Wine Country cuisine arrives in FLL courtesy of Market 17
1850 SE 17 St, Ft. Lauderdale
FYI: "Dining in the Dark" is available nightly. Up to 12 adventurers can dine, sans sight, on a tasting menu served in a private dining room outfitted with blackout curtains by waiters wearing night-vision goggles.
The goods: Farm-to-table cuisine docks in Fort Lauderdale at the new Market 17, located on the 17th Street Causeway. The handsome space is the brainchild of hospitality industry vets Aaron Grauberger and his sister Kirsta Grauberger. (He was with Seasons 52, she was the restaurant manager at Johnny V.) Executive chef is Daniel Ramos (The Sunday House). The restaurant sources from more than 50 local growers, and the menu lists 15 farms and their contributions, from Florida grass-fed beef (4 Arrows Ranch in Citara) to free-range chicken (Crazy Hart Ranch in Fellsmore). "We call this wine country cuisine because the emphasis is on fresh food, along with an abundant wine list," KristaGrauberger says. With items like ostrich, bison and antelope, the restaurant aims to snare epicureans with eco-friendly eats and hard-to-find boutique wines.
Ambience: The low-key dining room is outfitted in warm woods, pale green banquettes, tan ultra-suede columns and vibrant artwork. A small, covered patio is nicely shielded from the parking lot and an inviting bar is stacked with towers of wine.
The grub: Ingredient-driven American cuisine. Prices are reasonable given the territory, with starters $9-$13 and mains in the mid-$30s with half-portion options. Dinner starts with homemade country bread and raisin loaf slices along with a white bean puree and olive paste. Tableside ceviche service is available, with options like grouper, scallops and Key West pink shrimp tossed with bell peppers, citrus juice and jalapenos. The house-smoked trout comes on a bed of red potatoes, chopped farm egg and olives and is doused with a lemon vinaigrette. Grilled Okeechobee ostrich filet arrives with celery root mash and sauted brussels sprouts. A meaty hunk of red snapper is nestled on a bed of black barley with a fennel sauce to cut the richness of the fish. Vegetarian options include an heirloom tomato risotto plated with a shallot-mushroom puree and garlic chips.Desserts include a delicate Key lime mousse, a chocolate almond pate and house-made pumpkin ice cream.
Verdict: Earnest locavore cuisine has arrived in Fort Lauderdale.1850 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954.399.0017.
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