Fernanda's International Market, a treasure trove of rare ingredients and made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, bakes robust breads and fine pastries. Among a troop of hearty sandwiches, the Martorano ($8.99) stands out for its spicy temper and muscular blend of sopressata and cappacola meats. The Churchill ($8.99) loads its taste gun with Branston pickle relish and fights hunger pangs on ham-coated beaches, cheddar cheese fields, and hot mustard streets. Fernanda's also sells prepared food by the pound and hard-to-find international groceries like Thai lemon grass.
Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
15th Street Fisheries illustrates a key facet of the circle of life: you feed the fish, and the fish feed you. Every evening, guests head to the edge of the docks to feed schools of giant tarpon—fish that can grow up to 8 feet long—with shrimp from the nearby store. It's a feat made possible by the restaurant's location on the Lauderdale Marina, a hub for pedestrians and boats alike on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Floating above the silvery tarpon, yachts, fishing boats, and other charters pass in view of the upstairs dining room. The space resembles an upscale boathouse with eclectic seafood entrees to match. Start with a bowl of Bahamian-style conch chowder or shrimp and grits, then choose from an impressive list of prepared fish, including miso-glazed Chilean sea bass and pan-roasted black grouper. The Maine lobsters on the menu weigh 2 to 3 pounds, depending on how often they crawled ashore to go to the gym, but you can also order a spiny lobster tail with baby bok choy. Downstairs, the dockside café offers more casual fare and live music on weekends.
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.
Shooters Waterfront Cafe USA showcases vistas of the intracoastal waterway as servers ferry plates of fresh seafood, burgers, and sandwiches to outdoor tables. Boat docking with valet assistance allows diners to pull up to the waterfront eatery after a day spent negotiating record deals with musically gifted whales. Shooters serves drinks on an outdoor patio, while their swimming pool allows guests to mimic those musical whales. On the weekends, a raw-food bar lures seafood lovers with fresh-caught oysters, clams, shrimp, and crab legs.
Pizza and limoncello served alongside sushi and sake. Some might say it's an unusual collision of cuisines under one roof, but at Rice & Dough, Goran and Amy Perovic don't quite see it that way. "We consider ourselves an American restaurant featuring two favorite kinds of American food," Goran told SouthFlorida.com, explaining that today, both sushi and Italian food fall under the ever-growing umbrella of American cuisine.
No matter what you call it, Rice & Dough has made quite the impression since its 2012 opening, attracting the attention of the Miami Herald's Rochelle Koff, the Broward Palm Beach New Times's Tricia Woolfenden, and Examiner.com's Drew Berliner. Having something for everyone is likely part of its success; patrons in the mood for sushi can enjoy a collection of maki, including a Z Fantasy roll packed with shrimp tempura, eel, and avocado, prepared in plain sight by a skilled chef at the sushi bar. Italian-food lovers, meanwhile, can slice up and share a margherita pie or one of the other dozen pizzas handmade by Goran in the open kitchen. Other Italian offerings include platefuls of housemade lasagna and lunchtime paninis. Because he's a former sommelier, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Goran has also compiled an extensive wine list for his guests, featuring reds, whites, and plenty of sake.