Rio Vista and Harbor Beach are two of the luckiest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale boasting their very own Bistro. Bistro Mezzaluna has been a strong and steady culinary icon right in the heart of the marine Mecca on 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale; the gateway between downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beaches.
As other restaurants have come and gone Bistro Mezzaluna has stood the test of time for over fifteen years in the same location. What attributes to its success is the continuity and consistency of the service and the food. At the helm of this bistro jewel is Chef Brian Rutherford, educated at the Culinary Institute of America, and possessing experiences as vast and impressive as the marine industry his restaurant borders. Chef Rutherford is the cool driving force behind Bistro Mezzaluna’s culinary stability. Chef Rutherford has taken ‘bistro fare’ to a level of wonderment and pizzazz, making the ordinary, extraordinary with a little bit of flash and a whole lot of ingenuity. Hands down the neighborhood favorite is the pan roasted yellowtail snapper topped with lump crabmeat, capers and sweet tomatoes in a white wine sauce and coming in at a close second is the lobster and jumbo shrimp fra diavolo served over linguini and lest we not leave out the landlubbers, the Rack of Lamb with Brian’s specialty bistro mashed potatoes, served with a side dish of goat cheese baked tomato and sautéed spinach. Not your typical bistro fare but you’d expect nothing less from the talented and well read Chef Rutherford as he continuously keeps up with the latest culinary trends, through reading, teaching and experimenting. To credit his humbleness he is confident enough to tell you who inspires him; two of today’s culinary greats, Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Tom Colicchio of the Craft Restaurants.
Brian makes good food great but that alone cannot make a restaurant successful it needs a great captain steering the ship and Frank Galgano the General Manager of Bistro Mezzaluna sees to it that each guest is greeted and taken care of as if they were a guest in his home. Meticulously trained in the corporate-chain restaurant world, Frank moves through his restaurant like a skilled rower; “catching and extracting” every point of the “front of the house” at just the right moment and like any skilled professional, his timing, demeanor and presence keep Bistro Mezzaluna on course. The guests flock to him, his staff reveres him and his peers admire him. It is a successful and quietly confident person like Mr. Galgano that has made this neighborhood bistro the successful jewel it is.
Bistro Mezzaluna has perfected the formula for taking care of guests new and repeat, offer consistent food and friendly service with a little bit of surprise thrown in for good measure. Bistro Mezzaluna offers a daily happy hour from 5-7pm as well as a $5 Bar Menu. And through the neighborhood grapevine it has been over heard that a few special wine dinners and other food and beverage pairing events are on the horizon. There is no doubt that with Chef Rutherford in the kitchen and Mr. Galgano orchestrating the overall ambiance of Bistro Mezzaluna that it will remain “The Neighborhood Bistro” for many more years to come.
741 SE 17th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316