15th Street Fisheries
Surrounded by views of the Intracoastal, this Old Florida-style restaurant features seafood and selections for land lovers. Entrées come with soup, salad, a sorbet course and fresh breads. We love the prime rib.
Surrounded by views of the Intracoastal, this Old Florida-style restaurant features seafood and selections for land lovers. Entrées come with soup, salad, a sorbet course and fresh breads. We love the prime rib.
The menu is heavy on seafood and changes several times a week. We recommend the sautéed Florida red snapper or the indulgent butter-roasted Maine lobster. For dessert, try the popular roasted banana crème brûlée.
At a time when chefs and restaurants seem to be constantly shouting their own praises, Nick Morfogen and 32 East go quietly about their way of serving thoughtfully conceived, finely crafted dishes with a minimum of fuss and artifice. The menu changes daily, but recent examples of Morfogen’s culinary expertise include plump scallops given an elegant bouillabaisse treatment and fork-tender venison with a terrific Asiago-fig risotto. When the food is this good, you don’t need to shout.
The former Upper Deck at Boston’s on the Beach is now the more upscale, seafood-oriented spot. The menu ranges from familiar to slightly more inventive, from a classic lobster bisque and crisp-tender fried clam bellies to duck confit egg rolls and well-executed potato-crusted grouper. The cinnamon-dusted beignets are puffs of amazingly delicate deep-fried air and should not under any circumstances be missed.
After a rocky start, this Atlantic Avenue sibling of Zach Erdem’s celebrity magnet Southampton parent is the equal of any restaurant in town, thanks mostly to the work of chef-turned-restaurant doctor Mark Militello. The food is less about breaking new culinary ground than being really delicious—whether grilled artichoke with frothy lemon beurre blanc, immaculately fresh tuna tartare, or salmon with a subtly tart-sweet balsamic-honey glaze.
This outpost of the Boston steak house cooks up slabs of well-aged, USDA Prime beef like nobody’s business. Two of the best are the bone-in ribeye and New York sirloin. Start with a crab cocktail, but don’t neglect side dishes like steamed spinach and hash browns.
Arturo’s quiet, comfortable dining room; slightly formal, rigorously professional service; and carefully crafted Italian dishes never go out of style. You’ll be tempted to make a meal of the array of delectable antipasti from the antipasti cart, but try to leave room for main courses like giant shrimp with tomatoes, cannellini beans, rosemary and an exceptionally well-done risotto.
This posh restaurant in the luxurious Seagate Hotel & Spa mines quality ingredients for maximum flavor. A light, chunky gazpacho with soothing cucumber cream is perfect warm-weather dining. It’s also hard to resist the gum-tender meat ringed by a silken potato purée. The butterscotch-white chocolate bread pudding with rum crème anglaise (an occasional special) is pure wickedness.
The kitchen tricks out its luxurious Asian-European-Contemporary American menu with flashes of “molecular gastronomy.” Look for dishes like brioche-crusted yellowtail snapper with cuttlefish, chorizo brandade and squid ink “charcoal.” While looking out over the stunning expanse of Biscayne Bay from the chic, elegant dining room, look over the equally stunning wine list, which reads like an encyclopedia of the world’s great vintners.
The restaurant at this club-dining spot won’t leave you singing the blues, but it will leave you wishing for more than a spoonful of the lusty flavors of its Southern/New Orleans cuisine. Punch up the flavors of pan-fried catfish and shrimp with jambalaya sauce and chicken-fried chicken on a bed of mac ’n’ cheese, and you could let the good times roll. Buffalo wings, fried pickle chips and luscious banana bread pudding are good bets.
Attempting to split the difference between happening bar and American café, Bar Louie mostly succeeds, offering burgers, pizzas, fish tacos and a variety of salads, all at moderate prices and in truly daunting portions.
Barton G., an event impresario with a flair for serious theatrics, has fashioned his unique restaurant with fun and interesting fare. Choices include popcorn shrimp—served with real popcorn in a movie-theater container. Desserts look like props from “Pee Wee’s Playhouse."
Bice continues to hold the title of favorite spot on the island for the see-and-be-seen crowd. The venerable restaurant offers a marvelous array of risottos and fresh pastas and classic dishes like veal chop Milanese, sautéed chicken breast and stuffed rack of lamb. The wine list features great vintages.
Part vaguely German beer garden, part all-American sports bar, this rustic eatery offers menus that channel both, as well as an excellent selection of two-dozen beers on tap and the same number by the bottle. The food is basic and designed to go well with suds, like the giant pretzel with a trio of dipping sauces and an upscale burger featuring Florida Wagyu beef, knockwurst, cheddar cheese and more.
This small, sophisticated restaurant continues to impress with competently presented food. The menu is surprisingly diverse, with everything from seafood chowder, burgers and pizza to cherry-glazed breast of duck.
The bistro is all Euro-chic decor—blond wood, mod lighting, abstract paintings. It also has good food, from pastas to steaks and chops and a wide range of fresh seasonal fish and seafood. Don’t forget the phenomenal wine list.
With the convivial ambience and hearty good food of an authentic Parisian bistro, this inviting, unpretentious restaurant deserves its local popularity. Mussels are a specialty, and roasted duck is excellent too.
The versatile menu features “simply grilled” items like dry-aged prime rib and Colorado rack of lamb. The boldly flavored menu also offers “house specialties,” contemporary takes on bistro fare.
The versatile menu features “simply grilled” items. The boldly flavored menu also offers “house specialties,” contemporary takes on bistro fare.
This is one of the best spots around for waterside dining; the two-for-one lunch special makes it one of the most affordable. Choose from a raw bar, fish nearly every which way, as well as daily, seasonal fish specials.
Market-fresh seafood is the cornerstone—like Chilean sea bass prepared over a wood-burning grill and served with sweet Rhea’s topping (crabmeat, sautéed spinach and a signature lime, tomato and garlic sauce.)
This is a well-kept secret, featuring dishes that will meet the standards of those who savor authentic Italian. Mussels with scallions, garlic and heavy cream sauce is an appetizer highlight. Involtini capricciosi—tender-rolled veal stuffed with spinach, prosciutto and fontina cheese—is equally satiating, while the yellowtail snapper oreganatta melts in your mouth.
Michael Mina’s elegant steak house in tony Turnberry Isle features impeccable service, an encyclopedic wine list and a roster of USDA Prime Angus, Wagyu and Kobe steaks. Try the feather-light beignets accompanied by cookbook-perfect crème brûlée and chocolate pot du crème.
Generous portions of Italian and American fare — from thin-crust pizzas and homemade pasta fagioli to the mile-high Brewzzi meatloaf sandwich — put this bistro a step above the rest, but the microbrewery keeps this ocally owned chain crowded year-round. The popular Boca Blonde Lager blends Saaz and Hallertau hops into a smooth, crisp brew.
The Boca outpost of this national chain of 100-plus restaurants does what it set out to do—dish up big portions of well-made, easily accessible Italian-esque fare at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for bruschetta piled with fresh cheeses and vegetables, house-made fettuccine with tender shrimp and lobster in a spicy lobster butter sauce, and a creditable version of the classic tiramisu, you’ll be one happy diner.
Brooks remains a reliable source for fine cuisine. Guests may choose from an à la carte menu or the more economical “complete menu,” which includes first course, entrée and dessert and a bottle of wine. There also are plenty of alternatives to seafood, including duck, rib-eye or rack of lamb.
Casual elegance of Palm Beach meets modern culinary sensibilities of Miami at the first independent restaurant by chef Clay Conley. The design offers both intimate and energetic dining areas, while the menu is by turn familiar (wood-grilled burgers) and more adventurous (truffled steak tartare with crispy egg yolk, squid ink orrechiette). But they’re all good.
Don’t miss a meal at this stylish Asia-meets-industrial chic spot with a view of the Delray skyline. Chinese-influenced dim sum is inspired, while rock shrimp tempura and Wagyu tenderloin skewers with twin chimichurri sauces touch the heart and the taste buds. Veggie fried rice is exemplary thanks to the kitchen’s application of wok chi.
It’s not just the words from the mouths of satisfied customers that make this obscurely located restaurant so consistently popular; it’s the homey, satisfying food that goes into those mouths. The menu changes, but you can always count on home cooking with a gourmet spin, like pork tenderloin with raspberry jalapeno sauce, or coconut-crusted snapper. Go all out with any of a dozen or so unique and decadent desserts, cakes and pies.
Little Havana is alive and well in Delray Beach. The menu is a palette-pleasing travelogue. Mariquitas (fried banana chips) are a tasty way to start your meal. For dinner, seafood paella is a winner, with mussels, shrimp, conch, octopus, scallops and clams. And the churrasco is terrific.
ith its bold, vibrant decor and flavors, this colorful restaurant is a treat for the palette and palate. Must-orders include mariquitas, thin, crispy plantain slices that are the irresistible Cuban answer to potato chips; cookbook-perfect ceviche of shrimp, octopus and calamari that shows how chili heat can be both fiery and subtle; and the signature “Coco Cabana,” a habanero and coconut milk-infused curry with a wealth of veggies, tubers and fat, succulent shrimp.
Mexican cuisine often has more personas than Madonna. This highly stylized cantina adds another—that of California’s Chicano culture. All your favorite Mexican dishes are there, as well as enormous margaritas, but also niftier items like the terrific tuna ceviche in “tomatillo broth.”
This hotel restaurant gives Palm Beach a taste of Daniel Boulud’s world-class cuisine inspired by his four muses. The chef oversees a menu encompassing classics, simple fare, seasonal offerings and dishes from around the world. Dining is in the courtyard (not available during summer), the elegant lounge or the sophisticated dining room.
There are many things to like about this modest little osteria—the unpretentious ambience, piano nightly after 7 p.m., the fine service, the robust portions and relatively modest prices. And, of course, the simple, satisfying Italian cuisine. The kitchen breathes new life into hoary old fried calamari, gives fettucine con pollo a surprisingly delicate herbed cream sauce, gilds snowy fillets of bass with a soulful Livornese.
This longtime stalwart never rests on its laurels. Instead, it continues to dish finely crafted American/Continental fare with enough inventiveness to keep things interesting. The popular herb-and-Dijon-mustard rack of lamb, regular menu items like duck with Grand Marnier sauce, and always superlative specials reveal a kitchen with solid grounding in culinary fundamentals.
A Palm Beach standard, the café has long been known for its peerless beauty, the piano player, the chilled martinis and the delicious Champagne and caviar bar. Try one of its sophisticated classics like Wiener schnitzel with herbed spaetzle, grilled veal chop and flavorful pastas.
Standouts include crispy calamari in marinara sauce, tender meatballs and sweet-buttery scampi with huge shrimp, followed by intensely flavorful veal osso buco. Our conclusion: explosive flavor, attention to all the details and fresh, high-quality ingredients. Waiters whisper the night’s specials as if they’re family secrets.
This Japanese-French restaurant features sophisticated offerings, from an ethereal bay scallop soufflé with an unctuous sauce Americaine to roasted duck breast with a divine port-foie gras sauce.
The dining room is handsome and understated, a fitting ambience for Miami’s movers and shakers. That’s just part of the draw of Abbracci, though the regional Italian fare has achieved its own status as some of the best in the Gables. You can’t go wrong with the porcini risotto or the pounded veal chop “tricolore.”
This favorite is always lively, and alfresco dining is the preferred mode. Entrée choices are enticing, but we went with the penne alla vodka with pancetta, tomato and basil. Also delicious was the costoletta di vitello, a center-cut 14-ounce veal chop lightly breaded and served either Milanese or parmigiana. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the cheesecake imported from the Carnegie Deli.
This bright little dining room and bar (beer and wine only) has a Caribbean menu that is flavorful, imaginative—and much more. Calypso offers a spin on island food that includes sumptuous conch dishes, Stamp & Go Jamaican fish cakes and tasty rotis stuffed with curried chicken, lamb or seafood.
Billed as a Southwestern café, this twist on regional American cuisine offers great meat, poultry and fish dishes with distinctive mixes of lime, cactus and chili peppers in a subtle blend of spices. The adobe ambience is warm and welcoming, with a candlelit glow.
The Rat Pack lives and the view of the Intracoastal is sublime at this throwback restaurant on the top floor of the Bridge Hotel, where pianist-singer Michael Masci channels the likes of Sinatra with aplomb. The menu mixes the familiar with a few more modern updates, veering from a mild-tasting Caesar salad and tender charbroiled filet mignon to a tempura snapper with sweet chili sauce. Cocktails are a strong suit.
Former Chicago chef-restaurateurs Lillo and Gina Teodosi bring big-city dining to town. The ambience is welcoming, the service rigorously professional and the food is so lovingly prepared it makes even the most familiar dishes special. Among them: a farm-fresh caprese salad, giant truffle-perfumed veal chop and zabaglione that’s made to order. The light, feathery, delicate gnocchi are merely the best in South Florida.
Many dishes are specials—gnocchi, risotto and scaloppine. The veal chop is grilled and blanketed in a thick layer of Gorgonzola. A delightful pasta entrée is the pappardelle con porcini: thick strips of fresh pasta coated in a light red sauce and bursting with slices of porcini mushrooms.
Angelo Elia’s impeccable Italian restaurant is a delight, from the stylish room to the suave service to the expansive wine list, not to mention food that’s by turn elegant, hearty, bold, subtle and always delicious. Dishes off the regular menu make excellent choices, like fat prawns wrapped in pancetta and grilled. But pay attention to specials like pan-seared snapper and scallops in a spicy, garlicky cherry tomato sauce.
A welcoming staff, familiar Italian dishes done right and moderate prices define this cozy spot with a spacious outdoor patio.
This 1925 Mediterranean Revival property with an oft-changing menu showcases simple, sophisticated ingredients that typify the best of Italian cooking.
The restaurant has an “Arabian Nights” feel, with strong Mediterranean influences. Try the peppercorn-dusted filet mignon with potato croquette, Gorgonzola sauce and roasted pepper and Granny Smith relish.
A variety of small plates, from Mexican tacos and Argentine empanadas to Spanish potatoes make up the menu of this elegant yet casual pan-Latin eatery. The best dishes—crusty-creamy papas bravas, savory shrimp and scallion crêpe, buttery cauliflower and fennel gratin, and indecently luscious dulce de leche pot du crème—will make your taste buds do a happy dance.
Locals flock here for the made-to-order bistro sandwiches on fresh baguettes, daily quiche selections and cheese plates. Favorites include the applewood-smoked bacon with goat cheese brie sandwich and the Spanish salad with manchego, orange slices and black olives.
Sumptuous cuisine, attentive servers and a see-and-be-seen crowd are hallmarks of one of the island’s premier restaurants. Indulgences include scrambled eggs with caviar and the Dover sole meunière filleted tableside. When your waiter suggests profiterolles au chocolat or hazelnut soufflé, say, mais oui!
The Latin American rodizio-churrascaria concept—all the meat you can eat, brought to your table—is done with high style, fine wines and excellent service. The prime rib, sausages, filet mignon, pork ribs and lamb chops are very good.
South Florida may not be a hotbed of fine Chinese cuisine, but anyone who loves the incredibly diverse, sophisticated food of the Middle Kingdom should be fired up about this chic restaurant. From exquisite dim sum (like steamed chicken and mushroom dumplings perfumed with kaffir lime leaf) to a superb version of Peking duck with impossibly crisp skin, tender meat and house-made pancakes, the food here is a revelation.
The dim sum basket is an absolute must-try. A choice of signature steamed dumplings are likewise spot on. The steak kew is delicious, and the clay pot casseroles are enticing.
“Less is more” is not the mantra of this huge edition of Jeff Chodorow’s iconic nouveau pan-Asian eatery. The food, too, is all about more—more of it, more flavor and more satisfaction with dishes like plum and sesame-glazed lamb spareribs and deeply savory Korean-style kalbi beef.
Steaks are aged USDA Prime—tender, flavorful and perfectly cooked under a 1,700-degree broiler. There’s all manner of fish and shellfish, but you’re here for the lobster, whether giant Australian tails flash-fried and served with drawn butter or sizable Maine specimens stuffed with crab.
A multimillion-dollar remodel of the old Pete’s has turned it into an elegant seafood house with a lengthy seafood-friendly wine list, impeccably fresh fish and shellfish cooked with care and little artifice.
This stylish mainstay of Big Time Restaurant Group serves up reasonably priced seafood that never disappoints, such as crab-stuffed shrimp with jalapeño cheddar grits, bacon, shiitake mushrooms and warm vinaigrette.
Despite the name, there’s nothing crazy about the cooking at this homey eatery. It’s the hearty, soul-satisfying Italian cuisine we’ve all come to know and love. Spaghetti Bolognese is a fine version of a Northern Italian classic; house-smoked mozzarella—breaded, fried and presented with a tangy tomato-basil fondue—is equally tasty.
Diners pack this traditional Cuban restaurant for lunch specials that start at $7.95, including slow-roasted pork served with white rice and black beans. Other highlights include the Cuban sandwich and (on the dinner menu only) lechón asado.
The wide range of items on the menu and the great quality of Cucina’s cuisine, combined with its fine service, ensures a fun place for a casual yet delectable meal—not to mention being a vantage point for spotting local celebs.
There’s a lot more than just curries at this cozy Indian restaurant—crisp, beignet-like pakoras, perfect for dipping in one of three mild but flavorful chutneys; tender and juicy grilled meats and poultry; an array of palate-piquing vegetarian dishes. The curries are good, too.
Hipper decor, a more casual vibe and an inventive take on steak-house favorites make this sleek restaurant just different enough to be interesting. Starters such ceviche (prepared Peruvian style) and ultrarich oysters Rockefeller are first-rate, while the wet-aged beef is appropriately tender and tasty.
Don’t go expecting the tired old “Italian” culinary clichés at Angelo Elia’s wickedly stylish trattoria. Instead, open your palate to more authentic and exciting Roman-style cuisine, like roasted veal bone marrow with brisk caper-parsley pesto, creamy-dreamy burrata with roasted fava beans and watercress salad, the classic tonnarelli cacio e pepe (“cheese and pepper”) and the best gelato this side of a real Roman trattoria.
The longstanding institution from chef Oliver Saucy is as good now as when it opened in the mid-1980s. The peppered sea scallops appetizer is a must, as is Café Maxx’s cheese plate. Main courses offer complex flavor profiles, such as the sweet-onion-crusted yellowtail snapper on Madeira sauce over mashed potatoes. Parts of the menu change daily.
Burt Rapoport’s ode to laid-back tropical dining is like a day at the beach without getting sand between your toes. Though the restaurant is casual, the kitchen takes its food seriously, whether the steallar flatbreads, the thick and juicy 10-ounce special blend burger or homey apple cobbler. And the waterfront location just seems to make everything taste better.
This organic-healthy-sustainable eatery is all about “Doing It Green” with dishes like plump pan-seared diver scallops with pineapple-mango salsa. The different greens mixes at the salad bar are crisp and pristinely fresh.
The cuisine reverberates with the tastes of China, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam. Crispy jumbo shrimp with soybean plum sauce is delectable, the Chinese hot and sour soup is unlike any other, and the Mongolian beef tenderloin is perfection. Sake list is also tops. This offsite property of The Breakers is managed with the same flawlessness as the resort.
Try master chef Eduardo Pria’s pan-sautéed Florida blue crab and yellow corn cakes. As far as soups go, there’s the pasilla-chile-flavored chicken broth with fresh “epazote” (fried corn tortilla strips, sliced avocado, sour cream and homemade cheese). The pan-seared beef tenderloin filet mignon has so much gusto, it’s far too much to consume in one sitting.
Don’t let the New Age “spirituality” of this quaint restaurant throw you off. Instead, focus on the fresh, organic ingredients that are incorporated into inventive sushi, soups and salads and (mostly) Asian-influenced entrées.
Escopazzo is consistently cited as the best Italian restaurant on South Beach—and bills itself as organic, with a raw foods component on the menu. Pasta is the star here, hand-rolled and tossed with far more alluring partners than meatballs or clams—as in pumpkin ravioli with white-truffle cream sauce and pappardelle with buffalo-meat ragoût.
Since 1989, this upscale tavern has been a Delray favorite. The straightforward menu focuses on entrées, especially the famed Allen Brothers beef; choose from numerous cuts and preparations—and add a lobster tail for good measure.
Everything about this popular restaurant is restrained—the ambience, the decor, the presentations. And the food can be that way, as well. Still, the ingredients and preparation are first-rate. Try the duck spring rolls to start, and then enjoy steak kew or Grand Marnier prawns.
The Cheesecake Factory’s sister brand is an upscale take on the original formula, with an atmosphere inspired by the great cafes of Europe. The menu offers a range of international flavors, and the specialty baked-to-order desserts are always a big hit.
This youthful American gastropub gratifies more often than not with friendly and efficient servers, a surprisingly sophisticated wine list and food that—when it clicks—is quite good. Try not to gorge on the addictive house-made potato chips so you have appetite to gorge on the pulled pork sliders and the blue cheese-dressed iceberg lettuce salad.
Flaky, overstuffed spanikopita and light and delicate beef meatballs should be at the top of your appetizer list, and though entrées don’t always reach those heights, both a long-braised lamb shank and grilled whole snapper are certainly satisfying. And the baklava is great.
This casual, unpretentious restaurant from Burt Rapoport in the west part of town never fails to delight diners. Expect attentive service and crisp execution of everything—from meat loaf, burgers and fried chicken to flatbreads and hefty composed salads.
Get ready to enjoy delicious food and excellent service in chef Carlos Fernandez’s unpretentious but pretty venue. Check out the Cajun kisses, jalapeños stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. For the main course, we love the braised short ribs or the Hawaiian butterfish in a red curry sauce. Hi-Life has a nice contemporary wine list with good choices by the glass.
The normally riotous flavors of Thai cuisine are muted at this family-friendly downtown spot, but that seems to suit diners just fine. Dishes, well-prepared and generously portioned, include steamed chicken and shrimp dumplings with sweet soy dipping sauce and crisp-fried duck breast in a very mild red curry sauce.
With rustic features like butcher-block tables and comfy padded leather booths, Houston’s has successfully created a “nonchain” feel, although there are more than 40 nationwide. The menu is straightforward—big burgers on sweet egg buns, Caesar salad, roasted chicken, filet mignon—but it’s not lacking in ingenuity.
This South Florida classic is not trendy, but it offers a level of comfort and consistency that has been bringing people back for 30 years. The food is fine hearty Italian, with excellent service. Try the veal Kristy or the frogs legs.
This modest, unpretentious Italian restaurant doesn’t attempt to reinvent the culinary wheel. Instead, it dishes up big portions of simple, hearty, flavorful food at extremely reasonable prices. Zuppa de pesce is a wealth of perfectly cooked seafood over linguini in a light tomato-based sauce.
Clay Conley’s “little sister” (the translation of Imoto from Japanese) is next to his always-bustling Buccan. Imoto turns out Japanese-inspired small plates with big-city sophistication, like witty Peking duck tacos and decadent tuna and foie gras sliders. Sushi selection is limited but immaculately fresh. The mille-crêpe cake is 20 layers of lacy, mango-sauced goodness.
Enjoy delightful alfresco dining while sampling fresh seafood and exotic specialties. Dependable choices like ahi tuna is joined by more intriguing dishes like sea bass and salmon, and landlubbers will enjoy a selection of steaks and chops
This local favorite on the Avenue—owned by John Hutchinson (also the chef) and wife Tina—serves up everything from burgers and wraps to entrées like fruits of the sea, pistachio-crusted snapper and jerked pork. Don’t forget to inquire about the stunning array of 10 specials—every night.
Jake’s has made a name for itself with delicious claws and excellent service. Crusty hash browns and nutmeg-flavored creamed spinach are fine accompaniments. Lobster and filet mignon surf-n-turf comes generously adorned
Best bets are a lovely salad of ripe tomatoes and fresh, milky house-made mozzarella; a rich, elegant version of lusty Cajun etouffee; and caramelized bananas in puff pastry with silken vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
You’re likely to wait a few hours for the privilege of getting a taste of old Florida (not to mention the best stone crabs on the planet). But it’s worth it. Fried oysters, lyonnaise potatoes, creamed spinach and Key lime pie are other specialties.
Johnny Vinczencz made his mark at Boca’s Maxaluna and Max’s Grille and (the former) De La Tierra at Delray’s Sundy House. Now in his own restaurant on Las Olas Boulevard, Vinczencz has evolved. As for the impressive wine list, Johnny V has more than 600 selections.
Tradition trumps trendy, and comfort outweighs chic at this Boca favorite. The ambience is quiet and stately but not stuffy, and the menu is full of hearty dishes to soothe the savage appetite, like three-cheese eggplant rollatini and chicken scarpariello.
This wickedly stylish Asian-inspired gastropub delivers a delicious and inventive punch to the taste buds. Among the hardest hitters are green tea-cured salmon with micro and fried basil and longan berries stuffed with yuzu kosho gelee, and cheesecake springrolls with a nothing-exceeds-like-excess banana caramel dipping sauce.
This local stalwart smoothly rolls along with its signature blend of French and Continental dishes. The ornate, formal dining room and equally formal service are anomalies these days but are comforting nonetheless. Classic dishes like creamy lobster bisque, house-made duck paté, broiled salmon with sauce béarnaise and dreamy chocolate mousse are as satisfying as ever.
The attraction here is carefully prepared food that is satisfying, flavorful and reasonably priced. The fist-sized crab cake is a good place to start, followed by sea bass with a soy-ginger-sesame glaze.
True professionals turn out gently updated and classically oriented dishes notable for the quality of their ingredients and careful preparation. Sweetbreads in chanterelle cream sauce are glorious; a barely grilled artichoke with mustardy remoulade is gloriously simple. Watching your server skillfully debone an impeccably fresh Dover sole is almost as satisfying as eating it.
La Goulue means “the glutton,” and this stylish brasserie offers many excuses for gluttony. Luscious foie gras presented in a green apple for one, opulent lobster risotto under shaved black truffles for a third.
Chef Philippe Ruiz emphasizes modern French fare from the southern regions of France, doing so with classic technique and light-handed manner. The portions are relatively small, encouraging five courses, and guests may design their own custom tastings, with a wide variation in price.
Expect no ambience, no pretensions, low prices and food that satisfies on a very high level. Good starters include antichuchos, chunks of grilled beef heart, and causa, a terrine-like layering of mashed potatoes and chicken salad. Ceviche and the lomo saltado are among the best in South Florida.
For almost two decades, this elegant little spot has been celebrating the delicate, sophisticated flavors and textures of traditional and contemporary Vietnamese cuisine. A house signature, shrimp tossed with coriander curry pesto, is an inspired riff on Vietnamese classics. Service and wines match the refinement of the cuisine.
This is a well-edited version of a traditional Italian menu, complete with homemade pastas. Try the signature whole yellowtail snapper encrusted in sea salt, deboned tableside. Shrimp diavolo is perfectly scrumptious.
This eclectic menu has French, Moroccan and Indian influences. Michelin-trained chef/owner Andy Trousdale prepares everything to order. We love beef Wellington (for two) and the yummy napoleon.
Don’t overlook this small, unassuming bastion of traditional French cookery. That would be a mistake, because the dishes that virtually scream “creativity” can’t compare to the quiet pleasures served here—like cool, soothing vichyssoise, delicate fillet of sole with nutty brown butter sauce or perfectly executed crème brûlee. Good food presented without artifice at a fair price never goes out of fashion.
This faux-New England-ish seafooder in Town Center mall satisfies with a roster of fresh fish and shellfish, well prepared and competently served by an earnest young staff. The signature clam chowder is made in corporate kitchens but is still better than most, while crab cakes chock-full of sweet-tasting crab and hardly any binders have even fewer equals. There’s a selection of DIY fish and sauces too. And for dessert, what else but Boston cream pie?
Flowing drapes and industrial lighting complete the exotic decor in this Middle Eastern hit. Sensational hummus is a must-try. Lamb kebab with parsley, onion and spices makes up the delicious Lebanese lamb kefta. Take your Turkish coffee to the patio for an arguileh (water pipe) experience.
Casually hip ambience, friendly service, moderate prices and a blend of sushi and nouveau pan-Asian fare make this a popular destination. The quality of its seafood and care in its preparation are what gives Lemongrass its edge.
The restaurant offers excellent food in a glamorous and intimate club-like atmosphere. In fact, it’s advisable to make early reservations if a quiet dinner is the objective; the place becomes a late-night cocktail spot after 9. The menu is equally decadent.
Chef-owner Michael Wagner reinvigorates quintessentially American dishes with exacting technique and inventive flavor combos. Short ribs braised in Coca-Cola come with thick-cut onion rings and indecently rich, tarragon-laced creamed corn.
It’s the neighborhood spot where families congregate for great food and a good time. Do as the Italians do and order family-style, sit back and watch the endless amounts of gorgeous foods grace your table. In this manner, you receive two appetizers, two salads, two pastas, two entrées, two vegetables and two desserts.
You’re in for a treat if the pasta of the day is prepared with what might be the best Bolognese sauce ever. Another top choice is the chicken breast, pounded thin and filled with fontina and prosciutto.
This popular spot is swanky in its reincarnation, but the rustic Italian and Italian-American fare keeps with an osteria’s humbler pretensions. Signature dishes like the garlic rolls, lasagna and eggplant “pancakes”—basically deconstructed eggplant Parm—are on the new menu, as are posh veal osso buco ravioli in truffle cream sauce and thick, juicy rib-eye served “arrabiata” style.
Matteo’s brand of hearty Italian and Italian-American food, served in giant “family style” portions, needs no reinventing. Though there is no shortage of local restaurants cooking in that genre, it’s the details of preparation and service that make Matteo’s stand out. Baked clams are a good place to start, as is the reliable chopped salad. Linguini frutti di mare is one of the best in town.
Though its signature California-influenced cookery and “American bistro” ambience are no longer furiously trendy, this stylish restaurant is as popular as ever due to consistently tasty and well-prepared food. Dishes run haute to homey, from seared-raw tuna to meatloaf wrapped with bacon. And don’t miss the luscious crème brûlée pie for dessert.
Dennis Max, instrumental in bringing the chef and ingredient-driven ethos of California cuisine to South Florida in the 1980s, is again at the forefront of the fresh, local, seasonal culinary movement. Max’s Harvest soars with dishes like plump Cedar Key clams with house-made tasso, savory bourbon-maple glazed pork belly, and crispy-skinned wild sockeye salmon with yuzu-truffle vinaigrette.
At James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz’s unpretentious restaurant, you’ll get plenty of genuine satisfaction from genuinely delicious food, exactingly prepared and simply presented. Wood-roasted double yolk farm egg and crispy pork belly are divine. Surprisingly, all the desserts from rock star pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith aren’t rock-star quality, but dining here is such a genuine pleasure it almost doesn’t matter.
There’s a lot to like about Michy’s. Dishes like creamy truffled polenta with poached egg and bacon are lovely. The wine list is exciting and exceptionally well-chosen, and service is on a level rarely seen in South Florida restaurants.
There’s seemingly no end to diners’ love of huge slabs of high-quality aged beef, nor to the carnivores who pack the clubby-swanky dining room of this meatery. The star of the beef show is the giant bone-in filet mignon, which trumps with unusually deep and meaty flavor. The side of Grand Marnier soufflé is a cloud of luscious, citrus-y beauty that says while beef may be what’s for dinner, I am what’s for dessert.
This wildly popular Boca meatery packs them in with swift, professional service, classy supper club ambience and an extensive wine list. And, of course, the beef—all USDA Prime, cooked to tender and juicy lusciousness over ferocious heat. The bone-in rib-eye is especially succulent, but don’t neglect the New York strip or steak-house classics like oysters Rockefeller, garlicky spinach and crusty hash browns.
Expect flavorful, moderately priced California-esque cuisine in a casual setting with affordable wines and young, energetic servers. Try the short-rib or jerk chicken quesadillas as appetizers, and don’t miss the four-cheese tortellini as a main course.
Cross Naples (thin, blistered crust, judicious toppings) with Connecticut (fresh clams and no tomato sauce), and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the pies coming out Nick Laudano’s custom-made ovens. The “white clam” pizza with garlic and bacon is killer-good; Caesar salad and tiramisu are much better than the usual pizzeria fare.
The second incarnation of this New York Yankees-themed restaurant swings for the fences—and connects—with monstrous portions, chic decor and decadent desserts. The signature steaks, dry-aged for 21 days, are a meat lover’s dream; seafood specialties include sautéed sea bass, Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab. Don’t miss the NYY Steak 151 volcano for dessert.
Creative ceviches are a signature of chef Douglas Rodriguez, none better than a mix of shellfish with octopus “salami.” Foie gras and fig-stuffed empanadas turn the humble into haute, as does the sublime pork with black-trumpet mojo.
Menu highlights include tropical mango salad, spicy fried calamari salad, Caribbean ahi tuna with wasabi potatoes and jerk-spiced Cornish game hen.
The exceptional Northern Italian cuisine at this restaurant has been consistently ranked among the best in Miami Beach.
Fernando Davila’s modestly stylish ristorante promises “a new take on Italian classics.” Pizzas from the oak-fired oven are a joy, and vegetarian lasagna is good enough to make the meat version obsolete. Don’t miss one of the inventive cocktails, like a sweet-smoky-salty bacon-maple old fashioned.
There may have been no revolution if Mao had simply eaten at P.F. Chang’s—the portions are large enough to feed the masses—and the exquisite tastes in each dish could soothe any tyrant. We particularly like the steamed fish of the day, as well as the Szechuan-style asparagus.
Add culinary influences from the tropics, Europe, Asia and Latin America to a trio of chefs from the Four Seasons Palm Beach, plus one Venezuelan designer-turned-restaurateur, and the result is this smartly modern bistro that’s bringing a real sense of gastronomic adventure to Wellington. Every dish sports an element that will tickle your taste buds, whether crunchy Asian slaw on ahi poke flatbread or beguiling lemongrass-kaffir lime vinaigrette with a slab of various blackened fish.
A Tomasz Rut mural dominates the main dining room, and there is also a pasticceria and bar for gelato and espresso. Chef Angelo Romano offers a modern Italian menu. The Mediterranean sea bass branzino is definitely a must-try. Plus, the wine list is a veritable tome.
The guys from Cut 432 have done it again with this hip, casual modern American tavern. The menu is tightly focused and tightly executed, whether Maryland crab cake featuring fat chunks of succulent crab or crisply sautéed pork belly with apricot mostarda. Don’t miss the behemoth slab of tender, juicy prime rib for a near-saintly $29.
When Pascal Oudin ran the kitchen at the Grand Bay Grand Café, his tropical take on French cuisine earned him national acclaim. Now, he offers a more streamlined but still contemporary, French menu. We definitely suggest the sea scallops, which are topped with short ribs and served with truffle sauce.
It’s nothing to look at—just another little restaurant in another west Boca strip shopping center. But appearances can be deceiving; this restaurant serves excellent and authentic Thai cuisine in a cozy and unpretentious atmosphere.
The menu seemingly lists every recent trendy dish to come out of modern American restaurant kitchens, but Piñon succeeds with spot-on execution, mammoth portions and reasonable prices. Try the grilled artichokes with a zippy Southwestern-style rémoulade, a pair of giant crab cakes with more of that good rémoulade or a chocolate-peanut butter pie that is the irresistible definition of lusciousness.
Pistache doesn’t just look like a French bistro, it cooks like one. The menu includes such bistro specialties as mussels mariniere, coq au vin and steak tartare.
Prime is aptly named for its heart of the action location, classy neo-supper club decor, extensive wine list and roster of designer steaks. Starters and desserts fare better than entrées, especially plump, crabby Maryland-style crab cakes and indecently luscious chocolate bread pudding. Service is a strong suit too, so with a bit of work this good-looking restaurant will fully live up to its name.
Simple pleasures soar—full-belly clams, fried sweet and crispy, or a perfectly grilled piece of mahi or bouillabaisse overflowing with tender fish. Don’t miss one of the best Key lime pies around.
Though the menu generally falls under the heading of modern American comfort food, that can mean anything from elegant presentations like the jaw-dropping lobster cobb salad to homier offerings like burgers and pizza, fiery Buffalo-style calamari, succulent chicken roasted in the wood-fired oven and an uptown version of everyone’s campfire favorite, s’mores.
The simplicity of true Italian cuisine is on display—from sea-sweet lump crab and earthy-tasting green beans lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil to squid-ink tagliolini with delicate tomato sauce and shellfish. Oven-roasted quail wrapped in pancetta and stuffed with sausage, pine nuts and raisins is exquisite.
While it does provide the level of comfort, luxury and beef-centric cuisine affluent carnivores demand, Red does so with a lighter, fresher and more casual touch. It also serves some of the best—and best cooked—steaks in town. Try the succulent, gum-tender steak tartare. Meat not on your menu? Gulf shrimp in a seductive white wine-garlic-Dijon butter sauce will have you lapping up every last drop. Do the giant donut holes for dessert.
This most romantic hideaway is buzzing in season and quietly charming all year long with Italian classics and a Floridian twist—like the sautéed black grouper in a fresh tomato and pernod broth with fennel and black olives and the wildflower-honey-glazed salmon fillet with crab and corn flan.
The buzzword is fresh at Renzo’s. Fish is prepared daily oreganata or Livornese style, sautéed in white wine with lemon and capers or grilled. Homemade pasta is artfully seasoned, and Renzo’s tomato sauce is ethereal.
Once a diner, the interior is eclectic with plenty of kitsch. The crab cakes are famous here, and the tapas are equally delightful. Homemade ice cream and the chocolate chip cookies defy comparison.
Sapori features fresh fish, veal and chicken dishes imbued with subtle flavors. The grilled Italian branzino, the veal chop Milan and the zuppa di pesce served over linguine are especially tasty, and the pasta (all 17 kinds!) is available in full and half orders, with your choice of 15 zesty sauces.
This little restaurant is making culinary magic. Here, a taste of Italy is brought to life with rabbit cacciatorá (Tuscany style), veal ossobuco, homemade pasta with wild boar sausage, and a tasty rack of venison. Homemade desserts, including tiramisu, panna cotta and zuppa ingles, will take your breath away. Service is out of this world.
Big Time Restaurant Group has crafted a handsome spot that dishes Mexican favorites, as well as upscale variations on the theme and some 150 tequilas. Tacos feature house-made tortillas and a variety of proteins. Made-to-order guacamole is a good place to start, perhaps followed by a grilled yellowtail (an occasional special) with mango-pineapple salsa.
This is the perfect setting for good conversation, a glass of wine and delicious food. Fettuccine alla Romantico is hot homemade fettuccine poured into a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
There is no menu per se. After ascertaining your food allergies and preferences, Romeo will dazzle you with six courses. We loved the lightly breaded sea bass with lima beans, the risotto with scallops and cilantro, and the penne with capers and porcini mushrooms. Excellent service and a good wine list.
A simple menu reading doesn’t reveal the quality of ingredients and the care and skill that go into the preparation here. The often fusty, rubbery clams casino is remarkably light and fresh-tasting. Perciatelli Amatriciana is hearty and meaty but no less finely crafted, while the signature chicken Rosario’s (with sausage, potatoes and peppers) is full of old-fashioned goodness. With effortlessly competent service and comfortable, unpretentious ambience, this is one book you’ll want to read all the way through.
This is a refreshing departure from the ambience common to many steak houses; the room is comfortable, and conversation is possible. Naturally, we come here for the steak (they are sublime), but the lobster and fish are great. All your favorite sides are here, too.
This stylish little restaurant offers food that gently marries East and West, plus a roster of more traditional Thai dishes and inventive sushi rolls. Menu standouts include tempura-fried rock shrimp or calamari cloaked with a lush-fiery “spicy cream sauce.” Expect neighborly service and reasonable prices.
The food is simple, exactingly prepared, extraordinarily fresh and always delicious. Whether a selection of high-quality salumi, tube-like macaronis with veal meatballs in a lusty tomato sauce, or superb salt-baked branzino, dishes sing with flavor and deliver the kind of soulful satisfaction all the “fusion cuisine” in the world can’t match.
The food is exactingly prepared, extraordinarily fresh and always delicious. Whether a selection of high-quality salumi, tube-like macaronis with veal meatballs in a lusty tomato sauce, or superb salt-baked branzino, dishes deliver the kind of soulful satisfaction all the “fusion cuisine” in the world can’t match.
For a right-on-the-beach, welcome-to-Florida dining experience, there’s Sea Watch. Decked out in a pervasive nautical theme, this is definitely tourist country, but it’s pretty and on the beach. The perfect entrée for the indecisive: Sea Watch medley, with lobster tail, jumbo shrimp and scallops broiled in butter, garlic and white wine.
This seafood market and restaurant, more suited to a pier, offers some of the freshest seafood in the county. Its unpretentious atmosphere is the perfect setting for the superb king crab, Maine lobster, Florida lobster tails and much more. Tangy Key lime pie is a classic finish.
The food—seasonal ingredients, simply and healthfully prepared, accompanied by interesting wines—is first-rate, from salmon roasted on a cedar plank to desserts served in oversized shot glasses.
This steak house on the beach provides what could be the best ocean view in two counties. Meat is the focus, with a compact menu of all your faves, as well as your new favorite steak, Mary Anne: two mouthwatering 5-ounce filets in a creamy cognac and shallot sauce.
The coach with the most wins in National Football League history has a very straightforward game plan when it comes to food—large steaks and tasty sides. Classic cuts include a 32-ounce prime rib served on the bone, a 24- or 48-ounce porterhouse and a 16-ounce New York sirloin.
Cruise ships pass by large picture windows, while a stream of waiters carry thick, juicy, dry-aged steak—filet mignon, prime rib, N.Y. sirloin and rib-eye. Creamed spinach and onion rings are textbook sides.
Stéphane Lang-Willar’s contemporary brasserie dishes both French and American classics in a stunningly beautiful space that fairly purrs with big-city sophistication. Gallic specialties include perfect takes on salad Lyonnaise and bouillabaisse, as well as lustfully meaty and tender prime rib with fully loaded baked potato. Check out the innovative iPad wine list and sinful trio of crème brûlées for dessert.
Not only does the menu offer an alternative to animal agriculture, the company’s profits support animal welfare. The haute vegetarian cuisine delivers with dishes like mushroom ravioli and the Tuscan quiche.
“Top Chef” Lindsay Autry and pastry chef Sarah Sype have transformed the Sundy House menu into a “soulful” blend of Mediterranean flavors and Southern comfort food—served in arguably the most beautiful restaurant and gardens in Delray. Menus are seasonal and imaginative. Try the crispy whole branzini, the roasted bone marrow or any of the fresh local fish dishes.
Think inventive, sophisticated food, the kind that made the original Pompano Beach restaurant a major destination. Its take on tuna tartare is still the gold standard, and you can’t go wrong with entrées like onion-crusted salmon or the grilled Atlantic swordfish
Impeccably fresh and exactingly prepared sushi and other Japanese specialties are on display. The Nobu-esque miso sea bass gives a taste of this modern classic at a fraction of the price of the original, while the chef’s sushi assortment offers a generous arrangement of nigiri and maki for a easonable $20.
Local sushi-philes jam the narrow dining room for such impeccable nigirizushi as hamachi and uni (Thursdays), as well as more elaborate dishes like snapper Morimoto and tuna tartare. Creative, elaborate rolls are a specialty.
Blend the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peruvian and Brazilian cuisines, add a dollop of Caribbean and a dash of South Florida, and you’ve got some seriously exciting and satisfying food. Sushi doesn’t get any more glamorous than when combining ahi with shiso leaf and a slab of foie gras.
This self-described “American bistro” is less typical “American” restaurant or classical French “bistro” than it is posh-casual refuge for the see-and-be-seen crowd in and around Palm Beach. The eclectic menu offers everything from roasted duck with orange blossom honey-ginger sauce to dry-aged steaks and an assortment of pizzas.
A contemporary Amer-Italian osteria with pizza describes Gary Rack’s reborn Coal Mine Pizza. The menu is compact but offers mix-and-match opportunities done with great attention to detail—like irresistible honey balsamic chicken wings with grilled onions and blue cheese; and linguine in deliriously rich and creamy pesto.
Quiet and soothing, this multicultural venue serves sushi, sashimi, yakitori and wide-ranging Japanese appetizers, but Tamarind also presents a full menu of Thai classics and a sake lounge. Try the complex masaman curry. Finish with the red bean or green tea ice cream.
Part of the swanky iPic Theater complex (though it does not service the theater), this handsome spot relies on quality ingredients and careful preparation instead of culinary special effects and car chases. The Parma Bar, a sort of sushi bar for meat and cheese fanatics, also does terrific ricotta-stuffed fried squash blossoms. Pan-seared branzino and massive bone-in veal chop are excellent, and the ethereal rosemary beignets with rosemary-olive oil gelato are luscious and cutting edge.
Few present Greek cuisine better. Expertly prepared dishes cover the spectrum of Mediterranean cuisine, from cold appetizers (dolmades; grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs) to hot starters (spanakopita, baked phyllo with spinach and feta cheese) to mouthwatering entrées like lamb shank (slow-cooked in a tomato sauce and served on a bed of orzo), massive stuffed peppers or kebobs.
Bring all your friends here and order a million mezes (Greek appetizers). Try the keftedes, Greek meatballs, and the lamb chops or snapper, which is filleted at the table. Don’t be surprised when your waiter pulls you up on the table to dance.
There’s more than sushi to lure you here, though the sushi is up to the caliber of local competitors. There’s an extensive menu of Thai dishes and Thai- and Japanese-style creations, among them spaghetti in a fiery green curry sauce with grilled shrimp; a sushi roll with sheets of seared-raw New York steak; and a zippy take on tuna tartare that gilds the fish with kimchee sauce.
Dark wood, rice paper and tiles fill the space. An appetizer portion of Age Natsu, fried eggplant, is a consummate Japanese delicacy. Don’t miss the ITET roll with shrimp tempura and avocado, topped with spicy mayo, tempura flakes and eel sauce.
This is one of more than three dozen restaurants in a national chain, but the Boca Grille treats you like a regular at your neighborhood restaurant. Steaks, dry-aged if not Prime, are flavorful and cooked with precision, while starters from Wagyu beef carpaccio to a lighter version of the hardy chopped salad are nicely done too. Parmesan truffle fries are crispy sticks of potato heaven; chocolate-espresso cake a study in shameless, and luscious, decadence.
Oh, the choices! The chain even has a Sunday brunch menu in addition to its main menu, which includes Chinese chicken salad and Cajun jambalaya. Don’t forget about the cheesecakes—from white chocolate and raspberry truffle offerings.
Dishes range from tasty chicken dishes and main-plate salads to seafood options like pistachio-crusted snapper or simply grilled yellowfin tuna.
Your office is nothing like this eclectic gastropub, unless your office sports more than two dozen craft beers on tap and a menu that flits from burgers and fries to mussels. Don’t miss the restaurant’s winning take on the thick, juicy Prime beef burger and simply wicked maple-frosted donuts with bacon bits and two dipping sauces.
The Palm’s signature caricatures add a touch of comedy to the classic gentlemen’s-club scene. The portions are giant, but you’ll surely clear your plate of 3- to 7-pound jumbo Nova Scotia lobster or a tender filet mignon. S&S cheesecake shipped from the Bronx is pure heaven.
With a casual, yet refined ambience, The Restaurant is the premier dining venue at the Four Seasons Palm Beach. Savor fresh Atlantic seafood in a contemporary setting complemented by innovative cocktails. Don’t miss the mouthwatering dessert selections. Live entertainment is featured on Saturday nights.
If you’re hungry for Maine lobster, plucked live out of giant tanks and cooked to order, this modest replica of a 1920s train station is the place to go. Lobsters come in all sizes (up to 8 pounds) and are so reasonably priced that getting a taste of one without reservations is highly unlikely.
This stylish spot offers great twists on classic and not-so-classic Italian fare. Favorites include thin-crust pizzas from a wood-burning oven and crispy oysters with pancetta and white beans. A tasting menu is available (wine extra), and desserts feature Italian themes with tropical notes, such as the macadamia nut brittle with gelato, caramelized bananas, pineapple and toasted coconut.
Sink yourself into oversized booths with elegant white tablecloths and prepare to dive into excellent signature bone-in steaks. The menu includes chops and a diverse array of fresh fish and pasta dishes.
The food is not only good but surprisingly adventurous, and the service is exceptional at this Intracoastal spot. Though there are plenty of steaks for the more conservative of palate and edgier offerings, like smoky grilled octopus with “Catalan salad.”
With its roots in New York’s Angelo’s of Mulberry Street, this venue is always packed. Homemade stuffed manicotti is aromatic and glorious. Tramonti’s platter for two, containing fillet marsala, veal cutlet with prosciutto, fried zucchini and potato croquettes, is terrific.
This local mainstay does Italian classics and its own lengthy list of ambitious specials with unusual skill and aplomb. The cozy dining room is a welcome respite from the outside world, and service is at a level not always seen in local eateries. Pay attention to the daily specials, especially if it includes impeccably done langostini oreganata and the restaurant’s signature jumbo shrimp saltimbocca.
Maitre d‘ Carla Minervini is your entrée to a warm experience, complemented by a stately but comfortable room and excellent food. We love the crispy fillet of herb-crusted sole in a rich, buttery sauce and the veal scallopini in a lemon caper Chardonnay sauce.
This stylish and sophisticated Mizner Park restaurant applies the steak house formula of classy, clubby ambience, formal service and an extensive wine list to seafood from across the nation, generally with success. Crab is the specialty here and there are myriad versions—stone, Dungeness, Alaskan, soft-shell and more. Crispy soft-shells stuffed with crab and andouille are very good, if served without a drizzle of ketchup-y sauce on top.
It’s tough to beat this hotspot with the lovely outdoor patio, well-chosen selection of artisan beers and not-the-usual-suspect wines, and an eclectic “gastropub” menu of small and large plates. Try the crisp-fried rock shrimp with chipotle-mayonnaise sauce.
Owner/chef Jan Jorgensen is Florida’s answer to Wolfgang Puck, putting out exquisite California-style cuisine. The menu changes seasonally. Don’t miss the chocolate and Grand Marnier soufflé.
The tired Asian fusion genre is worked so carefully and sensitively here that it all seems new again. Choices abound on the fusion and sushi menus, but highlights include fluffy Chinese-style pork buns with heritage pig filling, terrific Mexican-style corn cooked on the robata grill and Nobu-esque sake-miso-marinated sea bass that’s a symphony of delicate and lusty flavors.
Taking Tex-Mex cuisine gently upscale with better-quality ingredients and more skillful preparation, this colorful eatery offers more than the usual suspects. You can get frog’s legs and quail, as well as beef and chicken fajitas, and one of the only palatable tamales around.
In an area with more cookie-cutter Chinese restaurants than cookies, Uncle Tai’s stands out for the elegance of its decor, the professionalism of its service and its careful preparation of familiar and less-familiar dishes. The “specialties” section of the menu has exciting dishes, like the Hunan vegetable pie, finely minced veggies sandwiched between sheets of crispy bean curd skin, and Hunan-style lamb, whose seared and succulent meat shows off the kitchen’s skill in the use of wok qi.
This purveyor of “Asian comfort food” has brought in wacky-maki expert Candyfish Gourmet Sushi as a restaurant-within-a-restaurant. Salt-and-pepper calamari, pot stickers with panang curry sauce and “volcano” chicken wings are well-prepared. Candyfish’s sushi rolls blend all manner of fish and shellfish with cream cheese, fruits and veggies.
Versailles has been one of Calle Ocho’s most popular restaurants since 1971. This is good-to-the-last-black-bean Cuban with a menu the size of the Old Testament. It’s also one of the better people-watching spots in town.
God is in the details at this upscale trattoria, and He doesn’t miss much, including stellar service and an outstanding wine menu. Ingredients like Buffalo mozzarella, house-made pastas and San Marzano tomatoes are first-rate, and execution is spot on. Try the “Old School” meatball to start, the whole-wheat tagliatelle with garlic and chili-infused olive oil and the perfectly cooked veal chop. Portions are substantial.
You can be forgiven for imagining yourself in some rustic Italian hill town as the smells of garlic and tomato sauce waft through the air. Start by sopping up the house olive oil with slices of crusty bread, then move on to a stellar version of clams Guazzetto and delicate fillets of sole done a la Francese.
The classic Italian comfort food at this Mizner Park establishment, which opened in 2009, is served with flair and great attention to detail. The reasonably priced menu—with generous portions—includes all your favorites (veal Parmesan, Caesar salad) and some outstanding seafood dishes (Maine lobster with shrimp, mussels and clams on linguine). There is a full wine list and ample people-watching opportunities given the prime outdoor seating.
An impressive wine list of some 250 bottles (all available by the glass) offers a multitude of choices, especially among Italian and California reds. The menu of “Italian tapas” includes tasty breaded and fried artichoke hearts, and ravishing ricotta and fig-stuffed ravioli with prosciutto, balsamic syrup and brown butter.
Young Cuban Yuca still packs them in—mostly because it remains one of the only places on Miami Beach to partake of upscale Cuban cuisine. There are plenty of old favorites from which to choose—like guava-glazed, barbecued baby-back ribs—and they still delight.