Sad news, Fort Lauderdale. Christine's Restaurant announced this morning via e-mail that it has been sold. The dining room cum jazz bar, which earned New Times' Best New Restaurant in 2008 and Best Romantic Restaurant in 2009, was opened in December 2007 by co-owners Daniel MacMillan and Gregory Rhatagen, a longtime Fort Lauderdale who restaurateur ran the Grateful Palate on 17th Street Causeway. In our first review, critic Gail Shepherd called Christine's one of the best restaurants in Broward. Along the way, it racked up two Florida Trend Golden Spoon Awards in 2008 and 2009.
It's unclear who the restaurant was sold to, or what the reason for the sale was. Christine's had recently offered a number of discounts, including $30 three-course menus and buy-one-get-one deals on all bottles in their extensive wine list.
No one from Christine's was available this morning for comment as the restaurant is currently closed until August 4. Clean Plate Charlie will update this information as more is discovered.
Hit the jump for the full e-mail.
Dear Food Aficionados, Jazz Patrons,
Loyal Customers, New and Old Friends:
I want to take just a minute of your busy time to let you know
I have sold Christine's, the restaurant which we have all worked so hard to make into something very special.
Creating such an exciting and successful experiment in fine dinning and culinary flair has been deeply gratifying; making a solid commitment to keeping our favorite music playing has been a privilege. But I have reluctantly concluded it is time for me to allow someone else to take the helm.
I have nothing but good feelings to take with me in regard to all the lovely people I have met along the way, including my customers, extraordinary musicians, favorite food critics, and my employees and suppliers - from fresh food experts to green grocers to well-traveled wine merchants.
A huge thank you to all for the help and the memories.
You will all be sorely missed.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.