Now open: Mari’s Kitchen inside Fort Lauderdale’s Sistrunk Marketplace and Yo Momma’s Kitchen in Pembroke Pines

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Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill, Miramar

This location of the Bokamper’s restaurant brand closed in April for renovations and updates — and now it’s back with a new chef and a new menu. The lakefront restaurant, which reopened on Sept. 20, still has a kids’ game room, private party suite (with its own bar) and the expansive indoor/outdoor seating. Head chef Christian Zancolla has added perfect-for-game-day dishes such as buffalo chicken tater kegs, which are tater tots stuffed with shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, cream cheese and ranch dressing. Other new menu items include rigatoni and meatballs, a Mediterranean grilled salmon salad and a variety of tacos. In case you don’t know, Bokamper’s is part of the PDKN Restaurant Group, founded by former Miami Dolphins gridiron great Kim Bokamper and partners P.J. Kavanagh, Damon DeSantis and Noel Cullen. The PDKN brand includes other Bokamper’s in Plantation and Fort Lauderdale. There is also Bo’s Beach, La Playa Dayclub, Bo’s Pub, The Balcony and The Hidden Garden, all in Fort Lauderdale. 15500 SW 29th St., Miramar; 754-400-8558;

In this pre-pandemic photo, Mari’s Kitchen Rosticceria serves grilled eggplant, 13 house-made cheeses, deli meats and fresh-baked focaccia bread at Yellow Green Farmers Market. Mari’s Kitchen expanded in September with their second stall inside Sistrunk Marketplace. (Antonio Pellechhia / Courtesy)

Mari’s Kitchen, Fort Lauderdale

The Pellecchias have opened a second location for their Italian fare of paninis, carpaccios and bruschettas. The family now has a kiosk at the food hall Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery in Fort Lauderdale. “Most of our customers are from Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton,” says Luigi Pellecchia. “It’s the same concept, but what’s new is you can get fresh pasta here.” There is also the original Mari’s Kitchen Rosticceria in the Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood, which opened in 2018 after the family descendant from Napoli, Italy, moved to SoFlo from Venezuela (where the family operated five Italian restaurants). Here in the States, Luigi and brother Giancarlo help run the family business with their father Toni and mother Mari, the eatery’s namesake. 115 NW Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale (Sistrunk Marketplace); 305-915-0408;

Dope Vegan, West Palm Beach

What began as a vegan hamburger food truck that rolled around West Palm Beach during the pandemic is now owner Rhona Nain’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant. Nain, who debuted Dope Vegan’s storefront in early August on North Military Trail with partner John LeJeune, had recently operated as a Friday-Saturday pop-up inside Big John’s Eatery across the street from iThink Financial Amphitheatre. Dope Vegan’s small menu touts four plant-based burgers, plant-based fish and the DFC (Dope Fried Chicken), as well as french fries and vegan chocolate-chip cookies. 175 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach; 561-788-5139;

Yo Momma’s Kitchen, Pembroke Pines

This breakfast-brunch café from owners Kimberly Ann Parks and Carlos De Las Salas debuted in early September inside the Pembroke Lakes Shopping Plaza. Along with café con leche, there are fruit-and-yogurt parfaits, chia-seed pudding, breakfast biscuits and the Momma’s Platter (two eggs, choice of meat, hash browns, toast). Pastries include pies, cupcakes, gelato and even funnel cakes. 10410 Taft St.; 954-362-4994

Ispalina Restaurant, Boca Raton

Upscale Mediterranean fine-dining cuisine is on the menu at Maksim Kornev’s Ispalina, which opened in August on North Federal Highway. A rebranding of Kornev’s Sultan Cafe & Grill in the same space, which shuttered earlier this spring, Ispalina serves up salads, charcuterie boards, red-pepper hummus, wild mushroom fettuccine and porcini risotto with truffle oil, along with ribeyes, chicken marsala and New York-style cheesecake. 5800 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 561-571-6159, Ispalina.Restaurant

Pure Green recently opened its second Boca Raton location in Mizner Park. (Pure Green / Courtesy)

Pure Green, Boca Raton

This fast-casual eatery recently opened in Mizner Park, which many consider the de facto downtown of Boca Raton. This is the city’s second location, with plans to add to that number throughout SoFlo (hence the new franchise headquarters in Sunrise). Founded in 2014 by health and fitness expert Ross Franklin, Pure Green is known for cold-pressed juices and juice shots, superfood smoothies, as well as acai and pitaya bowls. Reality TV personality and BFF of the Kardashian clan, Jonathan Cheban — a.k.a. Foodgod — recently collaborated with the brand to release a new Blue Banana Smoothie. 324 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 561-409-4271;

Rocksteady Jamaican Bistro, Delray Beach

Chef-owner Duane Morgan’s sophisticated take on classic island staples has added a sister location in downtown Delray Beach. The new spot debuted on Sept. 7 and, as with the Boca Raton flagship on North Federal Highway, resembles a romantic French nook. The menu features elevated versions of curried goat, whole fried snapper escovitch, oxtail stew, ackee and jerk chicken. 60 NW Fifth Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-7091;

American Tapas Bar, Boca Raton

This small-plates eatery from business partners Jay Oliveira and Christian Jacques opened its first offshoot on Sept. 7 at Boca Raton’s Palmetto Place, less than a year after the original debuted on Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Here, Oliveira and Jacques (who also run Spanish tapas kitchen Eatapas in Fort Lauderdale) serve American-style tapas such as grilled octopus and filet mignon sliders, entrées like Cajun jambalaya, short ribs, bacon-wrapped dates and fried chicken. 114 Plaza Real S., Boca Raton; 561-672-7362;

Harat’s Irish Pub, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

With just five out of its 38 menu items evoking the Emerald Isle, it’s probably best to describe Harat’s as a loosely Irish pub. (Think Twin Peaks but with shepherd’s pie.) Pub classics, instead, are far more common at this franchise run by Andrey and Dmitri Serebrianik and Yuri Denisenko, which soft-opened Sept. 1 in the primo corner space at Commercial Boulevard and El Mar Drive, next door to Vinnie’s and Even Keel Fish Shack. Harat’s, a global franchise with many Eastern European locations — and one that opened on Hollywood’s Young Circle last spring — serves loaded fries, flatbread pizzas, burgers, Reuben sandwiches, and fish and chips. 100 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea;

Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream, Pompano Beach

You can beat this SoFlo heat with some frozen treats at the newest Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream shop that opened Aug. 27 in Pompano Beach’s Park Plaza Shopping Center. Owned by Michelle and Hugo Sappey, this franchise continues the Miami-based brand’s signature flash-frozen-on-the-spot concept. Here’s the scoop: You choose a base of milk, yogurt or alt-milk (coconut, almond, oat) and your toppings, then your order is frozen in a split second using liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees Fahrenheit. “My wife, children and I have been longtime customers of the Chill-N in Fort Lauderdale, often making the drive down just to get our favorite ice cream,” says Hugo Sappey. “We fell in love with the brand from the start and decided we wanted to open a Chill-N closer to us in Pompano Beach.” The new location is open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. Next up, Chill-N plans to open in Plantation in the coming months and then Pembroke Pines and Doral in 2023. 1170 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach; 754-205-7222;

Fried calamari is served at Thirsty Turtle Seagrill, a new seafood shack that opened in late August on Northlake Boulevard. (John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Thirsty Turtle Seagrill, West Palm Beach

The southernmost location of this seafood shack and sports bar mini-franchise debuted Aug. 31 inside the Shoppes at Ibis plaza, and is registered to co-owner Salvatore Zambito. The restaurant on Northlake Boulevard is a clam’s throw from the town of Westlake, Loxahatchee Groves, the Acreage and golf-and-country-club Ibis — a food desert where retail stores and restaurants are scarce. The Turtle specializes in surf-and-turf, including beer-battered shrimp, fried clam strips, shucked oysters and peel-and-eat shrimp, along with burgers, salads, skirt steaks and baby back ribs. The restaurant’s other outposts in Juno Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce will remain open. 10130 Northlake Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-660-8911;

Teriyaki Madness, Oakland Park

This Asian franchise has locations in 34 states, plus in Canada and Mexico. With South Florida outposts in Boca Raton and Miami, Teriyaki Madness now has ventured into Broward County, opening in Oakland Park’s Northridge Shopping Center in early August. Along with chicken, steak and salmon rice and stir-fried noodle bowls loaded with veggies, the menu also offers chicken eggroll and crab rangoon appetizers. 5073 N. Dixie Highway, Oakland Park; 954-541-5867;

Khan Baba, Plantation

This Pakistani café and restaurant, registered to owners Imtiaz Mohammad and Musharaf Muhammad, debuted in mid-August in Plantation Square. Its menu features typical dishes such as haleem (slow-cooked lentils, wheat, barley and minced beef), paratha (a type of flatbread made with clarified butter) and zarda (a yellow sweet rice flavored with cardamom, raisins and pistachios), along with kebabs and chai teas. 1755 N. University Drive, Plantation; 954-368-5960;

Monka’s Beer and Burger Bar, Lake Worth

This new downtown gastropub from husband-and-wife owners Justin and Rebecca Sirmons hosted its grand opening on Aug. 27 where South H Street meets Lake Avenue. The bar serves up burgers and handhelds including a shrimp po’boy, mahi and pulled pork sandwiches, along with salads, jalapeño bacon bites and fried pickle chips. Monka’s also has beer, of course, as well as wine, and live music on weekends. 921 Lake Ave., Lake Worth; 561-720-2930;

A sampling of truffles in the display case at the new Hof’s House of Sweets in Fort Lauderdale. (Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Hof’s House of Sweets, Fort Lauderdale

After the Las Olas storefront of Hoffman’s Chocolates closed its doors in July, this wonderland of confections reopened Aug. 31, reborn under a new name and branding — Hof’s House of Sweets. The revival only affects the Las Olas location, which was transformed into a lounge with international sweets and treats, along with doughnuts and pastries. The plan is to also have alcohol, but the spot awaits its beer and wine license. Hof’s, of course, still carries chocolate made from its factory in Greenacres. 601 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-368-4320;

Henry’s Sandwich Station, Fort Lauderdale

After four years of artful sandwiches, bakery treats and housemade sodas in mural-splashed FAT Village, owner Marc Falsetto moved Henry’s flagship storefront across the street to the Sistrunk Marketplace food hall. The upscale sandwicherie reopens Sept. 1, the CEO of Handcrafted Hospitality (Tacocraft, Anthony’s Pronto Kitchen) posted on social media. Henry’s move was is timed around the imminent teardown of funky art enclave FAT Village. 115 NW Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-329-2551;;

Ela Curry Kitchen, Palm Beach Gardens

After two years of global small plates at his Stage Kitchen & Bar, chef Pushkar Marathe (Ghee Indian Kitchen, 3030 Ocean) veers into traditional Indian entrees with Ela Curry Kitchen, which had its grand opening on Aug. 30 inside the Donald Ross Village plaza. The 65-seater, which Marathe opened with Stage business partner Andrew Dugard, serves a la carte Indian street food and thali-style entrees, in which small bowls of chutneys, naan, rice, lentils and protein are presented on a large platter. 4650 Donald Ross Road, Palm Beach Gardens; and

Sixty Vines in Boca Raton has charcuterie and wine on tap. (Manny Rodriguez for Sixty Vines / Courtesy)

Sixty Vines, Boca Raton

This Texas-born upscale chain, inspired by wine country and catering to wine lovers, debuted Aug. 31 from CEO Jeff Carcara and partners Jack Gibbons and Brad Leist. Sixty, which replaces a Brio Tuscan Grille at The Shops at Boca Center, seats 355 with a wine-garden patio. The name refers to its 60 wines on tap, a sustainable measure meant to reduce waste and evoke the experience of drinking straight from barrels at vineyards. There are also charcuterie plates, pizzas, Cabernet-infused burgers, pork chops and Atlantic salmon. 5050 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton;

Just Salad, West Palm Beach

Since 2019, this fast-casual eatery has been steadily expanding in SoFlo. This new location is the eighth in the region and the 10th overall in the state. The chain is known for chef-designed salads, wraps, warm bowls, avocado toast, soups and smoothies in the $10 to $12 range. Popular menu choices include the Crispy Chicken Poblano, Thai Chicken Crunch and Tokyo Supergreens. Just Salad also has a reusable bowl program: If you purchase a bowl for $1, you get a free salad topping with each reuse. 1880 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach;

Timpano Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale

After sitting empty on Las Olas Boulevard for 30 months — since the pandemic’s outset — the eatery once called Timpano Italian Chophouse re-emerged this month, renamed and fully remodeled. The 292-seat Timpano, under the helm of new chef Michael Ferraro (“Beat Bobby Flay,” “Bar Rescue”), has adopted a sleekly modernized Art Deco look and well-appointed speakeasy motifs from Orlando-based Tavistock Restaurant Collection (Abe & Louie’s in Boca Raton). Menu options include Australian Wagyu Hanger Steak, Veal Chop Parmesan and Siberian Caviar, plus a favorite returns: roasted mussels. 450 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale;

The Salty, West Palm Beach

Started in 2015 in Wynwood by Amanda Pizarro and Andy Rodriguez, The Salty hosted a grand opening for its seventh location on Aug. 19 at trendy Rosemary Square. The Salty specializes in over-the-top, brioche-raised doughnut treats, with flavors such as horchata, prickly pear margarita, brown butter and “churro + dulce de leche.” The shop, dubbed one of the “31 best donut shops in America” by Thrillist, has been teasing its presence in West Palm Beach since October 2021 with camper pop-ups parked in the square. 700 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 200, West Palm Beach;

A round of chocolate-chip cookies from Batch, the Cookie Co. (Batch the Cookie Co. / )

Batch, the Cookie Co., Boca Raton

This Flagler Village-spawned gourmet confection shop now caters to cookie monsters in Boca Raton after hosting a grand opening of its third location on Aug. 20. The confection shop, from itinerant pastry chef Max Santiago and business partners Adam August and Nick Hicks, bakes cookie with flavors such as frosted red velvet, brown-sugar blondies and all-vegan, gluten-free blueberry-lemon swirl and brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tart. 5050 Town Center Circle, Suite 233, Boca Raton; 954-533-8200,

The Taco Project, Coral Springs

Taqueria staples — beef burritos, shrimp quesadillas, Cajun salmon tacos built with corn tortillas — are featured at this New York-based chain, which debuted its first South Florida location on Aug. 22. The 1,650-square-foot taco shop, opening inside The Walk of Coral Springs, comes from New York owners Nick Mesce, Carmelo Milio and Sebastian Aliberti. 2866 N. University Drive, Coral Springs;

Larry’s Ice Cream & Cafe, Boca Raton

After several delays, this restaurant suddenly announced through social media on Aug. 13 that it was open. The original Larry’s Ice Cream has been selling its sweet chill-ness in Coral Springs since 1986. But now, new owner Janet McGinnis has expanded Larry’s to St. Andrews Plaza, near the Town Center Mall. Known for desserts and unique takes on comfort food, the menu in Boca Raton remains largely New Jersey Boardwalk-inspired, but with a little more sparkle and glam. 21090 St. Andrews Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-931-3982;

Borsalino Coffee Bar, Plantation

This Miami-born, all-day chain registered to Georgios Yiannikakis and Georgios Koulouris brewed its fourth location in late July inside Plantation’s Market on University plaza, adding to cafes in downtown Miami, Miami Shores and downtown Fort Lauderdale. Borsalino offers iced and hot coffees, with flavors ranging from lavender to chai spice lattes, as well as juices and smoothies. Its comfort-food menu features items such as Nutella hotcakes, overnight oats, burrata omelets, smoked salmon croissants and short-rib tartine, along with chicken pesto BLTs and chicken-thigh bao buns for lunch. 1041 S. University Drive, Plantation; 954-616-8841,

Taco Real, Coral Springs

Taquerias are ubiquitous in Broward County, but owner Luz Alatorre’s small Sample Road storefront, which quietly debuted in early August, unwaveringly sticks to traditional Mexican — and even pre-Hispanic — cuisine. There’s Jalisco-style pozole (a pork-and-hominy stew), Yucatan-style cochinita (slow-cooked pork in plantain leaves, spices and achiote), and pre-Columbian tlacoyos (oval-shaped cakes of blue-corn masa stuffed with white cheese and protein). That’s in addition to 10 palm-sized tacos, including Al Pastor and Tinga de Pollo (chicken breast in homemade tomato sauce). 10315 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs; 954-906-7777

FK Your Diet, Sunrise

No, they’re not FK kidding: This new breakfast-lunch chain pairs heartwarming good deeds with ridiculously over-the-top food. Picture hamburgers sandwiched between deep-fried buns. A 1-pound breakfast burrito as big as a rolled-up gym towel. Maple bacon-flavored milkshakes and Southern-fried chicken eggs benedict. Slow-roasted pulled pork, meatloaf and fried fish sandwiches. This Fort Myers-born restaurant from cofounders Doug Miller and Amy Eldridge opened this latest location, its fifth, in August. The “FK” refers to foster kids, with a portion of restaurant proceeds benefiting several Florida charity programs. 9210 W. Commercial Blvd., Sunrise; 954-832-7102;

Umberto’s Pizza & Pasta, Pembroke Pines

After 49 years in South Florida, this hallowed, Long Island-spun pizzeria closed its doors in February on North University Drive after longtime owners Salvatore and Joseph Corteo sold the Pembroke Pines building and land to Jian Ying Zou for $1.68 million, according to property records. Then Zou, who planned to reopen Umberto’s with its original staff in September, instead reversed course and shared this news on social media on Sept. 17: “We are sad to announce that the new location we were working on has fell through and sadly we won’t be able to open a new location due to a non-compete agreement.” Umberto’s, which opened in Pembroke Pines in 1973, specialized in classic Italian fare such as chicken cacciatore and lasagna, as well as thin, rectangular Grandma-style pies. The restaurant’s phone number and website are both down. The Umberto’s Fort Lauderdale location on Commercial Boulevard remains open. 1320 N. University Drive, Pembroke Pines; 954-432-5056,

Rene’s Schnitzelhaus, Sunrise

In a blow to local German and eastern European cuisine, chef-owner Rene Kostoy’s restaurant shuttered in August after 3 1/2 years inside Sunrise Oakland Village Square. Kostoy’s 50-seater featured dishes such as chicken schnitzel, 24-hour roasted pork shank plated with sauerkraut and pretzel dumplings, and an impressive beer lineup for Oktoberfest. The restaurant’s website and phone line have been disconnected. 8318 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise

Thai Bayshore, Fort Lauderdale

After 30 years of serving Thai staples out of their storefront a block south of Commercial Boulevard, this elegant restaurant closed for good on July 31. “Our time has come to move on to new opportunities. We really enjoyed serving our many customers over the years,” the restaurant posted on social media. Thai Bayshore, whose elegant dining room was adorned with maps and Asian tapestries, served volcano shrimp and crab fried rice, boneless roasted duck and whole snapper along with classics such as masaman curry and pad thai. Records show that another Thai restaurant, Ma Prao Thai Cuisine, plans to take its place under new owner Kamolwan Kawpunna. 4838 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 954-772-8990;

Royal 350 Tap and Kitchen, Fort Lauderdale

The Eat Beat – Restaurants, Bars and Recipes

The Eat Beat – Restaurants, Bars and Recipes


Dining out, cooking in and all the South Florida restaurant news and information you need.

This slick rebranding of the former Royal Pig Pub gastropub quietly shuttered without fanfare after its final dinner service on Aug. 19. A statement taped to the entrance confirms the closing, as does a statement emailed to the Sun Sentinel: “We have made the difficult decision to close for now and re-brand with another exciting concept. Thanks for all your support!” Royal opened and closed multiple times during the pandemic, finally reopening last summer under a refreshed name and menu with an emphasis on burgers, salads, bowls and entrees like sizzling fajitas and baby back ribs. 350 E. Las Olas Blvd.; 954-617-7447,

Moréa, Fort Lauderdale beach

This oceanside fine-dining restaurant served its last plate of Mediterranean cuisine and shuttered on Aug. 3, about seven months after opening at the Paramount Condominium on Fort Lauderdale beach. The food and beverage company that owned the eatery — North Carolina-based LM Restaurants — said in a statement sent to the South Florida Sun Sentinel (similar to one posted on their website): “Morea gives thanks for our friends and neighbors of Fort Lauderdale for your support. We have loved being a part of this amazing community.” LM Restaurants, which also owns Oceanic in Pompano Beach, went on to say that Moréa was sold but declined to divulge the name of the new owner or possible plans for the venue. 701 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale;

Duke’s Lazy Loggerhead Cafe, Jupiter

More than two decades after opening on the beachside Carlin Park in Jupiter, this locals’-favorite grill served its final meals on Aug. 12. Owners Brian and Jennifer Wilson decided to close the restaurant due to high rents. The menu featured omelets and pancakes for breakfast, along with marinated chicken breast platters, dolphin and Reuben sandwiches for lunch. 6 Van Kessel Parkway, Jupiter; 561-747-1134;

Hardy Park Bistro, Fort Lauderdale

After debuting in 2013 under the helm of Aussie chef Philip Darmon, who co-owned the eatery with wife Jessica Rossitto, the Hardy Park Bistro was sold to chef Aaron Mohan in 2020. Now comes a pithy update on the restaurant’s website that reads “Business Closed! We regret to inform you that as of Tuesday, July 26, 2022, we will no longer be open for business.” Mohan — a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland as well as Le Cordon Bleu culinary academy in Miami — co-owned Hardy Park with his mother, Susan Moonsie-Mohan. Fans of the late-great music superstar Prince may recall her as a member of girl groups Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6. She also appeared in the movie “Purple Rain.” 21 SW Seventh St., Fort Lauderdale;

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