Food & Drink

December 8, 2011

22 must try dishes at 22 restaurants in South Florida

UPDATE: After Tweeting and Facebooking this post last night, I realized I counted incorrectly, the number is 22 not 21 must try dishes at 22 restaurants.

At least once a day I get asked “what’s your favorite restaurant?” and even more so now since “the book.” The answer is I don’t have one, and I’m not hedging. The truth is it depends what I’m in the mood for, however, if given a choice I will always choose a restaurant with a waterview and the closer to the water the better; this got me to thinking about turning a strain of that question into a post. So here are 22 dishes at 22 different restaurants that I enjoy without hesitation. Each of these dishes is bursting with flavors and textures, making each of them something special; my picks range from value to pricey, and most are fat and calorie laden which is what makes them so fantastic. Depending on your food mood or budget there’s a little something here for everyone.

buccan 350 South County Road Australian Avenue, Palm Beach
Squid Ink Orrechiette is the one indulgence I highly recommend keeping all to yourself and not share

Cafe Boulud Palm Beach 301 Australian Ave, Palm Beach, FL
The vichyssoise is stellar.  It is pure silk cream, chilled to perfection and brimming with adjunct subtle flavors from the madras curry and lump crabmeat that will send you and your palate spiraling

Lucca Restaurant 3311 N Ocean Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Hand made sacchetti stuffed with cheese in a lemon butter sage sauce…melt in your mouth perfection

Le Tub Saloon 1100 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood
Gumbo…some of the finest this side of the big easy

da Campo Osteria 3333 NE 32nd Ave A1A, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Hand pulled mozzerella, made tableside, doesn’t get any fresher than this

Coco Asian Bistro Bar 1841 Cordova Rd. Cordova & 17 Th St., Fort Lauderdale
Alaskan King Crab “dynamite” indulgently sinful

Ortanique on the Mile 248 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL
Toasted Coconut Sabayon with caramel roasted pineapple, SWEET!


D’Angelo Pizza 4215 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale
Pugliese, white pizza – broccoli rapini, burrata cheese, Italian sausage, creamy and flavorful one of the best white pizza’s I’ve had

Mojo 4140 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale
Veggie Pita, fresh stir fried vegetables and brown rice, a great healthy sandwich and at Happy Hour it’s $5, light on the calories, light on the wallet

Essensia Restaurant at The Palms Hotel and Spa 3025 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
Lump Crab Benedict nice alternative to the traditional Benedict, request a table on the patio and taste how much better everything is

Thai Delight 1895 W Hillsboro Blvd Military Trail, Deerfield Beach
Thai Dumpling, melt in your mouth goodness topped with crunchy fried garlic

SAIA sushi restaurant B Hotel A1A & Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale
Fire Dragon Roll,  A kaleidoscope of flavors

Big Pink 157 Collins Ave. at 2nd St., Miami Beach
Bacon Cheddar Burger with housemade potato chips, nothing cures a hangover better; consider this the food version of the hair of the dog that bit you

The Restaurant at The Setai 2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Chilled Soba Noodles with white truffle ice cream, insanely delicious! (I dream about this dish)

The Grill at The Setai, The Setai 2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Foie Gras custard with duck magret, purple cauliflower, hon shimeji and duck consomme. Need I say anything more??

1500º 4525 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, Miami Beach
Order the Pork Belly Tacos…and don’t share!

El palacio de los jugos 2038 NW 27 Ave, Miami
Do the Chicharrón…then schedule a cleaning of your arteries!

Jimmy’Z Kitchen 2700 N Miami Ave., Miami
Mofongo with pork in mojo sauce, comfort food in its finest hour, a sure cure for what ails ya

Makoto 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour
Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna a harmony of flavor and textures that sings in your mouth

Cascata Grill 19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura
This gazpacho is probably the best I’ve ever had, (and I thought I made a good one) simply because of the sheer freshness of the soup. The entire dish was sourced from the chefs garden a mere 10 feet away from the kitchen

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar 16th Street & Lenox Avenue Miami Beach
Famous for their fried chicken and biscuits, famous does not disappoint…especially together

Bourbon Steak Miami 19999 West Country Club Drive  Miami
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Michigan Cherries. I don’t even have the words to describe how super-fabulous-delicious this dessert is, (maybe those were the words, after all) This original pastry sensation is the talented work of Pastry Chef, Andrea Sans Araiza at Bourbon Steak Miami

Love the South Florida food scene? Check out our newly published book (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95), Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale



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  1. I really need to try Lucca! It’s so close to my house and I’ve never been!

  2. Lucrecia

    Thanks. I will try some of your recommendations next time I visit Miami. Can you blog about which restaurants are best for families and kids, it has been very hard to find kids menues and nice and affordable places to eat four our family.
    Thanks again.

  3. Editor

    Thanks Joan…pictures don’t lie and they were planned as an instrumental part of this post, it’s best to recommend with a visual. Remember that dinner at Coco??

  4. I love this post! It’s great to the recommendation and visual at the same time.

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