With Miami-Dade indoor dining rooms closed once again, restaurants and bars continue to find ways to serve and engage with the community via contactless delivery, outdoor alternatives, virtual hangouts, and pick-up specials.
This weekend, take advantage of Greater Fort Lauderdale's annual Dine Out Lauderdale, send a loved one a free voucher for fried cheese at Pincho, and celebrate all things mango at Fairchild's monthlong socially distanced festival.
"I Want to Hug You" at Pincho
Known for its comfort food-style menu of burgers and kebabs, Pincho has cracked the code on how to send love to friends and family during social distancing — and it involves crispy fried cheese. The "I Want to Hug You" campaign, created by CEO and co-founder Otto Othman, allows customers to send a redeemable coupon for fried cheese on the house to up to three people. Customers can even send one to themselves. In addition, the Fun-Guy Burger menu special — served on a buttery toasted brioche bun with a large beef patty, provolone cheese, sautéed cremini mushrooms, smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of Pincho’s funky sauce ($10) — is available through the end of July. Various locations; pincho.com. To send an "I Want to Hug You" coupon, customers must fill out a form via iwanttohugyou.com.
Cosmo Night at Villa Azur
As restaurants navigate a change in regulations, Villa Azur is launching Cosmo Night on Friday. Sip on oversized cosmopolitans ($10) crafted by bar manager Carlos Ramos and groove (in your seat) to nostalgic beats by DJ Yez. Given the closure of dining rooms, Cosmo Night will take place on the restaurant’s expansive open-air terrace. Beginning at 6 p.m. every Friday, at Villa Azur, 309 23rd St., Miami Beach; 305-763-8688; villaazurmiami.com.
Dine Out Lauderdale
Hungry for a sense of normalcy? Greater Fort Lauderdale has kicked off its annual Dine Out Lauderdale promotion early, in order to help restaurants struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. The summer program will run through September 30 as part of LauderDeals, a broader initiative that also showcases promotional rates at local attractions, spa, and hotels. So far, more than 40 participants –– including Casa Sensei, Lona Cocina Tequileria, Spazio, and Temple Street Eatery –– have signed on to Dine Out Lauderdale, in destinations that include Dania Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Lauderhill, and Pompano Beach. Each restaurant is offering three-course prix-fixe dinner menus at $35 and $45. Restaurants are open for dine-in with various COVID-19 precautious, including reduced occupancy and mask requirements. For more information, visit sunny.org.
Sushi Takeout at Makoto
Dining rooms are be closed right now, but that doesn't mean you can't host date night at home this weekend. Consider ordering from Bal Harbour mainstay, Makoto. The restaurant's takeout menu includes spicy tuna crisp rice ($14), negitoro maki ($17), and a dynamite hand roll with band crab and creamy ponzu ($14). To sample the restaurant's best, order an assorted nine-piece sushi combo ($35) or twelve-piece sashimi platter ($35). Hot entree options include miso sea bass with crispy kale ($34), wasabi vegetable fried rice ($11), and short rib yaki noodles with tamarind soy and ginger aioli ($22). Takeout and delivery available daily from noon to 8 p.m. 9700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-864-8600; makoto-restaurant.com.
Fairchild Garden's "Mango Days of Summer"
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is moving forward with its annual celebration of Florida's favorite fruit — with a virtual twist. Typically held over two days, this year's International Mango Festival has been transformed into "Mango Days of Summer," a monthlong event that combines virtual interaction and onsite activities. To mark the festival's 28th edition, the 83-acre property on Old Cutler Road will host local small businesses every Saturday in July. To facilitate social distancing, attendance will be divided into two separate three-hour time slots and visitors will follow a one-way path that takes them past pop-up shops and food stands such as Ceviche & Guacamole House, Keez Bees Raw Honey, and Stacey's Naturals, all of which will offer mango-inspired snacks. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic baskets to make the most of their time al fresco. In addition, Fairchild Garden has partnered with Lincoln's Beard Brewing Co. to produce a limited edition mango sour named "Best Day Ever!" and with Sweet Melody Crafted Ice Cream Co. to make "It Takes Two to Mango," a limited-edition ice cream made with mangos and sour cream and a mango marmalade swirl. 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; fairchildgarden.org. Tickets range from $12 to $25.
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