What's happening in food and dining around South Florida.
1855 Griffin Road, Dania Beach, 954-920-7997, Dcota.com
After a bit of a delay, this contemporary restaurant and lounge is now open in the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA), the immense complex of interior and design showrooms facing Interstate 95. Cay, which can be converted into an event space, is situated in the central B building that underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation of its four-story atrium.
Miami's Thierry's Catering and Event Design is running the kitchen and catering, serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
The light, airy Key West ambience features terrazzo geometric tiles in sparkling tones of blue, green and turquoise. White stripes on the navy canvas banquettes tie in with the white wood tables and mix n' match modern chairs.
The diverse menu focuses on classic Florida cuisine and seafood ranging from appetizers, such as corvina ceviche with tostones ($10), to sandwiches such as Jamaican jerk chicken tenderized in a 12-herb marinade ($14). Entrees, such as plantain-crusted mahi mahi with roasted squash and habanero-grilled pineapple salsa ($19.50), and desserts, such as strawberry napoleon on crispy wonton with Grand Marnier Bavarian cream ($8), round out the menu.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit
21073 Powerline Road, Suite 33, Boca Raton, 561-288-3490, Dickeys.com
Slow Smoked. Served Fast.
So states one of the whimsical signs inside this new western-themed barbecue restaurant expected to open this week in The Shops of Boca Grove.
"Florida is a very transient state and brings in people from all over the country," franchise owner Carol Vu said in a press release. "Everyone appreciates good barbecue, and Florida is definitely lacking options for great barbecue."
Before moving to Florida three years ago, Vu lived in Texas, where the restaurant chain was founded in 1941 and grew to 43 states. This is Palm Beach County's first location, joining Miramar in Broward County.
Beef brisket, pulled pork, ham, turkey, chicken, sausage and pork ribs are smoked with hickory wood and are priced by portion with two sides from $7.75 to $10.75. Or choose from three sandwiches, such as The Westerner with two meats ($7.25). Three family packs range from $23.95 to $47.95.
Diners order at the faux-brick counter and sit at checkered tables amid wagon-wheel chandeliers and wood walls with corrugated metal.
Lunch and dinner are served daily with free cups or cones of soft-serve vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Bond Street Miami
Townhouse Hotel, 150 20th St., Miami Beach, 305-398-1806, BondStRestaurant.com
New executive chef Andy Choi wants to change the perception that this New York City import is not just about the sushi.
"I'm adding more dishes of substance than just tapas. I'm bringing more of a composed style to make a cohesive menu that flows," says Choi, formerly of Le Cirque.
Choi's flair shines in the daily specials and the menu section called Miami specialties. He is sourcing produce from Homestead farms and fish from the Keys to offer wahoo and black grouper not typically found in sushi restaurants, he says.
"This is the first time we've hired a chef from more of a kitchen side instead of a sushi side," owner Jonathan Morr says.
Choi is tweaking some of the New York dishes to make them lighter for Miami, such as turning classic foie gras into a mousse in umeboshi tuna foie with sake-braised cherries and spiced cashews ($25), Morr says. Other standouts are hanger steak with artichoke purée, crispy rice fries and sansho pepper jus ($24) and duck confit salad with candied sour orange and mizuna ($22).
Weekly dinners with Choi will kick off this winter.
Caffé Luna Rosa
34 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, 561-274-8898, CaffeLunaRosa.com
This two-decade-old landmark is kicking off the high season on the beach with lots of changes.
The most obvious is a fresh facade in a brighter shade of white on the early 1960s building that faces the ocean, along with interior and kitchen renovations.
Diners watching their calories will be happy to find Weight Watchers sections on all the menus listed with PointsPlus values. For example, there is coconut French toast made with whole-wheat bread and served with sugar-free maple syrup ($5.95) for breakfast, chicken salad lettuce wrap ($11) for lunch, and grilled mahi mahi with lemon sauce and herb-roasted vegetables and potatoes ($24) for dinner.
A couple of Weight Watchers options even extend to drinks, such as a mojito ($11). Other new concoctions on the updated cocktail menu are the bacon and tomato bloody mary made with Bakon vodka and garnished with bacon, lettuce and tomato; blood-orange margarita; and A Day at the Beach with coconut rum, amaretto, orange juice and grenadine (all $11). New smoothies made with Greek yogurt, such as mango strawberry, are $6.
A revamped VIP program earns points with every dollar spent, and Internet ordering is in the works.
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