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Dining Scene: From blue prawn bruschetta to Caprese salad

Brass Tap

9651 Westview Drive, Coral Springs, 954-227-1823,

A couple of weeks after opening the third South Florida branch of this Tampa-based craft beer and wine bar in the Magnolia Shoppes, owners Bryan and Ashley Taylor have augmented the franchise menu with some new ideas of their own.

Local choices include four kinds of quesadillas ($6.50-$9.50), such as barbecue chicken, grilled chicken tenders ($12), Italian nachos ($12) and hummus carrot dippers ($8).

"These are items that were simple to add on that taste great and that met some of the concerns of our guests, specifically having some healthier options," says Bryan Taylor.

Franchise front-runners are Sam Adams beer cheese pretzels ($8.49), prime-rib sandwich ($12.99) and prime-rib nachos ($11.99).

Seventy beers line the taps with at least 14 Florida ones, plus more than 250 bottled. Weekday happy hour from 3 to 7p.m. slashes $1.50 off all drafts and wines.

Dark walnut woods accent the red-and-black interior while the patio sports dark rattan chairs, high-tops, lounges and fire-pit tables.

"Coral Springs desperately needed an upscale place to have a drink, watch a game, catch some live music and relax," he says.

Musicians perform Friday and Saturday nights, and lunch and dinner are served daily with Sunday brunch to kick off May 4.

Up next: A Boynton Beach opening is expected for late summer.

Antonio's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant

9905 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, 954-367-7251

Tony Suriani has partnered with Rip Ortega to open a sibling of Suriani's 35-year-old family-run Dania Beach eatery in a previous Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine.

"Antonio's was built on people," Suriani says. "Even the menu includes our guests' names with their favorite dishes."

Highlights on the Italian lineup: garlic rolls ($2.95 per half dozen or $4.25 per dozen); chicken parmigiana ($15.95); shrimp Antonio sauteed in butter, garlic and white wine and baked with cheese, bread crumbs and tomatoes ($19.95); customized pizza ($10.25 and up); nine specialty pizzas ($12-$27); and calzone with mozzarella and ricotta ($8.95, $11.95).

"Tony and I are both committed to using the finest quality ingredients at affordable prices. Our mission is 'Quality at Our Expense,' " Rip Ortega says.

The casual, warm atmosphere incorporates an open kitchen, rose faux-painted walls, granite tabletops and Roman columns with other Italian accents. Patio seating is an option.

Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday and dinner nightly except Mondays.

3800 Ocean

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, 3800 N. Ocean Drive, Singer Island, 561-340-1795,

Chef Larry LaValley has released his first menus under his new leadership role at this 3-year-old chic beachfront retreat specializing in modern American cuisine.

"Chef Larry worked closely with Dean James Max as executive chef at 3800, and as such, along with his training under the esteemed Mark Militello of Mark's South Beach, we've seen him rise as a culinary star in his own right," says resort general manager Roger Amidon. "The collaborative kitchen concept draws from the international flavors of our culinary team, but more than ever, we're positioning Larry at the forefront. His classical Italian and French influences have become key anchors of our seasonal dishes."

Standouts running through June are blue prawn bruschetta ($16), truffle risotto with Gouda and crispy prosciutto ($32) and duck breast with squash puree and blood orange ($32). Day-boat scallops are surprisingly hearty with lobster-potato hash, bacon-onion jam and roasted tomato butter ($38).

Lunch best-sellers are Korean BBQ chicken with green-onion pancakes ($16), charred garlic-thyme lamb burger ($18) and short-rib flatbread ($20).

"My style is always to highlight the quality of the products and allow proper cooking technique to bring these flavors to the plate," LaValley says.

The bar is importing special waters from Scotland to pair with Scotches from their corresponding regions. New cocktails are the gin Cucumber Smash and the bourbon New Fashioned (both $15).

Il Bacio Featuring Prime

29 SE Second Ave., Delray Beach, 561-865-5845,

Four-year-old Prime has moved from lively Atlantic Avenue into its sibling around the corner, Il Bacio, to merge with the 5-year-old nightclub known for its spacious backyard courtyard and commanding stage. 

"We decided to combine them," says general manager Andrei Curt. "Prime is going to be the same menu and same concept — steak, sushi, seafood with a touch of Italian dishes."

The family-run operation replaced Il Bacio's colorful, trendy decor with Prime's elegant Great Gatsby-like ambiance with crystal chandeliers, faux marbleized columns and tufted leather chairs in just three days. Alfresco dining with tiki torches is nestled beside the covered bar with Moroccan lanterns in the courtyard. Jazz and Top 40 bands entertain Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a Sinatra-style pianist on other nights.

"Everyone's been shocked. Even I'm shocked," says the owner's daughter, Nichole Pellegrino, referring to the speed of the makeover.

Start with a cucumber martini ($13) or peach cosmo ($10) before ordering favorites such as sausage-stuffed mushrooms ($12), surf & turf sushi roll with lobster tempura, spicy tuna and filet mignon ($32), rigatoni braciole and meatballs ($28) and slow-roasted sea bass ($36). Five cuts of steaks, plus a veal chop, range from $36 to $52, including the dry-aged, wood-grilled 22-ounce rib-eye Delmonico. End with chocolate bread pudding ($10).

Dinner is served nightly, and lunch will resume in October. Il Bacio has pared its courtyard club nights down to Friday and Saturday nights after 10:30 p.m. with a DJ, plus special events.

Email news to or send to John Tanasychuk, Sun Sentinel, 500 E. Broward Blvd., Suite 900, 9th floor, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394.

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