What's happening in food and dining around South Florida.
Spadini's Mizner Pizzeria
134 NE Second St., Boca Raton, 561-826-7123, SpadinisPizzeria.com
"It's all about the dough."
So says Thomas Sellick who wants to be known for pizza and chicken parmigiana ($11.95) at his new 40-seat spot in Mizner Plaza at the head of Mizner Park. He's the latest owner in a string of Italian eateries in that space.
Sellick, who hails from the North Shore of Long Island, New York, ships in his special dough from up north, which he claims makes for one of the most genuine New York tastes in South Florida. Cheese-only, buffalo chicken and margherita are bestsellers among his classic and specialty pizzas, also available by the slice, along with 20 topping choices ($2.75-$3.50, slice; $12.99-$21.75, whole). A lunch special offers two cheese slices and a soda for $5.50.
"I've been in the business since I was 13 years old. I learned from the best," says Sellick, 31. "It's my passion. I go to bed excited because I can't wait to get up and come in."
Sellick's grandmother used to make him the Sicilian veal Spadini rolled on a skewer ($8.75), the eatery's namesake. His pizza sauce, rice balls with ricotta ($4.95), stromboli ($6.25), and spinach or pepperoni pinwheels ($2.75) are also family recipes.
A large Time Square photo overlooks brown leather chairs at granite tables, where you can be served lunch and dinner daily or order at the counter. Sidewalk seating is an option.
Don't forget the mini doughnut-like zeppoles dusted with powdered sugar ($3.95). A bakery display case with layer cakes and cannoli is in the works to lure sweet tooths.
Sefa Turkish Mediterranean Grill
165 NE Second Ave, Delray Beach, 561-330-0004, SefaDelray.com
Numan Unsal is featuring a wine-pairing menu with seven selections at his 2-year-old Pineapple Grove retreat through the end of May.
Among the appetizers, a glass of Victor Berard Bourgogne pinot noir accompanies a hot platter with spanakopita, kibbe, falafel and zucchini pancakes ($20). There's a cold platter too with hummus, tabbouleh, lentil kofte, dolmades, smoked eggplant salad, baba ghanoush, minced spicy vegetables and baba ghanoush matched with Casa Julia sauvignon blanc ($20). Main plates include mixed grill with chicken shish, lamb shish, kofte, gyro and lamb chops with bulgur and grilled vegetable shish coupled with Doluca Kav from Turkey ($30) and char-grilled whole Mediterranean dorado with spicy lentil spread and arugula salad paired with Raetia Rulander pinot grigio ($32).
Unsal, who is also Sefa's chef, has tweaked a couple of dishes including pan-seared salmon in a creamy pan jus with shallots and parsley served with organic French black lentils and arugula salad. He also added littleneck clams to the shrimp and scallops casserole with mushrooms, garlic, tomato, green peppers and cheese (both $24). And now agave sweetens the baklava instead of sugar ($8).
Thasos Greek Taverna
3330 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-200-6006, ThasosTaverna.com
Six months after opening, this South Beach-cum-Broward oasis of white has launched daily lunch service from noon to 4 p.m.
Guests have been enjoying leisurely two-hour lunches over specialties such as Greek salad ($12), crispy smelts with lemon aioli ($10), fire-grilled octopus ($22) and spit-roasted lamb flat bread with tzatziki ($18), says new executive chef Brian Cantrell, who most recently worked at nearby Blue Moon Fish Co.
"Our customers still want the quality of food you get in the evening," general manager George J. Mavrookas says. "We've been pleasantly surprised."
Along with lunch has come Ouzo Hour from 4 to 6 p.m. daily with free hors d'oeuvres to complement select glasses of wine and six cocktails such as margaritas and mojitos (all $7).
Cantrell is striving to elevate the food to the level of the stunning decor, which requires a balance between traditional and modern twists. "We're moving things in a new direction," he says.
He is now including sides with entrees and has added main plates, such as grilled organic salmon ($27 lunch/dinner), 16-ounce braised lamb osso buco ($29 dinner only) and oak-grilled filet mignon ($36 dinner only).
A couple of desserts have debuted as well, such as almond-crusted amaretto cheesecake with black pepper-marinated strawberries ($10).
Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale, 954-765-3030, 3030Ocean.com
Chef Dean Max's restaurant overlooking the Atlantic is serving seasonal spring items until the end of this month.
Kick off with new martinis such as the raspberry snow cone with raspberries, vodka, Chambord and cranberry juice or one with pear vodka, Chilean wild baby pears and pear juice (both $14). If a martini doesn't suit, try 3030's Brew with tequila, agave nectar, ginger beer, cucumber wheels and muddled blackberries ($13).
Minute of halibut with heirloom purple potato salad and black pepper-chive vinaigrette ($12) leads the way to entrees of black cod with cavatelli pasta, spinach puree and parmesan foam ($30) and roasted Florida duck breast with heirloom carrots, organic farro and arugula, and citron gastrique. ($32)
"The crispy duck breast goes great with the texture of the farro salad, and the creamy carrot puree gives the moist, creamy texture that acts like a sauce for the dish," Max says. "The baby carrots are the beautiful highlight that showcases their sweet flavor with the savoriness of the duck breast."