With the myriad of restaurants on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, it can be difficult to choose. One that you definitely should not miss during your time here is the Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille located in the historic Riverside Hotel. Chef de cuisine Jon Sanchez, an alumnus of Thomas Keller, is making a name for himself with his fresh fish and seafood creations. What makes Sanchez different is that he only uses whole fish brought in and filleted daily to ensure optimal freshness. Sometimes Sanchez even fillets much of the supply himself so that he can see the quality of his offerings.
The 130-seat Wild Sea Oyster is a relatively new offering in Fort Lauderdale, opening in March 2013, but has quickly become a favorite among locals. The restaurant exhibits simplicity and clean lines that help make the food the focus. An airy, stained-wood patio opens onto the sidewalk, ideal for cool, breezy evenings. The inside is divided into a main dining room and a bar area, with white marble-topped tables surrounded by black leather chairs atop a gray hardwood floor.
With a constantly evolving menu diners will find offerings such as golden tilefish with poached clams, mushrooms and julienned kohlrabi over a cream sauce made from the tilefish itself. Line-caught swordfish, striped bass and monkfish rotate on the menu. Clams and grouper come from Florida, while sometimes octopus and lobster will also make appearances. Appetizer offers can include beef tartare topped with quail egg yolk, bok choy, lime oil and curry, or an asparagus salad with ham, bacon and mustard. Yet the highlight of the restaurant is the tantalizing list of eight oysters, four from the east coast, four from the west coast that changes daily. The daily oyster selection is written on a chalkboard in the raw board situated off the hotel’s main lobby. Diners can inspect their selection on a glass-encased bed of ice.
Wild Sea Oyster is located at 620 E. Las Olas Blvd. Telephone: 954-467-2555. Open daily for dinner at 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with extended hours to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. http://www.wildsealasolas.com/
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