BROWARD COUNTY FAVORITES

Consider this the answer to “Hey Bren, can you recommend a good restaurant in Broward?” 

MY FAVORITE BROWARD COUNTY RESTAURANTS

Listed in alphabetical order 

Arun’s Indian Kitchen
in Coral Springs. Personally, I prefer to take-out instead of dine-in at Arun’s (mostly because there are only several tables inside).T i n y! My go-to order is the Chicken Makhani-Butter Chicken-Tikka Masala (yes, that’s all one dish) accompanied by the Garlic Naan. One order is enough for two.

Cafe La Buca  It looks like a regular pizza joint from the outside, yet reservations are needed. No menu, no prices. While everything at Cafe La Buca is special, the bread and pizza dough are unlike any other I’ve ever had. Another plus? It’s BYOW! With no corkage fee you are free to indulge in your wine of choice to pair with their “mamma mia” good food.

Cafe Seville Crazy good Spanish food and wonderful service in East Fort Lauderdale. The paellas and the Calamari Francaise are out of this world. Stick to the ever changing Sharpied specials board.

Cafe Vico The main reason to visit? Vico has the best lasagna in Broward and a mean Fruti di Mare. The recently renovated space is looking better than ever. Make sure and check out the wine room, available for private dinners.

Casa D’ Angelo One of Broward County’s top restaurants. Forget the menu. Instead, focus on the never-ending list of daily specials. Truffles in season? You are in luck! Casa D’ Angelo never skimps on the truffle servings. My favorites are the Sausage & Meatball appetizer, the Mushroom Risotto with black truffles, and the Osso Buco. 

Eduardo De San Angel Mexican food in East Fort Lauderdale. Don’t let the colorful strip mall location fool you, this is a great one! There’s not a single taco or quesadillla on the menu, and you won’t even miss them. The Cilantro Soup is one of their signature must-order appetizers. Excellent service and upscale eats await you at Eduardo’s.Hot and Soul Yo’ momma is in the kitchen. Not really. But if she was from n’awlins and she was in the kitchen, this is what the food would taste like. Tiny strip-mall restaurant offering momma-like eats, large portions, and great local beer. The Musts: Mushroom Manchego Toast, Holay Mole, Gnaughty Gnocchi, BBQ Shrimp Nola Style, and ANY Funky Buddha ale they are offering that day.

Ireland’s Steakhouse Hidden away inside the very average Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston, Ireland’s is a top notch act and up to par with South Florida’s best steakhouses. Just the bread basket alone will make you fall in love with them. The Truffle Mac & Cheese, Roasted Pork Belly, Kobe Croquettes, Spinellus Steak, and Colorado Lamb Chops are all exceptional. Shoot, even their Vegetable Pad Thai rocks!

Jimmie’s Chocolates and Cafe So in love with Jimmie’s. Although there’s seating available in the lush garden complete with chandeliers, candles, and fountains outside, I prefer the tiny private dining room upstairs. Caribbean fusion in Dania? Yup, somehow, it works! Save room for dessert. Trust me.

Kaluz Beautiful waterfront restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. The extensive menu has something for everyone. Day or night, by land or by sea, Kaluz is the place to be.

Kuro Located inside the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, this newcomer serves upscale Japanese eats and has already become one of my favorite Broward restaurants. Disclaimer: the cigarette smell throughout the lobby will follow you all the way to the restaurant entrance. Once inside, it will subside. Promise. Reviewed here…

La Brochette Bistro Hiding in a shopping strip between a Dollar Tree and a Winn Dixie, but worth the trip! The warm bread is served with a honey dollop, the pan seared fresh Jumbo Sea Scallops, the Macadamia-Nut Crusted Chilean Seabass and the house White Chocolate (Croissant) Bread Pudding are all must-haves.

Lola’s on Harrison Here’s all you need to know: COCA COLA RIBS. Go.

Louie K’s Club Sandwich Love at first bite. Remember these scenes from Seinfeld? Luckily, Louie K is not THAT strict, but there ARE some rules you must follow. For whatever reason, that reminds me of those Seinfeld episodes. This is a one-man show. All of it. Walk in to the small shop, take an order form and pencil, fill it out completely, and turn it in. You have now officially placed your first (and certainly not last) order. Your sandwich creation will be meticulously prepared by Louie himself. While you wait, study the many Miami-freestyle celebrity photos on the wall and sway to the old school tunes playing at “the club.” I may or may not be featured in one the photos too! Hmmm. Once you receive your order, sit back, enjoy, and be forever hooked!

Market 17 Yeah, yeah, farm-to-table restaurant blah, blah, blah. They should all be farm-to-table by now, don’t you think? Sadly, they aren’t. Support this still-rare gem. Market does a great job with the ever-changing menu. If you dare, try their Dining in the Dark experience too!

Mustard Seed Bistro My home base. My go-to. My one. This unexpected find is in a strip mall. Thankfully, once you are inside you will forget all about its location and fall in love with the menu. Expert tip: call by 1pm to reserve your special cupcakes for dessert. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Pasta And Another strip mall gem. In Margate. Not much to do there, but this one is worth your travel efforts. The menu? Well, it’s pasta AND whatever sauce/topping you want. Get it? PASTA, AND? Small, old school, and sinfully delicious.

Sardellis Elegant Italian dining just steps from the Hollywood shore. Great everything: service, food, and decor.

S3 Sun. Surf. Sand. Directly across Fort Lauderdale beach and offering a tapas style menu, S3 is a great spot for tourists and locals alike. Every time I visit I feel like I went on a mini-vacation! Casual during the day and sexy-as-hell at night. S3 has it all!

Serafina Listed as waterfront, but the view is usually blocked by all the docked boats. That’s OK. Serafina is a little hideaway in East Fort Lauderdale. Traditional Italian eats in an unpretentious environment.

Steak 954 Broward County’s answer to fine dining. And that’s a big deal! Not too many places north of the 305 border fit that category. Located inside the posh W Hotel, Steak 954 is the place to see and be seen. It’s not all looks though, the menu rocks too! My favorites? The 954 Cheesesteak, Truffle Mac & Cheese, Tater Tots, Miso Glazed Black Cod, and the Freshly Baked Cookies To Go.

Tavolino Della Noté Oh the many faces of Tavolino. Casual lunch Menu? Upscale Italian dinner? Casual lunch? Comedy night? Latin night? Family vibe? Romantic atmosphere? Those ALL describe Tavolino to a T! This large Coral Springs restaurant has something for everyone. Divided into two different spaces under one roof, with clever decor and space planning, Tavolino easily accomplishes it all. Solid great food and service, time after time. Tell Eddie I sent ya!

Thai Spice A little kitschy, a lot delicious. Another strip mall gem I absolutely love to visit. You cannot miss the giant RED signage calling your name as you drive by. Make reservations ahead of time or wait an eternity to be seated. Get the Bangkok Rolls and Lobster Pad Thai.

The Cook and the Cork Coral Springs strikes again! Something must be in the water. This small restaurant has a big heart. Order any of the pastas and the lamb chops. You MUST also try the spare ribs! Reservations are a must.

Timpano Italian Chophouse This Las Olas classic always delivers. I love the live music and overall sexy vibe. Service can be hit or miss, but I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad dish. Ever.

3030 Ocean Hidden inside the Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, 3030 is reopened and ready to impress. Currently obsessing over the Squid Ink Linguini. 

Twenty Twenty Grille (technically not Broward County, but close enough)  Shocked to have found this hidden gem in Boca Raton. A tiny restaurant with big flavors. Michelin style dining. A must!

Vienna Cafe & Wine Bar in Davie. Off State Road 84. In a strip mall. Three strikes? Not even close. I love the salads and any “schnitzel” listed on the menu. The Frikadeller is not too shabby either. Oh, and the desserts too! Give this one a try once and it will become a favorite forever.