Yeah, something deep -- Dadaism, the nihilistic art movement that gave rise to surrealism -- inspired Dada, an artsy Delray Beach coffeehouse/restaurant. But if you're a washed-up ex-hippie who chose protesting the Vietnam War over art history class, Dada represents a generation's journey from dropping acid to buying stock. With bulbous ants painted on the walls, crisp velvet lamp shades, and framed Dalíesque paintings, the place looks as if its owner had a few acid trips and then got rich enough to infuse the décor with sophistication. Going to Dada is worth the trip just to explore the clever intricacies of tasteful funk. However, the food is also quite good -- especially the fondue, which makes these really killer trails...
When you say that this place is a trendy, traditional British pub, that's no bull -- and it's no oxymoron either. On the trendy side are salads -- such as the Tuscan garden with smoked turkey, comprising artichokes, roasted peppers, button mushrooms, and bacon-mustard dressing -- and main courses including fresh fish of the day with Creole rémoulade and toasted orzo pilaf. On the traditional side are appetizers -- cheese boards for two with aged cheddar and country bread -- and one-dish meals such as shepherd's pie or Saturday roasts with Yorkshire pudding. Trendy? An Undurraga Chilean merlot is the house red. Traditional? Bass, Newcastle, and Harp ales are all on tap. Trendy? The live jazz and rhythm-and-blues music. Traditional? The fireplaces (yes, in South Florida). This may not be your father's or grandfather's pub, but it will certainly be yours.

In a time when so many restaurants reluctantly provide one highchair or maybe a booster seat, Tout Sweet is a godsend. Not only does this restaurant and ice cream parlor offer succor for adolescent dietary stress with an appealing kid's menu, it mitigates parental economic stress with "Kids Eat Free" on Sundays. Tout Sweet also runs generation-gap specials such as "Mom and Me" or "Dad and Me." The place is so munchkin-minded that the National Single Parents Resource center, located in Boca Raton, holds its events here, the profits of which go to creating programs to assist single folks in dealing with everything from infants to teenagers. Even better, the eatery, which serves light sandwiches, waffles, and homemade French custard ice cream, is right next door to the Regal Delray 18 movie theater, so solo caretakers can plan an entire evening's entertainment with ease. Talk about one hand washing the other.
Ahh, the good life in Weston: Sitting at a plastic table on the Sporting Brews veranda and looking over a retention pond for a new development in a swamp. Other bonuses include a nice view of a wonderfully sterile, isolated Adelphia office building, the flowing traffic of I-75, and three guys sitting nearby puffing on fat cigars and chatting about the stock market. Does it get any better than this? OK, maybe it does. We have to admit we picked Sporting Brews in large part because it is, by our count, the only nonchain-restaurant brewery now open in Broward County. But the honor isn't all by default -- the place has some fine food and several solid brews, all of which have a homemade bite that the stuff in the stores lacks. Sporting Brews is definitely worth a visit, and keep in mind that enough of their serviceable oatmeal stout eventually makes that view from the veranda altogether tolerable, if not quite pleasing.
Restaurant breweries are about as hard to find in South Florida as wool sweaters. The dearth of handcrafted brews here isn't really that surprising, as subtropical climes tend to foster a thirst for icy, fruity drinks like rumrunners and margaritas. But we like beer, dammit, and that's where Brewzzi's comes in. Granted it doesn't have much competition (it's the only independent restaurant brewery in Palm Beach County), but it's still first-rate. Because the joint is located in western Boca Raton, you might assume it's a vile place -- snobs drinking snobby beers. You'd be wrong. The six microbrews, for one thing, are affordable, at less than $4 a glass. They are also award-winning and downright delicious, from the stout to the American pale ale to the brown to the blonde (though we aren't really partial to light microbrews). The service there is darn good, the food simple (lots of great pizzas and open-faced sandwiches) and tasty. By the time we pulled ourselves away, we'd had enough of their beer to make us a little wewzzi. Our date was so hammered, she started acting like a flewzzi. So, thanks to Brewzzi's, our night was a dewzzi.

If the definition of power is embedded in politics, look no further than Brasserie Las Olas. Located just across the bridge from the Broward County courthouse, the something-for-everyone restaurant caters to the ever-hungry -- and those are just the lawyers. Judges and perps alike share a taste for proprietor Mark Soyka's well-known brand of casual dining, ranging from burgers to pizzas to items such as pan-seared mahi-mahi or crabcakes with rémoulade. Fortunately the Brasserie appeals to a bunch of other types as well, from businessfolk planning takeover strategies over plates of meat loaf to soccer moms discussing carpool arrangements while sipping cappuccino.

Best Restaurant for an Intimate Conversation

Cafe Paprika's

Since the whole point of having an intimate conversation is that you want no one else to overhear it, you need to find a place that has some kind of cover -- live music, a good crowd, and sound-absorbing acoustics. Paprika's fits the hush-hush bill with Magyar tunes, a regular group of diners who chat but don't scream, and market shelves stocked with so many imported Hungarian goods that sound doesn't go past the sausages. Proprietor Zoltan Debreczeni may not have envisioned his cozy little spot, decorated like a Hungarian house, to be the appropriate place for whispered words of endearment, sotto voce discussions about body parts, or plans for an assignation or two. But given the white linen tablecloths, the oil paintings on the walls, and the Bull's Blood vino on the wine list, he's certainly set the scene for fine dining, if not intimacy of the romantic sort.

No matter what your religion, you can't help but get an ungodly kick out of Annie's. This Caribbean-Southern joint practices what it preaches with food that feeds fried kingfish, steamed red snapper, and curry goat to the body along with a dose of Scripture, delivered via the menu, for the soul. Not particularly observant? Don't worry -- even agnostics and atheists are welcome to enjoy the oxtail and cornpone. Just make sure that, if you go on a weekend, you wear your Sunday best so the after-church crowd doesn't feel that you're taking Annie's -- or the Lord's -- name in vain.

With more than 200 items, including stone crabs, snow crabs, and mussels on the half shell, this buffet restaurant is an obvious choice for little piggies. Help yourself to the Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and American fare time and again -- the cafeteria-style eatery is all-you-can-shove-in-your-face. Even vegetarians and Atkins dieters can get into the action, as an extensive salad bar features a variety of fresh choices and a carving station presents an array of sliced meats. Best of all, the prices -- weekday lunch for $6.39 and dinner for $8.99 -- stand in stark contrast to the serious amount of food, which makes this place the best not only for gluttons but for misers as well.
Fort Lauderdale's Mezzanotte, one of four South Florida locations in a chain owned by Tom Billante, has been serving fine Italian dishes on the New River for a little more than two years. It ain't cheap, but it's pretty. From the 30 outdoor tables, you can soak in the live tunes, gawk at tourists, and watch yachts ply the urban waterway. And the food is as good as the view. The veal and pasta are solid offerings, but we recommend going all the way: Lobster Fradiabolo includes a one-and-a-quarter-pound Maine lobster over linguine with mussels, clams, and shrimp in a spicy marinara sauce for $25.95. While you're at it, try a bottle of Opus One for $220 or some Cristal Champagne, which goes for $293. If you're paying these prices, you've probably pulled your yacht into one of the nearby boat slips for your meal.

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