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.
Clematis Street is still out there trying, but it has nothing on Atlantic Avenue. This once-struggling thoroughfare virtually teems with eateries of every type, from haute Mexican to modern American to classic oyster bar. Interested in Italian? You got it. Crave a coffeehouse? That too. Perhaps even more significant are the extensions of the restaurant row. Now that it's practically filled up, side streets and off-the-beaten-track neighborhoods are benefiting from the spillover, and Japanese, Thai, and Middle-Eastern places are popping up all over. Note to Clematis: What is the holdup? You have the example, now follow it!
You could say it was a victim of greed. One of the most popular fine-dining restaurants on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard and the eatery credited with revitalizing the area, East City Grill got unceremoniously kicked out of its space this past year. The landlord decided to sell the lot to a condominium builder. Goodbye pan-Asian/fusion fare, hello prefab apartments. No matter in the end, though. Proprietors Oliver Saucy and Darrel Broek will soon assuage our grief by rebuilding the Grill -- or opening something similar -- in Weston. Go west, young(ish) men!
Here's what unlimited wealth can get you: A powder blue Rolls-Royce à la the dude formerly known as Puff Daddy, Gucci accessories, and the right to rule CityPlace via a table at Mark's. Feeling more like a poor relation than a privileged Palm Beacher? Never fear. Chef-proprietor Mark Militello doesn't care who takes care of the check as long as it gets paid. So wait till your more-established folks come to town or save up for a special occasion. Then you won't cringe quite as much when you discover on the daily-changing menu that a caesar salad with calamari might run you $11 or a Gorgonzola-stuffed burger could cost $12 -- and that's for lunch. Dinner price tags can peak at $16 for starters like the sea scallops with Jamaican-spiced oxtail, $23 for risotto with black trumpet mushrooms from Oregon, or $32 for the oak-grilled New York strip with white-truffle "Mac and Cheese." No matter what, a meal here is gonna cost -- if not you, then somebody else. The upside is that you're almost guaranteed a James Beard- worthy experience.
Here's a word we like to throw around but rarely get to apply appropriately: consistency. Fortunately we can use it to describe HBG every time, because this is one restaurant in Broward County where you can bet that the braised short ribs with boniato mash and roasted calabaza will be falling off the bone every time. Actually, gambling might be an inappropriate metaphor here, because dishes such as the roasted Chilean sea bass in port wine sauce and the filet mignon with caramelized onion mash are nearly always perfect. Indeed any menu item at this modern eatery, run by Peter Boulukos and Tim Petrillo, is confidently prepared and strikingly delicious. Only one consistent element at the five-year-old HBG can be called a drawback: You can count on a wait for a table.
It only makes sense that this year's ribbon-taker here is last year's Best New Restaurant. We knew from the moment we stepped into this elegant bistro, owned by chef John Belleme and partner Allison Barber, that longevity could be billed along with homemade lobster won tons on the New American menu. The kitchen still turns out stimulating preparations of day-boat seafood in brothy nages, spice-crusted game birds, and cuts of beef and lamb moistened with demi-glace. Service is at worst professional and at best personalized -- another winning combo. 'Course, with all these accolades, we're cutting our own culinary throats: It's already difficult to snag a reservation. Now it's going to be dang near impossible.
The name pretty much states outright what a diner can expect -- that is, if you have any idea what to expect from a Tahitian barbecue. Here's what not to expect: grass skirts and flaming batons. The only flames here are the ones chef-owner Darroll Tekurio applies to his exuberant barbecue, with its tangy, bright sauces and authentic island side dishes such as fafa (a spinach-chicken dish) and ipo (coconut dumplings). He does ribs especially well: They're lean but not mean, succulent but not sloppy. If you're ready to expand your barbecue horizons beyond Texas and the Carolinas, then Taro's is ready to take you on a saucy tour of the South Pacific.
Take a lot of fresh air, add some tables, and top it all off with some of the most buttery fried clams in the business, and voilà! You have an equation for perfection, otherwise known as Fins. The seafood is served with a sense of humor here -- try the "shrimp and crabsicles," deep-fried pops of juicy seafood. The fishies of the day -- and there are always many -- change often, and preparations are both extensive and inventive. And OK, we know full well that homemade carrot cake isn't seafood, but who can resist it? Not us, certainly; we won't even try. In fact the only thing we'll be attempting in the future is to make good on our promise to dine here more often.

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