Hedge your bets on living—and dining—like a rock star at The Guitar Hotel and the greater Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. This larger-than-life, Las Vegas–style showmanship spans beyond the casino and live entertainment to include several world-class restaurants that stand as some of Fort Lauderdale’s finest. Here are three of our favorites.
Abiaka Wood Fire Grill
Reopened in 2023, this dinner-only restaurant marries the flavors of North and South America over live fire, a Josper coal oven, and an ingredients-driven menu that includes bone-in beef rib with guava jam, a grilled shrimp cocktail, and “fire water” scallops, a modern take on Mexican aguachile. Dinner begins with a basket of piping hot cheddar and chive biscuits, brushed with hot honey and typically delivered with the first—of many—Florida-inspired cocktails. (We recommend starting with the Las Olas, a sublime balance of Aperol, vodka, cachaca, and watermelon puree served in a martini glass.) The attention to detail and craftsmanship that follows is exceptional. Even the roasted hearts of palm salad features fresh palm cores flown in from Hawaii, which are then prepared two ways: julienned raw or sliced into circles and quick-roasted in the Josper oven. The combo is accompanied by the freshest of avocado, Florida grapefruit, and heirloom cherry tomatoes and topped with crispy Peruvian quinoa and a tangy tamarind dressing. Similarly, the Maine lobster feast features a 2-pound stunner cooked to perfection over the wood-fire grill and served with house-made chimichurri and lime-mustard butter. In short, you can’t go wrong with any plate at Abiaka. It’s a memorable, multisensory journey into bold flavor combinations that will entice you to come back for more.
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
This tried-and-true American steak house proves its chops (pun intended) with the best in Prime cuts and seafood. It’s a welcomed departure from South Florida’s predictable chain fare, boasting a sleek, multilevel design with its own bustling open kitchen, an in-house butcher shop, and a menu rich in USDA dry-aged Prime steaks, certified Wagyu beef, and steak house classics like jumbo shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller, and lobster bisque. Beyond the mouthwatering cuts and shellfish delights, Hard Rock’s style set and old-money spendthrifts swoon over decadent sides like the duck fat hash browns and lobster mac and cheese. Factor in a wine cellar with more than 350 offerings, dreamy desserts (hello: dulce de leche–filled beignets and dark chocolate souffle), plus prime views of the Guitar Hotel’s electrifying light show, and it’s easy to see why Council Oak is widely regarded as Fort Lauderdale’s ultimate steak house experience.
This contemporary Japanese restaurant remixes tradition to create bold taste sensations for today’s palate. Balance the delicate Hokkaido scallop sashimi (dressed in yuzu gel, young ginger, and sea salt) with the rich lobster tempura dusted in Wagyu snow (beef-tinged, powdered garlic butter). Choose from six nigiri, the highlight of which is the madai (Japanese sea bream) finished with tsukudani nori, avocado, and ginger gel. Then, fill up on more familiar maki-like spicy tuna and soft-shell crab rolls, which stand out for freshness and deliver perfection in every bite. Pair these dishes with mixology-forward cocktails, each designed to underscore one of the five dominant flavor profiles: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami.