100 E. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-0515, GoSarpinos.com
Slava Kopilevich has unveiled the first of six South Florida outposts of this national chain that he plans to open in the next three years.
"My pizza is more of Chicago style while the competitors' product is more New York style. The brand is already loved and trusted in Chicago," says Kopilevich, who owned a branch when he lived in Chicago. "The other pizzerias nearby close rather early, but we are open until 4 a.m., and we never have a delivery fee or a minimum order. I make sure my staff is very well trained, and my drivers are the face of the brand."
Known for its gourmet pizzas ($9.99-$24.99), Sarpino's front-runners are classic Italiana, ranch-style chicken, buffalo blue chicken and the Tuscany. You also can build your own with about 40 topping choices, in addition to more than 30 dips. Other best-sellers are chicken ranch calzone ($7.99-$9.99), signature salad with three meats ($8.99) and chicken club sandwich ($7.99).
Kopilevich transformed a Dunkin' Donuts with murals and Sarpino's colors of green, red and white for his counter service eatery. Umbrellas help shade outdoor seating.
Benny's on the Beach
10 S. Ocean Blvd., Lake Worth, 561-582-9001, BennysOnTheBeach.com
In addition to redesigning the interior as part of the ownership change in November, executive chef and managing partner Jeremy Hanlon of this retreat on the beach is asking for input on trial breakfast and lunch dishes through the end of the month to finalize the menu in the fall.
"Benny's has been a landmark for over 20 years on the Lake Worth pier, and customers have been very clear they did not want certain things to change," says Hanlon, who trained in Europe and across the United States, including at Daniel Boulud's empire. "So we decided customers should vote on the new flavors and dishes we believe Benny's on the Beach should be known for. Benny's is a fun place, and we want our menu to be fun."
Every two weeks, Hanlon is rolling out a menu of about seven specials along with feedback cards. Favorites have been The Jersey Boy sub with pork, three eggs and cheese ($10.95), French toast made from lemon-poppy seed bread, called Lemon Berry Blast ($12.95) and a milk shake crafted with a house-made blueberry muffin ($8).
"We are looking to reduce the size of our menu slightly so that careful attention is paid to each remaining item versus trying to offer a little bit of everything for everyone," Hanlon says. "When you try to do that, less focus is given to what is important."
In addition, he plans to launch dinner service in the fall.
Multiple locations, BonefishGrill.com
This popular 14-year-old seafood chain, based in St. Petersburg, has expanded its menu by 40 percent with two dozen items.
"This is Bonefish Grill's largest expansion of the menu since the restaurant's inception," says president Stephen Judge. "We listened to our guests and are proud to present them with an even wider variety of choices so there's something new for everyone to love."
The new selections are fairly evenly dispersed throughout the menu, including four appetizers, such as the famous Bang Bang Shrimp fashioned into flatbread ($8.90). Lobster has been paired with comfort in a cheddar and smoked mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of lobster bisque for dunking ($13.90). Spicy tuna ($12.30) has been a hit in the new section of four noodle or grain bowls, and the rib eye with a crispy char-grill crust ($24.90) aims to please carnivores with five new sauces, such as white truffle butter or creamy mushroom bacon.
Most of the new sides are deemed deluxe with a supplement charge ($2-$4) with an entrée, such as porcini ravioli ($6 without entrée). Dessert hasn't been overlooked with the s'mores flatbread ($5.50)
Seven updated cocktails include the rum Fresh Pineapple Martini ($7.90) and the vodka Cold Snap Cucumber Cosmo served on the rocks in a whimsical glass made of ice ($8.50).
Prices vary slightly by location.
Latin House Grill
9976 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, 954-399-9687, LatinHouseGrill.com
What began as a burger-and-taco food truck has expanded to Broward County in the former Hot Peppers after two years at its brick-and-mortar location in Kendall.
Chef and owner Michell Sanchez has his own vocabulary when he talks about his restaurant.
"As a food truck, we had flavored Broward many times, and we always noticed that people really loved our food," says Sanchez, adding they were featured by Guy Fieri on the Food Network this year. "When we no longer had the truck, we noticed people would drive south for some madlove flavors. We wanted to pick an area that was centrally located, and Pembroke Pines not only did that, but also offered a nice mix of families and businesses."
Signatures, with a choice of protein, are the flash-fried three-cheese flatbread with veggies, called the Flatton ($11.99), flash-fried jumbo Chimi Burrito with three cheeses and plantains ($12.99) and Taqueria Calle Tacos ($11.99). A dozen burgers ($6.99-$18.99) include the Cuban with queso blanco and dulce de guayaba marmalade and the Elvis with three cheeses, peanut butter, grape jelly and sweet plantains. Libations include 24 craft drafts and speak-easy style cocktails, such as Smashed Whiskey with honey, bourbon, lime, mint and bitters ($10-$14 depending on the bourbon).
Lunch and dinner are served daily, except Mondays, amid bare-bulb pendant lights, concrete floor, industrial ceiling, TVs with state-of-the-art sound system, an L-shaped bar topped with 35,000 pennies and a mural — all anchored by an interior marquee-style sign with "MADLOVE" in lights. A front patio offers outdoor dining.