Four Restaurants That Dish for a Cause

Restaurants have always been part of a community's charitable scene, usually by either hosting fundraisers or donating gift certificates to be used in charity auctions. But we've been seeing a new wave of philanthropy in restaurants that we hope to see much more of. Restaurants have been increasingly partnering with local charities and foundations by offering special menu items whose proceeds benefit the partner organizations.

Next time you're thinking about where to eat, try one of these dishes, served with a side of charity.

You Can't Beat the Heat Dessert at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach
When executive pastry chef Jason Morale decided to design a dessert based on the Miami Heat's championship season, he knew he had to incorporate flames to represent the team's name and its hotter-than-hot season. The result is a two-part treat consisting of a mango-flavored, basketball-shaped confection atop fudge cake and a flaming coconut crème

brûlée served in a martini glass. The dessert is available at both the DiLido Beach Club and Bistro One L.R. through December 31. The special "Heat" sweet is $12, with all proceeds going toward two of Alonzo Mourning's Mourning Family Foundation's special children's programs.

Chris Bosh Mystery Ice Cream at the Frieze Ice Cream Factory
What? Mystery ice cream? Absolutely! Even we don't know what this ice cream will be called or taste like. If you're dying to find out, head to the Frieze starting Sunday, August 26, for a first free taste of the Chris Bosh-inspired ice cream. After the launch and throughout the year, proceeds from the sale of this flavor will benefit Bosh's Team Tomorrow Inc. Cones and cups cost $3.44 to $7, and take-home pints are $8.98.

Tacos for Strength at Mercadito Midtown
Since 2010, Mercadito restaurants have been offering Tacos for Strength. Each month, a different guest chef is asked to create a special taco, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength. In the past, Andrew Carmellini, Michael Schwartz, Michelle Bernstein, Douglas Rodriguez, and Howie Kleinberg have concocted special tacos for the program. Tacos change monthly and cost $16.50 for four.

Crave Cares Menu at Crave
Crave at the Village of Merrick Park goes one step further in its charitable efforts by offering an entire mini-menu and wine specials, with a portion of the proceeds from each item donated to a different nonprofit each month. August's dinner specials include wild Alaskan sockeye salmon ($26.95) and certified Angus beef New York strip ($32.95). The partner charity for this month is Amigos for Kids.

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