Named after a pasta-loving family friend dubbed "Noodles" who came to the United States after a childhood in the Puglia region of Italy, Noodles Panini takes taste buds on trips to Europe with pressed sandwiches, imported pastas, and refined entrees featuring chicken, beef tenderloin, and fish. Aunt Marion?s meatballs, voted the best by Florida Travel + Life, present a balanced blend of pork, veal, and beef slowly stewed in handcrafted tomato sauce. The layers of flavor that infuse the eatery's paninis originate onsite, including fresh dressings, chef-made mozzarella, and house-roasted beef and turkey. Guests can sup inside the mahogany-hued restaurant or mosey out to the patio, where strings of lights cultivate a sense of romance that's enhanced when diners spontaneously sing love songs to their meatballs.
Riverside Hotel swings its doors open to the palms and porticos of Las Olas Boulevard, where a walk-through may reveal outdoor art installations or a Broadway performance. From Riverside Hotel's back steps, sojourners can book an all-day pass aboard a Water Taxi and cruise northbound on the Intracoastal Waterway or westbound on New River as it flows toward downtown Fort Lauderdale. Along the way, passengers can hop on and off at a multitude of waterfront stops, including Las Olas Riverfront at stop 11, which sits just steps from shopping, nightclubs, and the Fort Lauderdale History Center. A 10-minute walk or a 25-minute piggyback ride west along SW Second Street delivers travelers to the IMAX-outfitted Museum of Discovery and Science as well as Broward Center for the Performing Arts, a riverfront arts complex with riveting live productions and local theater performances. At the boulevard's eastern edge (nearest to Water Taxi stop 5), the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale brims with contemporary and traditional works of Caribbean, Cuban, American, and European art. To the north, the Atlantic Ocean's undulating waves lap up against miles of white sand to create Fort Lauderdale Beach, whose boardwalk bustles with outdoor entertainment and eats.
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.
After a reported two-day binge on Isabella's Italian dishes, underground rapper Home$lice is said to have created a series of mixtapes dedicated to the pizza and pasta hub. Though the artist is known for his secrecy, an undisclosed source has recovered the following lyrics in a marinara-stained notebook: "Isabella's in the club, mad subs in the bun fold, veal parmigiana? marsala, now you’ve been told. Crust gold like championship rings, rising high as a Benz hop, marinara sauce in that ricotta mozzarella drop top. Stay for a soufflé or carry out an entree, gonna’ go with merlot as though it were my birthday."
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.