South Florida has a plethora of music venues and a ton of restaurants.
What does not seem to exist, however, are live music venues showcasing world-class musicians that serve topnotch food.
That's not the case anymore.
Jazziz Magazine Publisher Michael Fagien recently opened Jazziz Nightlife in Boca Raton. The spot frequently features famous musicians like Jon Secada and Molly Ringwald as it serves delicious fine food.
Fagien, a doctor and veteran of the music business, started his magazine Jazziz with the financial backing of Dr. Robert Cade (the inventor of Gatorade) while he was still a medical student at the University of Florida.
Thirty years later, he has taken his love of music from the printed page and into real life with the opening of his club, also named Jazziz. With the help of his wife, Zakiya, and his brother Steven, Fagien's goal was to create an overall sensory experience with great musicians, superb food, and quality service in a stylish atmosphere.
"We're music- and artcentric," said Fagien. "I've traveled to music venues all over the place, and the one thing I noticed was that most venues might have great artists but don't include a really good restaurant. People usually go somewhere else to eat first."
The 12,000-square-foot venue features multiple dining rooms, some of which can be booked for private events; multiple bars; and an outdoor seating area. About 250 seats have direct views of the stage, with about 150 more that can capture a glimpse from outside.
The cuisine follows the American bistro bent, with prime steaks, fresh seafood, and everything made in-house from scratch. Burgers are ground daily on-premises. Buns and breads are baked every day by a dedicated pastry chef. Fries are hand-cut.
Executive chef Justin Fit attended the French Culinary Institute in New York, also working for Daniel Boulud after hours. He most recently worked for Michael Mina.
Dishes include a wide selection ranging from pan-seared red snapper with saffron shellfish broth, fingerling potato, and shaved fennel salad ($31) to whipped mascarpone and spinach ravioli ($16) to barbecued-chicken pizza with red onion and white cheddar ($16).
"We offer some unusual dishes that you wouldn't expect to see at a music venue," said Fagien. "Our salmon is some of the best around; our lobster risotto is fantastic. When Molly Ringwald was on stage performing, she stopped and said, 'Hey, did anyone try the lobster risotto?'"
In addition to nightly dinner service and happy hour -- half-price food and drinks from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday -- the restaurant offers a jazz brunch every Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Aside from the $16 unlimited mimosas, the offerings highlight many New Orleans-inspired favorites like braised short ribs and Anson Mills grits ($15) and brioche French toast with strawberry jam and white-chocolate whipped cream ($14).
While the venue places a large emphasis on the music, with many show tickets hitting the $60 mark, guests can opt to sit in the air-conditioned outdoor patio or one of the secluded dining rooms without a charge. For those who want to just hang out and drink, there is a $10 cover charge on the weekends -- it's waived for anyone eating a meal.
"We have speakers all around the place," said Fagien. "You may not get to see the music, but you can still hear it everywhere."
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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