She Brings Home the Bacon

The celeb chef has checked out, but Erika Di Battista's Sunfish Grill is still in the swim.

Di Battista is still a whiz with desserts, but she's nudged them closer to comfort foods than her occasionally overwrought confections used to be. Today's "Symphony of Chocolate" ($9) has little in common with the sweet by the same name we had years ago at that tiny Pompano bistro — now it comes layered in a parfait cup: chocolate mousse with homemade chocolate ice cream under a lightly sweetened cloud of whipped cream. A tropical cobbler with pineapple and mango under a buttery crumble ($12) makes for a light, savory-sweet finale.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

Sunfish Grill

2775 E. Oakland Park Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Wilton Manors

Details

Sunfish Grill 2761 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Open Tuesday to Thursday 5:30 till 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday till 10:30 p.m. Call 954-564-6464.

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I've heard it said many times, and the feminist in me loathes such generalizations, that male and female chefs have fundamentally different personalities. Male chefs are all about the wow factor: the dish that takes your breath away with its creative chutzpah. Female chefs, goes the old saw, tend toward a cuisine that comforts and succors rather than one that argues or infuriates — the simple, local, composed salads of Alice Waters versus the sci-fi Frankenfoods of Ferran Adria. Maybe, maybe not. But certainly Di Battista, since the breakup, is making her own way. After a decade of serving similar dishes night after night, she doesn't seem to be trying to bowl over customers with elaborate preparations so much as to offer relaxed, affordable, neighborhood hospitality — and in this economy, the plan sounds like a wise one. As they say, a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. With or without, Di Battista appears to have no problem steering.

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