Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Cocktail Scheme

The gangsters may be gone, but Grille 401 still has a killer vibe


We're all for a bar with a little Prohibition theme.

But even more legit is the bar with an actual history of being mobbed up.

Like Grille 401, which took over the space once run by Scott Rothstein. You remember him. Billion-dollar Ponzi schemer. Admitted gangster. Pretty stellar restaurateur.

Grille 401 recently tried to exorcise those Rothstein demons with a sweet makeover. The restaurant is now all comfy booths with lamp shade chandeliers, giving it a feel totally unlike the federal pen Rothstein now calls home

Work just finished on the bar, too, which is now a sleek stretch of curves, with exposed brick replacing the old sterile white theme. There's a new happy hour, with two-for-ones from 4-7p. And the sushi bar adds a discount menu late-night so you don't get tempted by a run for the border on your way home.

The captains of industry who used to hang with Rothstein still drop by for power lunches then return for happy hour, because they know it's not easy to find a discount drink on Las Olas. And they'll stay for dinner, too, because the ribeye here is the kind of cut that washes down that deal you just closed.

The only thing missing now are the gangsters.

That's where you step in,

Grille 401
401 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
(954) 767-0222

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Parking: Valet; street.
Scene: Downtown suits mingle with the after-work cocktail set.
Hotseat: Saddled up to the curvy bar, strategically keeping your tie out of your martini.
Bar Stache; YOLO; Royal Pig Pub

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