Around and around we go; today is the start to yet another lovely workweek. Hopefully, you have a bit of a spring in your step from some indulgent weekend activities. If not, don't fret; there are still plenty of events to keep you busy through your working days.
Whether you're looking to sample some high-end fare during a special guest dinner pairing series at Valentino or want to meet a Napa Valley winemaker, there's plenty to do in Broward and Palm Beach counties this week.
Food Truck Ralley in Hollywood
In praise of palate-pleasing artistry, ArtsPark at Young Circle and the Broward County Cultural Division have invited the Miami Food Trucks to downtown Hollywood every Monday evening. Curated by Sef "Burger Beast" Gonzalez, the weekly event features a wide range of culinary delights, from cupcakes and ice cream to barbecue, burgers, and grilled-cheese sandwiches. While attendance changes from time to time, expect to see perennial favorites such as Palate Party, the Rolling Stove, Ms. Cheezious, JOJI Yogurt, HipPop's Handcrafted Gelato Bars, Nacho Bizness, and the Health Nut. Bring a blanket, chairs, friends and/or family, and an empty stomach. The popular Miami Food Truck rally comes north to Broward County from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday at Arts Park at Young Circle in Hollywood. Check out the latest in food trucks, culinary fusion, desserts, and more. ArtsPark is located at 1 Young Circle, Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; 954-921-3500.
Groundhog Day Breakfast
South Floridians don't really care if winter lasts longer than usual; a few more weeks of mild temps is A-OK with everyone here. But just in case you feel sympathy for family and friends living in much colder climes, you might want to see for yourself if Punxsutawney Phil -- everyone's favorite groundhog -- sees his shadow on the official Groundhog Day, February 2. Have breakfast at Ocean Alley Restaurant and maybe donate $10 to the Hollywood Lifeguards competition taking place.
Guest Chef Dinner Series at Valentino Cucina Italiana
Valentino chef and owner Giovanni Rocchio will be hosting the next installment of his guest dinner series on Monday, February 2. The series features chefs hailing from some of the highest-rated, Michelin-starred restaurants in the world who will cook beside Rocchio for a five-course pairing dinner. The series runs through March. This week, Rocchio welcomes chef de cuisine Vincenzo Manicone from Villa Crespi located in Piemonte, Italy. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $295 per person (tax and gratuity included). Valentino is located at 620 S. Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale; 954-523-5767.
Dinner Series at Ocean 2000
In a series of monthly events, Ocean 2000 at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale will offer a truly dynamic dining experience under the illumination of a natural full moon. Just imagine sitting on our sweeping veranda, dining alfresco with an unobstructed view of a natural full moon reflecting off the Atlantic Ocean. It's a romantic dining experience one does not want to miss! Highlights of the evening include culinary selections from a prix-fixe menu created by executive chef Michael Bloise. Enjoy exclusive oceanfront verandah seating. Oversized telescopes are positioned for viewing of the moon. You'll also have table visits from Bea Kobran, astrologer and spiritual healer. Ocean 2000 is located 2000 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-556-7667.
Fundraising Event at World of Beer
This Tuesday, the Coconut Creek World of Beer will host a special fundraising event for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Each Relay for Life is an organized community fundraising walk where teams of people camp out around a track and members of each team take turns walking. During the event, participants enjoy food, games, and activities -- and often can win raffle prizes. All proceeds raised during the evening will benefit the American Cancer Society's Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach, and Lighthouse Point chapters. The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. World of Beer is located at 4437 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek; 954-984-0300.
Wine Down Wednesday at Sorrisi Wine Bar
Wine Down Wednesdays will take place from 5 p.m. to closing in the Sorrisi Wine Bar at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek. Wine lovers can enjoy specially priced small bites paired with fine wines, which have been personally recommended by master sommelier Virginia Philip. Wines by the glass will be available for just $7, red or white sangria for $8, and small bites starting at $9. Small bites include cold poached salmon roulade with arugula, wild mushroom, red pepper, parmesan and a basil seed vinaigrette; prosciutto crisp with crostini, herb goat cheese spread, poached pear, san danielle prosciutto and truffle scent; and a maple pecan crisp with crostini, maple pecan almond spread, baby arugula, strawberry, and a balsamic glaze. Other items on the small-bite menu will be shrimp with olive oil and lemon, a grilled vegetable stack, meatball sliders, marinated olives and cheese, heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, bruschetta, and a flatbread of the day. Sorrisi is located at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, at 5550 NW 40th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-977-6700.
When you think of bingo, odds are flaming drag queens with names like Bitter Misty Eyez and the Mean don't pop into your head. If you think this game is just for group-home-bound geriatrics, think again. Lips, "The Ultimate in Drag Dining," has taken its bedazzler and made over the game into what it calls Bitchy Bingo. It takes place every Wednesday and is hosted by two of the club's finest and most fabulous. Everyone who plays will have a chance to win prizes. Cost is $15 per person. Lips is located at 1421 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park; 954-567-0987.
Trivia Night at Tarpon Bend
Prove that you're smarter than the average South Floridian during trivia night at Tarpon Bend in Fort Lauderdale. The event features specials on cocktails and food, including $2 PBR or $3 SoCo shots. Trivia starts promptly at 8 p.m., but arrive early for a drink (and a good table). There are 20 questions and a final wager (Jeopardy-style) to determine the winner. First prize gets a $100 gift certificate to Tarpon Bend; second place is $50. Tarpon Bend is located at 200 SW 2nd St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-523-3233.
Meet Winemaker Peter Franus
The Wine Wave in Delray Beach will be hosting a special tasting on Wednesday, February 4, featuring the wines of Peter Franus. Attendees will have a chance to meet the winemaker, hear his story, and sample (or purchase) his wines. Franus is a respected Napa Valley winemaker and an insider secret in the wine industry. For 30 years, he's created wines near Mount Veeder on the southwestern flank of Napa and has found avid supporters who connect to his disarming wit and earnest approach to winemaking. For decades, he's produced small batches of highly praised, soulful, and -- most of all -- truly delicious wine. The event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. and is $20 per person. To register online, visit livingfla.com/rsvp. The Wine Wave is located at 900 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-276-2076.
4th Dimension at Fat Cat's
For those seeking a grittier alternative to the suits-and-heels scene on Las Olas Boulevard, Fat Cat's is a downtown Fort Lauderdale mainstay featuring dark, Americana-littered walls, an eclectic program of local live music, and a formidable selection of cheap beer. Active types dance and sing along an inch from the stage, while subdued types sit in the shadows watching, drinking, and loving every minute of it. Shoot a game of pool, groove to the live reggae on Wednesday nights, or hang out on the front patio for some great people-watching. Night owl? The night starts at 11:30 p.m. Original Fat Cat's is located at 320 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-467-5867.
Ladies Night at Legends Lounge
Ladies Night takes place Thursdays from 5 p.m. to closing in the Legends Lounge at the Seminole Hotel in Coconut Creek. This high-energy night features Veuve Clicquot champagne for just $7 by the glass and $70 for a bottle. The Clique, a crowd-favorite, eight-person, Top 40s band, performs will rock the house. Throughout the night, surprise high-end retail brands will make special appearances with mini fashion shows and giveaways. Legends Lounge is located at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek at 5550 NW 40th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-977-6700.
Whole Foods Farmers' Market
Every Thursday, join the Pembroke Pines Whole Foods for its weekly farmers' market from 4 to 8 p.m. More than 40 vendors set up shop at the west end of the parking lot, offering locally grown produce, homemade products, and other unique goodies not found at any grocery store. Guests are invited to come out and shop for some of the freshest products in town, while supporting their local vendors/farmers offering items such as hand-crafted jams and jellies; local honey; exotic fruits; hand-poured soy candles; plants, trees, and fresh herbs; freshly made guacamole, ceviche, and salsas; and much more.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.
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