New restaurants are popping up left and right in South Florida. In West Palm Beach, the Dixie Dining Corridor is heating up with fresh-from-the-oven eateries. In Fort Lauderdale, it's a slew of beachfront hotel restaurants. And farther south, Hollywood saw the growth of a farmers'-market stall turned brick-and-mortar.
If you're a foodie in the tri-county area, you want to know what's hot, new, and worth a night out. Here's a list of the "it" places of the moment: the year's best new restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
1. Mazie's West Palm Beach.
West Palm Beach's Dixie Dining Corridor has a number of newcomers, including this year's Spanish tapas spot, Basque at Biba. But if you weren't able to grab a seat before the eatery's summer break, a more recently opened year-round offering is just as fabulous. Mazie's is a mecca for quintessential American dishes presented imaginatively. It's all thanks to chef and co-owner Eric Baker (formerly of Max's Harvest) and business partners Jason Lakow and his wife, sommelier Sandra Lakow. The trio has created a tribute to New-World comfort foods presented with Old-World traditions inside a beautiful, airy 2,600-square-foot restaurant named for Baker’s grandmother. The menu covers rib-sticking fare in various forms — odes to the chef's favorite foods — many offered as rotating nightly specials Monday (it's always a meatless dish) through Sunday (Chinese take-out). Specialties include house-made pastas, ranging from wide ribbons of pappardelle to roasted meat- and vegetable-stuffed agnolotti, all prepared by talented sous-chef Michael Cavanaugh. Don't miss the knish, a spiced-lamb-stuffed pastry served with toasted pine nuts and apricot yogurt, or the sweet-and-sour brisket served with egg foo young, and plump homemade pierogi smothered in your choice of sauce. Baker's favorite: the chop suey spätzle — a shrimp stir-fry served with butter-fried tendrils of his handmade German egg noodles, all topped with a soft-boiled egg. 3815 S Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach; mazieswpb.com.
2. Etaru Las Olas.
Courtesy of Etaru Las Olas
Etaru, which opened its first Florida location in the summer of 2017 in Hallandale Beach, recently debuted an outpost off Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Boulevard. The concept comes from Rainer Becker of Zuma, a restaurant best known for its charcoal-grilled robatayaki cuisine and wide variety of sushi and sashimi. The latest location, which opened in June, is already a hot spot for happy hour, offering $6 signature cocktails that pair perfectly with light bites such as cobia tempura with a sweet-corn skewer or beef, ginger, and sesame dumplings. Or go for lunch: A $30 option includes soup, salad, and sushi or sashimi. For dinner, grab a seat overlooking the open kitchen, where you can watch the entire operation in action, with the robata grill front and center. Be sure to try the 32-ounce tomahawk steak, black cod marinated in yuzu miso, or the lamb cutlets seasoned with Korean spices. Don't leave without a taste of the famous dessert platter — a tower of fresh fruit, sorbet, and house-made confections that can be shared with the table or enjoyed solo. 500 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; etarurestaurant.us.
3. Terra Mare.
The name "Terra Mare" pretty much sums up this Fort Lauderdale restaurant, although it might not be exactly what you'd expect from a concept whose moniker is Italian for "land and sea." Debuting in the new Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach last September, this beachside establishment prides itself on serving locally sourced meat and seafood on a menu that includes dishes such as sea bass with miso glaze; crispy whole snapper with leeks, carrots, and ginger ponzu; and an 18-ounce bone-in tenderloin with roasted root vegetables and a spiced coffee jus. But the real beauty here is the idea of communal dining. Terra Mare's mantra is "beyond tapas," encouraging diners to share large plates instead of the usual small plates. Dishes such as ssam
sauce-smothered Kan Kan pork chops or Old Bay-seasoned, crab-stuffed whole broiled lobster are gourmet family-style feasting at its finest. Some dishes even come with tableside preparation, so you can watch your meal made à la minute. 551 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; terramarefl.com.
4. Lona Cocina y Tequileria.
Courtesy of Lona Cocina y Taquileria
If you're waffling between Stephen Starr's El Vez outpost at the W Fort Lauderdale and Lona Cocina y Taquileria, choose Lona. Located inside the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Lona — Spanish for "canvas" — pairs chef Pablo Salas' soulful Mexican cuisine with one of the city's best oceanfront views. (Salas' Mexican restaurant, Amaranta, is ranked among the 50 Best Restaurants in the World.) On the menu, find colorful dishes such as crab guacamole, pumpkin tamales, braised beef cheek, and salmon served with a traditional mole sauce. For brunch, items such as carnitas hash — braised pulled pork atop homestyle buttermilk masa pancakes with piloncillo syrup and pecan butter — round out the menu. Like Salas' tattoo-covered body, the restaurant is a creative canvas for eclectic culinary creations. Here, imbibing is also encouraged: an indoor/outdoor bar and a tequila tasting room boast 270 tequilas and 100 mezcals. Or try the bottomless Sunday brunch, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For $35 per person, it includes various stations serving made-to-order chilaquiles, omelets, eggs cooked any style, and waffles with assorted toppings, while build-your-own taco and salad bowl stations offer chicken carbon, braised short ribs, and all the fixings. Free-flowing libations include handcrafted margaritas, bloody marys, and mimosas. 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; lonarestaurant.com.
5. Pompano Beach House.
Courtesy of Pompano Beach House
The newest addition to the redeveloped Pompano Pier, Pompano Beach House is the city's first and only oceanfront restaurant. Opened in March, it's also the fourth concept in South Florida from the Ohio-based Brimstone Restaurant Group, also behind Fort Lauderdale's Grille 401 and Pembroke Pines' Brimstone Woodfire Grill. The group's latest restaurant boasts 12,000 square feet of South Florida-meets-Mediterranean atmosphere, boasting second-floor stadium seating that offers unmatched ocean views for an incredible outdoor dining experience. The most popular item is the Beach House clams, a bowl of littleneck clams served in a piquant shallot-and-garlic-infused white-wine reduction served with grilled French bread. It's a nod to the wide variety of seafood offerings, ranging from sushi and cedar-plank salmon to shucked-to-order oysters and fresh catch of the day. The best spot in the house is the rooftop lounge, complete with a second full bar and eight stadium-seated banquettes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and offering views of the nearby lighthouse. Each banquette comfortably seats six to eight guests, who can access their own ottoman-style cooler, perfect for six bottles of beer or a chilled bottle of wine. 270 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach; beachhousepompano.com.