Elegance at The Plaza Bistro
|Written by Sheri Elfman on November 27 2012|
Elegance at The Plaza Bistro
Al fresco dining at its best
Those who like to dine al fresco will enjoy The Plaza, which is located next door to Royal Palms. It is owned by The North Beach Village Group, which has one of the largest collections of Mid-Century Modern Architecture buildings in Fort Lauderdale, and runs The Royal Palms. Specializing in brick oven pizza, salads, sandwiches, seafood, steaks and more, you can dine in or take out. However, you’ll want to dine in when you see how attractive the setting is.
Situated a block away from A1A, there are tables at The Plaza under a large canopy and comfy couches intimately gathered. Beautiful white lights and the minimalistic design create a very cool feel. Plus, the lighting is super flattering.
My good friend and soul twin Craig joined me on a recent Sunday evening for a leisurely meal at The Plaza. We were greeted by general manager Philip Lafond, who had just come from a busy Royal Tea at Royal Palms. He told us that The Plaza opened in late March and the bistro and The North Beach Village group plan to expand the area where locals and visitors can find love and happiness. He said that The Plaza Bistro plans on hosting many events for North Beach Village and he said that there will soon be small boutiques and restaurants enhancing this area.
We also met Assistant Manager Juan Loratta, who was very enthusiastic and told us more about The Plaza Bistro.
I started with a glass of Moscato, as I prefer a dessert wine with my dinner and Craig had a glass of Chardonnay. Our server, Orlando Alverez, was a lot of fun and very knowledgeable about the menu, offering us great suggestions. We started with the Calamari ($12) which was a combination of fried calamari, roasted red peppers and banana peppers, all lightly breaded and served alongside a garlic aioli dip. Crisp and flavorful, the appetizer was a winner. We were especially impressed with the unique touch of the breaded peppers.
Next, we tried their Margherita Pizza, which was topped with diced tomatoes, red onions, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, Mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Fresh is a great word to describe the ingredients on this pizza -- you can tell it was made with the finest ingredients. We especially loved the consistency of the crust, which had a pleasant chewiness.
We went on to the entrees. I ordered the Caribbean Shrimp ($15), which Orlando said is the most popular dish at The Plaza. I was apprehensive; because I was worried it would be sweet. I had no reason for concern, as the delicious jumbo shrimp and rice pilaf was flavored with a fantastic earthy curry seasoning. If I wasn’t in public and I wasn’t such an elegant lady, I would’ve licked the plate.
Craig ordered the Herb Crusted Lamb ($22), which was a ½ rack of lamb, encrusted with fresh herbs and seasonings and baked in their brick oven. It was served on braised cabbage and roasted rosemary potatoes. The dish was presented beautifully and the herbs really shined through.
The Plaza Bistro’s friendly and talented Executive Chef, Justin Mathys told us about his love of Moroccan food and you could definitely taste the influence. Mathys, a student at the Art Institute, manages both the Royal Palms kitchen and the Plaza Bistro.
For dessert we tried the Key Lime Pie and the Old Fashion Apple Pie. The Key Lime was refreshingly light. Orlando recommended that we try their homemade Pistachio Gelato with the Apple Pie and, again, he was spot on with his suggestion. The creamy gelato blended beautifully with the crumb-topped pie.
Craig and I had a lovely experience and have already made plans to go back and enjoy the ocean breeze and elegant, relaxing atmosphere and more food and wine!
This unique and attractive dining experience is an exciting addition to the Fort Lauderdale Beach area.
Open daily from 5 to 11 p.m.
The Plaza Bistro
2900 Belmar Street