When the pandemic left her beloved cooking classes and popular restaurant services on the back burner, Lenore Nolan Ryan (pictured left) decided to turn the clock back. He missed cooking for his friends and his desire to entertain and bond with customers remained palpable. So Lenore donned her chef’s hat, called on her sister to bring her vision to life, and launched a culinary concept in Fort Lauderdale that is reminiscent of an old-school corner café in Paris.
Indeed, Grapes Wine Café and Market (3311 N. Ocean Blvd.) has a vintage feel to the interior (from plush pillows and oriental rugs to porcelain, cloth napkins and sterling silver cutlery), courtesy of Lenore’s sister and interior designer, April Nolan Kossuth. The menu, meanwhile, is carefully curated and filled with wine-based recipes. Main courses include a steak drizzled with butter with a cognac and red wine and pepper sauce; chicken in white wine with original mushrooms; and red wine and blue cheese lamb with tobacco onions.
On the lighter side, offerings range from soups and salads and flatbreads to cheese and charcutier boards. The Lenore boutique’s wine list offers wines (12) and Champagnes (two) by the glass, as well as over 30 wines offered by the bottle.
“It’s a warm and welcoming place, where I can offer all my favorite recipes – accompanied by fabulous wines – in a welcoming, relaxed and safe place,” says Lenore. “Grapes is also a place where people can spend a 5 to 7 (4 pm to 6 pm, Tuesday to Saturday); listen to a jazz guitarist (every Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.); celebrate a special occasion; or shop the market for cheese, accessories and wine to take home. At Grapes, diners will always be greeted with a welcoming smile.
For those who miss her cooking lessons, Lenore also organizes “Cooking Live with Lenore” on Tuesday evenings from 6 pm to 7 pm. If you can’t make it to Grapes, join her online at her Sultry Palate Facebook page.