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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE NEW THIS ISSUEChristian Ciprianis Urbania p. 20 Mark Sells North Miami p. 56 A City of Two TalesTHERE IS THE AFFLUENT BUT SHRINKING WHITE NORTH MIAMI, AND THERE IS EVERYTHING ELSE P. 28 October 2011 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 9 Issue 8
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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 4 bdr/3bth with 1 car garage. Non-water, 2900 sq. ft. with new barrel tile roof. 24 hour Guard Gated Community. This is a Divorce Short Sale $399K 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. $200K down $700K or $675K cash 4bdr/3.5bth, pool, boatlift. All remodeled and brandnew. 24 marble & bamboo floors, granite kitchen & baths. Rent or lease option $4900 mth. For Sale $949K 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 APPROVED! SHORT SALE 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 and thermadore appliances. Cul-de-sac lot, huge master suite, jacuzzi, waterfall, pool. $950K mortgage, $925K cash 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 SANS SOUCI ESTATES WIDE BAY VIEWS AT A CANAL PRICE 1.1MIL SANS SOUCI NON WATER DIVORCE SHORT SALE 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 5 car garage, detached guesthouse. Completely remodeled, new 2011, roof, granite floors, kitchen w/SS appliances. 15 high ceilings.1/3 acre w/102 of full power dockage. 1.69M
COVER STORY 28 A City of Two Tales COMMENTARY 16 Fe edback: Letters 20 NEW! Christian Cipriani: Urbania 22 Picture Story: Ogdens Tee House OUR SPONSORS 24 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 46 First Cargo, Then Commuters (Maybe) 47 Volatile Voters in Miamis Money Hub NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 56 NEW! Mark Sell: Signs of the Times 58 Gaspar Gonzlez: Mr. Jacobs Has a Problem 60 Jen Karetnick: Garage Sales 101 62 Shari Lynn Roth stein-Kramer: The Truck Stops Here 64 Fra nk Rollason: Permit Me to Explain 66 Wendy Dosc her-Smith: After the Flood, a Fight ART & CULTURE 68 Anne Tschida: Wynwood Art Fair 70 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 73 Events Calendar POLICE REPORTS 74 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 76 Heaven Is a Playground COLUMNISTS 78 Pawsitively Pets: Dog Days of Summer 80 Go ing Green: Tis the Season to Be Green 81 Kids and the City: All Fun, All Night 82 Vino: These Rhones Make Everything Right 83 Your Garden: A Fungi Feast DINING GUIDE 86 Re staurant Listings: 286 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 tr rr 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 24 46 80Serving 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
CORY FRITZLER REALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 978 3715 email@example.com BRIAN CARTER, P. A.BROKER ASSOCIATEcell 305 582 2424 firstname.lastname@example.org LUIS GOMEZREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 763 1876 email@example.com BRIAN CARTER, P. A.BROKER ASSOCIATEcell 305 582 2424 firstname.lastname@example.org KEVIN INSUAREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 282 5178 email@example.com BRIAN CARTER, P. A.BROKER ASSOCIATEcell 305 582 2424 firstname.lastname@example.org KEVIN INSUAREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 282 5178 email@example.com ALEJANDRO RIOCABOREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 785 4340 firstname.lastname@example.org
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16 From Gospel to Broadway, the Arsht Center Glitters Like a GemBravo for the wonderful and muchdeserved story about the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts by Anne Ts chida (Arts Ascending, September 2011). As a resident of downtown Miami, I have enjoyed many evenings of entertainment at the wonderful facility, everything from such community fare as Free Gospel Sundays to a performance of Crowns to the heights of Broadway spectacle such as Cats and Wicked Even more important, I got to see community when I sat on a committee with CEO John Richards and his staff to help preserve one of Haitis most acclaimed dance companies, through staging a fundraising event at the center. People from all walks of life were involved on the committee and in the successful effort. The Arsht Center deserves all of our support. It is a true community and regional gem. Roy H. Campbell MiamiWould I Love My Chickens Too Much to Eat Them?I understand how useful chickens can be to have as pets, as pointed out by Jim W. Harper in Our Fowl Friends (September 2011). Most of my diet consists of help to own some myself. There are many reasons behind this conclusion. If I could better understand the things that go into raising and farming chickens, I would probably learn to love my chickens and would want the chicken that I do eat to be properly farmed and treated well. And maybe I could even turn vegetarian at some point, because I couldnt ever imagine having one of my pet chickens hurt. Also chickens seem like they would be a great addition to a low-maintenance lawn. This is a great article on chickens and how they are so important to society today. Who doesnt love Pollo Tropical? Chickens! Great Job! Nikki Rios MiamiChickens vs. Raccoons? Not a Fair FightIn reference to Our Fowl Friends, I of hens is a great idea. Its about time that local governments begin to come of age and pass sensible codes to allow it. But I am disturbed by the last paragraph of Jim Harpers article. He could have protected his birds, but did not. Hens are domestic birds, not of the wild, and they need to be protected from the wild animals in our area. Once he was aware that a raccoon was after his birds, he should have built them a coop to sleep in at night. Not doing so was irresponsible. I hope he now has protected his birds from the dangers of our wild suburbia. Allan Hunter MiamiMom, Can I Please Have a Chicken? A Live One? Please!I thought Our Fowl Friends was quite unique and interesting. Who knew chickens could be so important? I think its great that you guys are teaching clueless people about subjects such as this, subjects we would have never otherwise known about. People need to learn more about what is helpful to the environment and what is helpful to mankind as well. Im actually thinking about getting a chicken for myself! I still live with my Michelle Christine MiamiMore Clucks, More Bucks?I greatly enjoyed Jim W. Harpers article Our Fowl Friends. I like the importance Biscayne Times is giving to promoting a green way of life. Articles like this, which come from an unexpected point yet grant the reader useful information, are the best way to attract followers to the magazine. I look forward to reading more articles of this type. Danna Muoz MiamiBiscayne and 96th: An Accident Too Serious for JestI would like to thank Jen Karetnick for calling attention to the dangerous intersection at Biscayne Boulevard and 96th Street, and the problems with the turning arrows (Adrenaline Rush, September 2011). I, too, have witnessed several accidents at that intersection. While I do agree with the main regarding persons involved in the rrrfn rfntbb r r rrf f Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 18
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18 accident on August 1 insensitive and callous. Furthermore, her annoyance regarding herself and her children being late for an appointment due to this very serious accident was shocking and sad. Most car accidents are the result of poor decisions that all drivers are guilty of making at some time. Unfortunately, someones mother, father, child, brother, sister, or friend can be seriously injured regardless of who is at fault. In the accident on August 1, my friends son was seriously injured and is still in the neuro rehab unit at Jackson hospital. I am sure that he would apolo gize for making her late if he could speak at this time. Perhaps she should write a follow-up article advocating a change in the turn-light signal and refrain from expressing her personal frustrations. It is my hope that she will not be in an accident at Biscayne Boulevard and 96th Street, even if she is wearing a seat belt, helmet and pads. These might not be enough to protect her, and therefore, she may not ever get a chance to enjoy that Audi convertible. Martha Stobs Miami ShoresBiscayne and 96th: Bad Accident, No TactJen Karetnick is absolutely right in sounding like she had little sympathy for the victims of the August 1 car accident in Adrenaline Rush. As a mother, I am quite surprised at her lack of sympathy. She could have reported the accident in this article with a little more tact. The young man in this accident is a boy whose mother is a teacher at Miami Country Day School. He lies in a coma with no chance of recovery. I hope the parents of this child did not read her article, as Jens comments were as cold as ice. Karetnick is correct about the intersection, but her point will be lost because she lost respect from myself and others I spoke with as we could not get past the fourth paragraph Too bad, because the problem needed to be addressed. Dale Ostro Miami Shores Editors note: It appears a number of readers misconstrued Jen Karet nicks comments regarding the people involved in the August 1 accident. She wrote: I only feel bad for the innocent driver injured by anothers error. We regret any misunderstanding.Afoot and Aeld in AventuraWhen I read Shari Lynn RothsteinKramers column Walk This Way (September 2011), I felt like it was an article I could have written. I have been a resident of Aventura for more than ten years and I walk everywhere. It is the main reason I live in Aventura. I always tell everyone the virtues of living in Aventura and how convenient everything is. I brag about how close I live to Publix and can walk there, buy ice cream and bring it home and it hasnt even melted. At one point, I even had a job in Aventura and was able to walk to work. Unfortunately I no longer have that job, but I am always hopeful about working again in Aventura and walking to work. You can actually not have a car and get everywhere walking, and if it is too far, there is always the very convenient Aventura free bus system. R. Lees AventuraDump Red-Light Cameras, Increase Work at Funeral ParlorsRegarding Erik Bojnanskys article eras: Money Pit for Some, Gold Mine for Others, September 2011), I would like to make some comments in favor of them. installed. I am certain that many people opposed them then, complaining that they lights we would need many more police. Would those people against cameras at intersections be willing to pay about $200 per year to maintain police at intersections 24-7? Cameras at intersections are needed to protect us. It is proven that they save lives. We also need cameras to stop people from stopping on the railroad tracks. Are opponents against cameras also in favor of eliminating them at banks and stores? Without cameras we would, how ever, increase employment: extra police 24-hours-a-day, more work at body shops and car sales lots, more hospital staff, and more help at funeral parlors and cemeteries. Is this the way to increase the job market? Joseph Platnick AventuraCommentary: LETTERS Continued from page 16
Hinkleys Cirrus Collection, 3805 BN Proud distributor of Hinkley Lighting 1850 N.E. 146th Street | 305.947.5451 3000 S.W. 28 Lane | 305.445.2244 BOTH LOCATIONS OPEN: 85 Monday through Friday 104 Saturday. Free Delivery to Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. We Export. Courtesy to the Trade. Custom Lighting Available. farreys.com
Commentary: URBANIALiving Large on Other Peoples MisfortunesMiamis shiny new condos are lled with young, educated squatters By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorI slip under the I-195 overpass and hit cayne Boulevard. Gliding along the smooth blacktop, I pass fast-food outlets, vacant lots, old apartment buildings, new condos. This is Edgewater, a neighborhood Ive called home since 2007. I kicked off a media career here in 2005, my timing both a blessing and a curse. That the world was watching our high-speed transformation wasnt lost on me, even as a starry-eyed newcomer. Today I look out at our overbuilt condo skyline and joke to visitors that Miamis primary industry is living We dont create or produce a great deal, but were experts at lavish subsistence. As a reporter I covered the booming Biscayne Corridor, as a copywriter I sold it, and now as a property owner and columnist, I look forward to commenting on Miamis brand-new urban lifestyle, which sprang into being as if by magic, from Brickell to downtown to Edgewater. Edgewater is one of the most exciting places in this condo cosmos. Along with Wynwood, our neighbor to the west, its home to a slew of new restaurants, bars, nightclubs, galleries, cultural events, and most important condos. Thousands of shiny, empty, struggling condo units. Of course the brash gamble on mainland high-rise living included Brickell and downtown Miami, but these two areas fared better following the collapse of the real estate market. Today Edgewater is awash in debt-laden, depreciating, and foreclosed residences, as well as numerous vacant lots where apartment buildings were demolished to make way for condos that never materialized. Developers tried to time-warp genthey could swap out the neighborhoods working-class residents for yuppies and raise its perceived value, the bubble blew up to absurd proportions and then burst. At one point, Edgewater was home to some of the most insanely overvalued properties in the region. A two-bedroom unit in a dreary 1960s building on NE 26th Street was going for nearly $400,000. Silly money. But all that is over, and today a nice young couple with a baby rents the same place for about $1500 a month. Theyre part of a new trend: artists, people working in the creative industries, and young professionals living on top of each other, with poorer, long-time immigrant residents squeezed into the cracks. Over the past few years, countless 20and 30-somethings moved to this strip of Biscayne Boulevard just north of downtown. Edgewater is a neighborhood unlike any other in the city: thousands of young renters living large on others peoples misfortunes like 1200-square-foot, marwindows, Italian kitchens, and water views, all for less than $2000 a month. Everyone is living for a pittance in units with plummeting values, creating a world of educated squatters who have their pick of places they could never have purchased. The strange demographics and high percentage of renters has created an odd lack of cohesion. I still dont feel a sense of community. Young people here are on a layover, with no real intention of making this hood their home. Maybe thats why everyone calls it the Brooklyn of Miami: Its a place to be cool, blow 50 percent of your income socializing, and then grow up somewhere else. Economically, the area is an anomaly along the Biscayne Corridor. It is, by most measurements, still a poor neighborhood. Flashy cars may line up in front of places like Joeys in Wynwood and Sugarcane in Midtown, but their owners dont live here. In true smoke-and-mirrors Miami style, the price of hanging out is disproportionately higher than the cost of living. As you drive south along the Boulevard, into higher-income, white-collar, skyscraper neighborhoods, the changes can be tracked by condo sales. In the second quarter of 2011, Brickell saw 517 condo units sold, for an average price of $391,000. That amounted to some $200 million in sales. Here in Edgewater were suffering with only 71 units sold in the same period at an average of just $199,000. The take? A paltry $14 million. So the coolest, most perfectly located neighborhood in Nuevo Miami has a low demand for ownership and low property values, yet rents are up ten percent from last year because people are clamoring to call it home temporarily. Like many others, Im waiting to see when the Great Transformation materializes, or if something else will take its place. This being Miami, you might be wise to bet on the latter. The Arsht Center didnt generate the growth of small businesses and foot Resorts World Miami and Museum Park. Whether theyll positively affect neighboring Edgewater remains to be seen. For now we can watch the young live like royalty while moneyed adults stop by to play, making due with a vision of the future that seems unable to break out of the half-baked present. Feedback: email@example.com Commentary: NEW!BT photo by Silvia Ros
22 LAW OFFICES OF JAKE MILLER, LLC PHONE ADDRESS EMAILON THE WEB AT Call 305.758.2020 To Reserve Your Seat Now!BANKRUPTCY TECHNIQUESThis seminar is designed to help you: Modify 1st mortgages Strip 2nd mortgages Revalue investment properties to market value Settle with credit card debtDATES: Tuesday, October 11 & 25 | TIME: 6-7p.m. LOCATION: Wells Fargo Tower, 12550 Biscayne Blvd., 8th Floor To RSVP send your name, email, and phone number to RSVP@JakeMillerLaw.com or... Commentary: PICTURE STORYOgdens Tee House Still StandsA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George Special to the BTLemon City was a community of home steading farmers, small merchants, black and white Bahamians, and even a rapscallion or two. The settlement was cen tered at todays NE 61st Street, known then as Lemon Avenue, near Biscayne Bay. As the area developed in the late 1800s, beautiful properties arose north of Lemon Avenue on the bayfront, none more picturesque than William B. Ogdens Tee House Plantation. S.K. Brown built the home at the end of the Nineteenth Century. A widower from Washington, D.C., Brown and his son and daughter-in-law lived several years at this bayfront property near todays NE 65th Street. William B. Ogden, a high-living entre preneur from Baltimore with a weakness for alcohol, later purchased the property, the house the appearance of the letter T, thereby providing the enduring name. The interior contained a large rarebook collection, an original Rembrandt, tapestries, and Oriental rugs. According to one visitor, every room had a bar. Indeed the affable Ogden, who owned a saloon in downtown Miami, frequently entertained guests, often in raucous fashion. The building, which has been modireation center for Miamis Legion Park. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org Photo courtesy of Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #1976-097-1
24 Our Sponsors: O ctoberC TOBER 2 011By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorI the trick-or-treat bags on local dollar store shelves, and last week we hap pened upon not just one but two Santa Claus movies on late-night TV. As unbelievable as it may seem (didnt summer just start a little while ago?), its apparently time to start gearing up ourselves and our homes for all those major winter holidays that come but once a year, and all the out-of-town visitors and parties that come with them. Fortunately this is the month for another event that only comes once a year the annual fall sale at Farreys Light ing & Bath (1850 NE 146th St., 305947-5451). This year the event where hundreds of fabulous lighting, bath, and runs from October 28-November 5, except for October 30; Farreys is always closed on Sundays. Better yet, Farreys has a special deal for BT readers: Bring in this issues ad for an extra 20% off on already-reduced, sale-tagged items. Deal! During October, 360 Furniture Consignments (18340 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-627-3148) will be featuring very high-end furniture and accessories from the DCOTA, says store director David Widdas. As for deals, the shop is offering exceptional discounts on lighting, mirrors, and other great items, and is honoring previously discounted items left over from its end-of-season sale. And if a non-discounted treasure has caught your eye, mention the BT and get 10% off that. Specialty Lighting & Bulbs (13611 Biscayne Blvd., 305-423-0017) is cele brating the new season with the arrival of Chalmers, is giving BT readers cause for celebration with a whopping 25% dis count. Just mention Biscayne Times For readers whod like to welcome the new season in a new home (or place of business), two new advertisers can help make the hunt a fun, easy, and rewarding experience. At Terra Realty (305-379-5000, www.terrarealtyllc.com), full transaction-related services include seller and buyer representation for both multi-unit and individual owners, plus in-house with other companies such as luxe Quarters and Greenbid provide expertise in additional areas, from interior design to marketing for distressed properties, to make moves effortless. Welcome also to broker/Realtor Jeff Koebel (305-606-2252, www.jeffkoebel. com), a one-stop source for real estate services covering South Florida but specializing in Keystone Point, Biscayne Park, Sans Souci Estates, and Miami Shores. Whether youre looking to buy or sell a home, commercial property, or investment property, hell provide everything you need. Home owners need insurance, naturally, to protect their homes, but Para mount Public Adjusters (1-877-5GET CLAIM or 954-457-0117, www. paramountpublicadjusters.com) warn property damage can be a nightmare without proper preparation. Thats why Paramount provides a pre-sign program full documentation services (on-site inspection, photos, measuring, policy review, and more) before losses occur, so the company can get clients full payment, fast, in case of a claim. Pre-sign your home with Paramount this month and mention the BT to receive 5% off your fee which, in any case, comes in the future. Clients pay nothing until the company settles a claim for them. Speaking of planning ahead, please take note of this issues ad for the Scleroderma Foundation The founda tions two-mile Stepping Out for the BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 26
26 Cure walk on November 5 aims to raise money for, and consciousness about, this little-known but very serious disease, whose name translates from the Greek as sance, but for others its life-threatening. Either way, it deserves a few moments of your time to learn a bit, and perhaps to become a sponsor. Call 954-798-1854 for further info on the walk. Since the weather is starting to cool to the point where we can enjoy the outdoor areas of our homes as well as the interior, were happy to welcome returning ad vertiser Kelly Crawford (www.can youdigitgardening.com), a noted land scape designer. As well as planning and planting unique backyard and container gardens, this local South Florida expert specializes in products designed to give owners maximum enjoyment of their gar dens. If mosquitoes get more enjoyment out of your yard than you do, for instance, see Kellys ad in this issue for the cure for what bugs you: the Mr. Mosquito Mister, which will rid you of the pests without spending fortunes on ineffective oils, foggers, incense coils, etc. If your backyard has a pool, the folks at DownRite Pool and Spa (whose new showroom is at 385 Westward Drive, Miami Springs; 305-668-9778) want to insure that the coming cool weather doesnt prevent you from using it. So this month the company is offering specials on two pool heaters: a 100,000 BTU Jandy pump for or a 1,3000,000 BTU Aqua Pro for $3214 plus tax. Mention the BT and installation is free Like to display your bod at that pool without embarrassment? Enroll this month at Slender Fit U where, on the medically monitored hCG (a naturally occurring human hormone) weight loss program, and a very low-cal diet, you can lose from one-half to two pounds per day. For the month of October only, founder/program director Geri Kelleher is offering BT readers $75 off the 46-day program. Contact her at 786-477-6194. And if you need further info beyond the magic words 15 to 60 pounds per Is most of your excess weight particu larly hard-to-lose belly fat? If so, consider attending a free-weight loss seminar by Dr. Marc K. Weinberg (305-949-5999 or www.burnfatmiami.com), who has been practicing in Miami for many years but is a new BT advertiser. Personally guided by the doc, this healthy, natural, weight-loss program trains your body to trigger your fat-burning hormones into losing weight and inches (including that belly fat), and keep it off. Seminar seating is limited, so register now. For self-improvement with no effort whatsoever on your part, hair artist Hannah Lasky of Hannah & Her Scissors (611 NE 86th St., 305-772-8426) is making it easy this month for you to her now full-service salon: Book a manicure, pedicure, facial, and blow-dry, and get $20 off the combined services with mention of the BT Lorie Lester (6301 Bis cayne Blvd. #103, 305-756-8070). Thats the address of her studio and boutique. But this month the local designer, whos known for her stylish yet laid-back and remarkably comfortable clothing, perfect for our city, will be participating in the Sassy City Chicks Fashion Bash at the Moore Building (4040 NE 2nd Ave.), on October 6. Drop by this grand sample sale from 5:00-10:00 p.m. to score Lester pieces for up to 70% off. Fashion mavens will also want to drop by Pink Panther Boutique (11091 Biscayne Blvd., 305-316-4116) to welcome new BT advertiser Garvi McGee. Check out her affordable specialties (womens clothing, jewelry, handbags, and shoes), enjoy a free cocktail, and if you bring in the coupon in this issues ad, receive a free accessory. All dressed up and nowhere to go? Not so! The New World Symphony a new advertiser and BT sponsorship partner, has a packed performance schedule this month, including Petite Musique, a chamber music matinee on October 9, and Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Tricks and Treats on October 28 & 29. Only problem: Some shows are already 3331) immediately. And dont forget Octobers two free outdoor WALLCAST concerts (Opening Fanfare, 10/15 and Tricks and Treats 10/28). No tix necessary. Just bring a picnic and enjoy the show on a 7000-square-foot projection wall at the eastern front of Frank Gehrys marvelous New World Center building (500 17th St., Miami Beach). October brings three special events to the Latin restolounge Club Tipico Dominicano (1344 NW 36th St., Our Sponsors: O ctoberC TOBER 2 011 Biz BuzzContinued from page 24
305-634-7819): live merengue music from Edward El Big Papi on October 15, live perico ripiao (traditional Do minican music) from the group Aquakate on October 29, and for ladies 18 and older only, the Beef Factor male review on October 21. Call for more show info and advance ticket purchases. At the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., 305-4668002), this months entertainment options start on October 4 with Orchestra Miamis on October 29 with The 21st Century Rat Pack (the memories and music of Frank, Dean, and Sammy). In between, the offerings range from a Family Fun series performance of Jigsaw Jones (including pre-performance face-painting and post-performance healthy snacks) to Cups a rollicking one-woman play by Joni Sheram tracing her lifes milestones throughher bras. Really. But dont take our word for it. Visit www.aventuracenter. org for more info. For music lovers, Sunny Isles Beach is the place to be October 13-16, when the city presents its fourth annual Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Festival The main concert, at Heritage Park (19200 Collins Ave., tix $25) on Saturday night, features Spyro Gyra, but theres something going on every day at various sites. For details see their ad in this issue, call 305-792-1752, or visit www.sunnyislesbeachjazz.com. To thank BT readers who are fans of authentic Chinese food (and exotic cocktails), the Aventura restolounge Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar (18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030) with a 10% discount for dine-in customers. Just bring in this issues ad. October means Oktoberfest in Germany, and also at the Royal Bavar ian Schnitzel Haus (1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002). Actually, chef/owner Alex Richters Miami version of the festival has been going strong since midOctober, but the revelry including special grill pans for two or more, four Oktoberfest beers, live DJs, and colorful decorations will continue throughout this month. Pioneering Miami cutting-edge arts organization Tigertail Productions (842 NW 9th Ct., 305-324-4337), kicks off its 32nd season on October 4 with a free outdoor opening party at Wynwood Walls (2550 NW 2nd Ave.). Drop in for perfor mance art by the acclaimed Pat Oleszko, plus a chance to win prizes and season tickets. Other October events include Tigertails annual poetry publication on October 17. Check out the groups ad for their full schedule, or visit www.tiger tail.org. BTW: On October 22, the 2011 Miami Beach Arts Gala will honor Tiger tails executive director Mary Luft with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Huzzah! educational and arts/cultural, as well as spiritual, activities for all ages every week at the Miami Shores Presbyterian Church (602 NE 96th St., 305-754-9541) and its two schools for kids 18 months to cial events like the Fall Festival, the last Saturday in October, featuring arts and crafts, games for kids, food, live music, and a seasonal treat: a pumpkin patch. The City of North Miami invites you to dress up and celebrate Halloween at Enchanted Forest / Elaine Gordon Park (1725 NE 135th St.) on October 28, where, from 7:00-11:00 p.m., nature trails will become very spooky Halloween Haunted Trails Live music and other entertainment are also on the bill, and for small fry, hay rides and a kiddie fun zone. Biscayne Triangle Truck Roundup mobile vendors will provide food for ticket family pack). Call 305-895-9840, ext. 12227, for more info. If you can convince your dog or cat to don a costume, Tom and Bonnie of Biscayne Pet House (10789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-6164) have a spooktacular special planned. Bring in any costume-clad pet from October 28-31 and receive a free bag of by Nature dog or cat food. They also remind readers to sign up online for by Natures frequentpurchaser program (www.bynaturepet foods.com), for savings all year. perfection on Halloween, supply yourself at Pastry Is Art (12591 Biscayne Blvd., 954-263-8978). Really, forget the preservative-packed packaged candy corn from the drugstore (expiration date: next century). Renowned pastry chef Jenny Risonne, formerly of the Eden Roc Resort & Spa, will be featuring fresh, homemade versions of all the Halloween goodies you crave: candies, cookies cupcakes even a skull cake, if youre having a theme party. Treats minus tricks like all this months advertiser deals. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.
28 A City of Two TalesNORTH MIA mM IS RESIDE nN TS ARE DIVIDED BY RACE, ETH nN ICITY, I nN CO mM E, POLITICS, A n N D GEOGRAPHY O nN THAT THEY ALL AGREEBy Erik BojnanskyPhotos by Silvia Ros
Self-described Southern WASP Judith Feldman has lived in North Miami since 1964. The widow of a North Miami city councilman, she can tell you stories about the questionable to the 1960s and 1970s. It was as bad as But today the 73-year-old Feldman is more pessimistic than ever about her she says, because its apparent that no in their own North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre, the second Haitian-American to hold that tions about his city or his administration a decline in property value, but services ties in the nation. As of the 2010 census, 58,786 people reside within its ten square tion in Miami-Dade County. It is home to the acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Art; Floridas sole Johnson & Wales University of Culinary Arts; Florida International Universitys Biscayne Bay Campus; and Greenwich Studios, the ity in South Florida. however, is the current reality of dismal On top of all of that, the city is also Department of Law Enforcement. This past March, FDLE arrested Ricardo Brutus, nephew of Andre Pierre. Brutus, who also served as the mayors from North Miami businessman Shlomo uncle, Brutus, who served on several city boards, claimed on tape that council Since the arrest, more scandalous Miami Herald after his arrest that North Miami Coun contractor who had hired her friend. Both Pierre dismisses the media stories and insists neither he nor Steril has done any listen it is politics, that is what this is. in 2009 and re-elected this year, was Pierre also promised that North Miami Councilman Jean Marcellus is part of the Haitian majority on the city Lucie Tondreau denies that Haitians vote only for Haitians: She supported Frank Wolland implicated by Ricardo Brutus, but no Councilman Scott Galvin played a role in the investigation that led to Continued on page 30BT photo by Cathi Marro
30 North Miamis population. Later he admitted to the media that his city could only absorb 10,000. Its crazy that the mayor is still in Miami resident since 1975. Its crazy that Lucie Tondreau, a Haitian-American activ ist who also lives in North Miami, points out that neither Pierre nor anyone else at he respects past May, just one month after Brutuss arrest, can be attributed to the support of North Miamis powerful Haitian-Ameri note that his vocal critics happen to be Souci Estates. that is in transition, and when you have Nations Presbyterian Church in North North Miami was predominately white. Then, between 1990 and 2000, the citys up 59 percent of the citys population, U.S. Census survey conducted between 2005 and 2009 estimated that 44 percent of North Miamis population is of West Haitian-Americans the mayor, Steril, and Jean Marcellus occupy seats on The Haitians, they are the majority hood Association in western North Miami and an African American. Thats the tant who has lived in Miami-Dade County Continued on page 32 Two TalesContinued from page 29 HistoryMiami photo 1989-011-11862
32 fact of life in South Florida. Any com munity that recently arrives here shares the the Cubans arrived here, they were treated Gordon says what really helped maintains. Several hundred thousand times in the late 1970s and early 1980s, citys overall population declined by 1094 residents. There also are 21 percent fewer woman Pam Solomon blames the popula tion decrease on home foreclosures. Kenneth Each, a former North Miami population decline are the result of past city policies and actions, not to mention who has lived in North Miami off and on Indeed, North Miamis 85-year his North Miamis creation can be the middle of a military trail. Gen. Abner Doubleday ordered that a military trail be cut between Fort Dallas Lauderdale. at Biscayne Boulevard and 135th Street. By 1891, a former U.S. Marine, C.G. apples, and tomatoes. Five years later, cultivate the land. There was a lot of a member of the Greater North Miami Historical Society. Part-timers came Two TalesContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34 HistoryMiami photo 1989-011-11852
34 and a population of 300 seasonal and fulltime residents. dential development. In February 1926, developers Earl to incorporate as a municipality with Bay and all the way to the Atlantic Boulevard of Dreams written by local historian Seth of Miami Shores. But in their rush to create a city that a town hall, streets, and other capital improvements, the founders made an error that would later haunt them. Re Seven months later the infamous 1926 hurricane devastated South Florida, beachfront areas north of Miami Beach essentially seceded from Miami Shores. That same year, owners of the New Shoreland Company persuaded the state of the Town of Miami Shores. Shore land wanted a name that tourists could Forced to come up with a new identity, residents settled on North Miami. North Miamis population swelled from less than 2000 people in 1940 to more than 23,000 in 1960, OHearn says. Most of the new arrivals were war veterans their sweethearts, free education, and Most of North Miamis new arrivals came from the northeast United States, between NW 7th and 17th avenues and 119th and 135th streets. Two TalesContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36 Acclaimed architect Minoru Yamasaki created a futuristic design for
36 remembers 40-year North Miami resident Michael McDearmaid, president of the Central City Homeowners Association. Italians tended to dominate the Westside in most parts of North Miami. area became a municipality, by law the school teacher who lived in North Miami northeast Miami-Dade were limited to Miami south of 120th Street, near the border laws were dismantled in the mid-1960s, family, OHearn recounts. Eventually they U boom years was 1700 acres of bayfront land near Biscayne Boulevard and 151st Street. Since 1918 the land had been owned by Harvey to a state-run corporation that planned to create the so-called Inter-American Cultural and Trade Center, or Interama, would celebrate the cultures and accom plishments of the Western Hemisphere. For more than ten years, architects that included a 1000-foot-tall Freedom Interama never materialized. In 1969, just a year after North Miami Mayor Elton Gissendanner became chair of the InterFIU and 200 acres to form Oleta River as director of Floridas Department of Natural Resources, Gissendanner per Two TalesContinued from page 34 Continued on page 36
38 be built, sometimes without any apparent 1960s and early 1970s was Edward Con joined North Miamis police force in 1970, remembers that Connell had the city buy perate to be rid of Connell, Mayor Robert By 1973 Connell had pled made a deal with the State At DeLucca also solicited bribes San Souci Tennis Center, Claude Interama. As a result, the three Former police chief Each Connell was really the resident Judith Feldman, while ment improved after the politi her physician husband, Dr. Hobart Feld charter amendment was passed by voters in 1973. That same year Dr. Feldman was elected to the city council with a vow to clean up city hall. Today Judith Feldman insists the the citys infrastructure could not handle, 1974, a company called Munisport offered to turn the citys share of the Graves tract Two TalesContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40
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40 chemicals. The federal Environmental dump on its notorious Superfund site list ever lay beneath the surface also enabled months in 1990. Superfund list in 1999, the city had contamination. Unsafe levels of am monia and methane are still detected in ues to be monitored by the countys Department of Environmental Re Even before Munisport was removed projects. An open-air amphitheater, a use for the site. Swerdlow. In 2002 Swerdlow convinced proposed community of 6000 condos, 100,000 square feet of commercial space, lease on 190 acres of land, Swerdlow elsewhere in North Miami, such as an pansion of the citys Museum of Contem in bonds dedicated to Munisports ulti mate cleanup. Enthusiastic for future development, North Miami voters in 2002 allowed an By 2006 voters decided to raise the developers. That same year, Swerdlow sold Two TalesContinued from page 38 rfntbffn f ffnffn Continued on page 42
42 13110 NE Biscayne Blvd. On sale NOW for QUICK admission for a group of 5. North Miami Parks and Recreation Department 12300 NE 8 Ave Monday Friday 8 am-5 pm or call 305-895-9840 for details.www.northmiami.gov/celebrate Admission$5 Ages 4 and over FREE Ages 3 and under Enjoy Hay Rides Childrens Activities Entertainment Food available for purchase parking at Johnson & Wales University healthy treats for little ghouls & goblins in costume parade (12 and under /supplies limited)Special Ghoulish performance by S Foundation Dancers! Entertainment by F oo d a v n tertainme n te nt n t e te e r t r t a t a i i n me e & North MiamiFriday, October 28, 2011Enchanted Forest Park1725 NE 135 Street | North MiamiGates open at 7pm GREATER NORTH MIAMI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE project partners, Boca Developers. two 25-story condo towers on the old als, presented by two friends of Mayor Andre Pierre, called for a solar-powered, out just last month. The last man stand beautiful area. Had it not been a dump, it and video studio, and two hotels, Swerdsmall portion of rent proceeds. Swerdlows proposal also claims collections. More than 10,000 people reportedly will be employed to construct after the project is completed. lay off as many as 100 employees. Judith Feldman says Swerdlow will eat one has the smarts to deal with SwerdA the slumlords. Many hotels and apart chief Kenneth Each. The landlords, they were demolished in Overtown and Liberty City, many of their residents were relocated to these apartments in North Miami. Feldman says by the late 1980s, ward County and some moved farther 1990 U.S. Census, 32 percent of North American activist who has lived in North Miami since 1993. As you an area that is more urban for some districts were established in 1992. By serve two-year terms while council elected Haitian-American councilman, Ossman Desir, a defeat that reportedly led to friction between the AfricanAmerican and Haitian-American Two TalesContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44
44 communities. lestin was elected North Miamis first Haitian-American mayor. Another held by Haitian Americans, a ratio maintained after Celestin was elected to a second term. Burns was elected mayor in 2005 and Lucie Tondreau, a North Miami resident since 1985, denies that the citys Haitians vote only for Haitians, a widely Sorey in 2001 for the mayors seat, Tondreau points out, each candidate had both Haitian-Americans and AfricanAmerican supporters. Tondreau herself supported Pierres when he ran for the mayors seat in 2009. then 41 years old, could unify the city. Tondreau says the ethnic divide is the east side of the Boulevard, whom she part that the residents of North Miami are just a few of them, just a handful of But the mayors detractors claim Miami Herald article about to hire police chief Stephen Johnson to Haitian residents told Herald reporter to support the mayor because white resi Tondreau, who was in the studio to stay informed and not just to complain As for Pierres popularity, Tondreau Haitian community since the 1990s, and his efforts to assist low-income homeown ers. Pierre has also been at the forefront of Haitians also admire Pierres edu as well as his election as mayor of a only two years, but I do believe he is Pierres popularity is not lost on Jacques Despinosse, a former councilman who opposed Pierre in the election this past May. Despinosse believes the discon tent on the citys east side stems from a seat majority on the council, but that more with the mayor because we need peace. tell the BT that it is only a matter of time before they move from North Miami to be county, or even the state. near the citys downtown area. Many of his friends have died or left town. His son moved to Orlando. However, Annese 27 percent of the citys population, are Boulevard. In fact, between 2000 and 2010, the citys Hispanic population the time. What can I say? North Miami Feedback: email@example.com Two TalesContinued from page 42
3385 NE 188th Street Aventura, FL 33180 For tickets and group discounts Call 877.311.7469 (SHOW) AventuraCenter.orgAll programs, artists, dates and times are subject to change. *50% savings available on performances from Oct 12-16, 2011 only. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Available only while supplies last. CUPS: A Play by Joni SheramOct 12-22 The 2011-2012 Season starts now with... 50% OFF*with Promo Code: BISCAYNE for performances Oct 12-16 only Ana GasteyerNov 4 Connie JamesLove Songs from the Great American SongbookNov 19 Stayin Alive:Reections of the Bee GeesNov 5 The Second City:The Laugh Out Loud TourFeb 2 Say Goodnight GracieMar 14 Apr 1 Mandy Patinkin in LET GOWho we were, who we are, who we might becomeFeb 23-26
46 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORFirst Cargo, Then Commuters (Maybe)Money for freight trains? No problem. Money for passenger trains?By Terence Cantarella BT ContributorSouth Florida has a dream. A dream that one day every tri-county resident will be able to ride a commuter train along the coast from downtown Miami up to West Palm Beach, hopping on and off in neighborhoods along the way. A dream that Amtrak will travel that same route, stopping in major cities from Miami to Jacksonville before continuing on to northern states. A dream that freight trains, loaded with containers from new, super-size ships, will rumble out of the Port of Miami for One of those dreams will soon come true. The other two will need time and lots of money. The key to a new rail reality lies with the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). Roughly paralleling U.S. 1 (Biscayne Boulevard) from downtown Miami to Palm Beach County, the FEC passes through the centers of 28 South Florida cities before heading north along the coast to Jacksonville. Built by oil and hotel magnate Henry Flagler in the late 19th Century, the FEC played a major role in Floridas development, bringing goods and people to the once inaccessible southern end of the peninsula. But competition from automobiles, affordable air travel, and problems posed by a workers strike brought passenger service to an abrupt end in 1968. Ever since then, the railroad has carried nothing but freight from 71st Street to the Port of Miami, was rarely used after that, and fell into complete disuse after 2005, when Hurricane Wilma damaged the drawbridge that carried trains to the port. Now, thanks to nearly $50 million in federal, state, and private funds, that ribbon of steel is making a comeback. Work has begun to repair the bridge, upgrade the rails, and construct an on-dock rail terminal to restore freight service to and from the port. The up grades are being made in anticipation of the widening of the Panama Canal, which will allow super-sized ships from Asia to unload East Coast-bound containers in Miami. A $77 million state grant will help fund the dredging of the Port of Miami to accommodate those larger ships. Questions remain as to how effective those improvements will be in attracting mega-ships to Miami. Yet of greater interest, perhaps, is the fact that the freight revival comes in advance of Florida Department of Trans portation plans to place both tri-county commuter and inter-city Amtrak trains on the FEC track, too. The Port of Miami design calls for rail cars stacked with off-loaded cargo containers to use the existing single track that runs across Biscayne Bou levard, past the Freedom Tower, then turns northward, roughly paralleling NE 2nd Avenue. At NE 71st Street the line branches westward and continues on to the FECs Hialeah Railyard, northeast of Miami International Airport. That is where cargo bound for South Florida distribution would be loaded onto trucks for delivery. But much of the cargo, if not most, would be heading farther north, passing through Jacksonville and on up the East Coast. That will mean a lot of trains using the same single track envisioned to carry passengers from Miami to West Palm Beach, and beyond. Can commuters and containers coexist? In 2009 Sue Gibbons of Gannett Fleming, the consult the passenger rail study for FDOT, explained at a public meeting that within the 100-foot-wide FEC corridor, theres room so a combination of local, express, and even inter-city Amtrak trains is possible. Current plans, however, call for just one additional track. We are analyzing, hopefully, just doubletracking, says Amie Goddeau, a Mobility Development Manager at FDOT. We have to do an awful lot of train simulation modeling with the FEC to make sure both freight and passenger service can be accom modated and determine what type of infrastructure is needed. Although portions of the FEC corridor are already double-tracked, vast stretches currently contain just a single line for freight. FDOTs plan would run two tracks from downtown Miami to West Palm Beach. Continued on page 50South Florida East Coast Corridor Study Work has begun to repair the drawbridge, upgrade the rails, and construct an on-dock rail terminal to restore freight service to and from the port.
Volatile Voters in Miamis Money HubDistrict 2 generates 78% of the citys tax revenue and 100% of its election buzz on November 1By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterMiamis City Commission District 2 is not a single place, but it is singular. It is a salad of places, mixed with tens of millions in tax dollars, originally crafted for Anglos, and coveted by developers and billboard companies. On November 1, the voters of Coconut Grove, the Brickell-downtown area, some of the Venetian islands, Omni, Edgewater, the Upper Eastside, and portions of Wynwood, Midtown Miami, and Buena Vista, will decide if incumbent Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is worthy of another four-year term, or if one of four challengers should take his place. It is the democratic process. People will judge for themselves in November, Sarnoff says. As for the slew of contenders trying to take his job, Sarnoff shrugs: Theyre just trying to cash in on anti-incumbent feelings. But it isnt just Sarnoffs seat that is up for grabs. Commissioner Francis Suarez, son of former mayor and current Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, is unopposed for a second term representing the Flagami, Coral Way, and Shenandoah neighborhoods of District 4. Commission Chairman Willy Gort, a veteran of Miami politics, is being challenged by political neophyte Shawn Selleck for his District 1 seat covering industrial Allapattah. Where are the anti-incumbency feelings in those areas? Theyve always been apolitical in Dis trict 1. Theyre just trying to make a living of sorts, Sarnoff answers. In Suarezs district, its retired old people who just want their streets paved and garbage picked up. But in District 2, residents expect results, Sarnoff says. After all, 78 percent of Miamis tax money is collected there. In District 2, there are higher expectations, he says. Its the money part of the City of Miami. Frank Rollason, vice president of the Upper Eastsides Belle Meade Homeowners Association, cant help but mock Sarnoffs sentiment. We are the richest people, the smartest people, the elegant people, he says sarcastically. The guy is an elitist without a doubt. (Rollason, a BT columnist, ran unsuccessfully against Sarnoff in 2006.) Elitism can work in District 2, if deployed properly. During a recent debate at the Miami Science Museum, Sarnoff was applauded when he bragged about how he used nearly $3 million in impact fees (collected in District 2) to buy a 35,000-square-foot vacant lot on Brickell Avenue worth $2 million, and then used another $1 million to add landscaping, a concrete hardscape, benches, and other enhancements to create a park. Brickell, he said, deserved to have the most elegant park, where women Continued on page 48BT photos by Jacqueline Doulis BT map by Marcy Mock rfnt b r b r fntrtnt
48 could walk around in high heels and residents could enjoy in wine and cheese al fresco. When one of his opponents, Michelle Niemeyer, tried to add that she would consult residents on what kind of parks they want, Brickell Homeowner Association president Ernesto Cuesta loudly interjected: We deserve that park! We subsidize the City of Miami! Sarnoff is hailed by neighborhood activists all over District 2 for coming through on special neighborhood projects. At the same time, the commissioner has been portrayed by his critics as a pompous, pathological liar eager to cater Continued on page 52 Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest Sunny Isles Beach Jazz FestTickets available at: Sunny Isles Beach Visitor Center, 18070 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 & Pelican Community Park, 18115 N. Bay Road, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160rfntbfrFor more information call (305) 792-1706, or visit us online atSunnyIslesBeachJazz.com October 13-16, 2011 Master of CeremoniesStu Grantand Performances by>> Tony Madruga>> Frost School of Musics Henry Mancini Institute Jazz Septet>> Maria Rivas>> Frank Axtell QuartetFeaturingSpyro GyraThursday, October 13 5:30 10 PM rffntbftbb nbtbrbrtFriday, October 14 7:30 PM nnrb rt Saturday, October 15 6:30 10 PMn rtn bfnbbtnn brt All ticket sales are nal for this special eventRain or Shine. Sunday, October 16 11:00 AM 3 PM brtb rtVIP Tickets with admission to 10/14, 10/15 and 10/16 events: $75 Organized by: Beneting: Sponsored by: W hoHO W antsANTS T oO B eE a A C ommissionerO MMISSIONER ?Name: Williams Armbrister Occupation: Retired Florida Power and Light foreman. Civic History: Activist from the West Grove neighborhood. Platform: Promises he wont become a polish-tician or have any personal business interests that will wreak havoc in the city. Armbrister says the city should do more to encourage the creation of good-pay ing jobs and not seasonal or part-time employment touted in projects such as the Miami Marlins stadium. He is also passionate about preserving the integrity of residential neighborhoods, particularly West Grove, where he has lived for decades. Campaign Contributions (prior to 9/30): $350 Name: Kate Callahan Occupation: Registered nurse and co-owner of a healthcare consulting business. Civic History: Coconut Grove Village Council member; chair of the board for Camillus Health Concern; past board member of the Public Health Trust governing Jackson Memorial Health System; former chair of the Alliance for Aging. Platform: Vows to be a full-time commissioner and will push for a charter amendment prohibiting sitting city commissioners from earning outside employment. Wants to merge the citys re department into Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, reform the pension system at a savings of $40 million a year, prevent the Com munity Redevelopment Agencys practice of giving subsidies to developers, and to stop backroom deals. Campaign Contributions (prior to 9/30): $51,420 Name: Donna Milo Occupation: Owner of a marine fabrication business. Civic History: Afliated with the Metropolitan Miami Action Plan nominating committee; past chair of Miamis Planning Advisory Board; former member of the Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Oversight Board. Platform: A transgender Republican, Milo is also the only candidate running in the District 2 seat who does not live in Coconut Grove. (She resides in the Upper Eastside neighborhood of Belle Meade.) Wants to streamline city regulations in order to allow businesses and job creation to foster. Promises to nd ways to reduce the burden of taxpayers by making the city government more cost-effective. Endorsed by the IAFF Local 587, which represents Miamis reghters. Campaign Contributions (prior to 9/30): $32,570 Name: Michelle Niemeyer Occupation: Attorney. Civic History: Chair of the Coconut Grove Village Council, past member of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce, served on Coconut Grove Waterfront Plan Implementation Committee. Platform: Wants to enhance transparency and efciency in government and foster economic develop ment. Although touting her volunteer work in Coconut Grove, Niemeyer vows she will represent all of District 2 equally. Also wants to improve the citys environment and infrastructure and ensure the publics access to parks and public facilities. Campaign Contributions (prior to 9/30): $60,350 Name: Marc Sarnoff Occupation: Attorney, incumbent city commissioner. Civic History: Co-founder of Grove First, former Coconut Grove Village Council member, former presi dent of the Center Grove Neighborhood Association. Platform: During a recent debate, Sarnoff said hes been the glue that held the city together in tumultuous times. Also asserts he has been able to ensure that services are not cut and that he has delivered parks and improvements to neighborhoods all over District 2. If re-elected, Sarnoff says he intends to improve the citys park system, improve access to the bayfront, prevent overdevelopment, and create more bike paths. Campaign Contributions (prior to 9/30): $377,628 Erik Bojnansky Volatile VotersContinued from page 47
The goal of introducing a local commuter service on those tracks is estimated to cost about $3 billion. So what we need to do now, Goddeau explains, is break it down into cost-effective, buildable segments. Were looking at a few, but if you live in South Florida, the one that makes the most sense is the one between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. In other words, a new tri-county commuter line will be pieced together slowly, as funding emerges. As for Amtrak, which cur rently travels to Miami along the CSX Railway tracks (several miles west of South Floridas city centers), she says, If were successful putting in commuter rail, then Amtrak would like to run down the FEC, too. As we look to [future] usage of the tracks, we would put in a slot for them. Additional tracks would likely be unnecessary, she says, since Amtrak would only run one or two trains a day in each direction. Financing those dreams could be tough. FDOT applied for federal grants twice in the past three years to fund Amtraks move to the FEC. They were denied both times owing to concerns about the projects readiness. They will try again as soon as the Federal Railroad Administration announces a new round of grant opportunities, this time bolstered by a recently approved state pledge of $118 million. It is not known, however, when the Federal Railroad Administration will make new grants available. A tri-county commuter service on the FEC will face funding challenges, backs, and an anti-spending sentiment in Washington could limit government contributions. The ideologi cal debate over the wisdom of rail subsidies will likely factor in also: Supporters believe creates jobs, lowers emissions, and reduces fuel dependence. Therefore it deserves government subsidies. Critics fear a tax-funded boondoggle which is better left to the private sector. The solution may lie with TriRail South Floridas existing tri-county commuter service, which First CargoContinued from page 46 Continued on page 54 South Florida East Coast Corridor Study Local budget decits, state cutbacks, and an anti-spending sentiment in Washington could limit government contributions for commuter service.
to the very special interests that Sarnoff He is what I would describe as a volatile personality, says one local political operative. People feel strongly about him one way or the other. District 2s origins are volatile as well. Miami City Commission seats were although one seat was traditionally allotted to the African-American community. When a young Cuban-American lawyer named Humberto Hernandez took that seat away in 1997, the People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE) sued under the Voting Rights Act for single-member districts. (Hernandez would be later implicated in absentee ballot fraud and convicted of mortgage fraud, spending four years in prison.) that at least one district had an African-American majority. Thats when longtime Commissioner J.L. Plummer demanded a district for Anglos. A hodgepodge of white neighborhoods, most of them upscale and waterfront (as well as the African-American/Bahamian enclave of the West Grove), was stitched together to form District 2. Plummer, seen by many as a powerbrokering member of the citys antiquated (and embarrassing) establishment, an old pol whod been at Dinner Key since 1970, was defeated by fellow Coconut Grove resident Johnny Winton in 1999. Winton, a real estate investor, prom ised to reform city hall. It wasnt long, however, before Winton aligned himself with Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and his pro-development agenda that seemed to target District 2s up-and-coming areas. When Winton opted to compromise, rather than oppose, a proposed Home Depot in Coconut Grove, he lost the support of voters in that politically active community. Sarnoff, a Coconut Grove lawyer, gained recognition for challenging Home Depot and the very idea of big-box stores in the Grove. Sarnoff had already opened a campaign account to challenge Winton when, in June 2006, Winton got Volatile VotersContinued from page 48 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 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 Continued on page 84
54 operates several miles west of the FEC, on tracks formerly owned by CSX Railway. The Palm Beach Post reported in August that legislation is likely to be proposed for the [state legislative] session beginning in January that would First CargoContinued from page 50 rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn BT photo by Silvia Ros Continued on page 85
56 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMISigns of the TimesThe economic downturn has produced a new generation of old-style street hawkers By Mark Sell BT ContributorI buster space. Neighborhood Correspondents: NEW!
the road and his arrow pointing across the street between spins. Some of these businesses are really advertising their [spinners], rather than the business. See, if you go spin this [sign] nonstop, theyll never see what youre advertising. My thing is to try to attract the customer so they know where the business is. People are nice, he continues. They know me. They get me food. They get me soda. They know Im working my ass off and they know its hot. If Im making money for [the owner] across the street, Im making a little money for myself. Russell has held a grab bag of jobs, studying culinary arts and working in landscaping, swimming pool maintenance, and as a valet, parking cars. He came upon this job three years ago, when the recession worsened, and has kept at it since. Obama called for jobs the other night, he says. People are hungry. If anything, were trying to help people get the money [by selling gold jewelry] to pay the rent. I put in nineand-a-half hours. Id rather do this than knock on doors looking for money. In the future, maybe theyll have a robot or computer do this. But until then. Twenty paces north, just south of Tires Plus, 26-year-old Paul Centeno holds a sign pointing to the Tempur-Pedic store across the street. He started in April and makes eight bucks an hour, 39 hours chanic until business almost stopped altogether, and then went through bartending school, but found positions scarce unless youre a hot chick. He found the sign job on Craigslist. In his more stationary position, he passes the time talking with his sign partner Jason and observing the passing parade. Its interesting watching people come by, Centeno says. You notice things. Im seeing more people taking the bus, walking, or bicycling. And Im seeing cut hours. One girl who worked to maybe four hours, three days a week. At least I have a job. Across the street at the Tempur-Pedic, Eddie, the salesman, calls the sign carriseen this a lot more in the last year and its gone up and up, he says. Theyre all over the place in Kendall, around 125th Avenue and 88th Street. There are some who bounce on springs. They use these spring-shaped prosthetics. Back at the Halloween Megastore, its just past 3:00 p.m. A thirsty Jeanmais walking inside for his break. Beneath the costume, the stocky, bespectacled Esnard is sweating through his light-blue golf shirt and walking with a pronounced limp. You must be dying in that thing, says customer Lily Osorio of Bal Harbour, whose four-and-a-half-year-old son, for Halloween. advance from the manager so he can eat, perhaps at the air-conditioned McDonalds around the corner. Have a cool lunch, the manager says. Osorio makes her purchase: two witch costumes and the Superman comes to $42.50. until after Halloween, she says. If it wouldnt have come in here. Lets go, baby I mean Superman . Its striking that the sign carriers and spinners, descendants of sandwich-board men of old, are making a comeback. company web pages, tweets, and other marketing phenomena unknown ten, or growth business in rough times. Yet zoning constables have their eyes on them, especially along the north Biscayne Corridor, where the serrated municipal boundaries of North Miami, North Miami Beach, and Unincorporated Miami-Dade trade sides like teeth on a busted saw. Some publicity-shy business owners are wary of talking for fear of pushback from the zoning police. spinners and carriers be. Yes, keep them away from medians and well back from busy corners. Thats just common sense. But if they are in a spot that does not stores need the business, and the sign spinners could use the money. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org PROPANE TANK REFILLS 10% off *With this coupon expires on 10.31.11 BUY 4 CHLORINE REFILL GET 1 FREE*With this coupon expires on 10.31.11 THE MOST RELIABLE AND EFFICIENT WAY TO HEAT YOUR POOLSAVE ENERGY!! SAVE MONEY!! $ 100 OFF 100 OFF 100 OFF INTELLIFLO VARIABLE SPEED PUMPSEffective Jan 1st 2012 Florida Pool & Spa Energy Law & Code requirements go into effect. GIVE US A CALL TO DISCUSS WAY TO WAY TO 100 OFF 100 OFF 100 OFF 100 OFF Effective Jan 1st 2012 Florida Effective Jan 1st 2012 Florida SAVE 60-90% ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL! *With this coupon expires on 10.31.11 3 CHLORINE TABS $58.88*With this coupon expires on 10.31.11 ON SALE SALT CHLORINATION STARTING AT $799PLUS INSTALLATION NEVER BUY CHLORINE AGAIN BETTER QUALITY OF WATER NO MORE ODOR STINGING EYES OR IRRITATED SKIN *Expires on 10.31.11 *With this coupon expires on 10.31.11 SAVE $400OFF REGULAR PRICE PLUS FREE INSTALATION $295 VALUE *With this coupon expires on 10.31.11 305-893-4036 rfntPOOL SERVICE POOL REPAIRS POOL RENOVATIONS HOT TUBS & SWIM SPAS HEATER & SUPPLIES OZONATORS AUTOMATED CONTROLS PATIO FURNITURE SALT CHLORINATORS COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED 50 TRUCK SERVICE FLEET
58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARKMr. Jacobs Has a Problem He wanted to know how FPL was able to erect concrete poles on his street, so he asked the commission big mistakeBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorDuring the September meeting of the Biscayne Park Commission, resident Noah Jacobs walked to the podium with a problem. A pole was put in my yard this Saturday morning, Mr. Jacobs told the commission. Mr. Jacobs lives on NE 119th Street, and the pole to which he was referring is a power pole, one of many that Florida Power and Light (FPL) is installing as part of its hardening project in the village. the ones theyre replacing nearly twice the circumference, and in some cases, as much as ten feet taller. Theyre also made of concrete, as opposed to wood, like the old poles. In short, they stick out like a rusty nail on a white wedding cake. Mr. Jacobs was upset because he believed the new addition to his yard (pictured here) would adversely affect the value of his home. He had three questions for the commission: 1) How had the village come to the conclusion that these poles would not drive down property values? 2) What was the date of the zoning board meeting at which the installation of these poles was authorized? 3) Were there fees collected from FPL as part of the permitting process? All reasonable questions, and, one would assume, easily answerable by anyone on the commission. Instead of addressing Mr. Jacobss questions, however, Mayor Roxanna Ross referred him to the village manager, who was sitting a few feet away. Mr. Jacobs, rightly sensing he was getting the brush-off, repeated his main question: Was there a zoning meeting for this? Mayor Ross once again directed him to the village manager, this time promising to put FPL in the loop and get your answers. Mr. Jacobs again asked about the zoning meeting. Mayor Ross again told him to contact the village manager who will try to help you as best we can. When Mr. Jacobs insisted one last time on an answer regarding the zoning meeting, Mayor Ross told him his time was up. At this point Commissioner Steve Bernard, who had previously tried to answer Mr. Jacobss question from the dais (There were no zoning meetings), object ed to the mayor calling time on Mr. Jacobs. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith
Commissioner Bob Anderson then turned to Commissioner Bernard and told him to behave himself. (The entire exchange can be seen nightly at 7:00 p.m., as part of the commission meeting rebroadcast on Com cast Channel 77, or by going to YouTube and typing in 2011-09-13 FPL Hardening Resident Question.) It was a ridiculous display. A resident comes to a commission meeting with concerns about a major project in the village. The mayor refuses to answer his questions and tells him his time is up. But why? The answer may well lie in the way the FPL hardening project was allowed to go forward by the commission. I wrote about the FPL project which eventually is supposed to cover not only NE 119th Street, but most of NE 8th Avenue and a section of NE 10th Avenue this past May. In that column, I recounted how Commissioner Berthe number of new poles that would be installed, their height and width, and whether they would be wood or concrete. (Wood poles, Commissioner Bernard noted, might blend in more with our tree-lined community.) He also wanted FPL to submit to the same permitting process required of other companies undertaking projects in the village. When he brought up these concerns at the March commission meeting, however, he was met with resistance from the commissions three-member majority: Mayor Ross, Commissioner Anderson, and Commissioner Al Childress. At that meeting, Commissioner Childress went so far as to claim that, under state law, FPL was exempt from the permitting process. That wasnt the case. At the next commission meeting in April, Commissioner Bernard made a motion that would have required FPL to submit additional documents related to the project, including wind-load calculations for both concrete and wood poles, principally to determine if wood poles could be used. Commissioner Bryan Cooper seconded the motion. Mayor Ross, disputing Commis sioner Bernards claims that wood poles were even an option, voted against it. So did commissioners Anderson and Childress. In the end, FPL was required to pull a permit for the project, but was exempted from going through the Planning and Zoning Board. As a result, residents lost to examine, in detail, FPLs plans for the size and placement of the poles or insist on, say, wood poles over concrete ones. So the best answer to Mr. Jacobss query as to how and why those concrete poles made it onto his street might be: Be cause a majority of the commission didnt do anything to ensure that they wouldnt end up there. Commissioner Anderson, in fact, had argued for the concrete poles. Perhaps Mayor Ross and commis sioners Anderson and Childress believed the poles wouldnt be so bad. (Theyre horrendous.) Or maybe they thought there wasnt anything they could do about them. (There was.) Or it might not have been a priority. (It should have been.) tures more suitable to a commercial district in unincorporated Miami-Dade than The Village of Homes. And Mr. Jacobs has a lot of questions that dont have answers, or at least not answers the mayor is willing to share with a roomful of people, with the camera rolling. Better to pretend that its too complicated to get into at the moment, or that, conversely, theres no real explana tion for how those poles got there, other than thats where FPL wanted to put them. So Mr. Jacobs will just have to learn to live with his problem. Actually, he has two: The concrete poles on his street, which are likely to have an adverse impact on his property value, and a local government that doesnt feel the least bit accountable to him. In that sense, Mr. Jacobss problem is also our problem. Which reminds me. Biscayne Park elections will be held in December. The three seats to be contested are those belong ing to commissioners Anderson, Bernard, month. The only requirement for running is to have been a resident of Biscayne Park Contact Village Hall for more information. All interested parties should seriously consider running. The way things are going, this election may be the only chance some residents get to have a say in or ask questions about the issues that matter to our community. Feedback: email@example.com
60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Garage Sales 101Ten traps to avoid when trying to sell your junk, from someone who learned the hard way By Jen Karetnick BT ContributorSo it should have been clear to me that my husband and daughter, who were masterminding a garage sale to raise money for her mitzvah project, Operation Smile, would wait until the last possible moment to make it happen: the weekend before her bat mitzvah. To accomplish anything on your property in Miami Shores even moving your mailbox from the interior to the exterior you are required to obtain a permit. Still, I was taken aback when Jon came home with the permisticular Saturday and Sunday. It happened to be Labor Day weekend. We had the kind of conversation that, in our 25 years together (this month), is either typical or atypical, depending on whom you ask. I dont think this is a good idea, I said. I dont care what you think, he said. Besides, were out of time. Of course, no one would really know if Zoe had the garage sale before or after her actual big day. In addition, shes been raising money for Operation Smile for a couple of years now. Shes already met her obligations. But the pair of them insisted, so we went ahead with it in the worst manner possible. If you, too, are considering hold ing a garage sale in Miami Shores, follow this guide of Do Nots. Use it and youll have a much more successful sale than we did. At the very least Im betting it will save you a lot of pain. 1. Do not live in a house on a street doesnt exist. For garage or rummage sales to really work, it actually helps to be seen from the road. Barring that, huge posters are a good idea especially ones with letters that can be read.
2. Hoarders 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org We made the exact same amount of money we could have deducted from our taxes had we just hauled all of our stuff to Goodwill in the rst place.
62 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aATT he T T ruck Stops HereA plea for hip foodie gatherings in Aventura By Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorAfter living in Aventura for almost seven years which for me is a very long time to stay anywhere Ive realized there are some really wonderful things about this town, as well as things I wish would improve. Now dont get me wrong. Things could always be better everywhere, but as a whole, my city is a pretty darn good one. Its safe (for the most part), its well-kept (for the most part), the people who live here (especially year-round) are comforts malls, restaurants, specialty and gourmet grocers, little clothing and shoe shops, numerous hair and nail salons, Starbucks, and thank God, a choice of self-serve yogurt shops. Who could ask for anything more? (By the way, that last bit about the yogurt shops? A little sarcasm. Just in case you thought I was serious.) But honestly, I do poke fun at Aventura, because it can take it. (And if a wealthy city, a city of privilege, cant take some ribbing once in a while, who can?) But there is one serious issue I think should be discussed: our sense of community, or rather, our lack of one. Having lived here long enough to trust my observations, the only sense of community I feel is among people who have kids. Theres a charter school on my block, and I see the parents walking and driving to get their kids to and from school. By the grace of God and choice of profession, I dont have to be awake at the hour they all go to school, but I know that there are after-school play dates and weekend sleepovers, and then the parents go to dinner, and it goes on and on. They form a mini-community within Aventura. All good. I love it. I think its wonder ful. However, my plight is that I dont have kids. And, lets be clear, I am not complaining about that. My lack of rug rats was my choice. But I simply am not munity. I guess before I continue, I must confess that I am not religious, so heading to temple or church probably wont be the Photo courtesy of mscheezious.com ITS FUN! ITS EASYHave your party at Wherehouse 2016! We take care of everything.Private Parties All Occasions and EventsCall Diane at 786.489.2478 www.wherehouse2016.com We put the ART in pARTy!
Who am I? I like art, Broadway (lets call it theater here), painting, movies, and food. I love cooking, gardening, and restaurants. I love the beach, boating, ing at my list, one might think I may be completely out of luck when it comes to varied as mine. Maybe, or maybe not. My love for foodie experiences takes me far and wide. For a great pho, Id head to Vietnam, and to sample original pizza, Napoli here I come. So you get the gist. doesnt require overseas travel? I wasnt seeing it. Then, a little more than a year ago, the food trucks appeared. It was slow to happen. No one locally was embracing these lovely dining experiences on wheels until, one day, people did. The phenomenon caught on, and the trucks grew in number and someone said, Hey, lets get them together so we can create crowds, and numbers of people can taste our products, and we can make money, and they dont have to cook. Its a winwin situation. And so it happened food truck gatherings all around South Florida. The trucks congregate at the Hard Rock (sooo far west), Esplanade Campus, up and down Biscayne Bou levard, and, most recently, the parking lot of the Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach. Thats the one I have been frequenting lately. As a matter of fact, Ive gone three times in the last two months (give or able. There were so many trucks, I and Taco, Sakaya Kitchens Dim Ssm go-go, Clarabelles Cupcakes, Big Kahuna Ice Cream Truck. There were a total of 21 trucks in all, which I think is pretty amazing. But even better, there were hundreds and hundreds of people there eating and drinking, sitting, chatting, and generally having a good time. The support from the community was astounding. I was thrilled. I vowed that I would continue to go whenever the trucks convened there or places nearby. It seemed to be the beginning of the end of the gathering void that had plagued me. The third Food Truck Frenzy went down at the Intracoastal Mall on September 21, and, staying true to my word, bers of my team, Sheera and Dominique, Kevin, my hubby, Ian, and my dog Tika (who is always up for fun, especially where food is concerned). When we got there, the event was noticeably smaller. Gaping holes in the truck selection left me wondering, Is this the end of the food truck reign here? Do they have other gigs tonight? Will new ones replace them? Either way, it was still good. We ate tacos, ceviche, gyros, fried mac n cheese balls, fried green tomatoes, snow cones, and red velvet cupcakes for dessert. It was all pretty tasty. As far as price goes, I think some of the trucks overcharge. For example, a loaded double-meat gyro cost $10 and, while it was good enough, someone needs to and double. But this column isnt about value; its about the sense of community the trucks inspire. they had in weeks past. Maybe its just a cycle. Maybe people lose interest in the same old thing. I dont know, but those who were there mixed and mingled and really seemed to enjoy themselves. I chatted with people I didnt know. That is how relationships begin. They werent deep, meaningful dialogues, but simple, light-hearted conversation. Although North Miami Beach is just seconds from Aventura, Id love to see something like this happen in the heart of our town. We have Found ers Day (which rocks), but otherwise not much else going on. And we have such great spaces the Arts and Cultural Center at the end of 188th strip malls where we can host great community gatherings. Not only would they bring people together, but theyll also drive business. If other places can do it, why cant we? Feedback: email@example.com
64 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEPermit Me to EE x plainA trip to San Francisco yields some thoughts on how the City of Miamis Building Department could improve its operationBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorA few weeks ago, my wife and I were having dinner with a good friend who was in town from San Francisco for a short visit. He had recently acquired the Victorian home pictured here in a neighborhood known as Noe Valley and was in the process of renovation. Aside from being a very old structure, the home has historic designation, resulting in additional hurdles. As he began the process, our friend was pleasantly surprised with the assistance afforded him by the powers that be in the City by the Bay. Then he lamented, Why couldnt the City of Miami Building Department be as helpful as the San Francisco Building Department? This comment really hit home with me. I was once the director of that City of Miami department. During my short tenure as director, I strived to make the department more user-friendly and bring it into the computer age. Even back then, the city was having Peter to pay Paul, while the Piper waited in the wings for his cut! Anyway, during the course of our conversation, our friend suggested that Fran and I go to San Francisco to visit the building department and see for ourselves. We thought about it. Why not? We could take in the sights and help him with his renovation. We went. Early on, it was necessary to make a trip to the building department and I was really looking forward to eyeballing the operation. Upon arriving, was that, unlike in Miami, there were no crowds. Building and Zoning occupied mulbuilding with very client spaces. We were greeted just inside the front door by a lady who asked, How may we help you today? Sort of like a Walmart greeter without the daily specials handout. My friend explained that he had visitors from Miami and they would like to walk around and speak with various people about the process of obtaining a permit. Right away, she gave us several services station and obtain assistance on particular questions or we could visit the rf For ticket and more information: Phone: 305 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theplaygroundtheatre.comThe Red Thread rfff Directed by Stephanie Ansin rfnNov 9Dec 18, 2011Alices Adventures in Wonderland ntrffb rfff Directed by Stephanie Ansintbbr bbr brbnFeb 1March 11, 2012A Very Old Man with Enormous Wingsb bf nbfrDirected by Stephanie Ansinbr fnApr 25May 25, 2012 9806 NE 2nd Avenue Miami Shores, FL 33138 BT photo by Frank Rollason
not Feedback: email@example.com
66 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGE AA fter the Flood, a FightWhen a pet store left its animals to die in a ood, our correspondent took matters into her own handsBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorChances are, you never heard of the MUFT (the Merciless Un-Frozen Tundra), a.k.a. Binghamton, New York, unless you read my column, have a kid enrolled at Binghamton University, or are a serious Twilight Zone or B.C. comic fan. ( Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling lived there, and B.C. creator Johnny Hart and humorist David Sedaris were born there.) I lived in the MUFT for three years (excluding the last two years hard winter months) and I hated nearly every minute of it. Being a Miami native, I suffered from seasonal affective disorder while living in that vampire lair excuse of a region. I lost count of the number of times I wished horrible events to befall that unfor tunate piece of geography a gray-skied, economically depressed, cultural void, littered with car-parts stores and roadkill squirrels. The closest escape is granolacruncher-infested Ithaca, 45 minutes north. Gazing out the window of my Victorian home (pockets of old architecture were a plus), or while running on the treadmill at the dumpy gym, willing myself to go faster, faster fueled by the ridiculous hope I might sprout wings or, at least, winged shoes, so that I could thing powerful enough, to wipe those Triple Cities of Misery (Johnson City, Binghamton, and Endicott) off the map. Plagues, old and new, a rain of frogs, natural disasters, whatever. If something could put an end to the MUFT, if it could serve as a shotgun blast to the last remaining kneecap of the limping Little Cities That Couldnt, my vote was cast. Last month it seemed I got my wish. Sort of. In the wake of Tropical Storm MUFT, leaving behind uninhabitable homes and businesses some received completely submerged and displacing residents. Destroyed roads, fallen bridges, and a compromised sewage plant remained. Now a layer of tangible scum lay atop the MUFTs general one. While watching the footage (the Weather Channel reported from downtown Binghamton for days), I thought some areas seemed no different from before. However, this disaster scenario differed from my imagined versions. In my End of MUFT Times, that sad little valley was eradicated completely, with one exception: All the animals and the people I cared about escaped unharmed.
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68 Culture: THE ARTSUnder the Big TentThe Wynwood Art Fair will shake up the seasonal parade with an experimental, streetwise approachBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorWhile the visual arts have become a powerful force in South Florida over the past decade, the last thing most people thought wed need is another art fair. Art Basel Miami Beach and the tons of satellite fairs that accompany it all touching down in early December seem to suck most of the oxygen out of the fair world. Some older fairs, such as Art Miami, have decided to join in rather than compete, while others, like Art Palm Beach (in January) and the Latin-oriented Arte Americas (in March) continue to cling to their traditional spot on the calendar. But adding a contemporary fair in Oc tober? It seemed like a stretch until the Wynwood Art Fair took the plunge this year. The inaugural fair will take place over three days, from Friday, October 21, through Sunday, October 23. But it isnt only its scheduling that makes Wynwood Art different. First off, its actually a fundraiser for the Sundari Foundation, which operates the Lotus House Womens Shelter. (The fairs $10 entrance fee goes to help homeless women and children.) In the past, a one-day version of this art auction/fundraiser took place at the exhibition home of one of Miamis biggest collectors, Martin Margulies, appropri ately so, since it was the brainchild of his wife, Constance Collins Margulies. But the event outgrew the Margulies home, so now it has taken to the streets. Unlike other fairs, this one will emphasize performance art and that street-fair feel. In fact, the street will play a prominent role. Taking place over six blocks of NW 6th Avenue, between 23rd and 29th streets, the fair is bookended on the south side by the former RC Cola factory, a huge, abandoned structure comand on the north side by the Margulies Warehouse, with its prominent and original outdoor murals. In between there will be performance stages, ethnic food vendors, painters, strolling performers, and, straddling Sixth Avenue, tents stuffed with art. All the major local museums will be represented, joined by exhibition centers such as the Art and Cultural Center of Hollywood and ArtCenter/ South Florida; art schools from the University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, and Florida International University; and at least 20 commercial art galleries, plus Books & Books and the Arsht Center. Also present will be a dozen artist studios, and more than 30 performers and performance groups. These institutions, galleries, and indi viduals have been encouraged by the fair to break from the norm, experiment, and create an interactive experience. Many have taken the direction to heart. Gallery Diet, an anchor gallery in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District, will give over its booth to live painting, according to gallery director Nina Johnson-Milewski. Ive decided to commission two students from New World to create an interactive installation that deals with the audience and the neighborhood, she explains. Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo and Chad Cunha have spent months collecting debris from the streets of Wynwood, then organizing the stuff by color. They are constructing a wall for their exhibition space, and fairgoers will be able to stick the various materials onto the wall and create a painting that will be created, re-created, and dictated by the audience. Santas Forest: Comida Latina Photos courtesy of the artists
Carol Jazzar, who runs an eponymous gallery on the north side of Miami, also thinks this inaugural edition of the Wynwood Art Fair called for something out of the ordi nary: The way I see it, it is a creative way to help raise money for a great organization. The booths are not expensive, so it allows participants to be equally creative in their artist choice and display. She chose to let one artist, who has not shown often in Miami, literally make a maze out of her booth. Alvaro Ilizarbes installation will be playful and opti cal, bringing a visual and special experience to the viewers as they walk through. Lincoln Roads ArtCenter/South Florida wanted to create a little fair within a fair, one literally exhibiting little art. For several years, artist and curator Alette Simmons-Jimenez has organized Small Wonderz, a nomadic art project. She presented the format as a way to showcase works from residents and alumni of the ArtCenter at the new fair, and it was accepted. We have 51 artists participating, says Simmons-Jimenez. Each exhibit ends up with a unique look, since it is designed according to the individual bring the best art from Miami in small format, very affordably priced, with an easy access for people who love art. Some of the Small Wonderz at the ArtCenter booth will be crafted by Natasha Duwin, Alexander Heria, Venessa Monokian, and Kerry Phillips. Then there will be the performances. Under the guidance of Antonia Wright, a co-curator of the fair known for her videos and performance art, the street ers, and things that might go boom in the night. Its this aspect that will make the Wynwood Art Fair stand out from others, mixing an intentional circus atmosphere with serious contemporary art. Performance art is a living art that continues to evolve and expand like the shelter itself, says Wright. The ephemeral nature of this medium, almost spiritually, causes one to be immersed in the moment. Because performance art is extremely experimental and allows for should be a highly dynamic environment. Ellen Fisher, for example, will create a story-salon environment, where fairgoers are invited to immerse themselves in the reading, dancing, and visualization of stories. Visiting artists Ben Fain and Frank Van Duerm will erect a pop-up tent of pop-up art smileyface, original objects dart, as they describe it. Co-curator Wright and Ruben Millares will re-create a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art), called Job Creation in a Bad Economy. Elsewhere, visitors will be encouraged to donate books to build a library donations will be stacked and made into a wall, through which performers will leap and crash. Buda and his Bubbles, Clifton Childree and his Backyard Band, Carlota Pradera and her Dance on Water Agus tina Woodgate and her Hopscotch, and FriendsWithYou and their Magic, Luck and Friendship. Wynwood Art may be breaking with tradition in many ways, but never fear. This is still Miami. There will be a VIP champagne reception on opening night and VIP and patron passes for those who need a break from the street. Still, all the proceeds go to the Lotus House charity, Wynwood Art Fair, Friday, October 21, through Sunday, October 23, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, October 22, there will be a VIP reception at the Margulies Warehouse beginning at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10; children under 10 are free. NW 6th Avenue between 23rd and 29th streets. For more info, go to www.wynwoodartfair.org. Feedback: email@example.com
70 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 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net 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 Through October 8: September curated by Pink Bastard with Eddie Arroyo, Adriana Carvalho, Charles Falarara, Kevin Foltz, Cory Foote, Kathy Kissik, Franklin Sinanan, and David Zalben October 8 through November 12: Red October curated by Pink Bastard with Eddie Arroyo, Adriana Carvalho, Charles Falarara, Kevin Foltz, Cory Foote, Kathy Kissik, Franklin Sinanan, and David Zalben 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through October 29: Florencia Blanco / Eugenia Calvo with Florencia Blanco and Eugenia Calvo 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 October 1 through December 21: Fusion VIII Synesthesia 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami Call gallery for exhibition information 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com Through October 29: Strung Out by Karen Rifas Through January 7, 2012: 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 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 Through October 23: SET with Tom Schmitt, Odalis Valdivieso, and Kerry Ware 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Through October 30: Small, Medium & Large by David Rohn and Forever Babies by Colby Katz 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Group Show with various artists 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 Through November 19: TABULARASA by Tim Maxwell 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 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 October 8 through November 12: Titans by Magaly Barnola-Otaola and Hotel St. Michel by Lamia Khorshid 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 www.davidcastillogallery.com October 6 through November 5: Subliminal by Fabian Pea 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through October 29: Inner Distance by Udo Nger 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 email@example.com Through October 22: Dreamy Nomads, Baby by Lisa Slominski 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through October 28: Imprint by Marina Font 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Through October 9: Untitled (incidental shapes)
Matter of Fact by Cheryl Pope and A Mile of String by Raymond Sa October 7 through November 12: As They Are by John Sanchez, Terminus by Amanda Burnham, and Running Drive by Richard Haden DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Call gallery for exhibition information EDGE ZONES CONTEMPORARY ART 47 NE 25th St., Miami 305-303-8852 www.edgezones.org Call gallery for exhibition information ELITE ART EDITIONS 2732 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 754-422-5942 www.elitearteditions.com Call gallery for exhibition information ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 October 8 through November 11: Fall Group Show with David Mann, David T. Kessler, Hunt Slonem, and Mario Velez FLAGLER ART SPACE 172 W. Flagler St., Miami Call gallery for exhibition information FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com October 5 through November 5: Tamim by Zack Balber October 8 through November 8: Dark Age Ahead by Viking Funeral GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALERIE SCHUSTER MIAMI 2085 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-266-2445 www.galleryschuster.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com October 7 through November 12: ROMPELOTAS by Bhakti Baxter GALLERY I/D 2531 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-778-4568 www.galleryid.com Call gallery for exhibition information GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Call gallery for exhibition information GIOVANNI ROSSI FINE ART 2628 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 561-251-1375 Call gallery for exhibition information HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami www.hardcoreartcontemporary. com firstname.lastname@example.org Through November 5: Marvelous Punishment by Natasha Duwin HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information ICON ART 147 NW 36th St, Miami (305) 576-4266 www.iconartimages.com Call gallery for exhibition information JG PLATFORM GALLERY 2320 North Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-0208 www.jgplatform.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com October 6 through November 25: Concetto Spaziale by Jorge Pedro Nuez KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St, Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through October 6: Tu, Yo y Tu Otro Yo by Yuri Zatarain KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com October 8 through November 1: Yukio Imamura LOCUST PROJECTS 155 NE 38th St., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Through October 15: Plus Sign by Andy Coolquitt MAOR GALLERY 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-9995 http://maormiami.org/ Through November 12: Avinu Malkeinu: Opening the Gates of Heaven with Avner Zabari, Janet Slom, and Y. Bayles MIAMI ART SALON 36 NW 36th St., Miami 305-775-9683 www.miamiartsalon.com Call gallery for exhibition information MIAMI ART SPACE 244 NW 35th St., Miami 305-757-6000 www.miamiartspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Through October 16: Faculty Exhibition with Joseph Tamargo, Claudia Scalise, Natasha Duwin, Shirley Henderson, Tom Scicluna, Melissa Diaz, Helen Burgos, and Yovani Bauta 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 Through October 7: Mona Lisa Unveiled with various artists Through October 22: /10 by Oscar Niemeyer October 28 through December 4: Selections from the Permanent Collection and Cintas Fellows Collection with various artists 11380 NW 27 Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through December 15: Ralph Provisero: Maquettes and Drawings by Ralph Provisero 500 College Terr., Homestead 305-237-5000 www.mdc.edu/homestead Through October 28: Old and New with Peggy Nania and Lucas Blanco 1110 SW 104 St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Through October 29: Pannaroma with various artists MIAMI INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN 1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-428-5700 www.mymiu.com Call gallery for exhibition information MICHAEL PEREZ POP ART GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store #120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 516-532-3040 www.michaelperez-artist.com Call gallery for exhibition information MORE FUNNER PROJECTS 180 NE 39th St., Miami 786-512-4130 www.morefunnerprojects.blogspot.com Through October 5: Milking the Void with various artists MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com October 5 through October 29: Car Racing in Art by Lee Ik-Ryeol New World School of the Arts 25 NE 2nd St., Miami 305-237-3597 October 9 through 28: Those Who Do faculty exhibition with various artists NINA TORRES FINE ART 2033 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-395-3599 Call gallery for exhibition information NORMAN LIEBMAN STUDIO 2561 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-3572 www.norman-liebman-studio.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3100 NW 7th Ave., Miami 305-633-9345 www.oh-wow.com Call gallery for exhibition information The Republic of Misery (production still) rfn rfnt rfb rfn rftn rfnnn rftnWE WILL BEAT ANY ESTIMATE FREE IN-HOME ESTIMATES All Mororized Solar Shades Plus FREE Multi-channel RemoteExpires 10/31/2011. Must present Coupon. SUMMER SHADE SPECIAL20% OFF Motorized Specialist Fast, Fast Service!
72 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through October 15: Leon Ferrari and Collective of Argentinean Artists with Leon Ferrari, Oscar Bony, Tomas Espina, Ana Fabry, Santiago Porter, Gian Paolo Minnelli, and Yaya Firpo 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 Through October 22: Understory by Nina Surel 4141 NE 2nd St., Suite 104 www.primaryprojectspace.com October 8 through November 1: It Takes All This to be Me by Kenton Parker 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 Ter., Miami 305-992-7652 www.myspace.com/stashgallery Call gallery for exhibition information 3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami http://swampstyle.blogspot.com/ email@example.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn 310 NW 24 th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 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: October 7 through November 13: Newly Juried Artist Show with various artists 2100 Collin s Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through October 16: At the Same Time (Al Mismo Tiempo) 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 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, and Alicia Villarreal 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Through October 8: The Family of Man by George Sanchez-Calderon and Optic Nerve XIII Finalists: Screening at the Collection with various artists 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 October 12 through January 8, 2012: Modern Meals: Remaking American Foods from Farm to Kitchen with various artists; iPM009 by Magdalena Fernndez; The Florida Artist Series: Humberto Calzada: The Fire Next Time by Humberto Calzada 1035 N. Miami Ave Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org 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 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 October 8 through September 23, 2012: Saintly Blessings from Mexico: The Joseph D. and Janet M. Shein Collection of Retablos 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 by Rivane Neuenschwander Through November 6: Aftermath by Joel Meyerowitz 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-621 1 www.mocanomi.org 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 http://rfc.museum 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Untitled Leaner 01
Those Who Teach Also DoTurning the old idiom those who cant, teach on its head and rightfully so the New World School of the Arts Gallery will be host ing an exhibit opening on Thursday, October 6 showcasing work from its top faculty, who have been instrumental in turning out top graduates. Called Those Who Do the show features visual arts instructors versed in a wide variety of genres, from sculpture and painting to new media. Artists being shown this time in clude Maria Martinez-Caas, Karen Rifas, and Michael Loveland. The exhibition will run through Friday, October 28 at the New World Gallery, 25 NE 2nd St. Its free. Go to nwsa.mdc.edu.A Symphony for the Hip of HearingAlthough the fantastic new Light Box at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th summer, the Miami Light Project will kick off its 2011-12 season and the ofFriday, October 7, and Saturday, October 9 with Symphony for the Dance Floor Its a great choice, combining aspects of classical music, theater, performance, and video art perfect for this particular space, which promises to highlight all of those forms in the future. A creation of South Florida native Daniel Bernard Roumain, Symphony incorpo rates the contemporary violin compositions of Roumain with hip-hop, dance, photography, and a conducting DJ. Two shows per night at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Tickets cost $20. More info at www.miamilightproject.com.En Pointe in AventuraReminding us again what a dance hub South Florida has become, from ballet and modern to hip-hop, the Arts Ballet Theatre opens its season at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.) with Harlequinade Under the direction of Russian Vladimir Issaev, the troupe concentrates on classical ballet, formed in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1900 is no exception. As an added bonus, a new ballet celebrating the life of Viennese artist Gustav Klimt will also be part of the program. On Sunday, October 9 at 5:00 p.m. Tickets cost $25. For more info, go to www.aventuracenter.org.Garcia Lorcas Dark HouseThe Spanish dramatist and poet Federico whose works are still frequently pro duced on stages all over the globe. And perhaps none is more powerful than The House of Bernarda Alba about a small-town, dictatorial mother months after Lorca completed the play, the Spanish Civil War broke out and he, along with thousands of others who opposed the fascist government of Francisco Franco, was assassinated, giving the play an extra dark edge. On Thursday, October 13 at 8:00 p.m. at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1444 Biscayne Blvd.), a version reworked by Miamis own Pulitzer Prize-winning Nilo Cruz and Karin Coonrod will be unveiled. Tickets cost $40. Go to www.arshtcenter.org.Jazz on an Autumn DayWhats a person to do when, every night starting in October, a plethora of cultural riches seems to take place in Miami-Dade? For instance, from Thursday, October 13, through Sunday, October 16 the fourth Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest will be taking place, at times so close to the sand itll burn your feet. Headliners Spyro Gyra will perform, along with Tony Madruga and the Frost School of Musics jazz septet, at Heritage Park (19200 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach) starting at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Remember to bring a blanket. Tickets are $25. There will be other concerts, including a jazz brunch on Sunday. For more info, go to www.sunnyislesbeachjazz.com.A Bed of Snow for BeethovenIn 2004 Cuban-born artist Enrique Martinez Celaya installed a work in the concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic, consist ing of a frozen, bronze bed, a painting made of tar and feathers, and a poem from Paul Celan. It was a meditation on might imagine, became a much talkedabout piece. Titled Schneebett (or Snow Bed in English), it has been donated to the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.) and will make another appearance, refrigerated bed and all, beginning on Friday, October 14 Its a sobering but typically remarkable work from an artist who now makes Miami his creative home. The exhibition, in the Anchor Gallery, runs through January 8. Visit www.miamiartmueum.org.Creepy CrawlThe woods are scary dark, and deep. Okay, forgive the manipulation of Robert Frosts verse, but that is the essence of the Arch Creek Park Ghost Tour taking place on two separate weekends, October 15 and 16 and October 28 and 29 and of course on Halloween, Monday, October 31 Be tween 7:00 and 8:00 p.m., guides will walk you through a history decidedly populated by spirits and the secrets of the natural world (including early ghost sightings) in this still incredibly wild habitat in the middle of urban North Miami. Meet at the parks museum and nature center, 1855 NE 135th St.. The cost is $6. Reservations are required, however, so call 305-944-6111. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to email@example.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Miami City Ballet Takes a Leap Fresh from its well-received Paris debut this summer, the Miami City Ballet returns to the Arsht Center to open its season on Friday, October 21, through Sunday, October 23 Program 1 this year includes: George Balanchines Square Dance (set to a Vivaldi score), Jerome Robbinss Afternoon of a Faun (Debussy), and Twyla Tharps masterwork, In the Upper Room (Glass). Performances start at 8:00 p.m.. Tickets are priced from $19 to $85, but theyre going fast, so hurry to www.arshtcenter.org. These Cups Are Always FullMen may like to gawk at women in Victorias Secret bras, but women know there is sion more than anything else a woman will wear. The ins and outs and ups and downs of the training bra, strapless bra, nursing bra, push-up bra, and the 1960s no-bra look are the inspiration for the play Cups by Joni Sherman, debuting at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.) on Wednesday, October 12 and running through Saturday, October 22 Show time is 8:00 p.m., with matinees at 2:00 p.m. on the weekends. Tickets cost $36. Go to www.aventuracenter.org. Go Fly a Kite? Of Course!Imagine thousands and thousands of colorful, undulating kites against a bright, blue South Florida sky picture perfect. Which is why the 19th annual Kitetoberfest this year on Sunday, October 23 is such a popular outing for kite enthusiasts of all ages. As the best-selling book The Kite Runner sug gested, kites are the ultimate expression of freedom and creativity. Some people come to Haulover Park (10800 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) already equipped with elaborate homemade kites. Others can buy them on site. One good thing: A breeze from the ocean is almost always present. From noon until 5:00 p.m. Check it out at www.skywardkites.com.
74 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatA Drive to Succeed6700 Block of Biscayne Boulevard It is nice to live the good life in Miami. However, sometimes your extravagance may lead you to live at the Biscayne Inn. Something is also wrong when you share the room with someone else. A man entered the unlocked door of the victims motel residence and demanded money for services. He pushed aside victims roommate and started to rummage through victims purse. He did take some money, but BT is unsure service he had provided. Supposedly he had driven victim around town for the last month. Victim claims she does not owe him anything. (Besides, why does a nice girl living in a motel need someone to drive her around town?) There is video of the man leaving the room. Maybe victim should save some money, take the bus, and move on up the Biscayne motel corridor. At least Motel Blu has a nice restaurant!And They Left the Lights On7500 Block of NE 3rd Avenue With the assistance of police, bail bondsmen pried open the door of a home looking for a subject who was missing. They were unsuccessful in locating him. However, they left the door wide open upon their departure and, as a result, the home was burglarized. The owners were informed of this via phone, as they are usually not in the area this time of year. This is what you call a lose-lose for all parties.Wannabe Sugar Daddy Sours on Miami1600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard With the weather gradually cooling off, why not come to Miami and live the life? Three people stayed at the Hilton and ran up over $1000 in charges. Two of the moochers left before paying, leaving the de facto sugar daddy to handle the bill himself. He tried to pay with a credit card, but it was declined. Since the defendant showed the inability to pay the high fees of this hotel, he was promptly arrested. Theres a lesson to be learned from this predicament: Next time, try one of the Boulevards cheaper establishments. See the aforementioned Biscayne Inn.Cigar Smoker Gets Burned900 Block of NE 2nd Avenue Two Miami opportunists approached a man smoking a cigar and asked him happy to indulge their curiosity, telling them about the intricacies of a good cigar, as if he had just stumbled out of the pages of Cigar Magazine Well the wallet of the smoker mysteriously disappeared from his pants during his cigar soliloquy. To make matters more pathetic, an hour later the victim received a phone call asking him for $500 if he ever wanted to see his wallet again. There are no leads, although police might want to Compiled by Derek McCann 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
start staking out tobacco shops in the area. Those guys are bound to put all that new cigar knowledge to work.Robbed at the Gas Pump Twice!NE 79th Street and N. Miami Avenue Pumping gas can be a nuisance, especially with panhandlers asking you for money And its only getting worse. A man was held at gunpoint at this gas station by a punk who demanded his wallet. The victim com plied and the criminal made his getaway in a burgundy Ford Taurus. Please be aware of your surroundings when pumping gas. Also, dont assume all people who drive Ameri can cars are just patriotic citizens. You might be their next victim.Yet Another Threat to the Environment5300 Block of NE 2nd Avenue A man grabbed a persons bike in an attempt to steal it. The victim approached the man and tried to hold onto his bike, but was thrown to the ground. He got up and was greeted with a punch to the face. The thief then armed himself with a metal pole and swung it in the direction of the victim, who backed off. The thief then made off with the bike. A curi ous detail: A plant apparently was damaged during this escapade when the criminal scum swung the metal pole. Is there no end to the depravity? Leave our plants alone!Too Proud to Beg, But Not to StealNE 2nd Avenue and 11th Street Yes, there are some Miamians with a heart. They see people begging for money and they want to give them their change. In this instance, a driver had his windows down when a panhandler reached into his car. Two other males came out of nowhere and grabbed the driver by the neck. They took victim was able to get away from them by hitting the accelerator. He suffered lacera tions to his face and was understandably shaken by this incident. Warning to Miam ians: Please keep your windows rolled up at all times. Even if your AC doesnt work. If you dont, youll have your face pum meled by punks. Dont be a victim!All Crack Stories Are the SameNE 3rd Avenue and 75th Street The victim told police that he was hanging out with two friends enjoying a typical September night. He also told them they were smoking crack together. Hey, in Miami, its just a lifestyle choice, right? Be open and proud. The three some got into the victims car and went for a drive. Perhaps to buy more crack for their entertainment? Victim got out of the car at one point and, when he re turned, the car was gone. His crackhead Youre Not in Kansas Anymore401 Biscayne Blvd. Some people are just dying to get into our Crime Beat column. This person was eating at a restaurant and, for some unknown reason, decided to leave his wallet on the minutes! (That might be a story in itself.) Eventually, of course, a Boulevard scoun drel stole the wallet and an obligatory police This is Miami. Unsecured valuables will be taken from you every single time. The Fuzz Ruined His Buzz6200 Block of NE 2nd Avenue Police spotted a man drinking a can of beer while riding his bike. They stopped pulled out his wallet, a bag of marijuana fell to the ground. He was, of course, ar rested. He really wanted those three free meals at the county jail, didnt he?Friends Dont Let Friends Drive Their Cars at All6900 Block of Biscayne Boulevard You dont want your friends to drive drunk, right? Well, how about not letting them drive your car at all? A woman lent her car to a friend and this friend parked it at a gas station. The problem is that thew friend left the car running. Youre probably a veteran Crime Beat reader. Do we really have to tell you what happened next? Yep. Gone.Good Tenants Are So Hard to Find400 Block of NE 32nd Street A landlord noticed that the walls of one of his supposedly empty apartments a television and bedding inside one of the rooms. Police told him he had squat was a poor mans way of signing a lease. Feedback: email@example.com 6301 Biscayne Blvd Ste 103 Miami, FL 33138 P 305.756.8070 Collection designed, cut, & sewn in house. Custom make your holiday outfit!
76 Columnists: PARK PATROLHeaven Is a PlaygroundNorth Miamis Keystone Park honors one young mans memory, while giving others a place to call their ownBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWhen your only child dies young, there is nothing to it. But one local couple in this situation has found a way to give their late son a Park. A donation by his parents led to Bobby was active locally in park young resident of the City of North enjoyed bicycle rides, skateboarding, ball, and you can believe that Bobby is playground area and under an oak tree twisted wood, with an inscription to indicates that it was dedicated four days reation building in its center looks like a ketball and handball here, take ballet lessons, and even pay for a phone call. historical relic we used to call a pay phone. snap because of its location one block east of Biscayne Boulevard and behind the store). Visit the place at see working people walking into the park to have lunch. The best spots for lunch are the shaded picnic tables at the playground. This tot Another interesting feature of the This freestanding, plastic circle on stilts Ballet classes start again soon, on ber. Three divisions serve ballerinas nonresidents. KEYSTONE POINT PARK13050 Ixora Ct. North Miami 305-893-0521 Hours: One hour after sunrise Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No Night lighting: Swimming pool: No Park Rating 13050 Ixora Ct. 305-893-0521 Tennis courts: BT photos by Jim W. Harper Keystone Point ParkNE 18th AveUS 1 Ixora Rd Ixora RdIxora Ct
Part of the playground is labeled Elementary Town. On the basketball court, a sign reads, Profanity = Technical Foul. Please be respectful of others at play. Adjacent to the playground, the fencedin court has two hoops and a green and maroon color scheme that gives it the appearance of a tennis court sans net. This little park has everything (assuming the voice of Saturday Night Live character Stefan): a Dasani machine in a cage, a blue man on a bicycle, a baroque trash can, a yellow merry-goround, a hopscotch pattern on rubber, a wheelchair ramp, and (gasp!) parking spaces. Sometimes it even has little ones screaming, Gooooooooal! On the down side, the basketball court tends to collect litter in the form has a sign that reads, No team sports But an exception must be made for the regulation soccer, but large enough to toss a Frisbee. While small trees dot the The park may not be much to look at in size, but the scope of its features is impressive. Somehow it even managed to squeeze in some native plants and interesting landscaping around the building. Space is not wasted. Keystone Park also covers time. Plaques memorialize people who have passed, kids on the court battle in the present, and the miniature ballerinas and soccer players represent our future. Soon there will be a new plaque. The parents of Bobby picked the right place for his energy to live on. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org A little hoops humor delivers a pertinent The rec center could pass for a single-family Photo courtesy City of North Miami
78 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETSDog Days of SS u mmerHow my canines and I rode out Hurricane Irene on Long Island By Lisa Hartman BT ContributorI had decided a few years ago to leave South Florida in the icky sticky days of summer and head back to my roots in New York to wait out the hottest days of the year. Little did I know that terrible summer weather and other convulsions of nature would start hitting Long Island when I was there. Last summer we had a tornado come through the Hamptons and, earlier this summer, we felt the earthquake that rocked Virginia. I was driving in my car with my dogs in the Springs section of East Hampton to meet a friend for lunch. The ride on that stretch of Three Mile Harbor Road seemed extremely rough and bumpy. Thugthumpthugthumpthugthump. I thought, Wow, could the state of the roads here get any worse? After sitting down at my table, I learned the truth: We had experienced a rather strong earthquake. That stretch of Three Mile Harbor Road heading home was smooth as always. A day or so after this, we heard about Hurricane Irene churning in the Caribbean. There was no need to worry, though, as we were far from South Florida. But a few days later the story changed: She was heading straight for New York Long Island, to be exact. As the storm made its way up the Eastern Seaboard, the number-one threat appeared to be that Irene would hit us during high tide. The land was already saturated and they (those powers that be) thought all the tunnels, New York City subways, and many parts
evacuation process started, and people in The funny part is that, since many New Yorkers had never been through a hurricane, they werent worried in the sentiment of many, including my friend Maggie, who said she would stay to pump out her basement! So my summer neighbor and new the fear of God and hurricanes in Jodi supposed to, but wouldnt deny anyone Of course, the next day, as the storm gloom and doom took over the neighborFireman Billy said that now that things looked more serious, the and he would be placing the area under problem was that, by noon, they would also be shutting down all subways, tun nels, and bridges no way out! But he said that the community college in Riv to load supplies in my truck dog food, lots of water, phone, computer, charger, name tags on dogs and in the afternoon and the storm wasnt the ASPCA is fully capable of handling called my friend Bryan for the number tried several other hotels, but all were booked, as it was wedding season and also the week heading into the Labor from other dog-owning families who made getting the dogs in and out a style motel, with piped-in lounge music like that they didnt give a discount to residents of the area and charged a pet beachfront location in Montauk to catch time buffet breakfast for their customers; in case they lost power, they wanted to and also charged two dollars a cup for coffee in the lobby, which again irked me since we were all battening down the hotel had a covered walkway that made it pretty easy to walk the dogs before lines were down everywhere, as if a CatLisa Hartman is a dog-friendly trainer, behavior specialist, and author of Dial a Dynamite Dog. You can reach her at email@example.com, or visit www.pawsitivelypetsonline.com. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
80 Tis the Season to Be GreenA few ideas for making your holidays more Earth-friendlyBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorGrandma got run over by a reinhormonally raging reindeer. As the heaping-portion holidays ap and the planet while celebrating the births saviors wrapped in non-processed linen. But going a little natural is not enough. Halloween: You must dress up as planet Earth and sweat profusely to portray the effects of global warming. This costume must consist of 100-percent orinjured in the making of this costume. Thanksgiving: Toss out the turkey use the hide to create the ultimate gift for Christmas: a homemade alligator purse. in China. (Good luck with that.) Maybe we need to rethink what we celebrated in clean and green fashion. fretting about trying to do everything and every celebration in excess. tips and ideas for greening the holidays: How can we do plentiful without doing wasteful? Here are a few to get us started. costume exchange. Organize one at your school and see what people dig out of their closets. (Just keep it rated PG.) Besides to be reused instead of being dumped after only one Halloween. And those Recalled Mayor costume at Target! Treats may be the trickiest part to not to take candy from strangers unless it is store-sealed. So purchase candy with limited and preferably paper packaging. To limit the use of processed sugar from sugar plantations a major reason why $20 billion is being spent to restore the Everglades try honey. Local honey can be purchased at some stores and Decorations? Go with local fruits stead of the petroleum-based and robotcreated stuff found in stores. Go bobbing for guavas. Think corn and gourds for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. on NE 127th Street. (Would you settle for goat skulls?) Getting an organic pumpkin may patches. Try growing one for next year. Pumpkins are very eco-friendly decorathrow that dead pumpkin in the trash! an intermediary becomes necessary. The cleanest marketplace option is also the most expensive: an organically fed and pastured turkey. A pastured fowl means and cruel indoors. These can be ordered from community-run distributors. (See menu from there. You can still support our northern farmers by making homeket ingredients. Plant some herbs and arugula now and they will be ready for a salad in November. After turkey day comes the next Those who insist on rushing into that mad ness must enjoy credit-card debt. One way to pay it off and pay it forward: drive less. Christmas means toys and gifts and cookies and music. It used to mean A Charlie Brown Christmas Certainly and complicated as the advertisers and retailers would have us believe. A Miami Christmas should never be white not even for Scarface. But we can be joyous and responpalm or pine tree would be ideal. Even many of these farms function sustainseller how to recycle the used tree. Wrap up those gifts in used newspaper comics or paper grocery bags. Better year I received adoption papers from the manatee Lucille continues to inspire me. much. Now e-mail me the green gift of your holiday ideas. Send your tips and clever ideas to: email@example.com. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY AA ll Fun, A A ll N N ightSlumber parties havent changed much since we were kidsBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorA little math lesson: Seven sevenyear-old girls plus 15 hours equals two exhausted parents. The last of those girls was just retrieved by her well-rested parents, and overnight I have developed a newfound respect for my own parents. How did they manage my countless slumber parties unscarred, with no gray hairs, and still end up liking most of my friends? grade girliness. There was giggling, junk food consumption, screaming, movies, more giggling, dancing, secrets, pillow I knew it would be tough to top the petting zoo we had in our front yard last year for Matildas sixth birthday party, dear readers are undoubtedly thinking. seven My simple answer is, yes, I am crazy. Like a fox. slumber party is dark, creepy, and sad. I remember aching for my mom and crying on a staircase while the other little girls played in their sleeping bags. My mom swooped in for a rescue before I even realized anyone had called her. My slumber party experiences evolved from the macabre to the marvelous as I grew older. Late-night interests progressed from playing house to playing light as a feather, stiff as a board. I remember the Ouija board spelling out But for the life of me, I cant remember a single thing we talked about. How do you forget what was so important that we drove my parents crazy each time they had to come in to tell us to be quiet? Its time to go to sleep. Guys, it is very late. Seriously, if I hear another word out of you animals, parents will be called I dont care if its 2:00 a.m.! I honed my superpowered mom ears to jog my own childhood memories. The results were rather disappointing, frankly. Subject matter for the late-night chatter ran the gamut from where parents worked to what little brothers ate. I did overhear one girl tell another that she ate poison regularly and another say that her mom My husband says boys didnt have slumber parties when he was young. sleepovers ally with just one other kid. We wouldnt do anything crazy, either. Just play Atari truth to this, as I cant see a group of seven boys staying up all night giggling with Barbie or dance-partying to husband and his friends have watched the late hours). My house was never a good slumber party location because my mom had ears like a bat, no secret would go unheard, and if she didnt get enough sleep, she turned into an ogre. My standout memory of a slumber party at my house involves my dad running into my room in his tighty-whities and yelling at us so this made quite an impression on my young friends. All of that aside, well into my college years, my mom would make elaborate breakfasts after our raucous sleepovers. My friends would always wake up before me and join my mom in the kitchen as she whipped Hollandaise way of making my friends think she was our secrets. Little did they know my mom was formulating calculated decisions for my future based upon their still sleepy-eyed chatter. My friends would all have made horrible CIA agents. Matilda and her posse of seven-yearolds partook in no talk of crushes or sations the girls had with me while I toes were hilarious, though. Here are some choice nuggets: Little brothers are a pain, Portuguese is hard, Beefaroni is the best school lunch, Beefaroni is the worst school lunch, and playing the violin can be boring. I was convinced that if I let them self-entertain, things would get all Lord of the Flies so I skillfully choreographed the evening chock-full of activities. By 9:00 p.m. we had completed everything on my extensive list. They sang karaoke pretty good), decorated cupcakes, played Twister, dress-up, and makeover, and danced like disco queens. My husband and I survived the slumber party and, while we are delirious from sleep deprivation, we are thankful that our daughter has such a well-behaved group of girlfriends. Plus we got a good introduction to ghost stories, fashion shows, frozen bras, sneaking out, and overall mayhem. Feedback: email@example.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
82 Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorThere are few things in life you can count on. Death, taxes. The other line moves faster. Politicians lie. Network TV sucks. Caesar salad is eternal. Free beer tomorrow. For the casual wine drinker with a moderately adventurous palate and a moderately strip-mined pocketbook, there are few wines you can count on. whites you like and drink them over and over and over. But thats about as much fun as eating Caesar salad at every meal while watching politicians lie about death and taxes on network TV. And still having to pay for your beer. At all price points, but especially the ones those of us of more modest incomes inhabit, theres a wide range of styles and quality. Which means if Cabernet you like, the next one could be a vodka-strength, grape-jelly fruit bomb. Or as thin as Mary-Kate Olsen and as tightly wound as Dick Cheney. Its almost enough to make you long for the continuity and consistency of beer, free or not. There are a few wines that show a certain consistency. New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. Spanish Riojas. Italian Chiantis. Sonoma County Zinfandels. This isnt an argument for cookie-cutter wines. Its just that there are times we dont want to drink the same ol, same ol, the wine-buying cliff, either. All of which brings me to the wines of the Rhne. Like all French wine-grow complicated, so lets just say its an area of almost 200,000 acres in the Rhne River Valley of southeastern France. The southern Rhne, where most of the re gions best wines originate, has a Mediter ranean climate warm days, cool nights which suits the predominant grapes of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, and Cinsault (red), and Ugni Blanc, Rous sanne, and Clairette (white). What all this means in your glass is nins and acid, and crisp whites mellowed by sun-ripened fruit. And while varietal blends, ripeness, alcohol levels, tanRhne wine that speaks to you, you can And in fact, I did. Every wine in this tasting spoke to me, one of the few times thats happened. Two wines, though, spoke louder than others. Both bear the regions primary appellation, Ctes du Rhne, encompassing areas in both the north and south. The 2009 M. Chapoutier Belleruche is simply luscious, delivering heady aromas of ripe blackberries and plums, with hints of toast and white pepper, then gradually opening up in the glass to reveal more rich, ripe fruit, a bit of cloves and allspice, a little oak, a lot of body. Hearty stews, red meat, and tomato-sauced pastas would be happy to share the table with this wine. On the white side, the 2009 Cave de Rasteau Les Rastellains is not only a a touch of richness Meyer lemon and melon and peach. And throw in a mineral undercurrent, too. Its got the brightness to cut through rich sauces and the body to stand up to lighter meats like chicken and veal. Two other Ctes du Rhne reds hit softer, earthier notes with the addi tion of Mourvedre, a grape said to have been brought to France from Spain. The Jean-Luc Colombo 2007 Les Abeilles kicks off with potent aromas of blackber ries, cassis, and dried fruit, which segue into milder strawberry-raspberry fruit enache, which accounts for 50 percent of the blend. The Perrin 2007 Reserve is pretty much the same, with strawberryforeground and earthy, dried adding substance and heft. Within the Rhne region, but not the Ctes du Rhne appellation, are a pair of whites. The 2009 Chateau de Nages Reserve is a 60-40 blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, which gives it a refreshing lemon-grapefruit character, with the tiniest hint of honey lurking underneath and a pronounced minerality. La Vieille Fermes 2010 Recolte with a palate that balances tart lemonmelon and an almost creamy texture. At still better than beer. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org These Rhones Will Make Everything RightRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less
Columnists: YOUR GARDEN AA Fungi FeastWild mushrooms that grow locally can make for good eating so long as theyre not poisonousBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorThis past year I started a database in our local area. With all the rain we have gotten lately, Ive had the opportunity to photograph and attempt to identify dozens of species. My original focus had been to saprobic (living on already dead wood, including mulch), parasitic (destroying live wood in trees), or a combination of were mycorrhizal attached to the roots of trees and other plants in a symbiotic relationship where nutrients and water are exchanged between the two organisms. Some species of fungi that attack trees are very insidious and can enter the trees vascular system via fungal spores through wounds where branches have just been cut. Roots that have been cut or damaged can be penetrated by the myce lium (body) of the fungus as it literally grows into the root. A fungus can remain unnoticed for years while destroying the sound wood, eventually affecting a trees stability and strength. It is these fungi that I was really interested in documenting. While researching our local fungi, I soon began to realize that some of these species are edible not just nonpoison ous, but choice or delicious edibles. The fruiting bodies of these fungi are the mushrooms that we see in our landscapes. Ive been extremely careful with the when I am going to eat them. Some of the poisonous species Ive found can look quite similar to edible ones. Some are very colorful and eye-catching. Warn your children never to taste any collecting, I send samples to the University of Florida TREC Plant Diagnostic Clinic in Homestead to let a professional mycologist (fungi specialist) determine the species. One of the mushrooms we have been dining on at home is Agaricus campestris or the meadow mushroom. It is found in lawns and mulch beds, where it lives off decaying wood (making it saprobic). This mushroom is closely related and looks very similar to the cultivated button mushroom that you purchase in the super market, although I have collected some meadow mushrooms that were eight to ten inches wide much larger than the button mushroom. I sent off two batches of samples just to make sure I had a posi After being sauted in olive oil with onions, garlic, Italian parsley, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper, they were placed atop some nice steaks. Delicious. An added (and many others) is its crude protein content, which ranks below animal meat but well above most other foods, including milk. Edible mushrooms are also typically high in carbohydrates, moderate in crude of fungi we are preparing at home is Auricu laria auricula, or jelly ear. The fruiting body of this particular species does not look like and looks and feels very much like part of an ear cartilaginous, and not very appetizing. room ever cultivated in China (600 A.D.) and it remains one of the most popular edible mushrooms there. It is used in Asian cuisine for its crisp, snappy texture and its color, rather than its taste. It is also said to have a high nutritional value. Ive been collecting this fungus from decaying branches attached to living trees. Recently I found several clumps on gumbo limbo trees and on decayin the photo that accompanies this column. Mushrooms generally have to be harvested within one or two days of maturing to preserve the maximum mushrooms or those I cultivate, I dont have enough for a meal or perhaps there is no time to cook them. Ive been using a food dehydrator with great results. the stems, and slice them into sections. The moisture content of fresh mush rooms varies from 70 to 95 percent and, when dehydrated, the moisture is around 10 percent or perhaps a bit more. Keeping the moisture below 20 percent should keep mold and insects at bay. I harvest ed some of my homegrown oyster mushrooms several weeks ago and placed them directly into the dehydrator. I removed them in 24 hours and put them into an airtight container. When needed, they were easily rehydrated and we cooked them along with fresh oyster mush rooms just purchased from a local supermar ket. There was no difference in taste. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski 305.246.0200rffn tfbrrfrrrfr nrrrftb
84 International Airport and then fell into a When Winton was removed from him with another Coconut Grove resident: Linda Haskins, previously the the mayor helped Haskins raise a staggering $729,000 in campaign contributions, Sarnoffs reform and controlleddevelopment platform enabled him to trounce her with just half the money in a November 2006 special election. Since his election, Sarnoff spearhead ed a 35-foot height limit along Biscayne Boulevard in the Upper Eastsides Miami Modern Historic District, and curtailed closing times for bars in the Grove, creat ing sharp divisions in both communities. Other controversial moves include advocating for outdoor advertisements along I-95, and pushing for lucrative criticize their bloated salaries. Yet Sarnoff still has plenty of fans. Jack Spirk, past president of the Shorecrest Homeowners Association, credits the commissioner for initiating a major roads project in his neighborhood, and for spear heading the purchase of property along the Little River, known as Manatee Bend, for a public park. Every time we meet with Marc, says Spirk, he listens to our con cerns and responds to our requests. Bob Powers, president of the Palm Grove Homeowners Association in the Upper Eastside, also thinks Sarnoff has done an excellent job representing a constituency with widely differing interests. Now, have I had disagreements with him? Absolutely! Powers exclaims. I have not liked all the things the man has done all the time. I am not in love with him all the time, but I am not supposed to be. Thats life. A District 2 candidates forum, moderated by former county manager Merrett Stierheim, will take place on October 21 at Legion Park, 6447 NE 7th Ave. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. For more information, contact the League of Women Voters, 305-666-0186. Feedback: email@example.com 5580 NE 4th Ct. Miami, FL 33137305-751-7591 SERIOUSLY ORIGINAL Upgradeable Upgradeable Upgradeable Volatile VotersContinued from page 52
Tri-Rail. The FEC, which is interested in bidding, claims it can operate Tri-Rail for $10 million less than the state. The company would use that leftover subsidy money to jumpstart passenger service on its own coastal line. An east-west connection between the two systems could commuter rail service. Other companies, such as Richard Bransons Virgin Trains, the Palm Beach Post goes on to say, are rumored to be interested in bidding too, so an FEC-dominated rail network in South Florida is not guaranteed. But, says FDOTs Goddeau, FEC is an operator which would surely love to, if they privatize Tri-Rail, get that money and run trains on Tri-Rail and then also their own trains on the FEC. Privatization, she notes, seems to be the way were trending as a state. Impatient for the arrival of pasput forward his own local, interim plan. Two months ago Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez proposed running a hybrid train/trolley system on the FEC from Midtown to downtown Miami. Suarezs trolley trains would have rubber wheels to allow them to transition from rails to city streets (presumably at Biscayne Boulevard). The future of that proposal depends in large part on cooperation from the City of Miami. Whether the FEC would welcome Suarezs trolleys on their newly revived freight line and future passenger corridor remains to be seen. This much is certain: Several years worth of planning and fund-seeking still lay ahead. Back in 2009, rail study consultant Sue Gibbons cautioned, In the very best of circumstances, its going to be six years or more before we actually have service running anywhere on this corridor and probably many more years than that before the whole plan is implemented. That timeline, which FDOT conCorridor residents with four more years to dream. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org First CargoContinued from page 54
86 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 Americaninspired) 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. $$$$$Area 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multipart dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruiseship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mixand-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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. $$$bistro e 485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373A full power lunch from a Michelin-starred chef for $15? Sounds unbelievable, but youll find just such a daily spe cial (like corn/jalapeo soup, a grilled-cheese BLT, airy cheesecake, and a pint of beer) at bistro e, daytime name for Michael Psilakis dinner-only new Aegean eatery Eos. The name change emphasizes lunchtimes wholly different, globally influenced menu. Among la carte temptations: pork belly tacos, a Korean BBQ prawn salad, or a brisket/gruyere sandwich with dipping juice. Breakfast, too, from 6:30 a.m. $$-$$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$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. $$$-$$$$$Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442 The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ 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 truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$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 miniburgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no low-rent 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. $$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 286. MIAMI Bryan in the Kitchen 104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/ grain salads and homemade-from-scratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Kork Wine & Cheese Bar 2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, formerly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$Pieducks 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly charblistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/delivery-only Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$ Ming Yuan 3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ Pieducks 3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing) The Wine Market 908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$ Open Kitchen 1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chefcentered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (exCasa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$rf ntntbnf nttnf tnt ff t tf fnf fff
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88 Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT SEternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981 Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Eos 485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Unlike their Michelin-starred New Adriatic restaurant Anthos, in Manhattan, this venture of chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia has influences ranging way beyond Greece to the whole Mediterranean region, and even Latin America. Unchanged is Psilakis solid creativity, and a beautiful sense of balance that makes even very unfamiliar combinations taste accessible. So skip the safe stuff and go for the luxuriantly custardy, egg yolk-enriched lobster and sea urchin risotto, or any raw seafood item, especially the unique marlin with pistachio, apricot, and house-cured speck. $$$-$$$$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeostudded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ 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 sau sage 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 home made 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. $-$$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its expe riencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; home made pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Fresco California Bistro 1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food onto its menu. To the familiar Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like TexMex but more health conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistros especially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$ 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 popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave., 305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamicdressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hardboiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$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. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultra-upscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Indigo / Table 40 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000Long known for its power-lunch buffet -including hot entres, carving station, custom pastas, packedto-the-gills salad, sushi, and dessert stations -the InterContinental Hotels Indigo restaurant now has a hip offspring intended for private dining: Table 40. The charming, glassed-in wine cellar (actually in the kitchen) enables 12-14 diners to watch the action in heat-shielded, soundproofed comfort while eating creations by veteran chef Alexander Feher, combining Continental technique with local seasonal ingredients. Highlights: tender housesmoked, stout-braised short ribs; lavish lobster salad with grilled mango; and a seductive fresh corn gazpacho. $$$-$$$$$ Iron Sushi 120 SE 3rd Ave., 305-373-2000(See Miami Shores listing)Jackson Soul Food 950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710 With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/ comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Largo Bar & Grill 401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706 Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge 68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/ vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$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 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. $-$$ La Provence 1064 Brickell Ave., 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$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 charcuterie 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. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/ pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with dailychanging fillings. $-$$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. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/ salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088 Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-andpepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ 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. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the me nu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$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 casually 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/ pita-garnished 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 aficionados 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
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining expe rience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habane ro-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$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 souschef 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 spe cialties, 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, openair courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, panAsian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/ habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ 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? $$Thai Angel 152 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9748Inside a colorful courtyard that rather resembles Munchkinland, this downtown insiders secret serves serious Thai food till 9:00 p.m. daily. Tasty classics like the four curries (red, green, panang, and massaman) come custom-spiced -mild to authentically brain-searing -and are so affordable theres no guilt in splurging on superb house specials like crisp-coated duck or fresh snapper (whole or filleted) in tamarind sauce. The young chef has a heavenly hand at tofu, too, so vegetarians are very well-served. $$ 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 meatsmoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Waxy OConnors 690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$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! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ 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 espe cially, 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/eggenriched gazpacho) truly take your taste buds on a trip to Andalucia. On weekends, food is served till 4:00 a.m. $$$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$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, prosciutto 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 casually 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. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continu ously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$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. $-$$ Cafeina 297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ 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 reno vated 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. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the curedham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$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. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places selfservice caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$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/vinegarflavored 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 oldschool 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. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S Delicias Peruanas 2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as it was at the nearby original Delicias, run by members of the same family. The food is as tasty as ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mammoth jalea platter. As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado and tallerin verde. $$Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022 While 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. $$$ Egyptian Pizza Kitchen Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050Pizza, pita -hey, theyre both flatbreads. So while many pizzas do indeed, as this halal places name suggests, have initially weird-seeming Middle Eastern toppings, its really not surprising that the Giza (topped with marinated lamb, feta, olives, peppers, and pungently spiced cumin sauce) works at least as well as Italian classics. Additionally the menu includes interesting Middle Eastern fare like foul, a hummus-like but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$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. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Ave., 305-571-8341No green-leaf faux health food here. You get what the name says, period, with three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are made fresh upon order. Available in double or one-patty sizes, theyre well-done but spurtingly juicy, and after loading with your choice of free garnishes, even a little burger makes a major meal. Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes. $Fratelli Lyon 4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-2901This Italian caf has been packed since the moment it opened. No surprise to any who recall owner Ken Lyons pioneering Lyon Frres gourmet store on Lincoln Road (1992-97), another joint that was exactly what its neighborhood needed. The restaurants artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful boutique olive oils, and more are so outstanding that you cant help wishing it also had a retail component. Entres include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like Venetian-style calves liver, rarely found outside Italy. $$$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. $-$$ The Girrrlz of Sandwich 555 NE 15th St., 2nd floor (Venetia condo) 305-374-4305Riot Grrrl DIY spirit shines in the homemade soups, sweets, salads, and exceptionally tasty warm baguette sandwiches (like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, dressed with a unique sumac vinaigrette) at this concealed caf, hidden on the Venetia condos mezzanine. Owners Ana Oliva and Fadia Sarkis scour local markets daily for the freshest of ingredients, and their breads (plus light-crusted empanadas and sinful Ghirardelli chocolate cake) are all baked in-house. On Saturdays the grrrlsll even deliver you an elegant (yet inexpensive) breakfast in bed. $Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat bone less wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/ herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ 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 crio llo 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. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a fivebuck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$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. Entre-size 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 richtasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include lowcarb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$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 weekdayonly 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, chipotledrizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemoncrusted 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. $$-$$$
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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, 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 fresh-baked 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 dog-friendly, 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 fastcasual 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-forone 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. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Sustain 3252 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-424-9079Is it possible for a restaurant to be sincerely ecoconscious without being self-righteousness? It is at this casual/chic restolounge, where dedication to local, sustainable food comes with considerable humor. Fare includes playful items like wet fries (with mouthwatering gravy), corn dogs, housemade soft pretzels with mustard and orange blossom honey, and a Mile Salad that seems almost like a game show in its challenge: All ingre dients must come from within a 50-mile radius. At brunch dont miss the glazed sin-a-buns. $$-$$$$ Tapas y Tintos 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$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 Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found else where 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. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959Neither man nor woman can live by bread alone. But art alone doesnt do the trick, either. Father-daughter development visionaries Tony and Jessica Goldman satisfy the full range of life needs by combining cuisine from master chef Marco Ferraro with works from master street artists, in one venue -that fits perfectly into its gritty artistic neighborhood. Here Ferraro eschews his upscale Wish fare for simple yet inspired small plates (crisp, chilidusted artichoke hearts with tart/rich yuzu aioli; mellow veal sausages enlivened by horseradish sauce; etc.) ideal for work or gallery-walk breaks. $$-$$$Upper EastsideAmerican Noodle Bar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-396-3269For us personally, a three-word Homer Simpson review says it: Bacon sauce! Mmmm But responsibly, the chef/owner of this casual, counter-service Vietnamese fusion cheap eats joint is Michael Bloise, formerly execu tive chef of Wish, one of South Beachs most glamorous. At his own anti-establishment place, customers customize. Seven bucks will get you a bowl of thick, charmingly chewy noodles, plus one of nine sauces (smoked lobster, lemon grass, brown sugar/ginger, bacon) and ten toppings (recommended: slow-roasted duck, sweet Chinese sausage). Also enjoy cheeseburger dumplings, banh mi subs, house made fruit sodas, beer or wine, and attitude-free fun. $Andiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside car wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station which means ditching the car (in the complexs free lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no problem even if youre not getting your vehicle cleaned while consuming the brick-oven pies (from a flaming open oven) that are this popular pizzerias specialty, along with executive chef Frank Cr upis famed Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Also available are salads and panini plus reasonably priced wines and beers, including a few unusually sophisticated selections like Belgiums Hoegaarden. $$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 croquettes 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
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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 creamy-centered 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 altculture 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: crevette 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 (considered 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-gar nished 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 AfroCaribbean 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 sin-free 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. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014 Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a timetrip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$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 restau rant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd.305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And ricebased plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$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, familyfriendly 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 lemoncaper-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 neargreaseless 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,
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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. $$$UVA 69 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Owned and operated by brothers Michael and Sinuh Vega, this casual outdoor/indoor Euro-caf and lounge has helped to transform the Boulevard into a hip place to hang out. Lunch includes a variety of salads and elegant sandwiches like La Minuta (beer-battered mahi-mahi with cilantro aioli and caramelized onions on housemade foccacia). Dinner features a range of small plates (poached figs with Gorgonzola cheese and honey balsamic drizzle) and full entres like sake-marinated salmon with boniato mash and Ponzu butter sauce, and crispy spinach. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery 646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Bocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$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. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi cre ations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Shuckers Bar & Grill 1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570Cheap eats and a million-dollar view is the sound bite manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates from South Beachs late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-yourshoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$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 bacon-garnished 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. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kidfriendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$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? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club 10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ 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
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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. $$-$$$ Los 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. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hot-smoked salmon and veggie plates. There are also creative comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads, and sweets. Sides include refreshing slaw; beans studded with burnt ends (the most intensely flavored outer barbecue chunks); and sweet potato or chipotlespiced fries. The cost is comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Bulldog Burger 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655Despite Miamis burger bar overload, this one from Howie Kleinberg, adjacent to his BBQ joint, stands out thanks to toppings like candied bacon, caramelized banana jam, and mayo thats flavored, like Southern red-eye gravy, with strong coffee. Bravehearts race for the infamous Luther burgers components -cheddar, bacon, fried onion, secret sauce, and a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut bun; calories are more than double a Big Macs. And the thin-sliced, thickly crunch-crusted, deep-fried jalapeos will keep you coming back for more, should you live past the first order. $$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. $$ Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ 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. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickleonion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are handcut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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. $$Happy Sushi & Thai 2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165 Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun 2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$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. $$$Mama Jennies 11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$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. $$
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT SPetit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$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 protein 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. $-$$Yes Pasta! 14871 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At this fast/casual Italian eatery, the specialty is mixand-match. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (whole wheat and gluten-free options available), then one of 15 sauces. Our personal pick is carbonara, correctly creamy-coated (via egg thickening, not cream overload); Bolognese is a wise choice for those who like sauces rich and red. Many options exist for vegetarians and pescatarians as well as carnivores, all clearly coded on the menu. $$ Bamboo 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 Chinese-American 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. $Cholos 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. $-$$Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $Duffys Sports GrillIntracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124 Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$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. $-$$
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT SKabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veggarnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly freshtasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmo spheric 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. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-thanaverage selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ 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 woodfired 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 fast-food 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. $$$Miami Prime Grill 16395 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5101Dont be confused by the name, suggesting a steakhouse. Its really a reinvented sports bar, which has been packing in more varied crowds than the average man-cave by offering more varied food and entertainment options. No worries, sports fanatics. For you theres an astonishing array of high-def TVs plus all sports snacks known to mankind. But food fans should check out the special deals on full meals, offered daily. Our favorite day: Thursday, which hosts both Ladies Night (free drinks for us!) and Lobster Night (a Maine lobster plus two sides for $16). $$-$$$ New China Buffet 940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-in-blankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai 14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eyeopening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chilitopped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$PK Oriental Mart 255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and whole roast ducks hanging, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall) 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a soundbite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coal-oven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$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 Carnegiestyle 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 handsliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite 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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$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. $-$$ Sushi House 15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tunas Raw Bar and Grille 17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a newly impressive selection of raw-bar specialties: cold-water oysters from the Northeast, plus Blue Points, Malpecs, Island Creeks, and more. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S midnight, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin 73 NE 167th St. 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$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. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta your way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. Asia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/ shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ 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. $$$ The Palm 9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butterdoused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will pre pare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$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 unusu ally 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. $$Bella Luna 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330 If the menu here looks familiar, it should. Its nearly identical to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Caf and, with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billantes eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface. But no argu ment from here. In a mall a setting more accustomed to food court dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$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. $$$ Heavy Burger 19004 NE 29th Ave., 305-932-7555Sure, South Beach is our towns burger capital, if youre judging by high profile. But if creativity is what counts, no joint bangs a gong like homeboy Mark Panunzios place, where the concept is: Nothing goes together better than heavyweight burgers and heavy-metal music. What rocks us: a fire-grilled, 10 oz. Motley Burger (with cheddar, applewood bacon, tomato, Bibb lettuce, and frizzled plus raw onions on a challah roll; upon request, chipotle aioli was cheerfully substituted for BBQ sauce). Get hand-cut cheese fries, too, and get wasted on craft beer. $$ 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, Americanized-Cantonese 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 supersleek, circa 1930s cruise ship ambiance would suggest, is more like the tranquil trans-Atlantic crossings of slowerpaced 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. $$$-$$$$$Pilar 20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma 19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New Yorkstyle pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$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 Thai-inspired 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) rfntbrbrffnnfbnbrbr rrffrrntbtn
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
Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S BAYSIDE: 650 NE 68 STREET Asking Price: $425,000 Historic 4 BD/3 BA home built in 1903 filled with character & charm! Indoor/outdoor living at its best: 4 porches, private 9,000 SF lot with heated saltwater pool & jacuzzi. Master BD suite with new spa-quality BA & huge custom mastercloset. 2-zone central A/C, newer roof, plumbing, electric & windows. Marcy Kaplan & Lori Brandt | 786.543.5755 email@example.com rfff fnnttt bbnPARK WEST: 697 N MIAMI AVENUE Asking Price: $4,150,000 Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 firstname.lastname@example.org MIDTOWN: 29-31 NE 29 STREET Asking Price: $5,600,000 Jane Russell, PA | 305.571.9991 email@example.com WYNWOOD: 2110 N MIAMI AVENUE Asking Price: $3,890,000 or $61 PSF Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 firstname.lastname@example.org NORTH MIAMI: 12345 W. DIXIE HWY. Reduced Price: $849,000 Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 email@example.com ART DISTRICT: 1729 NORTH MIAMI AVE Lease Price: $13.50 mod gross Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 firstname.lastname@example.org BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 2700 BISCAYNE BLVD Asking Price: $20 PSF NNN Ruben Matz | 786.290.8815 email@example.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 5974 NE 4TH AVE Asking Price: $5,200/month per bay Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 firstname.lastname@example.org HIALEAH: 651 W 20 STREET Reduced Price: $2,490,000 or $31 PSF Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 email@example.com WYNWOOD: 85 NE 27TH STREET For Sale: $3,750,000 | For Lease: $13.50 PSF Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 firstname.lastname@example.org MIDTOWN: 3500 NW 3RD AVENUE Drastically Reduced Price: $399,000 Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 email@example.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 8101 BISCAYNE BLVD Price Available Upon Request Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 firstname.lastname@example.org bWYNWOOD: 2921 NW 6TH AVENUE Asking Price: $3,100 per month Jane Russell | 305.799.7436 email@example.com