Restaurant Reviews

Hardy Park Bistro: Upscale Cuisine for Fort Lauderdale Landlubbers

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His goal is to serve upscale food in a casual neighborhood environment. Though Darmon has an affinity for the Mediterranean and its cuisine because of his travels throughout the region, his food also reflects a rich Southeast Asian influence because of its proximity to Australia.

Coconut risotto with a green bean, asparagus, and cilantro salad incorporates traditional Italian technique and produce with the sweet, nutty flavors of coconut and zesty citrus notes of cilantro.

Beef short ribs are braised in classic red wine with palm sugar -- an ingredient frequently found in Thai cuisine that has a mild caramel or honey flavor -- and herbal thyme served with soft polenta, spinach, roasted carrots, and beets.

The menu changes weekly, with two daily appetizer and entrée specials, as well as a constantly rotating array of desserts.

Along with sous-chef Laura Hall, a Florida native who worked in the kitchen at Café Boulud in Palm Beach before doing her own stint in the galley of a yacht, Darmon makes everything in-house from scratch. Sorbets and ice creams are made daily, the signature chocolate mousse is prepared with some of the highest-quality chocolate, and even the pastry dough is made by hand on the premises.

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Sara Ventiera