Now open: Original TooJay’s Deli reborn in Palm Beach; Swirl Wine Bistro debuts in Margate


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Patio Bar & Pizza, Fort Lauderdale


Inside the quaint, landmark Progresso Plaza, this new pizza restaurant and bar from hospitality veteran Brian Parenteau (DrYnk Bar & Lounge, Tulio’s Tacos and Tequila Bar) debuted on the ground floor this week, sharing patio space with craft-beer bar Laser Wolf. The pizzeria will throw its grand opening on Friday, July 29. 901 Progresso Drive, Fort Lauderdale; 954-740-6000;

TooJay’s Deli, Palm Beach


After 40 years, the original storefront of this local deli chain shuttered in June 2021, a COVID casualty in Palm Beach’s Royal Poinciana Plaza. Now the landmark location is back, revived a few doors down in the same plaza, inside a 3,500-square-foot space adorned with retro trimmings: vibrant blue booths, marble white tables, and vintage Palm Beach black-and-white photos. TooJay’s, which reopened July 26, still touts familiar menu items such as pastrami on rye, matzo ball soup, patty melts, potato knishes, avocado toast and cheese blintzes, along with five new options crafted in partnership with TV chef-personality Eric Greenspan. 340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach;

Mama Tea’s All Day Cuisine, West Palm Beach

This Jamaican cafe registered to Traceyann Haughton-Strachan hosted its grand opening on July 23 on the main drag of Northwood Village, a funky art-food-nightlife enclave 2 miles north of downtown West Palm Beach. The restaurant specializes in traditional Jamaican fare such as ackee and salted codfish, peanut and cornmeal porridge, banana fritters and brown stew chicken, jerk chicken wings and stew peas, curry chicken and pigeon peas, plus it serves six styles of soups and nine types of rice. 439 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach; 561-318-8798,

Ocean One Bar & Grille, Royal Palm Beach

If this trendy sports bar is constantly teeming with crowds no matter the location, there’s a good reason why: Everything on the lunch menu is $5.99 — except for the $3.49 domestic and imported beers, of course. (Even the premium cocktails, at $10, are 3-for-1.) The partners behind the six-buck entrees — Ron Rowe, David Stein, and Tony and Rosita Visone — opened their Royal Palm Beach location on July 27, with another future outpost planned later for Coral Springs. Meals range from orecchiette pasta to half-pound sirloin burgers to Mediterranean wraps. 11111 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach; 561-350-6718;

Swirl Wine Bistro, Margate

After five years of serving high-end Caribbean, European and American fusion out of a nondescript strip mall in Coconut Creek, husband-and-wife owners Mike and Judith Able have moved to higher-profile digs on West Atlantic Boulevard in Margate. The couple’s bistro, which debuted on July 28, takes over the storefront formerly occupied by YiaYia’s Greek Kitchen. Chef Judith Able, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University (and onetime winner of Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games”), prepares an adventurous, rotating menu that includes jerked chicken drumettes, pork-belly tacos with apple coleslaw, oxtail ravioli, grilled octopus and poached pear salads. 4976 W. Atlantic Blvd., Margate;

Skillets, Boca Raton


Skillets just opened its first restaurant on this side of Florida after years as a staple on the Gulf Coast. Owners Ross and Noreen Edlund started the brand in Naples and now there are 13 locations. The homestyle diner serves breakfast and lunch from a scratch kitchen and features daily fresh-baked breads, thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon and freshly squeezed juices. Already Skillets is planning more SoFlo expansion — Delray Beach by late fall and then possibly in Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Wellington and West Palm Beach. 7036 W. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton (in the Garden Shops at Boca); 561-931-2883;

JBC Noodles and Bubble Tea, Hollywood

This rebranding of Jiang Guo’s restaurant Liao Xiang Asian Cuisine debuted in late June, refocusing much of its menu from Chinese-American staples to dim sum, rice noodles from China’s Yunnan Province and many configurations of bubble tea. (Although you can still find chicken wings, lo mein, Mongolian beef and General Tso’s.) 2321 N. State Road 7, Hollywood; 954-544-4181;

Krzpy Bites, Deerfield Beach

Chef Carlo Lopez and his family started Krzpy Bites as a kiosk at Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood a year ago. Now the Latin-Asian fusion concept — with baos, tostadas, tacos, bowls — has expanded to a second location in a Deerfield Beach ghost kitchen. For 12 years, Lopez worked with celebrity chef Jeremy Ford and opened Stubborn Seed with him in 2017. “He was my mentor,” Lopez says. “I started with him right out of culinary school [at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale].” He adds that they are considering opening a third location next year. 1002 E. Newport Center Drive, Deerfield Beach (World Famous Ghost Kitchen); 954-907-2112;

Costa by OK&M, Delray Beach


This farm-to-table kitchen from chef Coton Stine Guzman debuted in May as an offshoot of her Intracoastal cafe in Boynton Beach, Organic Kitchen & Mercantile. Where Boynton Beach’s OK&M offers a breakfast-lunch menu, adaptogenic teas and plant-based sweets, and chef-made meals to go, Costa does dinner and Sunday brunch, offering items such as turmeric caramel-glazed heritage pork belly, lemon-glazed lollipop scallops and gaucho hanger steak with blistered shishitos, chimichurri and sunchoke puree. She sources her greens from Swank Specialty Produce, local-caught fish from Captain Clay’s in Delray Beach and meats from Sunshine Provisions in Hallandale Beach, among other purveyors. 502 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-501-6115;

Lasso Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, Fort Lauderdale

Entering the growing playground of Brazilian steakhouses in Fort Lauderdale (see Chima and the upcoming Fogo de Chão on Las Olas), this churrascaria hosted its grand opening on July 20, replacing the former Texas de Brazil. Lasso Gaucho comes from co-owner Edson Munekata (South Carolina’s Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse) and partners Antonio Jochem, Rudimar Rech and Chih Kuo Lee. Lasso serves its dishes rodizio-style — all-you-can-eat — with a spread of 18 meat cuts (from bacon-wrapped filet mignon to legs of lamb), a gourmet salad bar and 40 other items. The steakhouse also dishes select cuts a la carte, including picanha, grilled salmon and charcuterie boards. 2457 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 754-223-4663;

Salento Coffee Shop, West Palm Beach

This 4-year-old Colombian coffeehouse from owners Jaime and Johanna Lara has moved two blocks north to a new downtown West Palm Beach perch: inside Mandel Public Library and next to the coveted nightlife hive of Clematis Street. (Its flagship location, at 120 S. Dixie Highway, stayed open while they moved.) The new storefront, which the Laras were able to acquire through city programs, will use cafe seating from the library’s patio. Named after the small Colombian town from which they source their beans, the shop also serves smoothies, juices, arepas, paninis and Colombian bites like pasteles de pollo and carne (beef and chicken patties), pan de bono (cheese bread) and pastel gloria (pastry).407 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-841-6138;

Fantasy Room Bar & Grill, Hollywood


Hosting its soft opening on July 14 (per an Instagram post), this venue is designed as a sports bar with a Caribbean-themed menu during the day and early evening before transitioning into a nightclub in the late evening. 1818 S. Young Circle, Hollywood; 754-267-9046;

The Mall at Wellington Green, Wellington

Three new dining options are now available at The Mall at Wellington Green. Keywa’s (561-808-9796; is a desserty destination with smoothies, frozen drinks and boba teas, as well as waffles and crêpes (both sweet and savory). And Q’Bola Café (786-444‑7162; serves Cuban sandwiches, pizzas and coffees. Med Plate (754-551-1426; is restaurateur Ray Ibrahim’s fast-casual eatery that spotlights Mediterranean menu items such as kabobs, gyros, stuffed grape leaves and satay platters. It also has a signature 10-ounce churrasco skirt steak. 10300 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington;

Hard Rock Sports Bar, Hollywood

Serving classic American food, this sports bar is right off of the gaming floor and next to Hard Rock Live. The latest edition to the food and beverage options at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino also has a 31-seat wraparound bar, 360 degrees of screens showing sports, and a games pit with 12 blackjack tables. The menu includes grilled chicken wings for $18; nachos with barbacoa beef for $19; loaded hot dogs (bacon, onion, pinto beans, tomatoes, jalapeño aioli, toasted brioche roll) for $15; and a Dynasty burger for $17. Food service starts at 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and noon on Saturdays and Sundays. The bar is open daily from noon to 4 a.m. 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 800-937-0010 or 866-502-7529;

Bar 25, Delray Beach


This new gastropub replacing the former Mellow Mushroom off Atlantic Avenue quietly opened on July 1. In a testament to how fast Delray Beach’s dining scene moves these days, Bar 25 owner Anthony Giovanniello snapped up the lease last summer, just five days after Mellow Mushroom closed. No online menu is available yet, but Bar 25 serves wagyu beef sliders with bacon onion jam and blue cheese, chicken pesto garlic flatbreads, among other pub fare, plus a selection of rare liquors. 25 SE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach; 561-359-2643;

Helena’s Coffee, Plantation

This trendy coffeehouse a block south of the Broward Mall, registered to Diego Maricino Nuno and Jorgelina Ghioldi, had its grand opening on June 15 and boasts bakery-cafe fare with 13 styles of coffee, smoothies, milkshakes, frappes and sandwiches bearing globetrotting names: Istanbul turkey, Rome wraps, Venezuelan guava tequeños, a Dubai biscuit (egg, Muenster cheese, bacon). 823B S. University Drive, Plantation; 754-200-6220;

Let’s Chill, Coral Springs

Married owners Cristina and Ricardo Braga, both war veterans, are the sweet tooths behind this scoop shop that debuted in May. The ice creamery is said to source its dairy from a local farm twice a week. It peddles 30 year-round and seasonal flavors, including four boozy infusions for the 21-and-older set: rum raisin, margarita, Bailey’s Island and mint chocolate chip. 9739 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs; 754-702-3513;

Conch Cravings, Delray Beach


With a mission to serve conch straight from the Bahamas, this laidback seafood shack from first-time restaurant owner Gloria Denson hosted its grand opening on June 17 in northern Delray Beach. Denson, who opened her restaurant with $45,600 in grants from Delray Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency, also offers lobster, shrimp salad, oysters on the half-shell, smoked salmon spreads and garlic crabs in a bucket. 1191 N. Federal Highway, Suite 5, Delray Beach; 561-455-2120

Osteria Mazzi, Coral Springs

This Italian restaurant from owner Stefano Mazzi debuted in June inside the Coral Palm Plaza, specializing in 12 styles of Neapolitan-style pizza along with housemade pastas and entrees, including cotoletta alla Milanese and tagliata Fiorentina with vegetables. The restaurant also serves octopus and potato appetizers, salads, paninis and Nutella bombolinis for dessert. 2047 N. University Drive, Coral Springs; 954-906-5764;

Amore Caffé, Boca Raton

Opened in May, this restaurant boasts ownership by Marco Presciutti and Candida Mazzella, who also helm Le Sorelle restaurants in Delray Beach and Boca Raton. “Our whole life … we have been in the restaurant business, first in Italy and then also here in the U.S.,” says Marco. The concept is an Italian coffee shop, he says, “but we have adjusted it to the requests that there are here in the U.S.A.” So far, favorites include the Italian ciabatta with 24-month-old Prosciutto di Parma, Stromboli, pizza, croissants (made fresh daily) and various salads, the most popular being the Alex Salad (avocado, arugula, nuts, blueberry, cherry tomato, shaved parmesan). Prices range from $3.50 to $3.70 for pastries; all sandwiches are $13.90; pizza slices are $3.50; salads are $11.50 to $16.90; and hot dishes such as lasagna and eggplant parmigiana range from $9.90 to $13.95. 4400 N. Federal Highway, No. 110, Boca Raton; 754-302-2448;

Smile Empanadas, Wilton Manors


This new empanada eatery quietly opened in late June, replacing the former empanada eatery known as Almacen de Empanadas. No, there’s no empanada drama. In fact, Smile moved in with the full support of Almacen’s owner, Elias Iskandarani, who says he would like to focus his empanada empire on distribution via his EmpaMec commercial empanada machinery out of Davie and his kitchens in Opa-Locka. Axel Tiemroth, one of Smile’s owners, says that the new fast-casual restaurant “aims to be the McDonald’s of empanadas.” There are screens above the counter where diners can see exactly what the fillings are, unlike many empanada cafes. Tiemroth and business partner Lucas Capurro know that the formula works because last year they tested SoFlo waters (both are from Argentina) with a popular location in Coral Gables. Tiemroth says they learned to not rigidly adhere to traditional recipes: “They’re not so Latin American. We aimed to be more local flavors.” That means popular menu choices include cheeseburger, pulled pork and chicken marinara empanadas. Individual empanadas are $2.99 each; the Big Smile Combo of six empanadas is $15.99; a Family Pack of 12 is $29.99; and a Party Pack of 48 is $109.99, or 96 empanadas for $199.99. 2041 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors;

Principessa Ristorante, Boca Raton

This upscale, traditional Italian eatery debuted in late May as the third new restaurant inside the luxe Boca Raton Resort, which recently wrapped a $200 million revamp designed to evoke the glamour of the Roaring ‘20s. Principessa comes from New York’s Major Food Group, led by founders Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick (Carbone, Parm), who debuted two other eateries — The Flamingo Grill steakhouse and all-day brunch spot Sadelle’s — at the resort over the past 12 months. Principessa features fresh pastas, grilled Branzino, meatball Valdostana, and a lengthy wine list. 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton; 561-447-3000;

Kaluz, Plantation

Rising across the street from the mega-shopping complex Plantation Walk is the third location of owner David Baldwin’s upscale New American restaurant. Kaluz — which debuted along the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale in 2013 and Wellington in 2018 — opened on June 21 inside a former Romano’s Macaroni Grill, near the corner of University Drive and Broward Boulevard. Sweet ginger calamari and cracker-crusted, shrimp-and-goat-cheese flatbreads are on the menu, as are salads, a prime-rib hamburger and entrees of Hawaiian-marinated tenderloin kebabs and maple-leaf duck confit. 100 N. University Drive, Plantation; 954-820-9050;

Reggae Roots Jamaican Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale


Monique Clarke Brown has pulled double duty with her law practice and this restaurant, which she opened to show her love of her home country, Jamaica, and its culture and food. Along with husband Alexis Brown — an entrepreneur, event planner and chef — she opened Reggae Roots in May in the space that formerly was Vincenzo’s NY To Chicago Pizzeria. That location is important. “We wanted to give [people] a new way of looking at Jamaican food,” Clarke Brown says. “To start, a new geographical location in South Florida; our customers have been so elated and warmly welcomed us as they have been longing for our cuisine without the long drive.” So far, the most popular dishes are oxtail, curried goat, jerk chicken and pineapple barbecue chicken. Prices range from $3 to $28. The interior seats 10 people and the outside lounge seats an additional eight. 4370 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 754-701-8407;

Giardino Gourmet Salads, Coral Springs

This Miami-born, salad-bowl shop opened its 14th Florida location on June 2 at University Drive, south of Royal Palm Boulevard, under new franchisees Francisco and Yesenia Fernandez. At each location, customers may customize their salads, grain bowls or wraps with a selection of 60 ingredients. There are also soups, chips and cookies. 1750 N. University Drive, Unit 109, Coral Springs;

Chicken in a Bucket, Davie

Yes, the name seems on-the-nose, but the product at this chicken house comes exactly as advertised: fried drumsticks, tenders, wings and nuggets in a bucket. This restaurant, near the corner of U.S. 441 and Stirling Road, was opened by co-owners Emmanuel Codron and Jenifer and Imri Shwartz. It features sandwiches and wraps, salad and rice bowls, nine dipping sauces and sides ranging from corn bread to fried pickles. 4051 Stirling Road, Davie; 754-206-3034;

Eats 876 Modern Caribbean Grill, Fort Lauderdale


Seemingly out of nowhere, this Caribbean/American fusion restaurant suddenly closed this summer. When it opened about a year ago — just south of the New River, near the Broward County Judicial Complex and next to Publix — Eats 876 was the realization of a long-held dream for Marlon Robinson, who started with a in-high-demand food truck of the same name in 2019. When the Jamaican-born, former food and beverage executive opened the brick-and-mortar diner, he used the food truck as the main kitchen. 627 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale;

Flossie’s Bar, Fort Lauderdale

An unassuming hangout tucked away on a service road next to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, this family bar has been a biker staple since 1975 — its parking lot bathed in a sea of Harleys on live-music nights. Never mind the worn bar stools and rescued kitchen furniture; it was, for locals, a port in a storm, a reliable pit-stop for hamburgers, wings, stiff tiki drinks and conviviality under Pam Gaytan, who has operated the bar since 2005. Flossie’s closed July 24 after Gaytan sold the bar to new owners. “It’s not our intention to let anyone down or leave you feeling unappreciated,” Gaytan wrote to customers in a July 7 Facebook post. “But it’s been a long run and it’s time to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. So it’s not over, it’s see you soon at a different venue!” 3985 Ravenswood Road, Fort Lauderdale; 954-583-9656;

Jade Garden, Plantation

This Cantonese restaurant closed on July 30 after 42 years in Plantation, according to a “closing announcement” posted on the front door this week: “We have been part of the Plantation community since 1980 and have had the pleasure to serve countless guests and get to know so many regular customers.” 244 S. University Drive, Plantation; 954-475-2788;

Bap Bistro, Sunrise


Chef-owner Michael Kwon’s sister restaurant to ROK Korean BBQ in Lauderhill has closed in the Gateway at Sawgrass plaza (next to IKEA). The restaurant’s website and socials say nothing about its closing, but the phone line is disconnected and on Yelp, a message reads in part, “Bap Bistro will be closing its doors after almost 4 years of serving its community. Thank you for your patronage, your friendliness and your friendships.” Bap specialized in build-your-own bibimbap (a Korean crispy rice bowl often with meat, mixed veggies like kimchi, spice and soy sauce), along with poke bowls and sushi burritos. 149 NW 136th Ave., Sunrise;

Ellie’s 50s Diner, Delray Beach

This neon-pink postcard to midcentury cheer — featuring life-sized Elvis and Marilyn Monroe statues that decorated Delray Beach with retro kitsch for 32 years — permanently closed on July 9. Ellie’s affable owners, Bob and Ellie Smela, decided to sell their throwback diner to new owners and retire rather than jolt customers with higher meal costs caused by inflation. The retro-themed Ellie’s played ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll on the jukebox, of course, and also staged weddings and dances (attire: poodle skirts and pedal pushers) inside the diner’s Flamingo Ballroom and classic-car meetups in the parking lot. A Facebook announcement in May before their closing brought a fresh wave of reminiscences and well wishes — and ‘90s rapper Vanilla Ice even swung by the diner to buy the Elvis and Marilyn statues. 2410 N. Federal Highway, Delray Beach; 561-276-1570;

Rob’s Bageland, Tamarac


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This bagel outpost on the corner of Commercial Boulevard and University Drive, from owners Rob and Alicia Elbaum, permanently closed in June. Rob’s also served homemade soups, corned beef, brisket, and stuffed cabbage and knishes. Four other Bageland locations remain open, in Tamarac, Coral Springs and Plantation. 5705 N. University Drive, Tamarac; 954-532-1445

Crab Holic, Davie


Seizing on a hot dining trend — boil-in-bag seafood — when it debuted last summer, this seafood shack from owner Phong Nguyen permanently closed in early July. The restaurant’s website has been taken down, and calls to its phone number went unreturned. Along with serving po’boys, burgers and fried seafood, Crab Holic’s main attraction were its steamy seafood bags, served tableside and filled with head-on shrimp, crawfish, garlic-buttery clams and mussels, halved red potatoes, crab and corn on the cob. 4599 S. University Drive, Davie; 954-450-4627

800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen, Aventura

Big ballers Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem on June 21 announced the closing of their joint restaurant, 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen, at the Aventura Shopping Center, behind Aventura Mall. The dynamic duo posted on the eatery’s website and social media accounts a goodbye notice that reads in part, “Our team has put their heart and soul into the restaurant, but in the wake of the pandemic, we have continued to be challenged by labor shortages, supply chain issues and more that have become unsustainable at this time.” Both Miami Heat legends will continue to be global partners of the California-based brand and hint that they may be bringing the restaurant back with a final statement of: “…but we have more in store for you, Miami — D. Wade and UD.” 2956 NE 199th St., Aventura;

Chicken Guy!, Aventura

Frosty-tipped TV personality and Lake Worth Beach resident Guy Fieri has permanently closed his chicken-tender restaurant, Chicken Guy!, after three years inside the Treats Food Hall at Aventura Mall. His shack clucked its last on May 31 and its location and phone number have been scrubbed from Chicken Guy! and Aventura Mall’s websites, although local outposts remain at Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise and Dadeland Mall in Kendall. Fieri’s fast-casual chicken chain served sandwiches and tenders with 22 dipping sauces, including a blend called Donkey Sauce. 19565 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2946, Aventura; 305-428-2444;


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