Photos By Michael Stavaridis and Anthony Nader
For some time, Fort Lauderdale was the beach and Las Olas Boulevard. Then, neighborhoods like FAT Village and the MASS District introduced the locals who know about them to urban art, hip food and a new wave social scene.
But now, the city’s coolest spots aren’t staying contained to certain pockets. Destinations are popping up all throughout downtown, and perhaps the most alluring of them all is The Dalmar, a Tribute Portfolio, Marriott International hotel with everything from a resident yoga studio, to a swanky cafe, to the highest rooftop bar in the city.
Radiating those big-city vibes is The Terrace Grill on the first floor. The classic American bistro with an Italian flair has a sprawling veranda that’s accessed through a wiry gate along the sidewalk. Velvet-navy booths borrowed from the 1960s wrap its perimeter. Diners can find solitude along a busy Federal Highway thanks to a barrier of tall greenery. Inside, ceilings soar above sage-lined chairs that circle marble tables. Most impressive is the bar, where two chandeliers hang above bartenders donning white tuxedos.
The menu was developed by chef Craig McNeil, a native of Scotland who spent 15 years in Turks and Caicos before he trained at Miami’s Scarpetta restaurant with celebrity chef Scott Conant. His background results in a cuisine that pairs French and Italian techniques with a Caribbean flair.
No stranger to seafood, McNeil offers starters like the Spicy Tuna Tartare and Char Grilled Octopus. The seaside theme is applied through main course offerings like the Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwich or the Fresh Seared Scallops. Our suggestion is to ask for the filet on special and pair it with a side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
It’s hard to leave, so don’t, and instead take an ear-popping elevator ride up to the 25th floor to pay Sparrow, the rooftop bar, a visit. Enjoy views of our growing city at the chic lounge while sipping a cocktail—like the Are You Jealous?, which comes in a sparrow-shaped, copper-colored glass with vodka, sake, cucumber, lime and coconut water.