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Dining scene: From duck breast salad to banano crocante

Burger & Beer Joint

11025 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, 954-367-8980,

This fledgling chain is expanding from its two Miami locations to Broward County mid-month.

"Burger & Beer Joint's inspiration came from three things: gourmet food, a fun atmosphere and rock n' roll," marketing manager Devin Huber says. "We've never catered to a specific type or demographic, so the niche is simple: It's a fun place to go for an excellent meal."

The lineup will feature twists on comfort foods and gourmet burgers named after classic rock n' roll songs, such as Thunder Road with smoked pork belly and homemade bourbon BBQ sauce ($14) and the Wagyu-beef Mustang Sally with red-onion marmalade, brie and prosciutto ($16). If you have a sinful urge, order the Wagyu-beef Stairway to Heaven with pan-seared foie gras and black-truffle demi, served with duck-fat fries ($32). Other takes on fries are zucchini, mushroom or sweet potato (all $6).

Alternative burgers include bison ($21), turkey ($11-$12), chicken ($14), ahi tuna (market price) and build-your-own (starting at $8). You also can upgrade four salads with a choice of eight proteins (starting at $4).

The menu will suggest craft-beer pairings from a selection of 25 on tap and about 60 bottled ones.

Lunch and dinner daily will be served amid a decor of Chicago-style brick, vintage motor signs and wood booths. A patio will offer seating and a bar.

Lolita's Kitchen

2219 N. Commerce Parkway, Weston, 954-389-8871,

This 1-year-old Latin lounge and restaurant with a fun apple-green ultramodern ambience has kicked off happy hour and updated its menus.

The weekday happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. features margaritas, caipirinhas, sangria, strawberry champagne, chicken wings, boneless wings, fried mozzarella with almond-pesto sauce and deep-fried Lolita's onion — all for $5 each.

In response to its pickup/delivery service for nearby businesses, a new lunch option offers soup, a protein with choice of sauce (passion fruit, mushroom or blackberry), salad or vegetables, and a starch for $8.99.

New lunch and dinner items are grilled salmon ($15.95), Florentino chicken ($15.95) and filet mignon with pepper or Dijon mustard sauce ($18.95). Sauteed shrimp and vegetables ($17.95) has been added to the mini Thai section, as well as the big hit, Thai rice with seafood, chicken, beef and vegetables ($18.95).

"People were asking for a variety of food," says general manager Fernando Alonso, who runs Lolita's with his family. "We wanted to keep our guests entertained."

Crepes stuffed with Nutella or dulce de leche and topped with fruit and ice cream ($7.50) are most popular among the other new desserts, banano crocante and volcan de chocolate (all $7.50).

Karaoke pops up throughout the week, and musicians entertain Thursdays though Saturday.

"Food, family and fun is what it's all about. That's the Latin culture," Alonso says.

Nick's New Haven-Style Pizzeria & Bar

2240 NW 19th St., Suite 904, Boca Raton, 561-368-2900,

This pizzeria known for its thin-crust Neapolitan pizza popular in New Haven, Conn., particularly its white clam version, has launched new dishes and cocktails.

Skirt steak stars in nearly half of the new selections: on a pizza flat with gorgonzola, mozzarella, peppers and onions ($14), in a warm spinach salad ($14) and grilled as an entree with mushroom risotto, broccoli rabe and red-wine sauce ($18.95)

"Our guests were a driving force behind the new menu items. We put a great deal of value into what they have to say. The result is the addition of some classic dishes with a twist unique to Nick's," says executive chef Michael Hackman. "Our pastas and entrees have becoming increasingly popular. The additions are a welcome treat to guests interested in more than just a pizza."

Other additions are escarole and beans ($9), marinated portobello salad with feta and roasted peppers ($13) and chicken marsala ($16.95). After an initial baking of its crust, the margherita pizza flat ($11) is finished in the coal-fired ovens that co-owner Nick Laudano hand-built and nicknamed the dragons because they spit fire.

The strawberry mojito and Yale University martini (named after the New Haven connection) with vodka, coconut rum, blue curacao and pineapple juice are bestsellers among six new cocktails ($12-$14). End on a sweet note with Godiva chocolate or espresso martinis.

Up next: A location in Coral Springs is expected to open in the fall.

Buddha Garden and Buddha Sky Bar

217 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-450-7557,

This multi-level pan-Asian fusion oasis, where a graceful cherry-blossom tree matches the dishware, has introduced new dinner specialties and cocktails.

Standouts are duck breast salad with kale, cashews, oranges, carrots and peanut-lime dressing ($18) and four sushi rolls ($18-$20) with the white-truffle hamachi with avocado, jalapeno and escolar and Buddha's Rainbow with tempura salmon, tuna, hamachi, boursin cheese and avocado leading the way.

"I want to give comfortable food with a little twist," says executive chef Tony Torres. "The roasted duck salad with kale is very refreshing. With the aji panca salmon and curry potato hash ($26), I wanted to bring some new flavors together. Aji panca, which is a Peruvian pepper, with the salmon is a great combo, and the curry potatoes and onion hash complement each delectable bite."

Other additions are spicy pork dumplings ($9) and seafood pot stickers ($10).

New cocktails ($12) are Golden Peach with rum and passion-fruit puree, the refreshing Tokyo Sky with gin, Cocchi Aperitivo, cilantro syrup and yuzu, and Citrus Garden with pisco, white grapefruit and St. Germain.

For the summer, the Garden's nightly opening hour has been pushed back to 5 p.m., and the Sky Bar will close Mondays and Tuesdays.

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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