Tucked away from the bar and club scene of Fort Lauderdale Beach sits a gem of a Mediterranean restaurant still capable of offering scenic ocean views to produce the ideal setting for a luxurious waterfront dining experience. Morèa’s indoor dining room with 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows ensures all 275 seats and the spacious bar/lounge area comes with majestic views enabling the mind to transfer to a secluded Greek island. The gorgeous waterfront patio and bar adorned by a fire pit perfectly complements the area’s more laid-back atmosphere. While its tranquil location (701 Nort Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.) and contemporary artistic decor enhanced by giant murals of Greek goddesses help produce the Mediterranean feel, Morèa’s small plate offerings, wood-grilled meats and seafood, handcrafted cocktails and fine-wine selection encompass the restaurant’s prime attraction.
The company behind Moréa, the North Carolina-based LM Restaurants, is run by Lou Moshakos, his wife Joy and their daughter Amber. It’s not a coincidence that the family-led restaurant has perfected communal dining by creating a friendly table setting with Mediterranean cuisine where friends and family can come together to share the experience as one. Moréa’s extensive sharing plates allow couples, families, or business executives to enjoy an eclectic mix of Mediterranean delights.
One dining experience at Moréa and you’ll quickly realize why this trendy establishment has generated a buzz at the Paramount Condominium, where it’s located. Its exquisite menu is separated into five categories (Share; From the Land; From the Sea; From the Garden; and Flatbreads) to give guests a bevy of tasty European dishes.
Our waiter’s first recommendation was the bacon-wrapped dates with piquillo sauce and Marcona almonds. After one bite, it’s easy to see why the dish has become a go-to for patrons since the restaurant opened in January. Another sharable recommendation is the Burrata with grilled country bread, balsamic, heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto crisp, pesto and arugula. After the appetizers perked our senses and teased our appetite, we moved to the From the Land menu to taste the Grilled Rack of Lamb with salmoriglio and Peruvian chili sauce, which was truly the highlight. The mouth-watering and juicy meat reminded me of eating at a fine American steakhouse that perfected Greek-style plates. A highly recommended dish featured in the From the Sea option is the Clams Linguini with middle neck clams, white wine, garlic and butter. The juicy pasta and clam mix may be an Italian staple, but Moréa’s version surpasses expectations due to its fresh-tasting sauce.
The scrumptious sharing plates and deliciously seasoned meats and seafood were undoubtedly the go-to attraction. Yet, cocktail lovers are sure to be pleased with the vast array of off-centered drinks you’d be hardpressed to find anywhere else on Fort Lauderdale Beach. I tried the Smoked Hibiscus with mezcal joven, agave, fresh lemon and cilantro. One slip is all it took to see why it earned its namesake after leaving a smokey aftertaste to enhance the deliciousness of the Rack of Lamb. While you can find margaritas up and down Fort Lauderdale Beach, Moréa sticks to its authenticity with the Moréa Margarita featuring Casamigos Blanco tequila, Ferrand orange liqueur, fresh lime, beet juice, agave and black lava salt, which gives the traditional Mexican drink a more sophisticated vibe. Although saving room for dessert was challenging, we were rewarded with Moréa’s housemade Rich Chocolate Mousse topped with olive oil, sea salt and whipped cream for a perfect nightcap. Further maintaining its originality, Moréa’s Barrel-Aged Feta Cheesecake with berry compote, graham cracker crisp and dehydrated meringue drops generate a unique sweetness and bold flavor that would have any Greek goddess begging for more.
With its reserved location directly across the Atlantic Ocean, authentic Mediterranean dishes and modern dining experience, Moréa offers a more refined elegance on Fort Lauderdale Beach that will leave friends, family and group gatherings with a better feel of what dining like a Greek goddess entails.