Best of Broward / Palm Beach

A Year in Review: Our Best Restaurant Features of 2016

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4. Dine in the Dark at Fort Lauderdale Mainstay Market 17
You'll need a reservation to feast beyond the thick velvet curtains that keep Market 17's small, 12-seat room shrouded in darkness. Those drapes also muffle the sound of the restaurant's main dining room beyond while pop music plays softly in the background, its cheery rhythm a stark contrast to the oppressive push of blackness. From there, it's all a guessing game as to what you've been served for each course. The best part is getting to eat with your hands.

3. A Young Gun Is Taking Over Hollywood With Ends Meat (and Mahi Sausage)
For Ends Meat chef-owner Kevin Dreifuss, the phrase "making ends meet" has an even more poignant meaning. A good portion of his professional culinary career has been spent working day and night, first to support himself and most recently his growing family. When he purchased the Ends Meat domain name in 2009, the name seemed fitting, he says. This year, the self-made chef opened his own restaurant in Hollywood with the same name, and the dishes he creates are earning rave reviews. Try his own unique creation, the mahi sausage, a signature menu item.

2. Giovanni Rocchio Redefines Tapas at One Door East 
At One Door East, Giovanni Rocchio aims to recreate the authentic Spanish tapas experience without the restrictions of sticking to one particular style of cuisine (something he's grown accustomed to with his upscale Italian eatery, Valentino's, next door). At One Door East, it's difficult to choose a favorite among the more than a half-dozen small plates offered because nearly every one approaches perfection.

1. Take a Trip to Brazil at Regina's Farm in Fort Lauderdale
Several years ago, Regina Rodrigues, her husband, and their two sons began hosting dinners, opening the gates to their fazendinha — or little farm — as a way to transport guests to a miniature, more rustic version of Rodrigues' hometown in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Now, about three Saturdays a month, Rodrigues will host her pop-up-style dinner — what has become a charity-fueled mission she's dubbed Fazendinha da Regina (Portuguese for Regina's Farm). A $25 donation will get you entry to her all-you-can-eat event. The spread is incredible, making it well worth the several months' wait for a seat.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna