It's no longer a question that South Florida's restaurant scene is undergoing a renaissance. The phenomenon has kicked into high gear in 2019, with notable new restaurants popping up everywhere from Pompano Beach to Palm Beach to Lauderhill. But whether it comes to fine-dining or fast-casual concepts, Fort Lauderdale is clearly leading the pack in culinary innovation. Half of the restaurants listed here call the largest city in Broward County home, and many of them aim to show off their skills with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.
With the year only halfway over, it stands to reason this trend will continue in the coming months. But for now, these are the best new restaurants that have opened in South Florida in 2019.
And Fish + Kitchen Bar
200 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach
Pompano Beach's casual, coastal charm is the inspiration for this new seaside, fresh-catch experience inside the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa. Chef Eric Kaszubinski helms the kitchen of this 115-seat indoor restaurant. His modern menu, filled with classic flavors and seasonal ingredients, offers dishes such as fisherman's chowder, made here with rum, coconut milk, and oyster crackers ($10); roasted Blue Point oysters served with 'nduja butter ($17.75); and island seafood stew with long beans, Thai curry broth, and coconut rice ($21.50). Other highlights are seared day-boat scallops with lentil and exotic mushroom ragout, heirloom carrots, and chervil lemon butter ($32.95); a Murray's all-natural roasted half-chicken with mushroom farro, spaghetti squash, and mustard jus ($27.95); and roasted Scottish salmon with basmati and lentil pilaf, sunburst squash, and caper chermoula ($28.50).
1521 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
With large chandeliers, elegant Indian decor, and a vibrant color palette, Bombay Darbar is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste buds. The wide variety of Indian specialties includes starters such as the panner pakora, made with Indian cheese and stuffed with mint chutney ($6.95); aloo gobi with cauliflowers and potatoes sautéed with fresh herbs ($14.95); and dal makhani, with whole black beans cooked in a creamy onion sauce with tomatoes ($14.95). The entrée list features delicious lamb with basmati rice cooked with Indian herbs, nuts, raisins, and spices ($18.95); mango chicken curry cooked in delicious cashew sauce and mango purée ($17.95); tandoori shrimp marinated in yogurt, garlic, and spices ($18.95); and fish vindaloo with potatoes cooked in spicy sauce with malt vinegar ($18.95).
600 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Unobstructed ocean views complement the local fresh seafood and farm-to-table dishes served at this casual spot operated by former Miami Dolphins player Kim Bokamper. Choose from mouthwatering offerings such as wood-fired oysters topped with garlic butter sauce and melted cheese ($18); smoked fish dip with paprika and jalapeños ($13); watermelon salad with feta cheese, macadamia nuts, and mixed greens ($11); and chicken tortilla soup with tomatoes, corn, and black beans ($8). Choose from wood-fired pizzas such as the Bo’s Beach, topped with prosciutto, baby arugula, mozzarella, aged Romano, and shaved Parmesan ($17); a Caribbean jerk chicken sandwich with mango chutney, Caribbean dry rub, and applewood-smoked bacon on a toasted brioche bun ($14); and shrimp and grits with andouille sausage, cheddar grits, and Cajun butter ($19). The $10 signature cocktail list includes the Raspberry-Thyme Smash, made with New Amsterdam gin, and the El Chilcano, containing El Gobernador pisco, ginger purée lime, ginger ale, and Angostura bitters.
2200 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Dune has created a significant buzz since it opened in December 2018. Housed inside the Auberge Beach Residences & Spa, this oceanfront eatery offers a menu of contemporary dishes crafted with fresh, sustainable ingredients accented by intriguing international influences. Airy and bright, Dune is an ideal place for Sunday brunch, which includes a scrumptious list of offerings such as charcoal-baked eggs with bacon, potato hash, and Parmesan ($13); Maine lobster avocado toast ($19); and prime skirt steak with yuca
Even Keel Fish & Oyster
4100 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
Chefs Dean Max, Dave MacLennan, and Brad Phillips are behind this new Fort Lauderdale restaurant, which aims to be a model of sustainability in the local culinary community. The menu is packed with elevated seafood classics such as scallop ceviche with cucumber jalapeño aguachile, red onion, and radish ($14); fried oysters with garden green mango, roasted peppers, onions, and rémoulade ($14); and coconut corn soup with mussels,
2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach
Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco helms the kitchen at Florie's, located inside the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Colagreco is also the owner of France's Mirazur, which ranked third on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018. For Florie's, the chef has created a Mediterranean-inspired menu to pair with a sustainable wine list and cocktails containing ingredients sourced from the resort's garden. His world-class menu includes dishes such as hamachi with Florida citrus gelée, macadamia milk, and chia seeds ($23); Angus beef carpaccio with jalapeño, anchovies, coriander, and lime ($21); and Australian Wagyu beef with red peppers and shallot vinegar ($32). Main-course highlights are black truffle pizza with Parmesan cream, porcini mushrooms, and arugula ($34); oxtail calzone with chili, egg yolk, roasted red pepper, and coriander ($28); lobster lasagna with coconut milk, crustacean broth, and celeriac béchamel ($30); and New Zealand lamb shoulder with sweet potato, dates, walnuts, and black sesame sauce ($38). The dessert list includes a delicious white chocolate mousse with passionfruit sorbet ($14).
The Restaurant at the Norton
1450 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach
The Restaurant at the revamped Norton Museum of Art is a great place to refuel after hours of browsing the galleries. For a serene view, savor your meal next to the museum's lush garden. Order the Brie & Maitake toast, with French Brie, maitake mushrooms, frisée salad, and truffle honey on Sullivan Street Bakery sesame bread ($14), or the grilled Spanish octopus with white bean purée, saffron aioli, oven-roasted tomatoes, and black olive crumble ($18). Other notable dishes include miso-glazed salmon served with tosazu quinoa, pickled cucumber, edamame, nori ribbons, sambal aioli, and toasted cashews ($24). For brunch, try the lemon ricotta pancakes with whipped mascarpone, fresh berries, and maple syrup ($15).
5415 N. University Dr., Lauderhill
Taco Masala, Broward County's new take on Indian fare, might not seem very different from other fast-casual restaurants at first glance. But the selection of meat- and vegetable-based offerings are versions of the top-selling dishes at Arun's Indian Kitchen in Coral Springs. Guests at Taco Masala can feast on delicious taco and bowl-style offerings that are modestly priced from $7.99 to $9.99. Protein options such as chicken korma in a sweet sauce thickened with cashew nuts and fresh cream; lamb Rogan gosh braised in gravy; vegetable korma with cheese cubes; and fresh chickpeas infused with traditional Indian spices and herbs can top a bowl of saffron-infused rice or get rolled into a wheat roti taco. Mango lassi and mango shakes are the in-house drinks for $1.99 each.
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The Terrace Grill at the Dalmar
299 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
The Terrace Grill specializes in American fare with hints of Italian flair on the ground floor of the new hotel Dalmar. It's a great spot for locals to mingle as they savor a delectable array of contemporary dishes, especially during happy hour, when the eatery is at its liveliest. Sit on the patio while feasting on the likes of truffled mushroom pizza with wild mushrooms, porcini cream, and mozzarella ($18) or spicy tuna tartare with cucumber carpaccio, avocado, and crispy shallots ($20). There are also rosemary-braised lentils with charred broccoli rabe and marinated tomatoes ($16) and filet mignon with mashed potatoes, wild mushrooms, and cipollini onions ($42). A vegetarian standout is the homemade veggie burger with beets, quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, mushrooms, and sweet potato fries ($16).
The Trophy Room
12300 S. Shore Blvd., Wellington
The Trophy Room celebrates Wellington's equestrian culture via an elevated New American menu with global influences using a variety of seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Chef James Strine’s creations are served in an elegant dining room outfitted in black, white, and navy decor with gold finishings. Locals visit the eatery for starters such as the kale and butternut salad with butternut squash and pomegranate ($14) and yellowfin tuna tartare with strawberry-za'atar salsa and mint avocado mousse ($16). Main courses include the Duck Duck Mac pasta with duck confit, foie gras morsels, and aged Gruyère cheese ($24); New Bedford scallops with pork belly, ale, savoy cabbage, and cauliflower purée ($30); and the Colorado lamb rack, served with roasted tomato bread pudding, pickled shallot salad, and bone marrow jus ($47). On weekends, enjoy live entertainment in the restaurant's bar and lounge.