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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00059
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Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Creation Date: November 2011
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Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE IN THIS ISSUE128 Advertisers! p. 26 291 Restaurants! p. 88 104 Pages: Biggest Ever! INTO THE FIREThe new, high-tech Miami Culinary Institute aims to transform teaching while elevating the whole city P. 30 November 2011 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 9 Issue 9

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C ZCARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE PPARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb rfnt ftbrnfr rntbnbt frffr rfn rfn ft fb nrtfr ffr fntfrff tbntn fff ttf tbttfnf P C K Z C C C Cfrn nfnt btbn ntf btrtnt tft C fnfr tb ttfff fr ff frbt btb ffrff fbfn ft fnfftn tbt nftbftf f C C trfnt t tbfrtf rnfrtbft rn tff ftbtr ttbf fbfnf tbtbnb tbfrn rftn tbftft btt nt fff ffnt nftnt rf tftft fntbtfb ftb nfnf fbf tbftf nftbftf nbft f Z Z C C C Z K C C C Z Z K rfntbr ntrr r r rttrrtr CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERrfnffrtbtnrffb rff rnnttbrftrt br rtr frrtff rr t rfnntbt

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The Darin Feldman Group Majestic Properties #1 Top Producer www.darinfeldmanrealtor .com305 582 6200dfeldman@majesticproperties.com TEN MUSEUM PARK 1040 Biscayne Blvd.#4207 2,566 SQ FT 2 BD + Den / 3 BA Offered @ $1.289M FISHER ISLAND OASIS 1,834 SQ FT 2 BD / 2.5 BA Offered @ $1.25M MAGNIFICENT MID BEACH HOME 4331 Sheridan Ave. 2,390 SQ FT 3 BD / 3.5 BA Offered @ $1.295M 900 BISCAYNE #4609 1,712 SQ FT 2 BD / 3 BA Offered @ $749K DARIN SELLS MIAMI AND THE BEACHES LIKE NO ONE ELSE!

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THE IDEAL PREREQUISITE FOR DISCERNING LIVING Made in Germany 15400 BISCAYNE BLVD. MIAMI, FL 33160305.944.3727

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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 with no fixed bridges to the bay. Motivated Seller. 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. $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 $899K 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. $925K mortgage, $899K 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 CONTEMPORARY MODERN KEYSTONE POINT 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. 1.59M Y EM C TI O N S gar age f loors, e s. 15 w/ 102 of 59 M

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COVER STORY 30 Into the Fire COMMENTARY 18 Feedback: Letters 22 Christian Ci priani: Urbania 24 Picture Story: Lemon City to Little Haiti OUR SPONSORS 26 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 48 Johnson & Wales: Recipe for Conflict 49 Taylor Park: Toxic Asset 49 Design District: Art Movements 50 Upper Eastside: Banking on the Boulevard NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 60 Wendy Doscher-Smith: Weight a Minute! 62 Frank Rollason: Gambling on the Future 64 Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer : Limits of Loyalty 66 Jen Karetnick: A Stitch in Time 68 Gaspar Gonzlez: Let the Record Show 70 Mark Sell: No Shortcuts Allowed ART & CULTURE 72 Anne Tschida: New Public Art 74 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 77 Events Calendar POLICE REPORTS 78 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 80 Happy Trails: Virginia Key Bike Paths COLUMNISTS 82 Pawsitively Pets: Holiday Treats 84 Vino: Thanksgiving Wines Youll Gobble Up 85 Kids and the City: Revamping Holiday Routines 86 Going Green: Collateral Damage 87 Your Garden: Storm Warning DINING GUIDE 86 Re staurant Listings: 291 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 rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 22 68 72Serving communities along the Biscayne Corridor: Arch Creek East, Aventura, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Coventry, Design District, Downtown, Eastern Shores, Edgewater, El Portal, Enchanted Lake, Hibiscus Island, Highland Lakes, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Morningside, North Greynolds, North Bay Island, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Oak Forest, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Sky Lake, Sparling Lake, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands

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To join Majestic Properties please contact: Aireen Ortega @ 305 677 5009 | aireen@majesticmiami.com | www.joinmajestic.com 305 398 7888 | majesticproperties.com VILLA SERENA MIAMI485 NE 144th Street | Miami 2,922 SQ. FT. | 3 BD / 3 BA | OFFERED @ $250K Perfect for entertaining: 3 BD / 3 BA pool home on an acre of land. Attached outdoor cabana with bath/shower, and large bar and grill. Expansive master with in-suite roman tub/shower. Unapproved short-sale. Cash offers and by appointment only.10 UNIT INCOME PROPERTY 694 NE 76th Street | Belle Meade, Miami PRICE UPON REQUEST Cash ow positive in gated Belle Meade. Great opportunity to live in one or both PHs and earn income or as a trophy asset. 1 BD / 1 BA PHs and 8 Junior 1 BDs. New central A/C and electrical. Updated roof and plumbing. THE PRESERVE AT MIAMI SHORES8920 NE 8TH AVE #1110 OFFERED @ $199K 3-story 2 BD / 2 BA townhome near Miami Shores and East of Biscayne in gated community. Enjoy community park, pool, and location to shopping. Only $155 / SQ FT Great investor unit as rented through April producing a 6% cap rate. PARAMOUNT BAY2020 N. Bayshore Drive | Miami FROM $452,000 Direct water views through 10 foot high ceilings. Construction-quality comparable to Icon Brickell and Marquis with Lenny Kravitz designs. Offering 1 + Den, 2 3, and PH water view-units as well as urban-loft-style townhomes. BRIAN CARTER, P. A. BROKER ASSOCIATE cell 305 582 2424 | btcarter@majesticproperties.com WATER VIEWS AT ONE MIAMI325 S Biscayne Boulevard #3926 | Miami 1,416 SQ FT | 3 BD / 2 BA | OFFERED @ $589K Spectacular Northeast corner with unbelievable bay and ocean views from every room. Priced to sell. Property has tenant and is great for investors. 4% Commission to any agent whose buyer closes near asking price before December.STYLISH CORPORATE OFFICESMiami Design District 3,000 SQ FT | FOR LEASE $7,500/MO Gorgeous building with tele-entry. Elevator opens directly into this custom designed modern space with concrete oors, stainless walls, 5 baths, S/S kitchen appliances and much more. 7 Of ces and 2 Executive ofces with private bathrooms. Parking.MIDTOWN MIAMI TRUE CITY LIVINGMidtown Miami FOR SALE IN THE MID $200S. FOR LEASE IN THE $1,700S. Midtown Miamis urban design and energy reminds you of NYCs Soho District with spacious apartments and uniquely designed oor plans, both multi-level, Loft and Tower spaces. Cash offers only. 12 UNIT BUILDING IN LITTLE HAVANA237 NW 10th Avenue | Miami PRICE UPON REQUEST Two free standing buildings on large 10,000 SQ FT corner lot. This income producing property will satisfy all investors. Completely renovated in 2003, the building maintains full occupancy year round in this HOT area of Little Havana.JEFF MORRCEOcell 305 677 5000 jeff@majesticmiami.com ALEJANDRO AMADORREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 786 486 9841 aamador@majesticproperties.com KEVIN INSUAREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 282 5178 kinsua@majesticproperties.com LUIS GOMEZREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 763 1876 lgomez@majesticproperties.com

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Nancy Knows Your Neighborhood NANCY BATCHELOR0 305 329 7718 C 305 903 2850NANCY@NANCYBATCHELOR.COM WWW.NANCYBATCHELOR.COM MED-DECO POOL HOMErfntbb rrn $1,028,000 5363 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://www.Obeocom/671656 VILLA ON THE GREEN f n n $1,149,000 5926 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://homesite.obeo.com/671685 CONTEMPORARY ELEGANCE ON PRIVATE GATED ISLANDn nn ntrrrn nnn Distinctive Residences Available for Sale and Lease on Miami Beach at Aqua: 2-4 Bedrooms condos, townhouses and penthouses from $700,000 to $3,000,000 Call for a private tour! www.AquaSalesAndRentals.com MID-CENTURY MODERNLa Gorce Island n f rnn 6620 Windsor Lane Miami Beachwww.6620windsorln.com VILLA VECCHIA Legacy Estaten rrrn n brrn n 4821 Pinetree Drive Miami Beach www.4821pinetreedrive.comHome Is Where Your Art Is! SLEEK & SEXYffrrr nt nn $1,999,990 621 Island Road Bay Point

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Nancy Knows Your Neighborhood NANCY BATCHELOR0 305 329 7718 C 305 903 2850NANCY@NANCYBATCHELOR.COM WWW.NANCYBATCHELOR.COM MED-DECO POOL HOMErfntbb rrn $1,028,000 5363 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://www.Obeocom/671656 VILLA ON THE GREEN f n n $1,149,000 5926 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://homesite.obeo.com/671685 CONTEMPORARY ELEGANCE ON PRIVATE GATED ISLANDn nn ntrrrn nnn Distinctive Residences Available for Sale and Lease on Miami Beach at Aqua: 2-4 Bedrooms condos, townhouses and penthouses from $700,000 to $3,000,000 Call for a private tour! www.AquaSalesAndRentals.com MID-CENTURY MODERNLa Gorce Island n f rnn 6620 Windsor Lane Miami Beachwww.6620windsorln.com VILLA VECCHIA Legacy Estaten rrrn n brrn n 4821 Pinetree Drive Miami Beach www.4821pinetreedrive.comHome Is Where Your Art Is! SLEEK & SEXYffrrr nt nn $1,999,990 621 Island Road Bay Point

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Mayor to Gaspar: Stop the AssaultAs a mayor concerned with delivering quality municipal services in a challenging economy, the health and success of my city is my priority. So Im asking Biscayne Times s Gaspar Gonzlez to suspend his assault against the Village of Biscayne Park. I believe that Gonzlez and the BT do our city a grave disservice with negative articles character izing the city as uncaring toward its residents. Gonzlezs perspective is often misguided, and he habitually bends facts, purportedly revealing some dark side of government and societal norms in our village. His correspondents column is personality-driven, explicitly expressing a point of view that is detrimental to our city. While editorials and opinion pieces serve a purpose to stimulate community discussion and advocacy, such pieces need to be based in fact, not unfounded emotion or opinion. Sadly, it seems cant to Gonzlez. He speculates as to my thought processes but he has never interviewed me, nor have I spoken to him concerning his columns. Until now, I have refrained from public comment on these writings. His column Mr. Jacobs Has a Problem (October 2011) follows Gonzlezs usual pattern of selective retelling. A brief background could have included that FPL is replacing the support poles in some areas as part of a grid-wide hardening project, mandated by federal regulation, reported to the state PSC. The existing route provides local ser vice to Biscayne Park and will continue to serve the same purpose. There is no change of use that would require zoning considerations. The village building of authority, free from political involvement, pursuant to the Florida Building Code. Letters sent by FPL to the community advised of the project on at least two occasions, in advance of location-staking that signaled the planned placements several months before the poles went into the ground. The village building department followed the project and continues to assist residents in communications with FPL on accommodations to particular placements and restoration. Gonzlezs article and related picture further lack perspective in that they neglect to capture that the original poles proximity to the corner roadway caused a line-of-sight safety issue, and a large tree (conveniently just outside of the picture frame) required the poles placement to be closer than was Jacobss prior experience. So Jacobs came to the September 13 commission meeting with a problem. I welcomed him before the meeting, as I generally greet everyone. He spoke at public comment, expressing his distress over a pole that he said was placed on his property, contrary to his understanding that the lines would be underground. I asked Jacobs to exchange information with the manager, who could assist him with the issue, as the building department has done for other residents. Gonzlezs column failed to report that Jacobs grew increasingly agitated and repetitive with his remarks. When Jacobs left the podium, he stood at the administration table yelling at our village employees; not only disrupting the meet ing but, frankly, causing concern for his welfare and the welfare of our staff. Gonzlez also inaccurately states that the new poles are in some cases, as much as ten feet taller. The poles, placed in the public right-of-way, start out taller, are buried deeper underground, adding strength and wind resistance, and ultimately they are, within inches, the same elevation as the old poles. As FPL transfers its facilities (the tallest hanging lines) to the new poles, the old poles are cut down to the level of the AT&T and Comcast lines, until those vendors move their facilities over and the old poles can be removed. Within days of learning about Jacobss concern, the situation was relayed to FPL representatives, as the village had done for several other residents. Jacobs tells me that a plan Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 20 3401 N. Miami Avenue, #132 Miami, Florida 33127

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` Come Often 2 lots side-by-side. No bridges to ICW. Vacant Point lot 20,000sq.ft. on water Adjacent Property with home,4BED,4 BATH,3500sq.ft. 2 Car Lot and house can be purchased separately. Offers Welcome! www.jeffkoebel.com jeffkoebel@realtor.com Montgomery & Koebel, Inc. Annie Montgomery Realty 434 FT ON WATER GOLDEN ISLES REMODELED TO PERFECTION BOAT LIFT & NEW DOCK 2011 Brand New Construction with Bayviews!!! 2sty waterfront SE views of Beautiful Biscayne Bay. Soaring ceilings, Hurricane-impact windows & doors marble flrs & baths, upstrs master suitefrench drs open to 600sf sundeck overlooking Biscayne Bay! 2 walk in closets, spa tub, sep.shower, bidet & dual sinks. Solid wd flrs throughout 2nd flr includ loft-officepossible 5th bdrm. Dwnstrs bdrm has private bath. kitchen equipped w/natural gas. WATERFRONT HOME OCEAN ACCESS NO BRIDGES TO BAY! No expense was spared in this magnificent Keystone Point waterfront pool home. Total renovation in 2011, over 4000 sq.ft. under A/C, 5 beds, + office and 4 baths. Outside/Summer kitchen is perfect for entertaining and family gatherings. New 20k lb. boat lift, dock and seawall. Too many upgrades to list. A Must SEE! 24 Hour guard KEYSTONE POINT-NEW 2011 2350 BAYVIEW LANE 305-606-2252

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was reached through these communica tions, and if it can be accomplished, he believes it will be a better result from his perspective. Gonzlezs faulty methods, his mis statements, and the caricature he draws of me and my city are unfair. His columns help divide a small and generally friendly community one with a bird sanctuary, honored with Tree City USA recognition, a one-stop-light hamlet in the middle of an urban center, where people know their neighbors. A community so inviting that Gonzlez chose to purchase a home and raise his family here. Come on, Gaspar, work with us to continue to make the Village of Biscayne Park a better place to be. Mayor Roxanna Ross Village of Biscayne ParkCommissioner to Mayor: Stop Stiing DissentWith Mr. Jacobs Has a Problem, Gaspar Gonzlez has once again hit the nail on the head regarding Biscayne Park politics. And once again he will be denigrated by an extremely small but loud clique for shining a light on some very bad decisions by the majority of the Biscayne Park Commission. Ive already heard one particular resident, apparently a fan of large concrete poles, claim that Mr. Gonzlez is technically wrong about the height of the poles, intimating therefore that the rest of his column, and all of Mr. Jacobss concerns should be negated. Nothing can be further from the truth. The heart of the column is not the height of the poles but the height of tone-deafness achieved by three elected that there was no planning and zoning meeting that could have set some limitations on what FPL planned to install in our rights-of-way, she tried to pawn him off on the manager. Instead of explaining to a resident who instantly had his property values decreased by an out-of-place concrete pole that she and Commissioners Anderson and Childress allowed to happen, she told him his time was up. Simply put, instead of defending her majoritys decision to vote down my motion to have FPL submit the data necessary to use wood instead of concrete, the mayor chose instead to shut down Mr. Jacobs. This is even more disturbing given that an FPL engineer stated in a public meeting, and again privately at a meeting with a resident and myself, that in many cases three wood poles would do the job of two concrete poles. Is that important? Ask someone who lives on 119th Street or 8th or 10th Avenue who now has to live with those concrete pylons for the next 50 years. Asking residents to abide by village ordinances while the village itself ignores them needs to stop. The concept of shutting down anyone who asks reasonable questions needs to stop. The idea that obtaining information and data before making decisions is a waste of time needs to stop. All of us should be held accountable for our actions, whether it be our manager, our commissioners, or our voters, who now have a responsibility to investigate what each candidate would do in these situations. If they have not previously served publicly, they should be asked how they feel about such decisions as voting to limit budget-hearing questions to three minutes and manager evaluations to ten minutes, as the mayor and Commissioners Anderson and Childress recently did. For the hundreds of residents who signed petitions regarding the 30-year FPL franchise agreement, please ask the candidates (who are sure to ask for support and for signs in their yards) why so many residents were disregarded. Ask if they thought that giving up control of six percent of their everincreasing electric bill for 30 years was a good idea. Ask about your water bill that has funded North Miamis operations and sewer debt instead of the stated capital improvement purpose. Ask why so many healthy Australian pines had to be cut down. Just ask how they protected our village, and listen carefully. When Mr. Gonzlez says that Mr. Jacobss problem is also our problem, he is exactly correct. Because being shut down by a mayor, having a commissioner tell another to behave yourself as a way to continue shutting down that resident is not what any village should be about. Commissioner Steve Bernard Village of Biscayne ParkCommentary: LETTERS Continued from page 18 Continued on page 59

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22 Commentary: URBANIABrickell: Your Parents Will Love ItThe place radiates a generic sheen that is part Naples, part Lincoln RoadBy Christian Cipriani BT ContributorIn my quest to explore Miamis new condo cosmos, I set out this month to re discover an area I rarely visit Brickell. Todays Brickell is a mishmash of new businesses, and while the common thread seems to be high price tags for their high-rise customers, their generic sheen gives off a blurry aura without to be everything for everyone, which ac counts as much for its widespread appeal as it does for my lack of interest. Beyond stopping by friends condos, SE 12th Street, or special occasions like Miami Spice and the World Cup, Brickell just isnt an area my peers and I frequent. But in the spirit of discovery, I packed weeknight, then later on a more bustling Saturday, to see what its all about. My biggest problem with hitting Miami Beach anymore is parking. I recently upgraded to a car that a real adult might drive, so when I cruised into Mary Brickell Village at 9:30 on a Wednesday night, I was excited to see ample, well-lit street parking and a cheap garage ($4 for a night on the town beats $10 for an afternoon on Lincoln Road). We stepped out and surveyed the landscape: clean, new, but fairly quiet. Upstairs at the indoor/outdoor mall (a building style I dont particularly care for), ladies night karaoke at Blue Martini was gearing up, but we needed food House of Kabob really hit the spot healthy, tasty, and priced just right. We decided to skip Blue Martini and head straight for Baru to immerse ourselves in the Brickell experience. My friend and I placed bets on the price of drinks. My house cocktail was just $7, a price that surely draws the crowds. His Scotch rang in at a more familiar $12. Then we stepped out back to see a live band on the patio with a late 30s, early 40s crowd that appeared to have read up on how people in Miami dress. But Ill bet they have the same contempt for the trendy-broke fashionistas crawling around my Edgewater neighborhood. The barman poured them strong, and after two I was tipsily sprinting back to not ing it in my back pocket. It was there, we poked around more spots, took a it a night. Three days later my girlfriend and I dressed up and headed back, only this time the garage was heaving with luxury cars, girls teetering on stilt-like heels, manes. Strolling through the outdoor mall, I noticed whole new throngs of people underage cliques loitering happily in the plaza, large tables of wealthy-looking South Americans, families, couples young and old, dressed up, dressed down, you name it. The new Brickell is still trying to downtown Naples or a less vulgar Lincoln Road. It has features of both mixed with generous portions of vanilla. Whatever it may be, its popular. Brickells charm is calibrated to include anyone and everyone who can pay their way. With no plans or reservations, we headed to Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita. I held the door for a group of young, overdressed couples and received not even a grateful nod. The manners Naples, but Brickell is still a place I can see taking my parents when they visit. Within seconds, we were back out too hungry to wait 45 minutes for a table at Dolores. Here, things were equally jammed, so we lingered over drinks, giggling at heavily marked-up bottles of Kim Crawford and Veuve Clicquot, and listening in on the bars middle-age singles scene. blurted, interrupting two men who werent speaking to her. Carp, bass, take the bait. ricones rustic deck, spoiling the atmo sphere more than the big-screen sports. After 30 minutes, we were ushered in for a delicious, indulgent, and decidedly rushed meal. The rest of the night we wandered We concluded we didnt. Were too make this area routine. Tobacco Road, and until recently, Transit Lounge, but we arent ready to commit to weekends of high-priced people-watching. Not that I wish Brickell anything less than the best, or that well never come back. After all, winter is around the corner and I need somewhere I can take my snowbird parents. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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rf ntbn Reservations: Tuyo is fusion. Tuyo is vision. Tuyo is yours. rf n fft ntfrfb tfn f nt f ntt ff

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24 LAW OFFICES OF JAKE MILLER, LLC PHONE ADDRESS EMAILON THE WEB AT Call 305.758.2020 To Reserve Your Seat Now!NEW HOMEOWNER RESCUE PROGRAMSThis seminar will discuss new government & lender incentives: DATES: Thursday, November 10 & 17 | 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 STORYLemon City: Still Alive and Well as Little HaitiA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George Special to the BTLemon City was a vibrant workingclass neighborhood in the early years following World War II, as seen in this photograph of NE 2nd Avenue near 60th Street, shot on July 13, 1948. Toward the left of the picture stands the communitys most venerable strucalso treated Native American patients who knew him endearingly as the Still standing today, the building served as a pharmacy for decades, as well as a branch of the United States postal system, which operated there until 1974. Just south of the large, masonry building, with its cluster of coconut palm trees, is the Magic City Trailer Court, a pared-down version of which remains on that site. Out of the photograph, and to our right of the young bicyclists was a stand of oak trees that later framed Notre Dame High School for girls, and still later, Notre Dame d Haiti, a Haitian Catholic Church, which continues to serve as the spiritual center of todays vital Caribbean community. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #1989-011-9548

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26 Our Sponsors: N o O V eE M berB ER 2 011By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorNo time to waste, readers. If you dont get to your holiday planning now, if not sooner, youre going to end up at your gathering in some rag, serving your guests a halffrozen turkey and a pumpkin pie with a Instead place your order for a traditional pie or for free-thinkers, a turkey cake with master baker Jenny Rissone at Pastry Is Art (12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-603-9340). Mention the BT for a free cupcake. Note for those deluded enough to by New Years: Rissone adds that shes now offering all her baked goods sugar-free. If you dont want any part of preparing those Thanksgiving or Xmas dinners, if you order the whole shebang from Bagels & Company (11064 Biscayne $175 for a complete holiday feast main item: a 15-pound turkey for ten people, youll probably even save yourself money as well as stress. Though not holiday-related, theres time-sensitivity about Novembers offer from Werner Staubs Peppermill Restaurant & Bar a new advertiser or rather an old friend with a new address (350 Bayview Dr., Sunny Isles Beach, 305-466-2016) featuring beautiful views of Biscayne Bay. The offer, a two-lobster special for $25.95, is time-sensitive because at that price we may consume the whole months lobster supply before you get there. Seriously. When the turkey leftover meals get tiring, take a break at new advertiser Rajas (33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551). been one of downtown Miamis best buffet deals (though were addicted to the made-to-order South Indian dosa and uttappam pancakes. Rajas caters, too, if yourself silly at new advertiser Ginza Japanese Buffet (16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192). Its all-you-can-eat, but since sushi is so healthy, it doesnt count. Theres a huge assortment of other Asian goodies, too BBQ ribs, tempura, hibachi items, and more. But just eat more sushi after you hit the heftier items and the calories dont count. See Ginzas ad for a seniors dinner discount. When friends from (or frequent trav elers to) Italy get homesick, new adver tiser Fratelli Milano is the cure (213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300). Theres a reason why this place is often packed. Family run, with authentic but creative food (not clichd), it feels like a true neighborhood trattoria, transplanted whole. Speaking of favorite Italian food sources, Laurenzos Italian Market (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381) is joining forces with Miamis food trucks market. Ten trucks are already signed up 5:00-10:00 p.m., and Laurenzos itself will be open till then offering wine and beer specials plus wood-oven pizza and Italian desserts. Subsequent gatherings To give your tummy a timely postThanksgiving time-off, for which itll be truly thankful, try new advertiser Salad Creations (2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305576-5333). With this months ad and at this location only youll get $2 off any entre after 4:00 p.m. They do large, lovely salad and wrap platters for parties, too. Bring in the ad for 15% off orders of $75 or more. Just in time for holiday cookouts especially satisfying to have when its snowing up north Gaucho Ranch (7251 NE 2nd Ave. #113, 305-751-0775), famed for its superb traditional Uruguayan steak cuts, announces a new line: grass-fed Wagyu beef from Grassland Delights in Uruguay. Its hard to pass up a Gaucho picanha, but one look at these buttery marbled beauties and you know they were born for BBQ.BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 28

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28 Though the Miami Culinary In stitute s restaurant Tuyo (415 NE 2nd Ave., 305-237-3200), and its executive chef Norman Van Aken, are discussed exten sively in this issues cover story, we wanted to mention it again because dinner at this rooftop restaurant tops our list for Xmas It may seem early to reserve for New Years Eve, but ringing in 2012 from an expansive terrace with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay sounds like a hot ticket. At the Black and White gala at Trio on the Bay (1601 79th St. Cswy., 305-866-1234), the 8:00 p.m. four-course dinner is $75 per person, and the party after is bound to rock because Gerry Kelly is in charge. Earlybirds: An earlier seating, at 6:00 p.m., is $50 per person. Your choppers need to be in shape to deal with all that holiday feasting (and to look good while doing so). Fortunately, a few dental advertisers can help out. At the Art of Dentistry (2999 NE 191st St. #350 305-466-2334), Dr. Valeria Soltanik has a special on Dental Zoom Whitening: $289 (normally $400) if you mention the BT The discount applies November 2-12 only. Biscayne Dental Center (14771 Biscayne Blvd., 305-945-7745) welcomes specialist, to the staff by offering a $500 discount on any orthodontic treatment. And Dr. Mario Iraheta, the centers periodontist, will give BT readers $300 off any implant procedure this month. Just mention this issues ad. And Dr. Jos J. Alvarez (3483 NE 163rd St., 305-948-5002), a new advertiser whose credentials are from some of the worlds top dental schools, has a holiday special for BT readers, too: Six dental implants no mini-implants or Transitioning gracefully from portion of this column: Youre going to have to deal with the holiday poundage problem sooner or later. Why not do it now, so you can look fab in your seaDr. Marc Weinberg, a new advertiser, has free weight-loss seminars every week; register at www. burnfatmiami.com or 305-949-5999. This month hes also offering body wraps for $59 (normally $85). wanting to treat themselves to something no one else will be wearing, no matter how many parties you hit, Lorie Lester Studio + Boutique (6301 Biscayne blvd. #103, 305-756-8070) is now taking orders for custom dresses. Drop by immediately to pick your style and fabric. Thats going to make the kids jealous for sure, but its nothing that cant brand-name girls and boys clothes from new advertiser Turnstyle Bou tique (19015C Biscayne Blvd., 305-6922201). There are clothes for big grrrls and boyz, too, and if you buy Turnstyle brand, air-brushing is complimentary. If truly special jewelrys what you need, the prices at new advertiser Direct Jewelry Outlet (2001 Biscayne Blvd. #117/388, 305-979-3636) cant be beat. They buy gold and silver, too. Hours are by appointment, so remember to call ahead. If youre not quite sure what you need: Road trip! You never know what might be up for auction every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. inside Broward Countys Wilton Theatre Auction Gallery (1446 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors, 954-5304356). Jewelrys a possibility, but so are dcor items, antiques, art, furniture, colA November holiday you might not know about is the one-year anniversary of the UPS Store (6815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-8877). To celebrate, theyre setting out a free spread of breakfast foods every Friday this month, and giving gifts special 15% discount on selected services and products (including shipping supplies, which youll need for posting holiday packages) if you mention the BT Art Basel time is rolling around, too, and Wynwoods Control Salon & Gallery (2814 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-6910), where the line between art and craft truly disappears, will be helping fund at a fundraiser at Cafeina on November 11, 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. Stop by for a special deal on feather extensions thatll transform you into a walking artwork. Welcome to new advertiser Plexi House (4030 N. Miami Ave., 305-576not set off your I Want It, I Need It, I of it (and related see-through materials) are cut to order, as they are here, they can be fabricated into anything from furniture to picture frames to mirrors to Our Sponsors: N o O V eE M berB ER 2 011 Biz BuzzContinued from page 26

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will do the fabricating for you, or your interior designer. No one enjoys excessive partying when sick or in pain. So do that ounceof-prevention thing. Take a few minutes Medi-Station Urgent Care Center (9600 NE 2nd Ave., Drop into the Health & Wellness Fair co-sponsored by new advertiser Integrative Chiropractic at For Shore Fitness (9301 NE 6th Ave., 305-7588600) for free chair massages, lectures, and more. Its on November 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. And if seasonal stresses get you down, restore your energies at new advertiser Inner Balance (12579 Biscayne Blvd., 786-383-3088), an alternativetherapies spa whose holistic services and products range from rejuvenate to seriously rehabilitative. Keep your pets healthy and happy, too, with By Nature dog and cat foods from Biscayne Pet House (10789 Biscayne Blvd.). Bring in this months ad for a free bag of By Nature all-natural biscuits. And please, pet lovers, check out the Humane Society of Greater Miami (16101 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-696-0800), a new advertiser best known (since 1936) for saving and getting homeless pets adopted. But this no-kill shelter also has spay/neuter services, a grooming center, a pet boutique, Humane Education pro its celebrating its 75th birthday with a big bash on Sunday, November 20, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Fun for the whole family. Like pets, music has charms to you could be soothing someone fast with music lessons from Pianopresto Pluss Richard Foltz, who has two studios: 35 SE 169th St., and 3600 State Rd. 7, Miramar. Two new services: semi private details: 786-468-9871. Take your newborn directly from the hospital to Miss Janes Music Studio (9533 NE 2nd Ave., 305-7576500) for Musikgarten classes, and the kid could be in the recording studio by Thanksgiving. Okay, slight exaggeration. But the younger a child starts learning music, the faster it goes, and Miss Janes really does have music lessons for newborns as well as older kids. Now that were in the season, call about Miss lighted to perform at events of all sorts. Theres no place like home for the holidays, says the old song. And weve got New advertiser Darin Feldman (1682 Jefferson Ave., 305-672-6200) has luxury listings in 12 downtown/Brickell condo buildings. If you like throwing major parties, he holds the record for sell ing the largest penthouse in downtown. Have your mind on something more ports the building is more than 20% sold, but Majestic Propertys Brian Carter (305-582-2424) can get you in. And if oceanfront luxury is more your thing, new advertiser Sunny Realty (3873 NE 163rd St., 877-368-2318) has a list of condos in Sunny Isles Beach thats practically as long as your arm. (They handle other areas, too.) With the holiday season bringing on so many inevitable arguments (after Thanksgiving dinner, will the sports event be some silly football game or watching 105-pound Sonya The Black ed competitive eater Joey Chestnut in the need is serious legal bickering. Fortunate ly, we have folks wholl do it for you. For insurance-coverage disputes, the attorneys at Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin are a trusted choice for policyholders; theyll handle evaluation and settle or litigate for you. Call 305-577-3996 to arrange a consultation. And at the Insurance Justice Center (786-431-1333), attorney Scott R. Dinin announces that Reeva Oza has been accepted to the Florida Bar and is now the centers newest associate, working in both foreclosure defense and insurance litigation. Congrats, Reeva. Better you than we. Finally: Though it may seem aw fully early to circle February 18 on your 2012 calendar, especially if you havent bought one yet, the annual Galaxy Gala but held at downtowns tres chic JW Mar riott Marquis Miami & Hotel Beaux Arts, admission is invitation only. So best start working on that now by contacting Ruth Robinson (305-646-4249 or rrobinson@ miamisci.org). Tix for the Big Bang dance party to follow the gala are available separately for sale in December. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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30 INTO THE F iI RE Miami-Dade College has launched the most advanced school of culinary arts in the world, and is tossing in two restaurants and a food truck for good measure By Pamela Robin Brandt Photos by Silvia Ros

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Since 1983, November has been the highest-visibility time of year for Miami-Dade College. That was the the schools downtown Wolfson Campus, joined Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books to launch a modest local literature festival called Books by the Bay. To the astonishment of nearly everyone in a town where golf courses and gun shops vastly outnumbered bookstores, the event drew a crowd of 25,000 people. These days the Miami Book Fair International, now the USAs biggest literary event and South Floridas primo cultural happening, draws hundreds of world-famous authors and publishers, and crowds topping 500,000 every November. The book fair is an innovation that has made Miami-Dade College a household word. Actually, MDC has been known for growth and innovation of the sort that have impact far beyond the school itself since 1960, when what was then College (better known as Chicken Coop black students, making MDC Floridas Since then MDC has become the nations largest institution of higher education: roughly 165,000 students on eight campuses. That beats out the entire University of California system, along with myriad other, better-known colleges better known to the general public, that is. Innovations that have raised MDCs visibility in academic circles have been a constant, including, in the develop multimedia classrooms and a attend classes online (everywhere now; not then). But lets face it. For most of us, the chance to hang with hundreds of celebrity writers is just more attentiongrabbing than serious educational stuff like an Honors College. This year, though, MDC is presentwill not draw half-a-million people, but may just draw international attention to MDCs newest innovative project and make serious educational stuff seem sexier than the book fair. That would be the opening of Tuyo, a restaurant thats the crown jewel of the real story: MDCs new Miami Culinary Institute, a culinary arts school that many experts feel could revolutionize culinary education, and in the process tive cuisine. Tuyos executive chef is Norman Van Aken the real Norman (inventor of New World cuisine; one of the Mango culinary map; proprietor of long-lived Normans in Coral Gables), not the Norman whose name recently graced short-lived and forgettable Normans 180. food is a continuation of New World cuisine, further developing a love of Florida, the particular pan-ethnicity What will also excite Miamis restaurant cognoscenti are Van Akens two sous chefs. Most recently hired, just a few weeks ago, is ex-Van Aken protg Jeffrey Brana, whose cutting-edge techniques and Xtreme use of local ingredients at his own Restaurant Brana in Coral Gables, pushed his mentors concept even farther into the 21st Century, according to many local food critics. The other, Travis Starwalt, while less well known to local diners, was a longtime sous chef of earlier (and now extremely famous) Van Aken protg Randy Zweiban, credited for bringing Nuevo Latino cuisine to Chicago at Nacional 27. Talk about a dream team. But as innovative as Tuyo promises to be on its own, its primary role is not to be on its own, but rather to offer to the public a sense of the eco-conscious culinary education going on in the building below.MCIs new eight-story, $15.5 million building on NE 2nd began studying in January. The grand opening ceremony featured the building wearing a full-length apron. The apron didnt signal innovation, of course. In a city where the Virgin Mary regularly appears on buildings, fences, and toast, that seemed almost traditional. part of an accredited state public college, Continued on page 32

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and all traditional academic requirements for an Associate in Science degree (including English, math, and so on) must be met. So explains Victoria Nodarse, MCIs culinary coordinator, who, like all of MCIs administrators, is also a chef. The culinary curriculum will cover all the basics: learning terminology, making stocks, knife skills, and so on. not traditional is the building underneath the apron. Even without an inkling of the schools mission statement or curriculum content, the space just looks like a model for worldclass, 21st-century culinary education. For starters, everywhere you look in the building, its green. Not the color; the eco-consciousness. MCIs chief instructor, Collen Engle, ticks off the list: Automatic fans under range hoods with infrared sensors that analyze how much energy needs to be used to move heat or and glass are recycled. The take-out carMCI is actually on the track for Weve no doubts about getting it. Its just that the application process requires a six-month reinspection. We havent assortment of lecture rooms and kitchen labs fully equipped with state-ofthe-art cooking equipment, like other top-notch culinary schools. Look closer, nected to a high-tech composting system. We have a pretty amazing system ing whatever dishes theyre learning, takes the waste food, cardboard, and whatnot pulps the waste with water, extracts and recycles the water, and then dehydrates the waste. Every 18 hours, 100 pounds of waste becomes 18 ing director and sustainable-food nerd John Richards. Then they take it to our school to have its own organic garden, but to see it youll have to traipse down the block, to what used to be a grubby vacant lot. We dont start classes in the kitchen, with a bundle of herbs on es are in the ground. If a recipe needs, say, rosemary, they walk to the garden I never in my life saw how things a 43-year-old Miami resident originally from Colombia. They showed us how with MCI-designed software, help with Into The FireContinued from page 31 Continued on page 34 PHONE (305)-384-6233 ADDRESS 12550 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 800 Miami, FL 33181 EMAIL rossmanagementgp@aol.comCall 305.348.6233 To Reserve Your Seat Now!LEGAL & IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION AND SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME OPPORTUNITY This seminar is designed to help you: the security and protection of legal advice and representation for less than $1 per day you and your family legally you and your family against identity theft you with a plan to supplement your income utilizing a home-based business backed by a company offering legal protection for over 40 yearsDATES: Thursday, November 10 & 17 | TIME: 7-8 p.m. Saturday, November 19 | TIME: 2-3 p.m. ROSS MANAGEMENT GROUP

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Only then comes the training in cook ing techniques and food sourcing. Then students end the day by taking compost Theres also an interactive food/ beverage demonstration theater packed with not just a high-tech kitchen but also an HD TV studio. This enables the room to connect with other culinary facilities and experts worldwide, in real time. Ever wanted to study culinary arts in France, In addition to its use by degreeseeking students, the theater is the setting for MCIs two other educational components, the Culinarium and a continuing-education program for industry professionals. Culinarium is classes for enthu a passion for food and wine but who arent seeking a degree. Sure, some of the areas private culinary schools offer classes for nonprofession als, too; even department stores have cooking demos, and liquor stores have wine tastings. But the Culinariums classes are elevated in both sophistication and scope, with many on a semi-profession al, rather than dabbler/entertain ment, level. Theyre taught by chefs like Michael Schwartz, as well as our own faculty of chefs, and the programming is amazing in responsible for making MCIs three components (four, if you count the restaurants) fit togeth er seamlessly. Culinarium classes (as many as ten per month) include cooking at all levels, and with subject matter ranging from holiday desserts to serious pro-chef knife skills, wine education, nutrition and wellness, gardening, more. Upcoming this month and next, Nodarse says: Gabrielle who designed the institutes urban organic garden down the block, is teaching classes showing people how to build their own backyard sustainable garden. And theres also a gingerbread houseI was surprised how many people claims Collen Engle, who teaches the class. Thats actually the maximum number of students allowed in MCIs kitchen lab classes, to ensure students get intense, one-on-one instruction. What has been the most popular Make New Friends Culinary Singles A program for businesses, which will start in January, involves using MCIs expertise and the theaters technology to develop customized education and training for culinary industry companies. An example would be something we developed for one of the worlds largest says explains director John Richards. When they come out with a new piece Into The FireContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36

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of accelerated equipment, well have them in for a demonstration class on how it works faster without harming the proteins, et cetera. And therell be 38 people in the theater, but the technology will allow 38,000 people all over the world to intended as a professionally operated star turn for Van Aken & Co., theres the stuMCI Caf. Because the school opened so recently, most all culinary students are too inexperienced to do the cooking yet except for 29-year-old Michael Galadza, who, since he was 14, has been doing just about every job there is, from the venerable Kendall restaurant Captains Tavern, where his father cooked MCI instructor. Son Michael now cooks every dish on the MCI Cafs weekday breakfast and lunch menus. Stop by for a Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich (turkey, bacon, mornay sauce), which one suspects is on the menu in honor of Richards, a Louisville native. Before the new year, the caf is expected to morph at 5:00 p.m. into the Root Cellar, a tapas and wine bar. phaBite, a gourmet food truck staffed by instructor-supervised students. Does any other U.S. culinary college sponsor a currently only) public culinary college, a place that is attempting to revolutionize regional culinary education and upgrade our regional restaurant scene by: culinary arts graduates who have superior cooking skills and also a thorough understanding of whats on their plates from seed to compost, including all the cultural and economic implications. 2) Encouraging a similar upgrade of culinary and environmental involvement in the general public. 3) Doing it at a fraction of the cost of private culinary arts schools.When you want a revolution in culinary education, hire a mover-and-shaker entrepre neurial chef really who knows how to rock and roll. MCI administrators couldnt have made a better pick as founding director than John Richards, who is responsible When tapped to mastermind Miami Culinary Institute two years ago, Richards was director of food services for Sullivan University in Louisville, where he went to culinary school. Before then, Into The FireContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38

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though, he had put in many, many years as a professional electric bass player in a rock/blues band. Richards. But the impressive thing is the bands we opened for Funkadelic, lection forever. Why switch careers from rock musi cian to chef? Too many of my compatri ots were falling by the wayside from drugs and the rest of the lifestyle. I realized I Seriously, though. I loved playing in a band because it was creating magic with a team of other musicians you riff off of. To me, being a chef is like being in a band. I became a chef to communinary school had actually begun back in the 1980s, according to MDC communications director Juan Mendieta. That MDC (the whole shebang), was president of the Wolfson Campus. Earlier in this century, when the idea began to solidify, retired provost Kathie ble for many of MDCs earlier innovative programs, was called back to help get the Miami Culinary Institute off the ground with preliminary studies looking at many different approaches to culinary training around the world, particularly Europe and the USA. Then they hired someone who thought outside the proverbial box to build the program from the ground up. That was Richards, who said to give them innovation: I started from, Whats important in the 21st Cen sustainability, community, and culture are all a part of it, too. Its more than just cooking. So we were focusing on not just what cooking techniques to use for this Whats the impact of buying California We want to train chefs who consider the On the less philosophical side: We did a very intensive analysis to make sure there was a workforce need in the Dade County food-service industry, because this college only has programs that are going to put people to work. Thats culinary schools because they dont have to show state workforce demand. We do According to the Florida Restau rant & Lodging Association, there is Into The FireContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40

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40 an expected growth rate of 16.7 percent for the restaurant/food-service indus try in Florida by 2020, faster than the national average. That will mean close to 133,000 new culinary-industry jobs in the state. Before MCI, there was no public culinary arts school south of Orlando. (Despite popular misconception, probably fueled by the very active role FIUs School of Hospitality plays in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, that public university has no culinary school or even a culinary program, just some pretty nifty courses.) There were quite a few private culinary colleges prior to MCI, but at twice the price. For a Johnson & Wales AS degree: roughly $50,500. Art Institute $48,000. Le Cordon Bleu: $40,500. Miami Culinary Institutes two-year degree costs $24,000. So was there a demand for wellBut there was a hitch. The need was for a different kind of culinaryarts-school graduate. Longtime Miami restaurateur/restaurant industry crusader Steve Haas can elaborate on that hitch. Haas Miami Spice creator, board chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, MCI advisory council member, owner of the new City Hall restaurant puts it this way: Miami still has a major tourism industry. And these days if youre a non-food city, youre not popular. So of course we need to upgrade citys restaurants. A homegrown crop of already superbly technically trained culinary school graduates, who live here so they want to work here, So what do Haas continues: Not divas! Execu tive chefs are reluctant to hire culinary school graduates because theyve experienced too many students who get that piece of paper and think theyre ready to become Top Chef. Restaurateurs dont want people who have the attitude: This is not my job. Culinary schools have to produce people who understand that to become a good chef in the real world, you start at the bottom and do everything that needs doing, including dishwashing. Ive been in charge of over a dozen restaurants in 35 years, and Ive spent at least 300 to Restaurateurs are also mistrustful, Haas says, because culinary schools also dont teach under real-world conditions: Most restaurant kitchens are tiny, cramped, and hard to work in. Youre being slammed and youre in the weeds, the A/C went down and youre working in 150-degree heat. At school there are no rushes. Everyones in a line, working at their own station, and theres plenty of room and time. Most Richards adds this: We aim to proprestigious Culinary Institute of America but a believer in restaurateurs conceptions of old-school schools. Thats also why MCIs kitchen labs, though snazzily equipped, are relatively says Richards. Students work in four teams of four, run like a real restaurant And they do dishes. Into The FireContinued from page 38 Continued on page 42

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42 Richards also assembled a Chefs including Van Aken, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Schwartz, Douglas Rodriguez, Ruiz, and newest recruit Jos Andres. They expected that I wanted them told them: I want feedback, not for you to do dog-and-pony shows. I want to be able to pick up the phone anytime and ask questions that come up. What sort of dishes do you want your cooks to be to be better sauting skills, product chefs is how many culinary graduates dont know how to go pick Italian parsley out of the refrigerator. Theyll report back as they hire our students and graduates, too, with feedback Finally, he says, I told them: When youre downtown, just drop in to a class for an hour. Stand next to a few students, cook with them, talk with them about your experiences and their dreams. The most impactful thing they can do is interact meaningfully If you want a guaranteed antidote to the Im taurant chefs so mistrust in culinary school grads, spend a South Florida summer working in a food truck, says MCI student Andrew Alvarez. One of the original 48 students who began in January, Alvarez has been on the three-person crew of AlphaBite, the remarkably versatile mobile kitchen supervised by food truck capnan, since it began rolling last May. Fellow student Rocio Gonzalez, another January entry, is another crew veteran. Operating out of an MDC parking lot, the fully equipped but low-tech truck serves breakfast and lunch to MDC students and the general public on most weekdays, till 2:30 p.m. As befits MCIs mission, AlphaBites food is healthy, locally sourced, and qualifies chef McLennan, who identi fies strongly as a businessman as well as a sustainability expert. Neither students enthusiasm was dampened by the past summers humidity. In fact Gonzalez, who McLennan without prompting, whip out photos of AlphaBites gigs from its very Taste of the Grove festival, where AlphBite took Best in Alvarez says the ordeal was a great lesson in keeping his cool: It got really hot in this box. Originally we had a couple of more students working. They dropped. But I to work. After working on the truck all summer, when I got back this fall, classes seemed almost easy. Mostly the dif ference is pace. At school you have time to do things. In the real world, when youre getting slammed, Oddly, especially given the food-truck explosion of recent years, AlphaBite is the only such vehicle formally connected to a U.S. culinary school another difference between While MCI refers to AlphaBite as the Into The FireContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44

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COME BE INSPIREDat the NEW WORLD CENTER500 17th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139Photo by Emilio Collavino Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry Experience select events throughout the season in Miami Beach SoundScape through striking use of visual and audio technology on a soaring 7,000 square foot projection wall. Bring a blanket, share a picnic dinner and enjoy the sights and sounds of the New World Symphony with friends and family! WALLCAST CONCERTSSaturday, November 5 at 7:30 and 8:30 PM Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 PM Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 PMFREE to the public in Miami Beach SoundScape!rffrfntbnnnn

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44 the schools website lists McLennan ally a bit looser. Im associated with says McLennan. I contract with the school. Its my private business. At night and on weekends, we do catering jobs. Tonight a movie shoot in Wyn wood. Saturday were catering a bridal Still, the connection seems committed, and solidly educational in a newfashioned, non-elitist way, a win/win proposition. Says Richards: Its important to me that we provide students with opportunities to work for pay, which the truck does. It also introduces students to another career-path possibility. Many people who go here may never have a few million dollars to open a restaurant, but might be able to manage $50,000 to Student Andrew Alvarez has ex plored his share of career-path possibilities. After two years attending the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis (it was too regimented), he went on to study foreign relations at FIU (too ivory est in food and wine while working at Whole Foods. He chose MCI over on-the-job training at a restaurant for what he now admits, sheepishly, was the typical diva reason: I didnt want to learn food production work ing at a restaurant because I thought Id Alvarez appreciates the irony of having chosen a culinary school that aims to produce cooks, not chefs. Now I do dishes at school, in the class changed my mind. Now I understand why its a good idea to start at the bottom and do everything Richards and Nodarse are so enthusiastic about AlphaBite that theyre of eight, one for each MDC campus, by early next year. McLennan thinks an additional one or two trucks by that time might be a closer estimate. There are certain guys who naturally twinkle when theyre happy. Hobbits do. Santa Claus does. And so does Norman Van Aken. Van Aken hasnt been twinkling a whole lot in recent years, though. After 2007, he relocated to his original Florida stomping ground, Key West, to open Town n Tavern, a charmingly schizoid lounge with two separate dining spaces and two menus. It was located in a conventional Town n Tavern was open, the owners had turned it into a different sort of establishment: a steakhouse and a middleof-the-road resort restaurant. Then came Normans 180 in Coral Gables. When this return-to-Miami venFlorida foodies had imagined the place would be fantastic: casual but creative, a food critics dream. As it turned out, the owners and I had, um, different opinions BT collar. It ended up being a Houstons. Can we talk about this new direction Thats an easy yes Especially when the new direction takes off from a few of the chefs earlier, remarkable creations at Normans. Such as: Van Akens unsurpassed conch chowder not the rootsy red chowder on his recent casual menus, Into The FireContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 but the creamy white version containing a combo of crisp-coated cracked conch, orange, coconut, star anise, and much, much more. New items feature a tempting selection of local tastes, from complex (sea scallop pastelitos with blue crab bisque and lobster mushrooms) to simple yet perfect (oysters on the half shell with a mignonette made from MiamiDade County lemons instead of the usual champagne vinegar). The menu, says Van Aken, will change every three days or ready in the organic garden and farms. Whats being taught in school at any given time may also four professors from Turkey to do some teaching, we might weave in some Turkish-inspired dishes, but Van Aken is clearly thrilled about helping to lead the Florida restaurant scene into the future via Tuyo, and he twinkles even more when talking about the broader spectrum of his job. Since I became director of MCIs restaurants, colleagues and friends have been saying, You at a college makes sense. What else could you do thats whole school, not just do the restaurant. Once I get the restaurants open, Id like to do a few classes, get into esoteric parts of my food and help students take it in new directions. In my fourth decade of cooking, its tremendously exciting to be able to give back to students. Its more of Additionally, once students gain more experience (even the initial classs veter ans havent been learning for a year yet, and newer enrollees have been studying only a couple of months), MCI already has plans to allow two or three students at a time to sign up as unpaid interns at Tuyo. Currently Michael Galadza is the only student experienced enough to do an informal version of such an internship. His schedule starts at 5:00 a.m., when he arrives to cook breakfast and prep lunch for the MCI Caf. After lunch Van Aken and his team with whatever classes. He leaves at 5:30 p.m. it. How often does a student get to work While the rest of the Chefs Council members, who are not otherwise utilized yet, many have dropped in on a class to share knowledge and inspire, says Richards. And Michelle Bernstein seems to be serving as a personal employment agency. Three of the MCIs current 110 students work at Michys: Maria Orantes, who has been studying at MCI since January and working for Bernstein since enrolling; and two summer enrollees: a paying prep job) and Olga Vanegas. Have even the two-month rookies As for attitude: They all help wherever needed, and do exactly what they just nice, kids to work with. I truly believe this school is improving our city by improving dining. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Into The FireContinued from page 44

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48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORRecipe for ConictAs Johnson and Wales cooks up a plan to close NE 17th Avenue, nearby residents and business owners stew over the detailsBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterJohnson and Wales isnt just a university specializing in culinary education. Its also the City of North Miamis biggest developer. Since the school opened for business nearly 20 years ago, Johnson and Wales million redeveloping 29 acres of land rating apartments, and an abandoned clean dorms, functioning classrooms, and eager students. shade trees and closing off portions to reach their shops, restaurants, and services. With that road closed, it could upscale community of Keystone Point. They arent happy at the prospect of them from having to navigate congested Nevertheless, on October 25, the North Miami City Council unanimously blessed Johnson and Waless amended blueprint for for each of its improvements. Loreen Chant, president of Johnson and Waless North Miami campus (the school has three other campuses na 127th Street, enabling the creation of a pedestrian plaza in front of the University The primary motive for the street closure, Chant insists, is safety for the learn on a safe campus in a pedestrianadding that the apprehension some neigh not trying to close all mare for them. up by accidents and maintenance, ing, the massive residential and commercial project near 151st Street, is completed. I cant understand the mentality Continued on page 52

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Toxic AssetTaylor Park, once a dumping ground, is now the site of a struggle between North Miami Beach residents and civic leadersArt MovementsDesign District artists and galleries prepare for some big changesBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterL dont have to leave home to Watching the activity from the above are predatory birds falcons, osprey, even a couple of bald eagles. swoosh there lived in the area since 1989, Hilton says turtles, raccoons, big-mouthed bass, and ever, isnt as healthy as it might appear. chemicals and garbage that threaten the lot, and a city storage yard used for maintenance and recycling. Then in 1998, arsenic, iron, manganese, ammo environmental standards. The chemi debris in the soil, led to the closure of a passive green space along NE 18th nated by the countys Department of monitor the area. employees in the coming months, says environmental regulations. Continued on page 56BT photos by Jim W. Harper By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterW hopes to attract at least 20 cial properties. dent and CEO of Dacra Development, subsidizing for years. artist and co-founder of Dimensions spaces throughout his Design District properties as part of an overhaul of Dagram. There are artists [in the Design painter and sculptor Oliver Sanchez. tional, a gallery space cofounded by photographer BT there are too many issues up Some artists and galleries, such as Continued on page 54 Saturday s Ransom

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior Writeror more than 20 years, a gas staempanadas, coffee, gum, cigarettes, and other items for travelers on the go. by the BT say theyll hardly miss it. Thats because the gas station is being replaced located just across the street from the to the area and provide a needed service. 82nd streets. In that same area there in the heart of the Miami Modern tall and have three drive-through lanes City of Miami report. Joseph Canale, a board member that the historic districts controversial said about the height restriction being detrimental to the area. Well, here are public phones, especially at night. Canale, a regular at Uva. It got to be a Michys becoming galvanized. It Vega is also optimistic about the cortion is gone, although he has one minor regret. That sort of business attracts Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.comBanking on the BoulevardLocal interest is high as a new Chase branch comes to the Upper Eastside Courtesy of BDG Architects

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Kenneth Each, North Miamis former police chief, remembers similar Sans Souci Estates and Keystone Point sought to gate their neighborhoods to deter crime, but drivers adapted. If you Each, a member of the city plan master plan, is among the supporters Drive, Each credits the university for transforming a neighborhood he also calls home. Who in the last 18 years has im favor of Johnson and Wales before the planning commission and city council last month. Even the harshest critics of Johnson and Wales has been good dence, Johnson and Wales evolved into a career-oriented institution degrees in areas such as business, education, technology, psychology, The university also runs the larg est hospitality and culinary arts pro gram in the nation, and counts among its alumni such notables as celebrity chef and local restaurateur Michelle Hells Kitchen school bought the former North Miami Medical Center at 1701 NE 127th transformed into an educational setting. students for careers in tourism and hospitality. The university had trementhat, prior to Johnson and Waless ardilapidated apartments, and eliminated a street signs. Johnson & WalesContinued from page 48 all Continued on page 56

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54 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR cilman, is also opposed to developing any played softball there. We never had a problem. Unfortunately, some people are originated in the citys storage and recycling materials used to build also be responsible for the arsenic. The truth is, the before the county deeded division chief for pollution control, says aerial photoedly dumped there. southeast side. In the decades that folLeague games, and a nursery provided early education for toddlers. environmental government agencies. ammonia have also been detected in considered hazardous to humans, acToxic AssetContinued from page 49 PROPANE TANK REFILLS 10% off *With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 BUY 4 CHLORINE REFILL GET 1 FREE*With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 SAVE ENERGY!! SAVE MONEY!! $ 100 OFFINTELLIFLO VARIABLE SPEED PUMPS EFFECTIVE JAN 1ST 2012 FLORIDA POOL & SPA ENERGY LAW & CODE REQUIREMENTS GO INTO EFFECT. GIVE US A CALL TO DISCUSS 3 CHLORINE TABS $58.88*With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 ON SALE PROPANE TANK SAVE $400OFF REGULAR PRICE PLUS FREE INSTALATION ($295 VALUE)*With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 rffnt nbnntn SAVE 60-90% ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL!HEAT YOUR POOL FROM $1.00 A DAY PERFECT TEMP TECHNOLOGYTHE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO HEAT YOUR POOL 3 CHLORINE PROPANE TANK SAVE $400 r 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 Continued on page 58 BT photo by Jim W. Harper BT photo by Erik Bojnansky

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR

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56 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Johnson and Waless University Center. In 2009, a venture to rehabilitate the oper Charles Monroe III, defaulted on a the master plan, Johnson and Wales ada line of trees. Peter Tappert, an attorney representing the receiver, pleaded for more time, at least until a buyer could be found. council members. They let the place them for years about the state of that faStill, its possible a deal may be Johnson and Wales that permits cars to contingent on the universitys good BT In the meantime, some business She and her brother invested nearly a million dollars to launch their says. Would I prefer the road stay open? Wales endlessly if they close the road? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Johnson & WalesContinued from page 52 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! talent. Its healthy at some point to give media reports of a pending migra Miami Herald month, and Herms intends to build Last month the Daily Business Review reported that the Herms stores discussed regarding the future of the Design operator of Maitardi, is in direct contact corporation Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy Continued on page 57 Art MovementsContinued from page 49

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR that it plans to open a Louis Vuitton store Media have speculated that other plans and deals are still evolving. Were all the companys stores in the Design District. ously renovated historic buildings on and redeveloping properties throughout transforming a once-forgotten part of Miami into a popular spot for high-end furniture and home-accessory stores, buying spree last year. Today he estimates that real estate, particularly in the area of zation that provides housing and support valuable opportunity for everyone. There free for a year and generate publicity for mensions Variable, rent came in the form of Courtesy of Dacra Art MovementsContinued from page 56 Continued on page 58Courtesy of Dacra

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58 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR is closed to the public. To discourage Mary Hilton insists such a move is il and former mayor of neighboring North Miami. There are a lot of properties that Panos disagrees. He believes a condo residential properties from an investor condo units that can be rented out. cleanup cost, or returning the land to Miami-Dade altogether. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn Toxic AssetContinued from page 54 BT photo by Jim W. Harper Space, Locust Projects, and Dimensions Variable, but does say that the structures ings are really not in very good shape. I To help him chart the Design Dis tricts future and formulate a master nizations to run Dacras art space program. Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for the John S. and James L. Knight sure that the artists and the arts comdont have any formal role at this point in Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Art MovementsContinued from page 58BT photo by Erik Bojnansky

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Claws: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Spoiled Columnist ScornedIt is common knowledge, if Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer were so inclined to inform herself, of what declawing does to a cat and how harshly it affects its life (Cat Fight, August 2011). A true animal lover As is evident in her column, she hasnt bothered. Its obvious to the reader, because she refused her mother as an adequate home for one of her kittens. To those of us who know about cats, Edies judgment was clearly correct. For destroying her credibility and tarnishing I am even more incredulous that her editor, Jim Mullin of Biscayne Times risk of the huge backlash that the BT was bound to receive, both from readers and from advertisers who are knowledgeable will make sure that this letter reaches ingly calls an elder volunteer, is the She has dedicated many years, enormous thousands and thousands of cats and dogs that have been abandoned, abused, or homeless or lost. kitten at PetSmart, Ms. RothsteinKramers home, or her mothers home, would not be adequate for a cat that most likely has already had a rough beginning. These animals were not rescued to submit them to further cruelty. Its as Whether an individual agrees or if they deem it to be a risk for the cat. Let me give Ms. Rothstein-Kramer some facts she sorely lacks: She when she equates the removal of mere skin occurring in a circumcision (a very with function) with the removal of a cats claws, or declawing. Declawing involves removal of bone, ligaments, nerves, muscle, and so on. Declawing is, in effect, the surgical hands. Can you imagine what that would be like? Additionally, it is widely known that litter box altogether because digging or standing on sand becomes agonizing. After declawing, a cat will begin to and becoming aggressive. There is eviafter declawing. After all, it has been Now, as to Ms. Rothstein-Kramers I must tell say that I am also a frequent for a fact that Ms. Rothstein-Kramer really occurred. I was standing over Edie and a rescued dog she was holding when Ms. Rothstein-Kramer came in and was told that she and her mother had been refused. Edie at no time was condescending or stein-Kramer in clear, factual, and certain terms that she was denied and why. Her reaction was unbelievable. She was rude, insulting, and condescending. was in no mood to listen. Ms. Rothstein-Kramer stormed out began to scheme her revenge immediDenise Chaki AventuraCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 20 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

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGEWeight a Minute!Our columnist wages a reluctant battle to get back in shape By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorLiving in Miami does not come cheap. If you have female parts, go ahead and double that price. Thats because Im not referring to the cost of rent or, say, sandwich meat. As a woman with an address in the 331-whatever ZIP code, it seems as if you have an obligation an unspoken duty to not merely exist and pay taxes. You must look good, too. For most women, looking good is expensive and tedious. Unless you are naturally blessed with peachy (minus the fuzz), humidity-agreeable skin, frizz-resistant hair, and a six-pack you dont buy at the corner store, youd better be ready to part with half your paycheck before youve even cashed it. Thats because to be a Miamian is to be a person exposed. We cant hide our bodies behind clothing. Its too hot. We cant hide bad hair days under hats. Its too hot. And we cant hide unpolished toenails in clunky shoes. Those are too ugly. A Miami woman juggles a hell of a lot of maintenance. Im not sure where to start in terms of which aspect hair, nails, body, skin is the most important. Doesnt matter. You will be judged on ev erything. There also is the niggling idea of maintaining a brain keeping up with current events, reading, and giving your self a shot of culture with your espresso. But lets not tax ourselves. Leave that to the snowbirding and retired New Yorkers. They can do all the thinking. Well be over there frying under the hair dryer, spinning on the stationary bike, or stretching out the skin above our eyebrows to be threaded. Even if you wont agree with me publicly, you know Im right. Attractive people garner better treatment. Its a fact applicable to both sexes. And nowhere is that more true than in Miami. Well, maybe its just as true in Southern California, but there you have to be famous, too. Ever since permanently reestablishing myself in my vain and shallow homeland, I started working out at a local gym. Getting in shape also struck me as especially prudent after the Birth Control Pill Fiasco of 2011, whereby I mistook active pills for placebos and, after 17 years on the pill, just stopped mid-cycle. classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Heres a tip: Dont ever do that. For lack of a better summation, this is what happened next: I went crazy. I moved my queen-size bed, mattress frame and all, into my walk-in closet. I thought that would help drown the noise outside the window of my then-Brickell Avenue apart ment. I had ridiculous, junk-food cravings that made my usual PMS cravings look like playtime at the salad bar. At one point the only items in my freezer were cartons of ice cream. Oh, and some frozen yogurt vats. You know, for good measure. I went to the Keys and laughed at the idea of a slice of Key lime pie. I bought an entire pie to bring home and eat. Solo. Ive always been thin with a fast me tabolism. Im one of those people everyone loves to hate. I can eat whatever I want and stay slim. Well, every chunky person who ever cursed me can now sit back and gloat. My little jaunt into the whirlwind world of hormonal imbalance caused me to gain 20 pounds. This whole incident occurred in late February and early March, and Im still paying for it. Yeah, my cystic acne cleared up thanks, Pill, for taking me back to the good old days, on a nostalgic tour of middle-school misery, where I wouldnt even look people in the eye, for fear of there but the weight I gained wouldnt budge. Wont budge. Im starting to think I ruined my metabolism. Women often say, Once you have a kid, your body changes forever. I dont like unhappy surprises, especially I experienced one of the new mommy changes, minus a kid. I gained a bunch of weight once before. It was not pleasant. See, I am a sugar addict. That means I become very cranky when my friends cookies, cake, ice cream, ice cream with cookies, ice cream with cake, and chocolate are taken away. The last time I had to lose weight it took me a month to drop ten pounds, and I was miserable. All that exercise and only a single, mini Tofutti ice cream sandwich as a reward. Bleak, dark days, indeed. I might add here that I am not opposed to exercise. However, I am vehemently opposed to sweating. I dont get the people who embrace sweating. Who even love sweating. I suppose these are the same people who like puking their guts out until they dry heave and who also like the ten-day grapefruit cleanse because it is cathartic. Me? Sweat trapped in my sports bra is not a feeling I relish. My scalp itching from sweat? Oh, so fun! And, I might add, so good for my million-dollar haircut and color I refresh every three weeks. About six weeks into this hell, just when I thought I might be seeing a teeny bit of improvement, my pedicurist looked me over and said, Damn! You look thick! Um. Excuse me? (See? I told you that you will be judged on everything superShocked, I even gave her an out. Me: Do you mean I look more muscular? She: No. My pedicurist is Haitian, and thick is not necessarily as much a slap coming from her as from someone else. (There is an argument to be made here for cultural comment smarted. I managed to not kick the pedicurist, but I did thrust myself into high gear. My body, though, wouldnt co operate. I was building muscle, but the layer of fat over the muscle remained. This effect, what I coined The Hulk, was not my goal. Let me interrupt myself before I forget and say that I have newfound respect for anyone who is seriously overweight, or even moderately overweight, and works hard to drop the poundage. I wouldnt. Its just not worth it. All that sweat, germ-infested gym equipment, and denial of fun food? No thanks. When your body wages war against it is one I am yet to win. Yet I refuse to before lacing up my running shoes. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com I thrust myself into high gear. I was building muscle, but the layer of fat over the muscle remained.

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEGambling on the FutureWill casinos change South Florida for the better or worse? Hard to bet either wayBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorSo gambling fever has hit South Florida and the politicians are giddy I can just see them being tucked into dancing around their heads, and begging their parents for it all to come true: Please, Daddy, make it come true and I can pay off all my citys debt, and make big pot of money that I can lavish upon me and re-elect me forever and ever! Back in the mid-1970s, country and more money! tainly correlate to the elements that come against the casinos, lets take a look at here, just limited to the Indian reservations because they are a sovereign nation byists representing the haves and the Thats good, right? And then there is the pesky prosti Directed by Stephanie AnsinBy Stephanie Ansin & Fernando Calzadilla Opens November 9th! For tickets and information: 305-751-9550 www.theplaygroundtheatre.com 9806 NE 2nd Avenue Miami Shores, FL 33138 rfffPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director St. Martha in the Shores 9301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Shores Meet the artists at our after-concert reception in The Atrium, included with your tickets. All programs are subject to change without notice. ntbb Broadway Star of Phantom of the Opera, international recording artist with leading roles in A Little Night Music, The Music Man, Les Miserables, and The Mikado, plus a command performance for Queen Elizabeth, brings the thrills of Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, Lerner & Loewe, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more. Featured also is Baritone bbntbnt, winner of major competitions and soloist with leading orchestras throughout the world plus pianists bnb and btb btnt and organist bbnt. Sun., November 13, 2011 at 3 p.m.ntbb TO PURCHASE TICKETSVisit www.saintmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or purchase at church office or at door$1 $20 Blue Circle

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casinos will open and prostitutes will fall from the sky! Hmmm, seems to me that the Upper Eastside has been plagued with prostitution since Jesus was a little boy. mine that, if he did not like the prostitution on the Boulevard, he should seek another address. You knew what you were getting into when you moved into this neighborhood, he said. If you dont like it, you should move out! Prostitution remains on the Boulevard because the political will to make it go away is lacking. After all, our politicians wouldnt allow a gaggle of pedophiles to be concentrated in the Upper Eastside, would they? Oops, perhaps thats not the best example. Lets say they wouldnt allow a their trade up and down the Boulevard because that would not be politically healthy. But prostitution is a victimless crime, right? I mean, who does it hurt, other than local businesses whose customers are driven away and children who are forced to walk a gauntlet of whores as they make their way to and from school? And when I say politicians, dont just think of our city commissioners. You have to throw Kathy Fernandez Rundle, our State Attorney, into the mix, too. A year ago our areas police commander started Operation Street Walker, provid ing local residents and business owners with the opportunity to attend court hear ings and lobby for longer sentences for those found guilty of prostitution. Rundle responded by watering down the program to virtual non-existence. Way to go, Kathy! Way to be in touch with your electorate. Hopefully, Upper Eastside voters will remember your commitment to our quality of life when you So I think we all recognize that casinos will not create prostitution just, shall we say, a higher level of product that doesnt have to troll the Boulevard and wont concern itself with the inelegant people of the Upper Eastside. Next come the foibles created by alcohol and drugs. Not really sure how to equate this issue with the pros or cons of casinos. After all, Miami has been the co caine capital of the nation since the 1980s and still, to this day, the Coast Guard makes record busts aboard cocainecarrying fast boats and submarines. Its hard to believe that casinos will make that element any worse than it already is. Alcohol is legally sold and is a basic component of adults interfacing in a social climate. If you dont like it, dont drink. (I guess you could say the same of prostitution. If you dont like the product, dont partake pretty simple.) That leads us to the issue of corrupthis community who thinks corruption worse with the addition of casinos has a screw loose. Almost every day one politician or another is being called out outright accepting of bribes in exchange for votes. Casinos just introduce another venue to be exploited. And you can bet that whoever is on the casinos advance teams has already reported back that nothing is impossible in South Florida. Even the Herald is in on the deal. Hell, a few years back they made a magnanimous gesture in turning over a large piece of land for what is now the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Who would have thought that such an investment excuse me, donation would result in an increase in the value of the Herald s land and eventu ally line their parent companys pockets? What a coincidence! The Herald has been in the real estate business for years, long ago forsaking its responsibility as the social conscience of our community. So in the long run, will casinos be good or bad for South Florida? The answer is probably a mixture of the two. Usually it boils down to the people who are in a position to make decisions, and whether or not they make those decisions in the best interest of the public. But not to worry, these are the same people who brought us the Port of Miami tunnel, the new Marlins stadium, and are preparing to dredge the eco-sensitive port channel to accommodate those beautiful monster cargo ships from the Panama Canal. (Let the chant of Jobs, jobs, jobs! begin.) Maybe, just maybe, Tom T. Hall was right. Maybe the meaning of life is faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aATT he Limits of LoyaltyThere are certain places that can absolutely depend on our business, until something better comes alongBy Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorAs I look around the neighborhood, I see things come and go hair and nail salons, restaurants, retail stores and I wonder: Is there any loyalty here? And even more to the point, when does loyalty outweigh convenience? I mean, there are certain things in life that are, for the most part, interchangeable. The Bed Bath and Beyonds, But then, there are others that simply arent. And in this category I place not only things and places, but also people, like a favorite hairdresser or a store manager. to the Publix at Loehmanns Plaza in Aventura. Its so close that I consider it my own personal market. And living here for more than seven years, weve made the pilgrimage so many times that you cant help but get to know the staff. The managers all preside over the registers and the stores entry and exit points, their green button-down shirts proudly on display so customers know that they are management. They say hello and good-bye, and step in when a surly customer gets loud with a cashier. But not one of them really gets to know the customer. A Publix employee for more than 19 was smart, personable, kind, tough, I dont even know how we began became friendly. I use friendly in a we-are-shopping-in-Publixand-chit-chatting kind of way, not rfr ntb rr fttrtnf ttb bttb t

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lets-go-to-dinner-and-drinks. But you know what? We would have accepted an invitation had it been extended. As we shopped at our Publix, shed walk the aisles with us and wed banter back and forth; she made us feel special. Whether she did it for everyone or just us didnt matter. It was a pleasure. A couple of months ago, she made mention that the powers that be were moving her to the Skylake Publix. No! I thought. Not our Michelle. I never saw her again. She was gone the next day. No proper good-byes. Nothing. Just gone. Now when we walk to our Publix, we see other managers and I am sure they are all lovely people but we long for Michelle. We talk about it every time we go there. My husbands famous chant, Bring back the Berry, only worked for so long, although many of the workers still quietly nod their heads in agreement. But heres where the loyalty factor comes into play. We are still going to the same Publix. If we were loyal to Michelle, wouldnt we have changed our preferred Publix location? Would we not hightail it over to a new Publix to be with our favorite manager? Well, the answer, sadly enough, is no. Weve thought about her often, but convenience overcomes loyalty. I have a funny feeling that it almost always will. The same goes for restaurants. There are a million great sushi places: Naoe, Hiro, and Oishi Thai in North Miami Beach, Siam Oishi in Hallandale Beach. And there is Fuji Hana. Just around the corner from my Publix (translation: its within walking distance), Fuji Hana is good. I like the food very much, but like most things in Aventura, the prices are a bit higher than necessary, and the service can be spotty. But while I complain about things they do there Ive actually had to get up and physically retrieve my waiter to pay my check, and (this ones the best) myself heading over there more often close. Its easy. What can I say? I guess Im guilty of being like most everybody else (in this respect). One of my favorite food places, Asian Boulevard at 143rd Street. It was a small, privately owned restaurant that offered some of the best Chinese food in town. I would drive there no matter where I was! I guess it was really that much better. Sadly, not enough people felt as strongly as I did and it closed. My search for its replacement in my personal dining pan theon has so far been unsuccessful. There are just some things that are do foster loyalty, great Chinese food being one. Another is a great hairdresser. I thought Id found mine. Ill call her Samantha. Her salon was very close to to work and, around 4:00 p.m., take a pleasant and short walk, then duck into the salon. I had numerous successful cuts and colors until that day. We always experimented. After all, its just hair, right? (The answer to that question would ultimately prove to be no.) Im very blonde. She suggested we go short and dark. To be fair, I went willingly. I trusted her. She had my undying loyalty. What I didnt expect was to come out looking like Lisa Rinna. I was so upset I couldnt speak. Im not sure if it was the cut or color, but together they were too much for me to bear. In the days following, I called, texted, and e-mailed my pleas for help. I couldnt make my hair grow, but I could dye it back. Once youre blonde, its hard to become mousy brown. Beg as I did, didnt see the issue. She didnt want me blonde again. (Really? Whose head is it, anyway?) I felt really betrayed. That was about a year ago. To this day I still get upset when I think about it. Samantha always wondered why the Aventura clientele wouldnt cross the West Dixie tracks to her salon. Perhaps now we know why. I thought she was the one. I was being loyal (okay, so it was also conve nient), but still, I would have gone any where for her. Shouldnt it work both ways? So what is my point? I think its human nature that people will always do whats best for them. Youre loyal until youre not loyal. Its good until something better comes along. I wish I could say Im 100-percent not that gal, but if I did, Id be lying. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbnb4571 Weston Road Weston Commons Shopping Center 954-217-864419015C Biscayne Blvd Aventura Grand Cove Center 305-692-2201

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sSAA Stitch in TimeA walk-in medical center offers quick relief from an awkward sidewalk encounter and other common maladiesBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorNearly two years ago, I was standing on the corner of NE 2nd Avenue and 96th Street, waiting for the light to change. I had just dropped off my son at his after-soccer piano lesson at Miss Janes Music Studio (in its former location on 96th Street; now its located on NE 2nd Avenue) and was heading to the Village Caf for a glass of wine when a woman approached me, seemingly out of nowhere. good back doctor? I confess to having been a bit wary, though her neatly dressed appearance didnt sound any alarms. But downtown Miami Shores at rush hour isnt exactly a teeming metropolis where a freshly released workforce bumps into each other and chats, dispensing folk wisdom and other valuable advice about their community. (If only!) Plus the coincidence of someone asking me for a good back doctor seemed like a set-up. Well, my husband is a neurologist. I suppose I can give you his card, I ventured. I had a feeling Jon wouldnt be happy with this off-the-street referral. Anyone asking complete strangers on a lonely corner for a physician recommendation is more likely seeking drugs for back pain than an actual solution for back pain. Not to mention that I dont carry Jons business info, and couldnt give you me. I know his cell number, and thats all my aging brain can seem to hold on to any more. Friends in need of a referral get that, with his tacit permission. But I wasnt about to give this woman our private contact information. She thought about this option for all of a second: Great! Can I walk there? Was this some great prank? We do have physicians in Miami Shores, including the Bach-Livingstone all-ages group I go to, and even recommend to my stu dents and their parents. We also have an excellent psychologist, Jennifer Timko, whom I considered mentioning to her for a moment. conveniently across the street from schools the Presbyterian Church 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 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

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School and Miami Country Day School, respectively. Not in the center of town, where we were idling, and where I was being prevented from consuming my own weekly dose of doctor-prescribed (even if that doctor is my husband) stress prevention. Where did this woman come from, and what did she really want? And how, with severe back pain, was she going to walk anywhere ? I dont think you can walk, no, I said slowly. Youd have to drive. Oh, I cant drive, she responded. Im having a spasm. I cant get back in the car. Oh, I dont know what to do. Im really in a lot of pain. The weird thing was, she didnt hold herself or speak like she was in agony. She wasnt wincing or staggering or keeping her hand to her back. At this point, she was starting to give me that creepy feeling, like she was going to next ask me to take her somewhere or if I had any pills in my purse. In fact, I did. I have arthritis in my left shoulder, elbow, and knee, the result of old soccer and skiing injuries carry prescription non-steroidal, anti-inabout to offer her some. Wanting to be rid of her, I looked up (or rolled my eyes, however you interpret it) for inspiration. And I found it: The giant sign that we were standing directly under read Medi-Station Urgent and Walk-In Medical Care. I quickly urged her in the direction of the door, which she refused to enter, telling me she my instincts that she was after something, and freeing me, after ten wasted and somewhat anxious minutes, to treat my own pain the best way I know how. why it didnt jump to mind even though we were practically standing in its foyer, the Medi-Station clinic is probably the best service in Miami Shores and the most underutilized. Open seven days a week, with hours that extend well past traditional common emergencies: cuts that need stitching, broken bones and sprains that require splinting, minor burns, asthma attacks, dehydration, migraines, and sudden illness. The center also does diagnostic testing for strep, mono, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and more. For a full list of services, you can check out their website (www.medistationurgentcare.com). Not only is the clinic convenient for those of us who live in the Shores, its clean. Even with a husband who is a doctor, Ive taken advantage of the services offered there. My children, bless them, inherited from me the odd combination of athleticism and accident-proneness that has handed them, so far, a multitude of injuries. This fall alone, my daughter separated the growth plate in her shoulder playing volleyball, immediately followed by my son damaging something in his foot (were still not sure what) while playing soccer. Theyve broken their arms doing things like getting it caught in between a desk and a chair at school when your teacher tells you not to lean back in your chair, thats why and opened incisions on their eyebrows by whoops! Running headlong into a bedpost. Remy even had the top of his thumb cut off in the hinge of a door when he was a toddler. During one of those moments, I was grateful to just be able to whisk over to the Medi-Station to have yet another body part assessed, instead of having to call my husband, so he could tell me which emergency room he was currently working in. The downside, after waiting a mere 30 minutes to be seen, was that the clinic didnt take my insurance, after all. So check before you go. (The 16 types they do take are listed on the website, and includes workers compensation.) at all, know that the rates are cheaper than those at local emergency rooms. The main physician, Dr. Carlos San medicine; research him if you like. that when your child starts vomiting at 7:00 p.m. and cant stop, that you wont wait nearly as long to be seen there, two minutes from your home, than you will at the nearest hospital. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARKLet the RR ecord S S h ow With an election looming, guring out where the commission candidates stand on the issues may not be so easyBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorIll begin with a mea culpa. In last months column, I wrote that the new concrete FPL poles currently being installed in the village were, in some instances, as much as ten feet taller than the old wood poles. That was based on my observation of the new poles standing sideby-side with the old ones on NE 119th Street. What I didnt know, and later found out, is that the tops of the old poles had been cut off when the power lines were transferred to the new poles. This gave the impression that the new poles were much taller, when, in fact, the difference in height appears to be negligible. I made a mistake. I apologize. Ill leave it to read ers to decide what effect my poor survey ing skills should have on what I wrote. In my experience, journalists are pretty good about acknowledging their mistakes its hard not to, when theyre published for everyone to see and vowing to do better in the future. One would think elections would be a good time for politicians to do the same, but if anything, candidates seem to dissemble more than usual. More votes to be had that way. Sadly, Biscayne Park doesnt seem to be an exception to this rule. Sometime before I moved here it might have been 2007 I was thumbing through the Herald s coverage of local elections and came across interviews with the Biscayne Park Commission hopefuls. When asked what their priorities were, the candidates gave similar, vague answers, comically disguised as differing viewpoints. They went something like this: Candidate 1: I think quality-of-life is the most important issue, then maintenance of our park, followed by safety. Candidate 2: No, no. Its our park, safety, and then quality-of-life. Candidate 3: Youre both wrong. Its safety, quality-of-life, and then the park. What a fortunate little village, I remember thinking. It was like everybody was running for class president at Happy High and the outcome mattered about as much. That, of course, was an outsiders perspective. When I bought here a couple of years later, I found a community facing real challenges: the housing BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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crash, a limited tax base, and surprisingly contentious politics. But also one with a lot going for it: a tranquil setting, residents who care about the area, and young professionals and families moving in, excited about the future. How we navigate those challenges and harness that promise will make all the difference which is why we need a real election this year, one in which future are put forward by all candidates, whoever they may be. (At press time, a Getting that may not be as easy as it sounds. Never mind potential challeng ers, Ive been paying close attention to the current commission for almost two years, out what some of its members guiding principles are, or what they actually want for Biscayne Park and its residents. Does a majority of the current commission care about preserving the unique character of Biscayne Park? Depends what day you catch them. During the fence ordinance debate a few months ago, a lot of energy, rightly so, was expended on the question of aesthetics: What kinds of fences should be allowed? What materials should be approved? How would the fences impact the look and feel of the village? Those questions never arose FPL hardening project, and now we have those concrete poles, which arguably impact the village much more dramatically than would the occasional fence. Where does the commission stand on taxes? Depends which taxes youre talking about. By a vote of 4-1 (Comcommission recently capped our 20112012 millage rate at 8.9 percent, down from 8.99 percent. Just last year, however, Mayor Roxanna Ross and commissioners Bob Anderson and Al Childress voted to institute a new ten-percent tax on our water bill. And then theres that six-percent franchise fee on our FPL bills, which we were told the village descollapse. Im not sure all of that adds up to an actual policy, though, as we all know, it does add up in other ways. Does the commission believe in trans parency? Unfortunately, this is an easy one: Not really. Last year commissioners Anderson and Childress, along with the mayor, voted to abolish commissioner comments from the village newsletter, and they continually deny requests from com missioners Bernard and Bryan Cooper to minutes of commission meetings. Commissioner Anderson likes to say the fact that almost no one comes to commission meetings is proof the commission is doing a heckuva job. As tempted as I am to agree with him people write in every month to complain about my column, the other 3000 or so village residents must be in complete agreement with me I just cant. To me, the meager attendance at commission meetings is evidence that a lot of people feel alienated from the process. Heres something we can all agree on: The registration deadline for voting in this years election is Monday, November 7. Now all we have to do before Elecstraight answers from our candidates. All of them. On a related note: Ive heard that some of our more civically active neighbors are raising questions about Noah Jacobss home ownership. Apparently they think Mr. Jacobs, he of the whimsically placed concrete FPL pole, might be interested in running for a seat on the commission. They dont much like the idea, so theyre trying to paint him as a carpetbagger, or something like that. I asked Mr. Jacobs about it. This is his response: Some individuals have decided to focus on the ownership of the house my family and I live in. The people of Bis cayne Park would be better suited if these same people would focus on the practices of good government, and making certain that the mechanisms and actions of this government are more transparent. My mother-in-law and father-inlaw are the owners of [our] house. My wife, who was raised in Biscayne Park, will become the owner of this residence in the future. My hope is that my sixyear-old daughter will grow up in this house and, in the distant future, become not only its owner, but also an active member of this community, which will be even more wonderful than it is today. Amen to that last part. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

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70 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMINo Shortcuts AllowedSo FIU wants a new access road to its Biscayne Bay campus? Not so fast By Mark Sell BT ContributorIf Florida International University is even thinking about turning the Arch Creek East Nature Preserve trail into a four-lane road, its time for a rethink. Thanks to the mobilization of NE 135th Street residents and their allies over the past 30 days, the option appears dead on arrival. But politics works in strange could at any time emerge from its evident tomb and rejoin the living. FIU wants more access than just NE 151st Street for its growing 7500-student Biscayne Bay campus in the City of North Miami. The campus (part of a 46,000-student university) hosts schools of hospitality, journalism, and environmental science, and runs a shuttle bus nearly 25 miles to its main campus in west Miami-Dade. The university has stepped up its efforts to get more access after the recent openings of Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School and the David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center created two 15 mph school zones on 151st Street. The nature trail option, by far the cheapest, is to convert the preserve trail into a four-lane road, as it was before Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman worked to deed the land back to the City of North Miami, creating a preserve in perpetuity in 2007. It turned the main highway from the aborted Interama cultural center project into a pedestrian and bike trail bounded by City of North Miami land on one side, and Oleta River State Park on the other. The alternative option is to run the access road through 143rd Street and across the Biscayne Landings site, and then via a bridge over protected wetlands. That will likely require cooperation with Michael Swerdlow, who is moving forward to con solidate his hold on the site, buying up the 160 bank-owned condos and promising new amenities within 18 months. For now, the 135th Street option appears off the table with respect to the North Miami City Council, which must give its blessing to any access option. On October 17, Mayor Andre Pierre declared his opposition to the 135th Street plan to a packed meeting of the Arch Creek East Neighborhood Association, joining council members Michael Blynn and Scott Galvin, who has led the charge against it and is not subtle in his assessments. FIU is the evil one in the whole process, Galvin told the group that BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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6301 Biscayne Blvd Ste 103 Miami, FL 33138 P 305 756.8070 Custom make your New Years and holiday outfits! Many fabrics & Silhouettes to choose. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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72 Culture: THE ARTSLighting Up the SceneTwo new works by artists Robert Chambers and Ivan Toth Depea are electrifying evidence of Miamis cultural ascendanceBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorTo call this bottom tip of the United States a cultural backwater these days is so last century. Every year, indeed almost every season, something pops up on the radar screen to prove that not only is Miami-Dades cultural scene growing, but that it should rank among the best anywhere. In dance, theater, and the visual arts, in particular, Miami has garnered international attention, and rightfully so. This fall a couple of major public-art projects are being unveiled that add to this recognition. Two light-based works are meant to electrify, literally and emotionally, the visitors and audiences at the brand-new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay and the Stephen P. Clark Government Center downtown. For the South Dade center, veteran Miami artist Robert Chambers created the stunning Light Field which illuminates the lobby in an array of colors and images, and can be seen, dramatically so, from outside the building, through the all-glass walls. marble sculptures also made by the used 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Keplers laws of planetary motion as the basis for the design of Ori bital 1 and Oribital 2 both carved from ten tons of rock. At the government center, Miami native Ivan Toth Depea is adding interactive light and video panels to the otherwise uninspiring and dour lobby. Called it is an elaborate and aweinspiring sight. Both projects are commissions of the Art in Public Places program, founded back in 1973 with an ordinance allocating one-and-a-half percent of construction costs of new county buildings for the purchase or commission of artworks. The Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Af fairs oversees the program, and the art education and community outreach coor dinator, Brandi Reddick, has shepherded both light projects through the system. Reddick, who has commissioned works from national artists and is familiar with public artworks across the country, says these new pieces are cutting edge, and not just for Miami: I really havent seen this type of interactive public work anywhere . The director of the cultural affairs department, Michael Spring, agrees, and says he is proud that these original works come from hometown hands: These are some of the boldest projects. These artists have proven track records, and now will have permanent public artwork to show for it. Chamberss proposal for the new cultural center also blew away the designers the famed, locally based architectural tectonica which is uncommon. Usually the architects and builders like to have total control of the interventions], says Spring. But they saw how Roberts idea brought the whole building alive, and they loved it. The work is a giant LED piece that changes color and design through computer-generated commands. It initially might seem a little too complicated to install, and to maintain, but Spring says that, because the project was Light Field Photo by Robin Hill I want to invoke a sense of wonder with this installation, both aesthetically and emotionally, says Depea.

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embraced by everyone involved in the construction of the center, the various groups all worked together, including the engineers: They piggybacked off each other, with teams already in place, so it was seamless. In the end, the light work accentuates the spirit and the pulse of the building. Depeas work will do the same for the gray and tired-looking government center. (Although not a new building, funds for the commissioned artwork were allocated because of the construction of a neighboring garage, which will service the government center.) The lobby gets more almost any other building in the county, if not the region. Interactive light panels will be displayed on the concrete lobby pillars, responding to images that are picked up from ceiling cameras. Very sophisticated stuff, observes Spring. The roof had to be rewired. Depea himself used to walk through the lobby to ride the Metromover, on his way to and from his studies at the New World School of the Arts. The lobby is a major node of circulation, whether it be from the Government Center Metrorail station or general Depea. I wanted to capture that movement and energy with the installation. I wanted people from the community to be a part of the piece and to have their own effect on the space, to create a constantly evolving work. When the work is fully installed by the end of November, people will be able to walk up to the pillars and commingle with their own movements, and those of others. I hope that the visitor will be intrigued enough to take a second to play, watch, and interact with the piece, says Depea. The visitor should start to notice the nuance and how they are physically changing their image and, in turn, the whole installation. I want to invoke a sense of wonder with this installation, both aesthetically and emotionally. The piece can be seen as something fun, light-hearted, and playful, or something Its no accident that Depea, and Art in Public Places, chose this type of medium for this structure. Govern ment, after all, is supposed to be of the people, by the people. Lets face it, the government center. The lobby is somewhat dark and not very friendly. This will enliven it and create a welcoming atmosphere, like a government building should. As for the high-tech challenge of maintaining these pieces, everyone involved thinks its a non-issue. Fifteen percent of the funds for each project goes to upkeep, and LEDs, used in both projects, have very long lifespans. And involve computers and electricity doesnt It is actually not as complicated as it sounds, he says. Three basic components make up the system: the camera, the computer to process the images and the results. If anything breaks down, the software that controls the whole system is designed to be monitored and is something that can be taken care of; if not, it will send us a message and we will be able to determine the cause and solution pretty immediately. Although Chambers has created outdoor sculptural pieces in the past, public art. Same goes for Depea. It took a bit of faith from the commissionbuilt, he adds. But they have given me the opportunity of a lifetime. That opportunity, notes Reddick, goes both ways: Pedestrians and visitors Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Chamberss Orbital 1 and Orbital 2 (foreground) Light Field A rendering of Depeas Photo by Robin Hill

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74 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through November 26: Perceptions of Religious Imagery in Natural Phenomena by Joshua Hagler 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through November 26: Faces with various artists 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net November 5 through January 21: Faces of China by Tom Salyer 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-587-0172 www.albertolinerogallery.com 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 November 12 through November 30: Flamboyer with various artists 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net November 19 through January 28: The Eyes Sometimes by Karina Peisajovich 750 NE 124th St., North Miami 305-975-6933 www.alonsored.com Call gallery for exhibition information 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com Through 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 November 26 through January 20: Woman to Woman with Julie Davidow, Carol Prusa, Vickie Pierre, Sara Stites, Samantha Salzinger, Francie Bishop Good, Felice Grodin, Michelle Weinberg, Elizabeth Cerejido, and Mia Leonin Small Works Show with various artists 180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami By appointment: info@ November 12 through January 1: Mary, Richard, Clouds and Dirt by Richard Haley 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com Through January 7: A Critique of Established Attitudes Towards Aging & Beauty by Aurora Molina November 12 through January 7: New Work by Peter Sarkisian, and Fleeced by Holly Lynton 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through November 24: The Others Writing by Pablo Lehmann November 22 through December 31: Dream Catcher Contemporary Project with Emilio Garcia, Zhanna Kadyrova, Pablo Lehmann, Anibal Vallejo, and SYN group 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, and Creatos Aetas by Kourtney Eugene Brown November 12 through November 30: Design District Gallery Walk with Hector Maldonado and his emerging artists 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com November 11 through January 8: MDCC North Campus 1970s Faculty Exhibition with Jim Couper, Elmer Craig, Duane Hanson, Charles Hashim, Shirley Henderson, Michael Klezmer, Salvatore La Rosa, Peter McWhorter, Ron Mitchell, Gary Monroe, and Robert Thiele 305-303-6254 www.buttergallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www.susannacaldwell.com Ongoing: Seductive Assemblages and Wood Sculpture by Susanna Caldwell 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www .cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com November 4 through November 27: Silhouette by Rosemarie Chiarlone: Liberation by Andre Leon Gray 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Ongoing: Group Show with Vanessa Baumgertner, Adriano Nicot, Ramon Muoz, and Monica Atucha 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415; www.visual.org Through December 17: Beyond the Daily Life by Guerra de la Paz 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411; www.charestweinberg.com Through November 19: Tabularasa by Tim Maxwell November 29 through February 29: Black Sculpture by Fernando Mastrangelo 71 E. Flagler St., Miami 305-741-0058 www.christophermirogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 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 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 Through November 5: Subliminal by Fabian Pea November 10 through December 31: Dont Get High on Your Own Supply with various artists 2043 N Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 November 12 through February 4: Thoughts, Meditations, Acts by Xawery Wolski 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305 573-4046; www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net November 12 through December 23: Duets by Domingo Castillo 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com November 12 through January 20: Chuck Ramirez curated by Chuck Ramirez and Patricia Ruiz-Healy 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Through November 12: As They Are by John Sanchez, Terminus by Amanda Burnham, and Running Drive by Richard Haden Hooded

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November 19 through January 21: Full Salute by Mette Tommerup, and Modern Trance by Martin Murphy DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 EDGE ZONES CONTEMPORARY ART 47 NE 25th St., Miami 305-303-8852; www.edgezones.org ELITE ART EDITIONS 2732 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 754-422-5942; www.elitearteditions.com November 12 through November 24: Organic Overtones with Carolina Rojas and JeanPierre Dodel ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami Through November 11: Fall Group Show with David Mann, David T. Kessler, Hunt Slonem, and Mario Velez November 12 through November 30: Group Show with Juan Mejia, David Mann, David Kessler, and Douglass Freed FLAGLER ART SPACE 172 W. Flagler St., Miami FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976; www.snitzer.com Through November 5: Tamim by Zack Balber Through November 5: Dark Age Ahead by Viking Funeral November 10 through December 17: Change by Cristina Lei Rodriguez GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque.com November 30 through January 20: Recent Works by Claude Viallat, and New Sculpture by ORLAN GALERIE SCHUSTER MIAMI 2085 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-266-2445; www.galleryschuster.com Hidalgo by Oscar Hidalgo GALLERY 212 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-431-1957; www.gallery212miami.com November 30 through January 1: Art Basel Miami 2011 N., Sean Murdock, Jonathan Dvoretz, and Henry Souto, GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through November 12: November 19 through December 22: Photographs with GALLERY I/D 2531 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-778-4568 www.galleryid.com GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com GIOVANNI ROSSI FINE ART 2628 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 561-251-1375 HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami www.hardcoreartcontemporary.com Through November 5: Marvelous Punishment by Natasha Duwin Through November 19: New Media Festival with Milton Becerra, Gaston Ugalde, Carlos Gamez de Francisco, Judy Wethein, and John Fitzgerald November 26 through February 4: Castaeda, Gaston Ugalde, and Milton Becerra HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through November 5: ICON ART 147 NW 36th St, Miami (305) 576-4266 www.iconartimages.com JG PLATFORM GALLERY 2320 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-0208 KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through November 24: Concetto Spaziale by Jorge Pedro Nuez November 26 through January 15: Community by Meyer Vaisman KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through November 20: Full Moon with Alejandro Leyva and Alejandro Mendoza KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through November 12: Ignition by Mira Lehr November 26 through January 28: Sculpture and Painting with Albert Paley and Heriberto Mora KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com LOCUST PROJECTS 155 NE 38th St., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org November 14 through December 31: Billboard Project by Agustina Woodgate November 12 through December 17: Cores and Cutouts by Ruben Ochoa MAOR GALLERY 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-9995 http://maormiami.org Through November 12: Four Species with Loriel Beltran, Catalina Jaramillo, Joe Segal, and Shelter Serra MIAMI ART SALON 36 NW 36th St., Miami 305-775-9683 www.miamiartsalon.com MIAMI ART SPACE 244 NW 35th St., Miami 305-757-6000 www.miamiartspace.com MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, CENTRE GALLERY 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu November 16 through December 16: Memento Mori by Arturo Rodriguez and Alejandro Anreus MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, FREEDOM TOWER 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 Through December 4: Collection and Cintas Fellows Collection with various artists November 4 through January 8: Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, GALLER Y NORTH 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through December 15: Ralph Provisero: Maquettes and Drawings by Ralph Provisero MIAM-DADE COLLEGE, HOMESTEAD ART SPACE 500 College Terr., Homestead 305-237-5000 www.mdc.edu/homestead MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, KENDALL GALLERY 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall November 18 through January 15: MIAMI INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN 1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-428-5700 www.mymiu.com MICHAEL PEREZ POP ART GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 516-532-3040 www.michaelperez-artist.com MORE FUNNER PROJECTS 180 NE 39th St., Miami 786-512-4130 MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com Through November 11: Anima and Icon by Kevin Ledo November 4 through November 30: Communist Dictator Visiting Miami by Pete Kirill November 12 through November 30: Mira Lehr, ignited fuses, resins, and inks, Hypnosis is powerful because it directly accesses the subconscious mind and reprograms it just as you would a computer. The good news is it takes only one or two sessions to reverse any limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Its as easy as that!USING HYPNOSIS, YOU CAN:ll Your Potential dence

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76 Urban Walls and Life by Camila Malo November 18 through November 30: New York+New York by Paul Ching-Bor New World School of the Arts 25 NE 2nd St., Miami 305-237-3597 November 8: Inches of Art with various artists November 18 through December 16: Works of Eight with various artists 1800 N. Bayshore Dr ., Miami 305-395-3599 November 29 through January 28: International Art Exhibition with various artists 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 November 29 through January 15: The Visionary Eye: Contemporary Masterworks with Jesus Soto, Carlos Cruz Diez, Alejandro Otero, Victor Lucena, Francisco Salazar, Victor Vasarely, Bernar Venet, and Carlos Cabeza 3100 NW 7th Ave., Miami 305-633-9345 www.oh-wow.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through December 5: Fragments by Jos Manuel Fors 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 November 12 through December 31: Barbed by Guerra de la Paz 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104 www.primaryprojectspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery. html November 16 through November 30: Ana Facereote 2136 NW 1st Ave., Miami 305-600-4785 www.sohostudiosmiami.com Call gallery for exhibition information 162 NE 50th Terr., Miami 305-992-7652 www.myspace.com/stashgallery Call gallery for exhibition information 3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot. com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through November 26: America, Like It Or Not with Kirk Crippens, Jos J. Figueroa, and Rodolfo Vanmarcke On Mating and the Modern Female by Jesse Meadows 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 November 13: Newly Juried Artist Show with various artists November 19 through January 1: Center of Attention with resident artists 2100 Collin s Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through February 12: Laurent Grasso 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 November 30 through March 4: Frames and Documents: Conceptualist Practices: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection with various artists 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists November 29 through March 10: Maintain Right by Funner Projects, with Justin H. Long and Robert Lorie 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through January 8: 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through April 22: Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art with various artists November 12 through January 15: China: Insights with Chen Yuan Zhong, Hua Er, Jia Yu Chuan, Li Nan, Yang Yan Kang, Yu Haibo, and Zhang Xinmin 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 November 6: Aftermath by Joel Meyerowitz Through January 1: Schneebett by Enrique Martinez Celaya November 6 through January 1: American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgolds Paintings of the 1960s by Faith Ringgold November 17 through March 18: Focus Gallery: Marcel Duchamp by Marcel Duchamp, curated by Rene Morales 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, and Nicolas Paris Velez November 30 through February 19: Rolling Stop by Mark Handforth 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www.margulieswarehouse.com Call for exhibition information 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090; http://rfc.museum November 30 through July 27: American Exuberance with various artists Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908; www.worldclassboxing.org November 12 through February 11: Love Trips: A Triptych on Love by Jillian Mayer Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com Still Life Turnips

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A Captiva-ting PerformanceThe newly formed local theater company Zoetic Stage opens Captiva on Thursday, November 3 at the Adrienne Arsht Centers Carnival Studio Theater (1444 Biscayne Blvd.). The plot revolves around a family weekend reunion, fraught with sibling rivalry, sex, wine, and this being Florida, a hurricane. Its both drama and comedy from Carbonell Award-winner Christopher Demos-Brown. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m., with some weekend matinees. Tickets range from $15 to $25. For more details, go to www. arshtcenter.org.Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk There are numerous architectural walk ing tours throughout the year, and then there is the Art Deco and MiMO Tour Guide Academy offered by the Miami Design Preservation League on three Saturdays this month: November 5, 12, and 19 For those who are serious about our heritage, the classes will include walking the two historical districts, lectures, and lunch. Those aspiring to become tour guides must complete all three classes. School runs from 10:00 Cost is $80. Go to www.mdpl.org/events/ art-deco-mimo-tour-guide-academy.Pull an All-Nighter The City of Miami Beach once again will host the hyperactive Sleepless Night on Saturday, November 5 The 12-hourlong night features about 140 events in all, from South Beach to North Beach. There will be tons of music from jazz to timba, classical piano to Slovakian experimental dance performances, plays, Mexican puppets, interactive multimedia installations, and giant, illuminated, bicycled-powered sea creatures. And thats just a taste. The fun starts at 6:00 p.m. and goes till 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Admission to all events is free. Shuttle buses will be available. For a full schedule and a list of venues, check out www.sleeplessnight.org. That Floating FeelingIts November, so the late afternoon light is soft and clear, a perfect time to spot the huge variety of birds, dolphins, and manatees that call Biscayne Bay home. Do it by taking an ecologically friendly, lazy boat trip from Pelican Harbor on the 79th Street Causeway, past Bal Harbour, to the natural preserve of Oleta River State Park. The Oleta River Sunset Eco Boat Tour will set sail on Saturday, November 12 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. If tides permit, the trip will include a slip under the Haulover bridge into the ocean. Leaving from 1279 NE 79th St., and guided by eco-historian Frank Schena, the cost is $30 for members of HistoryMiami ($40 for nonmembers). E-mail citytours@historymiami.org to reserve space.Serious Fun for the Whole Family The Arsht Center continues to carve out a niche as not just a cultural venue, but a town square as well. One way it is pulling in the crowds is with its free Family Fest days, this month on Saturday, Novem ber 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The outdoor event will feature a literal circus atmosphere, with acrobats, jugglers, and stilt walkers, and more. Then the culture moves indoors for a free concert in the Knight Concert Hall at 2:00 p.m. For more information, go to www. arshtcenter.org.Call It a Petting Party These can seem like heartless times, so one way to make the world less cruel is to help out the most helpless among us, and that includes our four-legged friends. On Sunday, November 20 the Humane Society of Greater Miami will cel ebrate its 75th anniversary at the Soffer and Fine Adoption Center (16101 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach). It will be a familyand pet-friendly event, from noon till 4:00 p.m., with music, food, and crafts. Best of all, animal lovers, any pets that have been with the organization for more than four months will have their adoption fees waived. For more information, call 305-749-1820 or go to www. humanesocietymiami.org.We Love a ParadeMany a transplant to South Florida remembers those Thanksgiving Day pathe cold drizzle and cloudy skies. That is never the case in North Miami during its annual WinterNational Thanksgiv ing Day Parade which travels along NE 125th Street, from 5th Avenue to 12th Avenue, on Thursday, November 24 starting at 10:00 a.m. This years theme Healthy Places, but also includes the usual fun. But why just watch the parade when you can be in it? To take part, contact the North Miami Parks and Recreation Department at 305-895-9840. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Hilarious Disco BirthdayIt has indeed been one year since the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.) opened its doors. Its also the citys 16th birthday. So to celebrate, the center is throwing a Founders Weekend bash on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 a comic performance from Saturday Night Live alum and Broadway star Ana Gasteyer, who will do her takes on Martha Stewart, Celine Dion, and Hillary Clinton (at 8:00 p.m.; $56.50 to $66.50). On Saturday, Stayin tribute to those dance-happy 1970s will highlight the music of KC and the Sunshine Band, the Commodores, and the Brothers Gibb. Tickets are $34.50 and $39.50. Call 954-462-0222 or go to www.aventuracenter.org. Let the People Read!Whats not to like about the Miami Book Fair International now in its 28th year? It has brought culture and pride to this town, while becoming the largest fair of its kind in the nation. And we love it. The ever-popular weekend Street Fair is back; this year, an outdoor pavilion will showcase the literature, art, and music of China. Indoors an impressive group of authors will again read from and discuss their work. Those honoring us with their presence this year include former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, novelist Michael Ondaatje, Chinese author Yu Hua, and Sunday, November 13 and runs through Sunday, November 20 in and around the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus (300 NE 2nd Ave.). Go to www.miamibookfair.com. Concert for Peace ing a foundation to foster social change and cultural exchange across the country. As part of that initiative, and to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, comes A Concert for a New Renaissance: Symphonic Dances, Prayers, and Meditations for Peace featuring the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, the Miami Childrens Chorus, students from the New World School of the Arts, and the Thomas Armour Dance Conservatory. A total of 200 participants between the ages of 8 and 22 will join the Grammy winner on stage Friday, November 11 at 8:00 p.m. at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay). Tickets range from $35 to $100 for VIP, with special youth discounts available. Call 786-573-5300 or go to www.smdcac.org.

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78 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatWhy Not Just Hand the Thief Your Purse?12000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Criminals are always looking for an easy score. It doesnt matter if its in a crowded area, as most witnesses dont want trouble and would rather let others fend for themselves. This victim got out in North Miami, leaving a Coach bag on readers: Leaving anything of value in view is an invitation for our law-breakwas broken in a North Miami minute. Essentially her whole life. We urge the that has the word Miami in it to lock and key.Living in the Past1000 Block of NE 80th Street Oh, the Miami of yesteryear, when Actually, that was a very long time ago, so if youre still living that dream, we which are as good as leaving your door ment, ransacking it and stealing several items. With the fall season great, but more often than for the criminal element.I Hate to Eat and Run, but700 Block of NE 27th Street Victim is a caretaker for a retirement home. He entered one of the residences and saw a strange man casually sitting on a couch, eating and drinking. When the victim asked who he was, the man did not give then noticed that the entire door to the residence had been removed. No leads in this case, but it demonstrates how eating out has a different meaning for our crooks. At least it was more creative than of our goons.More Boulevard Motel Shenanigans7200 Block of Biscayne Boulevard What would Crime Beat be without a Boulevard motel entry? Victim, who Compiled by Derek McCann Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom Specializing in residential, commercial & industrial lighting products. State of the art LED and energy saving lightbulbs. 305.423.0017

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was living at this motel, was asked by the suspect if he could borrow his car. He refused, but the suspect took his keys anyway and drove off. Police were called and told by the motel manager that the alleged victim always lends his car out for drug runs and that this was just another instance of that. Apparently people need rent money even in your typical Boulevard motel. (Believe it or not, its not free to stay in those places.) No charges will be brought because the car was returned and the victim would not press charges. Those motels really are historical landmarks though the history of late is really bad.A Heartwarming Miami Greeting1600 Block of NE 2nd Avenue Hallmark cards are one way to say hello, but in our city people cant always make it to the store. This woman had her car vandalized and the words F***ing Sh**bag written in permanent marker on the side. The victim claims to have no hostile relationships in her life a rarity in Miami. Thus far no arrests have been made and there are no suspects.Nosy Neighbors Are Our Friends200 Block of NE 25th Street Sometimes we just want to go to our cars without having to talk to the next-door neighbor, but those neighbors can save us a lot of grief. A neighbor witnessed a strange man enter the victims property, open the screen door leading to the porch, and remove a bicycle. The man rode the bike away from the area. The neighbor called the victim, who was nearby, and they both followed the culprit, eventually detaining him for police a citizens arrest. We dont always suggest confronting criminals, but in this case, the good guys won! When Being HandicapAccessible Is a Bad Thing12500 Block of Biscayne Boulevard A man smashed the window of a pizzeria with a walking cane. He then entered the establishment and removed a cash register. He threw many items normally The 54-year-old subject was wearing a blue hat and carried a knife on his person. Police stopped him and a witness He was arrested and his getaway car was towed from the scene. (We gather straight from the handicapped parking Apparently those disability checks can barely buy a slice of pizza nowadays. North Miamians need to be wary of cane-wielding, middle-age men with funny hats.What Next? Prosthetic Limbs?NE 4th Street and Biscayne Boulevard This victim was waiting to be picked up by ambulance and rolled out to the street in his red wheelchair. As he entered the ambulance, someone stole the chair. Yes, they steal wheelchairs. Perhaps the aforementioned man with the cane played a role? Wheelchair was worth $2000. Guess it was a good thing the old guy wasnt in it. Somehow we dont think injuring him would have been a deal-breaker for the crooks. Check your local pawnshops. True Love Doesnt Ask Questions7200 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Who doesnt love the honeymoon stage can do no wrong. In this pathetic case, a womans boyfriend of a month stole her phone, drivers license, and Social Security card. She was so enamored of him that she declined to report the theft to police until someone advised her that he could steal her identity. She told police she didnt know her new beaus real name, just his nickname. She also didnt have an address for him, nor know his age. Did we mention theyd been going out for a month? One-night stands This Never Happens on eBay100 Block of NE 50th Street We all love Craigslist, but as our moms used to say, There are a lot of nuts out there. Our victim advertised a camera on the popular site and was to meet an individual who was supposedly interested in purchasing it from him. Well, two punks one armed with pepper spray greeted our poor victim instead. He managed to get away, sans property. No arrests have been made. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 5580 NE 4th Ct. Miami, FL 33137305-751-7591 SERIOUSLY ORIGINALPurchase a 6 Month Membership and receive an additional 6 Months FREEExpires 11/14/11NEW OFFER!! NEW OFFER!!

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80 Columnists: PARK PATROLHappy TrailsBring your mountain bike to Virginia Key for a workout with a viewBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorMore than just off the beaten path, this new trail is even beyond the iconic end-of-the-road squatters village/beer shack known as Jimbos. It lies beyond and somewhat alongside the Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant, or as this Jimbo likes to say, the sewer. When you think youre there, keep going. Past this bike path lies the compost center, but someone has to open that gate to provide access. With this knowledge you follow, follow the compost and mulch. To arrive at this outpost beyond Oz, many cyclists ride there, but you can drive and park near its entrance. When you see the cluster of picnic benches, you have arrived at the North Point Mountain Bike Trail. Because so much dredged material was dumped here in the past, the trails offer hills that must be among the highKey suffered from illegal dumping and neglect. Last year the City of Miami approved a master plan to transform the abused, nearly 1000-acre island. The four miles of bike trails opened by volunteers. Their appearance is quite similar to another set of challenging trails, Key also has Australian pines that provide both shade and needles matting the ground. The entrance to the trails is marked by a wooden billboard, but you cannot actually see the trails from the main road. Bike down a sand and gravel path until you pass through a fence, and here a good distance along a hilltop, which in itself is a novelty. Once you reach the winding road, decisions must be made. The trails offer three levels of difnovice, intermediate, and advanced. Dont try the advanced unless you know what youre doing. Although Im a novice, I tried out the intermediate level. Thankfully no one was there to witness my humiliation. The novice path is by no means Each trail has a width of about four feet and winds through the forest and over obstacles such as tree roots and many constructed mounds. Its designed to be a bumpy ride, and helmets are mandatory. Getting lost would require an effort, as all trails are marked as one way, and encircles the trails. A few unmarked roads lead toward the bay, but then youre on your own. About halfway around the loop, you ascend a long hill and obtain a view that is seldom seen in these parts. The hillside drops 100 feet skills at estimating height) and there below lies a huge, empty dust bowl, larger Mostly white gravel and sand, the bowl has a few scattered objects and a giant puddle near the center. Some sort of obstacle course has been erected. landing pad for a spaceship. Dont look now, but there it is. Barely visible over the treetops is a strange, circular construction topped by a crown of white circles around a white cone. This structure could be the island. Or not. The best views from the trail overlook Biscayne Bay and toward the Port of Miami. This remote part of Island and reveals an angle of that island seldom seen. Side by side, here is some of sive real estate. The sewage treatment facility on ocean outfall, that legally discharges waste into the ocean. The county operates a second outfall offshore of Haulover Beach Park. These pipes are mostly underground and underwater, but a section at North Point beach sits above ground and is clearly marked by a structure on the sand. On the tip of the pipes platform that brilliant idea to place a picnic bench. Hence, this location earns the title of Miamis worst place to eat your lunch. Once you realize where you are, you will most likely lose your lunch. But the area does not typically have a strong smell, and the pale outfall VIRGINIA KEYS NORTH POINTArthur Lamb Jr. Road, Miami 305-960-4600 Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: Yes Picnic pavilions: Yes Tennis courts: No Yes Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No Playground: Yes Special features: Mountain-bike trails. holidays.Park Rating Arthur Lamb Jr. Road, Miami 305-960-4600 Tennis courts: BT photos by Jim W. Harper Virginia KeyRickenbacker Cswy

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structure is easy to ignore from other parts of the beach. Despite this huge drawback, North Point offers an attractive and isolated beach experience. You can see South Beach from here, but it seems a world away. Snorkeling here offers opportunities to observe sea grass beds in shallow water, and several formations of rocks from the is said to be on duty every day of the year. Onshore, tiki-style huts offer shade farther from shore are larger huts for the whole family, and barbecues are available. Just beware of the raccoons here, as they are very aggressive. One mature raccoon I observed was a rare, pale-reddish color, and it hopped right into the garbage can next to the restrooms. Behind the lifeguard stand is a shady area with a nursery for native plants. Juan Fernandez, City of Miamis naturalist for parks, says that 32 acres in this section of Virginia Key are being restored in cooperation with the Virginia Key Beach Trust, an entity that manages the southern portion of the island, where a former blacks-only beach operated. This native-plant project, also supported by volunteers, has revealed examples of very rare plants on the island, including the critically endangered them are either threatened or endangered. Managed by the City of Miami, North Point has been transformed by volunteers into a challenging bike trail and a native-plant sanctuary. They have taken mountains of rotten lemons and given them a second chance at lemonade. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The adjacent beaches offer nice amenities, WERE HIRING! Biscayne Times is looking for a full-time, experienced account executive for display advertising. Small, enthusiastic staff. Loyal readers and advertisers. Tremendous growth potential. Some house accounts available. Base salary plus generous commissions. Serious money to be made. Please send rsum to publisher Jim Mullin at jim.mullin@biscaynetimes.com.

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82 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETSHoliday TT reatsFrom strategies for keeping Fido safe to gift ideas for pet lovers tips to make everyone merryBy Lisa Hartman BT ContributorThe end of the year brings lots of family gatherings and fun. Certainly your furriest family member should join in the festivities! From safety tips to what to get the pet (or pet owner) that has everything, Ive got you covered head to mistletoe. With the hustle and bustle of the be our pets safety. Whether its the ghosts and goblins that continually ring your bell in the dark of night on Halloween, the canes and wheelchairs of elderly relatives visiting on Thanksgiving, the pig roasting in the yard, or the giant tree with lights and strange objects hanging from it, things are far from normal for your pet on these special days. Animals get lost or fall sick on the holidays more than at any other time of year. There is just too much cooking, entertaining, and other activities for the pet owner to take care of while also keeping a watchful eye on Coco or Cocos schedule. in case one of your holiday visitors leaves a door or gate open, or your pet gets spooked by the festivities and bolts. Door darting is common in times of stress. We hope you take your dog on daily walks, so when you meet up with your pet-owning neighbors, make a pact to watch over one anothers pets and call them or corral their animal if possible should you see it running loose. Being proactive with safety is always the best course of action.

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nice, quiet room that is away from visiYou can give anyone who wants to offer biscuits such as Holistic Selects Holising their best tricks for the treats. Bravo! many animals; unfortunately, theyre also Whether it is Christmas or any other If youre not sure what to get or the local animal shelter in their name? by a local artist. elry, such as sterling silver animal charm Whatever you choose, your thoughtful more than enough to choose from in the owners hair for a little while. new Frisbee or set of tennis balls for the thought that counts. a break from them. (It cant always be Lisa Hartman is a dog-friendly trainer, behavior specialist, and author of Dial a Dynamite Dog. You can reach her at lisa@lisathedogtrainer.com, or visit www.pawsitivelypetsonline.com Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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84 Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorThis is a Thanksgiving Day wine column, and by the shop rules of the Union of Barely Employed Scribes, Im required to list some of the things for which Im thankful. So here goes Im thankful the turkey is a slow, stupid bird with more meat on its bones than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; otherwise wed be eating something a lot easier to catch, but not nearly as tasty, like tofurkey. Im thankful the Detroit Lions are have to watch them lay another giant egg on our TV screens this year. Our own hapless Dolphins will do that, instead. And Im really thankful for the batch of wines I discovered for this Thanksgiv ing Day column, because pairing wine with all the whackadoodle elements of the typical turkey day dinner is a real bitch, and every one of these is a winner. I discovered something else, too that the best wines for your Thanks giving meal are found outside the Cabernet-Chardonnay-Merlot Axis of Domination, especially at our columns price point. Also that focusing on inexpensive bottles from France and Spain can yield wines that are sexier and more interesting to drink than one grape juicy Cabernet Sauvignon. The secret, I think, is balance. A good Thanksgiving Day wine has to be one helluva multi-tasker, playing nice meat to savory gravy to candy-ish sweet potatoes to tart cranberries to spiceladen pumpkin pie. So I went looking for wines with distinct but restrained fruit, soft tannins, and acidity, and with lower alcohol to help them better complement food. Also so you can drink more without getting hammered. Theres a lot to be thankful for regarding the 2010 Spanish Quarter white wine blend. It costs $10, is availthat Id buy a case of it even if a holiday werent approaching. The wine is a blend of 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent Albario, combining the richness and tropical peach, and spice components of the latter. Full-bodied yet light on the palate, with soft lemon-lime green-apple acidity, its one of the best affordable white wines Ive tasted all year. A winery with a silly name, but serious intent, is Cupcake Vineyards. Though located on Californias Central Coast, it sources grapes from all over the world; in the case of its 2010 Mosel Valley Riesling from Germany. The cute blue bottle and yellow label is festive enough, but whats inside is even you right off with a burst of ripe peach, mango, and melon fruit, quickly segueing into creamy Meyer lemon. With all that and only 9.5-percent alcohol, its a good choice for wine novices. Ros is considered a go-to Thanksgiving wine, as the 2010 Sauvion Ros dAnjou bright raspberries and strawberries with the juiciness of ripe fruit (and an initial trace of sweetness), followed by a refreshing citrus acidity that slowly reveals itself on the back palate. Another ros, the 2010 Chateau du Coudray Montpensier was a nice enough wine but so stingy with fruit and briskly acidic, its better suited to seafood than the Thanksgiving table. Two red varietals almost always mentioned as Thanksgiving staples are Pinot Noir and Beaujolais. The Fog Bank 2010 Monterey County Pinot Noir is another of those run-right-out-and-buy-a-caseof-this-stuff wines. For a $10 Pinot, it exhibits impressive varietal character, hints of earth and spice and toast and Burgundian funk in a lightbodied, very well-structured wine that, despite its youth, is eminently drinkable today. Where the Fog Bank is lighter than most of its varietal brethren, the 2009 Louis Latour Beaujolais Villages is heftier than most of its fellow villagers. Theres earth, black olives, and anise in the nose. On the palate, there are tangy berries, soft orange and lemon, a little spice, and enough richness to stand up to heartier dishes. For something heartier still, theres the Luc Pirlet 2010 Minervois a 50-50 blend of Grenache and Carignan that blasts open with aromas of mushrooms and olives, cherries and plums, then carries all those over to the palate, along with spice, soft tannins, and a short, tart for when were passed out in front of the TV, stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rrrf nttbbtbtb rr $30Excludes wines on promotion. Limit one coupon per customer. Expires 12-3-11 Thanksgiving Wines Youll Gobble UpRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITYRevamping the HH ol iday RoutineStarting your own family traditions can be rewardingBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorIf your family is anything like mine, the holidays start as soon as the last rotted jack-o-lantern is composted and the Halloween costumes are tucked in the attic. Your e-mail, phone, and Skype light up like a department store Christmas tree: cousins with kids, brothers with girlfriends, and mothers with agendas. Whos hosting Thanksgiving? Why do we have to drive out there again? But dont you like Grandmas turkey? Do they even serve wine with dinner? Theyre all loaded questions. Even before the Christmas Muzak wages its aural warfare, the holiday drama is imminent. Lets face it, the kids should learn early that the holidays arent only about downplaying the seasons commercialism. Theyre also about two months of planning, buying, eating, drinking, and loving in that order. years of our relationship alternating holi days with our families. It was exhausting, especially after we had kids. We would travel from Hawaii with Pack n Play, stroller, car seat, booster, bottles the works. Inevitably we would encounter delays and the obligatory post-travel cold. I remember one Thanksgiving, Matilda (then 18 months) was so enchanted with the airplane ride to my folks home in Phoenix that she literally licked the fuselage wall. I panicked as she looked over at me with lick-test glee. I was debating the pros and cons my husband, calmed me with a glass of gonna-do shrug. celebrate Christmas Eve with their kids uncles, and cousins all pile in for paperripping pandemonium and late-night good times with the grandparents. This picture sounds blissful, but Ive left out some brushstrokes: The grandparents live in Miramar, the house is too small for everyone to spend the night, and the expectation is that all will wish they had more time to just relax. Other friends, Maya and Steve, took their two kids to Steves parents in Oregon for Thanksgiving last year. It wasnt unusual for them to traipse crosscountry, but over the years, tension had built. Steves sister has a very lax parenting approach that, in the early days, was cute and quirky. But as her kids got older, it managed to drive a wedge the size of a maniacal seven-year-old between the families. The last straw came one year ago, when Maya and Steve, owing to the drama, found themselves having traveled 3000 miles to dine on turkey in the hotel restaurant. Tradition shouldnt have so many moving parts. Many of my friends ask each other: Wouldnt it be better to start new traditions? As much of an oxymoron as that is, its important to let go of some of the time-honored things you did with your family and start some that are special to your kids. I dont normally pay much atten tion to Dr. Phil, but apparently we agree on similar tactics for embracing stress-free holidays. Just because you have been doing something for years doesnt mean its still ideal for every one. Many traditions become toxic and need to be broken in favor of newer, more joyful ones. After dragging Matilda to Arizona it was time to develop our own holiday routine. After all, why wouldnt a neophyte chef and his foodie wannabe wife want to take on a holiday that is all about feasting, gratitude, and friendship? it can be made fun and memorable. For example, instead of trying to pull off one big reunion and coordinate everybodys schedule for Christmas dinner, my relatives usually just plan a series of casual get-togethers throughout the season. Our favorite was always what we called the Holiday Light Display Caravan. As the holidays neared, we all pitched in for a party bus (although we have also done this with pick-up trucks, minivans, and even a hay ride) to take us on a tour of the best holiday lights in the city. Inevitably, my cousin drank too much, my grandma wanted to go home early, the little ones fell asleep, and my mom and her sister fought. But it was always pure awesome. Now that I am many miles away from my caravan posse, Eric and I take the kids on our own caravan and I phone in to Arizona with nostalgia. The great thing about having our own traditions is that we make the rules. We can change our minds on a dime. We love entertaining our friends and families for the holidays, but we also like the freedom to jump on a plane for a Cabo Wabo Christmas. I just came up with that one, but doesnt it sound tempting? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com ianopresto plus www.pianopresto.musicteachershelper.comWeekly private piano instruction For beginner, intermediate, or adult Three mini-music classes Children 3 to 9 years old Call to schedule a free first lesson!786.468.9871 Richard A. Foltz, instructor

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86 Collateral DamageThe environmental side effects of the Port of Miami tunnel and deep dredge could be explosiveBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorHold on to your sandbars, Miami. Youre about to get drilled and pounded, but not in the good way. Bullies are here to give Biscayne Bay a beating. Near downtown, the birds of Jungle Island are atwitter over the arrival of a giant shaft that will bore underneath the bay to create the Port of Miami tunnel. Soon this project will be joined by an even bigger one. The deep dredge is ready to literally blow up the Port of Miami. Biscayne Bay has been called Miamis backyard. Did you know that your backyard is going to be pelted by the equivalent of 600 bombs? Thats the U.S. Army Corp of Engi neers estimate of the number of explo sions needed to deepen the port. Ex pected to begin in November, this projects proximity to the ports other project, the tunnel, means havoc both below and above the surface of the bay. Downtown ers, South Beachers, and Fisher Islanders shockwaves for the next two years. (Both projects are scheduled to go till 2014.) We face the dilemma of responsible urban growth inside a sensitive habitat. Can the giant Maersk container ships and the gentle manatee get along? The state seems to think so. The drafted environmental permit for Deep III Federal Channel Expansion) will be approved unless new appeals are raised. A coalition of environmental groups won the right to review the state permit until October 24, and their representative expects additional review time will be granted, owing to the projects barrel of monkeys I mean, documents. As for the tunnel, the billion-dollar project is chugging along on Watson mental permits was expected by November. The projects website claims that it environmental impacts. Thats hard to swallow, but of the two projects, the deep dredge is the more threatening and disruptive one. Its really hard to believe that it can contain itself to the shipping channels. Unexpected currents could turn its underwater projectile silt into an environmental threat. Silt can smother coral and, as it so happens, an extremely rare coral is growing on the jetty of Government Cut. The coral deserves to be protected, but its location is not covered by the projects current preparations and remediations. It has no insurance. The coral was unknown to exist in Florida outside of the Dry Tortugas until 2009, when it was discovered near the port by Colin Foord, a marine biologist and coowner of Coral Morphologic in Overtown. (Go online to see his recent TEDxMIA lecture about this super coral. ) The rare coral is a hybrid of two en dangered stony corals called staghorn and listed as threatened. Endangered-species legislation does not typically cover hybrids, but this coral can reproduce and, based on Foords observations, withstand extreme conditions better than its two progenitors. And it glows in the dark! Foord hopes his hybrids end up in the Keys with the Coral Restoration Foundation. Many other corals in and around Government Cut must be harvested and transplanted, although small specimens and species will be left behind. Regulations call for saving hard corals above four inches and soft corals above ten inches. Another form of mitigation involves the construction of 25 for seagrass, its expected that eight acres of beds will be destroyed; the deep dredge must replant 18 acres. But what about all the mud? Both the dredge and tunnel projects share this dilemma. The tunnel won approval to dump its sediments onto Virginia Key, the island along the Rickenbacker Causeway that has long been used as Miamis toilet, both legally and illegally. North Points new mountain bike trail (see Park Patrol in this issue). Dr. Dredge considered using Virginia, too, but then dumped her. Plans call for his spoils to be deposited either in the bay or offshore in a place called the Miami Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site. Yuck. Environmental groups have and should continue to monitor these projects. At the same time, Greater Miami has to deal with its growing pains. Expansion activity concentrated near downtown is preferable, in my opinion, to sprawl that invades natural areas. I still cant believe that an international airport was almost erected in the Everglades. Lets not go there again. Lets of existing infrastructure. Modern Miami is far removed from its natural state. Many islands, including the port itself, were created from the spoils of previous dredging in the bay. Many of us live on land that used to be underwater. Boom! Five hundred and ninetyninety-nine blasts; take one down, pass blasts in the bay. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com www.santassingers.comPRESENTSFOR RATES AND AVAILABILITY CALL 305-757-6500 OR EMAIL singers@missjanesmusic.com Santas SingersAN ADULT A CAPPELLA GROUP SINGING TRADITIONAL CAROLS AND POPULAR HOLIDAY SONGSPerfect for ofce parties, private functions

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Columnists: YOUR GARDENStorm WarningYou can protect your trees from the effects of lightning strikesBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorWe had a very stormy weekend this past October 8 and 9. At Jungle Island we recorded 12 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The wind was not too bad, so there wasnt a big mess of branches and leaves to clean up, but we did have a couple of lightning strikes to some of our taller palm trees. This reminded me of a site visit I did a couple of years ago to a large homeowners association to review some horticultural issues. While working out some of their problems, I was approached by a homeowner who asked if I could look at a large, dead Dade County pine tree. Apparently the demise of the tree had led maintenance company, which was accused of overfertilizing the tree. The homeowner wanted to know what I thought had happened to his tree. The pine was about 50 feet tall with a canopy that was probably 40 feet wide. It had been a beautiful tree. Now all the foliage was gone. When I got closer, I noticed a thin strip of bark missing down the entire side of the tree. The tree had been struck by lightning and, from the looks of it, had been killed instantly. Because of their height, trees are natural lightning rods. Its a myth that lightning only strikes good conductors like metal. What Ive noticed over the years is that trees may not be killed instantly when theyre struck; sometimes they continue to live for many years before succumbing to a secondary cause of death, such as insects or disease. Lightning damage will also look different from tree to tree. Damage can be minimal or quite dramatic. This difference is owing to the fact that water and sap are better conductors of electricity than wood. If the trees moisture is concentrated in the phloem between the bark and the wood, then the lightning will be channeled through this area and cause an explosive separation of the bark. (The phloem is the vascular system that carries sugar and organic nutrients made in the foliage throughout the plant.) This is likely what happened to the Dade County pine I examined. If there is more moisture in the center of the tree, the explosion from within may blow the tree apart. This is similar to what happened to the palms at Jungle Island. The middle of the trunk just below the crown shaft (the green part below the foliage and above the wood) was split open and the crown shaft fell over from its own weight. If the bark is soaked from rain, the lightning may follow the outside of the little damage to the tree. The photo that accompanies this article shows lightning damage on a satin leaf tree that was growing underneath a tall Veitchia palm that had been struck by lightning. The palm died instantly, but only half of the satin leaf tree was affected. This damage showed up a couple of days after the palm was struck. It will be interesting to see if there is further damage on this tree. As Ive said, often these damaged trees die years later of secondary causes. When the protective cover of a tree, the bark, is loosened or taken off, insects will be attracted to the exposed areas. Many types of boring insects will lay their eggs in these trees. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will cause damage by tunneling (and eating) throughout the inside of the trunk, eventually killing the tree by destroying the vascular system or giving a pathogenic fungus a nice place to live. A great quote I once read says, A tree to a fungus is just food with lots of holes around it. This means any damage to a tree will eventually be exploited by fungi. If a tree is considered to be a valuable specimen, a tree lightning protection system can be installed. Tree science and care is becoming quite sophisticated. There are actual industry standards (ANSI A300) and best-management practices from the International Society of Arboriculture and Tree Care Industry Association that will explain the basic principles of lightning physics and provide information on the installation and continued maintenance of lightning protection systems. While driving through my neighborhood the day after that October storm, I saw the occasional damaged tree. At three separate locations, I stopped to look at fallen branches or trees and, in each case, found the cause of the damage to be poorly structured branches or a weak trunk that had decayed because of previous damage and was unable to support the tree during this brief storm. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski 305.246.0200rffn tfbrrfrrrfr nrrrftb

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88 MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAcqua 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-381-3190 Four Seasons HotelOriginally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006, resulting in a complete menu renovation. Thailands famed sense of culinary balance is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian or Latin American-inspired) menu, in dishes like yuzu/white soya-dressed salad of shrimp tempura, a tender pork shank glazed with spicy Szechuan citrus sauce, or lunchtimes rare tuna burger with lively wasabi aioli and wakame salad. For dessert few chocoholics can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled with sinfully rich warm chocolate custard. $$$$$Area 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel) 1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$bistro e 485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373A full power lunch from a Michelin-starred chef for $15? Sounds unbelievable, but youll find just such a daily spe cial (like corn/jalapeo soup, a grilled-cheese BLT, airy cheesecake, and a pint of beer) at bistro e, daytime name for Michael Psilakis dinner-only new Aegean eatery Eos. The name change emphasizes lunchtimes wholly different, globally influenced menu. Among la carte temptations: pork belly tacos, a Korean BBQ prawn salad, or a brisket/gruyere sandwich with dipping juice. Breakfast, too, from 6:30 a.m. $$-$$$ Bryan in the Kitchen 104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-from-scratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very Frenchfeeling -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. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442 The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thaimarinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of shortlived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/ cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like ChinesePeruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub component remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro allAmerican feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/ antibiotic-free ground Angus chuck/brisket/short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$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. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 291. MIAMI Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr. 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mixand-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave. 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a delir iously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$ First Hong Kong Caf 117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Harrys Pizzeria 3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; woodoven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$ Fresko 19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737Forget thick, dough-wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slathered with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy eatery eschews the starch/sugar-laden traditional favorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contemporary as the restaurants dcor. Asian-influenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infu sions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$ rf ntntbnf nttnf tnt ff t tf fnf fff

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT SDolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no lowrent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Eternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981 Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Eos 485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Unlike their Michelin-starred New Adriatic restaurant Anthos, in Manhattan, this venture of chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia has influences ranging way beyond Greece to the whole Mediterranean region, and even Latin America. Unchanged is Psilakis solid creativity, and a beautiful sense of balance that makes even very unfamiliar combinations taste accessible. So skip the safe stuff and go for the luxuriantly custardy, egg yolk-enriched lobster and sea urchin risotto, or any raw seafood item, especially the unique marlin with pistachio, apricot, and house-cured speck. $$$-$$$$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying tablesnack choice. $$ First & First Southern Baking Company 109 NE 1st Ave., 305-577-6446 How Southern is this restaurant/bakery? During the course of one breakfast of fluffy biscuits with rich sausage gravy, a friend from Italy, we swear, developed a drawl. While yall will also find familiar fare (burgers, salads, etc.), highlights here are traditional and/or reinvented country cooking favorites -especially homemade sweets. More than two dozen desserts daily are featured, from a roster topping 150: chocolate pecan pie, lemon bars, potato candies, seven-layer cookies, and Jack Daniels pound cakes, which are perfect for parties, though you wont want to share. $-$$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafoodpacked fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Fresco California Bistro 1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food onto its menu. To the familiar Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistros espe cially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$ Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr. 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popu lar grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave. 305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomatobased BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentinestyle empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/ plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving move able feast. $Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultra-upscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Indigo / Table 40 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000Long known for its power-lunch buffet -including hot entres, carving station, custom pastas, packed-to-the-gills salad, sushi, and dessert stations -the InterContinental Hotels Indigo restaurant now has a hip offspring intended for private dining: Table 40. The charming, glassed-in wine cellar (actually in the kitchen) enables 12-14 diners to watch the action in heat-shielded, soundproofed comfort while eating creations by veteran chef Alexander Feher, combining Continental technique with local seasonal ingredients. Highlights: tender house-smoked, stout-braised short ribs; lavish lobster salad with grilled mango; and a seductive fresh corn gazpacho. $$$-$$$$$ Iron Sushi 120 SE 3rd Ave., 305-373-2000(See Miami Shores listing)Jackson Soul Food 950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710 With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/ comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sau sage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork prod ucts on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar 2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, formerly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$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

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

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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 coowner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$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 daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignoliacrusted 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. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrumptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/ potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088 Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly limemarinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultrafresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-goround? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more 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. $$ Pashas 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$

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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. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most injokes (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 char-blistered 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. $$Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crisp-fried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar 650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$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 sous-chef chops at Cioppino and Sardinia. The main fare is imaginative sandwiches on fresh breads; an especially delicious creation features slow-braised short ribs, caramelized onions, and melting muenster and provolone cheeses. Finish with fine-shaved Aloha Ice topped with fresh fruit and other fullflavored syrups, all housemade, plus rich condensed milk. A sno-cone for sophisticates. $ Scalina 315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soi Asian Bistro134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643 From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro 120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-andmatch housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ 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 introduced 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 influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished 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 meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/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 stirfries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robatagrilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/ mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Andalus 35 NE 40th St., 305-400-4422Early publicity pegging this place (in Pacific Times former space) as a tapas bar seemed to set it up as direct competi tion for nearby Sra. Martinez. Its actually quite different, with emphasis divided between small-plate lounging and full fine-dining meals. And regardless of size, dishes arent contemporary riffs on tradition but authentic regional specialties. Subtly nutty jamon pata negra (the Rolls-Royce of cured hams) or salmorejo (Cordobas Serrano ham/egg-enriched gazpacho) truly take your taste buds on a trip to Andalucia. On weekends, food is served till 4:00 a.m. $$$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$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 casu ally cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli 4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ Cafeina 297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ 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 renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose spe cialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf

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component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment 3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Delicias Peruanas 2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as it was at the nearby original Delicias, run by members of the same family. The food is as tasty as ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mammoth jalea platter. As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado and tallerin verde. $$Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022 While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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 hummuslike 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 boneless 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 parme san fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchycrusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entresize salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$

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Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon 185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Maitardi 163 NE 39th St., 305-572-1400Though we admired the ambitious approach of Oak Plazas original tenant, Brosia, this more informal, inexpensive, and straightforwardly Italian concept of veteran Lincoln Road restaurateur Graziano Sbroggio seems a more universal lure for the Design Districts central town square. The mostly outdoor space remains unaltered save a wood-burning oven producing flavorfully char-bubbled pizza creations, plus a vintage meat slicer dispensing wild boar salamino, bresaola (cured beef), and other artisan salumi. Other irresistibles: fried artichokes with lemony aioli; seafood lasagna with heavenly dill-lobster sauce. $$-$$$Mandolin Aegean Bistro 4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan 3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466 What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ 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 pre pared 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influ enced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$Orange Caf + Art 2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and housebaked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pieducks 3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Primos 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-freshdaily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Sustain 3252 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-424-9079Is it possible for a restaurant to be sincerely eco-conscious without being self-righteousness? It is at this casual/chic restolounge, where dedication to local, sustainable food comes with considerable humor. Fare includes playful items like wet fries (with mouthwatering gravy), corn dogs, house made soft pretzels with mustard and orange blossom honey, and a Mile Salad that seems almost like a game show in its challenge: All ingredients must come from within a 50-mile radius. At brunch dont miss the glazed sin-a-buns. $$-$$$$ Tapas y Tintos 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/ salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307 Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and selfservice wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable CATERING SPECIAL 15% OFFYour first catering order of $75 or moreOffers Exp 11/30/11 With This AD$2.00 OFFEntree After 4PM Monday-Friday & All Day Long Saturday & Sunday!

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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 sand wiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959Neither man nor woman can live by bread alone. But art alone doesnt do the trick, either. Father-daughter development visionaries Tony and Jessica Goldman satisfy the full range of life needs by combining cuisine from master chef Marco Ferraro with works from master street artists, in one venue -that fits perfectly into its gritty artistic neighborhood. Here Ferraro eschews his upscale Wish fare for simple yet inspired small plates (crisp, chili-dusted artichoke hearts with tart/rich yuzu aioli; mellow veal sausages enlivened by horseradish sauce; etc.) ideal for work or gallery-walk breaks. $$-$$$Upper EastsideAmerican Noodle Bar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-396-3269For us personally, a three-word Homer Simpson review says it: Bacon sauce! Mmmm But responsibly, the chef/owner of this casual, counter-service Vietnamese fusion cheap eats joint is Michael Bloise, formerly executive chef of Wish, one of South Beachs most glamorous. At his own anti-establishment place, customers customize. Seven bucks will get you a bowl of thick, charmingly chewy noodles, plus one of nine sauces (smoked lobster, lemon grass, brown sugar/ginger, bacon) and ten toppings (recommended: slow-roasted duck, sweet Chinese sausage). Also enjoy cheeseburger dumplings, banh mi subs, housemade fruit sodas, beer or wine, and attitude-free fun. $Andiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside car wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station which means ditching the car (in the complexs free lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no problem even if youre not getting your vehicle cleaned while consuming the brick-oven pies (from a flaming open oven) that are this popular pizzerias specialty, along with executive chef Frank Cr upis famed Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Also available are salads and panini plus reasonably priced wines and beers, including a few unusually sophisticated selections like Belgiums Hoegaarden. $$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 large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhoodfocused 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/maplegarnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/ outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the housemade sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$Chef Creole 200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: cre vette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to the Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables just feet from the busy Boulevard? From the day it opened, people have been lining up for this stands sauce-garnished, all-beef, soy veggie, turkey, and chicken hot dogs. The 22 varieties range from simple to the elaborate (the Athens, topped with a Greek salad, including extra-virgin olive oil dressing) to near-unbelievable combinations like the VIP, which includes parmesan cheese and crushed pineapple. New addition: thick, juicy burgers. $East Side Pizza 731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (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-garnished Chinese chicken salad; H&H bagels, the worlds best, flown in from NYC. And the car cleanings are equally gentrified, especially on Wednesdays, when ladies are pampered with $10 washes and glasses of sparkling wine while they wait. $Garden of Eatin 136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Gourmet Station 7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce 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, avo cado, 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. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014 Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusu ally imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd.305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma pro duces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original cre ations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-thetop maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites rf n tfb f fr1 1/2 lb. LOBSTERwith salad & 2 sides$24.95ff btfb r305-466-2016 r

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sourorange-marinated, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chef-driven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, family-friendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemon-caper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. Now the arrival of new executive and pastry chefs plus a wine-wise general manager, all Joe Allen veterans, signals a culinary revival for this neighborhood focal point. The concept is still comfort food, but a revamped menu emphasizes fresh local ingre dients 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 crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$UVA 69 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Owned and operated by brothers Michael and Sinuh Vega, this casual outdoor/indoor Euro-caf and lounge has helped to transform the Boulevard into a hip place to hang out. Lunch includes a variety of salads and elegant sandwiches like La Minuta (beer-battered mahi-mahi with cilantro aioli and caramelized onions on housemade foccacia). Dinner features a range of small plates (poached figs with Gorgonzola cheese and honey balsamic drizzle) and full entres like sake-marinated salmon with boniato mash and Ponzu butter sauce, and crispy spinach. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery 646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Bocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$ 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. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budgetfriendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Shuckers Bar & Grill 1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570Cheap eats and a million-dollar view is the sound bite manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates from South Beachs late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski demonstrates a rare mix of Old World technique and New World invention in dishes like perfectly caramelized sea scallops with smoky 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. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels poolpatio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgianstyle double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$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

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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. $$-$$$ 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 spe cials 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 spe cials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ Mooies 9545 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-3666Kid friendly generally means restaurants will tolerate youngsters. Mooies, an ice cream parlor plus, positively pampers them, from the cute play area out back (equipped with old-school toys like giant bean bags) to a childrens menu that doesnt condescend. (Who says kids dont appreciate pizzas with fresh mozzarella?) For grown-ups there are sophisticated salads and sandwiches like a turkey, pear, garlic oil, and brie panini on house-baked bread. Just dont neglect Mooies mainstay: ice cream, dense yet creamy-soft Blue Bell. Pistachio almond is our pick. $The Wine Market 908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$Village Caf 9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-759-2211After closing for several months in early 2009, this caf, spruced up to look like a bistro rather than a luncheonette (but with the same bargain prices), has been reopened. The kitchen has also been rejuvenated, with head honcho Adam Holm (Whitticars original sous chef) serving up new, globally influenced dishes like mint/pistachio-crusted lamb or tuna tartare with sriracha aioli, plus reviving old favorites like pork tenderloin with ginger-caramel sauce. $$-$$$ Los Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$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 bananawalnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hotsmoked salmon and veggie plates. There are also creative comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads, and sweets. Sides include refreshing slaw; beans studded with burnt ends (the most intensely flavored outer barbecue chunks); and sweet potato or chipotle-spiced fries. The cost is comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$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; calo ries 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 pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/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 half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/ chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a topdrawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversationfriendly 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. $$-$$$

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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 supple ments. 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 bellybusters. 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. $-$$Mario the Baker 13695 W. Dixie Highway, 305-891-7641At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food is Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and hot or cold subs. No imported buffala, arugula, or other chichi stuff on the New York-style medium-thin-crusted pizzas; the top topping here is the savory housemade sausage. And no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and smashed garlic. New branches are now open in Miamis Midtown neighborhood and in North Bay Village. $Pastry Is Art 12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob 14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899 Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tokyo Bowl 12295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9400This fast-food drive-thru (unexpectedly serene inside) is named for its feature item, big budget-priced bowls of rice or noodles topped with cooked Japanese-style items like teriyaki fish (fresh fish sauted with vegetables), curried chicken and veggies, spicy shrimp, or gyoza dumplings in tangy sauce. Theres also an all-you-can-eat deal sushi (individual nigiri or maki rolls) plus tempura, teriyaki, and other cooked items for $14; three bucks more for sashimi instead of sushi. $-$$Venezia Pizza and Caf 13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered Americas finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple salads, and a few new pro tein adds grilled chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$Yes Pasta! 14871 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At this fast/casual Italian eatery, the specialty is mix-andmatch. 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 creamycoated (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. $$ Bamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus ChineseAmerican egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ China Restaurant 178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional Chinese cuisine in the world wont scratch the itch. So the menu here, containing every authentically inauthentic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just the ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded boneless chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$Chipotle Mexican Grill 14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with chipotle-marinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill 1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded cau sas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$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 megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $Duffys Sports GrillIntracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124 Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland 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 spe cialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$Flamma Brazilian Steakhouse 3913 NE 163rd St., (Intracoastal Mall) 305-957-9900The rodizio formula is familiar: Pay one price ($39.90 for dinner, $29.90 at Sunday brunch), then eat till you drop from a groaning salad/appetizer bar and a massive selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, sausage, and fish (16 varieties at dinner; 5 at brunch) carved tableside by costumed waiters. What spectacularly differentiates Flamma: its setting on the Intracoastal Waterway. But also spectacular is a MondayThursday two-for-one dinner deal with a coupon available at Flamma. Unbelievable but true. $$$$El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/ Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ 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

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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. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex cre ations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweetfleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veg-garnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$Mary Ann Bakery 1284 NE 163rd St., 305-945-0333Dont be unduly alarmed by the American birthday cakes in the window. At this small Chinese bakery the real finds are the Chinatown-style baked buns and other savory pastries, filled with roast pork, bean sauce, and curried ground beef. Prices are under a buck, making them an exotic alternative to fast-food dollar meals. Theres one table for eat-in snackers. $The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$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. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genu ine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chilitopped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$PK Oriental Mart 255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and whole roast ducks hanging, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall) 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a sound-bite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coal-oven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$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 Carnegie-style monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we weighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky hand-sliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$The Rumcake Factory 2075 NE 163rd St., 786-525-7071When ex-Louisianan (and ex-Dolphins player) Larry Robinson and his Cuban-American wife Elena started a catering company in Miami Lakes, their mouthwateringly moist Caribbeanstyle buttered rum/walnut-glazed rum cake instantly became the star attraction. But after relocating to a real (if tiny) restaurant space in BT territory, the Factory now features a small supporting cast of Cajun fare scrumptious enough to upstage the star. Always available: authentic remoulade-dressed New Orleans po-boy sandwiches (shrimp, catfish, fried turkey), and humongous house-smoked chicken wings. Rotating specials include hearty gumbo, jambalaya, and BBQ ribs. $$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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentictasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the mustnot-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$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 Open for more than 20 years! BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT North and South Indian fare Miami Herald TEL:305-754-8002www.schnitzelhausmiami.net1085N.E.79thStreet/Causeway,Miami,FL33138 ORIGINALBAV ARIANBIER GARTENOPENDAILYFROM5:00PMTO11:00PMFRIDAY&SA TURDAYTOMIDNI GHT

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drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, softshell 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. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tunas Raw Bar and Grille 17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a newly impressive selection of raw-bar specialties: cold-water oysters from the Northeast, plus Blue Points, Malpecs, Island Creeks, and more. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after mid night, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin 73 NE 167th St. 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$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 justcaught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. Asia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayodressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ 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 little necks. 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. $$$ Open Kitchen 1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomatoglazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm 9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$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 unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$Bella Luna 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330 If the menu here looks familiar, it should. Its nearly identical to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Caf and, with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billantes eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface. But no argument from here. In a mall a setting more accustomed to food court dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$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, herbsprinkled 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 gingermayo-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 restaurant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/ avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$ The Grill on the Alley 19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Mahogany Grille 2190 NW 183rd St., 305-626-8100Mahogany Grille has drawn critical raves and an international clientele since retired major league outfielder Andre Dawson and his brother transformed this place in 2007. Today its white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany. The menu is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion of food from several African diaspora regions: Carolina Low Country (buttery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad), and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-battered fried chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miamis best. $$-$$$Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar 18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, AmericanizedCantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Ocean Prime 19051 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall) 305-931-5400Most mall dining experiences are akin to NASCAR pit stops: quick pauses to refuel. Ocean Prime, as its super-sleek, circa 1930s cruise ship ambiance would suggest, is more like the tranquil trans-Atlantic crossings of slower-paced times -which makes the steak and seafood eaterys mall location perfect. After a frenetic shopping day, theres no better way to decompress than a couple of hours in a time warp, savoring retro supper-club specialties: pecan-crusted mountain trout with brown butter, an oversize cocktail, and a live lounge pianist. $$$-$$$$$Pilar 20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomatoherb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma 19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New Yorkstyle pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$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)

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CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE IN THIS ISSUE128 Advertisers! p. 26 291 Restaurants! p. 88 104 Pages: Biggest Ever! INTO THE FIREThe new, high-tech Miami Culinary Institute aims to transform teaching while elevating the whole city P. 30 November 2011 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 9 Issue 9

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The Darin Feldman Group Majestic Properties #1 Top Producer www.darinfeldmanrealtor .com305 582 6200dfeldman@majesticproperties.com TEN MUSEUM PARK 1040 Biscayne Blvd.#4207 2,566 SQ FT 2 BD + Den / 3 BA Offered @ $1.289M FISHER ISLAND OASIS 1,834 SQ FT 2 BD / 2.5 BA Offered @ $1.25M MAGNIFICENT MID BEACH HOME 4331 Sheridan Ave. 2,390 SQ FT 3 BD / 3.5 BA Offered @ $1.295M 900 BISCAYNE #4609 1,712 SQ FT 2 BD / 3 BA Offered @ $749K DARIN SELLS MIAMI AND THE BEACHES LIKE NO ONE ELSE!

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THE IDEAL PREREQUISITE FOR DISCERNING LIVING Made in Germany 15400 BISCAYNE BLVD. MIAMI, FL 33160305.944.3727

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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 with no fixed bridges to the bay. Motivated Seller. 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. $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 $899K 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. $925K mortgage, $899K 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 CONTEMPORARY MODERN KEYSTONE POINT 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. 1.59M Y EM C TI O N S gar age f loors, e s. 15 w/ 102 of 59 M

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COVER STORY 30 Into the Fire COMMENTARY 18 Feedback: Letters 22 Christian Cipriani: Urbania 24 Picture Stor y: Lemon City to Little Haiti OUR SPONSORS 26 Biz Buzz COMMUNITY NEWS 48 Johnson & Wales: Recipe for Conflict 49 Taylor Park: Toxic Asset 49 Design District: Art Movements 50 Upper Easts ide: Banking on the Boulevard NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 60 Wendy Dosc her-Smith: Weight a Minute! 62 Frank Rollas on: Gambling on the Future 64 Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer: Limits of Loyalty 66 Jen Karetnic k: A Stitch in Time 68 Gaspar Gon zlez: Let the Record Show 70 Mark Sell: No Shortcuts Allowed ART & CULTURE 72 Anne Tschida: New Public Ar t 74 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 77 Events Cale ndar POLICE REPORTS 78 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 80 Happy Trails: Virginia Key Bike Paths COLUMNISTS 82 Pawsitively Pets: Holiday Treats 84 Vino: Thanksgiving Wines Youll Gobble Up 85 Kids and the City: Revamping Holiday Routines 86 Going Green: Collateral Damage 87 Your Garden: Storm Warning DINING GUIDE 86 Restau rant Listings: 291 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 anagerANAGER rrr rrrr ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES r r A rtRT directorDIRECTOR rn r A dvertisingDVERTISING designDESIGN rrr CIRCULATION rr r PRINTING rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 22 68 72Serving communities along the Biscayne Corridor: Arch Creek East, Aventura, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Coventry, Design District, Downtown, Eastern Shores, Edgewater, El Portal, Enchanted Lake, Hibiscus Island, Highland Lakes, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Morningside, North Greynolds, North Bay Island, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Oak Forest, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Sky Lake, Sparling Lake, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands

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To join Majestic Properties please contact: Aireen Ortega @ 305 677 5009 | aireen@majesticmiami.com | www.joinmajestic.com 305 398 7888 | majesticproperties.com VILLA SERENA MIAMI485 NE 144th Street | Miami 2,922 SQ. FT. | 3 BD / 3 BA | OFFERED @ $250K Perfect for entertaining: 3 BD / 3 BA pool home on an acre of land. Attached outdoor cabana with bath/shower, and large bar and grill. Expansive master with in-suite roman tub/shower. Unapproved short-sale. Cash offers and by appointment only.10 UNIT INCOME PROPERTY 694 NE 76th Street | Belle Meade, Miami PRICE UPON REQUEST Cash ow positive in gated Belle Meade. Great opportunity to live in one or both PHs and earn income or as a trophy asset. 1 BD / 1 BA PHs and 8 Junior 1 BDs. New central A/C and electrical. Updated roof and plumbing. THE PRESERVE AT MIAMI SHORES8920 NE 8TH AVE #1110 OFFERED @ $199K 3-story 2 BD / 2 BA townhome near Miami Shores and East of Biscayne in gated community. Enjoy community park, pool, and location to shopping. Only $155 / SQ FT Great investor unit as rented through April producing a 6% cap rate. PARAMOUNT BAY2020 N. Bayshore Drive | Miami FROM $452,000 Direct water views through 10 foot high ceilings. Construction-quality comparable to Icon Brickell and Marquis with Lenny Kravitz designs. Offering 1 + Den, 2 3, and PH water view-units as well as urban-loft-style townhomes. BRIAN CARTER, P. A. BROKER ASSOCIATE cell 305 582 2424 | btcarter@majesticproperties.com WATER VIEWS AT ONE MIAMI325 S Biscayne Boulevard #3926 | Miami 1,416 SQ FT | 3 BD / 2 BA | OFFERED @ $589K Spectacular Northeast corner with unbelievable bay and ocean views from every room. Priced to sell. Property has tenant and is great for investors. 4% Commission to any agent whose buyer closes near asking price before December.STYLISH CORPORATE OFFICESMiami Design District 3,000 SQ FT | FOR LEASE $7,500/MO Gorgeous building with tele-entry. Elevator opens directly into this custom designed modern space with concrete oors, stainless walls, 5 baths, S/S kitchen appliances and much more. 7 Of ces and 2 Executive ofces with private bathrooms. Parking.MIDTOWN MIAMI TRUE CITY LIVINGMidtown Miami FOR SALE IN THE MID $200S. FOR LEASE IN THE $1,700S. Midtown Miamis urban design and energy reminds you of NYCs Soho District with spacious apartments and uniquely designed oor plans, both multi-level, Loft and Tower spaces. Cash offers only. 12 UNIT BUILDING IN LITTLE HAVANA237 NW 10th Avenue | Miami PRICE UPON REQUEST Two free standing buildings on large 10,000 SQ FT corner lot. This income producing property will satisfy all investors. Completely renovated in 2003, the building maintains full occupancy year round in this HOT area of Little Havana.JEFF MORRCEOcell 305 677 5000 jeff@majesticmiami.com ALEJANDRO AMADORREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 786 486 9841 aamador@majesticproperties.com KEVIN INSUAREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 282 5178 kinsua@majesticproperties.com LUIS GOMEZREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 763 1876 lgomez@majesticproperties.com

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Nancy Knows Your Neighborhood NANCY BATCHELOR0 305 329 7718 C 305 903 2850NANCY@NANCYBATCHELOR.COM WWW.NANCYBATCHELOR.COM MED-DECO POOL HOMErfntbb rrn $1,028,000 5363 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://www.Obeocom/671656 VILLA ON THE GREEN f n n $1,149,000 5926 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://homesite.obeo.com/671685 CONTEMPORARY ELEGANCE ON PRIVATE GATED ISLANDn nn ntrrrn nnn Distinctive Residences Available for Sale and Lease on Miami Beach at Aqua: 2-4 Bedrooms condos, townhouses and penthouses from $700,000 to $3,000,000 Call for a private tour! www.AquaSalesAndRentals.com MID-CENTURY MODERNLa Gorce Island n f rnn 6620 Windsor Lane Miami Beachwww.6620windsorln.com VILLA VECCHIA Legacy Estaten rrrn n brrn n 4821 Pinetree Drive Miami Beach www.4821pinetreedrive.comHome Is Where Your Art Is! SLEEK & SEXYffrrr nt nn $1,999,990 621 Island Road Bay Point

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Nancy Knows Your Neighborhood NANCY BATCHELOR0 305 329 7718 C 305 903 2850NANCY@NANCYBATCHELOR.COM WWW.NANCYBATCHELOR.COM MED-DECO POOL HOMErfntbb rrn $1,028,000 5363 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://www.Obeocom/671656 VILLA ON THE GREEN f n n $1,149,000 5926 La Gorce Drive Miami Beach http://homesite.obeo.com/671685 CONTEMPORARY ELEGANCE ON PRIVATE GATED ISLANDn nn ntrrrn nnn Distinctive Residences Available for Sale and Lease on Miami Beach at Aqua: 2-4 Bedrooms condos, townhouses and penthouses from $700,000 to $3,000,000 Call for a private tour! www.AquaSalesAndRentals.com MID-CENTURY MODERNLa Gorce Island n f rnn 6620 Windsor Lane Miami Beachwww.6620windsorln.com VILLA VECCHIA Legacy Estaten rrrn n brrn n 4821 Pinetree Drive Miami Beach www.4821pinetreedrive.comHome Is Where Your Art Is! SLEEK & SEXYffrrr nt nn $1,999,990 621 Island Road Bay Point

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Mayor to Gaspar: Stop the AssaultAs a mayor concerned with delivering quality municipal services in a challenging economy, the health and success of my city is my priority. So Im asking Biscayne Times s Gaspar Gonzlez to suspend his assault against the Village of Biscayne Park. I believe that Gonzlez and the BT do our city a grave disservice with negative articles character izing the city as uncaring toward its residents. Gonzlezs perspective is often misguided, and he habitually bends facts, purportedly revealing some dark side of government and societal norms in our village. His correspondents column is personality-driven, explicitly expressing a point of view that is detrimental to our city. While editorials and opinion pieces serve a purpose to stimulate community discussion and advocacy, such pieces need to be based in fact, not unfounded emotion or opinion. Sadly, it seems cant to Gonzlez. He speculates as to my thought processes but he has never interviewed me, nor have I spoken to him concerning his columns. Until now, I have refrained from public comment on these writings. His column Mr. Jacobs Has a Problem (October 2011) follows Gonzlezs usual pattern of selective retelling. A brief background could have included that FPL is replacing the support poles in some areas as part of a grid-wide hardening project, mandated by federal regulation, reported to the state PSC. The existing route provides local ser vice to Biscayne Park and will continue to serve the same purpose. There is no change of use that would require zoning considerations. The village building of authority, free from political involvement, pursuant to the Florida Building Code. Letters sent by FPL to the community advised of the project on at least two occasions, in advance of location-staking that signaled the planned placements several months before the poles went into the ground. The village building department followed the project and continues to assist residents in communications with FPL on accommodations to particular placements and restoration. Gonzlezs article and related picture further lack perspective in that they neglect to capture that the original poles proximity to the corner roadway caused a line-of-sight safety issue, and a large tree (conveniently just outside of the picture frame) required the poles placement to be closer than was Jacobss prior experience. So Jacobs came to the September 13 commission meeting with a problem. I welcomed him before the meeting, as I generally greet everyone. He spoke at public comment, expressing his distress over a pole that he said was placed on his property, contrary to his understanding that the lines would be underground. I asked Jacobs to exchange information with the manager, who could assist him with the issue, as the building department has done for other residents. Gonzlezs column failed to report that Jacobs grew increasingly agitated and repetitive with his remarks. When Jacobs left the podium, he stood at the administration table yelling at our village employees; not only disrupting the meet ing but, frankly, causing concern for his welfare and the welfare of our staff. Gonzlez also inaccurately states that the new poles are in some cases, as much as ten feet taller. The poles, placed in the public right-of-way, start out taller, are buried deeper underground, adding strength and wind resistance, and ultimately they are, within inches, the same elevation as the old poles. As FPL transfers its facilities (the tallest hanging lines) to the new poles, the old poles are cut down to the level of the AT&T and Comcast lines, until those vendors move their facilities over and the old poles can be removed. Within days of learning about Jacobss concern, the situation was relayed to FPL representatives, as the village had done for several other residents. Jacobs tells me that a plan Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 20 3401 N. Miami Avenue, #132 Miami, Florida 33127

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` Come Often 2 lots side-by-side. No bridges to ICW. Vacant Point lot 20,000sq.ft. on water Adjacent Property with home,4BED,4 BATH,3500sq.ft. 2 Car Lot and house can be purchased separately. Offers Welcome! www.jeffkoebel.com jeffkoebel@realtor.com Montgomery & Koebel, Inc. Annie Montgomery Realty 434 FT ON WATER GOLDEN ISLES REMODELED TO PERFECTION BOAT LIFT & NEW DOCK 2011 Brand New Construction with Bayviews!!! 2sty waterfront SE views of Beautiful Biscayne Bay. Soaring ceilings, Hurricane-impact windows & doors marble flrs & baths, upstrs master suitefrench drs open to 600sf sundeck overlooking Biscayne Bay! 2 walk in closets, spa tub, sep.shower, bidet & dual sinks. Solid wd flrs throughout 2nd flr includ loft-officepossible 5th bdrm. Dwnstrs bdrm has private bath. kitchen equipped w/natural gas. WATERFRONT HOME OCEAN ACCESS NO BRIDGES TO BAY! No expense was spared in this magnificent Keystone Point waterfront pool home. Total renovation in 2011, over 4000 sq.ft. under A/C, 5 beds, + office and 4 baths. Outside/Summer kitchen is perfect for entertaining and family gatherings. New 20k lb. boat lift, dock and seawall. Too many upgrades to list. A Must SEE! 24 Hour guard KEYSTONE POINT-NEW 2011 2350 BAYVIEW LANE 305-606-2252

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was reached through these communica tions, and if it can be accomplished, he believes it will be a better result from his perspective. Gonzlezs faulty methods, his mis statements, and the caricature he draws of me and my city are unfair. His columns help divide a small and generally friendly community one with a bird sanctuary, honored with Tree City USA recognition, a one-stop-light hamlet in the middle of an urban center, where people know their neighbors. A community so inviting that Gonzlez chose to purchase a home and raise his family here. Come on, Gaspar, work with us to continue to make the Village of Biscayne Park a better place to be. Mayor Roxanna Ross Village of Biscayne ParkCommissioner to Mayor: Stop Stiing DissentWith Mr. Jacobs Has a Problem, Gaspar Gonzlez has once again hit the nail on the head regarding Biscayne Park politics. And once again he will be denigrated by an extremely small but loud clique for shining a light on some very bad decisions by the majority of the Biscayne Park Commission. Ive already heard one particular resident, apparently a fan of large concrete poles, claim that Mr. Gonzlez is technically wrong about the height of the poles, intimating therefore that the rest of his column, and all of Mr. Jacobss concerns should be negated. Nothing can be further from the truth. The heart of the column is not the height of the poles but the height of tone-deafness achieved by three elected that there was no planning and zoning meeting that could have set some limitations on what FPL planned to install in our rights-of-way, she tried to pawn him off on the manager. Instead of explaining to a resident who instantly had his property values decreased by an out-of-place concrete pole that she and Commissioners Anderson and Childress allowed to happen, she told him his time was up. Simply put, instead of defending her majoritys decision to vote down my motion to have FPL submit the data necessary to use wood instead of concrete, the mayor chose instead to shut down Mr. Jacobs. This is even more disturbing given that an FPL engineer stated in a public meeting, and again privately at a meeting with a resident and myself, that in many cases three wood poles would do the job of two concrete poles. Is that important? Ask someone who lives on 119th Street or 8th or 10th Avenue who now has to live with those concrete pylons for the next 50 years. Asking residents to abide by village ordinances while the village itself ignores them needs to stop. The concept of shutting down anyone who asks reasonable questions needs to stop. The idea that obtaining information and data before making decisions is a waste of time needs to stop. All of us should be held accountable for our actions, whether it be our manager, our commissioners, or our voters, who now have a responsibility to investigate what each candidate would do in these situations. If they have not previously served publicly, they should be asked how they feel about such decisions as voting to limit budget-hearing questions to three minutes and manager evaluations to ten minutes, as the mayor and Commissioners Anderson and Childress recently did. For the hundreds of residents who signed petitions regarding the 30-year FPL franchise agreement, please ask the candidates (who are sure to ask for support and for signs in their yards) why so many residents were disregarded. Ask if they thought that giving up control of six percent of their everincreasing electric bill for 30 years was a good idea. Ask about your water bill that has funded North Miamis operations and sewer debt instead of the stated capital improvement purpose. Ask why so many healthy Australian pines had to be cut down. Just ask how they protected our village, and listen carefully. When Mr. Gonzlez says that Mr. Jacobss problem is also our problem, he is exactly correct. Because being shut down by a mayor, having a commissioner tell another to behave yourself as a way to continue shutting down that resident is not what any village should be about. Commissioner Steve Bernard Village of Biscayne ParkCommentary: LETTERS Continued from page 18 Continued on page 59

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22 Commentary: URBANIABrickell: Your Parents Will Love ItThe place radiates a generic sheen that is part Naples, part Lincoln RoadBy Christian Cipriani BT ContributorIn my quest to explore Miamis new condo cosmos, I set out this month to re discover an area I rarely visit Brickell. Todays Brickell is a mishmash of new businesses, and while the common thread seems to be high price tags for their high-rise customers, their generic sheen gives off a blurry aura without to be everything for everyone, which ac counts as much for its widespread appeal as it does for my lack of interest. Beyond stopping by friends condos, SE 12th Street, or special occasions like Miami Spice and the World Cup, Brickell just isnt an area my peers and I frequent. But in the spirit of discovery, I packed weeknight, then later on a more bustling Saturday, to see what its all about. My biggest problem with hitting Miami Beach anymore is parking. I recently upgraded to a car that a real adult might drive, so when I cruised into Mary Brickell Village at 9:30 on a Wednesday night, I was excited to see ample, well-lit street parking and a cheap garage ($4 for a night on the town beats $10 for an afternoon on Lincoln Road). We stepped out and surveyed the landscape: clean, new, but fairly quiet. Upstairs at the indoor/outdoor mall (a building style I dont particularly care for), ladies night karaoke at Blue Martini was gearing up, but we needed food House of Kabob really hit the spot healthy, tasty, and priced just right. We decided to skip Blue Martini and head straight for Baru to immerse ourselves in the Brickell experience. My friend and I placed bets on the price of drinks. My house cocktail was just $7, a price that surely draws the crowds. His Scotch rang in at a more familiar $12. Then we stepped out back to see a live band on the patio with a late 30s, early 40s crowd that appeared to have read up on how people in Miami dress. But Ill bet they have the same contempt for the trendy-broke fashionistas crawling around my Edgewater neighborhood. The barman poured them strong, and after two I was tipsily sprinting back to not ing it in my back pocket. It was there, we poked around more spots, took a it a night. Three days later my girlfriend and I dressed up and headed back, only this time the garage was heaving with luxury cars, girls teetering on stilt-like heels, manes. Strolling through the outdoor mall, I noticed whole new throngs of people underage cliques loitering happily in the plaza, large tables of wealthy-looking South Americans, families, couples young and old, dressed up, dressed down, you name it. The new Brickell is still trying to downtown Naples or a less vulgar Lincoln Road. It has features of both mixed with generous portions of vanilla. Whatever it may be, its popular. Brickells charm is calibrated to include anyone and everyone who can pay their way. With no plans or reservations, we headed to Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita. I held the door for a group of young, overdressed couples and received not even a grateful nod. The manners Naples, but Brickell is still a place I can see taking my parents when they visit. Within seconds, we were back out too hungry to wait 45 minutes for a table at Dolores. Here, things were equally jammed, so we lingered over drinks, giggling at heavily marked-up bottles of Kim Crawford and Veuve Clicquot, and listening in on the bars middle-age singles scene. blurted, interrupting two men who werent speaking to her. Carp, bass, take the bait. ricones rustic deck, spoiling the atmo sphere more than the big-screen sports. After 30 minutes, we were ushered in for a delicious, indulgent, and decidedly rushed meal. The rest of the night we wandered We concluded we didnt. Were too make this area routine. Tobacco Road, and until recently, Transit Lounge, but we arent ready to commit to weekends of high-priced people-watching. Not that I wish Brickell anything less than the best, or that well never come back. After all, winter is around the corner and I need somewhere I can take my snowbird parents. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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24 LAW OFFICES OF JAKE MILLER, LLC PHONE ADDRESS EMAILON THE WEB AT Call 305.758.2020 To Reserve Your Seat Now!NEW HOMEOWNER RESCUE PROGRAMSThis seminar will discuss new government & lender incentives: DATES: Thursday, November 10 & 17 | 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 STORYLemon City: Still Alive and Well as Little HaitiA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George Special to the BTLemon City was a vibrant workingclass neighborhood in the early years following World War II, as seen in this photograph of NE 2nd Avenue near 60th Street, shot on July 13, 1948. Toward the left of the picture stands the communitys most venerable strucalso treated Native American patients who knew him endearingly as the Still standing today, the building served as a pharmacy for decades, as well as a branch of the United States postal system, which operated there until 1974. Just south of the large, masonry building, with its cluster of coconut palm trees, is the Magic City Trailer Court, a pared-down version of which remains on that site. Out of the photograph, and to our right of the young bicyclists was a stand of oak trees that later framed Notre Dame High School for girls, and still later, Notre Dame d Haiti, a Haitian Catholic Church, which continues to serve as the spiritual center of todays vital Caribbean community. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #1989-011-9548

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26 Our Sponsors: N oO V eE M berBER 20 11By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorNo time to waste, readers. If you dont get to your holiday planning now, if not sooner, youre going to end up at your gathering in some rag, serving your guests a halffrozen turkey and a pumpkin pie with a Instead place your order for a traditional pie or for free-thinkers, a turkey cake with master baker Jenny Rissone at Pastry Is Art (12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-603-9340). Mention the BT for a free cupcake. Note for those deluded enough to by New Years: Rissone adds that shes now offering all her baked goods sugar-free. If you dont want any part of preparing those Thanksgiving or Xmas dinners, if you order the whole shebang from Bagels & Company (11064 Biscayne $175 for a complete holiday feast main item: a 15-pound turkey for ten people, youll probably even save yourself money as well as stress. Though not holiday-related, theres time-sensitivity about Novembers offer from Werner Staubs Peppermill Restaurant & Bar a new advertiser or rather an old friend with a new address (350 Bayview Dr., Sunny Isles Beach, 305-466-2016) featuring beautiful views of Biscayne Bay. The offer, a two-lobster special for $25.95, is time-sensitive because at that price we may consume the whole months lobster supply before you get there. Seriously. When the turkey leftover meals get tiring, take a break at new advertiser Rajas (33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551). been one of downtown Miamis best buffet deals (though were addicted to the made-to-order South Indian dosa and uttappam pancakes. Rajas caters, too, if yourself silly at new advertiser Ginza Japanese Buffet (16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192). Its all-you-can-eat, but since sushi is so healthy, it doesnt count. Theres a huge assortment of other Asian goodies, too BBQ ribs, tempura, hibachi items, and more. But just eat more sushi after you hit the heftier items and the calories dont count. See Ginzas ad for a seniors dinner discount. When friends from (or frequent trav elers to) Italy get homesick, new adver tiser Fratelli Milano is the cure (213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300). Theres a reason why this place is often packed. Family run, with authentic but creative food (not clichd), it feels like a true neighborhood trattoria, transplanted whole. Speaking of favorite Italian food sources, Laurenzos Italian Market (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381) is joining forces with Miamis food trucks market. Ten trucks are already signed up 5:00-10:00 p.m., and Laurenzos itself will be open till then offering wine and beer specials plus wood-oven pizza and Italian desserts. Subsequent gatherings To give your tummy a timely postThanksgiving time-off, for which itll be truly thankful, try new advertiser Salad Creations (2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305576-5333). With this months ad and at this location only youll get $2 off any entre after 4:00 p.m. They do large, lovely salad and wrap platters for parties, too. Bring in the ad for 15% off orders of $75 or more. Just in time for holiday cookouts especially satisfying to have when its snowing up north Gaucho Ranch (7251 NE 2nd Ave. #113, 305-751-0775), famed for its superb traditional Uruguayan steak cuts, announces a new line: grass-fed Wagyu beef from Grassland Delights in Uruguay. Its hard to pass up a Gaucho picanha, but one look at these buttery marbled beauties and you know they were born for BBQ.BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 28

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28 Though the Miami Culinary In stitute s restaurant Tuyo (415 NE 2nd Ave., 305-237-3200), and its executive chef Norman Van Aken, are discussed exten sively in this issues cover story, we wanted to mention it again because dinner at this rooftop restaurant tops our list for Xmas It may seem early to reserve for New Years Eve, but ringing in 2012 from an expansive terrace with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay sounds like a hot ticket. At the Black and White gala at Trio on the Bay (1601 79th St. Cswy., 305-866-1234), the 8:00 p.m. four-course dinner is $75 per person, and the party after is bound to rock because Gerry Kelly is in charge. Earlybirds: An earlier seating, at 6:00 p.m., is $50 per person. Your choppers need to be in shape to deal with all that holiday feasting (and to look good while doing so). Fortunately, a few dental advertisers can help out. At the Art of Dentistry (2999 NE 191st St. #350 305-466-2334), Dr. Valeria Soltanik has a special on Dental Zoom Whitening: $289 (normally $400) if you mention the BT The discount applies November 2-12 only. Biscayne Dental Center (14771 Biscayne Blvd., 305-945-7745) welcomes specialist, to the staff by offering a $500 discount on any orthodontic treatment. And Dr. Mario Iraheta, the centers periodontist, will give BT readers $300 off any implant procedure this month. Just mention this issues ad. And Dr. Jos J. Alvarez (3483 NE 163rd St., 305-948-5002), a new advertiser whose credentials are from some of the worlds top dental schools, has a holiday special for BT readers, too: Six dental implants no mini-implants or Transitioning gracefully from portion of this column: Youre going to have to deal with the holiday poundage problem sooner or later. Why not do it now, so you can look fab in your seaDr. Marc Weinberg, a new advertiser, has free weight-loss seminars every week; register at www. burnfatmiami.com or 305-949-5999. This month hes also offering body wraps for $59 (normally $85). wanting to treat themselves to something no one else will be wearing, no matter how many parties you hit, Lorie Lester Studio + Boutique (6301 Biscayne blvd. #103, 305-756-8070) is now taking orders for custom dresses. Drop by immediately to pick your style and fabric. Thats going to make the kids jealous for sure, but its nothing that cant brand-name girls and boys clothes from new advertiser Turnstyle Bou tique (19015C Biscayne Blvd., 305-6922201). There are clothes for big grrrls and boyz, too, and if you buy Turnstyle brand, air-brushing is complimentary. If truly special jewelrys what you need, the prices at new advertiser Direct Jewelry Outlet (2001 Biscayne Blvd. #117/388, 305-979-3636) cant be beat. They buy gold and silver, too. Hours are by appointment, so remember to call ahead. If youre not quite sure what you need: Road trip! You never know what might be up for auction every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. inside Broward Countys Wilton Theatre Auction Gallery (1446 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors, 954-5304356). Jewelrys a possibility, but so are dcor items, antiques, art, furniture, colA November holiday you might not know about is the one-year anniversary of the UPS Store (6815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-8877). To celebrate, theyre setting out a free spread of breakfast foods every Friday this month, and giving gifts special 15% discount on selected services and products (including shipping supplies, which youll need for posting holiday packages) if you mention the BT Art Basel time is rolling around, too, and Wynwoods Control Salon & Gallery (2814 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-6910), where the line between art and craft truly disappears, will be helping fund at a fundraiser at Cafeina on November 11, 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. Stop by for a special deal on feather extensions thatll transform you into a walking artwork. Welcome to new advertiser Plexi House (4030 N. Miami Ave., 305-576not set off your I Want It, I Need It, I of it (and related see-through materials) are cut to order, as they are here, they can be fabricated into anything from furniture to picture frames to mirrors to Our Sponsors: N oO V eE M berBER 20 11 Biz BuzzContinued from page 26

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will do the fabricating for you, or your interior designer. No one enjoys excessive partying when sick or in pain. So do that ounceof-prevention thing. Take a few minutes Medi-Station Urgent Care Center (9600 NE 2nd Ave., Drop into the Health & Wellness Fair co-sponsored by new advertiser Integrative Chiropractic at For Shore Fitness (9301 NE 6th Ave., 305-7588600) for free chair massages, lectures, and more. Its on November 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. And if seasonal stresses get you down, restore your energies at new advertiser Inner Balance (12579 Biscayne Blvd., 786-383-3088), an alternativetherapies spa whose holistic services and products range from rejuvenate to seriously rehabilitative. Keep your pets healthy and happy, too, with By Nature dog and cat foods from Biscayne Pet House (10789 Biscayne Blvd.). Bring in this months ad for a free bag of By Nature all-natural biscuits. And please, pet lovers, check out the Humane Society of Greater Miami (16101 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-696-0800), a new advertiser best known (since 1936) for saving and getting homeless pets adopted. But this no-kill shelter also has spay/neuter services, a grooming center, a pet boutique, Humane Education pro its celebrating its 75th birthday with a big bash on Sunday, November 20, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Fun for the whole family. Like pets, music has charms to you could be soothing someone fast with music lessons from Pianopresto Pluss Richard Foltz, who has two studios: 35 SE 169th St., and 3600 State Rd. 7, Miramar. Two new services: semi private details: 786-468-9871. Take your newborn directly from the hospital to Miss Janes Music Studio (9533 NE 2nd Ave., 305-7576500) for Musikgarten classes, and the kid could be in the recording studio by Thanksgiving. Okay, slight exaggeration. But the younger a child starts learning music, the faster it goes, and Miss Janes really does have music lessons for newborns as well as older kids. Now that were in the season, call about Miss lighted to perform at events of all sorts. Theres no place like home for the holidays, says the old song. And weve got New advertiser Darin Feldman (1682 Jefferson Ave., 305-672-6200) has luxury listings in 12 downtown/Brickell condo buildings. If you like throwing major parties, he holds the record for sell ing the largest penthouse in downtown. Have your mind on something more ports the building is more than 20% sold, but Majestic Propertys Brian Carter (305-582-2424) can get you in. And if oceanfront luxury is more your thing, new advertiser Sunny Realty (3873 NE 163rd St., 877-368-2318) has a list of condos in Sunny Isles Beach thats practically as long as your arm. (They handle other areas, too.) With the holiday season bringing on so many inevitable arguments (after Thanksgiving dinner, will the sports event be some silly football game or watching 105-pound Sonya The Black ed competitive eater Joey Chestnut in the need is serious legal bickering. Fortunate ly, we have folks wholl do it for you. For insurance-coverage disputes, the attorneys at Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin are a trusted choice for policyholders; theyll handle evaluation and settle or litigate for you. Call 305-577-3996 to arrange a consultation. And at the Insurance Justice Center (786-431-1333), attorney Scott R. Dinin announces that Reeva Oza has been accepted to the Florida Bar and is now the centers newest associate, working in both foreclosure defense and insurance litigation. Congrats, Reeva. Better you than we. Finally: Though it may seem aw fully early to circle February 18 on your 2012 calendar, especially if you havent bought one yet, the annual Galaxy Gala but held at downtowns tres chic JW Mar riott Marquis Miami & Hotel Beaux Arts, admission is invitation only. So best start working on that now by contacting Ruth Robinson (305-646-4249 or rrobinson@ miamisci.org). Tix for the Big Bang dance party to follow the gala are available separately for sale in December. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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30 INTO THE F iI RE Miami-Dade College has launched the most advanced school of culinary arts in the world, and is tossing in two restaurants and a food truck for good measure By Pamela Robin Brandt Photos by Silvia Ros

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Since 1983, November has been the highest-visibility time of year for Miami-Dade College. That was the the schools downtown Wolfson Campus, joined Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books to launch a modest local literature festival called Books by the Bay. To the astonishment of nearly everyone in a town where golf courses and gun shops vastly outnumbered bookstores, the event drew a crowd of 25,000 people. These days the Miami Book Fair International, now the USAs biggest literary event and South Floridas primo cultural happening, draws hundreds of world-famous authors and publishers, and crowds topping 500,000 every November. The book fair is an innovation that has made Miami-Dade College a household word. Actually, MDC has been known for growth and innovation of the sort that have impact far beyond the school itself since 1960, when what was then College (better known as Chicken Coop black students, making MDC Floridas Since then MDC has become the nations largest institution of higher education: roughly 165,000 students on eight campuses. That beats out the entire University of California system, along with myriad other, better-known colleges better known to the general public, that is. Innovations that have raised MDCs visibility in academic circles have been a constant, including, in the develop multimedia classrooms and a attend classes online (everywhere now; not then). But lets face it. For most of us, the chance to hang with hundreds of celebrity writers is just more attentiongrabbing than serious educational stuff like an Honors College. This year, though, MDC is presentwill not draw half-a-million people, but may just draw international attention to MDCs newest innovative project and make serious educational stuff seem sexier than the book fair. That would be the opening of Tuyo, a restaurant thats the crown jewel of the real story: MDCs new Miami Culinary Institute, a culinary arts school that many experts feel could revolutionize culinary education, and in the process tive cuisine. Tuyos executive chef is Norman Van Aken the real Norman (inventor of New World cuisine; one of the Mango culinary map; proprietor of long-lived Normans in Coral Gables), not the Norman whose name recently graced short-lived and forgettable Normans 180. food is a continuation of New World cuisine, further developing a love of Florida, the particular pan-ethnicity What will also excite Miamis restaurant cognoscenti are Van Akens two sous chefs. Most recently hired, just a few weeks ago, is ex-Van Aken protg Jeffrey Brana, whose cutting-edge techniques and Xtreme use of local ingredients at his own Restaurant Brana in Coral Gables, pushed his mentors concept even farther into the 21st Century, according to many local food critics. The other, Travis Starwalt, while less well known to local diners, was a longtime sous chef of earlier (and now extremely famous) Van Aken protg Randy Zweiban, credited for bringing Nuevo Latino cuisine to Chicago at Nacional 27. Talk about a dream team. But as innovative as Tuyo promises to be on its own, its primary role is not to be on its own, but rather to offer to the public a sense of the eco-conscious culinary education going on in the building below.MCIs new eight-story, $15.5 million building on NE 2nd began studying in January. The grand opening ceremony featured the building wearing a full-length apron. The apron didnt signal innovation, of course. In a city where the Virgin Mary regularly appears on buildings, fences, and toast, that seemed almost traditional. part of an accredited state public college, Continued on page 32

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and all traditional academic requirements for an Associate in Science degree (including English, math, and so on) must be met. So explains Victoria Nodarse, MCIs culinary coordinator, who, like all of MCIs administrators, is also a chef. The culinary curriculum will cover all the basics: learning terminology, making stocks, knife skills, and so on. not traditional is the building underneath the apron. Even without an inkling of the schools mission statement or curriculum content, the space just looks like a model for worldclass, 21st-century culinary education. For starters, everywhere you look in the building, its green. Not the color; the eco-consciousness. MCIs chief instructor, Collen Engle, ticks off the list: Automatic fans under range hoods with infrared sensors that analyze how much energy needs to be used to move heat or and glass are recycled. The take-out carMCI is actually on the track for Weve no doubts about getting it. Its just that the application process requires a six-month reinspection. We havent assortment of lecture rooms and kitchen labs fully equipped with state-ofthe-art cooking equipment, like other top-notch culinary schools. Look closer, nected to a high-tech composting system. We have a pretty amazing system ing whatever dishes theyre learning, takes the waste food, cardboard, and whatnot pulps the waste with water, extracts and recycles the water, and then dehydrates the waste. Every 18 hours, 100 pounds of waste becomes 18 ing director and sustainable-food nerd John Richards. Then they take it to our school to have its own organic garden, but to see it youll have to traipse down the block, to what used to be a grubby vacant lot. We dont start classes in the kitchen, with a bundle of herbs on es are in the ground. If a recipe needs, say, rosemary, they walk to the garden I never in my life saw how things a 43-year-old Miami resident originally from Colombia. They showed us how with MCI-designed software, help with Into The FireContinued from page 31 Continued on page 34 PHONE (305)-384-6233 ADDRESS 12550 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 800 Miami, FL 33181 EMAIL rossmanagementgp@aol.comCall 305.348.6233 To Reserve Your Seat Now!LEGAL & IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION AND SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME OPPORTUNITY This seminar is designed to help you: the security and protection of legal advice and representation for less than $1 per day you and your family legally you and your family against identity theft you with a plan to supplement your income utilizing a home-based business backed by a company offering legal protection for over 40 yearsDATES: Thursday, November 10 & 17 | TIME: 7-8 p.m. Saturday, November 19 | TIME: 2-3 p.m. ROSS MANAGEMENT GROUP

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Only then comes the training in cook ing techniques and food sourcing. Then students end the day by taking compost Theres also an interactive food/ beverage demonstration theater packed with not just a high-tech kitchen but also an HD TV studio. This enables the room to connect with other culinary facilities and experts worldwide, in real time. Ever wanted to study culinary arts in France, In addition to its use by degreeseeking students, the theater is the setting for MCIs two other educational components, the Culinarium and a continuing-education program for industry professionals. Culinarium is classes for enthu a passion for food and wine but who arent seeking a degree. Sure, some of the areas private culinary schools offer classes for nonprofession als, too; even department stores have cooking demos, and liquor stores have wine tastings. But the Culinariums classes are elevated in both sophistication and scope, with many on a semi-profession al, rather than dabbler/entertain ment, level. Theyre taught by chefs like Michael Schwartz, as well as our own faculty of chefs, and the programming is amazing in responsible for making MCIs three components (four, if you count the restaurants) fit togeth er seamlessly. Culinarium classes (as many as ten per month) include cooking at all levels, and with subject matter ranging from holiday desserts to serious pro-chef knife skills, wine education, nutrition and wellness, gardening, more. Upcoming this month and next, Nodarse says: Gabrielle who designed the institutes urban organic garden down the block, is teaching classes showing people how to build their own backyard sustainable garden. And theres also a gingerbread houseI was surprised how many people claims Collen Engle, who teaches the class. Thats actually the maximum number of students allowed in MCIs kitchen lab classes, to ensure students get intense, one-on-one instruction. What has been the most popular Make New Friends Culinary Singles A program for businesses, which will start in January, involves using MCIs expertise and the theaters technology to develop customized education and training for culinary industry companies. An example would be something we developed for one of the worlds largest says explains director John Richards. When they come out with a new piece Into The FireContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36

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of accelerated equipment, well have them in for a demonstration class on how it works faster without harming the proteins, et cetera. And therell be 38 people in the theater, but the technology will allow 38,000 people all over the world to intended as a professionally operated star turn for Van Aken & Co., theres the stuMCI Caf. Because the school opened so recently, most all culinary students are too inexperienced to do the cooking yet except for 29-year-old Michael Galadza, who, since he was 14, has been doing just about every job there is, from the venerable Kendall restaurant Captains Tavern, where his father cooked MCI instructor. Son Michael now cooks every dish on the MCI Cafs weekday breakfast and lunch menus. Stop by for a Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich (turkey, bacon, mornay sauce), which one suspects is on the menu in honor of Richards, a Louisville native. Before the new year, the caf is expected to morph at 5:00 p.m. into the Root Cellar, a tapas and wine bar. phaBite, a gourmet food truck staffed by instructor-supervised students. Does any other U.S. culinary college sponsor a currently only) public culinary college, a place that is attempting to revolutionize regional culinary education and upgrade our regional restaurant scene by: culinary arts graduates who have superior cooking skills and also a thorough understanding of whats on their plates from seed to compost, including all the cultural and economic implications. 2) Encouraging a similar upgrade of culinary and environmental involvement in the general public. 3) Doing it at a fraction of the cost of private culinary arts schools.When you want a revolution in culinary education, hire a mover-and-shaker entrepre neurial chef really who knows how to rock and roll. MCI administrators couldnt have made a better pick as founding director than John Richards, who is responsible When tapped to mastermind Miami Culinary Institute two years ago, Richards was director of food services for Sullivan University in Louisville, where he went to culinary school. Before then, Into The FireContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38

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though, he had put in many, many years as a professional electric bass player in a rock/blues band. Richards. But the impressive thing is the bands we opened for Funkadelic, lection forever. Why switch careers from rock musi cian to chef? Too many of my compatri ots were falling by the wayside from drugs and the rest of the lifestyle. I realized I Seriously, though. I loved playing in a band because it was creating magic with a team of other musicians you riff off of. To me, being a chef is like being in a band. I became a chef to communinary school had actually begun back in the 1980s, according to MDC communications director Juan Mendieta. That MDC (the whole shebang), was president of the Wolfson Campus. Earlier in this century, when the idea began to solidify, retired provost Kathie ble for many of MDCs earlier innovative programs, was called back to help get the Miami Culinary Institute off the ground with preliminary studies looking at many different approaches to culinary training around the world, particularly Europe and the USA. Then they hired someone who thought outside the proverbial box to build the program from the ground up. That was Richards, who said to give them innovation: I started from, Whats important in the 21st Cen sustainability, community, and culture are all a part of it, too. Its more than just cooking. So we were focusing on not just what cooking techniques to use for this Whats the impact of buying California We want to train chefs who consider the On the less philosophical side: We did a very intensive analysis to make sure there was a workforce need in the Dade County food-service industry, because this college only has programs that are going to put people to work. Thats culinary schools because they dont have to show state workforce demand. We do According to the Florida Restau rant & Lodging Association, there is Into The FireContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40

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40 an expected growth rate of 16.7 percent for the restaurant/food-service indus try in Florida by 2020, faster than the national average. That will mean close to 133,000 new culinary-industry jobs in the state. Before MCI, there was no public culinary arts school south of Orlando. (Despite popular misconception, probably fueled by the very active role FIUs School of Hospitality plays in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, that public university has no culinary school or even a culinary program, just some pretty nifty courses.) There were quite a few private culinary colleges prior to MCI, but at twice the price. For a Johnson & Wales AS degree: roughly $50,500. Art Institute $48,000. Le Cordon Bleu: $40,500. Miami Culinary Institutes two-year degree costs $24,000. So was there a demand for wellBut there was a hitch. The need was for a different kind of culinaryarts-school graduate. Longtime Miami restaurateur/restaurant industry crusader Steve Haas can elaborate on that hitch. Haas Miami Spice creator, board chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, MCI advisory council member, owner of the new City Hall restaurant puts it this way: Miami still has a major tourism industry. And these days if youre a non-food city, youre not popular. So of course we need to upgrade citys restaurants. A homegrown crop of already superbly technically trained culinary school graduates, who live here so they want to work here, So what do Haas continues: Not divas! Execu tive chefs are reluctant to hire culinary school graduates because theyve experienced too many students who get that piece of paper and think theyre ready to become Top Chef. Restaurateurs dont want people who have the attitude: This is not my job. Culinary schools have to produce people who understand that to become a good chef in the real world, you start at the bottom and do everything that needs doing, including dishwashing. Ive been in charge of over a dozen restaurants in 35 years, and Ive spent at least 300 to Restaurateurs are also mistrustful, Haas says, because culinary schools also dont teach under real-world conditions: Most restaurant kitchens are tiny, cramped, and hard to work in. Youre being slammed and youre in the weeds, the A/C went down and youre working in 150-degree heat. At school there are no rushes. Everyones in a line, working at their own station, and theres plenty of room and time. Most Richards adds this: We aim to proprestigious Culinary Institute of America but a believer in restaurateurs conceptions of old-school schools. Thats also why MCIs kitchen labs, though snazzily equipped, are relatively says Richards. Students work in four teams of four, run like a real restaurant And they do dishes. Into The FireContinued from page 38 Continued on page 42

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42 Richards also assembled a Chefs including Van Aken, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Schwartz, Douglas Rodriguez, Ruiz, and newest recruit Jos Andres. They expected that I wanted them told them: I want feedback, not for you to do dog-and-pony shows. I want to be able to pick up the phone anytime and ask questions that come up. What sort of dishes do you want your cooks to be to be better sauting skills, product chefs is how many culinary graduates dont know how to go pick Italian parsley out of the refrigerator. Theyll report back as they hire our students and graduates, too, with feedback Finally, he says, I told them: When youre downtown, just drop in to a class for an hour. Stand next to a few students, cook with them, talk with them about your experiences and their dreams. The most impactful thing they can do is interact meaningfully If you want a guaranteed antidote to the Im taurant chefs so mistrust in culinary school grads, spend a South Florida summer working in a food truck, says MCI student Andrew Alvarez. One of the original 48 students who began in January, Alvarez has been on the three-person crew of AlphaBite, the remarkably versatile mobile kitchen supervised by food truck capnan, since it began rolling last May. Fellow student Rocio Gonzalez, another January entry, is another crew veteran. Operating out of an MDC parking lot, the fully equipped but low-tech truck serves breakfast and lunch to MDC students and the general public on most weekdays, till 2:30 p.m. As befits MCIs mission, AlphaBites food is healthy, locally sourced, and qualifies chef McLennan, who identi fies strongly as a businessman as well as a sustainability expert. Neither students enthusiasm was dampened by the past summers humidity. In fact Gonzalez, who McLennan without prompting, whip out photos of AlphaBites gigs from its very Taste of the Grove festival, where AlphBite took Best in Alvarez says the ordeal was a great lesson in keeping his cool: It got really hot in this box. Originally we had a couple of more students working. They dropped. But I to work. After working on the truck all summer, when I got back this fall, classes seemed almost easy. Mostly the dif ference is pace. At school you have time to do things. In the real world, when youre getting slammed, Oddly, especially given the food-truck explosion of recent years, AlphaBite is the only such vehicle formally connected to a U.S. culinary school another difference between While MCI refers to AlphaBite as the Into The FireContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44

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COME BE INSPIREDat the NEW WORLD CENTER500 17th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139Photo by Emilio Collavino Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry Experience select events throughout the season in Miami Beach SoundScape through striking use of visual and audio technology on a soaring 7,000 square foot projection wall. Bring a blanket, share a picnic dinner and enjoy the sights and sounds of the New World Symphony with friends and family! WALLCAST CONCERTSSaturday, November 5 at 7:30 and 8:30 PM Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 PM Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 PMFREE to the public in Miami Beach SoundScape!rffrfntbnnnn

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44 the schools website lists McLennan ally a bit looser. Im associated with says McLennan. I contract with the school. Its my private business. At night and on weekends, we do catering jobs. Tonight a movie shoot in Wyn wood. Saturday were catering a bridal Still, the connection seems committed, and solidly educational in a newfashioned, non-elitist way, a win/win proposition. Says Richards: Its important to me that we provide students with opportunities to work for pay, which the truck does. It also introduces students to another career-path possibility. Many people who go here may never have a few million dollars to open a restaurant, but might be able to manage $50,000 to Student Andrew Alvarez has ex plored his share of career-path possibilities. After two years attending the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis (it was too regimented), he went on to study foreign relations at FIU (too ivory est in food and wine while working at Whole Foods. He chose MCI over on-the-job training at a restaurant for what he now admits, sheepishly, was the typical diva reason: I didnt want to learn food production work ing at a restaurant because I thought Id Alvarez appreciates the irony of having chosen a culinary school that aims to produce cooks, not chefs. Now I do dishes at school, in the class changed my mind. Now I understand why its a good idea to start at the bottom and do everything Richards and Nodarse are so enthusiastic about AlphaBite that theyre of eight, one for each MDC campus, by early next year. McLennan thinks an additional one or two trucks by that time might be a closer estimate. There are certain guys who naturally twinkle when theyre happy. Hobbits do. Santa Claus does. And so does Norman Van Aken. Van Aken hasnt been twinkling a whole lot in recent years, though. After 2007, he relocated to his original Florida stomping ground, Key West, to open Town n Tavern, a charmingly schizoid lounge with two separate dining spaces and two menus. It was located in a conventional Town n Tavern was open, the owners had turned it into a different sort of establishment: a steakhouse and a middleof-the-road resort restaurant. Then came Normans 180 in Coral Gables. When this return-to-Miami venFlorida foodies had imagined the place would be fantastic: casual but creative, a food critics dream. As it turned out, the owners and I had, um, different opinions BT collar. It ended up being a Houstons. Can we talk about this new direction Thats an easy yes Especially when the new direction takes off from a few of the chefs earlier, remarkable creations at Normans. Such as: Van Akens unsurpassed conch chowder not the rootsy red chowder on his recent casual menus, Into The FireContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 but the creamy white version containing a combo of crisp-coated cracked conch, orange, coconut, star anise, and much, much more. New items feature a tempting selection of local tastes, from complex (sea scallop pastelitos with blue crab bisque and lobster mushrooms) to simple yet perfect (oysters on the half shell with a mignonette made from MiamiDade County lemons instead of the usual champagne vinegar). The menu, says Van Aken, will change every three days or ready in the organic garden and farms. Whats being taught in school at any given time may also four professors from Turkey to do some teaching, we might weave in some Turkish-inspired dishes, but Van Aken is clearly thrilled about helping to lead the Florida restaurant scene into the future via Tuyo, and he twinkles even more when talking about the broader spectrum of his job. Since I became director of MCIs restaurants, colleagues and friends have been saying, You at a college makes sense. What else could you do thats whole school, not just do the restaurant. Once I get the restaurants open, Id like to do a few classes, get into esoteric parts of my food and help students take it in new directions. In my fourth decade of cooking, its tremendously exciting to be able to give back to students. Its more of Additionally, once students gain more experience (even the initial classs veter ans havent been learning for a year yet, and newer enrollees have been studying only a couple of months), MCI already has plans to allow two or three students at a time to sign up as unpaid interns at Tuyo. Currently Michael Galadza is the only student experienced enough to do an informal version of such an internship. His schedule starts at 5:00 a.m., when he arrives to cook breakfast and prep lunch for the MCI Caf. After lunch Van Aken and his team with whatever classes. He leaves at 5:30 p.m. it. How often does a student get to work While the rest of the Chefs Council members, who are not otherwise utilized yet, many have dropped in on a class to share knowledge and inspire, says Richards. And Michelle Bernstein seems to be serving as a personal employment agency. Three of the MCIs current 110 students work at Michys: Maria Orantes, who has been studying at MCI since January and working for Bernstein since enrolling; and two summer enrollees: a paying prep job) and Olga Vanegas. Have even the two-month rookies As for attitude: They all help wherever needed, and do exactly what they just nice, kids to work with. I truly believe this school is improving our city by improving dining. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Into The FireContinued from page 44

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48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORRecipe for ConictAs Johnson and Wales cooks up a plan to close NE 17th Avenue, nearby residents and business owners stew over the detailsBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterJohnson and Wales isnt just a university specializing in culinary education. Its also the City of North Miamis biggest developer. Since the school opened for business nearly 20 years ago, Johnson and Wales million redeveloping 29 acres of land rating apartments, and an abandoned clean dorms, functioning classrooms, and eager students. shade trees and closing off portions to reach their shops, restaurants, and services. With that road closed, it could upscale community of Keystone Point. They arent happy at the prospect of them from having to navigate congested Nevertheless, on October 25, the North Miami City Council unanimously blessed Johnson and Waless amended blueprint for for each of its improvements. Loreen Chant, president of Johnson and Waless North Miami campus (the school has three other campuses na 127th Street, enabling the creation of a pedestrian plaza in front of the University The primary motive for the street closure, Chant insists, is safety for the learn on a safe campus in a pedestrianadding that the apprehension some neigh not trying to close all mare for them. up by accidents and maintenance, ing, the massive residential and commercial project near 151st Street, is completed. I cant understand the mentality Continued on page 52

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Toxic AssetTaylor Park, once a dumping ground, is now the site of a struggle between North Miami Beach residents and civic leadersArt MovementsDesign District artists and galleries prepare for some big changesBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterL dont have to leave home to Watching the activity from the above are predatory birds falcons, osprey, even a couple of bald eagles. swoosh there lived in the area since 1989, Hilton says turtles, raccoons, big-mouthed bass, and ever, isnt as healthy as it might appear. chemicals and garbage that threaten the lot, and a city storage yard used for maintenance and recycling. Then in 1998, arsenic, iron, manganese, ammo environmental standards. The chemi debris in the soil, led to the closure of a passive green space along NE 18th nated by the countys Department of monitor the area. employees in the coming months, says environmental regulations. Continued on page 56BT photos by Jim W. Harper By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterW hopes to attract at least 20 cial properties. dent and CEO of Dacra Development, subsidizing for years. artist and co-founder of Dimensions spaces throughout his Design District properties as part of an overhaul of Dagram. There are artists [in the Design painter and sculptor Oliver Sanchez. tional, a gallery space cofounded by photographer BT there are too many issues up Some artists and galleries, such as Continued on page 54 Saturdays Ransom

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior Writeror more than 20 years, a gas staempanadas, coffee, gum, cigarettes, and other items for travelers on the go. by the BT say theyll hardly miss it. Thats because the gas station is being replaced located just across the street from the to the area and provide a needed service. 82nd streets. In that same area there in the heart of the Miami Modern tall and have three drive-through lanes City of Miami report. Joseph Canale, a board member that the historic districts controversial said about the height restriction being detrimental to the area. Well, here are public phones, especially at night. Canale, a regular at Uva. It got to be a Michys becoming galvanized. It Vega is also optimistic about the cortion is gone, although he has one minor regret. That sort of business attracts Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.comBanking on the BoulevardLocal interest is high as a new Chase branch comes to the Upper Eastside Courtesy of BDG Architects

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Kenneth Each, North Miamis former police chief, remembers similar Sans Souci Estates and Keystone Point sought to gate their neighborhoods to deter crime, but drivers adapted. If you Each, a member of the city plan master plan, is among the supporters Drive, Each credits the university for transforming a neighborhood he also calls home. Who in the last 18 years has im favor of Johnson and Wales before the planning commission and city council last month. Even the harshest critics of Johnson and Wales has been good dence, Johnson and Wales evolved into a career-oriented institution degrees in areas such as business, education, technology, psychology, The university also runs the larg est hospitality and culinary arts pro gram in the nation, and counts among its alumni such notables as celebrity chef and local restaurateur Michelle Hells Kitchen school bought the former North Miami Medical Center at 1701 NE 127th transformed into an educational setting. students for careers in tourism and hospitality. The university had trementhat, prior to Johnson and Waless ardilapidated apartments, and eliminated a street signs. Johnson & WalesContinued from page 48 all Continued on page 56

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54 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR cilman, is also opposed to developing any played softball there. We never had a problem. Unfortunately, some people are originated in the citys storage and recycling materials used to build also be responsible for the arsenic. The truth is, the before the county deeded division chief for pollution control, says aerial photoedly dumped there. southeast side. In the decades that folLeague games, and a nursery provided early education for toddlers. environmental government agencies. ammonia have also been detected in considered hazardous to humans, acToxic AssetContinued from page 49 PROPANE TANK REFILLS 10% off *With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 BUY 4 CHLORINE REFILL GET 1 FREE*With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 SAVE ENERGY!! SAVE MONEY!! $ 100 OFFINTELLIFLO VARIABLE SPEED PUMPS EFFECTIVE JAN 1ST 2012 FLORIDA POOL & SPA ENERGY LAW & CODE REQUIREMENTS GO INTO EFFECT. GIVE US A CALL TO DISCUSS 3 CHLORINE TABS $58.88*With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 ON SALE PROPANE TANK SAVE $400OFF REGULAR PRICE PLUS FREE INSTALATION ($295 VALUE)*With this coupon expires on 11.31.11 rffnt nbnntn SAVE 60-90% ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL!HEAT YOUR POOL FROM $1.00 A DAY PERFECT TEMP TECHNOLOGYTHE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO HEAT YOUR POOL 3 CHLORINE PROPANE TANK SAVE $400 r 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 Continued on page 58 BT photo by Jim W. Harper BT photo by Erik Bojnansky

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR

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56 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Johnson and Waless University Center. In 2009, a venture to rehabilitate the oper Charles Monroe III, defaulted on a the master plan, Johnson and Wales ada line of trees. Peter Tappert, an attorney representing the receiver, pleaded for more time, at least until a buyer could be found. council members. They let the place them for years about the state of that faStill, its possible a deal may be Johnson and Wales that permits cars to contingent on the universitys good BT In the meantime, some business She and her brother invested nearly a million dollars to launch their says. Would I prefer the road stay open? Wales endlessly if they close the road? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Johnson & WalesContinued from page 52 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! talent. Its healthy at some point to give media reports of a pending migra Miami Herald month, and Herms intends to build Last month the Daily Business Review reported that the Herms stores discussed regarding the future of the Design operator of Maitardi, is in direct contact corporation Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy Continued on page 57 Art MovementsContinued from page 49

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR that it plans to open a Louis Vuitton store Media have speculated that other plans and deals are still evolving. Were all the companys stores in the Design District. ously renovated historic buildings on and redeveloping properties throughout transforming a once-forgotten part of Miami into a popular spot for high-end furniture and home-accessory stores, buying spree last year. Today he estimates that real estate, particularly in the area of zation that provides housing and support valuable opportunity for everyone. There free for a year and generate publicity for mensions Variable, rent came in the form of Courtesy of Dacra Art MovementsContinued from page 56 Continued on page 58Courtesy of Dacra

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58 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOR is closed to the public. To discourage Mary Hilton insists such a move is il and former mayor of neighboring North Miami. There are a lot of properties that Panos disagrees. He believes a condo residential properties from an investor condo units that can be rented out. cleanup cost, or returning the land to Miami-Dade altogether. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn Toxic AssetContinued from page 54 BT photo by Jim W. Harper Space, Locust Projects, and Dimensions Variable, but does say that the structures ings are really not in very good shape. I To help him chart the Design Dis tricts future and formulate a master nizations to run Dacras art space program. Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for the John S. and James L. Knight sure that the artists and the arts comdont have any formal role at this point in Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Art MovementsContinued from page 58BT photo by Erik Bojnansky

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Claws: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Spoiled Columnist ScornedIt is common knowledge, if Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer were so inclined to inform herself, of what declawing does to a cat and how harshly it affects its life (Cat Fight, August 2011). A true animal lover As is evident in her column, she hasnt bothered. Its obvious to the reader, because she refused her mother as an adequate home for one of her kittens. To those of us who know about cats, Edies judgment was clearly correct. For destroying her credibility and tarnishing I am even more incredulous that her editor, Jim Mullin of Biscayne Times risk of the huge backlash that the BT was bound to receive, both from readers and from advertisers who are knowledgeable will make sure that this letter reaches ingly calls an elder volunteer, is the She has dedicated many years, enormous thousands and thousands of cats and dogs that have been abandoned, abused, or homeless or lost. kitten at PetSmart, Ms. RothsteinKramers home, or her mothers home, would not be adequate for a cat that most likely has already had a rough beginning. These animals were not rescued to submit them to further cruelty. Its as Whether an individual agrees or if they deem it to be a risk for the cat. Let me give Ms. Rothstein-Kramer some facts she sorely lacks: She when she equates the removal of mere skin occurring in a circumcision (a very with function) with the removal of a cats claws, or declawing. Declawing involves removal of bone, ligaments, nerves, muscle, and so on. Declawing is, in effect, the surgical hands. Can you imagine what that would be like? Additionally, it is widely known that litter box altogether because digging or standing on sand becomes agonizing. After declawing, a cat will begin to and becoming aggressive. There is eviafter declawing. After all, it has been Now, as to Ms. Rothstein-Kramers I must tell say that I am also a frequent for a fact that Ms. Rothstein-Kramer really occurred. I was standing over Edie and a rescued dog she was holding when Ms. Rothstein-Kramer came in and was told that she and her mother had been refused. Edie at no time was condescending or stein-Kramer in clear, factual, and certain terms that she was denied and why. Her reaction was unbelievable. She was rude, insulting, and condescending. was in no mood to listen. Ms. Rothstein-Kramer stormed out began to scheme her revenge immediDenise Chaki AventuraCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 20 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

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGEWeight a Minute!Our columnist wages a reluctant battle to get back in shape By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorLiving in Miami does not come cheap. If you have female parts, go ahead and double that price. Thats because Im not referring to the cost of rent or, say, sandwich meat. As a woman with an address in the 331-whatever ZIP code, it seems as if you have an obligation an unspoken duty to not merely exist and pay taxes. You must look good, too. For most women, looking good is expensive and tedious. Unless you are naturally blessed with peachy (minus the fuzz), humidity-agreeable skin, frizz-resistant hair, and a six-pack you dont buy at the corner store, youd better be ready to part with half your paycheck before youve even cashed it. Thats because to be a Miamian is to be a person exposed. We cant hide our bodies behind clothing. Its too hot. We cant hide bad hair days under hats. Its too hot. And we cant hide unpolished toenails in clunky shoes. Those are too ugly. A Miami woman juggles a hell of a lot of maintenance. Im not sure where to start in terms of which aspect hair, nails, body, skin is the most important. Doesnt matter. You will be judged on ev erything. There also is the niggling idea of maintaining a brain keeping up with current events, reading, and giving your self a shot of culture with your espresso. But lets not tax ourselves. Leave that to the snowbirding and retired New Yorkers. They can do all the thinking. Well be over there frying under the hair dryer, spinning on the stationary bike, or stretching out the skin above our eyebrows to be threaded. Even if you wont agree with me publicly, you know Im right. Attractive people garner better treatment. Its a fact applicable to both sexes. And nowhere is that more true than in Miami. Well, maybe its just as true in Southern California, but there you have to be famous, too. Ever since permanently reestablishing myself in my vain and shallow homeland, I started working out at a local gym. Getting in shape also struck me as especially prudent after the Birth Control Pill Fiasco of 2011, whereby I mistook active pills for placebos and, after 17 years on the pill, just stopped mid-cycle. classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Heres a tip: Dont ever do that. For lack of a better summation, this is what happened next: I went crazy. I moved my queen-size bed, mattress frame and all, into my walk-in closet. I thought that would help drown the noise outside the window of my then-Brickell Avenue apart ment. I had ridiculous, junk-food cravings that made my usual PMS cravings look like playtime at the salad bar. At one point the only items in my freezer were cartons of ice cream. Oh, and some frozen yogurt vats. You know, for good measure. I went to the Keys and laughed at the idea of a slice of Key lime pie. I bought an entire pie to bring home and eat. Solo. Ive always been thin with a fast me tabolism. Im one of those people everyone loves to hate. I can eat whatever I want and stay slim. Well, every chunky person who ever cursed me can now sit back and gloat. My little jaunt into the whirlwind world of hormonal imbalance caused me to gain 20 pounds. This whole incident occurred in late February and early March, and Im still paying for it. Yeah, my cystic acne cleared up thanks, Pill, for taking me back to the good old days, on a nostalgic tour of middle-school misery, where I wouldnt even look people in the eye, for fear of there but the weight I gained wouldnt budge. Wont budge. Im starting to think I ruined my metabolism. Women often say, Once you have a kid, your body changes forever. I dont like unhappy surprises, especially I experienced one of the new mommy changes, minus a kid. I gained a bunch of weight once before. It was not pleasant. See, I am a sugar addict. That means I become very cranky when my friends cookies, cake, ice cream, ice cream with cookies, ice cream with cake, and chocolate are taken away. The last time I had to lose weight it took me a month to drop ten pounds, and I was miserable. All that exercise and only a single, mini Tofutti ice cream sandwich as a reward. Bleak, dark days, indeed. I might add here that I am not opposed to exercise. However, I am vehemently opposed to sweating. I dont get the people who embrace sweating. Who even love sweating. I suppose these are the same people who like puking their guts out until they dry heave and who also like the ten-day grapefruit cleanse because it is cathartic. Me? Sweat trapped in my sports bra is not a feeling I relish. My scalp itching from sweat? Oh, so fun! And, I might add, so good for my million-dollar haircut and color I refresh every three weeks. About six weeks into this hell, just when I thought I might be seeing a teeny bit of improvement, my pedicurist looked me over and said, Damn! You look thick! Um. Excuse me? (See? I told you that you will be judged on everything superShocked, I even gave her an out. Me: Do you mean I look more muscular? She: No. My pedicurist is Haitian, and thick is not necessarily as much a slap coming from her as from someone else. (There is an argument to be made here for cultural comment smarted. I managed to not kick the pedicurist, but I did thrust myself into high gear. My body, though, wouldnt co operate. I was building muscle, but the layer of fat over the muscle remained. This effect, what I coined The Hulk, was not my goal. Let me interrupt myself before I forget and say that I have newfound respect for anyone who is seriously overweight, or even moderately overweight, and works hard to drop the poundage. I wouldnt. Its just not worth it. All that sweat, germ-infested gym equipment, and denial of fun food? No thanks. When your body wages war against it is one I am yet to win. Yet I refuse to before lacing up my running shoes. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com I thrust myself into high gear. I was building muscle, but the layer of fat over the muscle remained.

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEGambling on the FutureWill casinos change South Florida for the better or worse? Hard to bet either wayBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorSo gambling fever has hit South Florida and the politicians are giddy I can just see them being tucked into dancing around their heads, and begging their parents for it all to come true: Please, Daddy, make it come true and I can pay off all my citys debt, and make big pot of money that I can lavish upon me and re-elect me forever and ever! Back in the mid-1970s, country and more money! tainly correlate to the elements that come against the casinos, lets take a look at here, just limited to the Indian reservations because they are a sovereign nation byists representing the haves and the Thats good, right? And then there is the pesky prosti Directed by Stephanie AnsinBy Stephanie Ansin & Fernando Calzadilla Opens November 9th! For tickets and information: 305-751-9550 www.theplaygroundtheatre.com 9806 NE 2nd Avenue Miami Shores, FL 33138 rfffPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director St. Martha in the Shores 9301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Shores Meet the artists at our after-concert reception in The Atrium, included with your tickets. All programs are subject to change without notice. ntbb Broadway Star of Phantom of the Opera, international recording artist with leading roles in A Little Night Music, The Music Man, Les Miserables, and The Mikado, plus a command performance for Queen Elizabeth, brings the thrills of Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, Lerner & Loewe, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more. Featured also is Baritone bbntbnt, winner of major competitions and soloist with leading orchestras throughout the world plus pianists bnb and btb btnt and organist bbnt. Sun., November 13, 2011 at 3 p.m.ntbb TO PURCHASE TICKETSVisit www.saintmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or purchase at church office or at door$1 $20 Blue Circle

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casinos will open and prostitutes will fall from the sky! Hmmm, seems to me that the Upper Eastside has been plagued with prostitution since Jesus was a little boy. mine that, if he did not like the prostitution on the Boulevard, he should seek another address. You knew what you were getting into when you moved into this neighborhood, he said. If you dont like it, you should move out! Prostitution remains on the Boulevard because the political will to make it go away is lacking. After all, our politicians wouldnt allow a gaggle of pedophiles to be concentrated in the Upper Eastside, would they? Oops, perhaps thats not the best example. Lets say they wouldnt allow a their trade up and down the Boulevard because that would not be politically healthy. But prostitution is a victimless crime, right? I mean, who does it hurt, other than local businesses whose customers are driven away and children who are forced to walk a gauntlet of whores as they make their way to and from school? And when I say politicians, dont just think of our city commissioners. You have to throw Kathy Fernandez Rundle, our State Attorney, into the mix, too. A year ago our areas police commander started Operation Street Walker, provid ing local residents and business owners with the opportunity to attend court hear ings and lobby for longer sentences for those found guilty of prostitution. Rundle responded by watering down the program to virtual non-existence. Way to go, Kathy! Way to be in touch with your electorate. Hopefully, Upper Eastside voters will remember your commitment to our quality of life when you So I think we all recognize that casinos will not create prostitution just, shall we say, a higher level of product that doesnt have to troll the Boulevard and wont concern itself with the inelegant people of the Upper Eastside. Next come the foibles created by alcohol and drugs. Not really sure how to equate this issue with the pros or cons of casinos. After all, Miami has been the co caine capital of the nation since the 1980s and still, to this day, the Coast Guard makes record busts aboard cocainecarrying fast boats and submarines. Its hard to believe that casinos will make that element any worse than it already is. Alcohol is legally sold and is a basic component of adults interfacing in a social climate. If you dont like it, dont drink. (I guess you could say the same of prostitution. If you dont like the product, dont partake pretty simple.) That leads us to the issue of corrupthis community who thinks corruption worse with the addition of casinos has a screw loose. Almost every day one politician or another is being called out outright accepting of bribes in exchange for votes. Casinos just introduce another venue to be exploited. And you can bet that whoever is on the casinos advance teams has already reported back that nothing is impossible in South Florida. Even the Herald is in on the deal. Hell, a few years back they made a magnanimous gesture in turning over a large piece of land for what is now the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Who would have thought that such an investment excuse me, donation would result in an increase in the value of the Herald s land and eventu ally line their parent companys pockets? What a coincidence! The Herald has been in the real estate business for years, long ago forsaking its responsibility as the social conscience of our community. So in the long run, will casinos be good or bad for South Florida? The answer is probably a mixture of the two. Usually it boils down to the people who are in a position to make decisions, and whether or not they make those decisions in the best interest of the public. But not to worry, these are the same people who brought us the Port of Miami tunnel, the new Marlins stadium, and are preparing to dredge the eco-sensitive port channel to accommodate those beautiful monster cargo ships from the Panama Canal. (Let the chant of Jobs, jobs, jobs! begin.) Maybe, just maybe, Tom T. Hall was right. Maybe the meaning of life is faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aATT he Limits of LoyaltyThere are certain places that can absolutely depend on our business, until something better comes alongBy Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorAs I look around the neighborhood, I see things come and go hair and nail salons, restaurants, retail stores and I wonder: Is there any loyalty here? And even more to the point, when does loyalty outweigh convenience? I mean, there are certain things in life that are, for the most part, interchangeable. The Bed Bath and Beyonds, But then, there are others that simply arent. And in this category I place not only things and places, but also people, like a favorite hairdresser or a store manager. to the Publix at Loehmanns Plaza in Aventura. Its so close that I consider it my own personal market. And living here for more than seven years, weve made the pilgrimage so many times that you cant help but get to know the staff. The managers all preside over the registers and the stores entry and exit points, their green button-down shirts proudly on display so customers know that they are management. They say hello and good-bye, and step in when a surly customer gets loud with a cashier. But not one of them really gets to know the customer. A Publix employee for more than 19 was smart, personable, kind, tough, I dont even know how we began became friendly. I use friendly in a we-are-shopping-in-Publixand-chit-chatting kind of way, not rfr ntb rr fttrtnf ttb bttb t

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lets-go-to-dinner-and-drinks. But you know what? We would have accepted an invitation had it been extended. As we shopped at our Publix, shed walk the aisles with us and wed banter back and forth; she made us feel special. Whether she did it for everyone or just us didnt matter. It was a pleasure. A couple of months ago, she made mention that the powers that be were moving her to the Skylake Publix. No! I thought. Not our Michelle. I never saw her again. She was gone the next day. No proper good-byes. Nothing. Just gone. Now when we walk to our Publix, we see other managers and I am sure they are all lovely people but we long for Michelle. We talk about it every time we go there. My husbands famous chant, Bring back the Berry, only worked for so long, although many of the workers still quietly nod their heads in agreement. But heres where the loyalty factor comes into play. We are still going to the same Publix. If we were loyal to Michelle, wouldnt we have changed our preferred Publix location? Would we not hightail it over to a new Publix to be with our favorite manager? Well, the answer, sadly enough, is no. Weve thought about her often, but convenience overcomes loyalty. I have a funny feeling that it almost always will. The same goes for restaurants. There are a million great sushi places: Naoe, Hiro, and Oishi Thai in North Miami Beach, Siam Oishi in Hallandale Beach. And there is Fuji Hana. Just around the corner from my Publix (translation: its within walking distance), Fuji Hana is good. I like the food very much, but like most things in Aventura, the prices are a bit higher than necessary, and the service can be spotty. But while I complain about things they do there Ive actually had to get up and physically retrieve my waiter to pay my check, and (this ones the best) myself heading over there more often close. Its easy. What can I say? I guess Im guilty of being like most everybody else (in this respect). One of my favorite food places, Asian Boulevard at 143rd Street. It was a small, privately owned restaurant that offered some of the best Chinese food in town. I would drive there no matter where I was! I guess it was really that much better. Sadly, not enough people felt as strongly as I did and it closed. My search for its replacement in my personal dining pan theon has so far been unsuccessful. There are just some things that are do foster loyalty, great Chinese food being one. Another is a great hairdresser. I thought Id found mine. Ill call her Samantha. Her salon was very close to to work and, around 4:00 p.m., take a pleasant and short walk, then duck into the salon. I had numerous successful cuts and colors until that day. We always experimented. After all, its just hair, right? (The answer to that question would ultimately prove to be no.) Im very blonde. She suggested we go short and dark. To be fair, I went willingly. I trusted her. She had my undying loyalty. What I didnt expect was to come out looking like Lisa Rinna. I was so upset I couldnt speak. Im not sure if it was the cut or color, but together they were too much for me to bear. In the days following, I called, texted, and e-mailed my pleas for help. I couldnt make my hair grow, but I could dye it back. Once youre blonde, its hard to become mousy brown. Beg as I did, didnt see the issue. She didnt want me blonde again. (Really? Whose head is it, anyway?) I felt really betrayed. That was about a year ago. To this day I still get upset when I think about it. Samantha always wondered why the Aventura clientele wouldnt cross the West Dixie tracks to her salon. Perhaps now we know why. I thought she was the one. I was being loyal (okay, so it was also conve nient), but still, I would have gone any where for her. Shouldnt it work both ways? So what is my point? I think its human nature that people will always do whats best for them. Youre loyal until youre not loyal. Its good until something better comes along. I wish I could say Im 100-percent not that gal, but if I did, Id be lying. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbnb4571 Weston Road Weston Commons Shopping Center 954-217-864419015C Biscayne Blvd Aventura Grand Cove Center 305-692-2201

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sSAA Stitch in TimeA walk-in medical center offers quick relief from an awkward sidewalk encounter and other common maladiesBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorNearly two years ago, I was standing on the corner of NE 2nd Avenue and 96th Street, waiting for the light to change. I had just dropped off my son at his after-soccer piano lesson at Miss Janes Music Studio (in its former location on 96th Street; now its located on NE 2nd Avenue) and was heading to the Village Caf for a glass of wine when a woman approached me, seemingly out of nowhere. good back doctor? I confess to having been a bit wary, though her neatly dressed appearance didnt sound any alarms. But downtown Miami Shores at rush hour isnt exactly a teeming metropolis where a freshly released workforce bumps into each other and chats, dispensing folk wisdom and other valuable advice about their community. (If only!) Plus the coincidence of someone asking me for a good back doctor seemed like a set-up. Well, my husband is a neurologist. I suppose I can give you his card, I ventured. I had a feeling Jon wouldnt be happy with this off-the-street referral. Anyone asking complete strangers on a lonely corner for a physician recommendation is more likely seeking drugs for back pain than an actual solution for back pain. Not to mention that I dont carry Jons business info, and couldnt give you me. I know his cell number, and thats all my aging brain can seem to hold on to any more. Friends in need of a referral get that, with his tacit permission. But I wasnt about to give this woman our private contact information. She thought about this option for all of a second: Great! Can I walk there? Was this some great prank? We do have physicians in Miami Shores, including the Bach-Livingstone all-ages group I go to, and even recommend to my stu dents and their parents. We also have an excellent psychologist, Jennifer Timko, whom I considered mentioning to her for a moment. conveniently across the street from schools the Presbyterian Church 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 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

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School and Miami Country Day School, respectively. Not in the center of town, where we were idling, and where I was being prevented from consuming my own weekly dose of doctor-prescribed (even if that doctor is my husband) stress prevention. Where did this woman come from, and what did she really want? And how, with severe back pain, was she going to walk anywhere ? I dont think you can walk, no, I said slowly. Youd have to drive. Oh, I cant drive, she responded. Im having a spasm. I cant get back in the car. Oh, I dont know what to do. Im really in a lot of pain. The weird thing was, she didnt hold herself or speak like she was in agony. She wasnt wincing or staggering or keeping her hand to her back. At this point, she was starting to give me that creepy feeling, like she was going to next ask me to take her somewhere or if I had any pills in my purse. In fact, I did. I have arthritis in my left shoulder, elbow, and knee, the result of old soccer and skiing injuries carry prescription non-steroidal, anti-inabout to offer her some. Wanting to be rid of her, I looked up (or rolled my eyes, however you interpret it) for inspiration. And I found it: The giant sign that we were standing directly under read Medi-Station Urgent and Walk-In Medical Care. I quickly urged her in the direction of the door, which she refused to enter, telling me she my instincts that she was after something, and freeing me, after ten wasted and somewhat anxious minutes, to treat my own pain the best way I know how. why it didnt jump to mind even though we were practically standing in its foyer, the Medi-Station clinic is probably the best service in Miami Shores and the most underutilized. Open seven days a week, with hours that extend well past traditional common emergencies: cuts that need stitching, broken bones and sprains that require splinting, minor burns, asthma attacks, dehydration, migraines, and sudden illness. The center also does diagnostic testing for strep, mono, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and more. For a full list of services, you can check out their website (www.medistationurgentcare.com). Not only is the clinic convenient for those of us who live in the Shores, its clean. Even with a husband who is a doctor, Ive taken advantage of the services offered there. My children, bless them, inherited from me the odd combination of athleticism and accident-proneness that has handed them, so far, a multitude of injuries. This fall alone, my daughter separated the growth plate in her shoulder playing volleyball, immediately followed by my son damaging something in his foot (were still not sure what) while playing soccer. Theyve broken their arms doing things like getting it caught in between a desk and a chair at school when your teacher tells you not to lean back in your chair, thats why and opened incisions on their eyebrows by whoops! Running headlong into a bedpost. Remy even had the top of his thumb cut off in the hinge of a door when he was a toddler. During one of those moments, I was grateful to just be able to whisk over to the Medi-Station to have yet another body part assessed, instead of having to call my husband, so he could tell me which emergency room he was currently working in. The downside, after waiting a mere 30 minutes to be seen, was that the clinic didnt take my insurance, after all. So check before you go. (The 16 types they do take are listed on the website, and includes workers compensation.) at all, know that the rates are cheaper than those at local emergency rooms. The main physician, Dr. Carlos San medicine; research him if you like. that when your child starts vomiting at 7:00 p.m. and cant stop, that you wont wait nearly as long to be seen there, two minutes from your home, than you will at the nearest hospital. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARKLet the RR ecord SS ho w With an election looming, guring out where the commission candidates stand on the issues may not be so easyBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorIll begin with a mea culpa. In last months column, I wrote that the new concrete FPL poles currently being installed in the village were, in some instances, as much as ten feet taller than the old wood poles. That was based on my observation of the new poles standing sideby-side with the old ones on NE 119th Street. What I didnt know, and later found out, is that the tops of the old poles had been cut off when the power lines were transferred to the new poles. This gave the impression that the new poles were much taller, when, in fact, the difference in height appears to be negligible. I made a mistake. I apologize. Ill leave it to read ers to decide what effect my poor survey ing skills should have on what I wrote. In my experience, journalists are pretty good about acknowledging their mistakes its hard not to, when theyre published for everyone to see and vowing to do better in the future. One would think elections would be a good time for politicians to do the same, but if anything, candidates seem to dissemble more than usual. More votes to be had that way. Sadly, Biscayne Park doesnt seem to be an exception to this rule. Sometime before I moved here it might have been 2007 I was thumbing through the Herald s coverage of local elections and came across interviews with the Biscayne Park Commission hopefuls. When asked what their priorities were, the candidates gave similar, vague answers, comically disguised as differing viewpoints. They went something like this: Candidate 1: I think quality-of-life is the most important issue, then maintenance of our park, followed by safety. Candidate 2: No, no. Its our park, safety, and then quality-of-life. Candidate 3: Youre both wrong. Its safety, quality-of-life, and then the park. What a fortunate little village, I remember thinking. It was like everybody was running for class president at Happy High and the outcome mattered about as much. That, of course, was an outsiders perspective. When I bought here a couple of years later, I found a community facing real challenges: the housing BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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crash, a limited tax base, and surprisingly contentious politics. But also one with a lot going for it: a tranquil setting, residents who care about the area, and young professionals and families moving in, excited about the future. How we navigate those challenges and harness that promise will make all the difference which is why we need a real election this year, one in which future are put forward by all candidates, whoever they may be. (At press time, a Getting that may not be as easy as it sounds. Never mind potential challeng ers, Ive been paying close attention to the current commission for almost two years, out what some of its members guiding principles are, or what they actually want for Biscayne Park and its residents. Does a majority of the current commission care about preserving the unique character of Biscayne Park? Depends what day you catch them. During the fence ordinance debate a few months ago, a lot of energy, rightly so, was expended on the question of aesthetics: What kinds of fences should be allowed? What materials should be approved? How would the fences impact the look and feel of the village? Those questions never arose FPL hardening project, and now we have those concrete poles, which arguably impact the village much more dramatically than would the occasional fence. Where does the commission stand on taxes? Depends which taxes youre talking about. By a vote of 4-1 (Comcommission recently capped our 20112012 millage rate at 8.9 percent, down from 8.99 percent. Just last year, however, Mayor Roxanna Ross and commissioners Bob Anderson and Al Childress voted to institute a new ten-percent tax on our water bill. And then theres that six-percent franchise fee on our FPL bills, which we were told the village descollapse. Im not sure all of that adds up to an actual policy, though, as we all know, it does add up in other ways. Does the commission believe in trans parency? Unfortunately, this is an easy one: Not really. Last year commissioners Anderson and Childress, along with the mayor, voted to abolish commissioner comments from the village newsletter, and they continually deny requests from com missioners Bernard and Bryan Cooper to minutes of commission meetings. Commissioner Anderson likes to say the fact that almost no one comes to commission meetings is proof the commission is doing a heckuva job. As tempted as I am to agree with him people write in every month to complain about my column, the other 3000 or so village residents must be in complete agreement with me I just cant. To me, the meager attendance at commission meetings is evidence that a lot of people feel alienated from the process. Heres something we can all agree on: The registration deadline for voting in this years election is Monday, November 7. Now all we have to do before Elecstraight answers from our candidates. All of them. On a related note: Ive heard that some of our more civically active neighbors are raising questions about Noah Jacobss home ownership. Apparently they think Mr. Jacobs, he of the whimsically placed concrete FPL pole, might be interested in running for a seat on the commission. They dont much like the idea, so theyre trying to paint him as a carpetbagger, or something like that. I asked Mr. Jacobs about it. This is his response: Some individuals have decided to focus on the ownership of the house my family and I live in. The people of Bis cayne Park would be better suited if these same people would focus on the practices of good government, and making certain that the mechanisms and actions of this government are more transparent. My mother-in-law and father-inlaw are the owners of [our] house. My wife, who was raised in Biscayne Park, will become the owner of this residence in the future. My hope is that my sixyear-old daughter will grow up in this house and, in the distant future, become not only its owner, but also an active member of this community, which will be even more wonderful than it is today. Amen to that last part. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

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70 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMINo Shortcuts AllowedSo FIU wants a new access road to its Biscayne Bay campus? Not so fast By Mark Sell BT ContributorIf Florida International University is even thinking about turning the Arch Creek East Nature Preserve trail into a four-lane road, its time for a rethink. Thanks to the mobilization of NE 135th Street residents and their allies over the past 30 days, the option appears dead on arrival. But politics works in strange could at any time emerge from its evident tomb and rejoin the living. FIU wants more access than just NE 151st Street for its growing 7500-student Biscayne Bay campus in the City of North Miami. The campus (part of a 46,000-student university) hosts schools of hospitality, journalism, and environmental science, and runs a shuttle bus nearly 25 miles to its main campus in west Miami-Dade. The university has stepped up its efforts to get more access after the recent openings of Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School and the David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center created two 15 mph school zones on 151st Street. The nature trail option, by far the cheapest, is to convert the preserve trail into a four-lane road, as it was before Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman worked to deed the land back to the City of North Miami, creating a preserve in perpetuity in 2007. It turned the main highway from the aborted Interama cultural center project into a pedestrian and bike trail bounded by City of North Miami land on one side, and Oleta River State Park on the other. The alternative option is to run the access road through 143rd Street and across the Biscayne Landings site, and then via a bridge over protected wetlands. That will likely require cooperation with Michael Swerdlow, who is moving forward to con solidate his hold on the site, buying up the 160 bank-owned condos and promising new amenities within 18 months. For now, the 135th Street option appears off the table with respect to the North Miami City Council, which must give its blessing to any access option. On October 17, Mayor Andre Pierre declared his opposition to the 135th Street plan to a packed meeting of the Arch Creek East Neighborhood Association, joining council members Michael Blynn and Scott Galvin, who has led the charge against it and is not subtle in his assessments. FIU is the evil one in the whole process, Galvin told the group that BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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6301 Biscayne Blvd Ste 103 Miami, FL 33138 P 305 756.8070 Custom make your New Years and holiday outfits! Many fabrics & Silhouettes to choose. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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72 Culture: THE ARTSLighting Up the SceneTwo new works by artists Robert Chambers and Ivan Toth Depea are electrifying evidence of Miamis cultural ascendanceBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorTo call this bottom tip of the United States a cultural backwater these days is so last century. Every year, indeed almost every season, something pops up on the radar screen to prove that not only is Miami-Dades cultural scene growing, but that it should rank among the best anywhere. In dance, theater, and the visual arts, in particular, Miami has garnered international attention, and rightfully so. This fall a couple of major public-art projects are being unveiled that add to this recognition. Two light-based works are meant to electrify, literally and emotionally, the visitors and audiences at the brand-new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay and the Stephen P. Clark Government Center downtown. For the South Dade center, veteran Miami artist Robert Chambers created the stunning Light Field which illuminates the lobby in an array of colors and images, and can be seen, dramatically so, from outside the building, through the all-glass walls. marble sculptures also made by the used 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Keplers laws of planetary motion as the basis for the design of Ori bital 1 and Oribital 2 both carved from ten tons of rock. At the government center, Miami native Ivan Toth Depea is adding interactive light and video panels to the otherwise uninspiring and dour lobby. Called it is an elaborate and aweinspiring sight. Both projects are commissions of the Art in Public Places program, founded back in 1973 with an ordinance allocating one-and-a-half percent of construction costs of new county buildings for the purchase or commission of artworks. The Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Af fairs oversees the program, and the art education and community outreach coor dinator, Brandi Reddick, has shepherded both light projects through the system. Reddick, who has commissioned works from national artists and is familiar with public artworks across the country, says these new pieces are cutting edge, and not just for Miami: I really havent seen this type of interactive public work anywhere . The director of the cultural affairs department, Michael Spring, agrees, and says he is proud that these original works come from hometown hands: These are some of the boldest projects. These artists have proven track records, and now will have permanent public artwork to show for it. Chamberss proposal for the new cultural center also blew away the designers the famed, locally based architectural tectonica which is uncommon. Usually the architects and builders like to have total control of the interventions], says Spring. But they saw how Roberts idea brought the whole building alive, and they loved it. The work is a giant LED piece that changes color and design through computer-generated commands. It initially might seem a little too complicated to install, and to maintain, but Spring says that, because the project was Light Field Photo by Robin Hill I want to invoke a sense of wonder with this installation, both aesthetically and emotionally, says Depea.

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embraced by everyone involved in the construction of the center, the various groups all worked together, including the engineers: They piggybacked off each other, with teams already in place, so it was seamless. In the end, the light work accentuates the spirit and the pulse of the building. Depeas work will do the same for the gray and tired-looking government center. (Although not a new building, funds for the commissioned artwork were allocated because of the construction of a neighboring garage, which will service the government center.) The lobby gets more almost any other building in the county, if not the region. Interactive light panels will be displayed on the concrete lobby pillars, responding to images that are picked up from ceiling cameras. Very sophisticated stuff, observes Spring. The roof had to be rewired. Depea himself used to walk through the lobby to ride the Metromover, on his way to and from his studies at the New World School of the Arts. The lobby is a major node of circulation, whether it be from the Government Center Metrorail station or general Depea. I wanted to capture that movement and energy with the installation. I wanted people from the community to be a part of the piece and to have their own effect on the space, to create a constantly evolving work. When the work is fully installed by the end of November, people will be able to walk up to the pillars and commingle with their own movements, and those of others. I hope that the visitor will be intrigued enough to take a second to play, watch, and interact with the piece, says Depea. The visitor should start to notice the nuance and how they are physically changing their image and, in turn, the whole installation. I want to invoke a sense of wonder with this installation, both aesthetically and emotionally. The piece can be seen as something fun, light-hearted, and playful, or something Its no accident that Depea, and Art in Public Places, chose this type of medium for this structure. Govern ment, after all, is supposed to be of the people, by the people. Lets face it, the government center. The lobby is somewhat dark and not very friendly. This will enliven it and create a welcoming atmosphere, like a government building should. As for the high-tech challenge of maintaining these pieces, everyone involved thinks its a non-issue. Fifteen percent of the funds for each project goes to upkeep, and LEDs, used in both projects, have very long lifespans. And involve computers and electricity doesnt It is actually not as complicated as it sounds, he says. Three basic components make up the system: the camera, the computer to process the images and the results. If anything breaks down, the software that controls the whole system is designed to be monitored and is something that can be taken care of; if not, it will send us a message and we will be able to determine the cause and solution pretty immediately. Although Chambers has created outdoor sculptural pieces in the past, public art. Same goes for Depea. It took a bit of faith from the commissionbuilt, he adds. But they have given me the opportunity of a lifetime. That opportunity, notes Reddick, goes both ways: Pedestrians and visitors Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Chamberss Orbital 1 and Orbital 2 (foreground) Light Field A rendering of Depeas Photo by Robin Hill

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74 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through November 26: Perceptions of Religious Imagery in Natural Phenomena by Joshua Hagler 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through November 26: Faces with various artists 4949 NE 2nd A ve., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net November 5 through January 21: Faces of China by Tom Salyer 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-587-0172 www.albertolinerogallery.com 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 November 12 through November 30: Flamboyer with various artists 2630 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net November 19 through January 28: The Eyes Sometimes by Karina Peisajovich 750 NE 124th St., North Miami 305-975-6933 www.alonsored.com Call gallery for exhibition information 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www .artfusiongallery.com Through 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 November 26 through January 20: Woman to Woman with Julie Davidow, Carol Prusa, Vickie Pierre, Sara Stites, Samantha Salzinger, Francie Bishop Good, Felice Grodin, Michelle Weinberg, Elizabeth Cerejido, and Mia Leonin Small Works Show with various artists 180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami By appointment: info@ November 12 through January 1: Mary, Richard, Clouds and Dirt by Richard Haley 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com Through January 7: A Critique of Established Attitudes Towards Aging & Beauty by Aurora Molina November 12 through January 7: New Work by Peter Sarkisian, and Fleeced by Holly Lynton 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through November 24: The Others Writing by Pablo Lehmann November 22 through December 31: Dream Catcher Contemporary Project with Emilio Garcia, Zhanna Kadyrova, Pablo Lehmann, Anibal Vallejo, and SYN group 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, and Creatos Aetas by Kourtney Eugene Brown November 12 through November 30: Design District Gallery Walk with Hector Maldonado and his emerging artists 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com November 11 through January 8: MDCC North Campus 1970s Faculty Exhibition with Jim Couper, Elmer Craig, Duane Hanson, Charles Hashim, Shirley Henderson, Michael Klezmer, Salvatore La Rosa, Peter McWhorter, Ron Mitchell, Gary Monroe, and Robert Thiele 305-303-6254 www.buttergallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www .susannacaldwell.com Ongoing: Seductive Assemblages and Wood Sculpture by Susanna Caldwell 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com November 4 through November 27: Silhouette by Rosemarie Chiarlone: Liberation by Andre Leon Gray 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Ongoing: Group Show with Vanessa Baumgertner, Adriano Nicot, Ramon Muoz, and Monica Atucha 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415; www.visual.org Through December 17: Beyond the Daily Life by Guerra de la Paz 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411; www.charestweinberg.com Through November 19: Tabularasa by Tim Maxwell November 29 through February 29: Black Sculpture by Fernando Mastrangelo 71 E. Flagler St., Miami 305-741-0058 www.christophermirogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 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 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 Through November 5: Subliminal by Fabian Pea November 10 through December 31: Dont Get High on Your Own Supply with various artists 2043 N Miami A ve., Miami 305-576-1804 November 12 through February 4: Thoughts, Meditations, Acts by Xawery Wolski 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305 573-4046; www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net November 12 through December 23: Duets by Domingo Castillo 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com November 12 through January 20: Chuck Ramirez curated by Chuck Ramirez and Patricia Ruiz-Healy 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Through November 12: As They Are by John Sanchez, Terminus by Amanda Burnham, and Running Drive by Richard Haden Hooded

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November 19 through January 21: Full Salute by Mette Tommerup, and Modern Trance by Martin Murphy DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 EDGE ZONES CONTEMPORARY ART 47 NE 25th St., Miami 305-303-8852; www.edgezones.org ELITE ART EDITIONS 2732 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 754-422-5942; www.elitearteditions.com November 12 through November 24: Organic Overtones with Carolina Rojas and JeanPierre Dodel ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami Through November 11: Fall Group Show with David Mann, David T. Kessler, Hunt Slonem, and Mario Velez November 12 through November 30: Group Show with Juan Mejia, David Mann, David Kessler, and Douglass Freed FLAGLER ART SPACE 172 W. Flagler St., Miami FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976; www.snitzer.com Through November 5: Tamim by Zack Balber Through November 5: Dark Age Ahead by Viking Funeral November 10 through December 17: Change by Cristina Lei Rodriguez GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www .galeriehelenelamarque.com November 30 through January 20: Recent Works by Claude Viallat, and New Sculpture by ORLAN GALERIE SCHUSTER MIAMI 2085 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-266-2445; www.galleryschuster.com Hidalgo by Oscar Hidalgo GALLERY 212 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-431-1957; www.gallery212miami.com November 30 through January 1: Art Basel Miami 2011 N., Sean Murdock, Jonathan Dvoretz, and Henry Souto, GALLER Y DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through November 12: November 19 through December 22: Photographs with GALLER Y I/D 2531 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-778-4568 www.galleryid.com GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com GIOVANNI ROSSI FINE ART 2628 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 561-251-1375 HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami www.hardcoreartcontemporary.com Through November 5: Marvelous Punishment by Natasha Duwin Through November 19: New Media Festival with Milton Becerra, Gaston Ugalde, Carlos Gamez de Francisco, Judy Wethein, and John Fitzgerald November 26 through February 4: Castaeda, Gaston Ugalde, and Milton Becerra HAROLD GOLEN GALLER Y 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through November 5: ICON ART 147 NW 36th St, Miami (305) 576-4266 www.iconartimages.com JG PLATFORM GALLERY 2320 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-0208 KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through November 24: Concetto Spaziale by Jorge Pedro Nuez November 26 through January 15: Community by Meyer Vaisman KA VACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through November 20: Full Moon with Alejandro Leyva and Alejandro Mendoza KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through November 12: Ignition by Mira Lehr November 26 through January 28: Sculpture and Painting with Albert Paley and Heriberto Mora KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com LOCUST PROJECTS 155 NE 38th St., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org November 14 through December 31: Billboard Project by Agustina Woodgate November 12 through December 17: Cores and Cutouts by Ruben Ochoa MAOR GALLER Y 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-9995 http://maormiami.org Through November 12: Four Species with Loriel Beltran, Catalina Jaramillo, Joe Segal, and Shelter Serra MIAMI ART SALON 36 NW 36th St., Miami 305-775-9683 www.miamiartsalon.com MIAMI ART SPACE 244 NW 35th St., Miami 305-757-6000 www.miamiartspace.com MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, CENTRE GALLERY 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu November 16 through December 16: Memento Mori by Arturo Rodriguez and Alejandro Anreus MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, FREEDOM TOWER 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 Through December 4: Collection and Cintas Fellows Collection with various artists November 4 through January 8: Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, GALLERY NORTH 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through December 15: Ralph Provisero: Maquettes and Drawings by Ralph Provisero MIAM-DADE COLLEGE, HOMESTEAD ART SPACE 500 College Terr., Homestead 305-237-5000 www.mdc.edu/homestead MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, KENDALL GALLERY 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall November 18 through January 15: MIAMI INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN 1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-428-5700 www.mymiu.com MICHAEL PEREZ POP ART GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 516-532-3040 www.michaelperez-artist.com MORE FUNNER PROJECTS 180 NE 39th St., Miami 786-512-4130 MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com Through November 11: Anima and Icon by Kevin Ledo November 4 through November 30: Communist Dictator Visiting Miami by Pete Kirill November 12 through November 30: Mira Lehr, ignited fuses, resins, and inks, Hypnosis is powerful because it directly accesses the subconscious mind and reprograms it just as you would a computer. The good news is it takes only one or two sessions to reverse any limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Its as easy as that!USING HYPNOSIS, YOU CAN:ll Your Potential dence

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76 Urban Walls and Life by Camila Malo November 18 through November 30: New York+New York by Paul Ching-Bor New World School of the Arts 25 NE 2nd St., Miami 305-237-3597 November 8: Inches of Art with various artists November 18 through December 16: W orks of Eight with various artists 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 November 29 through January 28: International Art Exhibition with various artists 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 November 29 through January 15: The Visionary Eye: Contemporary Masterworks with Jesus Soto, Carlos Cruz Diez, Alejandro Otero, Victor Lucena, Francisco Salazar, Victor Vasarely, Bernar Venet, and Carlos Cabeza 3100 NW 7th Ave., Miami 305-633-9345 www.oh-wow.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through December 5: Fragments by Jos Manuel Fors 231 1 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes 2219 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-573-2900 www.praxis-art.com November 12 through December 31: Barbed by Guerra de la Paz 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104 www.primaryprojectspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery. html November 16 through November 30: Ana Facereote 2136 NW 1st Ave., Miami 305-600-4785 www.sohostudiosmiami.com Call gallery for exhibition information 162 NE 50th Terr., Miami 305-992-7652 www.myspace.com/stashgallery Call gallery for exhibition information 3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot. com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through November 26: America, Like It Or Not with Kirk Crippens, Jos J. Figueroa, and Rodolfo Vanmarcke On Mating and the Modern Female by Jesse Meadows 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 November 13: Newly Juried Artist Show with various artists November 19 through January 1: Center of Attention with resident artists 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through February 12: Laurent Grasso 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 November 30 through March 4: Frames and Documents: Conceptualist Practices: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection with various artists 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-61 12 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists November 29 through March 10: Maintain Right by Funner Projects, with Justin H. Long and Robert Lorie 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through January 8: 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 A ve., Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 1301 Stanford Dr ., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through April 22: Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art with various artists November 12 through January 15: China: Insights with Chen Yuan Zhong, Hua Er, Jia Yu Chuan, Li Nan, Yang Yan Kang, Yu Haibo, and Zhang Xinmin 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 November 6: Aftermath by Joel Meyerowitz Through January 1: Schneebett by Enrique Martinez Celaya November 6 through January 1: American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgolds Paintings of the 1960s by Faith Ringgold November 17 through March 18: Focus Gallery: Marcel Duchamp by Marcel Duchamp, curated by Rene Morales 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 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, and Nicolas Paris Velez November 30 through February 19: Rolling Stop by Mark Handforth 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www .margulieswarehouse.com Call for exhibition information 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090; http://rfc.museum November 30 through July 27: American Exuberance with various artists Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908; www .worldclassboxing.org November 12 through February 11: Love Trips: A Triptych on Love by Jillian Mayer Compiled by Melissa W allen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com Still Life Turnips

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A Captiva-ting PerformanceThe newly formed local theater company Zoetic Stage opens Captiva on Thursday, November 3 at the Adrienne Arsht Centers Carnival Studio Theater (1444 Biscayne Blvd.). The plot revolves around a family weekend reunion, fraught with sibling rivalry, sex, wine, and this being Florida, a hurricane. Its both drama and comedy from Carbonell Award-winner Christopher Demos-Brown. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m., with some weekend matinees. Tickets range from $15 to $25. For more details, go to www. arshtcenter.org.Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk There are numerous architectural walk ing tours throughout the year, and then there is the Art Deco and MiMO Tour Guide Academy offered by the Miami Design Preservation League on three Saturdays this month: November 5, 12, and 19 For those who are serious about our heritage, the classes will include walking the two historical districts, lectures, and lunch. Those aspiring to become tour guides must complete all three classes. School runs from 10:00 Cost is $80. Go to www.mdpl.org/events/ art-deco-mimo-tour-guide-academy.Pull an All-Nighter The City of Miami Beach once again will host the hyperactive Sleepless Night on Saturday, November 5 The 12-hourlong night features about 140 events in all, from South Beach to North Beach. There will be tons of music from jazz to timba, classical piano to Slovakian experimental dance performances, plays, Mexican puppets, interactive multimedia installations, and giant, illuminated, bicycled-powered sea creatures. And thats just a taste. The fun starts at 6:00 p.m. and goes till 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Admission to all events is free. Shuttle buses will be available. For a full schedule and a list of venues, check out www.sleeplessnight.org. That Floating FeelingIts November, so the late afternoon light is soft and clear, a perfect time to spot the huge variety of birds, dolphins, and manatees that call Biscayne Bay home. Do it by taking an ecologically friendly, lazy boat trip from Pelican Harbor on the 79th Street Causeway, past Bal Harbour, to the natural preserve of Oleta River State Park. The Oleta River Sunset Eco Boat Tour will set sail on Saturday, November 12 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. If tides permit, the trip will include a slip under the Haulover bridge into the ocean. Leaving from 1279 NE 79th St., and guided by eco-historian Frank Schena, the cost is $30 for members of HistoryMiami ($40 for nonmembers). E-mail citytours@historymiami.org to reserve space.Serious Fun for the Whole Family The Arsht Center continues to carve out a niche as not just a cultural venue, but a town square as well. One way it is pulling in the crowds is with its free Family Fest days, this month on Saturday, Novem ber 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The outdoor event will feature a literal circus atmosphere, with acrobats, jugglers, and stilt walkers, and more. Then the culture moves indoors for a free concert in the Knight Concert Hall at 2:00 p.m. For more information, go to www. arshtcenter.org.Call It a Petting Party These can seem like heartless times, so one way to make the world less cruel is to help out the most helpless among us, and that includes our four-legged friends. On Sunday, November 20 the Humane Society of Greater Miami will cel ebrate its 75th anniversary at the Soffer and Fine Adoption Center (16101 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach). It will be a familyand pet-friendly event, from noon till 4:00 p.m., with music, food, and crafts. Best of all, animal lovers, any pets that have been with the organization for more than four months will have their adoption fees waived. For more information, call 305-749-1820 or go to www. humanesocietymiami.org.We Love a ParadeMany a transplant to South Florida remembers those Thanksgiving Day pathe cold drizzle and cloudy skies. That is never the case in North Miami during its annual WinterNational Thanksgiv ing Day Parade which travels along NE 125th Street, from 5th Avenue to 12th Avenue, on Thursday, November 24 starting at 10:00 a.m. This years theme Healthy Places, but also includes the usual fun. But why just watch the parade when you can be in it? To take part, contact the North Miami Parks and Recreation Department at 305-895-9840. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Hilarious Disco BirthdayIt has indeed been one year since the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.) opened its doors. Its also the citys 16th birthday. So to celebrate, the center is throwing a Founders Weekend bash on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 a comic performance from Saturday Night Live alum and Broadway star Ana Gasteyer, who will do her takes on Martha Stewart, Celine Dion, and Hillary Clinton (at 8:00 p.m.; $56.50 to $66.50). On Saturday, Stayin tribute to those dance-happy 1970s will highlight the music of KC and the Sunshine Band, the Commodores, and the Brothers Gibb. Tickets are $34.50 and $39.50. Call 954-462-0222 or go to www.aventuracenter.org. Let the People Read!Whats not to like about the Miami Book Fair International now in its 28th year? It has brought culture and pride to this town, while becoming the largest fair of its kind in the nation. And we love it. The ever-popular weekend Street Fair is back; this year, an outdoor pavilion will showcase the literature, art, and music of China. Indoors an impressive group of authors will again read from and discuss their work. Those honoring us with their presence this year include former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, novelist Michael Ondaatje, Chinese author Yu Hua, and Sunday, November 13 and runs through Sunday, November 20 in and around the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus (300 NE 2nd Ave.). Go to www.miamibookfair.com. Concert for Peace ing a foundation to foster social change and cultural exchange across the country. As part of that initiative, and to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, comes A Concert for a New Renaissance: Symphonic Dances, Prayers, and Meditations for Peace featuring the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, the Miami Childrens Chorus, students from the New World School of the Arts, and the Thomas Armour Dance Conservatory. A total of 200 participants between the ages of 8 and 22 will join the Grammy winner on stage Friday, November 11 at 8:00 p.m. at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay). Tickets range from $35 to $100 for VIP, with special youth discounts available. Call 786-573-5300 or go to www.smdcac.org.

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78 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatWhy Not Just Hand the Thief Your Purse?12000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Criminals are always looking for an easy score. It doesnt matter if its in a crowded area, as most witnesses dont want trouble and would rather let others fend for themselves. This victim got out in North Miami, leaving a Coach bag on readers: Leaving anything of value in view is an invitation for our law-breakwas broken in a North Miami minute. Essentially her whole life. We urge the that has the word Miami in it to lock and key.Living in the Past1000 Block of NE 80th Street Oh, the Miami of yesteryear, when Actually, that was a very long time ago, so if youre still living that dream, we which are as good as leaving your door ment, ransacking it and stealing several items. With the fall season great, but more often than for the criminal element.I Hate to Eat and Run, but700 Block of NE 27th Street Victim is a caretaker for a retirement home. He entered one of the residences and saw a strange man casually sitting on a couch, eating and drinking. When the victim asked who he was, the man did not give then noticed that the entire door to the residence had been removed. No leads in this case, but it demonstrates how eating out has a different meaning for our crooks. At least it was more creative than of our goons.More Boulevard Motel Shenanigans7200 Block of Biscayne Boulevard What would Crime Beat be without a Boulevard motel entry? Victim, who Compiled by Derek McCann Visit our contemporary Lighting Showroom Specializing in residential, commercial & industrial lighting products. State of the art LED and energy saving lightbulbs. 305.423.0017

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was living at this motel, was asked by the suspect if he could borrow his car. He refused, but the suspect took his keys anyway and drove off. Police were called and told by the motel manager that the alleged victim always lends his car out for drug runs and that this was just another instance of that. Apparently people need rent money even in your typical Boulevard motel. (Believe it or not, its not free to stay in those places.) No charges will be brought because the car was returned and the victim would not press charges. Those motels really are historical landmarks though the history of late is really bad.A Heartwarming Miami Greeting1600 Block of NE 2nd Avenue Hallmark cards are one way to say hello, but in our city people cant always make it to the store. This woman had her car vandalized and the words F***ing Sh**bag written in permanent marker on the side. The victim claims to have no hostile relationships in her life a rarity in Miami. Thus far no arrests have been made and there are no suspects.Nosy Neighbors Are Our Friends200 Block of NE 25th Street Sometimes we just want to go to our cars without having to talk to the next-door neighbor, but those neighbors can save us a lot of grief. A neighbor witnessed a strange man enter the victims property, open the screen door leading to the porch, and remove a bicycle. The man rode the bike away from the area. The neighbor called the victim, who was nearby, and they both followed the culprit, eventually detaining him for police a citizens arrest. We dont always suggest confronting criminals, but in this case, the good guys won! When Being HandicapAccessible Is a Bad Thing12500 Block of Biscayne Boulevard A man smashed the window of a pizzeria with a walking cane. He then entered the establishment and removed a cash register. He threw many items normally The 54-year-old subject was wearing a blue hat and carried a knife on his person. Police stopped him and a witness He was arrested and his getaway car was towed from the scene. (We gather straight from the handicapped parking Apparently those disability checks can barely buy a slice of pizza nowadays. North Miamians need to be wary of cane-wielding, middle-age men with funny hats.What Next? Prosthetic Limbs?NE 4th Street and Biscayne Boulevard This victim was waiting to be picked up by ambulance and rolled out to the street in his red wheelchair. As he entered the ambulance, someone stole the chair. Yes, they steal wheelchairs. Perhaps the aforementioned man with the cane played a role? Wheelchair was worth $2000. Guess it was a good thing the old guy wasnt in it. Somehow we dont think injuring him would have been a deal-breaker for the crooks. Check your local pawnshops. True Love Doesnt Ask Questions7200 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Who doesnt love the honeymoon stage can do no wrong. In this pathetic case, a womans boyfriend of a month stole her phone, drivers license, and Social Security card. She was so enamored of him that she declined to report the theft to police until someone advised her that he could steal her identity. She told police she didnt know her new beaus real name, just his nickname. She also didnt have an address for him, nor know his age. Did we mention theyd been going out for a month? One-night stands This Never Happens on eBay100 Block of NE 50th Street We all love Craigslist, but as our moms used to say, There are a lot of nuts out there. Our victim advertised a camera on the popular site and was to meet an individual who was supposedly interested in purchasing it from him. Well, two punks one armed with pepper spray greeted our poor victim instead. He managed to get away, sans property. No arrests have been made. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 5580 NE 4th Ct. Miami, FL 33137305-751-7591 SERIOUSLY ORIGINALPurchase a 6 Month Membership and receive an additional 6 Months FREEExpires 11/14/11NEW OFFER!! NEW OFFER!!

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80 Columnists: PARK PATROLHappy TrailsBring your mountain bike to Virginia Key for a workout with a viewBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorMore than just off the beaten path, this new trail is even beyond the iconic end-of-the-road squatters village/beer shack known as Jimbos. It lies beyond and somewhat alongside the Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant, or as this Jimbo likes to say, the sewer. When you think youre there, keep going. Past this bike path lies the compost center, but someone has to open that gate to provide access. With this knowledge you follow, follow the compost and mulch. To arrive at this outpost beyond Oz, many cyclists ride there, but you can drive and park near its entrance. When you see the cluster of picnic benches, you have arrived at the North Point Mountain Bike Trail. Because so much dredged material was dumped here in the past, the trails offer hills that must be among the highKey suffered from illegal dumping and neglect. Last year the City of Miami approved a master plan to transform the abused, nearly 1000-acre island. The four miles of bike trails opened by volunteers. Their appearance is quite similar to another set of challenging trails, Key also has Australian pines that provide both shade and needles matting the ground. The entrance to the trails is marked by a wooden billboard, but you cannot actually see the trails from the main road. Bike down a sand and gravel path until you pass through a fence, and here a good distance along a hilltop, which in itself is a novelty. Once you reach the winding road, decisions must be made. The trails offer three levels of difnovice, intermediate, and advanced. Dont try the advanced unless you know what youre doing. Although Im a novice, I tried out the intermediate level. Thankfully no one was there to witness my humiliation. The novice path is by no means Each trail has a width of about four feet and winds through the forest and over obstacles such as tree roots and many constructed mounds. Its designed to be a bumpy ride, and helmets are mandatory. Getting lost would require an effort, as all trails are marked as one way, and encircles the trails. A few unmarked roads lead toward the bay, but then youre on your own. About halfway around the loop, you ascend a long hill and obtain a view that is seldom seen in these parts. The hillside drops 100 feet skills at estimating height) and there below lies a huge, empty dust bowl, larger Mostly white gravel and sand, the bowl has a few scattered objects and a giant puddle near the center. Some sort of obstacle course has been erected. landing pad for a spaceship. Dont look now, but there it is. Barely visible over the treetops is a strange, circular construction topped by a crown of white circles around a white cone. This structure could be the island. Or not. The best views from the trail overlook Biscayne Bay and toward the Port of Miami. This remote part of Island and reveals an angle of that island seldom seen. Side by side, here is some of sive real estate. The sewage treatment facility on ocean outfall, that legally discharges waste into the ocean. The county operates a second outfall offshore of Haulover Beach Park. These pipes are mostly underground and underwater, but a section at North Point beach sits above ground and is clearly marked by a structure on the sand. On the tip of the pipes platform that brilliant idea to place a picnic bench. Hence, this location earns the title of Miamis worst place to eat your lunch. Once you realize where you are, you will most likely lose your lunch. But the area does not typically have a strong smell, and the pale outfall VIRGINIA KEYS NORTH POINTArthur Lamb Jr. Road, Miami 305-960-4600 Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: Yes Picnic pavilions: Yes Tennis courts: No Yes Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No Playground: Yes Special features: Mountain-bike trails. holidays.Park Rating Arthur Lamb Jr. Road, Miami 305-960-4600 Tennis courts: BT photos by Jim W. Harper Virginia KeyRickenbacker Cswy

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structure is easy to ignore from other parts of the beach. Despite this huge drawback, North Point offers an attractive and isolated beach experience. You can see South Beach from here, but it seems a world away. Snorkeling here offers opportunities to observe sea grass beds in shallow water, and several formations of rocks from the is said to be on duty every day of the year. Onshore, tiki-style huts offer shade farther from shore are larger huts for the whole family, and barbecues are available. Just beware of the raccoons here, as they are very aggressive. One mature raccoon I observed was a rare, pale-reddish color, and it hopped right into the garbage can next to the restrooms. Behind the lifeguard stand is a shady area with a nursery for native plants. Juan Fernandez, City of Miamis naturalist for parks, says that 32 acres in this section of Virginia Key are being restored in cooperation with the Virginia Key Beach Trust, an entity that manages the southern portion of the island, where a former blacks-only beach operated. This native-plant project, also supported by volunteers, has revealed examples of very rare plants on the island, including the critically endangered them are either threatened or endangered. Managed by the City of Miami, North Point has been transformed by volunteers into a challenging bike trail and a native-plant sanctuary. They have taken mountains of rotten lemons and given them a second chance at lemonade. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The adjacent beaches offer nice amenities, WERE HIRING! Biscayne Times is looking for a full-time, experienced account executive for display advertising. Small, enthusiastic staff. Loyal readers and advertisers. Tremendous growth potential. Some house accounts available. Base salary plus generous commissions. Serious money to be made. Please send rsum to publisher Jim Mullin at jim.mullin@biscaynetimes.com.

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82 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETSHoliday TT reatsFrom strategies for keeping Fido safe to gift ideas for pet lovers tips to make everyone merryBy Lisa Hartman BT ContributorThe end of the year brings lots of family gatherings and fun. Certainly your furriest family member should join in the festivities! From safety tips to what to get the pet (or pet owner) that has everything, Ive got you covered head to mistletoe. With the hustle and bustle of the be our pets safety. Whether its the ghosts and goblins that continually ring your bell in the dark of night on Halloween, the canes and wheelchairs of elderly relatives visiting on Thanksgiving, the pig roasting in the yard, or the giant tree with lights and strange objects hanging from it, things are far from normal for your pet on these special days. Animals get lost or fall sick on the holidays more than at any other time of year. There is just too much cooking, entertaining, and other activities for the pet owner to take care of while also keeping a watchful eye on Coco or Cocos schedule. in case one of your holiday visitors leaves a door or gate open, or your pet gets spooked by the festivities and bolts. Door darting is common in times of stress. We hope you take your dog on daily walks, so when you meet up with your pet-owning neighbors, make a pact to watch over one anothers pets and call them or corral their animal if possible should you see it running loose. Being proactive with safety is always the best course of action.

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nice, quiet room that is away from visiYou can give anyone who wants to offer biscuits such as Holistic Selects Holising their best tricks for the treats. Bravo! many animals; unfortunately, theyre also Whether it is Christmas or any other If youre not sure what to get or the local animal shelter in their name? by a local artist. elry, such as sterling silver animal charm Whatever you choose, your thoughtful more than enough to choose from in the owners hair for a little while. new Frisbee or set of tennis balls for the thought that counts. a break from them. (It cant always be Lisa Hartman is a dog-friendly trainer, behavior specialist, and author of Dial a Dynamite Dog. You can reach her at lisa@lisathedogtrainer.com, or visit www.pawsitivelypetsonline.com Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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84 Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorThis is a Thanksgiving Day wine column, and by the shop rules of the Union of Barely Employed Scribes, Im required to list some of the things for which Im thankful. So here goes Im thankful the turkey is a slow, stupid bird with more meat on its bones than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; otherwise wed be eating something a lot easier to catch, but not nearly as tasty, like tofurkey. Im thankful the Detroit Lions are have to watch them lay another giant egg on our TV screens this year. Our own hapless Dolphins will do that, instead. And Im really thankful for the batch of wines I discovered for this Thanksgiv ing Day column, because pairing wine with all the whackadoodle elements of the typical turkey day dinner is a real bitch, and every one of these is a winner. I discovered something else, too that the best wines for your Thanks giving meal are found outside the Cabernet-Chardonnay-Merlot Axis of Domination, especially at our columns price point. Also that focusing on inexpensive bottles from France and Spain can yield wines that are sexier and more interesting to drink than one grape juicy Cabernet Sauvignon. The secret, I think, is balance. A good Thanksgiving Day wine has to be one helluva multi-tasker, playing nice meat to savory gravy to candy-ish sweet potatoes to tart cranberries to spiceladen pumpkin pie. So I went looking for wines with distinct but restrained fruit, soft tannins, and acidity, and with lower alcohol to help them better complement food. Also so you can drink more without getting hammered. Theres a lot to be thankful for regarding the 2010 Spanish Quarter white wine blend. It costs $10, is availthat Id buy a case of it even if a holiday werent approaching. The wine is a blend of 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent Albario, combining the richness and tropical peach, and spice components of the latter. Full-bodied yet light on the palate, with soft lemon-lime green-apple acidity, its one of the best affordable white wines Ive tasted all year. A winery with a silly name, but serious intent, is Cupcake Vineyards. Though located on Californias Central Coast, it sources grapes from all over the world; in the case of its 2010 Mosel Valley Riesling from Germany. The cute blue bottle and yellow label is festive enough, but whats inside is even you right off with a burst of ripe peach, mango, and melon fruit, quickly segueing into creamy Meyer lemon. With all that and only 9.5-percent alcohol, its a good choice for wine novices. Ros is considered a go-to Thanksgiving wine, as the 2010 Sauvion Ros dAnjou bright raspberries and strawberries with the juiciness of ripe fruit (and an initial trace of sweetness), followed by a refreshing citrus acidity that slowly reveals itself on the back palate. Another ros, the 2010 Chateau du Coudray Montpensier was a nice enough wine but so stingy with fruit and briskly acidic, its better suited to seafood than the Thanksgiving table. Two red varietals almost always mentioned as Thanksgiving staples are Pinot Noir and Beaujolais. The Fog Bank 2010 Monterey County Pinot Noir is another of those run-right-out-and-buy-a-caseof-this-stuff wines. For a $10 Pinot, it exhibits impressive varietal character, hints of earth and spice and toast and Burgundian funk in a lightbodied, very well-structured wine that, despite its youth, is eminently drinkable today. Where the Fog Bank is lighter than most of its varietal brethren, the 2009 Louis Latour Beaujolais Villages is heftier than most of its fellow villagers. Theres earth, black olives, and anise in the nose. On the palate, there are tangy berries, soft orange and lemon, a little spice, and enough richness to stand up to heartier dishes. For something heartier still, theres the Luc Pirlet 2010 Minervois a 50-50 blend of Grenache and Carignan that blasts open with aromas of mushrooms and olives, cherries and plums, then carries all those over to the palate, along with spice, soft tannins, and a short, tart for when were passed out in front of the TV, stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rrrf nttbbtbtb rr $30Excludes wines on promotion. Limit one coupon per customer. Expires 12-3-11 Thanksgiving Wines Youll Gobble UpRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITYRevamping the HH olid ay RoutineStarting your own family traditions can be rewardingBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorIf your family is anything like mine, the holidays start as soon as the last rotted jack-o-lantern is composted and the Halloween costumes are tucked in the attic. Your e-mail, phone, and Skype light up like a department store Christmas tree: cousins with kids, brothers with girlfriends, and mothers with agendas. Whos hosting Thanksgiving? Why do we have to drive out there again? But dont you like Grandmas turkey? Do they even serve wine with dinner? Theyre all loaded questions. Even before the Christmas Muzak wages its aural warfare, the holiday drama is imminent. Lets face it, the kids should learn early that the holidays arent only about downplaying the seasons commercialism. Theyre also about two months of planning, buying, eating, drinking, and loving in that order. years of our relationship alternating holi days with our families. It was exhausting, especially after we had kids. We would travel from Hawaii with Pack n Play, stroller, car seat, booster, bottles the works. Inevitably we would encounter delays and the obligatory post-travel cold. I remember one Thanksgiving, Matilda (then 18 months) was so enchanted with the airplane ride to my folks home in Phoenix that she literally licked the fuselage wall. I panicked as she looked over at me with lick-test glee. I was debating the pros and cons my husband, calmed me with a glass of gonna-do shrug. celebrate Christmas Eve with their kids uncles, and cousins all pile in for paperripping pandemonium and late-night good times with the grandparents. This picture sounds blissful, but Ive left out some brushstrokes: The grandparents live in Miramar, the house is too small for everyone to spend the night, and the expectation is that all will wish they had more time to just relax. Other friends, Maya and Steve, took their two kids to Steves parents in Oregon for Thanksgiving last year. It wasnt unusual for them to traipse crosscountry, but over the years, tension had built. Steves sister has a very lax parenting approach that, in the early days, was cute and quirky. But as her kids got older, it managed to drive a wedge the size of a maniacal seven-year-old between the families. The last straw came one year ago, when Maya and Steve, owing to the drama, found themselves having traveled 3000 miles to dine on turkey in the hotel restaurant. Tradition shouldnt have so many moving parts. Many of my friends ask each other: Wouldnt it be better to start new traditions? As much of an oxymoron as that is, its important to let go of some of the time-honored things you did with your family and start some that are special to your kids. I dont normally pay much atten tion to Dr. Phil, but apparently we agree on similar tactics for embracing stress-free holidays. Just because you have been doing something for years doesnt mean its still ideal for every one. Many traditions become toxic and need to be broken in favor of newer, more joyful ones. After dragging Matilda to Arizona it was time to develop our own holiday routine. After all, why wouldnt a neophyte chef and his foodie wannabe wife want to take on a holiday that is all about feasting, gratitude, and friendship? it can be made fun and memorable. For example, instead of trying to pull off one big reunion and coordinate everybodys schedule for Christmas dinner, my relatives usually just plan a series of casual get-togethers throughout the season. Our favorite was always what we called the Holiday Light Display Caravan. As the holidays neared, we all pitched in for a party bus (although we have also done this with pick-up trucks, minivans, and even a hay ride) to take us on a tour of the best holiday lights in the city. Inevitably, my cousin drank too much, my grandma wanted to go home early, the little ones fell asleep, and my mom and her sister fought. But it was always pure awesome. Now that I am many miles away from my caravan posse, Eric and I take the kids on our own caravan and I phone in to Arizona with nostalgia. The great thing about having our own traditions is that we make the rules. We can change our minds on a dime. We love entertaining our friends and families for the holidays, but we also like the freedom to jump on a plane for a Cabo Wabo Christmas. I just came up with that one, but doesnt it sound tempting? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com ianopresto plus www.pianopresto.musicteachershelper.comWeekly private piano instruction For beginner, intermediate, or adult Three mini-music classes Children 3 to 9 years old Call to schedule a free first lesson!786.468.9871 Richard A. Foltz, instructor

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86 Collateral DamageThe environmental side effects of the Port of Miami tunnel and deep dredge could be explosiveBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorHold on to your sandbars, Miami. Youre about to get drilled and pounded, but not in the good way. Bullies are here to give Biscayne Bay a beating. Near downtown, the birds of Jungle Island are atwitter over the arrival of a giant shaft that will bore underneath the bay to create the Port of Miami tunnel. Soon this project will be joined by an even bigger one. The deep dredge is ready to literally blow up the Port of Miami. Biscayne Bay has been called Miamis backyard. Did you know that your backyard is going to be pelted by the equivalent of 600 bombs? Thats the U.S. Army Corp of Engi neers estimate of the number of explo sions needed to deepen the port. Ex pected to begin in November, this projects proximity to the ports other project, the tunnel, means havoc both below and above the surface of the bay. Downtown ers, South Beachers, and Fisher Islanders shockwaves for the next two years. (Both projects are scheduled to go till 2014.) We face the dilemma of responsible urban growth inside a sensitive habitat. Can the giant Maersk container ships and the gentle manatee get along? The state seems to think so. The drafted environmental permit for Deep III Federal Channel Expansion) will be approved unless new appeals are raised. A coalition of environmental groups won the right to review the state permit until October 24, and their representative expects additional review time will be granted, owing to the projects barrel of monkeys I mean, documents. As for the tunnel, the billion-dollar project is chugging along on Watson mental permits was expected by November. The projects website claims that it environmental impacts. Thats hard to swallow, but of the two projects, the deep dredge is the more threatening and disruptive one. Its really hard to believe that it can contain itself to the shipping channels. Unexpected currents could turn its underwater projectile silt into an environmental threat. Silt can smother coral and, as it so happens, an extremely rare coral is growing on the jetty of Government Cut. The coral deserves to be protected, but its location is not covered by the projects current preparations and remediations. It has no insurance. The coral was unknown to exist in Florida outside of the Dry Tortugas until 2009, when it was discovered near the port by Colin Foord, a marine biologist and coowner of Coral Morphologic in Overtown. (Go online to see his recent TEDxMIA lecture about this super coral. ) The rare coral is a hybrid of two en dangered stony corals called staghorn and listed as threatened. Endangered-species legislation does not typically cover hybrids, but this coral can reproduce and, based on Foords observations, withstand extreme conditions better than its two progenitors. And it glows in the dark! Foord hopes his hybrids end up in the Keys with the Coral Restoration Foundation. Many other corals in and around Government Cut must be harvested and transplanted, although small specimens and species will be left behind. Regulations call for saving hard corals above four inches and soft corals above ten inches. Another form of mitigation involves the construction of 25 for seagrass, its expected that eight acres of beds will be destroyed; the deep dredge must replant 18 acres. But what about all the mud? Both the dredge and tunnel projects share this dilemma. The tunnel won approval to dump its sediments onto Virginia Key, the island along the Rickenbacker Causeway that has long been used as Miamis toilet, both legally and illegally. North Points new mountain bike trail (see Park Patrol in this issue). Dr. Dredge considered using Virginia, too, but then dumped her. Plans call for his spoils to be deposited either in the bay or offshore in a place called the Miami Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site. Yuck. Environmental groups have and should continue to monitor these projects. At the same time, Greater Miami has to deal with its growing pains. Expansion activity concentrated near downtown is preferable, in my opinion, to sprawl that invades natural areas. I still cant believe that an international airport was almost erected in the Everglades. Lets not go there again. Lets of existing infrastructure. Modern Miami is far removed from its natural state. Many islands, including the port itself, were created from the spoils of previous dredging in the bay. Many of us live on land that used to be underwater. Boom! Five hundred and ninetyninety-nine blasts; take one down, pass blasts in the bay. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com www.santassingers.comPRESENTSFOR RATES AND AVAILABILITY CALL 305-757-6500 OR EMAIL singers@missjanesmusic.com Santas SingersAN ADULT A CAPPELLA GROUP SINGING TRADITIONAL CAROLS AND POPULAR HOLIDAY SONGSPerfect for ofce parties, private functions

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Columnists: YOUR GARDENStorm WarningYou can protect your trees from the effects of lightning strikesBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorWe had a very stormy weekend this past October 8 and 9. At Jungle Island we recorded 12 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The wind was not too bad, so there wasnt a big mess of branches and leaves to clean up, but we did have a couple of lightning strikes to some of our taller palm trees. This reminded me of a site visit I did a couple of years ago to a large homeowners association to review some horticultural issues. While working out some of their problems, I was approached by a homeowner who asked if I could look at a large, dead Dade County pine tree. Apparently the demise of the tree had led maintenance company, which was accused of overfertilizing the tree. The homeowner wanted to know what I thought had happened to his tree. The pine was about 50 feet tall with a canopy that was probably 40 feet wide. It had been a beautiful tree. Now all the foliage was gone. When I got closer, I noticed a thin strip of bark missing down the entire side of the tree. The tree had been struck by lightning and, from the looks of it, had been killed instantly. Because of their height, trees are natural lightning rods. Its a myth that lightning only strikes good conductors like metal. What Ive noticed over the years is that trees may not be killed instantly when theyre struck; sometimes they continue to live for many years before succumbing to a secondary cause of death, such as insects or disease. Lightning damage will also look different from tree to tree. Damage can be minimal or quite dramatic. This difference is owing to the fact that water and sap are better conductors of electricity than wood. If the trees moisture is concentrated in the phloem between the bark and the wood, then the lightning will be channeled through this area and cause an explosive separation of the bark. (The phloem is the vascular system that carries sugar and organic nutrients made in the foliage throughout the plant.) This is likely what happened to the Dade County pine I examined. If there is more moisture in the center of the tree, the explosion from within may blow the tree apart. This is similar to what happened to the palms at Jungle Island. The middle of the trunk just below the crown shaft (the green part below the foliage and above the wood) was split open and the crown shaft fell over from its own weight. If the bark is soaked from rain, the lightning may follow the outside of the little damage to the tree. The photo that accompanies this article shows lightning damage on a satin leaf tree that was growing underneath a tall Veitchia palm that had been struck by lightning. The palm died instantly, but only half of the satin leaf tree was affected. This damage showed up a couple of days after the palm was struck. It will be interesting to see if there is further damage on this tree. As Ive said, often these damaged trees die years later of secondary causes. When the protective cover of a tree, the bark, is loosened or taken off, insects will be attracted to the exposed areas. Many types of boring insects will lay their eggs in these trees. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will cause damage by tunneling (and eating) throughout the inside of the trunk, eventually killing the tree by destroying the vascular system or giving a pathogenic fungus a nice place to live. A great quote I once read says, A tree to a fungus is just food with lots of holes around it. This means any damage to a tree will eventually be exploited by fungi. If a tree is considered to be a valuable specimen, a tree lightning protection system can be installed. Tree science and care is becoming quite sophisticated. There are actual industry standards (ANSI A300) and best-management practices from the International Society of Arboriculture and Tree Care Industry Association that will explain the basic principles of lightning physics and provide information on the installation and continued maintenance of lightning protection systems. While driving through my neighborhood the day after that October storm, I saw the occasional damaged tree. At three separate locations, I stopped to look at fallen branches or trees and, in each case, found the cause of the damage to be poorly structured branches or a weak trunk that had decayed because of previous damage and was unable to support the tree during this brief storm. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski 305.246.0200rffn tfbrrfrrrfr nrrrftb

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88 MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAcqua 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-381-3190 Four Seasons HotelOriginally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006, resulting in a complete menu renovation. Thailands famed sense of culinary balance is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian or Latin American-inspired) menu, in dishes like yuzu/white soya-dressed salad of shrimp tempura, a tender pork shank glazed with spicy Szechuan citrus sauce, or lunchtimes rare tuna burger with lively wasabi aioli and wakame salad. For dessert few chocoholics can resist a buttery-crusted tart filled with sinfully rich warm chocolate custard. $$$$$Area 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel) 1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$bistro e 485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373A full power lunch from a Michelin-starred chef for $15? Sounds unbelievable, but youll find just such a daily spe cial (like corn/jalapeo soup, a grilled-cheese BLT, airy cheesecake, and a pint of beer) at bistro e, daytime name for Michael Psilakis dinner-only new Aegean eatery Eos. The name change emphasizes lunchtimes wholly different, globally influenced menu. Among la carte temptations: pork belly tacos, a Korean BBQ prawn salad, or a brisket/gruyere sandwich with dipping juice. Breakfast, too, from 6:30 a.m. $$-$$$ Bryan in the Kitchen 104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-from-scratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very Frenchfeeling -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. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442 The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thaimarinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of shortlived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/ cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like ChinesePeruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub component remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro allAmerican feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/ antibiotic-free ground Angus chuck/brisket/short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$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. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 291. MIAMI Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr. 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mixand-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave. 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a delir iously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$ First Hong Kong Caf 117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Harrys Pizzeria 3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; woodoven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$ Fresko 19048 NE 29th Ave., 786-272-3737Forget thick, dough-wrapped potato knishes and blintzes slathered with sour cream. As its name suggests, this kosher dairy eatery eschews the starch/sugar-laden traditional favorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contemporary as the restaurants dcor. Asian-influenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infu sions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$ rf ntntbnf nttnf tnt ff t tf fnf fff

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTSDolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no lowrent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Eternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981 Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Eos 485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Unlike their Michelin-starred New Adriatic restaurant Anthos, in Manhattan, this venture of chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia has influences ranging way beyond Greece to the whole Mediterranean region, and even Latin America. Unchanged is Psilakis solid creativity, and a beautiful sense of balance that makes even very unfamiliar combinations taste accessible. So skip the safe stuff and go for the luxuriantly custardy, egg yolk-enriched lobster and sea urchin risotto, or any raw seafood item, especially the unique marlin with pistachio, apricot, and house-cured speck. $$$-$$$$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying tablesnack choice. $$ First & First Southern Baking Company 109 NE 1st Ave., 305-577-6446 How Southern is this restaurant/bakery? During the course of one breakfast of fluffy biscuits with rich sausage gravy, a friend from Italy, we swear, developed a drawl. While yall will also find familiar fare (burgers, salads, etc.), highlights here are traditional and/or reinvented country cooking favorites -especially homemade sweets. More than two dozen desserts daily are featured, from a roster topping 150: chocolate pecan pie, lemon bars, potato candies, seven-layer cookies, and Jack Daniels pound cakes, which are perfect for parties, though you wont want to share. $-$$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafoodpacked fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Fresco California Bistro 1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food onto its menu. To the familiar Latin American/Italian equation, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistros espe cially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$ Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr. 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popu lar grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave. 305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomatobased BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentinestyle empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/ plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving move able feast. $Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultra-upscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Indigo / Table 40 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000Long known for its power-lunch buffet -including hot entres, carving station, custom pastas, packed-to-the-gills salad, sushi, and dessert stations -the InterContinental Hotels Indigo restaurant now has a hip offspring intended for private dining: Table 40. The charming, glassed-in wine cellar (actually in the kitchen) enables 12-14 diners to watch the action in heat-shielded, soundproofed comfort while eating creations by veteran chef Alexander Feher, combining Continental technique with local seasonal ingredients. Highlights: tender house-smoked, stout-braised short ribs; lavish lobster salad with grilled mango; and a seductive fresh corn gazpacho. $$$-$$$$$ Iron Sushi 120 SE 3rd Ave., 305-373-2000(See Miami Shores listing)Jackson Soul Food 950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710 With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/ comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sau sage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork prod ucts on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar 2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, formerly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$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

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

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS 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 coowner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$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 daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignoliacrusted 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. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrumptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/ potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088 Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly limemarinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultrafresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-goround? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more 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. $$ Pashas 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$

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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. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most injokes (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 char-blistered 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. $$Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crisp-fried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar 650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$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 sous-chef chops at Cioppino and Sardinia. The main fare is imaginative sandwiches on fresh breads; an especially delicious creation features slow-braised short ribs, caramelized onions, and melting muenster and provolone cheeses. Finish with fine-shaved Aloha Ice topped with fresh fruit and other fullflavored syrups, all housemade, plus rich condensed milk. A sno-cone for sophisticates. $ Scalina 315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soi Asian Bistro134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643 From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro 120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-andmatch housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ 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 introduced 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 influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished 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 meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/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 stirfries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robatagrilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/ mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Andalus 35 NE 40th St., 305-400-4422Early publicity pegging this place (in Pacific Times former space) as a tapas bar seemed to set it up as direct competi tion for nearby Sra. Martinez. Its actually quite different, with emphasis divided between small-plate lounging and full fine-dining meals. And regardless of size, dishes arent contemporary riffs on tradition but authentic regional specialties. Subtly nutty jamon pata negra (the Rolls-Royce of cured hams) or salmorejo (Cordobas Serrano ham/egg-enriched gazpacho) truly take your taste buds on a trip to Andalucia. On weekends, food is served till 4:00 a.m. $$$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$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 casu ally cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli 4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ Cafeina 297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ 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 renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose spe cialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf

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component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment 3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Delicias Peruanas 2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as it was at the nearby original Delicias, run by members of the same family. The food is as tasty as ever, especially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mammoth jalea platter. As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado and tallerin verde. $$Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022 While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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 hummuslike 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 boneless 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 parme san fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchycrusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entresize salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$

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Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon 185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Maitardi 163 NE 39th St., 305-572-1400Though we admired the ambitious approach of Oak Plazas original tenant, Brosia, this more informal, inexpensive, and straightforwardly Italian concept of veteran Lincoln Road restaurateur Graziano Sbroggio seems a more universal lure for the Design Districts central town square. The mostly outdoor space remains unaltered save a wood-burning oven producing flavorfully char-bubbled pizza creations, plus a vintage meat slicer dispensing wild boar salamino, bresaola (cured beef), and other artisan salumi. Other irresistibles: fried artichokes with lemony aioli; seafood lasagna with heavenly dill-lobster sauce. $$-$$$Mandolin Aegean Bistro 4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan 3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466 What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ 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 pre pared 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influ enced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$Orange Caf + Art 2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and housebaked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pieducks 3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Primos 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-freshdaily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Sustain 3252 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-424-9079Is it possible for a restaurant to be sincerely eco-conscious without being self-righteousness? It is at this casual/chic restolounge, where dedication to local, sustainable food comes with considerable humor. Fare includes playful items like wet fries (with mouthwatering gravy), corn dogs, house made soft pretzels with mustard and orange blossom honey, and a Mile Salad that seems almost like a game show in its challenge: All ingredients must come from within a 50-mile radius. At brunch dont miss the glazed sin-a-buns. $$-$$$$ Tapas y Tintos 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/ salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307 Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and selfservice wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable CATERING SPECIAL 15% OFFYour first catering order of $75 or moreOffers Exp 11/30/11 With This AD$2.00 OFFEntree After 4PM Monday-Friday & All Day Long Saturday & Sunday!

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS 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 sand wiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959Neither man nor woman can live by bread alone. But art alone doesnt do the trick, either. Father-daughter development visionaries Tony and Jessica Goldman satisfy the full range of life needs by combining cuisine from master chef Marco Ferraro with works from master street artists, in one venue -that fits perfectly into its gritty artistic neighborhood. Here Ferraro eschews his upscale Wish fare for simple yet inspired small plates (crisp, chili-dusted artichoke hearts with tart/rich yuzu aioli; mellow veal sausages enlivened by horseradish sauce; etc.) ideal for work or gallery-walk breaks. $$-$$$Upper EastsideAmerican Noodle Bar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-396-3269For us personally, a three-word Homer Simpson review says it: Bacon sauce! Mmmm But responsibly, the chef/owner of this casual, counter-service Vietnamese fusion cheap eats joint is Michael Bloise, formerly executive chef of Wish, one of South Beachs most glamorous. At his own anti-establishment place, customers customize. Seven bucks will get you a bowl of thick, charmingly chewy noodles, plus one of nine sauces (smoked lobster, lemon grass, brown sugar/ginger, bacon) and ten toppings (recommended: slow-roasted duck, sweet Chinese sausage). Also enjoy cheeseburger dumplings, banh mi subs, housemade fruit sodas, beer or wine, and attitude-free fun. $Andiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside car wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station which means ditching the car (in the complexs free lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no problem even if youre not getting your vehicle cleaned while consuming the brick-oven pies (from a flaming open oven) that are this popular pizzerias specialty, along with executive chef Frank Cr upis famed Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Also available are salads and panini plus reasonably priced wines and beers, including a few unusually sophisticated selections like Belgiums Hoegaarden. $$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 large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhoodfocused 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/maplegarnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/ outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the housemade sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$Chef Creole 200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: cre vette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to the Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables just feet from the busy Boulevard? From the day it opened, people have been lining up for this stands sauce-garnished, all-beef, soy veggie, turkey, and chicken hot dogs. The 22 varieties range from simple to the elaborate (the Athens, topped with a Greek salad, including extra-virgin olive oil dressing) to near-unbelievable combinations like the VIP, which includes parmesan cheese and crushed pineapple. New addition: thick, juicy burgers. $East Side Pizza 731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (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-garnished Chinese chicken salad; H&H bagels, the worlds best, flown in from NYC. And the car cleanings are equally gentrified, especially on Wednesdays, when ladies are pampered with $10 washes and glasses of sparkling wine while they wait. $Garden of Eatin 136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Gourmet Station 7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce 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, avo cado, 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. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014 Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusu ally imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd.305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma pro duces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original cre ations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-thetop maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites rf n tfb f fr1 1/2 lb. LOBSTERwith salad & 2 sides$24.95ff btfb r305-466-2016 r

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sourorange-marinated, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chef-driven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, family-friendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemon-caper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. Now the arrival of new executive and pastry chefs plus a wine-wise general manager, all Joe Allen veterans, signals a culinary revival for this neighborhood focal point. The concept is still comfort food, but a revamped menu emphasizes fresh local ingre dients 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 crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$UVA 69 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Owned and operated by brothers Michael and Sinuh Vega, this casual outdoor/indoor Euro-caf and lounge has helped to transform the Boulevard into a hip place to hang out. Lunch includes a variety of salads and elegant sandwiches like La Minuta (beer-battered mahi-mahi with cilantro aioli and caramelized onions on housemade foccacia). Dinner features a range of small plates (poached figs with Gorgonzola cheese and honey balsamic drizzle) and full entres like sake-marinated salmon with boniato mash and Ponzu butter sauce, and crispy spinach. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery 646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Bocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$ 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. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budgetfriendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Shuckers Bar & Grill 1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570Cheap eats and a million-dollar view is the sound bite manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates from South Beachs late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski demonstrates a rare mix of Old World technique and New World invention in dishes like perfectly caramelized sea scallops with smoky 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. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels poolpatio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgianstyle double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$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

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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. $$-$$$ 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 spe cials 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 spe cials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ Mooies 9545 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-3666Kid friendly generally means restaurants will tolerate youngsters. Mooies, an ice cream parlor plus, positively pampers them, from the cute play area out back (equipped with old-school toys like giant bean bags) to a childrens menu that doesnt condescend. (Who says kids dont appreciate pizzas with fresh mozzarella?) For grown-ups there are sophisticated salads and sandwiches like a turkey, pear, garlic oil, and brie panini on house-baked bread. Just dont neglect Mooies mainstay: ice cream, dense yet creamy-soft Blue Bell. Pistachio almond is our pick. $The Wine Market 908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$Village Caf 9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-759-2211After closing for several months in early 2009, this caf, spruced up to look like a bistro rather than a luncheonette (but with the same bargain prices), has been reopened. The kitchen has also been rejuvenated, with head honcho Adam Holm (Whitticars original sous chef) serving up new, globally influenced dishes like mint/pistachio-crusted lamb or tuna tartare with sriracha aioli, plus reviving old favorites like pork tenderloin with ginger-caramel sauce. $$-$$$ Los Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$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 bananawalnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hotsmoked salmon and veggie plates. There are also creative comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads, and sweets. Sides include refreshing slaw; beans studded with burnt ends (the most intensely flavored outer barbecue chunks); and sweet potato or chipotle-spiced fries. The cost is comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$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; calo ries 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 pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/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 half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/ chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a topdrawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversationfriendly 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. $$-$$$

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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 supple ments. 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 bellybusters. 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. $-$$Mario the Baker 13695 W. Dixie Highway, 305-891-7641At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food is Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and hot or cold subs. No imported buffala, arugula, or other chichi stuff on the New York-style medium-thin-crusted pizzas; the top topping here is the savory housemade sausage. And no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and smashed garlic. New branches are now open in Miamis Midtown neighborhood and in North Bay Village. $Pastry Is Art 12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob 14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899 Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tokyo Bowl 12295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9400This fast-food drive-thru (unexpectedly serene inside) is named for its feature item, big budget-priced bowls of rice or noodles topped with cooked Japanese-style items like teriyaki fish (fresh fish sauted with vegetables), curried chicken and veggies, spicy shrimp, or gyoza dumplings in tangy sauce. Theres also an all-you-can-eat deal sushi (individual nigiri or maki rolls) plus tempura, teriyaki, and other cooked items for $14; three bucks more for sashimi instead of sushi. $-$$Venezia Pizza and Caf 13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered Americas finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple salads, and a few new pro tein adds grilled chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$Yes Pasta! 14871 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At this fast/casual Italian eatery, the specialty is mix-andmatch. 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 creamycoated (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. $$ Bamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus ChineseAmerican egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ China Restaurant 178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional Chinese cuisine in the world wont scratch the itch. So the menu here, containing every authentically inauthentic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just the ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded boneless chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$Chipotle Mexican Grill 14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with chipotle-marinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill 1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded cau sas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$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 megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $Duffys Sports GrillIntracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124 Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland 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 spe cialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$Flamma Brazilian Steakhouse 3913 NE 163rd St., (Intracoastal Mall) 305-957-9900The rodizio formula is familiar: Pay one price ($39.90 for dinner, $29.90 at Sunday brunch), then eat till you drop from a groaning salad/appetizer bar and a massive selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, sausage, and fish (16 varieties at dinner; 5 at brunch) carved tableside by costumed waiters. What spectacularly differentiates Flamma: its setting on the Intracoastal Waterway. But also spectacular is a MondayThursday two-for-one dinner deal with a coupon available at Flamma. Unbelievable but true. $$$$El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/ Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ 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

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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. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex cre ations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweetfleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veg-garnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$Mary Ann Bakery 1284 NE 163rd St., 305-945-0333Dont be unduly alarmed by the American birthday cakes in the window. At this small Chinese bakery the real finds are the Chinatown-style baked buns and other savory pastries, filled with roast pork, bean sauce, and curried ground beef. Prices are under a buck, making them an exotic alternative to fast-food dollar meals. Theres one table for eat-in snackers. $The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$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. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genu ine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chilitopped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$PK Oriental Mart 255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and whole roast ducks hanging, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall) 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a sound-bite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coal-oven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$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 Carnegie-style monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we weighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky hand-sliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$The Rumcake Factory 2075 NE 163rd St., 786-525-7071When ex-Louisianan (and ex-Dolphins player) Larry Robinson and his Cuban-American wife Elena started a catering company in Miami Lakes, their mouthwateringly moist Caribbeanstyle buttered rum/walnut-glazed rum cake instantly became the star attraction. But after relocating to a real (if tiny) restaurant space in BT territory, the Factory now features a small supporting cast of Cajun fare scrumptious enough to upstage the star. Always available: authentic remoulade-dressed New Orleans po-boy sandwiches (shrimp, catfish, fried turkey), and humongous house-smoked chicken wings. Rotating specials include hearty gumbo, jambalaya, and BBQ ribs. $$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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentictasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the mustnot-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$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 Open for more than 20 years! BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT North and South Indian fare Miami Herald TEL:305-754-8002www.schnitzelhausmiami.net1085N.E.79thStreet/Causeway,Miami,FL33138 ORIGINALBAV ARIANBIER GARTENOPENDAILYFROM5:00PMTO11:00PMFRIDAY&SA TURDAYTOMIDNI GHT

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drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, softshell 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. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tunas Raw Bar and Grille 17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a newly impressive selection of raw-bar specialties: cold-water oysters from the Northeast, plus Blue Points, Malpecs, Island Creeks, and more. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after mid night, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin 73 NE 167th St. 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$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 justcaught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. Asia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayodressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ 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 little necks. 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. $$$ Open Kitchen 1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomatoglazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm 9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$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 unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$Bella Luna 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330 If the menu here looks familiar, it should. Its nearly identical to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Caf and, with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billantes eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface. But no argument from here. In a mall a setting more accustomed to food court dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$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, herbsprinkled 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 gingermayo-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 restaurant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/ avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$ The Grill on the Alley 19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Mahogany Grille 2190 NW 183rd St., 305-626-8100Mahogany Grille has drawn critical raves and an international clientele since retired major league outfielder Andre Dawson and his brother transformed this place in 2007. Today its white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany. The menu is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion of food from several African diaspora regions: Carolina Low Country (buttery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad), and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-battered fried chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miamis best. $$-$$$Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar 18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, AmericanizedCantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Ocean Prime 19051 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall) 305-931-5400Most mall dining experiences are akin to NASCAR pit stops: quick pauses to refuel. Ocean Prime, as its super-sleek, circa 1930s cruise ship ambiance would suggest, is more like the tranquil trans-Atlantic crossings of slower-paced times -which makes the steak and seafood eaterys mall location perfect. After a frenetic shopping day, theres no better way to decompress than a couple of hours in a time warp, savoring retro supper-club specialties: pecan-crusted mountain trout with brown butter, an oversize cocktail, and a live lounge pianist. $$$-$$$$$Pilar 20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomatoherb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma 19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New Yorkstyle pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$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)

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