Openings and Closings

Restaurant News: Bellini's Opens on Federal, Pollo Tropical Lends a Hand, Jackson Tasting in Oakland Park

•    The coal-fired pizza craze continues to be hotter than a. . . coal-fired oven. The latest example is Bellini's Coal-Fired Pizza, now dishing up those crisp-crusted pies on North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. The menu goes beyond the usual pizzeria suspects with dishes like truffled mac 'n' cheese, arugula salad with goat cheese, oven-roasted artichoke and a nifty Italian wine list, plus wings, assorted pastas and paninis, and, of course, pizzas that range from margherita to meatball.

•    Exchange an old hand-held communications device for a new hand-held mastication device on Monday, Jan. 11, at your local Pollo Tropical. On that day the company is accepting donations of cell phones, smart phones, PDAs and the like (including battery) and in return will reward the giver with two of its five new wraps and sandwiches. The collected hand-helds will be programmed to dial 911 and then be donated to Women in Distress, a national domestic violence center. A chicken Caesar wrap or guava pork barbecue sammie may not be able to surf the web like an iPhone, but unlike that Apple they're pretty good to eat.

•    If you hurry you can still make a free tasting of wines from the Jess Jackson family of wineries at the Wine Warehouse in Oakland Park. That would be tonight, Thursday, Jan. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m., where tastes of Kendall-Jackson's Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah will be poured, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot of the more upscale Stonestreet label. Remember, everything tastes better when it's free.

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Bill Citara