• Once upon a time, it was pretty common for local restaurants to shut down for the summer. Now that the economy is in the shitter, it's starting to happen again. Charlie reported earlier that Testa's in Palm Beach had made like a door and closed until November, and now comes word that a pair of Lake Worth eateries have done the same. Safire Asian Fusion is done until October and Nick's Apizza until mid-September. Of course, if the economy continues to drop giant turds, some of those closures might not be so seasonal.
• Is sake the new Chardonnay? Who knows? But you can jump on the sake bandwagon with a sake tasting sponsored by the South Florida chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food at Boon's Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar (19605 State Road 7; 561-883-0202). From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, the Boca Raton eatery will be offering a variety of sake cocktails and tastings of four premium sakes to go along with a selection of munchies and a bento box main course that includes sushi, sashimi, and lobster roll. Cost is $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers, and you can reserve a space by calling 954-396-3875 or 305-663-9641 or by email at email@example.com.
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• If you can't afford to dine under the Tuscan sun, you can at least dine at Tuscan Grill, especially with its summer special dinner: four courses, Monday through Thursday, for $24.95. You start off with a loaf of house-made garlic bread, then choose among apps like clams oreganata, pastas like gnocchi with spinach and Gorgonzola sauce, entrées like veal chop Milanese, and chocolate torta for dessert. Of course, Fort Lauderdale isn't Florence, but for 25 bucks, what the hell do you want?