jmark-restaurant-review-0
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jmark-restaurant-review-0First of all, I want everyone to know I don’t have a crush on Ariel even though he just so happens to have one of the nicest smiles at J Mark’s. No, no, I come to this packed, high-energy establishment for their food and drinks, their service… and Ariel.

jmark-restaurant-review-1

First of all, I want everyone to know I don’t have a crush on Ariel even though he just so happens to have one of the nicest smiles at J Mark’s. No, no, I come to this packed, high-energy establishment for their food and drinks, their service… and Ariel.

jmark-restaurant-review-2Yes, I know I’m being bad, but seriously, the smiles and friendly attitude are just some of the many things that make J Mark’s a great addition to the Fort Lauderdale restaurant scene. They are conscientious and their approach to the business is refreshing. The decor is comfortable, warm and inviting, and I hear there are still some finishing touches on the way that I think the customers are going to love. For a restaurant, brand spanking new or otherwise that already has a waiting list, (yes, they’re that popular!) — it is imperative to have a GREAT BAR. They absolutely hit the mark! (Sorry, that was just too easy…) The bar opens up to their expansive and seemingly-ever-festive patio (live music on the weekends) that provides that all-important indoor/outdoor feeling that Floridians love.

For those of you that love your cocktails, I recommend J Mark’s signature Mojito, or J Mark’s signature Margarita. The bar itself has plenty of space and the bar area has plenty of booths and tables, so if you like being where all the action is, dining in the bar area is a great option. The wine list is both full and imaginative. Their special happy hour pricing also includes every category of wine.

Once seated in our cozy booth (in the bar area) we were presented with the menu and wine list. Yes! Lets talk FOOD. Their menu has something for everyone, from hand-cut, 28 day aged Certified Angus Beef, exciting appetizers, fun and tasty sliders, salads, fresh seafood and pasta, to their burgers and sandwiches! Even for the pickiest of eaters (you know who you are) you can find something on the menu that stirs the appetite.

Naturally, we had to try a few of their appetizers, starting with the Bam Bam Rock Shrimp, lightly battered and fried, tossed in sweet and spicy Szechuan sauce.

The Bruschetta, made with Balsamic-marinated Roma tomatoes with fresh basil and minced garlic, was served on toasted flatbread crostini with homemade pesto and Parmesan cheese. Every time I go to an Italian restaurant I have to have my Bruschette, so when I saw it on J Mark’s menu I had to have it. Their version is light and fresh with just the right amount of tomatoes and their homemade pesto added even more wonderful flavor to one of my favorite appetizers.

I’m STILL dreaming about the Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Cake with lime vinaigrette and spicy remoulade sauce, you can have it as an entree as well.

Next up, we had the Filet Mignon and Yukon mashed potatoes, skin-on and lightly hand-mixed. The menu says THE BEST and they are not kidding. This has to be one of the best steaks I have had in quite awhile. You could literally cut it with your fork! The owner told me he and his team toyed with the idea of adding “Steak House” to their name, and I see why, because they are very serious about their steaks. This is probably the most reasonably priced high quality Filet Mignon on any menu in South Florida. I normally order fish when I go to J Mark’s. That’s going to change!

When they brought us the Fresh Catch of the Day, Steve, (my dining companion) immediately pulled the plate closer to him. Swordfish is his favorite and this one and a half-inch thick cut was juicy and perfectly grilled, as all Swordfish should be. I did manage to get a few bites (after all, it’s my job!) but I was very happy with my own favorite, Miso Marinated and Glazed Sea Bass. This was a generous portion served with a Sambuca Buerre Blanc—house-made like all of J Mark’s sauces. The combination of the miso flavor and Sambuca in the buerre blanc sauce made this dish rise above the rest!

Ah, the dessert! What else would we order, but their very own Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker and Candied Pecan crust?

Steve and I were lucky enough to be joined by Steven and Ariel. They made both a “personal connection” AND a believer out of this patron! We were treated to many wonderful offerings like their fun and tasty Sliders, and, what I consider to be the best “Bennies” I have ever tasted. I have eaten Eggs Benedict in several fancy hotels on the beach and theirs is the best.

We left full, satisfied, and with an insight into their philosophy of “if we don’t do it better than anyone else, we won’t do it at all.” which I think will make J Mark’s one of your favorite restaurants as well. J Mark’s is here to stay!

For more information call J Mark’s at 954-390-0770 or check out their website at www.jmarksrestaurant.com

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