Hollywood Restaurateur Turns up the Heat and Turns Back the Clock

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Building on tradition, the Rainbo Grille re-opens for fine dining, returning the historic landmark to its roots

I grew up in the restaurant business. Many years and many projects behind me, I now feel that coming to Hollywood and the Rainbo with its rich history and loyal customer base is like coming home.

When South Florida Chef and restaurateur Jim Fantasia acquired the Rainbo Cafe in Hollywood a year and a half ago, he knew he had his work cut out for him. The former gem of Hollywood Blvd. had suffered from both an economy run amok and years of inattention. While still a popular neighborhood noshery, it didn't offer much to remind its patrons of the glamorous Al Capone-era dining and nightlife hotspot that it was in the late 1930's. Now, after over a year of planning and nearly a month of renovation work, the newly finished Grille Room at the Rainbo Cafe is once again open for business.

According to Jim, the project has been a personal achievement. Drawing upon his 25 years of experience at Fantasia's of Boston and the Riverside Hotel, he feels the restaurant has connected him personally with the community. "I grew up in the restaurant business. Many years and many projects behind me, I now feel that coming to Hollywood and the Rainbo with its rich history and loyal customer base is like coming home." he states from the downtown kitchen were he prepares breakfast, lunch and now gourmet dinners.

This latest chapter in the life of the restaurant is a logical progression, building on a tradition of fine dining established in its early days as a high-ticket nightclub and gambling casino, and continuing to its last major reincarnation in the late 1980's as a family diner. It was featured as such in the 1991 classic film Cape Fear, starring Robert De Niro.

The Grille Room at the Rainbo Cafe is now open Wednesday through Saturday at 6:30 PM and features a warm, intimate atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. Chef Jim proudly offers signature dishes including Lobster cheesecake, pistachio crusted rack of lamb, garlic studded filet mignon, Chilean sea bass, pepper crusted ahi tuna, and potato crusted Salmon, to name a few. The menu is complimented by a selection of fine wine, sparkling wine, Champagne and imported and domestic beer. The restaurant is located at 1909 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, FL 33020. Reservations may be arranged by calling 954-922-9767.

For more information contact Jim Fantasia at 954-922-9767, or e-mail at RainboCafe(at)aol(dot)com

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Steve Ravinski

Jim Fantasia
Rainbo Cafe
954-922-9767
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