America's Backyard hosts daily drink specials and events that include the beer-pong-fueled College Night, and Lady's Night, where women drink premium cocktails free of charge. Those whose feet are trapped in perpetual motion can slip into a pair of dancing shoes and head to one of the DJ dance parties. After working up an appetite on the dance floor, patrons can select from a menu brimming with American eats, such as heaping servings of pound 4 pound wings available in one-pound ($8.75), two-pound ($15.75), and five-pound ($34.75) proportions. And classically conditioned diners can spruce up a half-pound Backyard burger ($8.75) with a guzzle from das boot, which is filled past the ankle with a choice of imported ($11.75) or domestic ($10.75) beer.
Doors open one hour before showtime.
From the outside, Cinema Paradiso looks more like a church than a movie theater. But inside, there is no mistaking that the auditorium crowded with 230 plush,
royal blue velvet seats—each imported from Paris—is a luxurious haven for movie-goers. Now in its 29th year, the theater screens art-house independent films and the annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. With the ability to project 35mm, 16mm, HDCam, Digi-Beta, BetaSP, and DVD, the venue's possibilities are many, and frequent events showcase Hollywood classics and cult horror flicks. To help guests calm their jitters during the scary parts, three bars serve beer and wine, and snacks and concession fare satiate cravings, so that no growling bellies drown out tenderly whispered love scenes.
While it may seem like a contradiction in terms, the Miami Herald dubbed Tundra Las Olas the "latest hot spot" for its arctic-themed decor, with an "impressive…eclectic menu by chef Bryan Lamblin." Small cold plates include the tundra shellfish, made with crab claws, white prawns, and Willapa Bay oysters arranged on a plate made of ice, echoing the sculptures scattered around the room and lengthening the lives of visiting snowmen. Hot plates feature stuffed prawns and Kobe-style beef meatballs, and entrees fuse sea-bound or land-locked fare with European or Asian seasonings, such as lobster sauce, jalapeño béarnaise, or plantain butter.
The cool, glossy tile behind the bar mirrors chandeliers shaped as if they were formed from ice. Icy blue lighting makes specialty drinks glow, while white and silver art carry the arctic theme throughout the space.
Though Solita Las Olas's lounge-like atmosphere has been known to attract celebrities, such as the Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem, nightlife isn't even its main draw. In addition to a bustling upscale lounge and dining room, SoLita—or "south of Little Italy"— houses a hopping kitchen where chefs cook Italian meals using generations-old family recipes. Local and imported ingredients give zings of flavor to fresh pasta dishes, draped in sauces from spicy white wine tomato sauce to rich Parmesan cream. For heartier meals, chefs grill rib-eye steaks, veal chops, and filet mignon, or sizzle the catch-of-the-day with garlic, capers, and a sense of man's dominance over the mighty ocean.
Seventh Street Wine Company's shop and lounge puts 2,500 varietals at the fingertips of eager enophiles, thanks to Italian-made machines that dispense pours by the ounce. Guests simply swipe a drink card to gain access to pours from 20 global regions including California, Slovenia, and Uruguay. The shop's events supply more tasting opportunities, and its stock of bottled wines—ranging from reds and whites to dessert and rice—can be enjoyed at home with friends or adrift at sea with a thirsty whale.
• For $22, you get one orchestra-seating ticket to Girl Talk on Thursday, August 11, at 8 p.m. (a $42 value, including a $2 restoration fee). • For $22, you get one orchestra-seating ticket to Girl Talk on Saturday, August 13, at 2 p.m. (a $42 value, including a $2 restoration fee). • For $22, you get one orchestra-seating ticket to Girl Talk on Sunday, August 14, at 2 p.m. (a $42 value, including a $2 restoration fee).
Dapur’s chef and designer, Edi Mulyanto, draws on culinary traditions from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan while chopping, sautéing, and simmering Pan Asian tapas and entrees. A reviewer for the Miami Herald praises the elaborate sushi rolls, which include lobster and rock shrimp, as “crowd-pleasing” and predicts that the 7,000-square-foot venue will enjoy “sweet success.” Many of the menu’s ingredients, according to Edge, spring from Mulyanto’s own garden or sorcerer nephew before ending up in small plates flavored with lime juice and garlic ponzu jelly.
A giant golden Buddha statue surrounds diners lounging on the bar’s cherry-red couches or practicing casual heists with the modern art hung on the dining room’s purple walls. High ceilings support dangling chandeliers, and soft lighting spotlights artistically arranged plants and baskets. In addition to delighting eyes during dinner and drinks, this elegant interior also hosts Dapur's nightly events and theme nights. Stop in on Wine Down Wednesday and lift a glass to an all-you-can-drink wine special or fight off the impending work week on Sake To Me Sunday with cups of half-price sake.
Lulu's Bait Shop serves an eclectic menu of Cajun and southern-style dishes in a laidback environment. Warm up hot sauce hatches with a bowl of homemade shrimp gumbo ($4.95) before adventuring into a plate piled with golden-fried bites of prime alligator tail ($8.95). Raw bar repasts feature half-pounds of peel-and-eat shrimp steamed in a house blend of spices ($9.95) or ice-cold oysters (market price). Freshly caught salmon, snapper, tilapia, and mahi filets sate Ahabian appetites with a customizable collection of toppings and rubs. Creole transplants looking for a taste of New Orleans can nostalgically nosh on a fried shrimp po' boy ($8.95) or crawfish étouffée made with a spicy roux and seasoned rice ($9.95).
The chefs at The Manor, a trendy nightclub fused with an upscale restaurant, craft a menu of surf-and-turf and elegant fusion cuisine. Diners can catch seaborne centerpieces such as the chili-rubbed firewood salmon ($10.95) and release them into the brooks, bayous, and unmanned water parks that comprise the human body’s 80% H2O makeup. Grilled Korean-style short ribs backstroke in a citrus-soy-chili marinade before basking on plates ($11.95), and the raspberry seared scallops partner with mixed greens that add to pulchritudinous stomach-wall gardens ($11.95). Diners can chase bites down esophageal tunnels with drinks, including Grey Goose–driven concoctions such as the Godiva-laced orange espresso martini ($12).
Joyful bellows resonate throughout the multileveled brick structure of hilarity, which boasts a first floor bar that is steps away from Fort Lauderdale Beach, a second floor comedy club, and a rooftop party area. A sizely photo of Animal House alumni overlooks patrons as they indulge in non-school spirits, while laughter is muffled by mouthfuls of burgers, wings, and more from the menu of all-American eats. Combine comedy with comestibles and see stand-up performances from the likes of Clyde Gordon and Oni Perez who bust guts faster than eating 10 Farber College angus smash burgers ($5.99 single, $7.99 double). See full schedule of performances.
The Museum of Discovery and Science ensures that adults as well as children have opportunities to explore diverse fields in the natural and physical sciences. Museum visitors who prefer to experience action on the big screen can drop into the AutoNation IMAX 3D Theater, which boasts a 15,000 watt, 42-speaker digital surround sound system. Opened in 1992, the 300-seat theater dazzles audiences via a five-story-hight screen that features both 2D and 3D films. Crowds view the latter using lightweight XR 3D glasses for highly evolved thrills.
Since 1951—The Classic Gateway Theatre has dimmed the lights for crowds of moviegoers. The theater continues to celebrate the classics that came out during its early years by playing hits starring the likes of Cary Grant, though it does not shy away from first-run blockbusters and indie flicks. Audience members walk into a spacious lobby with pictures of the theatre's long history gracing the walls and they savor the smell of popcorn before settling into their seats in renovated all-digital auditoriums. In addition to regular screenings, the theater plays host for events such as the Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
It's easy to both start and end a night at Blue Martini. During the early hours of the evening, guests can catch the last rays of sun on the patio as they dine on light fare such as fruit-and-cheese plates and flatbread pizzas. This lightness is necessary, because once the sun goes down, guests have to be light on their feet as the lounge turns into a full-on dance party. From then until closing time, guests can keep their energy up with glasses of wine or one of the house's 42 signature cocktails. The bartenders shake, stir, and blend together ingredients to make these drinks, which range from skinny-raspberry mojitos that contain less than 250 calories to the lightly flavored key-lime-pie martini or cucumber lemonade.
During the boisterous shows at Sopranos Dueling Piano bar, pianists take the stage and play popular tunes as audience members clap, dance, and sing along. Meanwhile, bartenders dole out 24 varieties of beer and an array of colorful cocktails—including the frozen margarita lauded by reporters from South Florida Sun-Sentinel for providing "the perfect amount of pucker." Servers bustle about the tabletops in the dimly lit space, balancing trays of wings, burgers, and coconut shrimp with sweet-chili dipping sauce.