A little bit of the Grove has made its way north to the Village.
Renowned for its upscale take on Mexican seafood classics, Coconut Grove staple Aida
has opened a new location in Fort Lauderdale’s uber-hip Flagler Village neighborhood. The spot opened on Thursday, November 17.
“When we were thinking of expanding Aida, we walked around Flagler Village and realized that it’s where we needed to be,” Eduardo Gavilan, co-owner of Colibri 4 Restaurant Group, which owns Aida, tells New Times
. “The vibes are amazing and when the train goes by, there is such character. We see it as the next Wynwood and it’s a place to bring everyone together.”
Aida’s Fort Lauderdale location now occupies the prior American Icon Brewery Kitchen & Taproom building located at 911 NE Fourth Avenue in the graffiti art-clad neighborhood. With Aida’s arrival, the building has received a total gutting and makeover from its once simplistic brewery vibes. Now, it has a contemporary aroma with a central cherry blossom tree, sun-shaped mirrors, and a mural of the restaurant’s namesake muse by ABSTRK
“We see it as a very trendy and hip space, but not snobby,” says Gavilan. “It’s very relaxed with a nice laid-back and welcoming ambiance.”
And, if folks aren’t relaxed, perhaps one of Aida’s cocktails will help. Among its signature cocktails are the "Jade" (whiskey, spicy ginger infusion, sage syrup, and lime) and, arguably the regulars’ favorite, the "Violeta" (mezcal, chartreuse, prickly pear, lime, and simple syrup).
Aida's ceviche verde de camarón
Colibri 4 Restaurant Group photo
On the food front, Gavilan says the restaurant keeps more than 400 ingredients in its kitchen. Its menu – spanning tacos, tostadas, steaks, and starters – is anchored by fresh seafood offerings that are flown in every two to three days. These include a sauteed octopus with salsa talla, a corn-crusted Chilean sea bass, and lasagna Azteca layered with fresh pink shrimp, poblano sauce, gouda, corn tortillas, and cilantro.
Perhaps its best-selling dish is the ceviche verde de camaron with a cilantro kimchi kick – the dish won a prestigious Golden Coconut Award at last year’s Coconut Grove Art Festival. For the brunch crowd, Aida hosts a Sunday brunch with “Mexican Curiosities” spanning quesadillas to chilaquiles to a Mexican corn French toast.
“While there has certainly been an explosion of Mexican restaurants in Fort Lauderdale in recent years, there is nothing else like this – Mexican seafood – that exists,” says Gavilan. “If you haven’t been, you haven’t tasted food quite like this.”
Aida. 911 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; aidarestaurant.com. 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.