Rick's Reviews: Brunch & Chocolate & Empanadas, oh my!

A chef at the 2018 Las Olas Wine and Food Festival prepares a masterpiece as patrons watch from the street.

Pelican Landing, 2301 SE 17th St., part of the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina, has introduced a revamped Sunday brunch with an unmatched intracoastal waterway view and live entertainment.

In addition to having a front-row seat to watch stunning yachts enter in and out of the marina, diners can enjoy dishes such as sautéed Florida Keys pink shrimp with poached eggs, vanilla brioche French toast with a Rice Crispy crust and a jalapeno biscuit egg sandwich. Guests can also celebrate with Pelican Landing’s all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary bar with house-infused vodkas, bubbles and mimosas for $15 per person. Call 954-524-3444 or go to pelican-landing.com.

The Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach, has announced the launch of a new proprietary chocolate recipe. The chocolate incorporates cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Mexico and features an intense cocoa taste with woody notes. Fontainebleau Sapphire Noir is made exclusively for the iconic Miami Beach resort. A chocolate bar, signature pralines and petit gateaux are sold in the hotel’s signature coffee and patisserie shop Chez Bon Bon. At the shop Fontainebleau Sapphire Noir is available in a 3 oz. dark chocolate bar for $10, a bon bon is $2 and a petit gateau, with creamy, crunch cake and mousse with cocoa nib glaze, is $6. 

Desserts in the hotel’s signature restaurants, StripSteak, Scarpetta and Hakkasan, also use the customized chocolate recipe. Guests will be able to experience the exclusive flavor at a chocolate and wine pairing experience at StripSteak on Mondays and Wednesdays for $25. For more information, call 800-548-8886. 

In honor of National Empanada Day on Monday, April 8, Colada Cuban Café, 525 N. Federal, in Flagler Village, is offering a buy-one-get-one free empanada deal. Choose your favorites from an assortment of freshly made chicken, beef, vegetarian and Philly cheesesteak empanadas. The special promotion is valid on Monday, April 8 for dine-in or takeout orders. Colada is a family-owned and operated South Florida Cuban coffee house and fast-casual eatery that sticks to its old school roots with a new school twist. It’s known for its delicious iced café con leches, authentic Cuban sandwiches and a selection of fresh pastries. Its mothership store, Miramar Bakery, has been a favorite in Hollywood for more than 35 years. For more information, visit coladahouse.com or call 954-368-4705.

The Las Olas Wine and Food Festivalwill take place on Friday, April 5.  More than 2,000 attendees will gather to enjoy the fantastic culinary talents of South Florida chefs while raising money for a good cause. Guests will sip, sample, and enjoy dishes from more than 50 of the area’s finest restaurants and more than 40 wineries, spirits brands, and brews. Tickets for this year’s event, a benefit for The American Lung Association, are $150, which includes entrance into the festival as well as all sips, samples, and entrance into all lounges, among other giveaways available throughout the event.  For tickets and more info go to lasolaswff.com or call 954-727-0907.

Mojo, 4140 N Federal in Fort Lauderdale, is offering some early week discounts. Not only will you not have to deal with weekend crowds, but you can take advantage of such bargains as Muscle Monday. No, you don’t have to be a gym bunny; you just need to enjoy a bowl of mussels for $6.50, or a margarita for $4.50. If neither of those appeals to you and you’re ITB (in the restaurant business) you can get 50 percent off your meal. Some restrictions apply (like don’t pretend you’re in the biz, you better have a business card or a pay stub to prove it, and you can only use one discount at a time). They also offer a $6 martini on Tuesdays and happy hour all night long on Wednesdays. Call 954-568-4443 or go to mojofl.com for more info. 

J Mark's,1245 N. Federal in Fort Lauderdale, has long been a favorite in our community and here’s one reason why; we get preferential treatment. If you bring in the ad from SFGN you can get some terrific deals not advertised on the restaurant’s website. Among the bargains are $2 drinks (including five house wines, four draft beers and six signature cocktails), lunch for two for $11.99 and dinner specials, including New York strip steak or Scottish salmon for $15.99. Talk about friends with benefits! The deals are also available at the Pompano Beach location, 490 NE 23rdSt. (near Copans). Call 954-390-0770 for Fort Lauderdale reservations or 954-782-7000 for Pompano.