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
Locavore. That seems to be the word on the proverbial gastronomic street these days, and chefs seem to be going to great pains to bring diners produce, meats, cheeses, honeys, and libations that are as local as possible. However, it seems as if Sundy House in Delray Beach has every farm-to-table restaurant in South Florida beat when it comes to shrinking the space between where a restaurant sources its produce and its final destination on a diner's plate. Anyone who hasn't been to Sundy House (read review here) is in for a an unforgettable and almost enchanted experience. The property, which features a boutique hotel and exquisite restaurant, is a tropical oasis just off the main drag of downtown Delray Beach, which is perhaps one of the most culturally and culinarily vibrant areas north of MiMo. Perhaps the most unforgettable part of Sundy House are its tropical gardens featuring dozens of edible flora, some of which are even new to the most seasoned horticulturist.
Like many native Miamians, I often find myself entertaining the idea that between between County Line Road and New York City, there is nothing but farmland and highway. To give Miami some credit, we all consciously know this isn't true, but subconsciously we have this idea that Miami is the most important cosmopolitan city in the Southeastern United States, and this prevents many of us from exploring some other towns and cities that don't get quite as much publicity. Last week I convinced myself to visit a place called Sundy House in Delray Beach, a city that had previously seemed so far away and exotic to me that it was classified under "road trip destinations" along with Key West, Orlando, Tampa, and Saint Augustine. I was surprised at the fact that even during rush hour, it took me only thirty five minutes to get there from Fort Lauderdale (I'd tack on at least anouther half hour if coming from Miami), and yet when I arrived at my destination it appeared as if I was worlds away from Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The vibe of Downtown Delray Beach reminded me of Coconut Grove in the nineties: a lush tropical jungle dotted with old Florida homes and vibrating with an artsy, creative energy. Anticipating just a restaurant, I was initially surprised and then enchanted when I approached Sundy House and discovered an entire compound surround by dense tropic foliage that took up nearly an entire block. This was unlike anywhere I had ever been to before, and as my evening progressed I realized that Sundy House is unlike anywhere else in South Florida...or perhaps the world.