For those of you who don’t reside in the 305 or just don’t want to deal with Miami’s infamous traffic and parking, there are many restaurants north of County Line Road where one can have a delicious and memorable Valentine’s Day. Whether you decide to dine on bustling Las Olas Boulevard or in quirky Delray Beach, Joonbug’s Broward/Palm Beach dining guide for V-day will help point you in the right direction. Here are a few of our picks:
Big City Tavern
609 E. Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
I love this DIY craze that’s been hitting the American food scene! With all the attention that consumers are placing on where things come from and how they’re made, it seems as if many individuals have resorted to the notion that the best way to know the exact what, where, and how of a product is to make it yourself. In addition to controlling such things as the quality and sustainability of the food, making it yourself gives you full reign over the flavor and appearance of a finished product, as well as enabling you to add your own unique flourishes. The DIY revolution doesn’t seem to be merely confined to the home, however, as many chefs are finding more and more items that they can make from scratch, attempting everything from jams, pickles, condiments, and even cured meats...and they don’t seem to be turning back. I am so glad to see that, along with sourcing local products, the trend of making things in house is on the rise in South Florida and can be found a lot closer than I had previously thought. Big City Tavern, on the bustling Las Olas Boulevard, has always been a popular spot for good, informal meals and a convivial vibe, but I have often overlooked this restaurant as a mere purveyor of standard pub fare until a recent meal led me to discover otherwise. Local meat and produce coupled with excellently cured house-made charcuterie, along with a delicious array of homey desserts make Big City Tavern perhaps one of Fort Lauderdale’s best “right-under-our-noses” culinary secrets.
In South Florida, where we’re surrounded by bars, bistros, and ultra lounges, the concept of the tavern can seem pretty foreign to us. Luckily, Chef Louie Bossi of Big City Tavern gives Joonbug readers a thorough and historical look at what distinguishes a tavern from just any old eatery. Advertising itself as being “reminiscent of the great urban taverns of Chicago, New York, and Boston,” Big City Tavern boasts an eclectic mix of traditional and innovative American fare including burgers, steaks, pizzas, and signature flatbreads that change daily. The well-executed American comfort food and impressive selection of wines and beers has kept South Floridians coming back for seconds at this Las Olas hotspot.
For years I’ve passed by Big City Tavern on Las Olas Blvd, but have never gone in. Perhaps the name or the décor didn’t draw my attention. But recently I took a visit there just after their new renovations and it turned out to be one of those big surprises that make you wish you would’ve checked out the place sooner. Upon entering, even with the patio seating, it truly feels like you’re entering a tavern. As I stated earlier, Big City Tavern has just gone through floor to ceiling renovations and the results were quite astounding.
Big City Tavern
609 E Las Olas Blvd.
Big City is the essence of an old 1920s tavern from Chicago or New York, equipped with good food, good drinks and good people, minus yours truly of course.
The brick and mortar walls, coupled with the dark brown tones and old paintings of the early 20th century boxers or pugilists as they were called add to the “Cheers” feel.
A bar the length of the restaurant with five large mirrors lined in silver hang behind so patrons can check themselves out regularly because despite the homey feel, it is still chic Las Olas.