Coconuts - Great Food With an Even
By Tim Slivinski
light breeze ruffles your hair, the setting sun throws splashes
of color over the Intracoastal, and a friendly server has just
delivered your favorite libation from the bar. You must be
sitting at an outdoor patio or deck table at Coconuts, one of
Fort Lauderdaleís best dining spots on the water. Located just a
little south of Las Olas on Seabreeze
Blvd, Coconuts offers flavorful,
eclectic, savory food in a casual and comfortable atmosphere
with some of the nicest staff in South Florida.
The restaurantís motto is, after all, ďbe nice.Ē And at a place
like Coconuts, itís hard not to follow those two simple, but oh
so important, words.
On our beautiful late winter, early spring
days and nights, be certain to request an outdoor table. You can
sit directly on the Intracoastal on the lower patio or on the
raised, covered deck overlooking the waterway. Either way, you
will have a spectacular view of the water. Coconuts offers a
full bar as well as a wine list that gives patrons some choices
that move beyond some of the typical restaurant wine list
offerings. Order a glass of Semler Cabernet Sauvignon or treat
yourself to a bottle of Landmark Chardonnay. Note, too, that all
wine bottle purchases on Monday and Tuesday, all day, are 50%
off the menu price. You just canít go wrong with that.
your meal with one of the starters on the menu, but be certain
to ask your server about any featured appetizers. If the mussels
happen to be featured, donít hesitate, just order them.
Perfectly steamed, they arrive at your table tender and swimming
in one of the most flavorful broths you will ever taste. The
addition of chorizo to the broth gives it a little kick, and you
will want to ask for extra grilled bread, which they will gladly
bring you, to enjoy every last drop. The spinach and artichoke
dip is another favorite, served with warm tortilla chips. It is
a mellow dip of creamy, gooey deliciousness. Guacamole is
different every place you order it, but Coconuts housemade
guacamole is just chunky enough and not overly garliced. There
wonít be any left in the bowl, trust me.
Entrees run the gamut from chicken to
seafood to steaks to ribs to sandwiches to dinner salads. Again,
be certain to take note of the feature board as you walk in. If
you forget, however, your server will be happy to go over them
tableside with you. See, thatís just how nice they are; how can
you not be nice in return? Truthfully, I am a
not a rib eater. In most restaurants I find them too sweet, too
cloying, too tough, or too smoky. However, the Danish babyback
BBQ ribs on the menu I return to again and again. The sauce, a
chipotle bbq sauce, has just the right amount of tang, zip, and
zest without being too much of any one of them. They are so
tender and perfectly cooked, the meat nearly falls off the bone.
The portion is more than ample, and I always
claim I canít possibly devour all of them, but I do. They are
accompanied by two sides that you select. I like them with the
Mac + Cheese (who wouldnít?) and the cole slaw.
Special feature entrees on any given evening
may be a potato encrusted snapper, perfectly crispy on the
exterior with a moist and flavorful interior; a cowboy ribeye
steak served with blue cheese butter that arrives at your table
in perfect grilled doneness; or a whole yellowtail snapper that
will dazzle you with its tender, flaky , savory goodness. All of
them are satisfying in their simple complexity of flavors. If
you happen to dine at Coconuts on a Tuesday or Friday evening,
you will be greeted with the mouthwatering aroma of a large
paella being prepared on the deck. It is a
heavenly mixture of shrimp, fish, chicken , sausage, and savory
rice. It is oh so good, and the generous portion may just carry
you over to lunch the next day.
On Sunday mornings, beginning at 10am,
Coconuts features a Sunday brunch menu until 1pm with all kinds
of interesting dining choices. Once again, be certain to ask
your server about any brunch features as they are sure to tempt
your palate with their creativity. Sitting on
the deck sipping a mimosa and just enjoying the breeze and the
view are a great way to get your Sunday moving, and I guarantee
you will not leave hungry.
Coconuts is a place you will want to return
to again and again once you discover it. It also a great place
to take your out of town guests for a fantastic al fresco dining
experience. ďBe nice.Ē Two simple words, but at Coconuts they
are, and if you dine there, you should be too. Trust me, it
wonít be difficult!