35 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-763-3436, SalsaFiestaGrill.com
This fast-casual Mexican chain in Broward and Miami-Dade counties has opened its fourth location, the first one to offer breakfast.
Morning selections include crispy cheese taquitos with guava dipping sauce ($2.99), egg burritos ($4.25-$4.95), breakfast torta with cilantro omelet and chipotle beans ($4.75), Mexican-style waffles topped with mango ($5.75) and low-fat plain yogurt with fruit and granola ($3.99).
"We thought it would be a good idea to start with breakfast in Fort Lauderdale because we're in a downtown area," says Cesar Olivo, CEO and co-founder. "We've had people coming in at 8 a.m."
Five tortas (sandwiches), such as the Veracruz with fish, chipotle beans, mango, pickled onions and cilantro cream ($7.99), stand out among the usual burritos, tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, tostadas, salads and enchiladas, which are served on organic bamboo plates with silverware instead of plastic. Each menu category allows you to choose your protein, such as nachos & tostones with chicken, ground beef, carnitas, steak or fish ($6.99 -$8.69)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily amid an industrial atmosphere with concrete walls, reclaimed wood and an exposed ceiling punctuated by bright mosaic tiles and Aztec- and Mayan-inspired murals and artwork. Kick back with beers, frozen margaritas or frozen sangria on the patio.
Mancini Modern Italian
401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Suite 150, Fort Lauderdale, 754-200-8602, ManciniLasOlas.com
This downtown cozy yet sophisticated spot with its wood-burning oven, invites you to get hands-on with executive chef Claudio Sandri each Wednesday.
Sandri teaches guests how to stretch and mold curds into creamy half-pound mozzarella balls before serving it with balsamic reduction, heirloom tomatoes, basil pesto and ciabatta bread. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $30, which includes a glass of prosecco, red or white wine. If you stay for dinner, you'll get half off any bottle of wine.
On Thursdays, ladies can enjoy a complimentary glass of prosecco and two-for-one premium cocktails and wine during High Heel Happy Hour from 4 to 10 p.m. Drinks, such as margaritas, cosmos and dirty martinis, and appetizers, such as tuna tartare, calamari and mussels, also are featured for $4.
On Tuesdays through the rest of the month, locals get half off glasses of prosecco and chianti and select pastas, such as clam linguine and gorgonzola-cream gnocchi.
New dinner options are eggplant involtini jumbo meatball ($11), scallop carpaccio ($12), grilled octopus ($12), pan-seared diver scallops ($29) and three pizzas: mushroom, barbecue chicken or four cheese (all $11). Finish with chocolate ganache with black lava salt ($11).
In Cafe Boulud, The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach, 561-655-6060, CafeBoulud.com
This summer's return of Daniel Boulud's Mediterranean pop-up concept through Sept. 2 is even more alluring with its move outside overlooking the fountain courtyard, marking the first year the terrace has been air-conditioned by enclosing it with transparent side panels.
Olive trees, lanterns and terra-cotta pots of herbs evoke a Provencal ambience.
"The cuisine of Boulud Sud works very well with the hot summer months of Palm Beach — a bit lighter fare," general manager Andrew Burns says. "That's one of the inspirations of bringing the pop-up here."
New specialties include spiced chicken pastilla with Swiss chard, feta, almonds and raisins ($14), spicy lamb merguez sausage with lemon-mint couscous, spinach and chickpeas (appetizer, $16; entree, $26) and cedar-grilled salmon in pistou broth plated table side ($32).