Chef Lenore Nolan Ryan has established herself as a talented and well-respected hospitality veteran on the Florida culinary scene since 2000. Her recent venture, Grapes Wine Café & Market showcases her versality during a pandemic introducing an innovative dining experience to South Florida residents and visitors. Located on the Galt Ocean Mile, Grapes Wine Café & Market was originally the sight of the Lenore Nolan Ryan Catering & Cooking School. Guests celebrated the grand opening on Friday, January 29, 2021. Chef Lenore will also be relaunching her much-loved Bubbles & Brunch, on Sunday, February 14, 2021, with her popular a la carte menu. from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Jazz guitarist, Michael V. will be entertaining diners from noon – 3:00 p.m.
The charming cafe has been redesigned by Chef Lenore’s sister, Fort Lauderdale interior designer, April Nolan Kossuth who transformed the space into a cozy and intimate setting featuring a kaleidoscope of colors and warmth. The decor is accented by comfy pillows and Oriental rugs, and a variety of eclectic wooden tables and chairs, including a mahogany communal table. To elevate the presentation, all dishes are served on lovely vintage china and diners are also given vintage cloth napkins and sterling silver cutlery. While entrees are served in individual copper pans, the charcuterie and cheese selections are served on hand-made wooden boards all complimenting the wine-centric menu offerings.
Chef Lenore states, “My new venture grew organically from my love of cooking and entertaining. I missed cooking, for my friends and clients, so I decided to launch Grapes Wine Café and Market. This is a warm and welcoming place, where I can offer all of my favorite recipes–paired with some fabulous wines–in an inviting, relaxed, and safe spot. Grapes is also a place where people can drop-in for Happy Hour; enjoy charcuterie and cheese boards while listening to a jazz guitarist; celebrate a special occasion; or shop the market for cheese, accoutrements, and wine, to take home after a long day. At Grapes, diners will always be greeted with a welcoming smile.”
Happy Hour will run from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. from Tuesday – Saturday and features half-price glasses of wine and bottles of wine from a select menu. Additionally, diners may opt for a select glass of wine and one of three flatbreads for $15.
Other yummy Happy Hour menu items include Catalan meatballs in red wine gravy, $6; roja chorizo bites and crusty bread, $6; Phyllo Cup Trio stuffed with goat cheese, spinach, and crab, $6; Shrimp Scampi dip and bread, $8; white wine roasted mushrooms and goat cheese garlic toast, $8; grilled cheese sandwich and red wine onion jam, $8; homemade seasoned potato chips, $5; and a swell selection of charcuterie and cheese boards (small, $15; medium, $22, and large, $30).
Dinner will be served from 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday. Standout entrees include Ligurian pasta with pancetta, olives,
tomatoes, olive oil, and white wine, $16; butter-basted steak with cognac and red wine peppercorn sauce, $28; grilled salmon with spinach, white wine, and tomatoes, $25; white wine chicken with heirloom mushrooms, $22; red wine and blue cheese lamb hache with tobacco onions, $25; red wine spaghetti with garlic and Parmesan, $16; and Mediterranean cod with tomatoes, olives, and red wine, $22.
There are plenty of tasty small plates (hummus, crudités, and bread, $7; dolmas, $4; warm Mediterranean mixed olives, $4); soups (tomato bisque, $7; asparagus soup, $7; whiskey crab bisque, $10); and salads (Caesar with homemade croutons and shaved Parmesan, $8 — add grilled salmon, $8 or add grilled chicken, $6; and Lenore’s Salad, $10) which can be shared as starters or combined for a lighter meal.
The Toasts & Tarts section of the menu offers several nifty flatbreads, $13 each; as well as a goat cheese tart served with heirloom greens and Lenore’s Vinaigrette, $13; the Smoked Salmon Everything Toast with tomatoes, arugula, red onions, and capers, $15; and the Parisian baguette with Brie, French ham, arugula, olive oil, and balsamic, $13.
The cheese and charcuterie boards–ranging from $8 – $25–allow diners to create their own savory selections in the combinations that suit them best. Cheeses include Vermont cheddar, Brie, Hawthorne Creek Creamery Tomme, Drunken Goat, Manchego, French blueberry goat, Wensleydale English apricot or cranberry, and pecorino. The charcuterie selection includes salami, prosciutto, soppressata, capicola, mortadella, country pate, and mousse.
Decadent sweet treats include Lenore’s Brownies, $6; French Tropezienne Custard Cake with berries and whipped cream, $10; fresh fruit with berries, $5; Sea Salt Caramel Apple Pie, $6; and a selection of pastries.
The curated boutique wine list, which pairs perfectly with the wine-centric menu, features 12 wines and two Champagnes by the glass, and over 30 wines and two Champagnes, which are offered by the bottle, ranging from $25 – $100.
Grapes Wine Café and Market is located in the Galt Ocean Plaza, at 3311 North Ocean Boulevard, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308.