Restaurant Reviews

Dine by Your Sign

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Leo (July 23-August 22): The showman of the zodiac, Leo takes creativity to new levels. Extravagant and exuberant, the lion shines brightly and may be demanding, requiring foods served at temperatures as hot as the sun the sign represents. Leos love herbs and spices (particularly dill), flambéed dishes, and grilled fish and meats. Quality Quirk: Food is passion. Fatal Flaw: Leos can be so sensually sated by a good meal that a lusty after-dinner romp is a nonstarter. Ultimate Eatery: Angelo Elia, chef-proprietor of Casa D'Angelo (1201 N.Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1234) offers first-rate Tuscan fare that includes oven-roasted, free-range chicken with broccoli rabe and oak-grilled jumbo prawns with arugula and tomatoes.

Virgo (August 23-September 22): Practical, intelligent, and health-conscious, the Virgo diner can be, well, virtuous when it comes to restaurants. They follow rules and appreciate patterns; table settings must be in order. They observe proprieties as well as niceties, which can render them exquisitely polite or boringly predictable. For all their perfectionism, they're versatile and adore foreign flavors. Quality Quirk: Displaying an in-depth understanding of nutrition, cooking, and health, Virgos are the most successful at maintaining diets. Fatal Flaw: They can be pedantic and didactic. Ultimate Eatery: Gibby's (2900 NE 12th Terr., Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-2929) never fails to fill its dining room, and the reasons are obvious: twin Maine lobsters, prime rib, rack of lamb. And if Virgos can hold themselves back from ordering the house-baked strawberry shortcake, they might actually meet their stringent health requirements at the same time.

Libra (September 23-October 22): To many, Libras -- symbolized by the scales of justice -- are born contradictions. They appreciate subtlety (delicate sauces, thinly sliced meats, artistically arranged portions) but detest pretense. While French fare may suit them just fine, fussy nouvelle cuisine may seem unduly pseudo-sophisticated. The well-balanced Libra prefers the classic dishes of haute cuisine. Quality Quirk: Libras are often wine connoisseurs, but they despise excess. Fatal Flaw: Vegetables must show their true colors to these justice-seekers -- green for asparagus, yellow for corn -- which can lead to plain and undercooked veggies. Ultimate Eatery: The French brasserie Gigi's (Mizner Park, 346 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-368-4488) offers the ideal Libra menu: updated but not too elaborate and interesting any way you look at it. Onion soup, for instance, is served with a sense of humor, along with scissors to cut that pesky Gruyère.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21): Let's be blunt: Food is sex and vice versa. Passionate, intense, and fascinated with fare that induces desire, this water sign can be obsessed with oysters, Tuaca (an Italian liqueur said to be an aphrodisiac), and the like. Scorpios are what many folks interested in the occult call "old souls"; they appreciate aged beef and cheeses, dark bread, red wine, and 20-year-old Scotch. They are mysterious and secretive and like their food to be complexly flavored. Quality Quirk: Scorpios prize authenticity and usually know the best places for regional/ethnic specialties. Fatal Flaw: Scorpio has a black-and-white mind and will never return to a restaurant -- or a dining companion -- he or she considers inferior in any way. Ultimate Eatery: The Scorpio's search for a fabulous Indian restaurant is now over, thanks to Dawat to India (6320 W.Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise, 954-742-7558), where the samosas are sumptuous, the curries sublime, and the blend of spices impossible to figure out.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21): Sagittarians are insatiably curious when it comes to food. Often experimenting with strange and wonderful ingredients, they work precisely with them before presenting them to others, which is almost always done in the manner of teaching a lesson. With fun-loving Jupiter as mentor, the Sagittarian also takes great delight in hosting parties, mixing drinks, and eating rich, cream-filled desserts. Quality Quirk: The exotic has appeal; Sagittarians are the first to swallow goldfish, crunch down on grasshoppers, or tackle raw meat. They make excellent taste-testers for cautious royalty. Fatal Flaw: They can't help but endlessly explain dishes and pontificate on food history. Ultimate Eatery: Storks don't deliver just babies, they deliver fabulous sweets via Stork's Cafe (2505 NE 15th St., Wilton Manors, 954-567-3220). For dessert beyond compare, Sagittarians need to order the Storkberry pie, which contains blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19): Earthy and basic, Capricorns prefer fare that comes from the ground (mushrooms, root vegetables). They're also big fans of texture and enjoy foods that need to be worked on, like nuts and crunchy vegetables. Capricorn diners are disciplined, even restrictive, and want items served on time and at their proper temperatures. Quality Quirk: Capricorns appreciate meals that make memories and are frequently inspired to celebrate special occasions with fine fare. Fatal Flaw: Ruled by the planet Saturn, Capricorns are frequently dry and thirsty, which can make them irritable. Ultimate Eatery: Capricorns may shy away from Hot Chocolates (3101 N.Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-5552), which is both restaurant and nightclub. But items like the ragout of escargots and confit of duck baked with wild mushrooms and tomatoes should bring any Capricorn out of his or her shell.

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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick