The Roasted Pepper is at 9893 Pines Blvd. Call 954-450-8800.If olive oil, oregano and lemon are more to your taste, drive across the street to Mezes Greek Taverna, where Savas Karagiaouris will dazzle you with his cooking. Karagiaouris, 49, is no stranger to restaurants. He began his career after leaving Greece 35 years ago, opening a few Miami Sub franchises, and later swank eateries from the Keys to Orlando. This place, though, will be his baby. "I live here," he said. "This place will remain mine." The opening day lunch crowd in August enjoyed the food in surroundings reminiscent of Greece in color and texture, thanks to the decorating tastes of Maria Karagiaouris, Savas wife. Diana Koch, 63, of Cooper City sat drinking a glass of wine and enjoying lamb and pita bread. All meals come with homemade pita, crisp and flavorful, and humus with a hint of garlic. "I shop regularly here," Koch said of the shopping center. "I saw the sign that they were coming and Ive been waiting for them to open." Koch said the food is worth "going out of your way to try," and vows to return regularly with friends and family. "It is so hard to get real Greek food around here. Around here, you have the American chains. You really dont have anything really ethnic like when I lived in Manhattan and could find everything." Karagiaouris, or "Sav" as friends call him, has been "making others rich" for years, according to his friend John Iconomou, who helped serve on Mezes' first day. "What Sav does is pioneer a kitchen and gets them started," Iconomou said. "It is time for him to have a place of his own." The ambitious menu offers choices both formal and informal: cold and hot mezes, or appetizers, such as melitzanosalata -- oven-roasted eggplant blended with olive oil and Greek seasonings ($5), feta cheese with olives and oregano ($7), patzaria -- red beets served with skordalia ($5), fried zucchini ($6) and baked feta with tomatoes, olive oil and oregano ($8). Other menu highlights include fried calamari served on a bed of greens ($13), soups, souvlaki, oven roasted meats and stuffed peppers and pastas. Karagiaouris specialty, though, is fish. He showcases his "special hand" of flavoring seafood with a large selection of mussels and fish. "You have to feel what youre doing," Karagiaouris said. "I've got to present something people will like, so with my taste and what people like, I merge them." Takeout and deli foods also will be available. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Mezes Greek Taverna is at 10040 Pines Blvd. Call 954-430-1725. SPANISH FLAVORS If you love Spanish guitar, flamenco dancing and some of the best tapas in South Florida, head to Paella Seafood Grill and dine at brightly covered tables while listening to an evenings entertainment or eat on the balcony overlooking the dining room next to the full-service bar. Owner Rolando Blanco runs the place like a maestro conducting a symphony. The service is outdone only by the food. Whether it is ceviche -- there are many selections of the raw fish dish -- the cod-stuffed baked pimento peppers in a cream sauce ($7.95) or a huge order of their signature paella for two (starting at $16.95 per person), you will not be disappointed with the traditional Spanish cuisine. The proof is in the testimony of return customers like Lady Mantecon, who was there with nine tables filled with family members celebrating her 70th birthday. "I like the food because when I was in Madrid, I ate these croquets and they do it just like there," she said. Mantecon visits the bistro monthly to listen to music, dance and eat, she said. The restaurant, owned by Blanco and his wife, Ana Ramirez, opened in 2003 and quickly became a destination for birthday parties and other celebrations among regular customers. "This is my first 100 percent Spanish restaurant," said Rolando, who has been in the culinary business for 35 years -- always specializing in seafood dishes. Blanco was born in Cuba to Spanish parents and holds true to dishes from Spain, shunning the Cuban influence. It took him six months to create the menu, he said. "This is what I grew up with, even in Cuba," he said, adding that he will be opening a second location in Miami Beach next year. Dont be surprised if Blanco greets you himself or stops by your table to tempt you with one of his dishes or desserts, such as tres leches or liquor-laced flan. "I love to see people go out and have a good meal," he said. Paella Seafood Grill is open for lunch starting at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m., except Friday and Saturday, when it closes at 11 p.m. Sunday hours are noon to 10 p.m. Paella Seafood Grill is at 12389 Pembroke Rd. Call 954-885-7566. WINE AND MORE Dinner may be over, but those in the mood for wine, a fine cigar and live music can head over to VIP Wine Club west of Interstate 75. Memberships cost $35 to $45 a year and include a free bottle of wine and discounts on wine and the traditional Spanish tapas served there. Members also receive weekly e-mails about upcoming performances and events. Stepping into the club is like walking into your own living room. Wrap-around leather couches are gathered around a raised stage that is used for live entertainment and dancing on weekends. There are a few studio tables and a bar, too. Cigar smoking is welcome during the week, but the owners, Madelyne Ashby and her husband Charles, ask patrons not to smoke on Friday and Saturday. Charles Ashby is a graphics designer by day who helps Madelyne at night. Madelyne Ashby, 36, came by a passion for wine while listening to her father in her native Puerto Rico. "My dad has always been into wine," she said. "He taught me about wine. I studied finance but wanted to do something with my life that I was passionate about." The Ashbys "used to travel so far to go and have a good time, we said, why not have it here?" and the VIP was born, she said. Open less than two years, VIP already has established regulars like Gilbert Hernandez, 41, and his friend, Yanira Salas, 38, both of Pembroke Pines. "I love it here," Hernandez said. "We came here the first month they were open and Id come with a closed mind to new wines. But Madelyne brought me some samples and now I drink Malbec, an Argentinean wine." Hernandez said the club is like a home away from home where "you sit on the couch, you talk with friends." Salas said she enjoys the entertainment, which can be anything from flamenco dancing and belly-dancing to acoustic rock 'n' roll. The menu is an interesting combination of sandwiches, such as a prosciutto or Serrano and Swiss ($8.99). There is seafood paella ($10.99), tortillas and tapas ranging from $5 for olives to a $22.99 plate of everything they offer. There also are wine and cheese pairings such as brie with sparkling wine, chardonnay, pinot noir or beaujolais, or perhaps smoked Gouda with Riesling or sauvignon blanc. Desserts are available, too. The Ashbys are expanding their passion to include annual wine-tasting trips. They are now signing up just eight couples who will travel in October to France to stay in chateaux and learn about wines from a master sommelier, who also teaches classes in wine tasting at the club for members. Madelyne opens the doors at 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and closes about 2 a.m., depending on the crowd. She's closed Monday. On Sunday they often host private parties. The VIP Wine Club is at 15951 Pines Blvd. Call 954-441-5012.