New Restaurants to Check Out

Photo courtesy of The Federal.

This started as a round-up of new places to check out, but then my hubby and I went out with our friends Jeff and Mark and accidentally picked a place that was in the middle of their opening week.

I don’t usually review places until they’ve been open for at least three months, so let’s just call this a preview. The Federal, inside the Panthers’ new Baptist Health IcePlex practice facility in Holiday Park, is a burgers-and-beers spot with a sports bent.

The Federal in Holiday Park
800 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale

The dining areas look warm and relaxing with butcher-block tables and leather banquettes, although there are way too many TV sets for my taste. I can see having them in the bar section, but not in the dining room. The bar area overlooks the ice rink, and the pickleball courts, and the expansive patio also overlooks the pickleball courts, appropriate for a sports bar. The 200-seat venue will operate independently of the IcePlex. The restaurant may be accessed through the IcePlex, but patrons also can use a separate entrance on the opposite side of the building. 

Lunch and dinner starters include fish dip, guacamole, calamari, and poutine. The calamari was good and included fried peppers. The fish dip tasted as if it had been scooped from a container, and the Old Bay crackers listed as an accompaniment were just plain old Pepperidge Farm. The BBQ Burger is a good deal at just $18, with fries, as is the Cali-Burger, made with ground turkey and topped with avocado. Chicken Milanese was a little dry, but the accompanying arugula salad was well-prepared. The star dish of the evening was Bang Bang Bowl, tempura shrimp over rice with pickled red onion, avocado, and Bang Bang sauce. It was a bit of a skimpy serving and could have easily been plumped up with some more rice to make it more substantial.

Wine and beer were reasonably priced and there were some interesting mocktails. I look forward to seeing how The Federal develops. My one caveat is the number of children. We were there after a children’s ice hockey game so the number of kids may have been unusually high. Maybe later in the evening would be better if you don’t like little ones scampering around while you eat.


Wiseguy Pizza, 401 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale offers New York-style pizzas baked in stone-deck ovens. Go to B&D Trap BBQ, 1551 NW 6 St., Fort Lauderdale has slow-cooked Texas barbecue on the menu. It also offers brisket and smoked turkey by the pound, full racks of ribs, chicken, crispy smoked wings, and pulled pork. Go to for more information. Jarana, part of the Esplanade at Aventura, is designed to reflect the lively, festive nature of a traditional Peruvian jarana, a celebration marked by abundant food, soulful music, and spirited libations. Watch for my review in the next issue of our magazine. Go to for more information. Val+tino at 620 S. Federal Hwy., in Rio Vista’s iconic 620 building, from chefs Giovanni Rocchio and Jake Abbott, is a celebration of Italian and Mediterranean flavors. Check out


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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