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Dining scene: From brunch spreads to gastropub faves


4 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-921-0201,

An interim chef, Wayne Alcaide, has added his touch to this gastropub whose charming courtyard with vine-covered trellises and graffiti art beckons from the bustling avenue.

His seasonal selections will run until mid-October, such as fruit with goat-cheese crostini ($13), grilled turkey sandwich with avocado and sweet-spicy pepper relish ($13) and heirloom tomato salad ($11) for lunch. For dinner, start with banh mi lettuce cups with braised pork belly ($10) and move on to roasted yellowtail snapper with wilted savoy spinach in tomato brown-butter vinaigrette ($26). He's also brought back a Tryst favorite, chicken schnitzel with truffle aioli, feta and shaved fennel salad ($24).

"We are trying to keep the new items as light and flavorful as possible, as well as using fish, etc., from local sources when we can," says Alcaide, who helped open Thirty-Two East in 1996 and helmed the kitchen until 2001.

Beer makes an appearance in cocktails and desserts, such as the Dark & Stormy with rum, Hum botanical liqueur and ginger beer ($11) and pumpkin ice cream crafted with Terrapin Pumpkinfest beer ($5).

Alcaide eventually will depart to open a restaurant across from City Hall in Pompano Beach with Tryst co-owner Butch Johnson in the spring.

"The town is looking to invigorate that part of town. It's less seasonal than Boca and Delray. It reminds me of Delray in the early '90s," Alcaide says.

Big City Tavern, 609 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-727-0307; City Oyster, 213 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-272-0220;

These two locations of Big Time Restaurant Group have unveiled new cocktails and expanded the lunch-heavy weekend brunch menu to put the "b" into brunch with more breakfast choices.

The menus are slightly different at each location, but both offer truck-stop cinnamons ($4), an eye-pleasing Dutch baby pancake ($11 in Delray; $12 in Fort Lauderdale) and cage-free sunny-side-up eggs with toast and jam ($12 in Delray; $10 in Fort Lauderdale). Crème brûlée-stuffed French toast ($13) and a breakfast panini ($11.50) are exclusive to Delray. In Fort Lauderdale, you'll find peanut butter-and-jelly pancakes with bacon butter ($12), banana Nutella French toast ($13) and porchetta hash with soft-boiled egg and hollandaise ($11).

For weekday lunch in Fort Lauderdale, a "limited edition" grilled cheese of the day ($14) offers twists on the ooey-gooey classic sandwich, such as shaved rib eye with caramelized onions, provolone and horseradish mayo, or even fried green tomato with housemade bacon. The catch: You must arrive early because only a dozen are made each day.

The new rounds of cocktails also vary by location. Bestsellers in Delray are Citrus Fizz with gin and St. Germain liqueur and Huckleberry Lemonade with vodka (both $9). In Fort Lauderdale, beer cocktails is a new category among the 20 new drinks, such as Drunk by Chocolate with chocolate stout and bourbon ($9) and Caramel Apple with caramel cream ale and apple cider ($6.50).

Red Cow

1025 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-652-1524,

This western-themed spot with saddle bar stools and fire-engine red chairs has launched Sunday brunch after opening four months ago.

The menu includes a few dinner favorites such as jalapeno cheddar sausage ($5) and iron-skillet cornbread made with creamed corn ($2), which is also sliced to make the new French toast sticks served with maple butter ($9).

"We try to have fun with it. You look at it and laugh and enjoy it for what it is," co-owner Elliot Wolf says. "Everything is made in-house, and we have a smoker and super talented guys."

The in-house meats are fashioned into breakfast egg specialties such as bacon-ham or porkstrami Benedict ($12), sunrise arepa with chorizo and pico de gallo ($12) and Smoke and Fire sandwich with bacon, grilled avocado and smoked tomato sriracha aioli ($11). The standout cowboy cakes are fried patties of a loaded mashed potato with ranch seasoning ($3).

It's not all meat, though. Shrimp star in the country rock egg scramble with spinach and smoked gouda ($15), or sweeten it up with grapefruit brûlée with a side of cottage cheese and berries ($6), the PB&J waffle ($10) or the iron-skillet crepes with cinnamon apples ($10).

"The apple pie pancake will change your life. It's that good," Wolf says.

Four brunch cocktails include a smoked vodka Bloody Mary with a jerky stir ($9) and watermelon mimosa ($8).

Saxsay Restaurant

8425 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac, 954-532-1245

This Peruvian restaurant, which closed in June in Sunrise, recently reopened at this new location to expand their seating from seven tables to more than 30. Two business units were merged to enlarge the layout.

The red-and-white space is more elegant, modern and comfortable, co-owner Monica M. Delgado says. Contemporary banquette seating lines a wall, and sophisticated touches enhance the ambiance such as a frosted glass window with their logo.

Saxsay has added wine service and dishes including grilled octopus ($17.99), lamb stew ($16.99) and more quinoa-based dishes, such as chaufa de quinua ($15.99-$16.99).

"Arroz chaufa is traditional Chinese-Peruvian fried rice. It is typically prepared with vegetables, meat, eggs and soy sauce. In this version, we replace the rice with quinoa, creating a fusion of native Peruvian ingredients and flavors combined with international Chinese seasonings," Delgado says.

The favorites are still here, such as deep-fried seafood called jalea mixta ($16.99), fried fish in a shellfish sauce with yellow pepper and garlic called pescado a lo macho ($15.99) and ceviche with corn and sweet potato ($11.99-$14.99).

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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