Out of Denmark
The father-son chef duo of Jorgen and Christian Moller is back in town under the same name, this time south of Linton Boulevard instead of north.
It's a bittersweet encore without their wife and mother, Monica Moller, who helped run their previous location down the street for 13 years. She died this summer from cancer after her illness had precipitated them selling the business six years ago.
"We were married 50 happy years. We were best friends," says Jorgen Moller, a Copenhagen native whose wife was from Sweden.
Her spirit is still there, though, symbolized in the "Love Is Spoken Here" inscription on the menu covers and on the wooden archway leading into the dining room. The pretty, delicate setting with crystal chandeliers and ornately framed oversize mirrors is double the size of their previous one.
Jorgen is still greeting their guests, and son Christian is still in the kitchen crafting the Northern European dishes that have built their devoted older clientele, such as roast duck with sweet-and-sour red cabbage ($29), pecan-crusted rainbow trout filet ($26) and red snapper en papillote ($34), which was Monica's recipe.
"I've been in business more than 40 years, and the reception we have gotten is unbelievable," says Jorgen, who adds that guests have been surfacing from their other South Florida restaurants of yesteryear.
Soup or salad and a three-tier tray of eight Danish appetizers are still included in the entree price. Don't miss the decadent Danish layer cake ($7).
Del Frisco's Grille
340 Royal Poinciana Way, #300, Palm Beach, 561-557-2552, DelFriscosGrille.com
This Texas-based chain has unveiled its first Florida bar-and-grill outpost on the island with its twists on American comfort classics.
"Our local flavors and communal tables and bar provide the perfect ambience for friends, locals and visitors to gather and enjoy all that the town has to offer," Mark Mednansky, CEO of Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, said in a press release.
Even though it serves casual bold nibbles such as pulled pork empanadas ($12.50), cheese steak egg rolls ($11.50) and ahi tacos ($14), the purple-accented decor is striking with a sleek wine wall, exhibition kitchen and a dramatic glass sculpture of a ruffled dahlia lit from the inside — all to fit the polish of Palm Beach.
Salads ($12-$18), flatbreads ($12-$14), sandwiches ($14-$17), prime steaks ($29-$43), and other entrees ($18-$29) round out the menu.
Dinner is served nightly.
1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-463-4900, Tap42.com
The owners of this 2-year-old uber-popular restaurant and bar focusing on craft beers and cocktails have big plans for next year.
"We are in the process of rolling out three new concepts slated for 2014 all in the South Andrews neighborhood," co-owner Andy Yeager says. "We see this neighborhood as an incredible opportunity, and frankly, we want to be a catalyst of the change as it takes place. You can expect a Japanese whiskey bar, our take on modern Mexican with a rooftop bar, and a really cool artisan pizzeria and wine cafe equipped with an outdoor courtyard to take in all the great weather and spirit that South Florida has to offer."
Until then, Tap 42 has overhauled the majority of its menu for the fall, with the most recent addition of Pork & Pickles — sticky chicharrones with kimchi cucumbers and carrots ($5).
"We were looking for really thoughtful snacks and appetizers to complement our atmosphere, which is focused around friends and sharing. At the same time, we always want to push the tasty and healthy options that so many people are looking to eat these days," Yeager says.
The result includes Superfood lettuce wraps with pomegranate-plum sauce and warm quinoa mix of veggies and almonds ($10.50); Two Hot Dates of crostini with goat cheese, raspberry jam and medjool dates ($4.50); and coconut-lime lychee ceviche ($9). If you want to indulge, temptations lure such as a burger topped with pulled short rib cooked in Left Hand Milk Stout ($13.50)
The seasonal cocktail is the Sleepy Hollow with spiced bourbon, pumpkin liqueur and puree, and a caramel rim ($11).
East End Brasserie
The Atlantic Resort & Spa, 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-567-8070, AtlanticHotelFl.com
It kept its name and snazzy bistro decor, but this oceanfront retreat has new management, a new executive chef, and new farm-to-table concept after a change in ownership retired the French flair.
"We're staying true to our Florida roots," says Daniel Lydia, director of food and beverage, who most recently spent a decade in the Las Vegas culinary scene. "Our philosophy is that nothing beats a home-cooked meal, so now we operate a 95 percent scratch kitchen. We work with local farmers and growers from around the state to source meat, fruit, juice, vegetables and even alcohol."
The daily brunch menu from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ranges from breakfast dishes with house-made jams to salads, sandwiches, pizzas and specialties such as fried chicken and sweet-potato waffles with orange-blossom honey ($16). Selections vary seasonally, but signatures will remain, such as dinner standouts of jerk pork spring roll with coconut-pineapple chutney ($10) and juicy grilled ancho-rubbed double-cut pork chop, which is brined for two days ($28). Bacon and onions are kneaded into a bison burger to prevent the wild game from drying out ($14 brunch, $16 dinner), and the Southern pulled pork pizza stuns with slaw and potato chips heaped in the center ($14 brunch, dinner).
A pastry chef concocts desserts, including carrot cake with walnut brittle ($10) and creative ice creams and sorbets, such as chocolate-habanero and hibiscus ($6-$12).