Restaurateur Frank Reider began to delve into the ruby depths of wine at his friend's wine soirees while living in Rio de Janeiro. His growing ardor for South American vintages inspired him to open Gol!, a churrascaria with a wine list that earned the restaurant Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for several years.
Gaucho waiters arrive at each chair offering up skewers of shrimp, salmon, and meat grilled rare in the traditional style. Patrons flip a disk between red and green to indicate whether they'd like more meat or to clear up traffic jams among the waitstaff. A salad bar remains stocked with fresh vegetables and soups as an alternative to the traditional barrage of meat.
Reider found a home for Gol! in a building erected circa 1925. It was originally dubbed the Arcade Building, gaining notoriety in the 1930s as the Arcade and Tap Room. Behind the fully restored façade, cypress-wood ceilings arch over tablecloths and floral displays. Bartenders work behind a bar carved in 1933 from trees whose grandparents were chopped down by George Washington himself. As bossa nova tunes play, the bartenders mix cocktails such as the citrusy caipirinha, which was featured in the Palm Beach Post.
There's an art to picking a steak. As the chefs at Prime will tell you, a steak should have just the right amount of marbling, which makes the meat retain tenderness and develop more robust flavors during cooking. That's why father-and-son duo Steven Pellegrino Sr. and Jr. insist that every steak be cut from USDA prime beef. They also insist upon fresh seafood, lining up catches such as sea bass and line-caught swordfish for their chefs to transform into flavorful entrees, as well as a roster of sushi and sashimi.
Outfitted with a supper-club atmosphere, Prime dazzles with its decor as much as its menu. A pianist lights up the ivories nightly, each scale undulating through a posh interior of chandeliers, marble floors, and a martini-centric bar. A dedicated butcher's area lets patrons take a hands-on approach to dining by picking out their own cuts of meat—a favorite feature of Zagat and other delighted reviewers. Premium spirits, cigars, and velvet feedbags can also be brought and stored in Prime's inscribed liquor cabinet for enjoyment throughout the evening.
When you look at a Philly cheesesteak, "subtle" might be the last word on your mind. But it is, in fact, a sandwich of subtleties—just ask Big Al and his son Adam. When they moved to Florida from Philadelphia, they tried many cheesesteaks that purported to be authentic, but that lacked the small, signature touches of a true Philly creation: ribeye that was sliced and not chopped, for example, or the steak rolls only the East Coast had perfected.
So, the duo started their own cheesesteak restaurant. They sliced the ribeye steak, scheduled weekly deliveries of rolls from Philadelphia, and even put Cheez Whiz on the menu in addition to melted cheeses for added authenticity. This is not to say that they don't branch out—Big Al's also has burgers, hot dogs, and cheesesteak variants, such as the bacon-bleu cheesesteak or the spring-mix salad (it tastes like a cheesesteak if you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough).
Patrons at Red Rock Oasis & Grill can bite into tear-jerking wings, chew through meaty burgers, and peruse the diverse menu to pick from 20 beers on tap. Dip Red Rock boneless wings ($9.99 for 10) in seven sauces, or order the maximum-heat Cosmic sauce and use it to deice your space shuttle. The glow of 42 plasma TVs and projection screens illuminates Double R burgers ($9.99) dripping with barbecue sauce, overlaying their smoked-bacon slices with images of sportsmen sprinting, spinning, and flying away gripping their winged helmets. Red Rock baby back pork ribs soaked in citrus-chipotle sauce ($11.99 half rack, $18.99 full rack) appease flavor-starved palates, and Maine lobster-stuffed ravioli with bacon float idly in cream sauce ($19.99). Red Rock Select, the house lager, smooth-talks palates with its light, malty taste, and beers on tap, such as Guinness and Stone IPA, cry out for attention. The cinnamon-infused, pastry-wrapped Xango cheesecake ($4.99) lives up to its namesake, a Greek village carved from a single puff pastry.
The ambience at Spice Room is romantic and intimate, thanks to the exposed brick walls, the gauzy draperies that hang from the ceiling, and the soft light that gently falls from globe fixtures overhead. The only thing warmer than the ambiance might be the food, though, thankfully, the spice level of the curries and noodles dishes can be adjusted to match the heat of diners’ passions or left mild to calm nerves during first dates or IRS audits.