The "Desi" in Ellie's Desi Kitchen refers to the diaspora of people from South Asia settled in all parts of the world?a fact reflected in the diverse range of dishes in the restaurant's menu. Guests chow down on an eclectic spread of steaks, chicken po' boys, veggie stir-frys, fluffy naan bread, spicy curries, and their specialty, a spicy chicken sub. The decor also reflects the cosmopolitan flavor of the bill of fare. Wall scrolls of flowers and birds hang over tables laden with American ketchup and mustard bottles, while a photomontage places Machu Picchu, the Roman Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal side by side?just like they are in real life.
Ocean Market Seafood's fishermen cast their lines and nets in the sea every day to snag the fresh mahi-mahi, shrimp, and tuna that crowd the market's enormous display cases. Customers can fill bags or 28-gallon hats with spiny Florida lobster ($12.99/lb.), or line white platters with wild-caught red snapper ($7.99/lb.) and live blue crabs ($5.95/lb.) for patriotic feasts. Friendly staffers also pile lunch plates ($6.99+) to curb midday hunger, and oysters on the half shell ($8.50/dozen) make ideal hors d'oeuvres or platforms for Barbie-doll dioramas of The Birth of Venus.
The menu at Scruby's BBQ is authentic Southern through and through, but the ribs have an unexpected source: Denmark. The country's pork is widely held to be some of the highest quality in the world, and Scruby's pitmasters find that it's their best bet for optimal age, weight, and meat content. The chosen ribs make their way to an open brick pit along with dry-rubbed chicken, brisket, turkey, beef, and, of course, more pork, where they slowly drink in the smoke of black jack oak.
Once they're fall-off-the-bone tender, the ribs are slathered with home-made sauce?deemed good enough to "eat it on crackers" in a 2011 SunSentinel review?and char-grilled until they acquire a sweet, caramelized crust. Then it's time to slap them on a plate and surround them with any of a dozen sides, all made from scratch or nostalgic helpings of macaroni and cheese. Desserts are made in-house, too, including peanut-butter pie and fruit-filled banana-split cake.
Legends Tavern & Grille pairs its menu of eclectically inspired pub cuisine and hearty finger foods with a selection of craft beers from foreign and domestic breweries. Although the cooks forge familiar comfort foods, such as beer-battered Alaskan cod, they also use culinary creativity to keep the menu fresh and their spatulas motivated. Burgers come topped with everything from goat cheese to mojo pulled pork, and housemade crab cakes are served with a roasted-red-pepper rémoulade. In addition to the food and drink menus, the tavern entices patrons with special events throughout the week, including live entertainment on Friday and pub trivia on Wednesday.
Inside Hop Won Dinner Club & Skinny Bar, tradition meets modern times in both decor and cuisine. Guests lounge on chic white couches or grab a table next to the chalkboard walls that announce the day's specials. From each vantage point, diners contemplate contemporary Chinese-American fusion dishes such as the duck wings alongside more traditional entrees such as miso salmon in a spicy glaze or braised frog casserole. Family-style plates are easy to share, or a round of appetizers and eclectic drinks spark easy chitchat. The cocktail menu ranges from mojitos and sake bombs to spiked energy drinks that can fuel a night of revelry or a day of uphill cartwheeling.
Mongolian-style hot-pot dining originated centuries ago, when embattled horsemen repurposed their shields and helmets into pots for preparing meaty stews over open flames. Over time, this modality of cooking has been adopted and remixed as a communal dining event throughout Asia, and the chefs at The Hot Pot put their own spin on it with their family-oriented dinners. Servers first lay out tables banquet-style, arranging plates of raw meat, seafood, veggies, rice, and noodles around centerpiece boiling pots of homemade broth, which comes in flavors ranging from Thai-influenced hot and spicy to a chicken and vegetable house broth. Tablemates joust for morsels of flank steak, mussels, and tofu and then settle the pieces in the simmering broth until they’re tender. But the bubbling cauldron doesn't have to be the focal point of the proceedings; The Hot Pot also prepares a fresh seafood boil and Vietnamese entrees.