Diners enjoy feasts from the sea with a view of the ocean at Oasis Café, an outdoor bistro that sits a stone's throw from Fort Lauderdale beach. The chefs here specialize in dishes such as Key West tropical fish and key lime pie, all of which may be sampled while sitting at one of the outdoor patio's gliding rocker-tables. For those who prefer land-based fare, the menu also includes steaks, sandwiches, and wraps, as well as a few individual brick oven pizzas. Tropical cocktails complement the beachy atmosphere and real fruit smoothies can serve double duty as both refreshment and sunscreen.
The team behind Bravo Italiano Ristorante wants guests to feel like they're visiting a traditional trattoria in Italy. With thin-crust grilled pizzas, veal, seafood, and pasta dishes, the restaurant's menu has the food part covered. Bravo's rustic setting?complete with exposed brick walls, vivid artwork, and a cozy patio surrounded by greenery?takes care of the rest. At the restaurant's full bar, the staff pours glasses of 49 different wines, which are essential for a romantic dinner or a business lunch with Monopoly game associates. Diners can cap off their meals with a delicious dessert and a cappuccino.
The first Panaretto Trattoria opened in1989 in Italy before a second location opened 20 years later in Fort Lauderdale. And just like in Italy, the chefs build pizzas from scratch, starting with dough and sauce made fresh daily. Stretched crusts cook in a brick oven and arrive at tables on a panaretto, a traditional Venetian wooden serving plate that prevents condensation so crusts stay crispy. Pizzas are topped with classic mushrooms and bacon, as well as more eclectic ingredients such as truffle cream, cured prosciutto ham, and stracchino cheese. The menu also offers traditional Italian entrees, including housemade gnocchi and chicken marsala. For lighter appetites, freshly baked ciabatta bread serves as the base for sandwiches stuffed with meatballs and honey baked ham. In celebration of the myriad dishes made from scratch on the menu, the eatery sells jars of housemade pesto, bolognese, and tomato sauces for customers to enjoy at home or while serving on jury duty.
It's a little odd that within sight of the Atlantic Ocean, you can find the tropical influence from the Pacific Islands. But once inside Da Big Kahuna Restaurant & Tiki Bar, it's easy to forget you're thousands of miles away from the South Pacific island thanks to the restaurant's tropical sights, smells, and sounds. The restaurant was created in the idea of the "Aloha Spirit", celebrating the unique and welcoming Hawaiian culture. Chefs spend their days roasting pork in Kahlua, blackening mahi-mahi fillets to a crisp finish, and shaking tropical juices into the house's exotic tiki drinks such as a blue Hawaii, pi?a colada, or Hawaiian punch. They even add a bit of Hawaiian flavor to traditionally American dishes by tossing fried shrimp in a Kahuna sauce and topping pizzas with sweet chili barbecue chicken or chunks of pineapple. On Friday evenings, guests sample one of Hawaii's most famous events, the hula. As dancers shake their hips to traditional music, guests can split fish bowl drinks topped with rum and vibrant blue curacao and work up the courage to grow their own hula skirts. Inside the intimate tiki lounge, revelers can enjoy a pelican's eye view of the ocean, complemented by nightly live music, DJs, bands, or karaoke.
Within the bustling kitchen of Bistro Mezzaluna's new location just off the 17th Street Causeway, chefs fold local seafood and seasonal ingredients into an array of fine American and Italian-inspired dishes. Under the leadership of Chef Anish Rana, they shower rigatoni and linguini in fresh seafood and classic sauces, and season prime Angus beef steaks with brandy peppercorn and roasted garlic bordelaise. They also pay special attention to each meal's end, hand-crafting each dessert in-house instead of sourcing them to outside shops. Even though the venue is new, this commitment to delicious food isn't; rather, it's the same kind of top-notch cooking that's made the Zagat-rated restaurant a destination for more than 20 years.
The atmosphere is considerably quieter outside of the kitchen, where the elegant dining room's soft lights illuminate pristine white linen tablecloths and the Italian paintings that rest on the walls. On the lush new outdoor patio, the clink of wine glasses and sounds of al fresco dinners harmonize with the trickle of water cascading down a stone fountain. The restaurant also houses an upstairs banquet facility, which welcomes parties of nearly any size for family gatherings, business lunches, and festive parties. No matter where dinner takes place, servers dart nimbly about, outfitted with pitchers for pouring ice water and keys for opening wine bottles. Diners chatter amicably all the while, sipping on imported and American wines from the 4,000+ bottles that reside in the restaurant's professional-grade wine room.