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Fisherman's Wharf: Just cast your worries aside, and kick back on an ocean pier
This sprawling, indoor-outdoor restaurant-bar is the archetypical pier establishment, with lots of well-varnished wood and captain's wheels indoors, and a thick-plank deck and lanterns outside.
The large indoor room offers dining amid a hubbub and bustle, while the covered outdoor bar and large deck with plastic furniture overlooks the beach, offering a breeze and more space. The pier itself is among the longest on the East Coast.
The decor is family-homey, with snapshots plastered on walls, football pennants strung in long rows, and televisions mounted high everywhere. Bars are an interesting amalgam of glass block, corrugated iron and tiki thatch.
Bands are set up on a stage inside, but an open pass-through allows music to be heard inside and out. Bands vary, but entertainment is so pervasive here that you're likely to find something almost anytime you stop in.
Food from a vast menu is available at the bars, from a $3.95 clam chowder (Bahamian or New England styles) to a $20.95 surf and turf (filet mignon and three baked, stuffed shrimp). Food is served until 11 p.m., (midnight on weekends).
The wine list offers more than a dozen bottled choices, four by the glass ($5.25-$7.50). Sodas are $1.75.
Draft beers are $2.50 (Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Light) to $3.25 (Heineken), while 17 bottled brews, including St. Pauli Girl, Beck's Dark and Rolling Rock Green, go for $3.25-$3.50. Only three drafts are offered inside; the selection is better at the outside bar, which has black vinyl stools. Service from bar staff is good indoors or out.
Fisherman's Wharf is worth a long walk -- and a long stay.
Tonight: Attend the Mazel Tov Ball at Christopher's, 2857 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (954-561-2136). The singles event features DJ, dance music, more than $2,000 worth of door prizes and buffet. Admission $15. Call 954-845-9537.
Saturday: Top off Christmas with a visit to O'Hara's, 722 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (954- 524-1764). Come after 9:30 p.m. for music by the band Masterpiece in a warm, friendly environment.
Sunday: Take the family out for some country music and dancing at Round Up, Pine Island Plaza, 9020 W. State Road 84, Davie (954-423-1990). Featured are line-dance lessons for beginners, dinner specials, music and fun for the whole family. A parent must accompany visitors younger than 18.
Tuesday: Mix, mingle, play pool, have a drink at one of two bars and enjoy the upbeat ambience at Gatsby's, 1805 S. University Drive, Davie (954-476- 0063).
Wednesday: Learn to dance the salsa, tango and swing for free at 8 p.m. at Palladium, Peppertree Plaza, 5688 W. Sample Road, Margate (954-977-7752). Stay on for live entertainment and lots of disco, oldies, Latin and swing dance sounds.
Thursday: See the city from all sides when visiting Pier 66 Hyatt Regency's revolving Pier Top Lounge, 2301 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale (954-525-6666). Be there between 9 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. when Davis & Dow are on stage offering a varied selection of adult contemporary dance music.
Staff Writer Jeremy Lang can be reached at email@example.com. or 954-356-2338. Joan Brazer Durante, a freelance writer based in Plantation, writes the nightlife news portion of this column. News concerning local entertainment events and performers should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Joan Brazer Durante, Entertainment Department, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293.