Rick's Reviews

  • A few weeks ago, I wrote a column suggesting some alternative ideas for Thanksgiving, both places to dine out and restaurants that were offering entire meals to go. If you prefer not to cook, there’s another option; prepared holiday meals from grocery stores. Most chains now offer entire Thanksgiving meals which can be picked up fully-cooked and merely heated up before serving. Here’s a run-down on what’s available locally. Most require little more than 24-hours-notice. If you snoozed and didn’t order in time for Thanksgiving, they’re also available for Christmas or New Year’s Day. The prices indicated are for packages that serve 6-8, unless otherwise noted.

  • For a while there, Wilton Manors was inundated with sushi places. Now it seems Mediterranean spots are popping up everywhere. First, there was Ethos, then Sea & Olive and now Mini Pita. It’s not like they’re all the same, though.

  • If your memory of ramen is limited to those cups of instant noodle soup you ate in college, you are behind the times. Those salt bombs are a thing of the past. Ramen is the latest food to be adopted by the hipster crowd and artisanal noodles and gourmet ingredients have elevated this once-pedestrian dish to haute cuisine.

  • As far as I’m concerned, Asian food must be shared; the bigger your party, the better the selection. That’s the great thing about an Asian buffet; you don’t have to have a big party to be able to sample a variety of dishes. I must not be the only one who thinks that way because South Florida has plenty of buffets serving a variety of Asian cuisines. You can sample Korean, Thai, Japanese and Chinese food at just about any Asian buffet in town.

  • Whoever is in charge of the kitchen knows a thing or two about cooking. Each of the dishes we sampled was delish. Friends who have visited the new spot report similar experiences. Where Sea & Olive fails is in the front-of-the-house operation. Upon entering, we were practically pounced upon by a server. We were dining early before a movie and were the first customers, so we had our choice of seats in the attractive dining room or equally beautiful patio. As our server handed us the menu she informed us that Sea & Olive is a Turkish restaurant. The menu options are mostly Turkish dishes, some with influences from neighboring Mediterranean countries.

  • Usually one doesn’t want to see the words soft and opening together (there’s a pill for that), but in the restaurant biz, that means opening the door without much fanfare in the way of press or promotions. A “soft opening” is meant to give the staff time to establish a routine, find out what works and what doesn’t and to tweak the menu and schedules as needed.

  • Mojo, 4140 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale, will host a La Crema Pinot Noir five-course wine dinner on March 14. The meal, priced at $95 per person, includes carpaccio, gnocchi, duck breast, braised pork and flourless chocolate cake, each course paired with wine. To make a reservation or for more information, call 954-568-4443 or go to Mojofl.com.

  • To say that Stork’s is a Wilton Manors landmark is an understatement. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary the bakery/café has been a popular meeting spot since Jim Stork opened it in 1997. Those who think of it as “just a coffee shop” couldn’t be more wrong. While it does serve eight different styles of brew, as well as an array of teas, smoothies, cappuccinos and lattes, iced or hot; folks can also grab a pastry to go along with their cup of Joe, or sit and enjoy a full breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  • With the temperature on the rise, prices on menus across town lower as folks try to lure us year-rounders out of our air-conditioned homes and into area restaurants. Between reduced prices, special events and other enticements it makes dining out more and more tempting.

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  • As my late mother once said, “You gay boys may not have invented brunch, but you sure have perfected it!”

  • “Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels / Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles”

  • The best restaurants in South Florida are often to be found tucked into the corner of a grocery store.

  • While I agree with many of the dining selections in last week’s “Best of” listings there were a few categories that were missing. One of those was one of my favorite kind of place; the bakery/café. In order to balance out the indulgences of being a restaurant critic, I sometimes go carb-free for extended periods. Then, I walk past a bakery café, and I’m a goner. There’s something about the European tradition of sitting in a bakery, sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee and enjoying some fresh, baked bread or pastries (or both!) that is soul-comforting. The next time you need to unwind and chill, try stopping in at one of these delightful bakery cafes, anyone of which could be a contender for your “Best of” list.

  • It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Weren’t we just discussing the menus for our Labor Day barbecue? If you’d prefer to let someone else do all the work, dine out or cater in, but remember to make your reservations early. Here are a few spots offering you a chance to take it easy on Thanksgiving. You won’t have the turkey carcass to pick over, but you also won’t have pots and pans to wash.

  • It’s wonderful that theaters are back and running, but if you and your friends still feel a little uncomfortable about hitting a bar or restaurant before or after the theater, why not host a small pre-or post-show gathering in your home?

  • One of the lesser-known definitions of union is that of “a unified condition, something that is made one” or something “formed by a combining or coalition of parts or members.”

  • If you’re like me, you might have driven past Bulegreen Café, located on Dixie just north of Oakland Park Blvd., dozens of times and said, “I should check that out.”

  • OK, this is going to be a very difficult review to write. Actually, it will be easy to write. What will be hard is to do so without sounding like I am the PR company for these two sister restaurants, because, on two recent trips, the experiences were about as close to perfect as possible. 

  • In a past review, I waxed rhapsodic after dining at the original location of Even Keel on Federal. And, although it was too pricey for me to enjoy on a regular basis, it was a wonderful spot for special occasions.  

  • We’re in the middle of high season and that’s normally when we see a lot of restaurant openings. Even in this year of a pandemic, there are plenty of openings and only a few closings to report. 

  • Readers of a certain age will remember that when you went to the movies (you remember going to the movies, don’t you? We all used to do it before COVID changed our lives forever), there was usually what was called a double feature.

  • The other night some friends and I went out for drinks and afterward decided we needed a workout, so we headed to the Gym.

  • One of the things I love most about living in South Florida is that, even though I’ve lived here for almost a decade, I can still find surprises around every corner.

  • Enter the Twilight Zone with me. Imagine a world in which communism, and the economic and cultural blockades and sanctions (not to mention an oppressive government) had not impacted Cuba.

  • I’m dining out less often due to the upswing in COVID and the new Delta variant (how long before we have a drag queen named Delta Variant?)

  • Sorry to disagree with Kermit, but with the growing number of vegan and vegetarian places around town, it’s easy being green.

  • At first glance, you might think that Kraft Bistro Deli is a branch of the popular Wilton Drive hangout, Tropics.

  • Free-standing food courts are one of the hottest trends in the hospitality industry. They were starting to take off when the pandemic hit.

  • Finally, a good, reasonably priced, Indian restaurant has opened in the area.

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