With all of the buzz in the city about the Lobster Bar Sea Grille that just opened on Las Olas, it made me think of this little place up in Davie. Located next to the more well known Liguori's Fired Up; it's a small place in a strip mall next to Target.
The layout is similar to Liguori's, but its smaller than I expected. It's really a bar; a long bar runs the length of the space and there are 2 rows of mismatched tables, and then some others awkwardly in the hallway.
Vinnie's Lobster Bar Interior
While Vinnie's isn't like the big, comfortable restaurants on Las Olas, they have a very interesting menu. They're currently running a 2 1lb lobster special for $21.95, which includes salad, potato and vegetable. You can also get 2 5oz lobster tails for the same price; considering that 1lb lobsters have 5-6oz tails, I guess it's just for those who don't like to wear a bib. They have some other specials also on a board on the wall. I considered getting the stuffed pepper with jump-->a bowl of clam chowder.
Vinnie's Lobster Bar Specials
I went in thinking that I'd get the lobsters; it is a Lobster bar after all; but then I saw that they have an early bird special. They don't open until 3pm so I was there for a late lunch; $14.95 for snapper, tilapia or salmon with soup, potato, vegetable, pie and coffee. The regular price for snapper francese is $21.95 without the soup and dessert. Too good to pass up. I ordered the Snapper Francese with Manhattan Clam Chowder.>
As a bonus, there's bread.
Vinnie's Lobster Bar Bread
2 mini rolls; I didn't like the marinated mushrooms but the green stuff was sort of a pesto without the pine nuts and cheese; tasty stuff. I would have liked regular italian bread better, but it was a good offering. I barely had time to break a roll when the soup came out.
Vinnie's Lobster Bar Manhattan Clam Chowder
Usually with the "specials" they give you a tiny cup, but this was a bowl. Clearly freshly made; it was a refreshing version, It could use some more thyme but it was better than the pedestrian pasta e fagioli soup that most places down here serve.
Music was a mixture of oldies; Loggins and Messina, Gorden Lightfoot, Ambrosia and Fleetwood Mac. The atmosphere is a bit strained; there's no privacy at all here; no booths and the servers are milling about the single room. They have live music here nightly; they have a little setup by the front door. I was thinking it must be pretty tight.
I didn't know I was getting such a big bowl of soup; and they certainly didn't shrink the portion on the snapper either.
Vinnie's Lobster Bar Snapper Francese
This reminded me of the big, beautiful fish I used to get at the Salty Dog in Kew Gardens after getting my first real job; the first time I got it I couldn't believe how big it was; at home we always had skinny flounder filets. The potato, which they called a "croquette", was a cross between fried mashed potatoes and a knish. I didn't think it was worthy of the calories. The vegetables were slightly overdone but not bad. I asked from some extra butter and they were very accommodating.
Vinnie's Lobster Bar Potatoes and Vegetables
With some salt and some extra squeezes of lemon, the fish was delicious. If I wasn't doing a review I would have passed on the dessert, but I wanted to see what I'd get. I was hoping for some Key Lime, but the only choice is apple pie "a la mode".
Vinnie's Lobster Bar Apple Pie a la mode
This is $8 by itself on Las Olas. Served hot, I'm not a big pie fan. But this is a crazy big dessert on a $14.95 special.
Vinnie's Lobster Bar is the opposite of the "other" Lobster Bar on Las Olas. It doesn't have the location or the ambiance, but you get a lot of food for a very fair price. Best of all, they haven't succumbed to the modern restaurant tricks of shrinking portions or only giving one side with an entree, and there's no penalty for eating between 3pm and 5pm. It's dining the way it used to be; before the big greedy chains ruined everything.