In the Spotlight: Be Nice Restaurants, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Fort Lauderdale; What was once an up and coming beach town and vacation getaway is now a major city in South Florida, drawing thousands of new tourists and residents each year. With new restaurants, bars, gastropubs, and breweries popping up at an alarming rate, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out amongst the crowd, at least, for everyone except Be Nice Restaurants’ star owner Elliot Wolf.
Whatever the formula is, Wolf has it down pat. The Be Nice brand is spreading all around town, and so is the reputation of his restaurants: high quality food brought to you by a genuinely nice staff.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to check these places out, definitely make note the next time you have one of these cravings.
1. Savory Seafood & Hand Crafted Cocktails: Coconuts Waterside Grill
Coconuts may hands down be my favorite restaurant in all of Fort Lauderdale. But don’t just take my word for it! Have a seat next to a gorgeous waterfront view and sip on a house Bloody Mary, complete with Jalapeno bacon infused vodka, a fresh blend of tomato juices and spices, and a pickled green bean relish.
If the cocktails don’t draw you in, try their world famous “Scooby Snacks,” blue crab claws sautéed in a buttery garlic sauce that I could swear kills hangovers. Complete with a side of bread for dipping, these little guys are the perfect combination of savory and sweet.
And for the main course? Lobster Benedict with hollandaise from scratch and a side of fresh fruit or blueberry swirl pancakes topped with homemade blueberry syrup and a heavy dusting of powdered sugar.
If you wake up late and miss brunch, don’t fret, the lobster roll is the best thing on the lunch menu along with the fish tacos and signature sandwiches.
2. If you like it Raw: G&B Oyster Bar
If you’re not in the mood for a full on food coma, hop on over to G&B next door to Coconuts for some tasty cocktails and raw apps. Always boasting a wide selection of the freshest oysters, G&B will definitely hit the spot. Order individually to try the different selections, and make sure to take advantage of the white wine vinegar sauce for that extra slurp.
If oysters aren’t your thing, G&B’s Tuna Poke tastes like you’ve been stranded on a paradise island with your own personal fisherman and chef. Sushi grade tuna mixed with avocado, mango, onion, and a sweet sesame soy topping, served with multigrain chips for scooping, aka heaven.
3. For the more Patient Patrons: Foxy Brown
Foxy is definitely another food experience you have to take part in at least once in your life. The quaint building only fits about 10-15 tables including a couple outside, so plan on waiting for a seat at the busy hours. Sunday brunch is another big hit for this one—everything from pesto laden breakfast sandwiches with over easy eggs for dipping and homemade donuts served with Cocoa Puff infused milk.
Apart from breakfast, Foxy serves a variety of psychedelic flavor combinations. Everything from English style sausages and brautburgers to French seasoned scallops and salad Nicoise.
4. A Little Bit of South In Your Mouth: The Red Cow
If you’re looking for a creative take on comfort food, The Red Cow is definitely the spot for you. Seemingly combining almost every style of barbecue, The Red Cow has an unbelievable selection. The smoked turkey club with homemade bacon jam, crispy hushpuppies, and creamy mac and cheese is the perfect cure for any style of southern blues.
Red Cow also has a great selection of draft and bottled craft beer. You can’t go wrong with a tender brisket sandwich and a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Not to mention, Red Cow is a bit bigger than Foxy and much less busy than Coconuts or G&B for Sunday brunch or a weekend dinner.
5. For the Sunday afternoon Sub & Sammy Cravings : Top Hat Delicatessen
Top Hat is the Be Nice empire’s latest venture: a gourmet deli serving a variety of sandwiches, salads, and burgers among other things. If you’re looking for a big menu, this is definitely the place to be. Choose from corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, turkey, or brisket and a variety of breads and toppings to create a custom sammy, or get weird with a Pizza Bagel or Fried Bologna with Egg Sandwich.
Still hungry? Choose from the Blue Plate Entrees—comfort meals like Chicken and Dumplings and Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Last but most certainly not least, the beverages. Top Hat takes the cake when it comes to the perfect beverage selection. Hand crafted cocktails, shakes, root beer floats, dessert cocktails, cold pressed coffee, wine, flavored seltzers, you name it they have it.
Be Nice Restaurants have definitely made a name for themselves in the Fort Lauderdale market. The variety, creativity, and care taken to make each selection unique and tasty has not gone unnoticed, and we can only hope to see more crafty Be Nice establishments in the future. If you haven’t gotten a chance to try out one of these gems, definitely make it a point to do so. You won’t be disappointed!