Café del Mar
213 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
As summer goes, so go summer's flings. No more one-night stands and drunken debauchery for yours truly — at least for a little while. Now that fall is here and the night heat has given way to the breeze, it's time for candlelight dinners, wine (lots of wine), and passionate gazes into a lover's eyes. Café del Mar, a cozy bar in spite of its size, provides the candlelight and the wine; as for the lover, you're on your own. Café del Mar's open-air construction allows for a view of the palm trees, moonlight, and the darkness beyond the shore of Las Olas. The breeze flows in, making the candles dance. The candles, which sit on every table, provide a dramatic and intimate glow. The bar is made of elegant dark wood, and the walls are adorned with Jules Chéret-type poster art. Despite the proximity to the beach, everyone is casually well-dressed. These romantics come in couples mostly, though a few singles could be seen shooting Cupid's arrows across the room. I'm probably the only person in the place not drinking wine (I'm alone tonight, and the red stuff will only proliferate my loneliness). Café del Mar has more than 30 wines in stock. Try the Giuggiolo — a Tuscany red blend of merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Café del Mar has live music all week between 8 p.m. and midnight. On Tuesdays, Tom White plays jazz. On Thursdays and Sundays, Alex Fox, who's played for Bill Clinton and performed with Julio Iglesias, jams out flamenco. Get 50 percent off wine bottles on Mondays and Tuesdays and two-for-one wells, domestics, and house wine Monday through Friday. Here's a toast to romance. Drink up, and — who knows? — you might end up frolicking passionately on the sand. It worked for me.