Residents Have a Full Plate of Dining Choices

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Breakfast on the beach. Lunch on your patio. Dinner overlooking the Intracoastal. Hit the John Knox Village Lakeside Dining Room with friends and family for a delicious spread. Suits and ties. Dresses and heels. Shorts, T-shirts, sneakers and flip-flops.

The variety of meals, settings and dining choices for John Knox Village residents are almost as unlimited as the soup-and-salad offerings at an Olive Garden Italian Kitchen (a popular destination among many here).

Part of our residents’ monthly service fee includes 15 meals per month in the Dining Room, and most people partake in at least that many expertly prepared meals from the kitchen of Executive Chef Mark Gullusci and his staff. For many residents the numerous eating options open to them is a big part of the independence they enjoy by living here.

An informal, quite unscientific, survey of residents unearthed a broad mix of casual, high-brow, chain and locally run eating establishments they enjoy when deciding to leave the campus.

“I recommend the Rainbow Palace on Oakland Park Boulevard (in Fort Lauderdale),” said Village Towers resident Carol Frei. “It is a gourmet Chinese restaurant with beautifully presented food, excellent service and while not cheap, lunches on Thursdays and Fridays are very reasonable.”

Not just the unlimited soup and salad, but several other entrees keep Ron and Dee Davis going back to the Olive Garden. “They have the best eggplant parmigiana, super spaghetti, the endless salad and soup bowl, plus a decadent lemon cake for dessert. Yum!,” Dee said.

For George and Marilyn Meyer, a 30-year Pompano Beach mainstay whets their appetite. “Darrell and Oliver’s Café Maxx has been at their (Atlantic Boulevard) location for more than three decades,” George said. “The menu changes daily. The food is routinely outstanding. And the service is impeccable.

“Dinner is offered every day, plus a brunch on Sundays. Reservations are strongly suggested. This is not a restaurant for children, although the atmosphere is relaxed, unpretentious and friendly. Yes, it is pricey, but we think it is worth it, particularly for special occasions.”

When they venture outside their Heritage Tower apartment (which is quite often), Paul and Sally Loree have a handful of eateries they enjoy visiting:

“The Mason Jar has great comfort food…pork chops, seafood stew and chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese and green beans,” said Paul. “Café Italia has excellent homemade pastas and their veal dishes are outstanding. The Ambry German Restaurant has a long track record of excellent food. We especially enjoy the Calves’ Liver Berlin. Sage has superior French-American dishes and a very fine wine list, and Carrabba’s is just great for mussels.”

Tying in with an Oktoberfest theme, our Activities Department’s dinner outing this month will be to the aforementioned Ambry restaurant on October 27. Typically, Activities conducts at least one such outing a month, and the price includes dinner, dessert, non-alcoholic beverages, transportation, escort and gratuities. For complete details check out the center calendar in this month’s Village Voice or the pages of highlighted Activities Department events (Pages 6-8).

Carol Frei heartily recommends taking advantage of the dinner outings. “We (Carol and husband Rudy) went on the Benihana Restaurant trip in Fort Lauderdale and the Joe’s Stone Crab trip to Miami Beach. They were great,” she said.

In addition to the Village Voice, visit our resident Website ( ) for calendar listings.

— Rob Seitz, John Knox Village Public Relations Specialist