Dried blossoms lean against crystal vases on white tablecloths; ornate chandeliers bathe the high-ceilinged hall in an amber glow; and scents of fenugreek, cumin, and other spices from northern and southern Indian recipes waft from Madras Exotic Indian Cuisine kitchen. The cooking staff bakes tandoori chicken, lamb, and vegetables in an authentic clay tandoor oven, and trains vegetables to assume formations atop flavored basmati-rice platters in the biryani tradition. Chefs also prepare meals to halal standards, and craft additional culinary fusions with Desi Chinese dishes. The culinary crew can pair mains with an array of sides such as six varieties of fresh-baked naan and other breads, and serve desserts in brass, footed vessels for a more delicious finale than samosa-shaped fireworks. Chefs lay out a wider range of their creations at Sunday buffets, when heated chrome containers perched atop linen-draped tables hold steaming meats, seafood, and vegetarian stews.
For more than three decades, Cypress Nook Restaurant's owners Isle Wenttengel and Michael Gerike haven't changed much. Adhering to old-world traditions with a menu of rustic Bavarian cuisine, they still maintain their restaurant inside an old stucco house, exemplifying the kind of cozy familiarity apparent everywhere, from lacey curtains to plates of frankfurters. During evenings, the dinner menu catalogs handcrafted spaetzle, knockwurst with German potato salad and kraut, and slices of homemade key lime pie.
Keeping one secret can be challenging for some, but the chefs who brew Chez Porky's housemade barbecue sauce have to keep at least 25. That's how many ingredients go into the signature marinade—one of nine memorable sauces on the menu. Another popular and equally guarded recipe yields the sweet-and-sour raspberry sauce, which decorates helpings of wings and skewered, bacon-wrapped shrimp. The jamaican jerk sauce, meanwhile, bespeaks the staff’s talent for mingling tropical spices. They channel this skill set to produce plates of farm-raised new zealand mussels—prepped with Cajun-spiced butter—and to stir up zesty bowls of caribbean coconut soup. Even steaks benefit from their sauce expertise; the bourbon street new york strip steak, for example, basks in a bourbon-rosemary-teriyaki mixture.
The kitchen has been coating entrees in tangy house flavors since 1985. Cooks refrain from freezing any of their seafood or meat and instead offer cool refreshment in the form of domestic and imported bottles of beer that patrons can stuff up their sleeves. They also cater meals for any type of special event, transporting pans of gumbo, smoked sausage, and barbecue pork to parties both big and small.
There are many words you could use to describe Checkers Old Munchen?"warm," "welcoming," and "boisterous" come to mind?but "quiet" certainly isn't one of them. The lively German watering hole resounds with oom-pah tunes and friendly chatter from open to close. Diners sit at weathered wooden tables, clinking massive boot-shaped steins and sharing plates of schnitzel. Cheerful servers command the full length of the bar, doling out pours from a selection of more than 30 German beers?from crisp pilsners to sweet hefeweizens to malty bocks.
In the kitchen, plump bratwurst sausages sizzle in pans, pots of goulash bubble on the stove, and hissing kettles whisper German fairy tales. It's in this bustling space that chef Andre Zanith whips up traditional German dishes lauded as brilliant recreations by the Broward Palm Beach New Times. Zanith's favorite dish on the menu is the wiener schnitzel?a tender veal cutlet sauteed in creamy lemon butter and topped with homemade gravy. Traditional sides include red cabbage, potato dumplings, and spaetzel noodles.
To the chefs at Isabella's Italian Restaurant, clasic Italian cuisine is perfect just the way it is. So the culinary team sticks to a mostly traditional lineup of Italian eats, from chicken marsala to veal piccata. On the seafood front, lobster sauce coats crabmeat-stuffed ravioli, while shrimp, scallops, mussels, and clams join squid-ink linguini coated in far diavolo sauce. For vegetarians, meanwhile, Isabella's extensive menu sports everything from caprese salads with grilled eggplant to pastas filled with cheese, pears, and creamy truffle sauce. Beer and house wine complement in-house feasts, though Isabella's also happily delivers any day of the week.