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The Ten Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale isn't as flashy as Miami nor as food-driven as Delray. And it's not as wealthy as Palm Beach.

We have no trendy fried chicken joints like South Beach's Yardbird Southern Table & Bar nor recently nominated James Beard semifinalists like Clay Conley chef/partner of "the island's" Buccan.

What we do have, however, are damned good chefs and restaurateurs. Some have been here since the days of the topless donut shop. (Yes, that did exist once.)

Highly acclaimed gourmet Mexican spot Eduardo de San Angel recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

In 1998, chef Angelo Elia brought fine Tuscan cuisine to the city with his first outpost of Casa D'Angelo, which now has locations in Boca and the Atlantis Hotel & Resort in the Bahamas.

Fourteen years ago, Dean James Max brought his modern American technique and local sustainable approach to seafood with 3030 Ocean in the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa -- he recently left, and his protégé Paula DaSilva is about to return.

In any case, here's a list of the ten best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Disagree? Leave a comment..

Warning: You're about to get hungry.

10. Sea Restaurant

In this nondescript strip-mall spot on East Commercial Boulevard, chef/owner Tony Sindaco pumps out a menu that is anything but commonplace. Delectable dishes, from tuna Bolognese to braised black grouper, served with ever-changing but perfectly cooked accouterments, will satisfy any seafood lover's craving -- and might convert a few haters. The mind-blowing effect totally makes sense given Sindaco's résumé; the award-winning chef spent time working in kitchens across the U.S. and Europe, including stints at Michelin 5-Star Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland, and Chef Poissoniere at the Five Diamond Helmsley Palace in New York City under Andre Rene. At Sea, Sindaco brings his haute approach to casual beach-inspired digs. That's exactly why we nominated the Lilliputian spot New Times winner for Best Seafood - 2012.

9. 3030 Ocean

Long hailed as one of the best places for seafood in Fort Lauderdale, 3030 Ocean has racked up numerous accolades. Over the years, New Times alone has awarded it everything from Best Chef - 2009 and Best Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale - 2006 to Best Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying - 2002 and Best Fine Dining That Offers a Highchair - 2001. Known for its clean, modern American approach, the restaurant offers light seafood and meats prepared in a manner that respects and highlights individual ingredients -- whether it be a prime cut of meat, locally caught grouper, or farm-fresh veggies. While the restaurant has recently undergone some big changes -- founder Dean James Max left, and former chef de cuisine Paula Da Silva is back -- it's just as consistent yet as innovative as ever.

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