Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crash landing on oil slick, Runway 84 in Fort Lauderdale

Runway 84
330 Florida State rd. 84
Fort Lauderdale, 33315

Lunch, Tuesday-Friday
Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday

This airline-themed Italian eatery and lively bar with a three-decade history has an enthusiastic following. After a recent visit, I cannot say I am a member of that following.

Oil was in abundance in places it should not have been and was missing in another. This sad experience began with tasteless, slightly burned bread accompanied by a small dish of oil for dipping. We could not find the oil; the dish was mostly grated Parmesan with barely enough liquid to grace one slice of bread. Bread is usually the first sign of what’s to follow; this time was no exception.

Enter an appetizer of clams oreganata drowning in oil that should have come with the bread. Oil was not the only problem; the woebegone clams tasted as if they had been resurrected from the freezer. Onward. Mussels were delivered in a “sauce” that tasted more like water with a few dollops of tomato paste. It was miserably tasteless as was the house salad served with a gimmicky piece of salami holding a single sorrowful olive. Iceberg lettuce, a pepperconi here, a slice of tomato there, all drizzled in a bland dressing fit for a bottle off a grocery store shelf.

Denouement of this meal misery: two plates of pasta overloaded with oil. The rigatoni was perfectly prepared but swimming in cheap olive oil. So much broccoli rabe covered one dish that the pasta was hard to find. My plate was topped with a mushy mess of cauliflower and sliced mushrooms.

Runway 84 may be popular for their free meatballs on Thursday nights and grossly huge portions every night. It’s not cheap however; our pasta dishes were about $25 each.

To borrow from Edgar Allen Poe … Once upon a January Florida night cheery … deep into that dish peering, long I stood there wondering, really? Said this writer, NEVERMORE.

Tags: Fort Lauderdale restaurants, Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, restaurants near Fort Lauderdale airport

Monday, November 24, 2014

U-Tiki Beach - Tropical Rhapsody in Jupiter

U-Tiki Beach
Jupiter Inlet Marina
1095 FL A1A
No website, find them and menu on Facebook

U-Tiki Hours: Mon-Thurs – 4-10 p.m.;Fri: 4-11 p.m.;  
Sat: 12-11 p.m.; Sun:12-10 p.m.

By Jane Feehan

Worth the long wait and a great addition to Jupiter Inlet restaurants, U-Tiki offers a stellar view of Jupiter Lighthouse and surrounding turquoise waters. It’s operated by the people who own Jetty’s next store. They know seafood. 

The U-Tiki menu offers a bounty of seafood choices, including sushi, cracked conch, fried oysters, shrimp, yellow tail, hogfish (or what’s running in nearby waters) and a tasty Jupiter fav—grouper cheeks.They also do steak, burgers, chicken, flatbreads, a variety of salads and a few interesting Caribbean  bowls  flavored with curry and coconut or almond and cream sauces. Lunch and dinner menus differ.

An appetizing dining experience (mahi mahi and chicken dishes we tried proves this point) is heightened by the open air Florida verandas and beach (Ok, ok … an engineered beach), and broad
walkway along the docks to Jetty's; this happy place is authentically tropical.     A large bar overlooking tables and the inlet provides the perfect place for meeting new people or bringing friends who want to party.
U-Tiki is open for lunch on weekends only, to the dismay of many, but it’s a tropical rhapsody otherwise. 

Tags: Jupiter waterside restaurants, U-Tiki, Jupiter inlet restaurant,Jupiter Inlet bar, Jane Feehan

Monday, November 10, 2014

Jet Runway Café, Fort Lauderdale: Calling all aviators – and foodies

Dining room with a view
Jet Runway Café
5540 NW 21 Terrace
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Open Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30-2 p.m.
Beer and wine, catering

By Jane Feehan

Jet Runway Café, exactly as its name conveys, sits along a runway in a hangar at Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport. What this unique eatery lacks in exterior design (except for the airplane windows of its entrance), is more than made up for by the details of its interior and in its artful presentations from the kitchen. The café’s expanse of glass along its front and side affords all visitors a great view of the tarmac and planes taking off, landing or awaiting the next trip. Its appropriately high-ceiling, airy interior is decked out in a turbine and other aviation elements.  

We had standard breakfasts of eggs, potatoes, and a piece of their housemade light fried bread pudding (also available as a complete serving). Presentation here is all about the details: tiny cups with butter or catsup (no ugly bottles or alumium butter wrappers here); potatoes served in a small dish atop the plated eggs. Simple fare but beautifully delivered. They also serve Brioche Almond French toast, breakfast burritos, pancakes and house made coffee cakes.
Thoughtful presentation 
Service is excellent. I’ll be back for lunch during this next week and hope I can find a parking space. It was impossible last Friday at 1 p.m. and I think I know why. With good food, a great wait staff and an exceptional setting, what’s not to return for? Stay tuned …

Open for private parties (great venue) only during the evening.

Tags: Fort Lauderdale breakfast, runway restautants, unique restaurant Fort Lauderdale, private party venues, unique party venue, catering

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014 - Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Below are restaurants open for Thanksgiving 2014 in Greater Fort Lauderdale and in Palm Beach County. Reservations required for most. Also listed are places serving take out/catered meals. Additional restaurants will be added as they finalize holiday plans.
Broward County

3030 Ocean (Marriott Harbor Beach) - 954-765-3030
3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale

Ambry - 954-771-7342
3016 E. Commercial Blvd., Fot Lauderdale 33308

Aruba Beach Café   954-776-0001
1 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale by-the-Sea
Regular hours  11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Beauty and the Feast - 954-567-8070
601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Blue Moon Fish Company – on the Intracoastal - 954-267-9888
4405 West Tradewinds Ave. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea 
Chart House - 954-561-4800
3000 NE 32 Ave (on the Intracoastal)
Fort Lauderdale 33308

Chatham House - 954-351-0310
4331 N. Ocean Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the- Sea

Checkers Old Munchen 954-785-7565
2209 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano

Chima 954-712-0580
2400 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Seasons 52 - 954-537-1052
2428 E. Sunrise Blvd. (Galleria)
Fort Lauderdale, 33304

Sea Watch - 954-781-2200
6002 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale 33308

Casablanca Café    954-764-3500
3049 Alhambra St., Fort Lauderdale
Open regular hours 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Steak 954 at the W Hotel - 954-414-8333
401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale

Downtowner Saloon 954-463-9800
10 S. New River Drive East
South of New River, east of the Andrews Ave. Bridge, behind the Courthouse
Turkey dinner

GG’s Waterfront  (on the Intracoastal) – 954-929-7030
606 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood

Grille 66 (waterside at Pier 66 Hotel) 954-728-3500
2301 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 33313

Café de Paris       954-467-2900
715 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Open at 5 - Turkey dinner $30; also regular menu

Mai-Kai – 954-563-3272 Check hours and shows
3599 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale

Marriott Harbor Beach     Main number 954-525-4000
3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale
Ballroom buffet

Nick's - 954-563-6441
3496 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (parallel to Galt Ocean Dr.)
Turkey dinner

Old Heidelberg  954-463-6747
900 SW State Rd. 84, Fort Lauderdale

Pelican Grand Beach Resort    954-568-9431
2000 North Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
North Ocean Grill, Check hours

Riverside Hotel
Indigo  - 954-467-0045
620 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Royal Pig Pub - 954-617-7447
350 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Open at 4 p.m. $25 menu

Ruth's Chris Steak House 954-565-2338
2525 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood
1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, Florida 33314
Council Oak – 954-327-7501

Shooter's Waterfront Cafe - 954-566-2855 
3033 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale
Open 12-8 p.m.

Truluck’s – 954-396-5656
2584-A E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Tropical Acres – 954-989-2500
2500 Griffin Rd., Fort Lauderdale

Zuckerello's  954-776-4282
3017 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Bobby Rubino's 954-781-7550
2501 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach

Darrel & Oliver's Cafe Maxx - 954-782-0606
2601 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach

Galuppi’s, 954-785-0226
1103 North Federal Hwy, Pompano Beach

McDivot's at Carolina Golf Club - 95-753-3500 ext. 205
Rock Island Rd., a half mile south of Sample Road, Pompano Beach
Thanksgiving buffet

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa - 954-782-0100
This is a new Marriott near the 14th Street Causeway on the beach in Pompano

Seaside Grill - 954- 783-3193
1406 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach

Deer Creek Golf Club -  954-421-5553    
Grille Room
2801 Country Club Blvd., Deerfield Beach

Le Bistro Restaurant    954-946-9240
4626 N. Federal Hwy., Lighthouse Point
Four-course Thanksgiving feast

Les Amies - 954-480-6464
626 So. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach

Palm Beach County

Butcher Block Grill - 561-409-3035
7000 W. Camino Real, Boca Raton (The Fountains Center)
Special and regular menus

Cote France Cafe - 561-955-6021
100 Plaza Real South, Boca Raton

Dada  - 561-330-3232
52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach

Burt and Max's - 561-638-6380
8089 W. Atlantic Blvd., Delray Beach

50 Ocean - 561-278-3364
50 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach

St. Tropez - 561-368-4119
7860 Glades Rd., Boca Raton

Josef's Table - 561-353-2700
5030 Champion Blvd., Boca Raton

Rack's Downtown Eatery and Tavern - 561-395-1662
402 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

Renzo's - 561-994-3495
599 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton 

Red, The Steakhouse 561-353-9139
1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton

Waterstone Bar and Grill - 561-368-9500
Waterstone Resort and Marina (formerly the Bridge)
999 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton

Prime Catch 561-737-8822

700 East Woolbright Rd., Boynton Beach

Casa Mia Trattoria -561-972-6888
337 E. Indiantown Road, Suite 10E, Jupiter 

Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa - 561-746-2511
Ballroom – Buffet, check hours
Sinclair’s Terrace and Sandbar – Pets welcome outdoors on the terrace
5 North A1A, Jupiter

Ironwood Steak and Seafood  - 561-627-4852
PGA National Resort & Spa
400 Avenue of Champions, Palm Beach Gardens

Capital Grille - 561-630-4994
11365 Legacy Drive, Palm Beach Gardens

III Forks Steakhouse and Seafood 561-630-3660
4645 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens

Waterway Café – 561-694-1700
2300 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens

Seasons 52 - 561-625-5852
11611 Ellison Wilson Rd., Palm Beach Gardens
Serving 12 to 8 p.m.

Cut 432  561-272-9898
432 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach

Cafe Provence - 561-561-921-0065
4967 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach

Fifth Avenue Grill 561-265-0122
821 S. Federal Hwy, Delray Beach

Marriott Delray Beach     561-274-3219
10 N. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach

Brunch in the Seacrest Ball Room with nine seatings 

Sundy House        561-272-5678
106 S. Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach
Buffet – several seatings

The Breakers Palm Beach     561-659-8488
One South County Road, Palm Beach
Several venues. Call or visit website for details 
Café Boulud at Brazilian Court Hotel – 561-655-7740
301 Australian Ave. Palm Beach

Del Frisco's Grille 561-557-2552
340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach

Four Seasons of Palm Beach - 561-582-2800
2800 South Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach

Meat Market - 561-354-9800
191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach

MB’s at Omphoy Ocean Resort - 561-540-6444
2842 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach
Pistache French Bistro    561-833-5090
101 Clematis, West Palm Beach

Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa-561-533-6000 
Preferred Hotel Group
100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan

Ta-boo – 561-835-3500
221 Worth Avenue, Palm Beach
Serving lunch 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., dinner 5-10 p.m.

Thanksgiving takeout dinners 
Broward and Palm Beach counties

Annie’s Vintage Gourmet 561-575-4700                                      
1132 W. Indiantown Road, Jupiter

Carmines Gourmet Market 561-775-0105
2401 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens

Fresh Market – 954-763-1250
424 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, another in Boca Raton
See web site for additional locations

Joseph's Classic Market 561-799-0322
4409 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens

Jupiter – The Bluffs -561-627-5555
Palm Beach Gardens – Downtown at the Gardens – 561-622-8131
Check website for other locations

Whole Foods Market
Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens
Check site for addresses and phone numbers

Publix Markets
Check your neighborhood location and telephone

Winn Dixie
Check your neighborhood location

Tags: Thanksgiving dinner Fort Lauderdale, Thanksgiving dinner Pompano,Thanksgiving dinner Palm Beach, Thanksgiving Broward County, Thanksgiving 2014 Broward and Palm Beach counties
Restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner Fort Lauderdale 2014,Restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner in Palm Beach

Monday, September 1, 2014

Patsy's Italian Restaurant NYC - more about characters than food

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
236 W. 56th Street
New York City, NY

By Jane Feehan

Located off Broadway at the center of the theater district, Patsy’s does a booming business with theater goers and tourists and a smattering of locals who venture in for the characters rather than the food. This was one of Frank Sinatra’s hangouts during the day where he held court upstairs. The same family has run Patsy’s for decades; their graciousness is one reason why so many return here—in spite of hum drum food.

On my first visit I supped on Shrimp Scampi looking for a garlic fix. I didn’t taste any garlic and the pasta was overcooked. A Caesar salad earned the same dismal assessment. The couple sitting next to me, frequent visitors to the place, said the food isn’t great but they come back to see who’s there.

Singer Michael Bublé and wife came in on one of my visits but did not stay to eat. He had to know that role model Sinatra frequented the restaurant. Characters still flock here but not so much the high-profile type. I couldn’t help but notice that some dining could have been “made guys” or wanted to be. Most of all they wanted to see or be seen, providing aware guests some entertainment with their bear hugs of old and new associates.

On another visit with a friend, we dined on seafood and pasta, and gnocchi and had to discretely  extricate shrimp shells from mouthfuls of pasta. Not a pleasant experience for those who tend to get embarrassed by such things.

Service is excellent and they expertly move customers in and out of the crowded spot. A small full-service bar offers a few seats but this is not the place for a leisurely drink before dinner. Move ‘em on, head ‘em out.  

Tags: New York City restaurants, restaurants near CBS David Letterman Theater, Italian restaurants in NYC, restaurants near Broadway, Pre-fix pre-theater menus in NYC

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tallest hotel in Western Hemisphere - Marriott Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park

Marriott Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park
1717 Broadway (entrance at 321 W 54 St)
New York, NY 10019

By Jane Feehan

The Marriott Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park towers over other hotels in New York City; it also stakes claim as the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere. It took nearly a decade to build its 65 stories with spectacular views when it opened late December 2013. Adjoining Courtyard is part of the new hotel complex and guests share common areas with those of the Residence Inn.

Don’t expect the typical Residence Inn suite.  Many rooms are quite small (especially those in room
numbers ending in 3; rooms ending in the number 4 are more spacious) but all accommodate travelers with compact kitchens. A small fridge, microwave, dishwasher, dishes and cookware are available. I asked for a hot plate for a long stay and they delivered it within minutes of my request. If hotel room cooking is not your pleasure, food delivery is quite popular in New York City and there are, according to one restaurant owner, 24 restaurants on two blocks nearby.

Like most new hotels, this Marriott (a franchise) has a few facility problems to work out. Guests have told me their air conditioning unit or refrigerator had to be repaired or replaced. Air conditioning in my room went out until a part was quickly changed. Fire alarms went off a few times the first month it was open and a very small electrical fire during my stay was cause for an evacuation of several floors. Service problems in their two great rooms have yet to be settled but it is coming together; staff is extremely responsive and engineers are available around the clock.

The hotel provides a laundry room, a rarity in New York City hotels, and comes equipped with plenty of washers and driers. A breakfast buffet and full bar with a light menu is also available. Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park also has an outstanding fitness center with a stunning vista of the city skyline. Located on Broadway, this hotel lies at the epicenter of the theater district. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Central Park are each a 10 minute walk away; so is boisterous Times Square. Business or leisure travelers will be pleased with this new addition to Marriott; the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park lies within a short distance of  the best the city has to offer.

Tags: New York City Hotels, Marriott hotels, Marriott hotel reviews, Residence Inn, Jane Feehan, tallest hotel in Western Hemisphere

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rue 57 - a bit of Paris with a NYC following

Rue 57
60 W. 57 Street
New York City, 10019
Mon-Fri: 7:30 a.m.- Midnight
Sat-Sun: 9 a.m.-Midnight
Brunch – Sat-Sun: 9 a.m.-3 :30 p.m.
212-307-5656, delivery 

By Jane Feehan

When I asked some New Yorkers for a short list of good restaurants near my hotel, Rue 57 was at the top. A “Brasserie Parisienne et Sushi Bar,” Rue 57 is a clamorous place with interesting fare that continues to beckon my return.

Located a few blocks from Central Park at the busy corner of 57th and Avenue of the Americas, Rue 57 serves up some beautiful dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner. My first meal there, lunch, was a turkey burger with fries served with a side of artichokes and tomatoes that placed my pedestrian choice over the top.  A sautéed red snapper special on the second visit wasn’t as intriguing, nor the kale salad with apples and citrus dressing, which didn’t prove as tasty as the menu suggested. The salad was redeemed when more apples and dressing were delivered upon request. The not-so-fresh snapper was prepared beautifully but the dish was an unpleasant juxtaposition of mediocre ingredients and a valiant attempt at a cover up. A pleasant dessert of Profiteroles (cream puffs) in chocolate sauce made me soon forget the main course.  We returned a few weeks later for fluffy French toast with fruit, and an omelet with three cheeses ...  a perfect brunch.

I’ve yet to sample their sushi with so many dishes to choose from … next time. Service is quite good, reservations recommended, especially during peak hours when visitors vie with locals for a table at this popular corner of 57th Street and Aveune of the Americas. Full bar and sidewalk table seating available.

Tags: New York City brunch, restaurants near Central Park, restaurants near the Marriott Residence Inn Central Park, NYC sushi restaurants 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coolinary Café - American culinary variations - Palm Beach Gardens

Coolinary Café
4650 Donald Ross Rd. Suite 110
Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Closed Sundays

By Jane Feehan

Authentic American dining with an innovative twist or two is in store for diners at the fast-paced Coolinary Café. Look for a spartan room tucked away in the Donald Ross Villages Plaza with people waiting to get a seat. It’s worth the wait.

For those who’ve dined at Charlie’s Reef Grill (Juno) and Little Moir’s Food Shack (Jupiter), Coolinary will seem familiar: an austere elongated dining space with tables, some counter seating and an open kitchen with a few very organized pros preparing food at the grill. Owners of the three places once worked together.

The menu at Coolinary Café changes often to accommodate season, availability and local sources. I supped on very fresh, delicately sautéed Pompano with lemon butter and sautéed brussel sprouts – a plate that could have met the standards of a sophisticated, more formal dining establishment. The same can’t be said about the Bouillabaisse, their version of a fish stew.

This stew was an American take on the Marseilles, France dish, which includes fish not available here but Coolinary’s version was lacking in imagination. The soup was mildly spicy—and flavorsome— but the seafood used was mainly shrimp with a few pieces of swordfish.

A very American dish was the boneless Southern fried chicken atop a jalapeno cheddar waffle with grilled lemon and coleslaw. The café put chicken and waffle together as if it had been that way from the beginning. New Orleans served as inspiration for one of their starters, crab and corn beignets. Innovative in flavor and texture, this gem is enough for a meal for one or an appetizer for three. It’s one of their most popular plates.

Coolinary does wonderful things with waffles. I ordered a “carrot cake-inspired” waffle with whipped cream and another maple-based topping. The waffle was tender and moist. There was no mistaking this was an American original, a great way to top off a meal at this fun and creative eatery.

Wine and beer served. Casual atmosphere but not ideal for small children at night; it’s a small room.

Tags: Palm Beach Gardens restaurants