Fort Lauderdale residents: the food gods have answered your prayers -- or ours, at least.
One Door East, situated one door east of Valentino, will serve chef-driven global tapas, creative cocktails, and craft brews in a casual setting come November.
The concept focuses on tapas and some large plates with influences from across the globe: Spain, Asia, the United States.
The goal for Rocchio is to explore different flavors and style of cooking.
"It's more exciting for everyone," he says. "We can experiment with different products and techniques."
The menu has not been solidified yet, but Rocchio is exploring dishes with a new happy hour special at Valentino; he's currently offering unlimited drinks with some samples of tapas for $25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday evenings.
While he's not sure what will make the cut, expect to see items like paella, stuffed pigs feet, house-made charcuterie, and cheese platters. With a wood-fired oven in the space, Rocchio plans to put it to good use, with possible flatbreads and other items. He also plans to feature a unique spin on a burger.
Although the focus will be on the food, One Door East will host a bigger bar scene. With an industrial vibe (think steel and reclaimed wood), the space will offer a 20-seat bar and a comprehensive beverage program. Mixology-driven drinks, similar to the offerings found at Valentino, will be present as well as a large selection of craft beer, some sakes, and wine by-the-glass. Wine selections will range from California to Spain and Italy to Australia and South America.
"It's going to be really good for the neighborhood," says Rocchio. "It'll be unique in terms of the food and the atmosphere. It's more laid-back."
The vibe isn't the only thing that will be more easy-going; price-points here will be easier on the wallet as well. Tapas should start around $14 or $15 a piece, with some large plates nearing $35.
Rocchio hopes to see regulars several times a week.
"A lot of people say Valentino is a special occasion place," he says. "This is going to be awesome food in a more relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. We're really psyched about it."
For a sneak peek of potential dishes, try the Thursday and Friday happy hour. Otherwise, stay tuned for details.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.