South Florida’s dining scene is heating up just in time for the winter season.
On the Water
After months of anticipation, the Broward rendition of Miami’s hugely popular riverfront venue The Wharf is now open. Located on 1.25 acres along the New River, this community event space boasts an expansive Astroturf lawn for food trucks, multiple bars offering cool libations, numerous waterfront lounge areas and plenty of dockage for boaters. Permanent food vendors include Even Keel, Lunchroom, Hou Mei, The Piefather and Mojo Donuts. 20 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954.372.7606; wharfftl.com
Rock, Dine ‘N’ Roll
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood’s $1.5 billion expansion project is finally complete, boasting the awe-inspiring 450-foot-tall Guitar Hotel and a whopping 19 dining options. Here are a few of the property’s new restaurants to check out:
- Abiaka: This wood-fire grill eatery features a lively open kitchen where chefs use orangewood and white oak charcoal to grill seafood, meats and produce. Be sure to check out the 100-label wine list.
- Cipresso: Featuring homemade pasta, sauces, breads, pizza and more, this modern Italian restaurant offers a tasty twist on traditional dishes.
- Rise: Located at the base of the Guitar Hotel, this 24-hour New York–style deli offers incredible poolscape views from its floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Constant Grind: Led by Pastry Chef Ross Evans, this French-inspired bakery specializes in house-made pastries, artisanal coffee, homemade gelato, meticulously designed chocolates and other sweets.
In addition, the resort’s signature restaurant Council Oak Steaks & Seafood is back with a sophisticated makeover, as is Kuro, the vibrant Japanese restaurant led by Executive Chef Alex Becker. 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 866.502.7529; seminolehardrockhollywood.com
Rank & File Social Club, a new live music venue and lounge, is making its mark on Flagler Village. The 3,000-square-foot space features pool tables, board games, concerts by local and touring musicians and fun twists on classic cocktails. 704 NE First St., Fort Lauderdale; 954.928.8794; rankandfilesocialclub.com
BOCA & SURROUNDING AREAS
Kasai & Koori, a decadent Asian-inspired dessert restaurant concept, just landed in Boynton Beach’s Canyon Town Center, and it’s already one of the coolest spots in town. The concept is simple: Take traditional Asian desserts like Taiwanese shaved ice, Japanese kakigori, Korean bingsu and Taiyaki waffles and reimagine them with a North American twist. Three more locations are expected to open by early 2020: Delray Beach, Pembroke Pines and Fort Lauderdale. 8784 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., #104, Boynton Beach; kasaiandkoori.com
Welcome to the New World
Rex Baron, a post-apocalyptic themed restaurant (the first of its kind in South Florida and the second in the nation) is opening soon at Town Center at Boca Raton. Along with a menu of locally sourced dishes and inventive cocktails, the new space features a state-of-the-art 32-station virtual reality lounge—the only VR venue in the world to offer a headset with AutoEye and embedded Leap Motion with 5K resolution (among the most sophisticated VR headsets to date)—where users get the chance to live out bucket list experiences such as visiting outer space, venturing on a safari, going skydiving and more 6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561.447.6993; therexbaron.com
Mizner Park welcomes the first Florida location of Texas-based The Blue Fish, a Japanese eatery that has been serving high-quality sushi for more than 20 years. Aside from the fresh sushi, sashimi and rolls, the menu also boasts premium sake and seasonal cocktails alongside a variety of hot Asian-inspired entrées, salads and a tempura bar. 402 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; thebluefishsushi.com
Delray Beach welcomes The Wine Room Kitchen & Bar to its dining portfolio. The chic tasting room and bistro features a barrel-like roof, two expansive bars and a cheese shop with more than 80 varieties. Using a prepaid card, guests can browse the 200 bottles of wine on tap ready for the tasting or select a bottle to enjoy from the lavish store. 411 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561.243.9463; thewineroomonline.com