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.
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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