When Broward-based catering guru Mike Linder and his business partner, Mitch Amsterdam, opened Jet Runway Café in 2009 at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, they envisioned a chic concept that would take full advantage of the unbeatable backdrop of private planes landing and departing just outside its windows.
Today, the restaurant has become a popular spot for more than just the jet-set crowd. Serving breakfast, lunch, and brunch for traveling clientele and busy employees, it's also become a hit with power-lunchers and weekend brunchers.
Now, Amsterdam and Linder are at it again, opening their latest concept inside another visually appealing Fort Lauderdale landmark as YOT Bar & Kitchen debuts at the Lauderdale Marine Center. Located at 2015 SW 20th St., the eatery is set to open on Saturday, November 16.
"When we saw the space, we knew it was perfect for a waterfront restaurant," Linder says. "[This] has been in the works for quite some time. Our goal was to create a cool, casual spot that serves simple, yet sophisticated, American cuisine."
Known for its sweeping views of the marina and yachting community, part of YOT’s allure will be its expansive waterfront seating, says Linder. Guests can also look forward to the 2020 launch of the establishment's outdoor bar for a new cocktail destination.
In the kitchen, executive chef Gregory Schesser brings an impressive resume to South Florida with time spent at French Laundry in Napa Valley and Lower48 Kitchen in Denver. Schesser said he is dedicated to serving clean food, resulting in a menu that embraces mindfulness when it comes to sauces, butter, fats, and calories.
"With the right technique and amazing ingredients, you can achieve delicious, balanced and nuanced flavors," Schesser says. "That’s what I look for when I dine out and what I aim to deliver."
Pizza, sandwiches, and salads dominate the YOT menu. Pies can be ordered with an optional cauliflower crust and a highlight includes the lobster MRKT topped with crème fraiche, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and chives ($19).
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Over a half-dozen salads range from cauliflower and quinoa with roasted cauliflower, quinoa, cilantro, cashews, and pomegranate seeds in a curry vinaigrette to the wasabi shrimp Caesar featuring wild Gulf shrimp, romaine lettuce, house-made sourdough croutons, shaved Parmesan, and a wasabi Caesar dressing ($13 to $19).
Sandwiches run the gamut from a lobster roll, blackened mahi, or traditional Cuban sandwich to the chef's signature burger or a grilled cheese-and-soup combo ($13 to $18). Main plates include a market-priced fresh catch fish, miso-marinated salmon with quinoa, Napa cabbage, shiitake mushroom, shishito peppers, and ponzu vinaigrette and roasted chicken with Parmesan-crusted Yukon gold potatoes, creamed kale, and mustard jus ($20 to $26).
YOT Bar & Kitchen will begin serving lunch and dinner daily, with a Sunday brunch launching at a later date. Lunch will be served daily starting at 11 a.m., with dinner served from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursdays; and to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Free parking is available at the marina, with the option of a $5 valet service.
YOT Bar & Kitchen. 2015 SW 20th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-953-9000; yotlmc.com.