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Dining scene: From grilled cobia to grapefruit givre

Dining and DrinkingRestaurantsCookingBuilding MaterialPersonal ServiceLabor Day

Salsa Fiesta

35 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-763-3436, SalsaFiestaGrill.com

This fast-casual Mexican chain in Broward and Miami-Dade counties has opened its fourth location, the first one to offer breakfast.

Morning selections include crispy cheese taquitos with guava dipping sauce ($2.99), egg burritos ($4.25-$4.95), breakfast torta with cilantro omelet and chipotle beans ($4.75), Mexican-style waffles topped with mango ($5.75) and low-fat plain yogurt with fruit and granola ($3.99).

"We thought it would be a good idea to start with breakfast in Fort Lauderdale because we're in a downtown area," says Cesar Olivo, CEO and co-founder. "We've had people coming in at 8 a.m."

Five tortas (sandwiches), such as the Veracruz with fish, chipotle beans, mango, pickled onions and cilantro cream ($7.99), stand out among the usual burritos, tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, tostadas, salads and enchiladas, which are served on organic bamboo plates with silverware instead of plastic. Each menu category allows you to choose your protein, such as nachos & tostones with chicken, ground beef, carnitas, steak or fish ($6.99 -$8.69)

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily amid an industrial atmosphere with concrete walls, reclaimed wood and an exposed ceiling punctuated by bright mosaic tiles and Aztec- and Mayan-inspired murals and artwork. Kick back with beers, frozen margaritas or frozen sangria on the patio.

Mancini Modern Italian

401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Suite 150, Fort Lauderdale, 754-200-8602, ManciniLasOlas.com

This downtown cozy yet sophisticated spot with its wood-burning oven, invites you to get hands-on with executive chef Claudio Sandri each Wednesday.

Sandri teaches guests how to stretch and mold curds into creamy half-pound mozzarella balls before serving it with balsamic reduction, heirloom tomatoes, basil pesto and ciabatta bread. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $30, which includes a glass of prosecco, red or white wine. If you stay for dinner, you'll get half off any bottle of wine.

On Thursdays, ladies can enjoy a complimentary glass of prosecco and two-for-one premium cocktails and wine during High Heel Happy Hour from 4 to 10 p.m. Drinks, such as margaritas, cosmos and dirty martinis, and appetizers, such as tuna tartare, calamari and mussels, also are featured for $4.

On Tuesdays through the rest of the month, locals get half off glasses of prosecco and chianti and select pastas, such as clam linguine and gorgonzola-cream gnocchi.

New dinner options are eggplant involtini jumbo meatball ($11), scallop carpaccio ($12), grilled octopus ($12), pan-seared diver scallops ($29) and three pizzas: mushroom, barbecue chicken or four cheese (all $11). Finish with chocolate ganache with black lava salt ($11).

Boulud Sud

In Cafe Boulud, The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach, 561-655-6060, CafeBoulud.com

This summer's return of Daniel Boulud's Mediterranean pop-up concept through Sept. 2 is even more alluring with its move outside overlooking the fountain courtyard, marking the first year the terrace has been air-conditioned by enclosing it with transparent side panels.

Olive trees, lanterns and terra-cotta pots of herbs evoke a Provencal ambience.

"The cuisine of Boulud Sud works very well with the hot summer months of Palm Beach — a bit lighter fare," general manager Andrew Burns says. "That's one of the inspirations of bringing the pop-up here."

New specialties include spiced chicken pastilla with Swiss chard, feta, almonds and raisins ($14), spicy lamb merguez sausage with lemon-mint couscous, spinach and chickpeas (appetizer, $16; entree, $26) and cedar-grilled salmon in pistou broth plated table side ($32).

Baklava ($11) is new as well, but the grapefruit givré served in its carved-out fruit with sesame halva, rose loukoum and sorbet still steals the finale ($12).

Wine and cocktails fit the theme too, such as the refreshing Sea Glass with a blue-tinted globe-shaped ice cube floating in Blanche Armagnac, Esprit de June liqueur and Champagne ($15).

Dinner is served nightly, and a weekend three-course prix fixe is available for $35.

At Cafe Boulud, a weekday three-course prix-fixe lunch through Labor Day for $20.03 commemorates the restaurant opening in 2003. If you bring a bottle of wine on Tuesdays, the corkage fee will be waived through Oct. 7.

Atlantic Grille

The Seagate Hotel & Spa, 1000 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, TheAtlanticGrille.com

This stunning sea-themed restaurant has launched summer choices that will run through at least September.

"The majority of guests as well as myself tend to try and eat healthier and lighter during the warmer months," says executive chef Adam Gottlieb. " I wanted to create dishes that utilize more seasonal vegetables to give a filling dish and steer away from the heavier carbohydrates a bit."

Several dishes have been tweaked, but all-new creations include: grilled flatbread with arugula, mozzarella, tomato, prosciutto, basil and balsamic ($13); summer risotto with veggies, pea puree and bacon ($14); grilled shrimp with soba noodles, veggies and peanuts ($27); and Caribbean jerk pork chop with hearts-of-palm salad and plantains ($29). Don't miss the ¿grilled cobia with charred romaine, avocado, pickled red onion, bacon, manchego and herb dressing ($28).¿

New desserts are coconut-pineapple cake with coconut ice cream ($9) and peaches-and-cream Belgian waffle with pecan praline sauce and vanilla ice cream ($10).

A three-course prix fixe for two people from Sunday to Thursday for $33 per person with a bottle of select wine will run through September. The menu changes each month; July's options include grilled peach-and-white grape gazpacho, chicken schnitzel and bananas Foster cheesecake.

Weekend brunch continues for the summer, but lunch is served only Fridays until the fall.

Up next: Shark-themed cocktails.

Email news to susan@editorguru.com or send to John Tanasychuk, Sun Sentinel, 500 E. Broward Blvd., Suite 900, 9th floor, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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