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This week's dish column is on Ilios, a Mediterranean-inspired tapas restaurant on the sixth floor of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. Not much has been written about Ilios in the two years since the Hilton opened, while its contemporaries along the beach -- Trina at the Atlantic, Cero at the Ritz-Carlton, 3030 Ocean at the Marriott, and so on -- have thrived. Yet when I saw Ilios' Dine Out Fort Lauderdale menu posted on its website, I was intrigued. Saffron and orange braised pork belly with vanilla and ginger polenta? Sounds fairly modern. Swank Farms Italian pole beans? Wow, local too. So I wondered: why the lack of attention?
That may have something to do with Ilios' location. On the sixth floor of the posh hotel, it looks out over Fort Lauderdale beach in what should be an idyllic setting. But the restaurant is also hidden down a hallway that passes private rooms, a locker room, and a workout room. Yep, as you enter to sit down to your expensive, multi-course meal, you're greeted by hotel guests sweating up a storm on the treadmill. Not exactly conducive to fine dining. Not to mention the fact that there's no signage on the bottom floor for the restaurant, and no real website to speak of. But then again, if the food is a hit, does any of that matter?
Find out in our review of Ilios.