Last week was one of the 2 dates we celebrate as a couple… the 2nd anniversary of our first date. On 8/23/09 we met up at a bar then shared some great sushi and great conversation. After that day we were pretty much inseparable…and yada yada yada we got married 14 months later (I’ll save the mushy stuff for that anniversary, hehe). We vowed we will always celebrate August 23rd with an awesome (and probably expensive) dinner out on the town. We decided to go to Café Sharaku, a tiny but amazing restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.
We were seated at a corner table right next to the specials menu. They sure do have a lot of “specials”, wow, it was kind of overwhelming. I would have eaten almost everything on that menu!
Jay was in charge of the wine and he chose ZD Chardonnay. It’s a Chardonnay from the Carneros region of Sonoma, which I knew was a good area for that type of wine. It was slightly oaky, fruity, and full bodied…which I loved! We’ve looked for it in the store since but haven’t found it yet, darn.
After deliberating over the menu I noticed a little blurb on the bottom… “Chef’s Tasting Menu, 6 courses, must order 24 hours in advance”. I wanted it! I asked the server if we could order the tasting and he had to ask the chef. My fingers were crossed… and we got it, yay! The 1st course came out moments later, Seared Tuna. It was very good seared tuna. Those peppers on top look super spicy, but they were actually mild. It was a great match for the tuna.
The 2nd course came out and I was like “WTF, this white $hit looks crappy”. Little did I know it was one of the best dishes of the night. It was Japanese yam with a blue cheese sauce. The sweetness of the yam went perfectly with the blue cheese, and the cheese wasn’t too overpowering either. I could have eaten a whole bowl of this!
Our 3rd course was roasted fluke with sea urchin. Fluke is another name for flounder. The fish was flaky and mild. The sea urchin really made the dish. I had never had sea urchin before but had always wanted to try it after being brainwashed by Top Chef. It was an orange mess, but was very delicate and melted right in my mouth.
The 5th course was another favorite of the night, roasted sea bass with miso. The fish was perfectly cooked (as were all the other dishes). The miso sauce was so friggin good I could drank a whole cup of it. I wish I could properly describe it… maybe “umami”… another Top Chef brainwashing term.
Café Sharaku is one of the hidden gems near me. It’s tucked away near a futon store, so nobody really notices it. But the food is really delicious and the service is phenomenal. We will be back again (just not for the short ribs).
Do you have a “hidden gem” in your neighborhood?