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Best Southwestern Restaurant Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 1999 - Armadillo Cafe

Southwestern cuisine is one trend South Florida could exploit just a little more, and Armadillo Cafe shows us why. Chef-owners Eve Montella and Kevin McCarthy have been running this cozy place for a decade, serving up locally grown hydroponic arugula salad with black beans, roasted corn, and honey-chipotle dressing; fried goat cheese with yellow tomato salsa; Southwest shrimp pasta with avocado, snow peas, and jicama; and marinated leg of lamb with wild-rice pancakes. They complement their hearty, piquant dishes with excellent wine and beer choices, including microbrews such as Bert Grant's Scottish Ale (draft) and Dixie Blackened Voodoo (bottle). Specialty drinks lure the unsuspecting with their sweet descriptions -- the black raspberry margarita, for instance, or the chocolate martini -- but there aren't too many Armadillo novices here. That may soon change. Residents of Davie have long been grateful for the Armadillo's commitment to finely prepared fare. Now it's time for the regulars to share.

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