dba/cafe, Fort Lauderdale

A good start.

We had plans to go out to dinner with friends in November, which became December. Finally, the third week in January, we got to see them and made our way to dba/cafe in Fort Lauderdale. We knew about dba because it was opened by one of the former owners of Il Mercato (always a favorite).

The first thing I noticed about dba is the brick walls, cozy atmosphere and lovely bar. And it looks remarkably like Il Mercato on the

The menu.

inside. Hmmm…. That is a good thing, as I love the ambiance. Our friends were waiting at the bar with a bottle of wine already ordered. (The Calling, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009). The other thing I noticed is that there is floor space. There could be a couple extra tables crammed in, but there is actually elbow room here. It is a very comfortable restaurant.

Jami is happy she finally gets to hang out with us!

The menu is small, but well thought out, and has numerous choices. At our table were some mussels in a coconut curry broth (delicious), followed by two salads – Crunchy, with romaine, apples, avocado and green goddess dressing (I could not stop digging my fork into my friend’s bowl) and Mixed Greens, with beets, goat cheese, rum soaked raisins (oh my!) and pistachios. Both salads were delicious, and very large.

Next up we ordered the ricotta gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce, “for the table”. This was just an excuse to get a creamy pasta and have a few bites. Yes, I did ask for more bread simply so I could soak up remaining

Mixed green salad

sauce. Cream sauce is my friend, especially when there is cheese involved.

Entrees here range from fish to duck confit to a burger. Our table had mainly fish

Holy gnocchi!

with one burger thrown in for good measure. (You know, in case the cream sauce wasn’t heart-attack inducing enough.) One of the fish preparations was a special, the sauteed tile fish with rice and chopped spinach and mushrooms. The fish was fresh, perfectly cooked and tasty. The onion crusted grouper with a vanilla burre blanc and mushroom risotto was also quite good, although personally, I am not a big fan of vanilla in my savory food. That is just me. The burger was cooked to order, big, juicy and the truffle fries on the side didn’t hurt, either.

Somehow, we had room for dessert. I lobbied for just one, but we ended up with both the panna cotta with


fresh berries (creamy, and it goes down smooth!) and the chocolate pot de creme (also delish!). Why stop at one dessert when you can have two?

Onion crusted grouper

Overall, the meal was great. Food was terrific, service was good and you can get most things in a half or full portion. Would I go back? Absolutely. I am looking forward to it. dba/Cafe is locate in Fort Lauderdale at 2364 North Federal Highway and is currently open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. They are also open for Sunday brunch.

Mmmm.... panna cotta