What's happening in food and dining around South Florida.
Dubliner Irish Pub
210 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-523-1213, Sub-Culture.org
After eight years of bringing live music and plenty of Guinness to Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Dubliner's owners are launching the same concept this month in the old Himmarshee Bar & Grille, which briefly evolved as PL8 Kitchen.
"We really focus on using the best available Irish-inspired ingredients," says co-owner Scott Frielich. "We wanted to shed the image of Irish pub fare and really show our guests that they can get a five-star meal in a casual pub atmosphere. Our executive chef Greg Schiff has worked closely with managing partner Sean McGrade, using many of McGrade's grandmother's Belfast recipes."
Signatures include curried beef soup ($5), fondue blended with Harp lager ($12.50), Irish lamb burger ($11.50), Irish salmon and trout ($14-$18), flat bread of the day from the wood-burning oven (prices vary) and Guinness McMac and cheese ($6, appetizer; $10 entree).
The theme extends to the decor of reclaimed wood, quotes from famous Dubliners, a wall of international whiskeys, murals of famous Irish writers, and an upstairs Irish library with books and board games. Seating on the sidewalk and second-floor balcony is available.
The Dubliner serves lunch and dinner daily. The kitchen stays open until 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Entertainment will feature live rock, Irish or folk music five nights a week, plus trivia nights and occasional comedy or karaoke.
235 Commercial Blvd., #105, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, 954-533-2580, SeaTheRestaurant.com
Anthony Sindaco, chef and partner at the 30-seat contemporary seafood restaurant, has debuted an Italian cafe-style lunch from noon to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Until now, it was a dinner-only operation
"Most everything I cook Italian is from my memories and cooking with my grandmother, Ara," Sindaco says. "I spent a lot of time with Ara making fresh pasta, marinara, meatballs, Bolognese, artichokes and everything Italian. . . . But what I loved the most were her meatballs. Sunday morning before church, her whole house smelled like Sunday sauce."
So, pork-and-beef meatballs grace the menu as an appetizer ($6) and with spaghetti ($11). And beef Bolognese is there too, along with other pastas such as lasagna della casa and linguine with red or white clam sauce (all $11). Soup or salad accompany main plates, including sandwiches such as seared mahi ($15) and panini of the day ($10). Daily specials, such as New England lobster roll and crab-cake sandwich, offer surprises.
Karma Sushi Steakbar
This edgy spot with plush booths and a dramatic LED wall in the core of Mizner Park has made a host of changes after only four months of opening.
At the forefront: sushi.
"We have had to hire three additional sushi chefs to keep up with the demand," says co-owner Ruti Bell. "Many of our customers are ordering a sushi roll or two as appetizers and then a full steak dinner. They seem to love the combination."
Leading the team is head sushi chef Sebastian Rojas, who hails from Chile. He has quadrupled the sushi selections and added sashimi. The rear bar was converted to an 11-seat sushi counter along with four mini booths to watch him work.
Standouts are the two-in-one Karma dream roll with shrimp tempura, tuna, veggies and cream cheese with one half topped with salmon, wasabi cream and spicy mayo and the other half crowned with tuna, kimchi, sesame seeds and scallions ($19). The riceless underwater roll is also inventive with square-shaped rice papers cradling spicy tuna, lump crab, kimchi, truffle oil and pomegranate reduction ($16).