Checked out Gastrotheque in Fort Lauderdale last night for the first time and was impressed. Not thrilled with name, but don’t judge a book by its title. There’s some elevated stuff taking place. In former Canyon space, next to Gateway Cinema on E. Sunrise/Federal bend. Sat outside (couple of 4-tops and a few high-tops set along the alley beneath a canopy. Started pouring but we survived mostly dry). No prickly pear margaraitas anymore (those moved south to Canyon’s new location – former One Door East), but same cozy bar and some nifty libations. I started with Bourbon Blackberry Bramble.
Anyway, they know what they’re doing here, with polished service and kitchen and many staffers who previously worked at Valentino Cucina. Dishes were composed and delicious, with balanced sauces and flavors. Started with excellent snapper aguachile, hamachi crudo and pork belly with beet reduction. Had skirt steak chimichurri for main and chef sent out a spectacular vegan dish for table to share — roasted cauliflower curry with cauliflower rice. Curry sauce had fragrant ginger, creaminess from coconut milk and packed a pleasant spicy wallop on the back end. Had to leave to pick up my kid before dessert but my tablemates taunted me with a pic – the house version of an Almond Joy. Recommended. I’ll be back. Gastrotheque, 1818 E. Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale. Open daily 4-11 pm. Limited outdoor seating.