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Venice’s Made in Italy has pizza all figured out, starting with a delicious dough, rolled thin and baked to a crust with just the right combo of crispiness and chew. We picked the Ligure ($14.95), which has mozzarella and creamy stracchino cheese baked atop the crust, and is then topped with fresh arugula, tangy halved cherry tomatoes and heaping slices of cool, salty prosciutto. A perfect choice for Florida summer.

The Swine² sandwich ($11.45) at Nancy's Bar-B-Q is absurd. To make it, the restaurant tosses together a giant pile of pork with crispy bacon bits and that Nancy's sauce and then scoops on some slaw. A couple pickles and two squares of toasted bread complete the genius concoction. When we started eating it, we didn't think we could possibly finish it. Minutes later, somehow, it was all gone.

We know it’s spring when Seasons 52 introduces special menu items that celebrate the tender shoots and dewy garden vegetables of the season. Our current favorite is a signature flatbread made with diagonally cut slivers of fresh green asparagus, gentle and creamy cow’s milk Camembert cheese and a sprinkle of crispy, salty, paper thin pieces of prosciutto, that delicate dry-cured Italian ham that everybody loves. Three simple ingredients, but oh-so satisfying. $10.80. 

Brasa & Pisco's picarones--little fried doughnuts ($6)--are a decadent way to end a meal at this much-buzzed-about Peruvian restaurant. They're made from butternut squash and a spiced sweet potato dough, then drowned in a maple-fig glaze that's sweet without being overpowering. (And because they're made from vegetables, they're practically health food, right? Riiiight...)

For a satisfying lunch or dinner appetizer, we love Libby's Cafe + Bar's "short 'n blue" flatbread ($15). A crispy crust is topped with blue cheese, short rib, red onion, dates and truffle, and the ingredients hits every flavor note--crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty. Pair it with a salad and a glass of wine and you're good to go. 

 

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