Dining on the Venice of America


In the age of COVID-19, dining indoors can be tricky. Worries about germs on surfaces and coughs from patrons at adjacent tables can deter guests from wanting to dine-in. But what if there was a different way to go to dinner? Casa Sensei, a Las Olas restaurant that specializes in Pan-Asian Latin Fusion cuisine, has come up with a grand idea that outdoes the traditional way of dining by far. Riverfront Gondola Tours has partnered with Casa Sensei to allow diners to enjoy their meals aboard one of their gondolas, while experiencing a private tour of the picturesque canals and waterways of Fort Lauderdale.

To make a reservation, head to the website of Riverfront Gondola Tours, where you will then select the “Dinner Cruise Option.” All dinner cruises begin after 12 p.m., except on Mondays where they start at 5 p.m., and they last 90 minutes in total. Once you book your desired time for the peaceful cruise, which is priced at $225, you may begin to look at the scrumptious food options Casa Sensei has to offer. The price of your food and beverages will be separate from the cruise charge.

The restaurant’s eclectic menu features a Latin American twist on traditional Asian comfort food. You can expect sushi and sashimi, like the delectable Russian Roll (shrimp tempura, cucumber, eel, avocado salad, tobiko, Sensei spiced eel sauce); Latino Bites like Cuban Tostones or the signature Lobster Guacamole, and larger entrees like the popular Korean Steak Chimichurri or the Korean BBQ Beef and Kimchi Fried Rice. Tip: This is also the only place on Las Olas where you can order pillow-soft Bao Buns, with your choice of pork belly, steak, chicken, coconut, shrimp, or crispy tofu!

How could you board a dinner cruise without somethin’ to sip on? Make sure to take a look at Casa Sensei’s cocktail menu, with highlights like the Dragon Margarita (Avion Tequila, Triple Sec, Fresh Citrus, Jalapeño, Pomegranate Liquor, Spiced Rim) and the Melontini (Haku Japanese Vodka, Watermelon Purée, Fresh Lime, Cucumber, Mint).

On the day of your dinner cruise, call Casa Sensei at least two hours before your departure time to place your order. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes early and then head down to the dock located by Casa Sensei to meet your captain. As you sit on the plush blue seats and look out at the water, your dishes will be brought to you and placed on the smooth wooden center table. After that, sit back and relax as your captain leads you through the sparkling waters of the river. The tour will allow you to gaze at sprawling waterfront mansions and stunning yachts, as well as some possible animal sightings like manatees and exotic birds!

1200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
casasensei.com | riverfrontgondolatours.com

By Aaliyah Pasols