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Dining scene: From fried ravioli empanadas to tempura sweet potato

Legends Pizza & Wings

220 S. University Drive, Plantation, 954-473-9400,

Building on the success of 4-year-old Legends Tavern & Grille in Sunrise, its owners have opened a pizza and wing restaurant at Plantation Community Plaza across from Broward Westfield mall

"We've always wanted to do pizza, and this opportunity came along," says Russel Louis, who owns the 30-serat pizza joint with son, Jeff, and partner, Byron Brown. "Our philosophy is just to serve really good food. There's a hundred places to watch a game and get a burger, so we have to stand out."

The eatery is a cousin of their 4-year-old Legends Tavern & Grille in Sunrise, which serves American fare. Another grille is due to open in Deerfield Beach in late summer, in fact.

Best-sellers among the New York-style pizza, wings and sandwiches are smoked Gouda & BBQ chicken pizza ($16.99), goat cheese and arugula pizza ($16.99), garlic-teriyaki Myong wings ($9.99 for 10; $18.99 for 20), Mona Lisa sandwich with panko-crusted chicken cutlet on ciabatta ($9.99) and strawberry hazelnut dessert pizza ($8.99).

"People also are really loving our craft beer list," Louis says, adding Cigar City Jai Alai and Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale are hits. "We have over 50 in bottles and cans, ranging in price from $4.50 to $8."

Lunch and dinner are served daily amid a rustic warehouse ambiance with beige walls and wood-paneling trim, black ceiling, metal piping and black-and-white photos of legendary celebrities, such as Babe Ruth and Marilyn Monroe, hence the eatery's name.

"We use chalkboards for the beers to give it a homey feel," Louis says.

Delivery is available within five miles.

Buddha Garden

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 launched Sunday brunch from noon to 3 p.m.

"We started our Sunday brunch due to increased traffic on the avenue and an increased number of events on the weekends," says co-owner Chris Licata. "We are continually trying to improve and execute each dish perfectly. Our menu is based primarily of our dinner menu items — sushi, dim sum and wok items. We added a few breakfast and lunch items to accommodate any appetite or craving."

Perhaps order bottomless mimosas and Bellinis ($12) or cocktails such as Asian Pear ($10) to accompany new items such as filet, egg and cheese croissant ($12), lobster omelet (market price averages $27), Buddha's Temple with a runny egg and salmon perched atop stacked tempura sweet potato ($24) and vanilla Belgian waffles ($8).

New sushi rolls include spicy tuna ($13) and Samurai with shrimp and tuna ($16) for brunch. At dinnertime, the Great Wall with spicy tuna crowned with tempura rock shrimp ($20) is a best seller and the Fire with yellowtail and blue crab topped with tuna ($22) is indeed served amid flames.


6299 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 561-586-2622; 8020 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 561-586-2622;

The two-location vegan eatery, with a Polynesian ambiance and appealing all-alfresco dining, has introduced the latest round of specialties to complement its signatures, such as crispy hearts of palm cakes ($8).

"With so few vegan restaurants in town, we have many customers who dine with us frequently, so I change out six to eight regular menu items a couple of times a year," says executive chef Brian Bottge. "On our new spring menu, I was inspired by popular classic dishes that allow for a vegan twist. I have a new supplier for organic oyster mushrooms that are beautiful; they are the centerpiece of the spinach Louie salad." ($9, dinner, weekend brunch in West Palm, Sunday brunch in Boca)

In addition to up to 10 weekly specials, such as fried ravioli empanadas ($9), as well as a weekly cocktail such as vanilla ginger egg cream ($9), raw wild berry pancakes now grace the brunch menu ($14).

New dinner options include crispy spring rolls with ginger miso sauce ($8), raw "fish" dip made with nuts and seeds ($10), raw chile relleno ($15), tofu "scallops" Provencal with beurre blanc, citrusy spinach and celery root puree ($16) and Key Lime Cheezecake ($9).

Insider tip: Darbster is named after the owners' poodle, and they invite customers to bring their dogs to dine on the patios Sunday nights to get a 20 percent discount.

Hard Rock Cafe

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 954-315-9112; Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-377-3110;

After 14 months of testing and development, this prolific international chain serving American favorites has overhauled its menu with 30 new items and tweaked 28 others.

"Every cafe is featuring the same main items, but Hard Rock is known for putting a local spin on everything," says Scott Jacobs, general manager of the Hollywood location. "For those stopping by the Southern Florida cafes, we have great new appetizers, desserts and burgers, including our café's Legendary Burger, which is specific to this region: the Cuban burger topped with mojo-marinated pulled pork with melted Swiss cheese and finished with fried sweet plantains on top." ($14.95)

Other highlights are smoked beef brisket sandwich ($13.95) and lighter options such as grilled chicken chop salad ($13.95), grilled chicken arugula salad ($12.95), Cobb salad ($13.95) and grilled vegetable sandwich ($12.95).

Oreo cheesecake and apple cobbler (both $7.95) aren't the only sweet additions. Cocktails, such as Salted Caramel Café ($8), blend spiced brown sugar, salted caramel, chocolate and even bacon, and milkshakes come virgin or spiked, such as the Vanilla Root Beer Shake with rum and vodka ($9).

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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