Since 1985, when Paul Flanigan opened the first of five Florida locations, Quarterdeck Seafood Bar & Neighborhood Grill continues to ply diners with succulent seafood and delectable libations. Each location’s culinary team crafts handmade burgers, blackens or grills delicate fish filets, and heaps plates with oysters and yellowfin tuna from the raw bar. International wines, martinis, and shooters refresh palates between bites, and when weather permits, sliding windows and doors fill the restaurant with wafts of fresh air. The Quarterdeck complements its oceanic menu with its decor of old-maritime equipment, saltwater-fish tanks, and the understudy shark from Jaws, and its flat-screen televisions and billiards tables entertain through the day and night.
Contemporary and classical styles mingle across Gazebo Cafe’s menu of shareable plates and French-influenced entrees, including duck-liver pâté, balsamic confit, and roasted rack of lamb. The meshing of new and old also surfaces in the dining room, which elegantly sports sleek, cobalt blue chandeliers and antique chinaware. Floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate servers as they float from table to table, pouring wines from a list of more than 200 bottles and training silverware to perform intricate song-and-dance routines.
The Connection’s walls feature numerous frames, which each contain pieces of history, ranging from newspaper clippings to autographed photos. Encased in one of the frames is the sub shop’s original menu from 1974, which included $0.95 genoa salami sandwiches and $1.35 meatball subs. Aside from inflation-adjusted prices, much of The Connection remains the same. It still specializes in subs and sandwiches, makes its salads fresh daily, offers kosher pickles, and prepares party platters that can feed groups of people or one competitive eater.
Chefs at Casa Mia Trattoria & Pizzeria slide wooden pizza peels into a glowing wood-fired brick oven to retrieve sizzling pies, while cooks nearby craft pasta for lasagna entrees. Beneath the soft light from pillar candles mounted on wrought-iron chandeliers, servers weave between dark-wood tables in the dining room, delivering paninis and salads topped with the morning news.
Fish have to fly in order to reach Bistro. Fresh from Europe, the Dover sole arrives ready for chefs to pan sear, fillet, and artfully garnish with almond potato cakes and asparagus tips. This dish spotlights one of the more literal examples of European influence on the menu, but more subtle influences, according to a 2004 review in the Palm Beach Post, consist of "ingredients you may have at home prepared perfectly in a way you'd never contemplate." The feature emphasizes the "gentle touch" of the chef, whose expertise ensures that the lobster tails from Maine leave the broiler at exactly the right moment.
The same attention to detail has stocked the Zagat-rated restaurant’s expansive wine cellar. Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, and Argentina contribute libations to the list, which pairs robust glasses with entrees to ensure that the flavors of the veal escalope or beef Wellington pop appropriately. A sunny, canary-yellow dining room frames these flavors, gracing eyes with photographs, pressed-tin ceilings, and lamp-clad chandeliers. Outside, a brick patio takes shelter under a pinstripe awning, warming cool nights with space heaters and accompanying meals with the gurgles of a shallow pond and the haunting songs of the abandoned reflections therein.
When Dean Lavallee opened the first Park Avenue BBQ in 1988, he had one lofty mission in mind: to serve the best barbecue ever made. Despite the seemingly impossible nature of his goal, he and his team continue to rise to the challenge, dry-rubbing their meats to smoke and char-grill on-site. They use all-natural, grain-fed, domestic pork for their traditional and Carolina-style barbecue pork—pulled by hand—and only use fresh, never-frozen ribs that are smoked daily over hickory. As diners chow down on hearty homestyle sides, seafood platters, or buffalo wings tossed in one of six sauces, they can admire the dining room's pictures of their city's most prominent people, places, and robot mayors.
Park Avenue BBQ arranges their meats into fun, hearty dishes such as the Dempublican sandwich, which combines smoked pork and beef brisket separated only by cheese and bacon to create a sizeable sandwich that the team has dubbed "porkalicious". They whip up Funnybonz, which look and taste like miniature ribs, using tender, lean pork that's prepared by cooking up regular ribs beneath a shrink ray. In 2008, their dedication to each dish caused Cityvoter's users to name Park Avenue BBQ the best barbecue in town.