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.
TATE'S 6,800-square-foot pop-culture paradise unveils a staggering selection of collectible comic books, graphic novels, toys, and memorabilia, which has earned the shop numerous accolades including the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award in 2009. Leaf through comics chronicling the crusades of Spider Man and the Fantastic Four, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog’s uphill ascent from family pet to Olympic gold medalist ($2.99+). Collectors can adorn empty mantles with inimitable Dr. Who collectibles ($12.99+), or peruse the cases safeguarding Star Wars collectibles, such as vintage action figures ($14+) or a lightsaber signed by star Mark Hamill ($799.99). Nosh on an exotic assortment of Japanese snacks ($0.99–$6.95) while admiring TATE'S selection of plush and vinyl toys, key chains, and figurines crafted by the toy tinkers at Kidrobot ($2.95+).
Armed to the eyeteeth with an array of cozy comestibles, Bash Wine Cafe's creative culinarians whip up gourmet fare in an easy-going neighborhood atmosphere. Appetizers such as the black truffle beggar's purse fire-up food engines with toothsome mouthfuls of truffle- and cheese-stuffed pastry ($10), while the hummus offers a trough of tahini-packed taste, perfect for mortaring together a leaning tower of pita ($8). Bash Wine Cafe's dinner menu is packed with hearty helpings such as the tuscan pork loin crusted with japanese breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and regionally dependent pesto ($14), or the doubly sauced bourbon-and-mustard-slathered pecan chicken ($14.50)—both of which come love matched with a choice of side such as mashed potatoes, seasoned rice, or mac 'n' cheese (add $1). Guests can also quell a red-meat craving with the beef short ribs, which soak in sweetness with an hours-long Coca-Cola braise before bowing to the savory secrecy of the house-made barbecue sauce—derived from grill geneticists' patient cross-breeding of various barbeque flower strains ($20).
Anthony DeMaio and Domenick Falcione's culinary venture, Mojo, reflects the partners' shared ideology of providing a feast for all the senses. When Falcione isn't busy festooning the dining room's walls with his abstract mixed-media artwork, he dons an executive-chef hat and concocts the restaurant's menu of inventive international cuisine. In an interview with the Sun Sentinel, he describes his approach to art and cooking: "I believe food is a feast for your senses, eyes, nose, taste buds and your soul. For plate presentation, I use the colors and positioning of the food, which is similar to when I paint on the canvas."
Falcione creates these aesthetically pleasing dishes with organic grains and vegetables, Lock Duart salmon, free-range chicken, and local, seasonal ingredients. His entrees blend French, Italian, and Asian flavors and preparations, and his housemade desserts include the popular flourless chocolate-espresso torte.
His passion for beauty is also apparent when examining Mojo's sleek, ultramodern décor. Once guests enter the restaurant's stainless-steel doors, they're surrounded by crisp, white tables and chairs, striped teal banquettes, white orchids, and chandeliers adorned with rows of peacock feathers.
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.