3 stars for American classics at Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House

 

3 stars for American classics at Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House

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Rochelle Koff

Don't let the name fool you. The Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House is now open nightly - for dinner. Fans of the O-B/House, as it's nicknamed, no longer have to wait till morning for fluffy monster pancakes or perfectly poached eggs. They're on the evening menu along with burgers, BLTs, fish sandwiches and a limited selection of more elaborate fare.

The breakfast house has been drawing morning and lunchtime crowds since it opened a year ago, so owner Rodney Ely, who got his start at the Andrews Riverside in the '80s, and chef Aaron Johnson decided it was time to take the next step. Best of all is the food. Ely and Johnson have the same approach at breakfast, lunch and dinner, cooking with care and top-notch ingredients including fresh fish, seasonal produce and grass-fed beef. The Las Olas bakery Gran Forno makes the wondrous artisan breads from Ely's recipes. (On the restaurant's website, he says his sense of wholesomenesscomes from growing up in Iowa's corn country.) Quality ingredients carry a higher price tag, and breakfast here isn't cheap - from $7 to $16.

Ambience: The "Old Fort Lauderdale" in the name comes from the charming setting - a small, stand-alone 1925 building in Himmarshee Village. Vintage black-and-white photos and maritime items decorate the cozy interior, yellow roses brighten each table, and the staff is sweet and accommodating.

What Worked

 

  • Sirloin with brown mustard-hollandaise sauce
  • Mahi provecial
  • Fish stew and greens
  • Opulent oyster pan roast - gulf oysters  nestled in a creamy sauce spiked with Pernod and tarragon, topped with bread crumbs and served with buttered toast points
  • Corn chowder with fresh-shucked corn cooked in a heavy cream base, Cheddar, bacon and chopped chives
  • Smoked marlin dip served with crudites and buttered toast points (pictured)
  • Mahi Pop Eye - fresh spinach cooked in a cream-white wine reduction with a hint of garlic and lots of chopped shallots; served over a juicy slab of mahi mahi; and plated with roasted Yukon Golds and buttered julienne carrots
  • Delicate mahi provencial cooked in a fragrant tomato sauce and served with kalamata olives, potatoes and roasted spinach
  • Flavorful meatloaf
  • A well-marbled rib-eye cooked to order
  • The O-B House Hollandaise - two softly poached eggs set atop a mound of fresh spinach and thick bread cradled by a supremely comforting and elegant sauce
  • 8-inch baked buttermilk pancakes
  • Chocolate ice box cake made with house-made chocolate chip cookies, a double-chocolate pudding filling and whipped cream
  • A summery shortcake with strawberries (or whatever fruit is in season), a sweet biscuit and  whipped cream

 

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