Photo by Chris Carter

The Wilder

The Wilder is more than just another spiffed-up cocktail bar. Think of it as a social club for a truly sophisticated imbibing experience. South Florida hospitality veteran David Cardaci and his wife, Vanessa, used their travels as inspiration for the unique watering hole. The Wilder is Fort Lauderdale's answer to the lack of destination drinking for a higher-class clientele. Three distinct spaces offer unique experiences, each with a distinct personality: a hotel lobby-like front bar offers up masterfully-executed libations; a European-style outdoor courtyard for sun-soaked revelry; and a dimly illuminated great room with a second bar that hosts near-nightly events from a burlesque show and live music acts to a weekly jazz night. There are plenty of nooks and crannies here for cozying up or grabbing a seat at the long back bar. The libations roster mixes OG cocktails like the rum-forward tiki-style West Indian Handshake with a rotating selection of seasonal picks filed under "Adventurous." Drinks are smartly paired with upscale bar bites such as goat-cheese croquettes and day-boat fish ceviche.

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