The Big Review: Art & Design Cafe ** ½

 

Nearly everything is for sale at this Fort Lauderdale gallery-restaurant, from the salt shaker to the Monet salad.

tuna.jpg
Ahi Tuna Tataki dish at Art & Design Cafe in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Andrew Uloza
 

By Rochelle Koff

When you dine at Art & Design Café, take a good look at your plate. Then check out the decorative salt-and-pepper shakers, even the abstract art table. Like it? Buy it. Nearly everything is for sale at the Fort Lauderdale gallery-restaurant, from the zebra-accented sugar holders to the modern paintings suspended from the ceiling.

 

The Vibe: You'll dine at tables placed behind flowing curtains, creating a private space -- your very own art gallery, illuminated by decorative chandeliers. If you're with a group or enjoy dining al fresco, choose the patio, where everything from floor to light fixtures to storage cabinet has been transformed into art.

 

What worked: Wine markups are low for a restaurant, with a limited selection ($22-$38; also being revamped) including eight by the glass. 

  • The nicely grilled salmon kebabs and the shrimp cocktail with four to six plump shellfish and a zesty cocktail sauce. 
  • The cream of pumpkin soup, a daily special, was delicious, like a bowl of pumpkin pie, though it might not appeal to those who like a savory stock.
  • The Monet salad, brightened by fresh fruit and vegetables on a plate of field greens dressed in a house-made raspberry vinaigrette.
  • Salmon fillet, nicely grilled, is served with parsley, mashed potatoes and sliced button mushrooms. The seared ahi tuna was a fine rendition, and a friend liked the wasabi sauce, cut with mayo, drizzled on top.

 

What didn’t work: The veal piccata was a little chewy. 

  • The Romanian skirt steak was more tender, spiked with garlic and tomatoes. 
  • The side of new potatoes was a little dry.

 

Nice price: Entrees come with a side salad, two sides and a plate of breads and oil for dipping. Tuesday nights are a bargain, with a full-course dinner and classic movie for $20.

Art & Design Café, 2724 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-491-1007; 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Prices: Appetizers $5-$12, pasta $6-$17, paninis $6-$7, salads $5-$11, entrees $20-$25 (include salad and two sides), desserts $7.

FYI: beer and wine; corkage $10. Classic movies Tuesday nights. AX, MC, VS.

 

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