommeliers along with sophisticated cocktail offerings, extensive craft beer selection and theater-style kitchen invite you to sink into the luxurious chairs and sip for a while.

HMF

The Breakers Palm Beach, One South County Road, Palm Beach, 561-659-8465, www.thebreakers.com

 

 

 

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