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Livia Bar & Grill Enhances Flagler Village’s Culinary Scene

Five things to know about the latest addition to the Fort Lauderdale food scene.

Livia Bar & Grill in Fort Lauderdale is a great addition to the foodie scene in Flagler Village and helps it spread west with its location on Andrews Avenue in the Motif Apartment complex. It has great mixologists with happy hour specials and good deals on bar bites. The neighborhood has street parking, and the Motif parking garage entrance is on the Northeast First Avenue (east) side of the building. Make sure to look for the QR code signs to get a break on parking in the garage. Walk to the middle of the building on Andrews Avenue to find the breezeway entrance.

Entering Livia Bar & Grill, there’s an expansive patio area with extra-large ceiling fans and nicely cushioned chairs at the bar. The bar also opens into the dining room and has an array of big screens. The dining room has realistic murals of famous female Hollywood stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, which were done by Lauderdale-by-the-Sea artist Fabio Onreck. By the way, Livia gets its name from Olivia, the daughter of owner Anthony Licata. He’s of Colombian and Italian heritage. His love of Italian food helped contribute ideas to the menu developed by Executive Chef Brian Cantrell, who was previously at Copperfish Kitchen in Boca Raton, Oceanic in Pompano Beach, GG’s Waterfront Bistro in Hollywood and The Office in Delray Beach.

Branzino

The six signature cocktails at Livia Bar & Grill dovetail with the theme set by the murals: Elizabeth Tea, Miss Rita, Honey Ryder, The Sophia, Playboy Bettie and Smoke Show Monroe. The latter was a fun smokey presentation—with honey brown bourbon, Montenegro Chocolate Bitters and Maraschino Cherries. The Sophia is a nice twist on a gin drink and Playboy Bettie has All Spice Dram to combine with the smokiness of the mezcal. Miss Rita gives margaritas a twist with Hellfire Guava and Coconut Orange Air.

The Sunday brunch was such a hit that Livia has also added a Saturday brunch. Both feature fun live music with more emphasis on rock music on Saturdays. There are several bottomless drink options. The $20 house version has three options, including a Prosecco Bellini. The $45 rock n roll option has four different margaritas. There’s also a $50 version with upgraded sparkling wine and spirits. (There’s a 90-minute time limit.) A lot of the regular dishes are also on the brunch menu, plus frittatas, chicken & waffles, Florentine benedict, steak & eggs, and a BLT with two sunny-side-up eggs.

Choosing the best among the swarm of dishes that Licata served up for our tasting session is hard. The Sunday meatballs were tender and made with brisket, pork and beef. The crab cake was superb without the stuffing used at many restaurants. The pan-braised Calabrese mussels were large and tender with delightful Nduja (Calabria pork sausage) and a tomato broth. The baby kale added a great twist to the Caesar salad. The pappardelle dish had tender chunks of short rib and the dirty macaroni is a recipe from the owner’s Sicilian grandmother with roasted mushrooms and parmesan truffle butter. (Yum!) The branzino came with a tasty little salad on top with capers, olives, fennel and baby spinach. The “Chicken Martini,” a lighter twist on chicken parmesan with burrata, was also well done.

Chicken parmesan

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.