I love an authentic meal. It means something special to me. A chef who can bring a taste of his culture from the kitchen to my plate is an experience I cherish. The preparation of the food is a piece of their history brought forward to the present. And when I taste that meal, I’m savoring years of culture in a single serving. This month, you may want to try a little more culture and a lot more flavor.
So, let’s begin an adventure that will make you feel as if you were transported to
Asia or even Greece. Here’s what I
did last month…
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel
5750 Seminole Way
Hollywood, FL 33314
Not to miss: Crackling calamari salad ($18), the crispy whole fish (market price) and the Scorpion Bowl ($29)
Tatu is sexy. The décor is chic and the dining is an explosive combination of three styles of Asian cooking that translate into one mouth-watering celebration. The distinct menu categories include:
>> Hunan and Szechwan Chinese
>> Japanese sushi and tempura
>> Chinois Pan Asian (a combination of Asian ingredients with French style)
For those who like it hot, try the crackling calamari salad with spicy chicken breast strips, Napa cabbage, cashews, and sesame vinaigrette. The crispy wok-fried whole fish with sweet and spicy glaze is worth the work. You might also try the crispy tangerine beef ($24) – a flash-fried sirloin steak with spicy fresh orange glaze.
And if you want to be daring, try the scorpion bowl for two. It’s a drink with sweet exotic fruit juices, Myers rum, and amaretto – and it’s served with a flaming Bacardi 151 float.
Greek Islands Taverna
3300 North Ocean Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Phone: 954-565-5505 and 954-568-0008
Not to miss: Grilled octopus ($14), moussaka ($14), pastitsio ($13), garides tou sotiri ($25)
Brothers Sam (Sotiri) and George Kantzavelos own and operate the Taverna, and they make you feel like you’re a part of their family back home in the Greek Islands. Located on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, you can choose indoor or outdoor dining.
If you enjoy a lot of flavor, the grilled octopus will taunt you. It’s enhanced with lemon, oregano, and olive oil, then grilled to perfection. The moussaka (baked eggplant) is served with tomato, potato, and spiced ground beef, topped with a béchamel sauce. My taste buds adore this! The pastitsio – with baked seasoned ground beef, layers of macaroni, a touch of béchamel sauce – is authentically Greek. And the garides tou sotir is large, baked shrimp splashed with Chef Sotiri’s secret sauce and served with rice.