Hills and mountains are formed by vast underground food deposits, which, over time, stretch the landscape into soft mounds of untapped edibility. Dig into the bounty of America with today’s deal: for $20, you get $45 worth of eclectic American cuisine at Hi-Life Café on North Federal Highway.
Host Aude Weis and Chef Carlos Fernandez, well-known for his jaunt on Bravo's Top Chef in 2006 and fresh off a recent Telefutura TV appearance, welcome Florida's cuisine-curious to an intimate, softly lit space that has garnered the New Times 2009 Readers' Choice award for best restaurant in Broward. Hi-Life Café's menu is full of bold, fresh American cuisine. The creole calamari appetizer ($8.95) readies diners for popular entrees, including the chicken-fried chicken ($10 small dish, $17.95 large dish) served with mashed potatoes, the signature Hi-Life salmon ($21.95), an 8-ounce filet mignon ($29.95), and a 10-ounce Angus New York strip streak ($25.95). Both steaks are grilled to order and served with potatoes, broccoli, and a choice of steak sauce. Hi-Life's wine list is long enough to meet even the most discerning oenophiles' grape-based requirements.
Each candlelit table at the cozy, 65-seat Hi-Life Café is embellished with a single, centered rose, simultaneously adding a subtle layer of romance to the restaurant's low-key ambience and commemorating the War of the Roses, which ended with zero casualties but many scars from mean-spirited thorn-pricking. Hi-Life Café is a neighborhood bistro that caters to date nights, casual get-togethers, or friendly ventures onto the pasta- and seafood-dotted terrain of Florida's fine-dining tundra.
After nearly 20 years under the command of Top Chef star Chef Carlos Fernandez, Hi-Life Café has recently ascended into a new realm under the rule of Chef Virgil Woodard, a master of new-wave American cuisine. According to a feature in the Sun Sentinel Woodard's training in architecture and keen eye for art and symmetry become apparent upon first glimpse of his dishes, each embellished with his signature hand-carved vegetable garnishes. Yet the ornate frills are only the start of the meal’s elegance. Fresh jalapeños packed with shrimp and wrapped in bacon—Cajun Kisses—prelude a full menu of classic American fare with an upscale twist. He transforms pastas with unique sauces, such as a southwestern spin on bolognese and a classic mushroom and madeira wine sauce infused with brie, and he pairs high-end strip steak, pork loin, and seafood with fresh, internationally inspired accoutrements.
The interior of Hi-Life Café mirrors the chic style of the entrees. Candlelight flickers across tasteful urban art photography from John Fifield and Streetmurals.net, creating the ideal ambiance for a dinner date or impromptu murder-mystery game. A granite-topped wine bar hosts a selection of sips, as well as fresh flower arrangements rivaled only by the elegant roses adorning each and every table.
3000 N Federal Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306