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We’re in the middle of high season and that’s normally when we see a lot of restaurant openings. Even in this year of a pandemic, there are plenty of openings and only a few closings to report. 

Vinos Wine Bar has moved into a larger space at 901 E. Las Olas Blvd., just down the street from its former location. It now boasts an outdoor covered lounge area. Psst! It also has a hidden speakeasy-style room for small parties.

Even Keel Fish and Oyster may have closed its Fort Lauderdale location on Federal, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone. They’ve just relocated and reimagined themselves as Even Keel Fish Shack, a casual beachside eatery in Lauderdale By The Sea, at 112 Commercial Blvd. “Bootleg Greg” is now behind the bar creating natural craft cocktails. The bar’s always a good spot, especially during weekday happy hour when oysters are just $2 each.

Austin Texas-based Chuy’s has brought its fun and funky Tex-Mex concept to South Florida with a new location at 10610 Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines.

The former Bar Red Beard, 3301 NE 33rd St., in Galt Ocean Plaza is now home to Twice Removed. Here the focus is on French fries of every shape and source (zucchini and yucca as well as other root vegetables as turnips, rutabaga, and yes, potatoes). Try an order smothered in ropa vieja, or topped with cheese curds, chicken curry, or cremini mushrooms.

My celebrity crush, Top Chef star Fabio Viviani, has opened a new restaurant, Riviera, in the Hotel Maren, 525 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., with local seafood-inspired dishes. Its rooftop location offers beautiful water views.

The landmark Jimmie’s Chocolates, which served up delicious confections since 1947 in Dania has permanently closed and its owners have put the business and land up for sale.

You say you enjoy ethnic cuisines? Check out Dar Tajine, 8281 W. Sunrise in Plantation, the only restaurant in the area serving authentic Moroccan fare, including salads, sandwiches, couscous, and, of course, tagines. For those not familiar with Moroccan cuisine it offers a moderate spice level and often features dried fruit, fostering a spicy-sweet combination that is addictive. And at prices like those at Dar Tajine (most entreés are less than $15), it’s an addiction you can afford.

Gioia Eat, at 1817 N. Young Circle in Hollywood, is a brand-new pizzeria that offers a traditional, modern pizza, with special considerations made for vegan, ketogenic, vegetarian, and dairy intolerant eaters. With over 48 specialty flavors and alluring new delicacies like the “Keto Pizza,” the restaurant has caught the attention of many. It also serves some pasta dishes. Owner and master pizza chef, Massimiliano Stamerra is the Acrobatic Pizza World Champion. And, yes, that’s a thing, Google it and watch a video.

Congratulations to Coral Springs’ Arun’s Indian Kitchen, 10278 W Sample Rd., on being named to Yelp’s annual list of Top 100 Places to Eat in 2021, its fifth consecutive year to be honored.

Speaking of honors, Wilton Manors’ own Dolce Salato Pizza & Gelato, 2406 N. Wilton Dr., was among the first places mentioned in U.S. News & World Report’s list of “What to Eat in Fort Lauderdale.” Also on the list were Pompano Beach’s Mini Pita, Café Seville, and Khoffner Brewery on Las Olas.

Rick Karlin is SFGN's food editor. Visit to read his previous reviews. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..