Cupid has it easy at GG’s Waterfront Bar and Grill. No need to manufacture a romantic Valentine’s Day setting at this Hollywood restaurant: Lovers can snuggle under the stars, sipping champagne while savoring a stunning view of the shimmering waterway. Owners Dan and Lise-Anne Serafini bought Giorgio’s a year ago, but only recently changed the name. They’ve replaced the Greek-Mediterranean decor with a more sophisticated, classic look featuring dark-wood and ivory hues and black-and-white photographs of local scenes. (The place was home for four decades to storied Joe Sonken’s Gold Coast Restaurant and Lounge, a reputed underworld hangout.)
The veteran restaurateurs (East Side Mario’s, Aventura; Big Tomato Grill and Market, Pembroke Pines) kept Giorgio favorites like bouillabaisse and baba ghanoush, but refocused the menu on fresh fish and grilled steak and chops. It’s not cheap, but prices are more reasonable than at many waterfront restaurants (a rib-eye is $24 and, like most entrees, includes two sides). The food may not be as memorable as the view, but it’s good, and the service is accommodating.
The wine list has 54 selections, primarily from California, including 18 by the glass. (A $29 bottle of prosecco went well with our mostly seafood choices.)
Ambience: The former Giorgio’s Grill takes advantage of its location with a row of tables along 80 feet of dock overlooking the Intracoastal, one of the loveliest vistas in South Florida, especially if you arrive at twilight to watch the sun go down and the boats drift by. A new, 50-seat dockside lounge with its own bar serves a pretty good dirty martini.
- Complimentary bread and lemony hummus
- A generous bowl of Prince Edward Island mussels in an aromatic sauce of white wine, garlic and fresh thyme with a splash of citrus
- Snappy Garden of Eden flatbread laden with grilled zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, Kalamata olive slices, a pesto spread and a dusting of feta
- A $32 seafood risotto special that easily could have fed two – a Maine lobster half, plump shrimp, pan-seared scallops and calamari with short-grain rice to soak up the sea-salty juices
- Rich & moist pan-seared sea bass set atop sautéed baby spinach and plated with roasted tomato and basil aioli
- Nicely done red snapper, pan-seared in olive oil with a little garlic and served with a citrus beurre blanc, fluffy basmati rice and baby spinach
- Ultra-creamy chocolate mousse
What Didn’t Work
- Chewy seafood in the ceviche packed with calamari, octopus, conch and mussels
- Bland mahi-mahi
- Chewy grilled center-cut pork chops brightened by a shitake-cognac sauce