Best of Broward / Palm Beach

Ten Best Romantic Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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4. Candela Restaurant

In South Florida, where the recent small-plate obsession has tainted our palates (and pockets) with pricey, upmarket concept foods, we have no understanding of the Spanish art of celebrating food and drink. But at Candela Restaurant in Wilton Manors, you can get an idea of what it's all about. Just one block south of Oakland Park Boulevard and over a canal that hems the northern edge of the Island City, you'll find one of the area's best-kept secrets. You may be familiar with a restaurant where the chef knows your name and delivers your dish as if you were family. This is the type of experience you'll get from chef-owner Armando Vega and his wife, Yudaris, a Cuban-born couple who dish out authentic Latin and Mediterranean cuisine. What makes Candela so endearing is Vega's knowledge of his painstakingly sourced ingredients. A medium-grain rice from Murcia, Spain; Mahón, a soft cow's-milk cheese from the island of Minorca; smoky pimentón, a type of Spanish paprika; and olive oil from Jaén, a city in the south of Spain. The rustic, red-walled hideaway is accented with handmade wooden wine racks; Vega's family china and art made with the corks of emptied wine bottles are evidence of the gastronomic merriment that's taken place over the years. Candela is located at 2909 Northeast Sixth Ave., Oakland Park. Call 954-563-8088, or visit candelarestaurant.com.

3. Casa D'Angelo

This upscale Italian ristorante, with dual locations in both Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton has been described as "the closest to dining in Florence anyone will get in Florida." Now that certainly sounds romantic. Of course, wine and romance also go together -- and what could be more enchanting than taking your special someone to a place with one of the most extensive wine lists in town? With more than 40 pages of Italian and American wines, this Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant is sure to get the ardent juices flowing. Although wine is the aphrodisiac, the food here is like sex in your mouth. Simply prepared dishes such as bistecca all a fiorentina (oak-grilled, dry-aged New York strip steak marinated in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic with sweet Vidalia onions and wild mushrooms) and tuna carpaccio with arugula, lemon, and olive oil are sure to titillate. Chef-owner Angelo Elia offers up an experience unlike any other, with courteous service and a well-curated wine list, making it a favorite spot for South Floridians to celebrate special occasions. Casa D'Angelo is located at Call 954-564-1234, or visit casa-d-angelo.com.

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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna