Although Fort Lauderdale may sometimes seem like a trek, thanks to the Brightline (soon to be Virgin Trains USA), getting there has never been easier. And with these mouthwatering new restaurants within close proximity, the ride will be totally worth it.
This indoor-outdoor beauty is the highly anticipated oceanfront restaurant at the new Auberge Beach Residences & Spa. While the lush décor and dreamy bar scene are worth a visit, the delectable menu of locally sourced Neo-American cuisine will make you want to go back again and again. Menu highlights include the vadouvan poached monkfish and the crab spätzle, and we suggest ordering a side of the olive oil crushed potatoes. And be sure to eat slowly so you can really take in those sweeping ocean views. 2200 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 754-900-4059, dunefl.com
Launched by one of the founders of Zuma, this chic Japanese eatery is welcome addition to Las Olas Boulevard. Here, the focus is also on the robata grill, as well as raw seafood dishes and sushi. If you’re really hungry—and in the mood for something truly special—order the tasting menu. You’ll have the chance to feast on a wide range of dishes from sashimi and dumplings to the heralded black cod and prime beef filet, and of course, a massive dessert platter. 500 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-477-8068, etarurestaurant.us
While this new restaurant isn’t technically in Fort Lauderdale (instead, it’s situated in nearby Plantation), based on the killer menu and uber-appealing interiors, we’re pretty confident it’s going to become a popular spot in no time. With an emphasis on wholesome, real food, Ovlo Eats offers everything from hearty salads to unique sandwiches—think pork with marinated broccoli rabe and herb-grilled chicken with black bean hummus and Greek yogurt aioli—and it’s the ideal destination for a healthy lunch or a casual dinner. 7626 Peters Rd., Plantation, 954-302-3750, ovloeats.com
Situated within Fort Lauderdale’s new hip hotel, The Dalmar, this modern eatery offers cozy comfort food with a healthy twist. The menu offers classic hearty dishes like spaghetti Pomodoro and grilled lamb chops and lighter options such as a homemade veggie burger and spicy tuna tartare. If you head there for dinner, be sure to cap off the evening at Sparrow, the property’s super chic rooftop bar, perched on the 25th floor. 299 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-945-9300, thedalmar.com
To be even keeled is to be stable or consistent, and that’s exactly what the team at this Fort Lauderdale restaurant strives for. With an ever-evolving menu (it actually changes weekly based on availability of seafood and produce) and a welcoming setting, it’s clear that this is the perfect spot for a delicious meal any night of the week. And if you’re vegan or vegetarian, there is a separate menu with mouthwatering offerings—think grilled ciabatta avocado toast and white pizza with lemon zest ricotta—that even a carnivore would devour. 4100 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, 954-530-6276, evenkeelfish.com
Photography by: DUNE PHOTO BY NICK GARCIA PHOTOGRAPHY; OVLO EATS PHOTO COURTESY OF Gary James and FujiFilmGirL; ETARU PHOTO COURTESY OF ETARU; THE TERRACE GRILL PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DALMAR; EVEN KEEL FISH & OYSTER PHOTO COURTESY OF EVEN KEEL FISH & OYSTER