Though born in Sicily, Gianpiero Cangelosi moved throughout Europe, developing his skills as a restaurateur. In 1987, he finally landed by parachute in Pembroke Pines and opened Capriccio's Ristorante with the help of his wife Karen. Their traditional take on Italian cuisine quickly earned them a loyal legion of followers, and eventually the demand was too great to fit into one dinning room. They expanded their space with a second dining room and a lounge where a 6’5” chandelier shimmers above an octagonal granite bar. But as much as its surroundings have changed, the quality and authenticity of the food—which has earned the eatery multiple OpenTable Diner’s Choice awards—has not. The restaurant’s waiters ferry dishes of salmon and pine nuts, rack of lamb, and Black Angus filet mignon to tables of quietly salivating guests. Bites of braised veal shank or calamari pair with a dizzying array of wines from Italy, California, and Chile.
The restaurant’s decor reflects the origins of its cuisine–white Corinthian pillars flank sunny yellow walls marked by brick accents, arches, and ornately framed paintings. Diners lounge in wrought iron chairs as they listen to the standup routines of local violinists and pianists.
At JT's Sports Bar & Grill, even the menu is designed to get you pumped for the game, as it's peppered with photos of beloved Florida sports stars such as Dwyane Wade. The selection is a hybrid of classic pub fare and Florida seafood, evident right away from an appetizer list that includes popcorn chicken, stout-battered onion rings, and conch fritters. The menu expands on this seafood selection with peel-and-eat shrimp, steamed or raw clams, and fried grouper. For landlubbers, the cooks sandwich six different melts with grilled rye bread, glaze wings in one of 22 sauces such as raspberry or garlic butter, and grill up 100% Black Angus beef patties for their burgers. On non-game nights, customers can order specialty entrees such as churrasco skirt steak to fuel up for trivia, karaoke, or competitive sitting matches.
Custom Mexican feasts bursting with fresh ingredients populate Salsa Fiesta’s lengthy menu, which teams up with seven house-made salsas to swathe palates in authentic south-of-the-border flavors. After selecting a protein-packed filling such as spice-spiked carnitas and seasoned fish, diners can top their burritos or tacos with fixings that include hot-tamale salsa and roasted corn. Pico de gallo and guacamole flank sizzling chicken and roasted peppers in the fiesta-fajita specialty, and the tostones fiesta bowl wakes taste buds from siesta naps by tossing them into a thick pool filled with crispy tostones, beans, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Swollen with velvety chocolate, whipped cream, and swirls of dulce de leche, a crunchy mayan roll prophesies an imminent doomsday for dessert cravings.
The signature sandwiches at Gyroville might be named after Greek Gods—Zeus, Hermes, Athena—but the power to control your mealtime destiny can rest in your hands, if you so choose. The shop's You Build It meals allow you to customize your own dish in just three easy steps. Start by choosing a pita, rice bowl, wheat wrap, or salad, then add one of four proteins, such as gyro meat, pork, or vegetarian falafel. From there, the only thing left to do is top your creation with one of six sauces that are made fresh daily such as tzatziki or Mediterranean relish. Truly herculean appetites can also choose to add one or two of Gyroville's sides, such as spinach pie or hearty tomato vegetable soup.
Chefs at Irie Isle, which has garnered the Best Jamaican Restaurant twice by the Miami New Times, uphold the Caribbean’s culinary traditions with Jamaican curries and heaping platters of stewed proteins steeped in spices. Meats roast over an open flame while soaking up flavor and deciphering smoke signals, and tropical fish stew in house-made sauces. The cheerful, pastel-hued eatery also hosts occasional cultural events that spotlight local Jamaican luminaries.
At Bloom Nursery, owner Diego Scort and his staff of green thumbs nurture the tender blossoms and lush foliage of their palms, shrubs, and budding vines. They strive to help customers gussy up their gardens with organically and locally grown plants, as well as those that have been adapted to thrive South Florida's climate. In addition to sending visitors off with flourishing florae, the staffers also equip gardeners with materials, supplies, and tips necessary to keep plants from sprouting rampant weeds or eloping with tumbleweeds just passing through town.