New York Times features a special South Florida restaurant

November 26th, 2010

Bimini Boatyard – since 1989

36 Hours in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    FORT LAUDERDALE continues to mature beyond its spring-break days, with posh resorts now rising along the beach. Meanwhile, Las Olas Boulevard, the lively commercial strip that links the beach to downtown, has welcomed an array of new boutiques and restaurants. But at the end of a sunny, water-logged day, the resort town now offers a sophisticated evening that doesn’t involve neon bikinis and syrupy daiquiris.

    5 p.m.

    There are a slew of beachfront spots where you can have a drink, watch the clouds roll over the ocean, soak up the sea air and catch the parade of sun-soaked tourists and residents going home in suits and ties. Two of the more welcoming places are Margarita Cantina Crab and Seafood House (201 Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard; 954-463-7209 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              954-463-7209      end_of_the_skype_highlighting), where you can sip a chardonnay and listen to the steel band, and the H2O Café (101 South Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard; 954-414-1024 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              954-414-1024      end_of_the_skype_highlighting; next door, if you prefer a bit more quiet.
    7 p.m. 


    Fort Lauderdale’s dining scene is alive and well inland as well as on the water. The local hotshot Steve Hudson bought the Bimini Boatyard Bar and Grill (1555 Southeast 17th Street; 954-525-7400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              954-525-7400      end_of_the_skype_highlighting; in 2008 and spent $1.2 million to snazz it up. It now evokes a New England-style boathouse, with its crisp blue and white décor, enormous cathedral ceiling, gleaming oak floors and portal-style windows. A new outdoor bar is on a marina, bringing in a nautical mix of young and old who dine on fresh seafood like wood-grilled wahoo ($19) and yellowtail snapper ($22).

    Yellowtail Snapper Viequez

    Wahoo Charolttle Amalie

    Author and Chef  Michael Bennett has created a menu that was just featured
    in the New York Times.
    Food and Cooking has been my entire life…making it a value just seems right!” 
    Author Chef Michael Bennett 
      Bimini Boatyard was first usher into the Fort Lauderdale dining scenescape in September of 1989. A lot has happened in the world since the time of its opening. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall? The reins of this protracted journey have been taken on by Chef and cookbook Author-Michael Bennett, once acknowledged by the American Culinary Federation as Chef of the Year
    Today the BBY is best-known for its exciting and innovative “Caribb-ican” menu, value-based wines and the best local Happy Hour in Fort Lauderdale. Like BBY‘s menu, the wine list selections are globally sourced, chosen for their value price point and a complementary taste that harmonizes with our menu. United with our casual-style of service – that is straight from the heart – referring to a sense of caring and friendliness, it is the combination of good food and this almost neighbor-like service has inspired this 21 year landmark.
    Based on his culinary experiences from a four year escapade in the Caribbean, Chef Bennett has created another new menu (available Sept. 2010) that he refers to as “Caribb-ican”readNew World Cuisine revisited. His unique twist on this menu features local tropical ingredients-with a focus on seafood, complimented by low-fat “Coulis-grette’s “© and sauces. 
    Since the original opening of BBY, we have embarked on a new course”, says chef Michael. “The decision was made to create a more accessible and creditable Caribbean slanted seafood-based menu. Before becoming the executive chef of Bimini Boatyard, for more than three years, I lived and worked on various British, French and American Caribbean islands. Unbound by classic European cookery disciplines, I have blended modern American food with “Caribbean” cookery techniques and ingredients I used during this Caribbean journey”, says chef Michael Bennett.
    While in the Caribbean, chef Michael learned the term; “Caribb-ican” as it relates to the way Island chefs explained their utilization of an exotic Caribbean pantry coupled with traditional American foodstuffs. “These influences have resulted in the cookery style once popular in South Florida and is reflective in many ways to the 1990’s New World Cuisine,” says Chef Bennett.
    As guests enjoy chef Bennett’s award-winning food they are treated to the casual elegance of newly remodeled spacious dining rooms, floor to ceiling windows peering out onto the riverfront – in which BBY is perched, three expansive Bar/Lounge areas and an outdoor (riverside) dining terrace. The remodeled interior design captures the feeling that you are in a family friendly, comfortable, Cape Cod stylized restaurant.

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