New Restaurants to Try This Week: Carousel Club, Blue Dog Cookhouse, and Matchbox

Blue Dog Cookhouse has opened in Boca Raton and offers a daily brunch menu.
Blue Dog Cookhouse has opened in Boca Raton and offers a daily brunch menu. Photo by Libby Volgyes
South Florida's latest round of openings includes a restaurant in Boca Raton that hails from New Jersey, a Fort Lauderdale location for plant-based Planta Queen, and the grand opening of the Carousel Club, an indoor/outdoor lounge space at Gulfstream Park.

Know of any openings that aren't on our list? Email [email protected].
click to enlarge New York City import Blue Dog Cookhouse is open in Boca Raton. - PHOTO BY LIBBY VOLGYES
New York City import Blue Dog Cookhouse is open in Boca Raton.
Photo by Libby Volgyes

Blue Dog Cookhouse & Bar

6000 Glades Rd., Boca Raton
The creators of New York City-based Blue Dog Café have expanded to South Florida with the opening of Blue Dog Cookhouse in Boca Raton. A massive menu presents diners with options ranging from oysters and handmade dumplings to a 32-ounce prime tomahawk or seafood tagliatelle. Notto be missed: the signature burgers, including the "Notorious D.O.G." — a beef patty topped with boozy cheese, onion strings, a sunny side egg, and truffled chicken gravy. In homage to the original location, the restaurant will offer brunch seven days a week offering a menu of hand-tailored omelets, an array of Benedicts, egg sandwiches, and chef specialties like pumpkin-stuffed French toast. Open Sunday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight.
click to enlarge The Carousel Club is a new lounge-inspired venue at Gulfstream Park. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAROUSEL CLUB
The Carousel Club is a new lounge-inspired venue at Gulfstream Park.
Photo courtesy of Carousel Club

Carousel Club

901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach
An open-air venue has opened at Gulfstream Park, fusing lounge-style imbibing and casual dining. As the venue's newest late-night entertainment destination, set against the park's backdrop of thoroughbred horse racing, Carousel Club features a massive tented outdoor space, grass-covered garden area, expansive deck with two bars, plus shaded lounge seating, and lantern-lit trees come nightfall. Those looking to dine can choose from several pop-up restaurants like Lincoln Road’s Spris Artisan Pizza, Mad Room Hospitality’s Los Altos Taqueria, and Ms. Cheezious. The focal point: a covered carousel bar where imbibers can order frozen cocktails like the "Strawberry Shortcake" (ice cream syrup, vanilla vodka, and strawberry syrup) alongside frozen takes on the mojito, Bellini, and margarita. Open Friday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 a.m.
click to enlarge Matchbox has opened in Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas neighborhood. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MATCHBOX
Matchbox has opened in Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas neighborhood.
Photo courtesy of Matchbox


221 SW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
With a current location in Sunrise, Matchbox is continuing to expand in Broward County with its newest Las Olas restaurant located on the New River. The establishment presents the brand's fast-casual take on the American-bistro, with an Italian flair. The menu includes a wide range of dishes like salads, brick-oven pizza, miso salmon, and chimichurri steak frites. On weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., brunch lovers can indulge in the "chef’s table" bottomless brunch buffet; available for $34.95 per person or $10 per child ages 6-12 (and complimentary for kids under the age of six), options include a "hangover" burrito, French toast, and cobb salad; plus a dessert station that features cheesecakes and yogurt parfaits. Open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 11 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
click to enlarge Planta Queen has opened in Fort Lauderdale. - PHOTO BY STEVEN LEE
Planta Queen has opened in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo by Steven Lee

Planta Queen

1201 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Vegan and plant-based restaurant, Planta Queen, has opened in Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant follows its sister location in Coconut Grove and is part of the family of restaurants that includes Planta, Planta Cocina, and Planta Burger. With Planta Queen, chef David Lee creates vegan dishes with bold Asian flavors. Highlights from the Fort Lauderdale menu include crispy rice topped with spicy ahi watermelon and avocado, which uses dehydrated watermelon as a sustainable alternative to tuna; unagi eggplant nigiri, which uses smoked eggplant in place of traditional eel; and an additional array of sushi like the "Torched and Pressed" roll with avocado and miso glaze. In addition, the restaurant will offer weekly specials such as "Maki Monday," offering a specially-priced menu of signature rolls, "Pour Decision Wednesdays" where wine bottles are half-priced, and "Disco & Dumplings" Fridays with ever-changing dumpling specials. Open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna