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Biscayne times
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00068
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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
Publication Date: 07-2012
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Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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System ID: UF00099644:00068

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NEW THIS ISSUESuburbs in the Sky at My View p. 26 Six more worthy restaurants p. 86 July 2012 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 5 Welcome to the Ted Vernon ShowYoull laugh, youll cry, you wont believe your eyes you might even buy a muscle car

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb rfntb ffr bfbfr frtbt nfbt tb fbrr fbfrtn b tb nfrnff nff fb f fbbt ff bfnn bbbfrr nfbtfbrrb fbfr ttbfr fb fr bn rfn ff b rfr fntrfbr nfr frf bffrf fbtfr nf rbf f bf r r f brrrfbtnbr r nrt rnrrb b bfb frn Z Z fb fnrbfrr fb frn Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z C C C C C C C C C C C C SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE UP TO 15%! SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE 20% rfntb rffntb

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COVER STORY 36 Welcome to the Ted Vernon Show COMMENTARY 12 Feedback: Letters 18 Jack King: So Long, Scottys 22 Christian Cipriani: The Design District, Redesigned 26 Craig Chest er: High-rise Suburbs OUR SPONSORS 30 BizBuzz COMMUNITY NEWS 48 Strange Case of the Missing Signs 48 Be Aware All Ye Who Enter 49 The Greening o f Brickell 49 East Greynolds Growling NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Frank: Low-Scale Plans, Large-Scale Mess 60 Wendy: Mango Mania 62 Shari Lynn: Puppy Love Gone Bad 64 Mark: Pioneers, One and All 66 Jen: Bean There, Done That ART & CULTURE 68 Anne Tschida: CCE Moves Downtown 70 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 73 Events Calendar POLICE REPORTS 74 Derek McCanns Crime Beat PARK PATROL 76 Jim W. Harper: Public Parks and Sex COLUMNISTS 78 Picture Story: Aftermath of the 1926 Hurricane 79 Your Garden: Tropical Transplants 80 Pawsitively Pets: Fidos on Facebook! 82 Going Green: That Sinking Feeling 83 Kids and the City: No Pool? No Problem! 84 Vino: Wines to Grill and Chill With 85 Dish: Open, Almost Open, Open to Suggestions DINING GUIDE 86 Restaurant Listings: 297 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 rr r PRINTING rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 30 64 68Serving 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 List with me and sell it FAST!305-895-JEFF(5333) 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!! 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!!! 2.9M HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER POINT LOT LOCATION, 1/3 ACRE ON CUL-DESAC, 205 FEET OF FRONTAGE ON WIDEST CANAL IN KEYSTONE POINT IN MIAMI4bdr 3.5 bth pool & garage, custom home features; tropic bamboo lanai entry, imported limestone flooring, hi vaulted ceilings, impact windows, elegant 4star commercial gas kitchen, huge master suite, all rooms, open to lush tropical pool deck like a hawaian resort !! 150dock on one side 50 boatlift on other! 1.29M BRAND NEW 2012 REMODELED SANS SOUCI ESTS!+NEW POOL BUILT FROM SCRATCH!5bd/3bth, pool, 1 car garage 3,054sf, open floorplan, for large family, tile and bamboo flooring thruout, new silestone kitchen w/stainless steel appl. New pool with led lighting and sunstep oversized backyard w/ chickee hut! 24hr gaurd gated community. 619K WIDE BAY VIEWS AT A CANAL PRICE!! SANS SOUCI ESTATES 2 LOTS OF THE BAY!5br/5.5bth, pool, 2 car garage, 4,271sf. 75dockage. 18,000lb boatlift & jetski lift fully remodeled. 24 marble floors, huge cherry wood & granite eat-in kitchen w/cooking island. Large marble master bath w/jacuzzi, cul-de-sac street, 24hr gaurd gated. 1.4M BAYVIEWS VACANT LAND 75 DOCK SANS SOUCI ESTATES 24HR GATED GREAT DEAL BEATIFUL VIEWS !! OWNER W/FINANCE 25% DN 999K OVERSIZED WATERFRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME KEYSTONE POINT80 x 135 New seawall, direct ocean access, no fixed bridges. Only 499K! 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!! 1.49M

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Trader Joes: Redening Brand LoyaltyJen Karetnicks article on Trader Joes (Waiting for Joe, June 2012) prompted I told them as a native of Miami, I think she is so right that Miami Shores would be I talked about the foodies here, all Hispanic community, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of our populaTrader Joes here in our city! Thanks to Jen for pushing me to join her Margaret Murray Miami Shores Trader Joes: Obviously Its Not About SavingsThank you, thank you, thank you Jen Alan and Judith Robbins Miami BeachTrader Joes: A Mini Version in the ShoresI enjoyed Jen Karetnicks column about the lack of gourmet markets (and a I dont know if Jen has had a chance to check out The Village Stand in Miami to accomplish exactly what she described, Gladys M. Fernandez Miami Shores If You Cant Do the Meeting, Dont Do the Complaining Everyone Thinks of You as Litter (May who that dont hold her views about change as old, close-minded, insensitive, looks her own lack of participation in the respond to the needs of the community in that she couldnt see wasting one more night Maybe this is why she missed more than half the meetings, which were held of the three workshops on the fence mention that it was the village commission that pulled the boards recommendation for front-yard enclosures because of It did take over a year to incorporate all the comments and concerns of the residents and the commission on the shops, the proposed ordinance was disDespite all the opportunities to voice her strong opinions, now, well after the disheartening to say the least to have a resident who made no effort to participate Gary Kuhl, member Code Review Board Biscayne ParkBiscayne Times: A Crime Against Mother NatureIn his May column, Well, Shut My Mouth, Gaspar Gonzlez grumbled about a petition to combat litter in the more ambitious residents were trying to stop the monthly distribution of Bis cayne Times At many homes, unread newspagiving the neighborhood a rather untidy look, it also gives the impression that a gested an alternative distribution method whereby resident could pick up the publiGaspar thought this sounded like an at tempt to silence his voice and free speech in that even if some of the papers are recycled, Ever heard of global warming or green initiatives? Cities all over are trying to reduce their waste and its third of the homes recycled their copies of the BT at eight ounces per copy, that would still leave us with over two and a Commentary: LETTERS FREE! Biscayne Dental Center W EL CO ME S Dr. Edgar Karim Lopez Dr. Edgar Karim Lopez is a graduate of the University of Miami where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1995. He then proceeded to pursue his dental degree at the University of Florida School of Dentistry, graduating class of 2001. His areas of interest are cosmetic dentisty and oral surgery. Dr. Lopez is a very dedicated professional dentist, who focuses on his patient's needs and comfort. Continued on page 16

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DEVELOPMENT SITE WITH INCOME Gateway site to Design District on NE 54th Street close to Soykas 55th Street Station.OFFERED AT $999,000 OR $37 PSF. Potential to build up to 54 apartments 200 front feet on NE 54th Street 27,000 SF of land Zoned T5-O per Miami 21 Existing rental income in place Other off market opportunities Develop by-right: Mixed use commercial, retail, ofce, apartments/lofts, B&B, Live/Work, Food &/or Alcohol Service (restaurant), place of assembly, or research facility. Commercial land sales are on re. Developers are grabbing what they can now at todays rock-bottom prices. Invest in a hot future land site today! BRIAN CARTER, P. A. BROKER ASSOCIATE cell 305 582 2424 | btcarter@majesticproperties.com CITY24350 NE 24th Street | Miami CITY24 is a contemporary, boutique building with just 119 residences. CITY24 boasts dynamic outdoor spaces with city and water views stretching over beautiful Biscayne Bay. Fantastic pool and gym. LIVE THE CITY LIFE Your ideal city life in vibrant, tropical Miami.1 BEDROOMS FROM THE $200,000S 2 BEDROOMS FROM THE $250,000S NOW LEASING 2 BD / 2 BA UNITS FROM $1,850 TO $2,550LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!355 SW 33rd. Avenue | Miami Completely Remodeled 2,568 SQ FT home Excellent location 4BD/2.5BA + of ce with built-ins and laundry room A+ Rrated School International Studies Charter School(ISCHS) Offered @ $455K NAYRA KHANAMIRIANREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 812 3832 nayrak@majesticproperties.com DAVID CAROLAN BROKER ASSOCIATEcell 305 610 3251 | dcarolan@majesticproperties.com

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JADE OCEAN SUNNY ISLESOne of a kind 2 story penthouse in Jade Ocean. Over 3,700sq.ft., direct ocean views, 3 bed. 3.5 baths, private elevator foyer, high-end nishes and furniture.PENTHOUSE 4601 $10.950M Winn Dixie Anchored Shopping Center For Sale In FloridaThe property was built in 2004. It is in excellent condition. It bene ts from strong income and population growth and no nearby competition. Winn Dixies lease runs through April 2024. Winn Dixie occupies 37,673 square feet, and also occupies a liquor store of 3,200 square feet, which in total is approximately 74% of the center. Contact info@SunnyRealty.com or call 1.877.368.2318 Offering Price: $8.45M with assumable non-recourse loan 55,273 SF (Leaseable Space) (15 Suites) retail strip center in Clay County, FL. NOI: $659,600 Contact us to discuss other commercial investment opportunitiesCOMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE 3873 NE 163rd Street, N Miami Beach, FL 33160 PH 305.335.4144 | FREE 877.368.2318 Hablamos Espanol Nous parlons francais Falamos Portugues LIVING AREA LIVING AREA GUEST BEDROOM MASTER BEDROOM DINING AREA KITCHENLANA BELLOwner & Founder Of Sunny Realty Licensed Florida Realtor Luxury & Waterfront Specialist954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese MATTHEW JACOCKSLicensed Florida Realtor Luxury and Commercial Specialist305-335-4144English Russian Spanish Portuguese Scan the barcode to view the details or contact us atSUNNY REALTYLuxury & Waterfront Specialists954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese YOU DONT JUST BUY MIAMI REAL ESTATEYOU BUY THE LIFESTYLEwww.SunnyRealty.com

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JADE OCEAN SUNNY ISLESOne of a kind 2 story penthouse in Jade Ocean. Over 3,700sq.ft., direct ocean views, 3 bed. 3.5 baths, private elevator foyer, high-end nishes and furniture.PENTHOUSE 4601 $10.950M Winn Dixie Anchored Shopping Center For Sale In FloridaThe property was built in 2004. It is in excellent condition. It bene ts from strong income and population growth and no nearby competition. Winn Dixies lease runs through April 2024. Winn Dixie occupies 37,673 square feet, and also occupies a liquor store of 3,200 square feet, which in total is approximately 74% of the center. Contact info@SunnyRealty.com or call 1.877.368.2318 Offering Price: $8.45M with assumable non-recourse loan 55,273 SF (Leaseable Space) (15 Suites) retail strip center in Clay County, FL. NOI: $659,600 Contact us to discuss other commercial investment opportunitiesCOMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE 3873 NE 163rd Street, N Miami Beach, FL 33160 PH 305.335.4144 | FREE 877.368.2318 Hablamos Espanol Nous parlons francais Falamos Portugues LIVING AREA LIVING AREA GUEST BEDROOM MASTER BEDROOM DINING AREA KITCHEN LANA BELLOwner & Founder Of Sunny Realty Licensed Florida Realtor Luxury & Waterfront Specialist954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese MATTHEW JACOCKSLicensed Florida Realtor Luxury and Commercial Specialist305-335-4144English Russian Spanish Portuguese Scan the barcode to view the details or contact us atSUNNY REALTYLuxury & Waterfront Specialists954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese YOU DONT JUST BUY MIAMI REAL ESTATEYOU BUY THE LIFESTYLEwww.SunnyRealty.com

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half tons of newsprint being added to our You would think Biscayne Times would encourage the online reading, and delivering papers only to those individuals be working with communities to help minimize their impact on the environment be concerned that BT is dropping a two-and-aBarbara Kuhl Biscayne Park Biscayne Times a Crime? No, Cars Are the CrimeAs usual, I love all of Gaspar Gonzlezs columns and consider him the only one Well, Shut My Mouth addressed is mostly the result of all the cars cut ting through, which leads to my problem, Now I have to look constantly over my back and very often have to jump on Cars are coming from all directions, and lots of them are totally ignoring our than 12 years, I am watching this increasing problem with disgust and wondering what I know we cant stop evolution, but maybe closing a few streets from one Lots of speed bumps? Katrin Fechler Biscayne Park I Dare You: Just One MeetingI have had occasion over the past few months of curiosity, to attend a commission meeting I urge no, I challenge each community to attend one commission meeting in the next few months so they Do we really need someone telling us how we should think, interpreting reality for us? Mimi DAngelo Wellesley, Massachusetts Who Wants Walmarts When You Can Have Plazas?In regards to the cover story about Mid Sometime thereafter and back in Miami, the media was abuzz with news that Walmart was considering a store at Mid town, and of course part of the buzz was I can understand the anti-Walmart developed and what came to mind was revenue for the Midtown people, but why does it have to be with the same old, same old? You need to have visited the big beau tiful Spanish plazas in Madrid to appreci Not only are they multifunctional, they are very pedestrian friendly and visually with tables and umbrellas are placed in a with columns all around, beautiful street lamps spread throughout, and a big, multiIn Spain, we saw families sitting and chatting while kids were playing; couples having dinner, enjoying being outside in a this nature be for Miami! The space at Midtown is big enough to really create a work of functional architectural beauty Just a thought, Biscayne Times up the great work! Ernie Garcia Upper Eastside Commentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12

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George KluckMarket SpecialistWe Know Real Estate. We Care About People. *par *par o o o o *par o o o o o o o *par

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Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorIm spending a wonderful long weekend in the great museums and galleries and enjoying the beautiful downtown area with its great bike and walking paths and an Sadly, all this is not enough to cure my depressive state about the City of Miamis insane actions relating to development of velop the waterfront area where Grove Key Marina and Scottys Landing restaurant are Like all the developments the city has The highest bidder gets the deal, regardless of whether the development is good for the why we have wall-to-wall condos on our City Manager Johnny Martinez and his minions started this most recent mess by pushing the vision they had for the waterfront with no input from residents bother to note that there is a current Next Martinez selected a bid-review committee that included two City of ployee, an architect, and a person who I thought to be a restaurant specialist and who is employed by a company called company is the food services delivery So it turns out that there is not a single person on the review committee who has any knowledge of waterfront development, restaurant operation, or signature restaurant on the water! The whole bidding process turned out to be another one the citys famous presentations from the bidders were held in secret with no residents or media minion began handing out the bid docuI guess the somewhat good news is that the committees deliberations over which bidder to recommend was done in public hadnt seen the bid documents, reporters and concerned citizens had no idea what In the end, the committee did to the city manager, who will decide whether to forward it to city commis public or the media has even seen the this is that the public gets to vote up or little bump in the road is a result of the Carollo Amendment, after former waterfront property owned by the city been a big fan of Carollo, but in this case Now, you might say we should give whole process, but Id point out that the city doesnt have a particularly good master plans since 1985 and not a single The Flagstone marina/hotel project on the west side of Watson Island was signed, sealed, and delivered nearly ten The Jungle Island complex has been built, but it was with federal community-blockgrant funds that were meant for revitalizing hock for millions to the city and private They want the city to give them more Watson Island land and a 50-year lease extension so Can the City of Miami ever straight30 years Ive been tracking one bad city In the 1950s, the commission was so bad that Floridas governor removed I think it might be the right thing to do arguing that some Miami politicians are Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com www.AccessibleAventura.com 305-627-3103 Serving Dade County License # 299993833RN/LPNs Private Duty Nursing Bathing/Dressing Wound Care Medication Management Meal Preparation Transportation Therapy Services Driving Service We provide Free Consultation for all of Our Clients Prior Service! So Long, ScottysOne thing about Miamis record of waterfront development: Its consistent consistently awful

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VILLA ON THE SANDBrand new construction | 3 Story 5BR/ 5.5BTH | 5,076 sq. ft. | Walled & gated villa $2,975,000 Short Sale 1423 North Atlantic Blvd Fort LauderdaleStately 4 BR/4.5BTH main house w/ 10,887 sq. ft. interior | Separate 2 Bed/2 Bath guest house | 5 gated acres | Pool | 2-car garage | Generator | 25 stall stable | 100 x 200 lighted riding arena | Zoned agricultural | Low property taxes | Immaculate! | Live the Country Life! $3,299,000 Immaculate!23777 Southwest 152th Avenue Homestead LAKEVIEW OPPORTUNITY3BR/3BTH in Main House | 2/1 in Guest House | Walk to Fisher Park | Great neighborhood | $599,000 Cash Sale only | 740 W 51th St Street Miami Beach MAGICAL MORNINGSIDE ESTATE2 Story 4BR/2.5BTH main house | 2/1 Guest House w/2-car garage | 3,352 sq. ft. | Rare 27,000 sq. ft. lot $1,299,000 | 5960 North Bayshore Drive Miami AQUA 4BR/4.5BTH | 2,752 sq. ft. | Immaculate! | Lives like a house | Fab open kitchen | Amazing water views | 2 parking spaces | $987,000 6103 Aqua Avenue #504 Spear Miami Beach AQUA 3BR/3.5BTH | 2,203 sq. ft. | Breath taking Intracoastal views | 2 parking space | Large terrace $987,000 or Lease $6,500/ M furnished 6103 Aqua Avenue #304 Spear Miami Beach AQUA 3BR/3.5BTH | 2,343 sq. ft. | Designer entertainment system | 2 parking space | $1,100,000 6103 Aqua Avenue #803 Spear Miami Beach AQUA LOFT 2BR/2.5BTH | 1,957 sq. ft. | 12 ft. high ceilings | 2 assigned parking | 2 dogs OK | Fab open kitchen | $799,000 | 201 Aqua Avenue #904 Chatham Miami Beach RIVER PARC GATED COMMUNITY3BR/2BTH home | 1,992 sq. ft. | Close to Aventura Mall | Walk to schools & Houses of Worship | Reduced: $439,850 | 2599 NE 206 Ln Aventura WATERFRONT RARE PENTHOUSE2 BR/2BTH | 1,175 sq. ft. | 12 ft. ceilings | Ocean city & water views from every room | $650,000 5640 Collins Avenue #8A-PH Miami Beach RITZ CARLTON SHORT SALE2 BR/2.5BTH | 1,166 sq. ft. | 1 parking space | Amazing views | Best deal in building | Luxury for less 3400 SW 27th Avenue #707 Coconut Grove OCEAN VIEW REMODELEDviews of the ocean | Full service bldg | Doorman, Pool | $390,000|5600 Collins Avenue #12T Miami WWW.NANCYBATCHELOR.COM C 305 903 2850 O 305 329 7718NANCY@NANCYBATCHELOR.COM NANCYBATCHELORFrom Modern To MediterraneanOCEANSIDE LIVINGELEGANT ESTATE & EQUESTRIAN CENTERNEW LISTINGS

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$ 1.1mKeystone Pt. Waterfront Quick Bay & Ocean Access Executive Waterfront H ome in 24 Hr. guard gated Islands of Keystone Point. F rom the dock of this remodeled home you are in Biscayne Bay in 5 minutes and cruising/fishing the Atlantic Ocean 10 minutes later. 75 ft on deep water canal, NO Bridges to Bay. Features: 5 bedrooms 5 baths over 4,000 sq.ft living area. 25' soaring ceilings, open floor plan, huge granite kitchen w/ cooking island + walk-in pantry. Custom pool. 2 Car Garage. www.jeffkoebel.com jeffkoebel@realtor.com Montgomery & Koebel, Inc. Annie Montgomery Realty NEW CONSTRUCTION Waterfront Paradise Brand New Construction Custom Built 2 Story pool home! Modern Design with Super highend finishes. 5br, 6ba, 3 car garage, 5,970 sf., 75 feet on direct bay canal. 45' foot dock, 2 boatlifts (24K & 12K). Yard completely gated and fenced. Full security alarm and camera system. Metal roof, separate outside kitchen, complete sound system, huge eat-in kitchen natural gas. OWNER WILL FINANCE !!! Offered at $1.79m. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Gorgeous water views and park like setting in the front. Quiet, tropical, & serene a must see! This waterfront home has it all. Won t last long. 5000+ sq.ft Newer Construction. 6 beds, 5 baths. 2 car garage. High end finishes everywhere: marble flrs, granite kitchen with center island, custom pool and waterfall Jacuzzi. Impact/hurricane windows and doors. Security cameras & Alarm Sys. Too much to list. 75 ft on deep water-room for the big boat & the little boat! Beautiful wide water views No bridges to bay. Located in the 24 Hr. guard gated community of Keystone Point. $1,990,000 305-606-2252 Keystone Pt. Island 5 Waterfront 76 Feet on protected ocean access canal Boat lift No Bridges to Bay Lowest price per sq.ft. for this 2 storytri-level pool home. Huge living areas, updated eat-in kitchen with granite counters. Upstairs master suite, tub & separate shower + large walk-in closet FEATURES: Auto exterior light ing, sprinkler sys, alarm s ys, waterfall & pond! Offered in the low $800sMake offer! O come o ften over 400ft on the Waterfront 2 lots side-byside. No bridges to ICW. Vacant Point lot 20,000sq.ft. with on water Adjacent Property with 4 BED, 4 BATH, 3500sq.ft. 2 Car Garage, Pool on Lot and house can be purchased separately or make offer for both togetherSeller is motivated & will consider owner financing! OWNER WILL FINANCE

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22 Commentary: URBANIACourtesy of DacraBy Christian Cipriani BT ContributorWhen I moved to South Florida in 2005, I accidentally moved Id landed a job editing a design magalocked doors; behind me, Miami geared For the next hour I tested the limits of my Dodge Neon, outrunning a death-black storm as it chased me all the way back up up and down I-95 at least once a day wore off after only a year, at which point I took a job in the Design District and moved to and I still managed to be late, but I was The condo boom was at its height, and people were coming in droves to furnish their new apartments with high-end goods at the design magazine used to scoff at my didnt know the brands, the players, the fairs, (Yes, as a matter fact I was 30-somethings worked in ad agencies before Mad Men made it cool, while The nightlife scene was decidedly young making Saturday-night indie party, had a The King Is Dead, Grass, and just up losses went most people under 35, and The next few years saw more changFirst, it turned over second Saturdays when the split was pretty even, but in week is now focused on Midtown and pursued an older, wealthier, and more Nightlife now consists of restaurant cocktail bars and the outdoor lounge at NE 39th Street and NE 1st Avenue And I believe all of this change has group controls nearly the whole district, is one of Miamis smartest and most long game, moving the chess pieces in an ticipation of getting the neighborhood to Last month his company unveiled a $312 million, four-block, mixed-use de velopment that will transform the Design sion unanimously gave the project its pre destination, the district wants to become a hangout replete with rooftop green spaces Dacra also poached ultra-luxury retailers like Hermes and Louis Vuitare also forthcoming, as are new hotel, I spent about four years working in the Design District, and my memory is of a pretty area nestled right up against Little security cars lurking around, muggings, car break-ins, and the faint sound of gun conversation with one of my neighbors, who manages one of the districts premier furniture stores, I learned that these con neither he nor a Dacra rep were available to comment for this column, I think its safe to assume that the issue of security is high up on their list of Things That Design District are about to be hot on motion, I am willing to bet that this And those of us who drifted away will Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Design District, RedesignedA new mega-project will dene the neighborhoods future

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www.the-collection.us 15400 BISCAYNE BLVD. MIAMI, FL 33160305.944.3727 MADE IN GERMANY

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26 Commentary: MY VIEWBy Craig Chester Special to the BTA the key to urban vitality and innovation or are they just culde-sacs in the sky? In a keynote speech during the recent 20th Congress for New the rush to density will unlock and This rush to density, this idea that density creates economic growth, is wrong, Florida Skyscraper communities are vertical suburbs, Death and Life of American Cities (1961), Jacobs objected to neighborhoods that were made up exclusively of high-rises and instead preferred neighborhoods with buildings that are a mix of ages and types Greenwich Village in New consider cities around the world, its in those types of neighborhoods where you music venues, the authentic, the local businesses, the innovators, the vitality on the 23rd story of building built in me and sits atop an eight-level parking pedestal where every car has a happy I can walk for nearly all my basic human needs groceries, a barber, a Metrorail and the Metromover, both that stirs the human spirit or merely a semi-walkable streetscape in the shadows of impersonal towers functioning as In many ways, the mega-condos of able characteristics of a suburban gated community, despite being the densest neighborhood south of New York City sible to know more than few people in a 50-story building, if you know any at (which can drive up the cost of a unit anywhere from 15 to 30 percent, according to parking expert Jeffrey Tumlin) acts as an incentive to drive, therefore buildings and their residents, by nature, ity does not encourage civic engagement; in the most recent city commission elecMiamis Suburbs in the SkyBrickells towering condos leave their residents isolated and disengaged

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percent did not plaza, no signature park, no outdoor public room, no farmers market or gathering place, most of the public realm is centered around commercial third places (Starbucks) or reduced to are terribly neglected and the streets full sidewalks, perpetual construction with worker disregard of pedestrians, dark streets, blank walls, bullying motorists, busy arterials with scant crosswalks, and are beginning to look a lot like those implanted in suburban shopping malls acceptable if there were actually some other businesses opening besides restauno one seems to be talking about is the condo behemoth and the largest private construction project in the United States For better or worse, this billion-dollar project will fundamentally transform the the one hand, it will mitigate the retail national franchises, thousands of park towers that function more like a suburban an active pedestrian realm seamlessly Its obvious that areas like Wynwood, Midtown, and the Design District are the emerging centers of Miamis arts beginning to seem like a stark contrast weekend playground for suburbanites, wealthy South Americans on vacation to their second homes, and disengaged The longer-term prospects for the will face massive maintenance costs and liabilities in an era of expensive energy an increasingly urgent situation that smaller, human-scaled buildings will the limitations of their enormity will be The key to long-term vitality in a neighborhood is whether its inhabitants place itself is the single most important community values its history; is walkable and mixed-use; values arts, both street art and high art; and integrates the seems to be failing on the other fronts Entitled residents are using an ancient Street art and high art? There are no art art is the incessant sidewalk spray paint indiscriminately spewed by utility and built and natural environment? Another failure, as virtually all that exists in There are some improvements on the to be more pedestrian-oriented in the the underlying social construct of a go to a bookstore or bicycle shop, amenities commonly found in places with a sitmiami.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com WWW.JAKEMILLERLAW.COMReal Estate Family Law Estate Planning Bankruptcy THE LAW OFFICES OF JAKE MILLER, LLC

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WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM REDUCED $219,000 La Playa Properties Group, Inc. 2275 Biscayne Blvd., Ste 1, Miami, FL 33137 LaPlaya@LaPlaya-Properties.comIf you are looking to buy, sell, or rent your property call us at305-672-0773LaPlayaMiami La Playa Properties Group @LaPlayaMiami REDUCED $224,000 QUANTUM ON THE BAY1900 N BAYSHORE DR # 3519, MIAMIBeautiful NE direct bay views from this condo for sale. Live close to everything, in the heart of Miami, walking distance to the Performing Art Center, American Airlines Arena, Bayside, and more. Close to South Beach.VENETIA CONDO555 NE 15 St # 21-F, MIAMI FOR SALE $389,000Spectacular 3 bed 2 bath unit with direct Downtown Miami skylines and Bay views. Laminate wood flooring and berber carpet in bedrooms. Amenities include pool, gym, and social room. PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $269,900Great unit with magnificent city and ocean views, 1 bedroom and 1.5 bath, open kitchen, new appliances. This condo has never been lived in, washer and dryer inside and oversize balcony. Will not last!!! 2 story resort style home decorated with modern taste. Over 2,000 Sq.Ft., top of the line tile floors, SS appliances, covered garage, laundry room, tiled patio for entertainment, and bedroom terrace. Best home in this gated community!!! SAN SIMEON HOMES320 NE 211 ST, NORTH MIAMIONE MIAMI EAST335 S BISCAYNE BL # 3910, DOWNTOWN MIAMI23 BISCAYNE601 NE 23 ST # 1606, MIAMI Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148FOR SALE $275,000The best 2 story PH unit with 2 master suites plus the biggest loft space. Ceramic floors throughout. Huge kitchen, stainless steel appliances and oversized balcony. Rented for a year at $1,700.ALTOS DE MIAMI1 GLEN ROYAL PW # PH1601, MIAMIRudy CastroRealtor Associate 305-310-9656 Mayra RiveraRealtor Associate 786-210-8181 Leandro MuriasRealtor Associate 305-798-3800Starting $1,500Come live in Miamis Art and Entertainment District. Different floor plans available1Bed / 1Bath 834 Sq.Ft. starting at $1,500 / Month 2Bed / 2Bath 1,258 Sq.Ft. starting at $1,900 / Month 3Bed / 2Bath 1,588 Sq.Ft. starting at $2,300 / Month23 BISCAYNE601 NE 23 ST, MIAMILinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148Spectacular view of Biscayne Bay. Beautiful 1bed/1bath furnished condo with Italian kitchen cabinets and granite countertop. Amenities: 2 pools, gym, Jacuzzi, 24 hr security, valet, and concierge services.FOR RENT $1,950 FOR SALE $895,000Country style estate with over a 4,600 Sq. Ft. of living space. Featuring tennis courts, abundance of fruit trees galore, generator, in-laws quarter, room for an Olympic sized pool.REDLAND CITRUS22661 SW 157 AV, MIAMI Catherine UpeguiRealtor Associate 305-794-6366

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Our SponsorsBizBuzz: July 2012Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possibleBy Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorJuly is the month that starts with one on the fourth, and then hopefully doesnt continue with more big blasts that arent such fun heat waves, hurBT advertisers have deals to help you get Lets start with Independence plus radio Classical South Florida and Coca-Cola bring you Fire on the Fourth a free family-friendly, all-day beachfront festival (stage at 8th Street include indie art-rock musician Fred 81st or 72nd streets; returning north woods cutting-edge alternative O Cinema has you covered with its Audio Junkie a half-dozen other bands, plus live silk For pet owners, the Humane Society of Greater Miami New Times has tips for keeping your furry friends safe er noises can agitate pets, keep them inside (possibly with the TV on, to mask are toxic and that goes for matches wearing secure ID tags, in case they get as it is to allow the four-legged party animals lap up a bowl of beer with you, Evidently theres more than one reason why midsummer scorchers are referred to as dog days, including a record number of canine-related ads tiser Poop 911 clean-up service thats here to pick up where your dog left off, meaning their poop-scooping staff will keep your yard clean, green, and party-friendly; additional services range from dog company has larger cleaning solutions for homeowner and condo associations, Health-conscious pups and their people will be happy with Julys deal of the companys nutritionally complete dog food, and $1 off By Nature dog bis located at Smiling Pets Animal Clinic has offered organic gourmet meals, such as delectable-looking mutt-loaf, Laly Abelate presents Cooking for The $30 price (for one dog and his or her human) includes a taste test of the hurry over to new advertiser, and new Design District hot spot, Barrel Wine Cantine 576-7775), where chef/owner Victor humans, plus Miamis ultimate foie on Mondays Industry Nights, happy hour for ladies on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday wine tastings with some very impressive master wine experts, Welcome also to new advertiser Adelitas Caf 305-576-1262), humble-looking and slightly hidden from view, but Miamis breakfasts la ranchera eggs with FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH of Miami DowntownExperience L.I.F.E. Downtown:Living, Inclusive, Faithful, EmergingWORSHIP TIMESSUNDAY Informal 8:30am Traditional 11:00am WEDNESDAY Bible Study 6:30pm400 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132r frrnt brrtr rt305-371-4706info@fumcmiami.comACROSS FROM BAYSIDE FREE PARKING ON 5th St.NURSERY AVAILABLE FOR 11:00am WORSHIPVisit us on the web anytime!www.FUMCmiami.com /FUMCmiami/FUMCmiami C hil d r e n s Adventure Da ys S unda y Jul y 29 1 2:30 3:00 p .m. Toddler-Teena g er welcom e Cra f ts, g ames, and l essons for all a g es. No pre-re g istration needed SUNDAY brr M G R Visitusonthew Continued on page 32

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Our Sponsors: J ulyULY 201 2meal-in-a-bowl sopa de caracol (conch soup) or tapado de res (beef/coconut stew), it has long been the place to go for a comprehensive introduction to this Welcome back to Mikes at Venetia hangout long before this tropical Irish pub, with expansive bayview terrace, been a home away from home for local journalists forever, so you know that both the American pub grub (hefty burgers and steaks, roast beef sandwiches, are affordable enough to eat there every For Italian comfort food thatll evoke the homey red sauce joints of your childhood, not just in taste but in portion size (big) and price (small), visit new advertiser that has possibly been around since Il Piccolo Caf As well as all the expected old Italianprises, including elaborate fresh salads How about a restaurant thats both new advertiser Caf 46 305-400-8828) which, in all but name decade-old neighborhood institution Joe And you can now enjoy your old favorite dishes not only at dinner but at a justAt Bagels and Company (11064 Cohen is offering readers four coupon $10 or more; $5 off checks over $20; and offers are good weekdays only, with this While All-You-Can-Eat Lobster Wednesdays arent a summer-only thing Kitchen 305 cionados preferred pick for their supreme Dine on dishes and drinks from dozens of South Floridas top res taurants and beverage specialists on July 19 at the 25th annual Taste of the Nation Miami feast at Turnberry Isle Susser started the charity event when If youre seeking entertainment options for your own children during summer vacation, try Midtown Moonlit Movies, sponsored by The Shops at Midtown Miami to end in June, has been extended owing on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the next two months (July 11 and 25, Earlier we mentioned getting you could be in the best shape ever if you visit Inner Balance Studio (12579 to its signature roster of massages and plines that bolster both body and mind BT If youre more mind-oriented than body-oriented, try a Psychic Tarot Reading by Sophia appointment only, her palm, tea leaf, or crystal-ball readings address anxiety management, marital issues, phobias, If youre more into body improve ment, on the other hand, get instant Hannah & Her Scis sors services, eyebrow and body waxing, and even Hannah Laskys own hair products when you mention the BT and hair artists artwork, too, at her salons new and expanding art gallery and gift lows, custom upholstery, and more are BizBuzzContinued from page 30 rfn tbttrrt t r90-minute treatments for only $99trntn t tttnrn rt rtr Spa-goers may access the fitness center and tranquil Cascata Pool

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36 Ted Vernon loves to be the center of attention. He craves it. Its what drives him, and as such, its good for business. For the past 35 years, Vernon has owned and operated Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles, a dealership that mainly sells and trades classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. His customers range from small-business owners, retirees, tourists, and fellow car dealers to celebrities, professional athletes, and even royalty from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. The way he buys, sells, and trades is nothing short of amazing, to be honest, says Jim Silverman, sales manager at Vista BMW in northern Broward. Hes a master of knowing what a deal is going to do. He trades down the line. You do a deal, he shakes your hand, and as far as hes concerned, the deal is done. Vernon isnt content, however, with being the local classic-car guru. A short, muscular man with a long bushy mustache and bald pate, he produces movies that usually star himself and whose plots have included homicidal scarecrows, a kidnapped autistic child watched over by a guardian angel, a maniacal Seminole spirit, zombies, and murderous Cuban communist art thieves. At age 63, Vernon also wrestles for Fort Lauderdale-based Future of Wres tling as his alter-ego, the Trillionaire Ted Vernon, an unscrupulous wrestling manager out to destroy whoever is cast as the protagonist in a particular bout. Previously he sang in a doo-wop group, smashed cars in demolition derbies at the old Hialeah Park racetrack, and fought in amateur and professional boxing matches. Hes a character and he likes to entertain people, says his wife, Robin Ziel-Vernon, a striking, six-foot blonde thirtysomething who runs the day-to-day affairs of the business while Ted makes deals. That makes Ted Vernon happy. If youre laughing, he wont stop making jokes. I am an egotistical fellow, he admits. I like being in front of the camera. I dont enjoy the behind-thescenes stuff at all, the whole hardworking stuff. Thats why Robins here. Robin does all the hard stuff. I buy, sell, trade cars. I laugh all day. I deal with nice people all day. I dont do a damn thing. Its great stuff! A glimpse of the Vernons world can still be seen on Discoverys Velocity Channel, where reruns of the 2011 realty show South Beach Classics featuring By Erik BojnanskyPhotos by Silvia RosYes, he sells classic cars to foreign potentates, but thats just his warm-up act Welcome to the Ted Vernon ShowVernon also produces movies whose plots have included homicidal scarecrows, a maniacal Seminole spirit, and murderous Cuban communist art thieves.

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the couple and their auto dealings, still air. When people come here, they may not come here to buy a car, Vernon says. Ill crack on their old lady, tell them stories, keep them laughing. Its not about the car anymore. Its about the experience. Its the Ted Vernon Show!The couple has just moved to a larger stage, in fact. For 33 years Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles operated from a hidden lot barely a half-acre in size at 471 NE 79th St. in the Upper Eastside, shoehorned between the Biscayne Plaza Shopping Center and the Little River. That changed several months ago, when the business moved to 8301 NW 7th Ave., adjacent to I-95. (The old location is being leased as a storage and repair facility for boats and jet skis.) Aside from providing more exposure than the old site, the new property covers four acres and includes a pair of show rooms. This gives plenty of space for Vernon not only to display his vehicles, but to show off his art collection, includ ing a machine gun created by Miami titanium artist Omar Ali, as well as sports memorabilia and a taxidermy collection. That last features an elephant head with trunk outstretched, a wallaby that sharp claw, squirrels frozen on bark, and mounted antelope and deer heads, bear and lion rugs, a raccoon, a sloth, and a warthog. A professed animal lover who claims not even to keep a catch collecting stuffed animals, mounts, and skins for years. They all have stories, he says. The Vernons own story has taken some unexpected turns. The couple moved from their old location not because they wanted to, but because they had to, he says. For the past seven years, the Vernons have been locked in a legal struggle with the owners of Biscayne Plaza Shopping Center, principally developers Edward Easton and Allen Greenwald, and Stephen Bittel, president of Terranova, a Miami Beach-based property management company. The Vernon maintains, and has been a source of relentless stress. Alan Marcus, the Vernons attor2005, when Vernon refused to sell his 79th Street property to Biscayne Plaza. At the time, the shopping center owners wanted to replace the aging mall with Continued on page 38 People may not come here to buy a car. Ill keep them laughing. Its not about the car anymore. Its about the experience. Its the Ted Vernon Show!

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38 a multi-use project comprising 2470 housing units and 200,000 square feet of retail. The site plan included Vernons dealership, and when he refused to sell, the owners retaliated by severely limiting access to it. Visitors were even forbidden from using a back road perpendicular to 79th Street. Instead, two narrow strips of land, barely the width of a car, were provided to the Vernons as easements. One easement, just north of 79th Street, is obstructed by two streetlights. I couldnt walk in and out of my building. Can you imagine that? Vernon seethes. Robin eventually created a new doorway by ripping down a wall facing their parking lot. Easton, Greenwald, and Bittel also sued Vernon for more than $2 million for alleged trespass violations made by invitees to his business, and for back rent on some vacant mall property he formerly used as a parking lot. Marcus insists that Biscayne Plazas owners waived the rent for 15 years until they sought Vernons land. A jury awarded the mall owners $40,583 in March 2011. Early this year Judge William Thomas added the mall owners legal fees of $266,588 to Vernons bill. The Vernons are appealing the case. Theyre also countersuing the shopping center owners for lost income and fraud based on a 1957 court judgment Robin uncovered guaranteeing the right to use the private road as an easement. Marcus claims the owners knew about the easement but never disclosed it during the civil trial. During a deposition, Miami backed out of a deal to buy the shopping center in 1986 after Stephen Bittel informed him of the easement. Harris Buchbinder, an attorney rep resenting the shopping center owners in the Vernons lawsuit, scoffs at the fraud charge. He insists Bittel never knew about the 1957 ruling and accuses Dezer of pro tecting his friend and fellow car collector. (Dezer owns the Dezer Collection, a car museum in North Miami Beach.) court will overrule Judge Thomass decision and clear the way for the Vernons to extract damages from the mall owners: They have much more to worry about than we do. Says Vernon: I have a very low bullshit tolerance. I dont like being pushed around. I dont like being bullied. I dont like it. And they are bullies. Vernon ShowContinued from page 37 Continued on page 40 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

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When he was growing up in Brooklyn, Vernon recalls, he was constantly targeted by wanna-be tough guys. I was the one Jewish kid in my neighborhood who didnt back down, he says. I didnt let them push me down. It started with one and bigger guys and bigger guys. I was like, What would it take to stop this? And it was that I had to lose. And I wasnt going to do that. His cousin, Avi Wygodski, who lives in Tallahassee, doubts that Vernon ever wanted to back out of a tussle. He was never gave him shit. Vernon didnt like people tormenting his family members, either. When he discovered that an older boy in the neighborhood was forcing little Avi to walk off the sidewalk whenever he was around, he came to the rescue. As we were walking, this bully came by, Wygodski remembers. I told Ted, We have to get off the sidewalk. This guy doesnt like me being in front of him. His cousin refused and told him to stay on the sidewalk too. Insults were exchanged until suddenly the smaller Vernon picked up the kid, swung him parked cars. The bully lost his balance and hit his head against one of the cars. He started to cry, Wygodski recalls. That was it. From that day on, I walked on the sidewalk. He didnt mess with me. leave them never wanting a piece of you hold someone down and make them say uncle, because then theyll come back. If body, or you have to defend yourself, do it well. Dont have them come back and think you got lucky. As soon as he graduated high school, told me to go, he says. Trouble soon followed him to Ohio, his next stop. He was charged with reckless driving and lost his license, so he stored his 1962 Buick convertible with his uncle. It was like my baby, he says. It had a fresh wax and seal. It was gorgeous. The day the suspension was lifted, he gleefully picked up his car. Im driving along and all of a sudden, pop, pop, pop. Three kids in their late teens, roughly Vernons age, hit his Buick with snowballs. Vernon says he chased them down and clobbered them one by one. The next day the local paper ran the story under the headline Three Teenagers Attacked by Gang. Vernon was picked up by the police, who questioned him about the other gang members. I Vernon ShowContinued from page 38 AllisonACADEMYFounded in 1983 A new cutting edge virtual environment including customizable courseware, solutions, and fully engaging activities!Accredited by: AISF, SACS/CASI, AdvancED, MSA NCPSA Customized Tests and Placement to Leading Universities AP Classes Available 305.940.3922 Dr. Allison Celebrates 50 Years in Education! Continued on page 42

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said, What gang? Vernon then went to work for his father, Harold Vernon, a real estate developer, and the job took him to West Florida. Once he reached Miami, he knew hed found home. Hed also reached his breaking point in the real estate business. He managed the construction of Tower 41 in Miami Beach (41st Street and Pine Tree Drive) and then quit. I was his dirty-job guy, Vernon says. Anytime there was an unpleasant job, there was me. I didnt want to work for him anymore. I love my dad, but I didnt like working for him, he adds. I wanted the independence of being myself. I probably would have been a very wealthy guy had I kept working for him maybe. Vernon decided to go into the car with a partner in 1977, but he didnt get along with his business associate, he says. So in 1979 he bought an old boating facility on the banks of the Little River for $150,000. I bought it on a handshake, he Vernon learned on the job. I had a thousand dollars and a lot of debt, he says. I worked 24/7 for years and built this dealership up. I love what I do. I love my clients. Every day is fun. Every day is a different deal. Robin Vernon credits her husbands success to his drive. When he wants something, she says, hell get it. This was apparently the case when the couple met on a blind date 14 years ago. At the time, Ted Vernon was divorced and had custody of his two children. Robin Ziel was working two jobs while going to school and taking care of her terminally ill mother. On that date, he told her theyd be get ting married; all she had to do was say when. She moved in with him about two months later and they were married within two years. The fact that he was so sure of himself is what attracted me to him, she says. Robin soon went to work for her husband and provided focus for his business. For example, in the late 1990s she recognized the value of having a website, an innovation that has allowed Vernon to obtain most of his automotive inventory through trades rather than car auctions. My wife is a rocket scientist! he beams. Shes the straw that stirs the drink. She gets it all done. Im able to do what I do because of her, and she never did this before she met me.Of all Vernons extracurricular activities, acting seems to be his favorite. He says hes appeared since the mid-1980s. Most of his roles are unnamed, menacing tough guys, such as a recent episode of Burn Notice that was shot a couple years ago at his old location. In one scene, he was supposed to sneak up behind protagonist Michael Westen, played by actor Jeffrey Donovan, only to get kicked in the chest. Vernon ShowContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44

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44 Dont play. Because Im going to sell this like you killed me. He says, Get him a kick pad, and I said, I dont need no stinkin kick pad. So he hit me. I back. I hit the car. On the second take, Vernon says, he decided to give Donovan even more encouragement. As the set is about to a pussy. Boom! He hit me again! Vernon produces the movies in which came out in 1988, wasnt even his idea. A photographer approached him with a horror-movie concept: Heavily armed robbers who pull off a heist and hijack a plane parachute with their hos only to be hunted down and gutted one by one by living dead scarecrows. Around the same time, he produced and co-wrote another movie, Hammer about a kind wrestler who is exploited by a greedy promoter. He but told the Canadian online sports magazine you learn. I had fun with it. Vernons movies have earned him star in and produce two low-budget horror movies, and Zombie Infection The executive producer thing was more of an honor thing than anything else, he explains, adding that the director, Alex Wesley, loved now a B-movie cult classic, I had a great time, he says. the cinematic career of Aiden Dillard, a 31-year-old who has shot commercials and documentaries for income and, for Vernon ShowContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46 SOYKA RESTAURANT ANDIAMO PIZZA SUSHI SIAM LONDON ACHIEVEMENT PROCESSES NORTHEAST MIAMI WOMANS CLUB CODIGO ENTERTAIMENT TODOBEB GREEN DOT ADVERTISING BISCAYNE TIMES AJP INTERIOR DESIGNS home toBETRULife/Style Store & Spiritualist ReaderDETAILSUnique Home Furnishings, Apparel & GiftsORIGINSTattoos by Luiz SegattoMILLE FLEURSFresh FlowersARCAYNE SALONHair & Nails The Restaurant KEPT GREEN, CLEAN, SAFE, AND LOOKING SHARP BY D&V SOLUTIONS 5400 5582 NE 4th COURT & 5600 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD 305 759 8227 | www.The55thStreetStation.com AMPLE VALET AND SELF PARKING WELCOMING LOUNGETHE ONLY REAL GYM IN MIAMI

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46 which he describes on his own website as some of the worst cinematic debacles of all time. At the age of 24, prior to meeting Vernon, Dillard directed and wrote followed by the sequel Meat Weed America starring potent marijuana and horny girls. with Vernon, he was actually trying to make a special kind of movie on autism for Accord Productions, a Miami-based company that also owns the Beach Channel. I wanted a warehouse space on the river and asked Ted if I could shoot there, Aiden recalls. He says, Sure, if you give me a role. I rewrote the script and turned it into a gangster movie. Thus came Special Angelz in which Vernon plays a gangster who kidnaps an autistic kid in order to recoup a debt. The movie also features an invisible guardian angel. On his website, Dillard proudly calls it the most embarrassing movie I have ever made, and he had found a new partner in his cinematic mischief. We became great friends, he says. Vernon produced and starred in Dillards next two movies. In Deathprint daughter is murdered by Cuban agents. Local fetish artist Rubber Doll and techno musician Otto Von Schirach play detectives trying to track down the painting the agents stole in the course of their homicide. And about a Seminole spirit named Coo-wahchobee who slaughters a group of beautiful women while they wander through an Ev erglades jungle on Columbus Day. Vernon plays the part of the axe-wielding spirit. Dillard cast Robin Vernon in Death print and too, but she acted reluctantly. Unlike her husband, she says, she doesnt seek the limelight. Ted will guilt-trip me into it, she says. I dont like being the center of attention. He loves it. He it. It might be a while before there are more Dillard B-movies. He is taking a Im trying to get into real estate or learn something that pays money, he says. While Dillard did a brief stint as a car salesman at documentary project about seahorses. break wont last long. Filmmaking is in his blood, just as acting is in Vernons. The entrepreneur says, As soon as I say to him: Aiden, lets make a movie, hell make a movie, I promise you. needs Vernon ShowContinued from page 44In Deathprint, Vernon is a pacist art dealer whose daughter is murdered by Cuban agents. In Hell Glades, hes an axe-wielding Seminole spirit.

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48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORStrange Case of the Missing SignsWhen neighbors saw that theyd disappeared, e-mails zipped and rumors ew Be Aware, All Ye Who EnterIt only took a decade to mark the entrance of Miamis historic Bayside neighborhoodBy Mark Sell BT ContributorBellowing bullfrogs, chirruping crickets, and buzzing mosquitoes arent the only sounds this month along the Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve nature trail linking NE 135th Street with Florida International University. The chattering of antsy neighbors is adding to the rainy-season cacophony at the edge of Oleta State Park. And its not just about the trail. Every blessed sign and marker along the path, about 16 altogether, went missing in the dead of night right before Memorial Day. Bike Lane. No Motor Vehicles. Watch For [Pedestrians, Bikers]. Simply disappeared. All the poles were gone, dug out of the ground. Some of the signs were strewn in the brush on the side of the trail, which runs roughly a third of a mile. The sign for the adjoining coastal FIU nature trail was also missing, too. E-mailers and callers got busy. Was FIU up to something nefarious? Is FIU getting ready to widen the nature trail, which it has long coveted, into a four-lane road, giving the 6500-student campus the second access road? The signs, after all, included things like: No Motorized Vehicles. The answer: Nope, not this time. It was theft, says North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin. As soon as the signs went missing, my phone was ringing off the hook. People thought it was FIU. I get why theyd be panicked. They stole all of the posts, but left some of the signs behind. the preserve in 2007 and protect it in late 2011, when FIU president Mark Rosenberg led the universitys aborted (or at least suspended) attempt to turn the paved nature trail back into a vehicular road. The city council voted unanimously against FIUs effort after residents gathered in force. Rosenberg quickly acknowledged the communitys will and looked forward to working together. FIU says nothing much has changed and that, no, of course it had nothing to do with the sign theft, though the issue still burns. FIU director of media relations Maydel Santana-Bravo did note: Our need for a second route in and out of campus is still there. Santana-Bravo says FIU is still talking with council members and seeking input in getting that second route in and out of the campus. Even if nothing has changed, one thing is indisputable: The neighborhood around the nature trail is about to go through a wrenching change, and its not Continued on page 56BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorBayside is not one of Miamis better-known neighborhoods. The quiet, demure area is hidden away behind the attention-grabbing MiMo Historic District, but its wealth of early 20th-century architecture made it a natural pick to become one of Miamis Still, it took another 21 years of persistence for the neighborhood to gain public recognition and a monument to acknowledge the designation. On June 10, about 50 invited VIPs, including county Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, attended a short commemoration of the new monument. The small ceremony Boulevard, so a public party was moved to the American Legion Post at nearby Legion Park, once the unveiling was completed. Darcon Group Corp. cast the 23-footlong marker in place on a bare portion a ships bow or a full-length canoe, a reminder of Biscayne Bays nautical heri tage; the taller end stands at a modest 2.5 feet, gently sloping downward toward the markers other end. A generous two-foot width allows the slab to serve as a planter, presaging the row of stately oaks and lush It gives us a sense of community, being a part of the Bayside Historic Neighborhood, said Louis Bourdeau, president of the Bayside Residents Association, the main force that fought for the marker. We have that natural gateway having a place where everybody comes in and out, and they see it all the time. As one of Miamis earliest neighboris bordered by Biscayne Boulevard, NE 68th Street, NE 72nd Street, and Biscayne Bay, had already begun to assert its individuality. Most of the buildings that contribute to the historic designaMediterranean Revival, Art Deco, and Streamline Moderne styles of early 20thcentury Miami. But the older vernacular buildings, and even the post-World War Continued on page 50Photo by Joseph Canale

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The Greening of BrickellA super-dense neighborhood desperately needs parkland, but who can afford it?East Greynolds GrowlingA six-dollar weekend fee to use the dog park has some patrons howling BT Senior WriterAs another crop of high-rises prepares to sprout in Brickell, a group of activists hopes to get area residents interested in obtaining more parkland within the most intensely developed neighborhood south of Manhattan. The group, Brickell Green Space, plans to ask Brickells developers to buy vacant lots from private-property owners and turn the land into parks. Brickell actually has some decent temporary open space, says Mark Schrieber, a manager with the Spinnaker Group, a green-construction consulting company. Those parcels will be gone soon. Thats why we chose to focus on Brickell. Its on a critical timeline. The development cycle has begun. On June 27, the Hong-Kong-based the billion-dollar Brickell CitiCentre project on nine acres at SE 6th Street and SW 1st Avenue. Once completed, Brickell CitiCen restaurants, and high-end retail. But the neighborhood is already drastically short on parks, even by Miami standards, and future development will Schrieber argues. According to the na City of Miami has just 2.8 acres of park land per 1000 residents, one of the lowest ratios in the country. Within Brickell, a one-square-mile area where more than west, Miami River to the north and Rick enbacker causeway to the south, there is only 0.54 acres per 1000 residents. Instead of pleading with the city, which has been struggling to balance its budget in recent years, Brickell Green Space intends to ask developers to buy privately owned parcels and then donate them to the city. Craig Chester, a Green Space, says parks are actually in the developers best interest. Without them, builders will have a harder time selling units. Were becoming rapidly overdeveloped, Chester says. The loss of views of all the surrounding areas will impact property values while increasing the strain on infrastructure. (Chesters essay Miamis Suburbs in the Sky appears in this issue, on page 26.) But before making a formal request to Swire, Brickell Green Space wants to create a groundswell of support on its website, brickellgreenspace.com and other online media outlets. We want to build that support and have that BT photos by Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterTerry Levinson and her husband Fred dont regret moving from New York to Aventura eight months ago. I like it here very much, say that New Yorkers are bad drivers. Well, theyve never been to Florida. Their three-and-a-half-year-old Maltese-poodle mix, Andy, gets restless and lonely sitting in their apartment. So a couple of times each month the Levinsons expose themselves to Miamis vehicular madness and drive Andy to East Greynolds, a waterfront park at 167th Street and Biscayne Boulevard that features two fenced-off dog areas (one reserved for small dogs, the other for large) with amenities such as benches, water fountains. Usually they visit on weekdays, when visitors are charged just a dollar for parking, but they seldom come on weekends. I dont want to pay six dollars just for him to play with other dogs, she says. Several East Greynolds patrons interviewed by the BT are quick to gripe about the six-dollar fee charged per car on weekends and holidays. (Buses and campers are charged $15.) Judy Peraza, a real estate agent from North Miami Beach, admits she had just complained to the park attendant on this Sunday afternoon. Usually I come with him at 4:30 p.m. and leave at 6:00 p.m., says Peraza, referring to Cowboy, her friendly black Pomeranian. But I still have to pay six dollars. Making the fee all the more perplexing is the abundance of dog parks in the area that charge either nothing or far lower rates. Haulover Park, for example, charges only three dollars on weekends. It is not worth it for 30 minutes, says Uta Nicths, a tourguide operator from Biscayne Park whose two-year-old Maltese is named Schatzi. Even if youre here 15 minutes before clos ing, they still charge you. Doris Howe, manager of communications and marketing for Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces, says her department doesnt like charging six dollars either. Nothing would be more ideal for us than to not have to charge fees for the services, programs, and facilities we provide, Howe says in an e-mail to the BT However, the reality is that it is simply not economically feasible or practical for us to Continued on page 52 Continued on page 50BT photos by Erik Bojnansky

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of revenue to offset operational costs, including maintenance. Since 2007 Howes department, which is responsible for nearly 13,000 acres of land in 263 county parks, has been struggling with a dwindling supply of property tax revenue. To balance the hours at some parks curtailed. In such an environment, lowering park fees would come at a price. If the fees were lowered, there will be less revenue, which would call for more subsidy [from the countys general fund], which would call for taxes going up, says Kevin Kirwin, Miami-Dade Parks assistant director of operations. Greynolds to be part of Greynolds Park, the 233-acre expanse of natural habitats, and feel of the neighborhood. Although Bayside was singled out for its architecture, the real draw is the people. The thing I like about the community is that its eclectic, explains longtime resident Joseph Canale. Its like New York City. You have different cultures. You have the Spanish culture, you have the Haitian culture, you have the American culture. You have many different people, just like in New York. Its wonderful, he adds, and its a well-grounded community of people who care. People get involved with the community, even though theyre working all day and they have families. They still take the time to come out and say, Listen, politicians, we need your help, and we need things done, and youre going to be here, and youre going to do it for us. The marker project took almost ten years to see completion, Canale says. Part of the reason for the delay was Biscayne Boulevard construction and a drainage project, but the most daunting obstacle was the City of Miami. The original designs, by Shulman & Associates, were deemed too large for the site, he notes, and other considerations needed to be addressed. While waiting for all the kinks to be knocked out, the community raised and Sarnoff each added $5000 to the bill for the marker was $21,413. sively for construction; the rest of it went to internal costs paid for through the citys Capital Improvements Program. Fortunately, most of the funds designated for the project were set aside long before the real-estate bust forced the county and city to tighten their belts. Albert Sosa, director of the citys Capital Improvements Program, headed the coordination efforts, including scaland Environmental Preservation Board were the two departments that had to sign off on the project). Sosa notes how impressed he was with the communitys persistence. You had a homeowners association who was very committed to getting this done, he says. They never gave up. For many years there was always a reason why the current design iteration wouldnt work, but they kept at it. Were just happy that we could get together with them and develop something that, number one, was feasible and, number two, was something that they liked. So I think it was a win-win for everybody. Im glad they persevered and stuck with it, he adds. It would have been easy to give no but they didnt do that. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com SUNNY ISLES Sandspoint New R.E.O. $445K MIAMI BEACH Waterfront/Investment 12TH Units Bulk Sale 1.9 Mil TROPICANA Ocean Front 2BR New R.E.O. AVENTURA SUNNY ISLES MIAMI BEACH TROPICANA AVENTURAAttrium Penthouse $675,000Number One For Worldwide Connections rfSELLING?Dont list with just any one agent, list with Century21 and have the power of 75 local agents, speaking 12 different languages and over 350,000 agents world wide working for you. The Only Website You Need To Knowwww.Century21KingRealty.com305.213.1435 305.433.1775 KING REALTY3495 NE 163rd ST N. Miami Beach, FL 33160 JADE BEACH Pending Sale $2,150,000JADE BEACH BaysideContinued from page 48 East GreynoldsContinued from page 49 Continued on page 54

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FOREC FOREC L L OSURE DEFENSE? OSURE DEFENSE? Foreclosure defense is to the fire, and making them prove every aspect of their case. It is about identifying fra udulent documents, challenging the authority and authenticity of those individuals who sign the endorsements, assignments of mortgages, and affidavits. It also means seeking and identifying documents that contradict the claims. Goals are very important to identify at the beginning of your case. Goals will determine how a defense attorney will pursue your case. Every individual and family has different goals arising from different situations. Foreclosure defense attorneys must aggressively test the basis for each case on your behalf. They must have the knowledge and experience where and how to apply pressure on the Bank. Your attorney should have experience to know when to apply pressure to best meet your goals. You have options and you have rights. You have nothing to lose if you fight. You have the right to stand up against the Bank. Civil Justice Advocates, PL Civil Justice Advocates, P.L., is a law firm founded on the princip al that everyone deserves the best defense against the Banks and Debt Collectors. We analyze on your individual situation, and tailor a legal strategy that best meets your goals. Sometimes this means an exhaustive legal battle, other times it can be a favorable settlement Our experienced attorneys know how to use all aspects of the law, including the FDCPA, to get you the be st possible results. In additi on, our paralegal staff has many ye ars of experience in the lending industry, and can put you on the right path for a loan modification, short sale, or other resoluti on. We also understand that sometimes bankruptcy ca n be the best solution. Our attorneys are experienced in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy, and can guide you to determine which one will best serve your particular circumstance. At Civil Justice Advocates, P.L., our experienced attorneys and staff will get you the results you deserve.hen in Foreclosure, consider the following DO DO s s and T T s s in protecting your rights and getting a resolution that benefits you: D D O O Seek legal advice based on knowledge, experience, and esprit de corps. is about obtaining the evidence, depositions, and affidavits. The laws are always changing, and you need someone who knows how to use the most recent developments to your advantage. T! T! Trust the Bank to stop their foreclosure because you are working on a loan modification or short sale. The Bank is under no obligation to delay their foreclosure, and the will not protect your rights. Do not ignore the lawsuit. DO DO File a response to the lawsuit within twenty (20) days of service. You can lose valuable rights by not responding. If you need time to seek legal advice, ask for an extension of time to seek an attorney. D D ON ON Think that talking to the Bank is the same as answering the Complaint. It is not. DO DO Keep a detailed journal of all calls and communication to the Bank, including the date, time, name, and substance of the call. Keep all letters, emails, and documents sent to you from the Bank. Civil Justice Advocates, PL 3601 W Commercial Blvd. Suite 18 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Ft. Lauderdale (main): (954) 677-8888 Miami: (305) 200-5115 By: Joann Hennessey, Esq. Fair Debt Collection Practices Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Act (FDCPA) takenly make it appear that you are, then you may have rights under the FDCPA. Debt Collectors try to collect debts, but sometime they go too far. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to sue a Debt Collector for abusive tactics. Some of these abusive tactics include: Contacting you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM. Contacting you if you have written to them requesting that they stop. Impersonating a law office, government agency, or credit reporting company. Threatening arrest for not paying. Using abusive or insulting language to coerce payment. Repeatedly contacting your friends or family. If you feel that a Debt Collector has been abusive, then you may have the right to sure them under the FDCPA.

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support base before we go to potential land donors, Schrieber says, because why would they listen to a random guy who walks off the street and says, Hey, we want you to buy some land for us, versus someone who walks in with a thousand signatures and support from the community? That goes a lot further. Brickell Green Spaces web page lists eight possible locations for parks. At the top of the list are 2.5 acres of vacant land near the Miami River and the SE 5th Street Metromover station, right across the street from land controlled by Swire Properties. Schrieber says his group envisions a 3.5-acre park that will be large enough to accommodate a running track, a playground, and a dog park. He adds that Brickell Green Space has also reached out to other developers, the Related Group and the Foram Group. They have the overwhelming major ity of condos in that area, Schrieber says of the builders. They clearly have a big stake in this effort. The land wont be cheap. Just last month, New York-based Millennium Partners, developer of Brickells 70-story Four Seasons Tower, sold 2.5 acres of the proposed parkland for $28.2 million to Carlos Mattos, according to the Daily Business Review A Colombian auto executive, Mattos has been snatching up properties in Brickell lately, including the 100-year-old Tobacco Road building at 626 S. Miami Ave. Wed been trying to get in touch with [Millennium], but they didnt want to have a meeting, for whatever reason, Schrieber admits. I guess they were going through with this deal. Hes still hopeful that Mattos might embrace the idea of his newly acquired land becoming a park. It doesnt change our overall goal, Schrieber says. Swire Properties, the Related Group, and Foram Group did not return phone calls from the BT Mattos could not be reached for comment. Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who represents the Brickell area, ap preciates what Brickell Green Space is trying to do but doubts the group will be successful in its quest. Youre talk ing about prime real estate in Miami, Sarnoff says. Am I hopeful they will suc ceed? Yes I am. Am I skeptical? Unfor tunately, I am. Why would property that sells for $60 a square foot be given away? Mallory Kauderer, managing partner of Brickell Flatiron LLC, also questions Brickell Green Spaces strategy. I dont know how practical it is business-wise to buy land for it to simply be a park, he says. Nevertheless a park is being built on property owned by Flatiron at 20 SE 10th St. Flatirons parcel is part of a larger, triangular property, similar to the Manhattan land on which the renowned Flatiron Building stands. Thanks to a deal with the city bro kered by Commissioner Sarnoff, Kauderer says, a permanent park designed by land scape architect Raymond Jungles is being created on 3100 square feet of the parcels southern tip. A temporary park will be built on another 6000 square feet of land. Chester says the current Flatiron Park project is encouraging, but he notes that much of the designated park will only be temporary. In fact, the Flatiron parcel is also on Brickell Green Spaces wish list. Our goal would be making the entire triangle a park, he says. Kauderer says he and his partners are market: We might do a joint venture here or sell it to someone in the future who knows? As for the entire parcel becom ing a park: I havent really thought of it. Im not sure what the city would offer me for it. (The lands market value was $5.3 million last year, according to the county The concept of developers donating land for parks doesnt sound ridiculous BrickellContinued from page 49 Continued on page 56

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54 campgrounds and picnic areas, walk ing and biking paths, a nine-hole golf course, and winding canals on the west 2010, both Greynolds (excluding the golf penditures totaled $732,600, Kirwin says. Kathy Sanchez, a dog owner from Highland Lakes, believes the countys insistence on treating the two parks as one is part of the problem. The entrance to big Greynolds Park (17530 W. Dixie Hwy.) is a mile from East Greynolds. At Greynolds Park, which also charges six dollars to park during weekends and holidays, but does not allow dogs, there is plenty to do. Not so at East Greynolds. Theres nothing there but the dog park, Sanchez says. She also questions why the county employs an attendant at $11.28 an hour to collect fees at East Greynoldss main gate on the weekends. During the week, the dollar parking fee is collected by machines. Kirwin says its far more costeffective to treat the two Greynolds as one park. The primary thing is that taxpayers dont have to pay for two park managers, he says. Instead staffers have duties at both parks. The dog area, which occupies less than two of East Greynoldss 57 acres, isnt the parks only feature. There is also a picnic ing or simply gazing at Maule Lake. East Greynolds didnt always have a dog park. It opened at the same time as camping, particularly by the Boy Scouts, Kirwin says. When the county commission in 2005 decided to build a two-acre off-leash dog section in East Greynolds, the closest canine-friendly open space was Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. The county spent $215,000 on its construction. The mu nicipalities of North Miami Beach, North Miami, Biscayne Park, Sunny Isles Beach, Aventura, Golden Beach, Bal Harbour, Surfside, and Bay Harbor Islands kicked in resources and supplies. From the very beginning, some parkgoers criticized the weekend parkToday area residents unwilling to pay the fee have several dog-park alternatives, including two in Aventura (for residents only), one in Sunny Isles Beach, one at Legion Park in Miamis Upper Eastside, six in Miami Beach, and a sprawling dog park at Haulover. Howe, the parks spokeswoman, says there is no evidence that the admission fee scares away visitors. She points out that more than 16,000 people visit East Greynolds on weekdays each year, while another 6000 visit on weekends. East Greynolds was full of people and dogs when the BT visited on a recent Sunday afternoon. The pavilion and all ages, while a number of dogs and their masters enjoyed the dog park. Several people, when queried, objected to the six-dollar fee. One of them who did not was Dexter Heromin. A Florida International University student with a hyperactive white Husky cost. He just moved from a Florida town that balked at raising taxes to help support a dog park there. It shut down. I dont mind paying six dollars, he says. Its better than seeing it close. The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is County. For more information, visit www. parksfoundationofmiami-dade.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com East GreynoldsContinued from page 50

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56 rfntbrbfrfn rtb rt t br rALIX DESULME is the ONLY candidate for District 108 who has a track record of ghting for DEMOCRATIC values. Alix is the only REAL Democrat in this race and will stand up to Rick Scott and the Republicans: b bf b fr n rrrf f rf ntnbbb to other real estate professionals BT spoke with. Why not? asks Grant Stern, president of Morningside Mortgage, who points out that developer Tibor Hollo and Jorge Perez of the Related Group have contributed to park efforts in the past. Most [Brickell high-rise builders] want to see a good neighborhood because theyre long-term developers. Theyre not just here for one boom and theyre out. Michael Y. Cannon, executive director of Integra Realty Resources-Miami, says builders in other cities, such as Charlotte, North Carolina, are encouraged to give land for parks. It can be done and its a good idea, says Cannon, a 45-year veteran of South Floridas real estate industry. Parks enhance the marketability of the neighborhood. Cannon also thinks Brickell area builders can be encouraged to create parks in exchange for other considerations, such as transferring the development rights from a future park to the builders main project. Ive been an advocate, from a market-analysis point of view, of transfer rable development rights for years, he says. Its the right thing to do. Not every inch of property should be developed. We need open space in the urban core area. But what if every vacant parcel in Brickell, instead of becoming a park, is developed? Then the city loses, the people lose, answers Schrieber, a transplant from North Carolina. Schrieber explains that he developed a passion for urban planning while pursuing his architecture degree in the University of Miami. When he moved to Brickell three years ago, he says he was so struck by the lack of parks that he formed Brickell Green Space with a handful of Brickell residents and urban professionals. If more parks arent created in Brickell during the current development cycle, they may never be created because the area will be completely built out. Brickell might then begin to lose market value to other up-and-coming areas. Schrieber notes that already some people are picking Edgewater as a place to live over Brickell thanks to that neighborhoods Margaret Pace Park. Man, this is a great neighborhood, he says, but there just isnt any open space. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Missing SignsContinued from page 48 BrickellContinued from page 52because of FIU. Its Biscayne Landing, where events are moving fast. The North Miami City Council on May 23 approved developer Michael Swerdlows plan to develop the adjacent 184 acres for the Biscayne Landing project. The ten-year, $500 million project will transform roughly 850,000-square-foot big-box retail complex including Lowes, Dicks Sporting Goods, Kohls, and Ross. The developer is Oleta Partners, a partnership between Swerdlow and New Yorks venerable and well-funded LeFrak Organization. The stores should open in 2017, with a hotel, assisted living facility, and rental construction following. As the BT has reported, Swerdlow says hed be happy to open a roadway to FIU from 143rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard, although the university would need to shoulder responsibility for running the remaining 1500 feet over state-owned, protected man groves. Doing that would require FIU to deploy all its lobbying might to get state permission to run a road over and through mangroves. That would be quite a trick. Nearby theres another, separate summer brew coming to a boil. Its on the other side of Biscayne Landing, where plans for a high-end strip club featuring nude female dancers just west of the FEC railroad tracks have launched a culture war. In late May, the city council considered lifting a liquor ban on nude clubs. The owners of the former Thee Doll House strip club in Sunny Isles Beach want to invest $2 million to renovate the old Locks & Co. complex at 2050 NE 151st St. Pastor Jack Hakimian of the Impact Miami Church has led a movement to thwart the club, and has gathered in opposition a growing chorus of neighbors and the management of the almostadjacent WPBT-Channel 2, home of the Big Bird and Elmo. Hakimian says, among other things, that no such club should be is 0.7 miles west of Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School, just under a mile from David Lawrence Elementary, and 1.2 miles from FIUs entrance. Nearly all student foot and bike Galvin, who has said he has no problem with the 151st Street club as long as it is not open during school hours and employs off-duty North Miami police for security, has set himself up for a dunking. Activists and residents who usually support him are hurling beanbags his way. He has decried Hakimian for being anti-gay and attacked Channel 2 for its shame in siding with him. That, in turn, has won Galvin, who is openly gay, the enmity of local activ ists, who dont like the strip club, either. In one sample, Ellen Abramson e-mailed the following: My sincere thanks to WPBT2, the home of Sesame Street for helping the citizens of the City of North NE 151st Street, within walking distance to the FIU dorms. This is not a gay issue as   Ga lvin   is t rying to make it. It is a business situation plain and simple! This environment will bring crime to that area, which will make it   un safe for Elmo and his friends and neighbors. Many thanks for anything Channel 2 is able to do to help us Abramson addressed the e-mail to two people: WPBT president Rick Schneider and FIU president Mark Rosenberg. Rosenberg has requested an appointment to talk with Galvin on July 15. He does not do this kind of thing to talk about the weather. But will it be strip clubs or nature trails? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Re-Elect A Voice for the VoicelessYon Vwa pou Moun ki pagenyen Vwa Una voz para los que no tienen Voz Mark # 24 rfntrbtbtnnrntr nnbnrnnrtbnnrnbntnbtn rtntn rntnnbrbb nrnnnbnnnrrttb ttrnnrtrbnnbtrbb bbbnbn nrnnnntntnr brnbnnbnnbrnbrrtt nbbnrnbnttnnnrtr rnnbtbrttbbnnrnnrnntrtn rbrnnttbnrrbrtntbt nnrnnnrnntb brnnbtrnnnnrnttnrt nrnnb brnrntrnbbtnrtntn A lifetime of Service trrnnrtbrrnbb

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADE LL ow-Scale Plans for a LL arge -Scale MessIn the citys rush to push through the Upper Eastside Neighborhood Conservation District, nobody winsBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorTo paraphrase a familiar clich: Its the process, stupid not the content! And so we behold the saga of the proposed Upper Eastside NCD Neighborhood Conservation District, or as some of the residents have come to call it, the Neighborhood Coercion District. So what exactly is the intent of this proposed NCD as presented by the applicant, the City of Miami? The proposed district is intended to protect and promote the low-scale character of the residential and commercial neighborhoods and corridors in the NE area of the city. It is intended to provide a buffer for the existing historic districts in the area and to protect the low-scale character planned and constructed throughout this NCD between the 1900s and 1960s. In addition, the area is host to valuable small-scale industrial properties along the FEC corridor, water-dependent uses along the Little River, the colorful and commerce-rich corridors of Biscayne Boulevard, and NE 79th Street. All neighborhoods, districts, and sites within these boundaries exhibit a tecture, [and] scale worthy of protection and recognized identity to be preserved. There is an obvious thread running through the proposed district, and that is low-scale just look at how many times low-scale or small-scale is included in the language. Now, I dont think anyone is in favor of high-rise buildings along the Boulevard or 79th Street, but compromise must come into play at some point, and the current 35foot height limitation within the MiMo Historic District will ultimately have negative impacts on our surrounding residential neighborhoods. The elephant in the room is parking As development continues along the Boulevard and 79th Street, parking becomes a premium. Just look at the proposed NCD. It has an entire section dedicated to parking issues. Why? Because the city box. Either the box gets larger or the surrounding neighborhoods bear the brunt Biscayne Boulevard Streetscape Vision / MiMo BIC r f n t b b f b

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way Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I A T LARGEMango ManiaIts the season for falling fruit, damn them all!By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT Contributor   Thwap! Thwap! Thwapthwapthwap! Bark! Thwap! Wooooooof! The Thwap? That, my dear readers, is the sound of a plump mango falling from its comfortable tree perch ten feet above my roof onto the cement patio in my backyard. That Thwap is loud. That Thwap is startling and, on the mango, it produces a single split resembling a smile. We are servants to the Thwap. And like the good lil Pavlovian pups that we are, that Thwap propels all the house inhabitants the dogs and me into motion. So goes the morning symphony now that it is mango season in Miami. Although Im a native and have spent nearly my whole life here, I never had the pleasure the blessing and the curse, rather of cohabitating with brush with a fruit tree on my premises. No, sir. I grew up with a carambola tree (also called star fruit) in what was then called Miami and now is known as East Kendall, or the Other Side of the Universe. The tree, behind my parents townhouse, bore the tangy, tart, apple-textured fruit the slices of which (when sliced properly) resemble stars. As a kid, I made a decent living off those things, selling them to longstanding gourmet market Norman Brothers on Galloway Road. Fast-forward a million years. I could now, too. Better money than I make at anything else I do, anyway. They go for about 75 cents apiece. But as with anything that sounds like a good thing, theres always a catch. Here it is: Id need to live in Kansas. See, Miamians might be mango crazy (more on that in a minute), but they will not pay for them. Unless theyre stupid. Thats because, even if you do not have a mango connection here, all you need to do is drive around and scout the tops of mangos to be had. For free. And why is that? Because they never stop falling BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith   JACCI SUZAN AUGUST 14, 2012 VOTE FOR SESKIN For County Court Judge Jacci has: Jacci has: Experience working as a Registered Nurse in New York and Florida for 25 years Experience working as an Assistant Public Defender & Currently as an Assistant State Attorney Experience working as a Guardian Ad Litem in the MiamiDade County Dependency Court Experience as Past Vice Chair of the Dade County Bar Juvenile Court Committee Experience as the Past PTA President of Ojus Elementary Experience as a Current Board Member of the Diabetes ResearchInstituteFoundationattheUniversityofMiami ResearchInstituteFoundation atthe UniversityofMiam i BRINGING A LIFE OF E XPERIENCE TO THE BENCH PUNCH #97 Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Jacci Suzan Seskin, non-partisan, for Miami-Dade County Court Judge, Group 27 VOTE AUGUST 14, 2012 TANYA BRINKLEY FOR COUNTY COURT JUDGE Punch #98 t is without reservation that we recommend Tanya Brinkley as a Miami-Dade Judge. We recognize the importance of sound and fair leadership in our community and believe that she is a great representation of both. League of Prosecutors Dade County Police Benevolent Association Concerned Citizens of Northeast Dade SAVEDADE TANYA HAS BEEN ENDORSED BY: t is without reservation that we recommend Tanya Brinkley as a Mi am i Da de J ud ge We re co gn iz e th e im po rt an ce o f so un d an d HERE IS WHAT ALONZO MOURNING & TRACY WILSON MOURNING ARE SAYING ABOUT TANYA: Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Tanya Brinkley, non-partisan, for Miami Dade County Court Judge, Group 28 www.TanyaBrinkleyforJudge.com

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This nonstop mango processional becomes even more complicated if you are a dog owner. Dogs love mangos. (Who knew?) It turns out my dogs love mangos so much they morph into Cujo if I try to take one from them. Even Aspen Fangola, my latest rescue who is afraid of ice cubes snapped at me when I attempted to remove a half-decimated fruit from her clutches. Suddenly she was no longer my sweet terrier, my canine spouse. With orange pulp dangling from her lips and scruffy beard, she was a rabid she-monster protecting her she-cub fruit. However, the most disturbing scene involving mangos thus far occurred when our terripoo Halo attacked our elder cocker spaniel, Anise, aka Granny, simply for walking past Halos mango. Granny is nearly 19 years old. Thats like, oh, 140 in people years. The thing is, nobody messes with Granny. She is the Tribe Elder. So to see her on her back, thrashing about while Halo pinned her to the ground, was a bit surreal. I bounded out of the house, yelling, Oh no! Absolutely not! and dragged Halo off Granny. And then, theres Gummi Snaps, our foster pug, a.k.a. the Gumfather, who earned his new nickname by getting rotund on the sweet, pulpy goodness of the thin-skinned fruit only to throw-up four times afterward. You havent lived until youve met mango vomit. Of course, the dogs dont realize mangos are bad for them. So that means one of my new jobs as the Doggie House Mom is to keep them away from the fruit. This, I assure you, is easier said than done. It involves precise timing and acrobatic intervention; neither of which are my fortes. Yet! I refuse to let the mangos win. Of course, I could let nature take its course. And I do. And it does. The squir rels, for example, are big mango consum ers. I recently spent an hour watching to branch, only to stop occasionally to squirrels bite off more than they can chew, literally, and drop a mango. Either that, or they use me as target practice, though, I might add, I have not been hit. Yet. When the squirrels lose their grip, I see the oh-so-subtle markings of where their claws were grasping, trying to hold on. But the squirrels cant keep up with the manic pace of the droppage, so there are remainders which, if not dealt with in a Snap! Snap! timely manner, and other uninvited guests. Naturally, the mango will rot in your house in the same fashion if you dont address its drama-queen demands quickly. Thats because once those babies are ripe, they are ready to go where is your choice. The garbage, your mouth, the freezer, into a recipe, whatever. You just best do something with them or theyll come back to haunt you by summoning their good buddies (I suspect from high school, as they seem was friends with all the cliques. started getting impatient with the demands of the mango early on in the season. Like the second day. He resented coming home from work only to have to chop fruit for two hours. No mancave time for him! Eventually he went over the edge. And once he fell off the Happy Mango Cliff, he thumped down a rocky side, smacked his head on a birds nest and landed with a Thud next to the Thwapped mangos. Angry J. (the husband) grew weary of the incessant nag to address the precious mangos needs and simply started to unceremoniously chuck them into a garbage bag, without a second thought to the perilous (well, not so much; theyre not penguins) mangos tumble to mango manhood. This act of rebellion is likely viewed as downright sacrilegious by the mango worshippers. The mango obsessed love their mangos, but they seem to be a rather inarticulate bunch. Ask them why they love the fruit and in response you get such gems as: They are delicious. Okay. Duh. Anyway, their lack of adjectives does not make them any less devout. In fact, theyre unapologetically loyal, so much so that it makes me wonder: The guy who ate the other guys face on the MacArthur Causeway? Perhaps he caught a whiff of mango on his breath? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Teresa Mary POOLER For Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge AUGUST 14, 2012 g Endorsed by SAVE DADE 30 years of experience in Miami-Dade County Courts. Practiced in criminal court, family court, and various administrative courts. 11 years as a hearing officer, and presided over 100,000 civil traffic infractions.Tried more than 70 jury tr ials, and argued before the Third District Court of Appe al and the Florida Supreme Court Taught criminal and constitutional law, both at the college and masters level, at Florida International University Committed to Miami-Dade Co unty, and volunteered for community projects for women, children, and animals. ypj , FORINTEGRITYONTHEBENCHPUNCH#86 FORINTEGRITYONTHEBENCH PUNCH #8 6 Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Teresa Pooler, non-partisan, for Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge, Group 49. Robert PUNCH#81 #81 COPPEL For Circuit Court Judge Paid political advertisement paid for and approved by Robert Coppel, non-partisan, for Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Group 15 THE RIGHT CHOICE

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA A Case of Puppy Love Gone Bad A dispute with a dog groomer leads to hurt feelings and a trip to North MiamiBy Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorWed been together for a little more than three years. Everyeven. Wed see each other on a regular normal routine. Why should we? There was no need. I was happy. She was happy. It was the perfect relationship. At least I thought it was. Sound familiar? Of course it does. It happens to each of us at least once in a But mine is different. Mine has a twist. Mine involved my dog groomer. wasnt that kind of break-up. But it was just as bad; this woman was responsible for bathing and styling my Yorkie. was less than a year old. I knew nothing never had a dog before? Alrighty then But I grew up in a house that always they wouldnt be lonely). They were gray What else does a shorthair need? A litter box and some toys? Both no-brainers. So pamper my princess didnt fall upon me time for a groomer. But like many other things that should be bit challenging. Little things like certain

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establishments not being clean enough, or overcrowded, and language barriers (I am her a chance the end, none ing the blame did intend to bring words with him, I saw the look in his called and on several and neighbors, what sold me on Pet Palace Productions although it makes me sad, change is Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com South Floridas BEST Pool & Spa Store 5 REASONS WE ARE THE BEST CHOICE!*NOT INCLUDING REBATES AND IN STORE ONLY.#1 #2 #3 #4 #5MOST EXPERIENCED & KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEE WE MEET OR BEAT ALL LOCAL PRICES*LARGEST SELECTION OF POOL & SPA PRODUCTS FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED FOR OVER 40 YEARS WE GUARANTEE TO KEEP YOU HAPPY!! FREE LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR POOL COMPUTER WATER ANALYSIS LET US SHOW YOU THE 3 STEP PROGRAM! 305-893-4036 rfntPOOL SERVICE POOL & SPA REPAIRS POOL RENOVATIONS HOT TUBS & SWIM SPAS SALT CHLORINATORS CHLORINE TABS 25 LBS. On Sale $56.99Regular $68.88 *With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Buy 3 Muriatic Acid Get 1 FREE*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Toys, Games & Floats 10% OFF*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Pool cleaners starting at $189.99 + tax ENERGY EFFICIENT PUMPSSave $100s on your electric bill Come in for your FREE Pump Energy Analysis 5 REASONS WE ARE THE BEST CHOICE! Buy 3 liquid Re lls Get 1 freeChlorine jugs not included*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 BEST CHOICE! BEST CHOICE! Buy 12 Chlorine ShocksGET 1 FREECal Hypo 1 lb bags.*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Without playing the blame game, I asked if I could have the dog back and wed reschedule. Now that we knew the rules, at least we could play by them.

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIPioneers, One and AllAt North Miami Highs 2012 commencement, valedictorian Daniela Pelaez brought everyone out, and everyone togetherBy Mark Sell BT ContributorNorth Miami Senior High Schools 2012 graduation ceremony was no ordinary commencement. It was more like a revival meeting, with whoops, stomps, shouts, and callsand-response on June 8 at Florida International Universitys U.S. Century Bank arena, 22 miles from North Miami High. outside as a biblical rainstorm brewed in Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who had not been scheduled on the program, gave this exhortation: I have looked in your eyes termination, the courage of intellect, the potential that will change our world, our society, our community, and our country! I know that during your lifetime, shall rebuild Haiti from the ashes of the earthquake! [A huge whoop went up this class includes survivors from the put a woman on Mars, a senator from Haiti in Washington, and you will elect It was a little over the top, but this was no ordinary year. It wasnt just the 20-8 football victory over archrival North Miami Beach High. Nor was it the nationally placed chess team or the debate teams statewide showings. No, the Pioneers galvanized the na tional immigration debate and, one could argue, started the process that led to Presi dent Obamas June 15 executive order tem porarily lifting deportations for 800,000 people in America under age 30 without criminal records and with high school diplomas, GEDs, or military service. Big things started at this gritty school mostly Haitian-American, and proud it had some of Greater Miamis tonier precincts, this is not regarded as the Home of the Pioneers, but as the Home of the Other. In late February, Colombian-born vale dictorian Daniela Pelaez got notice that she and her sister were to be deported March 28. Daniela has been here since age four and does not remember Colombia. The popular senior, normally upbeat in the tightly knit International Baccalau reate program, shared the news with tears. Her fellow Pioneers rallied right away. others get pushed around, told Daniela: Im not Emily and fellow students and teachers wasted no time in coming up with a BT photo by Mark Sell A New Aveda Concept Salonwww.SevenSeasSpaSalon.com Receive...30 Minute Massage 30 Minute Facial Maninicure and Pedicure Complimentary Valet Complimentary Champagne Access to Tiki Hut on the beachALL forDAY Mon-Thurs 16701 Collins AvenueLocated at the Sunny Isles Beach inside the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort

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plan. Salutatorian, debate team president, and one of the only non-Hispanic whites in the school, Emily volunteered to initiate a social-media campaign. She took Wednesday sick in her room at home and, unbeknownst to her parents, launched a Facebook page on Danielas behalf that ultimately got more than 15,000 signatures from around the world, and plenty of hate mail. She called TV stations and newspapers. On Thursday, when she felt better, she was back at school. TV crews were swarming by lunchtime. The South Florida congressional delegation, Democratic and Republican, immediately scrambled for the limelight on Danielas behalf. Sen. Bill Nelson came out with a statement. On Friday, nearly all the schools students marched around the block in protest, and the national media showed up. Carvalho, talked up as a potential Miami-Dade mayoral candidate, told Dan iela on-camera: Ive got your back. Vice President Joe Biden chimed in a few days later on CNN, saying, This is so mindless. She became the poster child for the Obama administrations stillborn DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for children here illegally through no fault of their own. Republican Congressman David Rivera took on Daniela as his pet project, seeking more restrictive legislation that would give achievers like Daniela a path to citizenship without alienating the Republican Party. Ultimately Rivera brought Daniela and her sister to Washington and came up with the STARS Act, now winding its way through committee. Obama trumped that with the June 15 executive order, buying time for path-tocitizenship legislation. Daniela and her sister got to stay in the country. Daniela earned a scholarship to Dartmouth, where she plans to pursue studies in molecular biology and medicine. And she delivered the commencement address, which returns us to the graduation event. Carvalhos stemwinder primed the audience for Daniela, who thanked everyone from the janitors and cafeteria workers to Michael Lewis, the best principal on the planet. It was because of your support that I am able to stand here and deliver this farewell, she said. Without your demonstration of kindness and sense of community, I would have been deported. She reminded everyone that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French and therefore an iconic immigrant. Stand by your values and carry your selves with pride, she said. In a society rife with violence, racism, and hatred, we have been given the opportunity to rise above the stereotype of being the minor ity and the underdog. Dr. Seuss once said, Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter, and those who matter dont mind. Then came the roll call of the 451 graduates. There were no Smiths or Johnsons in this group, and just one Jones. But there were 12 Josephs, 11 such as Wiguenson, Frantzcill, Erlinx, Xanjaniece, Boothvieen, and Doudyana. Many, perhaps most, got cheers and whistles. You could tell who had the biggest extended families. One Jessica got a screaming step-dance performance that shook the rear bleachers. Afterward graduates and families squeezed near the exits as TV crews aiming escape the drenching thunderstorm. There were smiles and hugs, but these four years have hurt many Pioneer families. It wasnt just the usual crime, gang violence, and grinding family pressures. Many lost loved ones in the Port-au-Prince earthquake. The Great Recession struck others like a plague, costing many their homes, credit, savfamilies or even tearing them asunder. But those very families huddled to gether and stood strong at graduation, chat ting away in Kreyol, Spanish, and English, after all, six out of ten people were born in another country or speak a language other than English at home. Many came here after losing everything and started over again one day, one idea, and one dollar at a time. Thats the spirit that buoys this Class of 2012 and inspires the rest of us like a stiff tonic in rough times: Individual and collective determination, immigrant optimism and to borrow from Martin Luther King, Jr. the arc of history bending toward justice. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 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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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I S HORE sS Bean There, Done ThatThe neighborhood Starbucks is good for unwinding, killing time, and picking up stock tipsBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorJune kills me. Annually, its graduations, birthdays, anniversaries celebration after celebration, right when school ends (chaos on two fronts, where my kids attend and where I teach). Not to mention mango season in fullproduction mode (although this year only seven of our trees have fruit). But this year was pure madness. My son graduated from Miami Country Day Lower School; my daughter is entering high school at MCD; my niece said adieu to her middle school in Georgia; her brother bid good-bye to secondary education to enter a college his senior year and is off on a career in music technology starting at Florida Atlantic University; and my niece in their swim team. Then theres my own seniors graduation from Miami Arts Charter always a sentimental time for me, as Ive the school has been open. Speaking of writing, the beginning of June saw the delivery of MACs third volume of imMACulate conceptions the award-winning arts anthology, and was honored last year when the director Luft, asked me to edit what is the tenth volume of this collection, which includes only writers who have a connection to South Florida. Among those selected this year the anthology, titled Sun-Struck Matches publishes in October with a launch reading at Books and Books in Coral Gables and another reading at the Miami International Book Fair are some very local writers indeed, including Michael Hettich and Carol Todaro, both of whom live in Miami Shores. They wrote two pieces together, interpreting the theme of pairings somewhat geographically. I suppose that the theme was also rather subliminally apropos, given that my husband and I marked our 20th wedding anniversary at the close of June. In addition to putting anthologies to bed Specializing in Stress & Anxiety Management, Phobias, Family, Marital & Sexual Therapy, Depression & Bereavement Spiritual Psychics, Tarot Card Readings, Palm Readings, Crystal Rock Readings, Tea Leaf and Crystal Ball Readings Helping you with any and all of Lifes problems. Can suggest which reading best suits your needs....An advisor known for her Honesty and IntegrityBY APPOINTMENT ONLY (786) 284.8203 (917) 804.7784CHAKRA AWARENESS GUIDEUnderstanding & Activating the Bodys Seven Main Energy CentersCrown Chakra Brow Chakra Throat Chakra Heart Chakra Solar Plexus Chakra Navel Chakra Root or Base Chakra

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and celebrating student milestones, we are attempting to renew our vows somewhere this summer. Who knows if it will happen? My kids emphatically refuse to participate in any sort of ceremony, whether it takes place in everyday Miami Shores or farwhole idea is weird. Plus, weve recent ly traveled twice as a family, though they havent exactly been exotic trips. First we soccer tournament, which was also the weekend of my daughters 14th birthday, so we took her entourage as well. Then we were off to Manhattan, to satellite to Connecticut for my nieces graduation and New Jersey for my sisters and fathers birthdays and Fathers Day. Not liking our midtown Hilton, we considered changing to the Sheraton after hearing that it was celebrating its 50th an niversary with a zillion-dollar renovation. But given all the commuting, the effort seemed overwhelming. And while we did manage to grab a miniature wed ding cake from Ferraras in Little Italy one night, after sticking the whipped confection in the little fridge in our hotel room, we actually forgot to eat it. The quiet writing life at Mango House had never seemed so good until, band system electrocuted by a storm and out of use. Thanks to some thoughtful students gift cards, though, I managed to set up shop at the Shores Starbucks and keep myself caffeinated for days. neighborhood Starbucks as an urban son takes piano or guitar lessons at Miss Janes Music Studio across the street, or Ive got a couple of hours while my car is on the corner of NE 2nd Avenue and 98th Street, the Starbucks beckons. for the weariness that dogs my life, its pretty much the only free, unsecured wireless in town. There are even plugs for phone and computer cords, if you jockey successfully for the right seat. And to be honest, theres really no coffee lounge alternative. Sure, theres the noise of coffee grind ing and baristas shouting names. Theres distraction in the music, an eclectic assortment of tunes that every once in a while catches my attention, but usually annoys me, and the occasionally overloud conversations that dont have enough substance to them to deserve eavesdrop ping. But its nothing like the symbiotic pairings in my house, such as hound dogs and landscapers, who have a relationship akin to magnets where the landscapers go, the dogs follow, barking their faces off. Or my head and my pillow, all too soft when I have hard deadlines. The real reason to pop into Star bucks, however, is that its a microcosm of Miami Shores. Every hamlet has one hangout that sees folks from all walks of life, whether they be paths of jagged stone or carpeted with red velvet. This is ours. Ive seen nannies with babies, then the moms of those babies, stop in for a treat mere minutes apart. (Ive been that mom, too.) Students from Barry University, lawyers brokering deals, housekeepers on the way to the bus stop across the street, resident dentists and physicians, dog walkers, dance teachers. Of course, you never know who might be sipping that skinny mocha nearby. I was once covertly watching a man with a long, single braid down his back who requested his espresso extra-hot; later that night, I saw him again at an event. He was on stage, swallowing For a writer or someone who relishes gossip, the overheard conversations can be the best part. From an apparent insider, I recently learned that stock options for Star bucks are expected to rise rapidly thanks to the introduction of their new K-cups (for the Keurig coffee maker), but then fall as the company has some ridiculous things coming out in the next few months. Tuning in to a job interview taking place very loudly next to me, I was ofmost honest men wind up working in pest control or replacing windshields. Its dialogue you just cant make up. And its a good thing its so informative, too. Indeed, now that Ive learned so much about the economy, Jon and I will probably just renew our vows over some iced caramel macchiato instead of, say, on an island in the Caribbean. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Culture: THE ARTSTaking It to the CoreAfter years in Coral Gables, the Cultural Center of Spain moves to downtown Miami By Anne T schida BT Arts EditorSixteen years ago, the Cultural Center of Spain in Miami, or Centro Cultural Espaol (CCEM), tural arm of the Spanish government, the CCEM has always been a unique institution. While the huge Spanishspeaking population of Miami-Dade other elements made it intriguing from the very start. then fought for its freedom has always began immediately trying to open diamidst of delivering another message to Iberian peninsula was now promoting versity, and human rights. A part of this were born in South AmeriWhile CCEMs home in brainer, something about the its mission. Outwardly the massive stone of CCE, Maria del Valle, expanded on the opening party. Miami Mayor Toms Regalado and Emilio Estefan were also from the old one as possible. Situated in a modernist building, two sides of the streets hard to get more open than that. and moved here last year (del Valle has South Florida), says the literal transparfor the move, as was the rent. The rental and it was time to study options, she the street, with all those big glass winbringing people to the burgeoning area.) oping a wider one owing to the new This summer a photography exhibit shows off the advantages of this Madrid-based photojournalist Isabel her searing images of tattooed Central Madrid-based photojournalist Isabel Muoz has documented three trips she took through southern Mexico on a train called La Bestia.

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American gang members, Muoz, this time, has documented three trips she took through southern Mexico on a train called La Bestia, which is also the name of the exhibit. ( La bestia means the beast, which is what tens of thousands of impoverished Central American migrants have called the iron horses that take them to the U.S. border.) In more than 70 portraits, men, women, and children cram into the freight trains, sit on top of them, or lounge next to them during breaks in the journey. Yes, they are desperately poor or they wouldnt be making this perilous trip, risking violence and rape, but Muoz captures a beauty and dig nity of people who often seem to remain faceless, both in their homelands and and kitchens on our side of the border. You have to feel the beast under your legs to know what these people feel, explains Muoz, whose work can be found at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Houston Contemporary Art Museum, as well as in the leading Spanish newspaper, El Pas Accompanying the exhibit is a video made by two Mexican artists who joined Muoz on the last leg of her trip. The powerful display would not have been possible in the smaller Gables space, and certainly the portraits like graph of three shirtless young men, staring, unsmiling, at the camera would not have been visible to pedestrians on the street, as is the case here. This summer, CCEM also took advantage of its new home by using its backyard patio as a stage for Microtheater Miami, an absorbing series of short plays on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. According to Palacios, the plays are no more than 15 minutes long, for an audience of no more than 15 people. Micro on every level. Throughout the years, CCEM has also brought in music, dance, authors, that will continue on the Boulevard. In June alone, the center held a series of workshops for seniors, a childrens theater performance, a Spanish Short Films night, and a pretty unconven tional seminar called Psychoanaly sis in the City. And coming up on Friday, July 6, a collaborative from the Dominican Republic, El Hombrecito, will combine spoken-word poetry with Dominican rhythms in a free concert at the center. CCEM will continue to work with local organizations throughout the year, in cluding the Miami International Book Fair, the Miami International Film Festival, and the International Hispanic Theater Festival, which starts later this month. Furthering this diverse interaction with the community is in keeping with CCEMs move, says Palacios: Downtown Miami is transforming into a cultural center, a multicultural center, with a unique character. We want to be part of the development. La Bestia runs through August at the Cultural Center of Spain in Miami, 1490 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-448-9677; www.ccemiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through July 31: New Work by Colin Chillag Group Show, 04 with Alfred Steiner, Siobhan McClure, Kellesimone Waits, Michel Modell, and D. Dominick Lombardi 12345 W Dixie Hwy., North Miami 305-895-2553 www.dixieimageworks.com Call gallery for exhibition information ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Ongoing: Natures Pulse by Debra Holt Through July 11: Art for Global Peace by Roberto Juarez ACND GALLERY OF ART 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Call gallery for exhibition information ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-287-7789 www.albertolinerogallery.com July 1 through 31: Carnaval with various artists 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www .alejandravonhartz.net Through August 4:Lynne Gelfman ART FUSION 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com July 2 through September 17: 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www .artnouveaugaleria.com Through August 11: Apropiaciones by Harry Schuster, and Gustavo Zajac ART WORK IN PROGRESS 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009, www.jacques-harvey.com Call gallery for exhibition information 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 September 30: Color Sobre Color by Jess Soto 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Call gallery for exhibition information BLACK SQUARE GALLER Y 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com July 15 through September 5: Summer Reading with various artists BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Through August 17: In Silence, by Memory by Rafael Valdez 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through July 8: Martinez/Nicastri/Tan with Zaydee Martinez, Joe Nicastri, and Laura Tan 180 NE 39th St., Suite 120, Miami Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www.susannacaldwell.com Call gallery for exhibition information 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Call gallery for exhibition information CARIDI GALLERY 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www .caridigallery.com Ongoing: Eduardo Caridi July 3 through 16:Summer Showcase by Eduardo Caridi 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www .visual.org Call gallery for exhibition information CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411 www.charestweinberg.com Through July 31: OLYMPIA by Jacob Gossett 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 Call gallery for exhibition information Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena V ista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com July 20 through August 31: American Seris Part 2 by Daniel Azoulay 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through July 31: DCG Open with various artists DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through July 28: White Thoughts by Gye Hoon Park Lost for Words by Daniel Verbis 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 3850 NE Miami Ct., Miami 305-607-5527 www .dimensionsvariable.net Call gallery for exhibition information DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through August 31: Womens Perspectives with various artists DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Through August 15: Discourse of the Non-Representational with Mauro Giaconi, Hernan Cedola, Jos Luis Landet, and Raquel Schwartz ELITE ART EDITIONS 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 www .elitearteditions.com July 14 through August 10: Group Show with Mauricio Zequeda, Yampier Sardina, and Luis Kaiulani ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 Call gallery for exhibition information 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www .snitzer.com Through July 7:Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell) by Jos Bedia July 14 through August 11: Things Beyond Our Control with various artists 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 2407 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com Call gallery for exhibition information Untitled For more information, visit www.miamiparking.com. Department of Off-Street Parking (DOSP)SAVE ON PARKING IN THE CITY OF MIAMIPAY BY PHONENow available at all meters and many parking lots in the City of Miami. Sign up for free: www.paybyphone.com or call 866-990-PARK (7275).

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GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through July 14: ART BLOG ART BLOG Presents: Leave It to Beavers with Christy Gast, Anya Kielar, Fabienne Laserre, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Katherine Bernhardt, Letha Wilson, Denise Kupfershmidt, Holly Coulis, and Lia Lowenthal, curated by Gina Beavers July 19 through September 1: Astral Weeks with Liz Deschenes, Brock Enright, Keltie Ferris, Jackie Gendel, Brion Gysin, Corinne Jones, Jon Kessler, Nicolas Lobo, Rory Parks, Genesis P-Orridge Chad Scoville, and Patrick Walsh, curated by Van Hanos GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com July 6 through August 31: New Acquisitions with various artists HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through July 7: This Sharp World by Kate Kretz Dreams by Carlos Cardenes Finding Home by Lorie Kim Something Almost Being Said by Natasha Duwin Untitled (Homage to Gego) by Consuelo Castaeda July 14 through October 6: Radical Genealogy: The Decline of Dauphins, Courtesans, and Hounds by Carlos Gamez de Francisco HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through July 7: The Things We Hold Dear by Jason Snyder 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 Through July 21: SigfredoChacnDrawings? by Sigfredo Chacn KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Call gallery for exhibition information KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through August 30: Summer Solstice with Mimi Bates, Mira Lehr, Antonio Ugarte, and Soile Yly-Mayry KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Through July 28: In & Out of Bed by Leah Poller LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org July 14 through 28: The LAB (Locust Arts Builders) with various artists MAOR GALLERY 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami http://maormiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www .mdc.edu Through July 31: MILAGROS: Portal Culture with Felici Asteinza Through August 11: Emergence & Structure: Nature in Process with various artists Resistance with various artists Through October 5: Shutter: Selected Photography and Film from the CINTAS Foundation Fellows Collection with various artists 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 500 College Terr., Homestead 305-237-5000 www.mdc.edu/homestead Call gallery for exhibition information 1 110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Call gallery for exhibition information MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Through July 28: Feelings with Sayre Gomez, J. Patrick Walsh III, and Bobbi Woods 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 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 Call gallery for exhibition information NORMAN LIEBMAN STUDIO 2561 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-3572 www.norman-liebman-studio.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information OM GALLERY 8650 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 21, Miami 305-458-5085 Through July 31: Mid Century Design by Danielle Quarante Om and Art with various artists ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 www.oncearts.com Ongoing: Pablo Gentile, Jaime Montana, Jaime Apraez, and Patricia Chaparro PANAMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through July 28: Outside the Box with various artists PAREDES FINE ARTS STUDIO 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes PRIMARY PROJECTS 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com Through July 31: Salon d Notre Societe with various artists SAMMER GALLERY 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information STASH GALLERY 162 NE 50th Terr., Miami 305-992-7652 www.stashgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information SWAMPSPACE GALLERY 150 NE 41st St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information TONY WYNN MODERN ART GALLERY 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn THE LUNCH BOX GALLERY 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through July 7: Fictional Eyes: The Dreams of Reason with Sandra Torralba, Stefano Bonazzi, Christopher Lee Donovan, Michel Rajkovic, Serrah Russell, Kaveh Hosseini, Polly Chandler, and Alba Tenas Sight

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72 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI CAS GALLERY 1210 Stanford Dr., Miami July 6 through 29: Ceramic League of Miami Members Exhibition with various artists UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI GALLER Y 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Miami July 9 through 27: Miami Art Museum Staff Show with various artists UNIX FINE ART GALLER Y 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres Through August 31: Eugenio Merino WINE BY THE BAY 888 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 112, Miami 305-455-9791 www.winebtb.com Call gallery for exhibition information WYNWOOD WALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, How & Nosm, Roa, b., The Date Farmers, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf YEELEN ART GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Unit 306, Miami 954-235-4758 www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition informationMUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITSARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through August 5: The Afterlife with Byron Keith Byrd, Alex Heria, and Franklin Sinanan BASS MUSEUM OF ART 2100 Collin s Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through August 12: Erasey Page by Jillian Mayer and Eric Schoenborn Charles Ledray: Bass Museum of Art by Charles Ledray 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380 www .cifo.org Call gallery for exhibition information DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FROST ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through August 5: Sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard Through August 26: Miamis Vices with various artists, curated by Annie Wharton Museum Studies Spring 2012 Exhibition: Jamaican Art with various artists Through September 2: Scapes by Lynne Golob Gelfman LEGAL ART 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www .lowemuseum.org Through September 23: Saintly Blessings: A Gift of Mexican Retablos from Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists Through October 21: Introspection and Awakening: Japanese Art of the Edo and Meiji Period, 1615-1912 with various artists MIAMI ART MUSEUM 101 W. Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000 www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection Through August 26: Kimsooja: A Needle Woman by Kimsooja Through September 2: Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by Jos Bedia by Jos Bedia MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 www.mocanomi.org Through September 2: Song by Ragnar Kjartansson On the Road by Ed Ruscha THE MARGULIES COLLECTION 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www.margulieswarehouse.com Call gallery for exhibition information THE RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 http://rfc.museum Through July 27: American Exuberance with various artists WORLD CLASS BOXING Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www.worldclassboxing.org Call gallery for exhibition information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com Still Life on Green

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Taking in the Sights at Twilight TimeIn summer, the midday Miami heat the Twilight Cityscape Miami River Eco-Tour Sunday, July 8 Pickin and Grinnin in the Grass Bluegrass Festival at Greynolds Park Sunday, July 8 Drama in the Big HouseIn ternational Hispanic Theater Festival Short Eyes Thursday, July 12 and Friday, July 13 A Midsummer Nights TrioDWNTWN Concert Series Friday, July 13 Mango Madness International Mango Festival Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 Come See Compas Big Night in Little Haiti Friday, July 20 On Your Toes, Everyone! Future Stars of the Ballet Friday, July 27 Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Naked at the Museum On the Road and Naked Lunch Wednesday, July 7 Naked Lunch the Film at MOCA Fun on the Fourth Americas Birthday Bash on Wednesday, July 4 Disco Inferno Downtown The Donkey Show Friday, July 13, through Sunday, August 12

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74 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatBurglar Believes in Safety First900 Block of NE 80th Street Gardener noticed a suspicious man wearing a motorcycle helmet repeatedly entering and leaving residence. When approached, the suspect said, I am moving in here with my girlfriend. However, it seemed the only moving he was doing was moving out, as the suspicious man was seen removing items from the home and placing them inside a pillow case and blankets. A relative of the homeowners was actually in the house, but didnt realize anything was amiss. Suspect would worry, though a man wearing a motorcycle helmet without having an actual motorcycle shouldnt be hard to spot.Thirsty Decorator Cuts Corners900 NE 79th St. A night employee was working inside a restaurant when he heard the sound of the front gate crashing down. He ran outside and saw a man grabbing two pieces of carpet from the parking lot and running away. The employee called police and gave them a description of the man. Soon thereafter, police saw a man matching this description drinking a beer in front of the nearby Tropical Food Market. Police transported the witness to the location and an ID was made. Beer guzzler was immediately arrested. The carpet is still missing. This is a good thing, as there is nothing worse than beer stains and odors on a carpet.Whats Mine Is Mine, Whats Yours Is Mine600 Block of NE 85th Street Maybe were just too passionate in South Florida. When a person breaks up with someone, you expect some acrimony but burglary? In this dwelling, the side window of the living room was damaged, and many items were removed from the home. A witness saw the ex-girlfriend of the victim leaving the home earlier that day. The ex-girlfriend and victim had been broken up for 10 months. The ex-girlfriend has not been arrested as of press time, but the victim is surely going to want to do some extensive background checks for his next relationship.Laptop Filched From Table Top8600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Woman left her MacBook on a table and proceeded to walk away from it, engaging in conversation with other customers and employees. Inexplicably, she also ordered lunch, leaving the laptop behind and not paying any attention to it. (With consumers like this, we are beginning to understand those long lines at the Apple store.) Computer was missing upon her return to the table. Witnesses saw a male walking around the establishment around the time of this incident. However, the description of the suspect is that he is between 10 and 20 years old. In other words, he 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 Compiled by Derek McCann window of the living room was damaged,

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is either a little boy or a grown man. No wonder so many crimes go unsolved. Weird Even By Our Standards14000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Victim was driving home and stopped when he saw the local skateboarder, JD, whizzing by his car. They two spoke for about 30 minutes and victim invited JD over to his apartment. When JD arrived, he sat at the kitchen table and smoked marijuana. He then took a shower because he felt sweaty. After showering, he asked the victim if he wanted a massage, which sounded like a good idea to the victim. JD suggested the victim take a shower began choking him, causing the victim to lose consciousness. JD left the apartment shortly afterward with the victims laptop. In this stoners case, sitting in a corner listening to Bob Marley is apparently not appealing enough. Either that, or what he was smoking was really good stuff.Woman Loses Job, Then Her Mind2000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Many of us have had the leaving on bad terms experience with an employer. This person took it to the next level. Already she really didnt want this work experi ence on her resume. She entered the store, screaming and hollering, and promptly stole the managers cell phone, proudly waving it for the manager and the stores patrons to see, before making her way out of the store. Guess a stretch in the MiamiDade County jail will explain that little gap in her work history.A Lesson in North Miami Vernacular1700 Block of NE 127th Street Woman was sitting inside the Wildcat Center using her Gateway laptop no Apple computer for this particular report, as were in North Miami and was approached by a man who said, Imma need that. Confused by his butchering of the English language, she asked him to repeat himself. Once again, he said, Imma need that. (This is the exact spelling from the police report.) The subject then punched the causing lacerations, and stole the laptop and a cell phone. Emergency personnel transported the victim to Aventura Hospital for treatment. I Know, Lets Play Hide the iPhone!1600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Victim met the subject on Grindr (an online dating service for gay men) and the two agreed to have drinks in the lobby of this hotel, to see if there was a connection. (Isnt it hard to meet nice guys in this city?) Apparently there was, because they went upstairs to the victims room for a nightcap. While they were both in bed, the subject instructed the victim to lie on his side and cover his eyes. As the hopeful victim waited, he heard the door close. He turned over and saw that his iPhone was missing. He chased after the subject, grabbing his shirt, but his would-be life partner nevertheless managed to run off. Oh, well. Back to the Apple store, where they were already expecting you.If the Shoe FitsNE 1st Avenue and 71st Street The victim, a homeless male, foolishly left two suitcases sitting on the sidewalk and walked away. While standing across the street, he saw a man opening one of the suitcases and removing a pair of shoes. The man then put the shoes on and walked away. Victim knows this suspect, as they have had verbal altercations in the past. We gather the suspect has been eyeing those shoes for a while and just had to have them. Move over Jimmy Choo, you have some street-style competition.Whats Wrong with Five Guys?1600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard A woman hailed a cab on the Beach and asked the driver to take her to Checkers in Miami. That request alone should have been a harbinger of things to come, because, as we all know, Checkers equals drama. Upon their arrival, the woman told the driver she had no way to pay the $19 fare. When police were called, she bluntly told them she wasnt going to pay for a cab from the Beach. Determining there was a premeditated refusal to pay the fare, police arrested the woman. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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76 Columnists: PARK PATROLA Tale of Two SpacesCommerce Park and Pocket Park are both near the Little River thats where the similarities endBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorStrip joint, check. Ghetto-fabulous Laundromat, check. Worlds largest crack house, check. Shady corner park that is permanently closed, check. This hood and its tiny, forlorn park on the northern edge of Little Haiti has attracted the destitute and prostitutes. Too many homeless. Too many drugs. And then there was the sex gang. In the 1990s, this quarter-acre lot earned the nickname TV Park, a sanctuary for working transvestites who had been booted out of downtowns Bicentennial Park. For concrete-jungle queens, NE 80th Terrace and NE 2nd Avenue was the last stop before the funeral home. Little River Commerce Park (no joke, actual name) is a bundle of mature oak trees and benches languishing behind chain-link fencing and overshadowed by a huge, abandoned building across the street, where drug addicts and their ilk are known to gather. City of Miami spokesperson Lara De Souza says the park remains closed owing to issues related to drugs and homelessness. Concerned BT reader PJ Mills has driven past this parquecito daily for seven years and has not seen a soul inside. Mills simply wants a place to walk the dog and relax in the neighborhood. Can anybody help? Behind the ten-foot fence, the park appears in adequate shape; in fact the City of Miami recently painted and replaced some rotten benches. Someone appears to appreciate the new digs, as evidenced by the constant presence of sleeping bags and associated rags beneath the pavilion. While this park remains shuttered, another small park has opened nearby. Push your shopping cart down busy 79th Street, east across Biscayne Boulevard, brand-new Little River Pocket Park. Because the Shorecrest area lacks services for children no schools, no playgrounds empty lots here had become the only place sexual offenders could live after being released from prison. (MiamiDade County prohibits sex offenders from living near a school, park, or other place where children gather. These rules earned international attention in recent years because they forced offenders to live under a Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge.) Similar in name and size to Commerce Park, but in every other way its opposite, Pocket Park was created with the support of Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff for the express purpose of banning sexual offenders from living in this neighborhood, and it seems to have worked. Can I get a what is going on here? One park opens to discourage illicit sex, while another park nearby remains closed for similar reasons? What about the children living near Commerce Park? Shouldnt their park remain open so that sexual predators dont settle into their neighborhood? The City of Miami says it is investigating the possibility of reopening the funds to install domino tables and other amenities to discourage unwanted elements from frequenting the park. When the park opens, here is what you would get: shady trees and a pavilion, a water fountain, handicapped access, an outdoor coffee table fashioned from a giant stone, green benches, and quiet corners. While small in stature, this park would make a huge difference to the tone of the neighborhood. Across the street is a daycare center (okay, so they dont need the park to enforce the sexual-offender rule). These and other nearby businesses could support the park, but they are likely intimidated by the empty monolith on the corner the abandoned AT&T building, surrounded by barbed wire and heavy security. This forgotten building and covered parking lot is so ugly that even the iguanas still standing, especially when across the street are shiny new housing complexes? Remove this beast at once. Better yet, lets have a Las Vegas-style implosion party! Bring down the House of Crack. Say farewell to the Bad Ol Days. While Commerce Park has a trashy history, it deserves a clean future. But this urban wasteland sits on the wrong side of the FEC train tracks. Despite its name, the BT photos by Jim W. Harper LITTLE RIVER COMMERCE PARK & LITTLE RIVER POCKET PARKCommerce Park:181 NE 80th Terr., Miami, 305-461-7213 Pocket Park: 10th Avenue and NE Little River Drive, Miami, 305-461-7213 Hours: Commerce: closed; Pocket: Sunrise to sunset Picnic tables: No Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: Commerce only Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No Playground: Pocket only (barely)Park Rating

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river is nowhere in sight, though the neigh borhood itself is known as Little River. On the other hand, Pocket Park has no past, but it does have the waterfront. Beau tiful homes on the river can see Biscayne Bay. Over the chain-link fence of this eastside parquecito a new mansion rises. Homes along the Little River block public access, and for this reason alone the park should remain, no matter how political its origins. Its most notable feature appears to be grabbing the river. Over the water, giant branches of two intermingling trees fan out for 30 feet in all directions, as if they were preparing to snatch a manatee. The City of Miami spent $8000 on upgrades to the former dead-end street. One element in need of immediate repair is the chain-link door on the seawall intended to separate the park from the private home to the east. Any child could easily swing the fence open. sod, one big tree, and two bouncy toys in a sandpit a dinosaur and a tiny horse. If you stand at a certain angle, it appears that bouncy, green T-Rex is eating my springy pony. So close, so close, and yet so far, these two parks are nonidentical, minime twins of Miami. Fast-tracked into existence by Commissioner Sarnoff, Pocket Park is east of the Boulevard/train track dividing line. Commerce Park, west of the Boulevard of Broken Windows, is stuck in District 5 with Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones. Sex got one park to open, and sex, drugs, and poverty keep the other park closed. Children can play on the bouncy toys by the river, but near the other, darker place, they best stay indoors. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Musical Theater Summer Camp To register or for more information: Phone: 305-751-9550 Email: info@mtcmiami.org www.mtcmiami.org formerly The PlayGround Theatre Miami Theater Centers talented teaching artists will lead students on a fun-lled artistic adventure.Where: Miami Shores Presbyterian Church 602 NE 96th Street Miami Shores, FL 33138 When: July 16 August 10, 2012 Time: Monday Friday, 9am 4pm Ages: 6 Cost: $800

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78 Columnists: PICTURE STORYMiami Beach Home of Irving Collins: September 1926A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul S. George Special to the BTThe mighty hurricane of September 17-18, 1926, affected many parts of sprawling Dade County, none more so than Miami Beach, which felt From Miami Beach, the storm, with winds in excess of 130 miles per hour, continued west, smashing into downtown Miami, Riverside (todays East Little Havana), and Coral Gables before crossing into the hinterland and across More than 100 Dade County residents lost their lives to the storm; thousands were left homeless; an untold number of buildings suffered severe In this photograph, taken in the immediate aftermath of the storm, the beautiful two-story masonry home of Irving Collins, standing at 5011 Pine John Collins, the founder of modern Miami Beach, who moved south from New Jersey in the early 1900s to help their father develop his vast holdprominent architect and Irving Collinss nephew, the home stood just north of Built at the outset of the 1920s, the homes ideal location on two waterways (the Flamingo Waterway is in the foreground of the photograph and Indian Creek is in the center), made it especially vulnerable to The damaged home was quickly rebuilt by Irving Collins, as were many other structures in a stricken community that responded quickly and positively to To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #1989-011-7763 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 WEALTHY PEOPLE NEED A PLACE TO SELL THEIR JEWELRY...Discreet High-end Jewelry BuyersDOWNTOWN MIAMI Seybold Bldg 1st Floor, Ste. 129 36 N.E.1st Street VALET PARKING AVAILABLE

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Tropical TransplantsTwo species of decorative plants, Aglaonema and Dieffenbachia, are well-suited for our South Florida climateBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorFrom a horticultural point of view we had a great winter this year, with warmer temperatures and lots of rain. This is really evident with all the past few months. In fact, without a distinct dry season to make all the deciduous trees drop their foliage completely before they liage on trees. Perhaps the foliage blocks lush green leaves can really make the the royal poincianas throughout the city Island. That deep orange-red color is striking against the green foliage. This has been one of the best years in my memory to see Plumeria rubra or frangipani trees, in bloom. There are only a handful of species of this distincwith the common frangipani that we see come in red, orange, yellow, and combinations of these colors. or patio. At the park, we just planted a really good red frangipani cultivar below one of our raised covered trails, so the is another species, Plumeria obtusa that them grow up to ten feet tall with very attractive plant seems to grow well in containers, too. Some of the other plants that benthe Aglaonemas This member of the malanga family is from the warmest, not like the cold. The 40 or so known species of this plant have been hybridized and some very colorful cultivars have been selected for the ornamental plant industry. This is a great foliage plant for lowquite a collection of wild Aglaonema species and their cultivars. The problem every winter was remembering to protect them if the temperatures got into the 40s. It got to the point that we mainly grew them in containers heeled into the ground so that, when necessary, we could just pull them out of the ground and get them out of the cold for a few days. Aglaonema are fairly inconspicuous, but the patterns or lightcolored variegation on the foliage makes this a valued ornamental plant. There are some species with red or yellow leaves, petioles (the stalk that attaches the leaf to the stem), and even stems. Most are easily grown from cuttings and can last for years in a pot. They are from wet, low-light, high-humidity forests, so make sure the potting soil has good drainage, but do not let them dry out. I found that, when they dry out to where the foliage begins to wilt, they will become much more susceptible to insect problems. Because Aglaonemas need high humidity, they will not grow well in windy locations. Keep them protected in the garden or indoors. One other thing to note: The sap of all plants in this family can cause skin irritation, so handle with care. The photo that accompanies this article is an Aglaonema that was collected in the Philippines in the 1970s and brought back to the U.S. for cultivation by the ornamental plant industry. The fellow who collected it eventually decided it was not a good product for the industry and gave Over time I found that it was the toughest and most cold-hardy of all the Aglaonemas Aglaonema these plants. Sometimes people will confuse Aglaonema with a closely related and similar-looking plant group called Dief fenbachia or dumb cane. The dumbcane appellation comes from the caustic want to eat it!) Dieffenbachia species are generally much larger than Aglaonema species, but they are just as sensitive to cold and require the same growing conditions high humidity and low wind. The Dieffenbachias came through this past winter quite well and are enjoying the rainy days. One of my fa vorites is a Dieffenbachia that can grow up to seven or eight feet tall and has large, thick leaves. Its only drawback is a stem is broken, the plant smells like a skunk, but it still makes an excellent potted indoor plant. If you have a low-light situation that needs a nice size plant with attractive variegated leaves, give Dieffenbachia or Aglaonema a try. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski

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80 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETSFidos on Facebook!Dogs have invaded the world of social media By Lisa Hartman BT ContributorThere is a long-running history of people pretending their dogs are people. Of course, as a dog trainer and behavior counselor, I try to discourage this to a certain extent. Attributing a human agenda to dogs hes doing it just to spite me when they pee on the carpet or dig out the yard after you take their favorite toy away will not train them otherwise. Nor will the dirty looks you give them to shame them from their natural dog behaviors. But there is an epidemic in this country that shows no sign of stopping. And now, mainly for work purposes, I have succumbed to it. My dog Saffy just got her own Twitter hash tag (#welovesaffy). The reason? With so many projects on the burner new book, training, events, company my friend Dr. Cindy thought I needed to be on Twitter, tweeting my public. (Of course, as Im new to Twitter, I only have a following of 34.) Facebook is a different story. Ive been on Facebook for a few years and have around 4600 friends. My Facebook friends are some of the most interesting, funny, and sweet people I have come across. They like my pictures and postings. They leave kind comments about my daily training exploits and pet causes. My Facebook friends are dogs. Yes, the dogs write me, comment, and leave encouragement for me to carry on my mission. The dogs on Facebook have their own pet lingo, a cute canine language all their own. Even I had no idea dogs were so talented! I also didnt know what dogs sounded like when they spoke human until Facebook. Miami Shores Community Church School rfntb Phone: Web:nfnff nf nnff fnnfnf r fntbt tr r tr trbbbrtbtrtb ttbbrtbbrnb *Offer applies to 16 lb Organics, 17 lb Puppy, Adult, Active, Pork, Salmon, Duck, and 15 lb Grain Free bags of By Nature Dog Food. a 15-17 lb Bag of By Nature Dog Food*By Nature Dog Biscuits

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As an example, here is a message I re ceived from my friend Molly McDoodle: Awe Miff Wisa, thank you for helping da puppies at da shelta I used to reside at. I wuff you. Licks and kisses, Molly. As I was leaving for work the other day, my friend Fluffy Von Flufferton in stant-messaged me these animals have computer skills, too and wished me a pawsitively purrrfect day! How nice! I regularly interact on social media with my other friends: Woody Alava, a teeny apricot poodle who is the mascot for our new canine camp endeavor in the Hamptons; and Bocker Labradoodle, the handsome canine who stars in many the dogs talking to and interacting with humans, they are also uploading and editing photos, attending parties, and hobnobbing with celebrities. But what human ventriloquists behind the scenes giving prose to these animals. Its funny to know that its not kids who are posting pages on social media sites for their dogs and cats, but rather people who are usually 40 years old or older! Now, I do admit that I come up with ideas of what my hairless Chinese Crested might be thinking; she always has a sparkle in her eye, making me ish, like how to catch the bunny in the yard. My Dalmatian, however, is a dog of few words and less deviousness. He wears his heart on his sleeve (spots?) and thus I dont imagine him speaking much, except maybe for a quick Thanks, Mom! when he kisses me after the beach or meals. I have not gone to the extent yet of writing posts for my dogs on Facebook. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Or is there? Its funny the role that dogs are playing in our lives. They are our surrogate children, our friends, and our personal cheering squads. We really get a glimpse of owners, what they personally need and want, from social media straight from the dogs mouth. As my friend Sir Wolfy Da Wigglebutt wrote recently about his mom: Oh boy, I have da best mummy eva! She make me yummy tweets and lets me snuggle in da bed wif her! Another canine friend wrote that their daddy rocks and thanked him for rescuing them and giving them the best life eva! What appreciative dogs we have! And while I chuckle about the idea of dogs on social media, I am carrying on a dialogue with these dogs. And so while my little dog Saffy does not post on Facebook (she cant, because for one thing, she uses curse words when frustrated), she is on Twitter. She is a junior camp counselor at canine camp in the Hamptons when shes not assisting my dog training classes, modeling at photo shoots for one of my endeavors, or just being seen around town. She doesnt speak; rather, we just discover her, as the Twitter lingo goes, following her daily exploits. I believe people posing as their dogs on social media is good, clean, harmless fun. The people who write for their dogs seem to love them very much and certainly seem to take care of them. These dogs have lots of friends (Bocker Labradoodle has over 5000, thus requiring him to have a fan club and be referred to They hang out at beaches and hip restaurants with their wonderful owners. They go for hikes through national parks and swim in lakes, then have the pictures uploaded to prove it. In this regard, social media compels pet owners to do things with their dogs, and that, again, is a good thing. Overall, I think Facebook might help our pets lead better lives. That is, as long as they dont spend too much time on the computer. 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 We really get a glimpse of owners, what they personally need and want, from social media.

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82 That Sinking FeelingIts time for local educators to teach our children that sea-level rise is a reality, and what to do about itBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorT Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Residential, Commercial HOA and Highrise Pooper Scooper ServiceWe know times are tough, but our business is picking up! 1 877 POOP 911 Poop911.comemail: ftl@poop911.com Ask for BT special Initial clean up +1 clean $19.99 (up to $99 value) email: ftl@poop911.com @pp @pp

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Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY NN o Pool? NN o Problem!Some suggestions for cooling off with the kids this summerBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorIn Scottsdale, Arizona, where I spent my childhood, everyone had a swimming pool. My family spent three years with an enormous muddy hole in in Poltergeist My parents built our beautiful house, but the construction of our swimming the monsoon rains came through, I could swear there were headstones and caskets swimming hole. Summer temperatures regularly lingered above 110 degrees and, without a periodic dip between Popsicles and water balloons, the season could be brutal. My brothers and I became skilled at pool hopping friends pools, recreation centers, hotels, and even vacationing neighbors pools were all fair game. for certain pools so we matched the natives and code words for quick I wouldnt recommend this behavior as a good example for your children, but many of my friends and neighbors in Miami dont have swimming pools, and while temperatures rarely climb above 100, the summer is no less brutal than in Arizona. Sure, the ocean is always nearby, but the idea of packing up the kids, the sand toys, the sunscreen, an umbrella, and making the pilgrimage for a parking spot only to combat riptides, seems like too much work for the payoff. Ignore hotel pools. That hidden world of tropical, palm-fringed blue water in the shape of paisleys, kidneys, and lagoons can be tempting, but even if you manage to avoid being arrested in front of your children or getting kicked to the curb by hotel management, you will likely end up broke after the $21 hot dogs and $17 lemonades. At most area luxury hotels, a family of four sticks out like a sore thumb next to the reality TV stars, models, and Euro-debauchees. Just let the untz, untz, untz trance rhythms be a warning to you that only registered guests may enter. a recent poll on what our friends without pools do to cool off in the summer: Flamingo Park is a beautifully landscaped, state-of-the-art aquatic facility so popular with the little ones in. The water playground is a zero to 15-inch depth, and theres an interactive/ play pool and locker rooms with showers, lounge chairs, and Sunbrellas. The small fee for non-Miami Beach residents is totally worth it, but its imperative to make it there early on weekends as the throngs of residents have made the Flamingo Park pool as popular as Liquid nightclub was in the 1990s. See: www. My girls regularly gush about the princess qualities of the 820,000-gallon Venetian Pool in Coral Gables. Created in 1923 from a rock quarry, the pool is fed with spring water from an underground aquifer. The waterfalls are a great scenic backdrop, as are as the grottos, which provide a fun, fantasyisland experience. If your kids are under the age of three, though, dont even think about making the jaunt. They are ferocious enforcers of the age limit. For info: www.VenetianPool.com If youve driven on Biscayne Boulevard north of the MiMo Historic District, one of your children in the backseat has probably screamed, I want to go there ! Theyre talking about Miami Shores Village Shipwreck Cove. and quickly discovered this beacon on the Boulevard is open only to Miami Shores residents. The sad discovery came when my two-year-old daughter Matilda and I were expelled by the 16-year-old lifeguard. Matilda was in the throes of a fulling lot when a benevolent Miami Shores resident and her well-behaved two-year old took mercy on us and brought us in as their guests. In retrospect, this woman must have been a siren, allowing us a taste of the forbidden fruit so close to our own neighborhood, but so out of reach. Details: miamishoresvillage.com/rec/ac. Depending on the ages of your children, there are a couple of other highly rated water parks in the Greater rapidswaterpark.com) and Grapeland parks/pages/grapeland). Finally, while trekking the 300 acres of Zoo Miami might not seem an attractive outing for the family on a July afternoon, the zoo formerly known as Metro has strategically placed misters throughout the grounds for cooling off during your visit. The kids love running from sprinkler to sprinkler and dancing in the mist, or pedaling the four-person bicycles directly under the poles for a spritz. Zoo Miami also features several water play out the bathing suits! Use the old web address: www.miamimetrozoo.com. For some, options may be limited to there is a will and a creative parent, there is a cooler, wetter way. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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84 By Bill Citara BT ContributorYes, its that time of year again. Time for the ritual Charring of the Flesh, the American males annual rite of passage from indolent, redblooded sofa tuber to Lord and Master of the Backyard Incinerator, Desiccator of Innocent Animal Protein, Consumer of Multiple Chilled Adult Beverages, Igniter of Noisy Combustible Devices Known to Annoy Neighbors and Frighten Dogs and Small Children. In other words, its time for Dad to the grill for the Fourth of July barbecue. But it doesnt sound quite so grand when you put it that way, does it? Whatever your skill at the grill (or lack of same), whether your patriotic repast more resembles charcoal chicken sushi than dinner at Arthur Bryants in for an appropriate chilled adult beverage is that four-letter word beginning with b. And though your average, massproduced corporate behemoth American beer is better suited to putting out grease But let us instead consider wine. It it goes with just about any food. It also allows you to save any beer you might have lurking around in the fridge for favorite wines, the 2010 KendallJackson Summation Mostly Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Pinot Blanc, its damn near the perfect summertime white. Its got a lovely nose of tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and melon aromas, with a palate to match, plus a little orange, peach, lime, and spice. Full whats not to like? A little more acid, a little less fruit, 2010 A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris Take some mango and pear in there, some honey, lemon-lime, a bracing shot of minerality. Its still young and taut, with nose and back palate, you get all that rich, tropical melon and citrus fruit. Provence is to ros what the Napa Valley is to Cabernet Sauvignon, so no big surprise that the Domaine de Paris 2010 Ctes de Provence Ros is as natural a partner to grilling as quality hardwood charcoal. A pretty reddish-gold in the glass, it smells of ripe strawberries package that makes for easy sippin by itself or a pleasant companion to grilled On the earthier, more rustic side is Marqus de Cceres 2010 Rioja Ros The strawberries and raspberries, tangy lemon, and orange are all in there, but there are also muskier notes of olives and leather. Juicy and earthy, lightto medium-bodied, it splits a few differences. Now we come to the big boys, the beefy reds that can stand up to meats tricked out with all the smoke, sauce, and char a good grill master can impart. Heres a tip: Immedi ately run out and buy the 2010 Tapea Garnacha. Do that today. It costs all of ten bucks, With loads of ripe, freshtasting redand black-cherry fruit, a spice cabinets worth of aromatic cloves and fennel, a hint of earth, and a dash of minerals, its one of the most pensive wines Ive tasted in a while. Another run-out-and-buy wine is the Bodegas Salenteins 2010 Portillo Malbec, from Argentinas Mendoza wine region. Many Malbecs have a rough, woody edge that I can do without, but this one is smooth and fruity and easy to like. Think blackberry and blueenough acidity and soft tannins to keep all that fruit honest. Finally, if you like old-vine Zinfandels, but dont like your palate sandblasted with overripe fruit and vodka-style alcohol levels, check out the 2010 Bramblewood Old Vines Zin A J. Lohr product from Lodi in Californias Central Valley, it delivers bracing aromas of dried fruit and olives old-vine Zins, and with only 13 percent alcohol. Now, thats something even the Lord and Master of the Backyard Incinerator cant screw up. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Wines to Grill and Chill WithRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Open, Almost Open, Open to SuggestionsFood news we know you can use Courtesy of Iron Side Caf By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorPromises, promises. If I had a nickel for every time a Miami restaurant opening was scheduled for a certain date and didnt happen till months, even years later, I could actually afford to eat at all of them, even the fanciest. Which is a fancy way of saying that, though several openings have been expected recently, there havent been many real recent restaurant openings in BT territory. Prime among the anticipated is Shokudo a pan-Asian place from the World Resource folks, projected to open just north of the Design District in April. Another is Brother Jimmys BBQ which was supposed to open in Brickell midMay, then mid-June, now mid-July with a preview block party July 4. Well see But there have been even fewer recent dont count the eight Bayside Market place establishments shut down by state health inspectors for infractions including live roaches and rodent poo in the kitchen. After some frantic scrubbing and spray ing, all of them reopened the next day. OPENINGS Tiny Thai House (12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646). In the space that once housed Carolina Lowcountry Caribbean fusion chef Marvin Woodss M Woods, this just-opened Thai/sushi place is run by veterans of a locally well-known similar spot. However, their name must not be mentioned for mysterious legal reasons. The menu is still being tweaked, but the houses specialties are the Thai dishes. As the big-screen TV implies, it can double as a sports bar, but is, most of the time, serene. Iron Side Caf (7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-795-0551). Iron Side is not really opening earlier this year. The restaurant is nevertheless such a fun place to spend a summer Saturday night that I want to clue in everyone else who hasnt found it. In the newly and optimistically named Industrial Business District just west of the MiMo Historic District, the caf is secreted inside a sprawling, sustainably green, mixed-use campus of adjoining warehouses developed by Ofer Mizrahi, founder of Coverings Etc., arts patron, innovator. The indoor/outdoor caf itself offers global dishes using local ingredients, brought to you by chef Nuno Grillon and partner Fernando Nascimento, both right in with the eco-friendly theme of the campus. Hours are lunch-only on weekdays, then Saturday night from 8:00 p.m. on, when the menu changes to BBQ (featuring grass-fed beef from nearby Gaucho Ranch) and the ambiance to Bohemian party. SIDE DISH At The Federal Food Drink & Provi sions (5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-7589559) bar wench Ani Meinhold and puppet master Alejandro Ortiz will be presenting Women Who Wine, a series of Saturday-evening tastings for women only, all summer long. Classes, wines and paired nibbles for $35 per person; call 305-758-9559 to reserve. (Sorry, guys. But women do choose and buy eight out of every ten bottles of wine drunk at home, according to creased savvy.) Starting July 5, customers at almost 5600 Taco Bell joints throughout the USA will get to sample some serious Miami Latin eats, via an upscaled Cantina Bell menu created by local chef Lorena Garcia (a Top Chef Masters contestant and owner of Lorena Garcia Cocina at MIA. The more health and quality-conscious new menu, featuring items like citrus/herb-marinated chicken and a burrito bowl, is already being compared to Chipotles. But Garcia points out that its more affordable, with items costing several dollars less. What to expect at the Upper East Side Farmers Market this month (every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Biscayne Blvd. and 66th St.): From farms here in scorching South Florida, fewer veggies but lots of tropical fruit, includ ing both yellow and purple passion fruit says Yorkys Rodriguez Mojica of Bodhis Urban Oasis Projects main produce stand. Tip: Grab a papalo (Bolivian cori ander) plant. These ancient precursors to cilantro, reputed to also control blood pressure, go fast. And those for whom summer means corn and tomatoes, both out of season here, neednt worry. While the market favors local farms, it does get some veggies from northern Florida and the Carolinas during the dog days. Theres even one plus, says market manager Art Finally, see this issues BizBuzz (page 30) for more restaurant news from BT advertisers Adelitas Caf, Bagels & Company, Barrel Wine Cantine, Caf 46, Il Piccolo Caf, Kitchen 305, Mikes at Venetia, and Turnberry Isle. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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86 MIAMIBrickell / 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. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multipart dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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-and-go 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., 05-503-6500On 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 cheesestuffed empanadas. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacybattered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ 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-fromscratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room 900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 selfservice dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800 Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 308. MIAMIBRICKELL / DOWNTOWND-Dog House 50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ Dominique Bistro-Club 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-371-8859At typical restolounges, the resto part often gets the short end of the stick. But not at this chic but friendly spot, where Gerardo Barrera, an alumn of Pariss Le Cordon Bleu, plus his wife Dominque and her brother Jos Sigona, welcome diners with Frances best-known bistro classics: coquilles St. Jacques (tender scallops in mushroom/white wine sauce); a precision-cooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTEl Bajareque 278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this familyowned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ UPPER EASTSIDE RiverShack 620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929After deciding that todays trends favor creative, chefdriven restaurants, rather than ethnic cuisines, Gigi and Liza Meoli (famed for their Greek eateries) closed their Anise Taverna and, with chef/partner David Long, reopened in the same riverside shack as a gentrified, slightly Hispanic-influenced rural American gastropub. Hope lingers that the chef may feel driven someday to revive even one mixed meze platter, but fare like shrimp and grits with goat cheese, brisket empanadas, pestobuttered grilled corn, and banana bacon bread pudding seem right for the rustic Old South setting. $$NORTH MIAMIIl Piccolo Caf 2112 NE 123rd St., 305-893-6538Talk about a neighborhood institution. The owners of this longtime Italian eatery remember frequent visits from Miami native Michelle Bernstein and her parents -when the celebrity chef was a kid. The place is still child-friendly, and though the piccolo space is indeed small, portions are prodigious. Most dishes will evoke nostalgia, including our own favorite white-wine-saucedrenched sin -lemony egg-battered veal piccata with capers and artichokes. But there are surprises not found at most old school red-sauce joints, too, like lunchtimes surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$ NORTH MIAMI BEACHKoneFood 387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ rfnt ntbnfnt tnftn tf f t tff nffff

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88 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. $$$Edge, Steak & Bar 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Eos 485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Originally 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. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub 900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on miniboxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ First Hong Kong Caf 117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambalspiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/ beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and comple mentary 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. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave.305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamicdressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hardboiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade 1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultra-upscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Hibachi Grill 45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagaine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singapore-style noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ 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 heatshielded, 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. $$$-$$$$$ Jackson Soul Food 950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710]With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/ comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar 2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscalecool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, formerly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$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 cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence 1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$ YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SPORTS BAR & RESTAURANT555 NE 15th Street, 9th Floor, Miami, FL305-374-5731 WWW.MIKESVENETIA.COM M a i mi F M ia FL l oo r Fl A URA N NT l oo r M Fl M i i Daily Lunch Specials! Daily Lunch Specials!

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Business Hours: 12pm-3am Every Day 305-947-00643881 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach, Fl(Intracoastal 163rd Street Mall) www.yakko-san.comNot affiliated with Hiros Restaurant on 163rd St. YAKKO-SANAuthentic Japanese Cuisine Specializing in regional Japanese cuisinefocusing on small tapas-like plates you will not find anywhere else.Full Bar -Hiros17040-46 W. Dixie Highway 305-949-0776 or 305-949-4685Mon-Fri 11amam/Sat & Sun 1pm-12amClick your online order & get delivery right to your door www.sushiexpress.com(Also located in South Beach 305-531-6068 and Oakland Park 954-772-0555) DINE-IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY CATERING Sushi Express

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La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/ fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/ frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/ salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street 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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Naoe 661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263 Chances are youve never had anything like the $85 prixfixe Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Corys tiny but nationally acclaimed oasis, transplanted from its original Sunny Isles space with its supreme serenity intact. By reservation only, in two dinner seatings of just eight people each, and omakase (chefs choice) only, meals include a seasonal soup, a four-course bento box, eight pieces of sushi, and three desserts. Cory personally does everything for you, even applying the perfect amount of housemade artisan soy sauce mix and fresh-grated wasabi to each mindreelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supple ments signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thinsliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$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. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ ALL ALCOHOL LICENSING 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

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Peoples Bar-B-Que 360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most 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/deliveryonly 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. $$Pier 94 94 SE 1st St., 305-379-5652 Tucked into The Village, a collection of courtyard eateries far from any waterfront, this ceviche bar specializes in fresh seafood dishes from chef/owner Alex Del Corrals native Peru, but also features famous Peruvian meat and poultry dishes (including a refined aji de gallina, chicken in aji pepper-spiced cream sauce). Emphasis is particu larly strong on Perus penchant for fusion food, including traditional Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) rice or noodle stirfries. But the chef also fuses classic and creative influences. Try contemporary causas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crisp-fried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar 650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining expe rience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate mar garitas ensure no worries. $$$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 river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soi Asian Bistro 134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro 120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, openair courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, panAsian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/ habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes intro duced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche 49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influ enced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnutgarnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$Tobacco Road 626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meatsmoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Trapiche Room 1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor

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and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomatosauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tuyo 415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt studentrun. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Waxy OConnors 690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with house made brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$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-ityour-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with welldone flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends espe cially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Barrel Wine Cantine 3622 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7775This boutique wine market/wine bar, featuring French small plates, sounds just like this addresss former occupant, W Wine Bar, when it first opened. The difference: Instead of Ws rotating chefs (including, sometimes, servers), Barrels head honcho is Victor Passalacqua, a Miami fine-dining vet originally schooled by French stars like Paul Bocuse. Charcuterie selections feature imported cheeses and cured meats hard to find outside France (like rosette de Lyon salami) plus housemade prepared salads and an incomparably sinful foie gras terrine. Changing entres include moules frites, if youre lucky. $$-$$$ Basanis 3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run 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. $$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and pre sented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends 4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurant-starved 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, aru gula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 18 1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Blue Piano 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7919The address suggests a street-corner location, but this casually cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continu ously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli 4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ 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/

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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. $$$Cafeina 297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar 1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively reno vated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the curedham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropri ate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegarflavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment 3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible oldschool cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ Egyptian Pizza Kitchen Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050Pizza, pita -hey, theyre both flatbreads. So while many pizzas do indeed, as this halal places name suggests, have initially weird-seeming Middle Eastern toppings, its really not surprising that the Giza (topped with marinated lamb, feta, olives, peppers, and pungently spiced cumin sauce) works at least as well as Italian classics. Additionally the menu includes interesting Middle Eastern fare like foul, a hummus-like but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf 210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secretrecipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing home made soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$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. $$-$$$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. $Florin 3620 NE 2nd Ave., 786-953-5001A labor of love from the married team of choclatier/ pastry chef Grazia Maggi and artist Rinaldo Malvernmi, this dessert caf/tea house/market is a lovely little spot to enjoy a 100-percent organic afternoon tea (or herbal infusion) plus a daily-changing selection of housemade European-inspired pastries and chocolates, many incorpo rating edible flowers. Sweets, ranging from apricot-filled dark chocolate Sachertorte and Italian almond cakes to creamy truffles or meringue-dotted chocolate salami, have unusual sophistication. And artistic, hand-designed packaging makes the goodies great gifts, too -if you can resist eating them yourself. $-$$ Gigi 3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ 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, ultrathin-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. $$

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Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat bone less wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/ herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jean Pauls House 2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373Jean Paul Desmaison, original chef/co-owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables, has chosen a decidedly less tony, more transitional neighborhood for this venture. But inside his renovated bungalow, ambiance is stylishly cozy, and the creative contemporary North/South American fusion cuisine is as elegant as ever. Best bets are dishes influenced by Desmaisons native Peru, including crispy pork belly braised in pisco with silky sweet potato pure, and a beautifully balanced nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian) salmon sashimi that does the impossible: tame leche de tigre, Perus infamous tigers milk marinade. $$$-$$$$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty crio llo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or highquality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a 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 Latina 3509 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-9655At last, an authentic Venezuelan arepera (purveyor of homemade arepas, with a variety of meat, cheese, and veggie fillings) that isnt out in the boonies -and decid edly isnt a dive. With colorful dcor concocted from recycled objects, this space, though small, has truly eclectic, Midtown style. The signature corn cakes, crisped outside and fluffy inside, put sodden supermarket specimens to shame. And cachapas (softer, sweeter corn pancakes folded around mozzarella-like fresh cheese) or bollarepitas (cheese-stuffed deep-fried corn cakes, with tangy nata dip) may be even tastier. $-$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/ yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/ salads/starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively richtasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$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 weekdayonly breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotledrizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemoncrusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $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 Beach listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan 3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ Mikes at Venetia 555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influ enced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$ 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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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS Orange Caf + Art 2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pieducks 3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Primos 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/ arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami 3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant most everywhere. Today many places now offer authentic Italian or delicate designer pizzas. But a satisfying Brookyn-style street slice? Fuhgedit. Thankfully thats the speciality of this indoor/outdoor pizzeria: big slices with chewy crusts (made from imported NY tap water) that arent ultra-thin and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medium-thick -sturdy enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Salad Creations 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 104 3451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Custom-sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, especially for those who enjoy taste-testing a plate pairing Italys two most famous prosciuttos: Parma and San Daniele. But homemade pastas are also impressive, as are hard-to-find regional entres like fegato alla Veneziana, which will turn liver-haters into lovers. $$-$$$ 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fastcasual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-forone beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tapas y Tintos 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/ wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wine Vault Miami Shops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include cho rizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ 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. $$-$$$

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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 openflame-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. $$Balans Biscayne 6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Blue Collar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool altculture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Chef Creole 200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$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. $-$$ East Side Pizza 731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $Garden of Eatin 136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive AfroCaribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Gourmet Station 7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Go To Sushi 5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Jimmys East Side Diner 7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a timetrip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restau rant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appear ances, 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

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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. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, home made crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And ricebased plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$Namaste 7420 Biscayne Blvd., 786-536-9050With food served from steam-table-type stations, plus plastic utensils and plates, this neighborhood Indian place is definitely no frills. But its also excellent value for the money, especially if you go for the all-day $8.99 special, which includes two entre items plus sides for which most Indian restaurants charge extra: rice, choice of bread (garlic naan recommended), and refreshing raita. Invest some of your savings in BhelPapri chat, a savory snack featuring crisp chips topped with cilantro-spiked chickpeas, onions, potatoes, yogurt, and piquant tamarind sauce. $-$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sour-orange-marinated, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chefdriven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, familyfriendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemoncaper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$ Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$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 fresh-baked 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 pro duced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $NORTH BAY VILLAGEBocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sau sage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$The Crab House 1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi cre ations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami Beach listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$

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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 (chargrilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$NORTH BEACHCaf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Who says old dogs cant learn new tricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28 seats), the Cea familys now-sprawling trattoria has added inventive chef Carlos Belon and modern menu items, including fiocchi rapera (pear/cheese-filled pasta purses with truffled prosciutto cream sauce), an unlikely (soy sauce and parmesan cheese?) but luscious Italian/Japanese fusion tuna carpaccio, and fresh-fruit sorbets. But traditionalists neednt worry. All the old favorites, from the cafs famed beef carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$-$$$$ KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys exec utive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$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 onpremises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$ MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club 10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ PizzaFiore 9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-withgooey-cheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of ItalianAmerican classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$NORTH MIAMIAlaska Coffee Roasting Co. 13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffeegrowing 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 houseroasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East 1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick exNew Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even impro vise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$Los Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hot-smoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingredients such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of the infamous Luther: a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Cane Sucre 899 NE 125th St.,305-891-0123From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/ outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickleonion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also

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authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are handcut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas 1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casu al chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165 Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun 2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Le Griot de Madame John 975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333When Madame moved her base of operations from her Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal one, and still mostly take-out), she began offering numerous traditional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tassot and an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt before poaching with various veggies and spices). But the dish that still packs the place is the griot: marinated pork chunks simmered and then fried till theyre moistly tender inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowdpleasers. $$$Mama Jennies 11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other ItalianAmerican belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty mine strone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art 12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-toorder Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhoodoriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. 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. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899 Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/chargrilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Smashburger 14730 Biscayne Blvd., 786-406-6614Two things distinguish the griddled patties of this Denverbased chain, touted as the nations fastest-growing better burger restaurant, from other better burgers: a nod to local tastes (like toppings of fried chorizo and potato fritas), and the smashing technique, producing an appealing thickly crusted exterior. Got burger overkill? Substitute chicken, or have a salad. An added draw: unusual veggie sides, which go beyond regular and sweet potato fries to crisp onion strings, veggie frites (carrots, string beans), and an Old South fish-camp classic: fried pickles. $-$$Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paperthin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$NORTH MIAMI BEACHBamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$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 chipotle-marinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill 1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall 3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally megasize menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orangeginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In 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 3622 NE 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33137 / 305.576.7775 / www.barrelwinecantine.com *Monday: Hospitality Day, 2 for 1 all by-the-glass wines *Tuesday: FREE glass of Champagne for the ladies 4-7pm *Wednesday: FREE wine tasting 7-9pm *Thursday: Live Jazz, Absinthe Trio with Be-Bob, begins at 8pm A neighborhood place for fine wine and food lovers

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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. $$ El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet 16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this allyou-can-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, esco lar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$Hannas Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tunamelt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant 3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veggarnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly freshtasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$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-thanaverage selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the woodfired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$Mario the Baker 14691 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-7641A Miami institution in its North Miami location since 1962, this original Marios changed location in 2012. But no worries. The menu of Italian-American (not Italian-Italian) favorites is the same -spaghetti and meatballs, hot and cold subs, etc. No arugula, imported bufala, or other chichi stuff on the NYC street-style medium thin-crusted pizzas, either; top topping here is savory homemade sausage. And no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and smushed garlic. $ The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$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 specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Soprano Caf & Italian Restaurant 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225Racks has a new owner and a new name. Italian chef Rocco Soprano is bringing his authentic Italian flavors and style to a lovely setting. Well have more details next month, but we know the specialties include Italian steaks, seafood, and an oyster bar. One thing that wont change: the coal-fired pizza oven, which reliably turns out an astonishingly light yet chewy crust that makes the pies a revelation. Especially enjoyable is the waterfront deck. $$Roasters & Toasters 18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sandwiches? Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Consider the Carnegiestyle monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we we ighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky handsliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant 1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$ rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN

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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 American-influenced 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. $$ Sushi House 15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table 18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$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 tastetested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$ Yakko-San 3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/ sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeosauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse,305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ 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, butterdoused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will pre pare it on request. $$$$$ AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusu ally flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$BagelWorks 18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727 Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of hand-sliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ 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. $$-$$$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. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonwor thy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Cadillac Ranch Village at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$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/sugar-laden traditional tfavorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contemporary as the restaurants dcor. Asian-influenced items, like wakametopped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particu larly 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). $$

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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 seafoodbased 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 allaround accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$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-flake-topped crunchy tuna/ avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina 17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$Luca Bella 19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222In the space that once housed Chef Allens, this trattoria offers a crowd-pleasing combination: dcor with white-tablecloth elegance, yet the family-friendly feel of a classic checkered-tablecloth eatery -and ItalianAmerican comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a mealsize marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing mod ern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumbcoated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$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. $$$$$ Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are handrolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$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. $$Playwright Irish Pub 801 Silks Run Rd. #2597, 954-457-7563The vintage Old World look and convivial atmosphere of this new pub, located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, are more traditionally Irish than most of the menu, which ranges from penne with marinara sauce to Thai-inspired spring rolls. But fish and chips are always crisp-coated and satisfying; potato leek soup is the real thing; and the crab cakes (crab meat mixed with just enough celery, onions, and peppers for interesting texture) are so good youll be thinking Maryland, not Dublin. $$ Sushi Siam 19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)SUNNY ISLES BEACHChef Philip Ho 16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney 18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth 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 cre ative 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. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York 17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinner for the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 305 16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-caneat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$Piazzetta 17875 Collins Ave., 305-918-6816You cant help feeling optimistic about a tourist towns food scene when its resort restaurants, which generally walk the middle of the road, get creative. And it doesnt get much more creative than this stylish restaurant and Italian market, which bills itself as a trip to an Italianinspired little market square, but which, along with artisanal salumi plus pizzas and pastas, serves sushi. Particularly tasty: the native Neapolitan pizza chefs truffled taleggio and mushroom pies; meltingly tender braised short ribs; an impeccable market-driven meat and cheese platter. $$$St. Petersburg Deli 17080 Collins Ave., 305-947-9696Dont expect fancified stuff like menus, or the English language, at this informal market/cafe. If theres signage identifying the prepared foods behind the counters, its in Russian, and daily dishes are pretty much what the cooks feel like making. So look and point. Wed suggest pointing at cold yogurt-based soups like tangy okroshka (with cukes, egg, scallions, potatoes, and dill) or holodnik (similar, with beets added); eggplant roulades, stuffed with spiced shredded carrots, are also a refreshing summer dish. Hot choices include meatballs in rich cream sauce and chicken Kiev. $$ Timo 17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill 350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagneshallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$

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NEW THIS ISSUESuburbs in the Sky at My View p. 26 Six more worthy restaurants p. 86 July 2012 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 5 Welcome to the Ted Vernon ShowYoull laugh, youll cry, you wont believe your eyes you might even buy a muscle car

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb rfntb ffr bfbfr frtbt nfbt tb fbrr fbfrtn b tb nfrnff nff fb f fbbt ff bfnn bbbfrr nfbtfbrrb fbfr ttbfr fb fr bn rfn ff b rfr fntrfbr nfr frf bffrf fbtfr nf rbf f bf r r f brrrfbtnbr r nrt rnrrb b bfb frn Z Z fb fnrbfrr fb frn Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z C C C C C C C C C C C C SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE UP TO 15%! SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE 20% rfntb rffntb

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COVER STORY 36 Welcome to the Ted Vernon Show COMMENTARY 12 Feedback: Letters 18 Jack King: So Long, Scottys 22 Christian Cipriani: The Design District, Redesigned 26 Craig Chester: High-rise Suburbs OUR SPONSORS 30 Biz Buzz COMMUNITY NEWS 48 Strange Case of the Missing Signs 48 Be Aware All Ye Who Enter 49 The Greenin g of Brickell 49 East Greyno lds Growling NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Frank: LowScale Plans, Large-Scale Mess 60 Wendy: Mango Mania 62 Shari Lynn: Puppy Love Gone Bad 64 Mark: Pioneers, One and All 66 Jen: Bean There, Done That ART & CULTURE 68 Anne Tschida: CCE Moves Downtown 70 Melissa Wallen: Galleries + Museums 73 Events Cale ndar POLICE REPORTS 74 Derek McCanns Crime Beat PARK PATROL 76 Jim W. Harper : Public Parks and Sex COLUMNISTS 78 Picture Stor y: Aftermath of the 1926 Hurricane 79 Your Garden : Tropical Transplants 80 Pawsitively Pets: Fidos on Facebook! 82 Going Green: That Sinking Feeling 83 Kids and the City: No Pool? No Problem! 84 Vino: Wines to Grill and Chill With 85 Dish: Open, Almost Open, Open to Suggestions DINING GUIDE 86 Restau rant Listings: 297 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 30 64 68Serving 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 List with me and sell it FAST!305-895-JEFF(5333) 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!! 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!!! 2.9M HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER POINT LOT LOCATION, 1/3 ACRE ON CUL-DESAC, 205 FEET OF FRONTAGE ON WIDEST CANAL IN KEYSTONE POINT IN MIAMI4bdr 3.5 bth pool & garage, custom home features; tropic bamboo lanai entry, imported limestone flooring, hi vaulted ceilings, impact windows, elegant 4star commercial gas kitchen, huge master suite, all rooms, open to lush tropical pool deck like a hawaian resort !! 150dock on one side 50 boatlift on other! 1.29M BRAND NEW 2012 REMODELED SANS SOUCI ESTS!+NEW POOL BUILT FROM SCRATCH!5bd/3bth, pool, 1 car garage 3,054sf, open floorplan, for large family, tile and bamboo flooring thruout, new silestone kitchen w/stainless steel appl. New pool with led lighting and sunstep oversized backyard w/ chickee hut! 24hr gaurd gated community. 619K WIDE BAY VIEWS AT A CANAL PRICE!! SANS SOUCI ESTATES 2 LOTS OF THE BAY!5br/5.5bth, pool, 2 car garage, 4,271sf. 75dockage. 18,000lb boatlift & jetski lift fully remodeled. 24 marble floors, huge cherry wood & granite eat-in kitchen w/cooking island. Large marble master bath w/jacuzzi, cul-de-sac street, 24hr gaurd gated. 1.4M BAYVIEWS VACANT LAND 75 DOCK SANS SOUCI ESTATES 24HR GATED GREAT DEAL BEATIFUL VIEWS !! OWNER W/FINANCE 25% DN 999K OVERSIZED WATERFRONT LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME KEYSTONE POINT80 x 135 New seawall, direct ocean access, no fixed bridges. Only 499K! 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!! 1.49M

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Trader Joes: Redening Brand LoyaltyJen Karetnicks article on Trader Joes (Waiting for Joe, June 2012) prompted I told them as a native of Miami, I think she is so right that Miami Shores would be I talked about the foodies here, all Hispanic community, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of our populaTrader Joes here in our city! Thanks to Jen for pushing me to join her Margaret Murray Miami Shores Trader Joes: Obviously Its Not About SavingsThank you, thank you, thank you Jen Alan and Judith Robbins Miami BeachTrader Joes: A Mini Version in the ShoresI enjoyed Jen Karetnicks column about the lack of gourmet markets (and a I dont know if Jen has had a chance to check out The Village Stand in Miami to accomplish exactly what she described, Gladys M. Fernandez Miami Shores If You Cant Do the Meeting, Dont Do the Complaining Everyone Thinks of You as Litter (May who that dont hold her views about change as old, close-minded, insensitive, looks her own lack of participation in the respond to the needs of the community in that she couldnt see wasting one more night Maybe this is why she missed more than half the meetings, which were held of the three workshops on the fence mention that it was the village commission that pulled the boards recommendation for front-yard enclosures because of It did take over a year to incorporate all the comments and concerns of the residents and the commission on the shops, the proposed ordinance was disDespite all the opportunities to voice her strong opinions, now, well after the disheartening to say the least to have a resident who made no effort to participate Gary Kuhl, member Code Review Board Biscayne ParkBiscayne Times: A Crime Against Mother NatureIn his May column, Well, Shut My Mouth, Gaspar Gonzlez grumbled about a petition to combat litter in the more ambitious residents were trying to stop the monthly distribution of Bis cayne Times At many homes, unread newspagiving the neighborhood a rather untidy look, it also gives the impression that a gested an alternative distribution method whereby resident could pick up the publiGaspar thought this sounded like an at tempt to silence his voice and free speech in that even if some of the papers are recycled, Ever heard of global warming or green initiatives? Cities all over are trying to reduce their waste and its third of the homes recycled their copies of the BT at eight ounces per copy, that would still leave us with over two and a Commentary: LETTERS FREE! Biscayne Dental Center W EL CO ME S Dr. Edgar Karim Lopez Dr. Edgar Karim Lopez is a graduate of the University of Miami where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1995. He then proceeded to pursue his dental degree at the University of Florida School of Dentistry, graduating class of 2001. His areas of interest are cosmetic dentisty and oral surgery. Dr. Lopez is a very dedicated professional dentist, who focuses on his patient's needs and comfort. Continued on page 16

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DEVELOPMENT SITE WITH INCOME Gateway site to Design District on NE 54th Street close to Soykas 55th Street Station.OFFERED AT $999,000 OR $37 PSF. Potential to build up to 54 apartments 200 front feet on NE 54th Street 27,000 SF of land Zoned T5-O per Miami 21 Existing rental income in place Other off market opportunities Develop by-right: Mixed use commercial, retail, ofce, apartments/lofts, B&B, Live/Work, Food &/or Alcohol Service (restaurant), place of assembly, or research facility. Commercial land sales are on re. Developers are grabbing what they can now at todays rock-bottom prices. Invest in a hot future land site today! BRIAN CARTER, P. A. BROKER ASSOCIATE cell 305 582 2424 | btcarter@majesticproperties.com CITY24350 NE 24th Street | Miami CITY24 is a contemporary, boutique building with just 119 residences. CITY24 boasts dynamic outdoor spaces with city and water views stretching over beautiful Biscayne Bay. Fantastic pool and gym. LIVE THE CITY LIFE Your ideal city life in vibrant, tropical Miami.1 BEDROOMS FROM THE $200,000S 2 BEDROOMS FROM THE $250,000S NOW LEASING 2 BD / 2 BA UNITS FROM $1,850 TO $2,550LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!355 SW 33rd. Avenue | Miami Completely Remodeled 2,568 SQ FT home Excellent location 4BD/2.5BA + of ce with built-ins and laundry room A+ Rrated School International Studies Charter School(ISCHS) Offered @ $455K NAYRA KHANAMIRIANREALTOR ASSOCIATEcell 305 812 3832 nayrak@majesticproperties.com DAVID CAROLAN BROKER ASSOCIATEcell 305 610 3251 | dcarolan@majesticproperties.com

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JADE OCEAN SUNNY ISLESOne of a kind 2 story penthouse in Jade Ocean. Over 3,700sq.ft., direct ocean views, 3 bed. 3.5 baths, private elevator foyer, high-end nishes and furniture.PENTHOUSE 4601 $10.950M Winn Dixie Anchored Shopping Center For Sale In FloridaThe property was built in 2004. It is in excellent condition. It bene ts from strong income and population growth and no nearby competition. Winn Dixies lease runs through April 2024. Winn Dixie occupies 37,673 square feet, and also occupies a liquor store of 3,200 square feet, which in total is approximately 74% of the center. Contact info@SunnyRealty.com or call 1.877.368.2318 Offering Price: $8.45M with assumable non-recourse loan 55,273 SF (Leaseable Space) (15 Suites) retail strip center in Clay County, FL. NOI: $659,600 Contact us to discuss other commercial investment opportunitiesCOMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE 3873 NE 163rd Street, N Miami Beach, FL 33160 PH 305.335.4144 | FREE 877.368.2318 Hablamos Espanol Nous parlons francais Falamos Portugues LIVING AREA LIVING AREA GUEST BEDROOM MASTER BEDROOM DINING AREA KITCHENLANA BELLOwner & Founder Of Sunny Realty Licensed Florida Realtor Luxury & Waterfront Specialist954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese MATTHEW JACOCKSLicensed Florida Realtor Luxury and Commercial Specialist305-335-4144English Russian Spanish Portuguese Scan the barcode to view the details or contact us atSUNNY REALTYLuxury & Waterfront Specialists954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese YOU DONT JUST BUY MIAMI REAL ESTATEYOU BUY THE LIFESTYLEwww.SunnyRealty.com

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JADE OCEAN SUNNY ISLESOne of a kind 2 story penthouse in Jade Ocean. Over 3,700sq.ft., direct ocean views, 3 bed. 3.5 baths, private elevator foyer, high-end nishes and furniture.PENTHOUSE 4601 $10.950M Winn Dixie Anchored Shopping Center For Sale In FloridaThe property was built in 2004. It is in excellent condition. It bene ts from strong income and population growth and no nearby competition. Winn Dixies lease runs through April 2024. Winn Dixie occupies 37,673 square feet, and also occupies a liquor store of 3,200 square feet, which in total is approximately 74% of the center. Contact info@SunnyRealty.com or call 1.877.368.2318 Offering Price: $8.45M with assumable non-recourse loan 55,273 SF (Leaseable Space) (15 Suites) retail strip center in Clay County, FL. NOI: $659,600 Contact us to discuss other commercial investment opportunitiesCOMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE 3873 NE 163rd Street, N Miami Beach, FL 33160 PH 305.335.4144 | FREE 877.368.2318 Hablamos Espanol Nous parlons francais Falamos Portugues LIVING AREA LIVING AREA GUEST BEDROOM MASTER BEDROOM DINING AREA KITCHEN LANA BELLOwner & Founder Of Sunny Realty Licensed Florida Realtor Luxury & Waterfront Specialist954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese MATTHEW JACOCKSLicensed Florida Realtor Luxury and Commercial Specialist305-335-4144English Russian Spanish Portuguese Scan the barcode to view the details or contact us atSUNNY REALTYLuxury & Waterfront Specialists954-336-1016English Russian Spanish Portuguese YOU DONT JUST BUY MIAMI REAL ESTATEYOU BUY THE LIFESTYLEwww.SunnyRealty.com

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half tons of newsprint being added to our You would think Biscayne Times would encourage the online reading, and delivering papers only to those individuals be working with communities to help minimize their impact on the environment be concerned that BT is dropping a two-and-aBarbara Kuhl Biscayne Park Biscayne Times a Crime? No, Cars Are the CrimeAs usual, I love all of Gaspar Gonzlezs columns and consider him the only one Well, Shut My Mouth addressed is mostly the result of all the cars cut ting through, which leads to my problem, Now I have to look constantly over my back and very often have to jump on Cars are coming from all directions, and lots of them are totally ignoring our than 12 years, I am watching this increasing problem with disgust and wondering what I know we cant stop evolution, but maybe closing a few streets from one Lots of speed bumps? Katrin Fechler Biscayne Park I Dare You: Just One MeetingI have had occasion over the past few months of curiosity, to attend a commission meeting I urge no, I challenge each community to attend one commission meeting in the next few months so they Do we really need someone telling us how we should think, interpreting reality for us? Mimi DAngelo Wellesley, Massachusetts Who Wants Walmarts When You Can Have Plazas?In regards to the cover story about Mid Sometime thereafter and back in Miami, the media was abuzz with news that Walmart was considering a store at Mid town, and of course part of the buzz was I can understand the anti-Walmart developed and what came to mind was revenue for the Midtown people, but why does it have to be with the same old, same old? You need to have visited the big beau tiful Spanish plazas in Madrid to appreci Not only are they multifunctional, they are very pedestrian friendly and visually with tables and umbrellas are placed in a with columns all around, beautiful street lamps spread throughout, and a big, multiIn Spain, we saw families sitting and chatting while kids were playing; couples having dinner, enjoying being outside in a this nature be for Miami! The space at Midtown is big enough to really create a work of functional architectural beauty Just a thought, Biscayne Times up the great work! Ernie Garcia Upper Eastside Commentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12

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George KluckMarket SpecialistWe Know Real Estate. We Care About People. *par *par o o o o *par o o o o o o o *par

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Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorIm spending a wonderful long weekend in the great museums and galleries and enjoying the beautiful downtown area with its great bike and walking paths and an Sadly, all this is not enough to cure my depressive state about the City of Miamis insane actions relating to development of velop the waterfront area where Grove Key Marina and Scottys Landing restaurant are Like all the developments the city has The highest bidder gets the deal, regardless of whether the development is good for the why we have wall-to-wall condos on our City Manager Johnny Martinez and his minions started this most recent mess by pushing the vision they had for the waterfront with no input from residents bother to note that there is a current Next Martinez selected a bid-review committee that included two City of ployee, an architect, and a person who I thought to be a restaurant specialist and who is employed by a company called company is the food services delivery So it turns out that there is not a single person on the review committee who has any knowledge of waterfront development, restaurant operation, or signature restaurant on the water! The whole bidding process turned out to be another one the citys famous presentations from the bidders were held in secret with no residents or media minion began handing out the bid docuI guess the somewhat good news is that the committees deliberations over which bidder to recommend was done in public hadnt seen the bid documents, reporters and concerned citizens had no idea what In the end, the committee did to the city manager, who will decide whether to forward it to city commis public or the media has even seen the this is that the public gets to vote up or little bump in the road is a result of the Carollo Amendment, after former waterfront property owned by the city been a big fan of Carollo, but in this case Now, you might say we should give whole process, but Id point out that the city doesnt have a particularly good master plans since 1985 and not a single The Flagstone marina/hotel project on the west side of Watson Island was signed, sealed, and delivered nearly ten The Jungle Island complex has been built, but it was with federal community-blockgrant funds that were meant for revitalizing hock for millions to the city and private They want the city to give them more Watson Island land and a 50-year lease extension so Can the City of Miami ever straight30 years Ive been tracking one bad city In the 1950s, the commission was so bad that Floridas governor removed I think it might be the right thing to do arguing that some Miami politicians are Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com www.AccessibleAventura.com 305-627-3103 Serving Dade County License # 299993833RN/LPNs Private Duty Nursing Bathing/Dressing Wound Care Medication Management Meal Preparation Transportation Therapy Services Driving Service We provide Free Consultation for all of Our Clients Prior Service! So Long, ScottysOne thing about Miamis record of waterfront development: Its consistent consistently awful

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VILLA ON THE SANDBrand new construction | 3 Story 5BR/ 5.5BTH | 5,076 sq. ft. | Walled & gated villa $2,975,000 Short Sale 1423 North Atlantic Blvd Fort LauderdaleStately 4 BR/4.5BTH main house w/ 10,887 sq. ft. interior | Separate 2 Bed/2 Bath guest house | 5 gated acres | Pool | 2-car garage | Generator | 25 stall stable | 100 x 200 lighted riding arena | Zoned agricultural | Low property taxes | Immaculate! | Live the Country Life! $3,299,000 Immaculate!23777 Southwest 152th Avenue Homestead LAKEVIEW OPPORTUNITY3BR/3BTH in Main House | 2/1 in Guest House | Walk to Fisher Park | Great neighborhood | $599,000 Cash Sale only | 740 W 51th St Street Miami Beach MAGICAL MORNINGSIDE ESTATE2 Story 4BR/2.5BTH main house | 2/1 Guest House w/2-car garage | 3,352 sq. ft. | Rare 27,000 sq. ft. lot $1,299,000 | 5960 North Bayshore Drive Miami AQUA 4BR/4.5BTH | 2,752 sq. ft. | Immaculate! | Lives like a house | Fab open kitchen | Amazing water views | 2 parking spaces | $987,000 6103 Aqua Avenue #504 Spear Miami Beach AQUA 3BR/3.5BTH | 2,203 sq. ft. | Breath taking Intracoastal views | 2 parking space | Large terrace $987,000 or Lease $6,500/ M furnished 6103 Aqua Avenue #304 Spear Miami Beach AQUA 3BR/3.5BTH | 2,343 sq. ft. | Designer entertainment system | 2 parking space | $1,100,000 6103 Aqua Avenue #803 Spear Miami Beach AQUA LOFT 2BR/2.5BTH | 1,957 sq. ft. | 12 ft. high ceilings | 2 assigned parking | 2 dogs OK | Fab open kitchen | $799,000 | 201 Aqua Avenue #904 Chatham Miami Beach RIVER PARC GATED COMMUNITY3BR/2BTH home | 1,992 sq. ft. | Close to Aventura Mall | Walk to schools & Houses of Worship | Reduced: $439,850 | 2599 NE 206 Ln Aventura WATERFRONT RARE PENTHOUSE2 BR/2BTH | 1,175 sq. ft. | 12 ft. ceilings | Ocean city & water views from every room | $650,000 5640 Collins Avenue #8A-PH Miami Beach RITZ CARLTON SHORT SALE2 BR/2.5BTH | 1,166 sq. ft. | 1 parking space | Amazing views | Best deal in building | Luxury for less 3400 SW 27th Avenue #707 Coconut Grove OCEAN VIEW REMODELEDviews of the ocean | Full service bldg | Doorman, Pool | $390,000|5600 Collins Avenue #12T Miami WWW.NANCYBATCHELOR.COM C 305 903 2850 O 305 329 7718NANCY@NANCYBATCHELOR.COM NANCYBATCHELORFrom Modern To MediterraneanOCEANSIDE LIVINGELEGANT ESTATE & EQUESTRIAN CENTERNEW LISTINGS

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$ 1.1mKeystone Pt. Waterfront Quick Bay & Ocean Access Executive Waterfront H ome in 24 Hr. guard gated Islands of Keystone Point. F rom the dock of this remodeled home you are in Biscayne Bay in 5 minutes and cruising/fishing the Atlantic Ocean 10 minutes later. 75 ft on deep water canal, NO Bridges to Bay. Features: 5 bedrooms 5 baths over 4,000 sq.ft living area. 25' soaring ceilings, open floor plan, huge granite kitchen w/ cooking island + walk-in pantry. Custom pool. 2 Car Garage. www.jeffkoebel.com jeffkoebel@realtor.com Montgomery & Koebel, Inc. Annie Montgomery Realty NEW CONSTRUCTION Waterfront Paradise Brand New Construction Custom Built 2 Story pool home! Modern Design with Super highend finishes. 5br, 6ba, 3 car garage, 5,970 sf., 75 feet on direct bay canal. 45' foot dock, 2 boatlifts (24K & 12K). Yard completely gated and fenced. Full security alarm and camera system. Metal roof, separate outside kitchen, complete sound system, huge eat-in kitchen natural gas. OWNER WILL FINANCE !!! Offered at $1.79m. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Gorgeous water views and park like setting in the front. Quiet, tropical, & serene a must see! This waterfront home has it all. Won t last long. 5000+ sq.ft Newer Construction. 6 beds, 5 baths. 2 car garage. High end finishes everywhere: marble flrs, granite kitchen with center island, custom pool and waterfall Jacuzzi. Impact/hurricane windows and doors. Security cameras & Alarm Sys. Too much to list. 75 ft on deep water-room for the big boat & the little boat! Beautiful wide water views No bridges to bay. Located in the 24 Hr. guard gated community of Keystone Point. $1,990,000 305-606-2252 Keystone Pt. Island 5 Waterfront 76 Feet on protected ocean access canal Boat lift No Bridges to Bay Lowest price per sq.ft. for this 2 storytri-level pool home. Huge living areas, updated eat-in kitchen with granite counters. Upstairs master suite, tub & separate shower + large walk-in closet FEATURES: Auto exterior light ing, sprinkler sys, alarm s ys, waterfall & pond! Offered in the low $800sMake offer! O come o ften over 400ft on the Waterfront 2 lots side-byside. No bridges to ICW. Vacant Point lot 20,000sq.ft. with on water Adjacent Property with 4 BED, 4 BATH, 3500sq.ft. 2 Car Garage, Pool on Lot and house can be purchased separately or make offer for both togetherSeller is motivated & will consider owner financing! OWNER WILL FINANCE

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22 Commentary: URBANIACourtesy of DacraBy Christian Cipriani BT ContributorWhen I moved to South Florida in 2005, I accidentally moved Id landed a job editing a design magalocked doors; behind me, Miami geared For the next hour I tested the limits of my Dodge Neon, outrunning a death-black storm as it chased me all the way back up up and down I-95 at least once a day wore off after only a year, at which point I took a job in the Design District and moved to and I still managed to be late, but I was The condo boom was at its height, and people were coming in droves to furnish their new apartments with high-end goods at the design magazine used to scoff at my didnt know the brands, the players, the fairs, (Yes, as a matter fact I was 30-somethings worked in ad agencies before Mad Men made it cool, while The nightlife scene was decidedly young making Saturday-night indie party, had a The King Is Dead, Grass, and just up losses went most people under 35, and The next few years saw more changFirst, it turned over second Saturdays when the split was pretty even, but in week is now focused on Midtown and pursued an older, wealthier, and more Nightlife now consists of restaurant cocktail bars and the outdoor lounge at NE 39th Street and NE 1st Avenue And I believe all of this change has group controls nearly the whole district, is one of Miamis smartest and most long game, moving the chess pieces in an ticipation of getting the neighborhood to Last month his company unveiled a $312 million, four-block, mixed-use de velopment that will transform the Design sion unanimously gave the project its pre destination, the district wants to become a hangout replete with rooftop green spaces Dacra also poached ultra-luxury retailers like Hermes and Louis Vuitare also forthcoming, as are new hotel, I spent about four years working in the Design District, and my memory is of a pretty area nestled right up against Little security cars lurking around, muggings, car break-ins, and the faint sound of gun conversation with one of my neighbors, who manages one of the districts premier furniture stores, I learned that these con neither he nor a Dacra rep were available to comment for this column, I think its safe to assume that the issue of security is high up on their list of Things That Design District are about to be hot on motion, I am willing to bet that this And those of us who drifted away will Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Design District, RedesignedA new mega-project will dene the neighborhoods future

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www.the-collection.us 15400 BISCAYNE BLVD. MIAMI, FL 33160305.944.3727 MADE IN GERMANY

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26 Commentary: MY VIEWBy Craig Chester Special to the BTA the key to urban vitality and innovation or are they just culde-sacs in the sky? In a keynote speech during the recent 20th Congress for New the rush to density will unlock and This rush to density, this idea that density creates economic growth, is wrong, Florida Skyscraper communities are vertical suburbs, Death and Life of American Cities (1961), Jacobs objected to neighborhoods that were made up exclusively of high-rises and instead preferred neighborhoods with buildings that are a mix of ages and types Greenwich Village in New consider cities around the world, its in those types of neighborhoods where you music venues, the authentic, the local businesses, the innovators, the vitality on the 23rd story of building built in me and sits atop an eight-level parking pedestal where every car has a happy I can walk for nearly all my basic human needs groceries, a barber, a Metrorail and the Metromover, both that stirs the human spirit or merely a semi-walkable streetscape in the shadows of impersonal towers functioning as In many ways, the mega-condos of able characteristics of a suburban gated community, despite being the densest neighborhood south of New York City sible to know more than few people in a 50-story building, if you know any at (which can drive up the cost of a unit anywhere from 15 to 30 percent, according to parking expert Jeffrey Tumlin) acts as an incentive to drive, therefore buildings and their residents, by nature, ity does not encourage civic engagement; in the most recent city commission elecMiamis Suburbs in the SkyBrickells towering condos leave their residents isolated and disengaged

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percent did not plaza, no signature park, no outdoor public room, no farmers market or gathering place, most of the public realm is centered around commercial third places (Starbucks) or reduced to are terribly neglected and the streets full sidewalks, perpetual construction with worker disregard of pedestrians, dark streets, blank walls, bullying motorists, busy arterials with scant crosswalks, and are beginning to look a lot like those implanted in suburban shopping malls acceptable if there were actually some other businesses opening besides restauno one seems to be talking about is the condo behemoth and the largest private construction project in the United States For better or worse, this billion-dollar project will fundamentally transform the the one hand, it will mitigate the retail national franchises, thousands of park towers that function more like a suburban an active pedestrian realm seamlessly Its obvious that areas like Wynwood, Midtown, and the Design District are the emerging centers of Miamis arts beginning to seem like a stark contrast weekend playground for suburbanites, wealthy South Americans on vacation to their second homes, and disengaged The longer-term prospects for the will face massive maintenance costs and liabilities in an era of expensive energy an increasingly urgent situation that smaller, human-scaled buildings will the limitations of their enormity will be The key to long-term vitality in a neighborhood is whether its inhabitants place itself is the single most important community values its history; is walkable and mixed-use; values arts, both street art and high art; and integrates the seems to be failing on the other fronts Entitled residents are using an ancient Street art and high art? There are no art art is the incessant sidewalk spray paint indiscriminately spewed by utility and built and natural environment? Another failure, as virtually all that exists in There are some improvements on the to be more pedestrian-oriented in the the underlying social construct of a go to a bookstore or bicycle shop, amenities commonly found in places with a sitmiami.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com WWW.JAKEMILLERLAW.COMReal Estate Family Law Estate Planning Bankruptcy THE LAW OFFICES OF JAKE MILLER, LLC

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WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM REDUCED $219,000 La Playa Properties Group, Inc. 2275 Biscayne Blvd., Ste 1, Miami, FL 33137 LaPlaya@LaPlaya-Properties.comIf you are looking to buy, sell, or rent your property call us at305-672-0773LaPlayaMiami La Playa Properties Group @LaPlayaMiami REDUCED $224,000 QUANTUM ON THE BAY1900 N BAYSHORE DR # 3519, MIAMIBeautiful NE direct bay views from this condo for sale. Live close to everything, in the heart of Miami, walking distance to the Performing Art Center, American Airlines Arena, Bayside, and more. Close to South Beach.VENETIA CONDO555 NE 15 St # 21-F, MIAMI FOR SALE $389,000Spectacular 3 bed 2 bath unit with direct Downtown Miami skylines and Bay views. Laminate wood flooring and berber carpet in bedrooms. Amenities include pool, gym, and social room. PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $269,900Great unit with magnificent city and ocean views, 1 bedroom and 1.5 bath, open kitchen, new appliances. This condo has never been lived in, washer and dryer inside and oversize balcony. Will not last!!! 2 story resort style home decorated with modern taste. Over 2,000 Sq.Ft., top of the line tile floors, SS appliances, covered garage, laundry room, tiled patio for entertainment, and bedroom terrace. Best home in this gated community!!! SAN SIMEON HOMES320 NE 211 ST, NORTH MIAMIONE MIAMI EAST335 S BISCAYNE BL # 3910, DOWNTOWN MIAMI23 BISCAYNE601 NE 23 ST # 1606, MIAMI Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148FOR SALE $275,000The best 2 story PH unit with 2 master suites plus the biggest loft space. Ceramic floors throughout. Huge kitchen, stainless steel appliances and oversized balcony. Rented for a year at $1,700.ALTOS DE MIAMI1 GLEN ROYAL PW # PH1601, MIAMIRudy CastroRealtor Associate 305-310-9656 Mayra RiveraRealtor Associate 786-210-8181 Leandro MuriasRealtor Associate 305-798-3800Starting $1,500Come live in Miamis Art and Entertainment District. Different floor plans available1Bed / 1Bath 834 Sq.Ft. starting at $1,500 / Month 2Bed / 2Bath 1,258 Sq.Ft. starting at $1,900 / Month 3Bed / 2Bath 1,588 Sq.Ft. starting at $2,300 / Month23 BISCAYNE601 NE 23 ST, MIAMILinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148Spectacular view of Biscayne Bay. Beautiful 1bed/1bath furnished condo with Italian kitchen cabinets and granite countertop. Amenities: 2 pools, gym, Jacuzzi, 24 hr security, valet, and concierge services.FOR RENT $1,950 FOR SALE $895,000Country style estate with over a 4,600 Sq. Ft. of living space. Featuring tennis courts, abundance of fruit trees galore, generator, in-laws quarter, room for an Olympic sized pool.REDLAND CITRUS22661 SW 157 AV, MIAMI Catherine UpeguiRealtor Associate 305-794-6366

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Our SponsorsBizBuzz: July 2012Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possibleBy Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorJuly is the month that starts with one on the fourth, and then hopefully doesnt continue with more big blasts that arent such fun heat waves, hurBT advertisers have deals to help you get Lets start with Independence plus radio Classical South Florida and Coca-Cola bring you Fire on the Fourth a free family-friendly, all-day beachfront festival (stage at 8th Street include indie art-rock musician Fred 81st or 72nd streets; returning north woods cutting-edge alternative O Cinema has you covered with its Audio Junkie a half-dozen other bands, plus live silk For pet owners, the Humane Society of Greater Miami New Times has tips for keeping your furry friends safe er noises can agitate pets, keep them inside (possibly with the TV on, to mask are toxic and that goes for matches wearing secure ID tags, in case they get as it is to allow the four-legged party animals lap up a bowl of beer with you, Evidently theres more than one reason why midsummer scorchers are referred to as dog days, including a record number of canine-related ads tiser Poop 911 clean-up service thats here to pick up where your dog left off, meaning their poop-scooping staff will keep your yard clean, green, and party-friendly; additional services range from dog company has larger cleaning solutions for homeowner and condo associations, Health-conscious pups and their people will be happy with Julys deal of the companys nutritionally complete dog food, and $1 off By Nature dog bis located at Smiling Pets Animal Clinic has offered organic gourmet meals, such as delectable-looking mutt-loaf, Laly Abelate presents Cooking for The $30 price (for one dog and his or her human) includes a taste test of the hurry over to new advertiser, and new Design District hot spot, Barrel Wine Cantine 576-7775), where chef/owner Victor humans, plus Miamis ultimate foie on Mondays Industry Nights, happy hour for ladies on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday wine tastings with some very impressive master wine experts, Welcome also to new advertiser Adelitas Caf 305-576-1262), humble-looking and slightly hidden from view, but Miamis breakfasts la ranchera eggs with FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH of Miami DowntownExperience L.I.F.E. Downtown:Living, Inclusive, Faithful, EmergingWORSHIP TIMESSUNDAY Informal 8:30am Traditional 11:00am WEDNESDAY Bible Study 6:30pm400 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132r frrnt brrtr rt305-371-4706info@fumcmiami.comACROSS FROM BAYSIDE FREE PARKING ON 5th St.NURSERY AVAILABLE FOR 11:00am WORSHIPVisit us on the web anytime!www.FUMCmiami.com /FUMCmiami/FUMCmiami C hil d r e n s Adventure Da ys S unda y Jul y 29 1 2:30 3:00 p .m. Toddler-Teena g er welcom e Cra f ts, g ames, and l essons for all a g es. No pre-re g istration needed SUNDAY brr M G R Visitusonthew Continued on page 32

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Our Sponsors: J ulyULY 20 12meal-in-a-bowl sopa de caracol (conch soup) or tapado de res (beef/coconut stew), it has long been the place to go for a comprehensive introduction to this Welcome back to Mikes at Venetia hangout long before this tropical Irish pub, with expansive bayview terrace, been a home away from home for local journalists forever, so you know that both the American pub grub (hefty burgers and steaks, roast beef sandwiches, are affordable enough to eat there every For Italian comfort food thatll evoke the homey red sauce joints of your childhood, not just in taste but in portion size (big) and price (small), visit new advertiser that has possibly been around since Il Piccolo Caf As well as all the expected old Italianprises, including elaborate fresh salads How about a restaurant thats both new advertiser Caf 46 305-400-8828) which, in all but name decade-old neighborhood institution Joe And you can now enjoy your old favorite dishes not only at dinner but at a justAt Bagels and Company (11064 Cohen is offering readers four coupon $10 or more; $5 off checks over $20; and offers are good weekdays only, with this While All-You-Can-Eat Lobster Wednesdays arent a summer-only thing Kitchen 305 cionados preferred pick for their supreme Dine on dishes and drinks from dozens of South Floridas top res taurants and beverage specialists on July 19 at the 25th annual Taste of the Nation Miami feast at Turnberry Isle Susser started the charity event when If youre seeking entertainment options for your own children during summer vacation, try Midtown Moonlit Movies, sponsored by The Shops at Midtown Miami to end in June, has been extended owing on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the next two months (July 11 and 25, Earlier we mentioned getting you could be in the best shape ever if you visit Inner Balance Studio (12579 to its signature roster of massages and plines that bolster both body and mind BT If youre more mind-oriented than body-oriented, try a Psychic Tarot Reading by Sophia appointment only, her palm, tea leaf, or crystal-ball readings address anxiety management, marital issues, phobias, If youre more into body improve ment, on the other hand, get instant Hannah & Her Scis sors services, eyebrow and body waxing, and even Hannah Laskys own hair products when you mention the BT and hair artists artwork, too, at her salons new and expanding art gallery and gift lows, custom upholstery, and more are BizBuzzContinued from page 30 rfn tbttrrt t r90-minute treatments for only $99trntn t tttnrn rt rtr Spa-goers may access the fitness center and tranquil Cascata Pool

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36 Ted Vernon loves to be the center of attention. He craves it. Its what drives him, and as such, its good for business. For the past 35 years, Vernon has owned and operated Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles, a dealership that mainly sells and trades classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. His customers range from small-business owners, retirees, tourists, and fellow car dealers to celebrities, professional athletes, and even royalty from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. The way he buys, sells, and trades is nothing short of amazing, to be honest, says Jim Silverman, sales manager at Vista BMW in northern Broward. Hes a master of knowing what a deal is going to do. He trades down the line. You do a deal, he shakes your hand, and as far as hes concerned, the deal is done. Vernon isnt content, however, with being the local classic-car guru. A short, muscular man with a long bushy mustache and bald pate, he produces movies that usually star himself and whose plots have included homicidal scarecrows, a kidnapped autistic child watched over by a guardian angel, a maniacal Seminole spirit, zombies, and murderous Cuban communist art thieves. At age 63, Vernon also wrestles for Fort Lauderdale-based Future of Wres tling as his alter-ego, the Trillionaire Ted Vernon, an unscrupulous wrestling manager out to destroy whoever is cast as the protagonist in a particular bout. Previously he sang in a doo-wop group, smashed cars in demolition derbies at the old Hialeah Park racetrack, and fought in amateur and professional boxing matches. Hes a character and he likes to entertain people, says his wife, Robin Ziel-Vernon, a striking, six-foot blonde thirtysomething who runs the day-to-day affairs of the business while Ted makes deals. That makes Ted Vernon happy. If youre laughing, he wont stop making jokes. I am an egotistical fellow, he admits. I like being in front of the camera. I dont enjoy the behind-thescenes stuff at all, the whole hardworking stuff. Thats why Robins here. Robin does all the hard stuff. I buy, sell, trade cars. I laugh all day. I deal with nice people all day. I dont do a damn thing. Its great stuff! A glimpse of the Vernons world can still be seen on Discoverys Velocity Channel, where reruns of the 2011 realty show South Beach Classics featuring By Erik BojnanskyPhotos by Silvia RosYes, he sells classic cars to foreign potentates, but thats just his warm-up act Welcome to the Ted Vernon ShowVernon also produces movies whose plots have included homicidal scarecrows, a maniacal Seminole spirit, and murderous Cuban communist art thieves.

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the couple and their auto dealings, still air. When people come here, they may not come here to buy a car, Vernon says. Ill crack on their old lady, tell them stories, keep them laughing. Its not about the car anymore. Its about the experience. Its the Ted Vernon Show!The couple has just moved to a larger stage, in fact. For 33 years Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles operated from a hidden lot barely a half-acre in size at 471 NE 79th St. in the Upper Eastside, shoehorned between the Biscayne Plaza Shopping Center and the Little River. That changed several months ago, when the business moved to 8301 NW 7th Ave., adjacent to I-95. (The old location is being leased as a storage and repair facility for boats and jet skis.) Aside from providing more exposure than the old site, the new property covers four acres and includes a pair of show rooms. This gives plenty of space for Vernon not only to display his vehicles, but to show off his art collection, includ ing a machine gun created by Miami titanium artist Omar Ali, as well as sports memorabilia and a taxidermy collection. That last features an elephant head with trunk outstretched, a wallaby that sharp claw, squirrels frozen on bark, and mounted antelope and deer heads, bear and lion rugs, a raccoon, a sloth, and a warthog. A professed animal lover who claims not even to keep a catch collecting stuffed animals, mounts, and skins for years. They all have stories, he says. The Vernons own story has taken some unexpected turns. The couple moved from their old location not because they wanted to, but because they had to, he says. For the past seven years, the Vernons have been locked in a legal struggle with the owners of Biscayne Plaza Shopping Center, principally developers Edward Easton and Allen Greenwald, and Stephen Bittel, president of Terranova, a Miami Beach-based property management company. The Vernon maintains, and has been a source of relentless stress. Alan Marcus, the Vernons attor2005, when Vernon refused to sell his 79th Street property to Biscayne Plaza. At the time, the shopping center owners wanted to replace the aging mall with Continued on page 38 People may not come here to buy a car. Ill keep them laughing. Its not about the car anymore. Its about the experience. Its the Ted Vernon Show!

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38 a multi-use project comprising 2470 housing units and 200,000 square feet of retail. The site plan included Vernons dealership, and when he refused to sell, the owners retaliated by severely limiting access to it. Visitors were even forbidden from using a back road perpendicular to 79th Street. Instead, two narrow strips of land, barely the width of a car, were provided to the Vernons as easements. One easement, just north of 79th Street, is obstructed by two streetlights. I couldnt walk in and out of my building. Can you imagine that? Vernon seethes. Robin eventually created a new doorway by ripping down a wall facing their parking lot. Easton, Greenwald, and Bittel also sued Vernon for more than $2 million for alleged trespass violations made by invitees to his business, and for back rent on some vacant mall property he formerly used as a parking lot. Marcus insists that Biscayne Plazas owners waived the rent for 15 years until they sought Vernons land. A jury awarded the mall owners $40,583 in March 2011. Early this year Judge William Thomas added the mall owners legal fees of $266,588 to Vernons bill. The Vernons are appealing the case. Theyre also countersuing the shopping center owners for lost income and fraud based on a 1957 court judgment Robin uncovered guaranteeing the right to use the private road as an easement. Marcus claims the owners knew about the easement but never disclosed it during the civil trial. During a deposition, Miami backed out of a deal to buy the shopping center in 1986 after Stephen Bittel informed him of the easement. Harris Buchbinder, an attorney rep resenting the shopping center owners in the Vernons lawsuit, scoffs at the fraud charge. He insists Bittel never knew about the 1957 ruling and accuses Dezer of pro tecting his friend and fellow car collector. (Dezer owns the Dezer Collection, a car museum in North Miami Beach.) court will overrule Judge Thomass decision and clear the way for the Vernons to extract damages from the mall owners: They have much more to worry about than we do. Says Vernon: I have a very low bullshit tolerance. I dont like being pushed around. I dont like being bullied. I dont like it. And they are bullies. Vernon ShowContinued from page 37 Continued on page 40 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

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When he was growing up in Brooklyn, Vernon recalls, he was constantly targeted by wanna-be tough guys. I was the one Jewish kid in my neighborhood who didnt back down, he says. I didnt let them push me down. It started with one and bigger guys and bigger guys. I was like, What would it take to stop this? And it was that I had to lose. And I wasnt going to do that. His cousin, Avi Wygodski, who lives in Tallahassee, doubts that Vernon ever wanted to back out of a tussle. He was never gave him shit. Vernon didnt like people tormenting his family members, either. When he discovered that an older boy in the neighborhood was forcing little Avi to walk off the sidewalk whenever he was around, he came to the rescue. As we were walking, this bully came by, Wygodski remembers. I told Ted, We have to get off the sidewalk. This guy doesnt like me being in front of him. His cousin refused and told him to stay on the sidewalk too. Insults were exchanged until suddenly the smaller Vernon picked up the kid, swung him parked cars. The bully lost his balance and hit his head against one of the cars. He started to cry, Wygodski recalls. That was it. From that day on, I walked on the sidewalk. He didnt mess with me. leave them never wanting a piece of you hold someone down and make them say uncle, because then theyll come back. If body, or you have to defend yourself, do it well. Dont have them come back and think you got lucky. As soon as he graduated high school, told me to go, he says. Trouble soon followed him to Ohio, his next stop. He was charged with reckless driving and lost his license, so he stored his 1962 Buick convertible with his uncle. It was like my baby, he says. It had a fresh wax and seal. It was gorgeous. The day the suspension was lifted, he gleefully picked up his car. Im driving along and all of a sudden, pop, pop, pop. Three kids in their late teens, roughly Vernons age, hit his Buick with snowballs. Vernon says he chased them down and clobbered them one by one. The next day the local paper ran the story under the headline Three Teenagers Attacked by Gang. Vernon was picked up by the police, who questioned him about the other gang members. I Vernon ShowContinued from page 38 AllisonACADEMYFounded in 1983 A new cutting edge virtual environment including customizable courseware, solutions, and fully engaging activities!Accredited by: AISF, SACS/CASI, AdvancED, MSA NCPSA Customized Tests and Placement to Leading Universities AP Classes Available 305.940.3922 Dr. Allison Celebrates 50 Years in Education! Continued on page 42

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said, What gang? Vernon then went to work for his father, Harold Vernon, a real estate developer, and the job took him to West Florida. Once he reached Miami, he knew hed found home. Hed also reached his breaking point in the real estate business. He managed the construction of Tower 41 in Miami Beach (41st Street and Pine Tree Drive) and then quit. I was his dirty-job guy, Vernon says. Anytime there was an unpleasant job, there was me. I didnt want to work for him anymore. I love my dad, but I didnt like working for him, he adds. I wanted the independence of being myself. I probably would have been a very wealthy guy had I kept working for him maybe. Vernon decided to go into the car with a partner in 1977, but he didnt get along with his business associate, he says. So in 1979 he bought an old boating facility on the banks of the Little River for $150,000. I bought it on a handshake, he Vernon learned on the job. I had a thousand dollars and a lot of debt, he says. I worked 24/7 for years and built this dealership up. I love what I do. I love my clients. Every day is fun. Every day is a different deal. Robin Vernon credits her husbands success to his drive. When he wants something, she says, hell get it. This was apparently the case when the couple met on a blind date 14 years ago. At the time, Ted Vernon was divorced and had custody of his two children. Robin Ziel was working two jobs while going to school and taking care of her terminally ill mother. On that date, he told her theyd be get ting married; all she had to do was say when. She moved in with him about two months later and they were married within two years. The fact that he was so sure of himself is what attracted me to him, she says. Robin soon went to work for her husband and provided focus for his business. For example, in the late 1990s she recognized the value of having a website, an innovation that has allowed Vernon to obtain most of his automotive inventory through trades rather than car auctions. My wife is a rocket scientist! he beams. Shes the straw that stirs the drink. She gets it all done. Im able to do what I do because of her, and she never did this before she met me.Of all Vernons extracurricular activities, acting seems to be his favorite. He says hes appeared since the mid-1980s. Most of his roles are unnamed, menacing tough guys, such as a recent episode of Burn Notice that was shot a couple years ago at his old location. In one scene, he was supposed to sneak up behind protagonist Michael Westen, played by actor Jeffrey Donovan, only to get kicked in the chest. Vernon ShowContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44

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44 Dont play. Because Im going to sell this like you killed me. He says, Get him a kick pad, and I said, I dont need no stinkin kick pad. So he hit me. I back. I hit the car. On the second take, Vernon says, he decided to give Donovan even more encouragement. As the set is about to a pussy. Boom! He hit me again! Vernon produces the movies in which came out in 1988, wasnt even his idea. A photographer approached him with a horror-movie concept: Heavily armed robbers who pull off a heist and hijack a plane parachute with their hos only to be hunted down and gutted one by one by living dead scarecrows. Around the same time, he produced and co-wrote another movie, Hammer about a kind wrestler who is exploited by a greedy promoter. He but told the Canadian online sports magazine you learn. I had fun with it. Vernons movies have earned him star in and produce two low-budget horror movies, and Zombie Infection The executive producer thing was more of an honor thing than anything else, he explains, adding that the director, Alex Wesley, loved now a B-movie cult classic, I had a great time, he says. the cinematic career of Aiden Dillard, a 31-year-old who has shot commercials and documentaries for income and, for Vernon ShowContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46 SOYKA RESTAURANT ANDIAMO PIZZA SUSHI SIAM LONDON ACHIEVEMENT PROCESSES NORTHEAST MIAMI WOMANS CLUB CODIGO ENTERTAIMENT TODOBEB GREEN DOT ADVERTISING BISCAYNE TIMES AJP INTERIOR DESIGNS home toBETRULife/Style Store & Spiritualist ReaderDETAILSUnique Home Furnishings, Apparel & GiftsORIGINSTattoos by Luiz SegattoMILLE FLEURSFresh FlowersARCAYNE SALONHair & Nails The Restaurant KEPT GREEN, CLEAN, SAFE, AND LOOKING SHARP BY D&V SOLUTIONS 5400 5582 NE 4th COURT & 5600 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD 305 759 8227 | www.The55thStreetStation.com AMPLE VALET AND SELF PARKING WELCOMING LOUNGETHE ONLY REAL GYM IN MIAMI

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46 which he describes on his own website as some of the worst cinematic debacles of all time. At the age of 24, prior to meeting Vernon, Dillard directed and wrote followed by the sequel Meat Weed America starring potent marijuana and horny girls. with Vernon, he was actually trying to make a special kind of movie on autism for Accord Productions, a Miami-based company that also owns the Beach Channel. I wanted a warehouse space on the river and asked Ted if I could shoot there, Aiden recalls. He says, Sure, if you give me a role. I rewrote the script and turned it into a gangster movie. Thus came Special Angelz in which Vernon plays a gangster who kidnaps an autistic kid in order to recoup a debt. The movie also features an invisible guardian angel. On his website, Dillard proudly calls it the most embarrassing movie I have ever made, and he had found a new partner in his cinematic mischief. We became great friends, he says. Vernon produced and starred in Dillards next two movies. In Deathprint daughter is murdered by Cuban agents. Local fetish artist Rubber Doll and techno musician Otto Von Schirach play detectives trying to track down the painting the agents stole in the course of their homicide. And about a Seminole spirit named Coo-wahchobee who slaughters a group of beautiful women while they wander through an Ev erglades jungle on Columbus Day. Vernon plays the part of the axe-wielding spirit. Dillard cast Robin Vernon in Death print and too, but she acted reluctantly. Unlike her husband, she says, she doesnt seek the limelight. Ted will guilt-trip me into it, she says. I dont like being the center of attention. He loves it. He it. It might be a while before there are more Dillard B-movies. He is taking a Im trying to get into real estate or learn something that pays money, he says. While Dillard did a brief stint as a car salesman at documentary project about seahorses. break wont last long. Filmmaking is in his blood, just as acting is in Vernons. The entrepreneur says, As soon as I say to him: Aiden, lets make a movie, hell make a movie, I promise you. needs Vernon ShowContinued from page 44In Deathprint, Vernon is a pacist art dealer whose daughter is murdered by Cuban agents. In Hell Glades, hes an axe-wielding Seminole spirit.

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48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORStrange Case of the Missing SignsWhen neighbors saw that theyd disappeared, e-mails zipped and rumors ew Be Aware, All Ye Who EnterIt only took a decade to mark the entrance of Miamis historic Bayside neighborhoodBy Mark Sell BT ContributorBellowing bullfrogs, chirruping crickets, and buzzing mosquitoes arent the only sounds this month along the Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve nature trail linking NE 135th Street with Florida International University. The chattering of antsy neighbors is adding to the rainy-season cacophony at the edge of Oleta State Park. And its not just about the trail. Every blessed sign and marker along the path, about 16 altogether, went missing in the dead of night right before Memorial Day. Bike Lane. No Motor Vehicles. Watch For [Pedestrians, Bikers]. Simply disappeared. All the poles were gone, dug out of the ground. Some of the signs were strewn in the brush on the side of the trail, which runs roughly a third of a mile. The sign for the adjoining coastal FIU nature trail was also missing, too. E-mailers and callers got busy. Was FIU up to something nefarious? Is FIU getting ready to widen the nature trail, which it has long coveted, into a four-lane road, giving the 6500-student campus the second access road? The signs, after all, included things like: No Motorized Vehicles. The answer: Nope, not this time. It was theft, says North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin. As soon as the signs went missing, my phone was ringing off the hook. People thought it was FIU. I get why theyd be panicked. They stole all of the posts, but left some of the signs behind. the preserve in 2007 and protect it in late 2011, when FIU president Mark Rosenberg led the universitys aborted (or at least suspended) attempt to turn the paved nature trail back into a vehicular road. The city council voted unanimously against FIUs effort after residents gathered in force. Rosenberg quickly acknowledged the communitys will and looked forward to working together. FIU says nothing much has changed and that, no, of course it had nothing to do with the sign theft, though the issue still burns. FIU director of media relations Maydel Santana-Bravo did note: Our need for a second route in and out of campus is still there. Santana-Bravo says FIU is still talking with council members and seeking input in getting that second route in and out of the campus. Even if nothing has changed, one thing is indisputable: The neighborhood around the nature trail is about to go through a wrenching change, and its not Continued on page 56BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorBayside is not one of Miamis better-known neighborhoods. The quiet, demure area is hidden away behind the attention-grabbing MiMo Historic District, but its wealth of early 20th-century architecture made it a natural pick to become one of Miamis Still, it took another 21 years of persistence for the neighborhood to gain public recognition and a monument to acknowledge the designation. On June 10, about 50 invited VIPs, including county Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, attended a short commemoration of the new monument. The small ceremony Boulevard, so a public party was moved to the American Legion Post at nearby Legion Park, once the unveiling was completed. Darcon Group Corp. cast the 23-footlong marker in place on a bare portion a ships bow or a full-length canoe, a reminder of Biscayne Bays nautical heri tage; the taller end stands at a modest 2.5 feet, gently sloping downward toward the markers other end. A generous two-foot width allows the slab to serve as a planter, presaging the row of stately oaks and lush It gives us a sense of community, being a part of the Bayside Historic Neighborhood, said Louis Bourdeau, president of the Bayside Residents Association, the main force that fought for the marker. We have that natural gateway having a place where everybody comes in and out, and they see it all the time. As one of Miamis earliest neighboris bordered by Biscayne Boulevard, NE 68th Street, NE 72nd Street, and Biscayne Bay, had already begun to assert its individuality. Most of the buildings that contribute to the historic designaMediterranean Revival, Art Deco, and Streamline Moderne styles of early 20thcentury Miami. But the older vernacular buildings, and even the post-World War Continued on page 50Photo by Joseph Canale

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The Greening of BrickellA super-dense neighborhood desperately needs parkland, but who can afford it?East Greynolds GrowlingA six-dollar weekend fee to use the dog park has some patrons howling BT Senior WriterAs another crop of high-rises prepares to sprout in Brickell, a group of activists hopes to get area residents interested in obtaining more parkland within the most intensely developed neighborhood south of Manhattan. The group, Brickell Green Space, plans to ask Brickells developers to buy vacant lots from private-property owners and turn the land into parks. Brickell actually has some decent temporary open space, says Mark Schrieber, a manager with the Spinnaker Group, a green-construction consulting company. Those parcels will be gone soon. Thats why we chose to focus on Brickell. Its on a critical timeline. The development cycle has begun. On June 27, the Hong-Kong-based the billion-dollar Brickell CitiCentre project on nine acres at SE 6th Street and SW 1st Avenue. Once completed, Brickell CitiCen restaurants, and high-end retail. But the neighborhood is already drastically short on parks, even by Miami standards, and future development will Schrieber argues. According to the na City of Miami has just 2.8 acres of park land per 1000 residents, one of the lowest ratios in the country. Within Brickell, a one-square-mile area where more than west, Miami River to the north and Rick enbacker causeway to the south, there is only 0.54 acres per 1000 residents. Instead of pleading with the city, which has been struggling to balance its budget in recent years, Brickell Green Space intends to ask developers to buy privately owned parcels and then donate them to the city. Craig Chester, a Green Space, says parks are actually in the developers best interest. Without them, builders will have a harder time selling units. Were becoming rapidly overdeveloped, Chester says. The loss of views of all the surrounding areas will impact property values while increasing the strain on infrastructure. (Chesters essay Miamis Suburbs in the Sky appears in this issue, on page 26.) But before making a formal request to Swire, Brickell Green Space wants to create a groundswell of support on its website, brickellgreenspace.com and other online media outlets. We want to build that support and have that BT photos by Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterTerry Levinson and her husband Fred dont regret moving from New York to Aventura eight months ago. I like it here very much, say that New Yorkers are bad drivers. Well, theyve never been to Florida. Their three-and-a-half-year-old Maltese-poodle mix, Andy, gets restless and lonely sitting in their apartment. So a couple of times each month the Levinsons expose themselves to Miamis vehicular madness and drive Andy to East Greynolds, a waterfront park at 167th Street and Biscayne Boulevard that features two fenced-off dog areas (one reserved for small dogs, the other for large) with amenities such as benches, water fountains. Usually they visit on weekdays, when visitors are charged just a dollar for parking, but they seldom come on weekends. I dont want to pay six dollars just for him to play with other dogs, she says. Several East Greynolds patrons interviewed by the BT are quick to gripe about the six-dollar fee charged per car on weekends and holidays. (Buses and campers are charged $15.) Judy Peraza, a real estate agent from North Miami Beach, admits she had just complained to the park attendant on this Sunday afternoon. Usually I come with him at 4:30 p.m. and leave at 6:00 p.m., says Peraza, referring to Cowboy, her friendly black Pomeranian. But I still have to pay six dollars. Making the fee all the more perplexing is the abundance of dog parks in the area that charge either nothing or far lower rates. Haulover Park, for example, charges only three dollars on weekends. It is not worth it for 30 minutes, says Uta Nicths, a tourguide operator from Biscayne Park whose two-year-old Maltese is named Schatzi. Even if youre here 15 minutes before clos ing, they still charge you. Doris Howe, manager of communications and marketing for Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces, says her department doesnt like charging six dollars either. Nothing would be more ideal for us than to not have to charge fees for the services, programs, and facilities we provide, Howe says in an e-mail to the BT However, the reality is that it is simply not economically feasible or practical for us to Continued on page 52 Continued on page 50BT photos by Erik Bojnansky

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of revenue to offset operational costs, including maintenance. Since 2007 Howes department, which is responsible for nearly 13,000 acres of land in 263 county parks, has been struggling with a dwindling supply of property tax revenue. To balance the hours at some parks curtailed. In such an environment, lowering park fees would come at a price. If the fees were lowered, there will be less revenue, which would call for more subsidy [from the countys general fund], which would call for taxes going up, says Kevin Kirwin, Miami-Dade Parks assistant director of operations. Greynolds to be part of Greynolds Park, the 233-acre expanse of natural habitats, and feel of the neighborhood. Although Bayside was singled out for its architecture, the real draw is the people. The thing I like about the community is that its eclectic, explains longtime resident Joseph Canale. Its like New York City. You have different cultures. You have the Spanish culture, you have the Haitian culture, you have the American culture. You have many different people, just like in New York. Its wonderful, he adds, and its a well-grounded community of people who care. People get involved with the community, even though theyre working all day and they have families. They still take the time to come out and say, Listen, politicians, we need your help, and we need things done, and youre going to be here, and youre going to do it for us. The marker project took almost ten years to see completion, Canale says. Part of the reason for the delay was Biscayne Boulevard construction and a drainage project, but the most daunting obstacle was the City of Miami. The original designs, by Shulman & Associates, were deemed too large for the site, he notes, and other considerations needed to be addressed. While waiting for all the kinks to be knocked out, the community raised and Sarnoff each added $5000 to the bill for the marker was $21,413. sively for construction; the rest of it went to internal costs paid for through the citys Capital Improvements Program. Fortunately, most of the funds designated for the project were set aside long before the real-estate bust forced the county and city to tighten their belts. Albert Sosa, director of the citys Capital Improvements Program, headed the coordination efforts, including scaland Environmental Preservation Board were the two departments that had to sign off on the project). Sosa notes how impressed he was with the communitys persistence. You had a homeowners association who was very committed to getting this done, he says. They never gave up. For many years there was always a reason why the current design iteration wouldnt work, but they kept at it. Were just happy that we could get together with them and develop something that, number one, was feasible and, number two, was something that they liked. So I think it was a win-win for everybody. Im glad they persevered and stuck with it, he adds. It would have been easy to give no but they didnt do that. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com SUNNY ISLES Sandspoint New R.E.O. $445K MIAMI BEACH Waterfront/Investment 12TH Units Bulk Sale 1.9 Mil TROPICANA Ocean Front 2BR New R.E.O. AVENTURA SUNNY ISLES MIAMI BEACH TROPICANA AVENTURAAttrium Penthouse $675,000Number One For Worldwide Connections rfSELLING?Dont list with just any one agent, list with Century21 and have the power of 75 local agents, speaking 12 different languages and over 350,000 agents world wide working for you. The Only Website You Need To Knowwww.Century21KingRealty.com305.213.1435 305.433.1775 KING REALTY3495 NE 163rd ST N. Miami Beach, FL 33160 JADE BEACH Pending Sale $2,150,000JADE BEACH BaysideContinued from page 48 East GreynoldsContinued from page 49 Continued on page 54

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FOREC FOREC L L OSURE DEFENSE? OSURE DEFENSE? Foreclosure defense is to the fire, and making them prove every aspect of their case. It is about identifying fra udulent documents, challenging the authority and authenticity of those individuals who sign the endorsements, assignments of mortgages, and affidavits. It also means seeking and identifying documents that contradict the claims. Goals are very important to identify at the beginning of your case. Goals will determine how a defense attorney will pursue your case. Every individual and family has different goals arising from different situations. Foreclosure defense attorneys must aggressively test the basis for each case on your behalf. They must have the knowledge and experience where and how to apply pressure on the Bank. Your attorney should have experience to know when to apply pressure to best meet your goals. You have options and you have rights. You have nothing to lose if you fight. You have the right to stand up against the Bank. Civil Justice Advocates, PL Civil Justice Advocates, P.L., is a law firm founded on the princip al that everyone deserves the best defense against the Banks and Debt Collectors. We analyze on your individual situation, and tailor a legal strategy that best meets your goals. Sometimes this means an exhaustive legal battle, other times it can be a favorable settlement Our experienced attorneys know how to use all aspects of the law, including the FDCPA, to get you the be st possible results. In additi on, our paralegal staff has many ye ars of experience in the lending industry, and can put you on the right path for a loan modification, short sale, or other resoluti on. We also understand that sometimes bankruptcy ca n be the best solution. Our attorneys are experienced in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy, and can guide you to determine which one will best serve your particular circumstance. At Civil Justice Advocates, P.L., our experienced attorneys and staff will get you the results you deserve.hen in Foreclosure, consider the following DO DO s s and T T s s in protecting your rights and getting a resolution that benefits you: D D O O Seek legal advice based on knowledge, experience, and esprit de corps. is about obtaining the evidence, depositions, and affidavits. The laws are always changing, and you need someone who knows how to use the most recent developments to your advantage. T! T! Trust the Bank to stop their foreclosure because you are working on a loan modification or short sale. The Bank is under no obligation to delay their foreclosure, and the will not protect your rights. Do not ignore the lawsuit. DO DO File a response to the lawsuit within twenty (20) days of service. You can lose valuable rights by not responding. If you need time to seek legal advice, ask for an extension of time to seek an attorney. D D ON ON Think that talking to the Bank is the same as answering the Complaint. It is not. DO DO Keep a detailed journal of all calls and communication to the Bank, including the date, time, name, and substance of the call. Keep all letters, emails, and documents sent to you from the Bank. Civil Justice Advocates, PL 3601 W Commercial Blvd. Suite 18 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Ft. Lauderdale (main): (954) 677-8888 Miami: (305) 200-5115 By: Joann Hennessey, Esq. Fair Debt Collection Practices Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Act (FDCPA) takenly make it appear that you are, then you may have rights under the FDCPA. Debt Collectors try to collect debts, but sometime they go too far. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to sue a Debt Collector for abusive tactics. Some of these abusive tactics include: Contacting you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM. Contacting you if you have written to them requesting that they stop. Impersonating a law office, government agency, or credit reporting company. Threatening arrest for not paying. Using abusive or insulting language to coerce payment. Repeatedly contacting your friends or family. If you feel that a Debt Collector has been abusive, then you may have the right to sure them under the FDCPA.

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support base before we go to potential land donors, Schrieber says, because why would they listen to a random guy who walks off the street and says, Hey, we want you to buy some land for us, versus someone who walks in with a thousand signatures and support from the community? That goes a lot further. Brickell Green Spaces web page lists eight possible locations for parks. At the top of the list are 2.5 acres of vacant land near the Miami River and the SE 5th Street Metromover station, right across the street from land controlled by Swire Properties. Schrieber says his group envisions a 3.5-acre park that will be large enough to accommodate a running track, a playground, and a dog park. He adds that Brickell Green Space has also reached out to other developers, the Related Group and the Foram Group. They have the overwhelming major ity of condos in that area, Schrieber says of the builders. They clearly have a big stake in this effort. The land wont be cheap. Just last month, New York-based Millennium Partners, developer of Brickells 70-story Four Seasons Tower, sold 2.5 acres of the proposed parkland for $28.2 million to Carlos Mattos, according to the Daily Business Review A Colombian auto executive, Mattos has been snatching up properties in Brickell lately, including the 100-year-old Tobacco Road building at 626 S. Miami Ave. Wed been trying to get in touch with [Millennium], but they didnt want to have a meeting, for whatever reason, Schrieber admits. I guess they were going through with this deal. Hes still hopeful that Mattos might embrace the idea of his newly acquired land becoming a park. It doesnt change our overall goal, Schrieber says. Swire Properties, the Related Group, and Foram Group did not return phone calls from the BT Mattos could not be reached for comment. Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who represents the Brickell area, ap preciates what Brickell Green Space is trying to do but doubts the group will be successful in its quest. Youre talk ing about prime real estate in Miami, Sarnoff says. Am I hopeful they will suc ceed? Yes I am. Am I skeptical? Unfor tunately, I am. Why would property that sells for $60 a square foot be given away? Mallory Kauderer, managing partner of Brickell Flatiron LLC, also questions Brickell Green Spaces strategy. I dont know how practical it is business-wise to buy land for it to simply be a park, he says. Nevertheless a park is being built on property owned by Flatiron at 20 SE 10th St. Flatirons parcel is part of a larger, triangular property, similar to the Manhattan land on which the renowned Flatiron Building stands. Thanks to a deal with the city bro kered by Commissioner Sarnoff, Kauderer says, a permanent park designed by land scape architect Raymond Jungles is being created on 3100 square feet of the parcels southern tip. A temporary park will be built on another 6000 square feet of land. Chester says the current Flatiron Park project is encouraging, but he notes that much of the designated park will only be temporary. In fact, the Flatiron parcel is also on Brickell Green Spaces wish list. Our goal would be making the entire triangle a park, he says. Kauderer says he and his partners are market: We might do a joint venture here or sell it to someone in the future who knows? As for the entire parcel becom ing a park: I havent really thought of it. Im not sure what the city would offer me for it. (The lands market value was $5.3 million last year, according to the county The concept of developers donating land for parks doesnt sound ridiculous BrickellContinued from page 49 Continued on page 56

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54 campgrounds and picnic areas, walk ing and biking paths, a nine-hole golf course, and winding canals on the west 2010, both Greynolds (excluding the golf penditures totaled $732,600, Kirwin says. Kathy Sanchez, a dog owner from Highland Lakes, believes the countys insistence on treating the two parks as one is part of the problem. The entrance to big Greynolds Park (17530 W. Dixie Hwy.) is a mile from East Greynolds. At Greynolds Park, which also charges six dollars to park during weekends and holidays, but does not allow dogs, there is plenty to do. Not so at East Greynolds. Theres nothing there but the dog park, Sanchez says. She also questions why the county employs an attendant at $11.28 an hour to collect fees at East Greynoldss main gate on the weekends. During the week, the dollar parking fee is collected by machines. Kirwin says its far more costeffective to treat the two Greynolds as one park. The primary thing is that taxpayers dont have to pay for two park managers, he says. Instead staffers have duties at both parks. The dog area, which occupies less than two of East Greynoldss 57 acres, isnt the parks only feature. There is also a picnic ing or simply gazing at Maule Lake. East Greynolds didnt always have a dog park. It opened at the same time as camping, particularly by the Boy Scouts, Kirwin says. When the county commission in 2005 decided to build a two-acre off-leash dog section in East Greynolds, the closest canine-friendly open space was Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. The county spent $215,000 on its construction. The mu nicipalities of North Miami Beach, North Miami, Biscayne Park, Sunny Isles Beach, Aventura, Golden Beach, Bal Harbour, Surfside, and Bay Harbor Islands kicked in resources and supplies. From the very beginning, some parkgoers criticized the weekend parkToday area residents unwilling to pay the fee have several dog-park alternatives, including two in Aventura (for residents only), one in Sunny Isles Beach, one at Legion Park in Miamis Upper Eastside, six in Miami Beach, and a sprawling dog park at Haulover. Howe, the parks spokeswoman, says there is no evidence that the admission fee scares away visitors. She points out that more than 16,000 people visit East Greynolds on weekdays each year, while another 6000 visit on weekends. East Greynolds was full of people and dogs when the BT visited on a recent Sunday afternoon. The pavilion and all ages, while a number of dogs and their masters enjoyed the dog park. Several people, when queried, objected to the six-dollar fee. One of them who did not was Dexter Heromin. A Florida International University student with a hyperactive white Husky cost. He just moved from a Florida town that balked at raising taxes to help support a dog park there. It shut down. I dont mind paying six dollars, he says. Its better than seeing it close. The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is County. For more information, visit www. parksfoundationofmiami-dade.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com East GreynoldsContinued from page 50

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56 rfntbrbfrfn rtb rt t br rALIX DESULME is the ONLY candidate for District 108 who has a track record of ghting for DEMOCRATIC values. Alix is the only REAL Democrat in this race and will stand up to Rick Scott and the Republicans: b bf b fr n rrrf f rf ntnbbb to other real estate professionals BT spoke with. Why not? asks Grant Stern, president of Morningside Mortgage, who points out that developer Tibor Hollo and Jorge Perez of the Related Group have contributed to park efforts in the past. Most [Brickell high-rise builders] want to see a good neighborhood because theyre long-term developers. Theyre not just here for one boom and theyre out. Michael Y. Cannon, executive director of Integra Realty Resources-Miami, says builders in other cities, such as Charlotte, North Carolina, are encouraged to give land for parks. It can be done and its a good idea, says Cannon, a 45-year veteran of South Floridas real estate industry. Parks enhance the marketability of the neighborhood. Cannon also thinks Brickell area builders can be encouraged to create parks in exchange for other considerations, such as transferring the development rights from a future park to the builders main project. Ive been an advocate, from a market-analysis point of view, of transfer rable development rights for years, he says. Its the right thing to do. Not every inch of property should be developed. We need open space in the urban core area. But what if every vacant parcel in Brickell, instead of becoming a park, is developed? Then the city loses, the people lose, answers Schrieber, a transplant from North Carolina. Schrieber explains that he developed a passion for urban planning while pursuing his architecture degree in the University of Miami. When he moved to Brickell three years ago, he says he was so struck by the lack of parks that he formed Brickell Green Space with a handful of Brickell residents and urban professionals. If more parks arent created in Brickell during the current development cycle, they may never be created because the area will be completely built out. Brickell might then begin to lose market value to other up-and-coming areas. Schrieber notes that already some people are picking Edgewater as a place to live over Brickell thanks to that neighborhoods Margaret Pace Park. Man, this is a great neighborhood, he says, but there just isnt any open space. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Missing SignsContinued from page 48 BrickellContinued from page 52because of FIU. Its Biscayne Landing, where events are moving fast. The North Miami City Council on May 23 approved developer Michael Swerdlows plan to develop the adjacent 184 acres for the Biscayne Landing project. The ten-year, $500 million project will transform roughly 850,000-square-foot big-box retail complex including Lowes, Dicks Sporting Goods, Kohls, and Ross. The developer is Oleta Partners, a partnership between Swerdlow and New Yorks venerable and well-funded LeFrak Organization. The stores should open in 2017, with a hotel, assisted living facility, and rental construction following. As the BT has reported, Swerdlow says hed be happy to open a roadway to FIU from 143rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard, although the university would need to shoulder responsibility for running the remaining 1500 feet over state-owned, protected man groves. Doing that would require FIU to deploy all its lobbying might to get state permission to run a road over and through mangroves. That would be quite a trick. Nearby theres another, separate summer brew coming to a boil. Its on the other side of Biscayne Landing, where plans for a high-end strip club featuring nude female dancers just west of the FEC railroad tracks have launched a culture war. In late May, the city council considered lifting a liquor ban on nude clubs. The owners of the former Thee Doll House strip club in Sunny Isles Beach want to invest $2 million to renovate the old Locks & Co. complex at 2050 NE 151st St. Pastor Jack Hakimian of the Impact Miami Church has led a movement to thwart the club, and has gathered in opposition a growing chorus of neighbors and the management of the almostadjacent WPBT-Channel 2, home of the Big Bird and Elmo. Hakimian says, among other things, that no such club should be is 0.7 miles west of Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School, just under a mile from David Lawrence Elementary, and 1.2 miles from FIUs entrance. Nearly all student foot and bike Galvin, who has said he has no problem with the 151st Street club as long as it is not open during school hours and employs off-duty North Miami police for security, has set himself up for a dunking. Activists and residents who usually support him are hurling beanbags his way. He has decried Hakimian for being anti-gay and attacked Channel 2 for its shame in siding with him. That, in turn, has won Galvin, who is openly gay, the enmity of local activ ists, who dont like the strip club, either. In one sample, Ellen Abramson e-mailed the following: My sincere thanks to WPBT2, the home of Sesame Street for helping the citizens of the City of North NE 151st Street, within walking distance to the FIU dorms. This is not a gay issue as   G alvin   i s trying to make it. It is a business situation plain and simple! This environment will bring crime to that area, which will make it   u nsafe for Elmo and his friends and neighbors. Many thanks for anything Channel 2 is able to do to help us Abramson addressed the e-mail to two people: WPBT president Rick Schneider and FIU president Mark Rosenberg. Rosenberg has requested an appointment to talk with Galvin on July 15. He does not do this kind of thing to talk about the weather. But will it be strip clubs or nature trails? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Re-Elect A Voice for the VoicelessYon Vwa pou Moun ki pagenyen Vwa Una voz para los que no tienen Voz Mark # 24 rfntrbtbtnnrntr nnbnrnnrtbnnrnbntnbtn rtntn rntnnbrbb nrnnnbnnnrrttb ttrnnrtrbnnbtrbb bbbnbn nrnnnntntnr brnbnnbnnbrnbrrtt nbbnrnbnttnnnrtr rnnbtbrttbbnnrnnrnntrtn rbrnnttbnrrbrtntbt nnrnnnrnntb brnnbtrnnnnrnttnrt nrnnb brnrntrnbbtnrtntn A lifetime of Service trrnnrtbrrnbb

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADE LL ow-Scale Plans for a LL arg e-Scale MessIn the citys rush to push through the Upper Eastside Neighborhood Conservation District, nobody winsBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorTo paraphrase a familiar clich: Its the process, stupid not the content! And so we behold the saga of the proposed Upper Eastside NCD Neighborhood Conservation District, or as some of the residents have come to call it, the Neighborhood Coercion District. So what exactly is the intent of this proposed NCD as presented by the applicant, the City of Miami? The proposed district is intended to protect and promote the low-scale character of the residential and commercial neighborhoods and corridors in the NE area of the city. It is intended to provide a buffer for the existing historic districts in the area and to protect the low-scale character planned and constructed throughout this NCD between the 1900s and 1960s. In addition, the area is host to valuable small-scale industrial properties along the FEC corridor, water-dependent uses along the Little River, the colorful and commerce-rich corridors of Biscayne Boulevard, and NE 79th Street. All neighborhoods, districts, and sites within these boundaries exhibit a tecture, [and] scale worthy of protection and recognized identity to be preserved. There is an obvious thread running through the proposed district, and that is low-scale just look at how many times low-scale or small-scale is included in the language. Now, I dont think anyone is in favor of high-rise buildings along the Boulevard or 79th Street, but compromise must come into play at some point, and the current 35foot height limitation within the MiMo Historic District will ultimately have negative impacts on our surrounding residential neighborhoods. The elephant in the room is parking As development continues along the Boulevard and 79th Street, parking becomes a premium. Just look at the proposed NCD. It has an entire section dedicated to parking issues. Why? Because the city box. Either the box gets larger or the surrounding neighborhoods bear the brunt Biscayne Boulevard Streetscape Vision / MiMo BIC r f n t b b f b

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way Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I AT LARGEMango ManiaIts the season for falling fruit, damn them all!By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT Contributor   Thwap! Thwap! Thwapthwapthwap! Bark! Thwap! Wooooooof! The Thwap? That, my dear readers, is the sound of a plump mango falling from its comfortable tree perch ten feet above my roof onto the cement patio in my backyard. That Thwap is loud. That Thwap is startling and, on the mango, it produces a single split resembling a smile. We are servants to the Thwap. And like the good lil Pavlovian pups that we are, that Thwap propels all the house inhabitants the dogs and me into motion. So goes the morning symphony now that it is mango season in Miami. Although Im a native and have spent nearly my whole life here, I never had the pleasure the blessing and the curse, rather of cohabitating with brush with a fruit tree on my premises. No, sir. I grew up with a carambola tree (also called star fruit) in what was then called Miami and now is known as East Kendall, or the Other Side of the Universe. The tree, behind my parents townhouse, bore the tangy, tart, apple-textured fruit the slices of which (when sliced properly) resemble stars. As a kid, I made a decent living off those things, selling them to longstanding gourmet market Norman Brothers on Galloway Road. Fast-forward a million years. I could now, too. Better money than I make at anything else I do, anyway. They go for about 75 cents apiece. But as with anything that sounds like a good thing, theres always a catch. Here it is: Id need to live in Kansas. See, Miamians might be mango crazy (more on that in a minute), but they will not pay for them. Unless theyre stupid. Thats because, even if you do not have a mango connection here, all you need to do is drive around and scout the tops of mangos to be had. For free. And why is that? Because they never stop falling BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith   JACCI SUZAN AUGUST 14, 2012 VOTE FOR SESKIN For County Court Judge Jacci has: Jacci has: Experience working as a Registered Nurse in New York and Florida for 25 years Experience working as an Assistant Public Defender & Currently as an Assistant State Attorney Experience working as a Guardian Ad Litem in the MiamiDade County Dependency Court Experience as Past Vice Chair of the Dade County Bar Juvenile Court Committee Experience as the Past PTA President of Ojus Elementary Experience as a Current Board Member of the Diabetes ResearchInstituteFoundationattheUniversityofMiami ResearchInstituteFoundation atthe UniversityofMiam i BRINGING A LIFE OF E XPERIENCE TO THE BENCH PUNCH #97 Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Jacci Suzan Seskin, non-partisan, for Miami-Dade County Court Judge, Group 27 VOTE AUGUST 14, 2012 TANYA BRINKLEY FOR COUNTY COURT JUDGE Punch #98 t is without reservation that we recommend Tanya Brinkley as a Miami-Dade Judge. We recognize the importance of sound and fair leadership in our community and believe that she is a great representation of both. League of Prosecutors Dade County Police Benevolent Association Concerned Citizens of Northeast Dade SAVEDADE TANYA HAS BEEN ENDORSED BY: t is without reservation that we recommend Tanya Brinkley as a Mi am i Da de J ud ge We re co gn iz e th e im po rt an ce o f so un d an d HERE IS WHAT ALONZO MOURNING & TRACY WILSON MOURNING ARE SAYING ABOUT TANYA: Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Tanya Brinkley, non-partisan, for Miami Dade County Court Judge, Group 28 www.TanyaBrinkleyforJudge.com

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This nonstop mango processional becomes even more complicated if you are a dog owner. Dogs love mangos. (Who knew?) It turns out my dogs love mangos so much they morph into Cujo if I try to take one from them. Even Aspen Fangola, my latest rescue who is afraid of ice cubes snapped at me when I attempted to remove a half-decimated fruit from her clutches. Suddenly she was no longer my sweet terrier, my canine spouse. With orange pulp dangling from her lips and scruffy beard, she was a rabid she-monster protecting her she-cub fruit. However, the most disturbing scene involving mangos thus far occurred when our terripoo Halo attacked our elder cocker spaniel, Anise, aka Granny, simply for walking past Halos mango. Granny is nearly 19 years old. Thats like, oh, 140 in people years. The thing is, nobody messes with Granny. She is the Tribe Elder. So to see her on her back, thrashing about while Halo pinned her to the ground, was a bit surreal. I bounded out of the house, yelling, Oh no! Absolutely not! and dragged Halo off Granny. And then, theres Gummi Snaps, our foster pug, a.k.a. the Gumfather, who earned his new nickname by getting rotund on the sweet, pulpy goodness of the thin-skinned fruit only to throw-up four times afterward. You havent lived until youve met mango vomit. Of course, the dogs dont realize mangos are bad for them. So that means one of my new jobs as the Doggie House Mom is to keep them away from the fruit. This, I assure you, is easier said than done. It involves precise timing and acrobatic intervention; neither of which are my fortes. Yet! I refuse to let the mangos win. Of course, I could let nature take its course. And I do. And it does. The squir rels, for example, are big mango consum ers. I recently spent an hour watching to branch, only to stop occasionally to squirrels bite off more than they can chew, literally, and drop a mango. Either that, or they use me as target practice, though, I might add, I have not been hit. Yet. When the squirrels lose their grip, I see the oh-so-subtle markings of where their claws were grasping, trying to hold on. But the squirrels cant keep up with the manic pace of the droppage, so there are remainders which, if not dealt with in a Snap! Snap! timely manner, and other uninvited guests. Naturally, the mango will rot in your house in the same fashion if you dont address its drama-queen demands quickly. Thats because once those babies are ripe, they are ready to go where is your choice. The garbage, your mouth, the freezer, into a recipe, whatever. You just best do something with them or theyll come back to haunt you by summoning their good buddies (I suspect from high school, as they seem was friends with all the cliques. started getting impatient with the demands of the mango early on in the season. Like the second day. He resented coming home from work only to have to chop fruit for two hours. No mancave time for him! Eventually he went over the edge. And once he fell off the Happy Mango Cliff, he thumped down a rocky side, smacked his head on a birds nest and landed with a Thud next to the Thwapped mangos. Angry J. (the husband) grew weary of the incessant nag to address the precious mangos needs and simply started to unceremoniously chuck them into a garbage bag, without a second thought to the perilous (well, not so much; theyre not penguins) mangos tumble to mango manhood. This act of rebellion is likely viewed as downright sacrilegious by the mango worshippers. The mango obsessed love their mangos, but they seem to be a rather inarticulate bunch. Ask them why they love the fruit and in response you get such gems as: They are delicious. Okay. Duh. Anyway, their lack of adjectives does not make them any less devout. In fact, theyre unapologetically loyal, so much so that it makes me wonder: The guy who ate the other guys face on the MacArthur Causeway? Perhaps he caught a whiff of mango on his breath? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Teresa Mary POOLER For Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge AUGUST 14, 2012 g Endorsed by SAVE DADE 30 years of experience in Miami-Dade County Courts. Practiced in criminal court, family court, and various administrative courts. 11 years as a hearing officer, and presided over 100,000 civil traffic infractions.Tried more than 70 jury tr ials, and argued before the Third District Court of Appe al and the Florida Supreme Court Taught criminal and constitutional law, both at the college and masters level, at Florida International University Committed to Miami-Dade Co unty, and volunteered for community projects for women, children, and animals. ypj , FORINTEGRITYONTHEBENCHPUNCH#86 FORINTEGRITYONTHEBENCH PUNCH #8 6 Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Teresa Pooler, non-partisan, for Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge, Group 49. Robert PUNCH#81 #81 COPPEL For Circuit Court Judge Paid political advertisement paid for and approved by Robert Coppel, non-partisan, for Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Group 15 THE RIGHT CHOICE

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA A Case of Puppy Love Gone Bad A dispute with a dog groomer leads to hurt feelings and a trip to North MiamiBy Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer BT ContributorWed been together for a little more than three years. Everyeven. Wed see each other on a regular normal routine. Why should we? There was no need. I was happy. She was happy. It was the perfect relationship. At least I thought it was. Sound familiar? Of course it does. It happens to each of us at least once in a But mine is different. Mine has a twist. Mine involved my dog groomer. wasnt that kind of break-up. But it was just as bad; this woman was responsible for bathing and styling my Yorkie. was less than a year old. I knew nothing never had a dog before? Alrighty then But I grew up in a house that always they wouldnt be lonely). They were gray What else does a shorthair need? A litter box and some toys? Both no-brainers. So pamper my princess didnt fall upon me time for a groomer. But like many other things that should be bit challenging. Little things like certain

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establishments not being clean enough, or overcrowded, and language barriers (I am her a chance the end, none ing the blame did intend to bring words with him, I saw the look in his called and on several and neighbors, what sold me on Pet Palace Productions although it makes me sad, change is Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com South Floridas BEST Pool & Spa Store 5 REASONS WE ARE THE BEST CHOICE!*NOT INCLUDING REBATES AND IN STORE ONLY.#1 #2 #3 #4 #5MOST EXPERIENCED & KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEE WE MEET OR BEAT ALL LOCAL PRICES*LARGEST SELECTION OF POOL & SPA PRODUCTS FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED FOR OVER 40 YEARS WE GUARANTEE TO KEEP YOU HAPPY!! FREE LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR POOL COMPUTER WATER ANALYSIS LET US SHOW YOU THE 3 STEP PROGRAM! 305-893-4036 rfntPOOL SERVICE POOL & SPA REPAIRS POOL RENOVATIONS HOT TUBS & SWIM SPAS SALT CHLORINATORS CHLORINE TABS 25 LBS. On Sale $56.99Regular $68.88 *With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Buy 3 Muriatic Acid Get 1 FREE*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Toys, Games & Floats 10% OFF*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Pool cleaners starting at $189.99 + tax ENERGY EFFICIENT PUMPSSave $100s on your electric bill Come in for your FREE Pump Energy Analysis 5 REASONS WE ARE THE BEST CHOICE! Buy 3 liquid Re lls Get 1 freeChlorine jugs not included*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 BEST CHOICE! BEST CHOICE! Buy 12 Chlorine ShocksGET 1 FREECal Hypo 1 lb bags.*With this coupon. Exp. 08.31.12 Without playing the blame game, I asked if I could have the dog back and wed reschedule. Now that we knew the rules, at least we could play by them.

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIPioneers, One and AllAt North Miami Highs 2012 commencement, valedictorian Daniela Pelaez brought everyone out, and everyone togetherBy Mark Sell BT ContributorNorth Miami Senior High Schools 2012 graduation ceremony was no ordinary commencement. It was more like a revival meeting, with whoops, stomps, shouts, and callsand-response on June 8 at Florida International Universitys U.S. Century Bank arena, 22 miles from North Miami High. outside as a biblical rainstorm brewed in Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who had not been scheduled on the program, gave this exhortation: I have looked in your eyes termination, the courage of intellect, the potential that will change our world, our society, our community, and our country! I know that during your lifetime, shall rebuild Haiti from the ashes of the earthquake! [A huge whoop went up this class includes survivors from the put a woman on Mars, a senator from Haiti in Washington, and you will elect It was a little over the top, but this was no ordinary year. It wasnt just the 20-8 football victory over archrival North Miami Beach High. Nor was it the nationally placed chess team or the debate teams statewide showings. No, the Pioneers galvanized the na tional immigration debate and, one could argue, started the process that led to Presi dent Obamas June 15 executive order tem porarily lifting deportations for 800,000 people in America under age 30 without criminal records and with high school diplomas, GEDs, or military service. Big things started at this gritty school mostly Haitian-American, and proud it had some of Greater Miamis tonier precincts, this is not regarded as the Home of the Pioneers, but as the Home of the Other. In late February, Colombian-born vale dictorian Daniela Pelaez got notice that she and her sister were to be deported March 28. Daniela has been here since age four and does not remember Colombia. The popular senior, normally upbeat in the tightly knit International Baccalau reate program, shared the news with tears. Her fellow Pioneers rallied right away. others get pushed around, told Daniela: Im not Emily and fellow students and teachers wasted no time in coming up with a BT photo by Mark Sell A New Aveda Concept Salonwww.SevenSeasSpaSalon.com Receive...30 Minute Massage 30 Minute Facial Maninicure and Pedicure Complimentary Valet Complimentary Champagne Access to Tiki Hut on the beachALL forDAY Mon-Thurs 16701 Collins AvenueLocated at the Sunny Isles Beach inside the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort

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plan. Salutatorian, debate team president, and one of the only non-Hispanic whites in the school, Emily volunteered to initiate a social-media campaign. She took Wednesday sick in her room at home and, unbeknownst to her parents, launched a Facebook page on Danielas behalf that ultimately got more than 15,000 signatures from around the world, and plenty of hate mail. She called TV stations and newspapers. On Thursday, when she felt better, she was back at school. TV crews were swarming by lunchtime. The South Florida congressional delegation, Democratic and Republican, immediately scrambled for the limelight on Danielas behalf. Sen. Bill Nelson came out with a statement. On Friday, nearly all the schools students marched around the block in protest, and the national media showed up. Carvalho, talked up as a potential Miami-Dade mayoral candidate, told Dan iela on-camera: Ive got your back. Vice President Joe Biden chimed in a few days later on CNN, saying, This is so mindless. She became the poster child for the Obama administrations stillborn DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for children here illegally through no fault of their own. Republican Congressman David Rivera took on Daniela as his pet project, seeking more restrictive legislation that would give achievers like Daniela a path to citizenship without alienating the Republican Party. Ultimately Rivera brought Daniela and her sister to Washington and came up with the STARS Act, now winding its way through committee. Obama trumped that with the June 15 executive order, buying time for path-tocitizenship legislation. Daniela and her sister got to stay in the country. Daniela earned a scholarship to Dartmouth, where she plans to pursue studies in molecular biology and medicine. And she delivered the commencement address, which returns us to the graduation event. Carvalhos stemwinder primed the audience for Daniela, who thanked everyone from the janitors and cafeteria workers to Michael Lewis, the best principal on the planet. It was because of your support that I am able to stand here and deliver this farewell, she said. Without your demonstration of kindness and sense of community, I would have been deported. She reminded everyone that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French and therefore an iconic immigrant. Stand by your values and carry your selves with pride, she said. In a society rife with violence, racism, and hatred, we have been given the opportunity to rise above the stereotype of being the minor ity and the underdog. Dr. Seuss once said, Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter, and those who matter dont mind. Then came the roll call of the 451 graduates. There were no Smiths or Johnsons in this group, and just one Jones. But there were 12 Josephs, 11 such as Wiguenson, Frantzcill, Erlinx, Xanjaniece, Boothvieen, and Doudyana. Many, perhaps most, got cheers and whistles. You could tell who had the biggest extended families. One Jessica got a screaming step-dance performance that shook the rear bleachers. Afterward graduates and families squeezed near the exits as TV crews aiming escape the drenching thunderstorm. There were smiles and hugs, but these four years have hurt many Pioneer families. It wasnt just the usual crime, gang violence, and grinding family pressures. Many lost loved ones in the Port-au-Prince earthquake. The Great Recession struck others like a plague, costing many their homes, credit, savfamilies or even tearing them asunder. But those very families huddled to gether and stood strong at graduation, chat ting away in Kreyol, Spanish, and English, after all, six out of ten people were born in another country or speak a language other than English at home. Many came here after losing everything and started over again one day, one idea, and one dollar at a time. Thats the spirit that buoys this Class of 2012 and inspires the rest of us like a stiff tonic in rough times: Individual and collective determination, immigrant optimism and to borrow from Martin Luther King, Jr. the arc of history bending toward justice. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 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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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Bean There, Done ThatThe neighborhood Starbucks is good for unwinding, killing time, and picking up stock tipsBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorJune kills me. Annually, its graduations, birthdays, anniversaries celebration after celebration, right when school ends (chaos on two fronts, where my kids attend and where I teach). Not to mention mango season in fullproduction mode (although this year only seven of our trees have fruit). But this year was pure madness. My son graduated from Miami Country Day Lower School; my daughter is entering high school at MCD; my niece said adieu to her middle school in Georgia; her brother bid good-bye to secondary education to enter a college his senior year and is off on a career in music technology starting at Florida Atlantic University; and my niece in their swim team. Then theres my own seniors graduation from Miami Arts Charter always a sentimental time for me, as Ive the school has been open. Speaking of writing, the beginning of June saw the delivery of MACs third volume of imMACulate conceptions the award-winning arts anthology, and was honored last year when the director Luft, asked me to edit what is the tenth volume of this collection, which includes only writers who have a connection to South Florida. Among those selected this year the anthology, titled Sun-Struck Matches publishes in October with a launch reading at Books and Books in Coral Gables and another reading at the Miami International Book Fair are some very local writers indeed, including Michael Hettich and Carol Todaro, both of whom live in Miami Shores. They wrote two pieces together, interpreting the theme of pairings somewhat geographically. I suppose that the theme was also rather subliminally apropos, given that my husband and I marked our 20th wedding anniversary at the close of June. In addition to putting anthologies to bed Specializing in Stress & Anxiety Management, Phobias, Family, Marital & Sexual Therapy, Depression & Bereavement Spiritual Psychics, Tarot Card Readings, Palm Readings, Crystal Rock Readings, Tea Leaf and Crystal Ball Readings Helping you with any and all of Lifes problems. Can suggest which reading best suits your needs....An advisor known for her Honesty and IntegrityBY APPOINTMENT ONLY (786) 284.8203 (917) 804.7784CHAKRA AWARENESS GUIDEUnderstanding & Activating the Bodys Seven Main Energy CentersCrown Chakra Brow Chakra Throat Chakra Heart Chakra Solar Plexus Chakra Navel Chakra Root or Base Chakra

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and celebrating student milestones, we are attempting to renew our vows somewhere this summer. Who knows if it will happen? My kids emphatically refuse to participate in any sort of ceremony, whether it takes place in everyday Miami Shores or farwhole idea is weird. Plus, weve recent ly traveled twice as a family, though they havent exactly been exotic trips. First we soccer tournament, which was also the weekend of my daughters 14th birthday, so we took her entourage as well. Then we were off to Manhattan, to satellite to Connecticut for my nieces graduation and New Jersey for my sisters and fathers birthdays and Fathers Day. Not liking our midtown Hilton, we considered changing to the Sheraton after hearing that it was celebrating its 50th an niversary with a zillion-dollar renovation. But given all the commuting, the effort seemed overwhelming. And while we did manage to grab a miniature wed ding cake from Ferraras in Little Italy one night, after sticking the whipped confection in the little fridge in our hotel room, we actually forgot to eat it. The quiet writing life at Mango House had never seemed so good until, band system electrocuted by a storm and out of use. Thanks to some thoughtful students gift cards, though, I managed to set up shop at the Shores Starbucks and keep myself caffeinated for days. neighborhood Starbucks as an urban son takes piano or guitar lessons at Miss Janes Music Studio across the street, or Ive got a couple of hours while my car is on the corner of NE 2nd Avenue and 98th Street, the Starbucks beckons. for the weariness that dogs my life, its pretty much the only free, unsecured wireless in town. There are even plugs for phone and computer cords, if you jockey successfully for the right seat. And to be honest, theres really no coffee lounge alternative. Sure, theres the noise of coffee grind ing and baristas shouting names. Theres distraction in the music, an eclectic assortment of tunes that every once in a while catches my attention, but usually annoys me, and the occasionally overloud conversations that dont have enough substance to them to deserve eavesdrop ping. But its nothing like the symbiotic pairings in my house, such as hound dogs and landscapers, who have a relationship akin to magnets where the landscapers go, the dogs follow, barking their faces off. Or my head and my pillow, all too soft when I have hard deadlines. The real reason to pop into Star bucks, however, is that its a microcosm of Miami Shores. Every hamlet has one hangout that sees folks from all walks of life, whether they be paths of jagged stone or carpeted with red velvet. This is ours. Ive seen nannies with babies, then the moms of those babies, stop in for a treat mere minutes apart. (Ive been that mom, too.) Students from Barry University, lawyers brokering deals, housekeepers on the way to the bus stop across the street, resident dentists and physicians, dog walkers, dance teachers. Of course, you never know who might be sipping that skinny mocha nearby. I was once covertly watching a man with a long, single braid down his back who requested his espresso extra-hot; later that night, I saw him again at an event. He was on stage, swallowing For a writer or someone who relishes gossip, the overheard conversations can be the best part. From an apparent insider, I recently learned that stock options for Star bucks are expected to rise rapidly thanks to the introduction of their new K-cups (for the Keurig coffee maker), but then fall as the company has some ridiculous things coming out in the next few months. Tuning in to a job interview taking place very loudly next to me, I was ofmost honest men wind up working in pest control or replacing windshields. Its dialogue you just cant make up. And its a good thing its so informative, too. Indeed, now that Ive learned so much about the economy, Jon and I will probably just renew our vows over some iced caramel macchiato instead of, say, on an island in the Caribbean. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Culture: THE ARTSTaking It to the CoreAfter years in Coral Gables, the Cultural Center of Spain moves to downtown Miami By Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorSixteen years ago, the Cultural Center of Spain in Miami, or Centro Cultural Espaol (CCEM), tural arm of the Spanish government, the CCEM has always been a unique institution. While the huge Spanishspeaking population of Miami-Dade other elements made it intriguing from the very start. then fought for its freedom has always began immediately trying to open diamidst of delivering another message to Iberian peninsula was now promoting versity, and human rights. A part of this were born in South AmeriWhile CCEMs home in brainer, something about the its mission. Outwardly the massive stone of CCE, Maria del Valle, expanded on the opening party. Miami Mayor Toms Regalado and Emilio Estefan were also from the old one as possible. Situated in a modernist building, two sides of the streets hard to get more open than that. and moved here last year (del Valle has South Florida), says the literal transparfor the move, as was the rent. The rental and it was time to study options, she the street, with all those big glass winbringing people to the burgeoning area.) oping a wider one owing to the new This summer a photography exhibit shows off the advantages of this Madrid-based photojournalist Isabel her searing images of tattooed Central Madrid-based photojournalist Isabel Muoz has documented three trips she took through southern Mexico on a train called La Bestia.

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American gang members, Muoz, this time, has documented three trips she took through southern Mexico on a train called La Bestia, which is also the name of the exhibit. ( La bestia means the beast, which is what tens of thousands of impoverished Central American migrants have called the iron horses that take them to the U.S. border.) In more than 70 portraits, men, women, and children cram into the freight trains, sit on top of them, or lounge next to them during breaks in the journey. Yes, they are desperately poor or they wouldnt be making this perilous trip, risking violence and rape, but Muoz captures a beauty and dig nity of people who often seem to remain faceless, both in their homelands and and kitchens on our side of the border. You have to feel the beast under your legs to know what these people feel, explains Muoz, whose work can be found at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Houston Contemporary Art Museum, as well as in the leading Spanish newspaper, El Pas Accompanying the exhibit is a video made by two Mexican artists who joined Muoz on the last leg of her trip. The powerful display would not have been possible in the smaller Gables space, and certainly the portraits like graph of three shirtless young men, staring, unsmiling, at the camera would not have been visible to pedestrians on the street, as is the case here. This summer, CCEM also took advantage of its new home by using its backyard patio as a stage for Microtheater Miami, an absorbing series of short plays on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. According to Palacios, the plays are no more than 15 minutes long, for an audience of no more than 15 people. Micro on every level. Throughout the years, CCEM has also brought in music, dance, authors, that will continue on the Boulevard. In June alone, the center held a series of workshops for seniors, a childrens theater performance, a Spanish Short Films night, and a pretty unconven tional seminar called Psychoanaly sis in the City. And coming up on Friday, July 6, a collaborative from the Dominican Republic, El Hombrecito, will combine spoken-word poetry with Dominican rhythms in a free concert at the center. CCEM will continue to work with local organizations throughout the year, in cluding the Miami International Book Fair, the Miami International Film Festival, and the International Hispanic Theater Festival, which starts later this month. Furthering this diverse interaction with the community is in keeping with CCEMs move, says Palacios: Downtown Miami is transforming into a cultural center, a multicultural center, with a unique character. We want to be part of the development. La Bestia runs through August at the Cultural Center of Spain in Miami, 1490 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-448-9677; www.ccemiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through July 31: New Work by Colin Chillag Group Show, 04 with Alfred Steiner, Siobhan McClure, Kellesimone Waits, Michel Modell, and D. Dominick Lombardi 12345 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami 305-895-2553 www.dixieimageworks.com Call gallery for exhibition information ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Ongoing: Natures Pulse by Debra Holt Through July 11: Art for Global Peace by Roberto Juarez ACND GALLERY OF ART 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Call gallery for exhibition information ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-287-7789 www.albertolinerogallery.com July 1 through 31: Carnaval with various artists 2630 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through August 4:Lynne Gelfman ART FUSION 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com July 2 through September 17: 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www.artnouveaugaleria.com Through August 11: Apropiaciones by Harry Schuster, and Gustavo Zajac ART WORK IN PROGRESS 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009, www.jacques-harvey.com Call gallery for exhibition information 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 September 30: Color Sobre Color by Jess Soto 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Call gallery for exhibition information BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com July 15 through September 5: Summer Reading with various artists BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Through August 17: In Silence, by Memory by Rafael Valdez 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through July 8: Martinez/Nicastri/Tan with Zaydee Martinez, Joe Nicastri, and Laura Tan 180 NE 39th St., Suite 120, Miami Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www .susannacaldwell.com Call gallery for exhibition information 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Call gallery for exhibition information CARIDI GALLER Y 758 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com Ongoing: Eduardo Caridi July 3 through 16:Summer Showcase by Eduardo Caridi 541 NW 27th St., Miami 305-571-1415 www.visual.org Call gallery for exhibition information CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411 www.charestweinberg.com Through July 31: OLYMPIA by Jacob Gossett 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 Call gallery for exhibition information Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com July 20 through August 31: American Seris Part 2 by Daniel Azoulay 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through July 31: DCG Open with various artists DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through July 28: White Thoughts by Gye Hoon Park Lost for Words by Daniel Verbis 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 3850 NE Miami Ct., Miami 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net Call gallery for exhibition information DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through August 31: Womens Perspectives with various artists DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Through August 15: Discourse of the Non-Representational with Mauro Giaconi, Hernan Cedola, Jos Luis Landet, and Raquel Schwartz ELITE ART EDITIONS 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 www.elitearteditions.com July 14 through August 10: Group Show with Mauricio Zequeda, Yampier Sardina, and Luis Kaiulani ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 Call gallery for exhibition information 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through July 7:Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell) by Jos Bedia July 14 through August 11: Things Beyond Our Control with various artists 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 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com Call gallery for exhibition information Untitled For more information, visit www.miamiparking.com. Department of Off-Street Parking (DOSP)SAVE ON PARKING IN THE CITY OF MIAMIPAY BY PHONENow available at all meters and many parking lots in the City of Miami. Sign up for free: www.paybyphone.com or call 866-990-PARK (7275).

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GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through July 14: ART BLOG ART BLOG Presents: Leave It to Beavers with Christy Gast, Anya Kielar, Fabienne Laserre, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Katherine Bernhardt, Letha Wilson, Denise Kupfershmidt, Holly Coulis, and Lia Lowenthal, curated by Gina Beavers July 19 through September 1: Astral Weeks with Liz Deschenes, Brock Enright, Keltie Ferris, Jackie Gendel, Brion Gysin, Corinne Jones, Jon Kessler, Nicolas Lobo, Rory Parks, Genesis P-Orridge Chad Scoville, and Patrick Walsh, curated by Van Hanos GAR Y NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com July 6 through August 31: New Acquisitions with various artists HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through July 7: This Sharp World by Kate Kretz Dreams by Carlos Cardenes Finding Home by Lorie Kim Something Almost Being Said by Natasha Duwin Untitled (Homage to Gego) by Consuelo Castaeda July 14 through October 6: Radical Genealogy: The Decline of Dauphins, Courtesans, and Hounds by Carlos Gamez de Francisco HAROLD GOLEN GALLER Y 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Through July 7: The Things We Hold Dear by Jason Snyder 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 Through July 21: SigfredoChacnDrawings? by Sigfredo Chacn KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Call gallery for exhibition information KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through August 30: Summer Solstice with Mimi Bates, Mira Lehr, Antonio Ugarte, and Soile Yly-Mayry KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Through July 28: In & Out of Bed by Leah Poller LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org July 14 through 28: The LAB (Locust Arts Builders) with various artists MAOR GALLER Y 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami http://maormiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdc.edu Through July 31: MILAGROS: Portal Culture with Felici Asteinza Through August 11: Emergence & Structure: Nature in Process with various artists Resistance with various artists Through October 5: Shutter: Selected Photography and Film from the CINTAS Foundation Fellows Collection with various artists 1 1380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Call gallery for exhibition information 500 College Terr., Homestead 305-237-5000 www.mdc.edu/homestead Call gallery for exhibition information 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Call gallery for exhibition information MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Through July 28: Feelings with Sayre Gomez, J. Patrick Walsh III, and Bobbi Woods 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 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 Call gallery for exhibition information NORMAN LIEBMAN STUDIO 2561 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-573-3572 www.norman-liebman-studio.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information OM GALLERY 8650 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 21, Miami 305-458-5085 Through July 31: Mid Century Design by Danielle Quarante Om and Art with various artists ONCE ARTS GALLERY 170-C NW 24th St., Miami 786-333-8404 www.oncearts.com Ongoing: Pablo Gentile, Jaime Montana, Jaime Apraez, and Patricia Chaparro PANAMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through July 28: Outside the Box with various artists PAREDES FINE ARTS STUDIO 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes PRIMARY PROJECTS 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com Through July 31: Salon d Notre Societe with various artists SAMMER GALLERY 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information STASH GALLERY 162 NE 50th Terr., Miami 305-992-7652 www.stashgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information SWAMPSPACE GALLERY 150 NE 41st St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information TONY WYNN MODERN ART GALLERY 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn THE LUNCH BOX GALLERY 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through July 7: Fictional Eyes: The Dreams of Reason with Sandra Torralba, Stefano Bonazzi, Christopher Lee Donovan, Michel Rajkovic, Serrah Russell, Kaveh Hosseini, Polly Chandler, and Alba Tenas Sight

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72 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI CAS GALLERY 1210 Stanford Dr., Miami July 6 through 29: Ceramic League of Miami Members Exhibition with various artists UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI GALLERY 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Miami July 9 through 27: Miami Art Museum Staff Show with various artists UNIX FINE ART GALLERY 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres Through August 31: Eugenio Merino WINE BY THE BAY 888 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 112, Miami 305-455-9791 www.winebtb.com Call gallery for exhibition information WYNWOOD WALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, How & Nosm, Roa, b., The Date Farmers, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf YEELEN ART GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Unit 306, Miami 954-235-4758 www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition informationMUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITSARTCENTER/SOUTH FLORIDA 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through August 5: The Afterlife with Byron Keith Byrd, Alex Heria, and Franklin Sinanan BASS MUSEUM OF ART 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through August 12: Erasey Page by Jillian Mayer and Eric Schoenborn Charles Ledray: Bass Museum of Art by Charles Ledray 1018 N. Miami A ve., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org Call gallery for exhibition information DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FROST ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through August 5: Sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard Through August 26: Miamis Vices with various artists, curated by Annie Wharton Museum Studies Spring 2012 Exhibition: Jamaican Art with various artists Through September 2: Scapes by Lynne Golob Gelfman LEGAL ART 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 1301 Stanford Dr ., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through September 23: Saintly Blessings: A Gift of Mexican Retablos from Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists Through October 21: Introspection and Awakening: Japanese Art of the Edo and Meiji Period, 1615-1912 with various artists MIAMI ART MUSEUM 101 W. Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000 www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection Through August 26: Kimsooja: A Needle Woman by Kimsooja Through September 2: Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades of Work by Jos Bedia by Jos Bedia MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 www.mocanomi.org Through September 2: Song by Ragnar Kjartansson On the Road by Ed Ruscha THE MARGULIES COLLECTION 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www.margulieswarehouse.com Call gallery for exhibition information THE RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 http://rfc.museum Through July 27: American Exuberance with various artists WORLD CLASS BOXING Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www.worldclassboxing.org Call gallery for exhibition information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com Still Life on Green

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Taking in the Sights at Twilight TimeIn summer, the midday Miami heat the Twilight Cityscape Miami River Eco-Tour Sunday, July 8 Pickin and Grinnin in the Grass Bluegrass Festival at Greynolds Park Sunday, July 8 Drama in the Big HouseIn ternational Hispanic Theater Festival Short Eyes Thursday, July 12 and Friday, July 13 A Midsummer Nights TrioDWNTWN Concert Series Friday, July 13 Mango Madness International Mango Festival Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 Come See Compas Big Night in Little Haiti Friday, July 20 On Your Toes, Everyone! Future Stars of the Ballet Friday, July 27 Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Naked at the Museum On the Road and Naked Lunch Wednesday, July 7 Naked Lunch the Film at MOCA Fun on the Fourth Americas Birthday Bash on Wednesday, July 4 Disco Inferno Downtown The Donkey Show Friday, July 13, through Sunday, August 12

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74 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatBurglar Believes in Safety First900 Block of NE 80th Street Gardener noticed a suspicious man wearing a motorcycle helmet repeatedly entering and leaving residence. When approached, the suspect said, I am moving in here with my girlfriend. However, it seemed the only moving he was doing was moving out, as the suspicious man was seen removing items from the home and placing them inside a pillow case and blankets. A relative of the homeowners was actually in the house, but didnt realize anything was amiss. Suspect would worry, though a man wearing a motorcycle helmet without having an actual motorcycle shouldnt be hard to spot.Thirsty Decorator Cuts Corners900 NE 79th St. A night employee was working inside a restaurant when he heard the sound of the front gate crashing down. He ran outside and saw a man grabbing two pieces of carpet from the parking lot and running away. The employee called police and gave them a description of the man. Soon thereafter, police saw a man matching this description drinking a beer in front of the nearby Tropical Food Market. Police transported the witness to the location and an ID was made. Beer guzzler was immediately arrested. The carpet is still missing. This is a good thing, as there is nothing worse than beer stains and odors on a carpet.Whats Mine Is Mine, Whats Yours Is Mine600 Block of NE 85th Street Maybe were just too passionate in South Florida. When a person breaks up with someone, you expect some acrimony but burglary? In this dwelling, the side window of the living room was damaged, and many items were removed from the home. A witness saw the ex-girlfriend of the victim leaving the home earlier that day. The ex-girlfriend and victim had been broken up for 10 months. The ex-girlfriend has not been arrested as of press time, but the victim is surely going to want to do some extensive background checks for his next relationship.Laptop Filched From Table Top8600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Woman left her MacBook on a table and proceeded to walk away from it, engaging in conversation with other customers and employees. Inexplicably, she also ordered lunch, leaving the laptop behind and not paying any attention to it. (With consumers like this, we are beginning to understand those long lines at the Apple store.) Computer was missing upon her return to the table. Witnesses saw a male walking around the establishment around the time of this incident. However, the description of the suspect is that he is between 10 and 20 years old. In other words, he 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 Compiled by Derek McCann window of the living room was damaged,

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is either a little boy or a grown man. No wonder so many crimes go unsolved. Weird Even By Our Standards14000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Victim was driving home and stopped when he saw the local skateboarder, JD, whizzing by his car. They two spoke for about 30 minutes and victim invited JD over to his apartment. When JD arrived, he sat at the kitchen table and smoked marijuana. He then took a shower because he felt sweaty. After showering, he asked the victim if he wanted a massage, which sounded like a good idea to the victim. JD suggested the victim take a shower began choking him, causing the victim to lose consciousness. JD left the apartment shortly afterward with the victims laptop. In this stoners case, sitting in a corner listening to Bob Marley is apparently not appealing enough. Either that, or what he was smoking was really good stuff.Woman Loses Job, Then Her Mind2000 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Many of us have had the leaving on bad terms experience with an employer. This person took it to the next level. Already she really didnt want this work experi ence on her resume. She entered the store, screaming and hollering, and promptly stole the managers cell phone, proudly waving it for the manager and the stores patrons to see, before making her way out of the store. Guess a stretch in the MiamiDade County jail will explain that little gap in her work history.A Lesson in North Miami Vernacular1700 Block of NE 127th Street Woman was sitting inside the Wildcat Center using her Gateway laptop no Apple computer for this particular report, as were in North Miami and was approached by a man who said, Imma need that. Confused by his butchering of the English language, she asked him to repeat himself. Once again, he said, Imma need that. (This is the exact spelling from the police report.) The subject then punched the causing lacerations, and stole the laptop and a cell phone. Emergency personnel transported the victim to Aventura Hospital for treatment. I Know, Lets Play Hide the iPhone!1600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Victim met the subject on Grindr (an online dating service for gay men) and the two agreed to have drinks in the lobby of this hotel, to see if there was a connection. (Isnt it hard to meet nice guys in this city?) Apparently there was, because they went upstairs to the victims room for a nightcap. While they were both in bed, the subject instructed the victim to lie on his side and cover his eyes. As the hopeful victim waited, he heard the door close. He turned over and saw that his iPhone was missing. He chased after the subject, grabbing his shirt, but his would-be life partner nevertheless managed to run off. Oh, well. Back to the Apple store, where they were already expecting you.If the Shoe FitsNE 1st Avenue and 71st Street The victim, a homeless male, foolishly left two suitcases sitting on the sidewalk and walked away. While standing across the street, he saw a man opening one of the suitcases and removing a pair of shoes. The man then put the shoes on and walked away. Victim knows this suspect, as they have had verbal altercations in the past. We gather the suspect has been eyeing those shoes for a while and just had to have them. Move over Jimmy Choo, you have some street-style competition.Whats Wrong with Five Guys?1600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard A woman hailed a cab on the Beach and asked the driver to take her to Checkers in Miami. That request alone should have been a harbinger of things to come, because, as we all know, Checkers equals drama. Upon their arrival, the woman told the driver she had no way to pay the $19 fare. When police were called, she bluntly told them she wasnt going to pay for a cab from the Beach. Determining there was a premeditated refusal to pay the fare, police arrested the woman. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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76 Columnists: PARK PATROLA Tale of Two SpacesCommerce Park and Pocket Park are both near the Little River thats where the similarities endBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorStrip joint, check. Ghetto-fabulous Laundromat, check. Worlds largest crack house, check. Shady corner park that is permanently closed, check. This hood and its tiny, forlorn park on the northern edge of Little Haiti has attracted the destitute and prostitutes. Too many homeless. Too many drugs. And then there was the sex gang. In the 1990s, this quarter-acre lot earned the nickname TV Park, a sanctuary for working transvestites who had been booted out of downtowns Bicentennial Park. For concrete-jungle queens, NE 80th Terrace and NE 2nd Avenue was the last stop before the funeral home. Little River Commerce Park (no joke, actual name) is a bundle of mature oak trees and benches languishing behind chain-link fencing and overshadowed by a huge, abandoned building across the street, where drug addicts and their ilk are known to gather. City of Miami spokesperson Lara De Souza says the park remains closed owing to issues related to drugs and homelessness. Concerned BT reader PJ Mills has driven past this parquecito daily for seven years and has not seen a soul inside. Mills simply wants a place to walk the dog and relax in the neighborhood. Can anybody help? Behind the ten-foot fence, the park appears in adequate shape; in fact the City of Miami recently painted and replaced some rotten benches. Someone appears to appreciate the new digs, as evidenced by the constant presence of sleeping bags and associated rags beneath the pavilion. While this park remains shuttered, another small park has opened nearby. Push your shopping cart down busy 79th Street, east across Biscayne Boulevard, brand-new Little River Pocket Park. Because the Shorecrest area lacks services for children no schools, no playgrounds empty lots here had become the only place sexual offenders could live after being released from prison. (MiamiDade County prohibits sex offenders from living near a school, park, or other place where children gather. These rules earned international attention in recent years because they forced offenders to live under a Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge.) Similar in name and size to Commerce Park, but in every other way its opposite, Pocket Park was created with the support of Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff for the express purpose of banning sexual offenders from living in this neighborhood, and it seems to have worked. Can I get a what is going on here? One park opens to discourage illicit sex, while another park nearby remains closed for similar reasons? What about the children living near Commerce Park? Shouldnt their park remain open so that sexual predators dont settle into their neighborhood? The City of Miami says it is investigating the possibility of reopening the funds to install domino tables and other amenities to discourage unwanted elements from frequenting the park. When the park opens, here is what you would get: shady trees and a pavilion, a water fountain, handicapped access, an outdoor coffee table fashioned from a giant stone, green benches, and quiet corners. While small in stature, this park would make a huge difference to the tone of the neighborhood. Across the street is a daycare center (okay, so they dont need the park to enforce the sexual-offender rule). These and other nearby businesses could support the park, but they are likely intimidated by the empty monolith on the corner the abandoned AT&T building, surrounded by barbed wire and heavy security. This forgotten building and covered parking lot is so ugly that even the iguanas still standing, especially when across the street are shiny new housing complexes? Remove this beast at once. Better yet, lets have a Las Vegas-style implosion party! Bring down the House of Crack. Say farewell to the Bad Ol Days. While Commerce Park has a trashy history, it deserves a clean future. But this urban wasteland sits on the wrong side of the FEC train tracks. Despite its name, the BT photos by Jim W. Harper LITTLE RIVER COMMERCE PARK & LITTLE RIVER POCKET PARKCommerce Park:181 NE 80th Terr., Miami, 305-461-7213 Pocket Park: 10th Avenue and NE Little River Drive, Miami, 305-461-7213 Hours: Commerce: closed; Pocket: Sunrise to sunset Picnic tables: No Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: Commerce only Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No Playground: Pocket only (barely)Park Rating

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river is nowhere in sight, though the neigh borhood itself is known as Little River. On the other hand, Pocket Park has no past, but it does have the waterfront. Beau tiful homes on the river can see Biscayne Bay. Over the chain-link fence of this eastside parquecito a new mansion rises. Homes along the Little River block public access, and for this reason alone the park should remain, no matter how political its origins. Its most notable feature appears to be grabbing the river. Over the water, giant branches of two intermingling trees fan out for 30 feet in all directions, as if they were preparing to snatch a manatee. The City of Miami spent $8000 on upgrades to the former dead-end street. One element in need of immediate repair is the chain-link door on the seawall intended to separate the park from the private home to the east. Any child could easily swing the fence open. sod, one big tree, and two bouncy toys in a sandpit a dinosaur and a tiny horse. If you stand at a certain angle, it appears that bouncy, green T-Rex is eating my springy pony. So close, so close, and yet so far, these two parks are nonidentical, minime twins of Miami. Fast-tracked into existence by Commissioner Sarnoff, Pocket Park is east of the Boulevard/train track dividing line. Commerce Park, west of the Boulevard of Broken Windows, is stuck in District 5 with Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones. Sex got one park to open, and sex, drugs, and poverty keep the other park closed. Children can play on the bouncy toys by the river, but near the other, darker place, they best stay indoors. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Musical Theater Summer Camp To register or for more information: Phone: 305-751-9550 Email: info@mtcmiami.org www.mtcmiami.org formerly The PlayGround Theatre Miami Theater Centers talented teaching artists will lead students on a fun-lled artistic adventure.Where: Miami Shores Presbyterian Church 602 NE 96th Street Miami Shores, FL 33138 When: July 16 August 10, 2012 Time: Monday Friday, 9am 4pm Ages: 6 Cost: $800

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78 Columnists: PICTURE STORYMiami Beach Home of Irving Collins: September 1926A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul S. George Special to the BTThe mighty hurricane of September 17-18, 1926, affected many parts of sprawling Dade County, none more so than Miami Beach, which felt From Miami Beach, the storm, with winds in excess of 130 miles per hour, continued west, smashing into downtown Miami, Riverside (todays East Little Havana), and Coral Gables before crossing into the hinterland and across More than 100 Dade County residents lost their lives to the storm; thousands were left homeless; an untold number of buildings suffered severe In this photograph, taken in the immediate aftermath of the storm, the beautiful two-story masonry home of Irving Collins, standing at 5011 Pine John Collins, the founder of modern Miami Beach, who moved south from New Jersey in the early 1900s to help their father develop his vast holdprominent architect and Irving Collinss nephew, the home stood just north of Built at the outset of the 1920s, the homes ideal location on two waterways (the Flamingo Waterway is in the foreground of the photograph and Indian Creek is in the center), made it especially vulnerable to The damaged home was quickly rebuilt by Irving Collins, as were many other structures in a stricken community that responded quickly and positively to To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, #1989-011-7763 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 WEALTHY PEOPLE NEED A PLACE TO SELL THEIR JEWELRY...Discreet High-end Jewelry BuyersDOWNTOWN MIAMI Seybold Bldg 1st Floor, Ste. 129 36 N.E.1st Street VALET PARKING AVAILABLE

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Tropical TransplantsTwo species of decorative plants, Aglaonema and Dieffenbachia, are well-suited for our South Florida climateBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorFrom a horticultural point of view we had a great winter this year, with warmer temperatures and lots of rain. This is really evident with all the past few months. In fact, without a distinct dry season to make all the deciduous trees drop their foliage completely before they liage on trees. Perhaps the foliage blocks lush green leaves can really make the the royal poincianas throughout the city Island. That deep orange-red color is striking against the green foliage. This has been one of the best years in my memory to see Plumeria rubra or frangipani trees, in bloom. There are only a handful of species of this distincwith the common frangipani that we see come in red, orange, yellow, and combinations of these colors. or patio. At the park, we just planted a really good red frangipani cultivar below one of our raised covered trails, so the is another species, Plumeria obtusa that them grow up to ten feet tall with very attractive plant seems to grow well in containers, too. Some of the other plants that benthe Aglaonemas This member of the malanga family is from the warmest, not like the cold. The 40 or so known species of this plant have been hybridized and some very colorful cultivars have been selected for the ornamental plant industry. This is a great foliage plant for lowquite a collection of wild Aglaonema species and their cultivars. The problem every winter was remembering to protect them if the temperatures got into the 40s. It got to the point that we mainly grew them in containers heeled into the ground so that, when necessary, we could just pull them out of the ground and get them out of the cold for a few days. Aglaonema are fairly inconspicuous, but the patterns or lightcolored variegation on the foliage makes this a valued ornamental plant. There are some species with red or yellow leaves, petioles (the stalk that attaches the leaf to the stem), and even stems. Most are easily grown from cuttings and can last for years in a pot. They are from wet, low-light, high-humidity forests, so make sure the potting soil has good drainage, but do not let them dry out. I found that, when they dry out to where the foliage begins to wilt, they will become much more susceptible to insect problems. Because Aglaonemas need high humidity, they will not grow well in windy locations. Keep them protected in the garden or indoors. One other thing to note: The sap of all plants in this family can cause skin irritation, so handle with care. The photo that accompanies this article is an Aglaonema that was collected in the Philippines in the 1970s and brought back to the U.S. for cultivation by the ornamental plant industry. The fellow who collected it eventually decided it was not a good product for the industry and gave Over time I found that it was the toughest and most cold-hardy of all the Aglaonemas Aglaonema these plants. Sometimes people will confuse Aglaonema with a closely related and similar-looking plant group called Dief fenbachia or dumb cane. The dumbcane appellation comes from the caustic want to eat it!) Dieffenbachia species are generally much larger than Aglaonema species, but they are just as sensitive to cold and require the same growing conditions high humidity and low wind. The Dieffenbachias came through this past winter quite well and are enjoying the rainy days. One of my fa vorites is a Dieffenbachia that can grow up to seven or eight feet tall and has large, thick leaves. Its only drawback is a stem is broken, the plant smells like a skunk, but it still makes an excellent potted indoor plant. If you have a low-light situation that needs a nice size plant with attractive variegated leaves, give Dieffenbachia or Aglaonema a try. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski

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80 Columnists: PAWSITIVELY PETSFidos on Facebook!Dogs have invaded the world of social media By Lisa Hartman BT ContributorThere is a long-running history of people pretending their dogs are people. Of course, as a dog trainer and behavior counselor, I try to discourage this to a certain extent. Attributing a human agenda to dogs hes doing it just to spite me when they pee on the carpet or dig out the yard after you take their favorite toy away will not train them otherwise. Nor will the dirty looks you give them to shame them from their natural dog behaviors. But there is an epidemic in this country that shows no sign of stopping. And now, mainly for work purposes, I have succumbed to it. My dog Saffy just got her own Twitter hash tag (#welovesaffy). The reason? With so many projects on the burner new book, training, events, company my friend Dr. Cindy thought I needed to be on Twitter, tweeting my public. (Of course, as Im new to Twitter, I only have a following of 34.) Facebook is a different story. Ive been on Facebook for a few years and have around 4600 friends. My Facebook friends are some of the most interesting, funny, and sweet people I have come across. They like my pictures and postings. They leave kind comments about my daily training exploits and pet causes. My Facebook friends are dogs. Yes, the dogs write me, comment, and leave encouragement for me to carry on my mission. The dogs on Facebook have their own pet lingo, a cute canine language all their own. Even I had no idea dogs were so talented! I also didnt know what dogs sounded like when they spoke human until Facebook. Miami Shores Community Church School rfntb Phone: Web:nfnff nf nnff fnnfnf r fntbt tr r tr trbbbrtbtrtb ttbbrtbbrnb *Offer applies to 16 lb Organics, 17 lb Puppy, Adult, Active, Pork, Salmon, Duck, and 15 lb Grain Free bags of By Nature Dog Food. a 15-17 lb Bag of By Nature Dog Food*By Nature Dog Biscuits

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As an example, here is a message I re ceived from my friend Molly McDoodle: Awe Miff Wisa, thank you for helping da puppies at da shelta I used to reside at. I wuff you. Licks and kisses, Molly. As I was leaving for work the other day, my friend Fluffy Von Flufferton in stant-messaged me these animals have computer skills, too and wished me a pawsitively purrrfect day! How nice! I regularly interact on social media with my other friends: Woody Alava, a teeny apricot poodle who is the mascot for our new canine camp endeavor in the Hamptons; and Bocker Labradoodle, the handsome canine who stars in many the dogs talking to and interacting with humans, they are also uploading and editing photos, attending parties, and hobnobbing with celebrities. But what human ventriloquists behind the scenes giving prose to these animals. Its funny to know that its not kids who are posting pages on social media sites for their dogs and cats, but rather people who are usually 40 years old or older! Now, I do admit that I come up with ideas of what my hairless Chinese Crested might be thinking; she always has a sparkle in her eye, making me ish, like how to catch the bunny in the yard. My Dalmatian, however, is a dog of few words and less deviousness. He wears his heart on his sleeve (spots?) and thus I dont imagine him speaking much, except maybe for a quick Thanks, Mom! when he kisses me after the beach or meals. I have not gone to the extent yet of writing posts for my dogs on Facebook. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Or is there? Its funny the role that dogs are playing in our lives. They are our surrogate children, our friends, and our personal cheering squads. We really get a glimpse of owners, what they personally need and want, from social media straight from the dogs mouth. As my friend Sir Wolfy Da Wigglebutt wrote recently about his mom: Oh boy, I have da best mummy eva! She make me yummy tweets and lets me snuggle in da bed wif her! Another canine friend wrote that their daddy rocks and thanked him for rescuing them and giving them the best life eva! What appreciative dogs we have! And while I chuckle about the idea of dogs on social media, I am carrying on a dialogue with these dogs. And so while my little dog Saffy does not post on Facebook (she cant, because for one thing, she uses curse words when frustrated), she is on Twitter. She is a junior camp counselor at canine camp in the Hamptons when shes not assisting my dog training classes, modeling at photo shoots for one of my endeavors, or just being seen around town. She doesnt speak; rather, we just discover her, as the Twitter lingo goes, following her daily exploits. I believe people posing as their dogs on social media is good, clean, harmless fun. The people who write for their dogs seem to love them very much and certainly seem to take care of them. These dogs have lots of friends (Bocker Labradoodle has over 5000, thus requiring him to have a fan club and be referred to They hang out at beaches and hip restaurants with their wonderful owners. They go for hikes through national parks and swim in lakes, then have the pictures uploaded to prove it. In this regard, social media compels pet owners to do things with their dogs, and that, again, is a good thing. Overall, I think Facebook might help our pets lead better lives. That is, as long as they dont spend too much time on the computer. 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 We really get a glimpse of owners, what they personally need and want, from social media.

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82 That Sinking FeelingIts time for local educators to teach our children that sea-level rise is a reality, and what to do about itBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorT Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Residential, Commercial HOA and Highrise Pooper Scooper ServiceWe know times are tough, but our business is picking up! 1 877 POOP 911 Poop911.comemail: ftl@poop911.com Ask for BT special Initial clean up +1 clean $19.99 (up to $99 value) email: ftl@poop911.com @pp @pp

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Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY NN o Pool? NN o Problem!Some suggestions for cooling off with the kids this summerBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorIn Scottsdale, Arizona, where I spent my childhood, everyone had a swimming pool. My family spent three years with an enormous muddy hole in in Poltergeist My parents built our beautiful house, but the construction of our swimming the monsoon rains came through, I could swear there were headstones and caskets swimming hole. Summer temperatures regularly lingered above 110 degrees and, without a periodic dip between Popsicles and water balloons, the season could be brutal. My brothers and I became skilled at pool hopping friends pools, recreation centers, hotels, and even vacationing neighbors pools were all fair game. for certain pools so we matched the natives and code words for quick I wouldnt recommend this behavior as a good example for your children, but many of my friends and neighbors in Miami dont have swimming pools, and while temperatures rarely climb above 100, the summer is no less brutal than in Arizona. Sure, the ocean is always nearby, but the idea of packing up the kids, the sand toys, the sunscreen, an umbrella, and making the pilgrimage for a parking spot only to combat riptides, seems like too much work for the payoff. Ignore hotel pools. That hidden world of tropical, palm-fringed blue water in the shape of paisleys, kidneys, and lagoons can be tempting, but even if you manage to avoid being arrested in front of your children or getting kicked to the curb by hotel management, you will likely end up broke after the $21 hot dogs and $17 lemonades. At most area luxury hotels, a family of four sticks out like a sore thumb next to the reality TV stars, models, and Euro-debauchees. Just let the untz, untz, untz trance rhythms be a warning to you that only registered guests may enter. a recent poll on what our friends without pools do to cool off in the summer: Flamingo Park is a beautifully landscaped, state-of-the-art aquatic facility so popular with the little ones in. The water playground is a zero to 15-inch depth, and theres an interactive/ play pool and locker rooms with showers, lounge chairs, and Sunbrellas. The small fee for non-Miami Beach residents is totally worth it, but its imperative to make it there early on weekends as the throngs of residents have made the Flamingo Park pool as popular as Liquid nightclub was in the 1990s. See: www. My girls regularly gush about the princess qualities of the 820,000-gallon Venetian Pool in Coral Gables. Created in 1923 from a rock quarry, the pool is fed with spring water from an underground aquifer. The waterfalls are a great scenic backdrop, as are as the grottos, which provide a fun, fantasyisland experience. If your kids are under the age of three, though, dont even think about making the jaunt. They are ferocious enforcers of the age limit. For info: www.VenetianPool.com If youve driven on Biscayne Boulevard north of the MiMo Historic District, one of your children in the backseat has probably screamed, I want to go there ! Theyre talking about Miami Shores Village Shipwreck Cove. and quickly discovered this beacon on the Boulevard is open only to Miami Shores residents. The sad discovery came when my two-year-old daughter Matilda and I were expelled by the 16-year-old lifeguard. Matilda was in the throes of a fulling lot when a benevolent Miami Shores resident and her well-behaved two-year old took mercy on us and brought us in as their guests. In retrospect, this woman must have been a siren, allowing us a taste of the forbidden fruit so close to our own neighborhood, but so out of reach. Details: miamishoresvillage.com/rec/ac. Depending on the ages of your children, there are a couple of other highly rated water parks in the Greater rapidswaterpark.com) and Grapeland parks/pages/grapeland). Finally, while trekking the 300 acres of Zoo Miami might not seem an attractive outing for the family on a July afternoon, the zoo formerly known as Metro has strategically placed misters throughout the grounds for cooling off during your visit. The kids love running from sprinkler to sprinkler and dancing in the mist, or pedaling the four-person bicycles directly under the poles for a spritz. Zoo Miami also features several water play out the bathing suits! Use the old web address: www.miamimetrozoo.com. For some, options may be limited to there is a will and a creative parent, there is a cooler, wetter way. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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84 By Bill Citara BT ContributorYes, its that time of year again. Time for the ritual Charring of the Flesh, the American males annual rite of passage from indolent, redblooded sofa tuber to Lord and Master of the Backyard Incinerator, Desiccator of Innocent Animal Protein, Consumer of Multiple Chilled Adult Beverages, Igniter of Noisy Combustible Devices Known to Annoy Neighbors and Frighten Dogs and Small Children. In other words, its time for Dad to the grill for the Fourth of July barbecue. But it doesnt sound quite so grand when you put it that way, does it? Whatever your skill at the grill (or lack of same), whether your patriotic repast more resembles charcoal chicken sushi than dinner at Arthur Bryants in for an appropriate chilled adult beverage is that four-letter word beginning with b. And though your average, massproduced corporate behemoth American beer is better suited to putting out grease But let us instead consider wine. It it goes with just about any food. It also allows you to save any beer you might have lurking around in the fridge for favorite wines, the 2010 KendallJackson Summation Mostly Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Pinot Blanc, its damn near the perfect summertime white. Its got a lovely nose of tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and melon aromas, with a palate to match, plus a little orange, peach, lime, and spice. Full whats not to like? A little more acid, a little less fruit, 2010 A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris Take some mango and pear in there, some honey, lemon-lime, a bracing shot of minerality. Its still young and taut, with nose and back palate, you get all that rich, tropical melon and citrus fruit. Provence is to ros what the Napa Valley is to Cabernet Sauvignon, so no big surprise that the Domaine de Paris 2010 Ctes de Provence Ros is as natural a partner to grilling as quality hardwood charcoal. A pretty reddish-gold in the glass, it smells of ripe strawberries package that makes for easy sippin by itself or a pleasant companion to grilled On the earthier, more rustic side is Marqus de Cceres 2010 Rioja Ros The strawberries and raspberries, tangy lemon, and orange are all in there, but there are also muskier notes of olives and leather. Juicy and earthy, lightto medium-bodied, it splits a few differences. Now we come to the big boys, the beefy reds that can stand up to meats tricked out with all the smoke, sauce, and char a good grill master can impart. Heres a tip: Immedi ately run out and buy the 2010 Tapea Garnacha. Do that today. It costs all of ten bucks, With loads of ripe, freshtasting redand black-cherry fruit, a spice cabinets worth of aromatic cloves and fennel, a hint of earth, and a dash of minerals, its one of the most pensive wines Ive tasted in a while. Another run-out-and-buy wine is the Bodegas Salenteins 2010 Portillo Malbec, from Argentinas Mendoza wine region. Many Malbecs have a rough, woody edge that I can do without, but this one is smooth and fruity and easy to like. Think blackberry and blueenough acidity and soft tannins to keep all that fruit honest. Finally, if you like old-vine Zinfandels, but dont like your palate sandblasted with overripe fruit and vodka-style alcohol levels, check out the 2010 Bramblewood Old Vines Zin A J. Lohr product from Lodi in Californias Central Valley, it delivers bracing aromas of dried fruit and olives old-vine Zins, and with only 13 percent alcohol. Now, thats something even the Lord and Master of the Backyard Incinerator cant screw up. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Wines to Grill and Chill WithRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Open, Almost Open, Open to SuggestionsFood news we know you can use Courtesy of Iron Side Caf By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorPromises, promises. If I had a nickel for every time a Miami restaurant opening was scheduled for a certain date and didnt happen till months, even years later, I could actually afford to eat at all of them, even the fanciest. Which is a fancy way of saying that, though several openings have been expected recently, there havent been many real recent restaurant openings in BT territory. Prime among the anticipated is Shokudo a pan-Asian place from the World Resource folks, projected to open just north of the Design District in April. Another is Brother Jimmys BBQ which was supposed to open in Brickell midMay, then mid-June, now mid-July with a preview block party July 4. Well see But there have been even fewer recent dont count the eight Bayside Market place establishments shut down by state health inspectors for infractions including live roaches and rodent poo in the kitchen. After some frantic scrubbing and spray ing, all of them reopened the next day. OPENINGS Tiny Thai House (12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646). In the space that once housed Carolina Lowcountry Caribbean fusion chef Marvin Woodss M Woods, this just-opened Thai/sushi place is run by veterans of a locally well-known similar spot. However, their name must not be mentioned for mysterious legal reasons. The menu is still being tweaked, but the houses specialties are the Thai dishes. As the big-screen TV implies, it can double as a sports bar, but is, most of the time, serene. Iron Side Caf (7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-795-0551). Iron Side is not really opening earlier this year. The restaurant is nevertheless such a fun place to spend a summer Saturday night that I want to clue in everyone else who hasnt found it. In the newly and optimistically named Industrial Business District just west of the MiMo Historic District, the caf is secreted inside a sprawling, sustainably green, mixed-use campus of adjoining warehouses developed by Ofer Mizrahi, founder of Coverings Etc., arts patron, innovator. The indoor/outdoor caf itself offers global dishes using local ingredients, brought to you by chef Nuno Grillon and partner Fernando Nascimento, both right in with the eco-friendly theme of the campus. Hours are lunch-only on weekdays, then Saturday night from 8:00 p.m. on, when the menu changes to BBQ (featuring grass-fed beef from nearby Gaucho Ranch) and the ambiance to Bohemian party. SIDE DISH At The Federal Food Drink & Provi sions (5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-7589559) bar wench Ani Meinhold and puppet master Alejandro Ortiz will be presenting Women Who Wine, a series of Saturday-evening tastings for women only, all summer long. Classes, wines and paired nibbles for $35 per person; call 305-758-9559 to reserve. (Sorry, guys. But women do choose and buy eight out of every ten bottles of wine drunk at home, according to creased savvy.) Starting July 5, customers at almost 5600 Taco Bell joints throughout the USA will get to sample some serious Miami Latin eats, via an upscaled Cantina Bell menu created by local chef Lorena Garcia (a Top Chef Masters contestant and owner of Lorena Garcia Cocina at MIA. The more health and quality-conscious new menu, featuring items like citrus/herb-marinated chicken and a burrito bowl, is already being compared to Chipotles. But Garcia points out that its more affordable, with items costing several dollars less. What to expect at the Upper East Side Farmers Market this month (every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Biscayne Blvd. and 66th St.): From farms here in scorching South Florida, fewer veggies but lots of tropical fruit, includ ing both yellow and purple passion fruit says Yorkys Rodriguez Mojica of Bodhis Urban Oasis Projects main produce stand. Tip: Grab a papalo (Bolivian cori ander) plant. These ancient precursors to cilantro, reputed to also control blood pressure, go fast. And those for whom summer means corn and tomatoes, both out of season here, neednt worry. While the market favors local farms, it does get some veggies from northern Florida and the Carolinas during the dog days. Theres even one plus, says market manager Art Finally, see this issues BizBuzz (page 30) for more restaurant news from BT advertisers Adelitas Caf, Bagels & Company, Barrel Wine Cantine, Caf 46, Il Piccolo Caf, Kitchen 305, Mikes at Venetia, and Turnberry Isle. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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86 MIAMIBrickell / 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. $$$-$$$$Azul 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multipart dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans 901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf 109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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-and-go 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., 05-503-6500On 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 cheesestuffed empanadas. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese 801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mix-and-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacybattered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Bon Fromage 500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eat-in diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ 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-fromscratch snacks (beef jerky, granola) to unique cupcakes featuring not-too-sweet adult flavors and irresistible sticky buns. If we had to choose just one category, wed sin. But luckily, you can have it all. $-$$ Caf Bastille 248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very French-feeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal 500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this space as its casual hotel restaurant, many consider it a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul, upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean accents. For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal choices. For hedonists theres a big selection of artisan sakes. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room 900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the wine-curious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 selfservice dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami 300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ Crazy About You 1155 Brickell Bay Dr. #101, 305-377-4442The owners, and budget-friendly formula, are the same here as at older Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita: Buy an entre (all under $20) from a sizable list of Mediterranean, Latin, American, or Asian-influenced choices (like Thai-marinated churrasco with crispy shoestring fries) and get an appetizer for free, including substantial stuff like a Chihuahua cheese casserole with chorizo and pesto. The difference: This place, housed in the former location of short-lived La Broche, has an even more upscale ambiance than Dolores -including a million-dollar water view. $$$ Cvi.che 105 105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800 Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 308. MIAMIBRICKELL / DOWNTOWND-Dog House 50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ Dominique Bistro-Club 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-371-8859At typical restolounges, the resto part often gets the short end of the stick. But not at this chic but friendly spot, where Gerardo Barrera, an alumn of Pariss Le Cordon Bleu, plus his wife Dominque and her brother Jos Sigona, welcome diners with Frances best-known bistro classics: coquilles St. Jacques (tender scallops in mushroom/white wine sauce); a precision-cooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTEl Bajareque 278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this familyowned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ UPPER EASTSIDE RiverShack 620 NE 78th St., 305-758-2929After deciding that todays trends favor creative, chefdriven restaurants, rather than ethnic cuisines, Gigi and Liza Meoli (famed for their Greek eateries) closed their Anise Taverna and, with chef/partner David Long, reopened in the same riverside shack as a gentrified, slightly Hispanic-influenced rural American gastropub. Hope lingers that the chef may feel driven someday to revive even one mixed meze platter, but fare like shrimp and grits with goat cheese, brisket empanadas, pestobuttered grilled corn, and banana bacon bread pudding seem right for the rustic Old South setting. $$NORTH MIAMIIl Piccolo Caf 2112 NE 123rd St., 305-893-6538Talk about a neighborhood institution. The owners of this longtime Italian eatery remember frequent visits from Miami native Michelle Bernstein and her parents -when the celebrity chef was a kid. The place is still child-friendly, and though the piccolo space is indeed small, portions are prodigious. Most dishes will evoke nostalgia, including our own favorite white-wine-saucedrenched sin -lemony egg-battered veal piccata with capers and artichokes. But there are surprises not found at most old school red-sauce joints, too, like lunchtimes surprisingly tasty Cuban sandwich. $$ NORTH MIAMI BEACHKoneFood 387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ rfnt ntbnfnt tnftn tf f t tff nffff

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COMING SOON COMING SOONCOMING SOON COMING SOON

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88 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. $$$Edge, Steak & Bar 1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub 188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eternity Coffee Roasters 117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Eos 485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Originally 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. $$$-$$$$Fado Irish Pub 900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on miniboxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River 401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ First Hong Kong Caf 117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambalspiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/ beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano 213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and comple mentary 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. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market 398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe 154 SE 1st Ave.305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamicdressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hardboiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse 901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas 192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade 1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Il Gabbiano 335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultra-upscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Hibachi Grill 45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagaine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singapore-style noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ 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 heatshielded, 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. $$$-$$$$$ Jackson Soul Food 950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710]With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/ comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar 2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscalecool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, formerly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$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 cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$La Moon 144 SW 8th St., 305-860-6209At four in the morning, nothing quells the munchies like a Crazy Burger, a Colombian take on a truckers burger: beef patty, bacon, ham, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg, with an arepa corn pancake bun. While this tiny places late hours (till 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday) are surprising, the daytime menu is more so. In addition to Colombian classics, theres a salad Nicoise with grilled fresh tuna, seared salmon with mango salsa, and other yuppie favorites. $-$$ La Provence 1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$ YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SPORTS BAR & RESTAURANT555 NE 15th Street, 9th Floor, Miami, FL305-374-5731 WWW.MIKESVENETIA.COM M a i mi F M ia FL l oo r Fl A URA N NT l oo r M Fl M i i Daily Lunch Specials! Daily Lunch Specials!

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Business Hours: 12pm-3am Every Day 305-947-00643881 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach, Fl(Intracoastal 163rd Street Mall) www.yakko-san.comNot affiliated with Hiros Restaurant on 163rd St. YAKKO-SANAuthentic Japanese Cuisine Specializing in regional Japanese cuisinefocusing on small tapas-like plates you will not find anywhere else.Full Bar -Hiros17040-46 W. Dixie Highway 305-949-0776 or 305-949-4685Mon-Fri 11amam/Sat & Sun 1pm-12amClick your online order & get delivery right to your door www.sushiexpress.com(Also located in South Beach 305-531-6068 and Oakland Park 954-772-0555) DINE-IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY CATERING Sushi Express

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La Sandwicherie 34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell 188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/ fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus 25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro 638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/ frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Martini 28 146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/ salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant 236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been serving her traditional homemade island specialties to downtown office workers and college students since the early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweet-fried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote curry. All entres come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry. $Mint Leaf 1063 SE 1st Ave., 305-358-5050Part of Londons famous Woodlands Group, this stylish spot, like its Coral Gables parent, serves the sort of upscale Indian food rarely found outside Great Britain or India. More interestingly, the menu includes not just the familiar northern Indian Mughlai fare served in most of Americas Indian restaurants, but refined versions of south Indias scrum ptious street 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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf 900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Naoe 661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263 Chances are youve never had anything like the $85 prixfixe Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Corys tiny but nationally acclaimed oasis, transplanted from its original Sunny Isles space with its supreme serenity intact. By reservation only, in two dinner seatings of just eight people each, and omakase (chefs choice) only, meals include a seasonal soup, a four-course bento box, eight pieces of sushi, and three desserts. Cory personally does everything for you, even applying the perfect amount of housemade artisan soy sauce mix and fresh-grated wasabi to each mindreelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro 1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supple ments signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$Ozzi Sushi 200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thinsliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$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. $-$$Pega Grill 15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ ALL ALCOHOL LICENSING 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

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Peoples Bar-B-Que 360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones 15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks 1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most 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/deliveryonly 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. $$Pier 94 94 SE 1st St., 305-379-5652 Tucked into The Village, a collection of courtyard eateries far from any waterfront, this ceviche bar specializes in fresh seafood dishes from chef/owner Alex Del Corrals native Peru, but also features famous Peruvian meat and poultry dishes (including a refined aji de gallina, chicken in aji pepper-spiced cream sauce). Emphasis is particu larly strong on Perus penchant for fusion food, including traditional Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) rice or noodle stirfries. But the chef also fuses classic and creative influences. Try contemporary causas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Prelude Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Puntino Downtown 353 SE 2nd Ave., 305-371-9661The first U.S. venture of a hotelier from Naples, this stylish little place is open Monday through Saturday for dinner as well as lunch. Ambiance is fashionably cool Milanese rather than effusively warm Neapolitan. The food too is mostly contemporary rather than traditional. But in true Italian style, the best stuff stays simple: an antipasto platter of imported cold cuts with crostini and housemade marinated veggies; crisp-fried calamari and shrimp; airy gnocchi with sprightly tomato sauce, pools of melted bufala mozzarella, and fresh basil. $$-$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine 33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar 650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915This casually cool jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables, corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the unusually large selection, especially since oysters are served both raw and cooked fire-roasted with sofrito butter, chorizo, and manchego. Theres also a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan beers on tap. $$$Rosa Mexicano 900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining expe rience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate mar garitas ensure no worries. $$$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 river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soi Asian Bistro 134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro 120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, openair courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar 204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/mustard, panAsian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/ habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki 1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes intro duced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche 49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influ enced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnutgarnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$Tobacco Road 626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meatsmoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Trapiche Room 1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor

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and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro 270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomatosauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse 777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale power-lunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tuyo 415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt studentrun. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Waxy OConnors 690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with house made brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$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-ityour-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant 1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restaurants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with welldone flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends espe cially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Barrel Wine Cantine 3622 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7775This boutique wine market/wine bar, featuring French small plates, sounds just like this addresss former occupant, W Wine Bar, when it first opened. The difference: Instead of Ws rotating chefs (including, sometimes, servers), Barrels head honcho is Victor Passalacqua, a Miami fine-dining vet originally schooled by French stars like Paul Bocuse. Charcuterie selections feature imported cheeses and cured meats hard to find outside France (like rosette de Lyon salami) plus housemade prepared salads and an incomparably sinful foie gras terrine. Changing entres include moules frites, if youre lucky. $$-$$$ Basanis 3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run 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. $$Bengal 2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and pre sented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends 4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurant-starved 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, aru gula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 18 1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$Blue Piano 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7919The address suggests a street-corner location, but this casually cool wine bar/bistro is actually hidden midblock. Its well worth the hunt, thanks to the passionate, very personally hands-on involvement of its four owners, whose individual areas of expertise encompass food, wine, and live entertainment, melding all seamlessly. The music is muted, encouraging conversation; wines are largely small-production gems, sold at comparatively low mark-ups. And the small-plates menu features delectably different dishes like the McLuvvin, a meld of savory Spanish sausage and chicharrones, topped with a quail egg and chipotle cream -supremely satisfying. $$ Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continu ously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli 4590 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-3945At this casual caf/bakery, co-owned by Buena Vista Bistros Claude Postel, the day starts in authentic French fashion, with fresh breakfast breads, chocolate almond croissants, and other delights. At lunch cornichon-garnished baguette sandwiches (containing housemade pts, sinfully rich pork rillettes, superb salami, and other charcuterie classics) are irresistible, and a buttery-crusted, custardy quiche plus perfectly dressed salad costs little more than a fast-food combo meal. As for Postels homemade French sweets, if you grab the last Paris-Brest, a praline butter-cream-filled puff pastry, we may have to kill you. $-$$ 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/

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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. $$$Cafeina 297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar 1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively reno vated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose specialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos 3252 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the curedham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant 2004 Biscayne Blvd., 305-764-3130After 30+ years spent guiding other owners restaurants to success, Miami Spice program creator Steve Haas has opened his own expansive, two-floor place, on a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard thats suddenly looking fashionable. The vibe is a mix of power-dining destination and comfie neighborhood hangout, and chef Tom Azar (ex-Emerils) has designed a varied menu to match. Highlights: an astonishingly thin/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course 3451 NE 1st Ave., 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropri ate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf 2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegarflavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment 3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible oldschool cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co. 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $Egg & Dart 4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ Egyptian Pizza Kitchen Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050Pizza, pita -hey, theyre both flatbreads. So while many pizzas do indeed, as this halal places name suggests, have initially weird-seeming Middle Eastern toppings, its really not surprising that the Giza (topped with marinated lamb, feta, olives, peppers, and pungently spiced cumin sauce) works at least as well as Italian classics. Additionally the menu includes interesting Middle Eastern fare like foul, a hummus-like but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf 210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secretrecipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing home made soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$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. $$-$$$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. $Florin 3620 NE 2nd Ave., 786-953-5001A labor of love from the married team of choclatier/ pastry chef Grazia Maggi and artist Rinaldo Malvernmi, this dessert caf/tea house/market is a lovely little spot to enjoy a 100-percent organic afternoon tea (or herbal infusion) plus a daily-changing selection of housemade European-inspired pastries and chocolates, many incorpo rating edible flowers. Sweets, ranging from apricot-filled dark chocolate Sachertorte and Italian almond cakes to creamy truffles or meringue-dotted chocolate salami, have unusual sophistication. And artistic, hand-designed packaging makes the goodies great gifts, too -if you can resist eating them yourself. $-$$ Gigi 3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly creative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ 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, ultrathin-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. $$

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Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat bone less wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/ herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jean Pauls House 2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373Jean Paul Desmaison, original chef/co-owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables, has chosen a decidedly less tony, more transitional neighborhood for this venture. But inside his renovated bungalow, ambiance is stylishly cozy, and the creative contemporary North/South American fusion cuisine is as elegant as ever. Best bets are dishes influenced by Desmaisons native Peru, including crispy pork belly braised in pisco with silky sweet potato pure, and a beautifully balanced nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian) salmon sashimi that does the impossible: tame leche de tigre, Perus infamous tigers milk marinade. $$$-$$$$ Jimmyz Kitchen 2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty crio llo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or highquality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf 2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a 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 Latina 3509 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-9655At last, an authentic Venezuelan arepera (purveyor of homemade arepas, with a variety of meat, cheese, and veggie fillings) that isnt out in the boonies -and decid edly isnt a dive. With colorful dcor concocted from recycled objects, this space, though small, has truly eclectic, Midtown style. The signature corn cakes, crisped outside and fluffy inside, put sodden supermarket specimens to shame. And cachapas (softer, sweeter corn pancakes folded around mozzarella-like fresh cheese) or bollarepitas (cheese-stuffed deep-fried corn cakes, with tangy nata dip) may be even tastier. $-$$La Provence 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 2000 2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/ yucafied ambiance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$Lemoni Caf 4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/ salads/starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively richtasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Shops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor 3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$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 weekdayonly breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotledrizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemoncrusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $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 Beach listing)Mercadito Midtown 3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink 130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan 3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ Mikes at Venetia 555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731This family-owned Irish pub, on the pool deck of the Venetia condo, for more than 15 years has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local journalists and others who appreciate honest cheap eats and drinks. Regulars know daily specials are the way to go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big burgers and steak dinners are always good. A limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$Morgans Restaurant 28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influ enced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar 1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$ 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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Dining Guide: RESTAU rR ANTS Orange Caf + Art 2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pieducks 3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Primos 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/ arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami 3451 NE 1st Ave., 305-535-2555Just a few years ago, chain pizza joints were dominant most everywhere. Today many places now offer authentic Italian or delicate designer pizzas. But a satisfying Brookyn-style street slice? Fuhgedit. Thankfully thats the speciality of this indoor/outdoor pizzeria: big slices with chewy crusts (made from imported NY tap water) that arent ultra-thin and crisp, but flexible enough to fold lengthwise, and medium-thick -sturdy enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Salad Creations 2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 104 3451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Custom-sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, especially for those who enjoy taste-testing a plate pairing Italys two most famous prosciuttos: Parma and San Daniele. But homemade pastas are also impressive, as are hard-to-find regional entres like fegato alla Veneziana, which will turn liver-haters into lovers. $$-$$$ 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salsa Fiesta 2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fastcasual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-forone beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner 1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Sra. Martinez 4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474No Biscayne Corridor resident needs to be told that this lively tapas bar is the second restaurant that Upper Eastside homegrrrl Michelle Bernstein has opened in the area. But its no absentee celebrity-chef gig. Bernstein is hands-on at both places. Her exuberant yet firmly controlled personal touch is obvious in nearly four dozen hot and cold tapas on the menu. Items are frequently reinvented. Keepers include wild mushroom/manchego croquetas with fig jam; white bean stew; crisp-coated artichokes with lemon/coriander dip; and buttery bone marrow piqued with Middle Eastern spices and balanced by tiny pickled salads. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill 3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tapas y Tintos 3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/ wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar 3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ Wine Vault Miami Shops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include cho rizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ 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. $$-$$$

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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 openflame-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. $$Balans Biscayne 6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and prepared as reliably well. $$-$$$Blue Collar 6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to maduros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$Boteco 916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool altculture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Chef Creole 200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$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. $-$$ East Side Pizza 731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $Garden of Eatin 136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive AfroCaribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Gourmet Station 7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Go To Sushi 5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar 7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Jimmys East Side Diner 7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$La Cigale 7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge 709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a timetrip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restau rant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys 6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appear ances, 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

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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. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf 7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, home made crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine 7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And ricebased plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$Namaste 7420 Biscayne Blvd., 786-536-9050With food served from steam-table-type stations, plus plastic utensils and plates, this neighborhood Indian place is definitely no frills. But its also excellent value for the money, especially if you go for the all-day $8.99 special, which includes two entre items plus sides for which most Indian restaurants charge extra: rice, choice of bread (garlic naan recommended), and refreshing raita. Invest some of your savings in BhelPapri chat, a savory snack featuring crisp chips topped with cilantro-spiked chickpeas, onions, potatoes, yogurt, and piquant tamarind sauce. $-$$News Lounge 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Red Light 7700 Biscayne Blvd.,305-757-7773From the rustic al fresco deck of chef Kris Wessels intentionally downwardly mobile retro-cool riverfront restaurant, you can enjoy regional wildlife like manatees while enjoying eclectic regional dishes that range from cutting-edge (sour-orange-marinated, sous-vide-cooked Florida lobster with sweet corn sauce) to comfort (crispy-breaded Old South fried green tomatoes). Not surprisingly, the chefdriven menu is limited, but several signature specialties, if available, are not to be missed: BBQ shrimp in a tangy Worcestershire and cayenne-spiked butter/wine sauce, irresistible mini conch fritters, and homemade ice cream. $$-$$$Revales Italian Ristorante 8601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-1010Owned by two couples (including former Village Caf chef Marlon Reyes), this eclectic eatery occupies the former space of Frankies Big City Grill, and fulfills much the same purpose in the neighborhood as an all-day, familyfriendly place with affordable prices. The menu includes wraps and elaborate salads of all nations. But simple yet sophisticated Italian specialties like spaghetti ai fiume (with pancetta, tomato, garlic, basil, and a touch of cream) or yellowtail franaise (egg-battered, with lemoncaper-wine sauce) are the must-haves here. $$-$$$ Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus 1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$ Soyka 5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam 5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$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 fresh-baked 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 pro duced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $NORTH BAY VILLAGEBocados Ricos 1880 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-4889Tucked into a mall best known for its Happy Stork Lounge, this little luncheonette services big appetites. Along with the usual grilled churrascos, theres bandeja paisa, Colombias sampler platter of grilled steak, sau sage, chicharron, fried egg, avocado, plantains, rice, and beans. Dont miss marginally daintier dishes like sopa de costilla, if this rich shortrib bowl is among the daily homemade soups. Arepas include our favorite corn cake: the hefty Aura, stuffed with chorizo, chicharron, carne desmechada (shredded flank steak), plantains, rice, beans, and cheese. $-$$The Crab House 1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the all-you-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli 1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi cre ations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Mario the Baker 1700 79th St. Causeway, 305-867-7882(See North Miami Beach listing)Oggi Caffe 1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$

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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 (chargrilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi Siam 1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay 1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/ outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$NORTH BEACHCaf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Who says old dogs cant learn new tricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28 seats), the Cea familys now-sprawling trattoria has added inventive chef Carlos Belon and modern menu items, including fiocchi rapera (pear/cheese-filled pasta purses with truffled prosciutto cream sauce), an unlikely (soy sauce and parmesan cheese?) but luscious Italian/Japanese fusion tuna carpaccio, and fresh-fruit sorbets. But traditionalists neednt worry. All the old favorites, from the cafs famed beef carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$-$$$$ KChapas 1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave., 305-704-7879Beer garden conjures up an image of Bavarian bratwurst, lederhosen, and oompah bands -none of which youll find here. Its actually a hip hideaway in the New Hotels pool-patio area, a locals hangout with interesting eclectic fare and a perennial party atmosphere. Especially recommended: delicately pan-fried mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys exec utive chef is best-selling Thai cookbook author Vatcharin Bhumichitr, youd expect major media hype, fancy South Beach prices, and a fancy SoBe address. Instead Bhumichitr joined forces with Day Longsomboon (an old Thai school pal whod moved to Miami) at this unpretentious, authentic (no sushi) neighborhood place. Some standout dishes here are featured in the chefs latest tome, but with Tamarinds very affordable prices, you might as well let the mans impeccably trained kitchen staff do the work for you. $$-$$$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 onpremises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$ MIAMI SHORESCte Gourmet 9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012If only every Miami neighborhood could have a neighborhood restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes) with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country Club 10000 Biscayne Blvd., 305-795-2363Formerly members-only, the restaurant/lounge facilities of this classy 1939 club are now open to the public always, lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, ambiance is retro and relaxed, with golf course views from both bar and indoor/outdoor dining room. The surprise is the food some classic (steaks, club sandwiches) but other dishes quite contemporary: an Asian ahi tuna tower; a lavish candied-walnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ PizzaFiore 9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-withgooey-cheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of ItalianAmerican classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$NORTH MIAMIAlaska Coffee Roasting Co. 13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffeegrowing 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 houseroasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East 1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick exNew Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even impro vise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$Los Antojos 11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Bagels & Co. 11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels, one cant actually buy a gun here. The nickname refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But theres a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here, including a full range of sandwiches and wraps. Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But whats most important is that this is one of the areas few sources of the real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside, challengingly chewy inside. $Bulldog Barbecue/Bulldog Burger 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-9655These adjacent restaurants are really one place with two dining areas, since they connect and diners can order from either menu. They also share a BBQ/burger master: Top Chef contender Howie Kleinberg, whose indoor electric smoker produces mild-tasting cue ranging from the expected pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and chicken to more unusual items like hot-smoked salmon. As for burgers, many feature unique ingredients such as mayo flavored like red-eye gravy, with strong coffee, or the bun of the infamous Luther: a sweet-glazed mock (holeless) Krispy Kreme donut. Costs are comparatively high, but such is the price of fame. $$-$$$Cane Sucre 899 NE 125th St.,305-891-0123From the Vega brothers (who pioneered the Design and MiMo districts with, respectively, the original Cane A Sucre and UVA 69), this charming artisanal sandwich bar is the perfect breakfast/lunch stop before or after ingesting visual arts at nearby MOMA. Actually, creations like El Fig (fig confit, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and honey on an authentically French crisp-crusted fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood 12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/ outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$Chen-huyae 15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickleonion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also

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authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole 13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar 1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are handcut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$Giraffas 1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casu al chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165 Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun 2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Le Griot de Madame John 975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333When Madame moved her base of operations from her Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal one, and still mostly take-out), she began offering numerous traditional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tassot and an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt before poaching with various veggies and spices). But the dish that still packs the place is the griot: marinated pork chunks simmered and then fried till theyre moistly tender inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowdpleasers. $$$Mama Jennies 11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other ItalianAmerican belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty mine strone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art 12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-toorder Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge 12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhoodoriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. 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. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899 Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/chargrilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Smashburger 14730 Biscayne Blvd., 786-406-6614Two things distinguish the griddled patties of this Denverbased chain, touted as the nations fastest-growing better burger restaurant, from other better burgers: a nod to local tastes (like toppings of fried chorizo and potato fritas), and the smashing technique, producing an appealing thickly crusted exterior. Got burger overkill? Substitute chicken, or have a salad. An added draw: unusual veggie sides, which go beyond regular and sweet potato fries to crisp onion strings, veggie frites (carrots, string beans), and an Old South fish-camp classic: fried pickles. $-$$Steves Pizza 12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paperthin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant 12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich 13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly. Drippin good burgers, too. And unlike MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer with the good grease. $-$$NORTH MIAMI BEACHBamboo Garden 1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$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 chipotle-marinated steak or chicken chunks, bolder shredded beef barbacoa, or herb-scented pork carnitas. But these bites contain no evil ingredients (transfats, artificial color/flavor, antibiotics, growth hormones). And the food, while not the authentic Mex street stuff dreams are made of, is darned tasty, too. $Cholos Ceviche & Grill 1127 NE 163rd St., 305-947-3338Dont be misled by the mini-mall location, or the relatively minimal prices (especially during lunch, when specials are under $6). Inside, the dcor is charming, and the Peruvian plates elegant in both preparation and presentation. Tops among ceviches/tiraditos is the signature Cholos, marinated octopus and fish in a refined rocoto chili sauce with overtones both fiery and fruity. And dont miss the molded causas, whipped potato rings stuffed with avocado-garnished crab salad -altogether lighter and lovelier than the tasty but oily mashed spud constructions more oft encountered in town. $-$$Christines Roti Shop 16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall 3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally megasize menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orangeginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY 3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In 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 3622 NE 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33137 / 305.576.7775 / www.barrelwinecantine.com *Monday: Hospitality Day, 2 for 1 all by-the-glass wines *Tuesday: FREE glass of Champagne for the ladies 4-7pm *Wednesday: FREE wine tasting 7-9pm *Thursday: Live Jazz, Absinthe Trio with Be-Bob, begins at 8pm A neighborhood place for fine wine and food lovers

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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. $$ El Gran Inka 3155 NE 163rd St., 305-940-4910Though diners at this upscale Peruvian eatery will find ceviches, a hefty fried-seafood jalea, and Perus other expected traditional specialties, all presented far more elegantly than most in town, the contemporary Peruvian fusion creations are unique. Especially recommended are two dishes adapted from recipes by Perus influential nikkei (Japanese/Creole) chef Rosita Yimura: an exquisite, delicately sauced tiradito de corvina, and for those with no fear of cholesterol, pulpo de oliva (octopus topped with rich olive sauce). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet 16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this allyou-can-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, esco lar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$Hannas Gourmet Diner 13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tunamelt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant 3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express 17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776Tiny, true, but theres more than just sushi at this mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls, more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente maki), available la carte or in value-priced individual and party combo platters. But there are also bento boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki, stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch is now open in Miamis Upper Eastside. $Heelsha 1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa, Bangladeshs sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, its because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their menus mix-and-match option allows diners to pair their choice of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus reminiscent of sour orange. $$-$$$Jerusalem Market and Deli 16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs, hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb and bulgur) are native to many Middle East countries, but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eaterys Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. $-$$Kabobji 3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veggarnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly freshtasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant 514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$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-thanaverage selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill 14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the woodfired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon 16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$Mario the Baker 14691 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-7641A Miami institution in its North Miami location since 1962, this original Marios changed location in 2012. But no worries. The menu of Italian-American (not Italian-Italian) favorites is the same -spaghetti and meatballs, hot and cold subs, etc. No arugula, imported bufala, or other chichi stuff on the NYC street-style medium thin-crusted pizzas, either; top topping here is savory homemade sausage. And no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash in warm parsley oil and smushed garlic. $ The Melting Pot 15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$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 specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai 520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos 16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Soprano Caf & Italian Restaurant 3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225Racks has a new owner and a new name. Italian chef Rocco Soprano is bringing his authentic Italian flavors and style to a lovely setting. Well have more details next month, but we know the specialties include Italian steaks, seafood, and an oyster bar. One thing that wont change: the coal-fired pizza oven, which reliably turns out an astonishingly light yet chewy crust that makes the pies a revelation. Especially enjoyable is the waterfront deck. $$Roasters & Toasters 18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sandwiches? Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Consider the Carnegiestyle monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we we ighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky handsliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant 1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$Shing Wang Vegetarian, Icee & Tea House 237 NE 167th St., 305-654-4008At this unique, mostly Taiwanese eatery, all seafood, poultry, and meats used to be skillfully crafted and delicious vegetarian imitations. These are still here, plus theres now a wider choice of dishes, some featuring real meat. Try the authentic-tasting Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches (available with a variety of meat and mock-meat fillings). Bubble tea is the must-not-miss drink. The cold, refreshing boba comes in numerous flavors, all supplemented with signature black tapioca balls that, sipped through straws, are a guaranteed giggle. $Siam Square 54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to North Miami Beachs Chinatown strip has become a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps most important, karaoke equipment is in place when the mood strikes. $-$$ rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN

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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 American-influenced 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. $$ Sushi House 15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake 13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table 18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$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 tastetested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$ Yakko-San 3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/ sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out Monday-Friday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro 1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeosauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse,305-861-8166After renovations in 2010, this old favorite (since 1989) reopened with a hip new lounge -but no fixes to what aint broke, notably handmade artisanal pastas sauced with high quality ingredients. Choose luxe stuffed models (like crab-filled ravioli with rich lobster sauce) or relatively pristine preparations like linguini with garlic, wine, and fresh littlenecks. Eating light? Make a meal of lavish salads or starters like true beef carpaccio -dressed, like the original from Venices Harrys Bar, with creamy mustard sauce rather than mere olive oil. $$$ 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, butterdoused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will pre pare it on request. $$$$$ AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza 17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusu ally flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$BagelWorks 18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727 Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of hand-sliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ 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. $$-$$$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. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonwor thy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$Cadillac Ranch Village at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom 19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$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/sugar-laden traditional tfavorites for salads, smoothies, and similar healthy fare as casual, clean, and contemporary as the restaurants dcor. Asian-influenced items, like wakametopped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particu larly 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). $$

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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 seafoodbased 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 allaround accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$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-flake-topped crunchy tuna/ avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina 17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$Luca Bella 19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222In the space that once housed Chef Allens, this trattoria offers a crowd-pleasing combination: dcor with white-tablecloth elegance, yet the family-friendly feel of a classic checkered-tablecloth eatery -and ItalianAmerican comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a mealsize marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing mod ern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumbcoated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$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. $$$$$ Mos Bagels & Deli 2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are handrolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$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. $$Playwright Irish Pub 801 Silks Run Rd. #2597, 954-457-7563The vintage Old World look and convivial atmosphere of this new pub, located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, are more traditionally Irish than most of the menu, which ranges from penne with marinara sauce to Thai-inspired spring rolls. But fish and chips are always crisp-coated and satisfying; potato leek soup is the real thing; and the crab cakes (crab meat mixed with just enough celery, onions, and peppers for interesting texture) are so good youll be thinking Maryland, not Dublin. $$ Sushi Siam 19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)SUNNY ISLES BEACHChef Philip Ho 16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney 18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth 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 cre ative 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. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York 17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinner for the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 305 16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mango-papaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-caneat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$Piazzetta 17875 Collins Ave., 305-918-6816You cant help feeling optimistic about a tourist towns food scene when its resort restaurants, which generally walk the middle of the road, get creative. And it doesnt get much more creative than this stylish restaurant and Italian market, which bills itself as a trip to an Italianinspired little market square, but which, along with artisanal salumi plus pizzas and pastas, serves sushi. Particularly tasty: the native Neapolitan pizza chefs truffled taleggio and mushroom pies; meltingly tender braised short ribs; an impeccable market-driven meat and cheese platter. $$$St. Petersburg Deli 17080 Collins Ave., 305-947-9696Dont expect fancified stuff like menus, or the English language, at this informal market/cafe. If theres signage identifying the prepared foods behind the counters, its in Russian, and daily dishes are pretty much what the cooks feel like making. So look and point. Wed suggest pointing at cold yogurt-based soups like tangy okroshka (with cukes, egg, scallions, potatoes, and dill) or holodnik (similar, with beets added); eggplant roulades, stuffed with spiced shredded carrots, are also a refreshing summer dish. Hot choices include meatballs in rich cream sauce and chicken Kiev. $$ Timo 17624 Collins Ave., 305-936-1008Since opening in 2003, the inventive yet clean and unfussy Italian/Mediterranean-inspired seasonal food at this hot spot, created by chef/owner Tim Andriola (at the time best known for his stints at Chef Allens and Marks South Beach), has been garnering local and national raves. Dont bother reading them. Andriolas dishes speak for themselves: a salad of crisp oysters atop frise, cannelloni bean, and pancetta; foie gras crostini with a subtle caramelized orange sauce; a blue crab raviolo with toasted pignolias and brown butter; or a wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill 350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagneshallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$

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