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Top Five Restaurants to Visit For Dine Out Lauderdale

A better headline: Fixed-price Three Course Meals Lay Claim to South Florida

That's what seems to be going on, anyway, when, from month to month, one version of the "meal deal" ends and another begins. Flavor Palm Beach and Miami Spice both ended yesterday -- no more can diners show up at those participating restaurants and get treated to demand to see special, three course menus. (Often, these restaurants don't even tell customers they are participating -- they only bring out their special menus once asked.) But today, another meal deal steps up to take their spot, Dine Out Lauderdale. The $35 fixed price special will run through November 12 at over three dozen restaurants across Broward. Be warned that most restaurants will not offer the Dine Out menu on

Fridays and Saturdays, nor during the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show from

October 29 to November 2.

The complete list of eateries can be seen here. Some are good deals, others not so much. After the jump, we give you our top five places to take advantage of Dine Out at.

5. 3030 Ocean: A restaurant that changes its Dine Out options daily might be a contentious pick in some cases, but Dean Max is the master of evolution, crafting intruiging dishes out of the freshest local ingredients available. His soy-glazed wahoo should appear nightly (he's wahoo for wahoo), but expect the other options to change with the chef's whim -- a good thing.

4. Lola's On Harrison: Hand cut Chilean salmon with red topiko caviar and jalapeno oil. Slow roasted center cut beef ribs basted with Coca Cola BBQ sauce. Warm chocolate cake made from Rogue Chocolate Stout. OK, where do I sign up? Lola's Michael Wagner makes great strides creating comforting dishes with big aspirations, and his Dine Out menu reflects that. The three-course menu features classic Lola's dishes that may not save you a much coin compared to the normal tags, but are still well worth the price of admission.

3. Le Bistro: I have to admit, I've not visited the old-school, Lighthouse Point eatery since Gordon Ramsay came in to overhaul it a few months back as part of his Kitchen Nightmares program. That said, Le Bistro's Dine Out menu looks well-inspired. A starter of melting burrata with balsamic glaze sounds like classic flavors done right, in much the same way as goat cheese and honey pecan roulade with dandelion. Slow-braised lamb osso bucco parmesan polenta and Spanish paella for two are retro, yes, but rewarding. Le Bistro also offers four courses plus a cheese plate with a shot of port to finish you off completely. This one has the potential to be the best deal during Dine Out. 

2. Johnny V: The Dine Out menu proffered by Vinczencz is full of the kind of kid-at-heart indulgencies I can't help but love: who doesn't want a New York strip smothered in veal marrow butter? Or a white chocolate and fudge brownie duo with Nutella (oh, sweet Nutella)? Or seared duck with dirty brown rice and -- dear god -- duck sausage. When I sleep, I dream of duck sausage. Sure, a salmon cake with crispy bagel and dill cream cheese may not sound like anything special, but one of Johnny V's greatest strengths is taking the People's Food and turning it into something more.   

1. Cafe Maxx: Oliver Saucy's seasonal menu is as fun and imaginative as

any in South Florida, but tracing its contours of sweet onion crusted

snapper and cervena venison chop amount to a whole season's worth of

meals, price-wise. Maxx's Dine Out special features not three, but four

courses, including a starter, a second course, a main, and dessert.

Favorites like Saucy's smoked mozzarella and duck ravioli appear as

options, as does a three-peppercorn filet mignon that ordinarily

commands $40 or more on the dinner menu. Go with a friend or three, and this is an absolutely amazing chance to taste a whole lot for a whole little.

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John Linn

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