Bite into grab-and-go gourmet at Fort Lauderdale's Rumi

Grab a Chilean merlot, a Tuscany pizza and New York cheese cake for an international picnic or a reasonably priced, gourmet-to-go meal at this Mediterranean nook in Fort Lauderdale. Rumi (the sign still sports the old name of Las Olas Gourmet and Wine) is easy to miss — it’s a small, cozy nook with indoor and outdoor tables a few blocks north of the boulevard.

Say hello to friendly owner Iranian-born Javid Kosari, who opened the restaurant in ’04, sold it last year, then came back Oct. 2 with an ambitious agenda: expanding the menu and changing the name to Rumi, after the Persian poet. The menu features a good selection of salads and sandwiches, pizza, wraps and platters, mostly combinations with hummus, falafels, tabbouleh, stuffed grape leaves and feta. We carted home a spring mix salad, with a generous goat cheese spread atop a mountain of greens, with a scattering of sliced almonds, sundried cranberries, tomatoes, toasted baguette and a tangy honey-mustard vinaigrette.

Our favorite item was the sunny Tuscany pizza with slices of Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms and spinach, with a crisp browned crust (regular or wheat available). Go for the gyro wrap with lots of tzatziki sauce or chicken hummus, which adds lettuce, tomato and basil. Falafels are house-made but they lost their crispness on the way home

With plans for poetry nights, wine tastings and specialties like saffron ice cream, we’ll dine in next visit.


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