If you’re familiar with the Ft. Lauderdale dining scene, you’ve likely heard of Valentino Cucina Italiana. In more recent years, One Door East emerged, joining the Italian restaurant next door but under the same roof. The spaces are very different, but the food is elevated at both eateries.
One location, two concepts. To the left, you have One Door East, the industrial-style, global tapas and sushi eatery. To the right, you have Valentino Cucina Italiana, a second-generation fine dining Italian restaurant that has been taking diners on a culinary journey for over 10 years. Both locales, owned by chef and restauranteur Giovanni Rocchio, are standouts among the city’s best dining destinations.
Valentino Cuciana Italiana
Old Fashioned cocktail at the bar
Before the sun sets, the light and bright ambience creates a heavenly scene to accompany the fine Italian cuisine.
Burrata with basil seeds, anchovies, pine nuts, and black garlic.
I’ve never really met a burrata I didn’t like. What stood out about this one is the bold flavors such as black garlic. It was great, and I won’t soon be forgetting about this rendition.
This is a must order if you’re in the mood for seafood. It was very flavorful, yet light, with perfectly cooked pasta and mixed seafood such as octopus and shrimp.
Fusilli Pasta with jumbo shrimp and sun-dried tomato sauce
Hopefully you can tell from this picture how massive those shrimp are, because wow were they big! Again, a flavorful dish, with some delicious sauce.
One Door East
Now for a more sexy ambience, craft cocktails, and playful dishes.
Vodka Strawberry and Lobster Toast
I modified one of the tequila based cocktails to include vodka instead, it was simple yet sweet with fresh muddled strawberries. The lobster toast was a little bit too oily for my liking.
Mexican Street Corn
You can’t go wrong with this as a side, I love that grilled corn taste and a balance of flavor from cheese and thinly sliced peppers.
Burnt Ends with aged cheddar cheese, picked onions and cucumber
Pieces of brisket, lathered with a sweet and tangy sauce, accompanied by sharp cheese and pickled items. What a perfect combination!
Chocolate mouse cake with sorbet
Seal the deal with an elegant dessert from either restaurant!
Whether you’re the indecisive type, or you just simply enjoy a quality dining experience, this dynamic duo of restaurants are perfect for happy hour, date night, girls night, and special occasions.
About Valentino Cucina Italiana
Owned by Chef Giovanni Rocchio, this fine dining Italian restaurant uses only the freshest, highest quality ingredients and provides consistent, remarkable dishes to its customers. Opened since 2006, Valentino has become a go-to dining destination in Fort Lauderdale.
About One Door East
With its unique menu offerings, stylish locale and passionate professionals, One Door East is at the forefront of Fort Lauderdale’s dining scene. Located at 620 S. Federal Highway, the 16-seat bar and 96-seat dining room is open Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to close. Its happy-hour Shindig takes place every Monday through Friday from 5-7 p.m., and it includes a selection of discounted drinks, bar bites and fun buns.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary tasting at Valentino’s and One Door East. All opinions are my own.
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All images appearing in this post photographed by Holli Ryan, property of TheSoFlaSage.com