Grab a Chilean merlot, a Tuscany pizza and New York cheese cake for an international picnic or a reasonably priced, gourmet-to-go meal at this Mediterranean nook in Fort Lauderdale. Rumi (the sign still sports the old name of Las Olas Gourmet and Wine) is easy to miss its a small, cozy nook with indoor and outdoor tables a few blocks north of the boulevard.
Say hello to friendly owner Iranian-born Javid Kosari, who opened the restaurant in 04, sold it last year, then came back Oct. 2 with an ambitious agenda: expanding the menu and changing the name to Rumi, after the Persian poet. The menu features a good selection of salads and sandwiches, pizza, wraps and platters, mostly combinations with hummus, falafels, tabbouleh, stuffed grape leaves and feta. We carted home a spring mix salad, with a generous goat cheese spread atop a mountain of greens, with a scattering of sliced almonds, sundried cranberries, tomatoes, toasted baguette and a tangy honey-mustard vinaigrette.
Our favorite item was the sunny Tuscany pizza with slices of Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms and spinach, with a crisp browned crust (regular or wheat available). Go for the gyro wrap with lots of tzatziki sauce or chicken hummus, which adds lettuce, tomato and basil. Falafels are house-made but they lost their crispness on the way home
With plans for poetry nights, wine tastings and specialties like saffron ice cream, well dine in next visit.
Rumi, 111 SE Eighth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; salads $9-$11, wraps-sandwiches $9-$10, pizza $13-$19 (extra toppings $2 veggies, $3 meat), platters $8.50-$11, desserts $5.75-$6; 954-768-0003; www.lasolasgourmet.com; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday; free delivery in immediate area; AX, DS, MC, VS.