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Biscayne times
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00057
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Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Creation Date: September 2011
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Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00099644:00057

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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE NEW THIS ISSUE120 Advertisers, 96 Pages Our Biggest Issue Ever! In ve short years, the Arsht Center has gone from money pit to big-time hitpage 20 www.biscaynedentalcenter.com Ask about our $39New Patient Special!! September 2011 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 9 Issue 7

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb rfntb tnttt tb b t nrt nt tt t ttr ntbn n tt tnbtb t n t rtnrt tntt trf nt rftntbr t trtrt n ntn n tnr nntn ntt ntbn ttt b n tn tt nntb nttb nn tbt t btt nnt rt ntr tn nb n n b ntn Z Z Z K Z rfntb bb rrb r rfn rrfntbfb fn ntrrnbb bnbbr

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COVER STORY 20 Ar ts Ascending COMMENTARY 10 Fe edback: Letters 14 Pi cture Story: Islands on Demand OUR SPONSORS 16 BizBu zz COMMUNITY NEWS 38 Traffic Cameras: Money Loser or Gold Mine? 39 Down by the Riverside: Miamis Riverwalk 40 Coming to a Storefront Near You: Big New Ads! NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 54 Gaspar Gon zlez: Academic Debate 56 We ndy Doscher-Smith: Ode to Franki Jo 58 Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer : Walk This Way 60 Fr ank Rollason: Street Smarts -Slow Down! 62 Je n Karetnick: 96th Street Adrenaline Rush ART & CULTURE 64 Anne Tschida: Nasty As Ever, and Not Through 66 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 69 Event s Calendar POLICE REPORTS 70 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 72 A Playgroun d No More: Taylor Park COLUMNISTS 74 Pawsitively Pets: Its Lisa vs. Irene! 76 Going Green : Our Fowl Friends 77 Kids and the City: Rainy Day Specials 78 Your Garden: Pretty in a Pot 79 Vino: New Zea land Sauvignon Blancs DINING GUIDE 80 Re staurant Listings: 281 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants 305-538-8835 | www.miamibeachhealth.org | Healthcare made easy.Serving the medical needs of the Miami Beach community for more than 35 yearsMiami Beach Community Health Center North | 11645 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 103-104, Miami, FL, 33181 PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr bArts Editor r rtt t rr r nn nrrr rn rn BUSINESS M anager ANAGER rrr rrrr ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES r r A rt RT director DIRECTOR rn r A dvertising DVERTISING design DESIGN rrr CIRCULATION r rr PRINTING r WEBSITE r rnrCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 54 56 64Serving communities along the Biscayne Corridor: Arch Creek East, Aventura, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Coventry, Design District, Downtown, Eastern Shores, Edgewater, El Portal, Enchanted Lake, Hibiscus Island, Highland Lakes, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Morningside, North Greynolds, North Bay Island, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Oak Forest, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Sky Lake, Sparling Lake, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands

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Waterfront Estate3 acres comprised of 12,000 sqft homes, gardens, tennis court, pool, pool house/guest house, 125ft protected dock w/direct ocean access. www.javeheadestate.com $12,000,000Eastern ShoresThis NEW home has 80ft on water w/ direct ocean access. Completely and tastefully redone! This home is turnkey & features impact glass,custom lighting,crown molding,one car garage & pool. $950,000The Terraces at TurnberryFabulous 3 bedroom, all redone with no expense spared! Exquisite ocean, lake & golf course views! State of the Art kitchen by La Strada. $580,000Hollywood LakesFar back from the St with 75ft of wide intercoastal water w/direct ocean access. Spectacular flow & floor plan. 2 seperate staircases with master suite on one and playrm on other. $1,299,000PortofinoWow! This extraordinary palace in the sky will leave you breathless. Best views of the ocean. Turnkey, with no expense spared. Gourmet kitchen with marble floors, glass & wood. $1,725,000Oceania TownHomeWow! Enter this private turnkey waterfront through lobby or your own garage and immediately witness a masterpiece. A million in designer upgrades with all marble floors. Features 2 terraces plus an atrium! $1,999,999Palace In The SkyEverywhere in this spectacular 8BR/8.5BA, 6000 SF PH you can find an impeccable attention to detail. Also includes a 2BR/1BA apt for guests/staff. Theres nothing like it, the best of the best. $4,999,999Aventura LakesBeautiful oversized lake lot! 2 Story home with built ins in all closets. Gourmet kitchen w/ upgraded cabinetry, appliances & european granite countertops. All top of the line! Best priced home! $699,000Turnberry VillageEnter this spectacular turnkey residence & witness beautiful golf & lake views throughout! Many upgrades! Marble floors in the entire unit, crown molding, shades, recessed lighting and more! $440,000 Denise Rubin PRESENTS International Marketing SpecialistMultilingual Team: Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Hebrew & FrenchDenise RubinMobile: 305.409.0019 / Office: 305.932.9326Luxury condos & homes Denise Rubin Group #1 Company Wide Winner of 22 Awardswww.deniserubin.com Just Reduced! New Listing! New Listing! New Listing! New Listing! Boaters Dream! New Listing! New Listing! New Listing!

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Editors Note: In last months cover story by Erik Bojnansky, Who We Are, Part 2, Last months column by our Aventura Cant Wait to Visit the Park, and Especially Those Carnivorous Reptiles column, but now that I know about it and what kind of activities it has to offer, I will The county should also install extra Tania Centeno Bay Harbor IslandsCant Wait to Visit the Park, Even If I Have to Swim ThereBiscayne Times the other 17 years and I have never heard of Monu destination because of its involvement with I love the fact that it is surrounded Maybe I can see Gloria Estefan or Perpetua Bourdeau North MiamiPedestrian Friendliness: Its Not as Easy as You Might Think that they did not want left-turn access com median and only in the areas where there The votes are in! rfntfbn tntnt ttttttt tb The Shops at Midtown Miami Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 12

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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO 305-895-JEFF(5333) 3brd/2bth, pool, 2800 sq ft. Porcelan tile thruout, Granite Kitchen, Private Cul De Sac Street. 75' of Dockage No Fixed Bridges to Bay. Motivated Seller.a A Steal At $548K 3bdr/2.5bth, pool, 2 car garage, 65' of dockage. Gourgeous Appointments thruout, huge master suite, bidet, jacuzzi, the works! Fabulous granite open island kitchen owner will finance, good terms. 1.49M 4bdr/3bth, pool, aprx. 3000 sq. ft. Brand new rebuilt home. Marble floors, granite kitchen w/ss appliances, granite baths, also new seawall, dock & boatlift. 1.1M Located 1 lot off the wide bay on cul de sac. Lot size 112 x 125 approx 14,000 sq ft. New seawall 90 of dock (112 on water) 25,000 lb boatlift, park your yacht while you build your dream home! Owner will finance with 30% down $1.4M Keystone Point ocean access 4br/3ba, pool, 3153 sq ft. Custom built-in wet-bar, new sea wall, and brand new custom dockage for 75 vessel. Owner will finance with 200K down. Try $675K 4bdr/3.5bth, pool, boatlift. All remodeled and brandnew. 24 marble & bamboo floors, granite kitchen & baths. Rent or lease option $4900 mth. For Sale 999K 4bdr/2.5bth, 2 car garage, pool w/jacuzzi, 24 hour gated community, large family home. Great location across the street from multi-million $$ bayfront homes!! 499K 156 ON WATER NEW SEAWALLIsland #5 with angle views to the bay! Build your dream home in this 24 hr gaurd gated community surrounded by multimillion dollar homes! 156 on the water with new seawall, owner financing, 1.49M KEYSTONE POINT ISLAND #5 CORNER LOT 175 ON WATER5bdr/3.5 bth, pool, 2 car garage, 4125 sq ft. Completely remodeled, brand new huge cherrywood/granite eat-in kitchen w/subzero & thermadore appliances. Cul-de-sac lot, huge master suite, jacuzzi, waterfall, pool. Only $995K MIAMI BEACH!!! WIDE BAYFRONT 80 OF DOCKAGE4bdr/3bth, pool, new seawall with 80 of dockage, boatlift. Exotic, custom, freeform, resort-style pool with in-water bar seating & chickee hut WOW!! 1.89M NEW CONSTRUCTION BEAUTIFUL BAYVIEWS 174 ON WATER30 High ceilings 6bdr/5bth, pool, 2 car garage, 7052 sq ft. Oversized 1/3 acre pie-shaped point lot. Gourmet gas thermador kitchen, giant master suite, home theatre + additional media rooms, boat lift plus protected dockage for mega yacht!!! 3.1M OWNER WILL FINANCE WITH 30% DOWNSANS SOUCI ESTATES WIDE BAY VIEWS AT A CANAL PRICE 1.1MIL WIDE BAY VIEW POINT LOT 1/3 ACRE SANS SOUCI ESTATES WATERFRONT RENTAL SANS SOUCI ESTATES FOR SALE OR RENT $4900. MTH or OPTION SANS SOUCI ESTATES NONWATERFRONT 24 HR GATED COMMUNITY HARBOR ISLAND WATERFRONT OCEAN ACCESS NEWER CONSTRUCTION 30 HI CEILINGS OWNER WILL FINANCE W/200K DN KEYSTONE POINT WATERFRONT 24 HOUR GUARDGATED SECURE KEYSTONE POINT CUL DE SAC LOT 1/2 ACRE 156 ON WATER 2nd LOT FROM BAY CONTEMPORARY BISCAYNE BAY GEM NEWER CONSTRUCTION ANGLE BAYVIEWS4bdr/3.5bth, pool 4 car garage, detached guesthouse. Completely remodeled, new 2011, roof, granite floors, kitchen w/ss appliances. 15 high ceilings, all floors solid concrete construction. 1/3 acre w/102 of full power dockage. 1.69M

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David Treece Upper EastsideJoey Tees Off on Immigrants, Female AthletesHey, no one will ever accuse me of read BT in South Florida (The Trouble With To add to the story, at one time the The courses slowly fell into a state of over Also while the story mentions that Joey Corona EdgewaterClaws: If You Want a Declawed Cat, Adopt OneShari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer oversim While the kitten she wanted for her feline such as a Siamese will undoubtedly ticularly when there are humane alternatives full discussion of alternatives may have Cindy Hewitt S.A.F.E. Pets, Inc. MiamiClaws: Apologize, See a Shrink, and Stay Away from MeThank you, Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer, in our area, and because you feel it is okay comments about her husbands foreskin (or Commentary: LETTERS Continued from page 10 AventurAjewelry & coin,Inc. www.aventurajewelry .com 19275 Biscayne Blvd., Booth #22 Aventura | FL 33180 305.933.2646 rfntWatchesb f Rare Coinsnr r r nf Gold Platinum Silver INSTANT CASH Paying Top Dollarr REWARD b Michael Freiman, CPNr t Continued on page 52

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ALEJANDRO AMADORREALTOR ASSOCIATEcel 786 486 9841 aamador@majesticproperties.com BRIAN CARTER, P. A.BROKER ASSOCIATEcel 305 582 2424 btcarter@majesticproperties.com DARIN FELDMANREALTOR ASSOCIATEcel 305 672 6822 dfeldman@majesticproperties.com MARISOLLUSARDIREALTOR ASSOCIATEcel 786 486 5284 mlusardi@majesticproperties.com

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Commentary: PICTURE STORYIslands on DemandA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George BTT Fisher Island, named for Miami The County Causeway, later known as the MacArthur Causeway, connects are Star Island, Palm Island, and HibisVenetian Islands are located farther north To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #1983-026-249

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We Promised To Reduce Your Taxesrfn nrnrtrnbn rnnf We Promised To Reform Pensionsrfnfb ffbfr fnntnnnf fftrnb n nbbf We Promised To Stop Government Wasterrrrn rffrnf We Promised To Improve Quality of Lifefrffff frtn fn :786-295-3159 :www.marcsarnoff.com :786-295-3159 :www.marcsarnoff.com Political advertisement paid for and approved by Marc Sarnoff for City of Miami Commissioner, District 2

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Our Sponsors: S eptemberEP TEMBER 2 011By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorWith the kids back in school, it doesnt feel much like record number of BT advertisers have offer this month to ensure that it does activity for the kids thats not only fun at Miami Shoress PlayGround Theatre When we were little, we took ten years Richard Foltz Family Day Want a family activity thats uniquely Pelican Harbor Seabird Station towns historic Gusman Center series Flickin Summer closes with The Breakfast Club Film of a more alternative nature will O Cinema Voices from the Mariel The Weird BT arts editor Anne Tschida in this issue Aventura Arts & Cultural Center new waterfront centers second annual and Miami International Piano Festival tures to be on a boat, check out Sunny Isles Marina New customers who mention the BT shoot, banquet, or maybe just a business WhereHouse 2016 BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 18

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Club Tipico Dominicano Salon No. 1 Mention the BT for 20% off future services about salons with a connection to more Control Hair Salon & Gallery BT Hannah and Her Scissors celebrate, BT Body Well Therapy month, Smiling Pets Animal Clinic s new clients Hell waive his house call fee Rios Pet Spa & Boarding of deals that will turn a treatment into in their new line of By Nature natural BT to new advertiser Sparkys Roadside Barbecue At Heavy Burger On the same Aventura backstreet which seems to have turned into a sort of secret restaurant row Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar celebrate the season with other fans and snazzy snacks at The Playwright Irish Pub And this year, as usual, the Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus Our Sponsors: S eptemberEP TEMBER 2 011 Biz BuzzContinued from page 16

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more, four Oktoberfest brews, live DJ, and off, Monday Night Football is also in the Biscayne Dental Center orthodontics has just been added to its advertiser Jako Architectural Hardware The Collection German Furniture (15400 Biscayne BT for instance, DownRite Pool & Spa (305BT readers north, not to worry about your basic new advertiser Broward Factory Ser vice Medi-Station Urgent Care Center Educat ing Hands School of Massage Welcome back to the MiMo Bis cayne Association Park at 66th Street and Biscayne Boule MiMo Chalk-In Festival, whose idea is for To make sure you have the stamina Idols Gym While youre there, ask about the contest Alternatively or at this months low Bikram Yoga North Miami (2222 NE 123rd looks Finally welcome to new advertiser Aventura Jewelry & Coin Owner Michael Freiman is one of Floridas Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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Miamis audacious performing arts center got off to a very bad start, but then things changed in a big wayBy Anne Tschida BT Arts Editor Photos by Silvia Ros

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O crowds arrived at the Adrienne Tales of Hoffman at the Ziff Ballet Bahia, and the free Family Fest Day had In a relatively short time, the center few years of one of Miamis most F Carnival Center for the Performlittle tardy and more than a little over Continued on page 22 new

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22 formed to raise money, and Pelli won million, and the center added Carnival to miscalculations accrued, and deadline Ricky Arriola, a Miami directelected chairman of the PAC back in dent Obama to the Committee on the Arriola doesnt want to look back mistakes, it seemed, were a fundamental lack of outreach and communication former chief executive and chairwoman of TotalBank, Adrienne Arsht, donated the BT W seismic shift in the cultural South Florida on the international conAt the same time, the Miami International Film Festival and the International Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2003, while Edward Villellas Miami City Ballet and Center attract this often fractured, dis Arsht Center, CEO John Richard, who that Arriola and Arsht say made all the difference between a failed shell of a One, says Richard, who came from Currently that equals about one-fourth Arsht CenterContinued from page 21 Continued on page 24

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24 Miami Herald is a new stable, Richard and his team know that ment, and one that so far has made local national luminaries combined with the Miami City Ballet or Florida Grand Blockbusters such as last years Wicked Arsht CenterContinued from page 22 Continued on page 26 Arsht Center photos

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26 Delma Iles is the artistic director of one of Miamis oldest dance com says the rental rates are not outra stream of money would be available for on the cultural community, and with they never would have seen without the says this mixture makes her students feel that the arts, and the Arsht Center, are They look out of the windows at the dance, often considered a moneyThe focus on dance has been tremen Continued on page 28 the Arsht CenterContinued from page 24Photos courtesy of the Arsht Center

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The Ideal Prerequisite for Discerning Living Made in Germany 15400 Biscayne Blvd. MIAMI, FL 33160305.944.3727

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28 audience in a short time, says Michael Arsht Center and Miami as a cultural It doesnt hurt that one of the most at the center and has recently received the international laurels locals always knew it deserved, in rave reviews from Arsht CenterContinued from page 26 Continued on page 30

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One of the Arsht Centers own local success stories involves dance as Herrera wowed the American Dance in 2010, and in return the Dance Festival, Pity Party One dedicated local weekend has February admission was free hard Continued on page 32 Arsht CenterContinued from page 28 Pity Party

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Let the Origami Collection evolve with you as the centerpiece of your space for relaxation, health, and well-being. All BainUltra products are created in keeping with our triangular concept Therapy / Design / Architecturebainultra.com The Essence of You

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ten by South Floridian Michael McKeever, South Beach Babylon However, that strikes some in the Pity still be the crown jewel of culture for commercially driven, classically based to create for our city, but to create for The bar for new work has been raised, deal, and it forces the artists who work Shiller and Richard are aware of the local Teo Castellanoss internationally acclaimed NE 2nd Avenue and an inArsht CenterContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34

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by Nilo Cruz of Federico Garca Lorcas The House of Bernarda Alba with UM J Center, most will now be held at its own enne Arsht thinks the center, and Miami, the major circuit in the world of cultural venues such as the New World Center Performances once exclusive to the vaunted Perlman says its the Arsht CenterContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36

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The ultimate dream is that the world-class work, which will take time move out of Miami, offers Octavio are The Arsht Center, he says, can make Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Arsht CenterContinued from page 34

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38 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORTrafc Cameras: Money Loser for Some, Gold Mine for OthersDespite legal and political wrangling, pioneering Aventura still rakes in the cashBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterIn October 2008, Aventura made nicipality in South Florida to install red-light cameras. Now, as the third anniversary of Aventuras Intersection Safety Camera Program approaches, more than 65 Florida cities have redlight cameras. Bret Lusskin. The idea of government all night is terribly Orwellian for me, says Lusskin, founder of the Ticket But Eric Soroka, Aventuras city manager, has no plans to remove the nine intersections in Aventura. People take red lights more seriously now, he says. Soroka credits motorists newfound cent drop in car accidents throughout the city between January 2008 and August cameras, accidents fell by as much as 60 percent during that period, according to statistics provided by the Aventura Police Department. at a cost to drivers. As of last month, more than 62,368 tickets had been issued. Between September 2009 and neled to Aventuras charter school, with the rest of the money going to the citys general fund. But the cameras arent there just to make money for Aventura, Soroka insists. The intended purpose is to improve safety at intersections, he says, Lusskin argues that red-light cameras are not about safety, but revenue, (ATS), an Arizona-based company that municipalities across North America. Lusskin claims ATS enticed Florida cities with promises of easy funds sank into a recession. The whole background on it is quite nefarious, he says. They [ATS] waited for the opportunity when all municipalities were strapped Floridas largest provider of red-light cameras, a fact that has Lusskin fuming: They really are an evil company. But ATS did not take the initiative to approach Aventura. Aventura City Commissioner Bob Diamond says his wife was almost killed in a car accident at an Aventura intersection caused by a motorist who ran a red light. After reading that car accidents were slashed by half in New York following the installation of cameras, Diacamera companies. My only interest, he recalls, was saving lives. ATS spokesman Charlie Territo asserts that his company is making Florida safer even as it complicates the work eventually found guilty, he says. Territo claims an even more impressive record were found not guilty, he reports. These violations come with video and pictures of the violations, irrefutable evidence that the driver of the vehicle has broken the law, he says. Except that its not the driver of the vehicle who is ticketed. Its the owner That is because red-light cameras photograph the license plate of a vehicle, which then mails the ticket to the owner or lessee. Technically speaking, youre not violating the law by running a red light. It is the registered vehicle, Lusskin maintains. He also claims that 90 percent of camera tickets go to vehicles that fail to make a full stop before turning right on a red light. Tickets for right turns on a red light are given only to vehicles traveling in excess of ten miles per hour, Territo insists. He adds that car owners can contest a charge by providing the name and address of the driver at the time of the infraction. Commissioner Diamond contends the subject of revenue rarely came up cameras in Aventura. Interpretations of the law, however, were a constant sticking point. In 2006 he asked state Sen. Gwen Margolis to introduce a red-light camera bill in the Florida legislature. A year and a half later, she told me: I cant get it through. There are right-of-privacy concerns, he recounts. That answer frustrated Diamond, a former judge: There is no right of privacy when you are driving a car! While Margolis tried again, Aventook a cue from Gulf Breeze, Florida, isas code infractions. Automobile owners wishing to contest the tickets had to appear before a city-paid special master. From January to July of 2009, Aventura Though the state had yet to legal Miami-Dade County municipalities, including Miami Shores, North Bay Village, and North Miami, followed in Aventuras footsteps and installed ATS cameras. That chapter ended in February behalf of Richard Masone, a Hallandale Beach resident cited twice for turning right at a red light without making a full stop. Lusskin argued that state law only red-light tickets. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jerald Bagley agreed. Five months later, the state legislaing effort by ATS. (The law was named after a Bradenton resident who died in a car crash caused by a red-light runner in 2003.) Under the new law, red-light judges, not special masters, now decide the fate of contested tickets. Cities, howinto the states coffers. With a cut as high as 53 percent going to the state, red-light cameras Continued on page 44

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Down by the RiversideMay we all live long enough to witness the completion of the Miami River GreenwayBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterT park that runs along both banks of the Miami River. Right now that dream is interrupted by fences, bridges, marinas, gated communities, sales centers, and other obstacles that prevent continuous walking or biking along the river. In exchange for the right to build next to the Miami River, developers promised to include a publicly accessible river walk on their properties, complete with benches, descriptive signs, and other amenities. The idea was that, over time, the riverwalks would be linked to form the Miami River Greenway, reaching from Bayfront Park and Brickell Key to Palmer Lake near NW South River Drive and 25th Street. This is what we wanted for the river, Mayor Toms Regalado tells the BT to have a public space where people can walk and people can gather. However, the developers of ten sites along the river never completed their promised riverwalks, according to City ings, and a couple of parking lots. In some cases, it was a bench or two, in others the [shortcomings] are more important, says Ernest Martin, a member of the Miami River Commission, a state body that advises on policy for the Miami River. He says property managers often use an alleged lack of funds as a pretext for incomplete projects. They say they dont have the money right now, Martin recounts. Maybe next year. The excuses may soon come to an end. Miami River Commission toured the sites and contacted property owners. On Sep present an action plan for how they intend to get all ten sites in full compliance. Already the city has denied cerresidential towers along the Miami River until their promised riverwalks are complete: Mint at Riverfront West, Neo Vertika, and River Oaks Marina and Condominium. Currently this trio of towers possesses only a temporary be renewed every 90 days by a city or according to the South Florida Building Code, a structure cant be occupied and anyone living in them will be forced out. Its the only leverage the city has, Martin says. And while the revocation of a TCO is unlikely, Martin points out that without a CO, theres a cloud over the property. Other options available to the city, and suggested during a June 22 Miami River Commission meeting, include citing projects for code infractions. Horacio Aguirre, chairman of the Miami River Commission, is optimistic the riverwalks will be completed after city administrators toured the ten sites recently. When the property owners saw junior colleagues with them in uniform, writing down names, religion came upon them really fast, Aguirre recalls with a smile. The mayor of Miami, the city manager, and the administration are totally committed to make this a reality. But its not just the ten sites missing riverwalks. Of the Miami River scattered segments totaling three miles are completed. There are some gaps, acknowledges Martin, who has sought year he retired as the countys director of community development. But with at least two miles of riverwalk now under construction, he says progress is being just going to take a while, he says. How long? Hopefully it will happen within my lifetime, he answers. Land proposed the Miami River specializing in environmental planning and landscape architecture, presented a plan that would embrace the mixed residential and working nature of the Miami River while encouraging the creation of restaurants, shops, and tourist-related venues. A year later, mitted themselves to fund the creation of riverwalks whenever possible. In 2002 the Miami City Commission also began requiring new construction projects to include a public riverwalk paid for by the developer. Continued on page 42BT photos by Erik Bojnansky

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterI again. Five times the Miami City Commission has deferred a proposed ordinance that would allow outdoor advertising companies to place ads on the windows of up to 50 vacant business storefronts for 90 days at a time. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA), a quasi-independent city agency charged with improving the quality of life for downtown-area businesses, residents, and visitors, declined to vote on supporting or not supporting the proposed law. Twice. Yet Mayor Toms Regalado is undeterred. will present the latest draft of Regalados so-called window-dressing ordinance to the DDA. If the DDA endorses the concept, the ordinance will be voted on by the city com Regalado says he is bringing the proposal to the DDA again as a courtesy, since such storefront ads will target such as Brickell, downtown, and Omni all within the DDAs jurisdiction. There are a lot of people on the DDA board who really like the ordinance, Regalado insists, because it gives income to prop erty owners and it addresses the empty storefront windows. But Peter Ehrlich, cofounder of Scenic Miami, an organization advocating greater controls on outdoor advertising, believes most downtown ers dont want storefront ads. They [DDA board members] didnt even want to discuss it, remembers Ehrlich, who when the ordinance was last introduced. There was no motion to defer, no motion to deny, no motion to approve. Sometimes someone will make a motion for purposes of discussion, but everybody just sat on their hands. Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who also chairs the DDA board, says he was ready to support the ordinance if the DDA had backed it. Yet after the July meeting, Sarnoff doubts there is any support in the downtown area for the law. The DDA does not agree with the storefront ordinance, he asserts. Critics of the ordinance say the city is already inundated with visual pollution from murals, billboards, and digital LED signs. Its just another visual assault, says Barbara Bisno, a Venetian Islands resident and active member of Scenic Miami. They see if this kind of signage will do anything to improve economic activity. Regalado argues that visual pollution is subjective. I see visual pollution as an empty store, he argues. Youre walking on the sidewalk and you see the debris inside the store. It looks ugly. Regalados aesthetic preference for outdoor advertisements over empty preamble to the ordinances latest draft, which states that utilizing creative and attractive window signage, on a temporary basis, will provide income for distressed landlords, ward off vandals, and prevent the portrayal of a negative business synergy that could scare off other prospective tenants. The proposed law, Regalado says, is patterned after similar codes in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Under Continued on page 46 Coming to a Storefront Near You: Deal of a lifetime! Call now!Miamis mayor wants even more outdoor advertising, and in some unlikely locations Its just another visual assault, says Barbara Bisno. They have never done a study to see if this kind of signage will do anything to improve economic activity.

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42 There are a number of properties that worked out quite well, Martin says. Near One Miami [the downtown condo], there is a beautiful walkway. But Regalado claims that enforcement of the riverwalk, and other regulations expected of developers, was lax under his predecessor, Manny Diaz. The develop ers were not pushed to do this, the mayor asserts, because the previous administra tion believed in helping developers. Diaz has been gone for two years, retorts publicist Seth Gordon, a former Diaz advisor, so its hard to see how he can have any impact on what has or has Orlando Toledo, former director of building and zoning for the City of Miami, places the blame for the incomplete riv erwalks on scattered planning and a bad economy. In some buildings, barely half the units are occupied or purchased, he notes. Indeed some projects are mired in litigation or foreclosed by banks. When you need to ask those condo owners to take up the cost of [building a riverwalk], thats where everything goes to hell, says Toledo, who was laid off in July. Nobody wants to pay. They cant pay. It is a miracle they are able to pay the actual maintenance fees. Martin says the citys big mistake was allowing developers to make a pledge to construct a riverwalk. What we should have done, he says, and no one had the political will to do it, was insisted on easements rather than pledges. That way the city and county could have completed the riverwalk if necessary, he continues. As it stands now, many of the riverwalks are on private property. So far the only developers who have outright refused to build a riverwalk are brothers Bernard and Jerome Herskowitz, who obtained a permit to pave two parking lots along the river at SW 6th Street for a daycare center. Toledo told the Miami River Commission on June 22 that the original permit required a 13-foot-wide riv erwalk. After the Herskowitz brothers and their attorney balked, a city administrator granted a revised permit not requiring the riverwalk, Toledo claimed. According to Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, whose district encompasses the Herskowitz brothers land, This has been a little bit mired in he-said and she-said. Nevertheless Sarnoff says he intends to ensure that the riverwalk is enforced. (Jerome Herskowitz did not return a phone call from the BT by deadline.) At a few of the other incomplete riverwalks, there has been some progress. During a recent visit to the Miami River Oaks Marina and Condominium, located at 1951 NW South River Drive, a small bulldozer was busily clearing a path behind the recently completed Grapeland Heights high-rise condo. Were doing it, says Veronica Escobedo, marketing RiversideContinued from page 39 Continued on page 48

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Bring the whole family out for a day of FREE festivities Celebrate the new season at...3385 NE 188th Street Call 877.311.7469 (SHOW) AventuraCenter.org Joni Sheram Oct 12-22 Ana Nov 4 Connie James from the Great American Nov 19 Reections of the Bee Gees Nov 5 The Second Tour Goodnight Gracie Mar 14

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44 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORare bringing in less money for municipalities. The City of Miami installed ATS red-light cameras last year in tickets. Instead Miami received less Under the new state law, cities are also required to pay a fee, not a percentage, to red-light-camera companies. In Aventuras for each camera covering four lanes of Even with ATSs fees as high as Territo attributes the revenue decline to compliance. In Aventura, he says, in red-light-running between 2008 and violators live outside Aventura. Still, red-light cameras continue to cause legal chaos throughout Florida, says Ted Hollander, an attorney with the Ticket Breman, for example, ruled that police tickets if cameras are also doing so. The interpretation in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties depends on what judge or magistrate you get, says Hollander, whose argument that red-light cameras are unconstitution al was recently rejected by a Broward court. Hollander also claims theres no clear-cut evidence that redlight cameras prevent accidents. Instead they may actually cause more accidents. He points out that a 2008 study from the University of South Florida warns that rear-end collisions increase in places with red-light cameras because some drivers slam their breaks when approaching intersections. But Karen Morgan, manager of public policy for AAA Auto Club South, says evi dence shows red-light cameras do improve study by the Insurance Institute for High way Safety, cities that installed red-light cameras saw injury-related crashes decline by up to 29 percent. Nevertheless, AAA urged then-Gov. Charlie Crist to veto the red-light camera bill, fearing the law was more about revenue than safety. AAA is supportive of the use of red-light cameras, but not with out certain safeguards, Morgan says. Among the safeguards is a requirement that all ticket money be used for public-safety purposes. With the law already passed in the legislature, though, Morgan says AAA is now working to improve it: We would rather work with the legislature and put safeguards in it but not get rid of it. Many U.S. communities are opting to get rid of cameras. According to an Associ ated Press report last month, more than a dozen cities and nine states outright ban the use of red-light cameras. This past May, Floridas House of Representatives approved a bill revoking the Wandall Act. The mea sure failed to pass the state Senate. that red-light cameras are more money pits than gold mines, attorney Hollander says. Hialeah, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, and Pembroke Pines are just a few of the South Florida municipalities planning to ditch red-light cameras because they cost more than they generate. If its all about safety, why are these cities pulling the plug when there is no money? Hollander asks. Charlie Territo of ATS argues that more and more cities are seeking out red-light cameras. This is an industry that has seen tremendous growth over well known, we expect legal challenges to become fewer and fewer, and we expect support for cameras to increase. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntrnfbbb rfnt brrntntrt b f rfntrb ffnftf nn f fnnfnftf b fb rfnt f ntrf Trafc CamerasContinued from page 38 Hialeah, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, and Pembroke Pines are just a few of the South Florida municipalities planning to ditch red-light cameras.

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46 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORthe current draft, 50 permits would be that have operated since 2003. Another requirement is not as clear; in fact its open to interpretation: At least 50% of said applicants business consists of storefront advertising activities. These ads will only appear in nonresidential districts and can cover no frontage. The ads also must be generally composed of a non-residue forming, Regalado admits that money is another reason hes pushing for window-dressing ads. The 90-day which Regalado estimates would bring strapped city. Its something that would not make or break the budget, he acknowledges, but were trying to think outside the box, to get some revenue from outside the city. Ad companies must also contribute at least residents of the City of Miami. Property owners could make plenty of money from such ads. Already outdoora month for mural signs and billboards along I-95, Ehrlich notes. How much could be made from a street-level sign covering the window of a vacant storefront? Depends on the location, Eh But Ehrlich says most property owners hes spoken to are uneasy about storefront ads. The bill board people could put a disgusting malt liquor ad or something, he warns. That would detract from the other tenants. Regalado counters that a storefront ad can also be attractive. If you advertise a national brand, or a Rolex, or a Chevrolet, and its in color, the ad looks pretty, the mayor offers. Still, Regalado admits the city wont be able to control the content of the storefront advertisement. Its a First Amendment issue, he says. According to Regalado, it was an gested the concept of temporary ad signs in Miami, though he cant remember the companys name. These people from New York brought up the idea, he says. The ad company was represented by Balsera Communications, Regalado says, a Coral Gables-based political consulting and Balsera, founder and managing partner of Balsera Communications, did not return phone calls from the BT by deadline. Regalados push for window-dressing ads comes at a time when the city has been criticized for allowing the proliferation of ad murals and LED digital billboards along major thoroughfares. The Federal Highway Administration opined in a June Transportation that the citys 2008 wallmural ordinance, governing advertise ments on buildings within the city, appears to contradict the federal Highway Beauti to give the city the sole authority to issue permits for outdoor ads. FDOT has also taken notice of the pro posed window-dressing ordinance. John Garner, director of FDOTs right-of-way seen from a state or federal road or high way, then it needs a permit from his agency, and it must comply with state regulations unless the sign promotes products or services provided on the premises. Barnaby Min, Miamis zoning adminis trator, says hes consulted with the citys legal department in an effort not to violate state or federal regulations. Min, who has worked on the ordinance for many months, says hes also consulted with business owners and members of the outdoor-advertising industry. We have tried, he says, to appease various interested parties in this legislation. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com AdvertisingContinued from page 40 classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature. An outdoor-advertising rm suggested the concept, though Regalado cant remember the companys name: These people from New York brought up the idea.

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48 director for Miami River Oaks. Were working with the city and doing it. Less than a block to the southeast NW South River Dr., which has its full We are in compliance as far as having a riverwalk, says Denise Castro, property manager for Terrazas. Aside from signage alerting passersby to a publicly accessible riverwalk, an iron fence along Terrazass property line blocks pedestrian access to Sewell Park next door. The fence, Castro points out, is owned by the city. City spokeswoman Cristina Fernandez says the parks depart ment is exploring the possibility of providing access to and from the park and in that way, connecting to the riverwalk. An older gated community sits between the newly built Miami River Oaks and Terrazas. Because such pre-existing developments are exempt from riverwalk requirements, the new walkway will swerve from the river to the roadway and then back to the river, Martin says. But when such grandfathered prop erties are redeveloped, they too will be required to build riverwalks. Until then, Martin adds, We cant hold a gun to anyones head. RiverwalkContinued from page 42 Available forLast Minute PARTIES!Available forLast Minute PARTIES! Continued on page 50

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The following projects have not yet complied with the terms for a publicly accessible riverwalk and other amenities, according to ofcials from the City of Miami and the Miami River Commission. Project Name: Epic Residences and Hotel Address: 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way Description: A 54-story condo-hotel and a 900-foot-long marina developed by Ugo Colombo, Lionstone, and Ponte Gadea Group. Completed in 2008. Riverwalk Issues: A locked fence and Epics former sales center block the eastern riverwalk connection with the One Miami riverwalk. Epics western connection is also not accessible by the public. Project Name: One Riverview Square Address: 333 S. Miami Ave. Description: An eight-story ofce building developed by Rubicon America Trust that was completed in 2004. In 2008 One Riverview Square was sold to the Boston-based Eaton Vance Corporation for $50 million. Riverwalk Issues: There are no benches on the riverwalk. A groundoor space promised as a restaurant is instead being used as a lobby. Project Name: Riverfront East Address: 350 S. Miami Ave. Description: Developers Lissette Calderon and Frank Guerra planned to build two condo towers in this gated enclave: the 50-story Cima at Riverfront and the 41-story Wind by Neo. Wind was completed in 2008, but the Cima parcel was seized by Wells Fargo as part of a $28 million foreclosure judgment. Winds vacant condos were sold out of receivership as part of a $47 million foreclosure action. Riverwalk Issues: There are trees where a public riverwalk should be, according to minutes from a June 22 Miami River Commission meeting. Project Name: Riverfront West Address: 55-95 SW 3rd St. Description: Developed by Key International, Riverfront West consists of the 55-story Mint (completed in 2009) and 47-story Ivy (nished in 2008). Mint currently operates with a temporary certicate of occupancy. Riverwalk Issues: While construction of the riverwalk has progressed, the paved pathway remains incomplete. Project Name: Brickell on the River Address: 31-41 SE 5th St. Description: The twin-tower complex was built by Groupe Pacic president and CEO Michael Bedzow. The 42-story North Tower was nished in 2006. The 46-story South Tower was completed in 2007. Riverwalk Issues: The projects permits included pathways on both sides of the complex, connecting the SE 5th Street sidewalk to the riverwalk behind it. The connector on the east side was never built. Project Name: A daycare center and two unnamed parking lots. Address: 98 SW 6th St. Description: The building containing a daycare center has been owned by sibling real-estate investors Bernard and Jerome Herskowitz since May 1987, according to public records. The Herskowitz brothers bought the adjacent waterfront lots, now used for parking and boat dockage, from the Marjorie O. Brickell Revocable Living Trust in December 2009 for more than $1 million. Riverwalk Issues: City administrators claim the original permit used to pave a lot for the daycare center requires construction of a 13-foot-wide riverwalk. The Herskowitz brothers deny agreeing to the riverwalk, according to city ofcials. Project Name: Neo Vertika Address: 690 SW 1st Ct. Description: Developed by Lissette Calderon, this 36-story condo was completed in 2006 and includes a Waxy OConnors bar and restaurant by the riverwalk. Neo Vertikas homeowners association is suing Calderon over seawall and riverwalk issues, according to minutes from a recent Miami River Commission meeting. Neo Vertika is operating with a temporary certicate of occupancy. Riverwalk Issues: Although Neo Vertikas permit promised a 25-footwide riverwalk, it is not that wide, according to the Miami River Commission. The riverwalk also needs to be connected to the countys pedestrian M-Path to the east and Latitude on the Rivers riverwalk to the west. Neo Vertika has also been cited for seawall violations. Project Name: Latitude on the River Address: 615 SW 2nd Ave. Description: The 44-story rent-to-own condo was developed by Edward A. Fish Associates and completed in 2007. Also on site is Latitude One, a 23-story ofce tower. Riverwalk Issues: The projects riverwalk dead-ends before reaching the county constructed riverwalk to the west, beneath the 2nd Avenue bridge. Project Name: River Oaks Marina and Condominium Address: 1951 NW South River Dr. Description: The 19-story building received its temporary certicate of occupancy on June 30. Originally developed by Fernando Marin Valencia and Luis Cardenas Gerlein, iStar Financial led a foreclosure action against the building in 2009. AREA bought the defaulted $52 million mortgage for an undisclosed sum in 2010. AREA now runs the building as rental apartments. Riverwalk Issues: The riverwalk currently does not exist. Construction on the riverwalk and seawall commenced last month. Erik Bojnansky

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Name Withheld by Request El PortalClaws: Removing Them Is Not a Manicure A Siamese kitten mix will often have but that does not mean its choices for a The insistence that cats do not need their claws since they will never live deaths as they have no claws to climb or Continued from page 12

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who do not mother-in-law to the nearest kill shelter Tia Williams MiamiClaws: These Pet Adoption People Are Crazy Rothstein-Kramer at Petsmart with the and eventually settled on a kitten that When we returned two days later to in a condo with a terrace and was used cony to use the litter box for 16 years turned down, I felt tricked by the wordafter a time, when the kitten turned into ly allowed her onto the terrace (litter box terrible secret and whether we should Please do not Name Withheld by Request Aventura rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn

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54 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARK AA cademic Debate A proposal for a new charter school isnt popular with everyone, but that may not matterBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorWhen my wife and I were shopping for a house a few years back, friends in other states would ask if we were taking the quality of the local schools into account. It always struck us as a funny question. We had both lived in places where people did that, but this was Miami-Dade. The way we looked at it, the schools werent great anywhere, so we should just buy the house we really wanted. It was strangely liberating. It was also frustrating, because we hoped to start a family soon and knew we would someday, in the very near our child. (The future, incidentally, is now 20 months old and growing.) Today there may be a new option on the horizon, one that has caused quite a stir in our little village over the summer. You may have heard about it: The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection at the intersection of charter school on its property. The announcement was made at the June 20 commission meeting. Few details were provided, but the gist is this: The church is looking to open a public charter school that would initially enroll students in pre-K through third grade, but that would expand, over time, enrollment is projected to be somewhere classroom building can accommodate tentially migrate to the property across the street, now a parking lot. That kind of growth is purely specu lative, but just the mere mention of a char enough to make some residents respond as if someone had scraped an ice pick across a chalkboard: Can you imagine the The church didnt do itself any favors by saying it was planning to open AfterSchool @ The PlayGround Saturday @ The PlayGroundWhen schools out The PlayGround is in!!! Session 1: August 23 October 1, 2011 Cost Fee: $120/per session To register or for more information: 305-751-9550 www.theplaygroundtheatre.com Class ScheduleTuesday4:30pm Ages 6Wednesday4:30pm Ages 9Thursday4:30pm Ages 6Friday 4:30pm Ages 9Saturday10:30ampm Ages 12 9806 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Shores, FL 33138 Stephanie Ansin, Artistic Director BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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the school this August as in, last month. It was unrealistic, and it made residents feel they were being ambushed. The church is now hoping to open the school for the 2012-2013 school year. Given the anxiety the proposal has caused in some quarters, and the fact that a community workshop on the school scheduled for July 30 was canceled (and, as of press time, has yet to be rescheduled), I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with Fr. Albert Cuti at the Church of the Resurrection. cal collar and short sleeves, and eager to talk about the project. In fact, he was excited. This is not going to be a mediocre school, he told me. The company were working with has a record of running A+ schools, and Im convinced these guys are very competent. He also wanted to address some of the questions and concerns hed heard: The school would be a public charter, with no religious curriculum component. For now, it would utilize the pre-existing building, so construction would not be up to 180 maximum youre not going to have the same situation you have at Miami Country Day. Meaning, bum blocks every morning and afternoon. (For the sake of comparison, the enrollment at Miami Country Day, according to the For Father Cuti, opening a school is a logical step. There are hundreds of schools being operated in churches, he not being used Monday through Friday. The best use of that space is a quality educational facility. Hes also not shy about saying that, whatever public good may come from the project, this is also a business decision: insurance. I would hate to see the Church of the Resurrection become another one of those church casualties you see. doesnt have to, is that hes not asking for communities to keep charter schools from opening. Thats why they call them char ter schools because they are granted a charter from the state, exempting them from certain state and local regulations. And the recent trend in Florida has been to make it even harder for local govern ments to oppose the schools. (One such bill introduced in the Florida House of Representatives this past spring became the subject of controversy when it was disclosed that Rep. Erik Fresen, who helped craft the bill, is the brother-in-law of Fernando Zulueta, president of Academica, a prominent chain of charter schools. Academica is also the company that the Church of the Resurrection has chosen to partner with in their venture. I guess what they say is true; it really is a small world.) and what the village commission should do is engage the process and try to produce the best possible outcome for Biscayne Park and its residents. Charter schools are by no means a panacea for what ails education in America. For every success story, there seems to be will no doubt be an issue; thats a very tricky intersection. Father Cuti suggests that, to avoid clogging NE 113th Street, drop-offs and pick-ups could be limited ative remedies a shuttle service for students or staggered dismissal times for the different grades, to name two. cans together to see if they can levitate the building, the way Abbie Hoffman My own feelings about the prospect of a charter school are mixed. On the one 113th Street that I too worry about increased Biscayne Park, I have a young child who will soon be of school age, and I like the idea of having an additional public school from which to choose. (My wife and I have discussed the possibility of sending our son to Country Day, but are leaning toward keeping a roof over his head instead.) the charter school a chance because it could be a very good thing for us, and for many of our neighbors. But only if the church and village deal with each other in good faith. No pun intended. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrntrb nrfr rrbbrrr nrfr ff rfnrt tbrfntb nt rbtt

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56 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGEOde to Franki JoOur correspondent says goodbye to her beloved hound By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorTwelve days ago my best friend of seven years died peacefully in my lap. Her quick demise was unexpected and I am the sole person responsible for ending her life. Before you go calling me Kevorkian, let me explain. My best friend Franki Jo was a dog who, during the last two months of her 11 years, suffered from lymphoma. My husband and I opted to treat her with chemotherapy (which, unlike humans, most dogs tolerate very well). Franki was one of those dogs, and she had a good quality of life. Then, seemingly overnight, the cancer invaded her lungs and she had trouble breathing. I rushed her to the oncologist the next morning, thinking she was having a bad or allergic reaction to her new chemo drug. I wasnt even particularly concerned (and Im always concerned, in general) about this new development because my husband said he had seen her in slightly worse shape right before her before. Well, as they say, or at least as I have heard from several veterinarians and people recently: Cancer does what cancer wants. Cancer wanted my dog that Monday. And despite medical advancements, both in the human and veterinary medicine When the news sunk in that Franki was not coming home from the vet, a weird thing happened. I started crying really hard. Somehow this crying was different from my other Franki-related cancer crying. I guess thats because it wasnt crying at all; it was wailing. And it was almost comical in its melodrama. Like a scene borrowed from a dusty graveyard, where a mother throws think I had it in me. My decision to euthanize Franki was born of my love for her and my refusal to let her suffer. Yet the nobility of the action in no way compensates for the trauma of the experience of her warm body going limp in my lap. That feeling will never leave me. Being a highly sensitive, detailoriented person is a blessing and a curse. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Sometimes it is both simultaneously. In processing grief, it is helpful to just let yourself feel and do whatever comes natu rally. Unfortunately (or fortunately, ac cording to psychologists), I am very good at not blocking out traumatic moments. So while I currently mourn Frankis death, I replay certain highlights that have stuck in my mind: the feel of her long, velvety ears, the little sideways dance she did in anticipation of treats, the way the vet, after injecting her for the last time, touched her head and murmured softly: Rest now, rest. My grief is fresh and easily accescoffee sitting just beneath a cappuccinos swirled foam. Right now, it takes very little to make me cry. I have cried every day since Franki died. Anyone who has suffered the loss of a family member knows grief often comes in stages and at inconvenient moments. One of mine occurred when I was getting my hair cut and colored yesterday and, for whatever reason, I thought of Franki. A few seconds later, fresh tears dropped from my cheeks and chin onto the black, plastic smock, providing a little river for wayward hairs to travel down, before forming a tiny pool in my lap. I have been through this experience before. In 2008, my dog Nyla, a stunning black Belgian shepherd we rescued from abusive neighbors, died in a veterinarwere different, I thought since I had experienced the loss of one pet, Id have the one-up this time around. I couldnt have been more wrong. In life, building a bond in every relationship is different. And in death, so is every goodbye. Franki Jo was what my husband and I described as a bagel, as she was part beagle and part basset hound. Really, what this combination made her was what we coined an ber hound, or hound to the highest degree. Now you, or anyone who knows dog breeds, might have an idea as to the typical temperament of a hound or, in this case, a double-decker hound. Franki was high-strung but never yappy, determined but patient, strong-willed, loyal, and protective of her pack the other three or four dogs who lived with her, and with us, at any given time. But above everything else, Franki was a highly spirited character. That dog was a grunting, snoring, jowls-jangling, howling handful! I suspect her, er, zest for life is what caused less appreciative owners to surrender her to the high-kill shelter she was bound for when I intervened and took her in years ago. Franki was a double-decker hound, all right, with cheese and extra pickles. She would eat anything, including entire packets of Double Stuf Oreos, large bags of dog food that she climbed up on counters to get, and Starbucks Frappucino lids. I will never forget taking her to the vet when my lid went missing and watching the doctor furrow her brow and say, I cant palpate her middles! Life had not been good to Franki before we adopted her, but as is the canine way, she continued to be good in life. She tolerated all kinds of animals throughout the years, including an ornery parrot named Eggsbert, a curious ferret named Pickle, and a rambunctious puppy named Lil Man, whose favorite sport was to climb on Franki and then slide down her back, before toddling to Frankis front and yanking on her leash. Ive lost count of the number of Halloween costumes Franki willingly wore over the years, just as Ive lost count of the number of sweets she managed to sneak. Most recently she got into a cake I frosted with food-colored icing and startled us, rounding the corner of the living room with a half-blue face. The absence of Franki does not make sense to me. Rationally, I understand what happened. But emotionally, there is a disconnect. I dont know why there is no crazed howling at mealtime or why her bed is vacant. Losing Franki has given me a new perspective. There really are few precious moments in life and they sometimes can get, inexplicably, yanked away. I promised Franki her own box of Krispy Kreme donuts before she had to go. She wouldnt have to sneak them or maneuver cabinets with her pudgy paws to get at them. I never got a chance to deliver. I hope wherever she is now, there are many Krispy Kreme shops and that ing a fresh batch is ready, are always on. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com PEBBLE FOUNTAIN SPHERE t: 305.438.1775 e: sales@BeachPebbles.com 3214 N E 2nd AVE Miami Fl, 33137 AVAILABLE COLORS Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom Specializing in residential, commercial & industrial lighting products. State of the art LED and energy saving lightbulbs. 305.423.0017

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA Walk TT his WayAventura on foot is a terric experience so try it!By Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorTo walk or not to walk, that is the question. Or shall I say, that was the question when I moved from New York to Florida. I lived in Chelsea and was used to walking everywhere, every day. As a matter of fact, I didnt own a car for 12 years. Why would I? I had subways, buses, taxis, bicycles, and most of all, my feet. Walking is amazing. It is a beautiful way to start the day, a great way to clear your head, an awesome way to end a long day, and its the best form of exercise there is. I never really knew how much I loved walking until I moved away from New York City. Before making my permanent home in South Florida, I left Manhattan for Mandeville, Louisiana. Total suburbia. It was completely different from city dwelling. Everything was spread out. There were no tall apartment buildings. I lived in a rental complex. I bought a car. I walked less. My calf muscles didnt look the same. I lived in Mandeville for a year before moving to Florida to be closer to my family. That was in 2001. Ive been a resident of Aventura since 2005, most of that time spent living in the same condo in Mystic Pointe. I loved it there. Mystic Pointe was one of the deluxe housing communities that began sprouting up in Aventura in the late 1980s. Composed of six buildings, the Causeway, it is a great little community. Building six was the last to be built and, for whatever reason, Mystic Pointers get kind of snooty when they talk about it. They claim that building six is the stepchild, that it doesnt count as part of the complex because it sits on the other side of the causeway. I say, whatever and it was great in every respect. The only drawback was you couldnt walk to the other buildings in the same way that you could if you lived in numbers one

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and Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Walking helps keep us in shape, without having to be a slave to the gym. And it helps us stay environmentally aware.

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEStreet SmartsNow that the kids are back in school, drivers may want to slow down a littleBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorHere we are in September already and the kids are back in school. Seems to be an appropriate time to broach a subject that most of us say we take seriously, but often dont looking out for the kiddies as they traverse the daily maze designed for the automobile and not the pedestrian. Some of you may recall that we lost a little one on the Boulevard a couple of years ago when he wandered away from Morningside Elementary School and tried to make it home on his own. He got as far as the Boulevard and 64th Street, where he made an error in judgment stepped into the path of a southbound auto that was not speeding and certainly not expecting such a tiny tot to wander into its path. And that was that. The little boy will have no chance to learn from a near-miss experience. No, he will have no second chances for eternity. So what brings me to write on this subject? Well, the other day a neighbor of mine in Belle Meade stopped me to lament how some of our fellow residents within the neighborhood seem to be suffering from lead-foot syndrome. He was concerned, and rightfully so, about the number of drivers who have forgotten that streets are connected to sidewalks and that sidewalks are pedestrian paths. My wife, Fran, and I have lived in Belle Meade for six years now and we in, most of the pedestrian activity was neighbors walking their dogs. Now, however, we are cognizant of the tremendous increase in parents pushing strollers occupied by the newest, tiniest residents of the area. Personally, we love seeing the youth and energy it brings, this 5580 NE 4th Ct. Miami, FL 33137305-751-7591 SERIOUSLY ORIGINAL Upgradeable Upgradeable Upgradeable

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transformation of our neighborhood from older to younger. The stroller brigade is slowly giving way to the tiny ones stepping up to tricycles or their equivalent, and some have already graduated to two-wheelers, with and without training wheels; the more adventurous to roller skates and skateboards. And where do these little ones hone their skills? On the sidewalks, of course, just as we did when we were kids at least those of us who grew up in a city. The problem comes when the sidewalk and the street intersects, especially now that all the sidewalks have these slick ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) ramps at every corner. I think we all recognize that streets are for cars and sidewalks are for pedestrians, but the joining of the two is a reality, and there is a tried and true axiom that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. When this basic law of physics is ignored or tested, we have what we call an accident. And it doesnt take a rocket scientist to determine the outcome of an accident between an automobile and a tiny pedestrian who has made a fatal error in judgment. Also keep in mind that as the kids get a little older, they venture more and more into the street; just a natural progression of growing up. Children have no fear. In their minds, they are invincible. They have not had the close-call occurrences from which to learn just how vulnerable they are. As we mature, we learn from those close calls the hot-stove rule, if you will. I remember when my young son asked me what electricity felt like. Sometimes constant admonition only inspires the one question that children most ask: Why? So when my son asked me that, I had him hold onto the sparkplug of the lawnmower while I slowly pulled the starter rope. Yep, he got a jolt and let out with a yelp. Probably a reportable offense under todays rules and regulations on raising children, but he got the message loud and clear and wanted no part of anything that could give him a similar sensation from that point forward. He still thought he was invincible, but he had acquired a healthy respect for electricity. Now, back to the kids on bikes and those just getting to the point that they A New Aveda Concept Salonwww.SevenSeasSpaSalon.com Receive...30 Minute Massage 30 Minute Facial Maninicure and Pedicure Complimentary Valet Complimentary Champagne Access to Tiki Hut on the beachALL forDAY Mon-Thurs 16701 Collins AvenueLocated at the Sunny Isles Beach inside the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort can run: They need our help, all of our help, to survive. Back when I was a of kids struck by cars while riding their bikes and roller skates was exponentially greater on Christmas Day. And if it wasnt Christmas, there was a good chance it was the kids birthday. I remember one call when a mother had given her 16-year-old son a motorcycle for his birthday. He didnt make ran into a telephone pole and was killed instantly. A family friend struck and killed a child with her auto when the child veered off the sidewalk and onto the street while earning to ride a bike with no training wheels. The horror of that event haunts this lady still. She has never gotten over it. So how much time does speeding through our neighborhood really save us? Just out of curiosity, I timed a trip by car from our guard gate to both the east end of Belle Meade Island and the southeast corner of the mainland (Belle Meade Boulevard and 72nd Ter race) staying between 25 and 30 mph. Both took just a tad over two minutes. Then I drove them both again, as fast as I could (just under 50 mph on some stretches) and rolled through all the stop signs. Both trips took just a tad over one minute and 45 seconds. Can you imagine having to live with the guilt of seriously injuring or killing one of your neighbors children just to gain an extra 15 or 20 seconds? As many of you know, Fran and I live on the corner of NE 7th Avenue and 74th Street. Most drivers do not stop at the stop signs on 74th. I mean really stop. Most slow down a little bit, then blow through, trying to gain a few of those extra 15 to 20 seconds. You are tempting fate. One day a child will be coming down that street, unsteadily navigating the bike he just That child may not yet grasp the basic concept that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, may not yet comprehend her own vulnerability. Do you want to be the one who teaches her that lesson? Youll regret it the rest of your life. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sSAA drenaline R R u shNeed more excitement in your life? Try navigating the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and 96th StreetBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorIve driven, and gotten lost (even with a GPS), all over this strangely stretched-out county called MiamiDade. In fact, Ive driven and gotten lost in countries all over the world. But in all my wanderings, both deliberate and tion where I have seen so many fenderbenders, and narrowly avoided so many more myself, than Biscayne Boulevard and 96th Street. Most recently, on August 1, a traumatic truck-and-car collision closed the entire roadway in the middle of the afternoon. Heading south, already late for an appointment, my kids and I were caught in the standstill while the victims were loaded into ambulances, their vehicles towed, and the streets swept free of debris. Eventually we inched our way to a detour just north of Kmart 6th Avenue. It put us more than an hour behind schedule. If this sounds like I have very little sympathy for the victims, let me assure you youre correct. I only feel bad for the innocent driver injured by anothers error. How do I know this accident was caused by carelessness? Im only guessing, of course. I didnt witness it, and theres no report about blame. But every single crunch, smash, or near miss Ive seen or been involved with at this intersection most certainly has been a result of driver error. Indeed it is more than that. It is driver stupidity or, worse, driver insolence: eastbound cars making speedy, illegal left-hand turns onto Biscayne Boulevard, long after the green turning arrow has disappeared, playing impervious cockiness has often left me screeching to a stop in the middle of the road to avoid being hit. Lets review, for a second, the rules for making a left-hand turn. Heres the basic, most important one: You dont

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have the right of way. You must yield would think. or looking to turn left onto the Boulevard are generously given their green light and green arrow ahead of the cars to go north on the Boulevard.) Then the green arrow changes to a yellow arrow to make a left onto the Boulevard are where from three to six to as many as that left turn long after westbound cars have started moving. This forces the driver making the left will obviously only the left-turn lane but also a rightturn lane that feeds into the Boulevard going south. He was calmly walking way through the streets to the light near kids to school. lowing that green arrow to turn red and ment that a green or yellow arrow immoneymaking schemes and might rights. But evidence has shown that they dying or killing someone else. has been killed at Biscayne Boulevard many fatalities as the average Florida fatalities fender-benders at Biscayne Boulevard see an increase in those accident stats. one of those drivers who blatantly takes might go ahead and let you hit me. My be nice. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Hypnosis is powerful because it directly accesses the subconscious mind and reprograms it just as you would a computer. The good news is it takes only one or two sessions to reverse any limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Its as easy as that!USING HYPNOSIS, YOU CAN:ll Your Potential dence

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64 Culture: THE ARTSNasty As Ever, and Not Yet ThroughMiamis Blowy is the oldest, dirtiest rapper around a new lm tells how he got that wayBy Anne Tschida BT ContributorT is a documentary that will have a special screening at Wynwoods O Cinema at the end of this month. A read something like this: On tour with an original rapper and underappreciated R&B composer who has made Miami his home and who has become a cult hero. But that would be an understate ment, to say the least. A viewer fol lowing that loose description might not about how he is the master of the class, with a male member so large he cant f**k a human ass. Then he turns to his manager and says he needs to make sure he includes former President George Bush in his dirty ditty. That is a of the weird double life of the man born Clarence Reid. The 71-year-old, who has worked and lived around North Miami almost since he left his native Georgia (before he was ten), rhymes about raunchy sex, race, and politics. Hes also pretty funny. we see local star DJ Le Spam talking 1960s music in Reids living room, rapper and Law & Order actor Ice T reminiscing about how his dad listened Dead Kennedys Jello Biafra saying he has never heard a sense of humor with such a deliciously degenerate attitude toward the world. Indeed, Reid might be the most interesting entertainment story out of Miami that most people have never heard. and the emergence of his alter ego at a that includes sequined cape, jumpsuit, and a glittery blue super-hero hood, Reid remembers that, as a seven-year-old, following the death of his grandfather, he set out to make some money for the family. According to Reid, he told the familys white landlords: I could plow a mule. And they said. Get your little nigger ass over there and sit down and shut the f**k up. So he sang a dirty tune instead. The white folks loved it and, rather than paying him a measly buck for plowing, they gave him $30. When his grandmother wondered why anyone would do that, Reid told her they said, Oh, hes a nasty little bastard but hes funny. His grandmother replied, Youre a disgrace to the human race. Youre no better Thats one version of the story. But its a revealing and poignant one. The little nasty rapper started changing For more information, visit www.miamiparking.com. Department of Off-Street Parking (DOSP)SAVE ON PARKING IN THE CITY OF MIAMIMIAMI RESIDENT DISCOUNTCity of Miami residents receive 20% discount on on-street Pay By Phone parking. Not valid with other discount programs. To register contact MPA Customer Service. Photos courtesy of Variance Films

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lyrics to pop songs to make people laugh and to hold an audience. But the man worn edition. That incredible contradiction is what made Jonathan Furmanski want to make he wanted to follow both of them on an upcoming tour. ing a McDonalds breakfast in grape jelly dedicated following. New Times writer Tom Bowker quit being a scribe the road. graphic yet silly lyrics being sung by and more reminiscent of a cabaret than a rap concert. really trying to make the white farmers laugh when he added profanity to their them off. The man who follows the as it would be boring to me. members of the headline bands nowhere telling the administrator that he makes ment for the arthritis in his knee. to the time he gets something else. They four screenings on the weekend days;

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66 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Call gallery for exhibition information 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Call gallery for exhibition information Archbishop Curley Notre Dame 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net September 10 through October 29: Teaching Artists A Catholic Tradition with Kerry Ware, Vivian Macia, Milma DeVoe, Catherine Wichmann, Don Clerveaux, and Yunier Cervino Oliver 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-587-0172 www.albertlinerogallery.com September 8 through October 8: September with Pink Bastard 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Call gallery for exhibition information 750 NE 124th St., North Miami 305-975-6933 www.alonsored.com Call gallery for exhibition information 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com Through September 21: Art of Engagement with various artists 2215 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-237-3559 http://artseenspace.wordpress.com/ Call gallery for exhibition information 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 September 9 through October 1: Structured: Art Inspired by Architecture with various artists and American Dream by Jeff and Sabrina Williams 180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami Through September 30: Gene Hackman by Timothy Stanley and P. Scott Cunningham Readings will take place: September 3, 2 p.m. September 10, 8 p.m. 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com September 10 through October 29: Stung Out by Karen Rifas September 10 through January 7: A Critique of Established Attitudes Towards Aging & Beauty by Aurora Molina 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through October 5: Personal Diary by Volodymyr Kuznetsov 100 NE 38th St., Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Ongoing: Group Show with H-Allen Benowitz, Franois Gracia, Clarice de Souza, David Tupper, Sharon Dash, and Hector Maldonado 12425 NE 13 Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 September 4 through October 23: SET with Tom Schmitt, Odalis Valdivieso, and Kerry Ware 2301-2303 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-303-6254 www.buttergallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www.susannacaldwell.com Ongoing: Seductive Assemblages and Wood Sculpture by Susanna Caldwell 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www .cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Through October 30: Bring It Home (Small, Medium, and Large) by David Rohn 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Group Show with various artist from Argentina and Mexico 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www.visual.org Call gallery for exhibition information 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411 www.charest-weinberg.com September 24 through November 19: New Work by Aaron Spangler 71 E. Flagler St., Miami 305-741-0058 www.christophermirogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-438-9006 www .cityloftart.com Closed for relocation until October 1 787 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-308-6561 www.chirinossanchez.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2509 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-357-0568 www.curatorsvoiceartprojects.com Through September 10: All About Me by Rosario Bond Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 September 8 through October 1: Crushed Candy by various artists 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 September 10 through October 29: Inner Distance by Udo Noger 3938 NE 39th St., Miami 305-536-7801 www.diasporavibevirtualgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net September 10 through October 22: Dreamy Nomads Baby by Lisa Slominski 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com September 10 through October 28: Imprint by Marina Font 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com September 2 through October 9: Matter of Fact by Cheryl Pope and A Mile of String by Raymond Sa September 1, 8 p.m.: Stacks (Live Performance) by Cheryl Pope 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Through September 6: Miles: Living in the Vortex by Sandra Ramos 47 NE 25th St., Miami 305-303-8852 www .edgezones.org September 9 through September 30: Paintings with Kristen Thiele September 9 through September 30: Bathers by Mary Malm 2732 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 754-422-5942 www.elitearteditions.com Call gallery for exhibition information Daybreak 1

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ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 FLAGLER ART SPACE 172 W. Flagler St., Miami FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 305-448-8976 GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 305-582-6067 GALERIE SCHUSTER MIAMI 786-266-2445 GALLERY DIET 305-571-2288 GALLERY I/D 305-778-4568 GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 GIOVANNI ROSSI FINE ART 561-251-1375 HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 305-989-3359 ICON ART 147 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4266 JG PLATFORM GALLERY 305-573-0208 KABE CONTEMPORARY 305-573-8142 KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 GALERIE LELIA MORDOCH 786-431-1506 LOCUST PROJECTS 155 NE 38th St., Miami 305-576-8570 MAOR GALLERY 305-573-9995 MIAMI ART SALON 36 NW 36th St., Miami 305-775-9683 MIAMI ART SPACE 244 NW 35th St., Miami 305-757-6000 305-237-3696 305-237-7700 305-237-1532 305-237-5000 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 MIAMI INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN 305-428-5700 MICHAEL PEREZ POP ART GALLERY 516-532-3040 MORE FUNNER PROJECTS 180 NE 39th St., Miami 786-512-4130 MYRA GALLERIES 631-704-3476 305-237-3597 NINA TORRES FINE ART 305-395-3599 NORMAN LIEBMAN STUDIO 305-573-3572 305-571-9036 305-633-9345 PANAMERICAN ART PROJECTS 305-573-2400 Cornered

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68 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2900 www.praxis-art.com September 10 through October 22: Understory by Nina Surel 4141 NE 2nd St., Suite 104 www.primaryprojectspace.com September 10 through October 1: His Wife & Her Lover with Valerie Hegarty, Mark Jenkins, George Sanchez-Calderon, Dead Dads Club Corporation, Manny Prieres, Emmett Moore, Franky Cruz, Andrew Nigon, Cleon Peterson, Nick Klein, Johnny Robles, Jessy Nite, and Edouard Nardon 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information 2136 NW 1st Ave., Miami 305-600-4785 www.sohostudiosmiami.com Call gallery for exhibition information 162 NE 50th Terr., Miami 305-992-7652 www.myspace.com/stashgallery Call gallery for exhibition information 3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami http://swampstyle.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799, www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: First Lady Fantasy & Neon Art by David Mayberry 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com September 10 through October 4: Summer Photo Show with various artists 2200 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-284-2542 Call gallery for exhibition information 201 NE 39th St., Miami 305-576-6960 Call gallery for exhibition information 250 NW 23rd St., Unit 306, Miami 954-235-4758 www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www .artcentersf.org Through October 2: Brian Reedy 2100 Collin s Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through October 16: At the Same Time (Al Mismo Tempo) by Sandra Gamarra Through October 30: Vanishing Points: Paint and Paintings from the Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection with various artists 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org September 8 through November 6: Viewpoint: 2011 CIFO Grants & Commissions Program Exhibition with Laura Belem, Tania Bruguera, Fitzia Irizar-Rojo, David Lamelas, Begona Morales, Amalia Pica, Antonio Vega, Alicia Villarreal 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Through October 8: The Family of Man by George Sanchez-Calderon September 10 through October 8: Optic Nerve XIII Finalists: Screening at the Collection with various artists 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 September 7 through October 2: Tipping Points with Mette Tommerup and William Burke Through September 11: East/West: Visually Speaking with Cai Lei, the Luo Brothers, Ma Baozhong, Cang Xin, Shen JingDong, Shi Liang, Sun Ping, Tang Zhigang, Zhang Hongtu, and Zhong Biao Through September 18: Whos Counting and Temporal State of Being with David Hodge and Hi-Jin Hodge Through September 18: From Old to New with various artists 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org September 8 through October 8: KIDSART with Bhakti Baxter, Leda Almar, Doug Hoekzema, Pachi Giustinian, Sinisa Kukec, Lacoreya Glass, Chloe Gonzalez, Leandra Michelle Hall, Daisy Hoover, Rose Hoover, Juliet Loyd, Taylor Lynott, Galt Mikesell, Trenard Newkirk, Torance Rodriguez, and Azziji Usery 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through September 25: Frank Paulin: An American Documentarian by Frank Paulin Through October 23: Sacred Stories, Timeless Tales: Mythic Perspectives in World Art from the Permanent Collection with various artists Through April 22, 2012: Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art with various artists 101 W. Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000 www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection Through October 16: A Day Like Any Other and First Love Sketching Appointment by Rivane Neuenschwander September 8: What Remains by Vicki Goldberg Lecture, 6:30 p.m. Free for MAM Members, police, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-621 1 www.mocanomi.org Through September 4: Any Ever by Ryan Trecartin September 23 through November 13: Modify, as Needed with Kathryn Andrews, Darren Bader, Nina Beier, Karl Holmqvist, Adriana Lara, Natalia Ibanez Lario, Jos Carlos Martinat, Amilcar Packer, Nick Relph, Anders Smebye, Nicolas Paris Velez 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051, www.margulieswarehouse.com Collection will be closed until November 10 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 www.rubellfamilycollection.com Call collection for exhibition information Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www.worldclassboxing.org Call for exhibition information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com The Birthplace WERE HIRING! Biscayne Times is looking for a full-time, experienced account executive for display advertising. Small, enthusiastic staff. Loyal readers and advertisers. Tremendous growth potential. Some house accounts available. Base salary plus generous commissions. Serious money to be made. Please send rsum to publisher Jim Mullin at jim.mullin@biscaynetimes.com.

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Waiting For BPIf Youre Going to Pull a Knife, USAlo is a remarkable hybrid of language, imag eco-activism. A collaborative effort from two local performers, Elizabeth Doud and Carlos Caballero also the only two actors in the play its a tale of a mermaid and a petroleum worker, based on text from Samuel Beckett, told in a mixture of both English and Spanish, set on a polluted ocean. Its another example of Miami pushing creative boundaries and becoming a true breeding ground for ar tistic expression. Knife will play out from Thursday, September 8 through Satur day, September 10 at 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, September 11 at 5:00 p.m., at the On Stage Black Box Theater at the MiamiDade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St. Tickets cost $20. Call 305-358-5885.Hurricane WatchBack in 2002, the University of Miami football team, on one of the great runs in college football history, was favored to win a second consecutive national championship until it ran into Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Last year the rematch ended no better for the Canes. Now they get one more chance at revenge. (Which is one more chance than the current NCAA investigation is likely to past the Buckeyes in the teams home opener on Saturday, September 17 at Sun Life Stadium. Tickets start at $60; pregame time is 7:30 p.m. If you cant make it out to Miami Gardens, the game will be broadcast on ESPN and WQAM 560 radio.A Picker-Upper for What Ails Our WatersIn a recent survey, Miami came out dead last among major metropolitan areas in civic participation few people vote, even fewer volunteer. Lets shake that status! The annual Miami-Dade Coast al Cleanup will take place this year on Saturday, September 17 Volunteers not only clean up the litter in the water, but also catalogue it by taking notes to better understand the type and source of the junk so that one day the need for a Cleanup Saturday will be obsolete! You which are along the Biscayne Corridor, by going to www.miamidadecoastalcleanup. org or calling 305-372-3300. Plan to arrive by 8:30 a.m. and work until noon, at which point the after-party starts at the Miami Seaquarium, a reward for all that trash-taking.Design a Fun DayThe sixth Family Day in the Design District will be held on Saturday, Sep tember 24 with additional participation this year by the Adrienne Arsht Center. Around the district, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., take the kids to decorate cupcakes, make mini pizzas, and get temporary tattoos. Dont worry, theres stuff for big people, too, as boutiques, showrooms, and galleries will be open. For more info on the event and a list of neighborhood establishments, go to www.miamidesigndistrict.netAn Arts AnniversaryThe Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.) will kick off its second season with a free family event called Curtain Up! This will be an opportunity to catch highlight performances from the inaugural year, such as the classical moves of the Arts Ballet Theater and the ebony-and-ivory sounds of the Miami International Piano Festival, featur ing pianists from across the globe. There will be other activities taking place as well, including puppet shows and prize drawings. From noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sep tember 25 For more information call 954-462-0222 or go to www. aventuracenter.org.Dogtown MiamiSouth Florida is a dog-lovin place. The Incredible Dog Show to do so. Under a big-top tent in Bicenten nial Park (1075 Biscayne Blvd.), starting on Wednesday, September 28 and running for ten days, world-champion dogs will catch Frisbees, run obstacle courses, do some dog gy-diving, and perform many other stunts (one pooch specializes in extreme skate boarding). One of the coolest things: More than 50 percent of the dogs featured have been rescued and successfully rehabilitated. Daily shows start at 7:30 p.m., with extra performances Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and Sundays at 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets range from $30 to $65 and can be purchased at the park or at www.theincredibledogs.com. Call 305-358-7550.Be the Next Bryan NorcrossIts the middle of the hurricane season here in Florida, a season that comes, whether we like it or not, every year. So why not embrace it by learning and understanding our subtropical environment? On Friday, September 29 His toryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.) will get Wild About the Weather for an all-day event, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., meant to promote interac tion, even empowerment, with the atmospheric world. Make a weather station equipped with barometers and thermometers and get a grasp of the fundamentals of weather forecasting. Tickets cost $35 for members, $45 for non members. Go to www.historymiami.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDARWith Rowing, You Get Egg Rolls Geographically and culturally, China may seem distant, but the Middle Kingdoms an South Florida Dragon Boat Festival starts at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 24 and paddles on until 5:00 p.m. at Haulover Beach Park Marina (10800 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). To participate you need to form or join a team and practice in advance. If you simply want to watch, you can take part in another sport eating egg rolls! Whoever eats ten in the fastest time becomes the 2011 Egg Roll Eating Champion. For more details go to www. miamidragonboat.com or call 305-345-8489. Manu a ManuThe music of Manu Chao has become an international soundtrack of the hip, from cafs and boutiques in Madrid and Mumbai to Miami. With all sorts chirps in the background, he sings about peace and war and marijuana, in French, Galician, Basque, Portuguese, Arabic, and English. While the leftleaning musician has played in Cuba, he has never performed in Miami until now. On Friday, September 9 starting at 7:00 p.m., well get to hear him jam at the Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park (301 N. Biscayne Blvd.). Tickets start at $33.50. Go to www.rhythmfoundation.com for more information. For a free introduction to Manu Chaos music, O Cinema (90 NW 29th St.) will screen Manu Chao Babylon Fever on Friday, September 2 at 10:00 p.m. Muir Vidler Tigertail Roars in Wynwood presenter Tigertail Productions will kick-start its season with a kick-ass party, Expected/Unexpected featuring performance artist Pat Oleszko and her giant blow-up dolls. On Tuesday, October 5 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Tigertail invites you to witness the antics and partake of the festivities for free in an event that will move in and out of Joeys restaurant, the courtyard of murals, and Wyn wood Kitchen and Bar (all in the 2500 block of NW 2nd Avenue). For more info call 305-324-4337 or go to www.tigertail.org.

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70 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatGullible Employee Contributes to Loss200 Block of NE 79th Street One would think that common sense would be in demand in this weak job market, and only those possessing it would be hired. Well, think again. While on vacation, the victim received a phone call indicating that there was a strange man on his property, possibly removing items. When the victim returned home, there was a new lock on his front gate. He broke the lock, entered his property, and then noticed that one of his trailers had gone missing. It seems the perpetrator offered money to one of the victims employees to remove the trailer, claiming thats what the boss wanted. The worker happily complied. The lesson here? As Ronald Reagan famously said, Trust, but verify. An Apple a Day Keeps the Crooks Happy900 Block of Biscayne Boulevard No matter how much some folks want the latest gadget from Apple, they simply are unwilling to put up with the long lines at Aventura Mall and on Lincoln Road. Who wants to make an appointment when you could just take someone elses loot? An apartment was burgled (though there were no signs of forced entry). While there were many high-ticket items to steal, the only item taken was an iPhone, along with its charger. The apartment was not ransacked or otherwise disturbed. Should we all just switch to MetroPCS? It cant be that bad!You Didnt Tell Me It Was a Long-Distance Call6700 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Even if you do have MetroPCS, its probably wise while navigating Miami to not let anyone else know you have a cell phone or any other form of technology, for that matter. A man asked to use victims cell phone. His call lasted longer than expected and the victim asked him to return the phone. The moocher refused, put the phone in his pocket, and screamed, Come get it! He then ran south on Biscayne Boulevard. Sigh.Make-Believe Friends Are Better5800 Block of N. Miami Avenue Victim had four friends over to play video games on his Xbox 360. While they were playing, the victim stepped out playing the perfect host was not necessary when everyone was so engrossed with the Xbox. Turns out he should have hosted. When he returned, the friends and the video-game system were gone. Since video-game geeks generally seem ships, we suggest they come to terms and accept a life of isolation and online gaming. After all, what is more important to have real friends or the ability to zap enemy soldiers on your television? Compiled by Derek McCann

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The Timothy Leary School of Crime FightingNE 13th Street and NE Miami Court A woman pulled over at a Pay to Park machine and a man entered her car from the passenger side. He told her he was the parking attendant and she had to pay $30 to park. When the woman refused, the intruder grabbed her purse and told her to leave the vehicle. She did, but then decided to chase the vehicle on foot. The man eventually jumped from the vehicle situation, she kept contradicting herself and giving different accounts. The police report noted that she was likely on drugs. No suspect had been located at press time. The druggie obviously scared the suspect. Lesson learned: Drugs may destroy your brain, but they can also scare the bejeezus out of criminals. Turn on, tune in, and drop those thugs.The Sign Said Free TV in Every Room3500 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Boulevard motel establishments. At checkout time, he failed to turn in his key. Instead he was busy trying to steal the 42-inch television from his room by wrapping it in a blanket and carting it away. When motel personnel chased him, the perp chucked the TV over a fence, before climbing the fence himself. Leaving the now broken TV behind, he ran are all over the television. The Adventures of Captain Caffeine2900 Block of Biscayne Boulevard The male suspect entered Starbucks and purchased a beverage. Nothing unusual there. However, after that, he to him and ran off. A brave employee (victims and bystanders are getting more courageous these days) chased the slimeball to a waiting vehicle. Before the crook could get away, the employee reached into the car and snatched the purse back. The car drove off. The employee returned the purse to the victim. Dont mess with people high on caffeine, folks they seem to welcome the additional rush.Taxi Driver Revenge4900 Block of NE 2nd Avenue We see report after report of passengers ripping off hard-working cab drivers. This time, the tables turned. A cab pulled up to its destination and, as the passenger was getting out, the driver asked to use his cell phone. At the same time he handed him his cell phone, the passenger also gave the driver a $20 bill return. Instead the driver took off with the cell phone and the money. We, of course, dont condone this behavior, but we suppose cab drivers have as much right as anyone to get in on Miamis rampant lawlessness. Or maybe this was just a pre-emptive robbery.Next Stop: The Hospital1400 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Victim was waiting at a bus stop when he was approached by two males, who engaged him in lively conversation. pulled up, they all boarded together. The two men then aggressively began to ask the victim for money. Victim told them he had only two dollars in his pocket, which he needed for return bus fare. A struggle ensued and the men repeatedly punched the victim in the face before leaving the bus empty-handed. Another sad reminder that one persons poverty is another persons bounty. Also that theres a major drawback to mass transit: Theyll let anybody on.An Audit of Their Brains Revealed Nothing6200 Block of NE 2nd Avenue The son went to the front desk and demanded his mothers refund check. The receptionist told him they would be receiving the check shortly. That did not please the son. He proceeded to ment around. Mommy, meanwhile, stood watch to make sure her little babys tirade would not be interrupted by police. They eventually left the a nice little date with the criminal court system. Do Miami thugs even think anymore? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com GENERAL CONTRACTOR PAINTING CONTRACTOR HANDYMAN DIVISION Interior & Exterior Residential & Commercial Buildouts and Renovations Churches & Luxury Homes Licensed & Insured305.751.4447215 NE 97th St., Miami Shores 33138 www.fabinteriorexterior .com LIC# GCG1506675 CC00BS00302

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72 Columnists: PARK PATROLA Playground No MoreNorth Miami Beachs Taylor Park has fallen on hard times, and its the kids who sufferBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorLittle Betty skipped down the street to visit her favorite playground and when she got there, she stopped cold. Where did it go? Who took away her merry-go-round? As Betty stood there in shock, staring at the demolished playground, her shoulders slumped, and a single tear fell down her cheek. Little Betty doesnt understand the economic downturn. All she knows is that her playground, her place, is gone. Parks near and far are going into foreclosure. More than 100 state parks across the nation plan to lock their gates, and while Floridas state parks have been spared for the moment, the talk in Tallahassee revolves around privatization as salvation. Without more revenue, large parks cannot save themselves. At the city level, parks and recreation is no sitcom, and municipalities are deciding which parks and services to keep and which to chop. Community center? Keep. Costly pool? Chop. While lamentable, parks that cannot be adequately and safely maintained need to be closed securely to protect the public. And then the question becomes, how do you keep a closed park safe? Heres how not to close a park: Open the gate every morning, allowing people to drive in as they please, knowing that next to no one will visit. Let the fencing fall apart so that the park remains open 24 hours a day, regardless of whether the don the baseball diamond, but forget to lock one of the gates, so that any stray For atmosphere, scatter a few old signs on the ground. And while you are at it, decorate the ground below the parks entrance sign with a few beer bottles. That is the situation I found at Taylor Park in North Miami Beach. It used to have a baseball complex, but now the dugouts have trees growing in them. Not weeds, trees. It used to have a playground, but that got canned. It used to house a preschool, but now the property is unsafe for children. The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of North Miami Beach has budgeted $500,000 for phase one of improvements to the park, but they are on hold due to environmental remediation testing required by DERM the countys Department of Environmental Resources Management as stated in the CRAs current Capital Projects Status Report. So if there are pending environmental issues, why is this park still open? And if testing needs to be done, why has it not happened? The parks daycare center and tot lot were removed at a cost of $20,000. Today the park looks abandoned. But wait, theres more. The description above refers only to the east side of Taylor Park, along W. Dixie Highway. Another section of Taylor Park sits on the western side of a large, rectangular lake. Some online maps call it Aqua Park, but the parks signs say otherwise. One side of Taylor Park cannot see the other, owing to thick vegetation, and private residences along most of the lake mean that you cannot easily walk from one to the other. Westside Taylor Park is tidy, if also tiny, and clearly it was the favored child, unlike the ugly orphan across the pond. The parks centerpiece stands in the middle of the lake: A continuous fountain spews water about 20 feet high in a vertical trumpet shape. The parks other noteworthy feature of ibis stands guard in the grass and, as fans of the University of Miamis mascot may know, these birds are believed to be the last to leave before a hurricane, calls them brave, although a few other choice words come to mind. In any case, if you visit the park and dont see a single ibis, run! Herons and ducks also live on or lines in the parks southern corner. The shoreline consists of one part grass, one part Australian pine needles. These invasive trees also provide most of the shade. Would Little Betty like to visit here? No, because despite the sign that mistakenly calls it a playground, there is nothing here to climb except for a couple of black metal benches. And she might get scared and confused when she glances across the street. Whats that? That wall belongs to the Shalom Memorial Cemetery. While attractive TAYLOR PARK15400 W. Dixie Hwy. North Miami Beach 305-948-2957 Hours: Dawn to dusk Picnic tables: No Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No Yes Night lighting: No Swimming pool: No NoPark Rating 15400 W. Dixie Hwy. 305-948-2957 Tennis courts: BT photos by Jim W. Harper TAYLOR PARKW Dixie HwyNE 159th St NE 158th St NE 157th Terr NE 154th Terr NE 154th St

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externally, the wall remains part of cemetery row, a series of resting places along NE 16th Avenue. People go in, but they do not come out. Not a playful scene. But if you happen to be visiting may want to drive over to the lake for a of the park is nothing more than a thin strip of grass and trees along one edge of the lake, it offers nice views of a waterway that is otherwise inaccessible to the public. So how do you reconcile the west side of Taylor Park with the east side? Answer: Change the name of one of them. I think the east side should be called Closed. Or better yet, Foreclosed. North Miami Beach has to make some choices. The citys proposed under discussion during August, cuts a cool million from Leisure Services, the department that includes the citys to staff and operate all the pools, cultural centers, parks, and the city library. Something has got to give. The good news for the abandoned boundaries of the citys CRA, whereas the west side of Taylor Park does not. That means that grants may be available so far has dropped that ball. In the meantime, close the thing. Its not safe for Little Betty and her friends. Close the gate, shut the door, and leave Little Betty outside singing to to be my playground. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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74 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETS LL ightning Crashes, T T h under Rumbles, Fido FreaksIf you absolutely love scary storms, your pets will tooBy Lisa Hartman BT Contributor Editors note: As she normally does during the summer season, veteran BT columnist Lisa Hartman was spending time in Long Island, New York, when something quite abnormal occurred: A hurricane named Irene began marching up the East Coast and threatening everything in its path. In a hasty e-mail message sent August 27, Lisa warned that she was being forced to evacuate and did not know what to expect. Since then she understandably has had more serious concerns to deal with than a column for the BT. On our deadline day, August 31, we received word from her via an Internet caf in Montauk: no electricity, no water, no cell phone service. Sounds depressingly familiar, doesnt it? We wish Lisa well, along with every one affected by the storm. Rather than no Pawsitively Pets this issue, we decided to reprise one of her columns. This one was published in July 2007, and its subject matter is appropriate to the occasion. The rainy season has arrived, and thunderstorms and lightning seem to be a normal part of our days now. While these forces of nature may be a mere inconvenience for us, our pets may view them as horribly scary and a reason to panic. And though we may never know exactly how sensitive our pets are to changes in barometric pressure or explosions of thunder and lightning, how we humans handle bad weather can help alleviate some of their anxiety or not Our pets are our babies, of course, storm is to reassure them that everything

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is okay. Dont do it! Telling your dog its okay, its okay over and over will only assure them that things obviously are not okay or you wouldnt need to console them. Whats more, your constant attention, petting, and holding them can actually feed their worried behavior, since their acting afraid succeeds in getting your attention. If your pet is only mildly uncomfortable in storms, try to act calm and uninterested yourself. Animals are masters at reading body language, and will take behavior cues from you. If youre reading a book as thunder claps begin shaking the house, continue reading or watching TV or cleaning or whatever youve been doing. You may even want to yawn or giggle a few times during a storm while continuing your other activity, demonstrating to your pet that youre not at all concerned with the tempestuous events going on outside. You can also try making thunderstorms a cause for celebration. In other words, storms make great things sound of thunder, smile, act happy, and bust out your dogs favorite toy or game. From now on, that special game of fetch or tug, or that favorite toy will only magically appear during thunderstorms. Interactive toys such as Kongs, in which your pet must work to get food out, can be very useful in diverting attention from something frightening to something wonderful. Youd be well advised to ever: steak, cheese, whatever turns your dog on. It must be special in order to grab his attention. Kong, or playing with a catnip ball when that storm approaches. Exercising your pet before bad weather breaks is also helpful in taking the edge off. If youre lucky enough to raise a young puppy in the rainy season (smile), the dog will have the advantage of getting used to the sounds and smells of a thunderstorm early and will realize it is a natural part of life and nothing to fear. Remember to keep things light and make a game out of it. Oc casionally take them out during a storm so they dont grow up to be afraid of rain. To pee or not to pee, that is a serious question when hurricanes approach. As that Category 3 gets near, nobody will be taking Lassie for a walk. Alternative options must be explored. First get your dog used to doing his business in the rain. Training your dog to pee on command will also help to get the emergency spot or tree near an open door way of your house and praise and reward your dog profusely when he uses it. When a storm hits, he will already be accustomed to relieving himself there and can quickly rush back in the house. You may want to have an emergency spot of sod or a newspaper in your garage or bathroom in case leaving the house is out of the question. There is no better role model for our pets behavior than our own. Its not a and forethought. Remaining calm, or even being happy, will help your dog learn that storms too shall pass, and are nothing to fear. In fact they may even be fun. From now on, give new meaning to potentially terrifying storms they Lisa Hartman is a dog-friendly trainer, behavior specialist, and author of Dial a Dynamite Dog. You can reach her at lisa@lisathedogtrainer.com, or visit www.pawsitivelypetsonline.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Our pets are our babies, of course, and our rst inclination during a scary storm is to reassure them that everything is okay. Dont do it! Storms make great things happen for pets! At the rst sound of thunder, smile, act happy, and bust out your dogs favorite toy or game.

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76 Our Fowl FriendsChickens are fun to have around and useful, tooBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorDuring the day, the killer hides away from the house, but he cannot be far. His intended victims mill around the yard, doing the daytime things that chickens do best: kicking up dirt and snagging bugs, following each other, laying eggs, resting in a shady corner. Then at twilight, they follow another instinct and hop up the branches of the lychee tree, one by one, and perch near the end of a stable branch. What could be more bucolic than a clutch of fat hens, sleeping in a fruit tree? Their silence at night makes them so charming and so vulnerable. Thats when the killer strikes. But tonights story will have a happy ending. After midnight, I hear it: a low clucking sound, as if Glinda (the best egg-layer) is asking a question. I ask her: Cant you see Im trying to sleep here? Cluck, cluck. All night Ive been listening for this sign. I know the killer has returned. Running into the backyard, I point of unfamiliar eyes glows green. This time, its not a possum; high in the tree climbs a fat raccoon. Damn chicken thief. Reaching for the closest object, I hurl a brick at the would-be bandit. On this night, at least, I have defended my brood. Chickens make wonderful pets and unrivaled arbiters of environmental justice, and our world would be a better place if every household had one. Before place for it to sleep, as hurled bricks are not always the best insurance against attack by predators. How does a household chicken help the environment? Let me count the ways. Backyard poultry teaches us where food comes from. Even vegetarians eat eggs, and guess where eggs come from? (Stop me if youve heard this one.) Seeing and hearing a hen laying an egg makes you much more appreciative of this gift. Once your awareness grows, your choices of food will shift toward more sustainable and humane options. Watch a chickens habits and you will want to support low-chemical, free-range poultry. At night they huddle together in a coop (or a tree), but during the day they are constantly on the move. Their habits do not mesh with the routine imposed on them by factory-style farms that treat them like vegetables. Vegetables do not do the funky chicken dance. Chickens eat bugs. Lots and lots of bugs. Glinda and friends cleared their lychee tree of a weevil infestation. Em ploying these natural predators means that you will deploy fewer pesticides and other chemical agents to control mosquitoes and cockroaches. They also love mangoes and other fruit, even when overly ripe (or better yet, bug infested), and that means less waste from the kitchen. while this habit may be offensive to lawn addicts, it promotes an environmentally friendly yard. Less grass means less fertilizer and fewer resources to maintain it. Besides, low-cut grass is not native to Florida, no matter what the golf promoters may say. Chickens provide many other services. This summer, very special chickens, called sentinel chickens, warned our community about a dangerous disease. These chickens live in an upscale neighborhood in the City of North Miami and are regularly tested for disease. In late quito with West Nile virus had infected a sentinel chicken. With that warning, mosquito control was activated and the authorities became more vigilant. Who knew? Chickens have got our backs. Feral chickens have long been a attempts of the citys Chicken Man to reduce their numbers, they remain in force. In Miami-Dade, chickens may be considered a nuisance, but they are also emblematic of Caribbean culture. What fast-food chain started in our area? Pollo Tropical. What brightly ornamented statues dot the famed Calle Ocho? Giant chickens. Who greets you when you arrive to shop at Costco? A rooster. Wait, what? Yes, drive along BisMiamis answer to the eternal question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Obviously, to get to Costco. Look for the rooster patrolling the parking lot. story, and its legality depends on your municipalitys code. South Miami allows it, and their green-oriented mayor apbut tell that to the folks living there. The City of Miami allows poultry with a permit. But only hens, mind you, as cock-a-doodle-doos are verboten. Miami needs to embrace chickens. The New Yorker calls them the it bird of the moment, and Treehugger.com says theyre a movement. Hollywood celebrities from Barbra Streisand to Hilary Swank are raising them. You can, too. Just be vigilant. That raccoon eventually got Glinda, and I was heartbroken. She gave me so much, and I couldnt protect her. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITYRainy DD ay S S p ecials Parents and kids alike will enjoy these indoor play options By Crystal Brewe BT ContributorI years, it rained for 47 days straight 47 days of fat raindrops the size of your elbow and every yard, playground, goes without saying that our then twoyear-old, Matilda, soon had just about I got so desperate that I packed her in the car and headed off to the McDonwith raucous kids who had enough pent-up checking each other in the ball house with Since then, I have noticed a propassed a building with big windows that appeared to have the walls covered in is this trend especially in a place where fresh panini, salads, and even mate the play areas science and discovery, and the Shops at Sunset Place, activities wine list and the wait staff is excelwristbands, which are checked as everyoff the MacArthur Causeway, is one of bank, a health and wellness center, a and water play and bubbles for kids a behavioral analyst who found a niche practice to include an indoor play space sioned to create Aventura Malls indoor Anyone who has experienced a Friends unique take on childlike fantasy is not and crawl around while parents watch ted entrance to this free playground, but be warned the playground is located these places are there when you need Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com ianopresto plus www.pianopresto.musicteachershelper.comWeekly private piano instruction For beginner, intermediate, or adult Three mini-music classes Children 3 to 9 years old Call to schedule a free first lesson!786.468.9871 Richard A. Foltz, instructor BT photo by Crystal Brewe

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78 Pretty in a PotSucculents make excellent decorative plants, if you know how to care for themBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorI have not written about one of my favorite plant groups in a while: Succulents, those fascinating plants look about them. With their hard outer skin and often wicked spines, they have always appeared indestructible to me. The word succulent is a general term that denotes plants that are adapted to arid environments and have the ability to store water in their trunks, roots, or leaves. Sometimes people use the words cactus and succulent interchangeably, but cactus is an actual family of plants, most of which are succulents, and succulent is just a characteristic found in many different plant families. One other interesting characteristic of these seemingly tough plants is their pitable environments like deserts, have of course, is an adaptation to attract coolest part of the day. Since these pollinators dont rely on vision to get around cious fragrances. Pachypodium is a good example them in residential landscapes. They can grow quite tall, sometimes up to eight feet, with spiny, erect, green trunks and perhaps a branch or two coming out laterally looking like a dried-out scarecrow. When they are in a well-drained location but do get irrigated regularly, they can develop large bulges in their trunks that give them the look of an overfed person. In periods of drought, these bulges will shrink. I grew a number of very large Pachypodium from seed at Parrot Jungle years ago. They liked the full blasting sun, well-drained soil with a bit of well-composted organic material mixed in, and lots of water. well here in South Florida because of our high humidity. One day youll notice a small, wet, black spot on the trunk and a couple of days later the whole plant turns to mush and falls over. Not all succulents will grow here, especially if they get rain on them. I used to have a large collection of succulents that I grew under a transthe most part, but if I ever left them out in the rain or cold, they quickly turned to mush. The photo that accompanies this article is a fairly new form of the crownof-thorns plant that has come and gone from our local landscapes for years now. foliage and last a long time. I have grown many forms of Euphorbia milii and this is one of my favorites. It grows well in my yard, but I think it best to grow it in a container. This form of crown-of-thorns makes a nice, fat, round specimen in a container, and thus is an excellent balcony plant. Plus, growing it in a container gives you a chance to move the plants under cover succulents like crown-of-thorns will not tolerate frost. We used to cover our hedges of these spiny plants with burlap before frost and sometimes still had them die in 30-degree temperatures.) For those of you concerned about toxic plants, the crown-of-thorns is in the euphorbia family (as is the holiday poinsettia) and the milky sap, which is characteristic of this family, can be a bit past the thorns to get to the sap, but the leaves have a bit of sap in them, too. The desert rose, Adenium obesum is another succulent that makes an excellent potted plant. The plant has colorful wonderfully fat trunk. (A large swollen base two or three feet across is not unheard of.) When I repot them, I always raise the plant up out of the soil a few inches to expose more of the swollen base. This will not harm the plant and I think it makes a much more attractive specimen. seedlings, they are usually pretty skinny. Dont raise them until they have been growing for a year or two and you see the they are probably in too much shade. I often see some very attrac tive species of succulents for sale in the local garden centers. Theyll be purchased for planting in residential landscapes, where theyll look great for a couple of weeks and then start to die out. Check out the species before you nean-type environment. ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski 305.246.0200rffn tfbrrfrrrfr nrrrftb

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Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorNew Zealand is said to be one of the last landmasses settled by humans, supposedly Polynesians making their way through various South A.D. The country is actually a pair of is Given its proximity and relative puniness to its much bigger and more populated neighbor, it was probably inevitable that New Zealand would come to be regarded as Australia Lite. This is manifestly unfair to New Zealand, as it bears no responsibility for the export of such abominations as critter wines, Paul Hogan, shrimp on the barbie, Outmisms for barf. In fact, New Zealand exports in There is the kiwi, a fuzzy green fruit whose sudden appearance as a garnish in California cuisine a global laughingstock. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapimaungahoronuku pokaiwhenuakitanatahu Hilltop where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the conqueror of mountains, the eater of land, traveler of land and sea, is typically shortened to WTF? And there is Sauvignon Blanc, the best-known and largest-selling wine. In the States, it accounts for as much as Blanc. Given our abundance of fresh local seafood, South Florida in particular should embrace New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Its crisp, citrusy character, stern ment to everything from grouper and hog snapper to stone crab and spiny lobster. And though the New Zealand style is typi cally characterized by bright acidity and tangy lemon-lime-grapefruit-gooseberry from softer and rounder to tart enough to strip the paint off your car. gorilla of white wines, Chardonnay. Take the 2009 Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc wine. Stylistically it leans toward the softer, rounder side, tasting of grapefruit and lemon and a mellowing hint of of more expensive New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs like Cloudy Bay and Kim Crawford, but for nine bucks and the ability to play nice with everything from roast chicken to steamed lobster, whaddya want? Easily my favorite wine of this tasting is another inexpensive, easy-to2010 Nobilo Like most of the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, it comes from the Marlborough region, the wine-producing area. It reprises the softer citrus fruit of the Monkey Bay, but, although younger, adds greater of orange, melon, and herbs. With a little more time in the bottle, it will be even better. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc alcohol (which used to be the orange-grapefruit-fresh herbs nose, its clean lemon-lime too bad, either. On the other side of the soft-crisp divide is the 2010 Cottesbrook It delivers bracing aromas of grapefruit, gooseberry, lemon, and herbs, with a very clean lemonygrapefruity character and bit of a French Muscadet simple, direct, refreshing, and a wine that can take the edge off rich seafood like scallops and lobster, and cut through even the plushest cream sauce. Sauvignon Blancs from Allan Scott and both paler than a Midwesterner in midJanuary, both marked by classic lemonherbs, and both revealing just the slightboth cases that blows off and the wines I would not, however, go anywhere Infa mous Goose which stunk like something that came out the back end of said bird. Maybe I should send a case to Paul Hogan, and tell him to throw it on the barbie. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfn rfnt rfb rfn rftn rfnnn rftnWE WILL BEAT ANY ESTIMATE FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATES All Mororized Solar Shades Plus FREE Multi-channel RemoteExpires 9/30/2011. Must present Coupon. SUMMER SHADE SPECIAL20% OFF Motorized Specialist Fast, Fast Service! Zesty Sauvignon Blancs from NN ew ZealandRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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80 MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAcqua 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-381-3190 Four Seasons HotelOriginally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006, resulting in a complete menu renovation. Thailands famed sense of culinary balance is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian or Latin American-inspired) menu, in dishes like yuzu/white soya-dressed salad of shrimp tempura, a tender pork shank glazed with spicy Szechuan citrus sauce, or lunchtimes rare tuna burger with lively wasabi aioli and wakame salad. For dessert few chocoholics can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled with sinfully rich warm chocolate custard. $$$$$Area 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterraneaninfluenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where glo betrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomyaccented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel) 1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$bistro e 485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373A full power lunch from a Michelin-starred chef for $15? Sounds unbelievable, but youll find just such a daily special (like corn/jalapeo soup, a grilled-cheese BLT, airy cheesecake, and a pint of beer) at bistro e, daytime name for Michael Psilakis dinner-only new Aegean eatery Eos. The name change emphasizes lunchtimes wholly different, globally influenced menu. Among la carte temptations: pork belly tacos, a Korean BBQ prawn salad, or a brisket/ gruyere sandwich with dipping juice. Breakfast, too, from 6:30 a.m. $$-$$$ Brickell Bridge Bistro & Bar 500 Brickell Ave., 786-871-7039The casual-polished hangouts name refers to the nearby real bridge between Brickell and downtown, but its ambiance -part South Beach music lounge and part bankers sports bar -also tries to bridge the neighborhoods, luring both execs and edgier sorts. The sames true of Allen Sussers role as consulting chef, though those expecting a hint of Chef Allens wont find it; the sole similarity on the Latin-accented Italianesque menu is Sussers Valrhona chocolate souffl. Snacking on small plates like meatballs with dried apricots and pine nuts is most fun. $$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442 The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of shortlived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub compo nent remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro all-American feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/antibiotic-free ground Angus chuck/brisket/ short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$db Bistro Moderne 345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800 Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can find it. (Hint: The mysterious Avenue of the Americas is really Biscayne Boulevard Way. Dont ask.) Downtowns db is an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black trufflestuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 281. MIAMIBRICKELL / DOWNTOWNMiami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$ Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (winepoached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ NORTH MIAMI Bulldog Burger 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655Despite Miamis burger bar overload, this one from Howie Kleinberg, adjacent to his BBQ joint, stands out thanks to toppings like candied bacon, caramelized banana jam, and mayo thats flavored, like Southern red-eye gravy, with strong coffee. Bravehearts race for the infamous Luther burgers components -cheddar, bacon, fried onion, secret sauce, and a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut bun; calories are more than double a Big Macs. And the thin-sliced, thickly crunch-crusted, deep-fried jalapeos will keep you coming back for more, should you live past the first order. $$Giraffas 1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$ NORTH MIAMI BEACHCholos Ceviche & Grill 1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$rf ntntbnf nttnf tnt ff t tf fnf fff

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smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no lowrent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Eternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981 Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Eos 485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Unlike their Michelin-starred New Adriatic restaurant Anthos, in Manhattan, this venture of chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia has influences ranging way beyond Greece to the whole Mediterranean region, and even Latin America. Unchanged is Psilakis solid cre ativity, and a beautiful sense of balance that makes even very unfamiliar combinations taste accessible. So skip the safe stuff and go for the luxuriantly custardy, egg yolkenriched lobster and sea urchin risotto, or any raw seafood item, especially the unique marlin with pistachio, apricot, and house-cured speck. $$$-$$$$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, includ ing a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ First & First Southern Baking Company 109 NE 1st Ave., 305-577-6446 How Southern is this restaurant/bakery? During the course of one breakfast of fluffy biscuits with rich sausage gravy, a friend from Italy, we swear, developed a drawl. While yall will also find familiar fare (burgers, salads, etc.), highlights here are traditional and/or reinvented country cooking favorites -especially homemade sweets. More than two dozen desserts daily are featured, from a roster topping 150: chocolate pecan pie, lemon bars, potato candies, seven-layer cookies, and Jack Daniels pound cakes, which are perfect for parties, though you wont want to share. $-$$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Fresco California Bistro 1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food onto its menu. To the familiar Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistros especially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$ Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popu lar grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave., 305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trade mark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Indigo / Table 40 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000Long known for its power-lunch buffet -including hot entres, carving station, custom pastas, packed-to-the-gills salad, sushi, and dessert stations -the InterContinental Hotels Indigo restaurant now has a hip offspring intended for private dining: Table 40. The charming, glassed-in wine cellar (actually in the kitchen) enables 12-14 diners to watch the action in heat-shielded, soundproofed comfort while eating creations by veteran chef Alexander Feher, combining Continental technique with local seasonal ingredients. Highlights: tender house-smoked, stout-braised short ribs; lavish lobster salad with grilled mango; and a seductive fresh corn gazpacho. $$$-$$$$$ Iron Sushi 120 SE 3rd Ave., 305-373-2000(See Miami Shores listing)Jackson Soul Food 950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710 With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/ comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Largo Bar & Grill 401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706 Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge 68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places

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84 late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence 1064 Brickell Ave., 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to coowner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcute rie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/ fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrumptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088 Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The dailychanging, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars coldwater oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-goround? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/ guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casu ally contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pitagarnished mixed meze platter. $$ Pashas 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Peoples Bar-B-Que 360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficio nados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crisp-fried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar 650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habaneropepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Sandwich Bar 40 NE 1st Ave., 305-577-0622This cool hideaway has a limited menu. Which is a good thing when it means everything served is solidly crafted by hands-on chef/owners, two of whom amassed sous-chef chops at Cioppino and Sardinia. The main fare is imaginative sandwiches on fresh breads; an especially delicious creation features slow-braised short ribs, caramelized onions, and melting muenster and provolone cheeses. Finish with fine-shaved Aloha Ice topped with fresh fruit and other full-flavored syrups, all housemade, plus rich condensed milk. A sno-cone for sophisticates. $ Scalina 315 S. Biscayne Blvd. 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soi Asian Bistro134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643 From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro 120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$ 305-892-2435See our complete menu atwww.bagelsandcompany.comCall the mishpucka and then call DavidThe Holidays Are ComingRosh Hashanah September 28th Yom Kippur (Break the Fast) October 8th

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Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, panAsian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/ habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes intro duced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche 49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influ enced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnutgarnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$Thai Angel 152 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9748Inside a colorful courtyard that rather resembles Munchkinland, this downtown insiders secret serves serious Thai food till 9:00 p.m. daily. Tasty classics like the four curries (red, green, panang, and massaman) come customspiced -mild to authentically brain-searing -and are so affordable theres no guilt in splurging on superb house specials like crisp-coated duck or fresh snapper (whole or filleted) in tamarind sauce. The young chef has a heavenly hand at tofu, too, so vegetarians are very well-served. $$ Tobacco Road 626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite afford able here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Waxy OConnors 690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$Wok Town 119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993 Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robatagrilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Andalus 35 NE 40th St., 305-400-4422Early publicity pegging this place (in Pacific Times former space) as a tapas bar seemed to set it up as direct competition for nearby Sra. Martinez. Its actually quite different, with emphasis divided between small-plate lounging and full fine-dining meals. And regardless of size, dishes arent contemporary riffs on tradition but authentic regional specialties. Subtly nutty jamon pata negra (the Rolls-Royce of cured hams) or salmorejo (Cordobas Serrano ham/ egg-enriched gazpacho) truly take your taste buds on a trip to Andalucia. On weekends, food is served till 4:00 a.m. $$$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and pre sented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends 4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurantstarved stretch of Biscayne Boulevard, this spot serves the same sort of simple but satisfying Italian fare (antipasti, soups, salads, pizzas) as its older sibling, South Miamis Blu Pizzeria, plus burgers. The thin-crust, pliable pizzas, though lacking burn blisters, are brick-oven cooked, as are blues, unusual calzones (like the blu oceano, fatly filled with mozzarella, pro sciutto crudo, arugula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 18 1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Blue Piano 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7919The address suggests a street-corner location, but this casu ally cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$

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86 Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli 4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ Cafeina 297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbolump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-inyour-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar 1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment 3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/ caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Delicias Peruanas 2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as it was at the nearby original Delicias, run by members of the same family. The food is as tasty as ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mammoth jalea platter. As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado and tallerin verde. $$Egyptian Pizza Kitchen Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050 Pizza, pita -hey, theyre both flatbreads. So while many pizzas do indeed, as this halal places name suggests, have initially weird-seeming Middle Eastern toppings, its really not surprising that the Giza (topped with marinated lamb, feta, olives, peppers, and pungently spiced cumin sauce) works at least as well as Italian classics. Additionally the menu includes interesting Middle Eastern fare like foul, a hummus-like but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf 210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Ave., 305-571-8341No green-leaf faux health food here. You get what the name says, period, with three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are made fresh upon order. Available in double or one-patty sizes, theyre well-done but spurtingly juicy, and after loading with your choice of free garnishes, even a little burger makes a major meal. Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes. $Fratelli Lyon 4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-2901This Italian caf has been packed since the moment it opened. No surprise to any who recall owner Ken Lyons pioneering Lyon Frres gourmet store on Lincoln Road (199297), another joint that was exactly what its neighborhood needed. The restaurants artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful boutique olive oils, and more are so outstanding that you cant help wishing it also had a retail component. Entres include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like Venetian-style calves liver, rarely found outside Italy. $$$Gigi 3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ The Girrrlz of Sandwich 555 NE 15th St., 2nd floor (Venetia condo) 305-374-4305Riot Grrrl DIY spirit shines in the homemade soups, sweets, salads, and exceptionally tasty warm baguette sandwiches (like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, dressed with a unique sumac vinaigrette) at this concealed caf, hidden on the Venetia condos mezzanine. Owners Ana Oliva and Fadia Sarkis scour local markets daily for the freshest of ingredients, and their breads (plus light-crusted empanadas and sinful Ghirardelli chocolate cake) are all baked in-house. On Saturdays the grrrlsll even deliver you an elegant (yet inexpensive) breakfast in bed. $Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat bone less wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herbbutter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or highquality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchycrusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entresize salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon 185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Maitardi 163 NE 39th St., 305-572-1400Though we admired the ambitious approach of Oak Plazas original tenant, Brosia, this more informal, inexpensive, and straightforwardly Italian concept of veteran Lincoln Road restaurateur Graziano Sbroggio seems a more universal lure for the Design Districts central town square. The mostly outdoor space remains unaltered save a wood-burning oven producing flavorfully char-bubbled pizza creations, plus a vintage meat slicer dispensing wild boar salamino, bresaola (cured beef), and other artisan salumi. Other irresistibles: fried artichokes with lemony aioli; seafood lasagna with heavenly dill-lobster sauce. $$-$$$Mandolin Aegean Bistro 4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure,

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and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins freshbaked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Mikes at Venetia 555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influ enced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dogfriendly, too. $$-$$$Orange Caf + Art 2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Primos 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami 3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant most everywhere. Today many places now offer authentic Italian or delicate designer pizzas. But a satisfying Brookyn-style street slice? Fuhgedit. Thankfully thats the speciality of this indoor/outdoor pizzeria: big slices with chewy crusts (made from imported NY tap water) that arent ultra-thin and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medium-thick -sturdy enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Sakaya Kitchen Shops at Midtown Miami, Buena Vista Avenue 305-576-8096This chef-driven, fast-casual Asian eatery is more an izakaya (in Japan, a pub with food) than a sakaya (sake shop). But why quibble about words with so many more intriguing things to wrap your mouth around? The concept takes on street-food favorites from all over Asia, housemade daily from quality fresh ingredients. French Culinary Institutetrained Richard Hales does change his menu, so wed advise immediately grabbing some crispy Korean chicken wings and Chinese-inspired, open-faced roast pork buns with sweet chili sauce and homemade pickles. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Sustain 3252 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-424-9079Is it possible for a restaurant to be sincerely eco-conscious without being self-righteousness? It is at this casual/chic restolounge, where dedication to local, sustainable food comes with considerable humor. Fare includes playful items like wet fries (with mouthwatering gravy), corn dogs, house made soft pretzels with mustard and orange blossom honey, and a Mile Salad that seems almost like a game show in its challenge: All ingredients must come from within a 50-mile radius. At brunch dont miss the glazed sin-a-buns. $$-$$$$ Tapas y Tintos 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized

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88 Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307 Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959Neither man nor woman can live by bread alone. But art alone doesnt do the trick, either. Father-daughter development visionaries Tony and Jessica Goldman satisfy the full range of life needs by combining cuisine from master chef Marco Ferraro with works from master street artists, in one venue -that fits perfectly into its gritty artistic neighborhood. Here Ferraro eschews his upscale Wish fare for simple yet inspired small plates (crisp, chili-dusted artichoke hearts with tart/rich yuzu aioli; mellow veal sau sages enlivened by horseradish sauce; etc.) ideal for work or gallery-walk breaks. $$-$$$Upper EastsideAmerican Noodle Bar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-396-3269For us personally, a three-word Homer Simpson review says it: Bacon sauce! Mmmm But responsibly, the chef/owner of this casual, counter-service Vietnamese fusion cheap eats joint is Michael Bloise, formerly execu tive chef of Wish, one of South Beachs most glamorous. At his own anti-establishment place, customers customize. Seven bucks will get you a bowl of thick, charmingly chewy noodles, plus one of nine sauces (smoked lobster, lemon grass, brown sugar/ginger, bacon) and ten toppings (recommended: slow-roasted duck, sweet Chinese sausage). Also enjoy cheeseburger dumplings, banh mi subs, house made fruit sodas, beer or wine, and attitude-free fun. $Andiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside car wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station which means ditching the car (in the complexs free lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no problem even if youre not getting your vehicle cleaned while consuming the brick-oven pies (from a flaming open oven) that are this popular pizzerias specialty, along with executive chef Frank Cr upis famed Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Also available are salads and panini plus reasonably priced wines and beers, including a few unusually sophisticated selections like Belgiums Hoegaarden. $$Anise Taverna 620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929The new owners of this river shack are banking on Greek food and festivity for success a good bet, judging from their wildly popular previous eatery, Ouzo. The mainly mezze menu ranges from traditional Greek small plates to creative Mediterranean-inspired dishes like anise-scented fish cro quettes with spicy aioli. But dont neglect large plates like whole grilled Mediterranean fish (dorade or branzino), filleted tableside. The interior is charming, and the outdoor deck on the Little River is positively romantic. $$-$$$ Balans Biscayne 6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamycentered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/ outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the house made sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$Chef Creole 200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: cre vette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to the Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables just feet from the busy Boulevard? From the day it opened, people have been lining up for this stands sauce-garnished, all-beef, soy veggie, turkey, and chicken hot dogs. The 22 varieties range from simple to the elaborate (the Athens, topped with a Greek salad, including extra-virgin olive oil dressing) to near-unbelievable combinations like the VIP, which includes parmesan cheese and crushed pineapple. New addition: thick, juicy burgers. $East Side Pizza 731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (consid ered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $Europa Car Wash and Caf 6075 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-2357Giving new meaning to the food term fusion, Europa serves up sandwiches, salads, car washes, coffee with croissants, and Chevron with Techron. Snacks match the casual chicness: sandwiches like the Renato (prosciutto, hot cappicola, pepper jack cheese, red peppers, and Romano cheese dressing); an elaborate almond-garnished Chinese chicken salad; H&H bagels, the worlds best, flown in from NYC. And the car cleanings are equally gentrified, especially on Wednesdays, when ladies are pampered with $10 washes and glasses of sparkling wine while they wait. $Garden of Eatin 136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Gourmet Station 7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sinfree comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Go To Sushi 5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Jimmys East Side Diner 7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$

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Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a timetrip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd.305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma pro duces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sourorange-marinated, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chef-driven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$ Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, family-friendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemon-caper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. Now the arrival of new executive and pastry chefs plus a wine-wise general manager, all Joe Allen veterans, signals a culinary revival for this neighborhood focal point. The concept is still comfort food, but a revamped menu emphasizes fresh local ingredients and from-scratch preparation. (The meatloaf gravy, for instance, now takes 24 hours to make.) Unique desserts include signature sticky date pudding, a toffee-lovers dream. And the wine list features new boutique bottles at the old affordable prices. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crispfried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$UVA 69 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Owned and operated by brothers Michael and Sinuh Vega, this casual outdoor/indoor Euro-caf and lounge has helped to transform the Boulevard into a hip place to hang out. Lunch includes a variety of salads and elegant sandwiches like La Minuta (beer-battered mahi-mahi with cilantro aioli and caramelized onions on housemade foccacia). Dinner features a range of small plates (poached figs with Gorgonzola cheese and honey balsamic drizzle) and full entres like sake-marinated salmon with boniato mash and Ponzu butter sauce, and crispy spinach. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery 646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Bocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shred ded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$The Crab House 1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw

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fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Shuckers Bar & Grill 1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570Cheap eats and a million-dollar view is the sound bite manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates from South Beachs late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski demonstrates a rare mix of Old World technique and New World invention in dishes like perfectly caramelized sea scallops with smoky bacongarnished spinach salad, filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce, and figs with panna cotta so light one fears a bay breeze might carry it off. $$$NORTH BEACHCaf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys exec utive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$ s Cte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club 10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/ outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candiedwalnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ Mooies 9545 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-3666Kid friendly generally means restaurants will tolerate youngsters. Mooies, an ice cream parlor plus, positively pampers them, from the cute play area out back (equipped with old-school toys like giant bean bags) to a childrens menu that doesnt condescend. (Who says kids dont appreciate pizzas with fresh mozzarella?) For grown-ups there are sophisticated salads and sandwiches like a turkey, pear, garlic oil, and brie panini on house-baked bread. Just dont neglect Mooies mainstay: ice cream, dense yet creamy-soft Blue Bell. Pistachio almond is our pick. $Village Caf 9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-759-2211After closing for several months in early 2009, this caf, spruced up to look like a bistro rather than a luncheonette (but with the same bargain prices), has been reopened. The kitchen has also been rejuvenated, with head honcho Adam Holm (Whitticars original sous chef) serving up new, globally influenced dishes like mint/ pistachio-crusted lamb or tuna tartare with sriracha aioli, plus reviving old favorites like pork tenderloin with gingercaramel sauce. $$-$$$NORTH MIAMILos Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hotsmoked salmon and veggie plates. There are also creative comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads, and sweets. Sides include refreshing slaw; beans studded with burnt ends (the most intensely flavored outer barbecue chunks); and sweet potato or chipotle-spiced fries. The cost is comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Canton Caf 12749 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2882Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly Cantonese-based dishes. However, there are also about two dozen spicier, Szechuan-style standards like kung po shrimp, ma po tofu, and General Tsos chicken. And there are a few imaginative new items, like the intriguingly christened Shrimp Lost in the Forest, Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-glazed walnuts, and Mongolian beef (with raw chilis and fresh Oriental basil). Delivery is available for both lunch and dinner. $$ Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its

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seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/ outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chilispiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Happy Sushi & Thai 2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165 Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun 2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Le Griot de Madame John 975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333When Madame moved her base of operations from her Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal one, and still mostly take-out), she began offering numerous traditional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tassot and an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt before poaching with various veggies and spices). But the dish that still packs the place is the griot: marinated pork chunks simmered and then fried till theyre moistly tender inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Mama Jennies 11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other ItalianAmerican belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Mario the Baker 13695 W. Dixie Highway, 305-891-7641At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food is Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and hot or cold subs. No imported buffala, arugula, or other chichi stuff on the New York-style medium-thin-crusted pizzas; the top topping here is the savory housemade sausage. And no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and smashed garlic. New branches are now open in Miamis Midtown neighborhood and in North Bay Village. $Pastry Is Art 12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-toorder Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob 14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899 Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tokyo Bowl 12295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9400This fast-food drive-thru (unexpectedly serene inside) is named for its feature item, big budget-priced bowls of rice or noodles topped with cooked Japanese-style items like teriyaki fish (fresh fish sauted with vegetables), curried chicken and veggies, spicy shrimp, or gyoza dumplings in tangy sauce. Theres also an all-you-can-eat deal sushi (individual nigiri or maki rolls) plus tempura, teriyaki, and other cooked items for $14; three bucks more for sashimi instead of sushi. $-$$Venezia Pizza and Caf 13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered Americas finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple salads, and a few new pro tein adds grilled chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$Yes Pasta! 14871 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At this fast/casual Italian eatery, the specialty is mixand-match. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (whole wheat and gluten-free options available), then one of 15 sauces. Our personal pick is carbonara, correctly

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creamy-coated (via egg thickening, not cream overload); Bolognese is a wise choice for those who like sauces rich and red. Many options exist for vegetarians and pescatar ians as well as carnivores, all clearly coded on the menu. $$NORTH MIAMI BEACHBamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus ChineseAmerican egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ China Restaurant 178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional Chinese cuisine in the world wont scratch the itch. So the menu here, containing every authentically inauthentic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just the ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded boneless chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$Chipotle Mexican Grill 14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with chipotle-marinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $Duffys Sports GrillIntracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124 Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland fauxCantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$Flamma Brazilian Steakhouse 3913 NE 163rd St., (Intracoastal Mall) 305-957-9900The rodizio formula is familiar: Pay one price ($39.90 for dinner, $29.90 at Sunday brunch), then eat till you drop from a groaning salad/appetizer bar and a massive selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, sausage, and fish (16 varieties at dinner; 5 at brunch) carved tableside by costumed waiters. What spectacularly differentiates Flamma: its setting on the Intracoastal Waterway. But also spectacular is a Monday-Thursday two-for-one dinner deal with a coupon available at Flamma. Unbelievable but true. $$$$El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant 3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veggarnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$Mary Ann Bakery 1284 NE 163rd St., 305-945-0333Dont be unduly alarmed by the American birthday cakes in the window. At this small Chinese bakery the real finds are the Chinatown-style baked buns and other savory pastries, filled with roast pork, bean sauce, and curried ground beef. Prices are under a buck, making them an exotic alternative to fastfood dollar meals. Theres one table for eat-in snackers. $The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$Miami Prime Grill 16395 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5101Dont be confused by the name, suggesting a steakhouse. Its really a reinvented sports bar, which has been packing in more varied crowds than the average man-cave by offering more varied food and entertainment options. No rfntbrbrffnnfbnbrbr rrffrrntbtn

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worries, sports fanatics. For you theres an astonishing array of high-def TVs plus all sports snacks known to mankind. But food fans should check out the special deals on full meals, offered daily. Our favorite day: Thursday, which hosts both Ladies Night (free drinks for us!) and Lobster Night (a Maine lobster plus two sides for $16). $$-$$$ New China Buffet 940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-inblankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai 14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/ owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/ or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt auto matically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$PK Oriental Mart 255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and whole roast ducks hanging, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall) 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a sound-bite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coaloven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$Roasters & Toasters 18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sandwiches? Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Consider the Carnegie-style monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we weighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky hand-sliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest twobite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$The Rumcake Factory 2075 NE 163rd St., 786-525-7071When ex-Louisianan (and ex-Dolphins player) Larry Robinson and his Cuban-American wife Elena started a catering company in Miami Lakes, their mouthwateringly moist Caribbean-style buttered rum/walnut-glazed rum cake instantly became the star attraction. But after relo cating to a real (if tiny) restaurant space in BT territory, the Factory now features a small supporting cast of Cajun fare scrumptious enough to upstage the star. Always available: authentic remoulade-dressed New Orleans po-boy sandwiches (shrimp, catfish, fried turkey), and humongous house-smoked chicken wings. Rotating spe cials include hearty gumbo, jambalaya, and BBQ ribs. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant 1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popu lar late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely pre sented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar 13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5588Though some food folks were initially exasperated when yet another Latin-influenced grill replaced one of our areas few Vietnamese restaurants, its hard to bear a grudge at a friendly, casual neighborhood place that offers monster ten-ounce char-grilled burgers, with potatoes or salad, for $8.50; steaks, plus a side and a sauce or veg topper, for nine bucks at lunch, $15 to $18.75 (the menus top price) at night; and three-dollar glasses of decent house wine. $-$$ Sushi House 15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tunas Raw Bar and Grille 17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a newly impressive selection of raw-bar specialties: coldwater oysters from the Northeast, plus Blue Points, Malpecs, Island Creeks, and more. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after midnight, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin 73 NE 167th St. 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we tastetested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$Yakko-San 3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/ sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta your way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. Asia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeosauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse; 305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ The Palm 9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed

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NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butterdoused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli 19003 Biscayne Blvd., 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$Bella Luna 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330 If the menu here looks familiar, it should. Its nearly identical to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Caf and, with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billantes eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface. But no argument from here. In a mall a setting more accustomed to food court dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantrolime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$Il Migliore 2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$Fuji Hana 2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Gourmet Carrot 3599 NE 207th St., 305-749-6393 Since the first Gourmet Carrot -a healthy and kosher but not at all preachy eatery -opened in South Beach, its menu expanded to include many red-meat items. The same is true of this new Waterways mall branch. When confirmed cholesterol-careless carnivores like ourselves opt voluntarily for an eaterys veggie burgers (a brown rice/ lentil/veggie blend more satisfying than beef), or remarkably juicy ginger-mayo-dressed chicken burgers, over normal hamburgers, based solely on flavor -well, religion aside, thats a major miracle. $$$ Heavy Burger 19004 NE 29th Ave., 305-932-7555Sure, South Beach is our towns burger capital, if youre judging by high profile. But if creativity is what counts, no joint bangs a gong like homeboy Mark Panunzios place, where the concept is: Nothing goes together better than heavyweight burgers and heavy-metal music. What rocks us: a fire-grilled, 10 oz. Motley Burger (with cheddar, apple wood bacon, tomato, Bibb lettuce, and frizzled plus raw onions on a challah roll; upon request, chipotle aioli was cheerfully substituted for BBQ sauce). Get hand-cut cheese fries, too, and get wasted on craft beer. $$ Kampai 3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410 At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$ The Grill on the Alley 19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Mahogany Grille 2190 NW 183rd St., 305-626-8100Mahogany Grille has drawn critical raves and an international clientele since retired major league outfielder Andre Dawson and his brother transformed this place in 2007. Today its white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany. The menu is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion of food from several African diaspora regions: Carolina Low Country (buttery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad), and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-battered fried chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miamis best. $$-$$$Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar 18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, AmericanizedCantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Ocean Prime 19051 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall) 305-931-5400Most mall dining experiences are akin to NASCAR pit stops: quick pauses to refuel. Ocean Prime, as its super-sleek, circa 1930s cruise ship ambiance would suggest, is more like the tranquil trans-Atlantic crossings of slower-paced times -which makes the steak and seafood eaterys mall location perfect. After a frenetic shopping day, theres no better way to decompress than a couple of hours in a time warp, savoring retro supper-club specialties: pecan-crusted mountain trout with brown butter, an oversize cocktail, and a live lounge pianist. $$$-$$$$$Pilar 20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomatoherb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma 19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New York-style pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Playwright Irish Pub 801 Silks Run Rd. #2597, 954-457-7563 The vintage Old World look and convivial atmosphere of this new pub, located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, are more traditionally Irish than most of the menu, which ranges from penne with marinara sauce to Thaiinspired spring rolls. But fish and chips are always crisp-coated and satisfying; potato leek soup is the real thing; and the crab cakes (crab meat mixed with just enough celery, onions, and peppers for interesting texture) are so good youll be thinking Maryland, not Dublin. $$ Sushi Siam 19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)

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Also loccted in South Beach: 305.531.6068 and Oakland Park: 954.772.0555NEW LOOK, HIROS SUSHI EXPRESS BIGGER IS BETTER! Redesigned and moved to old Yakko-San17040-46 W. Dixie HighwayPH: 305.949.0776 or 305.949.4685 FAX: 305-949-4727Click your online order and get delivery right to your door www.sushiexpress.comMon.-Fri. 11 a.m. till 12 a.m. | Sat. & Sun. 1p.m.-12a.m.DINE IN TAKE OUT CATERING DELIVERY Going Green! Real Plates No More Plastic FAMILIES WELCOME We now have 50 dine-in seats! Specializing in regional Japanese Cuisine, focusing on small tapas-like plates you will not find on menus anywhere else.NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH Business Hours: After Hours Dining25years in business in North Miami Beach305.947.00643881 NE 163rd StreetNorth Miami Beach, Intracoastal MallVisit us online atwww.yakko-san.comNot affiliated with Hiros Restaurant on 163rd street rfntbfffb

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