Updated
Feb 9th, 2019
First Posted
Jan 22nd, 2018

Del Frisco's Grille

501 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301
754 312-3235
Overall Rating
2.2
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
01/04/2019

Details

Parking: Street Metered, Garage
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full bar
HasWifi: Yes, Email log in
Wifi password: one
Outdoor: Yes

Pros

Comfortable, Upscale Restaurant

Cons

Wildly Overpriced
Pedestrian Food
Bad "house-made" condiments

Critic's Review

We're awarding Del Frisco's our first ever "Bad Neighbor" Award, for massively raising their prices after being open only 2 months. Most notably the Lunch 1/2 sandwich and soup or salad "special" was raised from $14 to $16; the Guacamole was raised from $11.50 to $14 and their prime rib, available only on weekends, is now $47. They've raised the prices on their not USDA Prime, not dry aged steaks by $2-3 across the board.

I guess they figured only the stupid local people will return to this place so they might as well raise the prices for the tourists. Let's see how dead they are once season is over.

Review 1/4/19

On a cloudy day I headed over to Del Friscos for some lunch; the sun is bad here in the afternoon so until they get shades lunch at the bar can be uncomfortable. Only 4 people at the bar at 2:15, so I got a seat right in front of a TV. Nothing on; no news, just an NFL replay game.

A server gives me a menu and I ask for an Iced Tea. "We don't have Iced Tea Today". "Run out of tea bags? I'll just have an ice water". I also ordered a wedge salad.

Strike 1.

No Straw; I had to fetch it myself. Why is iced tea served with a straw but not water?

The chairs at the bar are sort of modern 80s; something you might see on the Love Boat. Cushiony seats seem like a good idea but it's too hot down here for this kind of chair.

They keep all of their wines by the glass Reds behind the bar at room temperature. I don't think I'll be coming in for a $13 Chianti at 75 degrees. Reds should be served at 58-62 degrees. A "high end" restaurant should keep red wine in a proper cooler. This isn't TGI Friday's.

Music here is typical with Calvin Harris and Foster filling the air. The room is loud despite there only being about 12 people in the restaurant.

The wedge was delivered to a lady at the end of the bar. "Over here", I signaled.

The first thing I noticed was the miniscule amount of dressing. This was a big wedge;maybe enough dressing for the top of the wedge but what about the rest of the lettuce. I asked for some more and the girl brought me out a tiny thimble more.

Strike 2.

A good amount of bacon, but they seemed to use the tomatoes as a garnish. No red onion. A pretty boring wedge.

The bacon was well done but not crisp; it was chewy. It didn't taste like bacon: that salty, fatty taste that makes bacon good was missing. The dressing has too much sugar in it; not terrible but nothing I'll be back for either. I left much of the bacon on the plate.

Strike 3.

While I was waiting for my card to come back a woman who appeared to be the lead bartender asked how everything was. "It was OK". "Just OK", she said, "It wasn't fantastic?".

No.

Conclusion

The consensus from people I know and trust who've been here is that the food is mediocre in general; a high price point for a theoretically high end restaurant that really has nothing special about it to draw you in. Only 2 people in the restaurant weren't drinking alcohol; 4 people came to the bar just for a glass of wine or a cocktail.

The bar area isn't particularly appealing; it's smallish and it's a 3 sided deal (one side is dedicated to service), so it's not a great place to mingle. Both times I've been here (and the few times I've walked by in the evening) it seems like older couples having a drink.

And who runs out of iced tea?

Same exact rating as my first visit. Something you just know after 1 try.

Review 11/21/18

Del Frisco's opened a week ago and I've walked by a few times in the evening; but today I stopped in for lunch.

When they were building the place I thought that the entrance to the restaurant was going to be on the side road; why not have the entrance right in front of the Valet just like in the old days? But the entrance is actually on Las Olas.

On the side road what LOOKS like an entrance is just a gray door. When they were building the place I thought it was a good idea to have the entrance on the side road to make it easier to valet; but they had another plan.

They have a dreary looking patio in the back with zero diners on a perfect 82 degree day. Behind this building always seemed like a dark alley to me when this was Sun Trust. I don't see much lighting; I wonder what it's like at night.

Through the door and there's a fancy hostess stand with a hostess on the phone. She was on for quite a while; I had to wait for another one to return.

"Table for 1, Please"

"Would you like to sit at the Bar"

"No, I would not"

They always seem so surprised, but if I wanted to sit at the bar I wouldn't be waiting at the hostess stand. Why can't any hostess in this city understand this simple idea?

Inside is one huge room with some upscale seating.

The hostess tried to seat me at a table in the middle of the room right in front of the bar for some reason; they have the mini-booths suitable for 1.5 people so I pointed to one "how about over there instead?".

A bird's eye view of the bar.

Del Frisco's is one of those places where they bring you the wine list and hard sell the $10 bottle of sparkling water before anything. I just ordered an iced tea.

The tea arrived quickly with a load of lemon. Can't complain about them being cheap with the lemon.

Everything on the menu is wildly overpriced; and with the recent lettuce warnings I wanted to say away from a salad so the lunch special wasn't an option. Paying $19.50 for fish and chips seems absurd, but I didn't feel like ribs. I saw some sad looking steaks come out and I have no expectation of getting close to my money's worth with a steak here, so I ordered the Fish and Chips.

They have an open kitchen because, repeat after me:

Every restaurant simply must have an open kitchen

Lily Allen and "Hunger" played on the not-too-loud sound system. They have free wireless but after connecting I couldn't access the internet.

The food came out in 10 minutes;

My first impression was that the batter didn't seem too airy. The single serve ketchup and malt vinegar is interesting; and there were more fries than I expected (and they looked very different than pictures I'd seen from other restaurants). Unfortunately the fries weren't crisp (or hot) and they needed a lot of salt.

The fish was cooked properly but was completely devoid of seasoning. The batter was more like a fried chicken crust with no flavor.

Bland fish can often be saved by tartar sauce, but the stuff they have here doesn't taste anything like tartar sauce.

Tartar sauce isn't pink. This was more like thousand Island dressing. I didn't particularly like it and it didn't work with the fish. My server asked how everything was and I mentioned that the tartar sauce didn't take like tartar sauce.

It's house made; we have our own little twist on it

Great. Hellman's and cheap pickle relish is better. They also apparently have their own Ketchup recipe; it sucks.

Note that this place gets harsh sunlight in the afternoon; I'd avoid being seated in the south west corner of the restaurant in the afternoon. People were shading their eyes. Good thing I didn't take the table I was initially offered. Don't the hostessed know about this by now? They'll be investing in some shaded in the near future. The all glass ambiance isn't so great during the day.

The guy who took my initial order never returned after dropping off the food; I had another guy giving me refills even though the first guy was still around. I didn't ask what the deal was because I didn't really care.

$27+ for fish and chips and iced tea. Another place to not have a $25 lunch in Fort Lauderdale.

Conclusion

I didn't get anything close to be worth $27 today, nor did I leave feeling like It was an experience worthy of an hour of my time.

This place is sort of like Houston's without the good recipes. This place is yet-another place trying to be trendy with edgy recipes; pushing deviled eggs and cheesesteak egg rolls with their $50 steaks. But when the sauces and condiments are bad, it makes ordinary recipes seem bad. Heinz people. There is no alternative to Heinz ketchup.

When they first announced this place I noted that they don't have USDA prime steaks, and someone from their PR company contacted us and claimed that they did. I asked her to provide some proof in writing, and I never heard from her again. They make no claims about their beef; only that they're "hand picked" from their Double Eagle branded restaurants. Probably all of the ones not good enough to serve at the higher end restaurant.

They have a decent wine by the glass list; $13 for a chianti that's $15/bottle. There isn't much on the menu that I'm interested in trying, and if they can't make tartar sauce I'm not going to spend much trying out their recipes.

Previous Musings

Del Frisco's was unexpectedly CLOSED on it's first Saturday since opening last Wednesday due to flooding. New building, new plumbing. Sewage problems already. Just a sign on the door apologizing.

They're apparently not too good with social media because they didn't even bother telling their followers that they were closed. They're likely to also be closed today, Sunday.

Training is underway. Frankly I hoped the bar would be better than this:

Del Frisco's will open one of their "Grille" concepts across from the Lobster bar on Las Olas Blvd. The Grille is a lower end concept than their flagship Double Eagle restaurants which you've probably heard about in Major Cities. This is the concept that closed in 2 years in West Palm Beach.

There's one of these in the Walt Whitman Mall on Long Island; to me this is like Grille 401 with a better menu; and hopefully without the bad music. No USDA Prime Beef and a lunch menu that's essentially the same price as the dinner menu, with a handful of $13 combo specials.

This place will Kill the Lobster Bar, which is currently the only place for the S550 crowd to hang on Las Olas. But I wonder if they bought into the fantasy that Las Olas is some sort of Miracle Mile and not just a weekend hangout for Millenials?

That being said, there will be no reason to ever go to Timpano or Big City Tavern once this is open. And that's a good thing.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Levi
Reply
I have had two bad meals here recently. The grains bowl is dry as hell and tasteless wash it down with 8 glasses of water. I also had lipstick on the rim of the glass disgusting. Very high prices for eating in a noisy cafeteria setting no thanks.
Peg
Reply
Who would order the grains bowl here?
Laura
Reply
Why is prime rib here worth $20 more than Outback? Because the servers wear fancier outfits?
Todd
Reply
Lots of disappointed reviews of this place. People are getting tired of overpriced outback quality food.
Administrator
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It appears Del Frisco's have re-opened Their FB page is automated; they have a daily post that goes out to all of their social media. They have no social media capability.
Greg
Reply
I wasn't impressed with the food either. Glad to see it's just not me.
Administrator
Reply
Walked by at about 9:30p last night. Plenty of seats at the bar. Recognized the people who simply must be seen at a new restaurant. Happy hour is garbage with Bennigan's Type Food: eggrolls, deviled eggs, flatbreads, parmesan fries. $6 beers. $7 bad wine. ($11,$12 retail bottles). I decent cab but I don't drink cab with eggrolls. How can you tout yourself as having a great wine list and then make crap available for happy hour? I'd rather pay $12 for an $18 glass than $7 for crap I wouldn't use to make a sauce. They don't have their wine list online so I don't know the regular by the glass list.
Grace
Reply
They're pushing the cheesesteak eggrolls. A new dining standard on Las Olas!
Administrator
Reply
We have the full menu with prices. Lunch is basically the same as dinner with a handful of lame combos for $14.

If you want prime rib you'll have to wait for a table to pay $44 because they only have it on Friday and Saturdays.
Administrator
Reply
I've seen the Fort Lauderdale Menu and it's the same as the Tampa menu we have up, plus .50 to $2 higher prices. Del Frisco's seems to be the typical bad restaurant that raises prices across the board every 6 months irregardless of market price or input cost.

$44 for prime rib is too much. $7.50 for french fries is too much. Their lunch special is a half sandwich and a salad for $14. Hopefully they'll have good TVs.
Administrator
Reply
The official opening date is Nov 14.
Administrator
Reply
Looking at this place a bit closer, It reminds me of a Capital Grille. Expensive food that's not top of the line, a nice atmosphere and hopefully professional service.
FLLKevin
Reply
Grille 401 is already dead. But this will certainly put them out of business.
Administrator
Reply
I didn't even consider Grille 401 as an option.
Toby
Reply
What's the time frame on this place?
Admin
Reply
Most of their permits where issued in mid May, so I'd suspect they'll be open by late Fall
aleexa
Reply
it will be open 0ct 17
Administrator
Reply
Best laid plans of mice and men

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