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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00064
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Title: Biscayne times
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Biscayne Media, LLC
Place of Publication: Miami, Florida
Creation Date: March 2012
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Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
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Source Institution: University of Florida
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IN THIS ISSUE133 Advertisers p. 30 309 Restaurants p. 86 March 2012 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 1 Flipper Builtpg 34In the 1960s, Ivan Tors Studios in North Miami turned out some of Americas favorite TV shows, and created a South Florida icon The House That www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 1 The House That

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfrnrt nrb rfntrbbn rrbf r rfrt fn rn r bbr nr r bbr rn nnnrb nbr rnfn rnntr rrnnrt nrr frr rnf rrrt nn brnrb nrrn nttn nrfrnn nnf rr rfbr brb r tnntr rb nrrtrb bbfbr fnn bfr nn rttnf fbr nrrt rnnn r rr brbrfbr fbrn rn fbr bbr nr tnrnrb fbrn rn f rrnnr tn rnrb nbrr b nbn nr rtn fn rfrtb r rnn ntrrnbrfnrb rf rrnbn nr brfnrb rf nrnr bbr rn r rfbn fr fn trf brfnrb rf nrt brnn tfrnn trfn n rnrt nn rnfn ffb n ttnn nrt nrb rfbb rr b rrt tb b trf nnn rfrf nrrtn nnr K K Z Z Z Z K Z K Z Z C Z Z Z Z K C Z K K P C Z Z C Z C rfntb rn n brn nn btn rnn fr C C C C rff bbrrb trrnnnrn ntr

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COVER STORY 34 The House That Flipper Built COMMENTARY 20 Feedback: Letters 24 Miamis King: Jack King 26 Christian Cipriani: Urbania 28 Picture Stor y: Miamis Main Drag 116 Years Ago OUR SPONSORS 30 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 50 Culture Cash: Knight Arts Challenge 50 In the Mark et for (Farmers) Markets 51 Tokyo Valen tino: Video Hub or Sex Club? NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Frank: Chro nic Failure on Miamis Mean Streets 60 Wendy: The Thrift of Gab 62 Gaspar: Book Em, Biscayne Par k! 64 Shari Lynn: Rating the Round Dough 66 Mark: Positively 125th Stree t 68 Jen: A Way to Wine Down ART & CULTURE 70 Anne Tschida: Oliver Sanchez, the Fabricator 72 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 75 Events Cale ndar POLICE REPORTS 76 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 78 Not Quite Beau ty Greens Yet COLUMNISTS 80 Pawsitively Pets: The Puppy Math Problem 82 Kids and the City: A Parents Guide to Family Fun 83 Going Green: Drinking in the Blue 84 Your Garden: Florida Fruit Frolic 85 Vino: The Meat of the Matter 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 60 70 75Serving 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 80 x 135 New seawall, direct ocean access, no fixed bridges. Only 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 VACANT BAY FRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME IN PRESTIGOUS SAN SOUCI ESTATES1/3 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!! 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 OVERSIZED WATERFRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME KEYSTONE POINT 499K 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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MICHELLE IGLESIASREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 310 8105 michellesellsmiami@gmail.com MICHELLE PACHECOREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 786 525 6247 mpacheco@majesticproperties.com DAVID CAROLANBROKER ASSOCIATEcell 305 456 7081 dcarolan@majesticproperties.com RON PLATTREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 786 281 1965 rplatt@majesticproperties.com

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George Kluck STUDIO SPACE + IN LAW QTRS | RED MAHOGANY PARQUET FLOORS The original architect studied the designs of famous architect Alfred Browning Parker. Floor to ceiling replace, tall openbeamed ceilings, all bedrooms are upstairs and have extraordinary space with large closets. Roomy in-law quarters as well as studio space. Spacious outdoor screened living area with grill and bar overlooks the beau fully canopied yard and canal. Amazing home for entertainers and water lovers alike, plus direct ocean access.

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WWW.NANCYBATCHELOR.COM305 329 7718 MODERN DESIGNWarehouse + Fab Work Space NANCYBATCHELORFrom Modern to Mediterraneanrfnfftb nbt tttntt tntfttntrtrfrbbrtrtfnntff tftrbrtftttn 350 NE 60th Street Miami, FL 33137 |http://www.Obeo.com/671683 www.350ne60thstreet.com READY TO MAKE MONEY FOR YOUR BUSINESS

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Roughing It 2.0: Starbucks, Ribeyes, Smoked Oysters, and a Fine CabernetI enjoyed Trapped in a Tech Web that Wont Let Go? Answer: Unplug, Float, Exhale, by Tristam Korten (February 2012). But I couldnt shake off a couple of ques tions that seemed to undermine the whole enterprise: Did he pitch the trip as a story idea? And if so, doesnt that make him even more ripe for Wordsworths scold (The world is too much with us) about concen trating too intensely on material gain? I also had to smile because I can well identify at how people get back to nature in this day and age: with frozen water bottles, Starbucks coffee, energy bars, a bottle of Cabernet, smoked oysters, and ribeye steaks cooked over a blaze next to a tent for two. Imagine Proteus rising from the sea to wrestle with these two urban profes sionals, one of whom is hiding from mos quitoes in his tent and the other basking in the Great Outdoors, wine glass in hand. I really do admire their resolve to chuck the cell phones and the familiar, and remove themselves from all things hijacking their attention. Regaining focus and embracing the jour ney remind me of Homer and a paraphrase of Shakespeare: Even if one is crossing just four miles of bay, the journeys still the thing. Id like to see more stories leading us to the remote areas in our backyard. Roberta Cummings MiamiRoughing It: We Dont Need No Stinking ReservationsBeing an avid paddler and camper, I read with great interest your cover story Unplug Float Exhale. I know that eerie feeling when you get a couple of miles offshore. Youre sitting so low in your kayak that all you see is water, an unbroken horizon. You might as well be in the middle of the Atlantic. Maybe some details were left out of the article for space purposes, but I couldnt help take note of the fact that the author did not mention anything about making a reservation for a camping spot on Elliott Key. The National Park Service really would prefer it if you did as they ask and make a reservation and camp only in approved areas. Seems the author and his friend ignored that and simply went ashore at the In one of the photographs, I saw some thing interesting. It appeared on page 42 and showed one of our paddlers approaching the shore where they were going to camp. In the upper-left corner of the photo, you can clearly see a sign on a post, aimed in the direction of anyone approaching in a watercraft. I couldnt make out the signs message, but I could guess: Camp in Designated Areas Only. Shame on them for thumbing their noses at the very people who make their wilderness experience possible. Thomas Elrod Midtown MiamiEnrique to Pols: Stop Playing Poker with Our Economic Well-beingCongratulations on Erik Bojnanskys eyeopening article The Casino Effect (Febru ary 2012) and for providing some alarming statistics from Professor John Kindt on the devastation that large-scale casino resorts inevitably wreak on local economies. When will state and local politicians get that theres no such thing as easy money, and that the odds are especially bad when it comes to organized gambling enterprises? control the outcomes, but theyll never win against the house, so to speak and as other cities have already learned, theyll be no match for the massive casino machines once theyve steamrolled into town. Years ago the State of Florida commis sioned months-long economic studies to guess what? Those studies dont mention gambling. They talk about investing in edu cation, life sciences, new medical schools, technology transfer, industry and manufac ups, and collaborations. Its not easy money, but its the kind that builds on itself. Those studies warn that an economy based on service jobs has nowhere to go but down, especially in a state with Floridas complex demographics. When most of your residents are in low-paying service jobs, and the rest are (1) the nonworking elderly, (2) seasonal residents who contribute little to the tax base, (3) tourists here for short stays, and (4) the nonworking poor and/or poor immigrants who face severe barriers to assimilation, the prognosis is seriously bad. The corporate cabals investing bil lions of dollars in buying up Miami its prime waterfront land, hotels and parking garages likely dont care one whit about making Florida a more livable place. Theyre thrilled to have a poor, turn-key Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 22

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22 service economy in which to set up shop. They want tax dollars to go toward widening the streets to their front doors, not toward empowering university and business research or building sustainable and grow ing sectors that will attract investment that leads toward real innovation and wealth. And the politicians in Tallahassee? Every year they put off voting on the casino bills is another year they can haul in lots more PAC money from the gambling special interests. Its time to stop playing high-stakes poker with our economic well-being. Enrique Valladares North MiamiIm a Tiger Mother and Proud of It!In her Kids and the City column, Crystal Brew makes the case for parents relaxing the grip on their young childrens lives (The Activity Addiction, February 2012). She seems to roll her eyes at those who believe structure and discipline are an essential part of learning and growth for youngsters. And she implies that those Tiger Mothers who invest enormous amounts of time and money guiding their children through a world of frivolous distractions are simply driven by ego. I could not disagree more. I proudly call myself a Tiger Mom. I am one of those who is convinced beyond a doubt that America is sliding into ir reversible mediocrity because assertive parenting has become politically incorrect. Barbara Hollingsworth AventuraGeorge Berlin: There at the Creation of AventuraErik Bojnanskys article Family & Fortune (January 2012) was really interesting to me as a North Dade resident. I was touched personally by the references to my late friend Mr. George Berlin, and to the great contributions he made toward the developemnt and the growth of the City of Aventura. His work will never be forgotten. Gerard G. Moss AventuraI Dare You to Check Out My YouTube Expos on Highland Village!I just read Jim W. Harpers Park Patrol article about Highland Village (A Park in Need Is a Park Indeed, December 2011), and then North Miami Beach Councilwoman Barbara Kramers letter to the editor in response (January 2012). Every tax-paying citizen has a right to know the goings-on in Highland Village because of state and federal funds and more. Councilwoman Kramer wrote very defensively, like she was afraid truths were going to come out about City of North Miami Beach and Highland Village. I have some videos posted on YouTube of conditions and situations in the city gen W. Harper didnt even scratch the surface. Very interesting! Gary Chadwick North Miami Beach CorrectionsEditors Note: In Erik Bojanskys article The Casino Effect (February 2012), Frank Neros job title was misstated. Nero is president and CEO of the Beacon Council. Also in the February issue, two photographs accompanying our Galleries + Museums listings carried the wrong captions. Below are the two artworks with the correct captions. Horizontale Object Plastique N. 874 In the January issue, the catalogue number for the HistoryMiami photograph below was not accurate. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the photo, which depicts the mouth of the Miami River in 1897, needs the catalogue number. Here it is: Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #X-0129-1. Needless to say, we regret the errors.Commentary: LETTERS Continued from page 20

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24 Commentary: MIAMIS KINGCity Hall DynastiesBetween the old pols and their family members, Miami just never changes By Jack King BT ContributorA few weeks ago I looked up at the television during a Miami City Commission meeting and immediately the thought of The Whos song Wont Get Fooled Again ran through my mind. For those of you not familiar with the song, the last phrase is: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. The current city commission is composed of people whove been around for a long time, or whose families have. Mayor Toms Regalado did multiple terms as a city commissioner before being elected mayor three years ago. Then theres Willy Gort, another multi-term commissioner who once ran for mayor and lost. So what the hell, he ran again for commissioner and won again. And Michelle Spence-Jones? long, her term has been really exciting. She was charged with crimes, and then a year later, reinstated when the principal witness refused to testify. Spence-Jones follows right in line with her districts history, as the previous two elected commissioners were also ethically challenged, notwithstanding the Rev. Richard Dunn, who served as interim commissioner two times. Spence-Jones should have been indicted for being felony stupid when she sold her vote on the Marlins stadium deal in exchange for $50 million the city owed her districts community redevelopment agency. She voted for the stadium and then the city stiffed her, saying the money just wasnt there. Brilliant move. Marc Sarnoff seems like hes been there for years, but hes actually only in However, hes been adept at keeping his name in the press, both good and bad. Finally we have what I like to call our legacy commissioners, Francis Suarez and Frank Carollo. Suarez is the son of Xavier Suarez, also the only Harvardeducated one. He was elected mayor three considered one of the best mayors in the citys history. Then things got weird. The younger Suarez has worked quietly, but recently has advocated for a strong-mayor form of city government. Wait a minute. Dont we have a strongmayor form government now? Many people thought we did when we changed the city charter 15 years ago. What happened was that the county not the city, changed Miami-Dade government to a strong-mayor system. Whoever wrote the city charter change got it horribly wrong, but nobody challenged it, including the voters. Enter former Mayor Joe Carollo, who was having his problems with the city commission, so he thought the best way to handle it was to marginalize the commission. Unfortunately it didnt work, and again nobody noticed. sioner, Frank Carollo, Joes much younger brother. When Frank was elected, there was a concern that he would be just like Joe, who was not so affectionately referred to Crazy Joe because he came up with some of the most outlandish ideas city hall had ever seen. One of them was an idea to resolve Miami to South Dade. On a trip out of town, Joe had seen an expressway built atop a river, supposedly because the land along the river wasnt available. So he proposed, with a straight face, to build an expressway in Biscayne Bay from Home stead to Miami. The idea didnt go far. So Frank, in honor of his brother, proposed that the city should put babychanging stations in all city mens rooms. They already are in most ladies rooms. The reason is that Frank likes to change diapers on his own young child. The proj ect would cost about $40,000, not a great sum, but a sum that would help only one person Frank Carollo. Hey, Frank, use A couple of unrelated things have also been on my mind: I had to laugh few weeks ago, especially with the position that the Catholic Church is taking on the issue. A caveat here: I was raised Catholic, but was expelled from religion class because I had more questions than they had answers. I still do. Catholics in America both men and women almost universally use some form of birth control at some point in their lives. The church has been unable to change those numbers over the past 30 years. So the bishops force the federal gov ernment to remove all contraception from healthcare programs for Catholic institu tions. To me it looks like they were trying to get the government to do what they themselves have been unable to do: stop Catholics from using contraception. Those bishops are wily. And locally, motorists are hitting bikers at an alarming rate. As drivers get older, bikers are harder to see. I know. Ive been hit and it is not fun. The next biker you dont see might be me. Scary thought. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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26 Commentary: URBANIAStrangers Next DoorThe perils of Miamis new condo lifestyle rrrfnttbfttbbbttttttbffff rfntnb tnnrntr nrtnbrrfrn t ntbn fbfr rtfrf By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorIf I asked you to sink your money into a project but couldnt tell you much about your co-investors, youd walk away laughing. But this is exactly what buying into a condominium means: a group of strangers in a shared investment, with few guarantees about what theyre buying and who theyre buying it with. The new Miami lifestyle is synonymous with condos a type of living that brings staggering risks and endless headaches. The most basic risk is overpaying, which so many did, and by eye-watering percentages, thanks to speculators and salivating lenders. Another major risk is quality. Our building boom was a veritable race to the top-off, and plenty of developers construction. Jeremy Bedor is an experienced construction manager who recently left South Florida for Washington, D.C. He worked on some of our citys most famed developments. Overall hes positive about the advantages of multi-family living especially when it comes to conveniences and amenities but as the guy who gets sent in to deal with after-the-fact problems, hes also seen the downsides. Historically, Bedor says, Florida condominium owners were subjected to unscrupulous developers and contractors who often disappeared after a property was completed, leaving the residents with an expensive mess to clean up. The 1970s saw the addition of construction warranties to the Florida Condo Act, placing more post-construction responsi bility on developers and contractors. Big developers with a proven track record are more likely to stick around in case something goes wrong, and Florida laws have evolved to protect new-construction buyers, but buying into condos past their decade mark or more ups your risk. If a building hasnt had a then beware, says Bedor. After ten years, most developers are off the hook, and thereafter owners will face mounting issues, most notably standards. The aging Surfside building Bedor just left faced a $5 million assessment for common-element upgrades. Yep, thats right. A multimilliondollar tab. Just because you can cobble together a down payment and cover your mortgage, taxes, and association dues doesnt mean you can afford the longterm hidden costs of communal living. Countless Miami condos have faced crisis. Tensions run high, board meetings become battlegrounds, and aggressive creativity has been the only means of sur vival for many. I know because Ive been on my condo board for four years, in a building where an embarrassing percent age of my neighbors sorry, co-inves tors are thousands of dollars behind on their association fees. Florida laws are weighted heavily in favor of lenders, and associations end up recovering a pittance of each foreclosed units back dues. To compensate, my association has cut costs in every way imaginable, from getting out of a ten-year deal with rooftop space for a cellular tower. just the beginning. Residents also face a whole host of social and managerial issues. A typical Miami condo building will have tenants of all ages, professions, and socioeconomic backgrounds a 25-year-old awkward elevator silence with an execu tive who snagged the multimillion-dollar penthouse. People like this, who would otherwise never meet, will live stacked up like Jenga blocks. In fact, they could be neighbors and never meet, owing to the odd isolation bred by condos. How many people dont know who lives above, below, or beside them? My guess is lots, especially here in the land of the transient. Its from this diverse pool of strangers that a condo board forms to maintain the health of their real estate organism, and again Bedor offers some advice: Under no circumstances should someone view the property value and location, or the income bracket of the residents, as an assurance of a condo board operating in the best interest of the residents. He also warns of a pattern hes seen in association managers: Theyre hired to protect owner interests, but pressure to give the board what it asks for can quickly turn a manager who wants to keep his job into a yes-man for counterproductive ideas. My own condo board is brilliantly dysfunctional, partly because volunteer boards tend to attract both the best and worst people for the job. A go-go profes sional eager to donate time and expertise will meet face-to-face with a retired spinster who memorizes bylaws and gets her kicks busting people for walking their dogs in the wrong spot. But I digress For Miami condo owners, these are strange times indeed. If youre thinking of buying into this game, think long and hard about how badly you need a pool or a gym. If youre already in condolandia and beyond saving your sanity, then at the very least save your money. Anything can happen when you live with strangers. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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28 Commentary: PICTURE STORYMiamis Main Drag 116 Years AgoA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George Special to the BTMiami was still a wilderness as the year 1896 dawned. But in April of that year, Henry M. Flaglers Florida East Coast Railway steamed into town, and suddenly a new city was born. in Miami, Avenue D, todays N. Miami Avenue, which was laid out in early 1896. The buildings here stretched from the Miami River northward for a few blocks. From left, and barely visible, stand John Sewell and Brothers Shoe Store and shop, the Lobby Pool and Billiard Parlor, Raulerson Brothers Meat Market, and Florida Western Meats. One block north of these structures stood buildings housing the Miami Me tropolis the Bank of Bay Biscayne. On July 28, 1896, local residents building and voted to incorporate as a city. John Reilly became the City of MiMary Brickell, the two people besides Flagler who were most responsible for the citys creation, were barred from voting because of their gender. Most of the buildings pictured here, as well as others, burned in the fire of December 26, 1896. 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 HistoryMiami, Claude Matlack Collection, #matlack_245-12 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 ContributorCompared to winter months, packed with major holidays, March may seem like a minor player. But it is (on March 20 this year), with all that sea sons sometimes just symbolic yet hopeful hints of fresh new beginnings. Whether your spring-cleaning hopes are aimed, most traditionally, at your home or at yourself, BT advertisers have offers and events this month to transform your hopes for renewal into reality. Looking to start afresh in a new at Duffy Realty (9718 NE 2nd Ave., 305-904-4803), a new advertiser whos actually a returning vet one of the BT s earliest advertisers back in the bad old days. The longtime Miami Shores resident, and expert in realty for the Shores and adjacent areas, represents properties in all price ranges, so dont be intimidated. Welcome back, Pat! Welcome, too, to Aventuras Turnber ry International Realty (20445 Biscayne Blvd. #H-8, 305-767-3182), a new advertis er whose mission is to be the areas premier boutique real estate company meaning the company not only provides personal ized services covering clients from search through closing table, but will help you other need in the neighborhood. To freshen up the look of your present home, check out the stock of striking Brazilian furniture, both contemporary and classic, at Herval Furniture USA You wont have to look far. The company conveniently covers BT territory with two showrooms (1730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-377-1221 and 2666 NE 189th St., 305-935-4545). Mention spring cleaning this month for a 10% discount on purchases over $1000. If you havent checked out The Collec tion German Furniture (15400 Biscayne Blvd. #112, 305-944-3727 in a while, this is the season to do it. The company has supplemented its famed selection of highend German furniture with Steel Land, a fun young collection for modern house holds, and will be receiving new sofas from the lines Free Wind and Kandinsky series (inspired by the artist credited with Dont forget Scan Design annual Fall in Furniture Love art event on March 3, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. (4150 N. 28th Terr., Hollywood; RSVP at fallinfurniturelove.com or 954-874-3888). Actually, a visit to Scans local showroom (3025 NE 163rd. St.) is something of an art event in itself, but doesnt include the evenings special perks: musical enterdoeuvres, and interactive painting, plus Isnt it great when doing something good for yourself also helps do good for others? Thats whatll happen if your March visit to Salon Dahlia (9472 NE 2nd Ave., 305-290-0028) happens on friendly neighborhood place is donating 20% of all proceeds to Smile Train, a charity providing free cleft-palate surgery to needy children throughout the world. Another opportunity to support a worthy cause while enjoying a fabulous night of food (including a vegetarian ing dinner celebrating 32 years of care for Miami wildlife by the caring folks at Pelican Harbor Seabird Station (1279 NE 79th St. Cswy., 305-751-9840). The 7 at Miami Shores Country Club, 10000 Biscayne Blvd.), but its not too early to buy tix now, in person or online at www. pelicanharbor.org. Price is just $45 for individuals or $400 for a table of ten. And dog lovers should mark March 25 (from 9:00 a.m. to noon) on their calen dars. Thats when The Shops at Midtown Miami (3401 N. Miami Ave.) will be Dog Walk, raising awareness for guide and other service dogs of all kinds. For more info: www.miamilighthouse.org. By the way, pet owners: How does a meal of salmon with lentils in yogurt and lemongrass sauce sound? No, not for you. Its one of four new entre varieties from By Nature makers of natural and organic and, obviously, gourmet dog and cat food. This months offer for BT readers: Buy four cans and get one free, plus $2 off any small bag of By Nature. For a list of local outlets carrying the healthful, tempting treats, consult www.bynaturepetfoods.com. While spring cleaning traditionally means thoroughly reviving ones dwelling, it seems that the season inspires people to do the same for their personal selves. Example: Last months free weightloss seminar at (7120 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-6600) went so well that the personal-training facility is offering it again on March 17, at 11:00 a.m., says For those of you with kids, new advertiser Bikram Yoga Central Miami (5084 Biscayne Blvd. #101A, 305-2313171) will be offering a class for children coordination, and balance improvement, and general body awareness, as the adult classes, but without the heat. Its scheduled for March 31 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Call for more details. Visits to the doctor can be traumatic even for us grown-ups. For kids Well, Our Sponsors: M archAR CH 20 12 BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 32

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you remember. But returning BT adver tiser Kidstown Pediatrics (4112 NE 1st Ave., 305-576-5437) is known as a doctors and as a place where kind, patient staff members and Dr. Margaret Okonkwo ac tually listen to them, not just their parents. For BT -reading parents with children over age ten who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or autism, Dr. Lee Barbach DC (1717 N. Bayshore Dr. #240, 1-888-924-7664) has a special March offer: three free visits. Find a detailed ex planation from this inventive practitioner about how his BBT (brain-based treat ment) can help improve everything from your childs social behavior and academic achievement to his/her posture. Go to www.iWishiFeltBetter.com/special. of Dr. Daniel Leon-Romain (9999 NE 2nd Ave. #204, 786-497-4440), an inter nist and general practice physician (very reassuring for those of us who prefer to think of ourselves as not unrelated body parts offers comprehensive care, spe cializing in preventive medicine. All new patients scheduling an appointment are eligible for a free cholesterol screening. If what needs spring cleaning is your smile, The Art of Dentistry can brighten that up in just an hour with Zoom laser whitening. Mention the BT for a special price of $289 (normally more than $400). If the renewal you seek is spiritual, welcome returning advertiser Unity on the Bay (411 NE 21st St., 305-573-9191), a diverse spiritual home where the message is unconditional love, acceptance, and healing. Check out www.unityonthe bay.org for the full range of services and opportunities Unity offers. Remember the New Testament story about Jesus washing his disciples feet? Well, First United Methodist Church of Miami (400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-3714706) has been remembering for more than 20 years with an annual pre-Easter Foot Washing for the Homeless, this year on March 24 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Along with doctors and students from Barry Universitys School of Podiatric Medicine, who will attend to foot health care, about 100 volunteers are needed. Want to show some love? Contact the church prior to the March 17 training session. For an alternative path to reviving pist and life coach Catherine Patrick (786-277-9835) at the Standard Hotel on March 14 at 7:00 p.m. for a fun and powerful group hypnosis workshop designed to increase your happiness and energy and spark renewed passion for life. The $30 fee includes the resorts indoor baths. Its hard to feel springs new promise with last years taxes hanging over your head, but the experts at TaxStation (286 NE 2nd Ave., 786-319-4433) can relieve your worries as easily as possible. See this issues ad for a $10 discount on serfor free at TaxStationToday.com. The company provides pick-up and delivery services to downtown and Brickell, too. All ready to get out and enjoy life to its fullest? Good! Opportunities abound this spring. Attention sports fans: Whether tennis or shopping is your sport of choice, youll want to check out the just-opened fourth Florida retail location of new advertiser Tennis Plaza (15400 Biscayne Blvd. #110, 305-890-1808). The stores stock of racquets, grips, and other gear is perfect for those who play, and theres also a huge selection of athletic shoes for those who just like the look. sell, but also have anxieties about where to sell it? Forget skulking into some questionable pawnbroker. At new advertiser Global Jewelry (18677 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-705-9600), South Floridas top-rated and largest gold buyer, the personal boutique service (including coffee or water served in crystal) is classy, and With BT as a serious destination dining draw, its time to draw attention to some of our areas serious support services like new advertiser Oves Restaurant Supply (1940 NW 21st Ter., 305-326-8010). From sales to repairs of truly professional kitchen equip ment, this company does it all. Welcome also to attorneys Michael Lubin and Steve Polisar new advertis ers who offer new businesses, especially restaurants, a most vital support ser vice: helping business owners navigate through the hassles of obtaining permits to sell wine and beer. Residents who lived in these parts during the South Beach renaissance may remember Steve as the original owner of Ocean Drives Palace Bar & Grill (and several Lincoln Road-area restaurants after that), so you know that he and partner Michael are veterans at cutting through government red tape. Biz BuzzContinued from page 30

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Now were hungry. Fortunately this months ad for Bagels & Company (11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435) day deals. For dine-in deli mavens, $3 off a minimum $15 meal or $5 off a $25 check. And for all customers, six free bagels with the purchase of a dozen. dining and dancing at the same venue, restolounge Trio on the Bay (1601 79th St. Cswy., 305-866-1234) is ideal, especially with its new nightly dinner deal: a three-course meal, from a monthly The view alone is worth more than that. Meanwhile, across the puddle, the recent $20 million renovation of the 1940s Shelborne South Beach Hotel (1801 Collins Ave., 305-531-1271) offers an opportunity for morning-to-midnight dining without budging from the beach front venue. For breakfast: the pool decks Vesper American Brasserie. For lunch, Baja tacos at Lucys Cantina Royale. For dinner: famous Philly chef Zama Tana kas sushi bar. Residents who remember the 1990s Shelborne only for its decidedly unrenovated cellar karaoke club have to think: Geez Talk about spring cleaning! Since its relocation to sleek new digs, longtime locally favored Japanese culinary hotspot Yakko-san (93881 NE 163rd St., 305-947-0064) has developed a lounge personality, too. Check out their new Third Thursday parties on March 29, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Martinis are $5; sake shots are $2; and youll be treated to the houses surprise martini tasting. Every Monday in March, Liza and Gigi of Anise Taverna (620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929) will take you (or at least your taste buds) on a trip around the Mediterranean: Tunisia on March 5, Mallorca on March 12, Portugal on Marcy 19, and Turkey on March 26. The $55 per person price for dinner includes unlimit ed wine and beer, but tax and gratuity are excluded, as is the price of transportation to all those foreign countries. (Whats a gallon of gas going for this month?) Not quite enough cultural understand ing for you? Travel farther at Marchs free Saturday wine tastings, 1:00-5:00 p.m., at Laurenzos Italian Center (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381). Voyage via Italian vino on March 3, and artisan Chil ean wines on March 10. And on March $2.50. (These cream puffs are actually a typical specialty of St. Josephs Day, March 19, but the feast day of the Virgin Marys husband is much more popular in Italy. And the pastries beat corned beef and cabbage any day.) At the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., 305-4668002), Marchs entertainment possibilities include tributes to comedy icons George Burns and Gracie Allen plus musical icons the Beatles; Oscar-nominated Revanche ; a documentary The Ugly Duckling (performance includ ing free face painting and snacks). Visit www.aventuracenter.org for info and tix. Rejoice, lovers of outside-the-box contemporary classical music! On March 11, at 3:00 p.m., the concert series at St. Marthas Church (9301 Biscayne Blvd.) presents the Carpe Diem String Quartet, internationally acclaimed for both traditional chamber music interpreted for modern audiences and for the compositions of their own Korine Fujiwara. For further info on this uncommon opportunity: 305-458-0111 or 305-751-0005. Whether youre a professional or a prospective writer, Miami-Dade Colleges spring edition of their Miami Writers Institute May 2-5, can help you achieve your goals. The four days of intensive all genres) include manuscript consulta tions, a publishing seminar, an interactive Pitch-O-Rama with industry pros, and more. Youll want to reserve a spot early, so go to www.theCenteratMDC.org. Welcome to the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival a new advertiser. Its at this years fest, April 27-May 6. But its not too early to volunteer as a festival screenings, a doubtless cute T-shirt, and beyond-the-bar-scene/computer screen opportunities to meet and mingle). For more info: www.mglff.com. While were thinking ahead: Now that spring is here, ready for summer? New advertiser The Cushman School (592 NE 59th St.) is doing just that. Offerings at the independent and innova tive schools June 11-August 10 summer camp, for kids ages 3-11, range from robotics to giant water slides and Pizza Fridays. Contact camp director Tina Heffernan for details: 305-757-1966 or theffernan@cushmanschool.org. Something special coming up at your business? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes.com. For BT advertisers only.

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North Miamis contribution to American pop culture, from TVs most famous dolphin to Miami Vice and beyondBy Gaspar GonzlezFlipper photos courtesy of Frederick Barr Flipper Built Flipper Flipper Built The House That

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From the outside, Greenwich Studios doesnt look like much: a cluster of warehouse-size buildings fronting NE 16th Avenue, between 121st and 122nd streets. The studios name, spelled out in blue letters and punctuated by a leaping dolphin, is visible only from the north side of the property, and then only if youre really looking for it. Turn your head for a moment or approach the buildings from the south and you could easily confuse Greenwich for a storage rental facility. There are quite a few such businesses in this industrial strip running just west of, and parallel to, Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami. But Greenwich is special. It was once an epicenter of American television production, turning out hit shows that baby boomers still recall with glee, among them, Flipper the series about a pet dolphin that helped make South Florida famous and launched a million school lunchboxes. Back then, the complex wasnt called Greenwich, but Ivan Tors Studios. A Hungarian with a colorful past, Tors was, for a time, one of Hollywoods most successful producers, rivaling even Walt Disney when it came to reeling in the kiddies with fantastic and farfetched Now the studio he built mostly churns out Spanish-language reality shows. It also produces the occasional ghost tale. The place is haunted, you know, says Jeff Beal, a writer-for-hire and at Greenwich. He is on the phone with a reporter curious about the studio. By whom? the reporter asks. Ivan Tors. Who else? Tors, it seems, was always a bit of a mysterious character. He was in the he very possibly was a spy, says David Tors, speaking from his home in Kentucky about his fathers World War II experiences, although I cant get anybody to admit it. He laughs. Anyway, he got hurt somehow and was reassigned to the squadron that featured Glenn Miller. That would have been the Army Air Force Technical Training Command (AAFTTC) band, stationed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1943. Miller, at the time arguably the nations most popular big-band leader and a newly minted captain in the Army Air Corps, was given the task of keeping American morale high with his signature swing sound. What Tors might have been doing assignment would pay off after the war. Thats where he got some of his contacts in show business, explains David. Those contacts led Tors to Hollywood, where he found work as a writer. original story was a gangster picture of sorts, involving a returning vet who takes over his dead brothers illegal gambling operation. It was a solid B time, but it must have gotten the 30-yearold Tors noticed, because his next three credits would have made any writer of the era envious. First came Song of Love in 1947. A lush, historical romance woven around the life of 19th-century German composer Robert Schumann, it starred Katharine Hepburn and Paul Henreid, the suave leading man who had played Ingrid Bergmans husband in Casablanca That was followed by That Forsyte Woman an historical melodrama starring screen swashbuckler Errol Flynn, and In the Good Old Summertime a turn-of-the-20th-century boy and girl love each other, but dont know it yet musical, with a still innocent-seeming Judy Garland hitting all the right notes. The New York Times called it a wonderfully rich entertainment. In a very short time, Tors had proven he could pen a star vehicle and had storylines and family fare, which would serve him well in years to come. He wasnt yet a producer, but that would come, too, The Magnetic Monster Riders to the Stars and Gog about a series of unexplained murders at a top-secret government laboratory. It was fantasy stuff aimed at the teenagers the youth market before that term had become part of the lexicon. Perhaps it was only natural he would gravitate toward television, that new electronic extension of the American was Science Fiction Theatre A forerunner to Rod Serlings more famous Twilight Zone the conceit of Science Fiction Theatre was that its stories were eries. Ill tell you now that this story regularly intone at the top of an episode. It did not happen. But the big question is, Could it have happened? Science Fiction Theatre ran for two seasons. ent kind of adventure show, one that would take place underwater. Its lead character would be an ex-Navy scuba diver named Mike Nelson, played by Lloyd Bridges (father of actors Beau and Jeff Bridges). In each half-hour episode, Nelson would use his scuba skills to help clients retrieve valuable property from the outsmart the bad guys, and anything else that needed to be done that required end of each episode, Nelson would address the audience directly, asking viewers to help protect the worlds oceans. Tors would call his show Sea Hunt The three major networks ABC, CBS, and NBC turned down the idea. Who wants to see a show about a frogman? Theres no dialogue when hes underwater. But Tors was undeterred. He produced syndication. Sea Hunt became a smash, and 1961. The show also brought Tors to Florida, where he met Ricou Browning. I was working as the assistant director of public relations at Silver Springs in old. Tors, according to Browning, was scouting locations for the second season of Sea Hunt when Ivan saw me swimming and said, Hey, howd you like to swim for me? If this sounds a little like the classic story of some lucky kid being plucked from obscurity by the big Hollywood producer, it isnt. Browning, a Florida native, was an accomplished swimmer and diver whod been doing underwater tricks for the newsreels since the early 1940s, and whose cinematic fame had been assured a few years earlier: Wearing a green rubber suit, he had played the classic Creature from the Black Lagoon On Sea Hunt Tors had Browning double for the bad guys in the underwater scenes. In time the two men became friends and business partners. They formed Underwater Studios, a production company based in Nassau, specializing in underwater cinematography. We shot our own shows there, as well as underwater sequences for other shows and movies, explains Browning. Among Thunderball which claimed an Academy extensive deepwater action footage. The inspiration for Brownings biggest contribution to the partnership was born one afternoon when he observed his Continued on page 36 Around the World Under the Sea Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami

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children planted in front of the television. They were watching Lassie , says Browning, and I thought, Why not do something with a boy and a dolphin ? I remembered all this Greek mythology about boys on dolphins, and Id seen thought had nothing to do with television. My brother-in-law, Jack Cowden, and I spent a weekend writing a summary of a book, he says. I took the idea to publishers in New York, and never heard back from any of them. It was only then that Browning turned to Tors for help, but again, not because property. That was just a ruse. I thought if I could get a movie producer to say he was interested in producing my story, the publishing houses would get off their rear ends, Browning recounts, laughing because he knows how the story ends. Tors told him he would go along with the idea, and to send him the book proposal, just for the hell of it. When he got it, Tors recognized the story really was just Lassie on the water, but thats what made it attractive: A young boy named Sandy Ricks, the son of a Florida dolphin. His father doesnt much like the idea, until the dolphin rescues Sandy from a shark attack. The story ends with the family agreeing to keep the dolphin, which Sandy has named Flipper. Forget the book, Tors told Browning. Lets make a movie. The idea would have appealed to Tors for several reasons, the most obvious being that it would be shot on and around the water, which was his specialty. Anoth er reason was that it would be wholesome critics might call it hokum family entertainment, something Tors believed was in short supply. Hed been outspoken on the point. the U.S. Senates Juvenile Delinquency Committee, complaining of pressure from the networks to put more sex and violence into the shows he pitched them. We have no excuse to make any kind of he told the senators. I think we have a tremendous responsibility, which I see more and more as my children grow up and I see how they are affected adversely also tell reporters that he was frustrated because I have three sons, and if a Disney picture isnt showing, we cant go to the theater together. (Torss sons Steven, Peter, and David were born to the actress ConThe couple was introduced, says David, by Hollywood legend Shelley Winters.) If Tors admired the Disney formula and who didnt might not Flipper as to capture some of that same magic? Tors knew that casting would be critical. For the sought out Chuck Connors, who was the For the role of Sandy, he needed a kid who looked comfortable outdoors, and settled on a 14-year-old actor named Luke Halpin. Halpin, now 64 years old and living on Floridas west coast, remembers his Broadway play with Jackie Gleason, and someone came up to me after the show and said, Ivan Tors would like to speak with FlipperContinued from page 35 Creature from the Black Lagoon Continued on page 38 Boutique practice in a cozy & warm atmosphere LOCATED IN THE MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT NEAR MIDTOWNMargaret Okonkwo, MD, FAAP 4112 Northeast 1st Ave, Miami FL 33137 Phone: 305-576-KIDS (5437) Fax: 305-576-5120 www.KidstownPediatrics.com Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami

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you. I knew who Ivan Tors was because I used to stay up to watch Sea Hunt . Good thing, because otherwise one have sounded rather odd. Would you be afraid to swim with live dolphins or live sharks? Tors asked the youngster. Halpin jumped at the offer I loved the idea of playing Sandy and some quarters. A lot of people thought you couldnt do a movie like Flipper , says Halpin, because you couldnt get a dolphin to do the tricks. But Ivan was a very rare person. He had great insight. ing just the right dolphin. For Flipper , says Browning, we tried to get an animal that was already trained, but all the ones we saw were only trained to do tricks heard of Milton Santini, who ran a por poise school in the Florida Keys. Santini, Browning recalls, kept a pet dolphin named Mitzi. When Browning waded into Mitzis pond, the female dolphin swam right up to him, and Tors knew he had his leading man, er, lady. (Credit for training Mitzi to play Flipper has been shared by everybody from Santini to Browning to Dale Hyldahl, who worked with dolphins at Marineland, the oceanarium near St. Augustine. Flippers most famous trainer, Ric OBarry, now a vocal critic of dolphin captivity, didnt join the Flipper franchise until later.) Flipper made a latesummer splash at the box end. Flipper was suddenly the most famous marine mammal on the planet, and Tors wasted no time cashing in. He made a deal for a sequel, as well as a new half-hour prime-time television show. We started shooting the second feature Flippers New Adventure time, says Browning. The series required some tweaks. The father now would be played by Brian Kelly, and his new occupation would be game warden, while Sandy would get a little brother named Bud (Tommy Norden). But that was minor compared to the logistical challenges of building a show around a dolphin. A series translated to approximately 30 episodes per season. Flipper would need a permanent home, and South Florida was deemed the ideal place. It was close to the Bahamas, where, owing to the underwater topogthe Miami Seaquarium was home to the stars of the show Flipper would be (The Seaquarium would also double as a set. The Rickss Cracker-style cottage was built there, to go with an exact replica erected at the old Interama site, now Florida International Universitys Biscayne Bay campus. The identical sets, The only thing Tors didnt have was a studio, but he found one. Or at least, FlipperContinued from page 36 Florida State Archives Photographic Collection Continued on page 40

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40 the beginnings of one. Thunderbird Studio in North Miami, according to Browning, was operated by a soundman named Howard Warren. It was only one stage, says Browning. But there was room to grow. Renamed Ivan Tors Studios, the 1964. Over the next couple of years, Tors would build three more sound stages, the two largest of which possessed 40-foot single 16,000-square-foot space. pentry shop for building sets, and a back them, with an estimated annual payroll of $3 million. By 1966 it was believed to be the largest production facility in Florida, and one of the largest anywhere outside California and New York. We were the only studio down here, says Browning, who eventually became studio president. We were ent Jackie Gleason films. And we had locked up. The South Florida location resulted in a more relaxed work environment, ac cording to Halpin: There was a freedom of not working in Los Angeles. The entire [ Flipper as anything. If the weather was going to turn bad, Ivan would tell everybody to go home. He was very protective. Why not? Flipper the dolphin that laid the golden egg. Running for three seasons on NBC, from 1964 to 1967, the show probably did more to popularize Ivan Tors Studios and South Florida than a boatload of press agents working overtime could ever have managed. Imagine if you Scott Cardinal, director of the recent documentary The Legend of Ivan Tors and you see two kids swimming with a dolphin. You think you might come down to Florida? Ivan was responsible for bringing millions in tourist dollars to South Florida. Halpin still marvels at the novelty of it all. Ivan was very clever, says the former actor. Two kids with their own boat, their own gear, a pet dolphin, and a father whos a game warden and not around very much. It was a great set-up for a show. Tors followed up the success of Flip per with more animal-themed productions, including Zebra in My Kitchen Dennis the Menace child star Jay North as a protoanimal-rights activist who springs his furry friends from the local zoo, and Daktari about a veterinarian who studies animal behavior in Africa, and Gentle Ben the adventures of a young boy (played by Ron Howards little brother, Clint) and his pet bear. Not all were Florida-based Daktari was FlipperContinued from page 38 Continued on page 42 BT photo by Silvia Ros

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42 shot in California but Gentle Ben set in the Everglades, was produced out of the North Miami studio and utilized Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden as a shooting location. By the late 1960s, newspaper and magazine articles were asking if Tors was the new Disney, to which the Hungarian usually replied, I dont want to be the second Walt Disney. I want to Not every new undertaking was a success. A daytime game show Tors unveiled in 1967, Treasure Isle and an expensive one. A venture with Florida billionaire John D. MacArthur, Treasure Isle was billed as the worlds The concept called for competing couples to paddle around a lake in a canoe, looking for clues that would lead them to the treasure isle, where they would dig for prizes. Sherman Adler, who was involved with the show, years later characterized it as part Newlywed Game and part Survivor . Shot on location in Palm Beach County, the shows manmade set consisted of a lagoon and three is lands, at a cost of half a million dollars. It lasted one season. In retrospect, it was a sign of things to come. Torss amazing run, dating back to Science Fiction Theatre and Sea Hunt was nearing its end. Some of it was probably just show-biz physics: Everything that goes up sooner or later must come down. In Torss case, his core audience of baby boomers was growing up, and now Rights struggle, and the counterculture than what their favorite animals were up to in prime time. Flipper Daktari and Gentle Ben were canceled outright in 1969. To make matters worse, that same year Torss wife, Constance, died of a heart attack. With Torss personal life upended and his homegrown lineup of shows history, says Browning, we started leasing space to other [proAccording to pioneering Miami inde ceeded Browning as studio president in 1970, Tors had also been relying on loans He borrowed a lot of money from Bruce Norris, whose family owned the Detroit Newspaper clips from the era sup Miami News reported in late 1967 that Norris had purchased a substantial stock interest in the Tors corporation, and FlipperContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44BT photo by Silvia Ros

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44 to hold the mortgage on the prop erty, after which the studio became secondary to Norriss other business concerns. Despite his setbacks, Tors would attempt to produce one last series in the studio hed built. Primus David Tors remembers, was a mini-adventure underwater show. It premiered in 1971 and sunk so quickly not even super-diver Mike Nelson could have found it. After that, Tors left North Miami, though not the entertainment business. Ivan took my brothers and me to Germany and Africa with him, says David. He did some animal shows for German Escape from Angola that we were all in. Tors never found even a sliver of the success he had once enjoyed David says his father spent the 1970s pitching ideas to young punk executives, with predictable results although he did manage to pass on his love of wildlife to in Africa. apparent heart attack. It happened in Brazil, while the producer, keeping in character, was on a scouting trip to get off the ground. Tors was only 67. The timing was cruel. If he had lived just a little while longer, he might have gotten a real kick out of what was going on at his old studio. Do you remember what South Beach was like before Miami Vice ? asks Jeff Beal, chair. Boarded-up store fronts, abandoned buildings. Beal pauses in midsentence, before making the sign of the cross. Thank you, Miami Vice. Beal, the self-described de facto go-to guy whenever a new production sets up shop at the studio, is retailing the oft-told tale of how Miami Vice swooped from cultural irrelevance. Thats always been a bit of an exaggeration, but the series undeniably helped save Ivan Tors Studios. They built their sets here, says Beal. The police station, mostly. I got lucky, says developer and renowned art collector Martin Margulies, Miami Vice became the best tenant any studio could have envisioned. Margulies bought the property from wasnt looking to get into the develop the surrounding land, but it was a package deal. I bought all that land and develminiums, he says, speaking of the complex just to the west of the studio. But I had no idea what to do with the studio, so I lent it to a group of sculptors and artists, rent-free, because Im an art collector. Guys were sleeping there. Miami Vice changed all that, of course. Under Margulies, the property studio and condos came to be called Greenwich Studio City. (The name is reminiscent of Los Angeless Studio City, a neighborhood developed Sennetts movie-making factory in the 1920s.) Margulies was happy to take Miami Vices money as long as the series ran, but he wasnt an entertainment mogul, FlipperContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46 Do you suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Colitis or Crohns Disease? Dr. Barbach is holding a weekly FREE IN-OFFICE SEMINARdiscussing his unique approach to managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Crohns DiseaseWednesdays at 6:30 pmSeating is limited. Reserve yours now!Call 305-373-5411For more information or if you can't attend the seminar in person, you can watch a video from the comfort of your home by visiting: www.iWishiFeltBetter.com/ibs Dr. Lee Barbach, D.C.What patients are saying that have been thru this program:: ...I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome I was tired all the time too much so for a woman my age. MY IBS has been going on for 8 years almost 9!..I feel great (now)! I feel a lot younger and more vibrant! If you think you are having problems find out what it is and take care of it!Ri ta H. (48) patient/seminar attendee I suffered with fatigue (and) when I came in to see the Doctor I was using the restroom 12-15 times a day! I feel like a different person...Honestly, four months ago I couldn't even get out of bed I wa s miserable. My family suffered. I feel like a new person! It changed my life! Ja mie K (34) patient/seminar attendee Are you afraid to leave your house most days? Do you limit certain foods and still suffer? Has your family, work and a social life been adversely affected? If you have been told you must learn to live with it you dont! There are break-through diagnostic and nutritional techniques now available. You dont have to suffer your entire life this way! For many the answers are quite simple... Something About MaryBT photo by Silvia Ros

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3385 NE 188th Street Aventura, FL 33180 For tickets and group discounts Call 877.311.7469 (SHOW) AventuraCenter.orgAll programs, artists, dates and times are subject to change. Say Goodnight GracieTony Award Nominee, Best Play. Written by 3-time Tony Award winner RUPERT HOLMESMar 14-25 GREAT SHOWS COMING TO AVENTURA! Evelina Puzaite,Solo Piano Apr 3 Aventura Documentary Film SeriesJoan RiversA Piece of Work Apr 17 The Ugly Duckling Apr 22 e l FREE FACE PAINTING & SNACKSAventura Foreign Film SeriesRevancheAcademy Award nominee for best lm German and Russian with English subtitles Mar 27 The Nowhere Band A Tribute to the BeatlesApr 21 Simply StreisandBack to Broadway Apr 14

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46 project that I just had no more heart for, he says. I wanted out and Stanley Markofsky gave me that out. Fort Lauderdale, Markofsky, president of Skymark Real Estate Investments, laughs when asked if Miami Vice con vinced him to buy Greenwich from MarMiami Vices contract expired two months before I closed on the property. Like Margulies before him, Markofsky was primarily interested in the land. He built rental apartments to go with the condos, and wanted to tear down the studio and build more rental apartments, but the city objected, so I said, Okay, Ill run it as a studio. Thats a tidier version of events as re ported in newspapers at the time. In March Miami Herald he planned to turn one of the studios massive, hangar-shaped buildings into a storage facility, and perhaps introduce a retail element. At a time when the City of North and Recording Capital a nod to both Torss legacy and the presence in the city of Criteria Recording Studios, now the Hit talk was that they wanted to do a shopping mall, says David Tors. That pissed off a lot of people. In the end, Markofsky and the city did reach a compromise. The city ceded control of the portion of NE 121st Street that runs in front of the studio in exchange for Markofskys pledge to keep Greenwich operational. As a residential developer, I never thought Id get involved in something like a studio, says Markofsky, echoing the sentiments of the previous owner. Markofsky, like Margulies before him, nevertheless gave it a try. He undertook an extensive renovation of the buildings, popularized the Greenwich name We had a big sign on U.S. 1 that said Greenwich Apartments and Studio and even managed to land a full-time tenant, the Spanish-language soap opera El Magnate ( The Magnate ). But like Norris and Margulies, Markofsky eventually threw in the towel. I was there for a few years, we built 400 apartments, and sold the whole package, he says, summing up his short-lived career as a studio boss. Enter current owner Sylvan Adams. Described by Canadas Financial Post as one of the shrewdest and richest real estate developers in that country, Adams purchased the Greenwich property in 1990 for $7.2 million. Based in Montreal and largely an absentee land lord He used to show up about once every three years, says Beal, though he notes visits have become more frequent Adams has nevertheless preserved Greenwich as a working studio. Posters and photographs in the wait tions over the past two decades: Ace Ven tura: Pet Detective True Lies Striptease Something About Mary Bad Boys II and Stuck on You (You know, says Beal, thats the one where Matt Damon plays a twin joined at the hip with his brother.) There are also glossies of Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias, and other music acts that or used the studio as rehearsal space to prepare for tour dates. According to Beal, in recent years the studios best clients have been Hispanic productions: The Spanishlanguage version of Dancing with the FlipperContinued from page 44 Continued on page 48 Florida State Archives Photographic Collection

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Stars [Univisions Mira Quin Baila reality shows having to do with beauty a year. To make his point, he tells the story of the time, four years ago, he had to turn down a request for studio space from Paul McCartney. Perhaps. But on this day, the only visitors to the studio are a work crew doing some upkeep of the administra tive buildings courtyard, and a couple of cleaning ladies. Its a reminder that, when it comes to maintaining a facility like this, you can never have enough business. Sylvan Adams wont make a deal, says Beal, by way of explaining the lack of activity on this day. He wont provide on the back end. Beal pauses, searching for the quickest shorthand he knows: Hes not a movie guy. Indeed, there hasnt been a movie guy since Tors, and the studio is unlikely to have a future to compete with its past. People come to Florida for the location, not because theres a studio here, says Ricou Browning, speaking from experience. So if all you have is a studio, its hard to make a living. Its also true that Greenwich is no longer the obvious choice for studio space in South Florida. Other venues attracting production companies include Ice Palace Film Studios near downtown Miami and the Coconut Grove Convention Center, where the cable series Burn Notice has been shooting since 2007. (The latter is a sore spot for Greenwich. Burn Notice shot its pilot at Greenwich in 2006, before the City of Miami moved in and offered the shows producers a sweetheart deal if they would relobusiness? Greenwich general manager Carlene Tiedemann told the Herald in And if developer Michael Swerdlow is to be believed, competition is only going to grow. In development plans for Biscayne Landing, Swerdlow duction studio. If any of this fazes the staff at Green wich, theyre not letting on. Everybody talks about building production facilities talked about in the late 1990s, says Beal. His point? That for all the hype about South Florida as a movie mecca the dream of a new, subtropical Hollywood springing up here has been a recurring theme since at least the 1960s it remains got closer to the ideal than anybody whos likely to follow in his footsteps. Tors didnt just provide a black-box backdrop for other peoples productions. He created a unique brand, put his personal stamp on hundreds of hours of television shows and movies, and made South Florida, for longer than a a studio he built from the ground up in North Miami. Which is why its all the more remarkable that the only visible traces of Torss reign as the king of 1960s kiding) are a few blocks of NE 16th Avenue, and a small bronze plaque just outside the Greenwich gates on NE 121st Street. The plaque, which contains a relief of Tors surrounded by his beloved animals and declares the studio an important landmark in the City of North Miami, appears to receive very little attention from either the studio or the city. Discolored and dotted with dried pigeon droppings, it isnt much of a tribute. Then again, maybe Tors isnt really gone. There are those ghost sightings Beal mentions. I havent seen anything myself, the studios go-to guy confesses when pressed, but people here late at night have seen things. They all describe Ivan Tors when he had a beard. (In his later years, Tors resembled a kind of Hungarian Hemingway.) One time, the studios artist-inresidence felt his blanket being pulled off him as he slept in the loft over the awakened to the sight of Tors, wearing an overcoat, standing at the foot of the bed. Another time, an air-conditioning technician claimed he encountered the spectral presence in the makeup room at the north end of Studio B. Beal assures potential clients the ghost is harmless: He hasnt done anything mischievous. Mostly he stays in the shadows. Perhaps hes just pleased to see that production is still going on in the house he built. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com FlipperContinued from page 46 KnightArts.orgrrfnt bt t tfnt tttt rfntbrt

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50 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORCulture CashThe Knight Arts Challenge is back, looking for more ways to enrich Miamis creative scene In the Market for MarketsThis is the season for fresh produce and one outts fresh new beginningBy Melissa Wallen BT ContributorThe John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has plenty to celebrate as the Knight Arts Challenge amis burgeoning arts scene. Created in February 2008, the Arts Challenge is an initiative designed to empower creative minds and contribendeavor, the Knight Foundation pledged to donate at least $20 million over the thinkers, and entrepreneurs with a vision and a compelling pitch. ests and cultural experiences, such as Beach, LegalArts Residency, Random These projects dont happen in a vacuum, explains Dennis Scholl, vice national arts program, which includes the Challenge. These things dont happen in a community that isnt going a community, were in an amazing time prominent art collectors. The Knight Arts Challenge has two tions and a communitywide competition. The institutional component has provided grants totaling $20 million to Contemporary Art, and the New World tural destination. (Recently the Knight Foundation expanded the program to include a second Knight Arts Challenge On the competition side, applicants by concisely expressing ideas that are both artistic excellence. One such success story Continued on page 56 Continued on page 54 BT ContributorS cially during mild winters like this one. abundance here that it seems downright fruitless plantations. ers markets are gaining in popularity. tomato actually tastes like. But not only one volunteer group ensures they also help urban dwellers, especially those who lack cheap and easy access to nutriconventional, or sustainably grown produce, spices, pasture-raised chicken eggs, and much more at their three vegetables are rare and expensive. As an

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Are You Now or Have You Ever Been an Adult Entertainment Club?Tokyo Valentinos proprietor says no periodBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterT woman in a red dress advertising the two names seemed like a cool idea. Apparently the moniker continued managing partner, describes it as a gay tomer can walk through a turnstile and private booths or while lounging on beds a time. are condoms, personal lubricants, and other sexual enhancements. A pool table, round out the entertainment opportunities. Once he obtains a recreational license hell have DJs (advertisements already week, the operating hours are scaled rial to some people living nearby the Shorecrest neighborhood. They contend courages sexual activities, they charge. legally and is already under investigation my understanding, they are operating an entertainment is not allowed. entino: Take One Lounge Wonderland at the Boulevard Theater at adult entertainment establishments tial properties, schools, or parks. ment venues are limited to areas zoned located within a T-6 urban core zone. having live entertainment, and other club, but merely a retail operation. We are not a strip club, he says. We dont sell pornos. We dont have live entertainment. We dont serve alcohol. During a recent visit, the BT observed only mainstream movies on sold in supermarkets and drug stores, yet they are not considered adult clubs by the authorities. The reality is that in the gay community, condoms are bars, he says. They encour saves lives. discourage sex on the premises. But cruising occurs in many public places. encounters, he says. Jack Spirk, a civic activist and sex between patrons does not belong near two churches, a school, and a residential neighborhood that is striving to clean up the Boulevards past seedy image. that in areas where there is no residential neighborhood around it, Spirk says. I ness. Im not a prude. But I dont believe this is the place to have them. (The considered an adult entertainment establishment, then any drug store should be considered adult and any bar should be considered adult, says Danny Aaronson, a Fort Lauderdale-based attorney who specializes in adult-entertainment law. drens museum. In less than a year, he complaints and angry letters spurred the sex shop, accompanying police in cated blow dolls, dildos, and day-glow Creative BT photos by Silvia Ros Continued on page 55 Michael Morrison remains optimistic that the area will eventually accept his new business.

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every one dollar they spend there. BT that their Continued on page 56 M iamiIAMI D adeADE F armersARM ERS M arA R K eE T sS Thanks to localfoodsouthorida.org for compiling the following list Aventura Mall Farmers Market Saturdays, 10am to 9:30pm & Sundays, noon to 8pm every other weekend; see website for exact dates (open seasonally from February to September). In the center courtyard. 19501 Biscayne Boulevard; Aventura, FL 33180. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews themarketcompany.org Opa Locka Farmers Market Wednesdays, 2pm to 4pm. Open seasonally from January to April. At the Nathan B. Young Elementary School. 14120 NW 24th Avenue; OpaLocka, Florida 33054. Contact Jasmin Evangelista at 305.685.0973 or via email or Ms. Kelly at 305.685.7204. North Miami: FIU Biscayne Bay Campus Farmers Market Thursdays, 10am to 4pm. Open seasonally in the fall and spring semesters. Located in front of AC-1, near the FIU shuttle bus stop. 3000 NE 151st Street; North Miami, FL 33181. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org North Miami Farmers Market Thursdays, 11am to 6pm. Open seasonally from December to March (may run longer). In the plaza of the Museum of Contempo rary Art (MOCA). 770 NE 125th Street; North Miami, FL 33161. Contact 305.895.9840 or contact Muriel Olivares via email. Local Harvest Reviews Bal Harbor/Surfside/Bay Harbor Island: SurBal Bay Farmers Market Sundays, 9am to 2pm. Open all year. Location alternates Sundays between the intersection of AIA and 95th Sreet at 9500 Harding Avenue; Surfside, FL 33154 and the intersection of 96th Street and Bay Harbor Terrace at 1122 96th Street; Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154. Contact Bryan ONeill at 954.426.8436 or via email. Miami Shores: Barry University Green Market Tuesdays, 9am to 3pm. Open seasonally from October to May. 11300 NE 2nd Avenue; Miami Shores, FL 33161. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org Normandy Isles Village Marketplace Saturdays, 9am to 5pm. Open all year. At the Normandy Isle Fountain. 900 71st Street; Miami Beach, FL 33141. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews themarketcompany.org Upper Eastside: Biscayne Plaza Farmers Market Saturdays, 9am to 2pm. Open all year. All local produce. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. In the parking lot of Biscayne Plaza at the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and 79th Street (northeast corner). 561 NE 79th Street, Miami; FL 33138. Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews urbanoasisproject.org (on Facebook) Liberty City Farmers Market at TT AC OLCY Park Thursdays, noon to 5pm & Saturdays, 11am to 4pm. Open seasonally from November to May. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. In the open eld of TACOLCY Park (hidden from the street) at the intersection of 62nd Street and NW 8th Avenue (southeast corner). 6161 NW 9th Avenue; Miami, FL 33127. 954.235.2601 or via email. Little Haiti Farmers Market Saturdays, 10am to 2pm. Open January to March (may run longer). EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. Located on 59th Street, 1 block west of NE 2nd Avenue in the courtyard of the Toussaint Louverture Elementary School. 120 Northeast 59th Street; Miami, FL 33137. Contact Phillip at (786) 529-2010 or via email. bochika.org Brownsville Farmers Market Fridays, 11am to 3pm. Open seasonally from November to April. All local produce. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. Located at the entry courtyard of the Jessie Trice Community Health Center, in the southeast corner at the intersection of 54th Street and 22nd Avenue. About 5 blocks northeast of the Brownsville Metrorail station. 5361 NW 22nd Avenue; Miami, FL 33142. Local Harvest Reviews urbanoasisproject. org (on Facebook) Miami Beach: St. Johns Market Thursdays, noon to 5pm. Open all year. At St. Johns Methodist Church. 4760 Pinetree Drive; Miami Beach, FL 33140. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org Miami Springs Farmers Market Saturdays, 8am to 1pm. Open for 3 Saturdays: March 3, 10, 17, 2012. (grand opening 3 March 2012). Located in the 200 block median of Curtiss Parkway. Approximately 200 Curtiss Parkway; Miami Springs, FL 33166. 305.508.8080 miamisprings-.gov Wynwood Green Last Sunday of each month, noon to 7pm. Farmers market at monthly eco festival. Urban Oasis booth accepts EBT. On the green adjacent just west of Armory Studios. 572 NW 23rd Street; Miami, FL 33127. 305.815.2981 wynwood green.org Yelp Reviews (on Facebook) Miami: Jackson Memorial Hospital Green Market Thursdays, 9am to 4pm. Open seasonally from November to May (opens for the season spring 2011 after courtyard renovations). In Alamo Park on the JMH campus. About 1 block northeast of the Civic Center Metrorail station. 1611 NW 12th Avenue; Miami 33136. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews themarketcompany.org Overtown: Roots in the City Farmers Market Fridays, 9am-5pm. Open seasonally from January to April. Accepts EBT. At NW 3rd Avenue & 16th Street. Approximately 1551 NW 3rd Avenue; Miami, FL 33136. Note: For the past 2 seasons, Roots in the City ran a famers market at a second location in Overtown, going forward this is the only location. 786.573.0180 Contact Dave Trujillo via email. rootsinthecity.com (on Facebook) South Beach: Lincoln Road Farmers Market Sundays, 9am to 6:30pm. Open all year. Lincoln Road between Meridian & Washington Avenues. Organic market is located in front of the Lincoln Theatre. 730 Lincoln Road; Miami Beach, FL 33139. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews themarketcompany.org Miami: Mary Brickell Village Sundays, 10am to 4pm. Open all year. Located 1 block east from the Brickell Metrorail/Metromover station. 901 South Miami Avenue; Miami, FL 33130. 305.531.0038 Yelp Reviews themarketcompany.org Miami: Downtown Harvest Market Fridays, 11am to 5:30pm. Open seasonally from January to May. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. In the street level plaza in front of the Stephen P. Clark Governmental Center/Metrorail station. 111 NW 1st Street; Miami, FL 33128. Call Lydia at 786.233.2784 or via email. harvestmarkets.org Sweetwater: FIU Maidique Campus Farmers Market Wednesdays, noon to 3pm. Open seasonally in the fall and spring semesters. Located between Green Library and the central fountain. 11200 SW 8th Street; Miami, FL 33174. Yelp Reviews gogreen.u. edu (on Facebook) Brickell Farmers Market Saturdays, 9am to 4pm. Open all year. Located inside Central Park Miami, at the southeast corner of the intersection of SW 13th Street and South Miami Avenue. Located 4 blocks southeast from the Brickell Metrorail/Metromover station. 1300 South Miami Avenue; Miami, FL 33130. 305.531.0038 or via email. Yelp Reviews themarket company.org (on Facebook) Coral Gables Farmers Market Saturdays, 8am to 2pm. Open seasonally from January to March. In front of the Coral Gables City Hall. 405 Biltmore Way; Coral Gables, FL 33134. 305.460.5607 Local Harvest Reviews coralgables.com (on Facebook) Coconut Grove: Roots in the City Farmers Market Saturdays, 9am to 5pm. Open seasonally from Continued on page 56 MarketsContinued from page 50

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54 who has spent the past 20 years educating mixed ability and special-needs students her established residency programs to opportunities to express themselves physically despite their disabilities. For something abstract to something theyre able to accomplish themselves. Despite such compelling causes, the Knight Arts Challenge isnt simply about doling out money. Once a proposal is chosen, the artist or collective is required to match the community be our partners, because we dont want to just hand out money, says the artistic community learns how to go out and raise money on their own. to this matching principle, notably in selected as a Challenge winner in 2008, reached out to the community and got objects, prints, and drawings, recalls artist who gets it done, and Im Scholl continues: We hope that by giving artists some start-up capital, we can get the idea started, and the project will get some great one, people will sign on and continue to support you. and dedicated its artist-book series exclu and their work. The books were showcased in international collections, libraries, and diverse cultural community. Another Knight Arts Challenge a coral aquaculture laboratory run by marine biologists Colin Foord and Jared use in multimedia projects. its identity. The duos contributions to photographs and multimedia projects, delphia, weve received over 8000 applica them, says Scholl. So what stands out in things that just jumps out at us. And remember: Winning the Challenge is not as important as the ideas behind the proposals. Scholl believes that the process Saint Martha Yamaha2011-2012 Concert SeriesPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director TO PURCHASE TICKETSVisit www.saintmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or purchase at church office or at door. For more information call 305-458-0111 or 305-751-0005 March 11, 2012 at 3 p.m.CARPE DIEM STRING QUARTET CARPE DIEMSTRING QUARTET Arts ChallengeContinued from page 50 Continued on page 57

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adult-themed stores in Atlanta. eral times, every time he opened a new developed a live-and-let live relationship with most local governments, the piece stated. stores in the Southeast, as well as various bars and clubs that were convenWe have done everything heterobrand, gay-brand, he says. Commission. According to a press release cording to the Bill Campbell, who was also serving video booth shops, including Inserection, an adult video store in Atlanta, and two gay-oriented videoplexes called Stardust in Tennessee and North Carolina, which, viewing pleasure. two reasons. Reason one was that the lent. Reason two was the Jamboree cayne Blvd., near the gated community BT BT describe or allude to sexual activity occurring behind the curtain. As no mistake, the Jamboree Lounge is a gay mans sex bar. (Jamboree Lounge could not be reached by phone and did not reply by deadline to an e-mail mesplace at the Jamboree Lounge, should stop as well, says Shorecrests Jack Spirk. tino is not just based on the booths, but opened his business. set up several plasma televisions, and at tract DJs and other live entertainment. As retail establishment. remains optimistic that the area will even doing anything wrong. Rated Gold Buyer in South Florida 18677 W. Dixie Hwy Aventura Fl 33180305.705.9600 Global Jewelry Buying House Diamonds and Watches from the Public. Buyers of Gold Filled and Sterling Silver. Largest Gold Buying Dealer in South Florida. TT okyo ValentinoContinued from page 51

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56 Street. (The other two Oasis locations, The outcome, happily, could be a great neighbors at Legion. The parks natural beauty will almost demand patrons stop to enjoy dips, and the best juices in town, according to Friedrich, musical entertainment, and cooking every month. For those who overindulge, every Saturday too. new location: We really hope that people will be able to stay and socialize more. It happens on the crazy, hectic corner we are kets visit the BT MarketsContinued from page 52 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 January to April. In the southwest corner of the intersection of Douglas Road (37th Avenue) and Grand Avenue. Approximately 3701 Grand Avenue; Miami, FL 33133. 786.573.0180 Contact Dave Trujillo via email. rootsinthecity.com (on Facebook) Coconut Grove: Glaser Organic Farmers Market Saturdays, 10am to 7pm. Open all year. South Floridas oldest organic produce market; a place where people can learn and explore a true vegan market. 3300 Grand Avenue; Coconut Groove, FL 33133. 305.238.7747 Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews glaserorganicfarms.com (on Facebook) Coral Gables: University of Miami Farmers Market Wednesdays, 9am to 2pm. Open seasonally from October to April. At the Foote Green between Starbucks & the Richter Library. 1300 Memorial Drive; Coral Gables, FL 33124. 305.531.0038 Yelp Reviews themarketcompany.org South Miami Harvest Market Saturdays, 9am to 2pm. Open seasonally from November to June. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. At the South Miami City Hall. About 4 blocks southwest of the South Miami Metrorail station. 6130 Sunset Drive; South Miami, FL 33143. Contact Lydia at 786.233.2784 or via email. Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews harvestmarkets.org (on Facebook) West Miami: Norman Brothers Monday to Satur day, 8am to 7pm, Sundays 9am to 6pm. 7621 SW 87th Avenue; Miami, FL 33173. 305.274.9363 Yelp Reviews normanbrothers.com (on Facebook) KK ey Biscayne Farmers Market Saturdays, 7am to 4pm. Open seasonally from January to March. At the Key Biscayne Community Church. 355 Glen ridge Road; Key Biscayne, FL 33149. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market Sundays, 9am2pm. Open all year. MiamiDades largest farmers market, located in the Pinecrest Gardens Park (site of the old Parrot Jungle). Note: Bee Heaven Farm booth takes EBT (not doubled). 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest; FL 33156. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews pinecrest-.gov (on Facebook) Cutler Bay Farmers Market Sundays, 8am to 3pm. Open all year. At Old Cutler Road and SW 87th Avenue. 20002 Old Cutler Road; Cutler Bay, FL 33190. Call 786.486.0202 or contact via email. cutlerbay.net (on Facebook) Miami-Dade Market ListContinued from page 52

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Arts ChallengeContinued from page 54 Miami World Cinema Center Year: 2008 Amount: $750,000 To assist the prosperity of the Miamis independent lm community by establishing an extensive institute for connecting, funding and advising local lm makers. Miami Light Project: Here & Now Festival Year: 2008 Amount: $200,000 To increase the development of original, locally produced performance art through expanding the accomplished Here & Now Festival.Gold Coast Jazz Society: First Friday Jazz Jams Year: 2008 Amount: $18,000 To launch free, monthly jazz jam sessions where students of all levels can play alongside professionals.Sweat Records, Inc. Year: 2009 Award: $150,000 This grant will help Sweat Records, a store and community resource that oers live per formances, lm screenings and an art gallery, strengthen and expand its cultural oerings. Michael Bell: Scholastic Writing Awards Program Year: 2010 Award: $20,000 Through an aliation with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Writing Awards Program will help identify and motivate young writers. Bas Fisher Invitational: Weird Miami Bus Tours Year: 2011 Award: $100,000 Bas Fisher Invitational will oer a behind the scenes look at the city and its artistic oerings by expanding the popular, artistled Weird Miami bus tours, which introduce locals, as well as tourists, to lesser-known places and cultural projects. Bridge Red Studios Project Space: LongStanding Local Artists Get New Spotlight on Their Work Year: 2011 Award: $15,000 Bridge Red Studios Project Space will give new exposure to long-standing artists by providing a space to exhibit their works and ideas. rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn never wrote them down. We polled people required you to write it down and send it to people we spoke to said Yes. The Knight Foundation is acceptwww.KnightArts.org. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to apply. Applicants can learn more by speaking with Dennis Scholl at a town hall meeting pate in a live web chat regarding the Chal lenge by visiting www.KnightArts.org on A Sampling of Knight Arts Challenge Winners

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEChronic Failure on Miamis Mean StreetsTwo decades of wrongheaded policy have done nothing to help Miamis homelessBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorBack on January 18, Barbara Bobbie Ibarra, executive director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, wrote an Other Views piece for the Miami Herald She led off with this: Our community is in the throes of a homelessness epidemic. All of the shelters in Miami-Dade County are full. Desperate people with no place to spend the night are regularly told to call back later by overburdened outreach workers who have no housing to offer sometimes for days on end. The gist of her opinion piece was that affordable housing for destitute families is sorely lacking owing to a shortage of funding. The problem, as Ms. Ibarra sees it, is that the current economic downturn has hit lower-income families the hardest and many are on the verge of becoming homeless. She further stated, As a community, we can no longer ignore their plight. The annual count of Miami-Dades homeless took place a few days later, beginning at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday (January 24) and ending around 3:00 a.m. the next morning. I have participated in these allnight counts, and I can tell you it is quite an endeavor to locate those who have no desire to be located. This years count was reportedly 840 homeless on the streets of the county, including those currently in temporary shelters an increase of 51 people over last years count of 789. Ron Book, chairman of the countys Homeless Trust, opined, It shouldnt be a surprise related to the continued unemployment, foreclosure, and economic status its a spike upward, but its not dramatic. (And the beat goes on) The Herald had its own contribution via an editorial on February 1, in which it warned that housing the homeless in sports facilities was a logistical nightmare that would not address root problems. This in response to state legislators who have uncovered a law on the books requiring professional sports facilities that were built with government funds to house the homeless when there are no events taking place. The Herald called this an obscure 23-year-old law that few, if any, classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature.

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municipalities have enforced. In closing, the paper pointed out that the law does little to offer stability, hope, and a way of homelessness, and asked the legislature to look at ways to help people out of homelessness not stunts for headlines. Did the Herald offer any constructive alternatives? Nope, not a one. Then on the front page of the papers local section on February 7 was an article on how the City of Hollywoods leaders have turned their focus to cleaning up Federal Highway, a corridor beset by crime and homelessness. Notice how crime and homelessness are linked in such a way to suggest that, if youre homeless, youre most likely associated with crime. This effort, regardless of how misguided it may appear to be, is the result of the failure to address the real issue. You see, its not the people in dire straits because of the economic downturn who make up the lions share of the recent count of 840. Its the chronically homeless those who are mentally ill, alcoholics, drug addicts, or in many cases, all three rolled into one. Back in November of 2007, I penned a column in this publication titled How to Solve the Homeless Problem: First Admit Failure, Then Vow to Get It Right This Time. I received a lot of backlash for my insensitivity toward the subject, but the points I made back then are still true today. When you look at the Website for succinct mission statement for the organization: To Eliminate Homelessness in Miami-Dade County. Period. End of mission statement. End homelessness not mitigate it down to an acceptable level of 1000 or so, more or less, give or take. Yet I submit to you that, for an organization that has been in existence since 1993, it is no closer to solving the problem of chronic homelessness today than it was 20 years ago. The reason, as I see it, is that you cannot solve the issue of the chronically homeless by implementing a plan, such as the Continuum of Care program, which provides individuals with shortterm, mid-term, and long-term care. It is continually touted as the saving grace for our homeless epidemic, when it does not address the problems of the chronically homeless. In fact, most of the chronically homeless do not qualify to enter the Continuum of Care program because they are unable to comply with the basic requirements. Back in 1943, a behavioral psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow published an academic paper that suggested a hierarchy of needs, positing before reaching for the next level of needs. At the very bottom of the hierarchy are the basic needs air, water, food, sleep, and excretion needed to sustain life. These needs are exactly what the chronically homeless devote their days to their mission statement, if you will. It is what all of us call survival and what most of us take for granted, but for the chroni cally homeless, it is these fundamentals that drive them day in and day out. The next level of Maslows hierarchy includes shelter and clothing. Beyond these needs are income, conformity, interpersonal dynamics, quality circles, goals, and objectives. I think you get my point. As the old saying goes: When you are up to your ass in alligators, its is to drain the swamp! This communitys population of chronically homeless desperately needs our help, but the help they are offered falls far short of addressing their needs. We are treating the problem with the wrong cure, folks! Its been 20 years and we still have 1000 chronically homeless people on our streets. Its way past time to recognize that this problem is not going away under our current approach. Its time to form a task force made up of appropriate professionals to address the problem and fund an effective treatment for this segment of the homeless population. And that brings us full circle to the Homeless Trust and its mission statement to Eliminate Homelessness in Miami-Dade County. The question is whether the trust is up to the task, or will we continue to hear the same old recitations of how wonderful the Continuum of Care program is, and how much worse off we would be if it did not exist? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGE TT he TT hrift of GG abOur correspondent talks through her second-hand addictionBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorIts Super Bowl Sunday. Most people are sitting in front of a television sports trivia. need between me and a spot on bad reality a junk drawer. Im referring to an entire is Fred Sanfords dream room. Start at my apartment near downtown Troy Davidson in Alices Adventures in Wonderland/Photo by Pavel Antonov, 2010 Now through March 11rfn tb rfnt BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Each geographic locale offers its specialties, and the thrift located dangerously too close to my house is no exception. Anyone who loves Caribbean all their walls following a few visits. Its also a practical stop for people who want to send cheap clothing and house items back to relatives in Haiti. Me? I never tire of the oddities in housewares (creepy clown tea party set, anyone?) and the designer clothes and bags, sometimes brand-new, on the cheap. Mostly. While the prices are reasonable on most items, sometimes the thrift workers get it completely wrong. Example: Im not paying $4.50 for a ratty T-shirt when I can snag an equivalent for less new at a retailer. The real appeal of the thrift is psychological. And that is precisely why it is addictive. See, the true thrifter is not just there to grab a few crystal candlestick holders. Its not like those people dont exist; its just that they are shoppers, not addicts And you usually dont spot them more than once. The Thrifting Addict personal ity possesses a few key elements. Just like there is a quiz to determine if you is a Thrifting Addict test. Questions include: How often do you visit the thrift? (Im there six days, maybe seven days a week.) Do you buy things that you not only dont need but that also are completely ridiculous? (Creepy clown tea party set, anyone?) Can you just walk away? (No.) Are there any rituals you practice pre-thrifting? (I must park on the right side of the store.) Do you ever feel ashamed of your thrifting? (Often.) Have friends or family noticed a change in your personality? (Hard to tell. I have many!) Are your friends fellow thrifters? (Some.) The thrill of the hunt, which is the key to the addiction, never ends because every TA (Thrifting Addict) worth their bins of crap recognizes the magical sound of the cart rolling out. The cart means new stuff is arriving. Employees load the stuff onto the carts throughout the day. Unlike garage sales, you can score at the thrift at any time of day. Some rude TAs dive-bomb the cart as the employee is trying to roll it down the center of the store aisle. At some thrifts, this behavior will get you thrown out as it should! Every community has its rules of conduct. Thrifting is no exception, and poor thrifting etiquette is frowned upon. This includes overly pushy or grabby hands. There is one Thrifting Enthusiast (TE) Ive seen several times, but he isnt there often enough to qualify as a TA. around Halloween, when he snatched a shirt right out from under my debating gaze. He then proceeded to sashay around me and push his shopping cart off. But I got my revenge. I saw him one month later and he grabbed a doll. Out of my cart Thats mine! I growled. He gave me a once-over and pranced away. Thrifting Addicts are divided into a few groups. There are the Oglers, who go for the entertainment value; the Collectors, who scout particular items; the Converters, such as myself, who like to buy crap and make it into art; and the Resellers. While I fall into every group but the Resellers (and that is only befriends who fall into others. There is 72-year-old Josephine, who likes to kill time and shop for her grandkids. Shes 80 percent Ogler and 20 percent Collector. Rob is 95 percent Reseller. He looks for pottery he can resell at the Lincoln Road antique market and snags an occasional T-shirt for himself. While Ive made friends with many of the TAs and the employees, there are a few Resellers who run in and out. Its all about business for them. The Huncher is one. The Huncher is an older man who, despite his troll-like posture, moves quickly and stealthily among the housewares. He and Rob are competitors, while Rob and I work together. (I give him leads.) The Huncher is a sour dude, but Josephine and I chat. When I took two days off, she noticed. I know the employees schedules, and Im wise to who dishes the good discounts. Membership has its privileges. Oops! Speaking of the thrift, Im running late. Its nearly noon and I dont know what Im missing. And I really need another dinosaur-shaped tissue cozy. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARKBook EE m, BP!Worried about crime? Village police are on the caseBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorSome readers may recall that, roughly a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote about someone attempting to break in to my tool shed. I didnt actually see this unfold, but the latch that holds the lock in place had obviously been worked on. Knowing that there had been a recent burglary of a nearby house and that crooks often use tools taken from sheds and garages to then break in to the main house I called the Biscayne Park Police Department. The response was immediate. Then Capt. Tony Sanchez who has since moved on to the Opa-locka Police Department came out and surveyed the scene, did a walk-around my property, and alerted me to some changes I may want to make, like installing security lights with motion detectors, trimming my trees to improve visibility of my property from the street, and locking my gates. The police department also put my house on a watch list, which meant that, for the next few weeks, it got a little At that point, my wife and I had only lived in Biscayne Park for about nine months and hadnt had much direct contact with the police department. (One notable exception: Lt. Betsy Albert helped me install the baby seat in my car when I had to go to the hospital to pick up my wife and newborn son.) The episode residents already know: Our police de partment is one of our biggest assets. In fact, I have since come to the conclu sion that, if local government ran as smooth ly as our police department, Id have very little to gripe about. (What would become of this column?) Which is not to say that crime has disappeared from Biscayne Park and the surrounding area. On the contrary, it seems to be the hot topic of conversation, including in the pages of this publication; Miami Shores correspondent Jen Karetnick wrote about our sister villages struggles with lawlessness in last months BT The difference in Biscayne Park is that, apparently, we do a very good job of collaring our criminals. So good that we may want to come up with a new slogan to put on our Dont Even Think About Speeding signs: Dont Even Think About Committing a Crime Here. The following dispatches were taken (and slightly edited) from police reports and e-mails sent to Biscayne Park residents and members of the village Crime 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

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six weeks of this year, when the arrests seemed to come quicker than usual. They make for entertaining read ing, and not only because of the chiefs Dragnet -style prose. Theyre proof that our criminals luckily are pretty dumb. (Youre going to ride a bike near the place you stole it from the week before? Really?) Theyre also a remind er that our police department is doing great work. Cue the music Dum-da-dum-dum : Thursday, January 12 In the month of December we had a very active criminal who had entered four cars at night in the village that may have been left open. The subject removed change and other valuables. I am extremely pleased to report that, as a result of Commander [Ray] Atesianos hard work and perseverance while investigating these vehicle burglaries, he was able to identify an offender and, last night at about 9:00 p.m., Commander Atesiano did arrest an adult male and charged him with four counts of auto burglary. A stolen GPS and iPod were recovered from the offender. Tuesday, January 17 Public Works Director [Bernard] Pratt and Assistant Director [Cesar] Hernandez distinguished themselves in the line of duty today.   D irector Pratt, while making his rounds, observed vandalism in progress to a street sign. He saw a young male tagging one of our signs with permanent magic marker at 121st Street and NE 6th Avenue. Director Pratt and Assistant Director Hernandez got police to respond while watching the subject.   W e arrived on scene and took the 19-year-old into custody and charged him with one count of criminal vandalism. Both directors are a true credit to the village and continued proof that our innovative program, Village of Biscayne Park on Patrol [VBPOP] in which vil lage employees help the police department identify suspicious activity continues to work for the betterment of the community. Wednesday, January 18 On Sunday night, at approximately 7:00 p.m., a burglary occurred in a home in the 11900 block of NE 11th Place.   T he offenders were captured on video via the homes security monitoring system.   C ommander Atesiano and on the case and were able to identify two juveniles that committed the crime. These same two were arrested previ ously for the same crime in the village. The two reside in the area of the 1300 block of NE 119th Street and simply walked over the tracks to enter our community to commit cer Dayoub arrested these two juveniles and two others last night at 7:00 p.m. Two subjects were charged with the residential burglary.   T wo were charged with trespass on the railroad tracks based on our recently passed initiative with Florida East Coast Railway [enforcing a no trespassing statute on the FEC corridor]. We continue to get calls concerning trespassing on the railroad tracks. We en courage all residents to call the police when they see anyone walking or crossing the FEC tracks. Its both dangerous and illegal. Monday, January 23 Last week a residential burglary occurred in the 1200 block of 119th Street. A bike was stolen from the front porch of a home, next to the front door.   On S unday, the resident victim observed a young male riding the bike that had been stolen and called police. and, after a brief time, located the subject nearby and detained him.   T he victim ty.   T he 18-year-old suspect was arrested for burglary and grand theft. He resides in North Miami, in the 1200 block of 113th Street, just over the FEC tracks. Friday, February 3 In December, a residential burglary oc curred in the 800 block of NE 119th Street. Commander Atesiano worked a strong lead that resulted in the arrest of four subjects. The subjects were (1) a juvenile with a lengthy arrest record, (2) an adult career criminal, (3) a convicted sexual offender, and (4) a village resident who is a convicted felon. All are now in jail. Note: For all emergencies, residents should call 911. To report suspicious activity, call 305-476-5423 (305-4-police). For more information about Biscayne Parks Crime Watch program, e-mail coordinator Chuck Ross at biscaynepark_ crimewatch@yahoo.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aARR ating the RR ou nd Dough Who has Aventuras best bagels?By Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorThe ritual began when I lived in Manhattan. Purchasing a dozen bagels at Ess-a-Bagel or Pick a Bagel, leaving the store and, as Id start the seven-block trek home (on foot, of course), Id open the bag jammed with steaming hot bagels, and tear into the one closest to the top. Oh, the pleasure it brought. I can still taste the salt, the pumpernickel, and the garlic, feel the texture of the sesame seeds as they cracked between my teeth in each bite of my everything bagel, which was always in the mix. It went like this: three everything, three sesame, two plain, two salt, a pumpernickel, and a whole wheat. To this day, a warm, fresh bagel is still one of my favorite things in the world to eat. Only now, Ive traded the streets of Manhattan for the strip malls of South Florida. And only 50 percent of the time am I walking and ripping, the other 50 percent of tear time is spent in my or my husbands car. And thats not always as pleasant as I want it to be. Why? Because crumbs breed contempt. And with a new car in the picture, neither crumbs nor seeds of bagel no matter how careful I am he reminds me: My car. Dont make crumbs. Although I understand why, it still takes the pleasure out of it. Insert big heavy sigh. But I digress. Let me get back to the point. Be it boiled or baked, made with water or air, bagels are a serious staple of my diet, and many other peoples as well. exactly, but styles and techniques used to create them. Think about the options. Bagels can be big, small, heavy, light, cakey, breadlike, doughy, thin, thick, yeasty, crusty,

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soggy, dry I could go on, but I think its safe to assume that you know and love all these options, as I do. Bagels are an art. And for every style of bagel, there are devotees and there are disbelievers, fans and foes. Which ever way you lean, it matters. Bagels are important enough to evoke some form of emotion, discussion, and opinion. Since I eat one almost every day, I am acutely aware of what works, what doesnt, and who sells what. Within Aventuras 2.7 square miles of land (and just in case anyones interested, Aventura has a total of 3.5 square miles; 0.8 square miles is water), there is an abundance of bagel shops. Ive seen them come and go. I live within walking distance of three of the top four. Im not counting local bakeries, nor would I ever consider Publix or Costco. With so many, how do you choose? If it comes down to it, its simply what you like best. Its not about service, cookies, or cream cheese (although Im always on the lookout for an aboveaverage nova spread), nor baked salmon, atop the baked foundation of a delicious and satisfying meal. So lets take a tour and rate each place purely on its bagels. Where do those in the know go in Aventura for the best bagels? Over the past seven days, I have purchased and eaten sesame and everything bagels from almost a halfmy opinions. So whether you like your bagels hollowed out or straight up, heres Mos Bagels & Deli: 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555. With deep roots in this community, Mos is my favorite, hands down. If you like big, heavy bagels, this is your place. Since we arent talking about anything beyond bagels, the toppings are plentiful, the shape is always imperfect (which I love), so crispiness to the crust that gives way to a sinfully doughy inside. On the Yum Scale, it gets a 5 out of 5. Bagel Cove: 19003 Biscayne Blvd., 305-935-4029. As part of the neighborhood for a long time, Bagel Cove is usually a good runner-up to Mos. I must have hit it on a day when the cook was feeling lazy. There werent enough toppings on the everything bagel, and the sesame was a bit dark (almost overcooked). Usually the bagels are a good size, heavy, and satisfying. Toppings are generously applied and evenly distributed. On the Yum Scale, it gets a 3.5. Bagelworks: 18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727. New to the neighborhood, this is a place I feel I should like more than I do, but there is something off. It feels generic. The bagels, which are a bit smaller than Mos, seem mass-produced. They dont taste bad, but the toppings tend to be inconsistently applied. And while usually properly cooked, on the day of my purchase, they were on the well-done side. The other thing Ive noticed is that, no matter how many times I try to get there when the bagels are warm, they never are. I want to bite into a fresh, warm bagel, and this place cannot deliver. On the Yum Scale, it rates a 2.5. Mish Mash Bagel: 3565 NE 207th St., 305-935-1809. I found this one much later in the game, like the very day I was writing this column, and despite some less-than-positive online reviews, I took the dog and the husband, hopped in the infamously crumb-free car, and drove over. As I walked into the shop, baskets of bagels were sitting out in the open, just waiting for me to come and select my very own. Anyone who knows me knows that Im a control freak, so imagine my joy as I took tongs in hand and began inspecting before selecting each bagel. Its amazing how the little things matter. The bins made me really happy. It felt like it was going to be a good experience. But what about the bagels? After all, isnt that what I came for? These were different from all the other bagels. These were light in weight, and tasted yeasty. I didnt dislike them, but they werent my favorite. The sesame was a bit overcooked, and the everything was lacking in toppings. (Not as much an everything as it could have been.) On the Yum Scale, I give them a 2.0. Let me know about your own bagel experiences. Im sure we could go round and round all day. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIPositively 125th Street North Miamis downtown drag may nally be turning the corner By Mark Sell BT ContributorThe word that best describes North Miamis 125th Street is eclectic Trophy and tuxedo stores jostle for attention with hair salons, tattoo parlors, immigration services, and a fresh gaggle of slick-packaged, mid-20th century dcor stores and galleries, the latest key Hows the renaissance coming along? One possible answer: Its organic and bumpy, but generally heading the right way. Fourteen of the above-mentioned dcor galleries have cropped up, most of them in the past 18 months, turning the north side of the street, between NE 7th and 9th avenues, into 20th Century Row. The MOCA Caf is on track to open soon near it namesake, the Museum of Contemporary Art. At the northwest corner of NE 9th Avenue, Cane Sucre (Sugar Cane), the new gourmet soupand-sandwich shop, opened late last year, and is packing them in at a site that had been a restaurant graveyard. People who saw this street when we opened in 1996 remarked how desolate it seemed, says Bonnie Clearwater, executive director and chief curator of the city-owned MOCA. MOCA dominates 125th Street like a mother ship, and is currently preparing a $14 million expansion with a projected 2014 completion date, as money allows. Whats happening here is amazing, Clearwater continues. There has been a lot of progress. Its great to see spaces fully rented. Those rents remain cheap, sometimes running $12 a square foot, or even less. verdict is mixed. Unlike say, Wynwood, dominated by developer-landlords Tony Goldman and David Lombardi, no single coordinated group governs 125th Streets transformation. The mid-20th century dcor places ing from Wynwood, the antique shops in Miamis Upper Eastside, the Design District, and South Beach. Its a narrow range of retail establishments, but its a big component in the emerging North Miami art scene. South Beach long ago yielded to sky-high rents, as the franchises booted out the mom-and-pops. Midtown and the Design District are brimming with franchises and restaurants. Wynwood rents BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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have shot up, leading some galleries to hunt for cheaper, larger spaces. North Miami has yet to follow those trajectories, but the artists have certainly landed. Renowned sculptor Mark Handforth, at MOCAs behest, has graced Electric Tree installing more than 60 green and yellow neon lights in the parks huge banyan tree. Widely respected artist Robert Thiele now operates Bridge Red Studios and exhibition space just off 125th Street. Rather by accident, North Miami has created its own brand of funk, with assort ments of businesses found few other places. The merchants association numbers no more than 25, dominated by galleries. They compete with rich assortment of businesses. You have ID Tattoo and munity Services, Tuxedos and Bridal Gowns by Sassy amid 20th Century Row, along with Mr. Trophy and assorted nail salons, beauty parlors, barbers, immigration and tax-preparation services, notary publics, cobblers, cell phone shops, and health clinics. walking poodles, and Brazilo-Eurozone couples wearing Versace sunglasses, crawling among the modernism stores, checking out those $8500 chairs and other objets ddesire The new organic farmers market which sets up in front of MOCA on Thursdays is a hit, with Indonesian food and wood-burning pizza joining the produce and honey. At the venerable Luna Star Caf across the street, you can listen to live folk, bluegrass, or blues. The $6 beers carry names like Zywiec Lager and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. The street and museum have attracted international notice, with MOCA New York Times and Luna Star making a prominent appearance in a February 5 Washington Post Global designers visit such decorative Stripes, Marc Corbin, and Gustavo Oliv ieri. Were attracting top decorators from Its pretty great. Were getting more 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 rfrntb tnnr rfntbtbrr rr Sinuhe Vega, who, with his brother Michael, recently opened Cane Sucre, developing a following from nearby doc between. They have imported much of their mainstay salad, sandwich, and soup menu from their popular Uva 69 restaurant at Biscayne and 69th Street. The opening of Cane Sucre is a real turning point in But if theres optimism, theres also some dissension within the ranks. Susan Cutler, owner of the well-regarded Vermillion gallery, is situated right across from the farmers market and is not happy about it. Shed rather see tables with umbrellas trucks offering al fresco menus. Shed also like to see a few more restaurants light in front of MOCA, providing more direct access to her side of the street. I the street, and were not seeing as much Sucre was a great addition, but there need Some of the galleries lament that high-end direct buyers are bypassing the decorators and insisting on wholesale prices. The result, say some, is more that the many small landlords, who just choosier about their tenants. We left the 87th Street antiques plaza because there was critical mass Gustavo Olivieri, a gallery that takes up a 2000-square-foot space abandoned by Starbucks in 2008. We believe competition is good and healthy, and there is a Bonnie Clearwaters wish list is for a more coordinated marketing effort along 125th Street, where merchants in all their jumbled variety are otherwise too busy essary for activism and collective marketing. Indeed it may be that 125th Streets Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sSAA Way to Wine Down So many springtime food and drink festivals can make an otherwise trying time of year seem much less soBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorThis time of year makes me want to run away from home. The mangos in Miami Shores are in full bloom, drizzling pollen on our car windshields and promising sinus infections to the allergy-prone, followed by a labor-intensive summer. The students I teach at Miami Arts Charter (and the ones I live with who attend Miami Country Day School) are restless for spring break, which is no break for me, given that every year I escort a student to Tallahassee for the Poetry Out Loud state recitation competition. This is also when spring travel soccer heats up. Both the girls and boys Miami Shores Futbol Club teams, run by director David Ocampo, have done extraordinarily well this year, with the under11 boys winning divisionals after an undefeated season and the under-12 girls taking the Weston Cup. But the better these kids do, the more we parents are required to drive them to early-morning, weekend-long tournaments held anywhere from Cutler Ridge to Orlando and cheer them on. Moreover, the constant merry-goround of February and March festivals the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, the Miami International Boat Show, the upcoming Ultra Music Festival draw such an enormous amount of out-oftowners that the roads are as closely packed as bodies on a beach. More people, however temporary, means longer lines at Publix, an increase in visitors to our healthcare facilities, and stressful commutes to and from work. (The new crosswalks installed on Biscayne Boulevard in the Upper Eastside dont help; theyre only allowing the prostitutes extra minutes to show off their wares.) It may be the best time to visit South Florida, but weather aside, for those of us in little suburban villages like the Shores, it can be the worst time to live here. Wine and Food Festival (SBWFF) to be especially demanding on my time and the local sponsoring magazine ( Miami Magazine, from Modern Luxury), Im delighted to rep my publication. But all those people having a blast remind me only that Im supposed to be working

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(if not taking notes or pictures, then at home, writing it up). And I can see that not just the working press, but Miamians feel pressure, too to score as many tickets as they can, then soak up every minute at every possible event. Its a hard way to have any fun. In addition, starting in the fall of 2013, Ill be pushing my own cookbook at events like this. That, quite frankly, scares me. The increasingly madding crowds at the SBWFF (and other events like it, such as the Food Network New York City Food and Wine Festival) can make even the most hardcore transplant, no matter how well shes thrived, feel like the palest bloom in the garden. Perhaps it makes sense, then, that I feel a bit more comfortable at underthe-radar (but closer-to-the-equator) wine-and-food events like the Food and Wine Experience coming up this April in St. Croix, which, like the SBWFF, is 11 years old this year (www.stcroixfoodandwine.com), or the newly introduced Caribbean Food and Wine Festival in the Turks and Caicos (www.caribbeanfoodandwinefestivaltci.com). At the latter, where the Grace Bay Club and Veranda resorts provide every guest with a personal butler and a welbottles of rum paired with chocolates, the fte is intimate, with events geared to hundreds, rather than thousands, of in vited guests. The pleasures, like the handrolled cigars to be savored while you work your feet into the sand, are more subtle, but the dramas are also less infuriating. (They may not always have the correct glassware, but Mot Hennessy wont run out of Champagne by 8:30 p.m., either.) Thats not to say there arent celebri ties, or that the invited winemakers arent superior. At the 2012 St. Croix Experi ence, for instance, James Beard Rising Star Chef Sue Zemanick, our own Top Chef alum Howie Kleinberg, proprietor of Bulldog Barbecue and Bulldog Burger in North Miami, and Govind Armstrong, among others, will be in attendance; in the Turks and Caicos this past September, some of the most generously poured vin tages stemmed from the prestigious Nick els and Nickels and Semper vineyards. Still, these overlooked Caribbean destinations, which arent much farther away than the Bahamas, offer the feel of a vacation, even if youre there for work. 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 I guess a private butler and winemaker guests will do that for you. If springing for an island retreat in our so-called recovering economy is out of the question, or your work or kids schedules wont allow it, consider another, ever-more-personal wine experience that can be tailored to your Miami Shores home life: a Wines for Humanity tasting event. My friend Tabitha hosted this at the height of the SBWFF, and it was a relief to attend a house party where I was ensured a glass of wine without having to elbow a stranger in the back for it (or being elbowed in return). And it was all in the name of good works. In short, Wines for Humanity (www. winesforhumanity.com), for as little as $70, will send a wine advisor to your house with six vintages that you choose beforehand from their cellars. They also provide glassware, tasting sheets, pens, and a whole lot of expertise. They then guide you and your guests through a two-hour tasting. All you need to do is come up with some willing sippers and a plate of cheese and crackers. At the end of the tasting, the wines are available for order. They average around $20 a bottle, which isnt that average wine shop. Unlike the nearest liquor store, however, Wines for Humanity is dedicated to preventing homelessness in families with children. Thus much of the companys proceeds are donated. In Miami, for instance, funds raised from wine tastings and subsequent sales go to Camillus House. We should also keep in mind that the International Universitys Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and that the festival (without counting 2012) has raised $14 million to date. So however you decide to celebrate or escape the festivities next year, you can at least be sure your money is going to a good place. Then, if you still require the services of a private butler, well, there are always those hospitality students, willing to do almost anything to get the right kind of training. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Culture: THE ARTSThe FabricatorWhen artists need help realizing their visions, they turn to Oliver Sanchez By Anne Tschida BT ContributorOliver Sanchez is likely the most artist youve never heard of. But youve seen his handiwork, thats for sure. He built those towering Kids sculptures in the courtyard of the Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) in the Design District, for instance, although they are the concept and design of artists Roberto Behar and Rosario mance here, which were conceived by Daniel Arsham; or various sculptures from Bert Rodriguez. No, these prominent artists arent stealing Sanchezs work, or appropriating it. Sanchez is what they call in the art world a fabricator, someone who is hired to make ambitious artistic dreams happen through skilled knowledge of materials, structure, physical dynamics, and other intricacies that most people dont know or cant handle. And Sanchez is one of the best around. He is also an artist himself. In fact he likely wouldnt have the ability to collaborate with others if he didnt possess that particular spirit. Hes worked around the globe. On this bright weekday afternoon in February, Sanchez is taking a cafecito break, both from work and from the process of moving. Hes been hauling his old Design District studio and exhibition space to his new one, also in the Design District, in a building again owned by During this pause in activities, it becomes clear that Sanchez has lived a fascinating life during his tenure in the art world, which spans a wide variety of locations, eras, and personalities. His soon-to-be-former gallery on NE 1st Court, which he named Swampspace, had become a hangout for established and novice artists, a place where he could present off-beat exhibits in the tiny storefront space. But the block that Swampspace inhabited, along with other notable galleries such as Spinello, Locust Projects, Dimensions Variable, as well as several artists studios, is slated for demolition to make room for more viable comNovember 2011), as early as this month. Sanchez is philosophical about this change, and about all changes. Nothing can or should be static, says the Cuban-born artist who grew up in of the emerging and emerged artists of the region over the years, although he admits he recently has slowed down per sonally and professionally. Back in 1977, things were much more hectic and crazy. Thats when Sanchez moved to New tural backwater and the Big Apple was The Peace Project rf ntbrnbrrfCity of Miami residents receive 20% discount on on-street Pay By Phone parking. Not valid with other discount programs. To register contact MPA Customer Service.

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a hotbed of experimental art. They called it the Coolest Day in Hell, Sanchez says of the era when blackouts and crime dominated headlines, but when a still-gritty Manhattan was the center of the artistic universe in music, theater, television, and the visual arts. While Sanchez was working as a commercial artist, he met many of the key players in this seething cauldron. One person he began collaborating with and fabricating for inspired artist Kenny Scharf. Eventually, as the heady days morphed into something darker, such as the rise of a gluttonous Wall Street culture and the ravages of AIDS, Sanchez was persuaded by Scharf to move to a new, unvarnished locale, South Beach. Although Sanchez was re here, after all, and it wasnt exactly happening this turned out to be another fortuitous move. The year was 1992, and artists such as Antoni Miralda, Carlos Betancourt, and others were carving out a niche for the visual arts. By 1996 Sanchez was working for the newly minted MOCA in North Miami, and living with his wife and small daughter up on 129th Street, ing moment touted as the new art hub, until a hurricane damaged many of the buildings, Wynwood took off, and deals were being extended to artists to locate further south. Robins, a force behind the revitalization of South Beach, knew that the arts could jump-start a decrepit neighborhood, and began offering steeply discounted rents to lure creative talents to his new hood, the Design District. Eventually Sanchez and Swampspace would be among them. By this time, Sanchezs expertise in materials such as Styrofoam and plaster ingredients essential for largescale sculpture was invaluable. He helped the team of Roberto and Rosario construct not only the Kids sculptures but also their fabulous House of Cards solo exhibit at the Miami Art Museum, and most recently an installation involving a brilliant star at the Contemporary Museum of Art Denver. He has crafted of Miami-groomed artists, people like Martin Oppel, Bahkti Baxter, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, and Bert Rodriguez. And he still works with Kenny Scharf. Now Sanchez is setting up his shop, which will include an alternative exhibition space, in a former Christian community center and day school on 41st Street in the Design District. And once again his landlord is Craig Robins. Sanchez has no problem with the developers business decision to rebuild his old neighborhood. Robins isnt here to subsidize artists forever, Sanchez says, but he still clearly has an interest in keeping artists in the area. So in this quirky and spacious new spot, Sanchez has transplanted his own paintings and memories. As a farewell week exhibition in February featuring many of the artists he has collaborated with, and whose work was exhibited in the storefront over the years. Aside from the previously mentioned artists, they included Naomi Fisher, COOPER, Friends With You, Nicolas Lobo, and Jim Drain, among others a roster that encompasses Miamis current art scene. Sanchez believes that Miami has come a long way in its artistic maturation, but that it still has a distance to artists can live and work and show here, but the process needs to move forward and not rely on the same collectors and new blood, is always necessary, he says. of the most important people in his life passed away, and after his own surgery, the affable Sanchez is taking it a little easy with his new home. Hes extremely proud at Cooper Union; and these days he can pretty much pick and choose his projects, while also concentrating on his own art. Still, he hopes students continue to utilize his studio as a learning center, as they have in the past, and that a game of dominoes with whomever stops by for a coffee remains a priority. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com A Common Courtesy, Nunsmoke [Truly the light is sweet]

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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 March 3: Flesch and Blood by Heather Nevay March 10 through April 12: New Paintings by David Michael Bowers 12345 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami 305-895-2553 www.dixieimageworks.com March 10 through April 15: Simply China by Nancy Brown ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Ongoing: Natures Pulse by Debra Holt Through March 9: Nine with various artists ACND GALLERY OF ART Archbishop Curley High School 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Through April 4: Degrees, Far from Paradise by Benjamin Rusnak ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-587-0172 www.albertolinerogallery.com Through March 31: Awakening with Pedro Sandoval, Matachos Art, Fred Mou, Santiago Betancur, Dario, and Luis Jimenez ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ FINE ARTS 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through March 30: Things-in-the-Air by Pachi Giustinian 750 NE 124th St., North Miami 305-975-6933 www.alonsored.com Call gallery for exhibition information ART FUSION 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 May 1: curated by Serge Lemoine 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 March 9 through April 1: HU-MANOS: A Project by W-10 with various artists BAS FISHER INVITATIONAL 180 NE 39th St., Suite 210, Miami Through March 31: 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com March 10 through April 4: Paula Bronstein, Jahi Chikwendiu, Andr Chung, Alan Diaz, Hector Emanuel, Colin Finlay, Bill Frakes, C.M. Saikat Mojumder, Tom Pennington, Roger M. Richards, Michael Robinson Chavez, Jeffery A. Salter, Maggie Steber, Les Stone, Charles Trainor Jr, Shehab Uddin, and Nuri Vallbona BLACK SQUARE GALLER Y 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through March 9: Levitation by Victor Sydorenko March 10 through April 30: Excel-Art by Alexiy Say 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 Eugene Brown March 10 through April 7: March Gallery Walk & the Design District with Clarice Desouza, Rick Esposito, Sacha Suarez, Rosa Gallardo, Claudine Charles, Nisa Vasquez, Andres Rodriguez, and Fannie Colindres 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com 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 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com 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 CENTER FOR VISUAL 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www.visual.org Call gallery for exhibition information CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St. #408, Miami 305-292-0411 www.charestweinberg.com March 16 through May 19: Eclipse by Hannes Bend 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 2509 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-357-0568 www.curatorsvoiceartprojects.com Through March 31: 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 DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through March 31: Picaresque with Harumi Abe, Vera Iliatova, and Yui 2000 NE 146th St., North Miami 954-270-7404 www .dezerschauhalle.com Call gallery for exhibition information DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through April 7: The Mantuana of Clemencia Labin by Clemencia Labin archiTECTONICS by Julie Davidow 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 March 30 through April 4: Living Sculpture II (Jamaica-International Cultural Exchange) with Carlos Alejandro, Danny Ramirez, Jacquenette Arnette, Patricia Roldan, Rodney Jackson, Selina Roman, Hugo Moro, Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Nicole Wynter, Vanessa 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net Call gallery for exhibition information 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through March 30: Short Stories by Guillermo Srodek-Hart

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DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com 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 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 www.elitearteditions.com Through March 5: Gift Boxes by Fabiana Pea March 10 through 31: Latin American Art with Ana Sanz, Fabiana Pea, Hernan Miranda, Santiago Medina, Fabia Nitti, and Magaly Bartola-Otaloa ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 Through March 11: Ecstatic Visions by Andrea Dasha Reich FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through March 17: Rites of Passage by 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 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 Through March 31: Dance This Way by Mikhail Baryshnikov Through April 30: The Grand Latin American Art Show with various artists HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com March 10 through April 7: Games in the Dark by Gladys Triana Untitled by Consuelo Castaeda Gabriela Morawetz and Manuela Covini HAROLD GOLEN GALLER Y 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through March 3: Mambo for Cats by Jim Flora IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Call gallery for exhibition information KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through March 8: Swaying in the Jongno-gu with Eun Sook Shin and Jong-Taek Woo KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com March 10 through April 7: Fran Bobadilla and Peggy Hinaekian KIWI GALLER Y 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 March 10 through April 7: Double Entendre with Patrick Hughes, Miss-Tic, Daniel Fiorda, Keren, Keith Long, Francisco Sobrino, Joe Neil, Gerard Delafosse, and Robert Blanc LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org March 10 through April 27: Shortness of Breath by Natalya Laskis High, Low and in Between by Emmett Moore MAOR GALLER Y 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami http://maormiami.org Through March 23: Gifts by Jason Hedges, curated by Eric CharestWeinberg 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu March 6 through 29: Gender Bender: Evolving Identities 1914-1945 with various artists 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 Through March 30: Brian Trainor Photography by Brian Trainor 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Through March 16: Annual League for Innovation Student Art Competition with various artists Through April 6: Not For Sale with Alena Fresquet, Victor J. Gomez, and Ralph Provisero MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Through April 14: Brand New Heartache by Theodora Allen 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 MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com 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 Call gallery for exhibition information NINA TORRES FINE ART 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 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 OM GALLERY 8650 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 21, Miami 305-458-5085 Through March 31: Around the World with various artists ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 www.oncearts.com Call gallery for exhibition information PANAMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through March 31: The Naked Truth: Nudes and Erotica in Art with Joaquin Blez, Claudia Brito Souza, Servando Cabrera Moreno, William Cannings, Raul Corrales, Andrea Cote, Max Delgado, Roberto Diago, Carlos Enriquez, Roberto Fabelo, Leon Ferrari, Julio Girona, Wifredo Lam, Luis Martinez Pedro, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Rene Portocarrero, Mariano Rodriguez, Tracey Snelling, and Paul Stoppi PAREDES FINE ARTS STUDIO 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH of Miami Downtownrf rfntbrfntbr frrnt brrtr rtinfo@fumcmiami.com .rffntbb bb t rf nt nt n r b r Requiem for a Pavilion of Silence

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74 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com Bad As I Wanna Be by Jessy Nite information www.tonywynn.com Patriotica by Tony Wynn avaf Possession by Jerome Soimaud Beauty Business by Erwin Wurm 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com

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Grab a Paddle and GoA March canoe ride off Key Biscayne? It doesnt get better than that. The Cran don Park Bayside Canoe Adventure leaves from 6767 Crandon Blvd. on Saturday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m., and goes until 4:00 p.m. What happens in between is natures treat maybe an encounter with great blue herons, upside shoes and bottled water are recommend ed; reservations are required. Cost is $44 per person. Go to www.miamidade.gov/ ecoadventures.Fresh Italian BeatsWe have an embarrassment of riches in Miami when it comes to cool Latin music, thanks in part to the Rhythm Foundation. This time around, though, the arts org is going Italian, bringing in rapper Jovanotti Hes huge in Europe, by many on this side of the Atlantic. And while his stylings are unique, his hooks are crazy catchy. Jovanotti comes to Grand Central (697 N. Miami Ave.) on Saturday, March 10 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets www.rhythmfoundation.org. One Guy, 100 Years of Show Biz Entertainer and comic George Burns was famous for many things: living to be and the love he had for his partner and wife, Gracie Allen. The two performed in every entertainment medium of the before moving to radio, movies, and television. Say Goodnight, Gracie a Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.), celebrates his career and long life. The show runs from Wednesday, March 14, through Sunday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m., with weekend matinees. Tickets cost $37.50. Go to www.aventuracenter.org.New World Symphony Goes ClubbingThe New World Center (at 17th Street and Washington Avenue in Miami Beach) is a groundbreaker on many of a building has wowed international critics and has also functioned as a town center, drawing audiences of all ages varied programming. Now it wants to mix it up again with Pulse: Late Night at the New World Symphony on Friday, March 23 starting at 9:30 p.m. Blurring the lines between nightclub and concert hall, the event will feature Mercury Soul (a trio made up of conductor Benjamin Schwartz, DJ Mason Bates, and designer Anne Patterson) and the New World nws.edu.Miamis Got TalentAs students coming out of the New World School of the Arts both high school and college garner greater attention for their talent, checking out the annual Rising Stars Showcase On Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m., stellar students of theater, dance, and performance will take the stage at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.). Tickets range from www.nwsa.mdc.edu.A Decade of Drugs and Thugs Filmmakers Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben have been telling unique, contro versial stories of life in Florida through their production company, Rakontur, for a decade. In honor of this anniver Monday, March 26, through Friday, March 30 Each evening will begin with a reception, food, and drinks, followed by a panel discussion after the screening. Rakontur 10-Year Retrospective kicks off with Raw Deal followed by Cocaine Cowboys The U and Square Grouper Friday will feature a conversation with Beyond the Birdcage Gays and lesbians played an integral role in the revitalization of South Beach back in the 1980s. Its rise as a center of art and culture, its Deco preservation and renaissance, its club life, its reputation for being the beautiful peoples capital none of it would have happened without the contributions of the areas vibrant gay and lesbian community. Now you Gay and Lesbian Walking Tour of South Beach which starts at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach), on Saturday, March 31 at 5:00 p.m. go to www.mdpl.org/tours. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Magic in the MoonlightIn the middle of a South Florida winter, some of our most spectacular parks and gardens should never be far from sight. A particularly good time for a visit is when the full moon rises. On Wednesday, March 7 Vizcaya Museum and Moonlight Tour of Vizcaya Gardens beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening includes music and refresh ments. Then, on Thursday, March 8 the Moonlight Tour at Fairchild kicks off at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables). Southern Cross Astronomical Society will offer up spectacular views of the sky through their powerful telescopes from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. For more details, go to www.vizcayamuseum.org or www.fairchildgarden.org, respectively. Curtain Call at the Olympia Olympia Theater, a reminder of an earlier (perhaps even more) glamorous era. Now known as the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, the theater the years. Shes had her ups and downs, but she endures. Now, HistoryMi ami (101 W. Flagler St.) wants everyone to get to know her better, with a backstage guided tour, Hungry for History: Inside the Olympia Theater a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 12 Tickets are $10 for members, $15 Wyntons Jazzy WaysSome guys get to do it all because they can. One of these is Wynton Mar time Grammy winner, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music is also the bandleader of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra which comes to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Per forming Arts (1444 Biscayne Blvd.) on Friday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m., as part of the centers Jazz Roots series. The orchestra, made up of 15 internation ally acclaimed soloists, could just be the best jazz band you will ever hear. www.arshtcenter.org.

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76 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatWatch Those Strippers!7700 Biscayne Blvd. Man was at a newly opened gentlemens club, doing what gentlemen do, when he was approached by a working girl. We gather he was so happy to be noticed that he let his guard down. The working girl asked to see his Rolex and he happily gave it to her. Another woman then distracted him as the one with the watch disappeared. He eventually found the woman to whom hed given his watch, but she claimed to have returned it to him. He contacted management and they told him there may be video of the incident. Thus far, there is no evidence, nor has the watch been recovered. Its those places.A Case of Computer Dating?2600 S. Bayshore Dr. People are very attached to their computers. This person was talking on his computer until midnight, when he fell asleep. He awoke in the morning and found his hotel door open and the main social outlet in his sheltered life missing. Police and victim reviewed video and found no evidence of an intruder, nor did the electronic locking mechanism on the door reveal that it had ever been opened. We can only pray that the victims elecother geek.Chivalry Rhymes with BurglaryNE 2nd Avenue and 75th Street Victim was approached by a distressed young woman who asked to use his cell phone. Seeing her discomfort, he obliged and then took a seat on a bus bench, some reason, he took his wallet out of his pocket and placed it at the other end of the bench, about three feet away. (Thieves bring it on.) Seconds later, victim looked over and the wallet was missing. (Though the young lady did return his cell phone.) The BT advises male romantics to be wary of damsels in distress honorable intentions get you nowhere in this city.High Gas Prices Fuel Pump Rage1 NE 62nd St. Gas prices are driving all of us crazy. This suspect had had enough. Stopping this gas station, he used a crowbar to break into the pump, resulting in $2000 worth of damage. This pump rage caused the station owner to run out of his store, scaring off the suspect, who jumped back in his car and drove away on N. Miami Avenue. In the future, we hope higher gas prices lead to serious consideration of alternative-energy solutions not crowbars. Compiled by Derek McCann

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Were Not Lovin It600 Block of NE 125th Street Woman left the bathroom at McDonalds when she was approached by three males, one of whom was armed with a pink Taser. The men threatened to use it, but she talked them out of it by giving them $60. They told her not to call the police. When she walked out to the bus stop in front of the restaurant, she discovered the suspects were also waiting for the bus. (So much for a getaway car.) She eventually called police, but the incident in question could not be corroborated by McDonalds staff. No arrests have been made. North Miami residents are advised to avoid public restrooms. If nature calls, you need to hold it in. Yes, it has come to that.Wait Our Homeless Have Briefcases?N. Miami Avenue and 38th Street Its horrible to be homeless. Its worse when your support network is composed of thugs. This homeless victim was approached by a man whose face was obscured behind his jacket. He demanded the victims briefcase, then reached into the victims pocket to grab his wallet. The robber said he had a gun. However, just then, a giant wind gust blew the jacket away from the mans face. (Thank God for tropical weather.) The victim recognized him, and realized he did not suspect was arrested.One-Track Mind Leads to the Slammer600 Block of NE 61 Street Man went to feed the ducks behind his home when he was allegedly approached by gun-wielding thugs. The victim, a former convict, handed over his wallet. The thugs then took his probation track ing system. Or so he said. His probation the victim has had numerous incidents since being released from prison, includ ing being the target of a shooting. Turns out, the victim had been harassing a woman by the name of Puffy and had concocted the whole robbery story as a way to rid himself of his tracking device so he could hunt her down. The scam did not work and the so-called victim has been arrested. He should look on the bright side: If Puffy is really interested, A Practical Response to Crime14300 Biscayne Blvd. Crime Beat is frustrated. We have implored Miami and North Miami resi dents not to leave their purses in their light and likely in full view of others, a woman exited her car and left her purse behind. Within minutes, someone broke the passenger-side window and snatched the purse. Ladies, if youre not going to heed our advice about taking your purses with you, how about at least leaving your car windows open so criminal slime no longer have to break them? At least that way youd save some money on glass repair.Stealing Can Be Stressful1100 NE 133rd St. A group of North Miami thugs broke into a residence and stole several high-ticket items, including computer equipment, a scene, but were chased by the owner, who was just arriving home. One of the suspects was eventually caught by police, who discovered the victims wallet inside his book bag. This apparently got to the suspect, who developed a serious case of high blood pressure and had to be transported to Jackson Memorial. He was arrested upon his release from the hospital. You think your legitimate job is stressful? Its nothing compared to the pressure our criminals are feeling good for us!Neighbors Calling On Neighbors600 Block of NE 85th Street Woman was enjoying an afternoon nap when all of a sudden a rock was thrown through her window. She looked outside and saw a male she recognized. It was her former neighbor, who had been an illegal squatter in the next-door apartment and had sold drugs from there. Guess he came by to say hello. Hopefully this woman will move to an area that is crime-free. Unfortunately, that magical place is not Miami. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 Columnists: PARK PATROLNot Quite Beauty Greens Yet We have have some work to do before we crack the list of Americas prettiest park citiesBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorMirror, mirror, on the wall, whos the fairest city of all? When it comes to park space, we have the answer, thanks to an annual survey of the nations 100 largest cities. In the 2011 competition, Florida had six cities vying for the national title of Miss Parks and Recreation. In this beauty pageant of parks, the two entries from Miami-Dade County stumbled and fell. Even Miss Jersey City mumbled, What are they doing here? They seemed completely out of place alongside such glam green contestants as Miss Minneapolis, Miss Albuquerque, and Miss Anchorage. Not to spoil the suspense, but the City of Miami didnt come in last. Hialeah did. In the 2011 report City Park Facts from the Trust for Public Land, Hialeah ranks as the only large city in the U.S. with less than 200 total park acres (and most of that comes from Miami-Dade Countys Amelia Earhart Park). Worse yet, Hialeah offers less than one acre of green space per every 1000 residents. Thats one crowded acre. The City of Miami does somewhat better, at 2.8 acres for each 1000 residents, but she still places near the bottom of the list, in between Miss Anaheim, California, and Miss Newark, New Jersey. These results are pathetic, almost hopeless. How could our civic leaders have let our green beauty queens fall apart and is there enough plastic surgery in the Mirror, mirror on the wall, where are the newest parks of all? Still in gestation, Miamis youngest park doesnt even have a name. (Commissioner Mark Sarnoff held a naming contest last month, and he plans to reveal the winner at the commissions meeting on March 8.) The park is located at 1814 Brickell Ave. Less than an acre, this plot next to a Lutheran church was intended for a highrise, but the real-estate market crash left it undeveloped. Reports indicate that the City of Miami has spent more than $3.5 million for acquisition and park construction, which began in June 2011. The site does not appear ready for a scheduled opening in March, so a complete rating is not yet possible. That aside, the park would appear to have limited potential because it is small (smaller than the churchs parking lot), isolated (adrift in a sea of condos), and on the wrong side of the street (away from the bay). While clearly a neighborhood park as opposed to a destination for outsiders the land holds historical secrets. Buried remains of Native Americans had to be removed for construction, and the site was an encampment during the Spanish-American War, according to archeologist Robert Carr. Hopefully these discoveries will be featured on interpretive signs. Where is another new park, you ask? Over the river and through downtown, to Grand Central Park we go. This public-private green space is a novelty for South Florida, because it is intentionally temporary. tttttwhere the Miami Arena once sat, opment Association (OPRA) agreed to lease the parcel for $200,000 per year for three years, or until it is sold for development. OPRA received a $200,000 grant last year from the City of Miamis Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, and it inaugurated the park in February. The park is the brainchild and pet president of OPRA, who lives across the street in the Grand Central lofts not stand the rubble in his backyard, so he bulldozed it into a hill. Taking a cue from other cities across the U.S. that have been creating temporary parks out of abandoned lots, he hired local residents and gathered volunteers, including landscape architects, to create a wide-open public space on a shoestring budget. During major events such as Miami Heat games, the park functions as a parking lot, a function for which it is not entirely unsuited. The park certainly looks like a giant, white parking lot, though it isnt covered with asphalt, but with PolyPavement, billed as a natural soil pavement. Around the parks edge, surrounded by black steel fencing, runs a narrow path of pines and other native plants. Two round pits in opposite corners of the park are to catch rainwater, says top of the hill, which offers great views of the Freedom Tower. UNNAMED PARKPark Rating BT photos by Jim W. Harper1814 Brickell Ave., Miami Hours: TBD GRAND CENTRAL PARKPark Rating700 N. Miami Ave., Miami Hours: 8:00 a.m. to dusk UNRATED UNRATED Grand Central ParkBiscayne BlvdI-95 NE 8th St NE 6th St NE 7th StNW 1st AveBrickell Ave S Miami AveSW 18th Rd SW 18th TerrSE 15th Rd Unnamed Park North Miami AveNE 5th St

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Now that weve visited two very differ ent young hopefuls in the City of Miamis pageant of parks, what about the rest of Miami-Dade County? What type of invest ment would it take to turn this awkward Mirror, mirror on the wall, what will it cost to have it all? Answer: $5 billion, according to commercial real estate across MiamiDade County and recommended purFor example, they recommended spend ing $26 million for 174 acres along Maule plex, and another $875 million for 750 acres for neighborhood parks scattered across the But a total makeover for $5 billion? Somebody needs to start doing some serious fundraising before next years Hialeah needs guidance from the City of Miamis parks system, which in turn lags behind the states other four cities, as these cities still fall below the median for acres per 1000 residents, ranks above the Cheer up, Miss Miami and Miss Hialeah, maybe you can make up ground during the can we have another mall? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETS TT he Puppy Math ProblemAnimal overpopulation often comes down to owners with too many dogs and not enough senseBy Lisa Hartman BT ContributorIts 2012, and somehow we are still not getting anywhere in Miami with the pet overpopulation problem. The same could be said for animal neglect and abuse here; its everywhere. Animals in the wrong hands. Animals bred or used for money. And its not just dogs and cats that suffer, but goats, pigs, and horses. (Even I didnt know until recently that there is a huge underground horse slaughter business here. These animals are treated like inanimate objects instead of living things, chopped to pieces and sold for meat.) And when the owners of illegal farms and others can no longer take care of their animals if they were doing so at all they are often left behind to fend for themselves. Why not call the authorities or have the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA for short, which cares for and puts horses and other animals up for adoption) come and collect them? Answer: These owners either dont care, or their illegal activities make it impossible to call upon these agencies. How did we get to the point that many tens of thousands of unwanted animals are euthanized each year in Miami? Of course, the economy is still in the toilet and many people cant afford to care for and feed their pets anymore, but this makes up a very small percentage of neglect cases. A bigger problem: A lot of what owners want to do with their pets to them, but it contributes greatly to overpopulation. Heres what Im talking about. Three of my former neighbors have acquired purebred dogs recently. Neighbor A adopted two Yorkies from a questionable (in my opinion) breeder. The dogs arent very sociable, and I suspect they werent handled much as puppies. One is very tiny and doesnt look like his structure is very good. Im thinking of breeding them in a few months, Neighbor A informs me.

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Why? I ask, puzzled and sad. There are plenty of Yorkies in rescue. Not to mention that you dont know their background or health issues. We dont need more pets in the world right now. Oh, but Lisa, these pets were from a top breeder. He gets $15,000 for his dogs. I highly doubt that, I tell neighbor A. I dont know many top breeders who charge more than $1800. And besides, you dont know how to raise a litter properly. You have to get health clearances at least for eyes and hips, and youve already told me you think one has luxating patellas. Likewise, Neighbor B, who just acquired a bulldog from a breeder, tells me: Im looking for a female when he gets older. I ask the same question Why? even though I already know the answer. Because these dogs are expensive, Neighbor B tells me. Everybody will want one and theyll all get good homes. Keep dreaming, I think to myself. Also, the breeder cant be that good if Neighbor B doesnt have a spay-and-neuter contract with her binding Neighbor B to have one of those procedures performed on the animal. Neighbor C has a similar tale. Luckily, being the trainer of three of her dogs over the years, I think I have successfully talked her out of breeding, although her husband may still not be convinced. In each of these cases, the owner was breeding for the wrong reason: money. Theres a line of thinking that says if you pay a lot of money for a dog, youre somehow entitled even obligated to breed it. I know many such stories, and they often dont end up the way people plan. In most cases, people cant sell all the puppies. Potential owners cancel out of the from somewhere else. The new breed ers also dont realize how expensive and time-consuming it is to raise a litter. There are vet visits and shots, not to mention pos bulldog), among other unforeseen costs. Some of these part-time, amateur breeders will have to give up their entire litter to a shelter. Prospective owners wont know if the dogs that mated were a good match, have temperament issues, or were raised properly. The odds usually favor worst-case scenarios. And, again, the main problem is the dogs are not spayed or neutered and the owners dont feel theyre doing any harm by having just one litter. A former client looked for a mate for her dog, because she loved him so much he just had litter was a whopping 14 pups. She said they found homes, but they went without a spay-and-neuter contract. Long story short, her dog put out four litters totaling more than 40 puppies, 12 of them mixed breeds owing to an accidental pairing. All of the dogs went to new homes without being spayed or neutered, and many of them had their own puppies, both mixed and purebred, that were then given alone ultimately resulted in more than 100 dogs being born in a three-year period. So why arent dogs, even when adopted from shelters, being spayed and neutered? In many cases the new owners have the heart to rescue, but not the money to spay and neuter or the knowledge about how to handle their animal when its in season. The Pets Trust is one organization trying to address this issue. Many Miami homeowners are not even aware they are paying a tax of $13 dollars each year to the Childrens Trust, which advocates on behalf of childrens well-being. The yearly tax that would go toward controlling the unwanted pet population. The trusts main objectives are to provide free or low-cost spaying and neutering services to those who want and need them, build a facility to accommodate large numbers of owners and shelter groups taking advantage of those procedures, trap and neuter feral cats, and educate owners on responsible pet-rearing. initiative on the ballot, and the Pets Trust out more at www.petstrustmiami.com. 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 r fntbt tr r tr trbbbrtbtrtb f on small bagst when you buy 4 ttbbrtbbrnb

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82 Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY AA Parents Guide to Fami ly Fun Looking to get the most out of Miami with your little ones? Check out these optionsBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorIve been told it doesnt take living in Miami very long before you become a true Miamian. Others argue that the process takes decades and an oraclelike knowledge of the nooks and crannies this fair city offers. ago from Honolulu, I dont know that I qualify as a Miamian yet, but Im with an adventurous spirit has brought me premature wizard status. My metamorphosis to true local status has meant unlocking some of Miamis bestkept (and affordable) secrets. Heres your cheat sheet. Hidden Gem No. 1: Miami-Dades library system. Most parents know that the Miami Beach Regional Library rocks on a rainy day, a sweltering day, or for a preor post-beach visit to load up on reading materials for the whole family. But did you know how many libraries there are around Miami-Dade? Did you know that with your library card, well beyond books? The Library Museum Pass program allows you to check out passes as you would a book to Miamis many attrac tions, including Miami Childrens Museum, ZooMiami, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami Art Museum, Miami Sci ence Museum, and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The pass is good for a family of four, and provides free admission. Bonus tip: The passes get checked out quickly and cant be reserved. Your best bet is to visit the less frequented library branches for the passes. For more information, go to www.mdpls.org. Hidden Gem No. 2: Bayfront Park. This 32-acre public commons is located in the center of downtown Miami. Situated between Biscayne Boulevard and the bay, it features playgrounds, fountains, and a ton of green rolling hills. The park recently underwent a renovation of its paved baywalk, which runs along the edge of Biscayne Bay, throughout the park, and continues to Bayside Marketplace, an open-air, festival-style mall that, while annoyingly touristy, offers a great carousel, a funky petting free concerts. Bayfront Park is accessible by public transit (Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus), which makes for an easy commute over to the Adrienne Arsht Center for a kid-friendly show, or an outing in Brickell for lunch or dinner. Go to www. bayfrontparkmiami.com. Hidden Gem No. 3: The Slide Mantra at Bayfront Park. The Slide Mantra stood out in our peripheral vision for nearly three years as we drove up and down the Boulevard on our day-to-day doings. Its hard to miss from the road, given that its a ten-foot-high, white Carrara marble slide sculpture weighing 29 and tried it one day and we were hooked. you wouldnt think to let your kids touch it for fear of damaging a beautiful piece of art by Isamu Noguchi, who redesigned the park in the early 1980s. This sculpture, however, demonstrates the artists belief that play leads to an appreciation of sculp ture. Bonus tip: Have your kids wear knit pants; the velocity factor is incredible on this thing. Dont be afraid to try it yourself! Hidden Gem No. 4: Best Friends Wood Oven Pizza. Everyone knows dining out with the wee ones can be rough. A Chuck E. Cheese hangover lasts way longer than the pleasure the pizza rat brings to the kiddies. The folks at Best Friends know your pain, and they know their way around a pie. Situated in the 4700 block of Biscayne Boulevard, Best Friends manages to delight adults and kids with great pizza, pastas, and burgers, amazing playground in their covered outdoor dining area. Its like someone swept into my dreams one night and created a restaurant. The kids work up an appetite on the slides and bounce house, and you can enjoy a pia colada and an antipasto in their dining area and pretend youre on vacation. Go to www.bf1880.com. Hidden Gem No. 5: Community center programs. So its a teacher-planning day on Monday, and you dont know what to do with your kids during that big budget meeting you just cant miss? There are programs at your local youth and recreation centers that can solve problems like these with planned activinight out options. Programs in Miami Shores and Morningside Park have been especially great for our little ones, but we cant ignore the Scott Rakow Youth Center in Miami Beach for its contributions to entertaining and engaging local youth. Rakow houses an ice-skating rink, outdoor swimming pool, six bowling lanes, a gymnasium, an arts and crafts center, game room, indoor beach volleygov/parksandrecreation. Miami can be charming, even for families. The important thing is to leave your comfort zone and go exploring. Get use the letters link below to share them with all BT readers. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Drinking in the BlueA new event for people who want to protect the worlds oceans, one cocktail at a timeBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorSo my friend Annie and I are launching Blue Drinks South Florida this month (see Facebook) because were bored I mean, because we care about the ocean and want to assemble like-minded people in one place to get some blue buzz going. Blue Drinks follows the same concept as established gathering Green Drinks, which is a socially acceptable way for people to drink and delude themselves into thinking theyre somehow helping the environment. (Consume more, waste less?) At least for some. The concept, though, is a good one: Offer an open, casual setting for the ex change of ideas. Great movements start with great ideas, and great ideas often emerge when people are relaxed and in the vicinity of napkins (the better to scribble solutions). Why blue instead of green? The green movement is all over the place, while an overarching blue movement, focused on aquatic environments, has yet to pervade popular consciousness. People may assume that the green movement includes all things aquatic, but the very name green derives from ter restrial plants and a birds-eye view of land, not water. Of course it makes sense to use green as shorthand for the human environ ment, because we live on land and because life itself depends on photosynthesis. A blue movement, however, is needed as shorthand for the most important element on earth. We cannot survive without water. Even though we do not live on it, water covers most of our planets surface. Indeed, the view from outer space reveals that earth is mostly blue. The worlds largest environment, the ocean, faces challenges that demand specialized attention. The unfortunate out of sight, out of mind mentality puts the ocean at an extreme disadvantage, especially for the YouTube generation that thrives on low-budget, dry video. With a seemingly endless supply of stupid humans and adorable cats, who cares about life rolling in the deep? But there is one place that can convert anyone into a bluie. The beach. There, humans can taste, touch, smell, hear, and see the ocean. We also catch sight of our zontal counterpart to the great mountain ranges of earth, as both overpower us. The immensity of the ocean makes it seem invulnerable, but the opposite is becoming more and more apparent. Ocean scientists have been revealing the limits of the ocean and opening our eyes to the destruction caused by seven billion humans on earth. The very essence of the ocean is changing, as measurements show that seawater is becoming more acidic. How is it possible that humans have changed the pH of the ocean? The ocean has been abused for centu ries as the worlds toilet and garbage can. On earth, water accumulates impurities, and guess where all water eventually ends up? Yup, everything everything Youve heard of acid rain. Now welcome to acid ocean. The ocean is the worlds biggest sink for carbon dioxide, and this sink is clogging. wild animals as food, and guess what? sea. Large animals like whales may be such as cod struggle to survive. We need to become just as conscious about eating tuna as we are about shooting bald eagles. South Florida is home to many blueminded individuals and organizations, but they remain disconnected. Our universities could become the catalyst for a movement to occupy the ocean. Most ocean scientists are too busy conducting science, however, to get the word out to the public, so they need the rest of us to buy them a drink and listen to their story. Some of the bluest organizations locally include the Surfrider Foundation and ECOMB (Environmental Coalition of Miami and the Beaches); nationally, Oceana is a leader (and a participant in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon). Governmental entities include the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Blue artists include Guy Harvey and Xavier Cortada, and then there are yachting crowd, the diving community. (On a personal note, I wish to invite every swimmer, active or not, to make a commitment to the ocean. We may train in pools, but our heart connects with the big blue. Since my days as a sevenyear-old mudskipper at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale to my current efforts as a coach, the water has been my second home. It keeps it deserves more respect.) How are we going to raise a blue consciousness, a blue ethic, and a blue movement to protect the ocean? Hopefully someone attending Blue Drinks will have the answer. Dont forget to scribble it on a napkin. Going Green is Going Blue. Are you? Be sure to check out our Facebook page. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com T r a d i t i o n a l A m e r i c a n B a n d C o n c e r t f e a t u r i n g t h e m u s i c o f G e r s h w i n R a y C h a r l e s S o u s a I r v i n g B e r l i n D i x i e l a n d a n d m o r e 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 M a r 1 8 2 0 1 2 @ 2 P M $ 5 D o n a t i o n ( k i d s f r e e )

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84 Columnists: YOUR GARDENFlorida Fruit FrolicThis spring have some tasty fun with caimito and sapodilla By Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorThis has been a rather warm winter so far, with a great many species and entertaining us with the striking Chrysophyllum cainito Chryso phyllum oliviforme the trees can begin to get fruit and, thereafter, fruit can be found on the tree and the white part around the few seeds Another species of tree that grows Manilkara zapota wider canopy than the caimito, making be anywhere from two to three to six have been eating some red bananas from Another treat is the fruit from Mon stera deliciosa tip down and is not good to eat before it varieties of oyster mushrooms in coffee oyster mushrooms that seemed to have a ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski 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

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Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorSouth Florida has a dirty little secret. Meat. Okay, so its not really dirty. And around here its not much of a secret. But ask your average member of the Great (Frozen) boat and theyd probably say something like stone crab, rum, cigars, and cocaine. They obviously havent got a hint a clue. They obviously dont know that from Key West to West Palm Beach, so bereft that it doesnt have at least one emporium devoted exclusively to the preparation and sale of meat. They obviously havent made a tour of our fair region, where if stacked atop one another, good ol American steakhouses, Brazilian churrascarias, Argentine parril las, and designer burger joints could reach all the way to the stockyards of Chicago. menus of just about every other type of restaurant, the multitude of delicious things Cuban cooks do with pork and beef, the elevation of bacon to a sacrament and the pig to fatty, succulent saint. stated, beefaholic Texas carnivore is who can down blood sausage at break fast, bacon cheeseburger at lunch, and the size of a soccer ball for dinner. And that liver? Fry up some onions and it would be pretty tasty too. Of course, when youve got big, fat slabs of irresistibly savory meat, you need big, fat, irresistible red wines with them at the dinner table. (Or at the breakfast table, if you must. Really. Knock yourself out.) And since were talking big and fat we really must talk about Carmenre, which The 2007 Santa Rita Reserva is a perfect example, delivering powerfully dense, jammy aromas layered with scents of oak, black olives, leather, mushrooms, and black n blueberry fruit. It tastes like that, too; and its texture is thick, almost viscous, so much so you might be able to cut it up and eat it rare cow on the plate in front of you. Covering much of the same jammy, layered ground is the 2009 Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha Right out of the bottle it shows off a deep, inky purple color that could have dyed some ancient kings royal robes, yet stick your nose in the glass and the bracing red and black cherry fruit is given welcome nuance by sniffs of clove, olives, toast, and mint. Despite its old vines designation much a complement to meat as teeth. You can pretty much chew on the 2009 Delas Cotes-du-Ventoux too. leather, and spice dont just tickle your taste buds, they slap em around, then come back and slap em some more. The wines soft acids and tannins make it ready to drink now, especially with manly man meats like roast beef, prime rib, wild boar sausage, and the like. Continuing down the ladder from huge to merely large, we come to the DeLoach Vineyards 2009 California Cabernet Sauvignon. This is another kinds of good smells kind of wine, though its aromas of cloves, cedar, tobacco, and black olives are rather more intense there than on the palate, where red and black cherry fruit predominate. All the stuff of the DeLoach, plus the black pepper characteristic of California Zin fandels, comes pouring of a bottle of Cline Cellars 2008 Zin Its got that kings robes But despite its black fruit intensity, its remarkably light and fresh in your mouth, with a balancing acidity and long, peppery meatballs red, you just found it. Big fruit in the nose, smaller fruit in the mouth is also the deal with the fetch ingly named Thierry & Guy Fat Bas tard Shiraz Born in 2010, its still a mere and cassis dissolving a bit on the palate. Which is not such a bad thing, as it gives the wine a welcome balance, though the tartness of its fruit will mellow with age. Lighter meats like pork and veal, even chicken, would play well with the 2010 Montresor Valpolicella It opens with perfume aromas of red cherries and raspberries, earth and spice, then segues on the palate, easy to like, easy to pour with our dirty little secret. But dont tell the Frozen Unwashed. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Meat of the MatterRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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86 Brickell / DowntownArea 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomyaccented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dogfriendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrusdressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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 picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thaiinspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insid ers secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size ver sion of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ 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. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St. 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 309. Tuyo 415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/ MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$ Caf 46 190 NE 46th St., 305-400-8828It doesnt look like South Beachs late lamented Joe Allen. The urban beach bar dcor and bohemian vibe actually are more reminiscent of this spaces first restaurant, 190. But the menu is virtually identical -no surprise since co-owner/host Mario Rubeo, plus most kitchen staffers, are Joe Allen veterans. Revisit faves like matzo meal-crusted chicken, the famous burger, still-unique dinner salads spotlighting uncommon ingredients like smoked trout, and fun signature desserts like Rice Krispy treats. $$$The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions 5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern-inspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Blue Collar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, cre ative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$ Cane Sucre 899 NE 125th St. 305-891-0123From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Slices Pizza & Pasta 13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin Americaninfluenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ Blu Sushi 600 Silks Run Rod., 954-744-4398Even hard-core sushi-bar addicts must admit that many such establishments suffer from a certain sameness. Not Blu. At this restolounge in the Village at Gulfstream Park, part of a mini-chain originating in southwest Florida, the specialty makis are outdone in outrageousness only by extravagant cocktails. Yes, there are California rolls. But why be bored when you have an alternative like Kin-SO: tempura king crab salad, tuna, and avocado with scallions, smelt roe, and tempura flakes, plus mayo and sweet eel sauce. $$$ Luca Bella 19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222In the space that once housed Chef Allens, this trattoria offers a crowd-pleasing combination: dcor with white-tablecloth elegance, yet the familyfriendly feel of a classic checkered-tablecloth eatery -and Italian-American comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a meal-size marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing modern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumb-coated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$rfnt ntbnfnt tnftn tf f t tff nffff

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VESPERAMERICAN BRASSERIEBOOK YOUR RESERVATION AT 305 341 1500 SHELBORNE.COM VESPER AMERICAN BRASSERIE BAR TANAKA LUCYS CANTINA ROYALE. LUCYS CANTINA ROYALEBAR TANAKASUSHI-SAKE OUTPOST

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88 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. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room 900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027 Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, includ ing substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub compo nent remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro all-American feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/antibiotic-free ground Angus chuck/brisket/ short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$db Bistro 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 executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe 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 shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus house made tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$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), 305-503-0373Originally opened by Michelin-starred New Aegean chef Michael Psilakis, Eos changed upon the chefs departure into a more familiar Mediterranean resort eatery, minus Greek-inspired innovations. Now inspiration comes mainly from Spain and Italy, with nods to Morocco and Latin America. Best bets include a tasting platter of Spanish cheeses and cured meats; a pistachio-garnished salad featuring Serrano ham, figs, and arugula; crispy parmesan risotto balls with prosciutto and smoked tomato dip; and olive/smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken. At lunch burgers and upscale sandwiches are added. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub 900 S. Miami Ave. #200 786-924-0972 Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$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. $$ FREE SMOOTHIEBUY ONE MEDIUM OR LARGE SMOOTHIE AND GET A SMALL SMOOTHIE FOR FREEMust present coupon to receive offer. Valid at THESE locations only. Not good with any other offer. Limit one per person, per visit. Some restrictions may apply. Expires 5/31/2012 3034 Grand Avenue Coconut Grove 305-476-9435 2001 Biscayne Blvd. Miami 305-576-5464 12607 Biscayne Blvd. 305-981-8660

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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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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. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mindreeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/ plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade 1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ 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 trade mark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-creamsauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Hibachi Grill 45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagaine a mini-express Benihana. This place spe cializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ 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 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

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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. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave. 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$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

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refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/ lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushiboat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$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. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-caneat deals. $$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. $$Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crispfried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custommade dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$

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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. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Scalina 315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the riverview 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! $$

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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. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budgetpriced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of fullflavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sau ted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ 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. $$ Catch Grill & Bar 1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casualchic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sand wiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by handcrafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-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. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is sur prising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crispfried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$

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Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sand wiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$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 tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins freshbaked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely madefrom-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 huitlaco che 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoe string frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is EastWest. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$

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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, 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/

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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. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from world-famous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$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. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd. 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and home made crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the housemade sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$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 tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ 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

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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. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, showtune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$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. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily spe cials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original cre ations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to overthe-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$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 chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sour-orange-marinated, sous-videcooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chef-driven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, family-friendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemon-caper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St. 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$

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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. $$$Uvas 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from freshbaked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery 646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Bocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appe tites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$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. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately panfried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$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 899 NE 125th street 305-891-0123 -a Monday thru Saturday 9:00m9:00pmOpen Mon-Satbreakf ast lunch dinner brought to you by the Vega Brothers, creators of The original Cane A Sucre in the Design District and UVA 69 Restaurant and Lounge

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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. $$-$$$ Cte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a 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. $$ Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. 13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ 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. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/ burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hotsmoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingredients such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of the infamous Luther: a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chilispiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St. 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-tomiss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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

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the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the swordwielding 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. $$ Bamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ 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,

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and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall 3969 NE 163rd St. 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St. 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$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 institu tion 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. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mixand-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with house made cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veg-garnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$ rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN

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104 The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet 940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-in-blankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai 14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of spe cials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found else where. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deepfried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional prepara tions like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a soundbite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coal-oven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the mustnot-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$Sushi House 15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer 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

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(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. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, familyfriendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. Asia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse,305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ Open Kitchen 1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/ owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm 9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & 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 pine apple 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). $$Fuji Hana 2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/ avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Gourmet Carrot 3599 NE 207th St. 305-749-6393Since the first Gourmet Carrot -a healthy and kosher but not at all preachy eatery -opened in South Beach, its menu expanded to include many red-meat items. The same is true of this new Waterways mall branch. When confirmed cholesterol-careless carnivores like ourselves opt voluntarily for an eaterys veggie burgers (a brown rice/lentil/veggie blend more satisfying than beef), or remarkably juicy ginger-mayo-dressed chicken burgers, over normal hamburgers, based solely on flavor -well, religion aside, thats a major miracle. $$$ 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. $$ Mon. Thurs.10 AM 11 PM | Fri. Sun. 10 AM 5 AM With the purchase of any lunch or dinner meal. (Exp. 3/31/2012)

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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 minitea 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) 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, trufflespiked 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. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York 17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 305 16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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. $$ Timo 17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill 350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hardto-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$

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COMMERCIAL WYNWOOD: 540 NW 28 STREET 120 ne 27th street | bay 200 | miami, fl 33137 | 305.571.9991MIDTOWN: 3650 NORTH MIAMI AVE Ground Floor Leased 2nd floor available (8,000 SF). Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 192 NW 36 ST For Lease | $2,000 / month NNN Ruben Matz | 786.290.8815 rmatz@metro1properties.com DESIGN DISTRICT: 3995 NORTH MIAMI AVE Just Sold for $6.15 M Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com MORNINGSIDE: 471 NE 53RD ST Asking Price $479,000 Amy Aronson | 305.527.4769 aaronson@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Price Available Upon Request ? Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com LITTLE RIVER: 224 NE 59 STREET Asking Price $5,500 / Month Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com CORAL WAY: 2103 CORAL WAY Asking Price $18.00 PSF Full Service Luis Peralta | 305.571.9991 lperalta@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Price Available Upon Request ? ? ? ? ? Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com AIRPORT WEST: 5700 NW 72ND AVE Asking Price $9.50 PSF plus CAM Frank Calautti | 305.571.9991 fcalautti@metro1properties.com DESIGN DISTRICT: 3711 NE 2 AVE Under Contract Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com LITTLE RIVER: 243-253 NE 61 ST Just Sold Peter Andolina | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com under contract SOLD LEASED SOLD WOWMIAMI BEACH: 444-448 OCEAN DRIVE Price Available Upon Request Ken Barilich | 305.571.9991 kbarilich@metro1properties.com now accepting applications for commercial + retail + office leasing associates NEW HOT NEW NEW NEW top 25 commercial real estate brokerages of 2011metro1properties.com



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IN THIS ISSUE133 Advertisers p. 30 309 Restaurants p. 86 March 2012 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 1 Flipper Builtpg 34In the 1960s, Ivan Tors Studios in North Miami turned out some of Americas favorite TV shows, and created a South Florida icon The House That www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 1 The House That

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfrnrt nrb rfntrbbn rrbf r rfrt fn rn r bbr nr r bbr rn nnnrb nbr rnfn rnntr rrnnrt nrr frr rnf rrrt nn brnrb nrrn nttn nrfrnn nnf rr rfbr brb r tnntr rb nrrtrb bbfbr fnn bfr nn rttnf fbr nrrt rnnn r rr brbrfbr fbrn rn fbr bbr nr tnrnrb fbrn rn f rrnnr tn rnrb nbrr b nbn nr rtn fn rfrtb r rnn ntrrnbrfnrb rf rrnbn nr brfnrb rf nrnr bbr rn r rfbn fr fn trf brfnrb rf nrt brnn tfrnn trfn n rnrt nn rnfn ffb n ttnn nrt nrb rfbb rr b rrt tb b trf nnn rfrf nrrtn nnr K K Z Z Z Z K Z K Z Z C Z Z Z Z K C Z K K P C Z Z C Z C rfntb rn n brn nn btn rnn fr C C C C rff bbrrb trrnnnrn ntr

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COVER STORY 34 The House That Flipper Built COMMENTARY 20 Fee dback: Letters 24 Miamis Kin g: Jack King 26 Christian Ci priani: Urbania 28 Picture Story: Miamis Main Drag 116 Years Ago OUR SPONSORS 30 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 50 Culture Cash: Knight Arts Challenge 50 In the Market for (Farmers) Markets 51 Tokyo Valentino: Video Hub or Sex Club? NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Fra nk: Chronic Failure on Miamis Mean Streets 60 Wendy: The Thrift of Gab 62 Gaspar: Book Em, Biscayne Park! 64 Shari Lynn: Rating the Round Dough 66 Mark: Positively 125th Street 68 Jen: A Way to Wine Down ART & CULTURE 70 Anne Tschida: Oliver Sanche z, the Fabricator 72 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 75 Events Calendar POLICE REPORTS 76 Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 78 Not Quite Beauty Greens Yet COLUMNISTS 80 Pawsitively Pets: The Puppy Math Problem 82 Kids and the City: A Parents Guide to Family Fun 83 Going Green: Drinking in the Blue 84 Your Garden: Florida Fruit Frolic 85 Vino: The Mea t of the Matter 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 60 70 75Serving 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 80 x 135 New seawall, direct ocean access, no fixed bridges. Only 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 VACANT BAY FRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME IN PRESTIGOUS SAN SOUCI ESTATES1/3 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!! 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 OVERSIZED WATERFRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME KEYSTONE POINT 499K 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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MICHELLE IGLESIASREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 310 8105 michellesellsmiami@gmail.com MICHELLE PACHECOREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 786 525 6247 mpacheco@majesticproperties.com DAVID CAROLANBROKER ASSOCIATEcell 305 456 7081 dcarolan@majesticproperties.com RON PLATTREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 786 281 1965 rplatt@majesticproperties.com

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George Kluck STUDIO SPACE + IN LAW QTRS | RED MAHOGANY PARQUET FLOORS The original architect studied the designs of famous architect Alfred Browning Parker. Floor to ceiling replace, tall openbeamed ceilings, all bedrooms are upstairs and have extraordinary space with large closets. Roomy in-law quarters as well as studio space. Spacious outdoor screened living area with grill and bar overlooks the beau fully canopied yard and canal. Amazing home for entertainers and water lovers alike, plus direct ocean access.

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Roughing It 2.0: Starbucks, Ribeyes, Smoked Oysters, and a Fine CabernetI enjoyed Trapped in a Tech Web that Wont Let Go? Answer: Unplug, Float, Exhale, by Tristam Korten (February 2012). But I couldnt shake off a couple of ques tions that seemed to undermine the whole enterprise: Did he pitch the trip as a story idea? And if so, doesnt that make him even more ripe for Wordsworths scold (The world is too much with us) about concen trating too intensely on material gain? I also had to smile because I can well identify at how people get back to nature in this day and age: with frozen water bottles, Starbucks coffee, energy bars, a bottle of Cabernet, smoked oysters, and ribeye steaks cooked over a blaze next to a tent for two. Imagine Proteus rising from the sea to wrestle with these two urban profes sionals, one of whom is hiding from mos quitoes in his tent and the other basking in the Great Outdoors, wine glass in hand. I really do admire their resolve to chuck the cell phones and the familiar, and remove themselves from all things hijacking their attention. Regaining focus and embracing the jour ney remind me of Homer and a paraphrase of Shakespeare: Even if one is crossing just four miles of bay, the journeys still the thing. Id like to see more stories leading us to the remote areas in our backyard. Roberta Cummings MiamiRoughing It: We Dont Need No Stinking ReservationsBeing an avid paddler and camper, I read with great interest your cover story Unplug Float Exhale. I know that eerie feeling when you get a couple of miles offshore. Youre sitting so low in your kayak that all you see is water, an unbroken horizon. You might as well be in the middle of the Atlantic. Maybe some details were left out of the article for space purposes, but I couldnt help take note of the fact that the author did not mention anything about making a reservation for a camping spot on Elliott Key. The National Park Service really would prefer it if you did as they ask and make a reservation and camp only in approved areas. Seems the author and his friend ignored that and simply went ashore at the In one of the photographs, I saw some thing interesting. It appeared on page 42 and showed one of our paddlers approaching the shore where they were going to camp. In the upper-left corner of the photo, you can clearly see a sign on a post, aimed in the direction of anyone approaching in a watercraft. I couldnt make out the signs message, but I could guess: Camp in Designated Areas Only. Shame on them for thumbing their noses at the very people who make their wilderness experience possible. Thomas Elrod Midtown MiamiEnrique to Pols: Stop Playing Poker with Our Economic Well-beingCongratulations on Erik Bojnanskys eyeopening article The Casino Effect (Febru ary 2012) and for providing some alarming statistics from Professor John Kindt on the devastation that large-scale casino resorts inevitably wreak on local economies. When will state and local politicians get that theres no such thing as easy money, and that the odds are especially bad when it comes to organized gambling enterprises? control the outcomes, but theyll never win against the house, so to speak and as other cities have already learned, theyll be no match for the massive casino machines once theyve steamrolled into town. Years ago the State of Florida commis sioned months-long economic studies to guess what? Those studies dont mention gambling. They talk about investing in edu cation, life sciences, new medical schools, technology transfer, industry and manufac ups, and collaborations. Its not easy money, but its the kind that builds on itself. Those studies warn that an economy based on service jobs has nowhere to go but down, especially in a state with Floridas complex demographics. When most of your residents are in low-paying service jobs, and the rest are (1) the nonworking elderly, (2) seasonal residents who contribute little to the tax base, (3) tourists here for short stays, and (4) the nonworking poor and/or poor immigrants who face severe barriers to assimilation, the prognosis is seriously bad. The corporate cabals investing bil lions of dollars in buying up Miami its prime waterfront land, hotels and parking garages likely dont care one whit about making Florida a more livable place. Theyre thrilled to have a poor, turn-key Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 22

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r BT0312 fnrftrbr Call 888.699.2161 or visit ViLiving.com/Aventura to learn more.

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22 service economy in which to set up shop. They want tax dollars to go toward widening the streets to their front doors, not toward empowering university and business research or building sustainable and grow ing sectors that will attract investment that leads toward real innovation and wealth. And the politicians in Tallahassee? Every year they put off voting on the casino bills is another year they can haul in lots more PAC money from the gambling special interests. Its time to stop playing high-stakes poker with our economic well-being. Enrique Valladares North MiamiIm a Tiger Mother and Proud of It!In her Kids and the City column, Crystal Brew makes the case for parents relaxing the grip on their young childrens lives (The Activity Addiction, February 2012). She seems to roll her eyes at those who believe structure and discipline are an essential part of learning and growth for youngsters. And she implies that those Tiger Mothers who invest enormous amounts of time and money guiding their children through a world of frivolous distractions are simply driven by ego. I could not disagree more. I proudly call myself a Tiger Mom. I am one of those who is convinced beyond a doubt that America is sliding into ir reversible mediocrity because assertive parenting has become politically incorrect. Barbara Hollingsworth AventuraGeorge Berlin: There at the Creation of AventuraErik Bojnanskys article Family & Fortune (January 2012) was really interesting to me as a North Dade resident. I was touched personally by the references to my late friend Mr. George Berlin, and to the great contributions he made toward the developemnt and the growth of the City of Aventura. His work will never be forgotten. Gerard G. Moss AventuraI Dare You to Check Out My YouTube Expos on Highland Village!I just read Jim W. Harpers Park Patrol article about Highland Village (A Park in Need Is a Park Indeed, December 2011), and then North Miami Beach Councilwoman Barbara Kramers letter to the editor in response (January 2012). Every tax-paying citizen has a right to know the goings-on in Highland Village because of state and federal funds and more. Councilwoman Kramer wrote very defensively, like she was afraid truths were going to come out about City of North Miami Beach and Highland Village. I have some videos posted on YouTube of conditions and situations in the city gen W. Harper didnt even scratch the surface. Very interesting! Gary Chadwick North Miami Beach CorrectionsEditors Note: In Erik Bojanskys article The Casino Effect (February 2012), Frank Neros job title was misstated. Nero is president and CEO of the Beacon Council. Also in the February issue, two photographs accompanying our Galleries + Museums listings carried the wrong captions. Below are the two artworks with the correct captions. Horizontale Object Plastique N. 874 In the January issue, the catalogue number for the HistoryMiami photograph below was not accurate. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the photo, which depicts the mouth of the Miami River in 1897, needs the catalogue number. Here it is: Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #X-0129-1. Needless to say, we regret the errors.Commentary: LETTERS Continued from page 20

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24 Commentary: MIAMIS KINGCity Hall DynastiesBetween the old pols and their family members, Miami just never changes By Jack King BT ContributorA few weeks ago I looked up at the television during a Miami City Commission meeting and immediately the thought of The Whos song Wont Get Fooled Again ran through my mind. For those of you not familiar with the song, the last phrase is: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. The current city commission is composed of people whove been around for a long time, or whose families have. Mayor Toms Regalado did multiple terms as a city commissioner before being elected mayor three years ago. Then theres Willy Gort, another multi-term commissioner who once ran for mayor and lost. So what the hell, he ran again for commissioner and won again. And Michelle Spence-Jones? long, her term has been really exciting. She was charged with crimes, and then a year later, reinstated when the principal witness refused to testify. Spence-Jones follows right in line with her districts history, as the previous two elected commissioners were also ethically challenged, notwithstanding the Rev. Richard Dunn, who served as interim commissioner two times. Spence-Jones should have been indicted for being felony stupid when she sold her vote on the Marlins stadium deal in exchange for $50 million the city owed her districts community redevelopment agency. She voted for the stadium and then the city stiffed her, saying the money just wasnt there. Brilliant move. Marc Sarnoff seems like hes been there for years, but hes actually only in However, hes been adept at keeping his name in the press, both good and bad. Finally we have what I like to call our legacy commissioners, Francis Suarez and Frank Carollo. Suarez is the son of Xavier Suarez, also the only Harvardeducated one. He was elected mayor three considered one of the best mayors in the citys history. Then things got weird. The younger Suarez has worked quietly, but recently has advocated for a strong-mayor form of city government. Wait a minute. Dont we have a strongmayor form government now? Many people thought we did when we changed the city charter 15 years ago. What happened was that the county not the city, changed Miami-Dade government to a strong-mayor system. Whoever wrote the city charter change got it horribly wrong, but nobody challenged it, including the voters. Enter former Mayor Joe Carollo, who was having his problems with the city commission, so he thought the best way to handle it was to marginalize the commission. Unfortunately it didnt work, and again nobody noticed. sioner, Frank Carollo, Joes much younger brother. When Frank was elected, there was a concern that he would be just like Joe, who was not so affectionately referred to Crazy Joe because he came up with some of the most outlandish ideas city hall had ever seen. One of them was an idea to resolve Miami to South Dade. On a trip out of town, Joe had seen an expressway built atop a river, supposedly because the land along the river wasnt available. So he proposed, with a straight face, to build an expressway in Biscayne Bay from Home stead to Miami. The idea didnt go far. So Frank, in honor of his brother, proposed that the city should put babychanging stations in all city mens rooms. They already are in most ladies rooms. The reason is that Frank likes to change diapers on his own young child. The proj ect would cost about $40,000, not a great sum, but a sum that would help only one person Frank Carollo. Hey, Frank, use A couple of unrelated things have also been on my mind: I had to laugh few weeks ago, especially with the position that the Catholic Church is taking on the issue. A caveat here: I was raised Catholic, but was expelled from religion class because I had more questions than they had answers. I still do. Catholics in America both men and women almost universally use some form of birth control at some point in their lives. The church has been unable to change those numbers over the past 30 years. So the bishops force the federal gov ernment to remove all contraception from healthcare programs for Catholic institu tions. To me it looks like they were trying to get the government to do what they themselves have been unable to do: stop Catholics from using contraception. Those bishops are wily. And locally, motorists are hitting bikers at an alarming rate. As drivers get older, bikers are harder to see. I know. Ive been hit and it is not fun. The next biker you dont see might be me. Scary thought. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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26 Commentary: URBANIAStrangers Next DoorThe perils of Miamis new condo lifestyle rrrfnttbfttbbbttttttbffff rfntnb tnnrntr nrtnbrrfrn t ntbn fbfr rtfrf By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorIf I asked you to sink your money into a project but couldnt tell you much about your co-investors, youd walk away laughing. But this is exactly what buying into a condominium means: a group of strangers in a shared investment, with few guarantees about what theyre buying and who theyre buying it with. The new Miami lifestyle is synonymous with condos a type of living that brings staggering risks and endless headaches. The most basic risk is overpaying, which so many did, and by eye-watering percentages, thanks to speculators and salivating lenders. Another major risk is quality. Our building boom was a veritable race to the top-off, and plenty of developers construction. Jeremy Bedor is an experienced construction manager who recently left South Florida for Washington, D.C. He worked on some of our citys most famed developments. Overall hes positive about the advantages of multi-family living especially when it comes to conveniences and amenities but as the guy who gets sent in to deal with after-the-fact problems, hes also seen the downsides. Historically, Bedor says, Florida condominium owners were subjected to unscrupulous developers and contractors who often disappeared after a property was completed, leaving the residents with an expensive mess to clean up. The 1970s saw the addition of construction warranties to the Florida Condo Act, placing more post-construction responsi bility on developers and contractors. Big developers with a proven track record are more likely to stick around in case something goes wrong, and Florida laws have evolved to protect new-construction buyers, but buying into condos past their decade mark or more ups your risk. If a building hasnt had a then beware, says Bedor. After ten years, most developers are off the hook, and thereafter owners will face mounting issues, most notably standards. The aging Surfside building Bedor just left faced a $5 million assessment for common-element upgrades. Yep, thats right. A multimilliondollar tab. Just because you can cobble together a down payment and cover your mortgage, taxes, and association dues doesnt mean you can afford the longterm hidden costs of communal living. Countless Miami condos have faced crisis. Tensions run high, board meetings become battlegrounds, and aggressive creativity has been the only means of sur vival for many. I know because Ive been on my condo board for four years, in a building where an embarrassing percent age of my neighbors sorry, co-inves tors are thousands of dollars behind on their association fees. Florida laws are weighted heavily in favor of lenders, and associations end up recovering a pittance of each foreclosed units back dues. To compensate, my association has cut costs in every way imaginable, from getting out of a ten-year deal with rooftop space for a cellular tower. just the beginning. Residents also face a whole host of social and managerial issues. A typical Miami condo building will have tenants of all ages, professions, and socioeconomic backgrounds a 25-year-old awkward elevator silence with an execu tive who snagged the multimillion-dollar penthouse. People like this, who would otherwise never meet, will live stacked up like Jenga blocks. In fact, they could be neighbors and never meet, owing to the odd isolation bred by condos. How many people dont know who lives above, below, or beside them? My guess is lots, especially here in the land of the transient. Its from this diverse pool of strangers that a condo board forms to maintain the health of their real estate organism, and again Bedor offers some advice: Under no circumstances should someone view the property value and location, or the income bracket of the residents, as an assurance of a condo board operating in the best interest of the residents. He also warns of a pattern hes seen in association managers: Theyre hired to protect owner interests, but pressure to give the board what it asks for can quickly turn a manager who wants to keep his job into a yes-man for counterproductive ideas. My own condo board is brilliantly dysfunctional, partly because volunteer boards tend to attract both the best and worst people for the job. A go-go profes sional eager to donate time and expertise will meet face-to-face with a retired spinster who memorizes bylaws and gets her kicks busting people for walking their dogs in the wrong spot. But I digress For Miami condo owners, these are strange times indeed. If youre thinking of buying into this game, think long and hard about how badly you need a pool or a gym. If youre already in condolandia and beyond saving your sanity, then at the very least save your money. Anything can happen when you live with strangers. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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28 Commentary: PICTURE STORYMiamis Main Drag 116 Years AgoA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul George Special to the BTMiami was still a wilderness as the year 1896 dawned. But in April of that year, Henry M. Flaglers Florida East Coast Railway steamed into town, and suddenly a new city was born. in Miami, Avenue D, todays N. Miami Avenue, which was laid out in early 1896. The buildings here stretched from the Miami River northward for a few blocks. From left, and barely visible, stand John Sewell and Brothers Shoe Store and shop, the Lobby Pool and Billiard Parlor, Raulerson Brothers Meat Market, and Florida Western Meats. One block north of these structures stood buildings housing the Miami Me tropolis the Bank of Bay Biscayne. On July 28, 1896, local residents building and voted to incorporate as a city. John Reilly became the City of MiMary Brickell, the two people besides Flagler who were most responsible for the citys creation, were barred from voting because of their gender. Most of the buildings pictured here, as well as others, burned in the fire of December 26, 1896. 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 HistoryMiami, Claude Matlack Collection, #matlack_245-12 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 ContributorCompared to winter months, packed with major holidays, March may seem like a minor player. But it is (on March 20 this year), with all that sea sons sometimes just symbolic yet hopeful hints of fresh new beginnings. Whether your spring-cleaning hopes are aimed, most traditionally, at your home or at yourself, BT advertisers have offers and events this month to transform your hopes for renewal into reality. Looking to start afresh in a new at Duffy Realty (9718 NE 2nd Ave., 305-904-4803), a new advertiser whos actually a returning vet one of the BT s earliest advertisers back in the bad old days. The longtime Miami Shores resident, and expert in realty for the Shores and adjacent areas, represents properties in all price ranges, so dont be intimidated. Welcome back, Pat! Welcome, too, to Aventuras Turnber ry International Realty (20445 Biscayne Blvd. #H-8, 305-767-3182), a new advertis er whose mission is to be the areas premier boutique real estate company meaning the company not only provides personal ized services covering clients from search through closing table, but will help you other need in the neighborhood. To freshen up the look of your present home, check out the stock of striking Brazilian furniture, both contemporary and classic, at Herval Furniture USA You wont have to look far. The company conveniently covers BT territory with two showrooms (1730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-377-1221 and 2666 NE 189th St., 305-935-4545). Mention spring cleaning this month for a 10% discount on purchases over $1000. If you havent checked out The Collec tion German Furniture (15400 Biscayne Blvd. #112, 305-944-3727 in a while, this is the season to do it. The company has supplemented its famed selection of highend German furniture with Steel Land, a fun young collection for modern house holds, and will be receiving new sofas from the lines Free Wind and Kandinsky series (inspired by the artist credited with Dont forget Scan Design annual Fall in Furniture Love art event on March 3, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. (4150 N. 28th Terr., Hollywood; RSVP at fallinfurniturelove.com or 954-874-3888). Actually, a visit to Scans local showroom (3025 NE 163rd. St.) is something of an art event in itself, but doesnt include the evenings special perks: musical enterdoeuvres, and interactive painting, plus Isnt it great when doing something good for yourself also helps do good for others? Thats whatll happen if your March visit to Salon Dahlia (9472 NE 2nd Ave., 305-290-0028) happens on friendly neighborhood place is donating 20% of all proceeds to Smile Train, a charity providing free cleft-palate surgery to needy children throughout the world. Another opportunity to support a worthy cause while enjoying a fabulous night of food (including a vegetarian ing dinner celebrating 32 years of care for Miami wildlife by the caring folks at Pelican Harbor Seabird Station (1279 NE 79th St. Cswy., 305-751-9840). The 7 at Miami Shores Country Club, 10000 Biscayne Blvd.), but its not too early to buy tix now, in person or online at www. pelicanharbor.org. Price is just $45 for individuals or $400 for a table of ten. And dog lovers should mark March 25 (from 9:00 a.m. to noon) on their calen dars. Thats when The Shops at Midtown Miami (3401 N. Miami Ave.) will be Dog Walk, raising awareness for guide and other service dogs of all kinds. For more info: www.miamilighthouse.org. By the way, pet owners: How does a meal of salmon with lentils in yogurt and lemongrass sauce sound? No, not for you. Its one of four new entre varieties from By Nature makers of natural and organic and, obviously, gourmet dog and cat food. This months offer for BT readers: Buy four cans and get one free, plus $2 off any small bag of By Nature. For a list of local outlets carrying the healthful, tempting treats, consult www.bynaturepetfoods.com. While spring cleaning traditionally means thoroughly reviving ones dwelling, it seems that the season inspires people to do the same for their personal selves. Example: Last months free weightloss seminar at (7120 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-6600) went so well that the personal-training facility is offering it again on March 17, at 11:00 a.m., says For those of you with kids, new advertiser Bikram Yoga Central Miami (5084 Biscayne Blvd. #101A, 305-2313171) will be offering a class for children coordination, and balance improvement, and general body awareness, as the adult classes, but without the heat. Its scheduled for March 31 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Call for more details. Visits to the doctor can be traumatic even for us grown-ups. For kids Well, Our Sponsors: M archA RCH 2 012 BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible Continued on page 32

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you remember. But returning BT adver tiser Kidstown Pediatrics (4112 NE 1st Ave., 305-576-5437) is known as a doctors and as a place where kind, patient staff members and Dr. Margaret Okonkwo ac tually listen to them, not just their parents. For BT -reading parents with children over age ten who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or autism, Dr. Lee Barbach DC (1717 N. Bayshore Dr. #240, 1-888-924-7664) has a special March offer: three free visits. Find a detailed ex planation from this inventive practitioner about how his BBT (brain-based treat ment) can help improve everything from your childs social behavior and academic achievement to his/her posture. Go to www.iWishiFeltBetter.com/special. of Dr. Daniel Leon-Romain (9999 NE 2nd Ave. #204, 786-497-4440), an inter nist and general practice physician (very reassuring for those of us who prefer to think of ourselves as not unrelated body parts offers comprehensive care, spe cializing in preventive medicine. All new patients scheduling an appointment are eligible for a free cholesterol screening. If what needs spring cleaning is your smile, The Art of Dentistry can brighten that up in just an hour with Zoom laser whitening. Mention the BT for a special price of $289 (normally more than $400). If the renewal you seek is spiritual, welcome returning advertiser Unity on the Bay (411 NE 21st St., 305-573-9191), a diverse spiritual home where the message is unconditional love, acceptance, and healing. Check out www.unityonthe bay.org for the full range of services and opportunities Unity offers. Remember the New Testament story about Jesus washing his disciples feet? Well, First United Methodist Church of Miami (400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-3714706) has been remembering for more than 20 years with an annual pre-Easter Foot Washing for the Homeless, this year on March 24 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Along with doctors and students from Barry Universitys School of Podiatric Medicine, who will attend to foot health care, about 100 volunteers are needed. Want to show some love? Contact the church prior to the March 17 training session. For an alternative path to reviving pist and life coach Catherine Patrick (786-277-9835) at the Standard Hotel on March 14 at 7:00 p.m. for a fun and powerful group hypnosis workshop designed to increase your happiness and energy and spark renewed passion for life. The $30 fee includes the resorts indoor baths. Its hard to feel springs new promise with last years taxes hanging over your head, but the experts at TaxStation (286 NE 2nd Ave., 786-319-4433) can relieve your worries as easily as possible. See this issues ad for a $10 discount on serfor free at TaxStationToday.com. The company provides pick-up and delivery services to downtown and Brickell, too. All ready to get out and enjoy life to its fullest? Good! Opportunities abound this spring. Attention sports fans: Whether tennis or shopping is your sport of choice, youll want to check out the just-opened fourth Florida retail location of new advertiser Tennis Plaza (15400 Biscayne Blvd. #110, 305-890-1808). The stores stock of racquets, grips, and other gear is perfect for those who play, and theres also a huge selection of athletic shoes for those who just like the look. sell, but also have anxieties about where to sell it? Forget skulking into some questionable pawnbroker. At new advertiser Global Jewelry (18677 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-705-9600), South Floridas top-rated and largest gold buyer, the personal boutique service (including coffee or water served in crystal) is classy, and With BT as a serious destination dining draw, its time to draw attention to some of our areas serious support services like new advertiser Oves Restaurant Supply (1940 NW 21st Ter., 305-326-8010). From sales to repairs of truly professional kitchen equip ment, this company does it all. Welcome also to attorneys Michael Lubin and Steve Polisar new advertis ers who offer new businesses, especially restaurants, a most vital support ser vice: helping business owners navigate through the hassles of obtaining permits to sell wine and beer. Residents who lived in these parts during the South Beach renaissance may remember Steve as the original owner of Ocean Drives Palace Bar & Grill (and several Lincoln Road-area restaurants after that), so you know that he and partner Michael are veterans at cutting through government red tape. Biz BuzzContinued from page 30

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Now were hungry. Fortunately this months ad for Bagels & Company (11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435) day deals. For dine-in deli mavens, $3 off a minimum $15 meal or $5 off a $25 check. And for all customers, six free bagels with the purchase of a dozen. dining and dancing at the same venue, restolounge Trio on the Bay (1601 79th St. Cswy., 305-866-1234) is ideal, especially with its new nightly dinner deal: a three-course meal, from a monthly The view alone is worth more than that. Meanwhile, across the puddle, the recent $20 million renovation of the 1940s Shelborne South Beach Hotel (1801 Collins Ave., 305-531-1271) offers an opportunity for morning-to-midnight dining without budging from the beach front venue. For breakfast: the pool decks Vesper American Brasserie. For lunch, Baja tacos at Lucys Cantina Royale. For dinner: famous Philly chef Zama Tana kas sushi bar. Residents who remember the 1990s Shelborne only for its decidedly unrenovated cellar karaoke club have to think: Geez Talk about spring cleaning! Since its relocation to sleek new digs, longtime locally favored Japanese culinary hotspot Yakko-san (93881 NE 163rd St., 305-947-0064) has developed a lounge personality, too. Check out their new Third Thursday parties on March 29, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Martinis are $5; sake shots are $2; and youll be treated to the houses surprise martini tasting. Every Monday in March, Liza and Gigi of Anise Taverna (620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929) will take you (or at least your taste buds) on a trip around the Mediterranean: Tunisia on March 5, Mallorca on March 12, Portugal on Marcy 19, and Turkey on March 26. The $55 per person price for dinner includes unlimit ed wine and beer, but tax and gratuity are excluded, as is the price of transportation to all those foreign countries. (Whats a gallon of gas going for this month?) Not quite enough cultural understand ing for you? Travel farther at Marchs free Saturday wine tastings, 1:00-5:00 p.m., at Laurenzos Italian Center (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381). Voyage via Italian vino on March 3, and artisan Chil ean wines on March 10. And on March $2.50. (These cream puffs are actually a typical specialty of St. Josephs Day, March 19, but the feast day of the Virgin Marys husband is much more popular in Italy. And the pastries beat corned beef and cabbage any day.) At the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., 305-4668002), Marchs entertainment possibilities include tributes to comedy icons George Burns and Gracie Allen plus musical icons the Beatles; Oscar-nominated Revanche ; a documentary The Ugly Duckling (performance includ ing free face painting and snacks). Visit www.aventuracenter.org for info and tix. Rejoice, lovers of outside-the-box contemporary classical music! On March 11, at 3:00 p.m., the concert series at St. Marthas Church (9301 Biscayne Blvd.) presents the Carpe Diem String Quartet, internationally acclaimed for both traditional chamber music interpreted for modern audiences and for the compositions of their own Korine Fujiwara. For further info on this uncommon opportunity: 305-458-0111 or 305-751-0005. Whether youre a professional or a prospective writer, Miami-Dade Colleges spring edition of their Miami Writers Institute May 2-5, can help you achieve your goals. The four days of intensive all genres) include manuscript consulta tions, a publishing seminar, an interactive Pitch-O-Rama with industry pros, and more. Youll want to reserve a spot early, so go to www.theCenteratMDC.org. Welcome to the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival a new advertiser. Its at this years fest, April 27-May 6. But its not too early to volunteer as a festival screenings, a doubtless cute T-shirt, and beyond-the-bar-scene/computer screen opportunities to meet and mingle). For more info: www.mglff.com. While were thinking ahead: Now that spring is here, ready for summer? New advertiser The Cushman School (592 NE 59th St.) is doing just that. Offerings at the independent and innova tive schools June 11-August 10 summer camp, for kids ages 3-11, range from robotics to giant water slides and Pizza Fridays. Contact camp director Tina Heffernan for details: 305-757-1966 or theffernan@cushmanschool.org. Something special coming up at your business? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes.com. For BT advertisers only.

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North Miamis contribution to American pop culture, from TVs most famous dolphin to Miami Vice and beyondBy Gaspar GonzlezFlipper photos courtesy of Frederick Barr Flipper Built Flipper Flipper Built The House That

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From the outside, Greenwich Studios doesnt look like much: a cluster of warehouse-size buildings fronting NE 16th Avenue, between 121st and 122nd streets. The studios name, spelled out in blue letters and punctuated by a leaping dolphin, is visible only from the north side of the property, and then only if youre really looking for it. Turn your head for a moment or approach the buildings from the south and you could easily confuse Greenwich for a storage rental facility. There are quite a few such businesses in this industrial strip running just west of, and parallel to, Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami. But Greenwich is special. It was once an epicenter of American television production, turning out hit shows that baby boomers still recall with glee, among them, Flipper the series about a pet dolphin that helped make South Florida famous and launched a million school lunchboxes. Back then, the complex wasnt called Greenwich, but Ivan Tors Studios. A Hungarian with a colorful past, Tors was, for a time, one of Hollywoods most successful producers, rivaling even Walt Disney when it came to reeling in the kiddies with fantastic and farfetched Now the studio he built mostly churns out Spanish-language reality shows. It also produces the occasional ghost tale. The place is haunted, you know, says Jeff Beal, a writer-for-hire and at Greenwich. He is on the phone with a reporter curious about the studio. By whom? the reporter asks. Ivan Tors. Who else? Tors, it seems, was always a bit of a mysterious character. He was in the he very possibly was a spy, says David Tors, speaking from his home in Kentucky about his fathers World War II experiences, although I cant get anybody to admit it. He laughs. Anyway, he got hurt somehow and was reassigned to the squadron that featured Glenn Miller. That would have been the Army Air Force Technical Training Command (AAFTTC) band, stationed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1943. Miller, at the time arguably the nations most popular big-band leader and a newly minted captain in the Army Air Corps, was given the task of keeping American morale high with his signature swing sound. What Tors might have been doing assignment would pay off after the war. Thats where he got some of his contacts in show business, explains David. Those contacts led Tors to Hollywood, where he found work as a writer. original story was a gangster picture of sorts, involving a returning vet who takes over his dead brothers illegal gambling operation. It was a solid B time, but it must have gotten the 30-yearold Tors noticed, because his next three credits would have made any writer of the era envious. First came Song of Love in 1947. A lush, historical romance woven around the life of 19th-century German composer Robert Schumann, it starred Katharine Hepburn and Paul Henreid, the suave leading man who had played Ingrid Bergmans husband in Casablanca That was followed by That Forsyte Woman an historical melodrama starring screen swashbuckler Errol Flynn, and In the Good Old Summertime a turn-of-the-20th-century boy and girl love each other, but dont know it yet musical, with a still innocent-seeming Judy Garland hitting all the right notes. The New York Times called it a wonderfully rich entertainment. In a very short time, Tors had proven he could pen a star vehicle and had storylines and family fare, which would serve him well in years to come. He wasnt yet a producer, but that would come, too, The Magnetic Monster Riders to the Stars and Gog about a series of unexplained murders at a top-secret government laboratory. It was fantasy stuff aimed at the teenagers the youth market before that term had become part of the lexicon. Perhaps it was only natural he would gravitate toward television, that new electronic extension of the American was Science Fiction Theatre A forerunner to Rod Serlings more famous Twilight Zone the conceit of Science Fiction Theatre was that its stories were eries. Ill tell you now that this story regularly intone at the top of an episode. It did not happen. But the big question is, Could it have happened? Science Fiction Theatre ran for two seasons. ent kind of adventure show, one that would take place underwater. Its lead character would be an ex-Navy scuba diver named Mike Nelson, played by Lloyd Bridges (father of actors Beau and Jeff Bridges). In each half-hour episode, Nelson would use his scuba skills to help clients retrieve valuable property from the outsmart the bad guys, and anything else that needed to be done that required end of each episode, Nelson would address the audience directly, asking viewers to help protect the worlds oceans. Tors would call his show Sea Hunt The three major networks ABC, CBS, and NBC turned down the idea. Who wants to see a show about a frogman? Theres no dialogue when hes underwater. But Tors was undeterred. He produced syndication. Sea Hunt became a smash, and 1961. The show also brought Tors to Florida, where he met Ricou Browning. I was working as the assistant director of public relations at Silver Springs in old. Tors, according to Browning, was scouting locations for the second season of Sea Hunt when Ivan saw me swimming and said, Hey, howd you like to swim for me? If this sounds a little like the classic story of some lucky kid being plucked from obscurity by the big Hollywood producer, it isnt. Browning, a Florida native, was an accomplished swimmer and diver whod been doing underwater tricks for the newsreels since the early 1940s, and whose cinematic fame had been assured a few years earlier: Wearing a green rubber suit, he had played the classic Creature from the Black Lagoon On Sea Hunt Tors had Browning double for the bad guys in the underwater scenes. In time the two men became friends and business partners. They formed Underwater Studios, a production company based in Nassau, specializing in underwater cinematography. We shot our own shows there, as well as underwater sequences for other shows and movies, explains Browning. Among Thunderball which claimed an Academy extensive deepwater action footage. The inspiration for Brownings biggest contribution to the partnership was born one afternoon when he observed his Continued on page 36 Around the World Under the Sea Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami

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children planted in front of the television. They were watching Lassie , says Browning, and I thought, Why not do something with a boy and a dolphin ? I remembered all this Greek mythology about boys on dolphins, and Id seen thought had nothing to do with television. My brother-in-law, Jack Cowden, and I spent a weekend writing a summary of a book, he says. I took the idea to publishers in New York, and never heard back from any of them. It was only then that Browning turned to Tors for help, but again, not because property. That was just a ruse. I thought if I could get a movie producer to say he was interested in producing my story, the publishing houses would get off their rear ends, Browning recounts, laughing because he knows how the story ends. Tors told him he would go along with the idea, and to send him the book proposal, just for the hell of it. When he got it, Tors recognized the story really was just Lassie on the water, but thats what made it attractive: A young boy named Sandy Ricks, the son of a Florida dolphin. His father doesnt much like the idea, until the dolphin rescues Sandy from a shark attack. The story ends with the family agreeing to keep the dolphin, which Sandy has named Flipper. Forget the book, Tors told Browning. Lets make a movie. The idea would have appealed to Tors for several reasons, the most obvious being that it would be shot on and around the water, which was his specialty. Anoth er reason was that it would be wholesome critics might call it hokum family entertainment, something Tors believed was in short supply. Hed been outspoken on the point. the U.S. Senates Juvenile Delinquency Committee, complaining of pressure from the networks to put more sex and violence into the shows he pitched them. We have no excuse to make any kind of he told the senators. I think we have a tremendous responsibility, which I see more and more as my children grow up and I see how they are affected adversely also tell reporters that he was frustrated because I have three sons, and if a Disney picture isnt showing, we cant go to the theater together. (Torss sons Steven, Peter, and David were born to the actress ConThe couple was introduced, says David, by Hollywood legend Shelley Winters.) If Tors admired the Disney formula and who didnt might not Flipper as to capture some of that same magic? Tors knew that casting would be critical. For the sought out Chuck Connors, who was the For the role of Sandy, he needed a kid who looked comfortable outdoors, and settled on a 14-year-old actor named Luke Halpin. Halpin, now 64 years old and living on Floridas west coast, remembers his Broadway play with Jackie Gleason, and someone came up to me after the show and said, Ivan Tors would like to speak with FlipperContinued from page 35 Creature from the Black Lagoon Continued on page 38 Boutique practice in a cozy & warm atmosphere LOCATED IN THE MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT NEAR MIDTOWNMargaret Okonkwo, MD, FAAP 4112 Northeast 1st Ave, Miami FL 33137 Phone: 305-576-KIDS (5437) Fax: 305-576-5120 www.KidstownPediatrics.com Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami

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you. I knew who Ivan Tors was because I used to stay up to watch Sea Hunt . Good thing, because otherwise one have sounded rather odd. Would you be afraid to swim with live dolphins or live sharks? Tors asked the youngster. Halpin jumped at the offer I loved the idea of playing Sandy and some quarters. A lot of people thought you couldnt do a movie like Flipper , says Halpin, because you couldnt get a dolphin to do the tricks. But Ivan was a very rare person. He had great insight. ing just the right dolphin. For Flipper , says Browning, we tried to get an animal that was already trained, but all the ones we saw were only trained to do tricks heard of Milton Santini, who ran a por poise school in the Florida Keys. Santini, Browning recalls, kept a pet dolphin named Mitzi. When Browning waded into Mitzis pond, the female dolphin swam right up to him, and Tors knew he had his leading man, er, lady. (Credit for training Mitzi to play Flipper has been shared by everybody from Santini to Browning to Dale Hyldahl, who worked with dolphins at Marineland, the oceanarium near St. Augustine. Flippers most famous trainer, Ric OBarry, now a vocal critic of dolphin captivity, didnt join the Flipper franchise until later.) Flipper made a latesummer splash at the box end. Flipper was suddenly the most famous marine mammal on the planet, and Tors wasted no time cashing in. He made a deal for a sequel, as well as a new half-hour prime-time television show. We started shooting the second feature Flippers New Adventure time, says Browning. The series required some tweaks. The father now would be played by Brian Kelly, and his new occupation would be game warden, while Sandy would get a little brother named Bud (Tommy Norden). But that was minor compared to the logistical challenges of building a show around a dolphin. A series translated to approximately 30 episodes per season. Flipper would need a permanent home, and South Florida was deemed the ideal place. It was close to the Bahamas, where, owing to the underwater topogthe Miami Seaquarium was home to the stars of the show Flipper would be (The Seaquarium would also double as a set. The Rickss Cracker-style cottage was built there, to go with an exact replica erected at the old Interama site, now Florida International Universitys Biscayne Bay campus. The identical sets, The only thing Tors didnt have was a studio, but he found one. Or at least, FlipperContinued from page 36 Florida State Archives Photographic Collection Continued on page 40

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40 the beginnings of one. Thunderbird Studio in North Miami, according to Browning, was operated by a soundman named Howard Warren. It was only one stage, says Browning. But there was room to grow. Renamed Ivan Tors Studios, the 1964. Over the next couple of years, Tors would build three more sound stages, the two largest of which possessed 40-foot single 16,000-square-foot space. pentry shop for building sets, and a back them, with an estimated annual payroll of $3 million. By 1966 it was believed to be the largest production facility in Florida, and one of the largest anywhere outside California and New York. We were the only studio down here, says Browning, who eventually became studio president. We were ent Jackie Gleason films. And we had locked up. The South Florida location resulted in a more relaxed work environment, ac cording to Halpin: There was a freedom of not working in Los Angeles. The entire [ Flipper as anything. If the weather was going to turn bad, Ivan would tell everybody to go home. He was very protective. Why not? Flipper the dolphin that laid the golden egg. Running for three seasons on NBC, from 1964 to 1967, the show probably did more to popularize Ivan Tors Studios and South Florida than a boatload of press agents working overtime could ever have managed. Imagine if you Scott Cardinal, director of the recent documentary The Legend of Ivan Tors and you see two kids swimming with a dolphin. You think you might come down to Florida? Ivan was responsible for bringing millions in tourist dollars to South Florida. Halpin still marvels at the novelty of it all. Ivan was very clever, says the former actor. Two kids with their own boat, their own gear, a pet dolphin, and a father whos a game warden and not around very much. It was a great set-up for a show. Tors followed up the success of Flip per with more animal-themed productions, including Zebra in My Kitchen Dennis the Menace child star Jay North as a protoanimal-rights activist who springs his furry friends from the local zoo, and Daktari about a veterinarian who studies animal behavior in Africa, and Gentle Ben the adventures of a young boy (played by Ron Howards little brother, Clint) and his pet bear. Not all were Florida-based Daktari was FlipperContinued from page 38 Continued on page 42 BT photo by Silvia Ros

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42 shot in California but Gentle Ben set in the Everglades, was produced out of the North Miami studio and utilized Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden as a shooting location. By the late 1960s, newspaper and magazine articles were asking if Tors was the new Disney, to which the Hungarian usually replied, I dont want to be the second Walt Disney. I want to Not every new undertaking was a success. A daytime game show Tors unveiled in 1967, Treasure Isle and an expensive one. A venture with Florida billionaire John D. MacArthur, Treasure Isle was billed as the worlds The concept called for competing couples to paddle around a lake in a canoe, looking for clues that would lead them to the treasure isle, where they would dig for prizes. Sherman Adler, who was involved with the show, years later characterized it as part Newlywed Game and part Survivor . Shot on location in Palm Beach County, the shows manmade set consisted of a lagoon and three is lands, at a cost of half a million dollars. It lasted one season. In retrospect, it was a sign of things to come. Torss amazing run, dating back to Science Fiction Theatre and Sea Hunt was nearing its end. Some of it was probably just show-biz physics: Everything that goes up sooner or later must come down. In Torss case, his core audience of baby boomers was growing up, and now Rights struggle, and the counterculture than what their favorite animals were up to in prime time. Flipper Daktari and Gentle Ben were canceled outright in 1969. To make matters worse, that same year Torss wife, Constance, died of a heart attack. With Torss personal life upended and his homegrown lineup of shows history, says Browning, we started leasing space to other [proAccording to pioneering Miami inde ceeded Browning as studio president in 1970, Tors had also been relying on loans He borrowed a lot of money from Bruce Norris, whose family owned the Detroit Newspaper clips from the era sup Miami News reported in late 1967 that Norris had purchased a substantial stock interest in the Tors corporation, and FlipperContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44BT photo by Silvia Ros

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44 to hold the mortgage on the prop erty, after which the studio became secondary to Norriss other business concerns. Despite his setbacks, Tors would attempt to produce one last series in the studio hed built. Primus David Tors remembers, was a mini-adventure underwater show. It premiered in 1971 and sunk so quickly not even super-diver Mike Nelson could have found it. After that, Tors left North Miami, though not the entertainment business. Ivan took my brothers and me to Germany and Africa with him, says David. He did some animal shows for German Escape from Angola that we were all in. Tors never found even a sliver of the success he had once enjoyed David says his father spent the 1970s pitching ideas to young punk executives, with predictable results although he did manage to pass on his love of wildlife to in Africa. apparent heart attack. It happened in Brazil, while the producer, keeping in character, was on a scouting trip to get off the ground. Tors was only 67. The timing was cruel. If he had lived just a little while longer, he might have gotten a real kick out of what was going on at his old studio. Do you remember what South Beach was like before Miami Vice ? asks Jeff Beal, chair. Boarded-up store fronts, abandoned buildings. Beal pauses in midsentence, before making the sign of the cross. Thank you, Miami Vice. Beal, the self-described de facto go-to guy whenever a new production sets up shop at the studio, is retailing the oft-told tale of how Miami Vice swooped from cultural irrelevance. Thats always been a bit of an exaggeration, but the series undeniably helped save Ivan Tors Studios. They built their sets here, says Beal. The police station, mostly. I got lucky, says developer and renowned art collector Martin Margulies, Miami Vice became the best tenant any studio could have envisioned. Margulies bought the property from wasnt looking to get into the develop the surrounding land, but it was a package deal. I bought all that land and develminiums, he says, speaking of the complex just to the west of the studio. But I had no idea what to do with the studio, so I lent it to a group of sculptors and artists, rent-free, because Im an art collector. Guys were sleeping there. Miami Vice changed all that, of course. Under Margulies, the property studio and condos came to be called Greenwich Studio City. (The name is reminiscent of Los Angeless Studio City, a neighborhood developed Sennetts movie-making factory in the 1920s.) Margulies was happy to take Miami Vices money as long as the series ran, but he wasnt an entertainment mogul, FlipperContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46 Do you suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Colitis or Crohns Disease? Dr. Barbach is holding a weekly FREE IN-OFFICE SEMINARdiscussing his unique approach to managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Crohns DiseaseWednesdays at 6:30 pmSeating is limited. Reserve yours now!Call 305-373-5411For more information or if you can't attend the seminar in person, you can watch a video from the comfort of your home by visiting: www.iWishiFeltBetter.com/ibs Dr. Lee Barbach, D.C.What patients are saying that have been thru this program:: ...I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome I was tired all the time too much so for a woman my age. MY IBS has been going on for 8 years almost 9!..I feel great (now)! I feel a lot younger and more vibrant! If you think you are having problems find out what it is and take care of it!Ri ta H. (48) patient/seminar attendee I suffered with fatigue (and) when I came in to see the Doctor I was using the restroom 12-15 times a day! I feel like a different person...Honestly, four months ago I couldn't even get out of bed I wa s miserable. My family suffered. I feel like a new person! It changed my life! Ja mie K (34) patient/seminar attendee Are you afraid to leave your house most days? Do you limit certain foods and still suffer? Has your family, work and a social life been adversely affected? If you have been told you must learn to live with it you dont! There are break-through diagnostic and nutritional techniques now available. You dont have to suffer your entire life this way! For many the answers are quite simple... Something About MaryBT photo by Silvia Ros

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46 project that I just had no more heart for, he says. I wanted out and Stanley Markofsky gave me that out. Fort Lauderdale, Markofsky, president of Skymark Real Estate Investments, laughs when asked if Miami Vice con vinced him to buy Greenwich from MarMiami Vices contract expired two months before I closed on the property. Like Margulies before him, Markofsky was primarily interested in the land. He built rental apartments to go with the condos, and wanted to tear down the studio and build more rental apartments, but the city objected, so I said, Okay, Ill run it as a studio. Thats a tidier version of events as re ported in newspapers at the time. In March Miami Herald he planned to turn one of the studios massive, hangar-shaped buildings into a storage facility, and perhaps introduce a retail element. At a time when the City of North and Recording Capital a nod to both Torss legacy and the presence in the city of Criteria Recording Studios, now the Hit talk was that they wanted to do a shopping mall, says David Tors. That pissed off a lot of people. In the end, Markofsky and the city did reach a compromise. The city ceded control of the portion of NE 121st Street that runs in front of the studio in exchange for Markofskys pledge to keep Greenwich operational. As a residential developer, I never thought Id get involved in something like a studio, says Markofsky, echoing the sentiments of the previous owner. Markofsky, like Margulies before him, nevertheless gave it a try. He undertook an extensive renovation of the buildings, popularized the Greenwich name We had a big sign on U.S. 1 that said Greenwich Apartments and Studio and even managed to land a full-time tenant, the Spanish-language soap opera El Magnate ( The Magnate ). But like Norris and Margulies, Markofsky eventually threw in the towel. I was there for a few years, we built 400 apartments, and sold the whole package, he says, summing up his short-lived career as a studio boss. Enter current owner Sylvan Adams. Described by Canadas Financial Post as one of the shrewdest and richest real estate developers in that country, Adams purchased the Greenwich property in 1990 for $7.2 million. Based in Montreal and largely an absentee land lord He used to show up about once every three years, says Beal, though he notes visits have become more frequent Adams has nevertheless preserved Greenwich as a working studio. Posters and photographs in the wait tions over the past two decades: Ace Ven tura: Pet Detective True Lies Striptease Something About Mary Bad Boys II and Stuck on You (You know, says Beal, thats the one where Matt Damon plays a twin joined at the hip with his brother.) There are also glossies of Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias, and other music acts that or used the studio as rehearsal space to prepare for tour dates. According to Beal, in recent years the studios best clients have been Hispanic productions: The Spanishlanguage version of Dancing with the FlipperContinued from page 44 Continued on page 48 Florida State Archives Photographic Collection

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Stars [Univisions Mira Quin Baila reality shows having to do with beauty a year. To make his point, he tells the story of the time, four years ago, he had to turn down a request for studio space from Paul McCartney. Perhaps. But on this day, the only visitors to the studio are a work crew doing some upkeep of the administra tive buildings courtyard, and a couple of cleaning ladies. Its a reminder that, when it comes to maintaining a facility like this, you can never have enough business. Sylvan Adams wont make a deal, says Beal, by way of explaining the lack of activity on this day. He wont provide on the back end. Beal pauses, searching for the quickest shorthand he knows: Hes not a movie guy. Indeed, there hasnt been a movie guy since Tors, and the studio is unlikely to have a future to compete with its past. People come to Florida for the location, not because theres a studio here, says Ricou Browning, speaking from experience. So if all you have is a studio, its hard to make a living. Its also true that Greenwich is no longer the obvious choice for studio space in South Florida. Other venues attracting production companies include Ice Palace Film Studios near downtown Miami and the Coconut Grove Convention Center, where the cable series Burn Notice has been shooting since 2007. (The latter is a sore spot for Greenwich. Burn Notice shot its pilot at Greenwich in 2006, before the City of Miami moved in and offered the shows producers a sweetheart deal if they would relobusiness? Greenwich general manager Carlene Tiedemann told the Herald in And if developer Michael Swerdlow is to be believed, competition is only going to grow. In development plans for Biscayne Landing, Swerdlow duction studio. If any of this fazes the staff at Green wich, theyre not letting on. Everybody talks about building production facilities talked about in the late 1990s, says Beal. His point? That for all the hype about South Florida as a movie mecca the dream of a new, subtropical Hollywood springing up here has been a recurring theme since at least the 1960s it remains got closer to the ideal than anybody whos likely to follow in his footsteps. Tors didnt just provide a black-box backdrop for other peoples productions. He created a unique brand, put his personal stamp on hundreds of hours of television shows and movies, and made South Florida, for longer than a a studio he built from the ground up in North Miami. Which is why its all the more remarkable that the only visible traces of Torss reign as the king of 1960s kiding) are a few blocks of NE 16th Avenue, and a small bronze plaque just outside the Greenwich gates on NE 121st Street. The plaque, which contains a relief of Tors surrounded by his beloved animals and declares the studio an important landmark in the City of North Miami, appears to receive very little attention from either the studio or the city. Discolored and dotted with dried pigeon droppings, it isnt much of a tribute. Then again, maybe Tors isnt really gone. There are those ghost sightings Beal mentions. I havent seen anything myself, the studios go-to guy confesses when pressed, but people here late at night have seen things. They all describe Ivan Tors when he had a beard. (In his later years, Tors resembled a kind of Hungarian Hemingway.) One time, the studios artist-inresidence felt his blanket being pulled off him as he slept in the loft over the awakened to the sight of Tors, wearing an overcoat, standing at the foot of the bed. Another time, an air-conditioning technician claimed he encountered the spectral presence in the makeup room at the north end of Studio B. Beal assures potential clients the ghost is harmless: He hasnt done anything mischievous. Mostly he stays in the shadows. Perhaps hes just pleased to see that production is still going on in the house he built. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com FlipperContinued from page 46 KnightArts.orgrrfnt bt t tfnt tttt rfntbrt

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50 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORCulture CashThe Knight Arts Challenge is back, looking for more ways to enrich Miamis creative scene In the Market for MarketsThis is the season for fresh produce and one outts fresh new beginningBy Melissa Wallen BT ContributorThe John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has plenty to celebrate as the Knight Arts Challenge amis burgeoning arts scene. Created in February 2008, the Arts Challenge is an initiative designed to empower creative minds and contribendeavor, the Knight Foundation pledged to donate at least $20 million over the thinkers, and entrepreneurs with a vision and a compelling pitch. ests and cultural experiences, such as Beach, LegalArts Residency, Random These projects dont happen in a vacuum, explains Dennis Scholl, vice national arts program, which includes the Challenge. These things dont happen in a community that isnt going a community, were in an amazing time prominent art collectors. The Knight Arts Challenge has two tions and a communitywide competition. The institutional component has provided grants totaling $20 million to Contemporary Art, and the New World tural destination. (Recently the Knight Foundation expanded the program to include a second Knight Arts Challenge On the competition side, applicants by concisely expressing ideas that are both artistic excellence. One such success story Continued on page 56 Continued on page 54 BT ContributorS cially during mild winters like this one. abundance here that it seems downright fruitless plantations. ers markets are gaining in popularity. tomato actually tastes like. But not only one volunteer group ensures they also help urban dwellers, especially those who lack cheap and easy access to nutriconventional, or sustainably grown produce, spices, pasture-raised chicken eggs, and much more at their three vegetables are rare and expensive. As an

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Are You Now or Have You Ever Been an Adult Entertainment Club?Tokyo Valentinos proprietor says no periodBy Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterT woman in a red dress advertising the two names seemed like a cool idea. Apparently the moniker continued managing partner, describes it as a gay tomer can walk through a turnstile and private booths or while lounging on beds a time. are condoms, personal lubricants, and other sexual enhancements. A pool table, round out the entertainment opportunities. Once he obtains a recreational license hell have DJs (advertisements already week, the operating hours are scaled rial to some people living nearby the Shorecrest neighborhood. They contend courages sexual activities, they charge. legally and is already under investigation my understanding, they are operating an entertainment is not allowed. entino: Take One Lounge Wonderland at the Boulevard Theater at adult entertainment establishments tial properties, schools, or parks. ment venues are limited to areas zoned located within a T-6 urban core zone. having live entertainment, and other club, but merely a retail operation. We are not a strip club, he says. We dont sell pornos. We dont have live entertainment. We dont serve alcohol. During a recent visit, the BT observed only mainstream movies on sold in supermarkets and drug stores, yet they are not considered adult clubs by the authorities. The reality is that in the gay community, condoms are bars, he says. They encour saves lives. discourage sex on the premises. But cruising occurs in many public places. encounters, he says. Jack Spirk, a civic activist and sex between patrons does not belong near two churches, a school, and a residential neighborhood that is striving to clean up the Boulevards past seedy image. that in areas where there is no residential neighborhood around it, Spirk says. I ness. Im not a prude. But I dont believe this is the place to have them. (The considered an adult entertainment establishment, then any drug store should be considered adult and any bar should be considered adult, says Danny Aaronson, a Fort Lauderdale-based attorney who specializes in adult-entertainment law. drens museum. In less than a year, he complaints and angry letters spurred the sex shop, accompanying police in cated blow dolls, dildos, and day-glow Creative BT photos by Silvia Ros Continued on page 55 Michael Morrison remains optimistic that the area will eventually accept his new business.

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every one dollar they spend there. BT that their Continued on page 56 M iamiIAMI D adeADE F armersAR MERS M ar AR K eE T s S Thanks to localfoodsouthorida.org for compiling the following list Aventura Mall Farmers Market Saturdays, 10am to 9:30pm & Sundays, noon to 8pm every other weekend; see website for exact dates (open seasonally from February to September). In the center courtyard. 19501 Biscayne Boulevard; Aventura, FL 33180. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews themarketcompany.org Opa Locka Farmers Market Wednesdays, 2pm to 4pm. Open seasonally from January to April. At the Nathan B. Young Elementary School. 14120 NW 24th Avenue; OpaLocka, Florida 33054. Contact Jasmin Evangelista at 305.685.0973 or via email or Ms. Kelly at 305.685.7204. North Miami: FIU Biscayne Bay Campus Farmers Market Thursdays, 10am to 4pm. Open seasonally in the fall and spring semesters. Located in front of AC-1, near the FIU shuttle bus stop. 3000 NE 151st Street; North Miami, FL 33181. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org North Miami Farmers Market Thursdays, 11am to 6pm. Open seasonally from December to March (may run longer). In the plaza of the Museum of Contempo rary Art (MOCA). 770 NE 125th Street; North Miami, FL 33161. Contact 305.895.9840 or contact Muriel Olivares via email. Local Harvest Reviews Bal Harbor/Surfside/Bay Harbor Island: SurBal Bay Farmers Market Sundays, 9am to 2pm. Open all year. Location alternates Sundays between the intersection of AIA and 95th Sreet at 9500 Harding Avenue; Surfside, FL 33154 and the intersection of 96th Street and Bay Harbor Terrace at 1122 96th Street; Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154. Contact Bryan ONeill at 954.426.8436 or via email. Miami Shores: Barry University Green Market Tuesdays, 9am to 3pm. Open seasonally from October to May. 11300 NE 2nd Avenue; Miami Shores, FL 33161. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org Normandy Isles Village Marketplace Saturdays, 9am to 5pm. Open all year. At the Normandy Isle Fountain. 900 71st Street; Miami Beach, FL 33141. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews themarketcompany.org Upper Eastside: Biscayne Plaza Farmers Market Saturdays, 9am to 2pm. Open all year. All local produce. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. In the parking lot of Biscayne Plaza at the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and 79th Street (northeast corner). 561 NE 79th Street, Miami; FL 33138. Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews urbanoasisproject.org (on Facebook) Liberty City Farmers Market at T T A COLCY Park Thursdays, noon to 5pm & Saturdays, 11am to 4pm. Open seasonally from November to May. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. In the open eld of TACOLCY Park (hidden from the street) at the intersection of 62nd Street and NW 8th Avenue (southeast corner). 6161 NW 9th Avenue; Miami, FL 33127. 954.235.2601 or via email. Little Haiti Farmers Market Saturdays, 10am to 2pm. Open January to March (may run longer). EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. Located on 59th Street, 1 block west of NE 2nd Avenue in the courtyard of the Toussaint Louverture Elementary School. 120 Northeast 59th Street; Miami, FL 33137. Contact Phillip at (786) 529-2010 or via email. bochika.org Brownsville Farmers Market Fridays, 11am to 3pm. Open seasonally from November to April. All local produce. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. Located at the entry courtyard of the Jessie Trice Community Health Center, in the southeast corner at the intersection of 54th Street and 22nd Avenue. About 5 blocks northeast of the Brownsville Metrorail station. 5361 NW 22nd Avenue; Miami, FL 33142. Local Harvest Reviews urbanoasisproject. org (on Facebook) Miami Beach: St. Johns Market Thursdays, noon to 5pm. Open all year. At St. Johns Methodist Church. 4760 Pinetree Drive; Miami Beach, FL 33140. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org Miami Springs Farmers Market Saturdays, 8am to 1pm. Open for 3 Saturdays: March 3, 10, 17, 2012. (grand opening 3 March 2012). Located in the 200 block median of Curtiss Parkway. Approximately 200 Curtiss Parkway; Miami Springs, FL 33166. 305.508.8080 miamisprings-.gov Wynwood Green Last Sunday of each month, noon to 7pm. Farmers market at monthly eco festival. Urban Oasis booth accepts EBT. On the green adjacent just west of Armory Studios. 572 NW 23rd Street; Miami, FL 33127. 305.815.2981 wynwood green.org Yelp Reviews (on Facebook) Miami: Jackson Memorial Hospital Green Market Thursdays, 9am to 4pm. Open seasonally from November to May (opens for the season spring 2011 after courtyard renovations). In Alamo Park on the JMH campus. About 1 block northeast of the Civic Center Metrorail station. 1611 NW 12th Avenue; Miami 33136. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews themarketcompany.org Overtown: Roots in the City Farmers Market Fridays, 9am-5pm. Open seasonally from January to April. Accepts EBT. At NW 3rd Avenue & 16th Street. Approximately 1551 NW 3rd Avenue; Miami, FL 33136. Note: For the past 2 seasons, Roots in the City ran a famers market at a second location in Overtown, going forward this is the only location. 786.573.0180 Contact Dave Trujillo via email. rootsinthecity.com (on Facebook) South Beach: Lincoln Road Farmers Market Sundays, 9am to 6:30pm. Open all year. Lincoln Road between Meridian & Washington Avenues. Organic market is located in front of the Lincoln Theatre. 730 Lincoln Road; Miami Beach, FL 33139. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews themarketcompany.org Miami: Mary Brickell Village Sundays, 10am to 4pm. Open all year. Located 1 block east from the Brickell Metrorail/Metromover station. 901 South Miami Avenue; Miami, FL 33130. 305.531.0038 Yelp Reviews themarketcompany.org Miami: Downtown Harvest Market Fridays, 11am to 5:30pm. Open seasonally from January to May. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. In the street level plaza in front of the Stephen P. Clark Governmental Center/Metrorail station. 111 NW 1st Street; Miami, FL 33128. Call Lydia at 786.233.2784 or via email. harvestmarkets.org Sweetwater: FIU Maidique Campus Farmers Market Wednesdays, noon to 3pm. Open seasonally in the fall and spring semesters. Located between Green Library and the central fountain. 11200 SW 8th Street; Miami, FL 33174. Yelp Reviews gogreen.u. edu (on Facebook) Brickell Farmers Market Saturdays, 9am to 4pm. Open all year. Located inside Central Park Miami, at the southeast corner of the intersection of SW 13th Street and South Miami Avenue. Located 4 blocks southeast from the Brickell Metrorail/Metromover station. 1300 South Miami Avenue; Miami, FL 33130. 305.531.0038 or via email. Yelp Reviews themarket company.org (on Facebook) Coral Gables Farmers Market Saturdays, 8am to 2pm. Open seasonally from January to March. In front of the Coral Gables City Hall. 405 Biltmore Way; Coral Gables, FL 33134. 305.460.5607 Local Harvest Reviews coralgables.com (on Facebook) Coconut Grove: Roots in the City Farmers Market Saturdays, 9am to 5pm. Open seasonally from Continued on page 56 MarketsContinued from page 50

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54 who has spent the past 20 years educating mixed ability and special-needs students her established residency programs to opportunities to express themselves physically despite their disabilities. For something abstract to something theyre able to accomplish themselves. Despite such compelling causes, the Knight Arts Challenge isnt simply about doling out money. Once a proposal is chosen, the artist or collective is required to match the community be our partners, because we dont want to just hand out money, says the artistic community learns how to go out and raise money on their own. to this matching principle, notably in selected as a Challenge winner in 2008, reached out to the community and got objects, prints, and drawings, recalls artist who gets it done, and Im Scholl continues: We hope that by giving artists some start-up capital, we can get the idea started, and the project will get some great one, people will sign on and continue to support you. and dedicated its artist-book series exclu and their work. The books were showcased in international collections, libraries, and diverse cultural community. Another Knight Arts Challenge a coral aquaculture laboratory run by marine biologists Colin Foord and Jared use in multimedia projects. its identity. The duos contributions to photographs and multimedia projects, delphia, weve received over 8000 applica them, says Scholl. So what stands out in things that just jumps out at us. And remember: Winning the Challenge is not as important as the ideas behind the proposals. Scholl believes that the process Saint Martha Yamaha2011-2012 Concert SeriesPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director TO PURCHASE TICKETSVisit www.saintmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or purchase at church office or at door. For more information call 305-458-0111 or 305-751-0005 March 11, 2012 at 3 p.m.CARPE DIEM STRING QUARTET CARPE DIEMSTRING QUARTET Arts ChallengeContinued from page 50 Continued on page 57

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adult-themed stores in Atlanta. eral times, every time he opened a new developed a live-and-let live relationship with most local governments, the piece stated. stores in the Southeast, as well as various bars and clubs that were convenWe have done everything heterobrand, gay-brand, he says. Commission. According to a press release cording to the Bill Campbell, who was also serving video booth shops, including Inserection, an adult video store in Atlanta, and two gay-oriented videoplexes called Stardust in Tennessee and North Carolina, which, viewing pleasure. two reasons. Reason one was that the lent. Reason two was the Jamboree cayne Blvd., near the gated community BT BT describe or allude to sexual activity occurring behind the curtain. As no mistake, the Jamboree Lounge is a gay mans sex bar. (Jamboree Lounge could not be reached by phone and did not reply by deadline to an e-mail mesplace at the Jamboree Lounge, should stop as well, says Shorecrests Jack Spirk. tino is not just based on the booths, but opened his business. set up several plasma televisions, and at tract DJs and other live entertainment. As retail establishment. remains optimistic that the area will even doing anything wrong. Rated Gold Buyer in South Florida 18677 W. Dixie Hwy Aventura Fl 33180305.705.9600 Global Jewelry Buying House Diamonds and Watches from the Public. Buyers of Gold Filled and Sterling Silver. Largest Gold Buying Dealer in South Florida. TT okyo ValentinoContinued from page 51

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56 Street. (The other two Oasis locations, The outcome, happily, could be a great neighbors at Legion. The parks natural beauty will almost demand patrons stop to enjoy dips, and the best juices in town, according to Friedrich, musical entertainment, and cooking every month. For those who overindulge, every Saturday too. new location: We really hope that people will be able to stay and socialize more. It happens on the crazy, hectic corner we are kets visit the BT MarketsContinued from page 52 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 January to April. In the southwest corner of the intersection of Douglas Road (37th Avenue) and Grand Avenue. Approximately 3701 Grand Avenue; Miami, FL 33133. 786.573.0180 Contact Dave Trujillo via email. rootsinthecity.com (on Facebook) Coconut Grove: Glaser Organic Farmers Market Saturdays, 10am to 7pm. Open all year. South Floridas oldest organic produce market; a place where people can learn and explore a true vegan market. 3300 Grand Avenue; Coconut Groove, FL 33133. 305.238.7747 Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews glaserorganicfarms.com (on Facebook) Coral Gables: University of Miami Farmers Market Wednesdays, 9am to 2pm. Open seasonally from October to April. At the Foote Green between Starbucks & the Richter Library. 1300 Memorial Drive; Coral Gables, FL 33124. 305.531.0038 Yelp Reviews themarketcompany.org South Miami Harvest Market Saturdays, 9am to 2pm. Open seasonally from November to June. EBT purchases doubled for the rst $10. At the South Miami City Hall. About 4 blocks southwest of the South Miami Metrorail station. 6130 Sunset Drive; South Miami, FL 33143. Contact Lydia at 786.233.2784 or via email. Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews harvestmarkets.org (on Facebook) West Miami: Norman Brothers Monday to Satur day, 8am to 7pm, Sundays 9am to 6pm. 7621 SW 87th Avenue; Miami, FL 33173. 305.274.9363 Yelp Reviews normanbrothers.com (on Facebook) KK e y Biscayne Farmers Market Saturdays, 7am to 4pm. Open seasonally from January to March. At the Key Biscayne Community Church. 355 Glen ridge Road; Key Biscayne, FL 33149. 305.531.0038 themarketcompany.org Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market Sundays, 9am2pm. Open all year. MiamiDades largest farmers market, located in the Pinecrest Gardens Park (site of the old Parrot Jungle). Note: Bee Heaven Farm booth takes EBT (not doubled). 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest; FL 33156. 305.531.0038 Local Harvest Reviews Yelp Reviews pinecrest-.gov (on Facebook) Cutler Bay Farmers Market Sundays, 8am to 3pm. Open all year. At Old Cutler Road and SW 87th Avenue. 20002 Old Cutler Road; Cutler Bay, FL 33190. Call 786.486.0202 or contact via email. cutlerbay.net (on Facebook) Miami-Dade Market ListContinued from page 52

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Arts ChallengeContinued from page 54 Miami World Cinema Center Year: 2008 Amount: $750,000 To assist the prosperity of the Miamis independent lm community by establishing an extensive institute for connecting, funding and advising local lm makers. Miami Light Project: Here & Now Festival Year: 2008 Amount: $200,000 To increase the development of original, locally produced performance art through expanding the accomplished Here & Now Festival.Gold Coast Jazz Society: First Friday Jazz Jams Year: 2008 Amount: $18,000 To launch free, monthly jazz jam sessions where students of all levels can play alongside professionals.Sweat Records, Inc. Year: 2009 Award: $150,000 This grant will help Sweat Records, a store and community resource that oers live per formances, lm screenings and an art gallery, strengthen and expand its cultural oerings. Michael Bell: Scholastic Writing Awards Program Year: 2010 Award: $20,000 Through an aliation with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Writing Awards Program will help identify and motivate young writers. Bas Fisher Invitational: Weird Miami Bus Tours Year: 2011 Award: $100,000 Bas Fisher Invitational will oer a behind the scenes look at the city and its artistic oerings by expanding the popular, artistled Weird Miami bus tours, which introduce locals, as well as tourists, to lesser-known places and cultural projects. Bridge Red Studios Project Space: LongStanding Local Artists Get New Spotlight on Their Work Year: 2011 Award: $15,000 Bridge Red Studios Project Space will give new exposure to long-standing artists by providing a space to exhibit their works and ideas. rfrrfntffbrf fttfrfnrrnrtntnnrf frnrrrnrfntbn rrfn t rrtb ffttftffn t t ft rftnrr n rbbrrbb rrbbbrfbrrb rtfn never wrote them down. We polled people required you to write it down and send it to people we spoke to said Yes. The Knight Foundation is acceptwww.KnightArts.org. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to apply. Applicants can learn more by speaking with Dennis Scholl at a town hall meeting pate in a live web chat regarding the Chal lenge by visiting www.KnightArts.org on A Sampling of Knight Arts Challenge Winners

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEChronic Failure on Miamis Mean StreetsTwo decades of wrongheaded policy have done nothing to help Miamis homelessBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorBack on January 18, Barbara Bobbie Ibarra, executive director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, wrote an Other Views piece for the Miami Herald She led off with this: Our community is in the throes of a homelessness epidemic. All of the shelters in Miami-Dade County are full. Desperate people with no place to spend the night are regularly told to call back later by overburdened outreach workers who have no housing to offer sometimes for days on end. The gist of her opinion piece was that affordable housing for destitute families is sorely lacking owing to a shortage of funding. The problem, as Ms. Ibarra sees it, is that the current economic downturn has hit lower-income families the hardest and many are on the verge of becoming homeless. She further stated, As a community, we can no longer ignore their plight. The annual count of Miami-Dades homeless took place a few days later, beginning at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday (January 24) and ending around 3:00 a.m. the next morning. I have participated in these allnight counts, and I can tell you it is quite an endeavor to locate those who have no desire to be located. This years count was reportedly 840 homeless on the streets of the county, including those currently in temporary shelters an increase of 51 people over last years count of 789. Ron Book, chairman of the countys Homeless Trust, opined, It shouldnt be a surprise related to the continued unemployment, foreclosure, and economic status its a spike upward, but its not dramatic. (And the beat goes on) The Herald had its own contribution via an editorial on February 1, in which it warned that housing the homeless in sports facilities was a logistical nightmare that would not address root problems. This in response to state legislators who have uncovered a law on the books requiring professional sports facilities that were built with government funds to house the homeless when there are no events taking place. The Herald called this an obscure 23-year-old law that few, if any, classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature.

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municipalities have enforced. In closing, the paper pointed out that the law does little to offer stability, hope, and a way of homelessness, and asked the legislature to look at ways to help people out of homelessness not stunts for headlines. Did the Herald offer any constructive alternatives? Nope, not a one. Then on the front page of the papers local section on February 7 was an article on how the City of Hollywoods leaders have turned their focus to cleaning up Federal Highway, a corridor beset by crime and homelessness. Notice how crime and homelessness are linked in such a way to suggest that, if youre homeless, youre most likely associated with crime. This effort, regardless of how misguided it may appear to be, is the result of the failure to address the real issue. You see, its not the people in dire straits because of the economic downturn who make up the lions share of the recent count of 840. Its the chronically homeless those who are mentally ill, alcoholics, drug addicts, or in many cases, all three rolled into one. Back in November of 2007, I penned a column in this publication titled How to Solve the Homeless Problem: First Admit Failure, Then Vow to Get It Right This Time. I received a lot of backlash for my insensitivity toward the subject, but the points I made back then are still true today. When you look at the Website for succinct mission statement for the organization: To Eliminate Homelessness in Miami-Dade County. Period. End of mission statement. End homelessness not mitigate it down to an acceptable level of 1000 or so, more or less, give or take. Yet I submit to you that, for an organization that has been in existence since 1993, it is no closer to solving the problem of chronic homelessness today than it was 20 years ago. The reason, as I see it, is that you cannot solve the issue of the chronically homeless by implementing a plan, such as the Continuum of Care program, which provides individuals with shortterm, mid-term, and long-term care. It is continually touted as the saving grace for our homeless epidemic, when it does not address the problems of the chronically homeless. In fact, most of the chronically homeless do not qualify to enter the Continuum of Care program because they are unable to comply with the basic requirements. Back in 1943, a behavioral psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow published an academic paper that suggested a hierarchy of needs, positing before reaching for the next level of needs. At the very bottom of the hierarchy are the basic needs air, water, food, sleep, and excretion needed to sustain life. These needs are exactly what the chronically homeless devote their days to their mission statement, if you will. It is what all of us call survival and what most of us take for granted, but for the chroni cally homeless, it is these fundamentals that drive them day in and day out. The next level of Maslows hierarchy includes shelter and clothing. Beyond these needs are income, conformity, interpersonal dynamics, quality circles, goals, and objectives. I think you get my point. As the old saying goes: When you are up to your ass in alligators, its is to drain the swamp! This communitys population of chronically homeless desperately needs our help, but the help they are offered falls far short of addressing their needs. We are treating the problem with the wrong cure, folks! Its been 20 years and we still have 1000 chronically homeless people on our streets. Its way past time to recognize that this problem is not going away under our current approach. Its time to form a task force made up of appropriate professionals to address the problem and fund an effective treatment for this segment of the homeless population. And that brings us full circle to the Homeless Trust and its mission statement to Eliminate Homelessness in Miami-Dade County. The question is whether the trust is up to the task, or will we continue to hear the same old recitations of how wonderful the Continuum of Care program is, and how much worse off we would be if it did not exist? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGE TT he T T hrift of G G a bOur correspondent talks through her second-hand addictionBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorIts Super Bowl Sunday. Most people are sitting in front of a television sports trivia. need between me and a spot on bad reality a junk drawer. Im referring to an entire is Fred Sanfords dream room. Start at my apartment near downtown Troy Davidson in Alices Adventures in Wonderland/Photo by Pavel Antonov, 2010 Now through March 11rfn tb rfnt BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Each geographic locale offers its specialties, and the thrift located dangerously too close to my house is no exception. Anyone who loves Caribbean all their walls following a few visits. Its also a practical stop for people who want to send cheap clothing and house items back to relatives in Haiti. Me? I never tire of the oddities in housewares (creepy clown tea party set, anyone?) and the designer clothes and bags, sometimes brand-new, on the cheap. Mostly. While the prices are reasonable on most items, sometimes the thrift workers get it completely wrong. Example: Im not paying $4.50 for a ratty T-shirt when I can snag an equivalent for less new at a retailer. The real appeal of the thrift is psychological. And that is precisely why it is addictive. See, the true thrifter is not just there to grab a few crystal candlestick holders. Its not like those people dont exist; its just that they are shoppers, not addicts And you usually dont spot them more than once. The Thrifting Addict personal ity possesses a few key elements. Just like there is a quiz to determine if you is a Thrifting Addict test. Questions include: How often do you visit the thrift? (Im there six days, maybe seven days a week.) Do you buy things that you not only dont need but that also are completely ridiculous? (Creepy clown tea party set, anyone?) Can you just walk away? (No.) Are there any rituals you practice pre-thrifting? (I must park on the right side of the store.) Do you ever feel ashamed of your thrifting? (Often.) Have friends or family noticed a change in your personality? (Hard to tell. I have many!) Are your friends fellow thrifters? (Some.) The thrill of the hunt, which is the key to the addiction, never ends because every TA (Thrifting Addict) worth their bins of crap recognizes the magical sound of the cart rolling out. The cart means new stuff is arriving. Employees load the stuff onto the carts throughout the day. Unlike garage sales, you can score at the thrift at any time of day. Some rude TAs dive-bomb the cart as the employee is trying to roll it down the center of the store aisle. At some thrifts, this behavior will get you thrown out as it should! Every community has its rules of conduct. Thrifting is no exception, and poor thrifting etiquette is frowned upon. This includes overly pushy or grabby hands. There is one Thrifting Enthusiast (TE) Ive seen several times, but he isnt there often enough to qualify as a TA. around Halloween, when he snatched a shirt right out from under my debating gaze. He then proceeded to sashay around me and push his shopping cart off. But I got my revenge. I saw him one month later and he grabbed a doll. Out of my cart Thats mine! I growled. He gave me a once-over and pranced away. Thrifting Addicts are divided into a few groups. There are the Oglers, who go for the entertainment value; the Collectors, who scout particular items; the Converters, such as myself, who like to buy crap and make it into art; and the Resellers. While I fall into every group but the Resellers (and that is only befriends who fall into others. There is 72-year-old Josephine, who likes to kill time and shop for her grandkids. Shes 80 percent Ogler and 20 percent Collector. Rob is 95 percent Reseller. He looks for pottery he can resell at the Lincoln Road antique market and snags an occasional T-shirt for himself. While Ive made friends with many of the TAs and the employees, there are a few Resellers who run in and out. Its all about business for them. The Huncher is one. The Huncher is an older man who, despite his troll-like posture, moves quickly and stealthily among the housewares. He and Rob are competitors, while Rob and I work together. (I give him leads.) The Huncher is a sour dude, but Josephine and I chat. When I took two days off, she noticed. I know the employees schedules, and Im wise to who dishes the good discounts. Membership has its privileges. Oops! Speaking of the thrift, Im running late. Its nearly noon and I dont know what Im missing. And I really need another dinosaur-shaped tissue cozy. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: BISCAYNE PARKBook EE m, BP!Worried about crime? Village police are on the caseBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorSome readers may recall that, roughly a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote about someone attempting to break in to my tool shed. I didnt actually see this unfold, but the latch that holds the lock in place had obviously been worked on. Knowing that there had been a recent burglary of a nearby house and that crooks often use tools taken from sheds and garages to then break in to the main house I called the Biscayne Park Police Department. The response was immediate. Then Capt. Tony Sanchez who has since moved on to the Opa-locka Police Department came out and surveyed the scene, did a walk-around my property, and alerted me to some changes I may want to make, like installing security lights with motion detectors, trimming my trees to improve visibility of my property from the street, and locking my gates. The police department also put my house on a watch list, which meant that, for the next few weeks, it got a little At that point, my wife and I had only lived in Biscayne Park for about nine months and hadnt had much direct contact with the police department. (One notable exception: Lt. Betsy Albert helped me install the baby seat in my car when I had to go to the hospital to pick up my wife and newborn son.) The episode residents already know: Our police de partment is one of our biggest assets. In fact, I have since come to the conclu sion that, if local government ran as smooth ly as our police department, Id have very little to gripe about. (What would become of this column?) Which is not to say that crime has disappeared from Biscayne Park and the surrounding area. On the contrary, it seems to be the hot topic of conversation, including in the pages of this publication; Miami Shores correspondent Jen Karetnick wrote about our sister villages struggles with lawlessness in last months BT The difference in Biscayne Park is that, apparently, we do a very good job of collaring our criminals. So good that we may want to come up with a new slogan to put on our Dont Even Think About Speeding signs: Dont Even Think About Committing a Crime Here. The following dispatches were taken (and slightly edited) from police reports and e-mails sent to Biscayne Park residents and members of the village Crime 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

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six weeks of this year, when the arrests seemed to come quicker than usual. They make for entertaining read ing, and not only because of the chiefs Dragnet -style prose. Theyre proof that our criminals luckily are pretty dumb. (Youre going to ride a bike near the place you stole it from the week before? Really?) Theyre also a remind er that our police department is doing great work. Cue the music Dum-da-dum-dum : Thursday, January 12 In the month of December we had a very active criminal who had entered four cars at night in the village that may have been left open. The subject removed change and other valuables. I am extremely pleased to report that, as a result of Commander [Ray] Atesianos hard work and perseverance while investigating these vehicle burglaries, he was able to identify an offender and, last night at about 9:00 p.m., Commander Atesiano did arrest an adult male and charged him with four counts of auto burglary. A stolen GPS and iPod were recovered from the offender. Tuesday, January 17 Public Works Director [Bernard] Pratt and Assistant Director [Cesar] Hernandez distinguished themselves in the line of duty today.   Director Pratt, while making his rounds, observed vandalism in progress to a street sign. He saw a young male tagging one of our signs with permanent magic marker at 121st Street and NE 6th Avenue. Director Pratt and Assistant Director Hernandez got police to respond while watching the subject.   We arrived on scene and took the 19-year-old into custody and charged him with one count of criminal vandalism. Both directors are a true credit to the village and continued proof that our innovative program, Village of Biscayne Park on Patrol [VBPOP] in which vil lage employees help the police department identify suspicious activity continues to work for the betterment of the community. Wednesday, January 18 On Sunday night, at approximately 7:00 p.m., a burglary occurred in a home in the 11900 block of NE 11th Place.   The offenders were captured on video via the homes security monitoring system.   Commander Atesiano and on the case and were able to identify two juveniles that committed the crime. These same two were arrested previ ously for the same crime in the village. The two reside in the area of the 1300 block of NE 119th Street and simply walked over the tracks to enter our community to commit cer Dayoub arrested these two juveniles and two others last night at 7:00 p.m. Two subjects were charged with the residential burglary.   Two were charged with trespass on the railroad tracks based on our recently passed initiative with Florida East Coast Railway [enforcing a no trespassing statute on the FEC corridor]. We continue to get calls concerning trespassing on the railroad tracks. We en courage all residents to call the police when they see anyone walking or crossing the FEC tracks. Its both dangerous and illegal. Monday, January 23 Last week a residential burglary occurred in the 1200 block of 119th Street. A bike was stolen from the front porch of a home, next to the front door.   O n Sunday, the resident victim observed a young male riding the bike that had been stolen and called police. and, after a brief time, located the subject nearby and detained him.   The victim ty.   The 18-year-old suspect was arrested for burglary and grand theft. He resides in North Miami, in the 1200 block of 113th Street, just over the FEC tracks. Friday, February 3 In December, a residential burglary oc curred in the 800 block of NE 119th Street. Commander Atesiano worked a strong lead that resulted in the arrest of four subjects. The subjects were (1) a juvenile with a lengthy arrest record, (2) an adult career criminal, (3) a convicted sexual offender, and (4) a village resident who is a convicted felon. All are now in jail. Note: For all emergencies, residents should call 911. To report suspicious activity, call 305-476-5423 (305-4-police). For more information about Biscayne Parks Crime Watch program, e-mail coordinator Chuck Ross at biscaynepark_ crimewatch@yahoo.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aARR ating the R R o und Dough Who has Aventuras best bagels?By Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorThe ritual began when I lived in Manhattan. Purchasing a dozen bagels at Ess-a-Bagel or Pick a Bagel, leaving the store and, as Id start the seven-block trek home (on foot, of course), Id open the bag jammed with steaming hot bagels, and tear into the one closest to the top. Oh, the pleasure it brought. I can still taste the salt, the pumpernickel, and the garlic, feel the texture of the sesame seeds as they cracked between my teeth in each bite of my everything bagel, which was always in the mix. It went like this: three everything, three sesame, two plain, two salt, a pumpernickel, and a whole wheat. To this day, a warm, fresh bagel is still one of my favorite things in the world to eat. Only now, Ive traded the streets of Manhattan for the strip malls of South Florida. And only 50 percent of the time am I walking and ripping, the other 50 percent of tear time is spent in my or my husbands car. And thats not always as pleasant as I want it to be. Why? Because crumbs breed contempt. And with a new car in the picture, neither crumbs nor seeds of bagel no matter how careful I am he reminds me: My car. Dont make crumbs. Although I understand why, it still takes the pleasure out of it. Insert big heavy sigh. But I digress. Let me get back to the point. Be it boiled or baked, made with water or air, bagels are a serious staple of my diet, and many other peoples as well. exactly, but styles and techniques used to create them. Think about the options. Bagels can be big, small, heavy, light, cakey, breadlike, doughy, thin, thick, yeasty, crusty,

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soggy, dry I could go on, but I think its safe to assume that you know and love all these options, as I do. Bagels are an art. And for every style of bagel, there are devotees and there are disbelievers, fans and foes. Which ever way you lean, it matters. Bagels are important enough to evoke some form of emotion, discussion, and opinion. Since I eat one almost every day, I am acutely aware of what works, what doesnt, and who sells what. Within Aventuras 2.7 square miles of land (and just in case anyones interested, Aventura has a total of 3.5 square miles; 0.8 square miles is water), there is an abundance of bagel shops. Ive seen them come and go. I live within walking distance of three of the top four. Im not counting local bakeries, nor would I ever consider Publix or Costco. With so many, how do you choose? If it comes down to it, its simply what you like best. Its not about service, cookies, or cream cheese (although Im always on the lookout for an aboveaverage nova spread), nor baked salmon, atop the baked foundation of a delicious and satisfying meal. So lets take a tour and rate each place purely on its bagels. Where do those in the know go in Aventura for the best bagels? Over the past seven days, I have purchased and eaten sesame and everything bagels from almost a halfmy opinions. So whether you like your bagels hollowed out or straight up, heres Mos Bagels & Deli: 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555. With deep roots in this community, Mos is my favorite, hands down. If you like big, heavy bagels, this is your place. Since we arent talking about anything beyond bagels, the toppings are plentiful, the shape is always imperfect (which I love), so crispiness to the crust that gives way to a sinfully doughy inside. On the Yum Scale, it gets a 5 out of 5. Bagel Cove: 19003 Biscayne Blvd., 305-935-4029. As part of the neighborhood for a long time, Bagel Cove is usually a good runner-up to Mos. I must have hit it on a day when the cook was feeling lazy. There werent enough toppings on the everything bagel, and the sesame was a bit dark (almost overcooked). Usually the bagels are a good size, heavy, and satisfying. Toppings are generously applied and evenly distributed. On the Yum Scale, it gets a 3.5. Bagelworks: 18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727. New to the neighborhood, this is a place I feel I should like more than I do, but there is something off. It feels generic. The bagels, which are a bit smaller than Mos, seem mass-produced. They dont taste bad, but the toppings tend to be inconsistently applied. And while usually properly cooked, on the day of my purchase, they were on the well-done side. The other thing Ive noticed is that, no matter how many times I try to get there when the bagels are warm, they never are. I want to bite into a fresh, warm bagel, and this place cannot deliver. On the Yum Scale, it rates a 2.5. Mish Mash Bagel: 3565 NE 207th St., 305-935-1809. I found this one much later in the game, like the very day I was writing this column, and despite some less-than-positive online reviews, I took the dog and the husband, hopped in the infamously crumb-free car, and drove over. As I walked into the shop, baskets of bagels were sitting out in the open, just waiting for me to come and select my very own. Anyone who knows me knows that Im a control freak, so imagine my joy as I took tongs in hand and began inspecting before selecting each bagel. Its amazing how the little things matter. The bins made me really happy. It felt like it was going to be a good experience. But what about the bagels? After all, isnt that what I came for? These were different from all the other bagels. These were light in weight, and tasted yeasty. I didnt dislike them, but they werent my favorite. The sesame was a bit overcooked, and the everything was lacking in toppings. (Not as much an everything as it could have been.) On the Yum Scale, I give them a 2.0. Let me know about your own bagel experiences. Im sure we could go round and round all day. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIPositively 125th Street North Miamis downtown drag may nally be turning the corner By Mark Sell BT ContributorThe word that best describes North Miamis 125th Street is eclectic Trophy and tuxedo stores jostle for attention with hair salons, tattoo parlors, immigration services, and a fresh gaggle of slick-packaged, mid-20th century dcor stores and galleries, the latest key Hows the renaissance coming along? One possible answer: Its organic and bumpy, but generally heading the right way. Fourteen of the above-mentioned dcor galleries have cropped up, most of them in the past 18 months, turning the north side of the street, between NE 7th and 9th avenues, into 20th Century Row. The MOCA Caf is on track to open soon near it namesake, the Museum of Contemporary Art. At the northwest corner of NE 9th Avenue, Cane Sucre (Sugar Cane), the new gourmet soupand-sandwich shop, opened late last year, and is packing them in at a site that had been a restaurant graveyard. People who saw this street when we opened in 1996 remarked how desolate it seemed, says Bonnie Clearwater, executive director and chief curator of the city-owned MOCA. MOCA dominates 125th Street like a mother ship, and is currently preparing a $14 million expansion with a projected 2014 completion date, as money allows. Whats happening here is amazing, Clearwater continues. There has been a lot of progress. Its great to see spaces fully rented. Those rents remain cheap, sometimes running $12 a square foot, or even less. verdict is mixed. Unlike say, Wynwood, dominated by developer-landlords Tony Goldman and David Lombardi, no single coordinated group governs 125th Streets transformation. The mid-20th century dcor places ing from Wynwood, the antique shops in Miamis Upper Eastside, the Design District, and South Beach. Its a narrow range of retail establishments, but its a big component in the emerging North Miami art scene. South Beach long ago yielded to sky-high rents, as the franchises booted out the mom-and-pops. Midtown and the Design District are brimming with franchises and restaurants. Wynwood rents BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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have shot up, leading some galleries to hunt for cheaper, larger spaces. North Miami has yet to follow those trajectories, but the artists have certainly landed. Renowned sculptor Mark Handforth, at MOCAs behest, has graced Electric Tree installing more than 60 green and yellow neon lights in the parks huge banyan tree. Widely respected artist Robert Thiele now operates Bridge Red Studios and exhibition space just off 125th Street. Rather by accident, North Miami has created its own brand of funk, with assort ments of businesses found few other places. The merchants association numbers no more than 25, dominated by galleries. They compete with rich assortment of businesses. You have ID Tattoo and munity Services, Tuxedos and Bridal Gowns by Sassy amid 20th Century Row, along with Mr. Trophy and assorted nail salons, beauty parlors, barbers, immigration and tax-preparation services, notary publics, cobblers, cell phone shops, and health clinics. walking poodles, and Brazilo-Eurozone couples wearing Versace sunglasses, crawling among the modernism stores, checking out those $8500 chairs and other objets ddesire The new organic farmers market which sets up in front of MOCA on Thursdays is a hit, with Indonesian food and wood-burning pizza joining the produce and honey. At the venerable Luna Star Caf across the street, you can listen to live folk, bluegrass, or blues. The $6 beers carry names like Zywiec Lager and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. The street and museum have attracted international notice, with MOCA New York Times and Luna Star making a prominent appearance in a February 5 Washington Post Global designers visit such decorative Stripes, Marc Corbin, and Gustavo Oliv ieri. Were attracting top decorators from Its pretty great. Were getting more 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 rfrntb tnnr rfntbtbrr rr Sinuhe Vega, who, with his brother Michael, recently opened Cane Sucre, developing a following from nearby doc between. They have imported much of their mainstay salad, sandwich, and soup menu from their popular Uva 69 restaurant at Biscayne and 69th Street. The opening of Cane Sucre is a real turning point in But if theres optimism, theres also some dissension within the ranks. Susan Cutler, owner of the well-regarded Vermillion gallery, is situated right across from the farmers market and is not happy about it. Shed rather see tables with umbrellas trucks offering al fresco menus. Shed also like to see a few more restaurants light in front of MOCA, providing more direct access to her side of the street. I the street, and were not seeing as much Sucre was a great addition, but there need Some of the galleries lament that high-end direct buyers are bypassing the decorators and insisting on wholesale prices. The result, say some, is more that the many small landlords, who just choosier about their tenants. We left the 87th Street antiques plaza because there was critical mass Gustavo Olivieri, a gallery that takes up a 2000-square-foot space abandoned by Starbucks in 2008. We believe competition is good and healthy, and there is a Bonnie Clearwaters wish list is for a more coordinated marketing effort along 125th Street, where merchants in all their jumbled variety are otherwise too busy essary for activism and collective marketing. Indeed it may be that 125th Streets Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sSAA Way to Wine Down So many springtime food and drink festivals can make an otherwise trying time of year seem much less soBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorThis time of year makes me want to run away from home. The mangos in Miami Shores are in full bloom, drizzling pollen on our car windshields and promising sinus infections to the allergy-prone, followed by a labor-intensive summer. The students I teach at Miami Arts Charter (and the ones I live with who attend Miami Country Day School) are restless for spring break, which is no break for me, given that every year I escort a student to Tallahassee for the Poetry Out Loud state recitation competition. This is also when spring travel soccer heats up. Both the girls and boys Miami Shores Futbol Club teams, run by director David Ocampo, have done extraordinarily well this year, with the under11 boys winning divisionals after an undefeated season and the under-12 girls taking the Weston Cup. But the better these kids do, the more we parents are required to drive them to early-morning, weekend-long tournaments held anywhere from Cutler Ridge to Orlando and cheer them on. Moreover, the constant merry-goround of February and March festivals the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, the Miami International Boat Show, the upcoming Ultra Music Festival draw such an enormous amount of out-oftowners that the roads are as closely packed as bodies on a beach. More people, however temporary, means longer lines at Publix, an increase in visitors to our healthcare facilities, and stressful commutes to and from work. (The new crosswalks installed on Biscayne Boulevard in the Upper Eastside dont help; theyre only allowing the prostitutes extra minutes to show off their wares.) It may be the best time to visit South Florida, but weather aside, for those of us in little suburban villages like the Shores, it can be the worst time to live here. Wine and Food Festival (SBWFF) to be especially demanding on my time and the local sponsoring magazine ( Miami Magazine, from Modern Luxury), Im delighted to rep my publication. But all those people having a blast remind me only that Im supposed to be working

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(if not taking notes or pictures, then at home, writing it up). And I can see that not just the working press, but Miamians feel pressure, too to score as many tickets as they can, then soak up every minute at every possible event. Its a hard way to have any fun. In addition, starting in the fall of 2013, Ill be pushing my own cookbook at events like this. That, quite frankly, scares me. The increasingly madding crowds at the SBWFF (and other events like it, such as the Food Network New York City Food and Wine Festival) can make even the most hardcore transplant, no matter how well shes thrived, feel like the palest bloom in the garden. Perhaps it makes sense, then, that I feel a bit more comfortable at underthe-radar (but closer-to-the-equator) wine-and-food events like the Food and Wine Experience coming up this April in St. Croix, which, like the SBWFF, is 11 years old this year (www.stcroixfoodandwine.com), or the newly introduced Caribbean Food and Wine Festival in the Turks and Caicos (www.caribbeanfoodandwinefestivaltci.com). At the latter, where the Grace Bay Club and Veranda resorts provide every guest with a personal butler and a welbottles of rum paired with chocolates, the fte is intimate, with events geared to hundreds, rather than thousands, of in vited guests. The pleasures, like the handrolled cigars to be savored while you work your feet into the sand, are more subtle, but the dramas are also less infuriating. (They may not always have the correct glassware, but Mot Hennessy wont run out of Champagne by 8:30 p.m., either.) Thats not to say there arent celebri ties, or that the invited winemakers arent superior. At the 2012 St. Croix Experi ence, for instance, James Beard Rising Star Chef Sue Zemanick, our own Top Chef alum Howie Kleinberg, proprietor of Bulldog Barbecue and Bulldog Burger in North Miami, and Govind Armstrong, among others, will be in attendance; in the Turks and Caicos this past September, some of the most generously poured vin tages stemmed from the prestigious Nick els and Nickels and Semper vineyards. Still, these overlooked Caribbean destinations, which arent much farther away than the Bahamas, offer the feel of a vacation, even if youre there for work. 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 I guess a private butler and winemaker guests will do that for you. If springing for an island retreat in our so-called recovering economy is out of the question, or your work or kids schedules wont allow it, consider another, ever-more-personal wine experience that can be tailored to your Miami Shores home life: a Wines for Humanity tasting event. My friend Tabitha hosted this at the height of the SBWFF, and it was a relief to attend a house party where I was ensured a glass of wine without having to elbow a stranger in the back for it (or being elbowed in return). And it was all in the name of good works. In short, Wines for Humanity (www. winesforhumanity.com), for as little as $70, will send a wine advisor to your house with six vintages that you choose beforehand from their cellars. They also provide glassware, tasting sheets, pens, and a whole lot of expertise. They then guide you and your guests through a two-hour tasting. All you need to do is come up with some willing sippers and a plate of cheese and crackers. At the end of the tasting, the wines are available for order. They average around $20 a bottle, which isnt that average wine shop. Unlike the nearest liquor store, however, Wines for Humanity is dedicated to preventing homelessness in families with children. Thus much of the companys proceeds are donated. In Miami, for instance, funds raised from wine tastings and subsequent sales go to Camillus House. We should also keep in mind that the International Universitys Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and that the festival (without counting 2012) has raised $14 million to date. So however you decide to celebrate or escape the festivities next year, you can at least be sure your money is going to a good place. Then, if you still require the services of a private butler, well, there are always those hospitality students, willing to do almost anything to get the right kind of training. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Culture: THE ARTSThe FabricatorWhen artists need help realizing their visions, they turn to Oliver Sanchez By Anne Tschida BT ContributorOliver Sanchez is likely the most artist youve never heard of. But youve seen his handiwork, thats for sure. He built those towering Kids sculptures in the courtyard of the Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) in the Design District, for instance, although they are the concept and design of artists Roberto Behar and Rosario mance here, which were conceived by Daniel Arsham; or various sculptures from Bert Rodriguez. No, these prominent artists arent stealing Sanchezs work, or appropriating it. Sanchez is what they call in the art world a fabricator, someone who is hired to make ambitious artistic dreams happen through skilled knowledge of materials, structure, physical dynamics, and other intricacies that most people dont know or cant handle. And Sanchez is one of the best around. He is also an artist himself. In fact he likely wouldnt have the ability to collaborate with others if he didnt possess that particular spirit. Hes worked around the globe. On this bright weekday afternoon in February, Sanchez is taking a cafecito break, both from work and from the process of moving. Hes been hauling his old Design District studio and exhibition space to his new one, also in the Design District, in a building again owned by During this pause in activities, it becomes clear that Sanchez has lived a fascinating life during his tenure in the art world, which spans a wide variety of locations, eras, and personalities. His soon-to-be-former gallery on NE 1st Court, which he named Swampspace, had become a hangout for established and novice artists, a place where he could present off-beat exhibits in the tiny storefront space. But the block that Swampspace inhabited, along with other notable galleries such as Spinello, Locust Projects, Dimensions Variable, as well as several artists studios, is slated for demolition to make room for more viable comNovember 2011), as early as this month. Sanchez is philosophical about this change, and about all changes. Nothing can or should be static, says the Cuban-born artist who grew up in of the emerging and emerged artists of the region over the years, although he admits he recently has slowed down per sonally and professionally. Back in 1977, things were much more hectic and crazy. Thats when Sanchez moved to New tural backwater and the Big Apple was The Peace Project rf ntbrnbrrfCity of Miami residents receive 20% discount on on-street Pay By Phone parking. Not valid with other discount programs. To register contact MPA Customer Service.

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a hotbed of experimental art. They called it the Coolest Day in Hell, Sanchez says of the era when blackouts and crime dominated headlines, but when a still-gritty Manhattan was the center of the artistic universe in music, theater, television, and the visual arts. While Sanchez was working as a commercial artist, he met many of the key players in this seething cauldron. One person he began collaborating with and fabricating for inspired artist Kenny Scharf. Eventually, as the heady days morphed into something darker, such as the rise of a gluttonous Wall Street culture and the ravages of AIDS, Sanchez was persuaded by Scharf to move to a new, unvarnished locale, South Beach. Although Sanchez was re here, after all, and it wasnt exactly happening this turned out to be another fortuitous move. The year was 1992, and artists such as Antoni Miralda, Carlos Betancourt, and others were carving out a niche for the visual arts. By 1996 Sanchez was working for the newly minted MOCA in North Miami, and living with his wife and small daughter up on 129th Street, ing moment touted as the new art hub, until a hurricane damaged many of the buildings, Wynwood took off, and deals were being extended to artists to locate further south. Robins, a force behind the revitalization of South Beach, knew that the arts could jump-start a decrepit neighborhood, and began offering steeply discounted rents to lure creative talents to his new hood, the Design District. Eventually Sanchez and Swampspace would be among them. By this time, Sanchezs expertise in materials such as Styrofoam and plaster ingredients essential for largescale sculpture was invaluable. He helped the team of Roberto and Rosario construct not only the Kids sculptures but also their fabulous House of Cards solo exhibit at the Miami Art Museum, and most recently an installation involving a brilliant star at the Contemporary Museum of Art Denver. He has crafted of Miami-groomed artists, people like Martin Oppel, Bahkti Baxter, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, and Bert Rodriguez. And he still works with Kenny Scharf. Now Sanchez is setting up his shop, which will include an alternative exhibition space, in a former Christian community center and day school on 41st Street in the Design District. And once again his landlord is Craig Robins. Sanchez has no problem with the developers business decision to rebuild his old neighborhood. Robins isnt here to subsidize artists forever, Sanchez says, but he still clearly has an interest in keeping artists in the area. So in this quirky and spacious new spot, Sanchez has transplanted his own paintings and memories. As a farewell week exhibition in February featuring many of the artists he has collaborated with, and whose work was exhibited in the storefront over the years. Aside from the previously mentioned artists, they included Naomi Fisher, COOPER, Friends With You, Nicolas Lobo, and Jim Drain, among others a roster that encompasses Miamis current art scene. Sanchez believes that Miami has come a long way in its artistic maturation, but that it still has a distance to artists can live and work and show here, but the process needs to move forward and not rely on the same collectors and new blood, is always necessary, he says. of the most important people in his life passed away, and after his own surgery, the affable Sanchez is taking it a little easy with his new home. Hes extremely proud at Cooper Union; and these days he can pretty much pick and choose his projects, while also concentrating on his own art. Still, he hopes students continue to utilize his studio as a learning center, as they have in the past, and that a game of dominoes with whomever stops by for a coffee remains a priority. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com A Common Courtesy, Nunsmoke [T ruly the light is sweet]

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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 March 3: Flesch and Blood by Heather Nevay March 10 through April 12: New Paintings by David Michael Bowers 12345 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami 305-895-2553 www.dixieimageworks.com March 10 through April 15: Simply China by Nancy Brown ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Ongoing: Natures Pulse by Debra Holt Through March 9: Nine with various artists ACND GALLERY OF ART Archbishop Curley High School 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Through April 4: Degrees, Far from Paradise by Benjamin Rusnak ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-587-0172 www.albertolinerogallery.com Through March 31: Awakening with Pedro Sandoval, Matachos Art, Fred Mou, Santiago Betancur, Dario, and Luis Jimenez ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ FINE ARTS 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through March 30: Things-in-the-Air by Pachi Giustinian 750 NE 124th St., North Miami 305-975-6933 www.alonsored.com Call gallery for exhibition information ART FUSION 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 May 1: curated by Serge Lemoine 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 March 9 through April 1: HU-MANOS: A Project by W-10 with various artists BAS FISHER INVITATIONAL 180 NE 39th St., Suite 210, Miami Through March 31: 3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com March 10 through April 4: Paula Bronstein, Jahi Chikwendiu, Andr Chung, Alan Diaz, Hector Emanuel, Colin Finlay, Bill Frakes, C.M. Saikat Mojumder, Tom Pennington, Roger M. Richards, Michael Robinson Chavez, Jeffery A. Salter, Maggie Steber, Les Stone, Charles Trainor Jr, Shehab Uddin, and Nuri Vallbona BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through March 9: Levitation by Victor Sydorenko March 10 through April 30: Excel-Art by Alexiy Say 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 Eugene Brown March 10 through April 7: March Gallery Walk & the Design District with Clarice Desouza, Rick Esposito, Sacha Suarez, Rosa Gallardo, Claudine Charles, Nisa Vasquez, Andres Rodriguez, and Fannie Colindres 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com 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 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www .cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com 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 CENTER FOR VISUAL 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www.visual.org Call gallery for exhibition information CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St. #408, Miami 305-292-0411 www.charestweinberg.com March 16 through May 19: Eclipse by Hannes Bend 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 2509 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-357-0568 www.curatorsvoiceartprojects.com Through March 31: 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 DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through March 31: Picaresque with Harumi Abe, Vera Iliatova, and Yui 2000 NE 146th St., North Miami 954-270-7404 www.dezerschauhalle.com Call gallery for exhibition information DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through April 7: The Mantuana of Clemencia Labin by Clemencia Labin archiTECTONICS by Julie Davidow 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 March 30 through April 4: Living Sculpture II (Jamaica-International Cultural Exchange) with Carlos Alejandro, Danny Ramirez, Jacquenette Arnette, Patricia Roldan, Rodney Jackson, Selina Roman, Hugo Moro, Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Nicole Wynter, Vanessa 171 NE 38th St., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net dv@dimensionsvariable.net Call gallery for exhibition information 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through March 30: Short Stories by Guillermo Srodek-Hart

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DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com 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 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 www.elitearteditions.com Through March 5: Gift Boxes by Fabiana Pea March 10 through 31: Latin American Art with Ana Sanz, Fabiana Pea, Hernan Miranda, Santiago Medina, Fabia Nitti, and Magaly Bartola-Otaloa ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 Through March 11: Ecstatic Visions by Andrea Dasha Reich FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through March 17: Rites of Passage by 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 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 Through March 31: Dance This Way by Mikhail Baryshnikov Through April 30: The Grand Latin American Art Show with various artists HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com March 10 through April 7: Games in the Dark by Gladys Triana Untitled by Consuelo Castaeda Gabriela Morawetz and Manuela Covini HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through March 3: Mambo for Cats by Jim Flora IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Call gallery for exhibition information KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through March 8: Swaying in the Jongno-gu with Eun Sook Shin and Jong-Taek Woo KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com March 10 through April 7: Fran Bobadilla and Peggy Hinaekian 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 March 10 through April 7: Double Entendre with Patrick Hughes, Miss-Tic, Daniel Fiorda, Keren, Keith Long, Francisco Sobrino, Joe Neil, Gerard Delafosse, and Robert Blanc LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org March 10 through April 27: Shortness of Breath by Natalya Laskis High, Low and in Between by Emmett Moore MAOR GALLERY 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami http://maormiami.org Through March 23: Gifts by Jason Hedges, curated by Eric CharestWeinberg 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu March 6 through 29: Gender Bender: Evolving Identities 1914-1945 with various artists 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 Through March 30: Brian Trainor Photography by Brian Trainor 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Through March 16: Annual League for Innovation Student Art Competition with various artists Through April 6: Not For Sale with Alena Fresquet, Victor J. Gomez, and Ralph Provisero MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Through April 14: Brand New Heartache by Theodora Allen 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 MYRA GALLERIES 177 NW 23rd St., Miami 631-704-3476 www.myragalleries.com 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 Call gallery for exhibition information NINA TORRES FINE ART 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 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 OM GALLERY 8650 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 21, Miami 305-458-5085 Through March 31: Around the World with various artists ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 www.oncearts.com Call gallery for exhibition information PANAMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through March 31: The Naked Truth: Nudes and Erotica in Art with Joaquin Blez, Claudia Brito Souza, Servando Cabrera Moreno, William Cannings, Raul Corrales, Andrea Cote, Max Delgado, Roberto Diago, Carlos Enriquez, Roberto Fabelo, Leon Ferrari, Julio Girona, Wifredo Lam, Luis Martinez Pedro, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Rene Portocarrero, Mariano Rodriguez, Tracey Snelling, and Paul Stoppi PAREDES FINE ARTS STUDIO 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH of Miami Downtownrf rfntbrfntbr frrnt brrtr rtinfo@fumcmiami.com .rffntbb bb t rf nt nt n r b r Requiem for a Pavilion of Silence

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74 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com Bad As I Wanna Be by Jessy Nite information www.tonywynn.com Patriotica by Tony Wynn avaf Possession by Jerome Soimaud Beauty Business by Erwin Wurm 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com

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Grab a Paddle and GoA March canoe ride off Key Biscayne? It doesnt get better than that. The Cran don Park Bayside Canoe Adventure leaves from 6767 Crandon Blvd. on Saturday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m., and goes until 4:00 p.m. What happens in between is natures treat maybe an encounter with great blue herons, upside shoes and bottled water are recommend ed; reservations are required. Cost is $44 per person. Go to www.miamidade.gov/ ecoadventures.Fresh Italian BeatsWe have an embarrassment of riches in Miami when it comes to cool Latin music, thanks in part to the Rhythm Foundation. This time around, though, the arts org is going Italian, bringing in rapper Jovanotti Hes huge in Europe, by many on this side of the Atlantic. And while his stylings are unique, his hooks are crazy catchy. Jovanotti comes to Grand Central (697 N. Miami Ave.) on Saturday, March 10 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets www.rhythmfoundation.org. One Guy, 100 Years of Show Biz Entertainer and comic George Burns was famous for many things: living to be and the love he had for his partner and wife, Gracie Allen. The two performed in every entertainment medium of the before moving to radio, movies, and television. Say Goodnight, Gracie a Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.), celebrates his career and long life. The show runs from Wednesday, March 14, through Sunday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m., with weekend matinees. Tickets cost $37.50. Go to www.aventuracenter.org.New World Symphony Goes ClubbingThe New World Center (at 17th Street and Washington Avenue in Miami Beach) is a groundbreaker on many of a building has wowed international critics and has also functioned as a town center, drawing audiences of all ages varied programming. Now it wants to mix it up again with Pulse: Late Night at the New World Symphony on Friday, March 23 starting at 9:30 p.m. Blurring the lines between nightclub and concert hall, the event will feature Mercury Soul (a trio made up of conductor Benjamin Schwartz, DJ Mason Bates, and designer Anne Patterson) and the New World nws.edu.Miamis Got TalentAs students coming out of the New World School of the Arts both high school and college garner greater attention for their talent, checking out the annual Rising Stars Showcase On Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m., stellar students of theater, dance, and performance will take the stage at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.). Tickets range from www.nwsa.mdc.edu.A Decade of Drugs and Thugs Filmmakers Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben have been telling unique, contro versial stories of life in Florida through their production company, Rakontur, for a decade. In honor of this anniver Monday, March 26, through Friday, March 30 Each evening will begin with a reception, food, and drinks, followed by a panel discussion after the screening. Rakontur 10-Year Retrospective kicks off with Raw Deal followed by Cocaine Cowboys The U and Square Grouper Friday will feature a conversation with Beyond the Birdcage Gays and lesbians played an integral role in the revitalization of South Beach back in the 1980s. Its rise as a center of art and culture, its Deco preservation and renaissance, its club life, its reputation for being the beautiful peoples capital none of it would have happened without the contributions of the areas vibrant gay and lesbian community. Now you Gay and Lesbian Walking Tour of South Beach which starts at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach), on Saturday, March 31 at 5:00 p.m. go to www.mdpl.org/tours. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Magic in the MoonlightIn the middle of a South Florida winter, some of our most spectacular parks and gardens should never be far from sight. A particularly good time for a visit is when the full moon rises. On Wednesday, March 7 Vizcaya Museum and Moonlight Tour of Vizcaya Gardens beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening includes music and refresh ments. Then, on Thursday, March 8 the Moonlight Tour at Fairchild kicks off at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables). Southern Cross Astronomical Society will offer up spectacular views of the sky through their powerful telescopes from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. For more details, go to www.vizcayamuseum.org or www.fairchildgarden.org, respectively. Curtain Call at the Olympia Olympia Theater, a reminder of an earlier (perhaps even more) glamorous era. Now known as the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, the theater the years. Shes had her ups and downs, but she endures. Now, HistoryMi ami (101 W. Flagler St.) wants everyone to get to know her better, with a backstage guided tour, Hungry for History: Inside the Olympia Theater a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 12 Tickets are $10 for members, $15 Wyntons Jazzy WaysSome guys get to do it all because they can. One of these is Wynton Mar time Grammy winner, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music is also the bandleader of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra which comes to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Per forming Arts (1444 Biscayne Blvd.) on Friday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m., as part of the centers Jazz Roots series. The orchestra, made up of 15 internation ally acclaimed soloists, could just be the best jazz band you will ever hear. www.arshtcenter.org.

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76 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatWatch Those Strippers!7700 Biscayne Blvd. Man was at a newly opened gentlemens club, doing what gentlemen do, when he was approached by a working girl. We gather he was so happy to be noticed that he let his guard down. The working girl asked to see his Rolex and he happily gave it to her. Another woman then distracted him as the one with the watch disappeared. He eventually found the woman to whom hed given his watch, but she claimed to have returned it to him. He contacted management and they told him there may be video of the incident. Thus far, there is no evidence, nor has the watch been recovered. Its those places.A Case of Computer Dating?2600 S. Bayshore Dr. People are very attached to their computers. This person was talking on his computer until midnight, when he fell asleep. He awoke in the morning and found his hotel door open and the main social outlet in his sheltered life missing. Police and victim reviewed video and found no evidence of an intruder, nor did the electronic locking mechanism on the door reveal that it had ever been opened. We can only pray that the victims elecother geek.Chivalry Rhymes with BurglaryNE 2nd Avenue and 75th Street Victim was approached by a distressed young woman who asked to use his cell phone. Seeing her discomfort, he obliged and then took a seat on a bus bench, some reason, he took his wallet out of his pocket and placed it at the other end of the bench, about three feet away. (Thieves bring it on.) Seconds later, victim looked over and the wallet was missing. (Though the young lady did return his cell phone.) The BT advises male romantics to be wary of damsels in distress honorable intentions get you nowhere in this city.High Gas Prices Fuel Pump Rage1 NE 62nd St. Gas prices are driving all of us crazy. This suspect had had enough. Stopping this gas station, he used a crowbar to break into the pump, resulting in $2000 worth of damage. This pump rage caused the station owner to run out of his store, scaring off the suspect, who jumped back in his car and drove away on N. Miami Avenue. In the future, we hope higher gas prices lead to serious consideration of alternative-energy solutions not crowbars. Compiled by Derek McCann

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Were Not Lovin It600 Block of NE 125th Street Woman left the bathroom at McDonalds when she was approached by three males, one of whom was armed with a pink Taser. The men threatened to use it, but she talked them out of it by giving them $60. They told her not to call the police. When she walked out to the bus stop in front of the restaurant, she discovered the suspects were also waiting for the bus. (So much for a getaway car.) She eventually called police, but the incident in question could not be corroborated by McDonalds staff. No arrests have been made. North Miami residents are advised to avoid public restrooms. If nature calls, you need to hold it in. Yes, it has come to that.Wait Our Homeless Have Briefcases?N. Miami Avenue and 38th Street Its horrible to be homeless. Its worse when your support network is composed of thugs. This homeless victim was approached by a man whose face was obscured behind his jacket. He demanded the victims briefcase, then reached into the victims pocket to grab his wallet. The robber said he had a gun. However, just then, a giant wind gust blew the jacket away from the mans face. (Thank God for tropical weather.) The victim recognized him, and realized he did not suspect was arrested.One-Track Mind Leads to the Slammer600 Block of NE 61 Street Man went to feed the ducks behind his home when he was allegedly approached by gun-wielding thugs. The victim, a former convict, handed over his wallet. The thugs then took his probation track ing system. Or so he said. His probation the victim has had numerous incidents since being released from prison, includ ing being the target of a shooting. Turns out, the victim had been harassing a woman by the name of Puffy and had concocted the whole robbery story as a way to rid himself of his tracking device so he could hunt her down. The scam did not work and the so-called victim has been arrested. He should look on the bright side: If Puffy is really interested, A Practical Response to Crime14300 Biscayne Blvd. Crime Beat is frustrated. We have implored Miami and North Miami resi dents not to leave their purses in their light and likely in full view of others, a woman exited her car and left her purse behind. Within minutes, someone broke the passenger-side window and snatched the purse. Ladies, if youre not going to heed our advice about taking your purses with you, how about at least leaving your car windows open so criminal slime no longer have to break them? At least that way youd save some money on glass repair.Stealing Can Be Stressful1100 NE 133rd St. A group of North Miami thugs broke into a residence and stole several high-ticket items, including computer equipment, a scene, but were chased by the owner, who was just arriving home. One of the suspects was eventually caught by police, who discovered the victims wallet inside his book bag. This apparently got to the suspect, who developed a serious case of high blood pressure and had to be transported to Jackson Memorial. He was arrested upon his release from the hospital. You think your legitimate job is stressful? Its nothing compared to the pressure our criminals are feeling good for us!Neighbors Calling On Neighbors600 Block of NE 85th Street Woman was enjoying an afternoon nap when all of a sudden a rock was thrown through her window. She looked outside and saw a male she recognized. It was her former neighbor, who had been an illegal squatter in the next-door apartment and had sold drugs from there. Guess he came by to say hello. Hopefully this woman will move to an area that is crime-free. Unfortunately, that magical place is not Miami. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 Columnists: PARK PATROLNot Quite Beauty Greens Yet We have have some work to do before we crack the list of Americas prettiest park citiesBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorMirror, mirror, on the wall, whos the fairest city of all? When it comes to park space, we have the answer, thanks to an annual survey of the nations 100 largest cities. In the 2011 competition, Florida had six cities vying for the national title of Miss Parks and Recreation. In this beauty pageant of parks, the two entries from Miami-Dade County stumbled and fell. Even Miss Jersey City mumbled, What are they doing here? They seemed completely out of place alongside such glam green contestants as Miss Minneapolis, Miss Albuquerque, and Miss Anchorage. Not to spoil the suspense, but the City of Miami didnt come in last. Hialeah did. In the 2011 report City Park Facts from the Trust for Public Land, Hialeah ranks as the only large city in the U.S. with less than 200 total park acres (and most of that comes from Miami-Dade Countys Amelia Earhart Park). Worse yet, Hialeah offers less than one acre of green space per every 1000 residents. Thats one crowded acre. The City of Miami does somewhat better, at 2.8 acres for each 1000 residents, but she still places near the bottom of the list, in between Miss Anaheim, California, and Miss Newark, New Jersey. These results are pathetic, almost hopeless. How could our civic leaders have let our green beauty queens fall apart and is there enough plastic surgery in the Mirror, mirror on the wall, where are the newest parks of all? Still in gestation, Miamis youngest park doesnt even have a name. (Commissioner Mark Sarnoff held a naming contest last month, and he plans to reveal the winner at the commissions meeting on March 8.) The park is located at 1814 Brickell Ave. Less than an acre, this plot next to a Lutheran church was intended for a highrise, but the real-estate market crash left it undeveloped. Reports indicate that the City of Miami has spent more than $3.5 million for acquisition and park construction, which began in June 2011. The site does not appear ready for a scheduled opening in March, so a complete rating is not yet possible. That aside, the park would appear to have limited potential because it is small (smaller than the churchs parking lot), isolated (adrift in a sea of condos), and on the wrong side of the street (away from the bay). While clearly a neighborhood park as opposed to a destination for outsiders the land holds historical secrets. Buried remains of Native Americans had to be removed for construction, and the site was an encampment during the Spanish-American War, according to archeologist Robert Carr. Hopefully these discoveries will be featured on interpretive signs. Where is another new park, you ask? Over the river and through downtown, to Grand Central Park we go. This public-private green space is a novelty for South Florida, because it is intentionally temporary. tttttwhere the Miami Arena once sat, opment Association (OPRA) agreed to lease the parcel for $200,000 per year for three years, or until it is sold for development. OPRA received a $200,000 grant last year from the City of Miamis Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, and it inaugurated the park in February. The park is the brainchild and pet president of OPRA, who lives across the street in the Grand Central lofts not stand the rubble in his backyard, so he bulldozed it into a hill. Taking a cue from other cities across the U.S. that have been creating temporary parks out of abandoned lots, he hired local residents and gathered volunteers, including landscape architects, to create a wide-open public space on a shoestring budget. During major events such as Miami Heat games, the park functions as a parking lot, a function for which it is not entirely unsuited. The park certainly looks like a giant, white parking lot, though it isnt covered with asphalt, but with PolyPavement, billed as a natural soil pavement. Around the parks edge, surrounded by black steel fencing, runs a narrow path of pines and other native plants. Two round pits in opposite corners of the park are to catch rainwater, says top of the hill, which offers great views of the Freedom Tower. UNNAMED PARKPark Rating BT photos by Jim W. Harper1814 Brickell Ave., Miami Hours: TBD GRAND CENTRAL PARKPark Rating700 N. Miami Ave., Miami Hours: 8:00 a.m. to dusk UNRATED UNRATED Grand Central ParkBiscayne BlvdI-95 NE 8th St NE 6th St NE 7th StNW 1st AveBrickell Ave S Miami AveSW 18th Rd SW 18th TerrSE 15th Rd Unnamed Park North Miami AveNE 5th St

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Now that weve visited two very differ ent young hopefuls in the City of Miamis pageant of parks, what about the rest of Miami-Dade County? What type of invest ment would it take to turn this awkward Mirror, mirror on the wall, what will it cost to have it all? Answer: $5 billion, according to commercial real estate across MiamiDade County and recommended purFor example, they recommended spend ing $26 million for 174 acres along Maule plex, and another $875 million for 750 acres for neighborhood parks scattered across the But a total makeover for $5 billion? Somebody needs to start doing some serious fundraising before next years Hialeah needs guidance from the City of Miamis parks system, which in turn lags behind the states other four cities, as these cities still fall below the median for acres per 1000 residents, ranks above the Cheer up, Miss Miami and Miss Hialeah, maybe you can make up ground during the can we have another mall? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETS TT he Puppy Math ProblemAnimal overpopulation often comes down to owners with too many dogs and not enough senseBy Lisa Hartman BT ContributorIts 2012, and somehow we are still not getting anywhere in Miami with the pet overpopulation problem. The same could be said for animal neglect and abuse here; its everywhere. Animals in the wrong hands. Animals bred or used for money. And its not just dogs and cats that suffer, but goats, pigs, and horses. (Even I didnt know until recently that there is a huge underground horse slaughter business here. These animals are treated like inanimate objects instead of living things, chopped to pieces and sold for meat.) And when the owners of illegal farms and others can no longer take care of their animals if they were doing so at all they are often left behind to fend for themselves. Why not call the authorities or have the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA for short, which cares for and puts horses and other animals up for adoption) come and collect them? Answer: These owners either dont care, or their illegal activities make it impossible to call upon these agencies. How did we get to the point that many tens of thousands of unwanted animals are euthanized each year in Miami? Of course, the economy is still in the toilet and many people cant afford to care for and feed their pets anymore, but this makes up a very small percentage of neglect cases. A bigger problem: A lot of what owners want to do with their pets to them, but it contributes greatly to overpopulation. Heres what Im talking about. Three of my former neighbors have acquired purebred dogs recently. Neighbor A adopted two Yorkies from a questionable (in my opinion) breeder. The dogs arent very sociable, and I suspect they werent handled much as puppies. One is very tiny and doesnt look like his structure is very good. Im thinking of breeding them in a few months, Neighbor A informs me.

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Why? I ask, puzzled and sad. There are plenty of Yorkies in rescue. Not to mention that you dont know their background or health issues. We dont need more pets in the world right now. Oh, but Lisa, these pets were from a top breeder. He gets $15,000 for his dogs. I highly doubt that, I tell neighbor A. I dont know many top breeders who charge more than $1800. And besides, you dont know how to raise a litter properly. You have to get health clearances at least for eyes and hips, and youve already told me you think one has luxating patellas. Likewise, Neighbor B, who just acquired a bulldog from a breeder, tells me: Im looking for a female when he gets older. I ask the same question Why? even though I already know the answer. Because these dogs are expensive, Neighbor B tells me. Everybody will want one and theyll all get good homes. Keep dreaming, I think to myself. Also, the breeder cant be that good if Neighbor B doesnt have a spay-and-neuter contract with her binding Neighbor B to have one of those procedures performed on the animal. Neighbor C has a similar tale. Luckily, being the trainer of three of her dogs over the years, I think I have successfully talked her out of breeding, although her husband may still not be convinced. In each of these cases, the owner was breeding for the wrong reason: money. Theres a line of thinking that says if you pay a lot of money for a dog, youre somehow entitled even obligated to breed it. I know many such stories, and they often dont end up the way people plan. In most cases, people cant sell all the puppies. Potential owners cancel out of the from somewhere else. The new breed ers also dont realize how expensive and time-consuming it is to raise a litter. There are vet visits and shots, not to mention pos bulldog), among other unforeseen costs. Some of these part-time, amateur breeders will have to give up their entire litter to a shelter. Prospective owners wont know if the dogs that mated were a good match, have temperament issues, or were raised properly. The odds usually favor worst-case scenarios. And, again, the main problem is the dogs are not spayed or neutered and the owners dont feel theyre doing any harm by having just one litter. A former client looked for a mate for her dog, because she loved him so much he just had litter was a whopping 14 pups. She said they found homes, but they went without a spay-and-neuter contract. Long story short, her dog put out four litters totaling more than 40 puppies, 12 of them mixed breeds owing to an accidental pairing. All of the dogs went to new homes without being spayed or neutered, and many of them had their own puppies, both mixed and purebred, that were then given alone ultimately resulted in more than 100 dogs being born in a three-year period. So why arent dogs, even when adopted from shelters, being spayed and neutered? In many cases the new owners have the heart to rescue, but not the money to spay and neuter or the knowledge about how to handle their animal when its in season. The Pets Trust is one organization trying to address this issue. Many Miami homeowners are not even aware they are paying a tax of $13 dollars each year to the Childrens Trust, which advocates on behalf of childrens well-being. The yearly tax that would go toward controlling the unwanted pet population. The trusts main objectives are to provide free or low-cost spaying and neutering services to those who want and need them, build a facility to accommodate large numbers of owners and shelter groups taking advantage of those procedures, trap and neuter feral cats, and educate owners on responsible pet-rearing. initiative on the ballot, and the Pets Trust out more at www.petstrustmiami.com. 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 r fntbt tr r tr trbbbrtbtrtb f on small bagst when you buy 4 ttbbrtbbrnb

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82 Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY AA Parents Guide to Fam ily Fun Looking to get the most out of Miami with your little ones? Check out these optionsBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorIve been told it doesnt take living in Miami very long before you become a true Miamian. Others argue that the process takes decades and an oraclelike knowledge of the nooks and crannies this fair city offers. ago from Honolulu, I dont know that I qualify as a Miamian yet, but Im with an adventurous spirit has brought me premature wizard status. My metamorphosis to true local status has meant unlocking some of Miamis bestkept (and affordable) secrets. Heres your cheat sheet. Hidden Gem No. 1: Miami-Dades library system. Most parents know that the Miami Beach Regional Library rocks on a rainy day, a sweltering day, or for a preor post-beach visit to load up on reading materials for the whole family. But did you know how many libraries there are around Miami-Dade? Did you know that with your library card, well beyond books? The Library Museum Pass program allows you to check out passes as you would a book to Miamis many attrac tions, including Miami Childrens Museum, ZooMiami, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami Art Museum, Miami Sci ence Museum, and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The pass is good for a family of four, and provides free admission. Bonus tip: The passes get checked out quickly and cant be reserved. Your best bet is to visit the less frequented library branches for the passes. For more information, go to www.mdpls.org. Hidden Gem No. 2: Bayfront Park. This 32-acre public commons is located in the center of downtown Miami. Situated between Biscayne Boulevard and the bay, it features playgrounds, fountains, and a ton of green rolling hills. The park recently underwent a renovation of its paved baywalk, which runs along the edge of Biscayne Bay, throughout the park, and continues to Bayside Marketplace, an open-air, festival-style mall that, while annoyingly touristy, offers a great carousel, a funky petting free concerts. Bayfront Park is accessible by public transit (Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus), which makes for an easy commute over to the Adrienne Arsht Center for a kid-friendly show, or an outing in Brickell for lunch or dinner. Go to www. bayfrontparkmiami.com. Hidden Gem No. 3: The Slide Mantra at Bayfront Park. The Slide Mantra stood out in our peripheral vision for nearly three years as we drove up and down the Boulevard on our day-to-day doings. Its hard to miss from the road, given that its a ten-foot-high, white Carrara marble slide sculpture weighing 29 and tried it one day and we were hooked. you wouldnt think to let your kids touch it for fear of damaging a beautiful piece of art by Isamu Noguchi, who redesigned the park in the early 1980s. This sculpture, however, demonstrates the artists belief that play leads to an appreciation of sculp ture. Bonus tip: Have your kids wear knit pants; the velocity factor is incredible on this thing. Dont be afraid to try it yourself! Hidden Gem No. 4: Best Friends Wood Oven Pizza. Everyone knows dining out with the wee ones can be rough. A Chuck E. Cheese hangover lasts way longer than the pleasure the pizza rat brings to the kiddies. The folks at Best Friends know your pain, and they know their way around a pie. Situated in the 4700 block of Biscayne Boulevard, Best Friends manages to delight adults and kids with great pizza, pastas, and burgers, amazing playground in their covered outdoor dining area. Its like someone swept into my dreams one night and created a restaurant. The kids work up an appetite on the slides and bounce house, and you can enjoy a pia colada and an antipasto in their dining area and pretend youre on vacation. Go to www.bf1880.com. Hidden Gem No. 5: Community center programs. So its a teacher-planning day on Monday, and you dont know what to do with your kids during that big budget meeting you just cant miss? There are programs at your local youth and recreation centers that can solve problems like these with planned activinight out options. Programs in Miami Shores and Morningside Park have been especially great for our little ones, but we cant ignore the Scott Rakow Youth Center in Miami Beach for its contributions to entertaining and engaging local youth. Rakow houses an ice-skating rink, outdoor swimming pool, six bowling lanes, a gymnasium, an arts and crafts center, game room, indoor beach volleygov/parksandrecreation. Miami can be charming, even for families. The important thing is to leave your comfort zone and go exploring. Get use the letters link below to share them with all BT readers. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Drinking in the BlueA new event for people who want to protect the worlds oceans, one cocktail at a timeBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorSo my friend Annie and I are launching Blue Drinks South Florida this month (see Facebook) because were bored I mean, because we care about the ocean and want to assemble like-minded people in one place to get some blue buzz going. Blue Drinks follows the same concept as established gathering Green Drinks, which is a socially acceptable way for people to drink and delude themselves into thinking theyre somehow helping the environment. (Consume more, waste less?) At least for some. The concept, though, is a good one: Offer an open, casual setting for the ex change of ideas. Great movements start with great ideas, and great ideas often emerge when people are relaxed and in the vicinity of napkins (the better to scribble solutions). Why blue instead of green? The green movement is all over the place, while an overarching blue movement, focused on aquatic environments, has yet to pervade popular consciousness. People may assume that the green movement includes all things aquatic, but the very name green derives from ter restrial plants and a birds-eye view of land, not water. Of course it makes sense to use green as shorthand for the human environ ment, because we live on land and because life itself depends on photosynthesis. A blue movement, however, is needed as shorthand for the most important element on earth. We cannot survive without water. Even though we do not live on it, water covers most of our planets surface. Indeed, the view from outer space reveals that earth is mostly blue. The worlds largest environment, the ocean, faces challenges that demand specialized attention. The unfortunate out of sight, out of mind mentality puts the ocean at an extreme disadvantage, especially for the YouTube generation that thrives on low-budget, dry video. With a seemingly endless supply of stupid humans and adorable cats, who cares about life rolling in the deep? But there is one place that can convert anyone into a bluie. The beach. There, humans can taste, touch, smell, hear, and see the ocean. We also catch sight of our zontal counterpart to the great mountain ranges of earth, as both overpower us. The immensity of the ocean makes it seem invulnerable, but the opposite is becoming more and more apparent. Ocean scientists have been revealing the limits of the ocean and opening our eyes to the destruction caused by seven billion humans on earth. The very essence of the ocean is changing, as measurements show that seawater is becoming more acidic. How is it possible that humans have changed the pH of the ocean? The ocean has been abused for centu ries as the worlds toilet and garbage can. On earth, water accumulates impurities, and guess where all water eventually ends up? Yup, everything everything Youve heard of acid rain. Now welcome to acid ocean. The ocean is the worlds biggest sink for carbon dioxide, and this sink is clogging. wild animals as food, and guess what? sea. Large animals like whales may be such as cod struggle to survive. We need to become just as conscious about eating tuna as we are about shooting bald eagles. South Florida is home to many blueminded individuals and organizations, but they remain disconnected. Our universities could become the catalyst for a movement to occupy the ocean. Most ocean scientists are too busy conducting science, however, to get the word out to the public, so they need the rest of us to buy them a drink and listen to their story. Some of the bluest organizations locally include the Surfrider Foundation and ECOMB (Environmental Coalition of Miami and the Beaches); nationally, Oceana is a leader (and a participant in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon). Governmental entities include the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Blue artists include Guy Harvey and Xavier Cortada, and then there are yachting crowd, the diving community. (On a personal note, I wish to invite every swimmer, active or not, to make a commitment to the ocean. We may train in pools, but our heart connects with the big blue. Since my days as a sevenyear-old mudskipper at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale to my current efforts as a coach, the water has been my second home. It keeps it deserves more respect.) How are we going to raise a blue consciousness, a blue ethic, and a blue movement to protect the ocean? Hopefully someone attending Blue Drinks will have the answer. Dont forget to scribble it on a napkin. Going Green is Going Blue. Are you? Be sure to check out our Facebook page. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com T r a d i t i o n a l A m e r i c a n B a n d C o n c e r t f e a t u r i n g t h e m u s i c o f G e r s h w i n R a y C h a r l e s S o u s a I r v i n g B e r l i n D i x i e l a n d a n d m o r e 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 M a r 1 8 2 0 1 2 @ 2 P M $ 5 D o n a t i o n ( k i d s f r e e )

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84 Columnists: YOUR GARDENFlorida Fruit FrolicThis spring have some tasty fun with caimito and sapodilla By Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorThis has been a rather warm winter so far, with a great many species and entertaining us with the striking Chrysophyllum cainito Chryso phyllum oliviforme the trees can begin to get fruit and, thereafter, fruit can be found on the tree and the white part around the few seeds Another species of tree that grows Manilkara zapota wider canopy than the caimito, making be anywhere from two to three to six have been eating some red bananas from Another treat is the fruit from Mon stera deliciosa tip down and is not good to eat before it varieties of oyster mushrooms in coffee oyster mushrooms that seemed to have a ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski 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

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Columnists: VINOBy Bill Citara BT ContributorSouth Florida has a dirty little secret. Meat. Okay, so its not really dirty. And around here its not much of a secret. But ask your average member of the Great (Frozen) boat and theyd probably say something like stone crab, rum, cigars, and cocaine. They obviously havent got a hint a clue. They obviously dont know that from Key West to West Palm Beach, so bereft that it doesnt have at least one emporium devoted exclusively to the preparation and sale of meat. They obviously havent made a tour of our fair region, where if stacked atop one another, good ol American steakhouses, Brazilian churrascarias, Argentine parril las, and designer burger joints could reach all the way to the stockyards of Chicago. menus of just about every other type of restaurant, the multitude of delicious things Cuban cooks do with pork and beef, the elevation of bacon to a sacrament and the pig to fatty, succulent saint. stated, beefaholic Texas carnivore is who can down blood sausage at break fast, bacon cheeseburger at lunch, and the size of a soccer ball for dinner. And that liver? Fry up some onions and it would be pretty tasty too. Of course, when youve got big, fat slabs of irresistibly savory meat, you need big, fat, irresistible red wines with them at the dinner table. (Or at the breakfast table, if you must. Really. Knock yourself out.) And since were talking big and fat we really must talk about Carmenre, which The 2007 Santa Rita Reserva is a perfect example, delivering powerfully dense, jammy aromas layered with scents of oak, black olives, leather, mushrooms, and black n blueberry fruit. It tastes like that, too; and its texture is thick, almost viscous, so much so you might be able to cut it up and eat it rare cow on the plate in front of you. Covering much of the same jammy, layered ground is the 2009 Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha Right out of the bottle it shows off a deep, inky purple color that could have dyed some ancient kings royal robes, yet stick your nose in the glass and the bracing red and black cherry fruit is given welcome nuance by sniffs of clove, olives, toast, and mint. Despite its old vines designation much a complement to meat as teeth. You can pretty much chew on the 2009 Delas Cotes-du-Ventoux too. leather, and spice dont just tickle your taste buds, they slap em around, then come back and slap em some more. The wines soft acids and tannins make it ready to drink now, especially with manly man meats like roast beef, prime rib, wild boar sausage, and the like. Continuing down the ladder from huge to merely large, we come to the DeLoach Vineyards 2009 California Cabernet Sauvignon. This is another kinds of good smells kind of wine, though its aromas of cloves, cedar, tobacco, and black olives are rather more intense there than on the palate, where red and black cherry fruit predominate. All the stuff of the DeLoach, plus the black pepper characteristic of California Zin fandels, comes pouring of a bottle of Cline Cellars 2008 Zin Its got that kings robes But despite its black fruit intensity, its remarkably light and fresh in your mouth, with a balancing acidity and long, peppery meatballs red, you just found it. Big fruit in the nose, smaller fruit in the mouth is also the deal with the fetch ingly named Thierry & Guy Fat Bas tard Shiraz Born in 2010, its still a mere and cassis dissolving a bit on the palate. Which is not such a bad thing, as it gives the wine a welcome balance, though the tartness of its fruit will mellow with age. Lighter meats like pork and veal, even chicken, would play well with the 2010 Montresor Valpolicella It opens with perfume aromas of red cherries and raspberries, earth and spice, then segues on the palate, easy to like, easy to pour with our dirty little secret. But dont tell the Frozen Unwashed. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Meat of the MatterRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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86 Brickell / DowntownArea 31 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, 305-424-5234Not that the sleek interior of this seafood restaurant (named for fishing area 31, stretching from the Carolinas to South America) isnt a glamorous dining setting. But wed eat outside. From the expansive terrace of the Epic condo and hotel on the Miami River, the views of Brickells high-rises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomyaccented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dogfriendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrusdressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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 picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thaiinspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insid ers secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size ver sion of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ 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. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St. 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 309. Tuyo 415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/ MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$ Caf 46 190 NE 46th St., 305-400-8828It doesnt look like South Beachs late lamented Joe Allen. The urban beach bar dcor and bohemian vibe actually are more reminiscent of this spaces first restaurant, 190. But the menu is virtually identical -no surprise since co-owner/host Mario Rubeo, plus most kitchen staffers, are Joe Allen veterans. Revisit faves like matzo meal-crusted chicken, the famous burger, still-unique dinner salads spotlighting uncommon ingredients like smoked trout, and fun signature desserts like Rice Krispy treats. $$$The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions 5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern-inspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Blue Collar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, cre ative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$ Cane Sucre 899 NE 125th St. 305-891-0123From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Slices Pizza & Pasta 13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin Americaninfluenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ Blu Sushi 600 Silks Run Rod., 954-744-4398Even hard-core sushi-bar addicts must admit that many such establishments suffer from a certain sameness. Not Blu. At this restolounge in the Village at Gulfstream Park, part of a mini-chain originating in southwest Florida, the specialty makis are outdone in outrageousness only by extravagant cocktails. Yes, there are California rolls. But why be bored when you have an alternative like Kin-SO: tempura king crab salad, tuna, and avocado with scallions, smelt roe, and tempura flakes, plus mayo and sweet eel sauce. $$$ Luca Bella 19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222In the space that once housed Chef Allens, this trattoria offers a crowd-pleasing combination: dcor with white-tablecloth elegance, yet the familyfriendly feel of a classic checkered-tablecloth eatery -and Italian-American comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a meal-size marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing modern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumb-coated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$rfnt ntbnfnt tnftn tf f t tff nffff

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VESPERAMERICAN BRASSERIEBOOK YOUR RESERVATION AT 305 341 1500 SHELBORNE.COM VESPER AMERICAN BRASSERIE BAR TANAKA LUCYS CANTINA ROYALE. LUCYS CANTINA ROYALEBAR TANAKASUSHI-SAKE OUTPOST

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88 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. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room 900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027 Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, includ ing substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ Damn Good Burger 20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-718-6565At restolounge MIA, the hip, high-tech nightclub compo nent remains the same, as does much of the restaurant spaces mod dcor. The liquid nitrogen tanks are gone from the kitchen, however, and the atmosphere aims for a retro all-American feel to match the fare: burgers (from a hormone/antibiotic-free ground Angus chuck/brisket/ short rib blend), with choice of housemade sauce plus customizable toppings ranging from pickles to pork belly. Also available: veggie burgers, dogs, salads, Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and standard sides. Rich malts and shakes come regular or adult (spiked). $$db Bistro 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 executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer 255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-403-3103From the stylish setting in Miamis historic Firehouse No. 4, one would expect a mighty pricy meal. But entres, which range from Nuevo Latino-style ginger/orange-glazed pork tenderloin to a platter of Kobe 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 shrimp-topped eggplant timbales. The best seats are on the glam rooftop patio. $$$Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus house made tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$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), 305-503-0373Originally opened by Michelin-starred New Aegean chef Michael Psilakis, Eos changed upon the chefs departure into a more familiar Mediterranean resort eatery, minus Greek-inspired innovations. Now inspiration comes mainly from Spain and Italy, with nods to Morocco and Latin America. Best bets include a tasting platter of Spanish cheeses and cured meats; a pistachio-garnished salad featuring Serrano ham, figs, and arugula; crispy parmesan risotto balls with prosciutto and smoked tomato dip; and olive/smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken. At lunch burgers and upscale sandwiches are added. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub 900 S. Miami Ave. #200 786-924-0972 Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on mini-boxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$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. $$ FREE SMOOTHIEBUY ONE MEDIUM OR LARGE SMOOTHIE AND GET A SMALL SMOOTHIE FOR FREEMust present coupon to receive offer. Valid at THESE locations only. Not good with any other offer. Limit one per person, per visit. Some restrictions may apply. Expires 5/31/2012 3034 Grand Avenue Coconut Grove 305-476-9435 2001 Biscayne Blvd. Miami 305-576-5464 12607 Biscayne Blvd. 305-981-8660

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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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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. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mindreeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/ plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade 1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ 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 trade mark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-creamsauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Hibachi Grill 45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagaine a mini-express Benihana. This place spe cializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ 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 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

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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. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave. 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$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

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refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street food. Weve happily assembled whole meals of the vegetarian chaat (snacks) alone. And dosai (lacy rice/ lentil crepes rolled around fillings ranging from traditional onion/potato to lamb masala or spicy chicken) are so addictive they oughta be illegal. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushiboat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$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. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-caneat deals. $$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. $$Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crispfried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custommade dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$

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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. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Scalina 315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the riverview 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! $$

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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. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budgetpriced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of fullflavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sau ted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ 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. $$ Catch Grill & Bar 1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casualchic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$

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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANT S City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sand wiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by handcrafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-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. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is sur prising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crispfried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$

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Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchy-crusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sand wiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$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 tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins freshbaked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mario the Baker 250 NE 25th St., 305-438-0228(See North Miami listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely madefrom-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 huitlaco che 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoe string frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is EastWest. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$

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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, 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/

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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. $-$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from world-famous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo 5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$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. $$Le Caf 7295 Biscayne Blvd. 305-754-6551For anyone who cant get over thinking of French food as intimidating or pretentious, this cute caf with a warm welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just classic comfort food like onion soup, escargot, daily fresh oysters, boeuf bourguignon (think Ultimate Pot Roast), Nicoise salad, quiche, and home made crme brle. A respectable beer and wine list is a welcome addition, as is the housemade sangria. Top price for entres is about $14. $-$$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 tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas 7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill 7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ 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

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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. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, showtune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$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. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily spe cials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original cre ations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to overthe-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$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 chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sour-orange-marinated, sous-videcooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chef-driven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, family-friendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemon-caper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St. 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$

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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. $$$Uvas 6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from freshbaked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery 646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ Bocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appe tites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sausage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$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. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Opened in 1993 with 28 seats, this family-run landmark has now taken over the block, with an outdoor terrace and multi-roomed indoor space whose walls are full of photos of their clientele, including national and local celebs. Particularly popular are homemade pastas, sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence rather than Italian simplicity: crabmeat ravioletti in lobster cream sauce, black squid ink linguini heaped with seafood. Though romantic enough for dates, the place is quite kid-friendly and on the terrace, theyll even feed Fido. $$$KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately panfried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$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 899 NE 125th street 305-891-0123 -a Monday thru Saturday 9:00m9:00pmOpen Mon-Satbreakf ast lunch dinner brought to you by the Vega Brothers, creators of The original Cane A Sucre in the Design District and UVA 69 Restaurant and Lounge

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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. $$-$$$ Cte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a 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. $$ Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. 13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ 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. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/ burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hotsmoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingredients such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of the infamous Luther: a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chilispiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St. 305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-tomiss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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

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the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the swordwielding 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. $$ Bamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$Blue Marlin Fish House 2500 NE 163rd St., 305-957-8822Located inside Oleta River State Park, this casual outdoor eatery is a rare surprise for nature lovers. The featured item is still the house-smoked fish this historic venue began producing in 1938, available in three varieties: salmon, mahi mahi, and the signature blue marlin. But the smokehouse now also turns out ribs and delectable brisket. Other new additions include weekend fish fries. Entry is directly from 163rd Street, not through the main park entrance. No admission fee. $ 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,

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and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall 3969 NE 163rd St. 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St. 305-949-3318 In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$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 institu tion 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. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mixand-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Iron Sushi 16350 W. Dixie Hwy..305-945-2244(See Miami Shores listing)?Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with house made cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veg-garnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace 330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$ rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN

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104 The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet 940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-in-blankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai 14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of spe cials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found else where. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deepfried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional prepara tions like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Italian Kitchen 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225The complexity of the Racks concept makes a soundbite description impossible. Its part Italian market, with salumi, cheeses, and other artisan products plus take-out prepared foods; part enoteca (wine bar, featuring snacks like addictive Portobello fritti with truffle aioli, especially enjoyable on the waterfront deck); part ristorante (pastas and other Big Food); part pizzeria. Whats important: All components feel and taste authentically Italian. Just dont miss the coal-oven pizza. Superior toppings (including unusually zesty tomato sauce) plus an astonishingly light yet chewy crust make Racks pies a revelation. $$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. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the mustnot-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$Sushi House 15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer 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

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(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. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, familyfriendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. Asia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse,305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ Open Kitchen 1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/ owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm 9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & 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 pine apple 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). $$Fuji Hana 2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/ avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$Gourmet Carrot 3599 NE 207th St. 305-749-6393Since the first Gourmet Carrot -a healthy and kosher but not at all preachy eatery -opened in South Beach, its menu expanded to include many red-meat items. The same is true of this new Waterways mall branch. When confirmed cholesterol-careless carnivores like ourselves opt voluntarily for an eaterys veggie burgers (a brown rice/lentil/veggie blend more satisfying than beef), or remarkably juicy ginger-mayo-dressed chicken burgers, over normal hamburgers, based solely on flavor -well, religion aside, thats a major miracle. $$$ 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. $$ Mon. Thurs.10 AM 11 PM | Fri. Sun. 10 AM 5 AM With the purchase of any lunch or dinner meal. (Exp. 3/31/2012)

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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 minitea 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) 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, trufflespiked 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. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York 17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 305 16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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. $$ Timo 17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill 350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hardto-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$

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COMMERCIAL WYNWOOD: 540 NW 28 STREET 120 ne 27th street | bay 200 | miami, fl 33137 | 305.571.9991MIDTOWN: 3650 NORTH MIAMI AVE Ground Floor Leased 2nd floor available (8,000 SF). Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 192 NW 36 ST For Lease | $2,000 / month NNN Ruben Matz | 786.290.8815 rmatz@metro1properties.com DESIGN DISTRICT: 3995 NORTH MIAMI AVE Just Sold for $6.15 M Tony Arellano | 305.571.9991 tarellano@metro1properties.com MORNINGSIDE: 471 NE 53RD ST Asking Price $479,000 Amy Aronson | 305.527.4769 aaronson@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Price Available Upon Request ? Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com LITTLE RIVER: 224 NE 59 STREET Asking Price $5,500 / Month Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com CORAL WAY: 2103 CORAL WAY Asking Price $18.00 PSF Full Service Luis Peralta | 305.571.9991 lperalta@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRIDOR Price Available Upon Request ? ? ? ? ? Irene Dakota | 305.972.8860 idakota@metro1properties.com AIRPORT WEST: 5700 NW 72ND AVE Asking Price $9.50 PSF plus CAM Frank Calautti | 305.571.9991 fcalautti@metro1properties.com DESIGN DISTRICT: 3711 NE 2 AVE Under Contract Tony Cho | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com LITTLE RIVER: 243-253 NE 61 ST Just Sold Peter Andolina | 305.571.9991 info@metro1properties.com under contract SOLD LEASED SOLD WOWMIAMI BEACH: 444-448 OCEAN DRIVE Price Available Upon Request Ken Barilich | 305.571.9991 kbarilich@metro1properties.com now accepting applications for commercial + retail + office leasing associates NEW HOT NEW NEW NEW top 25 commercial real estate brokerages of 2011metro1properties.com