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Dining scene: From zucchini puttanesca to salmon tartare

Fresh First

1637 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-763-3344,

Chef Mary Siragusa and her daughter, pasty chef Francesca Siragusa, have opened an organic eatery and juicery billed as gluten, corn and peanut-free in the Quay Plaza.

The two operated a meal-plan delivery service, which they plan to resume in the fall.

"We are a safe haven for those with celiac disease, and we appeal to the vegan, vegetarian and conscious eater," says Mary Siragusa. "People are in awe. Everyone is eating everything on our plates."

Vegan tofu chili is always available along with rotating vegan soups such as creamy cauliflower or pea and roasted garlic ($6.50). Favorites are: sprouted raw lentil burger wrapped in chard with avocado mustard spread ($12.75); waffle bread grilled cheese sandwich with cardamom, cinnamon apples, cheddar and brie ($11.25); raw zucchini puttanesca with olives, red pepper, tomatoes, basil and lemon-garlic sauce ($13.95).

Juices and smoothies are named by color, such as Blissful Blue smoothie with blueberries, apples, bananas and hemp ($8.95).

Quinoa stars in a couple of the desserts: cupcake with jam and goat-cheese frosting ($5.25) and vanilla-bean pudding with berries ($4.75).

"Our space is very earthy and elegant with accents of bamboo, copper, celery walls and very cool green marble tables and counters," Mary Siragusa says.

Hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with breakfast coming by the end of the month starting out on Saturdays.

Reserved four-course prix-fixe dinners at 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays will begin Sept. 6. Menu and pricing will be released a couple of weeks beforehand.

Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille

Riverside Hotel, 620 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-467-2555,

This sleek sea-themed retreat in a landmark hotel has introduced Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. after opening in March.

The modern American menu with Southern flair often changes with sustainable and organic ingredients, but you'll always East and West Coast oysters from the raw bar ($3 each) and the signature breakfast sandwich with fried free-range egg, pork belly and cognac lobster-studded hollandaise on a squid-inked English muffin, topped with crispy pig ears ($15).

"Rather than offering the usual brunch items and boring egg dishes, we set out to elevate the experience of diners with unexpected menu items," says chef de cuisine Jon Sanchez.

Let's hope he adds the rustic-cut fries ($5) to the dinner menu as well. He concocts the accompanying ketchup with overripe tomatoes smoked over cherry wood. Another brow-raising side is pork belly beignets with bacon-maple-mustard dipping sauce ($5).

Other standouts you might find are smoked sunburst trout Benedict ($17) and spicy sausage and grits topped with seafood such as scallops or grouper ($17).

Guests sip bottomless Bloody Marys ($20) or make mimosas at their table with $50 bottles of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label while a DJ spins music.

At dinner, Sanchez has added more meats, such as pork tenderloin or center-cut rib eye, to balance out the seafood lineup.

"We're trying to make some things more familiar, like grouper and halibut," says Jason Cotter, director of food and beverage, referring to supplementing exotic choices such as skate and wreckfish.

Wild Sea is closed Monday, Tuesday and Sunday night for the summer.

Le Rendez-vous

221 Datura St., West Palm Beach, 561-766-1095,

Brothers Olivier and Edouard Delrieu have brought their Parisian flair to the Clematis district with a mix of traditional and contemporary French cuisine.

Signatures include Le Tosca steak burger topped with foie gras ($17.50) and Le Basque chicken sandwich with basquaise sauce ($14), charcuterie and cheese plates ($24.80), salade Nicoise ($10.10), carrot and ginger soup ($5.80) and lavender creme brulee ($5.80). And, yes, there's ham bechamel croissant ($8.50), quiche Lorraine ($10.20) and garlic escargot ($10). Chill out with smoothies such as cucumber and kiwi or cranberry and beet ($3.50).

The industrial chic lounge with a bohemian twist ramps up to a club vibe at night with DJs and musicians. A mix of sports and French movies play on a big screen, and photographs on display by French photographers are for sale.

Lunch is served daily, dinner from Monday through Saturday, and breakfast on weekends.

Max's Harvest

169 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach, 561-381-9970,

Don't delay if you want to savor what summer has to offer at this 2-year-old farm-to-fork restaurant in Pineapple Grove.

You'll likely find watermelon salad with feta and lemon-basil vinaigrette ($14), wild Alaskan king salmon as an appetizer on crispy wontons ($13) or as entree with veggies ($34) and pork chop with BBQ jus and veggies ($36).

"It's it important to me to find something to do with what the farmers bring in," says James Kampper, who's been promoted to executive chef. Kampper was classically trained and enjoys visiting the local farms. "We try not to mask the natural flavors."

New weekend brunch dishes are spear-caught pistachio-encrusted black grouper tacos with corn salsa ($16), croque madame sandwich with cheddar instead of the classic Gruyere ($10) and BELT sandwich — a BLT with egg on sourdough ($16).

Summer desserts are pudding-like banana creme brulee served in a coffee mug and peach-cherry cobbler (both $11). Kampper's latest special: a Twinkie rendition of Boston cream pie in honor of his capital hometown in Massachusetts ($9).

An intensely blueberry mojito, Hangin' Berries, is new ($15), summer sangria with vodka and sparkling wine is seasonal ($12), and Bourbon Orchard with strawberries and apple juice is back by demand ($12).

Max's Harvest's dining room is still not open for lunch, but a new service through Delivery Dudes ( delivers weekday lunch and nightly dinner.

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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