LM Restaurants, the North Carolina-based family-owned and operated restaurant group run by husband-and-wife team Lou and Joy Moshakos with daughter Amber, first established a foothold in South Florida with the 2019 opening of Oceanic in Pompano Beach. They swiftly followed up a year later with the introduction of Lucky Fish. Now, the team has launched its most ambitious project yet with Moréa, an oceanfront Mediterranean dining oasis on Fort Lauderdale beach.
Opened to the public in February 2022 at 710 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, the spacious 275-seat dining destination offers an indoor dining room, spacious bar/lounge area, and a gorgeous waterfront patio and bar. The restaurant’s menu features fresh, simply prepared small plates, mezze, and wood-grilled meats and seafood, complemented by handcrafted cocktails, and high-quality wines on tap via an eco-friendly system that allows guests to enjoy fine vintages without bottle waste. Embracing the philosophy that meals are meant to be savored and the table is a place to gather with friends and family, dishes are designed to be shared throughout an afternoon or evening spent; the type of communal dining that is the heart and soul of the Mediterranean kitchen and very much the foundation for much of what the Moshakos have created under the LM Restaurants banner. “My parents are the most hospitable people I’ve ever known. Guests in our restaurants are treated like family and they created that feeling throughout all of our concepts. Moréa is no different.” says Amber Moshakos.
With its prime location across the street from the ocean at the tony Paramount Condominium, Morea fits perfectly into Fort Lauderdale’s lively dining scene. Its two distinct dining areas ensure the restaurant is welcoming to guests looking for a comfortable yet chic après-beach spot to enjoy appetizers and cocktails or those seeking a slightly more formal experience. The restaurant embraces a casually sophisticated yet welcoming vibe coveted by all. “The sun, surf, and sand of South Florida speak to our soul,” adds Amber, who oversees daily operations as president of the restaurant group that her parents established more than 40 years ago. “This is our third restaurant here and it very much feels as much of a continuation of what we started four decades ago as it does from the first day Oceanic opened. We love Fort Lauderdale and are thrilled to be opening on one of the most iconic American beachfronts. Moréa is different from others in this market but also feel very familiar and comfortable with hospitality at the very heart of everything.”
Moréa offers dinner seven days a week and weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Small plates built for sharing – perfect as a grazing experience or as a meal-starter – includes Fritto Misto with crunchy calamari, shrimp, and zucchini, served with sumac dusted lemon aioli; Bacon Wrapped Dates served with Piquillo sauce, Marcona almonds, and crusty bread; Roasted Oysters with guanciale hollandaise and fresh lemon; and Burrata served with grilled country bread, balsamic, heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto crisp, pesto and arugula. From the garden, diners can expect Morea Greek Salad mixed with vine ripe tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, mint, and barrel-aged feta; Roasted Cauliflower Vadouvan served with yogurt, lemon zest, and toasted hazelnuts; and Patatas Brava with spicy garlic aioli. The golden enclosed woodfire grill creates hardy curations like the Fig + Gorgonzola, Prosciutto + Soppressata, and Truffle Flatbread with forest mushroom, taleggio cheese and saba. Main plates from the sea steal the show with signature dishes such as Seafood Paella with bomba rice, saffron, shrimp, mussels, clams, aioli, socarrat as well as Fish Plaki; fresh catch slowly roasted with crushed tomatoes and peppers. From the land, highlights range from a bevy of proteins, including a Colorado Lamb Rack prepared with salmoriglio and Peruvian chile sauce. Cocktails include Broken Angel – Angel’s Envy bourbon, Ferrand orange liqueur, smoked orange peppercorn syrup, orange bitters; Morea Mule – Ouzo, Ketel One vodka, Fever Tree ginger beer, Coco Lopez, ginger and Morea Margarita, – Casamigos Blanco tequila, Ferrand orange liqueur, fresh lime, beet juice, agave and black lava salt.
Award-winning artist and Chihuly protege, Doug Frates, designed a breathtaking two-story glass wall installation as well as several signature hanging pieces imported from Italy. With inspiration from the family’s North Carolina restaurant Vidrio, Frates crafted each hand-blown piece of glass to a particular color, with the ultimate vision of crafting a Mediterranean sunset. The placement of each glass bowl is meant to bring this extraordinary vision to life with limitless possibilities of color and style. Moréa’s unique style is envisioned, designed, and executed by the family, with longtime friend, designer, and restaurateur Giorgio Bakatsias. Numerous murals of Greek goddesses evoke the spirit of mortals and immortals coming together to celebrate the gifts of life, and the bounties of earth and sea. Guests can expect sleek black and white checkered floor tiling and floor-to-ceiling glass windows leading out to the restaurant’s expansive patio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Lit by contemporary stand-out light fixtures by Miami-based artist Nick Allen, the dining destination is sure to catch any beach-side pedestrian.
Read this spotlight in it’s entirety in Food & Beverage Magazine here: LM RESTAURANTS’ NEWEST SENSATION: MORÈA RESTAURANT – Food & Beverage Magazine (fb101.com)