Catfish Deweys is a notable eatery in North Fort Lauderdale and the place that serious seafood lovers flock to, stand in line to wait for a table, sit shoulder to shoulder and eat to their heart's content. Family-owned since 1984, this is one of those seafood restaurants that isn't fancy, has no mood lighting and no dress code, and that works just fine because the food is to die for and everyone knows it. With appetizers like Gator Tail Bites, Half Pound of Frog Legs, Caribbean Style Conch Fritters, Southern Fried Pickles and Caribbean Style Conch Fritters, just to name a few, it's obvious this place is authentic southern cooking, and the pros when it comes to southern delicacies.
Recommended for Italian because: Just the best seafood in a casual and fun atmosphere that the locals have loved forever.
Dale's expert tip: Get here early and be prepared to wait awhile for a seat, but it's worth the wait!
Trendy and festive best describe this Italian restaurant, which has plentiful portions that are creatively presented. Not the place for a quiet, intimate dinner, this bistro is known for its upbeat late-night crowd. If you like a party atmosphere and you want the best veal chop in the city, this is your place. Voted the "best chop" several years running, this dish is huge, tender, and flavorful. Served with roast garlic and wine reduction along with fantastic mashed potatoes and vegetables. This is a meal fit for a king or queen. Upscale casual attire. Reservations accepted only for parties of six or more.
Recommended for Italian because: Award winning contemporary menu and elegant atmosphere make this a perfect selection.
Dale's expert tip: Convenient website to make reservations and plan your evening and plenty of parking.
For casual cafe-style dining, try Las Olas's Noodles Panini. At this eatery, you can order up tasty sandwiches, pasta and salads. Try the ciabatta bread stuffed with prosciutto, arugula, Reggiano and artichoke. Of course, the place is best known for its panini (sandwiches), and there are plenty of tasty ones from which to choose: tuna packed in olive oil and served on multi-grain, spit-roasted beef and the famous "Number 16" which is Aunt Marion's special meatballs and Fontina cheese served on fresh filone. The street-side dining area, adorned by greenery and small twinkling lights, makes for a festively romantic atmosphere. Reservations suggested.
Recommended for Italian because: Unusual with a great selection of out of the ordinary Italian selections in a great setting.
Dale's expert tip: Make a full day of shopping on Las Olas, then stop here.
For Fort Lauderdale's finest Italian dining, you can't miss Café Martorano, where classic pastas, seafood dishes, and meat entrées are served in hearty portions to an obviously upscale clientele. Even the meatballs have been voted best in the world! The dining room is so traditional that it will feel as if you have just stepped into Florence, Italy, and regular patrons aren't afraid to show off the glitz their riches allow them to purchase. Add an impressive wine list and great classic desserts such as tiramisu and spumoni, and you have a satisfying meal that evokes another time and place.
Recommended for Italian because: Great location near the beach and a great menu and service.
Dale's expert tip: Very popular with tourists so reservations are recommended.
Cafe Vico is a family-owned and operated local treasure and is known for its authentic Italian cuisine. This restaurant is considered one of top five Best Restaurants in South Florida and top thousand best Italian in the country. This restaurant's interior is dark wood and illuminated by candlelight, offering a romantic dining atmosphere and compensating for the shopping strip location. Outdoor tables are also available, if you wish to dine under the stars. Favorite dishes include the delectable gnocchi and lobster ravioli, and the menu offers crowd-pleasing desserts and coffees. Call to plan for private parties, take out and catering.
Recommended for Italian because: Having been recognized locally and nationally for its food and service.
Dale's expert tip: Beautifully appointed rooms available for private parties of up to 50 people.
This favorite and unique waterside restaurant offers Caribbean-inspired seafood dishes in a festive environment, with panoramic views of the Intercoastal Waterway from the elegant Art Deco dining room or from the breezy outdoor dock. The menu offers true Floridian favors with Louisiana, Cajun infusion and combining influences from both Chef Owners, Bryce Statham and Baron Skorish. Upscale dishes include baked prosciutto wrapped brie, shiitake mushroom crusted halibut with wilted Swiss chard, grilled salmon and crab stuffed portobello, or lump crab and corn roasted grouper. Desserts are extravagant. Try the Icky Sticky Caramel Tart with Chunky Monkey ice cream. Reservations requested. \.
Recommended for Italian because: A local favorite with am amazing menu and dazzling ambiance which makes this an ideal experience.
Dale's expert tip: This is the ideal place to go for an elegant and memorable Sunday brunch.
Voted Best Waterfront Restaurant in South Florida in a 2011 local media poll, 15th Street Fisheries has rustic charm and waterfront views that make this Lauderdale Marina seafood house a popular destination. Take advantage of its unique location in this most famous nautical landmark to arrive in a car or a boat. There is no better way to enjoy this restaurant's many choices of fabulous seafood, drink specials, and their $5 Happy Hour menu, which includes chicken wings, calamarie, mini burgers and conch fritters, than in its ideal location right on the waterway near the amazing 17th Street Causeway drawbridge and Port Everglades inlet to the Atlantic Ocean.
Casa D'Angelo is a traditional Italian restaurant and serves classic dishes served in a formal and elegant setting. Locals rave of this place and it is a good place for toasting the important moments in life. Chef Angelo Elia created the restaurant's menu with recipes handed down to me from generations of passionate Italian cooks. Pasta, seafood, veal, and beef dishes are complemented by rich sauces, the wine list is extensive and well chosen, the dining room is elegant, and the service is extraordinary. Finish with cappuccino and creamy, bold tiramisu for the perfect celebratory meal. Reservations recommended. Business attire.
Recommended for Italian because: Excellent food, exceptional wine list and classic upscale atmosphere create a perfect setting.
Dale's expert tip: Centrally located and easy to find with plenty of free parking.
Residing at the beautiful Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa, 3030 Ocean is a clear departure from the stereotypical seafood room, as this restaurant's interior is cloaked in rich colors and classy dark woods. The menu changes frequently and emphasizes organic ingredients. Starters such as watermelon and French feta salad complement the raw bar, and main course offerings might include grilled pompano on wild arugula salad with passion fruit vinaigrette or tempura tuna with sweet rice, pickled cucumber and sesame chili sauce. The Goombay Smash (rum, banana liqueur, orange and pineapple juices), Frozen Oreo Mudslide (Kahlua, vanilla vodka, Bailey's, Oreos and cream), and Blackberry Mojito highlight the cocktail menu. Rarely is there such an exquisite setting with such delectable fare.
Recommended for Italian because: A mainstay in Fort Lauderdale speaks loudly of this restaurant's appeal.
Dale's expert tip: Even if you're not a guest at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa, plan a meal at 3030 Ocean. A classy, sophisticated restaurant is sure to impress.