451 E. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton
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13 American Table

This cozy, artfully rustic and modern restaurant is one of the few restaurants in the U.S. that has a Josper oven, a pricy, charcoal-fired grill-oven hybrid that cooks foods quickly at high heat to retain maximum flavor and texture. It works like a charm on chicken, resulting in remarkably crisp skin and tender meat, as well as on fist-sized shrimp you can customize with one of several sauces. Don't miss house-made potato chips with cheddar fondue and feather-light profiteroles filled with caramel and pumpkin mousse.

15th Street Fisheries 1900 S.E. 15th St.
Fort Lauderdale
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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.

3030 Ocean Harbor Beach Marriott Resort, 3030 Holiday Dr.
Fort Lauderdale
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3030 Ocean

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.

32 East 32 E. Atlantic Ave
Delray Beach
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32 East

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.

3rd & 3rd 301 N.E. Third Ave.
Delray Beach
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3rd & 3rd

John Paul Kline's quirky, individualistic, obscurely located liuttle place is one of the most important restaurants in Delray. The menu changes frequently, but hope the evening's fair includes plump scallops with caramelized mango sauce, shrimp and chorizo skewers with corn puree, stunning delicious roasted cauliflower with Parmesan mousse and bacon, and wicked-good espresso panna cotta on it at your visit.

50 Ocean 50 S. Ocean Blvd.
Delray Beach
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50 Ocean

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.

Abe & Louie's 2200 W. Glades Road
Boca Raton
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Abe & Louie's

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 Ristorante 6750 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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Arturo's Ristorante

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.

Atlantic Grille 1000 E Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach
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Atlantic Grille

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.

Azul 500 Brickell Key Drive
Miami Beach
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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.

B.B. King's Blues Club 550 S. Rosemary Ave
West Palm Beach
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B.B. King's Blues Club

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.

Bar Louie 1500 Gateway Blvd
Boynton Beach
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Bar Louie

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. The Restaurant 1300 Biscayne Blvd.
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Barton G. The Restaurant

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 313 Worth Ave.
Palm Beach
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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.

Biergarten 309 Via De Palmas
Boca Raton
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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.

Bistro 17   Renaissance Fort Lauderdale, 1617 S.E. 17th St.
Fort Lauderdale
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Bistro 17

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.

Bistro Mezzaluna 741 S.E. 17th St.
Fort Lauderdale
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Bistro Mezzaluna

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.

Bistro Provence 2399 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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Bistro Provence

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.

Bizcaya Grill 3300 S.W. 27th Ave.
Coconut Grove
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Bizcaya Grill

The versatile menu features “simply grilled” items. The boldly flavored menu also offers “house specialties,” contemporary takes on bistro fare.

Blue Moon Fish Company 4405 W. Tradewinds Ave.
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Blue Moon Fish Company

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.

Bonefish Grill 21065 Powerline Rd.
Boca Raton
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Bonefish Grill

Market-fresh seafood is the cornerstone – like Chilean sea bass prepared over a wood-burning grill and served with Rhea's topping (crabmeat, sautéed spinach and a signature lime, tomato and garlic sauce.) Dinner nightly.

Bongusto Ristorante   5640 N. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale
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Bongusto Ristorante

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.

Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Drive
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Bourbon Steak

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.

Brio Tuscan Grille 5050 Town Center Circle
Boca Raton
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Brio Tuscan Grille

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.

Buccan 350 S. County Road
Palm Beach
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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.

Buddha Sky Bar 217 E. Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach
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Buddha Sky Bar

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.

Burt & Max's 9089 W. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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Burt & Max's

Burt Rapoport and Dennis Max have struck gold with their first collaboration in years, bringing an accessible and affordable brand of contemporary comfort food to the underserved denizens of west Delray. A few dishes from Max's other eater, Max's Grille, have made the trek, like the hearty chopped salad and bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Other dishes are variations on the comfort food theme, from crispy potato and taro chips with ranch dipping sauce to a stellar truffle-scented wild mushroom pizza.

Butcher Block Grill 7000 W. Camino Real
Boca Raton
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Butcher Block Grill

This casual steak house with a Mediterranean twist and a local, seasonal, sustainable ethos gives the stuffy old-fashioned meatery a swift kick in the sirloin. Beef here is all-natural and grass-fed, delivering big, rich, earthy flavor; the New York strip is 12 ounces of carnivorous pleasure. Seafood, whether raw (tuna crudo) or simply grilled (wild-caught salmon), is palate-pleasing as well. Don't miss the fresh mozzarella, made and assembled into a salad at your table.

Cabana El Rey 105 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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Cabana El Rey

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.

Cabana Las Palmas 533 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach
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Cabana Las Palmas

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.

Cabo Flats 14851 Lyons Road
Delray Beach
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Cabo Flats

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."

Cabo Flats 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave.
Palm Beach Gardens
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Cabo Flats

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."

Cafe Boulud The Brazilian Court, 301 Australian Ave.
Palm Beach
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Cafe Boulud

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.

Cafe Centro 2409 N. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach
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Cafe Centro

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.

4533 PGA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens
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Café Chardonnay

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

Cafe L'Europe 331 S. County Road.
Palm Beach
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Cafe L'Europe

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.

Cafe Martorano 3343 E. Oakland Park Blvd
Fort Lauderdale
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Cafe Martorano

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.

Caffe Abbracci 318 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables
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Caffe Abbracci

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.”

Caffe Luna Rosa 34 S. Ocean Blvd.
Delray Beach
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Caffe Luna Rosa

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.

Calypso Restaurant 460 S. Cypress Road
Pompano Beach
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Calypso Restaurant

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.

Canyon 1818 E. Sunrise Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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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.

Casa D'Angelo 1201 N. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale
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Casa D'Angelo

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.

Casa D'Angelo 171 E. Palmetto Park Road.
Boca Raton
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Casa D'Angelo

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.

Casa Di Pepe 189 N.E. Second Avenue
Delray Beach
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Casa Di Pepe

A welcoming staff, familiar Italian dishes done right and moderate prices define this cozy spot with a spacious outdoor patio.

Casa Tua 1700 James Avenue
Miami Beach
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Casa Tua

This 1925 Mediterranean Revival property with an oft-changing menu showcases simple, sophisticated ingredients that typify the best of Italian cooking.

Casablanca Cafe 3049 Alhambra St.
Fort Lauderdale
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Casablanca Cafe

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.

Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant 116 N.E. Sixth Ave
Delray Beach
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Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant

With more than 100 different tapas, plus paellas and entrées, this cozy, bustling eatery in the old Falcon House location has all the small plates-grazing bases covered. There’s also an equally expansive wine list. Among the best dishes to pique your palate are the well-made house ceviche and cooling gazpacho. The towering tres leches cake is merely divine.

Cheese Course 1679 Market St.
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Cheese Course

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.

Chez Jean-Pierre 132 N. County Road.
Palm Beach
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Chez Jean-Pierre

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!

Chima 2400 E. Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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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.

China Dumpling 1899/5 N. Congress Ave
Boynton Beach
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China Dumpling

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.

Chops Lobster Bar 101 Plaza Real S., Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton
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Chops Lobster Bar

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.

City Fish Market 7940 Glades Road
West Boca
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City Fish Market

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.

City Oyster 213 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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City Oyster

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.

Couco Pazzo 915 Lake Ave
Lake Worth
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Couco Pazzo

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.

Cuban Cafe 3350 N.W. Boca Raton Blvd.
Boca Raton
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Cuban Cafe

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.

Cucina Dell' Arte 257 Royal Poinciana Way.
Palm Beach
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Cucina Dell' Arte

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.

Cut 432 432 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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Cut 432

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.

D'Angelo Trattoria 9 S.E. Seventh Ave.
Delray Beach
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D'Angelo Trattoria

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.

Darrel & Oliver's Cafe Maxx 2601 E. Atlantic Blvd
Pompano Beach
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Darrel & Oliver's Cafe Maxx

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.

Deck 84 840 E Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach
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Deck 84

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.

Dig 777 East Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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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.

Echo 230A Sunrise Ave.
Palm Beach
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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.

Eduardo De San Angel 2822 E. Commercial Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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Eduardo De San Angel

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.

Emunah Cafe 3558 N. Ocean Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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Emunah Cafe

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 311 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach
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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.

Fifth Avenue Grill 821 S. Federal Highway
Delray Beach
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Fifth Avenue Grill

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.

GARY RACK'S Farmhouse Kitchen 399 S.E. Mizner Blvd.
Boca Raton
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GARY RACK'S Farmhouse Kitchen

A farm-to-table restaurant focusing on good-and-good-for-you cooking. The menu, from Rack’s exec chef Matthew Danaher, features seasonal ingredients prepared with minimal butter, cream and fats, yet flavorful enough to keep customers from feeling like they’re sacrificing dining pleasure on the altar of good health.

Grand Lux Cafe Town Center
Boca Raton
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Grand Lux Cafe

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.

Greek Bistro 1832 S. Federal Highway
Delray Beach
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Greek Bistro

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.

Henry's 16850 Jog Road
Delray Beach
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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.

HMF 1 S. County Road
Palm Beach
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Beneath the staid, elegant setting of The Breakers, HMF is the Clark Kent of restaurants, dishing an extensive array of exciting, inventive, oh-so contemporary small plates. Don’t depart without sampling the dreamy warm onion-Parmesan dip with house-made fingerling potato chips, the sexy wild boar empanaditas, chicken albondigas tacos, Korean-style short ribs and terrific butterscotch panna cotta. The wine list is encyclopedic.

House Of Siam 25 N.E. Second Ave., #116
Delray Beach
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House Of Siam

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.

Houston's 1900 N.W. Executive Center Circle
Boca Raton
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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.

Il Girasole 1911 S. Federal Highway.
Delray Beach
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Il Girasole

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.

Il Mulino 1800 E. Sunrise Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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Il Mulino

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.

Imoto 350 S. County Road.
Palm Beach
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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.

Indigo Riverside Hotel, 620 E. Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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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

J&J Seafood Bar & Grill 634 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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J&J Seafood Bar & Grill

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.

Jimmy's Bistro 9 S. Swinton Ave.
Delray Beach
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Jimmy's Bistro

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.

Joe's Stone Crab 11 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach
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Joe's Stone Crab

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 V 625 E. Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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Johnny V

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.

Josef's Table 5040 Champion Blvd.
Boca Raton
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Josef's Table

Josef's touts itself as offering "the slightest dash of nostalgia," and that's a good thing. Though the kitchen does have a timid hand with sauces and seasonings, there's no quibbling about the execution, whether a light, refreshing "tower" of lump crabmeat with mango, cucumber and tomato; rosy-rare double-cut lamb chops with port wine-mint sauce; pan-seared hogfish with orange beurre blanc; or the richly decadent half-moon chocolate tart.

Josephine's 5751 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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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.

Kapow Noodle Bar 431 Plaza Real
Boca Raton
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Kapow Noodle Bar

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.

Kathy's Gazebo Cafe 4199 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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Kathy's Gazebo Cafe

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.

Ke'e Grill 17940 N. Military Trail
Boca Raton
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Ke'e Grill

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.

La Cigale 253 S.E. Fifth Ave.
Delray Beach
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La Cigale

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 9700 Collins Ave.
Bal Harbour
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La Goulue

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.

La Palme D'or The Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave.
Coral Gables
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La Palme D'or

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.

La Rosa Nautica 515 N.E. 20th St.
Boca Raton
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La Rosa Nautica

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.

La Tre 249 E. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton
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La Tre

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.

La Villetta 4351 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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La Villetta

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.

Le Bistro 4626 N. Federal Highway
Lighthouse Point
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Le Bistro

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.

Le Rivage 450 N.E. 20th St.
Boca Raton
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Le Rivage

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.

Leila 120 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach
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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.

Lemongrass Bistro 420 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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Lemongrass Bistro

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.

Leopard Lounge and Restaurant The Chesterfield Palm Beach, 363 Coconut Row
Palm Beach
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Leopard Lounge and Restaurant

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.

Lola's on Harrison 2032 Harrison St.
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Lola's on Harrison

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.

Lucertola Ristoranti & Birreria 1417 S. Federal Highway
Boynton Beach
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Lucertola Ristoranti & Birreria

What used to be known as Bad Ragaz - the chic Bavarian restaurant/beer hall in the Las Ventanas aparments at Federal and Woolbright - has changed its format, according to chef/owner Alessandro Silvestri. Silvestri is no doubt turning to the kind of menu that has received kudos at Delray's Tramonto, where he is also executive chef.

Maggiano's 21090 St. Andrews Blvd.
Boca Raton
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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.

Marcello's La Sirena   6316 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach
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Marcello's La Sirena

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.

Mario's Osteria 1400 Glades Road
Boca Raton
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Mario's Osteria

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 233 S. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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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.

Max's Grille Mizner Park, 404 Plaza Real
Boca Raton
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Max's Grille

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.

Max's Harvest 169 N.E. Second Ave.
Delray Beach
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Max's Harvest

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.

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink 130 N.E. 40th St.
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Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

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.

Michy's 6927 Biscayne Blvd.
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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.

Morton's The Steakhouse   Shops at Boca Center, 5050 Town Center Circle
Boca Raton
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Morton's The Steakhouse

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.

New York Prime 2350 N.W. Executive Center Drive
Boca Raton
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New York Prime

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.

Nick & Johnnie's 207 Royal Poinciana Way
Palm Beach
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Nick & Johnnie's

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.

Nick's New Haven-Style Pizzeria 2240 N.W. 19th St.
Boca Raton
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Nick's New Haven-Style Pizzeria

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.

Ninja Spinning Sushi Bar 41 E. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton
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Ninja Spinning Sushi Bar

"Whatever floats your boat" isn't just a saying at this hipster sushi bar. Your sushi really does float on a boat, one of many bouncing along a channel cut into the top of the restaurant's large, square sushi bar. HIgh notes are the Mexican roll with tempura shrimp and avocado, and the sneakily fiery jalapeño-laced tuna tartare. If sushi doesn't float your boat, gingery gyoza and crispy friend shrimp with a drizzle of spicy mayo probably will.

NYY Steak 5550 N.W. 40th St.
Coconut Creek
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NYY Steak

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.

Ola at Sanctuary 1745 James Ave.
Miami Beach
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Ola at Sanctuary

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.

Ortanique on the Mile 278 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables
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Ortanique on the Mile

Menu highlights include tropical mango salad, spicy fried calamari salad, Caribbean ahi tuna with wasabi potatoes and jerk-spiced Cornish game hen.

Osteria del Teatro 1443 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach
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Osteria del Teatro

The exceptional Northern Italian cuisine at this restaurant has been consistently ranked among the best in Miami Beach.

P.F. Chang's 1400 Glades Road
Boca Raton
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P.F. Chang's

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.

Papa Hughie's Seafood World 4602 N. Federal Highway
Lighthouse Point
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Papa Hughie's Seafood World

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.

Paradiso Ristorante 625 Lucerne Ave.
Lake Worth
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Paradiso Ristorante

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.

Park Tavern 32 S.E. Second Ave.
Delray Beach
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Park Tavern

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.

Pascal's on Ponce 2611 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables
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Pascal's on Ponce

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.

Pellegrino's 3360 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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The bold, brash flavors of New York-style Italian-American cuisine are as in your face as a Manhattan cabbie at this low-key favorite of chef-owner Bobby Pellegrino, nephew to the clan that owns the legendaryRao’s in East Harlem. Pungent smells of garlic, anchovies, tomatoes and peppers fill the air; dishes like the rarely seen spiedini alla Romana, chicken Scarpariello and seafood spaghetti in Fra Diavolo sauce fill your belly and tantalize your taste buds. Don’t miss the house-made desserts. Dinner Tues.–Sun.

Pinon Grill 600 Glades Road
Boca Raton
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Pinon Grill

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 101 N Clematis St.
West Palm Beach
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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 110 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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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.

Prime Catch 700 E. Woolbright Road
Boynton Beach
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Prime Catch

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.

Racks Downtown Eatery + Tavern 402 Plaza Real
Boca Raton
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Racks Downtown Eatery + Tavern

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.

Racks Fish House & Oyster Bar 5 S.E. Second Ave.
Delray Beach
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Racks Fish House & Oyster Bar

Gary Rack, who also has scored with his spot in Mizner Park, certainly seems to have the restaurant Midas touch, as evidenced by this updated throwback to classic fish houses. Design, ambience and service hit all the right notes. Oysters are terrific any way you get them; grilled fish and daily specials are excellent.

Renato's 87 Via Mizner
Palm Beach
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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.

Renzo's Of Boca 5999 N. Federal Highway.
Boca Raton
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Renzo's Of Boca

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.

Rhythm Cafe   3800 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach
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Rhythm Cafe

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.

Ristorante Sapori Royal Palm Place, 301 Via de Palmas
Boca Raton
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Ristorante Sapori

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.

Ristorante Saporissimo 366 E. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton
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Ristorante Saporissimo

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.

Rocco's Tacos 224 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach
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Rocco's Tacos

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.

Romeo's Cafe 2257 S.W. 22nd St.
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Romeo's Cafe

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.

Ruth's Chris Steak House 225 N.E. Mizner Blvd.
Boca Raton
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Ruth's Chris Steak House

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.

Safire Asian Fusion 817 Lake Ave.
Lake Worth
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Safire Asian Fusion

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.

Sardinia 1801 Purdy Ave.
Miami Beach
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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.

Sea Watch 6002 N. Ocean Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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Sea Watch

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.

Seasons 52 2300 N.W. Executive Center Drive
Boca Raton
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Seasons 52

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.

Shula's On The Beach Sheraton Yankee Trader, 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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Shula's On The Beach

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.

Shula's Steak House 7601 Miami Lakes Drive
Miami Lakes
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Shula's Steak House

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.

Smith & Wollensky 1 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach
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Smith & Wollensky

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.

Sublime 1431 N. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale
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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.

Sundy House Restaurant 106 S. Swinton Ave.
Delray Beach
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Sundy House Restaurant

“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.

Sunfish Grill 2775 E. Oakland Park Blvd
Fort Lauderdale
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Sunfish Grill

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

Sushi Ray 5250 Town Center Circle
Boca Raton
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Sushi Ray

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.

Sushi Samba Dromo 600 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach
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Sushi Samba Dromo

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.

Sushi Simon 1614 S. Federal Highway
Boynton Beach
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Sushi Simon

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.

Sybarite Pig 20642 State Road 7
West Boca
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Sybarite Pig

A labor of love, pork and beer, everything at the Pig but the coarse-grain mustard is made in-house, from the bread for sandwiches to the eclectic sauces to the variety of terrific sausages. Creamy cotechino, savory duck and subtly spicy “Hellswine” are among the standouts. Dinner Tues.–Sun. Brunch Sun.

Ta-boo 221 Worth Ave.
Palm Beach
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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.

Table 26° 1700 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach
561/855- 2660
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Table 26°

Take a quarter-cup of Palm Beach, a tablespoon of Nantucket, a pinch of modern American cookery and a couple gallons of the owners’ savoir faire, and you have Eddie Schmidt’s and Ozzie Medeiros’s spot. The menu roams the culinary globe for modest contemporary tweaks on classically oriented dishes. Try the fried calamari “Pad Thai” or the fistsized pair of Maryland crab cakes with irresistibly crispy sweet potato fries.

Tamarind Asian Grill & Sushi Bar   949 S. Federal Highway
Deerfield Beach
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Tamarind Asian Grill & Sushi Bar

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.

Tanzy 301 Plaza Real
Boca Raton
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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.

Taverna Kyma 6298 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton
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Taverna Kyma

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.

Taverna Opa 800 N. Ocean Drive
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Taverna Opa

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.

Tempura House 9858 Clint Moore Road
West Boca
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Tempura House

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.

9169 W. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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Terra Fiamma

The pleasures of simple, hearty, well-prepared Italian-American cuisine are front and center at Wendy Rosano's latest venture. Among the pleasure you should enjoy are delicate, pillow-y veal meatballs in Marsala sauce; lusty chicken Allessandro with mushrooms, spinach and artichoke hearts; and a finely crafted tiramisu that's as satisfying as it is familiar

The Capital Grille 6000 West Glades Road
Boca Raton
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The Capital Grille

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.

The Capital Grille 6000 Glades Road
Boca Raton
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The Capital Grille

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. Steak, 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.

The Cheesecake Factory 5530 Glades Road
Boca Raton
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The Cheesecake Factory

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.

The Grille on Congress 5101 Congress Ave.
Boca Raton
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The Grille on Congress

Dishes range from tasty chicken dishes and main-plate salads to seafood options like pistachio-crusted snapper or simply grilled yellowfin tuna.

The Grove 187 N.E. Second Ave.
Delray Beach
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The Grove

Chef-partner Michael Haycook and chef Meghan O’Neal change their menu biw eekly, turning out dishes exhilarating in their freshness, creativity and elegant simplicity. An appetizer of octopus with sundried tomato tapenade is merely terrific, as are rosy slices of gum-tender duck with cauliflower gratin and nickel-sized coins of crisp-chewy shiitake mushroom. Dinner Tues.–Sat.

The Office 201 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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The Office

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 9650 E. Bay Harbor Drive
Bal Harbour
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The Palm

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.

The Station House 233 West Lantana Road
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The Station House

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.

Timo 17624 Collins Ave.
Sunny Isles
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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.

Timpano Italian Chophouse 450 Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale
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Timpano Italian Chophouse

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.

Tramonti 119 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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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.

Trattoria Romana 499 E. Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton
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Trattoria Romana

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.

Trevini Ristorante 290 Sunset Ave.
Palm Beach
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Trevini Ristorante

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.

Truluck's 351 Plaza Real
Boca Raton
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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.

Tryst 4 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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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.

Two Chefs 8287 S. Dixie Highway
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Two Chefs

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.

Uncle Julio's Mizner Park, 449 Plaza Real
Boca Raton
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Uncle Julio's

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.

Uncle Tai's 5250 Town Center Circle
Boca Raton
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Uncle Tai's

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.

Union 8 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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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 Restaurant & Bakery 3501 SW Eighth St.
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Versailles Restaurant & Bakery

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.

Vic & Angelo's 290 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach
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Vic & Angelo's

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.

Villa Rosano 9858 Clint Moore Road
West Boca
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Villa Rosano

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.

Villagio Italian Eatery 344 Plaza Real
Boca Raton
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Villagio Italian Eatery

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.

Vino 114 N.E. Second St.
Boca Raton
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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.

Yuca 501 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach
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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.