As a kid, I used to watch old movies on television. I especially loved the scenes when Nick and Nora Charles would go to a supper club. They’d be having a wonderful meal and watching a singer or floor show when a waiter would come by and Nick would order, “Two martinis, please.” Myrna Loy, as his lovely wife Nora, would then look up at the waiter and say, “That sounds delightful, I’ll have the same.”
I was only a child, I didn’t know what a lush was, but I knew I wanted to grow up to be one! The days of the elegant supper club have passed, but there are still a few places where you can enjoy dinner while being entertained. Here are a few local spots to check out.
3355 NE 33rd St., Fort Lauderdale
Fishtales, as you might expect from the name, serves up some pretty good seafood, but there are also burgers and other fare for carnivores. Primarily a neighborhood hangout, near Galt Ocean Mile and a short walk to the water taxi stop, the venue presents live entertainment every night of the week; happy hour features Butch Corridori, channeling the great lounge singers. On other nights Anthony Corrado sings and plays almost an entire orchestra of instruments. Weekends feature a high-energy dance/rock band, The Crush.
100 SW 3rd. Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Revolution Live, a good, mid-sized, concert venue, with capacity for about 1,300 people, it often features nationally known artists (recently Tegan and Sara). It adjoins and is affiliated with America’s Backyard, which boasts that it is a space for “Grillin’ and Chillin.’” However, there is no menu listed anywhere on the website, except for catering for private events. So be aware, food isn’t at the forefront here, but if you’re heading there for a concert and need something to soak up all that booze, it’s a possibility.
1201 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale
Croissan'Time is, perhaps, the most authentic French bakery in South Florida. In addition to the titular bread, you can enjoy sandwiches on crispy baguette, delicious pastries, soup, foie gras, merguez, boudin, caviar, salmon, quiches, croque-monsieurs, crêpes, wine and cheese. On Sundays, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., a trio performs soft, mellow tunes on the outdoor café.
Sage French Café & Q Bar – Burgers and Blues
2376 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale
The lion's share of the menu at Q Bar is good, old American gastropub grub prepared with French finesse while you’ll also find classic Louisiana Creole dishes such as seafood gumbo and jambalaya. If you prefer something a little more upscale, Sage, it’s sister business next door, offers classic French fare, with two-for-one dinner entrees Monday & Tuesday. Bands, playing blues and smooth jazz, change nightly and there are even occasional open mic nights.
10 S. New River Drive E., Fort Lauderdale
Dating all the way back to the Roaring ‘20s, the historic Downtowner, offers pub food, classic cocktails and a parade of boats and yachts with a picture-postcard view. The landmark spot features live music, usually cover bands, on Saturday nights.
Aruba Beach Cafe
1 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
Waterfront location? Check! Fresh seafood? Check! Entertainment? How about a steel drum band to finish off the Caribbean theme? It may be a tourist destination, but the food is actually pretty damn good and in addition to the steel drum it also features folk-rock performers and Jimmy Buffett wannabes.
Margaritaville Beach Resort
1111 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood
Speaking of Jimmy Buffett, how could we forget the new Margaritaville in Hollywood? Not only is it a stop on the water taxi route, but there are plenty of dining opportunities, from high-end; such as JWB Prime Steak and Seafood to more casual fare, including
LandShark Bar & Grill, License to Chill Bar, Lone Palm Beach Bar and Floridays Airstream Café.
3599 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale
It’s hokey and the faux Polynesian cuisine is beside the point. The shows depicting “authentic Hawaiian culture” are fun and the half-clad men and women are not bad to look at. It should be experienced at least once.
It should go without saying that three Wilton Manors landmarks also offer dinner and entertainment, but for snowbirds or newcomers, you should also check out:
2000 Wilton Drive
Now under new management, the menu has been given a makeover and now offers ten entrees for $10 each on Mondays, two-for-one entrees on Tuesday, specials on Wednesday (prime rib) and Thursday (brisket) and, of course, Sunday brunch, now with karaoke. In the evening, you can enjoy dinner in the dining room while the entertainment takes place in the bar, or you can order at the bar while enjoying such favorites as Chris Autore, Ruben Gonzales or Tony & Gloria.
Alibi Monkey Bar
2266 Wilton Drive
The community fave offers burgers among many other options on its vast menu, which now features Asian influences and popular nightly specials. Entertainment in the Manchester Room regularly showcases such performers as Michael Walters as Dame Edna, LeNora Jay, Antonio Edwards and Wilton Manor’s diva extraordinaire, Jennifer McClain.
1421 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park
Drag queens serve your food and put on a show. What more do you need to know?