Last Update
May 16th, 2015

S3

505 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33304
(954) 523-7873

Details

Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri/Sat 11am-2am
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Valet, Street Metered
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: Yes
Delivery: No

Description

They've hired Harmony D'Elia as GM which means that they couldn't get anyone else. She practically destroyed Big City Tavern by elevating her incompetent friends Elisa and Felicia to manager.

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We have the menu. This restaurant is 100% smoke free, including the outdoor patio.

The Restaurant People, operators of Tarpon Bend, YOLO and VIBE, have opened a 7000 square foot restaurant on the ground floor of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach. The name of the new venue, S3, an acronym for Sun, Surf and Sand.

The build-out cost approximately $4 Million; as suspected, this restaurant is truly YOLO on the Beach. It's like they've said 'hey, YOLO is doing well, so lets build one at the beach too!".

Featuring an outdoor patio and bar, a funky lounge and a menu heavily weighted towards appetizers and "small plates"; this restaurant illustrates the financial status change of the Restaurant People since the opening of YOLO. The YOLO bar has cheap materials; it looks like an IKEA project; while S3 has granites, stone and higher end components.

I'm not sure if Karen Hanlon did the design here, but the lounge reeks of her influence.

Loud fabrics, weird table tops and miniature TVs; who else could it be?

A large open air patio creates a casual atmosphere for eating sticky wings.

The outdoor space is similar in construction to YOLO, with cement "benches" and removable cushions. More form over function here, the tiny round tables don't provide much utility for eating.

There seems to be a clearance problem as the bench is about 8" from the post; I wonder how that got past the inspectors?

They've tapped Chris Miracolo as executive chef. Miracolo manned the kitchen in the now defunct Himmarshee Bar and Grill and most recently has been running the kitchen at Max's Harvest. Miracolo, who has been pumped up over the years by the kiddie bloggers at New Times, brings the now yawn-inspiring concept of "farm to fork" to S3, which usually means higher prices for questionably "fresher" food. Miracolo cites owner/chef Peter Boulukos as his mentor, which is sort of like having Mark Sanchez as your mentor at quarterback. So we'll see how this goes.

S3 claims the menu is "mid priced", but it's really just a bunch of restaurant tricks to make it seem more affordable. For example, 6 pieces of tuna sashimi will cost you $21; you get more than that at YOLO for a not so cheap $18. They have the marinated olives that nobody likes for $4, and 2 deviled eggs (4 halves) for $5. Pita with hummus and Tzatziki (which you'd think that the Greek Boulukos would know how to spell) is $11 (free with your meal at most decent Greek restaurants). A $29 short rib and $19 Rotisserie chicken hardly qualifies as budget-friendly, pasta without meat is $16.

Some early interviews with owner Tim Petrillo indicated that S3 might also stand for Steaks, Seafood and Sushi; but the dinner menu only includes a non-prime Filet Mignon and 2 seafood offerings; the ubiquitous Salmon and Grouper. So there's nothing here that you can't get everywhere else.

The menu here fits the Fort Lauderdale mold of Culinary Institude graduate overreach; virtually every dish has some unnecessary ingredient that makes me not consider even trying it. Coconut Rice with the chicken, Grouper with Rum Pepper Glaze and Mango Brown Butter, a BLT made with pickles, arugula and a fried egg. Jerk Chicken Skewers with pineapple and almond. Octopus with olives and salsa verde. The "vietnamese" wings come with "green papaya slaw"; a clever variation of the green apple slaw they have at YOLO. Skirt steak comes with Yucca and "Mango Chimichurri". Are you kidding me with some of this junk? Why would you ruin chimichurri with mango? Another place where you can't just get some decent food.

They continue not committing to portion sizes. They sell a "Creekstone Farm Filet" for $34. 6oz? 8oz? Creekstone farms sells "grain fed premium black angus beef", which means that it's pretty much the same stuff you can buy at Winn Dixie.

Full disclosure, I've never tried to hide my opinion that Boulukos is a hack so you can judge my comments accordingly.

Hotel parking is $5 with validation.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Lisa
Reply
I don't go to restaurants who have menus with no prices. Just for the record.
Rob
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I've been to this place twice now, and I get the impression that they just serve food as an accompaniment with alcohol. There's a hard sell on liquor, and they just appear disinterested in serving food. The servers make a face when you order food, as if it's too much trouble to do.
Joan B
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They've taken the prices off the menu, so they must be planning on raising them, if they haven't already.
Administrator
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Added the Brunch Menu, sans prices.
Carl
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With the boat show in town, I was surprised to see that reservations were available any time tonight at S3, YOLO and Lobster Bar Sea Grille. It looks like nobody is showing up this year.
DB
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They should have just put another Tarpon Bend in this location.
Administrator
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This has got to be the worst lunch menu I've ever seen. Sushi and bad appetizers. No salads. And without prices on their menus now, I guess they're just hoping that people wandering around at the beach are attracted to the decor? And every "dish" has some bad ingredient. Puffed rice with the Brussels Sprouts? Really?
John
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Not impressed. Bring the locals back to the beach? You mean the Candy Store is gone?
CS
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Went today, first time. Not as bad as you deem it, but agree not worth the price. However, everything at the beach is overpriced, so why is this different? If I have to eat over there, unfortunately, this is one of the better spots
Administrator
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I haven't deemed it as "bad". I just deem it as predictably YOLO-like
Mikeyville
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Cheap Steak, Cheap Tuna, Cheap Chicken! Chump Overpriced. Charge more and stop serving Crap!
Rob
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How about charge the same, and stop serving crap?
Terri
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Have you seen the pictures of the food on yelp? eek! It's like a negative advertisement for the restaurant!
Haha
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New fake yelp review by Carrie..
Hmmm...Carrie is the name of the Yolo Event coordinator
Administrator
Reply
Seems unlikely she'd be stupid enough to use her real name. A restaurant promoter posting a fake review is false advertising in Florida. A misdemeanor I believe. Although that doesn't stop some PR firms from making a regular practice of it.
Administrator
Reply
You know there's trouble when they put the menus up on their web site without prices. Brilliant move. For the amount of money Petrillo spends, you'd think he could get some mildly competent people. The web site has menus with no prices, no hours, no link to their facebook page. It's an exercise in how to do everything wrong.
mj
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Maybe they're not looking to attract crowd that has to check the prices before going there? They have loaction, food is secondary. Boston's in Delray Beach was profitable for 30 years before it was sold, and the food was consistently lousy and pricey. BUT-it was on the beach-not a cheap property
Administrator
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You can be expensive without ripping off your customers. How about having good food for high prices? Now there is an idea!

Steak 954 is expensive, but at least you're getting prime beef. Here you get WinnDixie beef at Prime prices.
Rob
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Somehow, Ronald's review has become unfiltered! The wonder of technology.
Cheryl B
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The lack of reviews for this restaurant is interesting. Not one real review on Yelp yet. Indifference? Complete mediocrity? Or are they just scared you'll call them out on the BS?
Rob
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2 new fake reviews.
Administrator
Reply
The Yelp rating math is strange. Three 5 stars and a 4 star review aggregates to 5.0 stars instead of 4.75. Maybe they throw out the high and the low?

I love the guy with 5 stars talking about wings and deviled eggs at a supposed high end restaurant.
Administrator
Reply
Maybe they've just priced themselves out of the average Yelper's budget?
Linda
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Overheard some people who had just eaten at S3 complaining about the menu. They were disappointed that it lacked steak choices. Now that I look at it, it is a very limited menu. More like a small Bistro than a big restaurant.
Administrator
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Steak is low margin. This restaurant isn't about providing a quality, balanced menu. It's about lining the pockets of investors. Small portions of cheap food with heavy saucing. Another restaurant for those who usually dine at Appleby's to swoon over.
Gerald B
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I don't get this place. YOLO is one of those places that you either love or hate, and I think more people hate it than love it. So why would you build another restaurant 2 miles away that's going to attract the same crowd? Why wouldn't you try to get the people who don't go to YOLO?
John
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You make too much sense Gerald, no future for you in the Restuarant business!

Jane Doe
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The place is beautiful! The patio is a lot nicer when the cushions are out. Only had drinks and it seemed pretty chaotic, but they just opened.
Julie J
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I'm so tired of Karen Hanlon and her stupid looking restaurants. Don't these owners have any ideas of their own? She's probably working on the M-bar now. Maybe the Tundra guys will hire her and we can have Elk heads and fake strawberries in the entire city. Heaven help us.
Administrator
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It is a city of copycats, isn't it. Same menu, same designers. What's interesting is that the other big designer, IDDI, did Kaluz and Grille 401 and both have TERRIBLE bar areas. Bar area is the most important thing in a drinking and appetizers town like Fort Lauderdale.

To be clear, I'm not sure that Hanlon did this restaurant. So she may not be the culprit.
ROCCO
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I was there yesterday...This place has bust written all over it just like the new MANCINIS...Overpriced food for beach trollers..NOT
Administrator
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I hope it is successful enough to draw all of the riff-raff from YOLO and Vibe away from Downtown.

Be careful, or Petrillo may hunt you down and ban you from his restaurants.
Administrator
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The first Yelp review is up. Ronald. His first restaurant review ever. Loved everything. He conveniently had a Vietnamese friend who vouched for the authenticity of the sriracha wings. You can't make this up.
Brenda
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I like the other one. "Tried everything and everything was great". Soooo Objective!
Some Unnamed Coward
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I'm just curious why you are so invested with the details when you obviously dislike the very idea of it. You sound like a disgruntled former employee. I'm sure you will come around and find a bunch of smiling and welcoming faces regardless of your negativity.
Administrator
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Information is what the site it about. People want information. They don't want bullshit or pictures of staged food.

There are no smiling faces at their other restaurants, so what deludes you into thinking that this will be different? Nobody working for Petrillo and Boulukos has a real smile on their face.
Carlos
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I saw an article in the Sun-Sentinel where Tim Petrillo is quoted as saying that they only got 700 applications for 140 positions. When they opened YOLO they got 3000 so he concluded that "the job market is surely tightening". I wonder if he considered that maybe people don't want to work for him?
Marcus
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It's getting kind of ridiculous if we're starting to bash management / restaurants based on how many job applications they recieve for an unopened restaurant... No? Breaking News: Not many restaurant jobs (regardless of the establishment) are that glorious in the long run.
Administrator
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I think his point is that Petrillo seems wholly unaware that there are a lot of people that simply don't want to work for him.
John
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Did she really ask why you were interested in the details? That's pretty rich.
Administrator
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if you want to know how not to run a facebook page, go to S3s page. Just a pile of BS. They have no interest in engaging their readers with facts or information.
Administrator
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Word on the street Monday was that the opening was pushed back to June, but they got their operating license on Monday and employees have been assured that the opening will around the 1st of May
Rob
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This place will be boarded up until mid summer. A year late. What else is new. I wonder why the construction companies put their name on these debacles? They're hiring again. Weren't they hiring in December?
Delusional
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Was at the beach yesterday - and this is exactly the clientel on the beach. negativity in you is going to bite you in the end. Sure like any public spot there are also some low enders and people who man not LOOK like the images here (whatever that means). But that IS the clientel at the W and Hilton and Ritz - which are packed this month with spring breakers and snowbirds. This is not 2009 anymore.
Administrator
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Really? The shirtless 21yos with backwards baseball caps are the people depicted in the artists rendition? Did you actually say that the spring break crowd looks like the people in the picture?

A problem I have with the YOLO people is that they depict their places as these sophisticated venues and then end up marketing them to anyone who has a wallet and a pulse, luring in the low end crowd with sticky calamari and meatball sliders. There are no sophisticated people at the beach from May to November; the beach is still more Elbo room and Beach Place than it is Ritz Carlton; if you chose to delude yourself into thinking otherwise that's certainly your prerogative. But don't accuse me of being overly negative because I point out what's obvious to anyone who's been to the beach who doesn't have their head shoved deep into the sand. The beach is seedy and is still dominated with venues that bring in a low end clientele.

The Hilton has rooms in Mid March for $269. Not exactly "high end".
John Galt
Reply
This is really as shame. Have you deluded yourself into thinking that all of your readers are elitist snobs who use terms like "sophisticated" as a polite substitute for "upper middle class Caucasians." Your message that Fort Lauderdale Beach and the businesses associated with it are low-end and sleazy is atrocious. The people who own the businesses, many of them first generation Americans, work their fingers to the bone to make a living and to provide jobs for our population, taxes for our community, and they do draw a significant amount of tourism.
Administrator
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The Truth is the truth regardless of who the readers are. People work hard in Dumps, but that doesn't mean we should want there to be more dumps.

The idea that the guys who own all of the crap places from the Oasis to Beach Place are just hard working immigrants is where the Delusion is. Until we get rid of those rip-off tourist traps, the beach will remain a place for the party crowd.
john
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Delusional is an appropiate moniker. Lauderdale Beach is Quarterdeck-Treasure Trove-Blondies-The Parrot rolled into a greasy sub and a pitcher of beer. Hey we all like dives at times but let's be serious Lauderdale Beach is not Boca or Palm Beach and the demographics of the area don't fit this concept in my opinion, but it aint my money. Thanks for calling it like it is, and for the interesting info about S3
Administrator
Reply
I went by to get some new pictures, but it looks about the same.
Randi
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Chris is a great chef. The food should be better than YOLO's
Robby
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The lack of buzz for this place is incredible. YOLO by the beach. Wow. Can't wait.
Carolyn
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Where's the fat guy in the speedo in the picture?
John
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Why can't we get any new blood here in Fort Lauderdale? It's just the same people opening one place after another. Only in Fort Lauderdale do the same owners run 3 or 4 restaurants or clubs in the same town. Something is very fishy.
Administrator
Reply
The people who own all of the restaurants sit on all of the boards, so the system is fixed to some extent. But it's also that people who don't understand Fort Lauderdale, Rare and Tundra come to mind; they bring in concepts that have no chance and they go under quickly.

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