15 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach, 561-865-5350, ElCaminoDelray.com
From the owners of nearby Cut 423 and Park Tavern comes this Mexican soul food spot in Pineapple Grove.
“We want to deliver an amazing, vibrant atmosphere, great food/scratch kitchen, and advanced beverage program,” says general manager Josh Perfit. “Of course, stellar not-in-your-face service.”
Guests are welcomed by Day of the Dead-themed exterior murals of Frida Kahlo and Mexican Revolution figure Emiliano Zapata.
Inside the 1930s building, lime tufted booths are reminiscent of the six cases of limes squeezed per day for the cuisine and drinks. The color contrasts the open industrial design with dangling pulleys and anchors salvaged from ships and preserved clay tiles. When they removed the wooden ceiling to craft the tables and bar from it, they discovered old wooden rafters, which they decided to retain, Perfit says.
The lively vibe is fun for drinks, such as nearly 200 tequilas and an exclusive porter by Boynton Beach-based Due South Brewery, called Mexican Standoff ($8). South American and Spanish wines are priced at $9 a glass and $36 a bottle. The smoky 50/50 with Mezcal Vida tequila is a best-selling margarita ($10).
Favorites are smoked brisket nachos or burritos ($12/$16 respectively), crispy grouper soft tacos ($12) and chile-rubbed carne asada ($24). The s'more empanada is a must ($8).
Lunch and dinner are served daily.
Jové Kitchen & Bar
More than a year after starting to renovate its restaurants and lobby lounge, this tony resort has reopened a signature restaurant.
The two-decade mainstay, The Restaurant, was closed for half a year to shed its special-occasion image and transform it into Jové, named after the Roman god of the sky to reflect the Italian cuisine. The celestial-like chandeliers echo that as well, as the lounge vibe extends from the bar to the dining room. Metallic fabric chairs lend a touch of Palm Beach shimmer. The view on the patio stretches from the pool to the ocean.
“We wanted it to be elegant but still have a relaxed vibe,” says Laurie Zuckerman, director of public relations. “We really want to appeal to the locals. The modern Italian concept, combined with the chef's traditional Italian roots, offers something different for the area.”
Top-notch Italian wine and spirits add a twist to classic cocktails, such as the Blood and Sand ($15) with Scotch, Antica Formula vermouth, Cherry Heering and some drama — orange zest is torched to infuse a burnt-orange flavor.
The show continues with the pouring of olive oils from three cruets to accompany made-to-order semolina bread ($12). The seasonal menu ranges from pizzas and Italian cheeses and meats to pastas, such as pumpkin amaretto ravioli atop short rib ($12), and entrees such as wagyu teres major, a chuck cut difficult to butcher, which impresses with the flavor of New York strip but the tenderness of filet mignon ($30).
Dinner is served nightly.
1305 E. Commercial Blvd, Oakland Park, 954-771-9770, LivingGreenFreshMarket.com
Since Greek native Anthony Papageorgiou bought this attractive wood-shelved market a year ago and changed its name, he has renovated, doubled the inventory, and recently added a cafe.
“The cafe has surpassed our expectations and represents a third of the store's revenue and still growing,” he says.
Greek specialties such as spanakopita ($4.49) are sprinkled in with sandwiches, such as the popular Oh Veggie! with goat cheese and pesto ($6.95), espresso drinks ($1.95-$4.95) and smoothies with names such as Healthy & Sexy ($4.95-$6.95). You can enjoy these at high tops or on the front wood deck.
“Most of the choices are thoughts outside the box and strategically put together to benefit our health without being too extreme,” Papageorgiou says.
The latest addition to the produce, dairy and dry goods are about 80 wines, including Greek ones. Papageorgiou is kicking off free wine-and-cheese tastings Wednesday evenings.
The market is open from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. He hopes to open other South Florida locations by the end of this year.
B Ocean Fort Lauderdale hotel, 999 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-302-5252, SaiaSushi.com
Thai native executive chef Subin Chankesorn has rolled out his latest round of Asian specialties in time for the upcoming debut of a recessed lighting scheme to echo the effect of the dramatic wall lighting in the hotel lobby.
“We're trying to draw more warmth in here to match the food,” general manager Kaine Owens says.
Nearly 25 new dishes include four sushi rolls. The outstanding soft shell dynamite roll ($18) is torched to bring out smokiness, which softens the crab's flavor.
Other new sushi items include scallop ceviche with pineapple ($10). “It's a mix of Peruvian, Caribbean and Thai style,” Chankesorn says.
Entrees include sweetish pad Thai jumbo spot prawn ($23), an authentic recipe unlike others that add ketchup, Chankesorn says. End with tamago spring rolls with red beans ($6). Chankesorn's inspiration: Thai ice-cream sandwiches usually made with sticky rice.
A Twilight Social Hour has kicked off $7 specialty cocktails and other discounts from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., along with a DJ spinning light music a bit earlier.
Nearly three years after opening, you finally can feel the ocean breeze on a front patio that opened this summer.
Email news to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to John Tanasychuk, Sun Sentinel, 500 E. Broward Blvd., Suite 900, 9th floor, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394.