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The Eat Beat Dining around South Florida
with Mike Mayo
Eating The Eat Beat

Raise a claw and cheer, stone crab season is here

Welcome to the Eat Beat Newsletter. It's the most wonderful time of year, Florida's stone crab season is here. The season began Sunday, but some restaurants and stores used frozen claws opening day. Monday is when freshness prevails. Patience is a virtue.

(Price pinch for crab claws?)

Will Irma drive up stone crab prices?: That's the big question heading into the seven-month season, which runs through May 15. The price of crabs isn't determined until the first day of the catch, but the big buyer who plays a key part in wholesale pricing, Steve Sawitz of Joe's Stone Crab, told me to expect similar prices as last year. He also says prices might stay higher after the opening crush, partly because crabbers and fisheries want to recoup storm losses. Prices have risen steadily through the years as worldwide demand increases and Florida's annual harvest remains steady, at roughly 3 million pounds per season.

(A bounty of stone crab events.)

Get crackin': Celebrations and charity events centering on stone crabs will abound in coming weeks. The South Beach Seafood Festival takes place Oct. 17-21, with the main event a big beach party on Oct. 21 ... At noon on Oct. 21, Keys Fisheries in Marathon holds its annual stone crab eating contest, with proceeds going to a local youth center and Keys storm relief. $100 gets you 25 crab claws ... On Oct. 22, celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian will hold an $89 all-you-can-eat stone crab brunch at his Point Royal restaurant at the Hollywood Diplomat Resort, with a portion going to Broward Health Foundation's Wells Women's Health Center for breast cancer month.

(Latin flavors at Sabor y Vino in Palm Beach Gardens Oct. 19)

Secret Supper, etc.: The Sun Sentinel holds its first Secret Supper on Monday Nov. 6, a fun food and cocktail event at a surprise restaurant in Delray Beach that will be revealed the day of the event. You never know who might show up (wink-wink). Tickets are $100 and available here ... The second Sabor y Vino Latin Food and Wine Festival takes place in Palm Beach Gardens on Oct. 19, with unlimited food and drink from 20 Palm Beach County restaurants. Tickets are $40 in advance, $60 at the door, and organizers have given me a free pair to give away. If you want them, be the first to email me the answers to this question: Name the Tampa institution famed for its Cuban sandwich that claims to be Florida's oldest restaurant, and what neighborhood is it in? ... The Rooftop@1WLO, a rooftop lounge with light bites at 1 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, has its grand opening on Friday, Oct. 13. It is the latest from Fort Lauderdale's The Restaurant People, along with TRP Taste, a ground-floor popup kitchen and eatery that will welcome rotating chefs ... Burton's, a contemporary American chain, will open its first Florida location on Oct. 16 in Boca Raton, 5580 N. Military Trail, in the Park Place shopping center.

Remember Velvet Creme Doughnuts? Shop returns to Miami's Little Havana

Velvet Creme Doughnuts, which opened its first location in Little Havana about 70 years ago, is back with a new store in the historic district. [More]

Review: V & S Italian Deli in Boca Raton brings subs to a higher level

I awarded three and a half stars to V & S Italian Deli in Boca Raton, a sandwich shop where Vinny and Sal Falcone have brought artistry to subs, salads and sides since 1985 [More]

Review: Le Sirenuse at the Four Seasons Surfside is an expensive, bumpy, first-class trip to Italy

I awarded two and a half stars to Le Sirenuse at the Four Seasons in Surfside, an outpost of a famed Amalfi Coast resort restaurant with a stunning dining room, decent food and some service stumbles. [More]

Miami No. 5 'foodie' city in U.S., Hialeah beats New Orleans in latest ridiculous website ranking

Miami ranked No. 5, Fort Lauderdale No. 30 and West Palm Beach not at all in a ranking of America's best "foodie" cities by the finance website WalletHub. [More]

Rocco's Tacos raising MS awareness with new margarita

For those who like to drink purposefully, proceeds from the sale of the MS Miracle Margarita go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. [More]

Got a restaurant tip or dining beef?  Reach me at mmayo@southflorida.com or 954-356-4508. Don’t troll me, but feel free to roast or flambeé me on Twitter: @heymikemayo, and follow my food adventures on Instagram: @mikemayoeats.

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Stay hungry my friends.

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