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In restaurant news: 2 celebrity eateries close; Chicken in a Bucket lands in South Florida

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 6/23/2022 Phillip Valys, Rod Stafford Hagwood, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem opened their restaurant, 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen in Aventura, in September 2018. © Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem opened their restaurant, 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen in Aventura, in September 2018.

Stay up to date with South Florida dining news:

Monique Clarke Brown and husband Alexis Brown are the owners of Reggae Roots Jamaican Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. © Carline Jean / South Florida/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS Monique Clarke Brown and husband Alexis Brown are the owners of Reggae Roots Jamaican Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.

Now open

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;

The food hall at Aventura Mall no longer has Guy Fieri's Chicken Guy! location. © Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS The food hall at Aventura Mall no longer has Guy Fieri's Chicken Guy! location.

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;

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;

Kosher Chobee, West Palm Beach

This glatt kosher Middle Eastern-fusion restaurant (and strong candidate for best overall kosher eatery name) from chef-owner Aviad Ballaish and partner Ami Shabbot debuted June 12 on Okeechobee Boulevard. Shabbot says the menu features entrees such as ribeye kebabs and oven-roasted salmon with white wine and herbs, falafel and babaghanoush appetizers, and corned beef and chicken schnitzel sandwiches. No website is available yet, but their Facebook page includes menu offerings. 4875 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-662-2223

Mamma Mia Bistro, Wilton Manors

Mamma Mia Bistro, which quietly opened in late May, is the first U.S. eatery from Federica Priolo, who comes from a family of restaurateurs in Italy. “Mamma Mia is gonna be an Italian bistro, not a gourmet restaurant,” she says. “Here, people can taste the traditional Italian recipes. But the signature is going to be 100 percent the handmade fresh pasta that we are sure Americans will love.” True to its name, Mamma Mia will have Priolo’s mother, Lory, helming the kitchen. The restaurant opened in the same space as the recently shuttered Via Vai Italian Deli & Wine Bar (and before that, Wolsen Caffe). 2043 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors; 754-261-5385;

Le Petit Poussin Café, Deerfield Beach

This Parisian-style boulangerie, which debuted in late May from owner Karim Laitaoui, specializes in breads, croissants and pastries baked on the premises. The menu features quiches, banana-caramel crêpes, croque monsieurs (toasted brioche bread with bechamel sauce, ham and swiss cheese), French grilled cheese sandwiches, and pastries ranging from éclairs to vanilla bean crème brûlée. 261 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach; 754-212-4347;

Spinnato’s Hoagies & Meats, Pompano Beach

This hoagie shop registered to owners Mike Lipski and Jennifer Anderson debuted May 30 near US-1 and Atlantic Boulevard and serves sandwiches, salads, wraps and Boar’s Head cold cuts by the pound. The sandwicherie also specializes in fine-cut meats (prime filets, bone-in ribeye Tomahawks) and what it dubs “oddball meats” (kangaroo, ostrich). 231 S. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach; 954-953-8984;

Mr. Goode’s Chinese Takeout, Boca Raton

Chef Eric Baker’s (Rebel House) third new restaurant in 18 months (!) picks up the trend of upscale Americanized Chinese with chef-partner David Bouhadana (Sushi by Bou in Pompano Beach) in a new storefront off East Camino Real. Baker, whom we suspect never sleeps but merely switches to standby mode, has been on a tear lately in east Boca, after opening Uncle Pinkie’s Deli and Japanese izakaya AlleyCat in 2021. At Mr. Goode’s, takeout staples like spring rolls are upgraded with Peking duck, and entrees include house fried rice with pastrami, shrimp, spicy pineapple and pickled mustard greens, and beef chow fun with strip steak, broccolini, shiitake and rice noodles. 1159 S. Federal Highway, Boca Raton; 561-931-2131;

The Falcon, Delray Beach

After taking a month off to redecorate and revamp, the goth-y drinking den known as Death or Glory has been reborn as The Falcon, which debuted May 27. Named after the historic 1925 Falcon House that it occupies, the craft-cocktail gastropub comes from ex-Death owner Annie Blake and new business partner Sean Iglehart (Sweetwater Bar & Grill in Boynton Beach). It serves global street food such as pork belly mofongo (Puerto Rico), Lamb Kafta Burger (Lebanon) and Elote Loco Salad (Mexico) with charred corn kernels, cotija cheese, cilantro-lime dressings, ancho chili, baby romaine and pickled fresnos. 116 NE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach; 561-808-8814;

Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders, Oakland Park

South Florida’s latest chicken contender is this fast-casual shack from Orlando from local father-and-son franchisees Tyler and Bob Cafferty, which debuted in May in the Northridge Shopping Center. Huey’s menu carries grilled, hand-breaded and sauce-smothered (or “sauced,” as the menu describes it) tenders, along with dipping sauces, salads, sandwiches and wraps. This is the Cafferty family’s third of six planned South Florida Hueys, with future outposts heading to North Lauderdale this fall and Boca Raton and Coconut Creek in 2023. 881 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park; 754-667-4998;

Just Salad, Palm Beach Gardens

This New York-spun, fast-casual salad shop, which has been growing in South Florida since July 2019, opened its latest storefront (and second in Palm Beach Gardens) in May. The 2,450-square-foot space serves 15 types of salads, along with wraps, warm bowls, avocado toast, soups and smoothies. 3331 Northlake Blvd., Pembroke Gardens;

Flaming Grill & Modern Buffet, Pompano Beach

Taking over a former Golden Corral in May, this restaurant was opened by owner Wenwen Li. The buffet (whose website logo uses a font reminiscent of an Anne Rice vampire novel) serves all-you-can-eat sushi and hibachi dishes for lunch and dinner, as well as platters of steak, noodles, cheeses and fruits. 2100 W. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; 754-205-0733;

The Munchies Report, Pompano Beach

This food truck parked itself in a partnership with Pompano Beach Brewing Co. (formerly Bangin’ Banjo) and opened June 1. Much as it did when it moved around SoFlo, Munchies serves what it bills as its signature “American pub style food with Peruvian and Puerto Rican influences.” Co-owners Giovanni Ramirez and Amanda Rivera say their most popular dishes are the Smash Burger (double smashed patties with cheese, caramelized onions and roasted garlic aioli on a brioche bun) for $12, Puerto Rican Empanadas for $8, and the Taco Platter (three per order) for $12. 3200 NW 23rd Ave., Suite 500, Pompano Beach; and

Legends Tavern and Grille, Palm Beach Gardens

Legends established its signature gastropub foothold in Palm Beach Gardens on May 20 with a new location at The Shops of Donald Ross Village. This is Legends’ sixth eatery since debuting in South Florida back in 2010 — and the first in Palm Beach County. Like the others in Sunrise, Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point, Pompano Beach and Plantation, the latest Legends serves menu favorites such as Bangin’ Shrimp and Pot Roast Grilled Cheese, as well as drinks including the Legendary Old Fashioned and the signature $5 Legendary Margaritas. The venue’s 2,600-square-foot space includes a dog-friendly patio. 4550 Donald Ross Road, Suite 107, Palm Beach Gardens. 561-766-2994.

PrimoHoagies, Fort Lauderdale

A South Philly and New Jersey staple known for its crusty, seeded Italian hoagies (subs, if you’re South Floridian), this franchise is making another pass at Fort Lauderdale, after a previous Primo sputtered out at Victoria Park Shoppes back in 2015. This hoagie shop from local franchisee Eddie Miranda debuted in early April in the Southport Shopping Center, and slings cheesesteaks, wraps and handhelds built with Thumann’s-brand deli meats and cheeses. 1499 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale; 856-742-1999;

Tough Times Tavern, Pompano Beach

This unabashed hole-in-the-wall cocktail bar from owner Challo Schott (cofounder of Oceanside Grocers in Delray Beach) is - if you believe its press statement - designed “for the outcasts and the artists, the unknowns and the weird ones.” Tough Times, which debuted May 14, features murals hand-painted by Schott, pool tables, a beer garden and local sets from punk, goth and hip-hop acts. 537 S. Dixie Highway E., Pompano Beach;

Minato Japanese Buffet, Pembroke Pines

This sushi, sashimi and seafood buffet, registered to Qi Feng Dong, opened in May on the corner of Douglas Road and Pines Boulevard. The all-you-can-eat spot replaces a Golden Corral and features price-fixed lunch and dinner buffets for adults and children. 9045 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines; 954-589-2376;

Sushi Sake, Boca Raton and others

This Miami-born chain dishing Japanese and pan-Asian cuisine opened its newest — and northernmost — location on May 23 on West Palmetto Park Road. This Sushi Sake, registered to franchisee Carlos Cardoso, serves hibachi, katsu and teriyaki entrees, as well as sashimi and rolls with Miami-inspired names like the Miami Heat, Marlins, Calle Ocho and NFL rolls. Other Sushi Sakes are coming to Miramar, Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs later this year. 7020 Beracasa Way, Boca Raton; 719-367-4732;

Lewis Steakhouse, Jupiter

Lewis Steakhouse is the latest expansion from the Lewis family, owners of West Palm Beach’s Okeechobee Prime Seafood, Okeechobee Prime Barbecue and Okeechobee Prime Meat Market. The fine-dining concept opened May 13 in Jupiter’s Chasewood Plaza, in the space that formerly housed Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant. The menu at the 150-seat restaurant focuses on USDA Prime cuts (with three in-house master butchers). Peruse the extensive wine list with 675 selections and savor dishes from executive chef Jamie Steinbrecher such as butter-poached shrimp, prosciutto-wrapped Alaskan halibut, and a beef flight for two. 6390 W. Indiantown Road, Suite 59, Jupiter; 561-277-9188;

Blazing Grill and Pizza, Tamarac

This grill devoted to American comfort food opened on May 11 on the western edge of Tamarac, and is registered to Claudel Samson and Ronald Etienne. The eatery features grilled wings in four configurations (from mild to “blazing”), along with classics such as spaghetti and meatballs, NY strips, sandwiches, wraps and tavern-style pies. 7132 N. Nob Hill Road, Tamarac; 954-722-1122;

Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill, Pembroke Pines

This Chicago-headquartered, fast-casual Middle Eastern chain from franchisees Bassam Fares and Mohamd Zayid opened its latest location in early May in Pembroke Pines, near the Pembroke Lakes Mall. At Naf Naf, which means “fan the flame,” customers may build their own pitas and bowls with rice, couscous or hummus, add proteins (chicken shawarma, steak, falafel), and top it off with veggies (purple cabbage, sumac onions) and sauces (harissa, s’khug, tahini). 213 N. Hiatus Road, Pembroke Pines; 954-399-8235;

Ah-Beetz New Haven Pizza, Delray Beach

Ah-beetz, for the uninformed, is the only proper way to pronounce “apizza” in New Haven, Conn. — locals there say it loudly and emphatically, like “achoo!” — which should tell you something about the authenticity of the pies served here. The pizzeria, which opened May 3, is co-owned by Kassondra Frantz and Nick Laudano Jr. The restaurant touts Connecticut favorites such as white clam ah-beetz, “mootz” (or mozzarella) pies with toppings, plus calzones, wings, salads and grinders. Ah-Beetz is still in soft-opening mode but plans to host a grand-opening event later this summer. 15200 Jog Road, Unit A3, Delray Beach; 561-908-2466;


800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen, Aventura

Big ballers Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem 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; 305-428-2444;

American Icon Brewery Kitchen & Taproom, Fort Lauderdale

According to social media posts, this gastropub on the edge of Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village enclave suddenly shuttered on Monday, May 23. The eatery/bar was known for ginormous murals of rock legends Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix as much as for its menu of truffle fries, beer-cheese soups, pork pot stickers, stone-fired pizzas and “pubwiches,” which ranged from hamburgers to short-rib sliders. “We are thankful to the Fort Lauderdale community for their patronage and support over the last three years,” the post reads. The flagship brewery in Vero Beach remains open. The social media posts go on to say, “American Icon will be focusing on expanding our beer distribution throughout Florida.” 913 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale;

The Pie House, Boca Raton

This short-lived pizzeria from owner John Auricchio debuted in early 2021 in the Boca Lyons Plaza and closed abruptly last week without fanfare. It has deleted its social media accounts and disconnected its phone number. The Pie House featured New York-style specialty pies with names like White Benny Blanco and Drunken Grandma (served with normal or cauliflower crusts), along with Italian-American staples such as baked ziti, eggplant parm, and six varieties of hot subs. 9180 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561-483-5665;

Tipico, Fort Lauderdale

For more than 20 years, Tipico Cafe was a family friendly east Fort Lauderdale favorite, serving reasonably priced Mexican and Spanish dishes, consistently well-prepared and delivered with attentive grace in a room that exuded uncommon warmth. The restaurant was a victim of dramatically rising rents in the Gateway Shopping Center, a manager said. It closed on May 28 without fanfare, but accompanied by many dining-room hugs and handshakes. There are reportedly no plans to reopen elsewhere. 1910 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale;

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