Hidden gem lunch spot in Fort Lauderdale: Cay

Cay at DCOTA review

Cay at DCOTA

If there was one place that was off-limits to me in South Florida, I was sure it was DCOTA. The Design Center of Americas in Dania Beach is a beautiful, multi-building interior design mecca open only to licensed interior designers (or those individuals who are brought as guests of their interior designers, probably on a serious shopping trip). But last fall, the center opened a new restaurant, Cay. The best part? Cay is an open-to-the-public restaurant. Even better? The food is good.

The thing that saddens me a little is that since I visited in November, I’ve heard barely any buzz about the restaurant. None of my friends or colleagues ever bring it up. Aside from its opening press, I haven’t seen anyone write about it. I can’t even find reviews on Yelp! What is happening? The restaurant’s phone line still seems to be connected, so I’m assuming it’s still open.

With that in mind, if you live in or are visiting the area, I highly recommend stopping by for lunch. Here are my personal menu picks. (Note: If you only go for one thing, go and get the warm, fresh chocolate chip cookies. To quote Shosh of HBO’s “Girls,” they’re “amaze.”)

Starters & Sandwiches:

Cay at DCOTA review

Fresh Corvina Ceviche, $11 | Served with crispy tostones

Tarragon Chicken Salad sandwich – Cay at DCOTA review

Tarragon Chicken Salad sandwich, $14 | Served on walnut raisin bread

Entrees

Penne Carbonara – Cay at DCOTA review

Penne Carbonara, $15 | Penne with crispy pancetta onion and egg

Island Steak Frites – Cay at DCOTA review

Island Steak Frites, $19.50 | Grilled, 8-ounce churrasco served with a cone of fries and topped with a mango chimichurri sauce

Dessert

Strawberry Napoleon on Crispy Wonton – Cay at DCOTA review

Strawberry Napoleon on Crispy Wonton, $8 | With Grand Marnier bavarian cream

Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Cay at DCOTA review

Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies, $5 (add an extra $1.50 to add a scoop of homemade vanilla, caramel or chocolate ice cream.)

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Kit Kat Bar – Cay at DCOTA review

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Kit Kat Bar, $8

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