Considered one of the most romantic restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, 20-year-old Las Olas Café was forced to close in May when the landlord wouldn’t renew its lease. Fans fretted, but owner Paula Pace wasn’t about to give up. Along with LOC chef Ernesto Rado and Scott Kraft, her business partner in Wilton Wings, Pace opened Mason Jar on North U.S. 1. In a tight economy and a location that lacks the allure of Las Olas, the team changed its focus along with its address, switching from fine dining to upscale comfort food.
Christmas wreaths, lights and poinsettias make you feel like you’re home for the holidays, especially when savoring dishes like short ribs, fried green tomatoes and green bean casserole. Paula Deen would approve. Servers – most of them from the Las Olas locale -- are warm and friendly. When ours saw that I had forgotten my glasses, he cleaned his and handed them over so I could read the menu.
Ambience: Done up with knickknacks, wainscoting and floral curtains, The Mason Jar isn’t as atmospheric as the café with its twinkling courtyard. But for diners looking for really good food and value in a family-friendly setting, it’s a welcome destination.