Dine Out Lauderdale: Five Deals to Sink Your Teeth Into

Fort Lauderdale is full of beautiful waterfront homes, huge yachts, and high-end restaurants. Suffice it to say, there is a bit of money running around this town. Unfortunately, for the average resident, keeping up with the Jones' in terms of culinary delights can start to get pretty expensive.

Lucky for us, we have Dine Out Lauderdale. The six-week dining deal, which started last week, is now in full-swing. So we decided to pick out five must-try deals that are usually a stretch for the non-yacht owner.

China Grill
Situated on the Intracoastal Waterway, in the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, China Grill has a great atmosphere for a high-end dining experience. And the Dine Out Lauderdale specials are ridiculous. The year-round menu ranges from $9.50 tofu tots up to the $59.00 Korean kalbi rib-eye: not exactly what one would consider a steal. For Dine Out Lauderdale's $35 prix fixe, the restaurant is offering a choice of three appetizers: spicy beef and scallion dumplings with soy ginger sauce (normally $13.50); tuna oshi, a combination of tuna crabmeat,sushi rice, and wasabi; Tri Star Salad, crackling calamari salad, Confucius chicken salad, and Caesar salad (usually ranging from $13.50 to 15.75). Entrees include garlic grilled shrimp ($27), sake marinated "drunken chicken" ($24), and grilled szechuan beef ($46). Guests also get a choice between five vegetable fried rice and wok sauteed vegetables. To finish, the restaurant will be offering a changing chef's selection of desserts. The offer is valid seven days a week, excluding boat show.

The Grateful Palate
Our 2011 pick for Best Broward county restaurant is not the most expensive place in town, but it's not exactly cheap. With foie gras and ossetra caviar on the menu, the restaurant caters to yuppy foodies and high-end gourmands. That being said, the restaurant is catering to layperson with the Dine Out Lauderdale deals. Sunday through Friday, excluding boat show, guests can enjoy selections off of the regular menu. Appetizers include the grilled peach salad ($7), Thai beef salad ($10), Caesar salad ($8), and lamb sliders ($8). Entrees offered are shrimp truffle mac & cheese ($24), honey mustard grilled salmon ($20), signature charred Wagyu burger ($17), apricot glazed chicken breast ($19), and the cinnamon seared duck breast ($28). Desserts include a sorbet trio ($6), summer berry cheesecake ($10), and indulgence mango and coconut ice cream ($12).

3030 Ocean
One of the premier dining establishments in Fort Lauderdale, 3030 has won numerous New Times Broward-Palm Beach awards: Best Chef 2009, South Florida's Best Hotel Restaurants, Best Fine Dining That Offers a Highchair. Just like the rest of the year, this farm-to-table spot will be changing the menu on a daily basis. The big difference, however, is the price. Entrees generally run $26 to $53 a piece. The Dine Out menu is set; one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert with optional wine pairings for each dish for an additional $12.The caesar salad, wahoo tempura, and chocolate panna cotta are examples of the daily Dine Out menu. Each evening's menu option is available online at 5:30 on the day of service. Make sure to check it before heading in, as there are no substitutions. The deal is being offered Sunday through Thursday, excluding boat show.

Johnny V
Right in the heart of Las Olas Boulevard, Johnny V's has been catering to tourist and locals for almost a decade. Chef-owner Johnny Vinczencz has received much recognition for his New American cuisine including our awards for 2004 Best New Restaurant in Broward, 2005 Best Dessert, and an appearance on Iron Chef. Needless to say, the restaurant is not the best option for diners on a budget. During Dine Out Lauderdale, Johnny V's is featuring four course for the $35 price-tag, Sunday through Thursday nights, excluding boat show. Diners can choose from three soup options, including the signature smoked tomato soup ($8), Key West style conch chowder ($11), or soup on a whim--the chef's special. Second course includes wild baby greens and roasted beets salad ($11), Maytag Blue Cheese salad ($11), blue corn crusted calamari ($11), or breast of duck meatballs ($13). The choice of entrees includes yellowtail snapper with truffled wild mushroom mash, citrus sauce with sundried-tomatoes, wilted spinach, and cippolini onions ($35); sage grilled Florida dolphin with rock shrimp plantain stuffing, lobster pan gravy, 
cranberry mango chutney, baby green beans and carrots ($31); grilled sliced hangar steak with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, baby corn, and barbeque demi glace; and basil and parmesan seared chicken breast with wild mushroom risotto, broccoli rapini, 
natural roasted chicken broth, and grape tomatoes ($28). For dessert, the restaurant will be featuring three berry crème brulee pot pie ($11) and homemade ice creams and sorbets ($8), which will vary.

Market 17
This farm-to-table spot earned our pick for this year's Best Broward county restaurant. While the menu does change daily, diners can generally expect to pay $25 to $46 for entrees alone, making the $35 three course, Dine Out Lauderdale deal a steal. As with all of the others on the list, the deal excludes boat show. For appetizers guest can choose from the farm green salad ($13), Florida fish ceviche ($15), Florida rabbit three-ways ($16), or the housemade charcuterie platter ($15) with guest's pick of three choices from the board. Entrees include pan seared local fish ($23), slow-roasted duck breast ($23), zucchini and yellow squash noodles with pan-seared tofu ($17), or for an up-charge, grilled sika venison loin ($26 a $10 up-charge), or grilled Florida lobster ($29 for an additional $15). Choice of desserts include zucchini and almond bread pudding ($12), orange panna cotta ($12), or housemade sorbets and ice creams ($4 per scoop). The deal is being offered seven days a week. On Fridays and Saturdays it ends at 8 p.m.

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