Updated
Aug 21st, 2019
First Posted
Jun 17th, 2016

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

450 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301
(954) 772-2675
Overall Rating
2.3
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
01/07/2016

Details

Hours: M-F 11:30am-2:30pm, M-Th 5:30-11pm, Fri,Sat 5:30-12am,Sun 5:30-10pm
Dress Code: Business Casual, No Shorts
Parking: Street Metered, Valet
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: Yes
Delivery: No
Happy Hour: M-F 4:30-7:30pm $5.50 Wine, 1/2 Price Cocktails, Bar Bites Menu

Pros

Elegant Decor
Adult Servers

Cons

Basic Premise of the place is Bogus
Poor Recipes and Poor Execution
Wildly Overpriced

Critic's Review

I spotted this truck making a delivery.

I thought this was interesting; I question everything that the Lobster Bar claims, and I wondered who their USDA Prime supplier was. I've never seen a premium meat vendor making a delivery. Halpern's doesn't seem to sell USDA Prime meat that I can see; maybe they do; but I suspect that Lobster Bar might be cheating.

Fish Delivery.

"Pristine" fish from the same vendors that every other restaurant in town use.

Review 1/7/16

I had to walk over to the bank today, so I thought I'd get myself a lobster roll for lunch. I have a bunch of funds on a gift card that I loaded 2 years ago, and I just never feel like coming here at night. I rolled in at 1:56pm and not a single thing has changed. They still ask for your last name, despite the stupidity of the practice. Today I felt like being addressed as "Mr Barnes". I was going to go with Bond; James Bond, but I was worried that I'd break out laughing trying to pull it off.

The place was its usual dead self at lunch, with 2 dudes at the bar and a couple of tables of people who didn't get the memo on the place yet.

For some reason they have 2 hostesses; what a waste of money. The place is very elegant. Rich people who know nothing about food just love the place.

I always get exactly the same table, right in front of the server station. It's kind of odd; here and the Capital Grille I always get exactly the same booth no matter how empty the place is.

It took a server a few minutes to come over. "How are you today, Mr Barnes?". "I'm OK".

I knew what I wanted so I just ordered everything right off. Iced Tea, Velvety Blue Crab Soup and a Fresh Maine Lobster Roll. They push the "bottled water"; probably $8 per bottle, but I went with the house water. The bread came first.

Decent rolls. Soft, served with softened butter. The soup came out next.

Ugh. Are you kidding? How is this "velvety"? It's brown liquid. I had to fish around to find the crab. I was expecting more like a crab bisque. I tasted it; salt was badly needed.

I was halfway through the soup and I realized that I never got the iced tea. I flagged down my server and he brought it without the extra lemon I'd asked for, so another pass was required.

The soup wasn't very good; it had chopped roasted red pepper which overpowered the crab. Crab soup should emphasize the crab; here it was just lumps of stuff in the soup. Adding insult to injury, the $11 soup was served in one of those fool-ya shallow bowls: A $4 cup of soup for $11.

Before I was even finished, the lobster roll came out. My first impression was that there was way too much mayo, and that the roll wasn't toasted or buttered.

Further inspection led to more disappointment; they'd cut through the roll, so it ceased to be a split-top roll. This made it virtually impossible to pick up and eat.

The salad had a very sharp tasting vinaigrette that was fine, but I was put off by the grape tomatoes. Even the supposed high-end restaurants are serving the thick-skinned, lousy tasting tomatoes. It just goes to show that they couldn't give a damn about serving a quality salad.

I took a bite of the meat; while it had good chunks of lobster meat, it was ice cold and I didn't like the "tarragon" mayo. Again, Lobster should be emphasized in a lobster roll; you don't want a strong tasting mayonnaise with it. I picked it up and took a couple of bites but the cold roll didn't work and it just made a mess. I ended up having to eat it like a salad. $19 for a pile of lobster.

Of course once I wanted to leave there was no server to be found. I finally got my bill. The deal with the "gift card" is that you can't use it for the tax or the tip, so on a $30 tab they brought me a bill for $1.80. So it was still going to cost me $6.80 out of pocket even though I have $200 on the gift card. And you wonder why I hate everything about this place?

Conclusion

I came here today figuring I could get a really good lobster roll at a place named "Lobster Bar", but I was completely wrong. Making a lobster roll is the easiest thing in the world to do, but they can't do it here. In fact they can't even make a lobster roll taste good. It reminded me of the one I got at Duffy's.

The soup and lobster roll are clear indications that the kitchen team here don't have a grasp on how to make good food. Luckily all of the fish is just served in lemon and oil, so they probably can't mess that up. I've now had several really bad dishes here that indicate to me that this is simply not a good restaurant. I'd rather go to a place that copies classic recipes than one that tries to create their own; particularly when the recipe they come up with isn't any good. Everything I had today was a culinary disaster.

Review 1/16/14

On a coldish day I decided to stay local, and fish fits my diet nicely. I was thinking about salmon; I checked the menu at Big City, Cheesecake factory, Grille 401 and Lobster Bar Sea Grill to see what they had. Big City gets $18 for salmon with tomato slices, Grille 401 has salmon with BBQ sauce, Cheesecake has "Lunch Salmon" for $13.95 or Skinnylicious for $17.95; it's not clear what's different. I opted for the $19 dish here, just because it was time to try the place again.

At 1:50, there were 7 customers at 3 tables; the bar was completely empty. Never a problem getting a booth at lunch time here. I gave them a fake last name so they were calling me "Mr Lastname" throughout the experience. It makes me smile when they do.

I ordered iced tea; they only have 1 special; fish of the day which was Mahi. Great, can't I get that at any restaurant in Fort Lauderdale?

I went over the menu to see if there was anything else that caught my eye. They have lunch steaks that they describe as "Prime"; the "Prime" Filet is $9 less than the dinner filet. Knowing this restaurant; they don't really discount lunch or happy hour, they just give smaller portions or lower quality wines; I'm virtually certain that they're not USDA Prime. So I wasn't falling for that trick.

I ordered the Salmon and sub'd Spinach for the Quinoa and Kale; There's no better pairing than Spinach with Salmon.

They play pleasant music and the servers dress nice and call you sir, but there's no bread; what "5 star" restaurant do you know that doesn't serve bread? The salmon came out; a good amount of spinach with a weak protein portion but that wasn't unexpected. Buckhead is pretty consistent in that way.

The salmon was fine, and the spinach was nicely sauteed. Considering I'm on a diet, it was just the right amount of food.

Not a lot of food for $28, but a quiet, pleasant experience.

Previous Reviews

Restaurants like to tell tall tales about how their fish is fresher than other restaurants; Buckhead claims that their fish are "flown-in daily".

Just to squash any ideas that the fish you're getting at Lobster Bar Sea Grille is any different from the fish you get at any other restaurant, here's a fairly large delivery from a standard wholesaler. From their product list, they supply every fish on the Lobster Bar menu, including "Dorade Royale" aka Royal Dorade and Dover Sole.

Another Delivery:

Bar Harbor Seafood has a little seafood shack up in Orlando and they deliver to restaurants throughout South Florida.

These are the same purveyors that supply every other restaurant from Miami to Jupiter.

Review 8/26/13

The high hopes I had for the Lobster Bar Sea Grille were deflated before they opened, when we discovered that their initial description of the restaurant wasn't true; the description that I read in Atlanta Business Chronicle isn't the restaurant that they opened. The prices are higher than Chops Lobster Bar, which is perhaps the most expensive restaurant in Boca Raton.

It is an attractive space with subway-style tiles and ceilings similar to the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. I'd been in the bar a few times, but they started serving lunch last week so I thought I'd try to get the dining room experience.

Of course the hostess tried to seat me near the bar in a restaurant with 2 tables occupied; I pointed to the dining room. They stop serving lunch at 2:30 and it was 2:10, so it's not like they were getting a big rush. I got a booth about mid dining room and opened the menu. It was a dinner menu with the appetizer panel missing. I'm one of the few people who know the difference between their lunch and dinner menus since I've actually seen them; I wondered if they were trying to pull one over on me. I waved over the hostess and she giggled and said that they mixed them up; very suspicious.

I'm not crazy about their lunch menu; a seafood restaurant that doesn't have much seafood; I can get Salmon or a lobster roll at any restaurant in town; The special was Turbot, but they didn't mention the price and I don't like to ask. I decided on the "Steak and Wedge", which is described as a "loaded" wedge salad with sliced tenderloin for $19. Since they advertise the restaurant as a prime steakhouse, I figured I'd get 2-3oz of beef and a big salad, but that was fine. I got an iced tea with extra lemon and the "house filtered" water service, which is free.

It didn't take me long to decide that I didn't like the layout of the dining room. With the "kitchen" in the middle of the room, just about every table has 1 or 2 chairs facing it; I prefer more privacy. There's no privacy anywhere in this restaurant.

The iced tea and water came out, but there is no bread. Pretty lame for a place that charges $19 for a salad.

There's no music in the place, and the service is overdone. They ask you for your last name and address you as Mr Lastname; of course I don't like telling everyone my last name so I gave them my first name, so it was pretty comical.

When the salad came out, my hopes of having a decadent lunch at a prime steakhouse were immediately dashed.

Good grief, chopped unripe tomatoes and bacon bits in a high-end restaurant? And who slices beef tenderloin into chunks? Just so they can stuff them into a giant onion ring? No red onions on the salad (just some green onion garnish), and I found 1 chunk of blue cheese. This was as weak a wedge salad as I've had at any restaurant. The one I got at their other restaurant, City Fish Market was much better than this.

The meat was no better.

I didn't recall if the menu said this was a tenderloin; it tasted more like a sirloin. Unseasoned and tough. I asked my server what cut it was and he said it was a tenderloin. If it was, it was a really bad one. I'm guessing that it was a sirloin and they're just lying. It certainly wasn't prime meat; It doesn't say it's prime on the menu, but I'd rather have half this amount of a decent steak. Id be disappointed in this steak in any restaurant; but it's doubly disappointing when it comes in a place that's more expensive than Morton's.

Some comedy was offered as 2 servers flipped over the table next to me and the GM proceeded to tighten the bolts on the base. I had to keep myself from laughing; they really couldn't wait until lunch service was over to repair the table? The dining room is closed from 3pm to 5:30pm, how about making your repairs then?

I bought a Buckheads dining card when they had a 20% offer (I bought a $200 card so they put $240 on the card). They call it a gift card, but you can't use it for tax or tip. It's kind of ridiculous; I gave him the card and he comes back with a bill for $1.32.

It adds an annoyance factor to using the card. You can't really give it as a gift; you give someone a gift card and on a $200 dinner they have to lay out $45 for tax and tip?

While their hours are listed as 11:30-2:30 and 5:30-Close, apparently they're open all day. I asked the Valet why he was still there at 2:55 since happy hour doesn't start until 4:30. He didn't seem quite sure himself; he said something about the bar being open for appetizers. Really? Who knew?

The bean counters are in charge of this place. They'll never go national with these prices and this food. You'll never have trouble getting a table here for lunch.

Previous Ramblings

When Buckhead's first announced the Lobster Bar Sea Grille, their press release said the following:

The Lobster Bar Grille will feature a more approachable menu and check average than the original Chops Lobster Bar with menu selections to appeal to a broader market.

Apparently, they changed their minds. Lobster Bar Sea Grille is even more expensive than Chops Lobster Bar.

We now know why they were reluctant to put out their menu; and then when they did put it up, they put it up without prices. To me, "more approachable" doesn't mean more.

Their porterhouse for 2 is $64 but it's only 26oz, which is 2oz more than Morton's $57 single cut.

One major difference is the "whole fish" menu; at Chops only the Dover Sole is sold as a whole fish. Whole fish are sold at $32 per pound, although they say it's $28 per person for .75 to 1 pound. Whole fish typically yield 50% or less, so a 2 lb Pompano will yield maybe 12 oz of skin-off filets; so you'll pay $64 for 2 6oz filets. As a reference, whole Snapper goes for under $5/lb, so there's quite a nice markup.

The issue here is the relationship between a restaurant and a neighborhood. If you want to open a high end, new concept restaurant; fine. Let us know. There's nothing to be gained with deceit.

That being said, they did a nice job building a beautiful restaurant with a big, comfortable lounge. The tiled arches are clearly a borrowed idea from Grand Central's Oyster Bar, and there are too many mirrors for my taste, but it's a nice space.

There's a big open kitchen in between the dining room and the lounge; there are 2 TVs in the lounge. Negatives are that its a loud room; with a half full restaurant it was loud; this place is going to be very loud at peak times. Also the patio doors create some wind at the bar when opened; not too much of an issue on 80 degree August evenings; of course on very cold evenings it's likely that no-one will be eating outside. I don't like the glass partitions between the tables in the lounge area; do I really need to see the people at the table next to me? The lounge is actually smaller than I thought; on first glance

For a South Florida Thursday night in August, people were pretty dressed up; this will be the kind of crowd where people think they're cool eating a $55 steak at the bar.

Some early predictions; Wild Sea might as well close their doors; there's no reason to go there at all now. At about the same price point, Lobster Bar is a much more appealing restaurant with a vastly better menu. Local restaurants will lose their high-end business, at least initially, as this will become the hot-spot for the more sophisticated crowd. There's no reason to hang out in YOLO's crowded, uncomfortable bar with the pre-VIBE crowd or to subject yourself to Grille 401's inept menu. Expect Grille 401 to be completely dead for the foreseeable future. If you're taking out a client or want to impress a date; or if you're in town for a day or 2, this is going to be the place to go.

On the other hand, Lobster Bar Sea Grill poses no threat to Big City Tavern, Cheesecake factory or the Royal Pig Pub; the price point here is way too high for the burger and pizza crowd. YOLO will devolve further into the place to get grilled artichokes and potato chips; but there's still plenty of market for horny 25yos.

Be aware that this place isn't ready for prime time. The servers don't know the menu and with a light bar they were overmatched. It's going to be a few weeks before they get it together.

Fort Lauderdale now has a place for Adults with a sophisticated feel and a high end menu. Of course that's what we said about Rare; the difference is that this place is a restaurant first and foremost. Rare tried to be a club and they alienated the entire city. Hopefully Lobster Bar won't make the same mistake.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Administrator
Reply
The plan to have lunch here today was squashed by a low-wage hostess. A mean, fire breathing beast, she first asked for my first and last name; why do they torture their customers with this? She then tried to seat me in the bar section; I don't like being served by a bartender, so I asked for the dining room. She seated me at the worst possible table in the restaurants. I hate the dining room here anyway, and I wasn't having a $40 lunch at this table, so I got up and walked out.

I really wish they opened a Carrabbas or something else here. I hate this place more than any other place in the city; and I hate a lot of places.
Administrator
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Probably the worst seafood selection of any "high end" seafood restaurant on the planet. They've had the same menu since opening; No Flounder, Swordfish, Clams, Halibut, Trout, Haddock. Not even real sea bass; why would a restaurant claiming to be high end serve Chilean Sea Bass, which is basically a trick to fool stupid people into overpaying for junk?
Administrator
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3 oysters for $16; $10 for a side of mashed potatoes. I mean who is this stupid?
KevinFLL
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Corporate and Attorney expense accounts keep places like this in business. I'm amazed at the food and drink prices in many other cities when I travel. 90% of the restaurants in this area are a rip off.
Administrator
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This has to be the worst seafood restaurant in history. The only fish entrees are Chilean Sea Bass, which is garbage, and Halibut. Everything else is whole fish or shellfish.
Leslie
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$10 for sides and they charge $2 extra for asparagus. Just RIDICULOUS
Administrator
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I've updated the menus for this clownshow; they don't even have any fish at lunch; just salmon, "Chilian" Sea Bass and crab cakes; junk I can get anywhere. They're selling "Arctic Char" for $3.50 A SLICE (basically salmon, $9.99/lb at Trader Joe's). It's the ultimate gathering place for stupid people with more money than brains. It would be fine if it was great, but it's not even close to being great.

Their newest things are caviar and "genuine" wagyu. I wouldn't trust anything these guys say, personally.
Administrator
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The LBSG has announced this years 3 course fixed price dinner for just $54. You get a salad or appetizer, dessert and choice of about 10 entrees. if you figure $8 for the dessert and $10 for the app (count on them shrinking the portion), you're getting an entree for just $34. Another crackerjack off-season bargain from our friends at Buckheads.
Administrator
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Currently, the self-proclaimed 5 star restaurant is begging its twitter and FB followers to vote for them in a newspaper user poll. This is what happens when you hire some chick with an associate PR degree to handle your image management. It's embarrassing. It puts Lobster Bar at the same level as Bull Market, Whiskey Tango and Rok:Brgr
Christina Caper
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Bull Market is still open? lol
Administrator
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They're giving their stuff away to convince themselves that they have a business.
Josh
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Add E-Mail to that. They're desperately trying to win a meaningless reader's choice award from a has-been newspaper that's largely read by potheads.
Administrator
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Don't forget the "Best Chef" award. Jeff Pfeiffer, a recycled Bistro Niko chef who was head chef at Dore in South Beach, a Ritz Carleton restaurant that lasted about a year. How is he even a head chef? He's making chain restaurant recipes. He basically just runs the kitchen. Isn't this like the 3rd chef making the same menu at this location?
Ronni
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This place really makes me nauseous. They're pumping up this nobody chef and touting their Zagat awards. Zagat is like so 2003! Do they even print a book anymore?
Administrator
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Prices are up! We have the new menus.
Karen
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They've joined the flatbread crowd. They call them "tartes". Very Fancy. Only $16.
cgl
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I went there for dinner twice. Both times extremely disappointed. At night, the acoustics are SO loud that you have to yell to speak to someone across the table from you. We had to send back the steak twice, it was so tough and chewy!! They must have gotten a huge discount on meat that night, it was terrible. The service was slow, the waiter literally disappeared on us. We saw our drinks sitting at the bar for pick up for over 15 minutes, then decided to send one from our table to go get them. When the waiter finally arrived, he never even apologized for us having to get our own drinks. They are trying to live on their reputation from the Boca location, but we're not buying this restaurant. Service - poor, food- mediocre at best, price- way overpriced for what you get. Only a tourist would get stuck here...
Chris
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Apparently they had a dinner party for local concierges; not a very subtle kickback. Why would anyone in modern times go to a concierge for advice? Everyone knows that they're all on the take?
Mari
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They're bragging about winning a New Times award on their facebook page. Do they know that there are transgender hooker ads in the back?
Administrator
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Too bad for them that the Potheads that read New Times can't afford to eat here.

Of course winning Best Seafood in Fort Lauderdale is like being voted "Hottest Chick" at the nursing home. Do we even have another seafood restaurant?
karen
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Do not recommend this place. We have been to other Chops, in Boca and in Atlanta. This was overpriced food and terrible service. It was at least a half hour before we even got the bread. The starters were good, but not served in a timely manner. But the entrees were much much worse. We waited over a hour. And after waiting, the meat was lukewarm and the side dishes were cold. We can understand an overworked kitchen. It's one thing to be late, but then to serve the food cold is just completely unacceptable. We will not be returning here any time soon!!
CS
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Went for work lunch today, which was actually a great experience. The obvious downside is the price; this place is expensive. But the quality of service, food and ambiance make it worthwhile, in my opinion. You get an attentive server, good portions, and can actually hear the person you\'re trying to have a conversation with. Try that at YOLO or RoyalPig at lunchtime
Administrator
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Mainly because there are other people at the Royal Pig; I never found YOLO to be loud at lunch. There's nobody at Lobster Bar at lunch time; the place is stupid loud when it's full.

And you don't get "good portions"; not for the price they charge. Unless you're comparing to other nickel and dime places like YOLO
Jerry
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Ouch this is just plain mean! Why is it so funny that the restaurant would like to address you by name. Seriously? The Ritz Carlton and other 5 star hotels and restaurants have been doing this for years.
Administrator
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First, this isn't a 5 star restaurant; you just don't declare yourself a 5 star restaurant. 5 star restaurants have 5 star chefs; not someone plucked from staff at another restaurant in the chain. Do they repair tables while people are dining in 5 star restaurants?

And this isn't the Ritz Carleton, it's a restaurant on Las Olas Boulevard. Dining out is an anonymous activity; I don't want to have to share my personal information with hostesses and servers. "Sir" is good enough if you want to be formal.

I didn't know why the hostess asked for my last name, so I gave her my first name. What was funny was that they were calling me Mr. Firstname throughout the experience. I thought about using Smith or Jones; that would have been funny also.

It might seem mean, but imagine going to what you think is a fancy restaurant and you get a salad that doesn't compare with TGI Fridays. It's insulting when expensive restaurants pinch pennies on blue cheese and tomatoes.
Rob
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It's like when you go to Pep Boys to buy anti-freeze for cash and they ask for your phone number. "Can I just pay please?"
David
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They filter comments so only you can see them if they're not positive shills. So don't bother posting any criticisms there. They're not interested in hearing what we have to say. I think that Joan Goldberg is a plant; she keeps saying that the can't get a reservation, and she can't get a seat at the bar, but there have been seats every time I've gone in there. They aren't even sold out this weekend They're just a bunch of liars.
Geri
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I'm confused by these comments. Are they related to the Lobster Bar? I haven't heard a word about the food, just a lot of whining about prices and tips.
Jane C
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Why are you confused? Do you think that food is the only aspect of a restaurant? It's all relative. Morton's has good food, but it's not worth what they charge for it. I can get good food at other restaurants or at the store. I can think of a lot more useful things to spend $200 on than sitting in a fancy, overpriced restaurant.
Nanci
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It's a chain restaurant. It's the same food and recipes as their other restaurants. It's the same kitchen staff as Boca. Everything is prepared with Olive Oil and lemon juice. There's nothing very unique going on here. It's like a REALLY expensive Greek restaurant.
Administrator
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If you were walking down the street and you saw a hot dog vendor selling hot dogs for $15, would you care if it was a good hot dog? No, you just keep walking.
Carl
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Lobster bar is like a lying, foul-mouthed pretty girl. Some guys will like her just because she's pretty. But most will just go for someone else.
Administrator
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Now open for lunch, we have the menu with prices.
Jesse
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Is $8 the right change from a 20 for a $10 glass of wine? The bartenders aren't too good at math.
Administrator
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They're short changers? Yikes!
Administrator
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For those of you less traveled, a Royal Dorade is aka Porgy or Sea Bream.
Ginny
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I don't know what we'd do without this site. The reviews on Yelp literally make me sick. I mean, if you loved the place, fine, but you can't do a review without mentioning how incredibly expensive it is. Thanks for keeping us informed.
Rob
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You'd be misinformed and you'd get bamboozled by dishonest restaurant owners.
Mike
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I'm not that interested in their tip out procedures- has anyone actually tried any of the very expensive food here, or heard what people are saying?
Administrator
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Lots of glowing reviews on yelp and their facebook page. How would you know if they're real or not? Check out the dude who ordered BOTH flatbreads. Yeah, that's the first thing I'll be ordering in a fancy seafood restaurant.

Tip-out may not seem interesting, but companies with bad policies usually have unhappy servers, and that affects us all.
Administrator
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We have the Happy Hour menu. You can get $0 off on the flash fried lobster tail.
Chez Rober't
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I suggest you maybe go to dinner to decide if the food is good or not... I am pretty certain you will find that it is?

While I respect your review, lunch is really a " convenience" for those who may wish.. I am pretty certain that at some point they will have a pretty active "event" business .. Very few of BLG restaurants are open for Lunch. 1 or 2

Don't disregard these people and the knowledge they have of the restaurant business.. ALL the Atlanta restaurants are HIGHLY regarded, extremely busy and totally top notch in Food and Service and Value . You will not be able to get in there once people experience it in the coming season
Administrator
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No, your wrong. Maybe the people in Atlanta are stupid? Or maybe they used to be good? They're selling exactly the same fish as everyone else in town, and they just grill it with olive oil. There's no reason to pay their prices. There's no culinary skill. The bartenders are clowns, so why don't they have "impeccable service" at the bar?

I've eaten at City Fish Market twice, and frankly, it sucks. Same owners. Same menu. Same food. They're nickel and dimers. Shrinking portions and inflating prices. SOS as every other bad restaurant in town.
Shiela
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So now they won't put the happy hour menu online, and the link to get a menu with prices is gone. They have $6 wine but no indication of what wine it is.
Administrator
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Im amused by restaurants who claim to cater to a higher end customer but expect them to drink whatever is on sale. Good restaurants shouldn't cherry pick "select" wines for happy hour; they should give a discount on anything you want. People who'll pay $32 a pound for whole fish aren't going to want to drink random wine to save a few dollars, and if they can't get a deal on what they want, then it's not happy hour.
CS
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Your hours are wrong, they open at 4:30 for happy hour. Also, FYI, lunch starts August 19th
Administrator
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so much for this tidbit of info. No word on lunch starting today. I guess they need more time.
Administrator
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Ok, well a post an hour ago on their facebook page says that happy hour starts at 5. Their website says that they open at 5:30. Maybe they don't really open at 4:30 but they just let people in early rather than have them sit on the steps?
Traci
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Turnover has begun.
Administrator
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I've heard that the tip-out policies at Buckhead restaurants result in people making a lot less than expected.
Stevie
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You heard someone say that? really?
Have you ever worked at a restaurant before?
Only greedy servers have a problem with tip out.
Everyone works together, and it's all hands on deck at all times from the moment any restaurant opens to the time they lock the door at night.
You've got one guy greeting you and taking you to your table... One guy taking your order and guiding you through their menu... One guy bringing bread and water refills... One guy cracking lobster... One guy washing dishes... One guy bussing your table... One guy bringing your food... And another guy giving you booze! Everyone works together. Every single restaurant server tips out atleast 3 people a night because they wouldn't have made as much money as they did without the help of others.
Tip out is fair BC one person can't do their job without the help of another.
Technically, a server should tip out about 1/3 of what they make every night to the help they received. And it's usually based on sales, not tips, so when a server gets stiffed, they still have to tip out on their sale of the check.
Besides... Most workers in a restaurant (unless they're salary manager or chef) are making about $2.13 an hour... And that's before taxes!!
Administrator
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All servers understand that they have to tip-out. But the bottom line is how much they have left at the end of the day, so in some restaurants you'll end up with more than others depending on the policies and amounts. You expect to make more money in a higher-end restaurant.

They have to tip out in cash but they don't get their CC tips until the next week in a check, so servers can be net negative on a night with few cash sales. I ran this by another owner in the are and he just tilted his head and said "Really?, " you can't do that"
Kistler
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At the Lobster bar we tip out 21% of our tips to our support staff who allow us the opportunity to provide excellent service. Yes we get to keep our cash tips of the night and our credit card tips are given to us on a weekly paycheck which I and a lot of servers prefer, instead of having to walk back to the car with wads of cash in hand and/or pissing your money at a bar every night money away at a bar. there seems to be less of an inclination to do so when one receives a nice fat paycheck at the end of the week. The people who are going to spend money here don''t really care about happy hour prices, they are here to spend money and are interested in eating excellent food. I do realize we have an older crowd but there are many young affluent professionals that come in, and perhaps the reason why its not popping like the royal pig is because we aren''t a pub..... we are a fine dining restaurant.
john
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"People don't care about happy hour prices, they are here to spend money"

LBSG will be gone in a year with this clueless philosophy!
Administrator
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Rare rekindled.
Administrator
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The problem with your logic is that it's actually possible to open a "fine dining" restaurant without 1) Lying to the public, 2) Having an arguably phony "happy hour" and 3) using one restaurant trick after another to flim-flam your customers, such as selling "whole fish" at 7 times cost.

The attitude you've described is the same used by Rare, M-Bar and Tundra, the only one of which still exists is Tundra, and only because its (allegedly) owned by the Russian Mafia. Rare had excellent food at lower prices than LBSG; how did that work out?

The demographics of Fort Lauderdale don't lend itself to a special occation venue. There aren't enough rich people who don't care how much things cost in this town. And the tourists who come here to hang out at the Elbo Room aren't wealthy either.

I'll do a full review when I think they're ready. For now, the prices are the news, whether you like it or not. The food damn well better be fantastic. But there's little reason to believe that it will be any better than the same menu items from their other restaurants; why is a "prime" steak worth 10% more in Fort Lauderdale than in Boca?

When a restaurant doesnt answer emails, puts out a false press release and then opens and won't disclose a menu with prices, they create their own PR disaster. Obviously they know that they don't have a fairly priced product. The truth will come out eventually.
Sid
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I like that they serve late, till 11 on weekdays and Sundays, till midnight Fri-Sat. They had a good high-label beer, Chimay, & decent wines by the glass. The crabcake appetizer had virtually no filler and the bone in filet was excellent. We ate at the bar about 10 pm Sat night, it was full, no empty seats. Had a superb server. Atmosphere and lighting really nice. You\'re right, there won\'t be any reason to go to Wild Sea now; their atmosphere is cold and stark compared to this
Administrator
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I walked by at 10:10 on Saturday and the bar was half empty. Everybody serves until midnight on Saturday. I can't ever recall them telling me that the kitchen was closed at Timpano; although there's never anyone there at midnight anymore. On it's first weekend open, it should have been the hottest spot on the street. It wasn't. The Pig was 4 deep.
Stan
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Average age at the bar on Saturday night was about 65. It looks like the old Jackson Steakhouse crowd have been brought back from the dead.
Michael
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Seems strange that they started out saying they were targeting the areas young professionals by offering a more casual and lower priced version of Chops.... What do we get? A fancy place with higher prices, and an older crowd. You're right, this is like the reincarnation of Jackson's.
Administrator
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Cryogenics
Dave
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That's some menu they have there. Can someone kindly try the Bone-In Ribeye w/6oz Lobster Tail surf n turf combo for $78 - no sides included- and let me know how it is please?
Administrator
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If you're on a budget, you can get the lobster tail appetizer for only $19 and use the savings to buy some tater tots for $8.
Mike
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Did you eat anything there or are the 4 stars based solely on the layout?
Administrator
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Did I mention eating anything?
Chris
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Great job, Thanks
Samuel
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A good deal of nicer restaurants don't list prices on their menus. That isn't unheard of. I think it sounds pretty tasty.
John
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Please Tell me just one "nicer restaurant" in South Florida that doesn't list prices!!!

Unless Samuel is a lady who is handed a menu without prices I don't understand his comment unless he works at Chops!!!
Samuel
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When I posted, I meant some don't list prices online, but will when you visit the restaurant.
Administrator
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Aside from the dreaded "Market Price", they all have prices in the restaurant. Some chains, like Ruth's Chris and Capital Grille don't have prices on their web sites. J Alexander's doesn't have menus at all on their web site.

Sounding "tasty" is just a silly statement. The lobster slider on a hamburger bun looks "tasty", but if its $14 I won't be trying it. Chops gets $15 for their "happy hour" lobster roll.
Administrator
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Stupid nicer restaurants still living in the 90s. Buckhead's lists prices on all of their other restaurants. I suspect that the prices are going to be higher than anticipated. Or maybe they're afraid to lock in prices, fearing first week backlash; giving them a chance to drop them a dollar or 2.
Rob
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No prices. Unbelievable. I'll bet it's as expensive as Chops. There's no way this is a "casual" restaurant menu.
David
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They blocked my FB account for asking some questions. That's $100/week out of the owner's pocket. Probably some 23yo with an AA in marketing running the page. They can kiss my business good-bye.
Mark G.
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What does FB account mean?
Administrator
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Facebook
CarmenL
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They blocked me too! They should only know how much me and my girls spend on Las Olas.
Mayer
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Blocked and deleted my comment [asking for menu] too... I guess the menu is top secret because they're sure scared to share it. Is it that highly priced? I hope not.
Mayer
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They posted the menu on their website... but of course it has NO PRICES.... which is one of the most annoying things!
Administrator
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They're getting some pushback on their Facebook page about encouraging people to make reservations before they've provided any clue about the prices. They want you to make reservations and pay full price while they're training, and just sign the CC slip. Another restaurant operating in the 90's in Fort Lauderdale.

They also delete comments that don't tell them how great they are, so check often if you want to see what people are really saying.
Administrator
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They had a VIP "practice" dinner last night; it's certainly going to liven up the area between YOLO and Cheesecake factory and make parking more difficult. They had about 20 valets which seems a bit aggressive.
Rich
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I saw that too. I counted about 11 on my run out...11 on my run in. My initial response was that these valets weren't exactly professional...reference the guy with the Mohawk. My initial reaction was to say this was the opening, but I guess this was a practice. After seeing the menu with the 2 razor clam ceviche appetizer, I determined I won't be going here. But, I hope it's a positive for ft lauderdale. Thanks for clarifying what is really going on. (I.e. practice instead of opening)
Administrator
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You're not going because of 1 menu item? I agree that ceviche is the biggest rip-off since sushi (let's cut up $1 worth of fish and put it in some juice and sell it for $12), but let's at least see the full menu. The fact that the first 2 items they showed both have ceviche is not positive.
Administrator
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Their facebook page troubles me a bit. They're touting corporate chefs, as if they have no idea what people actually care about. Another restaurant that's all marketing?

How much talent does it take to make flash fried lobster tails and shrimp cocktail?
Debbie
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They have a photo shoot on FB today. I think the owner is just an egomaniac.
Mslibor
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Please have a dress code
Tim
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This is supposed to be a more casual version of Chops Lobster Bar, so I wouldn't bet on anything outside of the ordinary.
Administrator
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I don't know about "more casual", but it's supposed to be less expensive. You can't do a dress code in Fort Lauderdale in the summer. Too many millionaires with shorts and sandals.
Tim
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Their Opentable page says Business Casual which has come to mean pretty much anything goes
Administrator
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Chops is "Business Casual" also. But I'll bet that they won't be turning anyone away except for the homeless guys trying to get a soda.
CraigB
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Maybe if you're a landscaper. Business casual usually means no shorts, sandals or sneakers, no tank tops or AC/DC T-shirts or shirts that say "I did your Mom". Clothes that you would wear if you had a real office job.
John
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Chops looks good, but I'm letting you check it out first!!!
TracyJ
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They did a promo on their facebook page shopping at the Green Market. I hope that they won't be shopping there; Fresh Market has much better food! Gimmicks. I hate Gimmicks.
Administrator
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Wow! Hopefully the food is better than their video production. What was that shot with, a ball cap spy camera? I'll bet that was Stan's idea. Notice how there were no other people at the Green Market?
Jessica
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Buckhead's is basically a chain, so the chef doesn't matter. He'll just be cranking out corporate recipes.
scorpio
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I have been to at least 5 of their many restaurants .What ever they do ,they do it well!!!
Cant wait.
Rodg
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Sounds better than Philippe Chow. What a rip off that place is. Hopefully this will be a nice place to hang out.
Trip
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i moved from FTL to ATL in 2010 and i've got to know the Buckhead Life chain of restaurants and their owners/managers. you're going to love this place. after it opens, tell Ramien Balouch 'hi' for me.
Socrates
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They better have deep pockets with so many restaurants opening all at once including the Wild Sea Seafood at the Riverside...My sources tell me Grille 401 not doing well and I think the offseason will be a wake up call for all these places....
Administrator
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It's Buckhead, of course they have deep pockets. Didn't your "sources" also tell you that Buckhead was backing out of this location?
GoGators
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Opens in July

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