d.b.a./café breaks the notion that good food and drink must be accompanied by a fancy setting and fancy prices.
Cut up wine boxes line the kickspace under the bar. More of them form a New York City skyline at the far end of the restaurant, past the multicolored string of Christmas lights. Yes, Christmas lights.
d.b.a. allows you to get as uptight or laidback as you please. If you're in a duck confit and bottle of wine mood owner and sommelier, Tastemaker number 8, Tom Moynihan has your back. Too fancy? Go for chef Steve Zobel's honey sriracha glazed chicken wings or a burger with a craft beer.
The most influential person in my career has been...
It would have to be my father. I can't help but notice that I'm following in his foot steps as being a jack of all trades. Going throughout my life I've had different careers and utilized them in every job that I've had. I was a high school Spanish teacher in New York City. Looking back on it now I'm able to know and see the similarities between classroom management and restaurant management. It's just a different medium of what I learned as a high school teacher.
When I'm alone and in need of comfort (and no one is there to watch or judge), the one food or drink I turn to is...
Bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches. When I lived in New York I was easily 15 to 20 pounds heavier because of them.
What does the Broward/Palm Beach food scene need more of?
A late-night sandwich shop. There's a place I grew up near call A & S Bagels. They were open all night and had sandwiches all night long. I would say the thing I miss most is going to these places instead of a fast food place late at night.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
Corporate restaurants that are in reality glorified diner food. Fort Lauderdale is saturated with that. It's a duplicated wine list with glorified diner food and zero innovation or creativity.
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name, and what do you serve?
It'd be an onsite microbrewery with bar food and noshes that pair with every beer. It would be called d.b.a./brewpub.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself probably expanding this concept to more places. At this point what we offer is a New York City-style vibe for places that don't have that. The one place you're not going to see me is back in New York opening up a place like this because these places are a dime a dozen.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
The cast from Animal House. Definitely John Belushi, definitely Flounder. This is such a ridiculous question I feel like it reserves a ridiculous answer.
New Times' Best Of Broward-Palm Beach 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up 30 of our favorite tastemakers -- restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders, and other foodies who make the South Florida food scene what it is. We'll start with number 30 and lead up to South Florida's number one. All previous 2013 Tastemakers are listed below.
22. Vaughan Lazar of Kapow!
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