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  • Article

    Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down - Two restaurants where yum nua and tom yum are yum-yum

    I remember my first, mind-altering bite of Thai cooking with pristine clarity. From a culinary standpoint, I'd been sound asleep: That mouthful woke me up like the sloppy kiss of Prince Charming. I was working for a publisher in London; my parents ha...

    by Gail Shepherd on July 21, 2005
  • Article

    Risky Business - Can this man save Clematis Street?

    America. B.D's Mongolian Barbecue. Big City Tavern. City Hall Bar and Grill. Dax. Pescatore. Rooney's Irish Pub. Samba Room. Sforza. Tommy Bahama's. Underground Coffee Works. You've just read an abridged list of restaurants that died expensive and...

    by Gail Shepherd on July 14, 2005
  • Article

    Sweet Paya

    The first time I went to Nirala Sweets BBQ, I looked past the confections lining the case on the back wall and thought, No, first I'll have lunch. I scanned the short menu of Pakistani dishes and asked about the things I was unfamiliar with. Fish cur...

    by Steve Koppelman on July 14, 2005
  • Article

    Let's Get Lost - Six ways to do it in the Keys

    Somewhere between Key Largo and Mallory Square, between Lake Surprise and Lignum Vitae Channel on that endless stretch of Route 1 below Mile Marker 111 in the Florida Keys, there may be a piece of something that precisely fits the hole in your heart....

    by Gail Shepherd on July 7, 2005
  • Article

    Light the Fusion - Out of the frying pan, into North Lauderdale

    Even after 17 years of marriage, Michelle Lai is in awe of her husband. She talks about Kai Shing Lai the way some people describe tortured-genius painters or world-class violinists. The only difference is that Kai Shing is a Chinese chef working in ...

    by Gail Shepherd on June 30, 2005
  • Article

    Keeping Broward in Brewskis

    South Florida never took up arms in the Great Microbrew Revolution. Sure, there are chain macrobrewpubs to wet your whistle, but the only sure-fire source for a fresh, handcrafted ale in the subtropics comes courtesy of Adam Fine. The Fort Lauderdal...

    by Jeff Stratton on June 30, 2005
  • Article

    The World According to Vico - Back to basics for a long-time favorite

    You can have too much of a good thing. But not of the agnolotti rosa, a dish you could probably savor indefinitely: those silky, silver-dollar-sized rounds of homemade ravioli, scalloped edges folded around a dab of spinach and ricotta, tossed in ...

    by Gail Shepherd on June 23, 2005
  • Article

    Meat Market - The beef's as hot as the bootie at Brazilian Tropicana

    Thank God the Brazilians have finally arrived. You've gotta love a culture in which fat grannies toodle around the beaches in thongs; where their most famous cultural export sang "Chica Chica Boom Chic" wearing a bonnet full of bananas; where their d...

    by Gail Shepherd on June 16, 2005
  • Article

    Old-fashioned Passion

    One thing you can say about Columbia Restaurant (651 Okeechobee Blvd. West Palm Beach, 561-820-9373): It's freaking ancient. If this place were human, we'd be wheeling it out for Fourth of July parades and interviewing it on NPR. The original Columbi...

    by Gail Shepherd on June 16, 2005
  • Article

    Oh So Sweet - Why we still flock to Victoria Park

    The Victoria Park neighborhood is eerily serene by Fort Lauderdale standards. Maybe it's all that tropical foliage, surreal as a rainforest painting by Rousseau. A family of peacocks roosts in the black olive trees; pristinely renovated bungalows ret...

    by Gail Shepherd on June 9, 2005
  • Article

    Sundy Bloody Sundy

    Anybody who disses De La Tierra at Sundy House (106 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach, 561-272-5678) is likely to find a flaming chafing dish on her lawn some night, along with an ominous warning: Get out of town by sunup. This Delray Beach showcase ...

    by Gail Shepherd on June 9, 2005
  • Article

    Feminine Mystique - He sells she swells down by the seashore

    Episode Three: In which it is revealed that David has patented his secret formula for success. Meanwhile Bree, Gabrielle, and Susan put their heads together over martinis at Shore to discuss the attributes of the pool boy. Two years ago, every tre...

    by Gail Shepherd on June 2, 2005
  • Article

    Dining Like Divas - At Trina, everybody is a star

    What would Madonna do? It's 9 p.m., and the crowd has thinned out since we got here. We're at a briskly starched table at Trina, the year-old restaurant in the Atlantic Hotel. There's a bowl of chilled almond soup in front of me. It's a dish I'll nev...

    by Gail Shepherd on May 26, 2005
  • Article

    An (Organic) Chicken in Every Pot

    If you were expecting a roomful of old hippies and prepubescent anarchists when you showed up for the organizational meeting of the Lake Worth Organic Food Co-op last week, you would have been about three-quarters disappointed. Of the 50-odd souls wh...

    by Gail Shepherd on May 26, 2005
  • Article

    Hellenos in Hallandale - Loosen your belt -- you're in for a long night

    Margarita Morfidis gets up at the crack of dawn seven days a week so she'll be in the kitchen at Thira by 8 a.m. She cranks up the radio, divvies the day's work among her small kitchen staff, and within a few minutes, she's up to her elbows in spina...

    by Gail Shepherd on May 19, 2005
  • Article

    Babes in Soyland - Hollywood makes room for more sushi

    It's 9:30 p.m., and the blonds have arrived. Up at the sushi bar, three of them are perched in a row like glossy swans, wearing identical halter-tops and white jeans, luxurious Breck-girl hair falling precisely to midshoulder. Framed in a pink arc of...

    by Gail Shepherd on May 5, 2005
  • Article

    Tehran Testing

    Analogy quiz: Iran is to wine as (1) oil is to water, (2) Brad is to Jennifer, or (3) the Rubaiyat is to Omar. If you answered "all of the above," you've put your finger on the complexity of this passionate, rocky, 7,000-year-old relationship. Ja...

    by Gail Shepherd on May 5, 2005
  • Article

    Cooking by Numbers - Has Pineapple Grille been damned with great praise?

    Things change so fast in South Florida. It's like we're living inside the head of some giant god with ADHD. Landmarks vanish overnight; restaurants flip three times before you make it back for your second plate of calamari fritti. So it's comfort...

    by Gail Shepherd on April 28, 2005
  • Article

    Mautone's Martinis

    There's a cocktail revolution afoot. It's not just that martinis are back. That wave has already crested. But tropical drink sales have increased. Wine and hard liquor -- formerly like oil and water -- are now mixed. And well-known chefs add spices l...

    by Gail Shepherd on April 28, 2005
  • Article

    Arroz con Mario - New location, same great time at Catalina

    When you call Catalina Restaurant on Saturday afternoon to make a dinner reservation, Mario Flores might say something like, "Oh honey, you don't need no reservation tonight. You come on down, Mario will find a table for you." But I urge you, be as...

    by Gail Shepherd on April 21, 2005
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