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Biscayne times
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00063
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Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Creation Date: February 2012
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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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System ID: UF00099644:00063

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IN THIS ISSUE9 Sunny Isles Beach restaurants. Dining Guide total = 309! p. 86 February 2012 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 9 Issue 12 Trapped in a tech web that wont let go? Answer: Unplug. Float. Exhale.By Tristram Kortenpg 34

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COVER STORY 34 Unplug. Float. Exhale. COMMENTARY 20 Feedback: Letters 24 Miamis King: Jack King 26 Christian Cipriani: Urbania 28 Picture Stor y: Miamis First Land Barons OUR SPONSORS 30 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 50 Office Depo t Out, Whole Foods In 50 And the Bands Played On 51 The Casino Effect NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Jen: Postcar d from Safe City 60 Mark: Dishin g the Dirt 62 Shari Lynn: Total Tech Trip 64 Gaspar: It Was the Campaign, Stupid 66 Wendy: Go Figure 68 Frank: Tales From the Firehouse ART & CULTURE 70 Anne Tschida: Sculptures in the Garden 72 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Mus eums 75 Events Cale ndar POLICE REPORTS 76 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 78 Island Adve nture on Biscayne Bay COLUMNISTS 80 Pawsitively Pets: Dont Worry, Hes Friendly! 82 Kids and the City: The Activity Addiction 83 Going Green: My Big Fat Green Funeral 84 Your Garden: Clinging to Kill 85 Vino: South American Scavenger Hunt DINING GUIDE 86 Restau rant Listings: 309 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 tr rr A rtRT directorDIRECTOR rn r A dvertisingDVERTISING designDESIGN 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 24 51 78Serving 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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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO 305-895-JEFF(5333) 1/3 acre 15,000 sq ft. on the bay. You can see forever! Wide open views! Owner will finance! 2.4M with only 30% down @ 6% fixed int!!5bdr/3.5 bth, pool, 2 car garage, 4125 sq ft. Completely remodeled, brand new huge cherry wood/granite eat-in kitchen w/subzero and thermadore appliances. Cul-de-sac lot, huge master suite, jacuzzi, waterfall, pool. $925K mortgage, $899K cash4bdr/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 Price includes Business / Bldg. & 1/2 Acre of land. Located in South Ft. Lauderdale on US1, 4COP Lic. included. Great location, only 20% down @ 6% fixed int.!!! Priced at land value. Only 1.2M 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 300K down. 699K 4bdr/2.5bth, 2 car garage, pool w/jacuzzi, 24 hour gated community, large family home. Great location across the street from multi-million $$ bayfront homes!! 499K 156 ON WATER NEW SEAWALLIsland #5 with angle views to the bay! Build your dream home in this 24 hr gaurd gated community surrounded by multimillion dollar homes! 156 on the water with new seawall, owner financing, 1.49M HARBOR ISLAND WATERFRONT WITH OCEAN ACCESS NEWER CONSTRUCTION 30 HI CEILINGS3bdr/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 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!! 1.69M 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 CHANCE OF A LIFETIME OWN YOUR OWN RESTAURANT SANS SOUCI ESTATES NONWATERFRONT 24 HR GATED COMMUNITY KEYSTONE POINT ISLAND #5 CORNER LOT 175 ON WATER CONTEMPORARY MODERN KEYSTONE POINT OWNER WILL FINANCE W 300K DN VACANT BAY FRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME IN PRESTIGOUS SAN SOUCI ESTATES 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 Located 1 lot off the wide bay on cul de sac. Lot size 112 x 125 approx 14,000 sq ft. New seawall 90 of dock (112 on water) 25,000 lb boatlift, park your yacht while you build your dream home! Owner will finance with 30% down $1.4M OWNER WILL FINANCE WITH 30% DOWNWIDE BAY VIEW POINT LOT 1/3 ACRE SANS SOUCI ESTATES

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UNIQUE MODERN HOME ON A LOVELY, TREE LINED STREET Charlie KluckShort Sale Specialist TerryRodriguezMarketing Coordinator Lori ScottBuyer Specialist Esaul MirandaExecutive Administrator Joe FalcoShowing Specialist Elizabeth CabreraShowing Specialist

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Soffer: Greenspan, Dant, Haraam, and Hubris Erik Bojnanskys article Family & Fortune (February 2012) was an interesting recap of the Soffer familys development debacle and its place within the larger U.S. real estate bust. As a newcomer here, I wasnt familiar with the family name or its connection to Aventura Mall, and the article was a good introduction to Donald Soffers swampdredging success and philanthropy. The article also underscores the notion that if you grow up in a family business, you can indeed learn the family business but youd do well to be educated about the economic forces at work in the larger sector. Back in 2007, while son Jeffrey Soffer was throwing himself that $2 million birthday party, there were plenty of public warnings including from Alan Greens pan of an impending real-estate-bubble collapse that was already under way in places like Ireland. That it happened for Soffer so conspicuously in Las Vegas, that epicenter of glamour gone grotesque, feeds right into his storyline. It would appear that ambition, greed, hubris and maybe a dash of showing his old man what a community college dropout could do pushed him to take his fathers business empire to what he calls a whole new level but Ill bet he hadnt read much Dant. Still, he must get credit, if thats what to call it, in one area. Did Jeffrey Soffer anticipate a push to bring gambling to South Florida once he set up shop in the Las Vegas development arena years ago? How could he not? It may not even matter in the long run that he has lost the Fontainebleau project there; if and when he gets his gambling license for the Fontainebleau Miami, hell probably just have to plug in the machines and open the doors. It would have been interesting to learn more Nakheel Leisure, Soffers investment partner in Fontainebleau Miami Beach. As the property investment arm of the state-run Dubai World, Nakheel took a big hit in the 2008 real estate crash and received a multibillion-dollar bailout from the Dubai government. Perhaps as long as its funding remains assured, Soffer need not worry. But why, inquiring minds want to know, if gambling in Dubai considered haraam (forbidden), does the Islamic government invest in gambling enterprises? Does it have to do with joint-partnership exceptions? A follow-up on all the limbs of the Soffer business family tree would be a welcome read. D.L. McNichols AventuraSoffer: Old-Timer Would Have Told It Like Is Was If Only Wed Called HimSome friends told me that a story about Aventura and Donny Soffer was in the works. I was very curious about that because the complete story about that has never been told. I knew about Biscayne Times but didnt know the writer, Erik Bojnansky. Apparently he didnt know about me either, because he never called to interview me. From what I hear, he didnt interview a few other people who, like me, have been around forever and remember the early days up here in Aventura. How early? Early enough that Donny Soffer wasnt even in the picture yet. When Biscayne Times was delivered to my building, I grabbed it and went right back upstairs to read Family & Fortune. The story was good as far as it went, but without interviews with Donny and some of us old-timers, it couldnt be what I would call the be all and end all on the subject. Here are a couple of things I mean by that. Im not the only one who thinks Donny has been a little too quick to take a credit for the basic idea to drain the swamps and develop a big shopping center and maybe later a community with people who would shop there. Eriks story makes just a passing men tion of the fact that Donnys dad, Harry, came up with the original idea. Hes the one who had the vision to build something out of nothing. Yes, Donny did grab the idea and he ran with it, and everyone recognizes that. But Harry saw the future, and its a shame he has again been overlooked. Another person who should have been given more credit was George Berlin. Hes not around today, so Erik couldnt have interviewed him. But some of us could have steered him straight about George, who was as important to the success of the shopping center and Aventura as Donny was himself. And no mention at all of Bob Swedrow, the architect who is a creative genius and gave the city its look, which still stands today. I also wish thered been more about the celebrities back in the early days and how Donny used them to help sell the Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 22

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305.935.45452666 NE 189th St. Aventura, FL 33180305.377.12211730 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL 33132 (Mon-Fri)OPEN 7 Days a WeekPermenant StockAVENTURA SHOWROOM & WAREHOUSE MIAMI LOCATION www.hervalusa.comAVENTURA AVENTURA

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22 place, and how they many times they got so out of hand youd think the police would get involved. But of course the police never got in the way of a Donny Soffer party. Thats part of the story, too. These days I still see Donny now and then when hes strutting around the mall. Sometimes we say hello. Its all friendly. But I dont want my name used because, who knows, I still might get chance to tell it like it really was, and I dont think Donny would be 100-percent happy about that. Name Withheld by Request AventuraSoffer: Out of Control Extreme GreedI enjoy reading the BT every month. The cover stories and community news are always interesting, even though I dont live in Miami. In the February issue, I read with fascination about Family & Fortune, written by Eric Bojnansky, of the Soffer family creating Aventura and then almost ruining it. I hope the Aventura Mall and the Fontainebleau continue to thrive. Just goes to show what can happen when extreme greed gets out of control. Pat Burke Bonsall, CaliforniaWelcome to Belle Meade, Inc., Miamis FortressThe article Criminals Only Past This Point! (February 2012) was a good story on how public land, with its public streets, cannot be closed off to the public. I dont have enough facts as to how many homes and total acreage are affected the Belle Meade neighborhood, but none theless, putting up a security fence with unlocked gates will not achieve security. Wouldnt it be grand if Belle Meade privatize and form one big home owners association? Then the homeowners dues, in part, could erect real security fences with locked gates and entry codes, and even locked pedestrian gates where owners would have a key to enter and exit. Just wondering. Amanda Osorio Highland LakesGusman: At Last Some Good News! I always read with interest your profes sionally documented publication, and Im very pleased that your senior writer, Erik Bojnansky, wrote a well-researched piece about the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (New Life for a Grand Old Theater, February 2012). most of our work in favor of art and culture The Olympia Theater had been underutilized and subsidized by the city for many years, would take over the theater and preserve that valuable asset for the residents of Miami. The trust, Olympia Center, Inc., commit ted to a set of conditions, among them that it be led by culturally committed individuals who demonstrate the ability to raise the funds necessary to run the theater properly. On their side, the trustees set just one condition to take responsibility of the Olympia: To receive the keys without We abided by the request. It is indeed satisfying that Miami resi dents, as noted in the article, will soon be able to enjoy free concerts and that the trust members have risen to the challenge. Mayor Toms Regalado MiamiCommentary: LETTERS Continued from page 20

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24 Commentary: MIAMIS KINGFive Questions for Marc SarnoffMiamis District 2 commissioner on the state of the city By Jack King BT ContributorIn its December issue, the BT pub lished a story called The People Have Spoken (Okay, Call It a Whisper). It was about the election for the City of Miamis District 2 commission seat, won by incumbent Marc Sarnoff. The story, by senior writer Erik Bojnansky, seemed to question whether Sarnoff had actually won. An example: Even with a divided opposition, Sarnoff captured less than 50 percent of the vote in 14 of the 37 precincts in District 2. What? Why not say that he captured more than 50 percent of the vote in 23 of 37 precincts? It just depends on what kind of point youre trying to make. The point Id like to make is that Sarnoff got 53 percent of the vote. Granted there was only an eight-percent turnout, but thats not relevant in election vote-counting. It is relevant, however, in philosophical discussions about democratic processes. The story groused about why there is not an Upper Eastside District 2 commissioner and hasnt been one for the past 30 years. This despite the fact that there are more registered voters in the Upper Eastside than in the Grove. With that said, I thought it might be time for another sit-down with the commissioner. So here goes: Thoughts about the state of the city? I think everybody is worried about made some very big structural changes in 2011 that are more long-term, but we still have some short-term issues facing us, like pensions. We need to get into a twotiered pension system so new hires have a our obligations to the current employees. And then we need to discuss whether plan was we cant pay you now, so we will pay you later, and thats how cities got in this situation. We pay employees what they are worth now, but were still in the pay you later mode also, and government cant afford that. What about the parking garage that the leaseholders of the Rusty Pelican and Rickenbacker Marina were supposed to build? This is probably one of three most disappointing planning functions for me in the city. We brought the city a paid-for garage and were still fussing about what it should look like and where it should be. The money is in the leases, but I cant get the city to stop arguing over the details. The mayor has had an active role in this and doesnt seem to want the garage. Where is the Flagstone hotel and marina project on Watson Island? In ten years nothing has happened. Im very hopeful for this project. It would be a great way to bring back the marine industry from Fort Lauderdale. The developer is on schedule to build the docks and water-borne amenities in the next three years. Also they are current in their lease payments. They have some deadlines they have to meet in the next few years on the upland development. One holdup was a lawsuit that took three years to resolve. That seems to be the M.O. for doing business in the City of Miami. As soon as one guy wins an RFP, the litigation begins and projects that everyone wants and needs are held up for years. How about the selection process for the police chief? Was that a shell game? I was certainly in favor of a national were all good. The new police chief [Manuel Orosa] is far different than the pre vious chief. Hes more an ounce of preven tion is better than a pound of cure person. ground with a visual presence. In the next three to four months, well see how well it works. Our problem right now because of arcane civil-service rules, we have to hire from a list of applicants from 2008, many of whom are not even around now. And then we go to the 2009 list. This all takes weeks and weeks. The city commission is planning a resolution to ask the civil service board to due to budget problems and we could hire them right now. [The layoffs were averted.] What about downsizing government? We have more work to do and it includes looking at all positions, and making pay adjustments for many positions. Also we need to study department budgets to bring them more in line with what the job or the productivity is worth. We need to do this with a scalpel rather than a spatula, and right now we are using the spatula a bit too much. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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26 Commentary: URBANIAThe Future of Downtown Lives in the PastMaking a case for Miamis historic buildingsRomer Collection, Miami-Dade Public Library By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorAs I traipsed around an ever-changing downtown Miami last month, I wondered about its beautiful stock of early 20th-century buildings. So this month I met up with Ricardo Lopez, an architect Architects. A native Miamian, he special izes in custom residential architecture and urban design, and teaches at the University of Miamis School of Architecture. toric 1920s Huntington Building also known as the Consolidated Bank Build ing on SE 1st Street, thumbed through archival photos, and discussed the history of Miami and the future of its urban core. Downtown Miami used to be Key West on steroids, he said. In the days when it was nothing more than Henry Flaglers pioneer village of boaters and ad venturers, industrialists and outlaws, what is now downtown was indeed an untamed jumble of wooden houses and boatyards. This was an era when daily life took people only as far as their feet could carry them, and commercial and residential structures evolved on a focused grid. Only later, when urban development sprawled outward in Miamis case, father into the Everglades did downtown come to connote a high-rise commercial center to which one commuted. This sprawl would eventually hurt downtown real estate values, even for in-demand, high-tech buildings like the steel-framed Huntington. Historic preservation is still a relatively new concept in America. European countries, for example, have reused buildings for centuries. Yet even here, in the capital of all things new, preservation is gaining value, from South Beachs Art Deco District to the MiMo District in Miamis Upper Eastside. Historic preservation exists to pro tect the cultural heritage of a community and create value, and for a young city like Miami, its a way of our history, said Lopez. This is now a national move ment tied in with the United States Green Building Council, the LEED program, and a general move toward green design. Depression-era masterpieces like the DuPont and Ingraham buildings still stand, but Miami has lost some gems along the way. Among them: the citys main library in Bayfront Park and, more recently, the Urmey Hotel. Once the oldest building in Miami, the Urmey fell into disrepair before being razed to make way for Loft 4, an unrealized downtown condo project from The Related Group. champagne; local government embraced developers with tax incentives, public land deals, and lenient zoning; and a mindboggling condo boom ensued. Developers could scoop up old buildings, knock them down, and build three times as high. Few of them saw value in renovating and reusing. The market asked for new construction, so local government aided and abetted. In the face of vanishing history, federal incentives such as tax credits and restoration a more competitive option. Even with South Floridas limited supply of trained crafts men, and the costs and surprises often involved, Lopez believes renovation is a worthy economic and cultural investment. From his window, he pointed to two standout historic projects. Flagler First Condominiums, on E. Flagler between the Seybold Building and the Gusman Center (the last downtown theater still standing), was developed by Rok Enterprises. They painstakingly restored the 1923 structure to its former glory, breathing life back into the Corinthian columns from its days as the First National Bank of Miami. Capitol Lofts, on NE 1st Avenue, is another high-quality renovation. Lopez guessed that if the developers had opted for tear-down and new construction, they could have built the project four times over and to the moon, thanks to no height limits or density restrictions. He also spoke excitedly about the Shoreland Arcade on NE 1st Street, the only remaining historic arcade in down town and a site close to Lopezs heart. He had his class at UM document the building and submit drawings to the Library of Congress for the Historic American Build ing Survey. The Arcades gilded, cavern ous hallway, tucked behind the subdued interiors of Soya & Pomodoro restaurant, was also the site of his wedding reception. Lopez remains unequivocal in his view of urban development: American cities suffered through 50 years of Modernism, a cancer that destroyed traditional urban centers. There was a cultural backlash against all things traditional, but thats now changing. Solid materials have allowed De pression-era buildings to live long enough for our romance with them to rekindle. Like a lot of buildings from the last half of the 20th century, the products of our condo boom seem so transitory in both their useful ness and appeal that the publics relationship to them in 100 years will be uncertain. If Lopez is right, those buildings left standing could become dated relics from a period of overarching hubris, when short-term gains blinded our vision for the future of Miamis urban center. For his part, Lopez is going to keep reminding us that it is possible to build on the past without burying it. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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28 Commentary: PICTURE STORYThe Brickells: Miamis First Land BaronsA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George Special to the BTThe Brickell family came to the untamed wilderness of Miami at the outset of the 1870s. They quickly purchased and homesteaded land south of the Miami River until, by the 1890s, they possessed thousands of acres of the subtropical hammock and pineywoods that comprised the Miami of yesteryear. The Brickells also traded with the Seminoles and Miccosukees at their Indian trading post near the mouth of the river on the south bank. When Henry M. Flaglers Florida East Coast Railway entered Miami in 1896, the Brickells saw their holdings dramatically increase in value. By the early 1900s, they were wealthy, having begun to sell and develop their properties. The home seen here was emblematic of that wealth. Located in the 500 block of Brickell Avenue near the warm waters of Biscayne Bay, on the site of todays Icon Brickell condominium complex, this neo-Classical mansion stood until the mid-1960s, when, abandoned and decaying, it was razed. The home had served the large, clan nish Brickell family for more than 50 years. Seen here, in this circa 1905 photo graph, are several Brickell siblings and a around and above the patriarch, William Brickell. Missing from the photograph is Mary Brickell, who was the most promi nent member of the family. 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, #1982-023-4 JAKE MILLERAttorney at Law is pleased to announce the move to the firms new locationThe Law Offices of Jake Miller LLCbiscayne center 11900 biscayne blvd, suite 618 miami, fl 33181 telephone: 305.758.2020 email: info@jakemillerlaw.com www.JakeMillerLaw.com

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By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorBy now, one month into 2012, youve paid off your holiday bills and implemented all your New Years resolutions about getting your life together. (Right) Or else youve barely managed to get over your New Years Eve hangover. Thats why, despite all this months famous holidays Valentines Day (2/14), Presidents Day (2/20), Super Bowl Sunday (2/5), Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day (2/18, and no, we didnt make it up), plus more we think all of February should just be designated this way: But Seriously, Now We Really Mean It Month. Fortunately, BT advertisers have deals and discounts to make all this months special events and improvement projects doable, even if your budget and/ or motivation levels are low. Have you resolved to get your taxes done before the last minute this year, but even the mention of the dread T-word, deluging you from TV commercials, has you freaked? Let the specialists at new advertiser TaxStation (286 NE 2nd Ave., 305-798-3289) take over. Their mission is to maximize your return in a relaxed atmosphere. Until March 24, men tion the BT or bring in this issues ad coupon for a $10 discount on services completed at simple returns for free. Getting your life together means planning ahead for any possibilities. But extended medical care is a scary subject for most of us, which is why only about 3% of adults have a private, long-term care policy, according to the LTC and life insurance specialists at Jeff Hackmeier & Associates (12000 Biscayne Blvd. #407, 305-893-4488). The bad news: Carriers are increasingly pulling out of this market, and those that stay are increasing their rates. The good news: Jeff Hackmeier and his staff know all the current options. People do tend to put off dental work, too. But Februarys special from Jos D. Alvarez, DMD, and Associates (3483 NE 163rd St., 305-948-5002) for retained with six implants, makes this a good month to improve your smile. The bridges $9890 price isnt valid with other offers or insurance. For those seeking a spiritual boost but unable to attend weekend worship services, First United Methodist Church (400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-371-4706; free parking on the churchs northwest side) invites all to Wednesday night Prayer & Praise meetings at 6:30 p.m. The informal gathering features singing, praying, and a brief Bible study about Sundays scripture. If its your living situation that needs improvement, take a look at the waterfront, four-bedroom Belle Meade house in this issues ad from new advertiser Peter Goldsmith (305-751-7185). With everything from a gourmet kitchen to a black stone pool and spa on the marble terrace bordering the 48-foot seawall, its Buyers of the above paradise wont but owners of homes that do will want to know that Endura Hardwood Flooring 1942 Tigertail Blvd., Dania, 954-410-3981) just made a major purchase of exotic Sapele hardwood and is selling it at huge discounts. Call Charlie for details. ing, call new advertiser South Florida Restoration (305-651-9660), a licensed general contractor in business since businesses operating that long, but SFRs handymen have something even rarer: an old-fashioned work ethic instilled by owner Jay Pilch. His crews arrive at jobs on time and do them right. They even clean up when theyre done! To renew your home sometimes all thats needed are a few striking dcor accents. Your home will compare to the most fashionable today with the brand-new contemporary furniture designs in walnut Beau Living (8101 Biscayne Blvd., 305751-1511). The showroom has new leather bedroom designs, too. And all new collec tions have a 15% discount this month. Welcome to new advertiser Herval Furniture USA one of Miamis leading producers and distributors of contemporary and classic Brazilian furniture. Two showrooms (1730 Biscayne Blvd., 305377-1221 and 2666 NE 189th St., 305935-4506) make browsing convenient for customers throughout BT territory. Meanwhile The Collection German Furniture (15400 Biscayne Blvd.) announces the opening of its nearby new showroom/warehouse at 15455-R W. Dixie Hwy. Be sure to call (305-9443727), as browsing through the unique stock of handcrafted furniture, made in Germany, is by appointment only. at the weekly Tuesday auctions at Wilton Theatre Auction Gallery (1444 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors, 954-530-4396), which, in its 30 years in business, has staged items from a Rolls Royce to a life-size Ronald with owners Bonnie and Paul Stanford is featured in Februarys Plantation Town Times (www.plantationtowntimes.com). There are new surprises at 360 Furniture Consignments (18340 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-627-3148) every day but Sunday, when the clean, unclut tered showroom of quality used and new Our Sponsors: F ebruaryEBR UARY 20 12 rfntbbntnntbbnbntbtnnfr rfntnb tnnrntr nrtnbrrfrn t ntbn BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 32

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furniture (plus art and accessories) is closed. The ever-growing business also offers estate sale and auction services. Getting your own new business off turned around, is a cinch with help from new advertiser PrintDocs (1564 Ives Dairy Rd., 305-999-0245). This family digital printing to Internet marketing and web design. Mention the BT for 15% If one of your resolutions was to lose weight, make tracks to (7120 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-6600) on February 11 at 11:00 a.m. for the free seminar How champion Jeff Seidman will discuss how the personal-training facility made the meals for Mark Wylie, one of the biggest winners (129 pounds lost) on TVs Biggest Loser Now, that made us darned hungry. How bout some free food, courtesy of Gaucho Ranch Grill Boutique (7251 NE 2nd Ave. #113, 305-751-0775)? On Febru ary 10, the purveyor will host a tasting of Iron Side Caf, a few blocks away at 7600 NE 4th Ct. Call the Ranch for an invite. No invitations are necessary for Februarys free Saturday wine tastings at Laurenzos Italian Center (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381). Drop in from 1:00-5:00 p.m. on February 4 for wines from small-family Argentine wineries, on February 11 for artisan Chilean wines, and February 18 for organic wines from Argentina. Just opened, in the space formerly housing Chef Allen: a classic New York Italian-American family-style eatery, Luca Bella (19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222). Stop by to welcome Mickey (former owner of Matteos in Hallandale Beach) and his family to the neighborhood, and mention the BT for 15% off your check. Dont forget your hungry pets. Keep them healthy as well as happy with this months offer from By Nature dog and cat food: Buy a 3.5-4 lb. bag and receive a rebate coupon for your money back. In other words, the bag is free. For a list of local outlets featuring By Natures all-natural and organic products, consult www.bynaturepetfoods.com. More news for animal lovers: The Humane Society of Greater Miami (16101 W. Dixie Hwy.) is the recipient charity of this years Original Miami Beach Antique Show, at the Miami Beach Convention Center till February 6. Save $5 off show admission and help animals by entering the promo code HSGM at www.originalmiamibeachantiqueshow.com. Additionally, all funds Founding Fosters, which opens tempotickets, contact Ricki Diamond at ricki@ humanesociety.org or 305-749-1814. Just in time for Valentines Day, certiCatherine Patrick offers Attracting Love, a work shop on February 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at her cozy cottage/sanctuary The Chi Spot (565B NE 69th St., 786277-9835). The event, she says, is for independent single women who want to get off the treadmill of meeting deadbeat guys and attract a long-lasting love. For a Valentines Day that truly lasts all day (any weekday through April 6, actually), treat yourself and a friend to a spa package at new advertiser Turnberry Isle Resort (reservations: 305-933-6930). The $242 package includes two 50minute massages, lunch at Cascata Grille, all-day pool privileges, and valet parking. Though a romantic dinner is the clas sic way for couples to celebrate Valentines Day, its too often less about romance than about jacked-up prices. But not at Trio on the Bay (1601 79th St. Causeway, 305866-1234), where February 14ths Treat for Two dinner special (shared appetizer, two entres, shared dessert, and a bottle of wine) is only $105 per couple. An la carte menu is also available. Every day looks like a holiday at the always festively decorated Royal Bavar ian Schnitzel Haus (1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002), but genial host Alex Rich ter will be going all out on February 14, with a repeat of last years wildly popular $95 Exotic Valentines Menu for two. Valentines Day brings two different special dinner menus at perennial Italian-American favorite Mama Jen nies (11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627). One is in Mamas new outdoor dining garden. Another, those in a retro Thats Amore mood, is in the old-fashioned dining room. Reservations are required. And on Super Bowl Sunday, Mamas will be throwing a party with 2-4-1 draft specials, giveaways, and more. Tunas (17860 W. Dixie Hwy., 305932-0630) gets the jump on V-Day with a deejayed Red Party on February 11 at 11:00 p.m. Oh, and theres a prize for the hottest red dress. On the day itself, diners Biz BuzzContinued from page 30

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plus-champagne Silver or Gold dinner packages, for $100 or $150 per couple. To get yourself looking good for the big night, take advantage of the Valentines Day special offered by Bill Makley at artsy and award-winning Control Salon & Gallery (2814 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-6910). Bring a friend for a cut and style and get half off on your own. Body Well Therapy (888-929-9355, www.bodywelltherapy.com), whose li censed mobile massage therapists travel to you, has two special offers for BT readers: off, or 15 free extra minutes per person for Valentines Day appointments that are Pamper yourself with hair, nails, or skin/body treatments and, at the same time, help less pampered people this month at new advertiser Salon Dahlia (9472 NE 2nd Ave., 305-290-0028). Every Monday in February, the friendly salon is donating 20% of sales to Smile Train, a charity providing free cleft palate surgery to needy children throughout the world. Inner Balance Mind Body Studio (12579 Biscayne Blvd., 786-383-3088) has February offers for both children and adult BT readers. A kids yoga program, on Fridays from 4:00-5:00 p.m., will kick off on February 10 with a complimentary openhouse class. And on February 11, theres a Yoga Arm Balance and Inversion workshop. Price is $40, but mention the BT for 10% off. Need something striking to wear? Joseph Ribkoff the Canadian ladies ap parel manufacturer responsible for dressing Miss America in her travels, has just added boutiques that carry the brand: On My Own, at 18060 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-0032). How Presidents Day came to be associated with getting the years best car deals we dont know. We do know where to get a great car, though: new advertiser Prestige Imports (14780 Biscayne Blvd., 877-275-7737). The company has served luxury-vehicle owners for more than three decades, and is the countrys topselling Audi dealership. To warm up for the Dominican Republics Independence Day (2/27), Club Tipico Dominicano (1344 NW 36th St., 305-634-7819) invites readers to a pre-celebration concert on February 18, featuring famed Dominican merengue singer Fernandito El Mayimbe Villalona. Tix are now on sale. For classical music lovers, Febru ary brings several opportunities to catch performances of Florida Grand Opera now celebrating its 71st season. At the Arsht Center, Rigoletto will be presented February 3, 5, 8, and 11. La Rondine takes the stage on February 1 and 4. For all you BT readers up Aventura way, catch Rigo letto at the Broward Center on February 16 and 18. Later this spring: Romeo e Juliette Purchase all three productions and get 10% off single-ticket prices. Go to fgo.org for info and to order a free preview CD. Those who enjoy non-classical classics (marches, big band music, more) should get on over to the Gwen Margolis Community Center (1590 NE 123rd St.) at 2:00 p.m. on February 19 for a performance by the North Miami Community Concert Band which features some very talented musicians, including BT contributor Cathi Marro. Theres a mere $5 donation for adults, and kids are free. Love art event at Scan Design (3025 NE 163rd St., 305-944-8080) isnt until March 3. But February 18 is the last day to submit entries your own artistic interpretations of furniture love for a chance to win a Scan leather chair, plus have your work displayed in showrooms and ads. For more info and entry forms: www.fallinfurniturelove.com. And now, arguably the most important February holiday: my birthday! Wed never be so crass as to hint that you celebrate by sending a pizza to the BT idea, itd be easy with three new pizzeria advertisers this month. At Best Friends (4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999) pies are brick-oven beauties, but the unusual burgers, hefty half-pound ers that come stuffed rather than topped, are so tempting its hard to choose. At Slices Pizza & Pasta (13750 Bis cayne Blvd., 305-949-5588), choosing isnt necessary. As at a rodizio joint, circulat ing servers offer several dozen varieties of pizza (plus ten pastas) on an all-you-caneat basis, till diners cry uncle. And the newest pizzeria of the trio, Pizza Fiore (9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-7541924) has a familiar address: the space oc cupied for ages by the Village Caf. If the name sounds familiar, it should. The origi nal PF was a Miami pie pioneer back in the mid-1990s, when quality pizza was nearly as rare here as snow. To all three, a warm or rather, hot and cheesy welcome. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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34 No escape from the wired world?Lucky for us. This is Miami. Relief is as close as Biscayne Bay.By Tristram Korten

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Four miles offshore the water is stippled by a light breeze, but hear it a loud huff watery world. As the big beasts they M fame or power. the wiredness B Continued on page 36 BT photos by Tristram Korten and Steve Rhodes

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36 Although Ive gone on a few overnight kayaking excursions, Im not a thorough planner. Ill look at a map and a weather forecast, then wing it from there. I suppose I feel that true diligence might lead to discouragement too many contingencies. In this case, we looked at the map, picked Blackpoint to the part of Elliott Key where the park rangers station is located. We arrived at the marina later than we wanted on a Tuesday morning, with two sit-on-top ocean kayaks and a car full of gear. We brought the requisite tent, sleeping bags, knives, along with provisions for at least three days Starbucks instant coffee, sugar, salt, avocados, oranges, bananas, fresh rolls, tins of smoked oysters, energy bars, wine, and some ribeye steaks. The nice thing about kayaking is that, unlike hiking, you can bring real food. No dehydrated stew reconstituted in a foil pouch for us. We froze bottles of water the night kayaks, where they would melt slowly. That way they would stay nice and cool to drink on the journey. Its a clever trick and I was feeling pretty proud of myself until we started packing the waterproof bags we would stuff inside the kayaks. What we forgot was almost as essential as what we hadnt any kind of cooking utensils, plates, mugs for the coffee, a wine opener, and matches. Most important, Steve forgot the rum. But Ive learned over the years that while its nice to aim for perfection, its more important to soldier on, rum or no rum. Both of us had been distracted. I blame the symptoms of the modern life we were Continued from page 35 Continued on page 38 BT photo by Silvia Ros

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38 trying to remedy with this trip. The morn ing I left, I had to get my oldest ready for messages, and return a phone call before loading the car. When I arrived at Steves house, he was on the phone in some pro tracted business negotiation. The world is too much with us, Wordsworth wrote. Getting and spending we lay waste our powers. Forgetting the matches was simply a casualty of our overworked minds. No matter, we scrounged around the car and found a half-empty lighter. Little we see in Nature that is ours. I wanted to prove the old poet wrong. Once the waterproof bags were inside the kayak, we were ready to launch. In the cockpit, we had our lifejackets, four bottles of water, two oranges, and an energy bar. But before carrying the kayaks to the water, I performed what can only be considered a small miracle in the context of modern life I turned off my cell phone and put it in the cars glove box. Then we hauled the kayaks down the ramp, slid them into the dark green push of my paddle set me gliding easy and free into the mangrove channel. As we nosed out to the bay, the magnitude of the trip revealed itself. We were heading eight miles across open water and had no idea where we would land. I told Steve wed be able to see the park ranger station as we drew close, but I really had no idea what wed see. Continued from page 36 rf ntbbbbb b bbbfbbtbbbbnbb bb bb btb bb b For reservations, call 305-933-6930.

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` 2 lots side-by-side. No bridges to ICW. Vacant Point lot 20,000sq.ft. with on water Adjacent Property with home,4BED,4 BATH,3500sq.ft. 2 Car Garage, X lot. 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 NEW Sans Souci Estates 4600+ sq.ft. New Home! No expense was spared in this magnificent Sans Souci Estates home. 5 beds, and 4 baths. 2 Car Garage. Oversized corner lot with water views. This home is all completed and ready to move in today! Huge eat-in kitchen with center island. Impact windows/doors. 10ft. ceilings. Master suite features 2 walk-in closets, dual sinks, separate spa/heated tub & wrap around shower. Central Alarm Sys. KEYSTONE POINT-NEW 2012 Offered at $ 1.790M 305-606-2252

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Thirty minutes into our paddling, and it dawned on me that Id be in this same position, sitting with my knees bent, for the rest of the day. And although Ive done this dozens of times, I couldnt help wonder whether this was sustainable. Thats all it took. Suddenly I began to question everything was that an ache in my back? Was my shoulder cramping? A panic akin to claustrophobia at the possibility of this? Really? I had to calm down. This was just my brain playing tricks on me. I the journey. A few deep breaths later and I was able to make my motions more instinctual. Whatever discomfort I was feeling faded from my overt consciousness. I pushed and pulled on the paddle and felt the kayak shoot forward, I concentrated on just feeling the sun on my cheeks, the light breeze, the occasional splash of cool water on my arms and legs. Talking to Steve helped. We paddled next to each other and chatted, maybe for an hour, maybe for hours. I lost track. Eventually we both realized that talking slowed us down. We had to make sure we arrived with enough time before sunset to pitch the tent and concentrated on paddling. Thats when the seclusion I fantasized about became a distinct reality. Solitude is out of fashion, writes Susan Cain, author of a new book titled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Cant Stop Talking Our companies, our schools, and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us walls, for managers who prize people skills above all else. But, she continues, research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. She even debunks that pillar of the corporate strategy session: brainstorming. Citing vari ous studies, Cain states that this is one of the worst possible ways to stimulate creativity. And that creativity leads to Continued from page 38 Continued on page 42

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more innovation and more productivity. Of course, that freedom from interruption is now a near impossibility, given the technological revolution. We make our way through whole tropospheres of cell phone and wireless signals. Between mobile smart phones and portable logged on. Im not complaining. Having all the worlds information at the ready My problem is that I dont have the discipline to turn it off. Nor do many of us. I have a friend who was writing a book on deadline. He needed long blocs of uninterrupted time. But he had just bought a new smart phone, and the temptation to press a button and see the latest headlines or football scores was too strong. His solution was not only to turn the phone off, but to put it in his mailbox outside for days at a time. He met his deadline. ready to appreciate the quiet around me as I bobbed on the waters surface. At plans and go over schedules, to ponder my relationships, the future, my ambitions, and what makes me happy. Then, as I relaxed, I let the thoughts tumble freely. I have a deadline next week. My daughter needs new shoes for school. It would be cool to see a shark. After that, in direct proportion to the exertion of paddling, I gradually stopped Continued from page 40 Continued on page 44

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44 having any thoughts at all. I breathed, grunted, paddled, felt, and watched. And my appreciation grew for this clear water and these mangrove islands that are, more or less, right outside my front door. W to the surface about 23 million years ago, and slowly formed into the peninsula it is today, there was no Biscayne Bay. Miami to Miami Beach was one solid land mass. But starting about 4000 years ago, graduareas, while barrier islands and sandbars formed to the east to create a natural bulwark against the open ocean. The result is a vast, shallow lagoon carpeted by seagrass and coral reefs, fed by rivers and streams from the mainland, and cleaned by the rush of sea water. It became a natural nursery for lobsters, shrimp, and numerous spe manatee would slowly make their way along the shore, grazing on mangrove leaves and turtlegrass. The bottom was thick with oyster beds. There doesnt appear to be a conclusive history for the bays name. Spanish explorers may have named it after the Bay of Biscay in the north of Spain, or after some nobleman from the kings court. My favorite speculation is that it was named after a Spanish sailor known as El Biscayno because he came from the Bay of Biscay, after he was shipwrecked in the bay in the 16th Century. As Miami developed, the northern part of the bay suffered. Sewage was discharged directly into its waters, and the construction of seawalls and bridges runoff became a problem all down the shoreline. Some of that has been rem edied. A sewage treatment plant was built on Virginia Key in the mid-1950s to treat wastewater and pipe it out into the ocean. Still, Biscayne Bay has been remarkably resilient over the years. It may not look the same as it did 50 or 100 years ago, but the water is clear the majority of year, and we do have a lot of seagrass, says Diego associate professor at University of Mi amis Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Over the past ten years, Lirman has been sampling the bays bottom as part of his research. At more than 90 healthy seagrass and macroalgae and no Continued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 large dead spots within the bay. There is a healthy sponge population, a healthy coral population. Its a fairly stable and productive system. says, is the bays hydrodynamics the larly, so there are no long-term stagnant pools of high salinity. And while the oyster population may have declined, the bay is still an important breeding ground for lobsters, shrimp, snapper, and in turn an important food source for tarpon, snook, sharks, and of course, dolphins.Im exhausted. The ache in my back is real this time, and we still have a long way to go. Suddenly Steve stops paddling and points, and thats when I hear, then see, the dolphins. As they dive and surface around me, I notice that one, the biggest, is shiny black. Another dives under my kayak. I stare down and see it turn and look straight up at me. Stunned, not knowing what else to do, I wave hello. After the dolphins leave, I see Steve rocking in his kayak. I scoot over and realize hes trying to take a bathroom break. This fell into the category of things we didnt think through very well. Steve was trying to get on his knees so he could relieve himself over the side. Not a good idea. The kayak capsized and the craft back over and was inside almost as fast as he was out of it. We spent a few minutes collecting loose water bottles and the life vest, the only casualties of the spill. Learning from his experience, I opted to use one of the empty water bottles with about a 50-percent suc cess rate. Eh, salt water is salt water. We were close enough now to make out the shoreline but we couldnt see anything that looked like a ranger sta tion. So we set course for a gray hori zontal line that was so straight it could only be manmade. An hour later we pull up to an empty dock. There is no ranger station. There are no boats. The dock leads to a dirt path in the brush. The dirt path leads nowhere. I, for one, am relieved. Our seclusion remains intact. Its too late to go hunting for the station now. We have about an hour before sunset and we need Anyway, Im fatigued. We made the Continued from page 44 Continued on page 48

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48 we traveled two miles an hour with a couple of rest periods to eat and go to the bathroom, not to mention the rescue mission after Steve capsized. My legs are wobbly from lack of use. My shoulders burn. But right next to this dock is a crescent of bone-white sand and a cove of gin-clear water. The only ones we will share the beach with are the noseeums and the mosquitoes. our steaks to tender perfection on sharp ened sticks. The setting sun has dusted the clouds a soft orange. An egret stalks the shoreline to the north and we hear a splash Bugs come out to feast on us, prompting Steve to head inside the tent. I brave them for now, although they are intense. The swarm of mosquitoes is so dense that I hear their buzzing in a layered chorus of want and need. Some are close to my ears, others are a few inches out, others are out a few inches more, and so on. It gives their buzzing an unnerving depth. the last of my wine and absorb more of the stillness. There is a slight glow from the mainland. I can handle the bugs because this is a marvel not to be missed. To live in a big city and have this wilderness avail able seems almost unfair to the rest of the I take a sip of my wine. The return trip will go smoothly, beautifully in fact. Dolphins will dance around us again, and a school of ballyhoo will jump out of the water and skitter across the surface on their tails a big lumbering manatee at the entrance to Blackpoint. Ill arrive home in due time, bitten and tired, happy to be in the cacophony of family again. But right now Im savoring this scene, drinking it up like the Cabernet in my glass. I recall those feelings of being the last man on a lonely planet. I want to have this feel ing ready when Ive climbed back into the hamster wheel and need some perspective. Without great solitude, no serious sounds about right. I dont know how serious my work will be, but if I can keep this sense of peace alive, I might get a little more of it done. This, of course, will require spending more time on the water. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Continued from page 46 rfrntrb nrfr rrbbr rr nrfr ff rfn tbbb Promotions are not honored during blackout dates. tbbn f fbf rffn tbt nfb nrnfr rtbbbf rr

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50 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOROfce Depot Out, Whole Foods InLive south of Aventura? Tired of ghting trafc to get your organic arugula? Take heart!And the Bands Played OnIts taken 32 years, but Churchills Pub nally has a claim to worldwide fameBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterThe long wait and endless speculation is over. Whole Foods Market will open a new store in North Miami as early as this year. We dont have a scheduled opening date, but were looking at late 2012 says Russ Benblatt, executive marketing Florida region. Were really at the very The Whole Foods store will be built at 12100-12190 Biscayne Blvd., where a This past December the strip malls new North Miami to demolish the 1967-era, two-story retail center (which housed the area, believes the location is the persays. Its where Aventura intersects in close proximity to Miami Shores, Biscayne Park, and the gated communities United States, Canada, and the United most residents to the south, particularly during rush hour. Aventura is more gridlocked, so anybody who happens to be closer to the new store will [go there] rather than the City Councilman Scott Galvin, an Arch Photo-illustration by Marcy Mock BT photo by Silvia Ros By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorI Then, invariably, they go. The survivand bars. So how do you make it to your Not by bangers and mash alone. Take Churchills as an example. The Little Haiti pub began in 1976 when owner Dave Daniels, now 71 years old, hopped the pond to stay in Miami, I wanted to have a go at something in Daniels arrived here armed with a backIn Britain, Daniels was booking university with an economics degree. When he landed in Miami, he worked as only Churchills, as that place, despite Continued on page 52 Continued on page 54

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The Casino EffectAccording to professor John Kindt, it is destructive always and without exceptionBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterA Group, a Malaysian-based corporation, wins the right to build Resorts World where the Miami Herald building and Omni Mall now stand. Generally there is a bump lasting There are new construction jobs and a lot wont last: Once the project is com pleted, and slot machines come in, [the casinos like Resorts World Miami see to local residents gambling away their wages, mainly at slot machines. Crimes committed by gambling ad dicts will increase nine percent every year while sales-tax revenues decline. Casinos pro-casino politicians, enabling them to lower taxes charged on their slot ma even get local government to seize private property through eminent domain, just as they have in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, in order to expand their operations. restrictions, but they will drop away. In most states [with casinos], it takes a a Miami audience this past December, gathering was hosted by the Beacon Miami-Dade County. antitrust, tax, commercial, environmental, and international law. However, his main and other economists to analyze their pro The plan, which was supposed to create remembers. But upon closer examination by the economists, the casino industrys assertions were revealed to be wrong. economic colleagues determined that this become another Atlantic City, where was New Jerseys regional representative casinos were being proposed. Representatives, Nero backed the proposal, but eventually saw that the gambling The experience has given him an apprecia Nero and Swanson are Florida counties where such complexes are approved by voters. The bills would also lower the taxes charged to existing gambling, and remove existing prohibi tions on serving complimentary alcohol enables more pari-mutuels to obtain slot machines and other Las Vegas-style games such as blackjack or roulette. will make local economies worse. And not just worse, enormously warns. This is all about taking money out Christian Goode counters that the Genting Group is not like American casino companies. Goode, who is presi Genting, which operates destination City, aims to attract wealthy tourists, not poor locals. Resorts World Miamis rev enue model is built on attracting new-toanything like the Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, the casino will be only part versal Studios theme park, the Maritime Courtesy Resorts World Miami Continued on page 53 This is all about taking money out of Florida and not even back to Nevada, like most casinos, but to Malaysia.

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big, hulking satellite dishes so he could access to these games. Result: a lot more customers. Meanwhile, the lunch business was had a decent catering operation. Then Daniels decided to knock down a wall to that, a legend was born. Some big names got their start at Churchills, including Marilyn Mason, the Mavericks, and Social Distortion. U2 dropped by to watch a soccer championCharlie Pickett, a Churchills regular. the neighborhood and peoples drinking habits changed over the years. There In a city that caters to the meticuwhere live-music venues long ago succumbed to DJs and lounges, Churchills has survived and thrived as a holein-the-wall, sit-down-and-have-a-pint dive. The cover charge is cheap, you can hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and new bands are always welcome. And many a new band has taken the stage. Make that a lot pretty sure that more bands have played on Churchills stage than any other on the planet By his reckoning, the number currently stands at 20,000plus. And more bands are added to the Guitar-slinger and Boynton Beach attorney Charlie Pickett, who has played more bands play there than anyone in the Pickett began at Churchills in the popular and respected rocker with drawing higher-caliber bands to the stage. For his part, Pickett has toured the country and says Churchills is one the U.S.A., mostly because Daniels is always at the helm as a competent and interested owner/operator. I seriously keeper, the pub keeper. You talk to him and its low pressure. Its Lets have a Unlike some Dickens characters, his generosity, says Pickett, adding that Miami attorney Henk Milne. Milne, like Pickett a musician in had a stage. Once when Milne was broke, in what he calls his impecu In addition to helping musicians survive, Churchills has helped to shape Miamis music scene. Says Charlie Dave, they were usually erratic or in it no genuine stability. But once it started at Daves, it stayed there. It was stable, Miami music-oriented business owner. She runs Sweat Records. Churchills, Reskin moved into a temporary space behind Churchills. Two years later she opened a bigger and better store next door to Churchills. Continued on page 57 ChurchillsContinued from page 50

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space, and a multimedia center. erty along the Biscayne Corridor, accord ing to the New York Times including the Miami Herald s building. Genting also paid $206 million to Genting has given $10,000 each to political action committees aligned with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, the Miami Herald reported. state Republican and Democratic parties and hired at least two dozen lobbying New York Times reported. Goode assures that a world-class destination-resort experience with a two and three million people to Miami each year. We chose to invest in Miami says. Our export business model thrives because the resort is integrated within a city that already has strong tourist appeal and a diverse business base. That will bring new tourists who previously worked at Gentings New York City operation, promises that model will create up to 100,000 new jobs. available to local residents will pay less at the notion that Gentings casino will abroad, particularly Asia: Who in the Miami when they have all those gambling sorts World Miami will seek to keep as Since the resorts amenities and attractions will be subsidized by gambling revenue, restaurants and hotels outside such as poker, blackjack, and roulette are draw in players. Slot machines, which include video poker and other electronic Continued on page 55 Casino EffectContinued from page 51

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54 Benblatt says it was customer store in that city. We read every e-mail The BT Whole Foods was looking at sites in North Miami. Originally, Whole Foods was going to go to the land across the Irwin Tauber. Instead Whole Foods opted to sign a 20-year lease with Biscayne Partners LLC Los Angeles-based real estate investment Mehrabi didnt own the three-acre site where he plans to build a Whole Foods until July 22, when he bought it million. (The land and building comlast year, according to the Miami-Dade That same day, Mehrabi bought a strip mall that includes a small, 70-year-old Four days later, Mehrabi secured a $7 Mehrabis project is not the only Whole Foods planned within the Biscayne Corridor. MDM Development will build Miami. That store is scheduled to open South Florida Business Journal Galvin says the construction money spent redeveloping the property will help North Miamis economy. He admits, however, that he was surprised at how Depot, the strip malls main tenant, slashed prices at the North Miami store a coin laundry/dry cleaning service, a beauty salon, were either already closed or preparing to move out. to give her name, as she cleaned the BT as he visited Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn FREE 30 MINUTE SESSION WITH THIS AD!!Have you come to a crossroads in your life? Is it time for a game change? Have you lost your passion?If you would like to break through the "blahs" and re-create your life with passion, we can arrange a 30 minute session to brainstorm a plan of action for you.Are you ready to... CATHERINE PATRICK, certified in hypnosis & personal coaching Whole FoodsContinued from page 50

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asserts. Slot machines dont create viduals living near casinos. rounding community one job per year, Ohio Law Review he reported that within into slot machines, where are those asks. They are no longer buying cars, to the Florida Council on Compulsive their gambling. Individuals who were unemployed and/or receiving public as 11 to 16 percent in one year. The largest machines as their primary gambling vice. Slot machines are known as the crack a big place like Miami, you are going to under oath, investigating how the slot machines work, what the odds are, how have hearings where they actually haul in these machines and show how they work. So how many slot machines will Reto say: We are still very early in the design stage, so it would be premature to This past October, Sergio Bakas, designing Resorts World Miami, told the Miami Herald that the Genting resort would be among the largest casinos in Floor plans published recently by the local blog Crespo-Gram Report depicted misspoken, and that casino will have Goode adds that the total gaming area competition. Two pari-mutuels operating in Miami, Magic City Casino and the recently reopened Casino Miami Jai-Alai, Casino EffectContinued from page 53 Continued on page 56

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56 slots. Calder Casino and Race Course in Miami Gardens has 1200. In west MiamiDade, the Miccosukee casino also has 1200, while in Hollywood, the Seminole Resorts World Miami is not the only entity wanting to build a destination resort in Miami-Dade. Las Vegas Sands, a com pany headed by Newt Gingrich presiden is interested in developing a destination assembled by Miami Worldcenter inves Beach. In Miami Gardens, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also wants to build a casino on land surrounding Dolphins Stadium. ing, and what would be allowed under the winski, an Orlando political consultant who heads NoCasinos.org, in an e-mail to the BT Comparing slots at a dog track, or even limited tribal gambling, to what is being casinos and racetracks, the pari-mutuels and tribes have joined with churches, theme parks, restaurants, and hotels in because the new resorts will cannibalize So why is Singapore still a prosper ous city-state with two mega-casinos Citizens and permanent residents must sion price, which is collected by the gov Time magazine the tax rates charged on slot machines will come with compulsive gambling. Moreover, he argues that the state should receive 100 percent enues, as in Canada, where casino operathe pending legislation, a casino company wishing to build a destination resort would $2 million. asserts, would be to not only scrap the des tination resort bills, but also remove slots and legalized gambling entirely. When in 2009, that nations economy improved, Casino EffectContinued from page 55 AventurAjewelry & coin,Inc. www.aventurajewelry .com 19275 Biscayne Blvd., Booth #22 Aventura | FL 33180 305.933.2646 rfntWatchesb f Rare Coinsnr r r nf Gold Platinum Silver INSTANT CASH Paying Top Dollarr REWARD b Michael Freiman, CPNr t Continued on page 57

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Thats why Russia shut down the casinos. And most important, they [casinos] were concedes. Once the gambling interests cancer on the body politic. You cant get them out. They will want to move in and more and more. You have to slam With or without gambling, the Genting Group is still interested in turning its new Miami property into a resort, says Goode, the companys Miami executive. But with a gaming component, development could cantly accelerated should a destination resort livered in stages, in line with market demand, operator. That means the necessary construc Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Casino EffectContinued from page 56 ChurchillsContinued from page 52 SOYKA RESTAURANT ANDIAMO PIZZA SUSHI SIAM LONDON ACHIEVEMENT PROCESSES NORTHEAST MIAMI WOMANS CLUB CODIGO ENTERTAIMENT TODOBEB GREEN DOT ADVERTISING BISCAYNE TIMES AJP INTERIOR DESIGNS home toBETRULife/Style Store & Spiritualist ReaderDETAILSUnique Home Furnishings, Apparel & GiftsORIGINSTattoos by Luiz SegattoMILLE FLEURSFresh FlowersARCAYNE SALONHair & Nails The Restaurant KEPT GREEN, CLEAN, SAFE, AND LOOKING SHARP BY D&V SOLUTIONS 5400 5582 NE 4th COURT & 5600 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD 305 759 8227 | www.The55thStreetStation.com AMPLE VALET AND SELF PARKING WELCOMING LOUNGETHE ONLY REAL GYM IN MIAMI people live in this area and its a great no show. Monday nights are given over to jazz, a long-standing tradi tion. But pick any other night, and more. In Miami, theres simply no musical competition. There is, however, some serious seemingly endless roadway constructive work was supposed to have been completed this past November. Now its anyones guess. Daniels has one particular reason he wants it to stop soon, 2nd Avenue have been complaining. moved out and the newly paved normal, Daniels plans to upgrade because he doesnt want to buy more and ice cream. ment to the ear-splitting, headachemusical luminary Rat Bastard, also a Churchills regular. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Postcard from Safe CityCriminals never come into the Shores a least thats what we hearBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorW

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satellite radio highly desirable, easily resold objects. bad for the Shores. for sure are To really decrease the rate of prop Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbb rfnfttbn btttftttttrfrntb ttttttnnttn fttn tttftttn rffrrt

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIDishing the DirtThe great cleanup begins at Biscayne Landing By Mark Sell BT ContributorIts time to dish the dirt on North Miami. But this time, well defy normal jour nalistic rules and bury the lead. By dishing the dirt, I dont mean exploring the motivations behind the recent within the North Miami City Council or the state criminal investigators snooping around for possible corruption. Nor do I mean the latest cause clbre, in which Councilman Michael Blynn, at the January 10 North Miami Council meeting, had the nerve to mention that Mayor Andre Pierres nephew, Ri cardo Brutus, was arrested for allegedly accepting a $4000 bribe from a local businessman to ensure passage of an ordinance to privatize garbage collection. (True, the arrest happened.) To which Pierre made an Evel Knievel-style rhetori cal leap and replied: What if I called your daughter a prostitute? (The Blynn family is exploring legal options.) And guess what? The garbage that night! (Council members Blynn and Scott Galvin, who appear to be shut out from some folks in the present city administration, were the holdouts). Heres the real dirt, and the buried lead: In the past few weeks, crews have been mobilizing at Biscayne Landing, about 1700 feet southeast of the Oaks Tower, assembling equipment and thick PVC pipe, getting ready for the big burial of ammonia and methane. The contract was signed December 27, the remediation was scheduled (as of this writing) to start January 29, and between now and September, crews will dig 32 shallow, 7-to-18-foot wells to draw out any nasty stuff and shoot it one kilometer into the earth through a 3300-foot injection well. You can get a free ringside seat from the south end of the Oaks South Tower. Digging the shallow wells along 3700 linear feet on the border with the wetlands should take nine months, and the process should be in operation by Januhas been poked, prodded, and studied to death for the past 30 years. Google it and COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: ppspost@earthlink.net T.M.Est. 1980 BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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youll get the idea. What buried treasures await the digging crews? Garbage, for sure. Six million cubic yards of it, with a particular concentration about 1000 feet south of Tower II. The really nasty stuff, such as medical waste, was carted away long ago, before the Environmental Protection Agency removed Biscayne Landing from its hit list in 1999, declared it no longer a hazard to human health, and transferred supervision to the State of Florida. Crews will compact and move the garbage and cap it with asphalt, concrete, or buildings. The rest of the land will get a fresh, two-foot coat of soil. Ammonia and methane remain in relatively small and declining amounts. The average content of ammonia in the Biscayne Landing property groundwater is 17 parts per billion. The peak, with the greatest depth of garbage, is measured at 80 parts per billion. The low range is 10 parts per billion. The target range after cleanup is 0.5 to 2.8 parts per billion. Methane, an explosive gas when con centrated, is already monitored through sensors in perforated PVC pipe under the Oaks Towers. The sensors have never detected enough methane to set them off, and the air escapes and disperses through a line of white, candy-cane-shaped open PVC pipes lined up along the Oaks park ing lot. You can expect such sensors and passive escape vents in every building that ultimately goes up on the 184-acre Biscayne Landing site in the next decade, starting with the big-box retailers you should begin seeing sometime in 2014. Ammonia and methane as chemical compounds are natural byproducts of de The amounts in the groundwater of Bis cayne Landing are actually declining with each passing year because people stopped dumping garbage there in 1981. Neither the contamination level is still unaccept ably high for environmental authorities. The real potential risk lies in the contaminants effect on Biscayne Bay, and the Biscayne Aquifer the source of South Floridas drinking water, about 150 feet underground amid highly permeable limestone, sandstone, and sand. It appears that little ammonia is leaching from the site into the bay. Environmental authorities limit the per billion, but barely a trace is getting that far. Some leaching could occur on the western end of the wetlands near the Biscayne Landing boundary, where ammonia in small quantities can act as a fertilizer promoting plant growth. Theres plenty of birdlife in the man grove, with ospreys, wood storks, peli cans, and egrets feeding at sunrise, plenty of raccoons, and the occasional rabbit. On summer evenings after a rain shower, the symphony of frogs and crickets. In winter, in the estuaries by the Arch Creek East Nature Trail, you can even spot the oc casional manatee around sunrise. There is some concern that the brackish water from the wetland could seep into the groundwater under Biscayne Landing, a process called saltwater intrusion. Crews will dig a curtain to minimize that saline intrusion while digging the wells, which will run along the work sites east side, from the Biscayne Landing Oaks Towers in North Miami south to Highland Village in North Miami Beach. (Municipal borders are such a jumble that Highland Village is North Miami Beach sandwich meat in a North Miami roll). The wells will keep operating until the Miami-Dade Department of Permitting, Environment, and Regulatory Affairs (PERA, formerly known as DERM, the Department of Environmental Resources Management) determines that the ammonia is reduced to target levels, or .5 to 2.8 parts per billion. This wont be the end of the permitting. Among other things, the developer propertys southwestern corner. The big hurdle will be getting state permission to the wetlands to give Florida International University a coveted second entrance. Theres plenty to learn, and lots of in formation available, but you need a sharp Landing and, on the left side of the screen, youll see Frequently Asked Questions. Click on that, go to the report, explore the links, and start digging for dirt. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aATT otal TT ech TT ripAfter computer meltdown, a search for a carrying case leads to light-headedness and luxury By Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorAfter writing a column for this publication every issue for the past 17 months, I was pretty upset that I missed the start of 2012. How could that happen? you might ask. Well, it goes something like this years, I decided to take a real vacation huge suitcases, dropped the pooch with our trusted friends, Sheera and Charley, and off to Port Everglades we went. My article was set; I was ready to push send when it happened the meltdown. Let me digress for a minute. Remember the TV show where theres a whole group of superheroes with into ice; others can read minds or stop bullets by blinking. Well, Im proof that you dont need to be a superhero to have a special power. Mine is sucking the energy out of all things technological. So with that said, my computer died on the spot, leaving me story-less! It was agony to know that an issue would hit the streets without me in it. But thanks to my quick-thinking BT editor, I was spared that fate; he ran a reprint of my Flash forward. It is now mid-January and I have a brand-new Sony Vaio laptop. I am treating it with kid gloves as though it could explode at any moment, and the way I handle it will make all the difference. That prompted me to start looking at cases, covers, and ways to protect my livelihood and, in essence (melodramatic pause), my life. Being that I live seconds away from the mall, I decided that would Although I dont love shopping in the mall, there really isnt any independently owned local store that I know of that specializes in protective gear for laptop computers. So at the height of the postChristmas shopping season, in I went. Now, let me once again digress for a minute to share an observation. I believe and New Years was the worst it has been since I moved to Aventura in 2005. It took close to 15 minutes to drive from

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188th Street to the front entrance of the mall on Biscayne Boulevard. I think my biggest mistake was actually trying to take the main roads instead of utilizing those less traveled. The crazy part is congestion caused by the seasonal swell in concrete jungle dwellers, even the hidden routes were jam-packed. But that didnt deter me. There was nothing that could come between me and protecting my loved one, as the Vaio has come to be known around my house. And so I waited at red lights, drove at two miles per hour, swerved out of the way of random lane-changers and those who needed to make their left turn before I made my right, and dodged those hell-bent on getting to a parking spot before me. Finally, after parking so far away that it might have been a good was there. The fun was really about to begin. Theres something about the air in the mall that makes me spacey. I cant put up in Long Island a fact that I do not often talk about but Long Island and reason I dont care much for malls now.) Anyway, the spaced-out feeling doesnt impede my ability to shop. It just kind of makes me wander more. I never really took care of my computer equipment before. Cases were purely for fun and decorative purposes, but this time it was different. I went into but his stuff isnt exactly designed with laptop safety in mind. So I moved on. Next stop: Kipling. With all the backpacks they have in there, I thought maybe thered be something Nope. There was some padded thing, but not for me. So I walked on. I went to Macys, followed by Bloomingdales. Everything I saw was either practical and ugly, or useless. Perhaps I was being too picky, but is fashionable and functional too much to ask for? Then I had a eureka moment. I wandered over to the kiosk in the middle of the mall where they love to overcharge for blinged-out iPhone and iPad cases. I thought maybe theyd have a super overpriced computer case that would suit my purposes. I looked. There were tons of Swarovski crystal-studded phone cases, rubber iPad covers, keyboards, and more. No computer anything. Seriously? I never thought it would be this tough. I know this sounds totally mun dane, but Im asking you to imagine the trauma of my having lost the tool that enables me to make a living. Its like a surgeon losing his hands or a singer losing her voice. I am a writer and I lost my computer outdone my melodramatic self.) Okay, so it may not have been life or death, but it was a huge inconvenience. Getting back to my plight, I continued searching: in and out of Tumi, Fossil, Nordstrom. And then I saw the Coach store. Im always about small, unknown brands and prefer to shop at mom-andpop stores, but I was at my wits end, so I walked in. I looked around at the bags Id seen on every woman, everywhere. I was about to leave when I realized there is no such thing as the perfect computer case. Again, it sounds so trite, which I realize, but please, indulge me. As long as you really like something, it can work. Profound, I know, but its the truth. I wound up buying a Coach diaper bag. It had all the elements I needed. The bag is made from a thick, protective material, it has a ton of pockets, its stylish, and most of all, can carry it all over and not worry about damage. Im not proud that I caved and bought mall goods, but it was a means to a necessary end. I love my new computer bag and, if it truly serves its purpose, I will be writing my column for the BT for years to come. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com I went to Macys, followed by Bloomingdales. Everything I saw was either practical and ugly, or useless. Perhaps I was being too picky.

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARK II t Was the CC am paign, SS tupidWhy the commission election turned out the way it did By Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorI didnt intend to write a post-election column, dissecting this past Decem bers contest for village commission. One reason is, I generally detest the horse race approach to elections, in which the obsession with who might win or did win, and how, overwhelms any consideration of what the candidates actually represent. The other reason I dont particularly like election analysis (pre or post) is that Im not much better at it than the know-it-all pundits who consistently get it wrong on the national level. But what can I say? People apparently want to know my thoughts regarding why it turned out the way it did. Ive been asked about it while playing with my son in the park, jogging in the neighborhood, shopping at the supermarket, even mowing my lawn. Ill begin by reporting the results, since there are still some folks out there who may not know: Barbara Watts received the highest number of votes (317), followed by incumbent Bob Anderson (278), Noah Jacobs (254), Supreme Dorvil (228), and incumbent Al Childress (225). The top two vote getters will serve four-year terms. As the third leading vote getter, Mr. Jacobs, who was subsequently elected mayor by the new commission, will serve two years. The three join Commissioner Bryan Cooper and former Mayor (now Commissioner) Roxanna Ross on the dais. Thats who won. But why did the discern. The candidates records would seem to have had very little do with the outcome. Incumbents Anderson and Childress the only two candidates with a paper trail had a nearly identical voting record on ordinances the past place while the other came in last. Also having little to do with the outcome, thankfully, was insidious speculation on the part of some of our more imaginative neighbors regarding what might happen if candidates Jacobs and Watts prevailed. Namely, that a secret deal would make Commissioner Cooper (whom they intensely dislike) mayor, that manager (plunging our community into 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 Phone: 954-410-3981www.enduracolor.comENDURA HARDWOOD FLOORINGCome to the True Experts in Hardwood Flooring...

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disarray), and that Biscayne Park would sign a pact with the planet Zenoplubus, requiring our children and wives to be sent there for re-education. the third, well, I made up the third, but about as a possible talking point. So what did the election turn on? Are you ready for my earth-shaking insight? The candidates who won were the ones who drum roll, please ran the best campaigns. And by best, I mean they worked harder than their opponents, did a better job of getting across their message, or both. Take Commissioner Anderson. He essentially launched his re-election bid in the summer, walking the streets, putBy the time the election rolled around, he was a ubiquitous presence. One neighbor told me he dropped by her house on three separate occasions. Commissioner open window, throw on an apron, and welcome a family of voters home from work with a delectable pot roast I got the sense that, if that had been what was necessary to win, he would have done it. By comparison, Commissioner Childress was practically invisible. Yes, he had some signs up and he did send out a mailer the weekend before the election, but that was about it. It makes one wonder if Commissioner Childress ran more out of a sense of obligation than any real desire to stay on the commission. (For some, it can get old quick; Commissioner Steve Bernard, after only one term, declined to run at all.) Then there was Mr. Dorvil, who proved to be a very personable young November, he came close to stealing the show. Mr. Dorvil, though, never displayed much of an appreciation for the complexities of village government, nor did he have a lot to say other than he wanted a commission that got along. be called a platform. an election largely perceived to be between two opposing tickets (Anderson/ Childress vs. Jacobs/Watts) and in which voters could select up to three candidates someone who kept quiet side would scoop up votes left and right. one. Except two things went wrong: One, name fewer than three candidates on their ballots. Two, to the degree that there was a crossover candidate in the election, the vote tally would suggest it was Commissioner Watts, who, like Mayor Jacobs, ran a strong campaign based on bringing greater transparency and accountability to government. (And Mayor Jacobs knocked on almost as many doors as Commissioner Anderson.) Some people were concerned about the low voter turnout, roughly 27 per outcome? Probably not. And there are a couple of different ways to look at that number. In absolute terms, it is love to see 60 percent or more of the village come out for a commission elec tion. On the other hand, 27 percent of registered voters is a much higher par ticipation rate than for similar elections contest for Miami-Dade mayor, for example, only 16 percent of registered voters voted. moving the village election to evennumbered years and combining it with county, state, and national elections, a move that would save money and undoubtedly bring more people out. that voters would be   a ny better informed about local issues and candidates. They might just be showing up to vote for president or governor and decide to pencil in some names for Biscayne Park heard of who are on the ballot. All of which is to say, I think our system works pretty well the way it is, and the voters of Biscayne Park got it right this past December, at least by one measure: We elected the candidates who understood that running is a verb. Will it result in better government? Ask me in a few months. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGE GG o FigureOur correspondent nds herself modeling for an art class and hating the whole sit still thingBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorYoure a brave woman, says my husband. And I suppose I have to agree. No, I didnt challenge any machismo-charged dragons to a duel, climb a mountain in subzero conditions equipped solely with dried fruit and a putty knife, drive on I-95 during rush hour (the fact that many of you do it every day does not diminish its bravado!), or even, perish the thought, watch Fox News. skimpy-ish underwear with a spotlight trained right smack on my rump for oh, how long was that pose? Five minutes? I bared my aging cheeks to a room full of strangers, who then proceeded to draw my ass. Or watercolor it. Or penand-ink it. Or pencil it. Or charcoal it. Or immortalize it in bronze. (Okay, that didnt happen.) In my seemingly endless pursuit of tion?), and interest in all that is ahhrt, I volunteered to pose for an atypical slash-lounge in Broward. On a Thursday night. For three hours. Now, when I say three hours, I do not mean to imply that I stood in one position for three hours. Because thats just crazy talk. Although Ive heard of people holding a pose for one hour. However, Ive never seen it, so perhaps those people were not people at all, but aliens posing as drawing class. Yes, I watch too much of the Sci-Fi network. Anyway, after holding a series of poses for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes each, I can tell you that anyone who does remain in one spot in excess of 20 minutes is probably an alien posing as David Blaine posing for a stillness would require Zen master skill. Patience. Inner peace. The ability to astrally project ones ass off a hard chair and onto a grainy mound of warm, sandy beach. Whats needed to hold still for extreme lengths of time is a calm inner child, if you will. 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 BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Well, as you may have guessed, I dont possess any of that peaceful nonsense in my toolbox of coping mechanisms. Neither do I, er, inhale. This is unfortunate. I was told by someone who used to model for art classes that smoking pot was a great warm-up. I can imagine. I mean, stoned people regularly just stare at walls for extended periods of time, anyway. So it seems like the perfect herbal modeling companion. Except except there is that off chance that one could randomly become paranoid and freak out suddenly See, all youre allowed to do while sitting completely frozen is move your eyes. This option is good and bad. Its good because you can remain a distracted and entertained, yet unmoving, thing. Its bad if you see something uncool. Because youre stuck. And if youre stoned and morph into a giant, winged creature who direction, well, youre screwed. Because you cant move, remember? I mean, technically, you can move. But the outcome wont be pretty. I was in a room with about 40 people who paid to see me sit or stand as long as I produced angles. Once you commit to a pose, you mustbestill. If you move, you mess up the artists drawing. So its really a form of torture for your more animated, loud, ADD, gesticuYes! roared back at me. Huh? What? Did I blink? Shocked, I wondered if air-conditioning blowing on fully, after that initial scare, the poses became a bit more I wouldnt say easier tolerable. So did the crowd. In the beginning, there was a sour guy sitting right in front of me. ThisClose I caught him sketching Crack Head, a mannequin bust I brought with me to use as a prop. This pissed me off. I mean, Crack Head wasnt suffering! She doesnt have to work at not moving. A few tables beyond the Sour Patch Kid sat two older men. Oddly, one had a painted selfportrait propped up next to him. They reminded me of the hecklers from the The Muppet Show Statler and Waldorf. They drew, but rather than appearing focused, they looked grumpy. At pose (we were all given a heads-up as to the time remaining on each pose), one complained to the other: Five minutes! The other answered: No! Five minutes left poses. I found out later that they didnt like the music. the nude. For this venue, nudity was not permitted, but being almost nude was. I invested way too much time trying to decide what to wear to complement my Creepy Doll theme. The problem I wrestled with was how could I bare skin and be one with the dolls? The old-fashioned dolls are bundled up in frumpy dresses. Finally I decided to act as their whoring alter ego and wore sequins, booty shorts, and a sparkly bra. And tall boots and heels. Oh, I also brought along a stuffed animal shaped like a very big snake, an old rotary phone, a stuffed-animal lemur, one of my best porcelain-faced creepy dolls, and of course, Crack Head, who sports a long, jagged crack on the side of her head, above sleepy green eyes. I spent so much time obsessing over what I was going to wear and bring that I didnt have time to do one very important thing: practice. In researching how to be a good little the one who was stoned during sessions) and asked for tips. This friend has experience modeling for art classes at Florida State University. She recommended I practice poses in front of a mirror and to not hold my arm above my head because my arm would fall asleep. That was all good advice, but I didnt follow it. get the hang of it. Counterbalancing your weight is essential, and my hand only fell asleep once. Apparently I did well and the students showed me their artwork, which looked to me to range from Comic Book Villain to Bottom Heavy Serial Killer. But hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Now available at On My Own18060 Biscayne Boulevard Aventura, Florida 33160 305 932 8032 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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68 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADETales From the FirehouseOur correspondent shares a couple of hot ones from the good ol days at Station No. 2By Frank Rollason BT ContributorBack on January 2, an article appeared in the Miami Herald noting that Miamis old Fire Station No. 2, located on N. Miami Avenue and 14th Street, was being renovated and rebuilt by the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency to be utilized Entertainment District. There was a comment that caught my eye from Deputy Fire Chief Freddie Fernandez, who mused, What a pleasure it would have been to work in this Well, on this topic, I can certainly had the distinct pleasure and honor to work with some of the true legends of bell, Lieutenant Conway, Jimmy Dasher, Booty Bryan, Ted Bug-eye Calvert, Young Andy Sixkiller, Buddy Robinson, Tom ONeil, Tom Eckman, and Emory Couch, to name a few. As in most jobs, it is the people who make work a pleasure, not the structure, and that was particularly true of Station 2. First, a little background. Prior to World up at home, you go to work, and if you wake up at work, you go home! Anyway, shortly after the war, the department added a third shift and the captains on the two original shifts had Of course no captain would send any problem children to the new shift, would

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they? I remember being told one story of month Long Term Care Insurance Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Culture: THE ARTSSculptures in the GardenThe Deering Estate becomes the latest green space to take the contemporary art plungeBy Anne Tschida BT ContributorMaybe it was the full foliage in Miami-Dades historic parks that for years covered up the art they attempted to exhibit. Or perhaps it was because art was never the focal point and selling point it is today. Whatever the reason, area parks and art never seemed to mix. Until recently. As begun to double as exhibition spaces. Like Fairchild Tropical Botanic Chihuly glass sculptures throughout the park several years ago to much applause. During this previous Art Basel, Fairchild brought in giant rose and insect sculptures from another well-known artist, Will Ryman. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens has ratcheted up its visual arts program as well, giving space to intriguing conceptual artists such as Ernesto Oroza (Mapping Vizcaya, April 2011) and, most recently, Naomi Fisher. Now this month, the Deering Estate is also opening up its art program to include an adventurous embrace of 21stcentury work. As part of its SoBay Festival of the Arts, the estate will feature works from members of its residency program, including Aurora Molina and Christina Pettersson, along with artists residency, such as Jiae Hwang, Manny Prieres, and the TM Sisters a talented group of compelling, contemporary Miami artists. But outdoors is where some boundaries really will be pushed. Estate is letting artist and teacher Ralph Provisero curate an exhibition that somewhat of a sculpture show. Called Wedding Crashers, the show includes site-spe well-known local artists who, indeed, crashed the grounds and made works that would interact with the unique location and history of the estate. That history starts with agriculture mogul Charles Deering, the Chicago businessman behind the International Harvester Company, who later in life dedicated himself to collecting art and amassing mansions. In the early 20th Century, he built the manor and cottages comprising his estate on Biscayne Bay, along what is now Old Cutler Road. (Some interesting connections between Deering and the previously mentioned garden parks of Miami: Charles had botanist David Fairchild work on his grounds; and his brother, James Deering, built Vizcaya.) After his last heir died and most of the art collection was donated or sold off, the property was turned over to the state and Miami-Dade County in 1985. Today the 444-acre estate is a nature preserve and encompasses hammocks, mangroves, salt marshes, and a new, burgeoning art collection. Like its sister mansion, Vizcaya, the Deering Estate may be best known as a wedding, birthday, and quince party destination, which is why Provisero named this exhibition what he did. Last year he installed an outdoor sculpture at the estate he has had a number of outdoor commissions and shows with the Dorsch Gallery and they asked him back to produce an entire show for the annual festival. Provisero says he invited artists he knew would be creative and self-guided in their projects. He asked them to visit the expansive property and decide how they would interact with it, not in a blatantly obtrusive way, but also not in a traditional way. He didnt want them Photos courtesy of Ralph Provisero Deering Estate at Cutler

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bringing in pre-made sculptures and plop ping them down. He also wanted them to make work that would intrigue the next wedding party that passed through. I want to bring some communities together [that may not have interacted in the past], he says. The point was not to be over the top, but to break down barri ers. Many of the people in South Miami may not be regulars at Wynwood art walks, just as artists and their colleagues from the countys northern reaches may have no idea that a place like the Deering Estate exists. Provisero also wanted to riff on the inherently conservative event that is a wedding reception, where everything is coordinated and little is left to chance. So he decided the artists would respond to a given area by creating an altered space through an alternate sense of reality. In the end, the 12 artists came up with and which would be scattered all over the grounds; another part of Proviseros mission is to get visitors to explore the property, by drawing them through with avoiding, for the most part, the main re ception areas, the artists targeted various nooks and crannies and got to work. Jason Hedges built a cooking spit, as he has done in the past, in a vertical teepee form. After the opening cooking performance, the scaffolding of the spit will remain, like the remnants of a wedding reception. gold cubes on the water, maybe a reference to the fortune that it took to build the massive estate. The cubes will be pontoons keeping them above water. Robert Chambers devised a sculpture out of old shelving that resembled bleachers, perhaps reminiscent of a place from which to watch a wedding. Cheryl Pope wanted to bring in an antique phone booth, where people could walk in and listen to somebodys history. Bhakti Baxter was interested in taking over two positions that straddle a waterway, joining them with an architectural intervention, while Frances Trombly will set up caution tape, suggesting a designated area for something special or foreboding; the tape is actually the artists woven, handmade piece of cloth. Wendy Wischer will provide a light sculpture tucked into the grass. Clifton Childree took a special liking to the wine cellar of the main house, where he was told ghosts live. Childree is known for sets and sculptures that relate to the history of a which still holds 3000 bottles from an illegal distillery of the Prohibition era, sculpture machine. The exhibit technically only runs through March 10, but Provisero hopes the pieces will be invited to stay. In fact, while some of the works will be such as a dance on a boat from Pioneer Winter, Provisero wants everyone to leave something behind. (Winter will leave his boat.) Ideally, he says, these works will form the foundation for building an ultracontemporary sculpture collection. Whether or not that happens, just the fact the Deering Estate was open to Wedding Crashers is progress, pushing the envelope a little, and in an area of town that has been off-the-beaten art path. The SoBay Festival of the Arts kicks reception the night of February18. Along with the performances and indoor and outdoor art, Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez will project her alt-cinema on the trees and landscaping near the entrance on opening night. The evening is free. Wedding Crashers, through March 10, the Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami, 305-235-1668; www. deeringestate.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com r fnfrf rfntbrfntbtfbrbnbbbnfn bffnbrbb rbbnbn nbbbbnbnbinfo@fumcmiami.com .rffntbb bb ASH WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 22ND

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72 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through February 8: Undertow by Jason Shawn Alexander February 11 through March 3: Flesch and Blood by Heather Nevay 12345 West Dixie Hwy., North Miami 305-895-2553 www.dixieimageworks.com Through February 12: Rust and Resurrection with Irene Torruella Munroe, Paul Morris, and Randy Burman 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Ongoing: Nature s Pulse by Debra Holt 4949 NE 2nd A ve., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net February 24 through April 4: Degrees, Far from Paradise by Benjamin Rusnak ALBERT O LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-587-0172 www.albertolinerogallery.com February 8 through March 1: Amour with Matachos Art, Pedro Sandoval, Nelly Del Rio, and Fred Mou 2630 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net February 10 through March 30: Things-in-the-Air by Pachi Giustinian AMY ALONSO GALLERY 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 March 19: Odyssey 2012 with various artists ARTSEEN GALLERY 2215 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-237-3559 http://artseenspace.wordpress.com/ Call gallery for exhibition information ASCASO GALLERY 2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9410 www.ascasogallery.com Through February 12: Collectors Delight with Carlos Cruz Diez, Fernando Botero, Jesus Soto, Alexander Calder, Alejandro Otero, Cornelis Zitman, Nicolas Shoffer, Oswaldo Vigas, Victor Valera, Alirio Palacios, James Mathison, Luisa Richter, Arturo Correa, and Jorge Segui February 24 through May 1: curated by Serge Lemoine 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 February 10 through March 2: INTERACTION I with Stefan Eins, Richmodis DM, and Gunilda Woerner 180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami Call gallery for exhibition information BERNICE STEINBAUM GALLERY 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com Through February 29: This Is Not Taxidermy by Enrique Gomez de Molina BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through February 27: Levitation by Victor Sydorenko BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 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 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com February 12 through March 25: Sherri Tan, 1992-2012: A 20 Year Survey by Sherri Tan 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www .susannacaldwell.com Ongoing: Seductive Assemblages and Wood Sculpture by Susanna Caldwell CAROL JAZZAR CONTEMPORARY ART 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com February 24 through April 22: Full Spectrum Dominance with Conor McGrady and Roberto Visani A Little Window Inside My Head by Ana Albertina CARIDI GALLER Y 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www.visual.org Through February 14: Travelers in Time by Lluis Barba CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411 www.charestweinberg.com Through February 29: Black Sculpture by Fernando Mastrangelo CHRISTOPHER MIRO GALLERY 71 E. Flagler St., Miami 305-741-0058 www.christophermirogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information CS GALLERY 787 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-308-6561 www.chirinossanchez.com Ongoing: Group Show with various artists CURATORS VOICE ART PROJECTS 2509 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-357-0568 www.curatorsvoiceartprojects.com Through February 18: Show Me the Money by Rubem Robierb DANIEL AZOULAY GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com February 11 through March 31: Harumi Abe, Vera Iliatova, and Yui Kugimiya Practice

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DEZER SCHAUHALLE MIAMI 2000 NE 146th St., North Miami 954-270-7404 www.dezerschauhalle.com Through February 29: Retrospective to the Future by Bunny Yeager Ich bin ein Berliner with various artists, curated by Verena Tafel and Helmut Schuster DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 February 11 through April 7: The Mantuana of Clemencia Labin by Clemencia Labin archiTECTONICS by Julie Davidow DIASPORA VIBE GALLERY 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305 573-4046 www.diasporavibe.net Through March 31: New Possessions: Caribbean Artists in the US. Call to artists in the Diaspora with various artists DIMENSIONS VARIABLE 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net Through February 18: The Unit by Alice Raymond DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com February 9 through March 30: Short Stories by Guillermo Srodek-Hart DORSCH GALLER Y 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com February 10 through April 7: The Politics of Time by Kyle Trowbridge Dreams of Occupation Whats in It For Me? by Magnus Sigurdarson Magnetic Poetry by Carlos Rigau DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Call gallery for exhibition information ELITE ART EDITIONS 2732 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 754-422-5942 www.elitearteditions.com February 11 through March 5: Gift Boxes by Fabiana Pea ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 February 11 through March 11: Ecstatic Visions by Andrea Dasha Reich FREDRIC SNITZER GALLER Y 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through February 4: Speed of Life by Mauricio Gonzalez February 17 through March 17: Michael Vasquez GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque. com Call gallery for exhibition information GALERIE SCHUSTER MIAMI 2085 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-266-2445 www.galleryschuster.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 212 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through February 11: Hysterical Sublime by Richard Hoglund February 17 through March 31: The Woodmans with Betty Woodman, Charlie Woodman, Francesca Woodman, and George Woodman GAR Y NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Call gallery for exhibition information GIOVANNI ROSSI FINE ART 2628 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 561-251-1375 Call gallery for exhibition information HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami www.hardcoreartcontemporary.com info@hardcoreartmiami.com Through February 4: Down & Under with Consuelo Castaeda, Gaston Ugalde, and Milton Becerra February 11 through March 3: Games in the Dark by Gladys Triana Cinetique by Nicolas Felizola Untitled by Consuelo Castaeda HAROLD GOLEN GALLER Y 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through February 11: Encyclopedia of Hallucinations East by Rob Reger IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through February 26: Astilla en el Ojo by Rodrigo Echeverri Calero JG PLATFORM GALLERY 282 NW 25th St., Miami Space Lighting Studio 305-458-5085 www.jgplatform.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through February 25: KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through February 20: Black Collection by Salustiano KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Through February 31: Is Art An Antidepressant? with various artists LOCUST PROJECTS 155 NE 38th St., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Call gallery for exhibition information MAOR GALLERY 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-9995 http://maormiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 Through May 4: Minimum/Maximum with various artists 1 1380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 500 College Terr., Homestead 305-237-5000 www.mdc.edu/homestead Call gallery for exhibition information 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Through April 6: Not For Sale with Alena Fresquet, Victor J. Gomez, and Ralph Provisero MICHAEL PEREZ POP ART GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 516-532-3040 www.michaelperez-artist.com Call gallery for exhibition information MORE FUNNER PROJECTS 180 NE 39th St., Miami 786-512-4130 www.morefunnerprojects.blogspot.com Call gallery for exhibition information Emptiness

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74 MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com February 11 through May 31: Myra Galleries Anniversary with Milani, Lee Leenam, Kim Kyeong Ja, Paolo Cassara, and Jean Duffy NEW WORLD GALLER Y New World School of the Arts 25 NE 2nd St., Miami 305-237-3597 Through February 24: ALLTOGETHERNOW: Explorations in Digital Art and Video with various New World School of the Arts students 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 February 3 through March 30: Monumental: Here and Now with Rodolfo Sanchez Lalinde, Henry Bermudez, Eduardo Agelvis, and Jos Antonio Zarate NORMAN LIEBMAN STUDIO 2561 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-3572 www.norman-liebman-studio.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through February 4: Urbanitas with Gustavo Acosta, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Tony Berlant, Luis Camejo, Carlos Estevez, Jos Manuel Fors, Carlos Gallardo, Milton George, Gory, Santiago Porter, Magnus Sigurdarson, and Tracey Snelling February 11 through March 31: The Naked Truth: Nudes and Erotica in Art with various artists 231 1 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com February 11 through March 31: Bad As I Wanna Be by Jessy Nite SAMMER GALLER Y 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information 150 NE 42nd St., Miami 786-271-4223 www .spinelloprojects.com Call gallery for exhibition information STASH GALLERY 162 NE 50th Terr., Miami 305-992-7652 www.stashgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information TONY WYNN MODERN ART GALLERY 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 February 25: Isolations with Lilly McElroy, Dana Meilijson, Rodolfo Vanmarcke, and Missy Nuzzo 201 NE 39th St., Miami 305-576-6960 Call gallery for exhibition information WYNWOOD W ALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th Street 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, How & Nosm, Roa, b., The Date Farmers, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf YEELEN ART GALLERY 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 February 19: Potential Amendments with Jenny Brillhart, Vincent Hemphill, and Moira Holohan February 24 through April 1: Mapping: Time and Space with Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan, Amanda Serrano, Rosa Naday Garmendia, Lucinda Linderman, Regina Jestrow, and Carrie Sieh 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through February 12: Laurent Grasso Through March 4: Beauty Business by Erwin Wurm 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org 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 Through March 10: Maintain Right by Funner Projects, with Justin H. Long and Robert Lorie ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through February 19: Color on Color with various artists Through March 18: Tour de France/Florida: Contemporary Artists from France in Floridas Private Collections Through March 18: West Wind East Water by Qin Feng Through April 1: A Thought for the Planet / Un Pensamiento por el Planeta by Annette Turrillo Offerings by Maria Thereza Negreiros Through April 15: Metropole/Colony: Africa and Italy with various artists LEGAL ART 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 March 25: From the Vault: Building a Legacy, Sixty Years of Collecting at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami with various artists Through April 22: Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art with various artists Through September 23: Saintly Blessings: A Gift of Mexican Retablos from Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists MIAMI ART MUSEUM 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 February 26: If the Face Had Wheels by Dana Schutz 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 February 12: Pivot Points V by Teresita Fernandez Through February 19: Rolling Stop by Mark Handforth 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www .margulieswarehouse.com Through April 28: New Exhibitions with various artists 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 http://rfc.museum Through July 27: American Exuberance with various artists Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www .worldclassboxing.org 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 Forecaster

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Hit the Roads, JackWinter is the time for wandering outdoors, maybe discovering a little something about our surroundings. Historian Paul George can help you with that, during his Roam ing the Roads Walking Tour sponsored by HistoryMiami. On Saturday, Febru ary 4 from 10:00 a.m. to noon, garrulous George will lead a stroll through Miamis central district, which is also one of its most historic. Its that pedestrian-friendly area tucked just off Brickell, which includes such old and unique houses of worship as the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church and the Beth David Congregation. Cost is $20 for members; $30 for nonmem bers. To RSVP, call 305-375-1621 or go to www.historymiami.org.Step Lively into the StreetStreet fests should always be held downtown. Something about the tall buildings and the people packed into a small area makes everything seem more exciting. Which is why the 10th Annual Flagler Fest to be held on Saturday, February 4 is special. Taking place along downone-day main street (between Biscayne Boulevard and NW 1st Avenue), Flagler Fest will feature a petting zoo for the kids and, for the adults, a vintage automobile show. For anyone who hasnt ventured downtown for a while, there might be added interest in seeing the people-friendly life that has sprung up in what once was a dead zone. From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.Mapping FunOkay, so the 19th Annual Miami Inter national Map Fair at HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.) may scream nerd party, but cartography holds a fascination for people the world over. Maps, after all, are vehicles of discovery, pointing the way to new adventures. From Saturday, Febru ary 4 to Sunday, February 5 antique maps and rare books will be on display, and the worlds top map dealers will be on hand. Admission will also serve a good cause, as the small fee of $5 is a direct donation to the upkeep of the museum. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, go to www.historymiami.org.Alls Fair in MiamiMiami is the Home of the Art Fairs, tons and tons of them. So why shouldnt February get one? From Thursday, Feb ruary 16 through Monday, February 20 Midtown will host Art Wynwood Not to be confused with the Wynwood Art Fair or Art Miami, this will be Art Wynwoods inaugural unveiling, with about 70 international galleries represented, including Miamis Bernice Steinbaum and Pan American Art Projects. As a standalone fair, it is hoped that Art Wynwood will bring attention to those galleries and artists that might otherwise will take place in a tent at 3101 NE 1st Ave., Midtown Miami. Hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Day passes cost $15. Go to www.art-wynwood.com.Blues in the NightRobert Cray isnt your granddaddys blues artist. While steeped in the blues of the Deep South, Cray also incorporates rock, jazz, even hints of reggae into his sound. After forming the Robert Cray Band in the 1970s, the guitarist and vocalist has produced one acclaimed record after part of Black History Month, he arrives at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, February 17 for Blues and Soul Sharing the bill with Cray will be new-generation blues belter Shemekia Copeland. Tickets range from $25 to $125. Go to www.arshtcenter.org.Mandy the MagnicentEveryone remembers Mandy Patinkin from the cult-movie hit The Princess Bride in which he delivered the classic line: My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Although Patinkin seems dont expect to hear him say anything of the sort when he shows off his famed Broadway chops with the premiere of Let Go a medley of songs for his American photo album, featuring compositions by the likes of Sondheim, Bernstein, Berlin, and Tom Waits. Patinkin will be at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center from Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, February 26 Show times are 8:00 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on the weekend. Tickets are $75. Go to www. aventuracenter.org.New and Sharp SoundsAnyone familiar with the avant-garde and experimental music scene will know how integral the laptop computer has become to performance. That wasnt the case when guitar ist Elliott Sharp pulled his out for a New York City show in the 1980s. No one had really done it before. Now, thanks to Tigertail Productions, the musical innovator and pioneer will be turn ing up at the Miami-Dade County Auditoriums On Stage Black Box Theater (2901 W. Flagler St.) on Saturday, February 25 at 8:30 p.m. Classically trained as a pianist, Sharp mixes genres from speed metal to jazz in his guitar compositions, and has teamed up with musi cians, performers, and artists alike. Tickets cost $30, with student and senior discounts available. Go to www.tigertail.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Here and Now ForeverSome milestones are just worth celebrating like the fact that Miami Light Projects Here and Now festival has been going strong since 1999. On two successive weekends, from Thursday, February 2 through Saturday, February 4, and from Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 new and experimental works commissioned by Miami Light will get an airing at the Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St.). On the program: Cabaret stylist Natasha Tsakos will debut a 3-D enhanced performance called Omen ; Carlota Pradera and Priscilla Marrero will test out a dance-theater number, Aquarius Juice ; and more. Shows are at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20, with student discounts available. Call 866-811-4111 or go to www.miamilightproject.com. Through the Looking-Glass, AnewThe tale of Alice after she falls down the rabbit hole and encounters all sorts of nonsense literally has became legendary. But that doesnt mean Lewis Carrolls classic cant use some updating once in a while. The Playground Theatre (9806 NE 2nd Ave.) has had Stephanie Ansin and Fernando Calzadilla refashion that rabbit hole as a 21st-century one, replacing the English countryside with a tropical setting and adding original new music, costumes, and surreal happenings, Miamistyle. Alices Adventures in Wonderland runs Wednesday, February 1 through Saturday, March 11 For showtimes, tickets, or to set up a Homecoming DanceThe legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts from Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, February 26 but this year will be different. Robert Battle, only the third director of the company since Alvin Ailey founded it in 1958, will make his directorial and curatorial debut. Oh, and hes a Miami native. The New York press has already praised his leadership as invigorating. In the Ziff Opera House at 8:00 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $120. Go to www.arshtcenter.org.

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76 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatMaybe He Came Over for a Cup of Sugar500 Block of NE 64th Street People are conditioned to the unseemly hanging out your window? A homeowner was shocked to see a mystery man UR Stuff is GR8, LOL1100 Block of Biscayne Boulevard acquaintance letting her know that she Victim has no idea how the items went missing. As to when the items would Does This Qualify as Petite Larceny?2000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Victim came home and heard small packages.An Apple a Day Keeps Crook Happy160 NE 79th St. Compiled by Derek McCann

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Ex-Girlfriend Goes Clubbing For RealN. Miami Avenue and 71st Street The auto-theft deterrent The Club has been with us for about two decades, stopping car thieves cold in their tracks. (Yeah right.) But now theres evidence to suggest it has created a whole new genre of crime. Victims girlfriend came to his other female there. She chased her rival out of the complex and lectured her beau home, but in the middle of the drive, she grabbed his Club and exited the vehicle. and a broken heart, not to mention the loss of his beloved Club.One More Reason to Feel Less Safe12700 Block of NE Miami Court handbag inside. In a North Miami minute, someone smashed her vehicle window and took the bag, which contained cash, credit that she saw a suspicious man in the area unattended but still left her bag in the car. These are the people protecting us from terrorist masterminds? Stop Us If This Sounds Crazy13300 Block of NE 7th Avenue A man placed an ad on Craigslist adverarranged to meet him at North Miami up to the sellers Mercedes-Benz and (just like a James Bond movie) and told suspect then drove off. Inside the stolen Mercedes were an iMac and two iPhones, us the next two pages.Reverse Home Improvement2000 Block of NE 122nd Road breaking the bedroom window. The suspect, feeling creative, then vandalized the entire Victim Ventures Outside, Asks for TroubleNE 2nd Avenue and 82nd Stree t Suspect approached a woman and asked if she could give him change for $10. The asked her for a dollar instead, which the her purse off her shoulder and ran off. This Cardio Crook Strikes AgainNE 5th Avenue and NE 79th Street male suspect approached him and out a knife and held it at waist level. The victim gave the creep his wallet and wristwatch. The suspect, in lieu of runleft the scene of a crime.Taking Credit for Old Times Sake900 Block of Biscayne Boulevard old workplace, to socialize and converse with the owners and his former coworktrusted with access to the businesss chase he made while visiting, he also gave himself a credit. The owner eventuwas so fond of dropping in, and contacted police. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 Columnists: PARK PATROLIsland Adventure on Biscayne BayThree prime destinations for boaters and kayakers, provided the tide is rightBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorPirates of Biscayne: A play in three islands. Island One: A group of giddy schoolgirls huddles together on a spit of sand, screaming at the sight girl seizes the day, scampers back to the islands center, and assumes the throne on a singular blue folding chair. The other girls quickly form her court. Around them a black dog, the jester, runs in sandy circles. At the waters guilty of letting the girls play hooky. Neither this escape from reality nor the setting itself can last. When the tide comes in, this temporary island a sandbar, really sinks underwater. The entire Haulover sandbar is nothing more than a shallow area near the inlet and marina of the same name, but on weekends it crowd, Haulover sandbar is Margaritaville. Island Two: A family of four arrives by canoe to a circle of green. They have the whole island to themselves. Two boys relaxation on. Slightly more than an acre in size, the island of Little Sandspur sits smack dab in the center of Biscayne Bay. You can see everything and hear nothing. You found the Black Pearl. Island Three: Guys on the beach playing football with a coconut. Boys raising a tent for their weekend of from their boat and reeling in a sizable jack. Raccoons raiding trash cans and getting drunk off discarded beer containers. Welcome to (Big) Sandspur Island, otherwise known as Beer Can Island. Its a shame to use that epithet, because the big island appears much cleaner than in years past. If anything, call it Beer Bottle Island, as the littering crowd seems to have switched to green-tinted Heinekens. Watch out for broken glass. But forget the stereotype. Big Sandspur is where the action both is and isnt. At 15 acres, this is the largest island in northern Biscayne Bay, and its a adventurous and thrifty, camping is free. But be forewarned: Theres nothing here, except what partiers have left behind. obvious, as most visitors arrive by powerboat and anchor along the beach that faces North Miami. Sandspurs beach offers easy access and fun for the whole family, but most of the island is too woodsy to penetrate. The inner hammocks growth is so thick that even the raccoons carry mini machetes. Island hopping between these three locations is probably the most fun to be had in North Bay. Those without a River State Park and paddle to Sandspur in half an hour. The other two islands lie on either side of Sandspur. Three islands in three hours no problem in fair weather, except that Haulovers island reveals itself only at low tide, so lets put that one aside. Every time I visit the two Sandspurs, I discover new wildlife. Dolphins and manatees; herons aplenty. My latest encounter, looking from the surface into clear shallows near a tree trunk, was a shockingly beautiturquoise spots glowed against its sandy-colored, very elongated body. uncommon in my Reef Fish Identiguide, but it seemed right at home here by the shore. Gorgeous. The Sandspur islands are success stories of something manmade becoming natural. Lying within Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve and known as spoil islands because theyre derived from the spoils of dredging projects these islands used to be overgrown with exotic and invasive vegetation. In the 1990s, Miami-Dade County coordinated the task of reinforcing the islands shorelines and replacing the exotics with native plants. Today the islands are thriving, surprisingly diverse ecosystems. Given their urban context, they may never be pristine, but they appear to be improving with age. The renovation of Little Sandspur in 1999 cost $170,000, a little less than a third of the $531,000 that big Sandspurs makeover cost in 1993. Little Sandspur has a large blue sign commemorating the project limbs have practically devoured it. Both islands boast similar features. The shores facing the ocean have rocky, non-scalable limestone boulders to resist uncommon in my SANDSPUR ISLANDS & HAULOVER SANDBARPark Rating BT photos by Jim W. HarperNorth Biscayne Bay via Oleta River State Park 305-919-1844 Hours: N/A Picnic tables:Not really Barbecues: Not really Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: No Swimming pool: No Playground: No Special features: Treasure picnic bench and abandoned grill. Sandspur Islands & Haulover SandbarBroad Cswy Oleta State ParkCollins Ave

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erosion caused by waves washing in from Haulover Inlet. Heading south, you glimpse what appears to be a telephone pole, but its really a nesting platform for osprey. Nests are not readily apparent, but the large, brown-and-white raptors do perch there. Be patient and you may see an osprey make a landing with the days catch in its talons. You could try snorkeling offshore here, but its not recommended, owing to very shallow conditions and low ing into deeper water a hazard. Kayaking offers the best views. But also get onshore, because both islands harbor an inner secret. Hike toward the southern edge, near the osprey platforms, and search for a small opening in the woods. Paths are not marked, and are at times so overgrown as to be nonex istent. Hunching becomes necessary. On Big Sandspur Island, a small creek connects to a serene, shallow pond. In the creek I found a living blob, the listless aplysia, or sea slug, looking like in the still water. Another moment of sheer gorgeousness. Tent camping is possible, but purely DIY, as there are no facilities. Bring everything and leave nothing. Yes, Beer Can I mean Sandspur Islands beach area is trashy, but whose fault is that? To its visitors, I say leave the place more beautiful than you found it. Dont dump your charcoal in the water. If raccoons scatter the trash, pick it up. And take your beer cans and bottles home with you. There may be plenty of plastic trash bins on the island, but you and your drinking buddies can do better than that, and outsmart the crafty coons while youre at it. Recycle. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETSDont WW orry, Hes Friendly!Why do some dog owners think the world belongs to them and their hyperactive pets?By Lisa Hartman BT ContributorRecently a blog post I think it was titled Tales of a Dog Walker went viral on Facebook. It was a tribute to an ongoing struggle between two gangs of dog owners. While animal professionals have written about this issue before (in my case, ad nauseum), new terms referring to these two gangs are now being thrown about as a result of this wonderful article. The mellower of the two gangs are the DINOS, which stands for Dogs in Need of Space. This is the group that calls me for training, but its also my gang; Im a member. It consists of dogs that owing to the fact that they were possibly rescued and thus lacking early socialization want to be left alone, and dog owners who just want to have a quiet, enjoyable walk with their pet. You can spot them immediately by the obvious telltale signs. For starters, the dogs are wearing a necklace or brassieretype apparatus with a cotton or leather line tethering the animal to its owner. This is commonly known as a leash. These dogs and owners usually keep to designated walkways and steer clear of other dogwalkers. They give everyone their space and merrily go about their way. But there is a more aggressive and same territory. Theyre wilder, louder, and claim other peoples space with reckless abandon. They are known as the MDIFs, or the My Dog Is Friendly! gang. As with the DINOS, the MDIFs have their own culture and are, if anything, even easier to spot. The dogs and owners belonging to this gang are usually unrestrained not just excit able, mind you, but in the rare event these pups are on a leash, its usually a at any laws, especially leash laws! The MDIF gang feels entitled to claim all land as theirs. But as this blog post mentioned, the clearest indication that a r fntbt tr r tr trbbbrtbtrt tnt t rb

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member of this tribe is accosting you is their battle cry: My Dog Is Friendly! (Hence the gangs name.) They chant it as their dog shamelessly runs up to you and your dogs. You are now forced to deal with this other animal, suddenly and rudely up in your dogs grill. He is followed by his bumbling owner, who is smiling widely as she assures you, Oh, dont worry. My dog is friendly! Meanwhile, as a DINOS member, youre doing all you can to hold your tongue, create space for your dog, or leash, now wrapped around you, your pet, and whatever innocent bystander has happened onto the scene. Of course, your MDIF dog. This can be especially harrowing when there is a substantial size difference the DINOS dog small and fragile, the MDIF dog big and brutish. Oddly, this is about the time when the My Dog Is Friendly owner looks at you in sheer horror. They cant believe your dogs behavior! I will never forget scheduling a meeting with a client years ago at Pinecrest Park to work on a DINOS dogs reactivity and desensitize him to other dogs and people. (Naturally, as a dog trainer, I work with many dogs with issues; sadly, most dog owners dont call me until after theres a problem in place.) I chose Pinecrest because there was a dedicated, fenced-in dog park there, surrounded by another park. Our mission was to start the dog off far from other animals and people, while work cises and techniques. I wanted to work just outside the dogs threshold, or level that he can work without stressing or reacting. Imagine my horror as dog after dog came running up to us. Of course, the owners of these loose dogs assured us that their dogs were friendly, and that makes it perfectly acceptable in their eyes to let their animals bombard the space of others. And here I was, with a client! Not fun. So who is safe from the MDIFs? No one, it seems. Many of us have dogs with issues we are trying to work on. Some dogs are ill or old, and would just rather not have to deal with a juvenile delinquent dog in their face or jumping on their backs. What if you or your dogs just dont feel like being sociable? Is that a crime? I love dogs, but that doesnt mean I want to deal with other peoples animals friendly or not every time Im in public. Sometimes youre just out for a quick-relief walk with your dogs and want them to focus on the matter at hand so you can get back to work. Or maybe youre dressed to go to a party and dont want muddy paws on your ensemble, or youre not in the mood to deal with Whatever the reason, leaving your home should not elicit fear and the stress associated with the possibility of having to deal with a rival gang. There is nothing wrong with desiring a little personal space, either for canines or humans. The MDIF gang has other wellknown battle cries, too. A popular one is, Aw, he just wants to play! As if by intuition, their dog always tends to jump on a dog that is injured. Regardless of the rationale, these gang members have taken away the right of other owners to choose with whom their dogs will interact, regularly derailing attempts at training and all but outlawing the possibility of a peaceful walk outside. Having a friendly dog is great, but having a friendly dog with a conscientious owner who shares public space fairly with other dogs and dog owners is better. Much better. 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 Some dogs are ill or old, and would just rather not have to deal with a juvenile delinquent dog in their face or jumping on their backs.

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82 Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY TT he AA ctivity AA ddic tionWith not-a-moment-to-spare schedules, when do kids get to be kids? By Crystal Brewe BT ContributorSara, my neighbors four-year-old, loves ballet. Every Saturday she suits up in leotard and ponytail. They petit jet to the local dance studio for practice from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. What do they do with their beautiful Saturday once ballet is over? Enjoy the beach? Take a nap? Have a play date? No, Sara goes home for a quick lunch and then heads to karate. Sara (Ive changed her name here) is also in preschool during the week. She has gymnastics on Tuesdays, too, her mother boasts. I understand wanting to keep your kids busy, but what about giving them time to daydream or just time to use their imagination? Recent studies have revealed that unstructured playtime has declined by 12 hours a week over the past two decades. Outdoor activities like bike riding and swimming are down 50 percent. Whats happening to childhood? My friend Izzy is adamantly opposed to enrolling her kids in more than one activity a year. She uncharacteristically opened up to me a few months back about her own childhood. My parents insisted on violin, chess, gymnastics, and swim team, she recalled. I didnt do sleepovers, boyfriends, or even school dances. We were so focused on my success that I became socially awkward and ber-competitive. Izzys story got me thinking about how extracurricular activities can be taken too far. How many hours of our childs time should be consumed with structured activ ity? The time we invest in our childrens extracurricular activities is exhausting for both us and our kids, and thats not to men I met some of my best friends in Miami when, as parents, we bonded over the experience of being ripped off by the ballet class our toddlers attended. We were consistently charged for added expenses like professional photos, the mandatory school leotard, recital fees, and costumes (and I stress the plural). Our kids were just three and four, but were clearly seen as a get-rich-quick vehicle for the dance-school owners. But back to the present. I got a call the other day from my seven-year-olds school. The choir teacher introduced himself and quickly started gushing about how Matildas voice has untapped potential. While my rose-colored lenses and I wholeheartedly agreed with him, I couldnt help wondering what this conversation would cost me. Turns out, hes interested in Matilda joining his exclusive singing group. They meet on Sundays. His assistant is going to contact me to discuss fees. A family whose child attends school with my three-year-old has three kids who all partake in activities that run more than $500 per month. Their mother told me one day that they intend to contribute toward the cost of their children attending college, but they havent started saving yet. We cant really afford to save right now, she said. Well think about that later. There are private voice lessons because she has potential, karate because it because it helps teach ingenuity, piano because it stimulates spatial-temporal ability, and pageants because well, they just make good TV. I was a Girl Scout. This was a great way to dip my proverbial toe in differinterested me the most. I pimped cookies, wore green knee-highs, and got a horseback riding patch, a performing arts patch, a cooking patch, a sewing patch, patch. (You name it, I got the patch.) When I outgrew scouting, I gravitated toward the performing arts. As my child hood friends began to join cliques and dabble in sex, drugs, and rock n roll, my mom insisted I occupy myself with this interest. As a result, I was too busy to join in the teenage wasteland behavior at any dan gerous level. After all, I had cheerleading at 6:00 a.m. and rehearsal for our school play at 4:00 p.m. Dont get me wrong. I partook in a normal level of experimentation, but never had enough idle time to wallow in it. While structured activities allow children to explore interests and increase recreation can lead to a lack of imaginative play. Weve had several good experiences with the recreation programs in Miami Shores and Morningside. A big motivator here has been not to turn our girls into the next Mary Lou Retton, but to take advantage of the sense of community these programs encourage. Extracurricular activities are good with the neighbors and camping in the backyard. Your kid may have moves like Mick Jagger and lungs like Barbra Streisand, but it cant hurt to ask them which activities they want to pursue. She may want to quit piano and take up origami, but at least it opens up a dialogue, and hey, who doesnt need a paper swan to decorate the top of that dusty piano? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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My Big Fat Green FuneralEco-friendly services are an option for those who dont want to harm the environment when they go By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorAt the end of your life, what will be So help me, God, do not bury me in Six Feet Under down today what you want to happen Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com E n j o y a R o u s i n g L i v e P e r f o r m a n c e o f L a t i n f a v o r i t e s M a r c h e s B i g B a n d S w i n g a n d O t h e r C l a s s i c s N O R T H M I A M I C O M M U N I T Y C O N C E R T B A N D S e n a t o r G w e n M a r g o l i s C o m m u n i t y C e n t e r 1 5 9 0 N E 1 2 3 S t r e e t N o r t h M i a m i S u n d a y F e b 1 9 2 0 1 2 @ 2 P M $ 5 D o n a t i o n ( k i d s f r e e ) 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 Memorial Reef photo courtesy of Neptune Society

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84 Columnists: YOUR GARDENClinging to KillDont let these parasites become attached to your plantsBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorI often get many queries from visitors to Jungle Island about the orchids, ferns, and bromeliads growing on the trunks of trees and palms. Many wonder if these small plants are parasites, taking water and nutrients from the trees to which they are attached. I explain that these plants collectively are called epiphytes, plants that grow on top of other plants or trees, but are not otherwise parasitic to their hosts. These plants have evolved specialized roots, leaf cells that can absorb water and nutrients, and perhaps other characteristics enabling them to take advantage of the height and a place in the sunshine that taller plants offer them. That said, there are many species of parasitic plants that do grow on other plants. When traveling through Malaysia, I often had the opportunity to see various species of a parasitic plant amazing sight to see. Other species of clingy parasitic plants are found in South Florida. Mistletoe, of the holiday kissing tradition, is one of them. Its rare here, but Ive been watching and photographing one that is growing in the canopy of a native tree close to where I live. Some other parasitic plants grow ing in our area are a bit more aggres sive and certainly harmful to the trees they infest. They are very distinct, with masses of long twining stems that can completely cover the canopies of trees and shrubs. (The accompanying photo was taken just off Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami.) I recently took some samples of this particular parasite in an attempt to identify it, and tentatively came up with a species also called woe vine. This plant is very similar to another species of parasite called with the more common name of dodder. tell apart, but they cause the same type of damage to the plants and trees they inhabit. They literally suck the juices out of the leaves and branches they come into contact with, penetrating the hosts tissue using structures called haustoria. They will live without having roots in the ground and can kill trees over time. They appear without any obvious leaves. Dodder normally attacks herbaceous plants and woe vine tends to attack trees, but there are always exceptions. The dodder in the photo is covering live oak trees. It seems to have been on these trees for several years. This is often the case, and it can take many years for the tree to die, but it will eventually happen if the parasites are not removed. Some tree species are genetically programmed to live a lot longer than others, and this longevity offers optimum conditions for pathogens and parasites to become established. Mature live oak trees can live well over 100 years, but in time their growth is not so vigorous and they become vulnerable to attack by various parasitic organisms. I recently looked at another mature live oak that was infested with dodder. This tree appeared to be in decline, with sparse foliage and many old pruning cuts over the years that were no doubt debilitating to it. I looked closely and also found signs of a fungal infestation. When trees are weakened, they become vulnerable to all types of patho gens. This specimen was a poster child for what can happen if a tree is not main tained properly. Chemical control of these the best control involves someone in a cherry picker carefully plucking off this aggressive plant from its host tree. This is likely the best control because chemical understanding that none of the chemicals available can be used systemically (taken up by the root system so it is translocated throughout the tree). Anything sprayed on the tree will end up on whatever is below or around the tree. This is very important to remember. Years ago I had a friend who sprayed the fronds of a large royal palm at a private residence and was not aware of the drift, the spray that had been carried by the wind. The next day the neighbors had in their pond. My friend ended up in a very uncomfortable situation. These plants will kill your trees in these green or orangey stringy plants, pull them off immediately and toss them directly into the garbage. If they happen to bloom, there will be thousands of tiny fruit and seeds produced. With dodder, the tiny fruit may also be dispersed by birds, so all the more reason to remove the parasite immediately when you notice it on a tree. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski For more information, visit www.miamiparking.com. Department of Off-Street Parking (DOSP)SAVE ON PARKING IN THE CITY OF MIAMIQUICK-VISIT PARKINGNow FREE in every MPA garage, all the time. If youre in and out in 30 minutes or less, your parking is FREE! Regular rates apply after 30 minutes.

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Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorThe depth and diversity of South Americas cuisine is really quite amazing. The gloriously fresh tira ditos and ceviches of Peru, the grilled beef and matambre of Argentina, the appetitebusting feijoada of Brazil, and the over-thetop chivito of Uruguay theyre not just popular in South Florida, but are making hungry mouths drool all over the country. Unfortunately, even in South tiradito or juicy, succulent vacio than it nological suspects from countries other than the continents two biggest players, Argentina and Chile especially within our $12 price point. Not that Vino didnt try. Shopping on the white-wine side of kling wines from Brazil and still wines from Uruguay, perhaps some dry or offdry Rieslings, a juicy Pinot Gris, or inter esting blends of several different grapes. No luck. Amid an ocean of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, we found a single Riesling, a Viognier, and a handful of Torrentes, all from Argentina and Chile. Sigh Tasting results were kind of sighful, too, with a pair of wines exhibiting a distinct petrol aroma. One was the Anakena 2010 Single Vineyard Riesling A noticeable petrol or diesel aroma is actually beloved by fanatics of aged German Riesling. In young Rieslings, however, even the grapes most devoted the growing or winemaking processes. And it wasnt just the aroma. The Anakena tasted of petroleum, too, though if you squinched your taste buds up really hard you could make out faint peach and me; Ill have a beer instead. The other petrol offender was the 2010 Trivento Torrontes At $7.99 it was cheap, all right, though still more expensive than a gallon of unleaded. Which, in fact, is what it smelled and tasted like. I know there are people who say they enjoy this sort of thing and, well, God bless em. But Id prefer my wine not to have the same characteristics as the stuff I put in my gas tank. Thankfully, things got better after that. Another Torrentes, the 2011 Mendoza Station lulled you into thinking it would be a rich, creamy, tropical fruity wine with its lush, beguiling aromas of mango, papaya, and honeysuckle. But once in your mouth it was as crisp as a winter morning in Chicago, acter peeking up from beneath tart, fresh Same could be said of the 2010 Porto Reserva Viognier which hails from the Bio-Bio region, Chiles southernmost wine-producing appellation and one not often represented in local wine shops. With the areas cooler temperatures and fewer hours of sunshine relative to Chiles other wine regions, its no surprise that this Viognier has much more muted, honiedtypical in Viognier made in warmer, sun nier climes. Still, like the Mendoza Station, those characteristics, even muted, make it a willing partner for both seafood dishes and lighter meats like chicken and veal. Of course, if you really want a great seafood wine, Chilean Sauvignon Blancs are the way to go. Curious ly, though, both SBs in this tasting the 2010 Vera monte and 2010 Lapostelle Casa were actually a little fuller-bodied and a little less austere than either the Torrontes or Viognier. The Veramonte is one of my all-time go-to wines. Well made and reliable vintage to vintage, easily available, and a pretty decent deal at $11, it has the bright, crisp acidity to balance out a meal of enough body and texture not to get lost in the process. Its a very pale color, almost clear, with herbal aromas green apple tweaked with an underlying limestone minerality. The Lapostelle is a little richer and fuller bodied, its citrusy character melals, and a bit of spritz on the tongue. Then theres the Chardonnay. Theres always a Chardonnay. This one is the 2010 Montes Classic Series a very affordable wine ($10.49) from a producer probably better known for more up-market offerings. Aged in new and old French oak, it hints at vanilla, pears, and tropical fruit, with a lush, creamy texture and citrus and miner spicy tiraditos or ceviches, which sound pretty good right about now. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com South American Scavenger HuntRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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86 MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAcqua 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-381-3190, Four Seasons HotelOriginally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006, resulting in a complete menu renovation. Thailands famed sense of culinary balance is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian or Latin 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. $$$$$Area 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr. 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asianinspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road pro genitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$Banana & Leaf 234 NE 3rd St., 786-431-5548Ever get tempted by the convenience of supermarket sushi boxes, but feel uneasy about freshness and disgruntled about sparseness of fillings? In the grab-andgo containers here, raw fish glistens and makis like a plump snow crab roll have a satisfying seafood-to-rice ratio. If youd rather, dishes on the larger custom menu arrive almost as fast. There is also limited, tasty Southeast Asian fare. Most unbelievable: Prices beat supermarket sushi by far. $The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel) 1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picturewindowed 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. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thaiinspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insid ers secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ bistro e 485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373A full power lunch from a Michelin-starred chef for $15? Sounds unbelievable, but youll find just such a daily special (like corn/jalapeo soup, a grilled-cheese BLT, airy cheesecake, and a pint of beer) at bistro e, daytime name for Michael Psilakis dinner-only new Aegean eatery Eos. The name change emphasizes lunchtimes wholly different, globally influenced menu. Among la carte temptations: pork belly tacos, a Korean BBQ prawn salad, or a brisket/gruyere sand wich with dipping juice. Breakfast, too, from 6:30 a.m. $$-$$$ Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 309. Chef Philip Ho 16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney 18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-table cloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf 17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily specials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant 17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of home awayfrom-home found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/ frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York 17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 305 16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restau rant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$St. Petersburg Deli 17080 Collins Ave., 305-947-9696Dont expect fancified stuff like menus, or the English language, at this informal market/cafe. If theres signage identifying the prepared foods behind the counters, its in Russian, and daily dishes are pretty much what the cooks feel like making. So look and point. Wed suggest pointing at cold yogurt-based soups like tangy okroshka (with cukes, egg, scallions, potatoes, and dill) or holodnik (similar, with beets added); eggplant roulades, stuffed with spiced shredded carrots, are also a refreshing summer dish. Hot choices include meatballs in rich cream sauce and chicken Kiev. $$ Timo 17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill 350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$rfnt ntbnfnt tnftn tf f t tff nffff SUNNY ISLES BEACH

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88 Bryan in the Kitchen 104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothie-swilling 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-toosweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room 900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027 Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargainpriced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asianinfluenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub component remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro all-American feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/antibioticfree ground Angus chuck/brisket/short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$db Bistro Moderne345 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 exe cutes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/ orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no low-rent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/ leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimptopped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally 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 influ ences 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. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub 900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972 Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences,

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particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ 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. $$First & First Southern Baking Company109 NE 1st Ave. 305-577-6446 How Southern is this restaurant/bakery? During the course of one breakfast of fluffy biscuits with rich sausage gravy, a friend from Italy, we swear, developed a drawl. While yall will also find familiar fare (burgers, salads, etc.), highlights here are traditional and/or reinvented country cooking favorites -espe cially homemade sweets. More than two dozen desserts daily are featured, from a roster topping 150: chocolate pecan pie, lemon bars, potato candies, seven-layer cookies, and Jack Daniels pound cakes, which are perfect for parties, though you wont want to share. $-$$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its expe riencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Fresco California Bistro 1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food onto its menu. To the familiar Latin American/ Italian equation, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistros especially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$ Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave., 305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly 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. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mindreeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheese burger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade 1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ 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. $$$$$Hibachi Grill 45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagaine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/ zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singapore-style noo dle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ Indigo / Table 40 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000Long known for its power-lunch buffet -including hot entres, carving station, custom pastas, packedto-the-gills salad, sushi, and dessert stations -the InterContinental Hotels Indigo restaurant now has a hip offspring intended for private dining: Table 40. The charming, glassed-in wine cellar (actually in the kitchen) enables 12-14 diners to watch the action in heat-shielded, soundproofed comfort while eating creations by veteran chef Alexander Feher, combining Continental technique with local seasonal ingredients. Highlights: tender 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

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owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$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? $$Largo Bar & Grill 401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge 68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantrospiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence 1064 Brickell Ave., 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultracrusty 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. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/ pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresist ible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$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. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geo graphically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street

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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 BeachLive DJ @ Yakko Lounge Every Thursday third week of the month All Martini & Sakatini $5, Sake shot $2 Join us at Yakko Lounge 9pm-2am305.947.00643881 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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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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single twocourse Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalape os, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushiboat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Pashas 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Peoples Bar-B-Que 360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly 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 softshell 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. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS 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 slowbraised short ribs, caramelized onions, and melting muenster and provolone cheeses. Finish with fineshaved 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 powerdining 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. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIAtrained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/ apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ 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? $$Thai Angel 152 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9748Inside a colorful courtyard that rather resembles Munchkinland, this downtown insiders secret serves serious Thai food till 9:00 p.m. daily. Tasty classics like the four curries (red, green, panang, and massaman) come custom-spiced -mild to authentically brain-searing -and are so affordable theres no guilt in splurging on superb house specials like crispcoated duck or fresh snapper (whole or filleted) in tamarind sauce. The young chef has a heavenly hand at tofu, too, so vegetarians are very well-served. $$ Tobacco Road 626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Waxy OConnors 690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oaksmoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$Wok Town 119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/ mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$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 brickellhouse.com

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steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Andalus 35 NE 40th St., 305-400-4422Early publicity pegging this place (in Pacific Times former space) as a tapas bar seemed to set it up as direct competition for nearby Sra. Martinez. Its actu ally quite different, with emphasis divided between small-plate lounging and full fine-dining meals. And regardless of size, dishes arent contemporary riffs on tradition but authentic regional specialties. Subtly nutty jamon pata negra (the Rolls-Royce of cured hams) or salmorejo (Cordobas Serrano ham/eggenriched gazpacho) truly take your taste buds on a trip to Andalucia. On weekends, food is served till 4:00 a.m. $$$Basanis 3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the familyrun ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red-sauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends4770 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. $$ Bin No. 18 1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and familyrun friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and pro sciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Blue Piano 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7919The address suggests a street-corner location, but this casually cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$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, choco late 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 fastfood 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 casualchic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd. 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restau rants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/ crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$

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Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-inthe-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. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Delicias Peruanas 2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as it was at the nearby original Delicias, run by members of the same family. The food is as tasty as ever, espe cially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mammoth jalea platter. As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado and tallerin verde. $$Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is sur prising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crispfried 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. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Ave., 305-571-8341No green-leaf faux health food here. You get what the name says, period, with three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are made fresh upon order. Available in double or one-patty sizes, theyre well-done but spurtingly juicy, and after loading with your choice of free garnishes, even a little burger makes a major meal. Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes. $Fratelli Lyon 4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-2901This Italian caf has been packed since the moment it opened. No surprise to any who recall owner Ken Lyons pioneering Lyon Frres gourmet store on Lincoln Road (1992-97), another joint that was exactly what its neighborhood needed. The restaurants artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful boutique olive oils, and more are so outstanding that you cant help wishing it also had a retail component. Entres include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like Venetianstyle calves liver, rarely found outside Italy. $$$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. $-$$ The Girrrlz of Sandwich 555 NE 15th St., 2nd floor (Venetia condo) 305-374-4305Riot Grrrl DIY spirit shines in the homemade soups, sweets, salads, and exceptionally tasty warm baguette sandwiches (like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, dressed with a unique sumac vinaigrette) at this concealed caf, hidden on the Venetia condos mezzanine. Owners Ana Oliva and Fadia Sarkis scour local markets daily for the freshest of ingredients, and their breads (plus light-crusted empanadas and sinful Ghirardelli chocolate cake) are all baked in-house. On Saturdays the grrrlsll even deliver you an elegant (yet inexpensive) breakfast in bed. $Harrys Pizzeria 3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; wood-oven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$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 parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consid er Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$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, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local;

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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 sand wiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/ salads/starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an ele gant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon 185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepitacrusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro 4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its treesheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers downto-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan 3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunaninspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ 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 prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoe string frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is EastWest. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$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 mixand-match sauces and extras. And the price is right,

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with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami 3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant most everywhere. Today many places now offer authentic Italian or delicate designer pizzas. But a satisfying Brookyn-style street slice? Fuhgedit. Thankfully thats the speciality of this indoor/outdoor pizzeria: big slices with chewy crusts (made from imported NY tap water) that arent ultra-thin and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medium-thick -sturdy enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Salad Creations 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place cre ates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ 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 Institute-trained 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves healthconscious, made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave. 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard spe cials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave. 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/ coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Sustain 3252 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-424-9079Is it possible for a restaurant to be sincerely ecoconscious without being self-righteousness? It is at this casual/chic restolounge, where dedication to local, sustainable food comes with considerable humor. Fare includes playful items like wet fries (with mouthwatering gravy), corn dogs, housemade soft pretzels with mustard and orange blossom honey, and a Mile Salad that seems almost like a game show in its challenge: All 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 sau ted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/ cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from world-famous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$

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Anise Taverna 620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929Since the owners of this rustic riverbank spot are the husband/wife team behind Ouzos, its not surprising that Greek food and festivity are the main lure for locals. But Anises expanded menu, centering on meze (the Middle Eastern term for shareable small plates) though not neglecting Big Food like lamb shank or whole grilled fish, also includes dishes from other Mediterranean countries: Italys spaghetti with bottarga (tuna roe); spicy Moroccan merguez sausage with fava pure; whole sardines with fennel vinaigrette, evoking Portugal. Frequent special events make for added fun. $$-$$$ 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/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool altculture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budgetpriced. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the housemade sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$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: crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tender ized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ 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 precisiongrilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Go To Sushi 5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Jimmys East Side Diner 7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and openface frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein

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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. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic finedining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ 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. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to overthe-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipo tle 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 (sour-orange-marinated, sousvide-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 neargreaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ 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. $$$UVA 69 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-latenight hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latininspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beerbattered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$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. $NORTH BAY VILLAGEBocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appe tites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres

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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. $-$$The Crab House 1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restau rants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Shuckers Bar & Grill 1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570Cheap eats and a million-dollar view is the sound bite manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates from South Beachs late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$NORTH BEACHCaf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately panfried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys exec utive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$The Wine Market 908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$ MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisianstyle brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club 10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ NORTH MIAMIAlaska Coffee Roasting Co. 13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Los Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombian-cuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hot-smoked salmon and veggie plates. There are also creative comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads, and sweets. Sides include refreshing slaw; beans studded with burnt ends (the most intensely flavored outer barbecue chunks); and sweet potato or 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 redeye gravy, with strong coffee. Bravehearts race for the infamous Luther burgers components -cheddar, bacon, fried onion, secret sauce, and a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut bun; calories are more than double a Big Macs. And the thin-sliced, thickly crunch-crusted, deep-fried jalapeos will keep you coming back for more, should you live past the first order. $$

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Canton Caf 12749 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2882Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly Cantonese-based dishes. However, there are also about two dozen spicier, Szechuan-style standards like kung po shrimp, ma po tofu, and General Tsos chicken. And there are a few imaginative new items, like the intriguingly christened Shrimp Lost in the Forest, Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-glazed walnuts, and Mongolian beef (with raw chilis and fresh Oriental basil). Delivery is available for both lunch and dinner. $$ Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickleonion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are handcut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas 1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165 Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun 2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-tenbuck early-bird dinner is popular with the former longhair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$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. $$$Mama Jennies 11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvationbudget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet lighttextured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic road house ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$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. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowdpleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 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 customcooking 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. $$ Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Venezia Pizza and Caf 13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered Americas finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple salads, and a few new protein adds grilled chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$ Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to Chinese-American 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 noo dles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$Yes Pasta! 14871 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At this fast/casual Italian eatery, the specialty is mixand-match. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (whole wheat and gluten-free options available), then one of 15 sauces. Our personal pick is carbonara, correctly creamy-coated (via egg thickening, not cream overload); Bolognese is a wise choice for those who like sauces rich and red. Many options exist for vegetarians and pescatarians as well as carnivores, all clearly coded on the menu. $$NORTH MIAMI BEACHBamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams,

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sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ China Restaurant 178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional Chinese cuisine in the world wont scratch the itch. So the menu here, containing every authentically inauthentic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just the ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded boneless chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$Chipotle Mexican Grill 14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with chipotlemarinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill 1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124 Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$Flamma Brazilian Steakhouse 3913 NE 163rd St., (Intracoastal Mall), 305-957-9900The rodizio formula is familiar: Pay one price ($39.90 for dinner, $29.90 at Sunday brunch), then eat till you drop from a groaning salad/appetizer bar and a massive selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, sausage, and fish (16 varieties at dinner; 5 at brunch) carved tableside by costumed waiters. What spectacularly differentiates Flamma: its setting on the Intracoastal Waterway. But also spectacular is a Monday-Thursday two-for-one dinner deal with a coupon available at Flamma. Unbelievable but true. $$$$El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet 16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, escolar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$Hannas Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant 3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mixand-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$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. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmo spheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-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. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar ItalianAmerican classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$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

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who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet 940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-in-blankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai 14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deepfried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$PK Oriental Mart 255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and whole roast ducks hanging, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a soundbite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coal-oven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$Roasters & Toasters 18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sand wiches? 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 we ighed 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 minipotato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$The Rumcake Factory 2075 NE 163rd St., 786-525-7071When ex-Louisianan (and ex-Dolphins player) Larry Robinson and his Cuban-American wife Elena started a catering company in Miami Lakes, their mouthwateringly moist Caribbean-style buttered rum/walnutglazed rum cake instantly became the star attraction. But after relocating to a real (if tiny) restaurant space in BT territory, the Factory now features a small supporting cast of Cajun fare scrumptious enough to upstage the star. Always available: authentic remoulade-dressed New Orleans po-boy sandwiches (shrimp, catfish, fried turkey), and humongous housesmoked chicken wings. Rotating specials include hearty gumbo, jambalaya, and BBQ ribs. $$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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mockmeat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$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 floorto-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table 18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numer ous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Tunas 17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 www.tunasrawbarandgrille.com The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a new chef, Rolf Fellhauer, who spent 28 years at the famed La Paloma. He has added his touch to the menu, with delicacies such as Oysters Moscow, mussels Chardonnay, and Grouper Brittany. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after midnight, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$ Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin 73 NE 167th St. 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$ Yakko-San 3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, familyfriendly 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. BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse,305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ 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/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ r fn

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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. $$$$$AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 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. $$Bella Luna 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330 If the menu here looks familiar, it should. Its nearly identical to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Caf and, with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billantes eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface. But no argument from here. In a mall a setting more accustomed to food court dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restau rant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Cadillac Ranch Village at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$Il Migliore 2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$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/sugarladen traditional tfavorites 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 infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana 2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/ avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Gourmet Carrot3599 NE 207th St., 305-749-6393 Since the first Gourmet Carrot -a healthy and kosher but not at all preachy eatery -opened in South Beach, its menu expanded to include many red-meat items. The same is true of this new Waterways mall branch. When confirmed cholesterol-careless carnivores like ourselves opt voluntarily for an eaterys veggie burgers (a brown rice/lentil/veggie blend more satisfying than beef), or remarkably juicy ginger-mayo-dressed chicken burgers, over normal hamburgers, based solely on flavor -well, religion aside, thats a major miracle. $$$ Heavy Burger 19004 NE 29th Ave., 305-932-7555Sure, South Beach is our towns burger capital, if youre judging by high profile. But if creativity is what counts, no joint bangs a gong like homeboy Mark Panunzios place, where the concept is: Nothing goes together better than heavyweight burgers and heavy-metal music. What rocks us: a fire-grilled, 10 oz. Motley Burger (with cheddar, applewood bacon, tomato, Bibb lettuce, and frizzled plus raw onions on a challah roll; upon request, chipotle aioli was cheerfully substituted for BBQ sauce). Get hand-cut cheese fries, too, and get wasted on craft beer. $$ Kampai 3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/ Thai restaurant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flaketopped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina 17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$The Grill on the Alley 19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Mahogany Grille 2190 NW 183rd St., 305-626-8100Mahogany Grille has drawn critical raves and an international clientele since retired major league outfielder Andre Dawson and his brother transformed this place in 2007. Today its white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany. The menu is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion of food from several African diaspora regions: Carolina Low Country (buttery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad), and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-battered fried chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miamis best. $$-$$$Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar 18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, Americanized-Cantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar 20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma 19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New York-style pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Playwright Irish Pub801 Silks Run Rd. #2597, 954-457-7563 The vintage Old World look and convivial atmosphere of this new pub, located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, are more traditionally Irish than most of the menu, which ranges from penne with marinara sauce to Thai-inspired spring rolls. But fish and chips are always crisp-coated and satisfying; potato leek soup is the real thing; and the crab cakes (crab meat mixed with just enough celery, onions, and peppers for interesting texture) are so good youll be thinking Maryland, not Dublin. $$ Sushi Siam 19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) rfntbrbrffnnfbnbrbrrrffrrntb r f n t

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COMMERCIAL HIALEAH: 651 WEST 20 STREET | rf ntntbbbWYNWOOD STUDIOS Price Available Upon Request Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 8101 BISCAYNE BLVD Price Available Upon Request Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: ANNEX + SKYWAY Price Available Upon Request Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com UPPER EAST SIDE: 6300 NE 4TH COURT Asking Price $620,000 Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com NORTH MIAMI: 12345 W. DIXIE HWY. Reduced Price $799,000 Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com LTIITLE RIVER: 224 NE 59 STREET Asking Price $5,500 / Month Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 2751 N MIAMI AVENUE Retail $30 PSF nnn Office $22 PSF mod gross Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 5974 NE 4TH AVENUE JUST SOLD! Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 5TH AVENUE BUILDING Asking Price $18 $24 PSF mod gross Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: STUDIO BOX Asking Price $20 PSF nnn Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 2750 NW 3RD AVENUE Price Available Upon Request Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com UPPER EAST SIDE: 6200 NE 4TH COURT Asking Price $18 PSF nnn Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com fr f rf rfntb nffrt



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IN THIS ISSUE9 Sunny Isles Beach restaurants. Dining Guide total = 309! p. 86 February 2012 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 9 Issue 12 Trapped in a tech web that wont let go? Answer: Unplug. Float. Exhale.By Tristram Kortenpg 34

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COVER STORY 34 Unplug. Float. Exhale. COMMENTARY 20 Fee dback: Letters 24 Miamis Kin g: Jack King 26 Christian Ci priani: Urbania 28 Picture Story: Miamis First Land Barons OUR SPONSORS 30 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 50 Office Depot Out, Whole Foods In 50 And the Bands Played On 51 The Casino Effect NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Jen : Postcard from Safe City 60 Mark: Dishing the Dirt 62 Shari Lynn: Total Tech Trip 64 Gaspar: It Was the Campaign, Stupid 66 Wendy: Go Figure 68 Frank: Tales From the Firehouse ART & CULTURE 70 Anne Tschida: Sculptures in the Garden 72 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 75 Events Calendar POLICE REPORTS 76 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 78 Island Adventure on Biscayne Bay COLUMNISTS 80 Pawsitively Pets: Dont Worry, Hes Friendly! 82 Kids and the City: The Activity Addiction 83 Going Green: My Big Fat Green Funeral 84 Your Garden: Clinging to Kill 85 Vino: South American Scavenger Hunt DINING GUIDE 86 Re staurant Listings: 309 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 tr rr A rt RT director DIRECTOR rn r A dvertising DVERTISING design DESIGN rrr CIRCULATION rrr PRINTING rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 24 51 78Serving 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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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO 305-895-JEFF(5333) 1/3 acre 15,000 sq ft. on the bay. You can see forever! Wide open views! Owner will finance! 2.4M with only 30% down @ 6% fixed int!!5bdr/3.5 bth, pool, 2 car garage, 4125 sq ft. Completely remodeled, brand new huge cherry wood/granite eat-in kitchen w/subzero and thermadore appliances. Cul-de-sac lot, huge master suite, jacuzzi, waterfall, pool. $925K mortgage, $899K cash4bdr/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 Price includes Business / Bldg. & 1/2 Acre of land. Located in South Ft. Lauderdale on US1, 4COP Lic. included. Great location, only 20% down @ 6% fixed int.!!! Priced at land value. Only 1.2M 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 300K down. 699K 4bdr/2.5bth, 2 car garage, pool w/jacuzzi, 24 hour gated community, large family home. Great location across the street from multi-million $$ bayfront homes!! 499K 156 ON WATER NEW SEAWALLIsland #5 with angle views to the bay! Build your dream home in this 24 hr gaurd gated community surrounded by multimillion dollar homes! 156 on the water with new seawall, owner financing, 1.49M HARBOR ISLAND WATERFRONT WITH OCEAN ACCESS NEWER CONSTRUCTION 30 HI CEILINGS3bdr/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 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!! 1.69M 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 CHANCE OF A LIFETIME OWN YOUR OWN RESTAURANT SANS SOUCI ESTATES NONWATERFRONT 24 HR GATED COMMUNITY KEYSTONE POINT ISLAND #5 CORNER LOT 175 ON WATER CONTEMPORARY MODERN KEYSTONE POINT OWNER WILL FINANCE W 300K DN VACANT BAY FRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME IN PRESTIGOUS SAN SOUCI ESTATES 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 Located 1 lot off the wide bay on cul de sac. Lot size 112 x 125 approx 14,000 sq ft. New seawall 90 of dock (112 on water) 25,000 lb boatlift, park your yacht while you build your dream home! Owner will finance with 30% down $1.4M OWNER WILL FINANCE WITH 30% DOWNWIDE BAY VIEW POINT LOT 1/3 ACRE SANS SOUCI ESTATES

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Soffer: Greenspan, Dant, Haraam, and Hubris Erik Bojnanskys article Family & Fortune (February 2012) was an interesting recap of the Soffer familys development debacle and its place within the larger U.S. real estate bust. As a newcomer here, I wasnt familiar with the family name or its connection to Aventura Mall, and the article was a good introduction to Donald Soffers swampdredging success and philanthropy. The article also underscores the notion that if you grow up in a family business, you can indeed learn the family business but youd do well to be educated about the economic forces at work in the larger sector. Back in 2007, while son Jeffrey Soffer was throwing himself that $2 million birthday party, there were plenty of public warnings including from Alan Greens pan of an impending real-estate-bubble collapse that was already under way in places like Ireland. That it happened for Soffer so conspicuously in Las Vegas, that epicenter of glamour gone grotesque, feeds right into his storyline. It would appear that ambition, greed, hubris and maybe a dash of showing his old man what a community college dropout could do pushed him to take his fathers business empire to what he calls a whole new level but Ill bet he hadnt read much Dant. Still, he must get credit, if thats what to call it, in one area. Did Jeffrey Soffer anticipate a push to bring gambling to South Florida once he set up shop in the Las Vegas development arena years ago? How could he not? It may not even matter in the long run that he has lost the Fontainebleau project there; if and when he gets his gambling license for the Fontainebleau Miami, hell probably just have to plug in the machines and open the doors. It would have been interesting to learn more Nakheel Leisure, Soffers investment partner in Fontainebleau Miami Beach. As the property investment arm of the state-run Dubai World, Nakheel took a big hit in the 2008 real estate crash and received a multibillion-dollar bailout from the Dubai government. Perhaps as long as its funding remains assured, Soffer need not worry. But why, inquiring minds want to know, if gambling in Dubai considered haraam (forbidden), does the Islamic government invest in gambling enterprises? Does it have to do with joint-partnership exceptions? A follow-up on all the limbs of the Soffer business family tree would be a welcome read. D.L. McNichols AventuraSoffer: Old-Timer Would Have Told It Like Is Was If Only Wed Called HimSome friends told me that a story about Aventura and Donny Soffer was in the works. I was very curious about that because the complete story about that has never been told. I knew about Biscayne Times but didnt know the writer, Erik Bojnansky. Apparently he didnt know about me either, because he never called to interview me. From what I hear, he didnt interview a few other people who, like me, have been around forever and remember the early days up here in Aventura. How early? Early enough that Donny Soffer wasnt even in the picture yet. When Biscayne Times was delivered to my building, I grabbed it and went right back upstairs to read Family & Fortune. The story was good as far as it went, but without interviews with Donny and some of us old-timers, it couldnt be what I would call the be all and end all on the subject. Here are a couple of things I mean by that. Im not the only one who thinks Donny has been a little too quick to take a credit for the basic idea to drain the swamps and develop a big shopping center and maybe later a community with people who would shop there. Eriks story makes just a passing men tion of the fact that Donnys dad, Harry, came up with the original idea. Hes the one who had the vision to build something out of nothing. Yes, Donny did grab the idea and he ran with it, and everyone recognizes that. But Harry saw the future, and its a shame he has again been overlooked. Another person who should have been given more credit was George Berlin. Hes not around today, so Erik couldnt have interviewed him. But some of us could have steered him straight about George, who was as important to the success of the shopping center and Aventura as Donny was himself. And no mention at all of Bob Swedrow, the architect who is a creative genius and gave the city its look, which still stands today. I also wish thered been more about the celebrities back in the early days and how Donny used them to help sell the Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 22

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22 place, and how they many times they got so out of hand youd think the police would get involved. But of course the police never got in the way of a Donny Soffer party. Thats part of the story, too. These days I still see Donny now and then when hes strutting around the mall. Sometimes we say hello. Its all friendly. But I dont want my name used because, who knows, I still might get chance to tell it like it really was, and I dont think Donny would be 100-percent happy about that. Name Withheld by Request AventuraSoffer: Out of Control Extreme GreedI enjoy reading the BT every month. The cover stories and community news are always interesting, even though I dont live in Miami. In the February issue, I read with fascination about Family & Fortune, written by Eric Bojnansky, of the Soffer family creating Aventura and then almost ruining it. I hope the Aventura Mall and the Fontainebleau continue to thrive. Just goes to show what can happen when extreme greed gets out of control. Pat Burke Bonsall, CaliforniaWelcome to Belle Meade, Inc., Miamis FortressThe article Criminals Only Past This Point! (February 2012) was a good story on how public land, with its public streets, cannot be closed off to the public. I dont have enough facts as to how many homes and total acreage are affected the Belle Meade neighborhood, but none theless, putting up a security fence with unlocked gates will not achieve security. Wouldnt it be grand if Belle Meade privatize and form one big home owners association? Then the homeowners dues, in part, could erect real security fences with locked gates and entry codes, and even locked pedestrian gates where owners would have a key to enter and exit. Just wondering. Amanda Osorio Highland LakesGusman: At Last Some Good News! I always read with interest your profes sionally documented publication, and Im very pleased that your senior writer, Erik Bojnansky, wrote a well-researched piece about the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (New Life for a Grand Old Theater, February 2012). most of our work in favor of art and culture The Olympia Theater had been underutilized and subsidized by the city for many years, would take over the theater and preserve that valuable asset for the residents of Miami. The trust, Olympia Center, Inc., commit ted to a set of conditions, among them that it be led by culturally committed individuals who demonstrate the ability to raise the funds necessary to run the theater properly. On their side, the trustees set just one condition to take responsibility of the Olympia: To receive the keys without We abided by the request. It is indeed satisfying that Miami resi dents, as noted in the article, will soon be able to enjoy free concerts and that the trust members have risen to the challenge. Mayor Toms Regalado MiamiCommentary: LETTERS Continued from page 20

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24 Commentary: MIAMIS KINGFive Questions for Marc SarnoffMiamis District 2 commissioner on the state of the city By Jack King BT ContributorIn its December issue, the BT pub lished a story called The People Have Spoken (Okay, Call It a Whisper). It was about the election for the City of Miamis District 2 commission seat, won by incumbent Marc Sarnoff. The story, by senior writer Erik Bojnansky, seemed to question whether Sarnoff had actually won. An example: Even with a divided opposition, Sarnoff captured less than 50 percent of the vote in 14 of the 37 precincts in District 2. What? Why not say that he captured more than 50 percent of the vote in 23 of 37 precincts? It just depends on what kind of point youre trying to make. The point Id like to make is that Sarnoff got 53 percent of the vote. Granted there was only an eight-percent turnout, but thats not relevant in election vote-counting. It is relevant, however, in philosophical discussions about democratic processes. The story groused about why there is not an Upper Eastside District 2 commissioner and hasnt been one for the past 30 years. This despite the fact that there are more registered voters in the Upper Eastside than in the Grove. With that said, I thought it might be time for another sit-down with the commissioner. So here goes: Thoughts about the state of the city? I think everybody is worried about made some very big structural changes in 2011 that are more long-term, but we still have some short-term issues facing us, like pensions. We need to get into a twotiered pension system so new hires have a our obligations to the current employees. And then we need to discuss whether plan was we cant pay you now, so we will pay you later, and thats how cities got in this situation. We pay employees what they are worth now, but were still in the pay you later mode also, and government cant afford that. What about the parking garage that the leaseholders of the Rusty Pelican and Rickenbacker Marina were supposed to build? This is probably one of three most disappointing planning functions for me in the city. We brought the city a paid-for garage and were still fussing about what it should look like and where it should be. The money is in the leases, but I cant get the city to stop arguing over the details. The mayor has had an active role in this and doesnt seem to want the garage. Where is the Flagstone hotel and marina project on Watson Island? In ten years nothing has happened. Im very hopeful for this project. It would be a great way to bring back the marine industry from Fort Lauderdale. The developer is on schedule to build the docks and water-borne amenities in the next three years. Also they are current in their lease payments. They have some deadlines they have to meet in the next few years on the upland development. One holdup was a lawsuit that took three years to resolve. That seems to be the M.O. for doing business in the City of Miami. As soon as one guy wins an RFP, the litigation begins and projects that everyone wants and needs are held up for years. How about the selection process for the police chief? Was that a shell game? I was certainly in favor of a national were all good. The new police chief [Manuel Orosa] is far different than the pre vious chief. Hes more an ounce of preven tion is better than a pound of cure person. ground with a visual presence. In the next three to four months, well see how well it works. Our problem right now because of arcane civil-service rules, we have to hire from a list of applicants from 2008, many of whom are not even around now. And then we go to the 2009 list. This all takes weeks and weeks. The city commission is planning a resolution to ask the civil service board to due to budget problems and we could hire them right now. [The layoffs were averted.] What about downsizing government? We have more work to do and it includes looking at all positions, and making pay adjustments for many positions. Also we need to study department budgets to bring them more in line with what the job or the productivity is worth. We need to do this with a scalpel rather than a spatula, and right now we are using the spatula a bit too much. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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26 Commentary: URBANIAThe Future of Downtown Lives in the PastMaking a case for Miamis historic buildingsRomer Collection, Miami-Dade Public Library By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorAs I traipsed around an ever-changing downtown Miami last month, I wondered about its beautiful stock of early 20th-century buildings. So this month I met up with Ricardo Lopez, an architect Architects. A native Miamian, he special izes in custom residential architecture and urban design, and teaches at the University of Miamis School of Architecture. toric 1920s Huntington Building also known as the Consolidated Bank Build ing on SE 1st Street, thumbed through archival photos, and discussed the history of Miami and the future of its urban core. Downtown Miami used to be Key West on steroids, he said. In the days when it was nothing more than Henry Flaglers pioneer village of boaters and ad venturers, industrialists and outlaws, what is now downtown was indeed an untamed jumble of wooden houses and boatyards. This was an era when daily life took people only as far as their feet could carry them, and commercial and residential structures evolved on a focused grid. Only later, when urban development sprawled outward in Miamis case, father into the Everglades did downtown come to connote a high-rise commercial center to which one commuted. This sprawl would eventually hurt downtown real estate values, even for in-demand, high-tech buildings like the steel-framed Huntington. Historic preservation is still a relatively new concept in America. European countries, for example, have reused buildings for centuries. Yet even here, in the capital of all things new, preservation is gaining value, from South Beachs Art Deco District to the MiMo District in Miamis Upper Eastside. Historic preservation exists to pro tect the cultural heritage of a community and create value, and for a young city like Miami, its a way of our history, said Lopez. This is now a national move ment tied in with the United States Green Building Council, the LEED program, and a general move toward green design. Depression-era masterpieces like the DuPont and Ingraham buildings still stand, but Miami has lost some gems along the way. Among them: the citys main library in Bayfront Park and, more recently, the Urmey Hotel. Once the oldest building in Miami, the Urmey fell into disrepair before being razed to make way for Loft 4, an unrealized downtown condo project from The Related Group. champagne; local government embraced developers with tax incentives, public land deals, and lenient zoning; and a mindboggling condo boom ensued. Developers could scoop up old buildings, knock them down, and build three times as high. Few of them saw value in renovating and reusing. The market asked for new construction, so local government aided and abetted. In the face of vanishing history, federal incentives such as tax credits and restoration a more competitive option. Even with South Floridas limited supply of trained crafts men, and the costs and surprises often involved, Lopez believes renovation is a worthy economic and cultural investment. From his window, he pointed to two standout historic projects. Flagler First Condominiums, on E. Flagler between the Seybold Building and the Gusman Center (the last downtown theater still standing), was developed by Rok Enterprises. They painstakingly restored the 1923 structure to its former glory, breathing life back into the Corinthian columns from its days as the First National Bank of Miami. Capitol Lofts, on NE 1st Avenue, is another high-quality renovation. Lopez guessed that if the developers had opted for tear-down and new construction, they could have built the project four times over and to the moon, thanks to no height limits or density restrictions. He also spoke excitedly about the Shoreland Arcade on NE 1st Street, the only remaining historic arcade in down town and a site close to Lopezs heart. He had his class at UM document the building and submit drawings to the Library of Congress for the Historic American Build ing Survey. The Arcades gilded, cavern ous hallway, tucked behind the subdued interiors of Soya & Pomodoro restaurant, was also the site of his wedding reception. Lopez remains unequivocal in his view of urban development: American cities suffered through 50 years of Modernism, a cancer that destroyed traditional urban centers. There was a cultural backlash against all things traditional, but thats now changing. Solid materials have allowed De pression-era buildings to live long enough for our romance with them to rekindle. Like a lot of buildings from the last half of the 20th century, the products of our condo boom seem so transitory in both their useful ness and appeal that the publics relationship to them in 100 years will be uncertain. If Lopez is right, those buildings left standing could become dated relics from a period of overarching hubris, when short-term gains blinded our vision for the future of Miamis urban center. For his part, Lopez is going to keep reminding us that it is possible to build on the past without burying it. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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28 Commentary: PICTURE STORYThe Brickells: Miamis First Land BaronsA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George Special to the BTThe Brickell family came to the untamed wilderness of Miami at the outset of the 1870s. They quickly purchased and homesteaded land south of the Miami River until, by the 1890s, they possessed thousands of acres of the subtropical hammock and pineywoods that comprised the Miami of yesteryear. The Brickells also traded with the Seminoles and Miccosukees at their Indian trading post near the mouth of the river on the south bank. When Henry M. Flaglers Florida East Coast Railway entered Miami in 1896, the Brickells saw their holdings dramatically increase in value. By the early 1900s, they were wealthy, having begun to sell and develop their properties. The home seen here was emblematic of that wealth. Located in the 500 block of Brickell Avenue near the warm waters of Biscayne Bay, on the site of todays Icon Brickell condominium complex, this neo-Classical mansion stood until the mid-1960s, when, abandoned and decaying, it was razed. The home had served the large, clan nish Brickell family for more than 50 years. Seen here, in this circa 1905 photo graph, are several Brickell siblings and a around and above the patriarch, William Brickell. Missing from the photograph is Mary Brickell, who was the most promi nent member of the family. 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, #1982-023-4 JAKE MILLERAttorney at Law is pleased to announce the move to the firms new locationThe Law Offices of Jake Miller LLCbiscayne center 11900 biscayne blvd, suite 618 miami, fl 33181 telephone: 305.758.2020 email: info@jakemillerlaw.com www.JakeMillerLaw.com

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By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorBy now, one month into 2012, youve paid off your holiday bills and implemented all your New Years resolutions about getting your life together. (Right) Or else youve barely managed to get over your New Years Eve hangover. Thats why, despite all this months famous holidays Valentines Day (2/14), Presidents Day (2/20), Super Bowl Sunday (2/5), Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day (2/18, and no, we didnt make it up), plus more we think all of February should just be designated this way: But Seriously, Now We Really Mean It Month. Fortunately, BT advertisers have deals and discounts to make all this months special events and improvement projects doable, even if your budget and/ or motivation levels are low. Have you resolved to get your taxes done before the last minute this year, but even the mention of the dread T-word, deluging you from TV commercials, has you freaked? Let the specialists at new advertiser TaxStation (286 NE 2nd Ave., 305-798-3289) take over. Their mission is to maximize your return in a relaxed atmosphere. Until March 24, men tion the BT or bring in this issues ad coupon for a $10 discount on services completed at simple returns for free. Getting your life together means planning ahead for any possibilities. But extended medical care is a scary subject for most of us, which is why only about 3% of adults have a private, long-term care policy, according to the LTC and life insurance specialists at Jeff Hackmeier & Associates (12000 Biscayne Blvd. #407, 305-893-4488). The bad news: Carriers are increasingly pulling out of this market, and those that stay are increasing their rates. The good news: Jeff Hackmeier and his staff know all the current options. People do tend to put off dental work, too. But Februarys special from Jos D. Alvarez, DMD, and Associates (3483 NE 163rd St., 305-948-5002) for retained with six implants, makes this a good month to improve your smile. The bridges $9890 price isnt valid with other offers or insurance. For those seeking a spiritual boost but unable to attend weekend worship services, First United Methodist Church (400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-371-4706; free parking on the churchs northwest side) invites all to Wednesday night Prayer & Praise meetings at 6:30 p.m. The informal gathering features singing, praying, and a brief Bible study about Sundays scripture. If its your living situation that needs improvement, take a look at the waterfront, four-bedroom Belle Meade house in this issues ad from new advertiser Peter Goldsmith (305-751-7185). With everything from a gourmet kitchen to a black stone pool and spa on the marble terrace bordering the 48-foot seawall, its Buyers of the above paradise wont but owners of homes that do will want to know that Endura Hardwood Flooring 1942 Tigertail Blvd., Dania, 954-410-3981) just made a major purchase of exotic Sapele hardwood and is selling it at huge discounts. Call Charlie for details. ing, call new advertiser South Florida Restoration (305-651-9660), a licensed general contractor in business since businesses operating that long, but SFRs handymen have something even rarer: an old-fashioned work ethic instilled by owner Jay Pilch. His crews arrive at jobs on time and do them right. They even clean up when theyre done! To renew your home sometimes all thats needed are a few striking dcor accents. Your home will compare to the most fashionable today with the brand-new contemporary furniture designs in walnut Beau Living (8101 Biscayne Blvd., 305751-1511). The showroom has new leather bedroom designs, too. And all new collec tions have a 15% discount this month. Welcome to new advertiser Herval Furniture USA one of Miamis leading producers and distributors of contemporary and classic Brazilian furniture. Two showrooms (1730 Biscayne Blvd., 305377-1221 and 2666 NE 189th St., 305935-4506) make browsing convenient for customers throughout BT territory. Meanwhile The Collection German Furniture (15400 Biscayne Blvd.) announces the opening of its nearby new showroom/warehouse at 15455-R W. Dixie Hwy. Be sure to call (305-9443727), as browsing through the unique stock of handcrafted furniture, made in Germany, is by appointment only. at the weekly Tuesday auctions at Wilton Theatre Auction Gallery (1444 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors, 954-530-4396), which, in its 30 years in business, has staged items from a Rolls Royce to a life-size Ronald with owners Bonnie and Paul Stanford is featured in Februarys Plantation Town Times (www.plantationtowntimes.com). There are new surprises at 360 Furniture Consignments (18340 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-627-3148) every day but Sunday, when the clean, unclut tered showroom of quality used and new Our Sponsors: F ebruaryE BRUARY 2 012 rfntbbntnntbbnbntbtnnfr rfntnb tnnrntr nrtnbrrfrn t ntbn BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 32

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furniture (plus art and accessories) is closed. The ever-growing business also offers estate sale and auction services. Getting your own new business off turned around, is a cinch with help from new advertiser PrintDocs (1564 Ives Dairy Rd., 305-999-0245). This family digital printing to Internet marketing and web design. Mention the BT for 15% If one of your resolutions was to lose weight, make tracks to (7120 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-6600) on February 11 at 11:00 a.m. for the free seminar How champion Jeff Seidman will discuss how the personal-training facility made the meals for Mark Wylie, one of the biggest winners (129 pounds lost) on TVs Biggest Loser Now, that made us darned hungry. How bout some free food, courtesy of Gaucho Ranch Grill Boutique (7251 NE 2nd Ave. #113, 305-751-0775)? On Febru ary 10, the purveyor will host a tasting of Iron Side Caf, a few blocks away at 7600 NE 4th Ct. Call the Ranch for an invite. No invitations are necessary for Februarys free Saturday wine tastings at Laurenzos Italian Center (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381). Drop in from 1:00-5:00 p.m. on February 4 for wines from small-family Argentine wineries, on February 11 for artisan Chilean wines, and February 18 for organic wines from Argentina. Just opened, in the space formerly housing Chef Allen: a classic New York Italian-American family-style eatery, Luca Bella (19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222). Stop by to welcome Mickey (former owner of Matteos in Hallandale Beach) and his family to the neighborhood, and mention the BT for 15% off your check. Dont forget your hungry pets. Keep them healthy as well as happy with this months offer from By Nature dog and cat food: Buy a 3.5-4 lb. bag and receive a rebate coupon for your money back. In other words, the bag is free. For a list of local outlets featuring By Natures all-natural and organic products, consult www.bynaturepetfoods.com. More news for animal lovers: The Humane Society of Greater Miami (16101 W. Dixie Hwy.) is the recipient charity of this years Original Miami Beach Antique Show, at the Miami Beach Convention Center till February 6. Save $5 off show admission and help animals by entering the promo code HSGM at www.originalmiamibeachantiqueshow.com. Additionally, all funds Founding Fosters, which opens tempotickets, contact Ricki Diamond at ricki@ humanesociety.org or 305-749-1814. Just in time for Valentines Day, certiCatherine Patrick offers Attracting Love, a work shop on February 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at her cozy cottage/sanctuary The Chi Spot (565B NE 69th St., 786277-9835). The event, she says, is for independent single women who want to get off the treadmill of meeting deadbeat guys and attract a long-lasting love. For a Valentines Day that truly lasts all day (any weekday through April 6, actually), treat yourself and a friend to a spa package at new advertiser Turnberry Isle Resort (reservations: 305-933-6930). The $242 package includes two 50minute massages, lunch at Cascata Grille, all-day pool privileges, and valet parking. Though a romantic dinner is the clas sic way for couples to celebrate Valentines Day, its too often less about romance than about jacked-up prices. But not at Trio on the Bay (1601 79th St. Causeway, 305866-1234), where February 14ths Treat for Two dinner special (shared appetizer, two entres, shared dessert, and a bottle of wine) is only $105 per couple. An la carte menu is also available. Every day looks like a holiday at the always festively decorated Royal Bavar ian Schnitzel Haus (1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002), but genial host Alex Rich ter will be going all out on February 14, with a repeat of last years wildly popular $95 Exotic Valentines Menu for two. Valentines Day brings two different special dinner menus at perennial Italian-American favorite Mama Jen nies (11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627). One is in Mamas new outdoor dining garden. Another, those in a retro Thats Amore mood, is in the old-fashioned dining room. Reservations are required. And on Super Bowl Sunday, Mamas will be throwing a party with 2-4-1 draft specials, giveaways, and more. Tunas (17860 W. Dixie Hwy., 305932-0630) gets the jump on V-Day with a deejayed Red Party on February 11 at 11:00 p.m. Oh, and theres a prize for the hottest red dress. On the day itself, diners Biz BuzzContinued from page 30

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plus-champagne Silver or Gold dinner packages, for $100 or $150 per couple. To get yourself looking good for the big night, take advantage of the Valentines Day special offered by Bill Makley at artsy and award-winning Control Salon & Gallery (2814 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-6910). Bring a friend for a cut and style and get half off on your own. Body Well Therapy (888-929-9355, www.bodywelltherapy.com), whose li censed mobile massage therapists travel to you, has two special offers for BT readers: off, or 15 free extra minutes per person for Valentines Day appointments that are Pamper yourself with hair, nails, or skin/body treatments and, at the same time, help less pampered people this month at new advertiser Salon Dahlia (9472 NE 2nd Ave., 305-290-0028). Every Monday in February, the friendly salon is donating 20% of sales to Smile Train, a charity providing free cleft palate surgery to needy children throughout the world. Inner Balance Mind Body Studio (12579 Biscayne Blvd., 786-383-3088) has February offers for both children and adult BT readers. A kids yoga program, on Fridays from 4:00-5:00 p.m., will kick off on February 10 with a complimentary openhouse class. And on February 11, theres a Yoga Arm Balance and Inversion workshop. Price is $40, but mention the BT for 10% off. Need something striking to wear? Joseph Ribkoff the Canadian ladies ap parel manufacturer responsible for dressing Miss America in her travels, has just added boutiques that carry the brand: On My Own, at 18060 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-0032). How Presidents Day came to be associated with getting the years best car deals we dont know. We do know where to get a great car, though: new advertiser Prestige Imports (14780 Biscayne Blvd., 877-275-7737). The company has served luxury-vehicle owners for more than three decades, and is the countrys topselling Audi dealership. To warm up for the Dominican Republics Independence Day (2/27), Club Tipico Dominicano (1344 NW 36th St., 305-634-7819) invites readers to a pre-celebration concert on February 18, featuring famed Dominican merengue singer Fernandito El Mayimbe Villalona. Tix are now on sale. For classical music lovers, Febru ary brings several opportunities to catch performances of Florida Grand Opera now celebrating its 71st season. At the Arsht Center, Rigoletto will be presented February 3, 5, 8, and 11. La Rondine takes the stage on February 1 and 4. For all you BT readers up Aventura way, catch Rigo letto at the Broward Center on February 16 and 18. Later this spring: Romeo e Juliette Purchase all three productions and get 10% off single-ticket prices. Go to fgo.org for info and to order a free preview CD. Those who enjoy non-classical classics (marches, big band music, more) should get on over to the Gwen Margolis Community Center (1590 NE 123rd St.) at 2:00 p.m. on February 19 for a performance by the North Miami Community Concert Band which features some very talented musicians, including BT contributor Cathi Marro. Theres a mere $5 donation for adults, and kids are free. Love art event at Scan Design (3025 NE 163rd St., 305-944-8080) isnt until March 3. But February 18 is the last day to submit entries your own artistic interpretations of furniture love for a chance to win a Scan leather chair, plus have your work displayed in showrooms and ads. For more info and entry forms: www.fallinfurniturelove.com. And now, arguably the most important February holiday: my birthday! Wed never be so crass as to hint that you celebrate by sending a pizza to the BT idea, itd be easy with three new pizzeria advertisers this month. At Best Friends (4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999) pies are brick-oven beauties, but the unusual burgers, hefty half-pound ers that come stuffed rather than topped, are so tempting its hard to choose. At Slices Pizza & Pasta (13750 Bis cayne Blvd., 305-949-5588), choosing isnt necessary. As at a rodizio joint, circulat ing servers offer several dozen varieties of pizza (plus ten pastas) on an all-you-caneat basis, till diners cry uncle. And the newest pizzeria of the trio, Pizza Fiore (9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-7541924) has a familiar address: the space oc cupied for ages by the Village Caf. If the name sounds familiar, it should. The origi nal PF was a Miami pie pioneer back in the mid-1990s, when quality pizza was nearly as rare here as snow. To all three, a warm or rather, hot and cheesy welcome. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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34 No escape from the wired world?Lucky for us. This is Miami. Relief is as close as Biscayne Bay.By Tristram Korten

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Four miles offshore the water is stippled by a light breeze, but hear it a loud huff watery world. As the big beasts they M fame or power. the wiredness B Continued on page 36 BT photos by Tristram Korten and Steve Rhodes

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36 Although Ive gone on a few overnight kayaking excursions, Im not a thorough planner. Ill look at a map and a weather forecast, then wing it from there. I suppose I feel that true diligence might lead to discouragement too many contingencies. In this case, we looked at the map, picked Blackpoint to the part of Elliott Key where the park rangers station is located. We arrived at the marina later than we wanted on a Tuesday morning, with two sit-on-top ocean kayaks and a car full of gear. We brought the requisite tent, sleeping bags, knives, along with provisions for at least three days Starbucks instant coffee, sugar, salt, avocados, oranges, bananas, fresh rolls, tins of smoked oysters, energy bars, wine, and some ribeye steaks. The nice thing about kayaking is that, unlike hiking, you can bring real food. No dehydrated stew reconstituted in a foil pouch for us. We froze bottles of water the night kayaks, where they would melt slowly. That way they would stay nice and cool to drink on the journey. Its a clever trick and I was feeling pretty proud of myself until we started packing the waterproof bags we would stuff inside the kayaks. What we forgot was almost as essential as what we hadnt any kind of cooking utensils, plates, mugs for the coffee, a wine opener, and matches. Most important, Steve forgot the rum. But Ive learned over the years that while its nice to aim for perfection, its more important to soldier on, rum or no rum. Both of us had been distracted. I blame the symptoms of the modern life we were Continued from page 35 Continued on page 38 BT photo by Silvia Ros

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THE IDEAL PREREQUISITE FOR DISCERNING LIVING Made in Germany 305.944.3727 New Showroom/Warehouse By Appointment Only 15455-R W. DIXIE HWY. NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL 3316215400 BISCAYNE BLVD. MIAMI, FL 33160

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38 trying to remedy with this trip. The morn ing I left, I had to get my oldest ready for messages, and return a phone call before loading the car. When I arrived at Steves house, he was on the phone in some pro tracted business negotiation. The world is too much with us, Wordsworth wrote. Getting and spending we lay waste our powers. Forgetting the matches was simply a casualty of our overworked minds. No matter, we scrounged around the car and found a half-empty lighter. Little we see in Nature that is ours. I wanted to prove the old poet wrong. Once the waterproof bags were inside the kayak, we were ready to launch. In the cockpit, we had our lifejackets, four bottles of water, two oranges, and an energy bar. But before carrying the kayaks to the water, I performed what can only be considered a small miracle in the context of modern life I turned off my cell phone and put it in the cars glove box. Then we hauled the kayaks down the ramp, slid them into the dark green push of my paddle set me gliding easy and free into the mangrove channel. As we nosed out to the bay, the magnitude of the trip revealed itself. We were heading eight miles across open water and had no idea where we would land. I told Steve wed be able to see the park ranger station as we drew close, but I really had no idea what wed see. Continued from page 36 rf ntbbbbb b bbbfbbtbbbbnbb bb bb btb bb b For reservations, call 305-933-6930.

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` 2 lots side-by-side. No bridges to ICW. Vacant Point lot 20,000sq.ft. with on water Adjacent Property with home,4BED,4 BATH,3500sq.ft. 2 Car Garage, X lot. 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 NEW Sans Souci Estates 4600+ sq.ft. New Home! No expense was spared in this magnificent Sans Souci Estates home. 5 beds, and 4 baths. 2 Car Garage. Oversized corner lot with water views. This home is all completed and ready to move in today! Huge eat-in kitchen with center island. Impact windows/doors. 10ft. ceilings. Master suite features 2 walk-in closets, dual sinks, separate spa/heated tub & wrap around shower. Central Alarm Sys. KEYSTONE POINT-NEW 2012 Offered at $ 1.790M 305-606-2252

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Thirty minutes into our paddling, and it dawned on me that Id be in this same position, sitting with my knees bent, for the rest of the day. And although Ive done this dozens of times, I couldnt help wonder whether this was sustainable. Thats all it took. Suddenly I began to question everything was that an ache in my back? Was my shoulder cramping? A panic akin to claustrophobia at the possibility of this? Really? I had to calm down. This was just my brain playing tricks on me. I the journey. A few deep breaths later and I was able to make my motions more instinctual. Whatever discomfort I was feeling faded from my overt consciousness. I pushed and pulled on the paddle and felt the kayak shoot forward, I concentrated on just feeling the sun on my cheeks, the light breeze, the occasional splash of cool water on my arms and legs. Talking to Steve helped. We paddled next to each other and chatted, maybe for an hour, maybe for hours. I lost track. Eventually we both realized that talking slowed us down. We had to make sure we arrived with enough time before sunset to pitch the tent and concentrated on paddling. Thats when the seclusion I fantasized about became a distinct reality. Solitude is out of fashion, writes Susan Cain, author of a new book titled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Cant Stop Talking Our companies, our schools, and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us walls, for managers who prize people skills above all else. But, she continues, research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. She even debunks that pillar of the corporate strategy session: brainstorming. Citing vari ous studies, Cain states that this is one of the worst possible ways to stimulate creativity. And that creativity leads to Continued from page 38 Continued on page 42

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more innovation and more productivity. Of course, that freedom from interruption is now a near impossibility, given the technological revolution. We make our way through whole tropospheres of cell phone and wireless signals. Between mobile smart phones and portable logged on. Im not complaining. Having all the worlds information at the ready My problem is that I dont have the discipline to turn it off. Nor do many of us. I have a friend who was writing a book on deadline. He needed long blocs of uninterrupted time. But he had just bought a new smart phone, and the temptation to press a button and see the latest headlines or football scores was too strong. His solution was not only to turn the phone off, but to put it in his mailbox outside for days at a time. He met his deadline. ready to appreciate the quiet around me as I bobbed on the waters surface. At plans and go over schedules, to ponder my relationships, the future, my ambitions, and what makes me happy. Then, as I relaxed, I let the thoughts tumble freely. I have a deadline next week. My daughter needs new shoes for school. It would be cool to see a shark. After that, in direct proportion to the exertion of paddling, I gradually stopped Continued from page 40 Continued on page 44

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44 having any thoughts at all. I breathed, grunted, paddled, felt, and watched. And my appreciation grew for this clear water and these mangrove islands that are, more or less, right outside my front door. W to the surface about 23 million years ago, and slowly formed into the peninsula it is today, there was no Biscayne Bay. Miami to Miami Beach was one solid land mass. But starting about 4000 years ago, graduareas, while barrier islands and sandbars formed to the east to create a natural bulwark against the open ocean. The result is a vast, shallow lagoon carpeted by seagrass and coral reefs, fed by rivers and streams from the mainland, and cleaned by the rush of sea water. It became a natural nursery for lobsters, shrimp, and numerous spe manatee would slowly make their way along the shore, grazing on mangrove leaves and turtlegrass. The bottom was thick with oyster beds. There doesnt appear to be a conclusive history for the bays name. Spanish explorers may have named it after the Bay of Biscay in the north of Spain, or after some nobleman from the kings court. My favorite speculation is that it was named after a Spanish sailor known as El Biscayno because he came from the Bay of Biscay, after he was shipwrecked in the bay in the 16th Century. As Miami developed, the northern part of the bay suffered. Sewage was discharged directly into its waters, and the construction of seawalls and bridges runoff became a problem all down the shoreline. Some of that has been rem edied. A sewage treatment plant was built on Virginia Key in the mid-1950s to treat wastewater and pipe it out into the ocean. Still, Biscayne Bay has been remarkably resilient over the years. It may not look the same as it did 50 or 100 years ago, but the water is clear the majority of year, and we do have a lot of seagrass, says Diego associate professor at University of Mi amis Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Over the past ten years, Lirman has been sampling the bays bottom as part of his research. At more than 90 healthy seagrass and macroalgae and no Continued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 large dead spots within the bay. There is a healthy sponge population, a healthy coral population. Its a fairly stable and productive system. says, is the bays hydrodynamics the larly, so there are no long-term stagnant pools of high salinity. And while the oyster population may have declined, the bay is still an important breeding ground for lobsters, shrimp, snapper, and in turn an important food source for tarpon, snook, sharks, and of course, dolphins.Im exhausted. The ache in my back is real this time, and we still have a long way to go. Suddenly Steve stops paddling and points, and thats when I hear, then see, the dolphins. As they dive and surface around me, I notice that one, the biggest, is shiny black. Another dives under my kayak. I stare down and see it turn and look straight up at me. Stunned, not knowing what else to do, I wave hello. After the dolphins leave, I see Steve rocking in his kayak. I scoot over and realize hes trying to take a bathroom break. This fell into the category of things we didnt think through very well. Steve was trying to get on his knees so he could relieve himself over the side. Not a good idea. The kayak capsized and the craft back over and was inside almost as fast as he was out of it. We spent a few minutes collecting loose water bottles and the life vest, the only casualties of the spill. Learning from his experience, I opted to use one of the empty water bottles with about a 50-percent suc cess rate. Eh, salt water is salt water. We were close enough now to make out the shoreline but we couldnt see anything that looked like a ranger sta tion. So we set course for a gray hori zontal line that was so straight it could only be manmade. An hour later we pull up to an empty dock. There is no ranger station. There are no boats. The dock leads to a dirt path in the brush. The dirt path leads nowhere. I, for one, am relieved. Our seclusion remains intact. Its too late to go hunting for the station now. We have about an hour before sunset and we need Anyway, Im fatigued. We made the Continued from page 44 Continued on page 48

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48 we traveled two miles an hour with a couple of rest periods to eat and go to the bathroom, not to mention the rescue mission after Steve capsized. My legs are wobbly from lack of use. My shoulders burn. But right next to this dock is a crescent of bone-white sand and a cove of gin-clear water. The only ones we will share the beach with are the noseeums and the mosquitoes. our steaks to tender perfection on sharp ened sticks. The setting sun has dusted the clouds a soft orange. An egret stalks the shoreline to the north and we hear a splash Bugs come out to feast on us, prompting Steve to head inside the tent. I brave them for now, although they are intense. The swarm of mosquitoes is so dense that I hear their buzzing in a layered chorus of want and need. Some are close to my ears, others are a few inches out, others are out a few inches more, and so on. It gives their buzzing an unnerving depth. the last of my wine and absorb more of the stillness. There is a slight glow from the mainland. I can handle the bugs because this is a marvel not to be missed. To live in a big city and have this wilderness avail able seems almost unfair to the rest of the I take a sip of my wine. The return trip will go smoothly, beautifully in fact. Dolphins will dance around us again, and a school of ballyhoo will jump out of the water and skitter across the surface on their tails a big lumbering manatee at the entrance to Blackpoint. Ill arrive home in due time, bitten and tired, happy to be in the cacophony of family again. But right now Im savoring this scene, drinking it up like the Cabernet in my glass. I recall those feelings of being the last man on a lonely planet. I want to have this feel ing ready when Ive climbed back into the hamster wheel and need some perspective. Without great solitude, no serious sounds about right. I dont know how serious my work will be, but if I can keep this sense of peace alive, I might get a little more of it done. This, of course, will require spending more time on the water. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Continued from page 46 rfrntrb nrfr rrbbr rr nrfr ff rfn tbbb Promotions are not honored during blackout dates. tbbn f fbf rffn tbt nfb nrnfr rtbbbf rr

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50 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDOROfce Depot Out, Whole Foods InLive south of Aventura? Tired of ghting trafc to get your organic arugula? Take heart!And the Bands Played OnIts taken 32 years, but Churchills Pub nally has a claim to worldwide fameBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterThe long wait and endless speculation is over. Whole Foods Market will open a new store in North Miami as early as this year. We dont have a scheduled opening date, but were looking at late 2012 says Russ Benblatt, executive marketing Florida region. Were really at the very The Whole Foods store will be built at 12100-12190 Biscayne Blvd., where a This past December the strip malls new North Miami to demolish the 1967-era, two-story retail center (which housed the area, believes the location is the persays. Its where Aventura intersects in close proximity to Miami Shores, Biscayne Park, and the gated communities United States, Canada, and the United most residents to the south, particularly during rush hour. Aventura is more gridlocked, so anybody who happens to be closer to the new store will [go there] rather than the City Councilman Scott Galvin, an Arch Photo-illustration by Marcy Mock BT photo by Silvia Ros By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorI Then, invariably, they go. The survivand bars. So how do you make it to your Not by bangers and mash alone. Take Churchills as an example. The Little Haiti pub began in 1976 when owner Dave Daniels, now 71 years old, hopped the pond to stay in Miami, I wanted to have a go at something in Daniels arrived here armed with a backIn Britain, Daniels was booking university with an economics degree. When he landed in Miami, he worked as only Churchills, as that place, despite Continued on page 52 Continued on page 54

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The Casino EffectAccording to professor John Kindt, it is destructive always and without exceptionBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterA Group, a Malaysian-based corporation, wins the right to build Resorts World where the Miami Herald building and Omni Mall now stand. Generally there is a bump lasting There are new construction jobs and a lot wont last: Once the project is com pleted, and slot machines come in, [the casinos like Resorts World Miami see to local residents gambling away their wages, mainly at slot machines. Crimes committed by gambling ad dicts will increase nine percent every year while sales-tax revenues decline. Casinos pro-casino politicians, enabling them to lower taxes charged on their slot ma even get local government to seize private property through eminent domain, just as they have in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, in order to expand their operations. restrictions, but they will drop away. In most states [with casinos], it takes a a Miami audience this past December, gathering was hosted by the Beacon Miami-Dade County. antitrust, tax, commercial, environmental, and international law. However, his main and other economists to analyze their pro The plan, which was supposed to create remembers. But upon closer examination by the economists, the casino industrys assertions were revealed to be wrong. economic colleagues determined that this become another Atlantic City, where was New Jerseys regional representative casinos were being proposed. Representatives, Nero backed the proposal, but eventually saw that the gambling The experience has given him an apprecia Nero and Swanson are Florida counties where such complexes are approved by voters. The bills would also lower the taxes charged to existing gambling, and remove existing prohibi tions on serving complimentary alcohol enables more pari-mutuels to obtain slot machines and other Las Vegas-style games such as blackjack or roulette. will make local economies worse. And not just worse, enormously warns. This is all about taking money out Christian Goode counters that the Genting Group is not like American casino companies. Goode, who is presi Genting, which operates destination City, aims to attract wealthy tourists, not poor locals. Resorts World Miamis rev enue model is built on attracting new-toanything like the Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, the casino will be only part versal Studios theme park, the Maritime Courtesy Resorts World Miami Continued on page 53 This is all about taking money out of Florida and not even back to Nevada, like most casinos, but to Malaysia.

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big, hulking satellite dishes so he could access to these games. Result: a lot more customers. Meanwhile, the lunch business was had a decent catering operation. Then Daniels decided to knock down a wall to that, a legend was born. Some big names got their start at Churchills, including Marilyn Mason, the Mavericks, and Social Distortion. U2 dropped by to watch a soccer championCharlie Pickett, a Churchills regular. the neighborhood and peoples drinking habits changed over the years. There In a city that caters to the meticuwhere live-music venues long ago succumbed to DJs and lounges, Churchills has survived and thrived as a holein-the-wall, sit-down-and-have-a-pint dive. The cover charge is cheap, you can hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and new bands are always welcome. And many a new band has taken the stage. Make that a lot pretty sure that more bands have played on Churchills stage than any other on the planet By his reckoning, the number currently stands at 20,000plus. And more bands are added to the Guitar-slinger and Boynton Beach attorney Charlie Pickett, who has played more bands play there than anyone in the Pickett began at Churchills in the popular and respected rocker with drawing higher-caliber bands to the stage. For his part, Pickett has toured the country and says Churchills is one the U.S.A., mostly because Daniels is always at the helm as a competent and interested owner/operator. I seriously keeper, the pub keeper. You talk to him and its low pressure. Its Lets have a Unlike some Dickens characters, his generosity, says Pickett, adding that Miami attorney Henk Milne. Milne, like Pickett a musician in had a stage. Once when Milne was broke, in what he calls his impecu In addition to helping musicians survive, Churchills has helped to shape Miamis music scene. Says Charlie Dave, they were usually erratic or in it no genuine stability. But once it started at Daves, it stayed there. It was stable, Miami music-oriented business owner. She runs Sweat Records. Churchills, Reskin moved into a temporary space behind Churchills. Two years later she opened a bigger and better store next door to Churchills. Continued on page 57 ChurchillsContinued from page 50

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space, and a multimedia center. erty along the Biscayne Corridor, accord ing to the New York Times including the Miami Herald s building. Genting also paid $206 million to Genting has given $10,000 each to political action committees aligned with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, the Miami Herald reported. state Republican and Democratic parties and hired at least two dozen lobbying New York Times reported. Goode assures that a world-class destination-resort experience with a two and three million people to Miami each year. We chose to invest in Miami says. Our export business model thrives because the resort is integrated within a city that already has strong tourist appeal and a diverse business base. That will bring new tourists who previously worked at Gentings New York City operation, promises that model will create up to 100,000 new jobs. available to local residents will pay less at the notion that Gentings casino will abroad, particularly Asia: Who in the Miami when they have all those gambling sorts World Miami will seek to keep as Since the resorts amenities and attractions will be subsidized by gambling revenue, restaurants and hotels outside such as poker, blackjack, and roulette are draw in players. Slot machines, which include video poker and other electronic Continued on page 55 Casino EffectContinued from page 51

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54 Benblatt says it was customer store in that city. We read every e-mail The BT Whole Foods was looking at sites in North Miami. Originally, Whole Foods was going to go to the land across the Irwin Tauber. Instead Whole Foods opted to sign a 20-year lease with Biscayne Partners LLC Los Angeles-based real estate investment Mehrabi didnt own the three-acre site where he plans to build a Whole Foods until July 22, when he bought it million. (The land and building comlast year, according to the Miami-Dade That same day, Mehrabi bought a strip mall that includes a small, 70-year-old Four days later, Mehrabi secured a $7 Mehrabis project is not the only Whole Foods planned within the Biscayne Corridor. MDM Development will build Miami. That store is scheduled to open South Florida Business Journal Galvin says the construction money spent redeveloping the property will help North Miamis economy. He admits, however, that he was surprised at how Depot, the strip malls main tenant, slashed prices at the North Miami store a coin laundry/dry cleaning service, a beauty salon, were either already closed or preparing to move out. to give her name, as she cleaned the BT as he visited Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn FREE 30 MINUTE SESSION WITH THIS AD!!Have you come to a crossroads in your life? Is it time for a game change? Have you lost your passion?If you would like to break through the "blahs" and re-create your life with passion, we can arrange a 30 minute session to brainstorm a plan of action for you.Are you ready to... CATHERINE PATRICK, certified in hypnosis & personal coaching Whole FoodsContinued from page 50

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asserts. Slot machines dont create viduals living near casinos. rounding community one job per year, Ohio Law Review he reported that within into slot machines, where are those asks. They are no longer buying cars, to the Florida Council on Compulsive their gambling. Individuals who were unemployed and/or receiving public as 11 to 16 percent in one year. The largest machines as their primary gambling vice. Slot machines are known as the crack a big place like Miami, you are going to under oath, investigating how the slot machines work, what the odds are, how have hearings where they actually haul in these machines and show how they work. So how many slot machines will Reto say: We are still very early in the design stage, so it would be premature to This past October, Sergio Bakas, designing Resorts World Miami, told the Miami Herald that the Genting resort would be among the largest casinos in Floor plans published recently by the local blog Crespo-Gram Report depicted misspoken, and that casino will have Goode adds that the total gaming area competition. Two pari-mutuels operating in Miami, Magic City Casino and the recently reopened Casino Miami Jai-Alai, Casino EffectContinued from page 53 Continued on page 56

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56 slots. Calder Casino and Race Course in Miami Gardens has 1200. In west MiamiDade, the Miccosukee casino also has 1200, while in Hollywood, the Seminole Resorts World Miami is not the only entity wanting to build a destination resort in Miami-Dade. Las Vegas Sands, a com pany headed by Newt Gingrich presiden is interested in developing a destination assembled by Miami Worldcenter inves Beach. In Miami Gardens, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also wants to build a casino on land surrounding Dolphins Stadium. ing, and what would be allowed under the winski, an Orlando political consultant who heads NoCasinos.org, in an e-mail to the BT Comparing slots at a dog track, or even limited tribal gambling, to what is being casinos and racetracks, the pari-mutuels and tribes have joined with churches, theme parks, restaurants, and hotels in because the new resorts will cannibalize So why is Singapore still a prosper ous city-state with two mega-casinos Citizens and permanent residents must sion price, which is collected by the gov Time magazine the tax rates charged on slot machines will come with compulsive gambling. Moreover, he argues that the state should receive 100 percent enues, as in Canada, where casino operathe pending legislation, a casino company wishing to build a destination resort would $2 million. asserts, would be to not only scrap the des tination resort bills, but also remove slots and legalized gambling entirely. When in 2009, that nations economy improved, Casino EffectContinued from page 55 AventurAjewelry & coin,Inc. www.aventurajewelry .com 19275 Biscayne Blvd., Booth #22 Aventura | FL 33180 305.933.2646 rfntWatchesb f Rare Coinsnr r r nf Gold Platinum Silver INSTANT CASH Paying Top Dollarr REWARD b Michael Freiman, CPNr t Continued on page 57

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Thats why Russia shut down the casinos. And most important, they [casinos] were concedes. Once the gambling interests cancer on the body politic. You cant get them out. They will want to move in and more and more. You have to slam With or without gambling, the Genting Group is still interested in turning its new Miami property into a resort, says Goode, the companys Miami executive. But with a gaming component, development could cantly accelerated should a destination resort livered in stages, in line with market demand, operator. That means the necessary construc Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Casino EffectContinued from page 56 ChurchillsContinued from page 52 SOYKA RESTAURANT ANDIAMO PIZZA SUSHI SIAM LONDON ACHIEVEMENT PROCESSES NORTHEAST MIAMI WOMANS CLUB CODIGO ENTERTAIMENT TODOBEB GREEN DOT ADVERTISING BISCAYNE TIMES AJP INTERIOR DESIGNS home toBETRULife/Style Store & Spiritualist ReaderDETAILSUnique Home Furnishings, Apparel & GiftsORIGINSTattoos by Luiz SegattoMILLE FLEURSFresh FlowersARCAYNE SALONHair & Nails The Restaurant KEPT GREEN, CLEAN, SAFE, AND LOOKING SHARP BY D&V SOLUTIONS 5400 5582 NE 4th COURT & 5600 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD 305 759 8227 | www.The55thStreetStation.com AMPLE VALET AND SELF PARKING WELCOMING LOUNGETHE ONLY REAL GYM IN MIAMI people live in this area and its a great no show. Monday nights are given over to jazz, a long-standing tradi tion. But pick any other night, and more. In Miami, theres simply no musical competition. There is, however, some serious seemingly endless roadway constructive work was supposed to have been completed this past November. Now its anyones guess. Daniels has one particular reason he wants it to stop soon, 2nd Avenue have been complaining. moved out and the newly paved normal, Daniels plans to upgrade because he doesnt want to buy more and ice cream. ment to the ear-splitting, headachemusical luminary Rat Bastard, also a Churchills regular. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Postcard from Safe CityCriminals never come into the Shores a least thats what we hearBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorW

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satellite radio highly desirable, easily resold objects. bad for the Shores. for sure are To really decrease the rate of prop Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbb rfnfttbn btttftttttrfrntb ttttttnnttn fttn tttftttn rffrrt

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIDishing the DirtThe great cleanup begins at Biscayne Landing By Mark Sell BT ContributorIts time to dish the dirt on North Miami. But this time, well defy normal jour nalistic rules and bury the lead. By dishing the dirt, I dont mean exploring the motivations behind the recent within the North Miami City Council or the state criminal investigators snooping around for possible corruption. Nor do I mean the latest cause clbre, in which Councilman Michael Blynn, at the January 10 North Miami Council meeting, had the nerve to mention that Mayor Andre Pierres nephew, Ri cardo Brutus, was arrested for allegedly accepting a $4000 bribe from a local businessman to ensure passage of an ordinance to privatize garbage collection. (True, the arrest happened.) To which Pierre made an Evel Knievel-style rhetori cal leap and replied: What if I called your daughter a prostitute? (The Blynn family is exploring legal options.) And guess what? The garbage that night! (Council members Blynn and Scott Galvin, who appear to be shut out from some folks in the present city administration, were the holdouts). Heres the real dirt, and the buried lead: In the past few weeks, crews have been mobilizing at Biscayne Landing, about 1700 feet southeast of the Oaks Tower, assembling equipment and thick PVC pipe, getting ready for the big burial of ammonia and methane. The contract was signed December 27, the remediation was scheduled (as of this writing) to start January 29, and between now and September, crews will dig 32 shallow, 7-to-18-foot wells to draw out any nasty stuff and shoot it one kilometer into the earth through a 3300-foot injection well. You can get a free ringside seat from the south end of the Oaks South Tower. Digging the shallow wells along 3700 linear feet on the border with the wetlands should take nine months, and the process should be in operation by Januhas been poked, prodded, and studied to death for the past 30 years. Google it and COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: ppspost@earthlink.net T.M.Est. 1980 BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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youll get the idea. What buried treasures await the digging crews? Garbage, for sure. Six million cubic yards of it, with a particular concentration about 1000 feet south of Tower II. The really nasty stuff, such as medical waste, was carted away long ago, before the Environmental Protection Agency removed Biscayne Landing from its hit list in 1999, declared it no longer a hazard to human health, and transferred supervision to the State of Florida. Crews will compact and move the garbage and cap it with asphalt, concrete, or buildings. The rest of the land will get a fresh, two-foot coat of soil. Ammonia and methane remain in relatively small and declining amounts. The average content of ammonia in the Biscayne Landing property groundwater is 17 parts per billion. The peak, with the greatest depth of garbage, is measured at 80 parts per billion. The low range is 10 parts per billion. The target range after cleanup is 0.5 to 2.8 parts per billion. Methane, an explosive gas when con centrated, is already monitored through sensors in perforated PVC pipe under the Oaks Towers. The sensors have never detected enough methane to set them off, and the air escapes and disperses through a line of white, candy-cane-shaped open PVC pipes lined up along the Oaks park ing lot. You can expect such sensors and passive escape vents in every building that ultimately goes up on the 184-acre Biscayne Landing site in the next decade, starting with the big-box retailers you should begin seeing sometime in 2014. Ammonia and methane as chemical compounds are natural byproducts of de The amounts in the groundwater of Bis cayne Landing are actually declining with each passing year because people stopped dumping garbage there in 1981. Neither the contamination level is still unaccept ably high for environmental authorities. The real potential risk lies in the contaminants effect on Biscayne Bay, and the Biscayne Aquifer the source of South Floridas drinking water, about 150 feet underground amid highly permeable limestone, sandstone, and sand. It appears that little ammonia is leaching from the site into the bay. Environmental authorities limit the per billion, but barely a trace is getting that far. Some leaching could occur on the western end of the wetlands near the Biscayne Landing boundary, where ammonia in small quantities can act as a fertilizer promoting plant growth. Theres plenty of birdlife in the man grove, with ospreys, wood storks, peli cans, and egrets feeding at sunrise, plenty of raccoons, and the occasional rabbit. On summer evenings after a rain shower, the symphony of frogs and crickets. In winter, in the estuaries by the Arch Creek East Nature Trail, you can even spot the oc casional manatee around sunrise. There is some concern that the brackish water from the wetland could seep into the groundwater under Biscayne Landing, a process called saltwater intrusion. Crews will dig a curtain to minimize that saline intrusion while digging the wells, which will run along the work sites east side, from the Biscayne Landing Oaks Towers in North Miami south to Highland Village in North Miami Beach. (Municipal borders are such a jumble that Highland Village is North Miami Beach sandwich meat in a North Miami roll). The wells will keep operating until the Miami-Dade Department of Permitting, Environment, and Regulatory Affairs (PERA, formerly known as DERM, the Department of Environmental Resources Management) determines that the ammonia is reduced to target levels, or .5 to 2.8 parts per billion. This wont be the end of the permitting. Among other things, the developer propertys southwestern corner. The big hurdle will be getting state permission to the wetlands to give Florida International University a coveted second entrance. Theres plenty to learn, and lots of in formation available, but you need a sharp Landing and, on the left side of the screen, youll see Frequently Asked Questions. Click on that, go to the report, explore the links, and start digging for dirt. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aATT otal TT ech TT ripAfter computer meltdown, a search for a carrying case leads to light-headedness and luxury By Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorAfter writing a column for this publication every issue for the past 17 months, I was pretty upset that I missed the start of 2012. How could that happen? you might ask. Well, it goes something like this years, I decided to take a real vacation huge suitcases, dropped the pooch with our trusted friends, Sheera and Charley, and off to Port Everglades we went. My article was set; I was ready to push send when it happened the meltdown. Let me digress for a minute. Remember the TV show where theres a whole group of superheroes with into ice; others can read minds or stop bullets by blinking. Well, Im proof that you dont need to be a superhero to have a special power. Mine is sucking the energy out of all things technological. So with that said, my computer died on the spot, leaving me story-less! It was agony to know that an issue would hit the streets without me in it. But thanks to my quick-thinking BT editor, I was spared that fate; he ran a reprint of my Flash forward. It is now mid-January and I have a brand-new Sony Vaio laptop. I am treating it with kid gloves as though it could explode at any moment, and the way I handle it will make all the difference. That prompted me to start looking at cases, covers, and ways to protect my livelihood and, in essence (melodramatic pause), my life. Being that I live seconds away from the mall, I decided that would Although I dont love shopping in the mall, there really isnt any independently owned local store that I know of that specializes in protective gear for laptop computers. So at the height of the postChristmas shopping season, in I went. Now, let me once again digress for a minute to share an observation. I believe and New Years was the worst it has been since I moved to Aventura in 2005. It took close to 15 minutes to drive from

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188th Street to the front entrance of the mall on Biscayne Boulevard. I think my biggest mistake was actually trying to take the main roads instead of utilizing those less traveled. The crazy part is congestion caused by the seasonal swell in concrete jungle dwellers, even the hidden routes were jam-packed. But that didnt deter me. There was nothing that could come between me and protecting my loved one, as the Vaio has come to be known around my house. And so I waited at red lights, drove at two miles per hour, swerved out of the way of random lane-changers and those who needed to make their left turn before I made my right, and dodged those hell-bent on getting to a parking spot before me. Finally, after parking so far away that it might have been a good was there. The fun was really about to begin. Theres something about the air in the mall that makes me spacey. I cant put up in Long Island a fact that I do not often talk about but Long Island and reason I dont care much for malls now.) Anyway, the spaced-out feeling doesnt impede my ability to shop. It just kind of makes me wander more. I never really took care of my computer equipment before. Cases were purely for fun and decorative purposes, but this time it was different. I went into but his stuff isnt exactly designed with laptop safety in mind. So I moved on. Next stop: Kipling. With all the backpacks they have in there, I thought maybe thered be something Nope. There was some padded thing, but not for me. So I walked on. I went to Macys, followed by Bloomingdales. Everything I saw was either practical and ugly, or useless. Perhaps I was being too picky, but is fashionable and functional too much to ask for? Then I had a eureka moment. I wandered over to the kiosk in the middle of the mall where they love to overcharge for blinged-out iPhone and iPad cases. I thought maybe theyd have a super overpriced computer case that would suit my purposes. I looked. There were tons of Swarovski crystal-studded phone cases, rubber iPad covers, keyboards, and more. No computer anything. Seriously? I never thought it would be this tough. I know this sounds totally mun dane, but Im asking you to imagine the trauma of my having lost the tool that enables me to make a living. Its like a surgeon losing his hands or a singer losing her voice. I am a writer and I lost my computer outdone my melodramatic self.) Okay, so it may not have been life or death, but it was a huge inconvenience. Getting back to my plight, I continued searching: in and out of Tumi, Fossil, Nordstrom. And then I saw the Coach store. Im always about small, unknown brands and prefer to shop at mom-andpop stores, but I was at my wits end, so I walked in. I looked around at the bags Id seen on every woman, everywhere. I was about to leave when I realized there is no such thing as the perfect computer case. Again, it sounds so trite, which I realize, but please, indulge me. As long as you really like something, it can work. Profound, I know, but its the truth. I wound up buying a Coach diaper bag. It had all the elements I needed. The bag is made from a thick, protective material, it has a ton of pockets, its stylish, and most of all, can carry it all over and not worry about damage. Im not proud that I caved and bought mall goods, but it was a means to a necessary end. I love my new computer bag and, if it truly serves its purpose, I will be writing my column for the BT for years to come. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com I went to Macys, followed by Bloomingdales. Everything I saw was either practical and ugly, or useless. Perhaps I was being too picky.

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARK II t Was the C C a mpaign, SS tu pidWhy the commission election turned out the way it did By Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorI didnt intend to write a post-election column, dissecting this past Decem bers contest for village commission. One reason is, I generally detest the horse race approach to elections, in which the obsession with who might win or did win, and how, overwhelms any consideration of what the candidates actually represent. The other reason I dont particularly like election analysis (pre or post) is that Im not much better at it than the know-it-all pundits who consistently get it wrong on the national level. But what can I say? People apparently want to know my thoughts regarding why it turned out the way it did. Ive been asked about it while playing with my son in the park, jogging in the neighborhood, shopping at the supermarket, even mowing my lawn. Ill begin by reporting the results, since there are still some folks out there who may not know: Barbara Watts received the highest number of votes (317), followed by incumbent Bob Anderson (278), Noah Jacobs (254), Supreme Dorvil (228), and incumbent Al Childress (225). The top two vote getters will serve four-year terms. As the third leading vote getter, Mr. Jacobs, who was subsequently elected mayor by the new commission, will serve two years. The three join Commissioner Bryan Cooper and former Mayor (now Commissioner) Roxanna Ross on the dais. Thats who won. But why did the discern. The candidates records would seem to have had very little do with the outcome. Incumbents Anderson and Childress the only two candidates with a paper trail had a nearly identical voting record on ordinances the past place while the other came in last. Also having little to do with the outcome, thankfully, was insidious speculation on the part of some of our more imaginative neighbors regarding what might happen if candidates Jacobs and Watts prevailed. Namely, that a secret deal would make Commissioner Cooper (whom they intensely dislike) mayor, that manager (plunging our community into 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 Phone: 954-410-3981www.enduracolor.comENDURA HARDWOOD FLOORINGCome to the True Experts in Hardwood Flooring...

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disarray), and that Biscayne Park would sign a pact with the planet Zenoplubus, requiring our children and wives to be sent there for re-education. the third, well, I made up the third, but about as a possible talking point. So what did the election turn on? Are you ready for my earth-shaking insight? The candidates who won were the ones who drum roll, please ran the best campaigns. And by best, I mean they worked harder than their opponents, did a better job of getting across their message, or both. Take Commissioner Anderson. He essentially launched his re-election bid in the summer, walking the streets, putBy the time the election rolled around, he was a ubiquitous presence. One neighbor told me he dropped by her house on three separate occasions. Commissioner open window, throw on an apron, and welcome a family of voters home from work with a delectable pot roast I got the sense that, if that had been what was necessary to win, he would have done it. By comparison, Commissioner Childress was practically invisible. Yes, he had some signs up and he did send out a mailer the weekend before the election, but that was about it. It makes one wonder if Commissioner Childress ran more out of a sense of obligation than any real desire to stay on the commission. (For some, it can get old quick; Commissioner Steve Bernard, after only one term, declined to run at all.) Then there was Mr. Dorvil, who proved to be a very personable young November, he came close to stealing the show. Mr. Dorvil, though, never displayed much of an appreciation for the complexities of village government, nor did he have a lot to say other than he wanted a commission that got along. be called a platform. an election largely perceived to be between two opposing tickets (Anderson/ Childress vs. Jacobs/Watts) and in which voters could select up to three candidates someone who kept quiet side would scoop up votes left and right. one. Except two things went wrong: One, name fewer than three candidates on their ballots. Two, to the degree that there was a crossover candidate in the election, the vote tally would suggest it was Commissioner Watts, who, like Mayor Jacobs, ran a strong campaign based on bringing greater transparency and accountability to government. (And Mayor Jacobs knocked on almost as many doors as Commissioner Anderson.) Some people were concerned about the low voter turnout, roughly 27 per outcome? Probably not. And there are a couple of different ways to look at that number. In absolute terms, it is love to see 60 percent or more of the village come out for a commission elec tion. On the other hand, 27 percent of registered voters is a much higher par ticipation rate than for similar elections contest for Miami-Dade mayor, for example, only 16 percent of registered voters voted. moving the village election to evennumbered years and combining it with county, state, and national elections, a move that would save money and undoubtedly bring more people out. that voters would be   any better informed about local issues and candidates. They might just be showing up to vote for president or governor and decide to pencil in some names for Biscayne Park heard of who are on the ballot. All of which is to say, I think our system works pretty well the way it is, and the voters of Biscayne Park got it right this past December, at least by one measure: We elected the candidates who understood that running is a verb. Will it result in better government? Ask me in a few months. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGE GG o FigureOur correspondent nds herself modeling for an art class and hating the whole sit still thingBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorYoure a brave woman, says my husband. And I suppose I have to agree. No, I didnt challenge any machismo-charged dragons to a duel, climb a mountain in subzero conditions equipped solely with dried fruit and a putty knife, drive on I-95 during rush hour (the fact that many of you do it every day does not diminish its bravado!), or even, perish the thought, watch Fox News. skimpy-ish underwear with a spotlight trained right smack on my rump for oh, how long was that pose? Five minutes? I bared my aging cheeks to a room full of strangers, who then proceeded to draw my ass. Or watercolor it. Or penand-ink it. Or pencil it. Or charcoal it. Or immortalize it in bronze. (Okay, that didnt happen.) In my seemingly endless pursuit of tion?), and interest in all that is ahhrt, I volunteered to pose for an atypical slash-lounge in Broward. On a Thursday night. For three hours. Now, when I say three hours, I do not mean to imply that I stood in one position for three hours. Because thats just crazy talk. Although Ive heard of people holding a pose for one hour. However, Ive never seen it, so perhaps those people were not people at all, but aliens posing as drawing class. Yes, I watch too much of the Sci-Fi network. Anyway, after holding a series of poses for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes each, I can tell you that anyone who does remain in one spot in excess of 20 minutes is probably an alien posing as David Blaine posing for a stillness would require Zen master skill. Patience. Inner peace. The ability to astrally project ones ass off a hard chair and onto a grainy mound of warm, sandy beach. Whats needed to hold still for extreme lengths of time is a calm inner child, if you will. 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 BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Well, as you may have guessed, I dont possess any of that peaceful nonsense in my toolbox of coping mechanisms. Neither do I, er, inhale. This is unfortunate. I was told by someone who used to model for art classes that smoking pot was a great warm-up. I can imagine. I mean, stoned people regularly just stare at walls for extended periods of time, anyway. So it seems like the perfect herbal modeling companion. Except except there is that off chance that one could randomly become paranoid and freak out suddenly See, all youre allowed to do while sitting completely frozen is move your eyes. This option is good and bad. Its good because you can remain a distracted and entertained, yet unmoving, thing. Its bad if you see something uncool. Because youre stuck. And if youre stoned and morph into a giant, winged creature who direction, well, youre screwed. Because you cant move, remember? I mean, technically, you can move. But the outcome wont be pretty. I was in a room with about 40 people who paid to see me sit or stand as long as I produced angles. Once you commit to a pose, you mustbestill. If you move, you mess up the artists drawing. So its really a form of torture for your more animated, loud, ADD, gesticuYes! roared back at me. Huh? What? Did I blink? Shocked, I wondered if air-conditioning blowing on fully, after that initial scare, the poses became a bit more I wouldnt say easier tolerable. So did the crowd. In the beginning, there was a sour guy sitting right in front of me. ThisClose I caught him sketching Crack Head, a mannequin bust I brought with me to use as a prop. This pissed me off. I mean, Crack Head wasnt suffering! She doesnt have to work at not moving. A few tables beyond the Sour Patch Kid sat two older men. Oddly, one had a painted selfportrait propped up next to him. They reminded me of the hecklers from the The Muppet Show Statler and Waldorf. They drew, but rather than appearing focused, they looked grumpy. At pose (we were all given a heads-up as to the time remaining on each pose), one complained to the other: Five minutes! The other answered: No! Five minutes left poses. I found out later that they didnt like the music. the nude. For this venue, nudity was not permitted, but being almost nude was. I invested way too much time trying to decide what to wear to complement my Creepy Doll theme. The problem I wrestled with was how could I bare skin and be one with the dolls? The old-fashioned dolls are bundled up in frumpy dresses. Finally I decided to act as their whoring alter ego and wore sequins, booty shorts, and a sparkly bra. And tall boots and heels. Oh, I also brought along a stuffed animal shaped like a very big snake, an old rotary phone, a stuffed-animal lemur, one of my best porcelain-faced creepy dolls, and of course, Crack Head, who sports a long, jagged crack on the side of her head, above sleepy green eyes. I spent so much time obsessing over what I was going to wear and bring that I didnt have time to do one very important thing: practice. In researching how to be a good little the one who was stoned during sessions) and asked for tips. This friend has experience modeling for art classes at Florida State University. She recommended I practice poses in front of a mirror and to not hold my arm above my head because my arm would fall asleep. That was all good advice, but I didnt follow it. get the hang of it. Counterbalancing your weight is essential, and my hand only fell asleep once. Apparently I did well and the students showed me their artwork, which looked to me to range from Comic Book Villain to Bottom Heavy Serial Killer. But hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Now available at On My Own18060 Biscayne Boulevard Aventura, Florida 33160 305 932 8032 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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68 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADETales From the FirehouseOur correspondent shares a couple of hot ones from the good ol days at Station No. 2By Frank Rollason BT ContributorBack on January 2, an article appeared in the Miami Herald noting that Miamis old Fire Station No. 2, located on N. Miami Avenue and 14th Street, was being renovated and rebuilt by the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency to be utilized Entertainment District. There was a comment that caught my eye from Deputy Fire Chief Freddie Fernandez, who mused, What a pleasure it would have been to work in this Well, on this topic, I can certainly had the distinct pleasure and honor to work with some of the true legends of bell, Lieutenant Conway, Jimmy Dasher, Booty Bryan, Ted Bug-eye Calvert, Young Andy Sixkiller, Buddy Robinson, Tom ONeil, Tom Eckman, and Emory Couch, to name a few. As in most jobs, it is the people who make work a pleasure, not the structure, and that was particularly true of Station 2. First, a little background. Prior to World up at home, you go to work, and if you wake up at work, you go home! Anyway, shortly after the war, the department added a third shift and the captains on the two original shifts had Of course no captain would send any problem children to the new shift, would

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they? I remember being told one story of month Long Term Care Insurance Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Culture: THE ARTSSculptures in the GardenThe Deering Estate becomes the latest green space to take the contemporary art plungeBy Anne Tschida BT ContributorMaybe it was the full foliage in Miami-Dades historic parks that for years covered up the art they attempted to exhibit. Or perhaps it was because art was never the focal point and selling point it is today. Whatever the reason, area parks and art never seemed to mix. Until recently. As begun to double as exhibition spaces. Like Fairchild Tropical Botanic Chihuly glass sculptures throughout the park several years ago to much applause. During this previous Art Basel, Fairchild brought in giant rose and insect sculptures from another well-known artist, Will Ryman. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens has ratcheted up its visual arts program as well, giving space to intriguing conceptual artists such as Ernesto Oroza (Mapping Vizcaya, April 2011) and, most recently, Naomi Fisher. Now this month, the Deering Estate is also opening up its art program to include an adventurous embrace of 21stcentury work. As part of its SoBay Festival of the Arts, the estate will feature works from members of its residency program, including Aurora Molina and Christina Pettersson, along with artists residency, such as Jiae Hwang, Manny Prieres, and the TM Sisters a talented group of compelling, contemporary Miami artists. But outdoors is where some boundaries really will be pushed. Estate is letting artist and teacher Ralph Provisero curate an exhibition that somewhat of a sculpture show. Called Wedding Crashers, the show includes site-spe well-known local artists who, indeed, crashed the grounds and made works that would interact with the unique location and history of the estate. That history starts with agriculture mogul Charles Deering, the Chicago businessman behind the International Harvester Company, who later in life dedicated himself to collecting art and amassing mansions. In the early 20th Century, he built the manor and cottages comprising his estate on Biscayne Bay, along what is now Old Cutler Road. (Some interesting connections between Deering and the previously mentioned garden parks of Miami: Charles had botanist David Fairchild work on his grounds; and his brother, James Deering, built Vizcaya.) After his last heir died and most of the art collection was donated or sold off, the property was turned over to the state and Miami-Dade County in 1985. Today the 444-acre estate is a nature preserve and encompasses hammocks, mangroves, salt marshes, and a new, burgeoning art collection. Like its sister mansion, Vizcaya, the Deering Estate may be best known as a wedding, birthday, and quince party destination, which is why Provisero named this exhibition what he did. Last year he installed an outdoor sculpture at the estate he has had a number of outdoor commissions and shows with the Dorsch Gallery and they asked him back to produce an entire show for the annual festival. Provisero says he invited artists he knew would be creative and self-guided in their projects. He asked them to visit the expansive property and decide how they would interact with it, not in a blatantly obtrusive way, but also not in a traditional way. He didnt want them Photos courtesy of Ralph Provisero Deering Estate at Cutler

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bringing in pre-made sculptures and plop ping them down. He also wanted them to make work that would intrigue the next wedding party that passed through. I want to bring some communities together [that may not have interacted in the past], he says. The point was not to be over the top, but to break down barri ers. Many of the people in South Miami may not be regulars at Wynwood art walks, just as artists and their colleagues from the countys northern reaches may have no idea that a place like the Deering Estate exists. Provisero also wanted to riff on the inherently conservative event that is a wedding reception, where everything is coordinated and little is left to chance. So he decided the artists would respond to a given area by creating an altered space through an alternate sense of reality. In the end, the 12 artists came up with and which would be scattered all over the grounds; another part of Proviseros mission is to get visitors to explore the property, by drawing them through with avoiding, for the most part, the main re ception areas, the artists targeted various nooks and crannies and got to work. Jason Hedges built a cooking spit, as he has done in the past, in a vertical teepee form. After the opening cooking performance, the scaffolding of the spit will remain, like the remnants of a wedding reception. gold cubes on the water, maybe a reference to the fortune that it took to build the massive estate. The cubes will be pontoons keeping them above water. Robert Chambers devised a sculpture out of old shelving that resembled bleachers, perhaps reminiscent of a place from which to watch a wedding. Cheryl Pope wanted to bring in an antique phone booth, where people could walk in and listen to somebodys history. Bhakti Baxter was interested in taking over two positions that straddle a waterway, joining them with an architectural intervention, while Frances Trombly will set up caution tape, suggesting a designated area for something special or foreboding; the tape is actually the artists woven, handmade piece of cloth. Wendy Wischer will provide a light sculpture tucked into the grass. Clifton Childree took a special liking to the wine cellar of the main house, where he was told ghosts live. Childree is known for sets and sculptures that relate to the history of a which still holds 3000 bottles from an illegal distillery of the Prohibition era, sculpture machine. The exhibit technically only runs through March 10, but Provisero hopes the pieces will be invited to stay. In fact, while some of the works will be such as a dance on a boat from Pioneer Winter, Provisero wants everyone to leave something behind. (Winter will leave his boat.) Ideally, he says, these works will form the foundation for building an ultracontemporary sculpture collection. Whether or not that happens, just the fact the Deering Estate was open to Wedding Crashers is progress, pushing the envelope a little, and in an area of town that has been off-the-beaten art path. The SoBay Festival of the Arts kicks reception the night of February18. Along with the performances and indoor and outdoor art, Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez will project her alt-cinema on the trees and landscaping near the entrance on opening night. The evening is free. Wedding Crashers, through March 10, the Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami, 305-235-1668; www. deeringestate.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com r fnfrf rfntbrfntbtfbrbnbbbnfn bffnbrbb rbbnbn nbbbbnbnbinfo@fumcmiami.com .rffntbb bb ASH WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 22ND

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72 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through February 8: Undertow by Jason Shawn Alexander February 11 through March 3: Flesch and Blood by Heather Nevay 12345 West Dixie Hwy., North Miami 305-895-2553 www.dixieimageworks.com Through February 12: Rust and Resurrection with Irene Torruella Munroe, Paul Morris, and Randy Burman 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Ongoing: Natures Pulse by Debra Holt 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net February 24 through April 4: Degrees, Far from Paradise by Benjamin Rusnak ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-587-0172 www.albertolinerogallery.com February 8 through March 1: Amour with Matachos Art, Pedro Sandoval, Nelly Del Rio, and Fred Mou 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net February 10 through March 30: Things-in-the-Air by Pachi Giustinian AMY ALONSO GALLERY 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 March 19: Odyssey 2012 with various artists ARTSEEN GALLERY 2215 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-237-3559 http://artseenspace.wordpress.com/ Call gallery for exhibition information ASCASO GALLERY 2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9410 www.ascasogallery.com Through February 12: Collectors Delight with Carlos Cruz Diez, Fernando Botero, Jesus Soto, Alexander Calder, Alejandro Otero, Cornelis Zitman, Nicolas Shoffer, Oswaldo Vigas, Victor Valera, Alirio Palacios, James Mathison, Luisa Richter, Arturo Correa, and Jorge Segui February 24 through May 1: curated by Serge Lemoine 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 February 10 through March 2: INTERACTION I with Stefan Eins, Richmodis DM, and Gunilda Woerner 180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami Call gallery for exhibition information BERNICE STEINBAUM GALLERY 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com Through February 29: This Is Not Taxidermy by Enrique Gomez de Molina BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through February 27: Levitation by Victor Sydorenko BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 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 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com February 12 through March 25: Sherri Tan, 1992-2012: A 20 Year Survey by Sherri Tan 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www.susannacaldwell.com Ongoing: Seductive Assemblages and Wood Sculpture by Susanna Caldwell CAROL JAZZAR CONTEMPORARY ART 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com February 24 through April 22: Full Spectrum Dominance with Conor McGrady and Roberto Visani A Little Window Inside My Head by Ana Albertina CARIDI GALLERY 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www.visual.org Through February 14: Travelers in Time by Lluis Barba CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411 www.charestweinberg.com Through February 29: Black Sculpture by Fernando Mastrangelo CHRISTOPHER MIRO GALLERY 71 E. Flagler St., Miami 305-741-0058 www.christophermirogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information CS GALLERY 787 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-308-6561 www.chirinossanchez.com Ongoing: Group Show with various artists CURATORS VOICE ART PROJECTS 2509 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-357-0568 www.curatorsvoiceartprojects.com Through February 18: Show Me the Money by Rubem Robierb DANIEL AZOULAY GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com February 11 through March 31: Harumi Abe, Vera Iliatova, and Yui Kugimiya Practice

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DEZER SCHAUHALLE MIAMI 2000 NE 146th St., North Miami 954-270-7404 www.dezerschauhalle.com Through February 29: Retrospective to the Future by Bunny Yeager Ich bin ein Berliner with various artists, curated by Verena Tafel and Helmut Schuster DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 February 11 through April 7: The Mantuana of Clemencia Labin by Clemencia Labin archiTECTONICS by Julie Davidow DIASPORA VIBE GALLERY 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305 573-4046 www.diasporavibe.net Through March 31: New Possessions: Caribbean Artists in the US. Call to artists in the Diaspora with various artists DIMENSIONS VARIABLE 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net Through February 18: The Unit by Alice Raymond DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com February 9 through March 30: Short Stories by Guillermo Srodek-Hart DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com February 10 through April 7: The Politics of Time by Kyle Trowbridge Dreams of Occupation Whats in It For Me? by Magnus Sigurdarson Magnetic Poetry by Carlos Rigau DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Call gallery for exhibition information ELITE ART EDITIONS 2732 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 754-422-5942 www.elitearteditions.com February 11 through March 5: Gift Boxes by Fabiana Pea ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 February 11 through March 11: Ecstatic Visions by Andrea Dasha Reich FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through February 4: Speed of Life by Mauricio Gonzalez February 17 through March 17: Michael Vasquez GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque. com Call gallery for exhibition information GALERIE SCHUSTER MIAMI 2085 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-266-2445 www.galleryschuster.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 212 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through February 11: Hysterical Sublime by Richard Hoglund February 17 through March 31: The Woodmans with Betty Woodman, Charlie Woodman, Francesca Woodman, and George Woodman GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Call gallery for exhibition information GIOVANNI ROSSI FINE ART 2628 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 561-251-1375 Call gallery for exhibition information HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami www.hardcoreartcontemporary.com info@hardcoreartmiami.com Through February 4: Down & Under with Consuelo Castaeda, Gaston Ugalde, and Milton Becerra February 11 through March 3: Games in the Dark by Gladys Triana Cinetique by Nicolas Felizola Untitled by Consuelo Castaeda HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through February 11: Encyclopedia of Hallucinations East by Rob Reger IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through February 26: Astilla en el Ojo by Rodrigo Echeverri Calero JG PLATFORM GALLERY 282 NW 25th St., Miami Space Lighting Studio 305-458-5085 www.jgplatform.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through February 25: KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through February 20: Black Collection by Salustiano KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Through February 31: Is Art An Antidepressant? with various artists LOCUST PROJECTS 155 NE 38th St., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Call gallery for exhibition information MAOR GALLERY 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-9995 http://maormiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 Through May 4: Minimum/Maximum with various artists 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 500 College Terr., Homestead 305-237-5000 www.mdc.edu/homestead Call gallery for exhibition information 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Through April 6: Not For Sale with Alena Fresquet, Victor J. Gomez, and Ralph Provisero MICHAEL PEREZ POP ART GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 516-532-3040 www.michaelperez-artist.com Call gallery for exhibition information MORE FUNNER PROJECTS 180 NE 39th St., Miami 786-512-4130 www.morefunnerprojects.blogspot.com Call gallery for exhibition information Emptiness

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74 MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com February 11 through May 31: Myra Galleries Anniversary with Milani, Lee Leenam, Kim Kyeong Ja, Paolo Cassara, and Jean Duffy NEW WORLD GALLERY New World School of the Arts 25 NE 2nd St., Miami 305-237-3597 Through February 24: ALLTOGETHERNOW: Explorations in Digital Art and Video with various New World School of the Arts students 1800 N. Bayshore Dr ., Miami 305-395-3599 February 3 through March 30: Monumental: Here and Now with Rodolfo Sanchez Lalinde, Henry Bermudez, Eduardo Agelvis, and Jos Antonio Zarate NORMAN LIEBMAN STUDIO 2561 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-3572 www.norman-liebman-studio.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through February 4: Urbanitas with Gustavo Acosta, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Tony Berlant, Luis Camejo, Carlos Estevez, Jos Manuel Fors, Carlos Gallardo, Milton George, Gory, Santiago Porter, Magnus Sigurdarson, and Tracey Snelling February 11 through March 31: The Naked Truth: Nudes and Erotica in Art with various artists 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com February 11 through March 31: Bad As I Wanna Be by Jessy Nite SAMMER GALLERY 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information 150 NE 42nd St., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com Call gallery for exhibition information STASH GALLERY 162 NE 50th Terr., Miami 305-992-7652 www.stashgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3821 NE 1st Ct., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information TONY WYNN MODERN ART GALLERY 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 February 25: Isolations with Lilly McElroy, Dana Meilijson, Rodolfo Vanmarcke, and Missy Nuzzo 201 NE 39th St., Miami 305-576-6960 Call gallery for exhibition information WYNWOOD WALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th Street 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, How & Nosm, Roa, b., The Date Farmers, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf YEELEN ART GALLERY 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 February 19: Potential Amendments with Jenny Brillhart, Vincent Hemphill, and Moira Holohan February 24 through April 1: Mapping: Time and Space with Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan, Amanda Serrano, Rosa Naday Garmendia, Lucinda Linderman, Regina Jestrow, and Carrie Sieh 2100 Collin s Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through February 12: Laurent Grasso Through March 4: Beauty Business by Erwin Wurm 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org 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 Through March 10: Maintain Right by Funner Projects, with Justin H. Long and Robert Lorie ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through February 19: Color on Color with various artists Through March 18: T our de France/Florida: Contemporary Artists from France in Floridas Private Collections Through March 18: West Wind East Water by Qin Feng Through April 1: A Thought for the Planet / Un Pensamiento por el Planeta by Annette Turrillo Offerings by Maria Thereza Negreiros Through April 15: Metropole/Colony: Africa and Italy with various artists LEGAL ART 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 March 25: From the Vault: Building a Legacy, Sixty Years of Collecting at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami with various artists Through April 22: Women, Windows, and the Word: Diverging Perspectives on Islamic Art with various artists Through September 23: Saintly Blessings: A Gift of Mexican Retablos from Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists MIAMI ART MUSEUM 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 February 26: If the Face Had Wheels by Dana Schutz 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 February 12: Pivot Points V by Teresita Fernandez Through February 19: Rolling Stop by Mark Handforth 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www.margulieswarehouse.com Through April 28: New Exhibitions with various artists 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 http://rfc.museum Through July 27: American Exuberance with various artists Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www.worldclassboxing.org 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 Forecaster

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Hit the Roads, JackWinter is the time for wandering outdoors, maybe discovering a little something about our surroundings. Historian Paul George can help you with that, during his Roam ing the Roads Walking Tour sponsored by HistoryMiami. On Saturday, Febru ary 4 from 10:00 a.m. to noon, garrulous George will lead a stroll through Miamis central district, which is also one of its most historic. Its that pedestrian-friendly area tucked just off Brickell, which includes such old and unique houses of worship as the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church and the Beth David Congregation. Cost is $20 for members; $30 for nonmem bers. To RSVP, call 305-375-1621 or go to www.historymiami.org.Step Lively into the StreetStreet fests should always be held downtown. Something about the tall buildings and the people packed into a small area makes everything seem more exciting. Which is why the 10th Annual Flagler Fest to be held on Saturday, February 4 is special. Taking place along downone-day main street (between Biscayne Boulevard and NW 1st Avenue), Flagler Fest will feature a petting zoo for the kids and, for the adults, a vintage automobile show. For anyone who hasnt ventured downtown for a while, there might be added interest in seeing the people-friendly life that has sprung up in what once was a dead zone. From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.Mapping FunOkay, so the 19th Annual Miami Inter national Map Fair at HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.) may scream nerd party, but cartography holds a fascination for people the world over. Maps, after all, are vehicles of discovery, pointing the way to new adventures. From Saturday, Febru ary 4 to Sunday, February 5 antique maps and rare books will be on display, and the worlds top map dealers will be on hand. Admission will also serve a good cause, as the small fee of $5 is a direct donation to the upkeep of the museum. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, go to www.historymiami.org.Alls Fair in MiamiMiami is the Home of the Art Fairs, tons and tons of them. So why shouldnt February get one? From Thursday, Feb ruary 16 through Monday, February 20 Midtown will host Art Wynwood Not to be confused with the Wynwood Art Fair or Art Miami, this will be Art Wynwoods inaugural unveiling, with about 70 international galleries represented, including Miamis Bernice Steinbaum and Pan American Art Projects. As a standalone fair, it is hoped that Art Wynwood will bring attention to those galleries and artists that might otherwise will take place in a tent at 3101 NE 1st Ave., Midtown Miami. Hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Day passes cost $15. Go to www.art-wynwood.com.Blues in the NightRobert Cray isnt your granddaddys blues artist. While steeped in the blues of the Deep South, Cray also incorporates rock, jazz, even hints of reggae into his sound. After forming the Robert Cray Band in the 1970s, the guitarist and vocalist has produced one acclaimed record after part of Black History Month, he arrives at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, February 17 for Blues and Soul Sharing the bill with Cray will be new-generation blues belter Shemekia Copeland. Tickets range from $25 to $125. Go to www.arshtcenter.org.Mandy the MagnicentEveryone remembers Mandy Patinkin from the cult-movie hit The Princess Bride in which he delivered the classic line: My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Although Patinkin seems dont expect to hear him say anything of the sort when he shows off his famed Broadway chops with the premiere of Let Go a medley of songs for his American photo album, featuring compositions by the likes of Sondheim, Bernstein, Berlin, and Tom Waits. Patinkin will be at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center from Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, February 26 Show times are 8:00 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on the weekend. Tickets are $75. Go to www. aventuracenter.org.New and Sharp SoundsAnyone familiar with the avant-garde and experimental music scene will know how integral the laptop computer has become to performance. That wasnt the case when guitar ist Elliott Sharp pulled his out for a New York City show in the 1980s. No one had really done it before. Now, thanks to Tigertail Productions, the musical innovator and pioneer will be turn ing up at the Miami-Dade County Auditoriums On Stage Black Box Theater (2901 W. Flagler St.) on Saturday, February 25 at 8:30 p.m. Classically trained as a pianist, Sharp mixes genres from speed metal to jazz in his guitar compositions, and has teamed up with musi cians, performers, and artists alike. Tickets cost $30, with student and senior discounts available. Go to www.tigertail.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Here and Now ForeverSome milestones are just worth celebrating like the fact that Miami Light Projects Here and Now festival has been going strong since 1999. On two successive weekends, from Thursday, February 2 through Saturday, February 4, and from Thursday, February 9 through Saturday, February 11 new and experimental works commissioned by Miami Light will get an airing at the Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St.). On the program: Cabaret stylist Natasha Tsakos will debut a 3-D enhanced performance called Omen ; Carlota Pradera and Priscilla Marrero will test out a dance-theater number, Aquarius Juice ; and more. Shows are at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20, with student discounts available. Call 866-811-4111 or go to www.miamilightproject.com. Through the Looking-Glass, AnewThe tale of Alice after she falls down the rabbit hole and encounters all sorts of nonsense literally has became legendary. But that doesnt mean Lewis Carrolls classic cant use some updating once in a while. The Playground Theatre (9806 NE 2nd Ave.) has had Stephanie Ansin and Fernando Calzadilla refashion that rabbit hole as a 21st-century one, replacing the English countryside with a tropical setting and adding original new music, costumes, and surreal happenings, Miamistyle. Alices Adventures in Wonderland runs Wednesday, February 1 through Saturday, March 11 For showtimes, tickets, or to set up a Homecoming DanceThe legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts from Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, February 26 but this year will be different. Robert Battle, only the third director of the company since Alvin Ailey founded it in 1958, will make his directorial and curatorial debut. Oh, and hes a Miami native. The New York press has already praised his leadership as invigorating. In the Ziff Opera House at 8:00 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $120. Go to www.arshtcenter.org.

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76 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatMaybe He Came Over for a Cup of Sugar500 Block of NE 64th Street People are conditioned to the unseemly hanging out your window? A homeowner was shocked to see a mystery man UR Stuff is GR8, LOL1100 Block of Biscayne Boulevard acquaintance letting her know that she Victim has no idea how the items went missing. As to when the items would Does This Qualify as Petite Larceny?2000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Victim came home and heard small packages.An Apple a Day Keeps Crook Happy160 NE 79th St. Compiled by Derek McCann

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Ex-Girlfriend Goes Clubbing For RealN. Miami Avenue and 71st Street The auto-theft deterrent The Club has been with us for about two decades, stopping car thieves cold in their tracks. (Yeah right.) But now theres evidence to suggest it has created a whole new genre of crime. Victims girlfriend came to his other female there. She chased her rival out of the complex and lectured her beau home, but in the middle of the drive, she grabbed his Club and exited the vehicle. and a broken heart, not to mention the loss of his beloved Club.One More Reason to Feel Less Safe12700 Block of NE Miami Court handbag inside. In a North Miami minute, someone smashed her vehicle window and took the bag, which contained cash, credit that she saw a suspicious man in the area unattended but still left her bag in the car. These are the people protecting us from terrorist masterminds? Stop Us If This Sounds Crazy13300 Block of NE 7th Avenue A man placed an ad on Craigslist adverarranged to meet him at North Miami up to the sellers Mercedes-Benz and (just like a James Bond movie) and told suspect then drove off. Inside the stolen Mercedes were an iMac and two iPhones, us the next two pages.Reverse Home Improvement2000 Block of NE 122nd Road breaking the bedroom window. The suspect, feeling creative, then vandalized the entire Victim Ventures Outside, Asks for TroubleNE 2nd Avenue and 82nd Stree t Suspect approached a woman and asked if she could give him change for $10. The asked her for a dollar instead, which the her purse off her shoulder and ran off. This Cardio Crook Strikes AgainNE 5th Avenue and NE 79th Street male suspect approached him and out a knife and held it at waist level. The victim gave the creep his wallet and wristwatch. The suspect, in lieu of runleft the scene of a crime.Taking Credit for Old Times Sake900 Block of Biscayne Boulevard old workplace, to socialize and converse with the owners and his former coworktrusted with access to the businesss chase he made while visiting, he also gave himself a credit. The owner eventuwas so fond of dropping in, and contacted police. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 Columnists: PARK PATROLIsland Adventure on Biscayne BayThree prime destinations for boaters and kayakers, provided the tide is rightBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorPirates of Biscayne: A play in three islands. Island One: A group of giddy schoolgirls huddles together on a spit of sand, screaming at the sight girl seizes the day, scampers back to the islands center, and assumes the throne on a singular blue folding chair. The other girls quickly form her court. Around them a black dog, the jester, runs in sandy circles. At the waters guilty of letting the girls play hooky. Neither this escape from reality nor the setting itself can last. When the tide comes in, this temporary island a sandbar, really sinks underwater. The entire Haulover sandbar is nothing more than a shallow area near the inlet and marina of the same name, but on weekends it crowd, Haulover sandbar is Margaritaville. Island Two: A family of four arrives by canoe to a circle of green. They have the whole island to themselves. Two boys relaxation on. Slightly more than an acre in size, the island of Little Sandspur sits smack dab in the center of Biscayne Bay. You can see everything and hear nothing. You found the Black Pearl. Island Three: Guys on the beach playing football with a coconut. Boys raising a tent for their weekend of from their boat and reeling in a sizable jack. Raccoons raiding trash cans and getting drunk off discarded beer containers. Welcome to (Big) Sandspur Island, otherwise known as Beer Can Island. Its a shame to use that epithet, because the big island appears much cleaner than in years past. If anything, call it Beer Bottle Island, as the littering crowd seems to have switched to green-tinted Heinekens. Watch out for broken glass. But forget the stereotype. Big Sandspur is where the action both is and isnt. At 15 acres, this is the largest island in northern Biscayne Bay, and its a adventurous and thrifty, camping is free. But be forewarned: Theres nothing here, except what partiers have left behind. obvious, as most visitors arrive by powerboat and anchor along the beach that faces North Miami. Sandspurs beach offers easy access and fun for the whole family, but most of the island is too woodsy to penetrate. The inner hammocks growth is so thick that even the raccoons carry mini machetes. Island hopping between these three locations is probably the most fun to be had in North Bay. Those without a River State Park and paddle to Sandspur in half an hour. The other two islands lie on either side of Sandspur. Three islands in three hours no problem in fair weather, except that Haulovers island reveals itself only at low tide, so lets put that one aside. Every time I visit the two Sandspurs, I discover new wildlife. Dolphins and manatees; herons aplenty. My latest encounter, looking from the surface into clear shallows near a tree trunk, was a shockingly beautiturquoise spots glowed against its sandy-colored, very elongated body. uncommon in my Reef Fish Identiguide, but it seemed right at home here by the shore. Gorgeous. The Sandspur islands are success stories of something manmade becoming natural. Lying within Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve and known as spoil islands because theyre derived from the spoils of dredging projects these islands used to be overgrown with exotic and invasive vegetation. In the 1990s, Miami-Dade County coordinated the task of reinforcing the islands shorelines and replacing the exotics with native plants. Today the islands are thriving, surprisingly diverse ecosystems. Given their urban context, they may never be pristine, but they appear to be improving with age. The renovation of Little Sandspur in 1999 cost $170,000, a little less than a third of the $531,000 that big Sandspurs makeover cost in 1993. Little Sandspur has a large blue sign commemorating the project limbs have practically devoured it. Both islands boast similar features. The shores facing the ocean have rocky, non-scalable limestone boulders to resist uncommon in my SANDSPUR ISLANDS & HAULOVER SANDBARPark Rating BT photos by Jim W. HarperNorth Biscayne Bay via Oleta River State Park 305-919-1844 Hours: N/A Picnic tables:Not really Barbecues: Not really Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: No Swimming pool: No Playground: No Special features: Treasure picnic bench and abandoned grill. Sandspur Islands & Haulover SandbarBroad Cswy Oleta State ParkCollins Ave

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erosion caused by waves washing in from Haulover Inlet. Heading south, you glimpse what appears to be a telephone pole, but its really a nesting platform for osprey. Nests are not readily apparent, but the large, brown-and-white raptors do perch there. Be patient and you may see an osprey make a landing with the days catch in its talons. You could try snorkeling offshore here, but its not recommended, owing to very shallow conditions and low ing into deeper water a hazard. Kayaking offers the best views. But also get onshore, because both islands harbor an inner secret. Hike toward the southern edge, near the osprey platforms, and search for a small opening in the woods. Paths are not marked, and are at times so overgrown as to be nonex istent. Hunching becomes necessary. On Big Sandspur Island, a small creek connects to a serene, shallow pond. In the creek I found a living blob, the listless aplysia, or sea slug, looking like in the still water. Another moment of sheer gorgeousness. Tent camping is possible, but purely DIY, as there are no facilities. Bring everything and leave nothing. Yes, Beer Can I mean Sandspur Islands beach area is trashy, but whose fault is that? To its visitors, I say leave the place more beautiful than you found it. Dont dump your charcoal in the water. If raccoons scatter the trash, pick it up. And take your beer cans and bottles home with you. There may be plenty of plastic trash bins on the island, but you and your drinking buddies can do better than that, and outsmart the crafty coons while youre at it. Recycle. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETSDont WW orry, Hes Friendly!Why do some dog owners think the world belongs to them and their hyperactive pets?By Lisa Hartman BT ContributorRecently a blog post I think it was titled Tales of a Dog Walker went viral on Facebook. It was a tribute to an ongoing struggle between two gangs of dog owners. While animal professionals have written about this issue before (in my case, ad nauseum), new terms referring to these two gangs are now being thrown about as a result of this wonderful article. The mellower of the two gangs are the DINOS, which stands for Dogs in Need of Space. This is the group that calls me for training, but its also my gang; Im a member. It consists of dogs that owing to the fact that they were possibly rescued and thus lacking early socialization want to be left alone, and dog owners who just want to have a quiet, enjoyable walk with their pet. You can spot them immediately by the obvious telltale signs. For starters, the dogs are wearing a necklace or brassieretype apparatus with a cotton or leather line tethering the animal to its owner. This is commonly known as a leash. These dogs and owners usually keep to designated walkways and steer clear of other dogwalkers. They give everyone their space and merrily go about their way. But there is a more aggressive and same territory. Theyre wilder, louder, and claim other peoples space with reckless abandon. They are known as the MDIFs, or the My Dog Is Friendly! gang. As with the DINOS, the MDIFs have their own culture and are, if anything, even easier to spot. The dogs and owners belonging to this gang are usually unrestrained not just excit able, mind you, but in the rare event these pups are on a leash, its usually a at any laws, especially leash laws! The MDIF gang feels entitled to claim all land as theirs. But as this blog post mentioned, the clearest indication that a r fntbt tr r tr trbbbrtbtrt tnt t rb

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member of this tribe is accosting you is their battle cry: My Dog Is Friendly! (Hence the gangs name.) They chant it as their dog shamelessly runs up to you and your dogs. You are now forced to deal with this other animal, suddenly and rudely up in your dogs grill. He is followed by his bumbling owner, who is smiling widely as she assures you, Oh, dont worry. My dog is friendly! Meanwhile, as a DINOS member, youre doing all you can to hold your tongue, create space for your dog, or leash, now wrapped around you, your pet, and whatever innocent bystander has happened onto the scene. Of course, your MDIF dog. This can be especially harrowing when there is a substantial size difference the DINOS dog small and fragile, the MDIF dog big and brutish. Oddly, this is about the time when the My Dog Is Friendly owner looks at you in sheer horror. They cant believe your dogs behavior! I will never forget scheduling a meeting with a client years ago at Pinecrest Park to work on a DINOS dogs reactivity and desensitize him to other dogs and people. (Naturally, as a dog trainer, I work with many dogs with issues; sadly, most dog owners dont call me until after theres a problem in place.) I chose Pinecrest because there was a dedicated, fenced-in dog park there, surrounded by another park. Our mission was to start the dog off far from other animals and people, while work cises and techniques. I wanted to work just outside the dogs threshold, or level that he can work without stressing or reacting. Imagine my horror as dog after dog came running up to us. Of course, the owners of these loose dogs assured us that their dogs were friendly, and that makes it perfectly acceptable in their eyes to let their animals bombard the space of others. And here I was, with a client! Not fun. So who is safe from the MDIFs? No one, it seems. Many of us have dogs with issues we are trying to work on. Some dogs are ill or old, and would just rather not have to deal with a juvenile delinquent dog in their face or jumping on their backs. What if you or your dogs just dont feel like being sociable? Is that a crime? I love dogs, but that doesnt mean I want to deal with other peoples animals friendly or not every time Im in public. Sometimes youre just out for a quick-relief walk with your dogs and want them to focus on the matter at hand so you can get back to work. Or maybe youre dressed to go to a party and dont want muddy paws on your ensemble, or youre not in the mood to deal with Whatever the reason, leaving your home should not elicit fear and the stress associated with the possibility of having to deal with a rival gang. There is nothing wrong with desiring a little personal space, either for canines or humans. The MDIF gang has other wellknown battle cries, too. A popular one is, Aw, he just wants to play! As if by intuition, their dog always tends to jump on a dog that is injured. Regardless of the rationale, these gang members have taken away the right of other owners to choose with whom their dogs will interact, regularly derailing attempts at training and all but outlawing the possibility of a peaceful walk outside. Having a friendly dog is great, but having a friendly dog with a conscientious owner who shares public space fairly with other dogs and dog owners is better. Much better. 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 Some dogs are ill or old, and would just rather not have to deal with a juvenile delinquent dog in their face or jumping on their backs.

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82 Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY TT he A A ctivity A A dd ictionWith not-a-moment-to-spare schedules, when do kids get to be kids? By Crystal Brewe BT ContributorSara, my neighbors four-year-old, loves ballet. Every Saturday she suits up in leotard and ponytail. They petit jet to the local dance studio for practice from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. What do they do with their beautiful Saturday once ballet is over? Enjoy the beach? Take a nap? Have a play date? No, Sara goes home for a quick lunch and then heads to karate. Sara (Ive changed her name here) is also in preschool during the week. She has gymnastics on Tuesdays, too, her mother boasts. I understand wanting to keep your kids busy, but what about giving them time to daydream or just time to use their imagination? Recent studies have revealed that unstructured playtime has declined by 12 hours a week over the past two decades. Outdoor activities like bike riding and swimming are down 50 percent. Whats happening to childhood? My friend Izzy is adamantly opposed to enrolling her kids in more than one activity a year. She uncharacteristically opened up to me a few months back about her own childhood. My parents insisted on violin, chess, gymnastics, and swim team, she recalled. I didnt do sleepovers, boyfriends, or even school dances. We were so focused on my success that I became socially awkward and ber-competitive. Izzys story got me thinking about how extracurricular activities can be taken too far. How many hours of our childs time should be consumed with structured activ ity? The time we invest in our childrens extracurricular activities is exhausting for both us and our kids, and thats not to men I met some of my best friends in Miami when, as parents, we bonded over the experience of being ripped off by the ballet class our toddlers attended. We were consistently charged for added expenses like professional photos, the mandatory school leotard, recital fees, and costumes (and I stress the plural). Our kids were just three and four, but were clearly seen as a get-rich-quick vehicle for the dance-school owners. But back to the present. I got a call the other day from my seven-year-olds school. The choir teacher introduced himself and quickly started gushing about how Matildas voice has untapped potential. While my rose-colored lenses and I wholeheartedly agreed with him, I couldnt help wondering what this conversation would cost me. Turns out, hes interested in Matilda joining his exclusive singing group. They meet on Sundays. His assistant is going to contact me to discuss fees. A family whose child attends school with my three-year-old has three kids who all partake in activities that run more than $500 per month. Their mother told me one day that they intend to contribute toward the cost of their children attending college, but they havent started saving yet. We cant really afford to save right now, she said. Well think about that later. There are private voice lessons because she has potential, karate because it because it helps teach ingenuity, piano because it stimulates spatial-temporal ability, and pageants because well, they just make good TV. I was a Girl Scout. This was a great way to dip my proverbial toe in differinterested me the most. I pimped cookies, wore green knee-highs, and got a horseback riding patch, a performing arts patch, a cooking patch, a sewing patch, patch. (You name it, I got the patch.) When I outgrew scouting, I gravitated toward the performing arts. As my child hood friends began to join cliques and dabble in sex, drugs, and rock n roll, my mom insisted I occupy myself with this interest. As a result, I was too busy to join in the teenage wasteland behavior at any dan gerous level. After all, I had cheerleading at 6:00 a.m. and rehearsal for our school play at 4:00 p.m. Dont get me wrong. I partook in a normal level of experimentation, but never had enough idle time to wallow in it. While structured activities allow children to explore interests and increase recreation can lead to a lack of imaginative play. Weve had several good experiences with the recreation programs in Miami Shores and Morningside. A big motivator here has been not to turn our girls into the next Mary Lou Retton, but to take advantage of the sense of community these programs encourage. Extracurricular activities are good with the neighbors and camping in the backyard. Your kid may have moves like Mick Jagger and lungs like Barbra Streisand, but it cant hurt to ask them which activities they want to pursue. She may want to quit piano and take up origami, but at least it opens up a dialogue, and hey, who doesnt need a paper swan to decorate the top of that dusty piano? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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My Big Fat Green FuneralEco-friendly services are an option for those who dont want to harm the environment when they go By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorAt the end of your life, what will be So help me, God, do not bury me in Six Feet Under down today what you want to happen Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com E n j o y a R o u s i n g L i v e P e r f o r m a n c e o f L a t i n f a v o r i t e s M a r c h e s B i g B a n d S w i n g a n d O t h e r C l a s s i c s N O R T H M I A M I C O M M U N I T Y C O N C E R T B A N D S e n a t o r G w e n M a r g o l i s C o m m u n i t y C e n t e r 1 5 9 0 N E 1 2 3 S t r e e t N o r t h M i a m i S u n d a y F e b 1 9 2 0 1 2 @ 2 P M $ 5 D o n a t i o n ( k i d s f r e e ) 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 Memorial Reef photo courtesy of Neptune Society

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84 Columnists: YOUR GARDENClinging to KillDont let these parasites become attached to your plantsBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorI often get many queries from visitors to Jungle Island about the orchids, ferns, and bromeliads growing on the trunks of trees and palms. Many wonder if these small plants are parasites, taking water and nutrients from the trees to which they are attached. I explain that these plants collectively are called epiphytes, plants that grow on top of other plants or trees, but are not otherwise parasitic to their hosts. These plants have evolved specialized roots, leaf cells that can absorb water and nutrients, and perhaps other characteristics enabling them to take advantage of the height and a place in the sunshine that taller plants offer them. That said, there are many species of parasitic plants that do grow on other plants. When traveling through Malaysia, I often had the opportunity to see various species of a parasitic plant amazing sight to see. Other species of clingy parasitic plants are found in South Florida. Mistletoe, of the holiday kissing tradition, is one of them. Its rare here, but Ive been watching and photographing one that is growing in the canopy of a native tree close to where I live. Some other parasitic plants grow ing in our area are a bit more aggres sive and certainly harmful to the trees they infest. They are very distinct, with masses of long twining stems that can completely cover the canopies of trees and shrubs. (The accompanying photo was taken just off Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami.) I recently took some samples of this particular parasite in an attempt to identify it, and tentatively came up with a species also called woe vine. This plant is very similar to another species of parasite called with the more common name of dodder. tell apart, but they cause the same type of damage to the plants and trees they inhabit. They literally suck the juices out of the leaves and branches they come into contact with, penetrating the hosts tissue using structures called haustoria. They will live without having roots in the ground and can kill trees over time. They appear without any obvious leaves. Dodder normally attacks herbaceous plants and woe vine tends to attack trees, but there are always exceptions. The dodder in the photo is covering live oak trees. It seems to have been on these trees for several years. This is often the case, and it can take many years for the tree to die, but it will eventually happen if the parasites are not removed. Some tree species are genetically programmed to live a lot longer than others, and this longevity offers optimum conditions for pathogens and parasites to become established. Mature live oak trees can live well over 100 years, but in time their growth is not so vigorous and they become vulnerable to attack by various parasitic organisms. I recently looked at another mature live oak that was infested with dodder. This tree appeared to be in decline, with sparse foliage and many old pruning cuts over the years that were no doubt debilitating to it. I looked closely and also found signs of a fungal infestation. When trees are weakened, they become vulnerable to all types of patho gens. This specimen was a poster child for what can happen if a tree is not main tained properly. Chemical control of these the best control involves someone in a cherry picker carefully plucking off this aggressive plant from its host tree. This is likely the best control because chemical understanding that none of the chemicals available can be used systemically (taken up by the root system so it is translocated throughout the tree). Anything sprayed on the tree will end up on whatever is below or around the tree. This is very important to remember. Years ago I had a friend who sprayed the fronds of a large royal palm at a private residence and was not aware of the drift, the spray that had been carried by the wind. The next day the neighbors had in their pond. My friend ended up in a very uncomfortable situation. These plants will kill your trees in these green or orangey stringy plants, pull them off immediately and toss them directly into the garbage. If they happen to bloom, there will be thousands of tiny fruit and seeds produced. With dodder, the tiny fruit may also be dispersed by birds, so all the more reason to remove the parasite immediately when you notice it on a tree. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski For more information, visit www.miamiparking.com. Department of Off-Street Parking (DOSP)SAVE ON PARKING IN THE CITY OF MIAMIQUICK-VISIT PARKINGNow FREE in every MPA garage, all the time. If youre in and out in 30 minutes or less, your parking is FREE! Regular rates apply after 30 minutes.

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Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorThe depth and diversity of South Americas cuisine is really quite amazing. The gloriously fresh tira ditos and ceviches of Peru, the grilled beef and matambre of Argentina, the appetitebusting feijoada of Brazil, and the over-thetop chivito of Uruguay theyre not just popular in South Florida, but are making hungry mouths drool all over the country. Unfortunately, even in South tiradito or juicy, succulent vacio than it nological suspects from countries other than the continents two biggest players, Argentina and Chile especially within our $12 price point. Not that Vino didnt try. Shopping on the white-wine side of kling wines from Brazil and still wines from Uruguay, perhaps some dry or offdry Rieslings, a juicy Pinot Gris, or inter esting blends of several different grapes. No luck. Amid an ocean of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, we found a single Riesling, a Viognier, and a handful of Torrentes, all from Argentina and Chile. Sigh Tasting results were kind of sighful, too, with a pair of wines exhibiting a distinct petrol aroma. One was the Anakena 2010 Single Vineyard Riesling A noticeable petrol or diesel aroma is actually beloved by fanatics of aged German Riesling. In young Rieslings, however, even the grapes most devoted the growing or winemaking processes. And it wasnt just the aroma. The Anakena tasted of petroleum, too, though if you squinched your taste buds up really hard you could make out faint peach and me; Ill have a beer instead. The other petrol offender was the 2010 Trivento Torrontes At $7.99 it was cheap, all right, though still more expensive than a gallon of unleaded. Which, in fact, is what it smelled and tasted like. I know there are people who say they enjoy this sort of thing and, well, God bless em. But Id prefer my wine not to have the same characteristics as the stuff I put in my gas tank. Thankfully, things got better after that. Another Torrentes, the 2011 Mendoza Station lulled you into thinking it would be a rich, creamy, tropical fruity wine with its lush, beguiling aromas of mango, papaya, and honeysuckle. But once in your mouth it was as crisp as a winter morning in Chicago, acter peeking up from beneath tart, fresh Same could be said of the 2010 Porto Reserva Viognier which hails from the Bio-Bio region, Chiles southernmost wine-producing appellation and one not often represented in local wine shops. With the areas cooler temperatures and fewer hours of sunshine relative to Chiles other wine regions, its no surprise that this Viognier has much more muted, honiedtypical in Viognier made in warmer, sun nier climes. Still, like the Mendoza Station, those characteristics, even muted, make it a willing partner for both seafood dishes and lighter meats like chicken and veal. Of course, if you really want a great seafood wine, Chilean Sauvignon Blancs are the way to go. Curious ly, though, both SBs in this tasting the 2010 Vera monte and 2010 Lapostelle Casa were actually a little fuller-bodied and a little less austere than either the Torrontes or Viognier. The Veramonte is one of my all-time go-to wines. Well made and reliable vintage to vintage, easily available, and a pretty decent deal at $11, it has the bright, crisp acidity to balance out a meal of enough body and texture not to get lost in the process. Its a very pale color, almost clear, with herbal aromas green apple tweaked with an underlying limestone minerality. The Lapostelle is a little richer and fuller bodied, its citrusy character melals, and a bit of spritz on the tongue. Then theres the Chardonnay. Theres always a Chardonnay. This one is the 2010 Montes Classic Series a very affordable wine ($10.49) from a producer probably better known for more up-market offerings. Aged in new and old French oak, it hints at vanilla, pears, and tropical fruit, with a lush, creamy texture and citrus and miner spicy tiraditos or ceviches, which sound pretty good right about now. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com South American Scavenger HuntRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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86 MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAcqua 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-381-3190, Four Seasons HotelOriginally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006, resulting in a complete menu renovation. Thailands famed sense of culinary balance is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian or Latin 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. $$$$$Area 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr. 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asianinspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road pro genitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$Banana & Leaf 234 NE 3rd St., 786-431-5548Ever get tempted by the convenience of supermarket sushi boxes, but feel uneasy about freshness and disgruntled about sparseness of fillings? In the grab-andgo containers here, raw fish glistens and makis like a plump snow crab roll have a satisfying seafood-to-rice ratio. If youd rather, dishes on the larger custom menu arrive almost as fast. There is also limited, tasty Southeast Asian fare. Most unbelievable: Prices beat supermarket sushi by far. $The Bar at Level 25 (Conrad Hotel) 1395 Brickell Ave., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picturewindowed 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. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thaiinspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insid ers secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ bistro e 485 Brickell Ave., 305-503-0373A full power lunch from a Michelin-starred chef for $15? Sounds unbelievable, but youll find just such a daily special (like corn/jalapeo soup, a grilled-cheese BLT, airy cheesecake, and a pint of beer) at bistro e, daytime name for Michael Psilakis dinner-only new Aegean eatery Eos. The name change emphasizes lunchtimes wholly different, globally influenced menu. Among la carte temptations: pork belly tacos, a Korean BBQ prawn salad, or a brisket/gruyere sand wich with dipping juice. Breakfast, too, from 6:30 a.m. $$-$$$ Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 309. Chef Philip Ho 16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney 18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-table cloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf 17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily specials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant 17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of home awayfrom-home found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/ frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York 17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 305 16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restau rant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$St. Petersburg Deli 17080 Collins Ave., 305-947-9696Dont expect fancified stuff like menus, or the English language, at this informal market/cafe. If theres signage identifying the prepared foods behind the counters, its in Russian, and daily dishes are pretty much what the cooks feel like making. So look and point. Wed suggest pointing at cold yogurt-based soups like tangy okroshka (with cukes, egg, scallions, potatoes, and dill) or holodnik (similar, with beets added); eggplant roulades, stuffed with spiced shredded carrots, are also a refreshing summer dish. Hot choices include meatballs in rich cream sauce and chicken Kiev. $$ Timo 17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill 350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$rfnt ntbnfnt tnftn tf f t tff nffff SUNNY ISLES BEACH

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88 Bryan in the Kitchen 104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothie-swilling 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-toosweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room 900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027 Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargainpriced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asianinfluenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub component remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro all-American feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/antibioticfree ground Angus chuck/brisket/short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$db Bistro Moderne345 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 exe cutes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/ orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe mini-burgers, all cost either $18 or $23. And the price includes an appetizer -no low-rent crapola, either, but treats like Serrano ham croquetas, a spinach/ leek tart with Portobello mushroom sauce, or shrimptopped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally 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 influ ences 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. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub 900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972 Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences,

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particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ 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. $$First & First Southern Baking Company109 NE 1st Ave. 305-577-6446 How Southern is this restaurant/bakery? During the course of one breakfast of fluffy biscuits with rich sausage gravy, a friend from Italy, we swear, developed a drawl. While yall will also find familiar fare (burgers, salads, etc.), highlights here are traditional and/or reinvented country cooking favorites -espe cially homemade sweets. More than two dozen desserts daily are featured, from a roster topping 150: chocolate pecan pie, lemon bars, potato candies, seven-layer cookies, and Jack Daniels pound cakes, which are perfect for parties, though you wont want to share. $-$$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its expe riencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Fresco California Bistro 1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of food onto its menu. To the familiar Latin American/ Italian equation, the owners add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistros especially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a mesclun bed. $$ Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave., 305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly 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. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mindreeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheese burger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade 1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ 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. $$$$$Hibachi Grill 45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagaine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/ zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singapore-style noo dle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ Indigo / Table 40 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000Long known for its power-lunch buffet -including hot entres, carving station, custom pastas, packedto-the-gills salad, sushi, and dessert stations -the InterContinental Hotels Indigo restaurant now has a hip offspring intended for private dining: Table 40. The charming, glassed-in wine cellar (actually in the kitchen) enables 12-14 diners to watch the action in heat-shielded, soundproofed comfort while eating creations by veteran chef Alexander Feher, combining Continental technique with local seasonal ingredients. Highlights: tender 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

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owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$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? $$Largo Bar & Grill 401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge 68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantrospiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence 1064 Brickell Ave., 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultracrusty 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. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/ pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresist ible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$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. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geo graphically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street

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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 BeachLive DJ @ Yakko Lounge Every Thursday third week of the month All Martini & Sakatini $5, Sake shot $2 Join us at Yakko Lounge 9pm-2am305.947.00643881 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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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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single twocourse Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalape os, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushiboat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Pashas 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Peoples Bar-B-Que 360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly 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 softshell 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. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S 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 slowbraised short ribs, caramelized onions, and melting muenster and provolone cheeses. Finish with fineshaved 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 powerdining 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. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIAtrained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/ apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ 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? $$Thai Angel 152 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9748Inside a colorful courtyard that rather resembles Munchkinland, this downtown insiders secret serves serious Thai food till 9:00 p.m. daily. Tasty classics like the four curries (red, green, panang, and massaman) come custom-spiced -mild to authentically brain-searing -and are so affordable theres no guilt in splurging on superb house specials like crispcoated duck or fresh snapper (whole or filleted) in tamarind sauce. The young chef has a heavenly hand at tofu, too, so vegetarians are very well-served. $$ Tobacco Road 626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Waxy OConnors 690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oaksmoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$Wok Town 119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/ mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$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 brickellhouse.com

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steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Andalus 35 NE 40th St., 305-400-4422Early publicity pegging this place (in Pacific Times former space) as a tapas bar seemed to set it up as direct competition for nearby Sra. Martinez. Its actu ally quite different, with emphasis divided between small-plate lounging and full fine-dining meals. And regardless of size, dishes arent contemporary riffs on tradition but authentic regional specialties. Subtly nutty jamon pata negra (the Rolls-Royce of cured hams) or salmorejo (Cordobas Serrano ham/eggenriched gazpacho) truly take your taste buds on a trip to Andalucia. On weekends, food is served till 4:00 a.m. $$$Basanis 3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the familyrun ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red-sauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends4770 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. $$ Bin No. 18 1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and familyrun friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and pro sciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Blue Piano 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7919The address suggests a street-corner location, but this casually cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$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, choco late 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 fastfood 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 casualchic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd. 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restau rants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/ crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$

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Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-inthe-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. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Delicias Peruanas 2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4634Seafood is the specialty at this pleasant Peruvian spot, as it was at the nearby original Delicias, run by members of the same family. The food is as tasty as ever, espe cially the reliably fresh traditional ceviches, and for those who like their fish tangy but cooked, a mammoth jalea platter. As for nonseafood stuff, Peru practically invented fusion cuisine (in the 1800s), such as two traditional noodle dishes: tallerin saltado and tallerin verde. $$Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is sur prising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crispfried 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. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and Fries Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Ave., 305-571-8341No green-leaf faux health food here. You get what the name says, period, with three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are made fresh upon order. Available in double or one-patty sizes, theyre well-done but spurtingly juicy, and after loading with your choice of free garnishes, even a little burger makes a major meal. Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes. $Fratelli Lyon 4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-2901This Italian caf has been packed since the moment it opened. No surprise to any who recall owner Ken Lyons pioneering Lyon Frres gourmet store on Lincoln Road (1992-97), another joint that was exactly what its neighborhood needed. The restaurants artisan salumi, cheeses, flavorful boutique olive oils, and more are so outstanding that you cant help wishing it also had a retail component. Entres include properly al dente pastas, plus some regional specialties like Venetianstyle calves liver, rarely found outside Italy. $$$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. $-$$ The Girrrlz of Sandwich 555 NE 15th St., 2nd floor (Venetia condo) 305-374-4305Riot Grrrl DIY spirit shines in the homemade soups, sweets, salads, and exceptionally tasty warm baguette sandwiches (like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, dressed with a unique sumac vinaigrette) at this concealed caf, hidden on the Venetia condos mezzanine. Owners Ana Oliva and Fadia Sarkis scour local markets daily for the freshest of ingredients, and their breads (plus light-crusted empanadas and sinful Ghirardelli chocolate cake) are all baked in-house. On Saturdays the grrrlsll even deliver you an elegant (yet inexpensive) breakfast in bed. $Harrys Pizzeria 3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; wood-oven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$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 parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consid er Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$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, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local;

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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 sand wiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/ salads/starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an ele gant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon 185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepitacrusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro 4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its treesheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers downto-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan 3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunaninspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ 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 prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoe string frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is EastWest. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$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 mixand-match sauces and extras. And the price is right,

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with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami 3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant most everywhere. Today many places now offer authentic Italian or delicate designer pizzas. But a satisfying Brookyn-style street slice? Fuhgedit. Thankfully thats the speciality of this indoor/outdoor pizzeria: big slices with chewy crusts (made from imported NY tap water) that arent ultra-thin and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medium-thick -sturdy enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Salad Creations 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place cre ates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ 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 Institute-trained 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves healthconscious, made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave. 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard spe cials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave. 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/ coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Sustain 3252 NE 1st Ave. #107, 305-424-9079Is it possible for a restaurant to be sincerely ecoconscious without being self-righteousness? It is at this casual/chic restolounge, where dedication to local, sustainable food comes with considerable humor. Fare includes playful items like wet fries (with mouthwatering gravy), corn dogs, housemade soft pretzels with mustard and orange blossom honey, and a Mile Salad that seems almost like a game show in its challenge: All 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 sau ted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/ cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from world-famous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$

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Anise Taverna 620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929Since the owners of this rustic riverbank spot are the husband/wife team behind Ouzos, its not surprising that Greek food and festivity are the main lure for locals. But Anises expanded menu, centering on meze (the Middle Eastern term for shareable small plates) though not neglecting Big Food like lamb shank or whole grilled fish, also includes dishes from other Mediterranean countries: Italys spaghetti with bottarga (tuna roe); spicy Moroccan merguez sausage with fava pure; whole sardines with fennel vinaigrette, evoking Portugal. Frequent special events make for added fun. $$-$$$ 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/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool altculture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budgetpriced. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the housemade sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$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: crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tender ized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ 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 precisiongrilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Go To Sushi 5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Jimmys East Side Diner 7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and openface frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein

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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. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic finedining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ 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. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to overthe-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipo tle 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 (sour-orange-marinated, sousvide-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 neargreaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ 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. $$$UVA 69 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-latenight hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latininspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beerbattered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$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. $NORTH BAY VILLAGEBocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appe tites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres

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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. $-$$The Crab House 1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restau rants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Shuckers Bar & Grill 1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570Cheap eats and a million-dollar view is the sound bite manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint dates from South Beachs late 1980s revival, but the kick-off-your-shoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$NORTH BEACHCaf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately panfried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys exec utive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$The Wine Market 908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$ MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisianstyle brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club 10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ NORTH MIAMIAlaska Coffee Roasting Co. 13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Los Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombian-cuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655The BBQ master at this small, rustic room is pugnacious Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker turns out mild-tasting cue that ranges from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to hot-smoked salmon and veggie plates. There are also creative comfort food starters like BBQ chicken flatbread, salads, and sweets. Sides include refreshing slaw; beans studded with burnt ends (the most intensely flavored outer barbecue chunks); and sweet potato or 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 redeye gravy, with strong coffee. Bravehearts race for the infamous Luther burgers components -cheddar, bacon, fried onion, secret sauce, and a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut bun; calories are more than double a Big Macs. And the thin-sliced, thickly crunch-crusted, deep-fried jalapeos will keep you coming back for more, should you live past the first order. $$

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Canton Caf 12749 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2882Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly Cantonese-based dishes. However, there are also about two dozen spicier, Szechuan-style standards like kung po shrimp, ma po tofu, and General Tsos chicken. And there are a few imaginative new items, like the intriguingly christened Shrimp Lost in the Forest, Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with honey-glazed walnuts, and Mongolian beef (with raw chilis and fresh Oriental basil). Delivery is available for both lunch and dinner. $$ Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickleonion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St., 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are handcut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas 1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St., 305-895-0165 Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun 2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-tenbuck early-bird dinner is popular with the former longhair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$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. $$$Mama Jennies 11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvationbudget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet lighttextured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic road house ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$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. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowdpleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 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 customcooking 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. $$ Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Venezia Pizza and Caf 13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No imported designer ingredients either. The pies are New York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and the cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered Americas finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are Italian-American pastas, a large selection of hot an cold subs, simple salads, and a few new protein adds grilled chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$ Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to Chinese-American 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 noo dles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$Yes Pasta! 14871 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At this fast/casual Italian eatery, the specialty is mixand-match. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (whole wheat and gluten-free options available), then one of 15 sauces. Our personal pick is carbonara, correctly creamy-coated (via egg thickening, not cream overload); Bolognese is a wise choice for those who like sauces rich and red. Many options exist for vegetarians and pescatarians as well as carnivores, all clearly coded on the menu. $$NORTH MIAMI BEACHBamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams,

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sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ China Restaurant 178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional Chinese cuisine in the world wont scratch the itch. So the menu here, containing every authentically inauthentic Chinese-American classic you could name, is just the ticket when nostalgia strikes from simple egg rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded boneless chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$Chipotle Mexican Grill 14776 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2779Proving that national fast-food chains dont have to be bad for either diners or the environment, Chipotle serves what the company calls food with integrity. The fare is simple, basically tacos and big burritos: soft flour or crisp corn to rtillas stuffed with chipotlemarinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill 1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124 Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$Flamma Brazilian Steakhouse 3913 NE 163rd St., (Intracoastal Mall), 305-957-9900The rodizio formula is familiar: Pay one price ($39.90 for dinner, $29.90 at Sunday brunch), then eat till you drop from a groaning salad/appetizer bar and a massive selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, sausage, and fish (16 varieties at dinner; 5 at brunch) carved tableside by costumed waiters. What spectacularly differentiates Flamma: its setting on the Intracoastal Waterway. But also spectacular is a Monday-Thursday two-for-one dinner deal with a coupon available at Flamma. Unbelievable but true. $$$$El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet 16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, escolar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$Hannas Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant 3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mixand-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$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. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmo spheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-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. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar ItalianAmerican classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$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

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who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet 940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-in-blankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai 14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deepfried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$PK Oriental Mart 255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646Unlike other Asian markets on this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK has a prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck (roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips, crispy pork, and whole roast ducks hanging, beaks and all. But no worries; a counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size, beakless pieces. $Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a soundbite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coal-oven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$Roasters & Toasters 18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sand wiches? 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 we ighed 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 minipotato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$The Rumcake Factory 2075 NE 163rd St., 786-525-7071When ex-Louisianan (and ex-Dolphins player) Larry Robinson and his Cuban-American wife Elena started a catering company in Miami Lakes, their mouthwateringly moist Caribbean-style buttered rum/walnutglazed rum cake instantly became the star attraction. But after relocating to a real (if tiny) restaurant space in BT territory, the Factory now features a small supporting cast of Cajun fare scrumptious enough to upstage the star. Always available: authentic remoulade-dressed New Orleans po-boy sandwiches (shrimp, catfish, fried turkey), and humongous housesmoked chicken wings. Rotating specials include hearty gumbo, jambalaya, and BBQ ribs. $$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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mockmeat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$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 floorto-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table 18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numer ous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Tunas 17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-0630 www.tunasrawbarandgrille.com The reincarnated Tunas has gained new owners, a new name, a dazzling outdoor bar and dining area, and a new chef, Rolf Fellhauer, who spent 28 years at the famed La Paloma. He has added his touch to the menu, with delicacies such as Oysters Moscow, mussels Chardonnay, and Grouper Brittany. Traditional house favorites remain, and the emphasis is still on fresh fish from local waters. Open daily till 2:00 a.m., the place can get rather festive after midnight, but since the kitchen is open till closing, Tunas draws a serious late-night dining crowd, too. $$-$$$ Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin 73 NE 167th St. 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$ Yakko-San 3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, familyfriendly 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. BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse,305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ 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/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ r fn

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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. $$$$$AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 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. $$Bella Luna 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330 If the menu here looks familiar, it should. Its nearly identical to that at the Upper Eastsides Luna Caf and, with minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billantes eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the typeface. But no argument from here. In a mall a setting more accustomed to food court dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restau rant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Cadillac Ranch Village at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$Il Migliore 2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$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/sugarladen traditional tfavorites 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 infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana 2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/ avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Gourmet Carrot3599 NE 207th St., 305-749-6393 Since the first Gourmet Carrot -a healthy and kosher but not at all preachy eatery -opened in South Beach, its menu expanded to include many red-meat items. The same is true of this new Waterways mall branch. When confirmed cholesterol-careless carnivores like ourselves opt voluntarily for an eaterys veggie burgers (a brown rice/lentil/veggie blend more satisfying than beef), or remarkably juicy ginger-mayo-dressed chicken burgers, over normal hamburgers, based solely on flavor -well, religion aside, thats a major miracle. $$$ Heavy Burger 19004 NE 29th Ave., 305-932-7555Sure, South Beach is our towns burger capital, if youre judging by high profile. But if creativity is what counts, no joint bangs a gong like homeboy Mark Panunzios place, where the concept is: Nothing goes together better than heavyweight burgers and heavy-metal music. What rocks us: a fire-grilled, 10 oz. Motley Burger (with cheddar, applewood bacon, tomato, Bibb lettuce, and frizzled plus raw onions on a challah roll; upon request, chipotle aioli was cheerfully substituted for BBQ sauce). Get hand-cut cheese fries, too, and get wasted on craft beer. $$ Kampai 3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/ Thai restaurant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flaketopped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina 17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$The Grill on the Alley 19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Mahogany Grille 2190 NW 183rd St., 305-626-8100Mahogany Grille has drawn critical raves and an international clientele since retired major league outfielder Andre Dawson and his brother transformed this place in 2007. Today its white tablecloths and, naturally, mahogany. The menu is a sort of trendy yet traditional soul fusion of food from several African diaspora regions: Carolina Low Country (buttery cheese grits with shrimp, sausage, and cream gravy), the Caribbean (conch-packed fritters or salad), and the Old South (lightly buttermilk-battered fried chicken). The chicken is perhaps Miamis best. $$-$$$Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar 18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, Americanized-Cantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar 20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma 19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New York-style pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Playwright Irish Pub801 Silks Run Rd. #2597, 954-457-7563 The vintage Old World look and convivial atmosphere of this new pub, located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, are more traditionally Irish than most of the menu, which ranges from penne with marinara sauce to Thai-inspired spring rolls. But fish and chips are always crisp-coated and satisfying; potato leek soup is the real thing; and the crab cakes (crab meat mixed with just enough celery, onions, and peppers for interesting texture) are so good youll be thinking Maryland, not Dublin. $$ Sushi Siam 19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) rfntbrbrffnnfbnbrbrrrffrrntb r f n t

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COMMERCIAL HIALEAH: 651 WEST 20 STREET | rf ntntbbbWYNWOOD STUDIOS Price Available Upon Request Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 8101 BISCAYNE BLVD Price Available Upon Request Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: ANNEX + SKYWAY Price Available Upon Request Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com UPPER EAST SIDE: 6300 NE 4TH COURT Asking Price $620,000 Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com NORTH MIAMI: 12345 W. DIXIE HWY. Reduced Price $799,000 Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com LTIITLE RIVER: 224 NE 59 STREET Asking Price $5,500 / Month Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 2751 N MIAMI AVENUE Retail $30 PSF nnn Office $22 PSF mod gross Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR: 5974 NE 4TH AVENUE JUST SOLD! Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 5TH AVENUE BUILDING Asking Price $18 $24 PSF mod gross Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: STUDIO BOX Asking Price $20 PSF nnn Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 2750 NW 3RD AVENUE Price Available Upon Request Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com UPPER EAST SIDE: 6200 NE 4TH COURT Asking Price $18 PSF nnn Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com fr f rf rfntb nffrt