Category Archives: Restaurant Critiques

restaurant critiques

Thirteen Restaurant and Bar

Thirteen Restaurant and Bar

Thirteen  Restaurant and Bar just opened their doors a few weeks ago with a steak and chop menu that is out of this world!  I had the 14 oz. butter and sage braised bone in chop served on mashed parsnips with apple butter and grilled garlic asparagus.  This 4 inch thick chop was so tender I could cut it with a spoon!  It’s my understanding that the  chef takes  the  time to brine the chop, the result being the juiciest and most tender chop  ever!  Thirteen is located at 2390 Wilton Drive  in Wilton Manors and is not to  be confused with 13 Even,  the sister  restaurant a few blocks south.  The fried chicken sliders are  amazing.  They take a  2-bite, house-made, cheddar biscuit and stuff it with fried chicken tossed in Sriracha maple syrup. Yum! If  that doesn’t do it for you, you  can always try Thirteen’s twist on traditional hummus made with peanuts and served with Naan, carrots, cucumbers and sweet, spicy cherry peppers.  The entree prices  range from $14 (for  a burger) to $28 dollars  (for  filet mignon or ribeye)  Especially  tantalizing is  the Sunday  brunch menu with fried green tomatoes,  biscuits and gravy, crab benedict and all you can drink $15 mimosas.  The entree prices  range from $14 (for  a burger) to $28 dollars  (for  filet mignon or rib eye) www.thirteenwilton.com/menu-page/ They don’t take reservations so you can  pop in  any evening between 4 and  10PM.  (11PM on Friday and Saturday night)

Fresh Tuna Crudo and Gyro Wraps are Delicious Nibbles you’ll find at Taps!


 

Taps Restaurant Bar   & Lounge is the newest restaurant to hit the Himmarshee area in Fort Lauderdale.  Whether you are having  a quick business lunch, tapas with friends or a late night post-theatre snack, don’t even  think of going there without trying Chef James DeVito’s signature dish, fresh Ahi tuna, mingled with fennel, sun-dried tomato, red onion and avocado, tossed with special chili oil and served  on a crispy baked wonton.

Tuna Crudo at Taps
Tuna Crudo at Taps

With a quaint atmosphere that seats about 100, there’s a “pub-style” feel to it featuring a two-story beer wall that offers over 350 types of beer, (including 250 craft beers), over 60 wines on tap – 32 of which are by the glass.

IMG_3829

Unfortunately, there  is no local beer from our very own Funky Buddha Brewery, however, that could be forthcoming.

I am a self-proclaimed ice fanatic, as is my husband, to the point that we  won’t even consider  buying a  refrigerator with an ice  maker that produces half-moon shaped ice cubes.  (They get stuck in the bottom of the glass then come crashing into your face splashing your drink everywhere)  Block ice, shaved ice, cracked ice, you-name-it ice, it makes a difference in the drink. Taps has 1 1/4″ solid cubes for the perfect craft cocktail-a standout!

Sandwiches come wrapped in parchment paper, an old-time pub  tradition.

Northern Italian Sausage Hero and salad.
Northern Italian Sausage Hero and salad.

The sausage is house-made as is the Gyro meat.

Beef Gyro Tzatziki
Beef Gyro Tzatziki

The average price for tapas, salads and sandwiches is around $12.00.   Owners Elizabeth and James DeVito say “Every day is happy at TAPS”.  With happy hour from 4PM to 6PM, they offer $1.00 off draft beer, $5.00 single-liquor cocktails and house wines, and a $5.00 happy hour food menu that includes bacon wrapped jalapenos, bruschetta, fresh-baked artisan pretzels and more.

Taps Restaurant Bar and Lounge is located at 330 SW 2nd Street in Fort Lauderdale and has locations in Tampa, Orlando and Naples.

Taps dog-friendly outside seating.
Taps dog-friendly outside seating.

 

Shooter’s Waterfront Grand Re-Opening

For years, Shooter’s has been a staple for South Floridians and tourists alike. It has been the go-to place for a great sandwich and a cold beer. The restaurant, located at 3033 NE 32nd Ave., was purchased along with Bootleggers in a package deal by Grateful Palate’s owners back in July of 2013. It closed in August of 2013 for renovations and re-opened on February 10, 2014.

shooters outside bar

Renovations include the demolition of the pool in order to make room for a stunning patio and outside bar. Designer Deborah Frustino created a Shangri-La with the harmonious combination of over-sized love seats, cabana chairs, umbrellas, palm trees and a fire pit with a marvelous view of the sunset.

Over-sized seating on the patio
Over-sized seating on the patio
Fire pit at sunset
Fire pit at sunset

Seemingly isolated from the outside world, time appears to stand still in this tropical paradise. Specialty cocktails include everything from a blueberry-ginger bellini made with Stoli blueberi vodka, ginger simple syrup, blueberries and champagne ($10.00) to the Shooter’s seasonal specialty margarita made with Herradura reposado tequila and agave syrup. ($12.00)

Outside seating
Outside seating

The sleek silver-grey dining room radiates modern elegance with hardwood floors and a streamlined “beachy chic” decor. A panoramic wall-to-wall window gives way to a view of Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful Intracoastal Waterway and additional seating along the 340 foot dock.

Shooters inside tables

 

Kim Naimoli with Executive Chef Mo Khan
Kim Naimoli with Executive Chef Mo Khan

Executive Chef Mohamed “Mo” Khan has designed a versatile menu with something for everyone.  He gets his culinary experience from cooking at Corbin & Reynolds, City Cellar, Onyx, Montego Bay Grill, Kasey’s, Mcquades Grill and Seasons 52, just to name a few.  He obtained a B.S. in Culinary Arts from WalesUniversity in Providence, RI.   One of Chef Mo’s favorite items from the Shooter’s menu is the salmon tartar from the raw bar.

Salmon TartareFrom: GalleyChef.org
Print Recipe
Wild Scottish salmon, frisee, shallots, chives, citrus vinaigrette, potato gaufrettes
Prep Time
30minutes
Cook Time
3minutes
Prep Time
30minutes
Cook Time
3minutes
Ingredients
For the Salmon Tartare
Fort the Potato Gaufrettes
Instructions
For the Salmon Tartare
  1. Dice salmon. Add shalllots, chives, citrus vinaigrette. Spoon mix into a mold. Top with dressed frisee and potato gaufrettes.
Fort the Potato Gaufrettes
  1. Criss cross peeled potato on mandoline slicer and place directly into water to prevent browning and remove starch. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.
© Galley Chef All Rights Reserved

The raw bar menu also offers clams or oysters on the half shell, salmon tartare and jumbo shrimp cocktail averaging about $14.00 per dish.

Clams on the half shell
Clams on the half shell

The “Point Judith Calamari” is a crispy take on Pad Thai with peanuts, scallions, lime, rice sticks, and Thai chili sauce. ($12.00) Nurture your comfort food craving with the Gruyère mac and cheese ($10.00) or  the signature burger made with special ground short rib, brisket and sirloin smothered in a special sauce.($14.00) There is also a Grilled Filet Mignon with truffle mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, gorgonzola empanadas and port wine demi-glace. ($29.00)

Irish nachos
Irish nachos

Other interesting menu items include oyster po’boys ($14.00), Irish nachos made with potato chips, scallions, bacon and sour cream, ($9.00) jerk rubbed pork tenderloin with plantains, pineapple, coconut, scotch bonnet, and tomatillo salsa ($18.00) and a culinary triumph, stout short ribs,($26.00) which is what I had – delish!  Chef Mo Khan has really put his heart and soul into this dish.

Braised lamb shank with hericot vert
Braised lamb shank with hericot vert

Dom Perignon ($295.00) and Veuve Clicquot ($95.00) are included on the champagne list, a refreshing change of pace from most restaurants.  There are lots of fabulous wines to choose from with most varietals starting at around $30.00 per bottle. Beer choices are ample as well, including a draft beer from our very own “Funky Buddha Floridian” here in Fort   Lauderdale.

Shooter’s “happy hour” is open Monday thru Friday from 4:30 until 7:00 with half price call drinks. Lunch is being served starting February 17th.  Dogs are welcome.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill: casual water-side dining featuring comfort food and football

Bokampers signBokampers sign

Initially my fears were realized when I found myself standing in a line of twenty people at the door of Kim Bokampers Sports Bar and Grill.  However, the line went fast and I was seated within minutes.  Even with the wooden tables and the crowds of people standing two deep around the bar, the mood of the place was captured: televisions lining every wall end-to-end, lively patrons cheering spontaneously as the football games streamed across the screens, the hum of conversation, the bustle of servers with plates piled high coming out of the kitchen, every table occupied, the feeling that what was happening was worth being a part of.

The server greeted me right away as I sat on the patio overlooking the intra-coastal water way.  She had a big smile and a bright, sunny attitude.  I was here about ten days ago and asked for a gluten-free beer but the manager told me they didn’t have any yet.  He said it was on order and it would be in sometime next week.  So I asked my server if they had any and she said they had one, “Angry Orchard”.  It tasted like apple cider and upon further investigation; I found out that it is hard cider, not beer.

Tropical Roll

The “tropical roll” looked like an interesting menu choice. For $14.99 you get a sushi roll filled with pineapple, cucumber, mango, avocado and albacore tuna.  It took 10 minutes and was well executed and beautifully plated with a delicious sesame-sriracha sauce.  All of the ingredients were fresh with the exception of the star of the plate, the albacore tuna.  It tasted like a washed up sea urchin that had been sitting in the sun for a few hours!

Wings

Bokampers is famous for their signature chicken wings.  The wings are tossed in a combination of medium, BBQ and garlic sauces, and then grilled. For $13.99 you get ten “Bo’s wings”.  I decided to try them; after all, this is a sports bar and what better to eat while watching the game?  The wings took 20 minutes to come to the table and were served just barely warm.  I must admit though, the flavor was perfect. A little spicy and a little sweet, delish!

Overall, the service was good and I had no problems with my bill.  They got it right the first time…..amazing!……and they didn’t automatically add in the gratuity, something that I detest!

Bokampers menu features mostly comfort food like peel and eat shrimp, smokehouse ribs, fish n’chips and macaroni and cheese. Finger foods are also prevalent on the menu with mahi-mahi fish tacos, BBQ pork sliders, sandwiches, wraps, and a variety of flat breads and burgers.  Mostly everything is reasonably priced under $20.00 with the exception of the New York strip steak at $26.99.

Be prepared if you are a non-smoker and you want to sit outside.  The entire patio section allows smoking.  Some of the smoke drifted towards small children at neighboring tables.  If you don’t like it, you have to sit inside or go somewhere else.  For boaters, the convenience of docking on the intra-coastal waterway goes a long way.

With families and people of all ages dressed in shorts, sneakers, t-shirts and swim suits it’s a great casual place for college students to go to watch the game and hang out with friends, however, it lacks the charm of places that have been doing the same thing for decades, a time when eating out was enchanting and special, reserved for either the beautiful people or an occasion.  This restaurant is located at 3115 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL  33308.