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Restaurant Reviews

Bimini Boatyard Offers a Primo Seat for Lunch

About two years ago, I had a friend in town who wanted to go to lunch somewhere distinctly Fort Lauderdale. So I took him to Bimini Boatyard off 17th Street, a place that evokes the city in that there's (A) water, (B) outdoor seating, and (C) simply cooked seafood. We sat on the docks next to million-dollar yachts even though it was probably too hot out, drank iced tea, and ate sweet Bimini bread and grilled mahi. He had visited Miami a day earlier and offered this assessment: "This sure beats South Beach." Soon after, Bimini was sold. Chef Michael Bennet — a decorated veteran of Fort Lauderdale's Left Bank — was brought in last October to overhaul the menu. And the musty carpeting and worn fixtures were ripped out and replaced with smooth hardwood floors and bright blue seating. I don't really care what the dining room looks like or how many awards the chef has won. When I go to Bimini, it's not for ceviche (premade and terrible) or mango "coulis-grette" (watery) or however many tobacco onions they top the dishes with (they're soggy anyway). It's to sit on the docks and eat a fresh piece of grilled, Florida fish — snapper, grouper, mahi, or swordfish — which are still on the menu and still under $20 at lunch. As long as they leave that part intact, we're OK.

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John Linn

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