Sunday, July 21, 2024

Fort Lauderdale Restaurants: Wild Sea Oyster Bar and Grille

Nestled inside the 75-year-old Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard is a beautifully decorated, progressive American seafood restaurant by the name of Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille. The restaurant is gorgeous. If I were staying at the Riverside, I would be sure to visit for lunch or dinner, and would definitely sit at the very spacious and comfortable bar for happy hour.

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Moments after sitting down, the intense aroma of rosemary hit me hard — it was fresh focaccia bread spiked with a generous amount of rosemary, so soft and warm, it was obvious it had just come out of the oven. We got down to business and ordered the Maine mussels. These were the biggest mussels I have ever seen. The shells were the size of my iPhone 6. No joke. They were piled high in a broth made of Brooklyn lager, lemon and herbs. The size alone of these things was incredible, but I promise you the flavor was spot on as well. It took all of my energy not to knock back that bowl of broth after inhaling every last mussel.

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They do have grilled octopus on the menu as one of the starter items. In most cases, you know this would be the first thing I order, but it’s braised in bacon fat so I had to refrain. It still does sound delicious though. It comes with a garlic aioli, blueberry coulis and slab bacon. So, bacon lovers, I recommend you give it a try! Aside from the mussels, there was one other dish that really caught my eye — the heirloom carrot salad with roasted radishes, honey caramelized oranges, pistachios, goat cheese dressing and gremolata (a topping made with a variety of herbs). This salad is everything I could ever want in a salad and more. It was one of the most beautiful combinations of flavors and textures on a plate, and I could not put my fork down.

Wild Sea is definitely known for its incredible seafood, so choosing an entree was hard work. I do like to eat local fish whenever possible, so the West Florida grouper was calling my name. Our server assured me that this was a very good choice — and she was so right. The fish was seared to crispy perfection, and came with a gorgeous arrangement of heirloom tomatoes and mango on top of a blackberry coulis. Tomato, mango, and blackberry may sound like an unusual mix, but they all played really well together. I can’t get over how amazing the fish was, though. It was a simple preparation, but that’s all a good, fresh piece of fish needs. Keep the ingredient in its purest form and it will really shine.

As always, dinner must end in something sweet. Wild Sea’s signature dessert is the chocolate sphere, which changes flavors weekly. Our experience that night was chocolate hazelnut espresso. The sphere was filled with espresso mousse and chocolate hazelnut crisp and served with a warm hazelnut ganache that, when poured over the sphere, melts the chocolatey goodness and reveals its deeeelicious contents. Read the full post on Take A Bite Out of Boca.

Shaina Wizov
Shaina Wizov
Shaina was born and raised in South Jersey; she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in journalism and media studies. After moving to Boca, Shaina created her own food blog, which has only enhanced her passion for cooking, baking, sipping and savoring her way around South Florida. Shaina is involved in many of the region’s food and wine festivals and events. Follow Shaina’s foodie adventures every other Thursday at bocamag.com—and on her own blog, Take A Bite Out of Boca.

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