Johnny V on Las Olas Blvd, named after the award-winning owner and chef, definitely lives up to the reputation behind the man’s name. Recognized as one of the fathers of Floribbean Cuisine, Johnny Vinczencz has been involved in Miami’s culinary scene since the mid 1990s. This means that he has been a part of, and maybe even led, South Florida’s cuisine evolution. He has gotten prestigious publications from various sources, and after dining at his decade-old restaurant in Las Olas, I can see why.
Walking into Johnny V, you will be amazed at just how elegant and chic the interior is. Although the ambiance is stylish and trendy, it is a place that seems inviting and meant for dining whether you are looking for a special occasion meal or just a place for dinner. The service is professional and comforting, making suggestions that will guide you through your meal.
Johnny portrays his love of cheese through his offerings, as a couple of pages containing just cheese selections line the menu. For the cheese lover, this is a godsend, as you can easily find yourself here indulging in a great glass of wine accompanied by cheese. Although cheese may be a prominent selection on the menu, Vinczensz’ skills shine through with other items on the menu. Whatever you do, start with the Blue Corn Crusted Calamari served with Spanish Sherry Aioli, Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette, and Tropical fruit salsa. This take on a typical restaurant appetizer pushes the squid to a superior echelon, making you wonder why nobody has thought of making calamari this way before. The subtle heat of the chipotle is a perfect contrast to the nuttiness and earthiness coming from the calamari’s breading, which by the way does not mask the flavor of the main ingredient. In fact, the calamari is seasoned to the realm of perfection and is cooked enough to be tender but not so much as to be chewy. It is not uncommon to get a calamari that seems like chewing on gum, but Johnny V’s manages to bypass this issue by proper cooking techniques and quality ingredients.
It seems like Johnny V’s is the one restaurant you should visit when in the area. Although there are many other places on the strip that offer delicious eats, you would not be making a mistake in dining at Johnny V’s. Not only will you be eating at a restaurant led by a South Florida all-star chef, but you will also be eating some of the best food in the area.
625 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301