M Bar Las Olas – Ft. Lauderdale {CLOSED}

Jack Mancini‘s newest addition to Las Olas Blvd., M Bar, offers up global tapas, and larger plates as well in the farm-to-table sustainable spirit. What exactly are “global tapas”? Think small plates, meant to be shared that are influenced by a variety of cuisines including Mediterranean, Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern. Tapas are a great way to try several different dishes without worrying about ordering too much, or convincing everyone at your table (and adjacent) to share, not that we’ve ever done that before…

I arrived (solo this time) to lunch at M Bar last week to sample their newly evolved menu. Mancini’s plan is to regularly switch out menu items as fresh ingredients are available. The lunch and dinner menu differ slightly, but there were still enough options to give me slight pause in ordering. Thankfully, the owner himself stopped by to say hello and was available to assist with selections. I ended up with the modified array below. (As I was dining alone I received smaller portions of more items to taste test, which made it just about the best. lunch. ever. I’m all about the options.)

Red & Yellow Local Beets

Arriving first was the Red & Yellow Local Beets. They came with fresh arugula, chilled raspberry “caviar” (I just learned this term from Chef Rachelle when I was raving about these beets the other day, thanks! Apparently it takes a high level of skill to pull off, so I was dutifully impressed.), and a tasty hazelnut vinaigrette that included small candied hazelnut bits. The crisp cold bite of the raspberry pearls was such an unexpected treat. A bright, beautiful start to my tapas tasting.

Spicy Tuna Tartare

Next, I dove into the Spicy Tuna Tartare. The tuna is seasoned with a sriracha aioli for a mild kick and sits atop thin slivers of cucumbers. The wonton crisps and sesame seeds are not only decoration, but provide a contrasting crunch to the velvety tuna. This item from the small plates section is the perfect size to share, and a customer favorite.

Beef Slider & House Cut Fries

Sometimes you just crave a good old fashioned burger and fries. M Bar’s eclectic menu has you covered, featuring three full size burgers or a Trio of Beef Sliders (one pictured above). All are paired with their always crisp house-cut Kennebec fries, which are made fresh daily. The sliders include tomato, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and pickles. The grilled mini brioche bun (from a local bakery) was what really elevated this burger. The sliders can be purchased separately if you crave variety as well.

Onion Ring

Looking for another accompaniment to your burger? How about a gigantic Onion Ring? These come oversized (and typically more than one to an order on the small plates section), encrusted in Lay’s potato chips with a slight seasoning. The onions themselves are massive and thickly cut. Slightly sweet onions + slightly salty chips + rich buttermilk aioli dipping sauce, this has the makings to be one addictive dish. My only minor disappointment was that they lacked a bit of spice, if only I had my trusty Lazano sauce in my purse…

Braised Kobe Short Ribs

I’m convinced no restaurant opens in SoFL without the “cut of the moment”, so enter M Bar’s Braised Kobe Short Ribs. These stand out due to their perfect sear, propensity to fall apart when prodded with your fork, and delicious, rich dark chocolate stout reduction. Mmmmm…. If I could bottle that sauce I swear I would cover everything with it. The short ribs, featured as a medium plate, are served with a generous mound of creamy truffled polenta, with a nod to an upscale roast beef and mashed potatoes.

Fried Grouper Taco

The grand finale (or so I thought) was the Fried Grouper Taco. These typically arrive three to an order on the medium plate section. Comprised of perfectly seasoned, lightly fried grouper, tangy chipolte cabbage slaw, salsa verde and a few dollops of lime creme fraiche, these swiftly ousted my existing favorite fish taco. I’d highly recommend you adding these to your order, you can thank me later.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream & Berries

My meal ended with a sweet surprise sampling of M Bar’s liquid nitrogen (oh how cool, literally!) Ice Cream and fresh berries.  The assortment included: vanilla pistachio semifreddo, peanut butter ice cream, and vanilla ice cream, with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. As full as I was, this FOTF girl is physically unable to pass up dessert, especially ice cream. I’m glad I gave them a try (ok, ok…. I finished them) because they were heavenly. The semifreddo was my favorite. It was incredibly creamy and rich. I can’t wait to go back and try their full dessert which incorporates chocolate cake.

Overall: The food was fantastic and service staff very knowledgable (and passionate) both about their menu items and the preparation it takes to make them. I’ll definitely be back, next time with my friends.

To stop by yourself, M Bar is open for lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night drinks seven days a week. Hours: 11:30am – 11pm Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 am – Midnight Friday & Saturday. Parking is available behind the building and on Las Olas and 13th Avenue.

M Bar
1301 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954.766.4946
M Bar on Urbanspoon
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Current specials: (Check their Facebook Page for changes)

“M Bar Lunch Trio” – choice of any two Small Plates, a Flatbread or Individual Pizza and a Domestic Beer for $18 – from now through end of Sept.
Ladies Night on Thursdays – From  7-10 pm premium well, house wine and Stella Artois draft are priced at $3 as well as select global tapas
Happy Hour – From 5-7 pm, Mon. thru Thurs. and 4-7 pm on Fri. Select wines, drafts, bottle beer and premium well for half price.

Dining on the Las Olas Boulevard – Big City Tavern, Ft. Lauderdale

On Wednesday, Foodies on the Fly dined at Big City Tavern on Las Olas Boulevard to check out their new menu items and take a peak at the newly revamped interior.

The attractive restaurant was pleasantly quiet when we arrived which was nice after a busy day at the office, but quickly picked up around 6:30pm. The bar was filled with swanky businessmen and high-heeled ladies and the outdoor seating area was scattered with families, friends, and couples. Since the weather was enjoyable (not too muggy, rainy or otherwise uncomfortable) we decided to sit outside to take advantage of the cool breeze and people watch while we dined.

After being quickly seated our knowledgeable waitress presented us with the daily specials, suggested a few drinks, and frequently checked up on us after we were served to make sure everything was okay. And she wasn’t playing favorites; she made sure all of the guests in her area were enjoying their food and visit.

Pink Pearl and Orange Tickle

We started dinner with two of their newest cocktail creations, the Pink Pearl and the Orange Tickle, both were only $8 and worth the price.

What we Thought:
The Pink Pearl was a girly concoction of Pearl pomegranate vodka, St. Germaine elderflower liquor, fresh lime juice, cranberry juice, house-made hibiscus syrup and topped off with Champagne. With all of the ingredients one would think this drink would be super sweet but it was perfectly crafted and delicious. The taste of floral was nicely complemented by the citrus and Champagne.

The Orange Tickle was a bubbly blend that also combined St. Germaine elderflower liquor, though this time accompanied with blood orange juice, and grapefruit bitters and topped with champagne. It definitely did tickle your tonsils while sipping, but don’t be fooled, this innocent sounding drink carries a powerful punch.

Cocktail Tip: The best seller at the restaurant is the Southern Peach on the Beach.

On the Menu:

Appetizer: Flatbread and Dinner: Grilled Skirt Steak

Crispy Flat Bread: This daily special sounded to good to pass up. So of course we had to try it out. A blend of ricotta, sweet tomato sauce, caramelized onions, and spicy sausage layered on top of a crispy flatbread. The ingredients all tasted fresh and we were pleasantly surprised that all of the toppings stayed put while we indulged.

Grilled Skirt Steak: Our dinner was presented on a large white platter adorned with a tiny martini logo and appropriately timed after we completed our appetizer. The steak, topped with a delicious peppery glaze was served with addicting french fries and a crisp lightly dressed field green salad. The portion was large enough to share or perfect for anyone with a big appetite. Our steak was grilled to perfection at a medium well temperature, but you can opt for as rare or done as you like.

Big City Tavern is open daily and serves lunch, dinner, and late nigh bites plus they have a tempting line up of desserts. If we saved any room for sweets we definitely would have tried the Pistachio Brown Butter Bundt Cake ($7) with honey roasted spiced peaches and pistachio gelato or the Mounds Bar Sundae ($7) chocolate ice cream, Belgian chocolate sauce, chocolate chip cookies, whipped cream and coconut.

Check them out for yourself, and tell us what you think!

Big City Tavern
609 E. Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954-727-0307

Big City Tavern on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: Big City Tavern invited us to try out their restaurant free of charge. The opinions in the post are our own.