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Biscayne times
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099644/00074
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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: 01-2013
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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: UF00099644:00075

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IN THIS ISSUECraig Bids Farewell p. 58 Wendy Goes Animal p. 78 January 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 11 Checking In, Checking In, Checking In, Checking In, Checking Out Intrepid travelers spend 48 hours at Biscayne Boulevard motels and live to tell the story pg. 34CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntbn ntn bfrrrrrtrfrfr r f Z Z C C C C C C Z Z C Z K K K K Z Z Z Z C C C C C C C Z K Z Z r fn tbr n nn r nr rrf nnn n nn fntnbf rf n tbf f b r nrr r n r r tf ffr r r f b n n r fn n fn t n rn n fb b nn n n n n fr r f f r n fn f f f nn n fb f f f f b frrf fn nn n n Z K n n K rfntbbbfb

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3385 NE 188th Street Aventura, FL 33180 For tickets and group discounts Call 877.311.7469 (SHOW) AventuraCenter.orgAll programs, artists, dates and times are subject to change. Sally StruthersMar 8-9 Hal Linden with live orchestraFeb 28 Capitol StepsMar 20-24 Jan 18-19Lindsey Alley Start the New Year with Great Entertainment! Sassy, saucy and sexyand thats just in the rst ve minutes a master of comedy and music. Time OutCirque dAmourBreathtaking and groundbreaking New Zealand RegisterJan 20 Sister Robert Annes Cabaret ClassA fabulous night of musical theatre. Broadway World This is a great show! NBC NewsFeb 7-10 David Holt in Freight Trains, Jesse James, Uncle B and MeThe 4-time Grammy winning folk musician and storyteller is a virtuoso. New YorkerJan 22 Special $20 ticket for Groups of 10 or more

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COVER STORY 34 MiMo Motel Adventures COMMENTARY 12 Feedback: Letters 18 Gaspars Cult Following 22 Jac k King: Want Guns? Join a Militia 26 Cip rianis Top Street Artist OUR SPONSORS 30 BizBuzz: January 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 52 The Shape o f Things: Design Miami 2012 53 Even the Best Intentions Can Be Fatal 53 Ave ntura: Accidents Waiting to Happen NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Cra ig Chesters Parting Miami Wish List 60 Jen Loves Edible Gardens and Native Plants 62 Jay Votes for Aventuras Only Pocket Park 64 Frank Finally Looks Back at Frank 66 Mark Looks Ahead to Biscayne Landing ART & CULTURE 68 Bernice Steinbaums New Gig a Zadok 70 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 73 Events Calendar: Go See Femi Kuti! POLICE REPORTS 74 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 76 Jim W. Harp er: Eastern Shores Hates Kids COLUMNISTS 78 New from Wendy: All Things Animal 80 Picture Story: A Very Early Miami Photo 81 Your Garden: On Pines and Needles 82 Going Green: Our Luck Surely Will Run Out 83 Kids and the City: Treasured Memento or Junk? 84 Vino: Going Cheap in the New Year 85 Dish: Enough Already with the Sliders! DINING GUIDE 86 Re staurant Listings: 313 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr bArts Editor r tnrt t tr rr n nnrr rnrn BUSINESS M anager ANAGER rrr rrrr ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES r r tr rr A rt RT director DIRECTOR rn r A dvertising DVERTISING design DESIGN rrr CIRCULATION rrr PRINTING rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 26 52 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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Clever Curators and Trite Visual Pranks: Is This What Art Has Come To?In response to Anne Tschidas cover story Drawing on the Future (December 2012): Discriminating! Gallery owner Fred Snitzer nailed it on the head when he said that Miami needs a more discriminating audience. I believe there is a lack of sophistication in the visual arts as a whole today. Miami seems to be trying to make up for lost time. Celebrated artists like Bert Rodriguez pro vide a good example. Hes being recognized for repeating visual pranks that have existed in other art centers for many years. The irony is that Mr. Snitzer represents him. I have to admit I am saddened and disappointed in the whole art scene situation. Most of the new art I see around Miami and the country these days, especially by younger artists, does not interest me. It just simply looks bad. The clever descriptions and explanations of the work at MAMs New Work Miami 2013 by the curators is juvenile. Clever descriptions dont work for real art because all that matters is the aesthetic experience. Kerry Ware Miami Editors note: As the result of an edit ing error, we published a photograph of Miami Art Museum director Thom Collins instead of MAMs chief curator Tobias Os trander, as we intended. Here is the photo of Mr. Ostrander we meant to publish:We Wanted a Strong City Manager, but What We Got Was a Power GrabTwo articles in your December issue Oversight Is Overlooked, by Aventura Neighborhood Correspondent Jay Beskin, reminded me that, as one of the founders of Aventura, I had the pleasure of serving on the City Manager Selection Committee along with Jay. We wrestled with choosing either a strong or weak city manager. We opted for a strong city manager to ensure that city government would be as apolitical as possible. regarding an apolitical city manager: The city commission appoints a professional city manager to oversee the daily opera tions of the city government and imple ment the policies the commission estab lishes. The city manager is apolitical, and the commission represents the citizens. I daresay few if any of us ever dreamed of our city manager taking it upon himself not only to dismiss the highly regarded Aventura City of Excellence School principal, but to then take over total operation of the school himself. This is a very disturbing precedent and could lead to more grabbing of power. It sounds like we have Egypt in Aventura! The second article, Tase the Season by Biscayne Times contributor Derek McCann, also troubles me. One of the principle reasons I became involved in establishing the city was my strong belief that Aventura needed its own police department, which would be responsive to our communitys needs. Certainly I never imagined a police department as overly aggressive as a SWAT force on ordinary citizens. Here again, we have a government agency not looking out for the best interests of the citizens it purportedly serves. How many times have we all observed overreaction by Aventura police, with several squad cars, lights ablaze, pulling over a motorist for a minor trafnever perform community policing, including We need a drastic change of policing in Aventura, a policy that welcomes residents and visitors and engages positively with our community, rather than negatively through intimidation. Emil Hubschman AventuraAventura City Hall: Whats Going on Here?I love visiting and shopping in Aventura. And Im thrilled that Biscayne Times has expanded its delivery to the city youre a great community publication, thank you. I was shocked to read Jay Beskins column in the BT and in other media the ugly story of Eric Soroka, the Aven tura city manager (When Oversight Is Overlooked, December 2012). I dont Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 14

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understand how any city government can automatically give someone (Soroka, automatic $20,000 salary increase every single year for the past 15 years, after a Who are these commissioners who salary histories, too. It was also troubling to read about Soro kas wife working as the Aventura city clerk. universe do husband-and-wife teams hold top city jobs and have their son employed B-movie script or a recipe for corruption. Mr. Soroka has cost the city one expensive lawsuit already, and the worst kind of negative publicity. The details of the allegations against him are sickening. From the testimony, he is a vulgar, profanity-screeching bully who uses his power to silence his victims. Aventura doesnt need leadership of this kind, and thank goodness the school principal, Ms. Murphy, had the courage least from the jurys point of view. Mary Anne Hancock AventuraElection Shenanigans in Miami Shores? Let Me Tell You a StoryI read with interest Bob Domleskys letter in the December 2012 issue (Political Hit Squads of Miami Shores: Never Saw an Obama Sign They Wouldnt Steal). Mr. Domlesky reports political yard posters supporting President Obama were vandalized and/or removed by persons unknown and/or Miami Shores Village Code Enforcement. This harkens back 25 years ago in Miami Shores. And therein lies a story. During the late 1980s, Miami Shoress attention was completely ar rested by the so-called barricade issue. These were the street-end closures we see throughout the village today. Meetings were held by local groups, who then peti tioned for street closures near their homes. Someone decided closures would be voted upon by village residents in two covered the perimeter boundary of the Shores, as well as certain subparts of the village with what seemed to be an east-ofthe-train-tracks emphasis. I dont know how it was decided which closures would closures were approved by village vote. Im not aware of any yard signs that were removed for that election. Ours wasnt. Shortly thereafter came time to vote on the second set of proposed enclosures. The second set included a proposed closure on the street where my family lived. My wife was very enthusiastic about the plan, and she was part of an active group working in favor. On the afternoon before election day, my wife and her colleagues put up approximately 100 or more yard signs in Miami Shores. The total number may have been more, but I know I paid to print 100 signs. Lo and behold, the next morning, all the signs were gone, including those on my own front yard. No one ever explained why. Although I cant say for sure that sign re moval was the reason, in the second streetclosure election, the proposition failed. For years since then, Ive asked former Shores and the matter has never been explained. Perhaps the best explanation I heard came from a Shores resident who is long gone: The second election was essentially a sham. This explanation speculates that Shores leadership essentially bought by promising a second round to the rest of us. Then those who had their street support further closures or didnt vote when the second election was held. A closed street often has a positive impact on property values. By holding two elections, homeowners impacted in the second round didnt have the same chance to increase the value of their homes. By dissect ing common voter interests, there couldnt be truly democratic consideration of the issue. the total universe to be completed, the proposal may have failed. Residences on streets in the second round of voting had to be content without street closures they considered would happen if they supported my wifes signs were torn down. Thats all history now, but the taste is still bitterly vile. Irrespective of the merits or demerits of street closures, reasonable election signs should never be pulled down. If signs are still up weeks after the vote, thats another matter. Or if they are hateful or include swastikas or sidewalks, or endanger driving safety. Gary Goodenow Miami ShoresCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12

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Commentary: CULT FOLLOWINGA Historic StruggleThe ght to preserve the Miami Herald building shows were taking our past more seriouslyBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorIts not every day you see a prominent architect go World Wrestling Federation on the executive director of the Dade Heritage Trust, the way Arquitectonica founder Bernardo Fort-Brescia did with Becky Roper Matkov, waving a enough of an appearance of becoming unhinged that he reportedly had to be pulled away. Preservation Board meeting on Decem ber 10, held to decide whether to grant the 50-year-old Miami Herald building historic designation and, quite possibly, derail the Genting Groups plans for a residential/commercial complex on the bayfront property. The board ultimately voted 5-3 against the designation. (Arqui tectonica will develop plans for Genting.) Regardless of where one might have stood on the issue, its hard to deny the two truths about us. phistication when it comes to discussing buildings. Cries raised by bloggers, pun dits, and others that the Herald building is ugly completely missed the point. Ugly, like its opposite, is largely a matter of opinion. I was good friends with a late, renowned Cuban architect. A modernist to his bones one of the isRevival architecture, and never tired of saying so. If it had been up to him, he well might have opted to preserve the Herald building with its distinctive yellow mosaic tiles, sun-grille window coverings, dramatic accordion-style facing, and exuberant jet-age port cochere over, say, Vizcaya. Another consideration that appears to have gotten short shrift in the debate is how integral the Herald building was to the identity of the newspaper, and the city. In the era before 24-hour cable news channels and the Internet, newspapers loomed large in the public imagination. They were authoritative impor tant and, by extension, so were the buildings that housed them. In the case of the Herald, that sense of importance was conveyed not only by the buildings design, but by its placement in the heart of town; sitting on the bay, with views of downtown in one direction and of Miami Beach in the other, the building was the physical manifestation of the papers prominence in the community. (As if to make the point, Herald stationery for years featured a rendering of One Herald Plaza. On envelopes, the structure occupied the upper-left hand corner, just above the return address. On the actual correspondence, a full-color reproduction dominated the top of the page. I know, because I have one of those letters.) So the conversation surrounding the buildings historic designation could have good news, and the other truth revealed by the episode, is that were taking our local history much more seriously. To be sure, this hasnt always been the case. My own experiences are telling. In 2007, I made a documentary on Muhammad Alis years in Miami. When it premiered in South Florida, I couldnt believe how many people told me they had never heard of the Fifth Street Gym (so named because it was located on Fifth Street in South Beach). This, despite the gym having been a home to countless boxing champions among them, Ali, who arrived as Cassius Clay in 1960 a gathering spot for celebrities like Frank Sinatra and, on one memorable occasion, the Beatles, who dropped in to have their photo taken with The Greatest. But it was usually their follow-up question that most got to me: Is it still been torn down in the early 1990s to make way for a parking lot. How can that be? they wanted to know. In reality, they had answered their own question: Because so few people had even known about it or, seemingly, cared. By contrast, in recent years both the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels Morris Lapiduss dual gems have under Bacardi buildings have been successfully repurposed, and grassroots efforts to save Miami Marine Stadium have taken hold. And even in cases where famed structures have come down in favor of new development, there have been gestures to commemorate what had previously stood; two obvious examples being the incorporation of the Art Deco Sears store tower into the design of the Adrienne Arsht Center and the installation outside Marlins Park by the artist Daniel Arsham, in which the massive letters of the Orange Bowl sign were randomly arranged on the sidewalk, half-submerged, as if to suggest they simply fell there when the old stadium was demolished. The Herald building was never that beloved, and the preservation boards denial of historic status wasnt without foundation. Just the same, I suspect many of us, someday soon, will glance over to where the big yellow box used to be, and miss seeing it. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Silvia Ros

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22 Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorI cant believe that there is anyone in America who was not thoroughly dis gusted with the killing of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elemen tary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with the possible exception of the National Certainly there are still more questions than answers. Questions like what drives a person to do such things, and do we as a society have a responsibility to prohibit easy access to devices that allowed Adam Lanza to kill so many Weve had gun violence in this country for some 400 years, but never has it because shooting a bullet into a threeinch-square target at 100 meters in very of bullets in a short period of time in the Gun violence got close to me in high school. My stepfather bought me a shotgun to use for quail hunting. I went out shooting with it a number of times, but it wasnt really a sport for me. While I was on a trip, my stepfather, who was in failing health, took my gun and killed himself. To say the least, it left a lasting impression and began the development meant to kill something. Nothing else. Several years later I was hitchhiking home from college for Thanksgiving. A man stopped and I got in, and before I could say anything, he pointed to the couldnt speak, and didnt say a word for three hours. It was so profound that I can tell you precisely when it happened. I got into that car at the corner of State Road 40 and U.S. 441 in Ocala, Florida, and the time was 1:50 p.m. I had the wonderful experience of was vacationing in Palm Beach. Never quite got over this one either. For me one of the disappointments the lack of any initiative to curb gun violence. The general reason was that the Supreme Court had ruled there was a constitutional protection to have guns. The right-wing neo-Nazis in this country believed that the ruling was absolute and went about convincing more normal people that this was the case. It was not. The ruling was very narrow and pertained to keeping guns in your Washington, D.C., house. No more, no less. But the damage was done and no one on matter how many people died on the streets. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads like this: A well regu lated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Many people believe the second part of that one-sentence amendment stands alone. It does not otherwise the entire meaning is changed. What it means is this: The government should maintain a militia, and if you are a member, you can own a gun. At that time, United States had no standing army, and the militia was akin to what we have now with the National Guard. So my take on this is that if you do not belong the National Guard, your right to own a gun is whatever our representative government says it is. All of the amendments have nuances, something the Supreme Court has recognized for years. The First Amendment gave us the right of free speech, but the courts have ruled that you have no right scream, Fire! in a crowded theater Im so happy that the NRA, after a week of silence, decided to get into the discussion because they wanted to contribute to the dialogue. Their $1.5 million-per-year mouthpiece, Wayne LaPierre, started the dialogue by lectur ing the American public on the value of the NRA, then telling us that the media that the only way to solve the prob lem of mass shooting is to have more guns by hiring armed security at every school in America. Sos lets see, if a mass murderer comes to school with a handgun, you bring a handgun and start shooting. If he comes to school with an automatic weapon, you bring an automatic weapon and start shooting. This might get somewhere if both sides have tanks! well start a dialogue that will bring about meaningful gun management. My fear is that it will never happen. And thats yet another tragedy for our children and grandchildren. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Locked and LoadedWant to own a gun? Join a well-regulated militia

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26 Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorArt Week Miami always carries with it some unspoken theme, an artist or concept that later graces the cover of my own mental retrospective of a blurry, overwhelming string of galleries, parties, fairs, and parties. What stood out to me last month was street art. Its not new, but there seems to be renewed focus on it as an art form. Wynwood was visually transformed on a previously unseen scale, with every surface worked upon by muralists from around the world, and the centerpiece of it all was the inimitable Banksy. Hes beyond street or pop art. Banksy is now one of the worlds most famous saw his canvas work at a pop-up show thrown by Damon Albarn in London, some ambitious and well-funded collec tor literally jackhammered Banksy walls from Israel to Brighton and shipped them over to anchor Art Week. doors to artists and guests from around the world, but its the local artists and galler ists working year-round who have laid the foundation for Miamis reputation as one of the worlds new, great art destinations. When I think about Miami street art, the one person who captures everything exciting about this is the muralist and undis puted master of spray paint, Claudio Picasso. And no, thats not a nom de guerre Claudios mother left dictator Augusto Pinochets Chile for Miami in 1978, bringing her two-year-old son with her. crayons. Claudio drew at home; he drew at school. He drew on whatever he could. By 1990, hip-hop ruled the airwaves and 16-year-old Claudio was introduced to the joyous rebellion and aesthetic posThe bold color schemes, the graphic styling, and the monumental scale, combined with underground culture and social commentary, all spoke to his emerging artistic self. Soon a hobby became a passion. Art education followed, but sculpture, printmaking, and digital art all led back to spray paint. What Claudio does with this medium has to be seen to be believed. Instead of deeply realistic monochrome portraits rendered with depth, softness, and dra matically lighted shadows that play off smooth gradients and negative spaces. Painting realistic images with spray paint ago, he explains. One day I just picked up a Hes never used a stencil, that staple of street art. Instead Claudio has developed an incredibly capable freehand technique. Whats even more astounding is that he became one of Miamis most celebrated artists while maintaining a daytime career as a high school graphic design teacher and librarian. I really enjoy my job, he says. I knew when I got into education ten years ago that I wouldnt make much money, but it afforded me the time to paint in the summers and to travel whenever I could scrape up the money. Six years ago his painting hobby blossomed into a second career. After a few murals for friends, including Chef Jeremiah, who commissioned Claudio to paint his former lounge, Bullfrog Eatz, collectors and gallerists came knocking. Opportunities snowballed from there. If youve stood in front of Sweat back of the old Transit Lounge, been to Lost Weekend or GAB Studios, or unlikely as it may be prepped in the green room at the Fillmore, then youve encountered Claudios paintings. He has a quiet, sensitive air about him and, like most artists, he secondguesses his work (a habit his fans and patrons dont share). Two-thirds of the time I spend on an art project, I usually hate what Im working on, he says. I wonder how it is that anyone could like what I paint. I cant imagine what a mess Id be if I had to depend on my art for a paycheck. I might not last a year before being institutionalized. applause that crowned him winner of a Red Bull live painting showdown is proof. Commissions from international brands like Heineken and SLS Hotels are proof. The just to document his latest mural behind Regions Bank is proof. Yes, its safe to say that everyone who encounters Claudios work better still, who watches it come to life in real time is left enthralled. ognition, perhaps, but he is focused on his latest portraits on wood. They push over two decades, which is never an easy feat for seasoned artists. I havent seen them, but I know they must be good. Even Claudio likes them. See Claudio Picassos work online at CP1Art.com or at Brisky Gallery in Wynwood, 130 NW 24th St., 786-409-3585, www.briskygallery.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbf305.603.8540rrwww.CleanStartMiami.com10% OFFAll ProductsFREEYoga ClassFirst Time Students $16 Value $20 OFFColon HydrotherapyRegular Price $100 By Appointment Only b50% OFFIonic Foot DetoxPull Toxins From Your Body Out Of Your Feet. Regular $25 b$30 OFFSignature Detox Facial With PeelRegular Price $125 b Our Very Own Picasso A Miami street artist with a famous name acquires a following to matchBT photo by Christian Cipriani

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28 Commentary: MY VIEW By Jenni Person Special to the BTArt Basel Miami Beach. I love the fact it puts the word art on so many lips. I love being able to makes our community synonymous with something as important to life as art. Yes, Im someone who believes that in any and all disciplines) can transform life and communities. I love that art pops up everywhere for weeks, establishing us as a community for whom routine is anything but mundane. I love Art Public taking over Collins Park, in partnership with the Bass Museum. Also I love that this year I could step out of my house and look up a kinetic text installation carried through the sky on the tails of planes. This Plane Text project of the Morgans Hotel Group featured work by prominent artists known for their public play with words, people like John Baldessari and Jenny Holzer. (This was especially exciting to me as someone who likes to hang words and haiku from ceilings.) Art in your face aside, a quick search of the New York Times website reveals that most Times coverage of Art Basel was about the parties and the social scene. This only serves to solidify the mumblings and grumblings from some Miamians that art fair week is just a big party, a popularity contest in which the most important crite ria are not the most rigorous or layered of cultural discourses, but rather the number of right parties attended. We hear a lot about the levels of planes, and the extravagant affairs. After all, everybody loves to come to Miami to party. So did Miami, with her unstoppable rhythm, put the party in art or is With all of the apparent lauding of creativity and art for arts sake we see bubbling in early December, its important for us to remember that the season is a retail event. It exists for the purpose of bringing collectors and gallerists together in a sunny opportunity to sell monetary value. Imagine how challenging a pill that is to swallow for people who have dedicated their lives to a creative practice which inherently, across disciplines, and-demand economic model. Imagine what its like to have a deeply informed creative practice and a million-dollar mind, but not the equivalent in the bank, or the right hip factor to be invited to the conversation. My fear is that it drapes a communitywide melancholy and lowgrade anxiety over our artists. When everything is being measured by the booming success and attention of an international arts scene that touches down in your backyard once a year, how do you have the space and context to focus on an individual practice and this really cant be the only conversation in a substantive arts community. How can we channel the energy that surrounds Basel into a year-round culture of arts engagement and meaningful, It would be great if we could start with a central and meaningful conversation in the mainstream media. Wouldnt it be wonderful if there was more critical discussion about the arts that went beyond the parties and the scene in daily thing as basic as context in an artists practice is frequently absent from the way work is presented in the media, or in our culture. Perhaps next December, a few media outlets will report in some greater depth on different projects, organizations, and artists living and working here in Miami. Perhaps the initiative will be launched during Basel and continue year-round. Perhaps a penny tax during art fair week could be put in place for the purpose of marketing our cultural community and projects the rest of the year. The Arts and Business Council which, as the national arts marketing project, runs the Miami arts marketing project would be a great candidate to distribute such funds to Miami-based artists and organizations. While many art fair attendees are visitors to the area, a substantial South Florida audience also comes out for the festivities. Indeed, some locals only come out for art during Basel. So how about enlisting some help from fair organizers to devise ways to engage Miami And most important, lets keep in mind how challenging a life in the arts tures mainstream social and economic models. Lets be really good to each other. And please dont ask any artist to do things for free unless it really, truly Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Art of the MatterBasel is a blast, but there are things we should be doing to nurture our local creative scene year-roundPhoto courtesy of Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

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WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM FOR SALE $209,000La Playa Properties Group, Inc. 2275 Biscayne Blvd. Ste 1, Miami, FL 33137 LaPlaya@LaPlaya-Properties.comNow Recruiting Real Estate Professionals305-672-0773LaPlayaMiami La Playa Properties Group @LaPlayaMiami FOR SALE $299,900 500 BRICKELL55 SE 6 St # 2100, BRICKELLSpacious 1 bed 1 /.5 bath in Arlen House West. Enjoy spectacular views to the bay and intercoastal views. Building services include pool, gym, child play area, beauty salon, marketplace and more!!!ARLEN HOUSE WEST500 BAYVIEW DRIVE #1119, SUNNY ISLES PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $359,000Amazing 1 bed / 1 bath + DEN. Largest 1bedroom unit in the building! quartz / granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and very spacious layout with den. Building includes: pool, gym and much more.WIND BY NEO350 S MIAMI AV #2505, BRICKELLThis spectacular 2 bed / 2 bath with views of the bay, river and downtown skyline. Building features pools, Jacuzzi, spa, indoor racquetball court, fitness center, game room, sports lounge, 2 story party room and walking distance to Mary Brickell Village for shopping and dining. FOR SALE $340,000Great opportunity! Gaze at the spectacular water views from floor to ceiling windows! Unit has 47-foot balcony. Walking distance to the beach, shops & restaurants. Building amenities include exercise room, heated pool, playroom for kids, 24 hr security and more!KING COLE900 BAY DRIVE # 324, MIAMI BEACHLinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $189,900Beautiful 2 bed / 2 bath with brand new kitchen & stainless steel appliances. Washer and dryer in unit. Building amenities include 4 tennis courts, deli-restaurant, beauty salon, exercise room, pool and more. Bulding is going through complete renovation.CHARTER CLUB600 NE 36 ST # 307, ART & DESIGN DISTRICTLinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Jordan LedermanRealtor Associate 248-701-5200 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $825,000Spacious 3 bed / 2 bath NE corner unit with spacious living area & wrap around balcony. Direct views of Biscayne Bay, Port of Miami, South Beach, Key Biscayne and Fisher Island. Must see this amazing unit. 50 BISCAYNE50 BISCAYNE BLVD. #2702, DOWNTOWN MIAMIJacob KasselRealtor Associate 561-302-1233 900 BISCAYNE BAY900 BISCAYNE BLVD #4302, DOWNTOWN MIAMILinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148Luxurious 2 bed + den / 3 bath flow through unit with breathtaking direct bay views and Miami skyline. Italian imported cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. Private elevator leads to private foyer. State of the art fitness center, spa, film theatre and much more.FOR SALE $949,000 FOR SALE $189,900Spectacular 2 bed + den / 2 baths with stunning views of miami beach & skyline. Very nice location, walking distance to the beach. Renovated kitchen & bathrooms. Full service building with doorman, valet, pool & gym. Minutes from South Beach.PARKVIEW POINT 7441 WAYNE AV #3G, MIAMI BEACHLinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148

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Our Sponsors: J anuaryA NUARY 2 013By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorHappy New Year! Which is al ready starting out pretty darned well since the world didnt end when the Maya calendar did, on Decem ber 21 and we hear that vendors at the ruins of the Maya city Chichen Itza, in Mexico, did bang-up business in Tshirts reading, The End of the World: I Was There. But down to business: At the start of normal Januarys, about 87% of Americans make New Years resolutions (and that isnt even counting resolutions people make for other people, like The Heritage Foundations for Congress or the Bleacher Reports resolutions for the Miami Heat). According to surveys, though, nearly half of those resolutions get broken by somewhere between midFebruary and mid-year. Thats for many reasons, but analysts say that a biggie is that some resolutions are just too glum, and/or contradict each other like enjoying life more yet eating and drinking less. (In fact, a new trend in foodie circles is New Years resolutions cocktail parties.) In other words, people make resolutions that are too tedious to keep. We have a candidate that is a cinch to keep: Support your neighborhood businesses. And BT advertisers will make it even easier for you with their January deals and events. Surprisingly, considering the economy, 2013s most popular reso lution doesnt involve better jobs or financial success, but better health and fitness; Americans are evidently committing to taking care of their bods for this month, at least. And at North Beach Vascular & Aesthet ics (15400 Biscayne Blvd. #103, 305957-7277), a new advertiser, Dr. Adam Gropper has developed a cuttingedge aesthetic menu to help patients achieve and maintain their resolutions with new less-pain, more-gain treat ments. Services range from nonsurgi cal liquid facelifts (using Botox and dermal fillers; mention this issues ad for $50 off your first two visits) to the Lunchtime Leg Lift, a 60-minute treatment that destroys abnormal veins with no anesthesia and minimal discomfort. Its not just about beauty; varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and leg artery diseases can cause complications and pain. So call for a complimentary vein screening. At Horwitz Dermatology (2999 NE 191st St., 305-933-1151), which does medical and cosmetic research, psoriasis sufferers who qualify for a clinical study of an investigational medicine could start 2013 right by getting rid of the uncomfortable, un sightly, and potentially dangerous scaly stuff. If you are 18-75 and have plaque psoriasis on 10% of your body or more, call and ask for Research. Bonus: Study participants receive compensa tion for their time and travel. Resolving to be healthier almost always seems to involve eating healthi er something that will be a pleasure once new advertiser Guarapo Organic Juice Bar (649 NE 79th St., 786766-1409) opens. Fun factoid #1: The places name refers to sugar cane juice, which is actually refreshing rather than super sweet (the sugar content is just slightly more than in orange juice), and gets into your system for an energy boost faster than Gatorade. Fun factoid #2: Much of Miamis guarapo is made from sugar cane grown down in South So keep your eyes peeled for the open ing, which owner Edwin Santos says is coming soon. Fish is also supposed to be good for you, and not surprisingly seafoods the specialty at just-opened Fish Fish (13488 Biscayne Blvd. 786-732-3123). One thing you might not have guessed: This new advertiser has its own stone crab and lobster processing plant in the es daily, so you know its fresh. Home cooks will be happy that the restolounge is also is a market, with take-away fresh meals available. Bring in this issues ad for free calamari or a glass of wine. One resolution we personally wont be making this month is to eat less, not with Caminito Way (1960 NE 123rd St., 305-893-8322) as a new advertiser. Continued on page 32BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

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Our Sponsors: J anuaryA NUARY 2 013Argentinean bakery-market-restaurant serves a variety of pastries, including savory empanadas and sweet facturas (Argentinas most popular breakfast item; Argentines eat a few, we eat many). At lunch, Caminito Way adds grilled meats, choripan sausage sandwiches with chimichurri, and an array of pastas. And the North Miami neighborhood favorite has been open since 1999, so you know they get things right. Speaking of getting things right, we sure didnt in last issues BizBuzz regarding the name of, and contact info for, new advertiser Judy Luck Jordans realty company Judy and her Lucky Ladies Team would like to announce their relocation to Decorus Realty in Sunny Isles Beach (16850 Collins Ave. #105; 305-934-6373 for Judy, 305-4585713 for Lisa Mula). The one thing we did get right is that her name is right on, buying or selling your home! Visit the ladies website at www.theluckyladi Doing more to help others is anoth er popular New Years resolution, and MC2 Realty is celebrating the opening Biscayne Blvd. #CS-1; 305-495-6539) by doing just that. This month, says MC2s Marie-Charlotte Piro, the fullservice brokerage/consulting company is donating 10% of all listing commis sions on the sale of Morningside homes to the Miami Childrens Hospitals new Midtown outpatient center. Good going, gang! And MC2s blog reports that Miamis real estate market is recovering considerably (for instance, the median sale price for condos in 2012s third quarter was $145,000, a 28% increase over the same period in 2011), so the year starts well for Miami home buyers and sellers, as well as for Miami kids. To start kids out well on a lifetime of motivation toward learning, check out returning advertiser Miami Shores Presbyterian Church School (602 NE 96th St., 305-759-2548), which is actually two schools, one a pre-school You may just know MSPS from its annual fall Pumpkin Patch, but the schools Christian-based program goes far beyond selling truly dynamite Halloween pumpkins. The mission is providing experiences that enrich each childs cognitive, language, social, emotional, physical, creative, and spiritual development. The education is affordable, too. For elementary school candidates, bring in this issues ad for a $50 credit toward entrance evaluation. Since learning new things is a goal on most top-10 New Years resolution lists, an announcement from Mon signor Edward Pace High School (15200 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-7223) Guzman, a theater and choir teacher at the school as well as an alumna from the class of 2002, is honorary recipient of 2012s Cervantes Award. The honor is given by Nova Southeastern Uni versity to the teacher who goes above the standards of teaching to impact Hispanic students. Congratulations! Traveling more is a popular resolu tion this year, and neednt be a big deal. We suggest a road trip any Tuesday night to nearby Wilton Manors in Broward to visit returning advertiser Wilton Theater Auction Gallery (1444 NE 26th St., 954530-4396), South Floridas longest-running weekly auction. Art, antiques, porcelain, crystal, furniture, jewelry, and giftware are specialties, but you never know what treasures you need to buy on any given week, a look-see at the venue, an historic theater, is fun, as is Wilton Manors itself. Auctions start at 6:30 p.m. Also on most grown-ups Top-10 lists are resolutions to consume more culture, to spend more time with family and friends, and to enjoy life more. You can do all this month at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.; 877-311-7469 or www.AventuraCen ter.org for tickets and scheduling info). array of live music and dance performances on January 4 and 5 is the Forbid den Broadway 30th anniversary tour, a Tony award-winning satirical roast of Wicked Annie Phantom and more than 30 other Broadway hit shows. Families looking to have fun together will particularly enjoy Pinkalicious based on a popular kids book about a girl whose love of pink cupcakes turns her own self entirely pink; free art activities including airbrush tattoos are offered pre-show, and there are complimentary post-show snacks. Two unique musical offerings based on true life tales are January 1619s Blood, Sweat, and Mouseketears BizBuzzContinued from page 30

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a musical revue of hit mouseketunes starring Lindsey Alley (who began her career on the Mickey Mouse Club in the Britney Spears/Justin Timberlake/ Christina Aguilera era), and January 22s Freight Trains, Jesse James, Uncle B and Me starring four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt, whose solo concerts weave together songs and stories revealing that the quirkiest folks hes ever met were right in his own family. Then theres January 20s Cirque dAmour matinee, an adults-only extravaganza that combines song, dance, humor, and stunning acrobatics. And believe it or not, theres more. For a full calendar of well as live ballet, opera, symphony, and cabaret performances) visit the website. Miami-Dade College is also offering multiple cultural opportunities that entertain while they educate, including two upcoming shows from MDC Live Arts On February 1 and 2, theres the South Florida premiere of Live! the Realest MC a performance from renowned his company Abraham In Motion; the work, inspired by Pinocchios quest to be a real boy, investigates gender roles in the black community and celebrity hip-hop world. And on February 8 and 9, MDC Live Arts presents the Texasbased theater collective Rude Mechs in The Method Gun a satire following the abandoned disciples of a quack acting guru as they attempt to realize their mentors vision of a radically reduced production of A Streetcar Named Desire Both productions are at Miami Beachs Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd.). While shows arent till next month, tix are on sale now at 305-237-3010 or www. mdclivearts.org. This issues ad for MDCs Museum of Art + Design (600 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-237-7700) also looks ahead to an exhibit beginning in February: Arnold Mesches: A Lifes Work. The opening reception is February 13, and the exhibition, from a Florida-based subversive artist whose cinematically vibrant works explore social issues, runs until May 4. But why wait to investigate this new museum (in the Freedom Tower), which has been featuring innova tive exhibits since its launch this past folks will be especially interested in FOREVERGLADES, a conscious ness-raising yet fun exhibit, featuring bright-colored plastic animals, which runs till January 26. A resolution that hasnt shown up on too many of the published 2013 lists weve combed through is to go greener surprising since weve been thrilled by the growing number of neighborhood greenmarkets that have sprung up over the past few years. One you might not know about yet: the two-month-old North Bay Village Farmers Market every Friday from 2:00-8:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Crab House restaurant (1551 79th St. Causeway). Produced by Claire Tomlins The Market Company (305-531-0038 for vendor info), a pioneering company that now operates about a dozen farmers markets locally, its a serious collection of 12-20 vendors featuring local and/or organic produce and herbs, along with other South Florida products: stone crabs, honey, fresh mozzarella, pastas, baked goods, much more. Admittedly, its a bit out of the way for most except Upper Eastsiders and NBV residents, but well worth the hunt. Show your support by checking always crucial for vendors at start-up farmers markets, but with enough customers, this one could remain large and even stay open all year. Another new market from Claire is in Brickells recently completed Flatiron Park (1001 S. Miami Ave.) It operates Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Finally: Getting organized and avoiding procrastination Thats a hard one. Can we resolve to start doing that giving holidays keep coming, notably an already-looming Valentines Day. Paige solution at Farreys Lighting and Bath (1850 NE 146th St.; 305-947-5451). Those who havent been to the historic business (operating since 1924) in the past year may think just dynamite lightdcor items when they think of Farreys in which case its time for another visit. Swarovski crystal home accessories, added about a year ago, arent available for online purchase, but include crystalred or white wine glasses that make spectacular wrappable-size gifts for upcoming holidays. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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34 Walter and Shirley Figueroa were on the verge of losing their livelihood before Anthony Melchiorri came along. The couple had invested their sav ings, retirement fund, and daughters college money about one million dollars renovating the New Yorker Motel at 6500 Biscayne Blvd. They succeeded in upgrading the 1950sera lodging from a rundown fleabag to a comfortable historical boutique motel that offered its guests compli mentary Wi-Fi, a clean pool, and a free breakfast. To save money, and stay on top of the motels operations, the couple even moved onto the property. They worked more than 12 hours a day, every day, to the detriment of Shirleys health, she being a cancer resembled multiple sclerosis. still losing money. Enter Melchiorri, a luxury-hotel consultant and the fast-talking, fastidious host of the Travel Channels Hotel Impos sible, a reality show that seeks to turn able businesses. The New Yorker Hotel was one of three South Florida properties broadcast nationally in April 2012. In the course of that episode, Melchiorri taught the Figueroas the importance of organization, delegation, and crossmarketing with other local businesses. Melchiorri turned Walters black van, which he used to pick up guests arriving at the airport, into a mint-green traveling billboard for the New Yorker. He brought in a decorator who transformed a modest courtyard into a tropical oasis. And he purchased a large illuminated H to replace the M on the main signage. The New Yorker Motel became the New Yorker Hotel. Today motels have a bad connotation, Melchiorri reasoned. Just the name motel alone can drag a rate down by more than 70 percent. In his analysis, Melchiorri never mentioned the words Biscayne Boulevard, nor the negative image motels along this thoroughfare still have among many local residents, as well as tourists. Since the 1970s, the stretch of Biscayne Boulevard passing through Miamis Upper Eastside has had a reputation as a haven for prostitutes After two stays at Boulevard motels, we can report the following: Pretty nice rooms. Very decent rates. No bedbugs. Good restaurants. Reality TV can actually be a good thing.By Erik BojnanskyPhotos by Silvia RosChecking In, Checking Out

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and drug dealers. Today the street is in neighborhoods east of the Boulevard rants and boutique stores have been abandoned the partially gutted property. One of those investors is Avra Jain, out additional properties. Continued on page 36

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36 Jain, a developer from New York who has invested in properties around the Adrienne Arsht Center and near Midtown Miami, modestly shrugs off such comparisons. Instead she credits the New Yorker Hotel for sparking her interest. Some of my friends wanted to stay on the Miami side and I recommended the New Yorker, she recalls, but they couldnt get a room. They tried on three different occasions. Each time, all rooms were booked. There was clearly more demand for this product than I thought. In the case of the New Yorker, that demand resulted from the investment of lots of money, labor, advice from Melchiorri, and with assistance from the Travel Channel. Jain also has a team to help realize her vision, including Dupoux Design, which created the interiors for several successful South Beach nightspots, and food-and-beverage consultants Stoli Hotel & Resorts. Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 35 Continued on page 38 Hotel Impossible H Photo courtesy of the Travel Channel

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38 Without such professional guidance, how will other Boulevard motel owners fare? And just how well is the New Yorker doing after its Hotel Impossible makeover? To answer these questions, Biscayne Times decided to spend 48 hours on the Boulevard. mar Motel, 6200 Biscayne Blvd., which is currently undergoing renovation. On the second night, we stayed at the New Yorker. We did not reveal our professional identities or intentions.When we arrive at the Shalimar, 10 of its 50 rooms are being redone. Wed booked our room with a queen-size bed two weeks in advance for $82 a night (before taxes), much cheaper than the rates at hotels in Miami Beach or downtown $30 or $40 rates charged at the Shalimar a decade ago. Part of the Shalimar, designed by architect Edward Reeder, was built in 1951, according to the citys historicdesignation report for the MiMo District. An addition was built in 1953, forming a were constructed during a time when Biscayne Boulevard was Miamis main highway and millions of American families were buying cars and driving south for vacations. The Boulevards motels thrived, as did nearby businesses, including large department stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and nightclubs. The boom years ended after the construction of I-95 in the early 1960s. As suburbs grew and the inner city declined, so did the Boulevard. The Shalimar fell into disrepair and disrepute along with the rest of the Boulevards motels. By 1994 the City of Miamis Nuisance Abatement Board shut down the Shalimar for six months after police recorded ten incidents of drug dealing and prostitution there. To reopen, a new owner had to install security cameras and a motorized security gate for the parking area. security cameras still there on arrival, but the motorized gate has been replaced by a low MiMo-style wall, palm trees, and shrubs. As we bring our luggage up happens. We cant get the door open. Alerted to our plight, the front-desk clerk Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40

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tries to open it. A maid who witnesses us struggling lends a hand. Nothing. So the clerk upgrades us to a king-size bed in a Room 102 is white with taupe-acbedding are also white. To our pleasant surprise there is a bed-bug-resistant plastic cover on the mattress. A large round mirror hangs on the wall, while a cable channels and local stations. Theres also a mini fridge with two complimentary bottles of water. Melchiorri would give the room high marks for cleanliness, especially if hed seen it just four years ago (more on that later). Melchiorri would also love the free Wi-Fi. However, a bedside note might cause him to raise an eyebrow. The message reads exactly as follows: Strictly nonsmoking rooms, please be advise there will be acharsge of $50.00b dollars for the fuming the room. Thanks for your cooperation the Shalimar staff Smoking Outside is permitted!! In the bathroom is another message to guests, this one a framed admonition that reads like poetry: The Shalimar Built in 1950, It has Narrow Waste Pipes Please Do Not Throw things in the Toilet Bowel, It will back up, It Is Nasty. Do Not Throw Sanitary Napkins, Food or anything that can cause problems Thank you for your cooperation Have a pleasant stay. Tel. 305-751-0345 That is not the end of our fun with the bathroom. After hearing a bang! not a human intruder but a very large palmetto bug, so large, in fact, it had been able to knock over our toothbrush cup. (Splattering the roach leaves a long black stain on an otherwise clean, tiled The shower proves puzzling, emitting only freezing cold water. My travel companion explains that the spigot handles must have been reversed because she turns on cold and a satisfyBut aside from a few quirks, includfeline over food at 4:00 a.m., our time at the Shalimar is relatively uneventful, even pleasant, as its location allows us the chance for an evening stroll a few blocks up the Boulevard to happy hour and dinner at Balans. We are not alone. Many of the Shalimars rooms are occupied by foreign tourists most of whom booked their rooms through travel websites like Booking.com. In the morning, the staff is extremely helpful and courteous, bringing new guests luggage to their rooms and offering advice on where to shop. My travel companion makes it up by the 9:00 a.m. cut-off time for a complimentary, though spare, continental breakfast of baked goods and coffee in Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 38 Continued on page 42

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SOUNDSCAPE CINEMA SERIES ExoStage 17 Street & Washington Avenue. Movie begin at 8:00PM unless otherwise noted. (Movies are subject to change)For this seasons lm schedule visit mbculture.comFREEMOVIEEVERYWEDNESDAYSOUNDSCAPE CINEMASERIES

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the closet-size lobby.Tivka Gluck and her husband have been in the diamond business for 50 years. During that time theyve regularly executed deals in excess of $250,000 based on each partys word of honor, sometimes in transactions over the phone and without even seeing the merchandise. We are small brokers, diamond brokers, very trusting people, says the Israeli-American businesswoman, who lives and works in New York. We came with the culture and believed, but real-estate people are all liars. Glucks jaded opinion of the real-estate industry stems from her experience with the Shalimar Motel. The couple initially invested $200,000 in the property in late 2006, as minority partners in a venture that envisioned demolishing the Shalimar and replacing it with a ten-story condo. By 2008 the couple was forced to satisfy the motels $3 million mortgage after their partners defaulted. We thought we would sell it, but nobody would buy it, not any longer, she says. The place was in horrible, horrible shape. The roof was falling apart, all the plumbing was leaking and breaking all over the place, water started infested with termites, cockroaches, and human cockroaches: drug dealers and prostitutes. I used to come into the parking lot and cringe. I could not believe Since 2006, Gluck and her family have sunk $4 million into the Shalimar, a property she admits was never inspected recounts that shes been frustrated by a convoluted city bureaucracy and ripped off by at least two contractors who took her money but failed to pay their own workers. It has been three years of hell, she says. Yet Gluck remains determined to turn around the Shalimar. I am doing it cult, she says. I wish somebody would give me guidance. I do everything as I go along. I was never in this business, but I have no choice. After explaining to Gluck that we spent a night at the Shalimar, I tell her it seems like shes making progress, though I do mention the roach, stuck doors, and plumbing confusion. Gluck, who says shes obsessed with the motels cleanliness, promises that Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44 Allison ACADEMYFounded in 1983 Accredited by: AISF, SACS/CASI, AdvancED, MSA NCPSA 305.940.3922 Dr. Allison Celebrates 50 Years in Education!

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44 objective is to clean the place up and put it in order, she says. Shes trying to get a caf and restaurant on the property, too, and may add a garden. Eventually Gluck wants to sell the Shalimar before her children inherit a property they dont have time to run. I dont have the money, she says. Somebody has to take it over.Check-in goes smoothly at the New Yorker. Unlike the Shalimar, where we were given just one key for both of us, my travel companion and I each receive a key card a very 21st-century feature at this mid-20thcentury hotel. The door to Room 213 on in advance for $92 before taxes, opens We are greeted by aqua walls, a with white sheets. Hanging on the walls are a wide-screen television, a Whitney Houston poster, and a tear-drop mirror. We also have a remote-control ceiling fan, a glass table with three chairs, and a Bible. Our walk-in closet, located just outside the bathroom, is equipped with a mini fridge. The room also features free Wi-Fi, a feature that Anthony Melchiorri crowed about during Hotel Impossible s New Yorker episode. LovefreeWi Fi, he proclaimed, emphasizing every word. Being charged for Internet access is the number-one complaint I get from corporate travelers around the country. We also remember that Melchiorris generally cheerful tone changed when he walked into a New Yorker bathroom and ing in the bowel. Thats the one thing I didnt expect, a crapo in the toilet, he muttered as dramatic music played in the background. I was going to give this room high marks, but what I saw in that toilet, I have to fail the room. With that scene replaying in our nothing. Actually, the bathroom is not only clean, its luxurious compared to the Shalimar. Theres even a bathtub in the New Yorkers bathroom. The Shalimar only had a curtain separat ing the shower area from the rest of the compact lavatory. Melchiorri, however, might shake his head at the strange orange stain on wall of the walk-in closet. My travel companion also spots a black hair and a faded red make-up stain on the mattress. Theres no bed-bug-resistant plastic wrapping, something my travel companion frets about. But overall, the bedroom Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 is nice and comfy. The New Yorker began its existence as two separate operations. The Motel New Yorker, designed by Norman Giller in 1953, is described in the citys MiMo report as the quintessential example of motel design in the modern age. With only 18-units, the Motel New Yorker cost $53,000 to build about $474,238 in 2012 money. Built immediately north of it, in 1954, was the Motel Champlain, which included a swimming pool. By the time Shirley and Elisa Diaz, bought the motel for $615,000 in 1986, the two buildings were united under the name Davis Motel. According to a May 1990 Miami Herald article, the Miami Police Departments Motel Squad named the where the most drug, prostitution, and burglary-related arrests were made in a one-month period. Walter Figueroa later tells the BT after we reveal we stayed at his hotel, that his in-laws always tried to keep the prostitutes and drug dealers out. At the same time, Walter admits they made no major effort to renovate the property. Although Shirley managed the motels books, Walters involvement with the Davis Motel was sporadic until 2004. Thats when Shirley gave birth to triplets and, soon afterward, was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer seven surgeries and chemotherapy, Shirley is now cancer-free. Unfortunately, Walter says, her short-term memory has been adversely affected. With Elisa taking care of her three (hes now 89 years old), Walter helped his wife manage the motel. But by 2005, Walter wanted to approach things in a different way. He pushed his in-laws to allow him to do a complete renovation of the hotel. I told them, We got to do something different. This is no way to do business, Walter recalls. His father-in-law resisted. He didnt want to do anything, Walter says. He was telling me that I was throwing while the other building continued to operate. Then, once the renovations are complete, hed do the other side. When all the renovations were completed in 2010, Walter ditched the old Davis Motel moniker and renamed it the New Yorker Motel as a nod to its past.A ping through the 61 channels available at Room 213, including HBO and at least four religious channels. As my travel companion sleeps beside service in Mecca on the Peace Channel and the movie Intervention on TBS. Im thinking about the days events. Several hours earlier, we had attended an Art Basel-related forum on art and the media at the 6400 Biscayne Blvd. building, where the La Comunidad advertising agency is based (clients include and Best Buy), then enjoyed free drinks at the rooftop lounge, which gave us a fantastic view of the Boulevards neon signs. When I dashed back to our room to grab my camera, I had a brief conversation with a drug dealer. Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 44 Continued on page 48 Recherchons agents immobiliers francophones expriments Now recruiting experienced RealtorsVisit our new Morningside storefront at 5781 Biscayne Boulevard Contemporary waterfront in Gables by the Sea $2,350,000 No expenses spared for this suburbs 2-story villa in prestigious gated community. 5bed/4.5bath, wine cellar, and large covered seating areas. Over 4600 sq ft of the highest craftsmanship iavailable on the market.Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Paramount Bay Corner 3 bedroom $1,650,000Breathtaking bay, ocean and city views from this turn-key, fully furnished and highly upgraded SE corner 3be/3ba. 1818 sq ft + 316 wraparound balcony. Signature Steven G. interiors. Shows like a model!William Harbour, Broker 786 247 1185los on the Bay 2be/2ba rental at $2900/monthCutting edge lanai residence in luxury boutique waterfront condo. Private elevator, high ceilings, 2 parking spaces. Huge terrace with direct access to gorgeous bay front pool. William Harbour, Broker 786 247 1185Welcome Art Basel!A fascinating parallel between Contemporary Art prices and Miami Metro area house prices! Both markets have already recuperated respectively 20 and 28%, with stronger and faster recovery for the top 10% of the market. Luxury is always a strong value. Contact us today to secure your property purchase in the fastest recovering, most under-leveraged and most under-valued real estate market on the planet! William Harbour, Broker 786 247 1185 Little Havanna Multifamily $750,000Recently renovated 13-unit building located few blocks from the exclusive Brickell Area, in Little Havana, steps from the new multi-million dollar Marlins Stadium! Cap rate 11.32%Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539

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48 Hello, I said. Hey, how you doin? replied the tall, slender black man as we passed each other on the sidewalk. If you need anything, let me know. Like what? I asked. Cocaine, marijuana, whatever. Hmmmm, maybe another time. Okay, then. We later dined in the outdoor seating area of Blue Collar, a popular restaurant lo cated in the Biscayne Inn at 6730 Biscayne Blvd. that serves gourmet comfort food. The Biscayne Inn is in the midst of its own renovation, although it still has rooms available for guests. And on this night, one of those guests, a skinny white guy with a neck brace and cane, mistook the Blue Collar staff for the Biscayne Inn staff, which he accused of stealing his credit card. It took several minutes for Blue Collars employees, Blue Collar chef/owner Daniel Serfer, Biscayne Inn management, and the police to calm him down. We also wandered from motel to motel, inquiring about room rates. A clerk at the neon-lit Saturn Motel (6995 Biscayne Blvd., built in 1952) tells us through thick, bullet-proof glass that a room will cost us $75 for the night, but he might be able to arrange something an hour after that. We declined the hourly offer and returned to the New Yorker. But I was feeling restless. I wanted to venture out and experience the Boulevard alone. So I leave our cozy room to take my walk on the wild side. The sidewalks are empty at this late hour, except for a few wandering adults in search of scraps and customers. The loud click-clack sound of a homeless man dragging his walker along the sidewalk echoes off buildings as he makes his way from garbage can to garbage can. Less than a block away from the New Yorker, two blonde white women wait at a bus shelter. The younger of the two sits on the bench, slumped over, her face covered with red blotches. The older, wearing a night gown, is standing. You want some company? she asks. Not tonight, I reply. Thanks. You sure you dont want the company of two beautiful women? Maybe another time. I cross the street and keep walking. High-end stores, critically acclaimed popular bars are all closed and locked. The only lights are neon motel signs, see men and women standing at corners some distance away. Feeling skittish, I turn back toward the New Yorker, the ever-present click-clacking of the homeless mans walker ringing in my ears. ging myself to the courtyard to enjoy a free breakfast with my travel companion. Chatting at a table nearby are members of a Norwegian heavy-metal band on their way to a gig on a cruise ship heading for the Bahamas. The pale, tattooed musicians are amused by the white lanterns that hang Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 46 Continued on page 50

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from the avocado, lemon, and sour orange trees lanterns that Hotel Impossible designer Blanche Garcia had to frantically after the original Jacksonville supplier failed them. The band members say theyre thrilled to be in the subtropics. The temperature in Norway, they say, is 11 degrees.Many things have changed since Hotel Impossible aired. Shirley Figueroa now works just once a week if that as she concentrates on her health and family, husband Walter says. The family also moved out of the hotel four months ago and into a home nearby. Staying at their place of work 24/7, Walter Figueroa explains, was just too much mental strain. Business is on the upswing, Walter adds, thanks in large part to Melchiorri teaching him how to delegate responsibility to staffers and form cross-marketing alliances with other businesses. At the same time, Walter admits, the hotel can do a better job cleaning the rooms. Weve been very busy and theres little time to catch up with the rooms, he says. The biggest boost to business, he contends, was changing the name of the place from the New Yorker Motel to the New Yorker Hotel. In Latin America, he says, a motel is where you go with your girlfriend for a couple of hours, not a place where you take your family. That was a big issue. But in spite of the improvements, the New Yorker is not quite in the black bit, Walter concedes. Were getting a little behind in property taxes. Banks are still unwilling to give the hotel a loan: They want to see another year of us doing good. the end of the new year, well be doing great Hes also bullish on the neighborhood. In fact, he says if he had access to millions of dollars like Avra Jain, he too would be buying motels on the Boulevard. There are always going to be tourists who, instead of spending $300 a night for a hotel in South Beach, would rather have a place where they can go to bed, have breakfast, and then go see the city, he says. The location we have is perfect. Its ten minutes to downtown. Ten minutes to South Beach. We dont have the beach, but were full almost every day. Unlike Tivka Gluck, Walter has no desire to sell the New Yorker. Unless, he amends, someone comes in with a crazy offer. Travel companion Robin Shear contributed to this story. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 48 Saint Martha Yamaha2012-2013 Concert SeriesPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director TO PURCHASE TICKETSVisit www.saintmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or 305-751-0005 or 305-458-0111or purchase at church office or at door Helen & KlausDONATH January 27, 2013 at 3 p.m.

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52 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORThe Shape of Things The annual Design Miami fair has quietly become a leading venue for modern and contemporary decorative arts By Helen Hill Special to the BTDesign Miamis great white tent on the parking lot next to the Miami Beach Convention Center is empty. Truckloads of vintage, contemporary, and cutting-edge cabinets, chairs, and assorted objects have departed for port, airport, and points north, while the crowds, estimated at some 31,000 over the six days of the fair, are now a statistic. In the buzz and blaze of Art Basel and satellite fairs, Miamians may not yet appreciate that Design Miami has become one of the worlds most prominent and substantive forums for collectible design. Although small in comparison to Art Basel, Design Miami has grown and matured over eight years as an event in its own right. This year 36 of the worlds leading galleries presented contempo rary and historic design, up 25 percent from previous years. Unlike Art Basels endless partying and nightly revelry, Design Miami somehow appears more sedate. It has become a must-attend for every serious collector of design, as well as for representatives from such major museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and Londons Victoria and Albert. The fair also sparked the annual American Museum Network Confer ence, MUSCON. Co-presented in 2012 by the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum, Design Miami, and the Vitra Design Museum, its where curators meet, share projects, and network. With the blurring of the lines required. Noted collector Adam Lindemann says it most simply: What used to be called the decorative arts has now been dubbed design and is often marketed as limited edition art, or sometimes referred to as design/art. Marianne Goebl, now in her second year as director of Design Miami, ing rare or unique furniture, lighting, textiles, and functional objects. Func tional objects can, of course, also have an artistic quality, says Goebl. The self-conception of a designer is that of a problem solver, as opposed to an artist, who works autonomously, pursuing his own artistic strategy. Often its more about the context and the intention behind the work. Wendell Castle, known as the father of the art-furniture movement (and who was present at Design Miami again this year), describes how attitudes have changed. Early on in my career, he says, when I was making sculptural furniture, there werent any opportunities to exhibit these kinds of things. If it had any [practical] use, they didnt want Design Miamis stature as the most important destination for 20thand 21stcentury collectible design begins with the dealers who truly are the best in the world, says Goebl. The spectrum of partners we have, from Fendi to Audi to Be Open to Perrier-Jouet to Swarovksi, guarantees that fresh ideas from complementary disciplines are incorporated. And our attendees have made us an important meeting place. All told, it is a 360-degree experience. A growing interest in editioned pieces of furniture by brand-name designers has become big business. Less than a decade ago, collectible design dating from the postwar would go for less than $500,000 at auction at Sothebys. Nowadays, sales of the same items are in the many millions of dollars. Design Miamis museum-quality exhibits develop and drive the market. The big tent is a place of business for blue-chip dealers, collectors, designers, architects, and curators to meet, see new works, and make deals. Design Miami blooms with adventurous pieces that some people love and for which others have acquired a taste. Globetrotting art collectors, escorted by advisors, often discover design pieces to complement the artworks they covet at the big fair across the parking lot. Thirteen new galleries took space at 2012 Design Miami, including Moderne Gallery from Philadelphia. Moderne founder Bob Aibel said he came because Design Miami is recognized as a major design show, and dealers are very selective about where they go: I really felt it would introduce me to a wholly new clientele of excitement of business at a very high level. He says he made two special sales (prices not disclosed): a bench by George Nakashi ma and a rocking chair by Sam Maloof. On the other hand, Todd Merrills New York gallery did not return to Design Miami this year. Following amazing results in the 2011, he felt it was time to take a break. There was a different feeling, possibly due to the economy, but also a lot of emphasis on historic French pieces, Merrill says. I felt that 21st-century decorative arts were not being embraced. Continued on page 56Photos courtesy of Design Miami

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterOak Plaza was just a parking lot before Craig Robins bought it in 2005. Robins, CEO of Dacra and the largest landowner in the Design District, paid $500,000 for the 4700-square-foot parcel at 163 NE 39th St. Growing on the property were six very large white oak trees, estimated to be more than 100 years old. Robins had in mind an ambitious development project for the site, and he vowed to preserve and highlight the trees. I didnt want to kill those beautiful oak trees, he told the Miami Herald in 2007. They are the soul of the neighborhood. So Dacra hired two architectural as Oak Plaza, it included a promenade connecting NE 39th Street and NE 40th Street, along with matching arcaded buildings encompassing nearly 13,000 restaurant space. The centerpiece of the complex was a public plaza facing NE 39th Street. The limestone plaza, featuring those mafurniture, fronted an L-shaped structure dubbed the Loggia Building, which became the home for Brosio restaurant and, more recently, Maitardi restaurant. Soon after its completion in 2007, Oak Plaza received the prestigious Charter Award from the Congress of the New Urbanism, an organization that advocates for the creation of walkable, human-scale urban neighborhoods. The Loggia Building, however, for the Design District, which will include dozens of new stores for the luxury retailing group Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy (LVMH). This past March, two months after Dacra bought out Maitardis lease, construction crews began demolishing the Loggia Building. The trees were left untouched, though some observers expressed concern that construc tion equipment might be damaging them. That changed this past November, when the six ancient trees, plus a seventh, nursery-raised oak that was planted after Oak Plazas completion, were cut down. Local bloggers reacted in horror. Shock ripped through the neighborhood as one of Miamis most beloved little public spaces, Oak Plaza, was demoed in the Design District for Dacras as yet unknown redevelopment plan, wrote Curbed Miami editor Sean McCaughan. But the oaks were still there, protected by orange barricade tape. Now theyre gone. Not even transplanted, but hacked to bits. Hacked. To. Bits. For now, we are left to mourn the last remaining natural beauty in this historic Moore of Transit Miami, and to ask: Craig Robins, how could you let this happen? Robins isnt happy about it either, according to a written statement he sent to the BT We were sad with the loss of the oak trees that were not in a condition (or viable candidates) to be moved, Robins wrote. We intend to plant over 200 mature indigenous trees in the been installed. Twelve are on 40th Street and three are on the roof of the Garden Building. We have also transplanted nine oak trees from 40th Street to the Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood. Remorse isnt the only reason Dacra is planting more trees in the Design District. The City of Miamis environmental Continued on page 54By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterTo call Barbara Rubenstein active would be an understatement. The 84-year-old part-time resident of Aventura had so much energy that people 20 years younger had a hard time keeping up with her, according to her son, She wasnt your normal older woman, he says. She was athletic. She swam every day. And she was totally with it. She had a very bright mind. Thats whats so tragic about this. On November 29, a Thursday, Rubenstein was walking home with groceries when she was fatally struck by a Miami-Dade Transit bus near the southeast corner of the intersection at NE 199th Street (Aventura Boulevard) and NE 29th Place. After going to the movies, Rubenstein insisted on walking to the Publix on NE 29th Place and then to her nearby condo at Biscayne Lake Gardens, according to family members. Rubenstein died less than a block from the spot where 51-year-old Tomislav Ritoper died after being hit by a Miami-Dade Transit bus two years ago just north of the intersection where Rubenstein was struck. Goddess NewboldHayes, driver of the bus that hit Ritoper, was later charged by Aventura police with leaving the scene of a fatal accident against Miami-Dade County by Ritopers widow was settled out of court this past October. At the countys request, Rubensteins case was handed over to the MiamiDade Police Department, says Sgt. Jeff Burns of the Aventura Police Departspokesman says the Rubenstein investigation is ongoing. No further details, including the name of the bus driver, had Biscayne BlvdNE 192nd StAventura BlvdAventura MallAbigail RdAbigale RdNE 29th PlW Country Club Dr PublixAventura Shopping Center Tomislav Ritoper Fa tality Barbara R ubenstein fatality Waiting To HappenA short stretch of road in Aventura swarms with pedestrians and vehicles, sometimes with deadly results Map by Marcy MockEven the Best Intentions Can Be FatalThe 100-year-old trees were supposed to be the celebrities at Oak Plaza, but now theyre dead Continued on page 55

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54 preservation ordinance demands re placement trees of at least two feet in height if a property owner wants to cut down even a single tree. The combined diameters of the trees removed determine how many trees need to be planted, says city code enforcement inspector Jos Campa. The tree replacement plans Robins has submitted to the city thus far consist of not 200 trees but 92, a level that is still higher than the minimum number of trees the code requires, Campa says. Those new trees include 32 gumbo limbos, 32 mahoganies, and 28 Florida patch palms. The felled oak trees may have been doomed before LVMH considered opening stores in the Design District. According to a report prepared for Dacra by Miami horticultural consultant Lisa H. Hammer in January 2012, it was the construction of Oak Plaza itself that irreparably harmed the trees, something examined the oaks. The live oaks in Oak Plaza are stressed and in a state of decline, as evidenced by the chlorosis dieback and interior sprouting, she wrote in 2010, an assertion repeated in her report from January 2012. The most probable causes of the stress are root damage during construction and limited open space in the plaza for roots to take up adequate amounts of water and nutrients. Bob Brennan, an arboriculturalist afGarden, says a landscaper asked him to look at the trees soon after Oak Plazas patio was completed. They were wondering why the trees werent doing well, the problem was: The trees were buried 18 inches under a limestone patio that not only limited the air supply for the roots, but also trapped moisture there. The result was a slow death for the trees. It doesnt happen overnight, Brennan explains. It takes three or four years for that type of damage to emerge. Jeff Shimonski, a municipal arborist, chief horticulturist at Jungle Island, and Biscayne Times columnist, wrote a column last month for this publication (The Root of the Problem) about how new construction can be hazardous to trees if builders arent careful. Just from looking at photographs of the Oak Plaza trees, Shimonski could tell they were in poor health. Im sure the soil around the roots was compacted by heavy equipment, he says. Shimonski also notes that the citys ordinance requires a ten foot protection zone around a tree during construction. Such a zone would have prevented Oak Plazas sidewalk from being built on top of the tree roots. This should not have been allowed, he adds. more, says code enforcement inspector Campa. Tree-protection provisions were added to the citys tree ordinance only last year. The old oaks were deemed by Hammer to be either in poor or very poor condition. A nursery-grown tree was judged to be in fair condition. As far as Continued on page 57 8PM // THE COLONY THEATRE ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION in LIVE! THE REALEST MCABRAHAM.IN.MOTION in LIVE! THE REALEST MC TICKETS ON SALE NOW! // 305.237.3010 // WWW.MDCLIVEARTS.ORG Oak TreesContinued from page 53

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Continued on page 57been released by press time, but witnesses to the aftermath of the accident say the area that was cordoned off by police included the crosswalk. According to Burns, accidents involving buses are rare in Aventura. More common are vehicular accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. There are several [pedestrian-related accidents] a week, Burns says. Fortunately, we dont have many fatalities through the course of a year. (The BT was unable Aventura police by deadline.) Why are pedestrians in Aventura being hit by vehicles so often? Aventura resident and Eye on Miami blogger Nancy Lee says its because drivers in her city have no regard for pedestrians. Ive tried to walk in the crosswalks and the drivers dont ever stop, complains Lee, who, two years ago, posted a video of herself trying to cross N. Country Club Drive. They speed around you. They curse you even if youre in a crosswalk. must yield to pedestrians who use cross walks. Sergeant Burns says hes encoun tered plenty of Aventura drivers who didnt in Aventura that, in general, its bad for pedestrians, he says, adding that hes also seen pedestrians jaywalk in amid oncom Burns says his department is formu safety that will be launched soon. The city is also lobbying the county for the right to place more signage at crosswalks alerting drivers to stop for pedestrians, he adds. Miami-Dade bus drivers arent typical Florida drivers. They are required to possess a commercial drivers license. To obtain a CDL, a person must have a clean driving record and pass an extensive test that includes judging velocity during sharp turns and being aware of road hazards like aggressive drivers or distracted pedestrians. Bus drivers need all those skills and more when heading onto NE 29th Place, particularly between Aventura Boulevard and Abigail Road, a winding street that loops around Aventura Mall. On both sides of this 700-foot stretch of NE 29th Place there are two busy bus stops with commuters heading to and from Miami Beach, downtown Miami, other parts of north Miami-Dade, even Broward County. Bus riders often dash across NE 29th heading in and out of the Aventura Mall desperate efforts to catch their bus. (If you miss your bus, you could wait a very long time for the next one.) There are no crosswalks along this section of NE 29th Place. And awaiting those who cross the street directly from the bus stop on the east side of the street isnt a sidewalk, curb, or even a parking veer into Aventura Shopping Centers main vehicular entrance before reaching the bus stop on the west side. It can be very dangerous, says Joe White, a chef who has commuted between Miramar and Aventura by bus for nearly a year. There are so many cars that come right through here. Police Sergeant Burns, however, south of where Rubenstein and Ritoper were hit by buses. I dont think people are driving at breakneck speeds there, he says. We have gone in there to do enforcement and the speed of cars drops to 20 miles per hour when entering the shopping center. (This section of road is a 20-mph zone.) At present there are no proposals from the city or county to make NE 29th Place more pedestrian-friendly, despite the large number of pedestrians using bus service. Why? Because that part of TICKETS ON SALE NOW! // 305.237.3010 // WWW.MDCLIVEARTS.ORG 8PM // THE COLONY THEATRE RUDE MECHSin THE METHOD GUNRUDE MECHSin THE METHOD GUN Waiting to HappenContinued from page 53 Courtesy Rubenstein family

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56 Similarly, other veteran dealers have chosen to pass on Design Miami after disagreeing with the fairs curatorial direction, particularly the perception that Design Miami dictates what galleries can and cannot put in their booths. (Two committees of renowned experts on historical and contemporary design vet pieces for quality and authenticity.) Certainly, the push has been to show vintage 20th-century furniture, which, to some, can feel repetitive. As one dealer, who asked not to be named, says, Its time to favor artists creating great studio want a balance, not just one or the other, and certainly nothing stale. Design Miamis annual fairs in Basel, Switzerland, in June and Miami munity. Says Goebl: Basel is a city with more restraint and therefore the show has a quieter elegance. Miami Beach infuses us with its exuberance, which was from the Snarkitecture pavilion to the Michaels Genuine caf. Relocating Design Miami to Miami Beach in 2010 made it easier for collectors to access the fair and make repeat visits. This year, many also headed across the causeway to the furniture showrooms and restaurants in the Miami Design District, where design was celebrated in a full program of exhibits, launches, and parties. According to Cathy Leff, direc tor of the Wolfsonian-FIU, thats the whole point: Design is part of Miamis culinary art, and street art. The whole where design is not only being pro duced and consumed, but is part of the areas DNA. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Shape of ThingsContinued from page 52

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the city is concerned, trees that are in less than good condition might cut down. When trees are in that condition, they wont survive being transplanted, Campa says. Novembers tree destruction might have been avoided had Oak Plazas designers consulted an arborist. Yet Brennan points out that Dacra and its contractors are hardly alone in making such a mistake. All over Miami, he says, trees are dying because developers are building too close to existing root systems. The biggest problem with construction these days, says Brennan, is that the people who are in charge dont bring in people who know what theyre doing with regard to trees. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Oak TreesContinued from page 54 Photo by Jason Walker NE 29th Place is not a public road. It is owned by Turnberry Associates, which also owns Aventura Mall. Turnberry Associates could not be reached for comment by deadline. Barbara Rubenstein was no stranger to NE 29th Place Rubenstein says his mother, a Chicago resident, regularly wintered at the Biscayne Lake Gardens condominium complex since 1968. She loved the area, he says. Everything was accessible. his mother was also fond of walking to and from her condo minium: She had a car, but she preferred to walk just for the exercise. Walking was just one among many pursuits. The retired secretary was still playing on a softball team while in her 70s. She also began traveling extensively following the death of her husband 14 years ago. And while staying in Aventura, she was active at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. She loved the rabbi and cantor there, her son says. She also liked to volunteer as an usher at the performing arts centers in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Aventura. just a week before her death, was scheduled to usher during performances of Sister Act at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, says her son. Barbara Rubenstein is survived by two sons, one daughter, four grandchildren, and hundreds of friends. The Everybody was incredibly close to her. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Waiting to HappenContinued from page 55 BT photo by Erik Bojnansky

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNParting ThoughtsOur Brickell correspondent heads to Washington, D.C., but not before putting together a wish list for MiamiBy Craig Chester BT ContributorMy friends often bemoan Miamis transient nature, lamenting the fact that their peers regularly move to other cities in a seemingly perpetual brain drain. But I never thought theyd be talking about me that way. Recently I accepted a communications fellowship with a national organization called Smart Growth America, based in Washington, D.C. Ill be relocating there later this month. According to Smart Growth Americas organization dedicated to researching, advocating for, and leading coalitions to bring smart-growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks so people can walk to their town center to ensuring that more homes are built near public transit or productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure that people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. Needless to say, Im excited to begin this new opportunity in our nations capital with such a respected and broad-reaching organization. However, the decision to leave Miami was not an easy one to make. Ive been an ardent supporter and advocate for civic improvement in Miami since relocating here three years ago. Even in that brief time, its clear the upward momentum is accelerating and the spirit of entrepreneurship is thriving, and general excitement for the citys future is plainly evident. Of course, there are things that could be improved, particularly with regard to the downtown experience. So Ive composed a wish list of sorts for realistic, attainable, short-term enhancements for Miami. Begin to treat transit riders with dignity. A few weeks ago, a text mesraining on the bus. On one gloomy afternoon, the leaks between the windows of the Miami-Dade Transit bus he was riding were so bad passengers along the entire left side had wet shoulders. Most riders simply stopped trying to shield themselves from the dripping water and instead sat dejectedly under the leaks. Bus stops that lack shelter or, in is nothing more than a post in the ground are a common sight throughout the the reality of how often buses come and go. Many times, there are no crosswalks or safe ways to cross a street after exiting the bus. on the way, but that represents only one piece of the puzzle. An ongoing federal agement at Miami-Dade Transit has led to a freeze on federal funding for the Photo by Eric Madrid

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from many local municipalities for the installation of bus shelters and other basic improvements. Despite those challenges, even simple changes in attitude, responsiveness, and public relations would make a notable difference. In Japan, its normal for bus drivers to welcome and thank passengers for riding. Is that such an unreasonable request here? Return of Bike Miami Days. This one should be a no-brainer. Bike Miami Days was a popular cycling-oriented block party in 2008 and 2009 that lost city funding after the departure of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. Since then, the bike buzz in Miami has only grown exponentially louder. (The event did make a scaled-down comeback in 2011.) Anyone paying attention to happenings in Miami realizes that bicycling is not a fringe activity. Often used as a barometer of sorts, the monthly (unsanctioned) Miami Critical Mass bicycle ride now features more than 2000 riders of all ages eager to enjoy an evening cruise through the city, sometimes alongside famous athletes like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, both of whom recently participated in Critical Mass. There are dozens of other casual, group-oriented rides sprouting up throughout the county, more bike lanes and signage, and even cycling safety and education programs in local schools. In recognition of this improvement, the City of Miami was recently designated a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists a marked improvement from being ranked one of the worst cities for bicycling in the USA as recently as 2009. The Bicycle Friendly Community program recognizes cities that demon strate improvement towards promoting education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning. During this past election, there was no box that said, Make Miami bikefriendly. If there had been, the measure would have won by a landslide. Ordinary Miamians are regularly taking to the streets in droves in sanctioned and unsanctioned group rides, the latter being dedicate more attention and resources to the issue of cyclist safety. Mayors in three prominent American cities New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are not viewing cycling as merely another routine issue; they are emphatically making accommodations for cycling a signature component of their tenures and legacy. Even Coral Gables organized two well-attended Gables Bike Day events over the past two years, opening Miracle Mile and neighboring streets to bicyclists and closing them to automobile Miamis bicycle master plan (adopted in 2009), my wish is for Mayor Toms Regalado to reinstate a larger, grander Bike Miami Days, which would surely be a resounding success. Convert parking lots into parks. Since 2005, in more than 800 cities around the globe, residents, business have secured the right to convert parking lots into small urban parks dubbed parklets for one day. In Miami various groups have converted street parking spaces into temporary oases by laying down sod and bringing in outdoor furniture. Miami has a woeful lack of parkland per resident were ranked 94 on a list of 100 U.S. cities when it comes to park acreage per 1000 residents and with limited funding available, we need to think creatively about permanently reclaiming public spaces for people. The opportunities for creating permanent parks from pavement are many, but maybe we should start with the parking lots under the Metromover along Biscayne Boulevard, adjacent to Bayfront Park. Converting these parking lots into attractive public spaces will create a natural extension of Bayfront Park, enabling an inviting, seamless connection between it and the rest of downtown, while taming the intimidating task of crossing of Biscayne Boulevard on foot. The Downtown Development Authority also shares this vision, so the time is ripe for moving forward. So there you have it, Miami. And if anyone knows where to get a good pan con bistec or cortadito in D.C., let me know on Twitter at @MiamiUrbanist. Hasta luego! Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Going NativeA movement to promote Florida-friendly landscaping takes root in the villageBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorWe were enjoying a lazy day in the pool, Sauvignon Blanc in stemless Riedel glasses around, when one of my guests suddenly became very animated. Brazilian pepper! she shrieked, pointing to the tangled mass where a mango had disappeared into the underbrush. Thats not native! Do you have pruning shears? Within seconds, she was out of the pool and attacking the offending plant and all others in the yard she deemed unsuitable. For her good deed, my friend was later rewarded with an all-encompassing rash, either from poison ivy or exposure to mango sap. But while she was pulling out plants, she was also planting a lot of ideas in my head about our overgrown patch of brown and green, what we should be doing with it and not doing with it. When we do have the opportunity to observe the jungle we dare to call landscaping, my husband and I often growing. This is vegetation that could have only come from seeds, spread by the wind or dropped by birds. That means other nonnative plants are in our neighborhood, sucking up water and other valuable resources that indigenous plants require. Eventually, theyll force out the native species. In short, potentially destructive, insidious plants are likely already in your yard, or your neighbors. They range from the sapodilla to the sea hibiscus to strawberry guava. I know what youre thinking: These are common to our properties. So common, in fact, that our houses might not look like they belong in subtropical South Florida without them. Meanwhile, havent most of our regional trees, bushes, and whatnot been introduced from other tropical climes? Even our beloved mangos are originally from Asia. The problem is not necessarily with exotic plants, but those that are harmful for whatever reason, including root systems that pillage more than their share of water. It surprised me to learn that coconut palms, which thrive all over the Caribbean (and along my driveway) are not recommended for planting in MiamiDade County. Its not because theyll take over a yard (although a mature palm can drop 75 seeds, or coconuts, annually), but because of the amount of water For the most part, the occurrence of a menacing species is not the fault of current homeowners. Vegetation not native to the area was typically introduced a long time ago to combat a perceived problem. For instance, melaleuca was brought from Australia in 1900 when portions of the Everglades were being reclaimed. Its roots are widely regarded as a soil stabilizer. But without its natural enemies to keep it Congratulations to the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge winnerswho are helping to build the arts in South Florida The Knight Arts Challenge is a community-wide contest funding ideas to help bring South Florida together through the arts. More at KnightArts.org. rf ntbfrtft nrrr nt ntr tr tttnt rrtr rrt rrnnt t rr rt n rbt rr rrnt rn f t rr frr frrrrr f t trrt rrt

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in check bugs, disease it quickly became dominant. Today, referred to as a noxious weed, melaleuca is on the prohibited list, making it illegal to possess, propagate, or plant. Ditto Australian pines, planted as windbreaks to preserve beaches and ly became a threat instead of a savior, taking over wildlife nesting habitats, uprooting in hurricanes, and bursting than the trees theyd crowded out. If you know what youre looking over South Florida and Miami Shores, in particular. If you dont, examine an extensive list of prohibited, invasive, cautioned, and recommended species in reference sources penned by the University of Florida, including A Guide to Florida-Friendly Landscaping Or go online for brief yet multifaceted tutorials at the South Florida Water Management District; for more extensive self-educating, check out the Florida Yards and Neighbors (FYN) Homeowner Program, run by the UF/IFAS extension, I guarantee youll discover at least one environmentally threatening plant on your land. Its fortunate, then, that we have residents like David Hunter in our midst. A Realtor with Greener Living Homes, Hunter is an outspoken advocate for reducing our consumption of resources. He and his cohorts in the group Miami Shores Green Gardeners, founded two years ago to share resources in a cooperative manner, enthusiastically host free, open-to-the-community workshops once or twice per year, such as the one on edible and sustainable gardening I attended in December. Its all about Florida-friendly landscaping, Hunter says. We want to see people going with more low-maintenance-type plants. This will cut down on the amount of water, fertilizer, and chemicals in use. Turning your yard into a giant sus tainable garden is, I suppose, a way to xeriscape, though front lawns that might include kale and basil are surely not al lowed in a community where you have to get a permit to move a mailbox. Xeriscap ing, which literally means dry scene, is a southwestern U.S. concept that calls for designing an aesthetically pleasing landscape with drought-tolerant, wasteFor Miami Shores residents whose decorative rocks and downed tree trunks (both allowed in xeriscaping) could become nasty projectiles in hurricane weather the ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of resources used for maintenance while balancing soil types and compatible plants. Hunter leads by example: His yard barrels, raised beds with organic herbs and vegetables, and a gorgeous mass of any experienced gardener wince in envy. But he is also trying to lead by mandate. This past fall, he and his colleagues appeared before the villages planning and zoning committee and the village council to da-friendly landscaping recommendations. The current position of the village council is that no one is opposed to Florida-friendly landscaping, and that the village, with some recent initiatives and its new website, is already on the green side. Still, the outcome of the Green Gardeners petition resulted in the council sending the proposal back to the Currently, Miami Shores homeowners, as stated in the village council minutes, are given wide latitude regarding their lawns, which apparently includes day decorations that devour electricity and are an eyesore besides. Were also required to keep our lawns and swales green even during drought, an impossibility many of us encountered a couple of summers ago. For cost and resource management considerations, Florida-friendly land scaping recommendations make good sense. Turning those guidelines into regulations, especially those that allow for only the planting of native vegetation, seems far more sensible than simply limiting sprinkler systems or forcing us to purchase sod that the waste trucks then proceed to grind off the swales. Or, for that matter, having us pay for permits to uproot a mailbox. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA Picking Our PocketNew development threatens to rob Aventura of George Berlin ParkBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorThis past November, the mayor of London announced he will create or enhance 100 new pocket parks across his city. Those of us who grew up in large urban areas are familiar with pocket parks. They are small, public spaces created from vacant lots or other forgotten spots frequently scattered throughout an urban area. They are used for events, as childrens play areas, and as spaces for relaxing and meeting. The late Jane Jacobs, goddess of new urbanism, wrote that parks do not act upon neighborhoods, but that neighborhoods act upon parks. Hence, a pocket park will have a greater likelihood of success if located in an area where there Aventura has one pocket park, but and recreation website. Its the small piece of land on the northeast corner of N. Country Club Drive and NE 34th Avenue, bounded by the Ensenada Condominiums on the east and a canal with a marina to the north. It is across the street from the Soffer walking path that rings the Turnberry golf course. Its not land is privately owned. For the longest time, no one could tell you who owned this parcel. For all we knew, its most recent owner had abandoned it. The citys principal residential organization, the Joint Council of Aventura, took it upon itself to maintain the lot, although it did not install any amenities there that might have created a true park. Then about eight or nine years ago, the Joint Council and the Aventura Marketing Council took a small step by designating the lot a park, naming it George Berlin Park. George Berlin was an employee of Turnberry Associates and its principal, Don Soffer. Berlin was an engineer by training. His job in the 1970s and 1980s was to implement Soffers vision to take an area called Ojus, full of mangroves and scrub brush, and develop it into what we now know as Aventura. Berlin secured the necessary zoning approvals, supervised the construction of and commercial buildings, roadways, and other infrastructure, and attended to the providing of utilities to Aventura. Berlin knew where every easement, underground pipeline, and sprinkler head in our city was located. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith 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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Long after he retired from Turnberry Associates, Berlin would appear at city tory of the matter under consideration and to offer his opinion about whether a proposed physical change to the city While the citys founders created our government, George Berlin created the place and proper that the Joint Council and Aventura Marketing Council should Around the same time as the designation of George Berlin Park, someone cabinet and discovered lo and behold one of their companies, Aventurawithstanding that the city commission had rezoned this land so that nothing could be built on it, Aventura-Ensenadas attorney advised his client that it had rights vested before the rezoning to build a windfall!) Of course, Aventura-Ensenada 2005 the parties entered into a settlement agreement, under which the city agreed to permit low-density development there, about six or eight units, so long as the The owner of George Berlin Park has applied to the city to up-zone the land to mid-rise apartments of up to four stories owner will make the usual argument that the zoning agreed to under the settlement is no longer economically feasible, that denser development is necessary for the Although our city commissioners are duty-bound to consider the application, perhaps they should redirect their focus to acquiring the property through purchase or eminent domain for developThere is a little secret in AvenUnder Florida law, a municipality must preserve a certain portion of land as open space or for recreational use by its this rule depends upon the municipalThis law recognizes the essentialness of recreational facilities for the wellwas substantially built out at the time of its incorporation, the city could not provide the recreational facilities mandated Turnberry golf course as a designated recreational space for purposes of satisThis may have made sense many years ago, when the golf course in its incarnation as the Aventura Country Club was reasonable in cost and Now the golf fees and club dues at the Turnberry Resort make use of the course While the purchase of George Berlin Park by the city will not satisfy the land-use requirements of state law, it would surely signal an attempt by the The passive park located in the southern portion of Founders Park has swath of lawn and little else, seducing neither pedestrians nor drivers as a With proper planning, George Berlin Park could attract many walkers and bikers along the Soffer Trail and Country Club Drive for a break, contemplation, or childrens play the purposes for which take are well-designed gardens, benches, Or George Berlin Park can become one more development along Country At least George Berlin would continue to have his name inscribed somewhere Although Berlin worked for the largest developer of them all, if he were alive today, its a sure bet he would appear before the city commission on January 8 to oppose this rezoning as Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEBack to the FutureA survey of previous columns conrms it: The more things change in Miami, the more they stay the sameBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorIve never gone back to read over my old BT columns and, in fact, seldom read them when theyre published. I much more enjoy reading the other col umns, and particularly like being taken to task in the Letters to the Editor by readers who disagree with my point of view. The other day, however, I was doing a little research and found myself immersed in reading column after column Id penned and, quite frankly, amazed myself at the breadth of topics on which Ive shared my views with you, our readers. I thought it might be interesting to highlight a few of these topics and bring everyone up to speed as to my current observations on the same. Upper Eastside Crime: Ive done several columns dealing with crime in our neighborhoods (September 2008; December 2010; October 2012), and surmise that we are about in the same position weve been in for several years now. Car break-ins and home burglaries more likely, with the periodic release of career criminals who return to their old haunts and habits. Were fortunate to have Miami Police Commander Manuel Morales, who has taken to heart the task of reducing crime in the Upper Eastside, and continually moves forward with a positive attitude despite very lim ited resources. We, the residents and businesses along the Boulevard, must remain ever vigilant and take reason able security measures to slow down the thieves. Government and Ethics: I see that Ive done quite a few columns on this topic too many to list most likely owing to my 40 years working for the City of Miami. Its really sad to report that it does not appear our municipal government is any more stable or ethical at this point in time. Recently weve had two city commissioners cited by county ethics ofgifts as required for a trip abroad which included his wife; and Frank Carollo, for directly contacting the chief of police tion an apparent abuse of power and/ performance of his duties. $3300Valid with coupon. Not to be combined with other offers. New students only. Photo courtesy of Myrna Erler-Bradshaw 2009

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telenovela Biscayne Boulevard MiMo Historic Business District: Miami Herald Climate Change: Herald Herald BT My Favorite Column: Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMILet the Boom BeginThe soon-to-commence construction frenzy at Biscayne Landing promises big things for North MiamiBy Mark Sell BT ContributorAs 2013 begins, the curtain rises at last on North Miamis long-awaited Biscayne Landing project, which could take as long as 15 years and cost as much as a billion dollars to complete. The 184-acre former contaminated much as it did a year ago, with the same and giant PVC. The occasional acrid whiff just to the north still lingers, but a solution new consent decree between Miami-Dade County and federal regulators. Indeed much is about to happen, now Oleta Partners recently deposited with the city in late August to take possession of the land. Oleta aside, start with the Oaks, the dual 25-story condo-apartment towers now bursting with renters and their pets, three-bedroom units rent from about Its been a long time since you could slalom past the speed bumps in the dark come and go, and wait in line for the security guard to let you back in. As a result of the increase in the number of residents, the condo association has ing trash on the grounds and cleaning up after dogs. column for Biscayne Landing are pan ning out; others arent. For instance, Oleta Partners, most prominently represented as expected, snap up the bank-owned condo association, and start work on a pool and 14,000-square-foot clubhouse. Those plans are now off, as Oleta association intends to submit a zoning ap plication to start construction on the pool, common area, and guard gate this year. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Oleta Partners includes three powerful entities: the Swerdlow Group, which developed the Dolphin Mall and Oakwood Plaza, just east of I-95 between Stirling Road and Sheridan Street in Hollywood; the LeFrak Organization, the 112-year-old New York developer that built the $10 billion Newport development on the Hudson River in Jersey City; and Millennium Partners, headed by Emmanuel and Jean Cherubin, who are interested in building a hotel. Now that the price of construction materials is rising by double digits, there is fresh impetus to develop sooner rather than later. Priorities in mid-to-late 2013 are ponds in the former EPA Superfund site, but leave the large lake on the north end intact with a surrounding park; second, an elevation ten feet above Biscayne Boulevard (17 feet above sea level); third, build the spine road linking the Boulevard and 143rd Street through the site to the Oaks and 151st Street to the north. If the state turns down Florida International Universitys bid for a permit for a skyway road over the wetlands to the campus, expect fresh pressure from FIU in 2013 to open the nature trail from determined to build a second entrance to the campus. In 2014, construction should start on the big-box stores on the propertys southern half, and, very likely, midrange rental apartments, ultimately numbering 3400 units. Swerdlow knows big-box stores; LeFrak has developed apartments for more than a century and is now expanding its South Florida footprint, including by partnering on the $100 million renovation of the Gansevoort Hotel in South Beach. The city is planning a 7.2-acre active park in the sites southwest corner. As for the stores, it now looks as if Lowes and Ikea are out and Brandsmart is either out or on hold; Ross Dress For Less and Toys R Us appear solid. The master plan and letters of intent are still in their infancy, and the picture should grow clearer come March. One new player is a likely vertical luxury car dealership similar in layout to Lexus of North Miami. Oleta is in talks 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 with Prestige Auto Imports, which owns the Lamborghini dealership across the Boulevard, and which tried last spring to pay the city nearly $14 million to build a four-story showroom on nine acres at the old Biscayne Landing sales center on the southeast corner of 151st and Biscayne Boulevard. The auto dealer would still like to move into that location. A movie theater is also a distinct possibility not the usual 24-screen cineplex you see in Aventura or Weston, but a dine-in theater, where you can enjoy a meal and cocktail while watching a movie, as in Swerd lows Dolphin Mall or in Downtown Disney. For now, an adult-care facility, which seemed likely a year ago, is out of the picture. Local jobs are key to the plan, but not in a big way until 2014. (Despite that, more than 900 people showed up at the Biscayne Landing job fair October 27, with lines snaking around the sales center.) Oleta Partners will start slow, with 26 hires, mainly truck drivers and crane operators. Expect that number to ramp up to as many as 4000 over the next decade. Oleta Partners is required to ensure that ten percent of the workers live in North Miami, with a goal of 25-percent representation. Oleta Partners vice president Herb Tillman oversees the project and has high praise for North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre, who saved the deal from collapse but has been tarred by a December 23 Miami Herald report that he failed to disclose business connections with the Cherubins. Tillman nonetheless credits Pierre with the deals success. The mayor did a bang-up job in negotiations for the says. He resurrected this deal from the near dead. This deal has the potential to transform North Miami from one of the poorest cities in South Florida into one of the richest. This is going to provide longand tax revenue. The mayors efforts to ensure local workforce representation will make a bigger difference to more lives in North Miami than any other similar effort If it all comes to pass, that would be a very big deal. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Culture: THE ARTSEnter the DragonWith two notable exhibits by emerging Asian artists, Zadok Gallery makes its mark with Bernice Steinbaum By Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorZadok Gallery on N. Miami Avenue in Wynwood is a huge, handsome, two-story building encompassing 17,000 square feet, about 12,000 of which are given over to art. That means, along with various rooms displaying permanent artworks from the gallery, two large sculpture shows can be shown simultaneously and comfortably. Thats the case this month, when a couple of very different exhibits in look and feel from two up-and-coming Asian artists are featured (and have been since Art Basel Miami Beach). The illuminated works, especially the centerpiece, from Beijing-based artist Li Hui, are brash and literally electrifying. In the piece titled Cracked 7000 laser beams shoot down from the 28-foot ceiling to immerse the darkened space in crimson red dots danc For anyone who has followed the meteoric rise of Chinese art in the past decade, or was captivated by the Beijing the muscular emergence of the new China. In another room, Korea native SeonGhi Bahk uses small lumps of black charcoal to form his delicate sculptures, reminiscent of hanging plants, throwing splash of color here, in a subtle play on form and illusion. Zadok Gallery opened in 2008 under owner Barak Zadok. Initially it exhibited a number of contemporary artists, but also hosted events, and was rented out to other organizations. In 2011, for instance, the Arsht Center and Cirque Eloize threw their opening-night party there. The gallerys main focus was on Chinese art, but otherwise had a fairly disparate roster of artists. Then last summer, after Bernice town Zadok, gallery director Mark T. Smith and Steinbaum got to talking. There was a feeling that the newcomer gallery needed more of a vision, and that the semi-retired gallerist and curator might be the one to bring that. As Steinbaum, sitting in her new discusses her latest adventure, she is patterned silk Chinese top and skirt. She, too, had concentrated on Asian art in her 34 years as an art dealer, along with work by women and people of color. Nearing the age of 70, she says, peering out through her large glasses, the strain and stress of running a gallery had taken its toll. It was time to either die or retire, she says, and I chose the latter. But art remained in her blood, and so did a desire to keep the arts scene in the Wynwood area progressing. Zadok approached her about consulting and she decided it was something she wanted to try. In October she became curator and consultant for the gallery, although with looser hours than in her previous job. While she and Zadok had an interest in Asian art in common, Steinbaum says Cracked Relationship 2012 Photos courtesy of Zadok Gallery Photo by Liam Crotty

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the gallery needed a tighter mission and smaller roster. By the time Art Miami and Context Art Miami at which the gallery had booths rolled around barely two months later, Steinbaums imprint was unmistakable. Walking through the gallery on this late December day, Steinbaum points out that exhibiting SeonGhi Bahk was a choice of hers, following a recent stint in Seoul. Li Hui was cultivated and brought in by Zadok. Anyone familiar with Steinbaums previous gallery will recognize some of the names that are now represented here, including Magdalena Campos-Pons, Enrique Gomez de Molina, and Peter Sarkisian. In fact, for the time being, the roster of artists has been whittled down to nine, most of them from Steinbaums Rolodex. We will eventually have about 12, but that is part of my mission to keep this very focused, she says. All of the artists have a permanent space now in the gallery for their works. She has also brought in a few names not so familiar to Miami, such as Brooklyn-based Patrick Jacobs, who was the solo artist featured by Zadok at the Context fair. At the gallery, where large-scale works dominate the huge space, Jacobss contribution is a literal hole in the wall and a gem. Peer into a small aperture in one wall and enter an intensely idyllic world, a tiny little diorama of a green countryside strewn are crafted from hair, tinfoil, ash, and other nonstandard materials. At the opposite end of the size scale, dozens of stools, of both Chinese and African origin, piled high with spheres and semi-spheres made from sugar and glass, shot through with African spears. Called Sugar: Bitter Sweet its a continuation of the Cuban-born artists exploration of her complex roots. Steinbaum clearly loves this installation from Campos-Pons, an internationally acclaimed artist whose work she has shown for years. Another large installation, from Mexican-born Gabriel Dawe, is absolutely dizzying in its composition and painstaking craft. Dawe has stretched 31 miles of multicolored thread from He will thread even more miles when he takes over the main space, with its 28-foot ceiling, for one of the next solo shows. (Steinbaum says there will be two solo exhibits every two months.) Which brings us back to what is still the most eye-popping piece at the gallery at the moment, the red laser-beam room artist has been shown in the United States. Bringing this particular work to Miami, along with the light sculptures upstairs, was a labor of love for Barak Zadok. I am so proud of this, he says, standing in the room, bathed in that eerie light. Looking fondly at the accompanying acrylic pieces, which look like ice sculptures, each one lit up in a different primary color, Zadok surmises that there surely is a commentary here on the fastchanging world of the artists homeland. Encased in plastic are fossils, or skeletons, seemingly waiting for the ice the works rigid veneer to melt. In one sculpture, the creature waiting for the thaw is a dragon. On a smaller scale, change is also occurring on this stretch of N. Miami Avenue. We are not rushing into anything, says Steinbaum, but the future is promising. For the spring were planning a group show with artists from all around Florida, but they will be 70 years young or older. The solo exhibits from Li Hui and SeonGhi Bahk run through February 18 at the Zadok Gallery, 2534 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-3737, www.zadokgallery.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Plexus np. 20 In Sugar: Bitter Sweet

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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 January 31: Se7n by Chambliss Giobbi ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 January 12 through February 6: David McConnell ACND GALLERY OF ART 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Through January 18: Art from Within with Yunier Cervino Oliver and Jos Ramirez ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-287-7789 www.albertolinerogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through January 26: Paper Folding by Odalis Valdivieso Ceremony by Matthew Deleget Painted/Stacked 2012 by Russell Maltz Rio Corrente, Running River by Artur Lescher ALMA FINE ART 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through January 20: Vidente by Marta Maria Perez Bravo Implications with Veronica Grassi, Paula Herrera, Diana Maguire, Roberto Martinez, and Yanina Monti ART FUSION 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com January 1 through March 31: Journey into the Soul with various artists 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www.artnouveaugaleria.com Through January 30: Unfathomable by Rafael Barrios 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 January 31: Recent Works by Jos Antonio Davila 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Through January 18: If a Tree Falls, a Chain Reaction with Jennifer Basile, Carola Bravo, Amalia Brujis, Silvana DMikos, Michael Gellatly, Ernesto Kunde, Blanca Pratorius, Tina Salvesen, and Anica Shpilberg Take Me Home with various artists 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse Through January 15: Kosmas), Simon Denny, Yngve Holen, Ilja Karilampi, Nedberg & Kantun, Katja Novitskova, Halvor Rnning, Timur Si-Qin, Spring Break, Anne de Vries, and Phillip Zach BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through January 5: Scribes House by Pablo Lehmann BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Call gallery for exhibition information 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through January 20: The Rule of Law by Joe Nicastri Paint! with George Bethea, Lucas Blanco, Juan Carballo, Shirley Henderson, Mary Malm, Jordan Massengale, Yolanda Sanchez, and Claudia Scalise 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 6, Miami 305-571-8100 www.buzz-art.net Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www.susannacaldwell.com Through June 1: Mahogany Sculptures and Sculptural Offering Bowls carved from Florida Hardwoods by Susanna Caldwell 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906; www .cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Call gallery for exhibition information CASSINA MIAMI SHOWROOM 3800 NE Miami Ct., Miami www.lccollection.cassina.com Through January 12: The Interior of the Cabanon, Le Corbusier 1952, Cassina Reconstruction 2006 by Le Corbusier, curated by Jean-Louis Cohen CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411; www.charestweinberg.com Call gallery for exhibition information Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com January 10 through February 31: Rafael Ferrer DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through January 31: Loris Cecchini 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 100 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net Through January 5: Paper Folding by Odalis Valdivieso DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through January 11: Paris by Willy Ronis 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 January 31: leitmotif by Mauro Giaconi, Omar Barquet, Jos Luis Landet, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Leonel Matheu, Liliane Eberle, Jorge Mio, Leslie Gabaldon, Yanina Szalkowicz, and Hernan Cedola DURBAN SEGNINI GALLERY 2145 NW 2nd Ave., Miami www.durbansegnini.com Through February 19: Painting and Architecture by Cesar Paternosto ELITE ART EDITIONS 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942; www.elitearteditions.com Call gallery for exhibition information ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 Through January 11: Winter Group Show with Rainer Lagemann, Christian Awe, Douglass Freed, Hunt Slonem, and Mario Velez Even Odds, salvaged

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Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through January 25: th Anniversary Group Show with Alice Aycock, Zack Balber, Hernan Bas, Jos Bedia, Loriel Beltran, Timothy Buwalda, Zhivago Duncan, Naomi Fisher, Mauricio Gonzalez, Ridley Howard, Jessica Laino, Natalya Laskis, Maria Martinez-Caas, Gavin Perry, Jon Pylypchuk, Bert Rodriguez, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Diego Singh, Michael Vasquez Desert Model by Lucas Arruda GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 212 MIAMI CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com Through January 1: Art Basel 2012 with Pedro Zubizarreta, Sergey Ashkeev, Irina Davydova, Agata Agatowska, Florian Fausch, and Maxim Wakultschik GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com January 8 through February 16: The Umpire by Daniel Milewski GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Call gallery for exhibition information GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 www.generalaudiencepresents.com Through February 2: Yawar Mallku: Look For Me In The Whirlwind by William Cordova HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through March 2: Recycle by Consuelo Castaeda HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through February 15: Between Two Continents: Spanish Geometric Abstraction in Latin America with Manolo Calvo, Jesus de la Sota, Jos Maria de Labra, and Jos Duarte, curated by Adolfo Wilson JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 www.juanruizgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through February 28: From Color to Motion by Antonio Asis KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through January 10: Eclectic Sweetness by Noemi Sanguinetti The Origin of Originality by Jon Davis January 12 through March 3: Unsinkable by Artem Mirolevich KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Call gallery for exhibition information LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org January 19 through February 31: High Performance Stiffened Structures by Karl Haendel By Design by Carlos Rigau MAOR GALLERY 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami http://maormiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information MARKOWICZ FINE ART 114 NE 40th St., Miami 786-362-5546 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 MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700; www.mdc.edu Through January 26: Foreverglades with Cracking Art Group, and William Sweetlove Through February 2: Toledo/Toledo Full Circle by Isabel and Ruben Toledo Where Ideas Are Born: A Jugglers Notebooks by Manuel Estrada 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through January 11: Passages and Other Exploratory Journeys with Victor Gomez, and Alena Fresquet 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Through January 28: TBD with Jennifer Basile, Tony Chirinos, Alberto Meza, and Yomarie Silva MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Through January 26: This Is To Sink by Sayre Gomez 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 NOW CONTEMPORARY ART 175 NW 25th St., Miami 305-571-8181 www.nowcontemporaryart.com January 13 through February 28: Its Not Size That Matters, It Is Shape by Maria Fernanda Cardoso 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 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 OXENBERG FINE ART 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-854-7104; www.oxenbergart.com Through January 3: The Paintings of Ashley Collins by Ashley Collins FPO Painting (Pain and T oil)

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72 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through January 5: Un pas, una ilusin (A Country, an Illusion) by Abel Barroso January 10 through March 2: Gimrack by Ted Larsen Fairy Tales by Carolina Sardi 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com Through January 26: RANEYTOWN by Rebeca Raney 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com Through January 5: Closer with Abby Double, Agustina Woodgate, Ana Mendez, Antonia Wright, Federico Nessi, Ingrid Lee, Manny Prieres, Naama Tsabar, Reeve Schumacher, Robert Montgomery, Rowan Smith, Ruben Millares, Sinisa Kukec, and TYPOE 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through February 2: Craters by Michael G. Zimmerer Jos Joaqun Figueroa, and Rodolfo Vanmarcke 12425 NE 13th Ave., North Miami 305-978-4437 Call gallery for exhibition information 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art Through January 25: Fifth Annual Cane Art Fair with various artists 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres 2233 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-576-5335 www.waltmanortega.com Call gallery for exhibition information NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf 250 NW 23rd St., Unit 306, Miami 954-235-4758; www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737;www.zadokgallery.com Through February 18: Strung-Out Relationships by SeonGhi Bahk 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www .artcentersf.org Through January 27: The Gift of the Present Moment by Lazaro Amaral and Chloe Firetto-Toomey Through February 17: Smoke Signals: Istwa, Paisajes, and Allegories with Onyedika Chuke, Yanira Collado, Lourdes Correade Leon, Onajide Shabaka, Noelle Theard, Robert Thiele, Anna Tsouhlarakis, and Mary Valverde 2100 Collin s Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through March 17: The Endless Renaissance: Six Solo Artist Projects with Eija Liisa Ahtila, Barry X Ball, Walead Beshty, Rasdjarmrearnsook 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380; www.cifo.org Through March 3: Unsaid/Unspoken with various artists, curated by Moacir dos Anjos and Jos Roca 3841 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Dacra 305-531-8700 www.dacra.com Ongoing: Richard Tuttle, Marlene Dumas, John Baldessari, Elizabeth Peyton, and Kai Althoff, curated by Tiffany Chestler 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 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through January 13: various artists, curated by Annette B. Fromm Fluorescent Light Sculptures by Ivan Navarro Through February 24: To Beauty: A Tribute to Mike Kelley with various artists Through May 20: Albert Paley, Dennis Oppenheim, Chakaia Booker, and Verina Baxter January 12 through February 17: Forms Transgressions: The Drawings of Augstin Fernndez by Augstin Fernndez January 24 through April 14: Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism with various artists 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 January 13: Prints and Objects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude Through February 10: Saintly Blessings: A Gift of Mexican Retablos from Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists Through April 21: Adapting and Adopting: Waves of Change as East Encounters West, Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art with various artists of American Identity with various artists New Light by Stephen Knapp 101 W. Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000; www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Art from the Permanent Collection Through May 12: New Work Miami 2013 with various artists, curated by Rene Morales and Diana Nawi 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-621 1; www.mocanomi.org Through March 3: Liber Insularum by Bill Viola 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www.margulieswarehouse.com Through April 28: Anselm Kiefer, Richard Long, William Tucker, Simryn Gill, Doug Aitken, David Ellis, Roberto Lange, Kader Attia, Nathalie Djurberg, Leandro Erlich, Sabelo Mlangeni, Barbara Probst, and Wael Shawky, curated 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090; http://rfc.museum Through August 2: Alone Together with various artists 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami 305-250-9133; www.vizcayamuseum.org Through March 18: The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Womens Picture by Josiah McElheny Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www.worldclassboxing.org Through February 28: Raga For Fishwife by Aaron Angell Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com HANG WITH US AT THE WINE BAR, TAKE A LOAD OFF AT OUR FULL LIQUOR BAR. ENJOY OUR DAILY HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS WHILE YOU SAVOR OUR DELICIOUS TAPAS!WE DELIVER! WERE HIRING! Biscayne Times is looking for a full-time, experienced account executive for display advertising. Small, enthusiastic staff. Loyal readers and advertisers. Tremendous growth potential. Some house accounts available. Base salary plus generous commissions. Serious money to be made. Please send rsum to publisher Jim Mullin at jim.mullin@biscaynetimes.com. What Is Your Name My Kid? (W ie Heisst Du Mein Kind?), installation detail, wax, fabrics, leather, hair, and mixed media, 2004, at the Rubell Family Collection.

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Were Off to See the WizardHow about starting the new year this way: Donning some ruby slippers, dressing up the kids Munchkin-style, and heading on over to the Miami Theater Center (9806 NE 2nd Ave.) to sing along to The Wizard of Oz ? On Friday, January 4 O-Cinema will screen home in the Shores. Its a family holiday event, with costume contest included. Follow the yellow brick road! Tickets are only $5. Go to www.o-cinema.org.Laughs and Death in New JerseyGarden State writer/director/lead actor Zach Braffs latest artistic creation is still planted in the cool young camp (and in New Jersey), and is funny, but with darker, quirkier moments. All New People follows a group of strangers who try to sort out suicidal Charlies predicament, only to discover the roots of their own pain. A collaboration of the Arsht Center and its resident theater company, Zoetic Stage, the play runs from Friday, January 11, through Sunday, January 27 with show weekend performances) at the Carnival Studio at the Arsht Center. Tickets cost $40. Go to www.arschtcenter.org.Scarlett Returns to Dazzle UsLast year the Miami City Ballet commissioned and then premiered a piece from 26-year-old wunderkind choreographer Liam Scarlett of Londons Royal Ballet. It went so well theyve decided to do it again. As part of MCBs Program II Scarlett will return to the Ziff Opera House at the Arsht Center with a cast of 28 dancers clad in striking costumes, performing against an abstract backdrop that changes colors as the dancers move. The program will include a Balanchine with Mozart music, another with StravinFrom Friday, January 11, through Sunday, January 13 at 8:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. on Sunday). Tickets range from $20 Americas Kids Got TalentHeres another sign that Miami isnt the cultural desert it once was: the newfound prominence of the locally based National YoungArts Foundation. Founded by Lin and Ted Arison in 1981, it has fostered childrens interest in the arts, from music and dance to painting and acting. For one week in January, young artists from all over the country will come to Miami for workshops and training, all culminating with the Affair of the Arts gala, performance, and awards ceremony at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Satur day, January 12 violinist Joshua Bell and actor Adrian Grenier will join in. Tickets cost $20. Logon to www.gusmancenter.org.Go Screech in the NightAs twilight descends, the world takes on an entirely different feel. Out at the tropical hardwood hammock at Arch Creek Park cially pronounced, as screech owls, raccoons, spiders, and the setting sun all produce a real Friday, January 18 you are invited to Night Hike with a naturalist guide. Hikers will meet beforehand at the museum and nature center. The cost is a mere $6, but reservations A Sexy Circus Comes to TownSee the word cirque attached to anything costuming, sensual movements and music, and, most of all, those incomparable acro batics. So all that and more is in store when Cirque dAmour comes to the Aventura St.) on Sunday, January 20 at 2:00 p.m. Its all under the make-believe big top: a bit of Moulin Rouge, some tango, a touch-ofnaughty cabaret, and even a Sally RandA Show that GlowsKota Yamazakis Glowing Japanese essay on the subtly of darkness and shadows, its a performance that combines an amazing array of artistic nese butoh, African dance movements, Robert Kocik, and music from Tokyobased composer Kohji Setoh. Thanks to Miami Light Project, this stunning combination lands in Miami for three nights, from Thursday, January 24, through Saturday, January 26 Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St.). Showtime is 8:00 p.m. Tickets cost $25. Go to www.miamilightproject.com. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com .Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Rum StoriesBack in 1862, Facundo Bacardi launched his rum company in Cuba. From that moment on, the comlinked to Cubas history. NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten has documented this fascinating tale which includes the tortured relationship between Cuba and the United States, and the rise of Miami Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba which will be the basis of his talk on Thursday, January 24 at Books and Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). The talk at the Coral Gables Museum titled Bacardi: Architecture, Art, and Identity. The reading is free. See www.booksandbooks.com. Destination: EvergladesFlorida doesnt get more wild and wonderful than the sparsely populated Everglades and the island of Chokoloskee, with about 400 inhabitants. Its historic general store is one stop on the Everglades Chokoloskee Adventure Eco-Coach Tour by HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.), from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19 Other stops include the Big Cypress Preserve and famed Everglades photographer Clyde Butchers gallery. Midwinter dryness means gators and myriad birds will be out and about, and readily visible. Make sure you reserve Like Father, Like SonFemi Kuti has followed in the musi cal footsteps of his legendary father Fela, the Afrobeat pioneer, with several Grammy nominations, more than a dozen albums, and a huge international following. (And like his dad, he is a social activist in his native Nigeria.) But his music is his own, with hip-hop version of Afropop. Now, thanks to the Rhythm Foundation, hes bringing his electric live show with his band Positive Force (which includes his own son) to concert starts at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 13 www.rhythmfoundation.com.

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74 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannFootsteps in the Hood300 Block of NE 24th Street Victim was using the upstairs bathroom when he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. He thought it was his roommate, so he called out but did not get a response. He heard the footsteps trailing off into his bedroom. A few minutes later, he exited the bathroom after hearing footsteps rapidly descending the stairs. The victim discovered his iPhone, watch, and wallet were missing from his bedroom. There were no signs of forced entry, as the rear sliding door to the living room had been left open. The mystery intruder has not been caught.Excuse Me, But Is That Purse Taken?200 Block of NE 1st Street Want to meet strangers in bars? Better be prepared to pay. Victim was with a female friend when she met a man at the bering, inebriated people often do. Victim left her purse on her chair and went to use the ladies room. When she returned, her purse and new male friend were gone. Her girlfriend was not much help she was passed out at the bar. The purse contained $500, not to mention credit cards and other personal items. With no money for a cab, and her friend passed out, it was a One Born Every MinuteNE 2nd Avenue and NE 19th Street A young woman approached the victim, but that she couldnt cash it because she was an undocumented immigrant. We gather this touched the victims heart. The woman convinced the victim to get into a car with two other individuals, promising the victim $700 if she would front right? Victim withdrew $200 from her buy postage stamps. However, when she stepped out of the vehicle, she found the establishment was closed. She turned to get off, leaving her on the street. She could not identify the plate number for police.Covering Up the Stench of Crime700 Block of NE 86th Street Victim secured his residence and went to visit his wife. When he returned, he noticed the side window of his house had been shattered. The intruder had apparently hurt himself in this effort, as blood was discovered at the scene. The home were ten bottles of cologne. Police set up a perimeter, but the burglar was not found. COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: ppspost@earthlink.net T.M.Est. 1980

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If anyone spots a man with bandages on his hands, reeking intensely of cologne, they are advised to contact police.Maxed Out, in More Ways Than One5 NE 79th St. A store clerk called police to report a man causing a disturbance in his store. The man had attempted to use multiple credit cards to make a purchase, but each time the card was denied. In frustration, he left the store with his unpaid items, very far, instead choosing to hang out at a gas station across the street. The man who had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol was in the middle of causing another disturbance at the gas station when police arrested him.Cheap Weed Is Illegal, Too135th Street and Biscayne Boulevard While on routine patrol, a North Miami by a car. One of the men made eye man and saw the bag had marijuana in it. The man spontaneously said, Of him, this is not Washington State. The man was promptly arrested.A Crime, but a Deal NeverthelessNE 3rd Avenue and NE 79th Street wearing sheer white pants, sitting on a universal sign for My name is John. the full-service treatment was $40. Ofwoman was arrested.Rise and Shine, Miami!800 Block of NE 82nd Street On a pleasant Sunday morning, victim awoke to the sound of her dogs barking. Okay, maybe they wanted to eat early or just wanted some loving attention. The victim looked out the window, searching for her little critters, only to witness a man stealing her bike. What a way to readily describe the culprit to police because it all happened so fast.Gotta Know When to Fold Them1000 Biscayne Blvd. course, celebrating such good fortune someone with whom to paint the town red. This lucky guy found two women, who agreed to drive with him back to for gas on the way. The victim volunteered to get out and pump, leaving his coming As soon as victim exited the vehicle, the two women drove off. The winnings were inside his jacket. There are no leads. We suggest future winners celebrate by themselves.The Old Switcheroo13700 Block of NE 3rd Court Woman came home and noticed her black tote bag was placed on the bed. The tote bag usually contained jewelry woman looked inside the bag, however, there was no jewelry, only lotion, shampoos, razors, and other toiletries. There were no signs of forced entry and nothing else in the home was disturbed.We Remember This Guy From High School11800 Block of NE 19th Drive door open. Fearing a burglary, she began making sure her valuables were still there. While searching through her home, she received several texts from her ex-boyfriend. The ex apologized for breaking into the home, saying he did so only to leave a couple of notes for the victim. Victim found the notes on have keys to the apartment and has never lived there. Victim was issued a case card and her options were listed for her. We hope one of them was a screening service for boyfriends. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Adapted and Directed by Stephanie Ansinmtcmiami.org (305) 751-9550 Stephen Kaiser in The Love of Three Oranges/ Photo by Pavel Antonov, 2010 jan 30 mar 10, 2013the love of three orangesby carlo gozzi

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76 Columnists: PARK PATROLLittle Park of HorrorsEastern Shores Tot Lot is a ghastly excuse for a play space By Jim W. Harper BT Contributor Eastern Shores hates children. That is the impression given by the neighborhoods singular park: a tot lot with as much personality as mucus. You just want to blow it into a tissue and toss it away. How ugly is your tot lot, Eastern Shores? Your park is so ugly that when you play there, your momma wears a blindfold. Your park is so ugly that your momma makes you wear a blindfold, too. Your park is ugly because Eastern Shores hates children. Are there no children in this neighborhood? Yes, there are, because from the tot lot you can spy another playground in the distance. That much prettier playground is off-limits, however, because it belongs to a private daycare center. That place loves children. You can tell by the bright colors and plastic turtle tricycles and the black iron fence that protects them from the wicked witches of Eastern Shores. Please, momma, please dont make me go back to the ugly tot lot. But I must go back. I must, for the sake of the forsaken children. This sad little lot sits behind the Intracoastal Mall, and it is so well hidden would want to). To locate it, look due north while standing next to Tokyo Massage. There, in the distance way, way across a giant, empty parking lot is a dumpster. Hidden behind the dumpster is the park. Eastern Shores Tot Lot was upgradBeach in 2001, according to the citys website. A newish-looking green tarp covers the playground area, but other parts appear more aged. The saddest and ugliest part of this park is the faux-wood fence made of me?) It even has latticework made of concrete. The slabs of concrete timber have a naturalistic wood grain, and they overlap each other in a somewhat convincing manner. The main problem with this illusion is that some pieces of concrete have cracked and fallen to the ground that, and the fact that the entire fence is the sad, ugly color of concrete. What if a poor child is fooled by the faux timber and decides to knock on wood, or worse yet, bang his head against it? This situation shows how much Eastern Shores hates children. There is one cute item within the tot lot. A bright red, yellow, and blue airplane stands ready for liftoff from a spongy runway. It has seating for up to six tiny passengers. But dont be misled by appearances. This motionless airplane is designed to crush the dreams of little children by showing them that they will never go anywhere. stands a hideous green dinosaur. It moves! How is it possible that the extinct dinosaur moves, while the modern airplane does not? Dont even get me started on the rusted picnic table. Gross. The largest piece of equipment within the playground is what Ill playground forts offer some level of danger, this one should put the Department of Homeland Security on high alert. Why are there steps, if not for children to fall down? Why are the slides so short? Could they be trap doors to an unseen basement of torture? Also, its dirty. The rest of the tot lot looks clean, which is no surprise, because it appears that no one ever visits. Some shoppers did visit at one point, but evidence indicates they may have seen a ghost. Their T.J. Maxx shopping carts lie abandoned at the parks entrance, as if the people Did I mention that Eastern Shores hates children? They also hate the Kardashians, who were prevented from ing, and posing.) also hates parks, but they sure do love canals. Most of Eastern Shores sits behind a gate, and virtually every home land looks sliced and diced. You will get the picture if you imagine Darth Vaders BT photos by Jim W. Harper EASTERN SHORES TOT LOT16501 NE 35th Ave. North Miami Beach 305-948-2957 Hours: Dawn to dusk Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: Picnic pavilions: Tennis courts: Night lighting: Swimming pool: YesPark Rating SW 13TH ST NE 165th StNE 35th Ave

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With a population of more than 4000 in Eastern Shores, why are there no parks? The tot lot, located outside the gated area, only serves tots. What about all the older children and adults who would appreciate the opportunity to be able to walk somewhere besides the mall? Maybe, to paraphrase the hip-hop wisdom of Coolio, the people of Eastern Shores suffer from spending most their lives livin in a shoppers paradise. Eastern Shores hates children, it hates pedestrians, and it hates parks. Eastern Shores has a few empty lots on waterfront designated for residential development, but until those pieces of real estate are snapped up in this dynamic market, why not convert them into pocket parks? Let me apologize I started to think rationally for a second. The Eastern Shores Tot Lot is an abomination. It has an ugly chain-link fence, an even uglier concrete fence, and it sits, like a dunce, in the corner of an oversize parking lot. The green tarp serves as its pointed cap. Underneath the cap is a little shop of horrors that sends both children and adults running away in terror, doing their best impression of Edvard Munchs The Scream Dont think about this park the next time you visit the Intracoastal Mall. Just enjoy yourself. I wonder: Is the movie theater still showing The Guilt Trip ? This review of the Eastern Shores Tot Lot in the City of North Miami Beach was brought to you by Kleenex, the best brand for wiping away snot. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALLions and Tigers in Art, Oh My!The Art Basel scene really was a zoo this yearBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorIf my name looks familiar its because Im a veteran BT contributor. So you are not growing feeble of mind. No cards deck just yet. Thats the good news. The other news (not necessarily bad) is that I have swapped roles. Instead of documenting random oddities round town like I did as the BT s Miami at Large correspondent, Ill be documenting random oddities as well as relaying trends, behavioral and medical information, advice from experts and organizations, and unfurling the ball of writerly yarn exclusively in the service of all things animal. I say animal because this column is now devoted not just to domesticated ani mals and pets, but also to animals that have as well as to the environments in which these animals live and breed, including the ocean, the bay, and the Everglades. I was all ready to write my inaugural column about an incident that occurred a few weeks ago, but then an idea struck me: Art Basel Miami Beach had arrived. And for all the hoopla we hear about Art Basel unfortunately, a lot of it has to do with the parties, as opposed to the art what I see very little of is any mention of the current trend in art as it relates to animals. Thus this months topic: animals in art. I thought this topic to be a particu larly timely one because, by the time you read this, Art Basel and all the related art fairs will have typhooned their way through town, leaving in their wake tons of garbage, amazing street art (in Wynwood), into what is trending in the art world. Or at least what gallery owners believe will sell. Monsignor Edward Pace High School We are Pace... Partners Academics Catholic Empowerment The Tradition of Excellence Continues! Entrance ExamSaturday, January 26, 2013 at 8:00am www.PaceHS.com to get the enrollment process started. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith Chocolate Beast

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Its important to note this difference between what artists are driven to create which is usually based on their thoughts regarding the current state of the world and what the people who sell their work think will make them rich. So in reality, the pieces that make it to market, especially at high-ticket venues like Art Basel and the satellite fairs, may not be representative of all trends, just the sellable ones. Casting that detail aside for now, everyone knows that visual art mirrors popular culture. We can look to art to get an idea of which issues are affecting people on a basic, raw level. Or rather, which issues are affecting artists, who may be a little more sensitive or tuned-in than average people. Its the manifestation of this insight that everyone else calls art. After spending nearly a week attending Art Basel, Art Miami, Context, Scope Miami, Art Asia, Pulse Miami, Design Miami, and some smaller side shows in the Design District (I tried to see them all, but I simply could not), the one overall trend I noticed that seemed sort of new, or at least more prevalent than in the past, was the use of light as a way to alter viewers perceptions. These light bright techniques included projections, mirrored or othercameras incorporated into a piece or, in some cases, directly into a sculpture. Also popular were multidimensional materials and techniques used to create optical illusions. These included lenticular vinyl, layering multiple photographs on top of each other, and using hundreds of small objects to make up one large object. This came off as either an en hancement or a distraction, depending on the piece. As always, art is in the eye of well, you know. So depend ing on which way you viewed the art appeared brilliant or merely gimmicky. One thing is for certain: Many artists seemed keen on forcing viewers to take a look at themselves. Computers have also wormed their way into the art world. At some booths, the art literally was on computer screens. Gone are the days of the paint, paper, and marble oligarchy. Its not that works in these media are nonexistent; theyre just now exhibited shoulder to shoulder with computerized images and 2-D formats. This light bright trend extended, to a degree, to what I saw represented in the art, including animals. When I say art includ ing animals, I mean any kind of medium (sculpture, installation, painting, illustra tion, collage, photography, videography, textiles) in which animals are used literally or symbolically to get a point across, make one think, or to elicit emotion. Besides the light bright overall trend, there were animals used as taxidermy, in either a real or faux manner. (If a piece incorporated animal parts, such as teeth or horns, resin molds were sometimes used.) San Francisco area-based artist Scott Hove, whose work was shown at the Scope art fair, for example, utilized animal teeth in his humorous and eyedazzling pieces, which included fake cake sculptures. I also saw entire animals being utilized as art, usually embellished by or enclosed in various materials and accompanied by other animals, stuffed and otherwise. One example was Japanese-born Kohei Nawas PixCell-Red Deer which bubbles, in which people could also view themselves. That one drew big crowds at Art Basel. The other dominant trend was the anthropomorphic use of animals in work that commented on the abuse and inevitable ruination of the planet by humans. Some of the art featured a bear or rabbit representing a person. Then there was the piece featuring an animal made up of several different taxidermied animal parts. The end result was a bird-like creature thing. Also present were hides and feathers, often utilized as a statement on the practice of using animals in furniture manufacturing. At Pulse, Alan Raths Absolutely, Positively sculptures were minum, custom electronics, and motors. The combination struck me as a motorized feather fan, which is ironic, since birds dont require manipulation by And, unlike the artist, they certainly dont require permission from the art world to exhibit their talents. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Before the Hotel, Before the CityA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiSpecial to the BT By Paul S. GeorgeThe men shown in this rare 1896 photograph of Miami were employed in the construction of Henry M. Flaglers rising Royal Palm River and Biscayne Bay. The wood-frame shacks seen here comprised a bachelors quarters for hotel workers. They are believed to have stood near what is todays NE 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue, north of the hotel. The structures were typical of the jerry-rigged construction in an area that was a wilderness just one year earlier. Many of the Royal Palm Hotel construction workers had moved to Miami by early 1896, as the Flagler organization began to clear land for the structure in March. A fair percentage of these workers were farmers who were victimized by the great freezes of late 1894 and early 1895. Within a few months of this photograph, Miami had incorporated as a city, and many of the hotel workers were among the nascent municipalitys incorporators. The wooded area and the primitive buildings seen here soon gave way to development as Miami grew quickly. ment was the Royal Palm Hotel, which helped showcase Miami as an attractive resort. The great hotel, which opened in 1897, would close its doors after the 1927-1928 season. By then Miami had evolved into one of Americas most famous resorts. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami, #1981-172-3

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On Pines and NeedlesConifers arent that unusual in older South Florida landscapesBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorPhotography is one of my favorite pastimes, so Im always on the lookout for plants and mushrooms to photograph. Normally I use the photos to accompany an article or to place on one of my websites, but sometimes I just take photos for historical or artistic reasons. One day a couple of years ago I was driving through the Brownsville neighborhood when I passed a striking-looking cemetery with above-ground tombs. After a bit of searching, I found the name of the cemetery on the limestone arch at the entrance: Lincoln Memorial Park, established in 1924. This date from early in the last cen tury told me to expect mature and likely photogenic tree species. I know it is a bit morbid, but Ive found and photographed some great mature tree specimens in older cemeteries, and Lincoln Memorial Park was no exception. Many cemeteries do a very good job of managing their trees. After receiving permission from the cemetery manager, I spent several hours carefully walking through the property, taking photos of the trees. One of the more common species on the property was Oriental arborvitae, a lush green and densely branched evergreen conifer. Whenever I see this species, and it is usually in older landscapes, I recall my youth, when its nice, soft foliage would provide a cushy stop for a child running at full speed. (Nevertheless, my friends and I learned to avoid these trees because wasps would frequently make nests in them and they did not take kindly to belligerent children.) Because its a conifer, it does not trees, but unlike pines, the much smaller, egg-shaped cones are colored blue-green. Oriental arborvitae has long been grown as an ornamental plant here in South Florida and can be found up to 20 feet in height and 15 feet in width. As the name might suggest, it hails from China. It thrives in hot, sandy, well-drained conditions, grows slowly, and seems to suffer few insect problems. has been changed to Platycladus orienta lis nursery plant lists by its former name, Thuja orientalis The genus name Platycladus trans many different cultivars of this species. Some stay quite small and grow very well in containers. There is also a cultivar with rust-colored foliage that looks quite distinct from your typical green plant. The photo that accompanies this article shows an Oriental arborvitae growing in Lincoln Memorial Park. It has been trimmed at the base so it is not covering the above-ground tombs. This plant is usually quite dense, with branches and foliage all the way to the ground. Typically we see these plants (when not growing against anything else) in a fat, conical form, but some of the other cultivars are more oval or columnar. There are native conifers besides pine trees that are found in Florida. One of these native trees is eastern red cedar, or Juniperus virginiana It differs from Oriental arborvitae with foliage that is dioecious; it has separate male and female plants with the small cones on the females being bluish in color. (Oriental arborvitae is monoecious, with both male and female In my travels to tropical countries, I have come across many conifer species that grow quite well in our local landscapes. Currently, I am growing a species of Agathis from New Zealand at Jungle Island. It tolerates our temperature, humidity, and soil conditions very well. In New Zealand, it grows to be a very large tree, so it will be interesting to see how it stands up to hurricanes. A couple of years ago at the park, I planted two species of conifer from Indo nesia. They are both Gymnostoma species foliage. They are used as ornamental plants in Southeast Asia; one species was intro duced to Hawaii about 50 years ago. Since they are in the same family as the invasive Australian pine, there is some con cern they too could become invasive. They do not produce root suckers and viable seed across, so I felt comfortable planting them. I see our Dade County pine often planted in landscapes. This is also an attractive tree, but be careful the roots will not tolerate vehicles driving over them and they also dont seem to grow very well in an irrigated landscape. Now, if you want to be able to grow a holiday tree that you dont have to throw out every year, I just gave you some great ideas. ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski

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82 Lucky, Though Probably Not For LongWe may have ducked Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but that doesnt mean climate change should be any less a concernBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWhats the state of the environment in South Florida? Lucky. Lucky that we didnt get hit by Hurricane Sandy. Lucky that we live near the end of a peninsula, far from intensive coal mining and natural-gas fracking. Lucky that no oil spills have arrived from Cuba. Our proverbial glass is always full, like the heads of so many anti-environmental politicians. Asking about the environments status reveals how people are responding to the most important issue of the century. Terrorism may come and go, but pollute them to death. We cannot talk about South Floridas environment in isolation from global events, yet there is no other place on earth like it, so we must try to think both locally and globally. Perspective is everything, because an optimist can look outside the window and see nothing but blue skies and clean beaches. The pessimist sees a less-blue sky owing to air pollution and bemoans an eroding beach and degraded ocean. A realist sees both. in the actions of local individuals who care about the environment, even though our collective actions register as apatheting a sandcastle in response to a tsunami of waste and historic climate change. Hurricane Sandy batted her vengeful eyes at us, but had other prey in mind this year. For every year that The Big One misses us, we must be grateful. The glass-half-full version of Hurricane Sandy is that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican (now an independent), acknowledged climate change and endorsed President Barack Obama. With its head in the sand, the rest of the GOP is bent over and headed for a wicked sunburn. The last presidential debate in Boca Raton happened before Hurricane Sandy, so there was no serious talk of climate change. (Indeed, there was possibly less talk of climate change in these presiden tial debates than in any since 1984, when other hand, Boca Raton hosted the regions summer. That glass is half full, and rising. On October 18, a few local protesters stood in saltwater above their ankles on Alton Road in South Beach to draw attention to this issue. (Thats because the area near the Whole Foods Market tides.) The beaches are eroding, despite in December tore down portions of the nitely getting fuller. When I talk to local environmentalists, they seem both energized by the need to address growing threats and under Like a nightmarish episode of Sesame Street this letter has been kidnapped. The changed its name to the Department of S stood for Sustainability. Gov. Rick Scott hasnt dismantled the replace the states Department of Communi Opportunity. His priorities are clear. State Sen. Miguel de la Portilla of Miami has followed the governors lead by trying to protect sewage pipes that dump directly into the ocean, which exist no where in the state except in South Florida. Just over one year ago, the Miami Herald published my op-ed about the state of the environment in Miami, but recently they turned down a similar offer. At least they still employ a sound environmental reporter, Curtis Morgan, unlike many other news outlets. News about South Floridas environment is almost universally bad and getting worse, and this trend holds globally as well. (Keep in mind that global warming affects colder regions more severely than warm regions.) But climate change involves much more than rising temperatures. When it comes to sea-level rise, Miami tops the list as the worlds most vulnerable city (economically speaking), yet serious discussions about it are rare. Some good organizations, such as the South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, and some good people are doing their best to initiate the conversation. But we should be way beyond starting erglades, however slowly, but urban South for reduce, reuse, and recycle. This new year, the forecast for our environment is decidedly mixed: warmer weather, higher seas, and one big hurricane away from a new reality. Lucky us. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Boutique practice in a cozy & warm atmosphereLOCATED 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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Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY TT reasured Memento or Junk? Figuring out what to keep and what to ditch from your childs early years isnt easyBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorWeve all been there: playing Frisbee in the yard, close to the recycling bin. We thought the watercolor was buried deep in the remnants of the Sunday paper and then: Mommy, why is my painting in the recycling bin? Ouch! My kids make art. A lot of art. My three-year-old alone comes home with about 15 pieces of art every day. Multia month, 12 months a year. Where do you store 3600 masterpieces? A&Es Hoarders is reality TV at current living conditions for the ritual of holding on to the purchases of the past. It is consumerism gone way, way wrong. But it seems so easy to become one of these people. Our house is not large. Like many older Miami homes, it has little closet space and no attic. After the cream of the childrens art crop comes off the fridge, it makes its way to the countertop, then if its lucky, to the back of the closet. But it isnt unusual for it to between the couch cushions, or even into the bathroom for a while. We grow attached: Isnt the way she drew daddys nose so cute? Isnt the hair he painted on that penguin so funny? We bought a large plastic container in a matter of weeks. We bought another. Perhaps Ill make a scrapbook when I have more time. Perhaps Ill buy frames with their art. And there it is It all starts so innocently, with a well-meaning plan and, the next thing you know, your house is wheezing for air under mountains of objets dart Thats when A&E shows up with the cameras. Its not about the art, though. Its about holding on to a quickly dissolv ing childhood. Its about memorial izing a sweet time when the sun wore sunglasses and there were rainbows on everything. I want to encourage creativity. I want show them I appreciate their imagination. I want to show my grandchildren the necklace their mommy made from macaroni. I also want a healthy living space and room for common household items like bath towels and a vacuum cleaner. My mother-in-law periodically sends us little things she kept from my husrine, a ceramic plate he painted at age this stuff, too? Come on!) Am I a monster for needing to weed out the everyday from the extraordinary? My neighbor, Alfredo, recently shared a similar story with me. It just got to be too much for him and his wife. They found an app called Ever note that has allowed them an endless virtual fridge. I fell in love with this idea. We went a step further and created Evernote accounts for both Everly and Matilda. We linked them to their Gmail accounts. but we often send them messages about time camping. They also occasionally use them for e-mailing grandma.) With some tagging features, weve eliminated most of the guilt associated with shedding the construction paper. Weve also solved the issue of not having a baby book! Google Chrome, feel free to feature me in your next tearjerker of a commercial. Fancy app aside, we still have a twinge of remorse when the woven placemat or gluey-glittered Cheerio mosaic ends up in the blue bin. My husband asked if it made him a bad father to throw out the scribble drawing of Cookie Monster. It was a sweet gift. So were the really appreciate that we saved this? Not long ago, my mother sent me a box full of angsty notes from my high notes?) I spent hours remembering a 16-year-old who once roamed this planet with big bangs and plans to become a country-western singer. Now, that was worth keeping! Im not sure I would have had the same walk down memory lane with a box of papier-mch projects completed at age three. My friend Susan swears that involv what to keep and what to purge has saved countless tears and one sweet little ego. Together they decide what goes on the fridge and what is stored container). Annually she goes through the container and weeds through the keepers for the year. I am not a monster. I am not a hoarder. I really like the toilet-paper-roll robot that Everly made this week, though, and I think it looks fantastic on the mantle at least for now. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrr ntbtrnrrn rrnrtr rrrtr rnrnf rfnttbt t rr rfntbrt rrrrtrfrf rr

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84 By Bill Citara BT ContributorEveryone knows about the 12 Days of Christmas. The pear tree, the maids, the lords, the damn birds; youd think they were 13th, 14th, and 15th days of Christmas, and beyond. You know, when all the hard they just lie there. Limp. Dead. broke. Or maybe not. Either way, instead of Gastrointestinal distress aside, we probably already won the lottery and are wines that are well made and well and the ability to play well with food. with the 2011 Silver Range Torrontes, or assertively seasoned dishes. 2011 Las Lilas Vinho Verde is on that like skins on the kind of wine you dont have to think Dont think at all about the 2011 Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc Domaine Houchart proof and affordable wines around. raspberry fruit with a hint of smoky minerality and a surpris Cheap red wines are they just dont have the depth Oak Grove 2010 Reserve Zinfandel Estancias 2011 Pinot Noir does offer a Santa Cristina 2010 Toscana that delivers the most for the money. Waft Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbt Going Cheap in the New YearRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Enough Already with the Sliders!Food news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorJanuary is the month that restaurant goers get curious about what they might be eating the rest of the year, and food industry folks always compile endless lists telling them. Dont bother wading through em all. Ive done it for you. A major 2013 predicted trend that has made multiple lists is the expansion of the farm-to-table food concept to farm-to-bar: drinks using seasonal local fruits, veggies, herbs, and even cured meats (chorizo-infused tequila; bacon-infused bourbon). More drinks with tropical/Latin accents, too, making Miami the natural trendsetter (think housemade chipotle-pineapple syrup). Other predictions include tasting menus tanking even further, small-plates menus continuing to climb; more charcuterie boards; more emphasis on vegetables, particularly leafy greens (kale could be this years Brussels sprouts); fast-food chains adding gourmet items; tart/fruity sumac, plus more Asian condiments/spices (you know sriracha, and by 2014 youll know gochujang); weirder desserts, using veggies or savory spices; more mini food items: pizza sliders, cinnamon bun sliders. A trend Id personally love: less ignorant terminology on menus. Not every mini-size food item is a slider, chefs/ restaurateurs! (Historically, a grease component enabling the alternatively named gut bomb to slip right down ones throat and, shortly thereafter, exit elsewhere is vital.) And dont even get me started on every thin-sliced food item being called a carpaccio. This months new restaurants feature many of these trends minus mine. OPENINGS Momi Ramen (5 SW 11th St., 786391-2392). Having recently gone rather ramen-noodle nuts on a trip to NYC, I can say that Momis soup noodle bowls rival some of that citys best. Noodles are made fresh several times daily (as are the skins of the gyozas garnishing half the bowls, along with veggie toppings; pork is the main topping in the other half). What most makes the bowls superior, though, are their three types of cooked down for almost a full day: tonkotsu, based on pork bones; miso, tonkotsu with fermented seasoning paste added; or chicken-based shoyu. Ol (100 Chopin Plaza, 305-5771000). Adjacent to chef/restaurateur Richard Sandovals lunch/dinner restolounge Toro Toro, in the main lobby of downtowns renovated InterContinental Hotel, this breakfast-only eatery also serves mostly pan-Latin-inspired food. Together the restaurants replace Indigo, whose food was mostly uninspired. An expansive early-morning buffet did make Indigo a power breakfast destination, and an all-you-can-eat option remains, along with la carte choices. The food is just hipper and more modern Miamian. Casablanca on the Bay (1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-4930). This snazzy indoor/outdoor seafood spot on to the Miami Rivers original Casablanca market/restaurant which has its own menu is basically the same, but with small plates (including a charcuterie board) and a massive wine menu added to match the upscale-lounge ambiance and million-dollar view of Biscayne Bay. PastaBox (60 SW 10th St., 305-3713114). This fast-food Italian eatery feachef (Frederic Joulin, ex-Villa Mayfair), and a concept popular in Eastern and Western Europe: Create your own quick custom pastas by combining your choice of carb, then choosing from varied housemade sauces (and possibly la carte protein toppings), then picking portion size. And yes, it comes in a supercute box, so its stylish as well as swift. Feverish Ice Cream and Gourmet Pops (3252 NE 1st Ave. #120, 305-4821832). The Feverish folks have been selling their popsicles from a food truck (actually a little food Toyota) for several shop. Go, grown-ups. The weekly changing 25 varieties are far from the fake Fresh fruits and herbs, plus occasionally booze, are used to create frozen-pop concoctions like orange cilantro, strawberry balsamic, jerk chocolate or vanilla, and Star Stripe (starfruit and Red Stripe beer). Market (20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-3750055). In the space originally occupied by Mia, this restolounge (with a small deli/market component) has mostly Mediterranean-inspired food with international fusion pop-ups. Dishes are basically familiar. Its the menus mix thats different: lots of popular pastas, plus French onion soup, teriyaki-sauced tuna, an old-fashioned American resort-type crab cocktail, chicken quesadillas, and (she said with a sigh) sliders. Also new: a second Democratic Republic of Beer (501 NE 1st Ave., 305372-4161) and a third Salsa Fiesta (18167 Biscayne Blvd., 305-931-7401). More food news in BizBuzz (page 30). Send me your tips and alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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86 MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAijo1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 786-452-1637 Hidden within Jade condo, this sleek Japanese fusion resto lounge (whose name means love) is also a jewel. Food-loving Venezuelan owner Rene Buroz encourages innovation, and his chefs (including four from Zuma) respond with beautifully plated items as fun as they are flavorful. Dont miss the layered croquante (a sort of Asian croqueta: mouthwatering crispy rice, subtly smoked salmon, and creamy crab), Aijo kani (king crab legs with citrus foam clouds and rich emulsified butter dip), or creative cocktails from a mixologist who also juggles and plays with fire. Area 31270 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 Mediterraneaninfluenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/ sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$Banana & Leaf234 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., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mixand-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Bon Fromage500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eatin diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ Brother Jimmys BBQ900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J evidently didnt hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmys opened more than 20 years ago. Miamis location is actually the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the slow-smoked pulled pork butt tastes righteous -no interfering glop, just hot sauce-spiked vinegar to balance the fab fattiness. Theres other cue, too, including big (not baby back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$-$$$Bryan in the Kitchen104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-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. $-$$ Caf Bastille248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very Frenchfeeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal500 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. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the winecurious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ The Corner1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887 With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or creative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is transforming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout. The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets (the latter from Om Nom Noms cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti) ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the Crazy Madame, Frances elaborate Croque Madame (a bchamel sauce-topped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon and caramelized onion. $-$$ Crazy About You1155 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. $$$ Cvi.che 105105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/ cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like ChinesePeruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can find it. (Hint: The mysterious Avenue of the Americas is really Biscayne Boulevard Way. Dont ask.) Downtowns db is an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 313.rf ntbnfnt tnft ntf f t tf fnf fff NEW THIS MONTH MIAMIBRICKELL/DOWNTOWNReggae Tacos93 SE 2nd St., 786-425-9558For diners on the go, who want food fast but not typical fast food, this places Mexican-Jamaican fusion specialties are ideal. Taco or burrito shells encase inventive jerk pork (with mango, pickled onions, and cabbage), scotch-bonnet beef with avocado/cheddar salsa, vinegar/spice-marinated escovitch veggies, curried goat, and other island dishes that are normally plated entres, transforming them into playful portable packages. And do save some stomach space for deep-fried festival, sinfully scrumptious cornmeal mini-doughnuts sweetened with both vanilla-spiked honey and powdered sugar. $ Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/dinner destination mainly by default. This replacement, from restaurant empire-builder Richard Sandoval, brings downtown power dining into this decade. As the name suggests, you can go bullish with steakhouse fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) rodizio experience. But the places strongest suit is its pan-Latin small plates -upscaled refinements of classic favorites: crisp corn arepas with short rib, guacamole, and crema fresca; fluffier cachapas pancakes with tomato jam; more. $$$-$$$$$ MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTBloom2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5443Miamis most innovative art district is the perfect setting for this hip hangout, whose mad-genius menu proves that food is indeed one of the creative arts. Reinvented Latin/ Asian street foods from chef Ricky Sauri (ex-Nobu) include spicy Spam-topped rice cakes; tuna tartare in seaweed tacos; a reina pepiada arepa, whose traditional mild chicken filling is replaced by shredded duck, avocado, tangy-sweet tamarind sauce, and Japanese mayo; an especially elegant Korean bibimbap; a vegan shitakepumpkin tamale with nutty, cheesy natto sauce. For liquid art aficionados: cocktails like the eye-popping Tequila Beets (featuring roasted beet juice). $$$MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948Chef/co-owner Dena Marino calls MCs food modern Italian -neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this place is one of our towns hottest tickets. But tasting tells the tale. Marinos food incorporates her entire culinary background, from her Nonnas traditional ItalianAmerican kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarellos famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548Behind this Wynwood warehouse faade youll find pure Southern roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbecue from pit master Myron Mixon. Oddly, considering Mixons many BBQ championships, the cue can be inconsistent. Our favorite choices: St. Louis ribs, tender without being falling-off-the bone overcooked, and enjoyably fattier than baby backs; vinegar-doused pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$

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88 The Democratic Republic of Beer255 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. $$D-Dog House50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita1000 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. $$$Dominique Bistro-Club1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-371-8859At typical restolounges, the resto part often gets the short end of the stick. But not at this chic but friendly spot, where Gerardo Barrera, an alumn of Pariss Le Cordon Bleu, plus his wife Dominque and her brother Jos Sigona, welcome diners with Frances best-known bistro classics: coquilles St. Jacques (tender scallops in mushroom/white wine sauce); a precision-cooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 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. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eos485 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 pistachiogarnished 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. $$$-$$$$Eternity Coffee Roasters117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on miniboxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River401 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. $$ First Hong Kong Caf117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 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. $-$$Giovana Caffe154 SE 1st Ave.305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse901 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. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine 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 Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (fromscratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily competent service. $$$Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale 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 mar ket, 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. $$$$$

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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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Jackson Soul Food950 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 Bar2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, for merly 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? $$Largo Bar & Grill401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$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. $-$$ La Provence1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated inte rior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 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. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus25 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. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Machiya Ramen Noodle House3250 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025While this chic-looking Japanese spot has an extensive selection of todays popular izakaya-style Asian fusion small plates (misobraised short ribs, marinated crudos), the real reason to come is ramen -both hot and cold bowls of appealingly toothsome housemade noodles that bear no resemblance to the packaged corkscrews that got you through college. Admittedly, these bowls arent student-budget ($15-$20), but seafood, meat, and exotic veggie toppings are plentiful, and a $2 kae-dama system supplies an extra serving for your soup. Reasonably priced addi tional toppings are also available. $$-$$$Martini 28146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant236 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 Leaf1063 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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Naoe661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263 Chances are youve never had anything like the $85 prix-fixe 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 mind-reelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sau sage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredientdriven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various macand-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/ goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$Ozzi Sushi200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pashas1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Pega Grill15 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. $$ Peoples Bar-B-Que360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones15 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. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly charblistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/deliveryonly Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$Pier 9494 SE 1st St., 305-379-5652Tucked 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 particularly strong on Perus penchant for fusion food, including traditional Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) rice or noodle stir-fries. But the chef also fuses classic and creative influences. Try contemporary causas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025 Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM Specializing in Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisine *Free Medium Pizza*with $25 purchase or more. With this ad.Now open at Noon on Sundays 10% off Catering Menu18228 W Dixie Hwy. N Miami Beach | PH:305.792.9455

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nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingre dients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Pollos & Jarras115 NE 3rd Ave., 786-567-4940From Juan Chipoco, Peruvian chef/co-owner of seafood-centric Cvi.Che 105, this stylish but affordable two-level restaurant is centered around pollo a la brasa, as a huge rotisserie oven attests. Grilled steaks, unique sandwiches, anticuchos, and varied starters and sides are also served, but the must-notmiss is rotisserie chicken, marinated in roughly a dozen-anda-half seasonings before a self-basting spin on the spit cooks it to incomparable juiciness. Its served with crisp fries and a substantial salad. Meals also come with a complimentary cup of aguadito -assertively cilantro-spiked chicken rice soup. $$ Porketta43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034Warm, juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herb-stuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced porketta) roast, at its best, is hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry deli-style pork roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or in three mini-sandwiches, convenient for sampling the places three sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $-$$PreludeAdrienne 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. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar650 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. $$$Rosa Mexicano900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Scalina315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soi Asian Bistro134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/ mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempurabattered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$TIKL Raw Bar & Grill1450 Brickell Ave. #110, 305-372-0620From restaurateur Claudio Giordano and chef Simon Stojanovic, the team behind longtime South Beach seafood favorite Altamare, this eatery is similar in food genre (contemporary American), though more global influences, especially from Asia, are evident here. Additionally, rather than serving conventional three-course meals, TIKLs menu focuses on small plates: creative crudos (like hamachi with yuzu, wasabi, and olive oil powder), plus robata-grilled and otherwise cooked items. Standouts: garlic/citrus-spiked local white shrimp with sweet shishito peppers; Thai curried mussels with crisped sushi rice; sinful bacon toast. $$$-$$$$ Tobacco Road626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Trapiche Room1109 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 Europeantype 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 and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restau rant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tu yo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Waxy OConnors690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puffpastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish

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bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$Wok Town119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robatagrilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restau rants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Acme Bakery & Coffee3451 NE 1st Ave. #103, 786-507-5799 From Pious Pig Restaurant Group (whose other ventures include Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea! and the creative/rustic Federal Food, Drink & Provisions), this cozy bakery/caf is, again, just what its neighborhood needed. The specialty is homemade artisan breads, from Colonial-era Sally Lunn to crusty sourdough made with wild midtown Miami yeasts; these honest loaves make the places breakfasts, served all day, and lunchtimes sandwiches (like meatloaf and cheddar with onion marmalade) superior. Coffee is single-origin stuff from Wynwoods Panther. Also available: gift baskets featuring housemade preserves and pickles. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Basanis3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood redsauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$Bengal2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurant-starved stretch of Biscayne Boulevard, this spot serves the same sort of simple but satisfying Italian fare (antipasti, soups, salads, pizzas) as its older sibling, South Miamis Blu Pizzeria, plus burgers. The thin-crust, pliable pizzas, though lacking burn blisters, are brick-oven cooked, as are blues, unusual calzones (like the blu oceano, fatly filled with mozzarella, prosciutto crudo, arugula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 181800 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. $$Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supreme ly satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli4590 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. $-$$ Cafeina297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose 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. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos3252 NE 1st Ave. #104 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant2004 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/crunchycrusted 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. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/ caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co.2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajar eque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ Egyptian Pizza KitchenShops 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. $$18th Street Caf210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and FriesShops 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. $Gigi3470 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 RitzCarlton) 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 house made pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ Harrys Pizzeria3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; woodoven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jean Pauls House2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373Jean Paul Desmaison, original chef/co-owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables, has chosen a decidedly less tony, more transitional neighborhood for this venture. But inside his renovated bungalow, ambiance is stylishly cozy, and the creative contemporary North/South American fusion cuisine is as elegant as ever. Best bets are dishes influenced by Desmaisons native Peru, including crispy pork belly braised in pisco with silky sweet potato pure, and a beautifully balanced nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian) salmon sashimi that does the impossible: tame leche de tigre, Perus infamous tigers milk marinade. $$$-$$$$ Jimmyz Kitchen2700 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,

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surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchycrusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Latina3509 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-9655At last, an authentic Venezuelan arepera (purveyor of home made arepas, with a variety of meat, cheese, and veggie fillings) that isnt out in the boonies -and decidedly isnt a dive. With colorful dcor concocted from recycled objects, this space, though small, has truly eclectic, Midtown style. The signature corn cakes, crisped outside and fluffy inside, put sodden supermarket specimens to shame. And cachapas (softer, sweeter corn pancakes folded around mozzarella-like fresh cheese) or bollarepitas (cheese-stuffed deep-fried corn cakes, with tangy nata dip) may be even tastier. $-$$La Provence2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 20002501 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. $$Lemoni Caf4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively richtasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican GrillShops 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 Sabor3045 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. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwesternstyle fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepitacrusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemoncrusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mercadito Midtown3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treatpacked special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ Mikes at Venetia555 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contempo rary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/ pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$Pieducks3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mixand-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami3451 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

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enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Sakaya KitchenShops 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 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 soupsto-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. $$-$$$ Salsa Fiesta2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-freshdaily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Shokudo World Resource Caf 4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resources caf was better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The indoor/outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan-Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light housemade momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/Nepalese steamed dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions. Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$-$$$ South Street Restaurant & Bar4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474In the historic Buena Vista post office building, this neo-soul food restaurant features family recipes from chef Amaris Jones, a Philly native. Along with tasty traditional favorites like fried chicken or shrimp and cheese grits with low-country gravy, there are lightened classics (green tomatoes that are grilled, not fried, with basil cream aioli), plus a few items whose street cred seems to come from a Soul Train stop at the Bryn Mawr Country Club (surf and turf). Food comes with a soul soundtrack befitting the lounge vibe. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/ fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tapas y Tintos3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club1717 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 Bar3301 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. $-$$ Wine Vault MiamiShops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include chorizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from worldfamous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$Balans Biscayne6789 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 Collar6730 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. $-$$Boteco916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Buddha Sushi Bar1071 NE 79th St., 305-677-3633While the setting is still more low-rent/high-speed causeway than restaurant row, this stylish, much-more-than-sushi spot definitely brings the street giant steps toward destination-dining status. The invention and skill shown in makis like the Fruity

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(shrimp, salmon, tuna, whitefish, roe, asparagus, and peaches, dressed with creamy mustard sauce), or small plates like shrimp crullers with a red wine reduction, isnt surprising considering the crafter is Michael Asalie, original chef at downtowns Little Lotus. Order from the menu or grab something from the circulating sushi river, whatever floats your boat. $$$ Chef Creole200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas7251 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 arugu la, 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 Grill7030 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. $-$$ East Side Pizza731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/ chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern-inspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Garden of Eatin136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Go To Sushi5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Gourmet Station7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Jimmys East Side Diner7201 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. $-$$La Cigale7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contempo rary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweetsavory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$Namaste7420 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 Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a fullfledged 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. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 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 Miamis Artisan Bakery! Made from Scratch, fresh breads daily!

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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. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 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. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/ soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$Uvas6900 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 Bakery646 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 coowns 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 aver age Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $NORTH BAY VILLAGEThe Crab House1551 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 favor ites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global spe cials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. Whil e raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Oggi Caffe1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, home made pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey traditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If youve wondered about the much-debated difference, heres where to test the taste. $-$$Shuckers Bar & Grill1819 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. $-$$Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Sports Grill2995 NE 163rd St., 305-944-4552Like the other five locations of this popular local mini chain (which originated more than 20 years ago), NMBs family-friendly sports bar/grill has walls lined with flat-screen TVs and a menu packed with all the classic game-watching munchies, some with Old South twists, like jalapeo poppers with pepper jelly dipping sauce. Must-haves are the charbroiled special wings, meaty and mild. But for those who prefer more highly spiced wings, there are six additional varieties. Cool down with a craft beer from a list that changes weekly to avoid boredom. $-$$Trio on the Bay1601 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 fid dle 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 Open: Monday-Friday 11:30am-10:00pm Saturday 5:30-11:00pm www.jeanpaulshouse.com 2426 NE 2nd Ave | Miami FL 33137 | Tel. 305.573.7373

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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. $$$-$$$$ KChapas1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden7337 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 minicrab 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. $$-$$$Rouge CineCafe908 71st St., 305-865-5955 This friendly cafs dcor is indeed playfully red, and the cine refers to vintage films projected unobtrusively on a wall. But the main attraction is the French and Moroccan food, both genres as authentically homey as youll find in the homes of those cuisines. For hearty eaters, exotically spiced tagine stews, like lamb with prunes, are the way to go. Grazers will find Rouges bocaditos (evocatively French saucisson sec, or Moroccan merguez sausage with grilled onions and hot harissa sauce, both on crusty Boulart bread) irresistible -as are housemade desserts. $$-$$$ Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys executive 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 Market908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-caneat). 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 Gourmet9999 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 meticu lous 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 Club10000 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. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooey-cheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$ 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 coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, customcut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$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 Burger15400 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 Sucre899 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 freshbaked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ 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. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/ soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/ chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a topdrawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversationfriendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$

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Giraffas1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-tenbuck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Il Piccolo Caf2112 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 whitewine-sauce-drenched 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. $$Le Griot de Madame John975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333When Madame moved her base of operations from her Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal one, and still mostly take-out), she began offering numerous traditional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tassot and an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt before poaching with various veggies and spices). But the dish that still packs the place is the griot: marinated pork chunks simmered and then fried till theyre moistly tender inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Los Antojos11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombian-cuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Mama Jennies11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Smashburger14730 Biscayne Blvd., 786-406-6614Two things distinguish the griddled patties of this Denver-based chain, touted as the nations fastest-growing better burger restaurant, from other better burgers: a nod to local tastes (like toppings of fried chorizo and potato fritas), and the smashing technique, producing an appealing thickly crusted exterior. Got burger overkill? Substitute chicken, or have a salad. An added draw: unusual veggie sides, which go beyond regular and sweet potato fries to crisp onion strings, veggie frites (carrots, string beans), and an Old South fish-camp classic: fried pickles. $-$$Steves Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tiny Thai House12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646The space is tiny. The menu, which features Thai specialties but includes sushi plus Japanese appetizers and entres, is not. Despite the huge selection of sushi/Thai restaurant standards, though, dont overlook items harder to find in America, like floating noodle soup, a popular street food from Thailands boat-based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-rich beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll (tuna, salmon, crab, avo cado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to Chinese-American to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$

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Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this nostalgic hangout. New owners have made some changes, including a dcor/ambiance upgrade (theres now a patio lounge, with music) and an expanded menu featuring contemporary comfort foods like fire-grilled pizzas with fresh toppings (homemade mozzarella, etc.), several salads, and veggie burgers. But timetested road food favorites remain: big beef burgers, hot dogs, and of course, Woodys famous cheesesteak, done traditional Philly-style with shaved ribeye. You can even get Cheese Whiz. To drink, there are nine draft beers plus old-school shakes. $$NORTH MIAMI BEACH8 Oz. Burger Bar14815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-1988Celebrity chef Govind Armstrongs first 8 Oz., in South Beach, almost singlehandedly started Miamis burger craze, and when Armstrong severed ties with the Alton Road original, this location became his standard-bearer. Burgers are far from bargain-priced, but ingredients like grass-fed Wagyu beef, Niman Ranch lamb, and Humboldt Fog goat cheese, plus garnishes shining with chef-driven creativity (charred escarole, unctuous short rib, fried caper tartar sauce) justify the extra bucks. Kobe corn dogs, grilled artichokes with herb aioli, and stout-battered onions rings are also highly recommended. $$-$$$ Bamboo Garden1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$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 Grill14776 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 & Grill1127 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. $-$$Christines Roti Shop16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland fauxCantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ El Gran Inka3155 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). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, escolar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$Green House Organic Food Restaurant3207 NE 163rd St., 305-594-6787The name sounds a bit healthfoody, but theres no crunchy granola here. Argentine-born, globally traveling chef Marcelo Marino, whos also an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu Miami, uses only organic and/or sustainable produce and proteins to serve upscale avant-garde fusion fare: halibut atop traditional French Nantua (creamy lobster) sauce, with lemongrass/saffron-infused faro risotto; octopus with delicate black radish tempura and coconut/pineapple/tea foam; and similar stuff requiring mad skills in both classic cooking and molecular gastronomy. Breads, cheeses, and cured meats are all made in-house, too. $$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popu lar after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express17048 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 rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN

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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. $Heelsha1550 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 Deli16275 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. $-$$Kabobji3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veg-garnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant514 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. $$King Palace330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Kings County Pizza18228 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-792-9455If your feelings about Brooklyn-style pizza have been formed by Dominos flopsy-crusted, ketchupy, cheesefoody pies, stop here to sample a slice of the real thing. Admittedly, the crusts are not those of the coal-fired classics from Brooklyns legendary Totonnos or Grimaldis, but theyre similarly medium-thin and crisp -though not like a cracker; you can fold them for neat street eating, and they taste like honest bread, not cardboard. A variety of toppings are available even on slices. There are also whole pies with varied toppings. The large is humongous. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteriastyle space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon16752 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. $-$$The Melting Pot15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet940 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-inblankets); 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 Thai14841 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 Thaiinspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found else where. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Soprano Caf & Italian Restaurant3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225Racks has a new owner and a new name. Italian chef Rocco Soprano is bringing his authentic Italian flavors and style to a love ly setting. Well have more details next month, but we know the specialties include Italian steaks, seafood, and an oyster bar. One thing that wont change: the coal-fired pizza oven, which reliably turns out an astonishingly light yet chewy crust that makes the pies a revelation. Especially enjoyable is the waterfront deck. $$Roasters & Toasters18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sandwiches? Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Consider the Carnegie-style monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we we ighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky hand-sliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$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 Square54 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. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ Sushi House15911 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. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Tunas17850 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 Hakin73 NE 167th St., 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modestlooking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$

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Yakko-San3881 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. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out MondayFriday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci1009 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. $$$ L e Pine1052 Kane Concourse, 305-861-1059This upscale Lebanese restaurant serves dishes with the sort of understated sophistication that makes clear why Beirut was called the Paris of the East. Youll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites, but many have refinements that lift them above average: pita thats housemade, charmingly fluffy when warm from the oven; falafel incorporating flavorful fava beans with the usual ground chickpeas. Especially appealing are more uncommon items like crisp-fried cauliflower with tahini, fateh (a chickpea casserole iced with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/herbfilled sambusak pastries. Finish exotically with a hookah. $$-$$$ Open Kitchen1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chefcentered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with meltin-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$BagelWorks18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of handsliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ Bella Luna19575 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 Sushi600 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. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350 Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories including hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantrolime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$Fresko19048 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. Asianinfluenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pine apple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$The Grill on the Alley19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Il Migliore2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$ Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$Luca B ella19088 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 checkeredtablecloth eatery -and Italian-American comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a meal-size marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing modern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumbcoated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$Mos Bagels & Deli2780 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

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seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, Americanized-Cantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbeanstyle seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New York-style pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommo dating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)SUNNY ISLES BEACHChef Philip Ho16850 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 Chimney18090 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 creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/ potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily spe cials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome 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. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale ItalianAmerican place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$Piazzetta17875 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 Italian-inspired 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. $$$St. Petersburg Deli17080 Collins Ave., 305-947-9696Dont expect fancified stuff like menus, or the English language, at this informal market/cafe. If theres signage identifying the prepared foods behind the counters, its in Russian, and daily dishes are pretty much what the cooks feel like making. So look and point. Wed suggest pointing at cold yogurt-based soups like tangy okroshka (with cukes, egg, scallions, potatoes, and dill) or holodnik (similar, with beets added); eggplant roulades, stuffed with spiced shredded carrots, are also a refreshing summer dish. Hot choices include meatballs in rich cream sauce and chicken Kiev. $$ Timo17624 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 woodoven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ 1035 N. Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33136 | 305-961-7887 www.TheCornerMiami.com | facebook.com/the.corner.miami.ave OPEN LATE

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UPPER EASTSIDE OFF MARKET SALE 4 BD / 3 BA home with a pool on oversized corner lot. Built in 1926 and has tremendous character, charm, and grandeur. Call us about listed and off-market opportunities. We are your Upper Eastside experts! MARCY KAPLAN & LORI BRANDT | 786.543.5755 gimmeshelter@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRID OR: 3550 BISCAYNE BLVD OFFICES FOR LEASE | PRICE UPON REQUEST Locate your business at 3550 Biscayne, a 7 story ofce building with onsite parking. Featuring a very central location on Biscayne Boulevard. Upgraded ofce suites 150 SF + up available for lease. TONY ARELLANO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com MIDTOWN: 3557 NE 2ND AVE RETAIL FOR LEASE | PRICE UPON REQUEST Exclusive opportunity to lease prime retail space at the entrance to Miamis most exciting neighborhoods: Midtown & The Design District. Space available from 7,500 10,000 SF. Will build to suit. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com BAYSIDE: NE 71 STREET FOR SALE $375,000 Open and airy 2 BD / 2 BA in popular Bayside neighborhood, east of Biscayne Blvd, just steps to the bay. Salt water pool. Short sale! Cash offers only. We are your Upper Eastside experts! MARCY KAPLAN & LORI BRANDT | 786.543.5755 gimmeshelter@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 1635 N MIAMI AVE FOR LEASE $17 PSF 5,200 SF, no columns, 23 high ceilings, 2 new 12.5 ton a/c units, 2 new bathrooms with showers, new electrical and plumbing. Suitable recreational or ofce/ warehouse use. Has loading platform. Parking available. TONY ARELLANO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com WYNWOOD: 2900 NW 1 AVE FOR LEASE $17 PSF GROSS | FOR SALE $6,200,000 29,800 building SF which can accommodate a variety of uses such as private collection, creative ofce, showroom, gallery, studio, retail or a variety of mixed uses. Adjacent to the Rubbell Collection. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com MIAMI SHORES: 1200 NE 103 ST REDUCED TO $999,000 4 BD / 4 BA beautiful mid-century modern open oor plan home. House has been completely updated. Pool is nished with Pebbletec. Beautiful gardens, huge open rooms, terrazzo oors and impact windows. IRENE DAKOTA | 305 972 8860 idakota@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 299 NW 36th ST FOR SALE $1,650,000 Wynwood live/work warehouse! Features full kitchen, saloon style wrap around mezzanine + charming urban garden. Appx. 5,000 SF under air with amazing 20 clear ceiling heights. Desirable T-5O zoning. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com UPPER EAST SIDE: 243 NE 62 ST FOR SALE & FOR LEASE | PRICE UPON REQUEST 3,200 7,000 SF warehouses available for sale and for lease. These warehouses feature an excellent location, and are minutes away from Downtown Miami, Design District and Miami Beach. IRENE DAKOTA | 305 972 8860 idakota@metro1properties.com MIAMI SHORES: 85 NW 102 ST FOR SALE $220,000 Newly renovated 3 BD / 2 BA home in Miami Shores! The property has a brand new kitchen, bathrooms and the roof has just been redone. The house now has central A/C, new washer, dryer and sprinklers. IRENE DAKOTA | 305 972 8860 idakota@metro1properties.com DESIGN DISTRICT: 3 711 NE 2 AVE FOR SALE $8,200,000 The iconic Power Studios is back on the market. This 13,102 SF building sits on a 11,336 SF lot and allows over +/100,000 SF of gross development. Will not last. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com renderingDESIGN DISTRICT: 4030 NORTH MIAMI AVE FOR LEASE $65 NNN | FOR SALE $5,000,000 Prime street retail located at the entrance to Miamis Design District. Only a block away from the 195 exit. This 7,642 SF space will be renovated, and features glass storefront windows overlooking North Miami ave. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com rendering MIAMIS URBAN REAL ESTATE LEADER WYNWOOD | DESIGN DISTRICT COMMMERCIAL SHOWCASE RESIDENTIAL EXCLUSIVE SHOWCASE120 ne 27th street | suite 200 | wynwood | 305 571 9991 | metro1.com



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IN THIS ISSUECraig Bids Farewell p. 58 Wendy Goes Animal p. 78 January 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 11 Checking In, Checking In, Checking In, Checking In, Checking Out Intrepid travelers spend 48 hours at Biscayne Boulevard motels and live to tell the story pg. 34CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntbn ntn bfrrrrrtrfrfr r f Z Z C C C C C C Z Z C Z K K K K Z Z Z Z C C C C C C C Z K Z Z r fn tbr n nn r nr rrf nnn n nn fntnbf rf n tbf f b r nrr r n r r tf ffr r r f b n n r fn n fn t n rn n fb b nn n n n n fr r f f r n fn f f f nn n fb f f f f b frrf fn nn n n Z K n n K rfntbbbfb

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3385 NE 188th Street Aventura, FL 33180 For tickets and group discounts Call 877.311.7469 (SHOW) AventuraCenter.orgAll programs, artists, dates and times are subject to change. Sally StruthersMar 8-9 Hal Linden with live orchestraFeb 28 Capitol StepsMar 20-24 Jan 18-19Lindsey Alley Start the New Year with Great Entertainment! Sassy, saucy and sexyand thats just in the rst ve minutes a master of comedy and music. Time OutCirque dAmourBreathtaking and groundbreaking New Zealand RegisterJan 20 Sister Robert Annes Cabaret ClassA fabulous night of musical theatre. Broadway World This is a great show! NBC NewsFeb 7-10 David Holt in Freight Trains, Jesse James, Uncle B and MeThe 4-time Grammy winning folk musician and storyteller is a virtuoso. New YorkerJan 22 Special $20 ticket for Groups of 10 or more

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COVER STORY 34 MiMo Motel Adventures COMMENTARY 12 Feedback: Letters 18 Gaspars Cult Following 22 Jack King: Want Guns? Join a Militia 26 Ciprianis Top Street Artist OUR SPONSORS 30 BizBuzz: January 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 52 The Shape of Things: Design Miami 2012 53 Even the Best Intentions Can Be Fatal 53 Aventura: Accidents Waiting to Happen NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 58 Craig Chesters Parting Miami Wish List 60 Jen Loves Edible Gardens and Native Plants 62 Jay Votes for Aventuras Only Pocket Park 64 Frank Finally Looks Back at Frank 66 Mark Looks Ahead to Biscayne Landing ART & CULTURE 68 Bernice Ste inbaums New Gig a Zadok 70 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 73 Events Cale ndar: Go See Femi Kuti! POLICE REPORTS 74 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 76 Jim W. Harper : Eastern Shores Hates Kids COLUMNISTS 78 New from We ndy: All Things Animal 80 Picture Story: A Very Early Miami Photo 81 Your Garden: On Pines and Needles 82 Going Green: Our Luck Surely Will Run Out 83 Kids and the City: Treasured Memento or Junk? 84 Vino: Going Cheap in the New Year 85 Dish: Enough Already with the Sliders! DINING GUIDE 86 Restau rant Listings: 313 Biscayne Corridor Restaurants PUBLISHER & EDITOR r CONTRIBUTORS fntrnSenior Writer nrnr bArts Editor r tnrt t tr rr n nnrr rnrn 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 26 52 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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THE UNCERTAINTY rf ntbfrf rfbrt ffrff fbrrbbrrWHATS DIFFERENT ABOUT MIAMI? tfrrr tf frr tbrbb rrrrfnf tbtbrt ffr rbr WHATS HAPPENING NOW? tbrrr rfbff bbbb rfrf ffr bfWHAT IS AHEAD? fbrb rrr r r rfbr frff b ftr rbbf rrbrrrrrr rfrrbbfr INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE? f tbrr frr rfrttfr frr r rbbb fftffr bffr rffrff rfb rbffrfTHE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS IS CHANGING. rff rrfrr rfbr rf rfrrbbfr brfr rrbbfffrWHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU? br ffrrbbbr br bIf you or someone you know is thinking of making a move and would appreciate this level of service, please call us today.

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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO List with me and sell it FAST!305-895-JEFF(5333) WATERFRONT LUXURY W/75 DOCKAGE BOATERS PARADISE DIRECT TO OCEAN4bdr 3th, pool, 2 car garage, island granite kitchen, new brazilian hardwood, marble baths, gourgeous tropical pool deck w/chickee hut & bbq. New 12,000lb boat lift! $990K 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. 1.3M 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 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 with 50% down @ 6% fixed int!! 2.4M BAYVIEWS VACANT LAND 75 DOCK SANS SOUCI ESTATES 24HR GATED GREAT DEAL BEATIFUL VIEWS !! OWNER W/FINANCE 25% DN 999K KEYSTONE POINT ISL #5 CUL-DE-SAC 1/3 ACRE POINT LOT 15,209 SQ FT 190 ON WATER,W/ BOATLIFT6bdr/4.5 bth, pool, 4,427 Sq Ft Direct Ocean Access, No Bridges to Bay, Huge Mstr Suite&Marble Bath Gourmet Granite Gas Center Island Kitchen plus Commercial Outdoor Patio Kitchen. 24 Hr Secure Guard Gated 1.29M CONTEMPORARY 2012 NEW CONSTR. 75 ON THE WATER. INFINITY POOL & SPA6bdr/5.5bth pool 5945 Sq Ft. 2 car garage. Hi-tech gourmet kitchen. All marble baths. Fine select stone flooring. High volume ceilings. Home vtheatre/media rm. 1.9M KEYSTONE POINT ISLAND #5 CORNER LOT 175 ON WATER5bdr/3.5 bth, pool, 2 car garage, 4125 sq ft. Completely remodeled, brand new huge cherrywood/granite eat-in kitchen w/subzero and thermadore appliances. Cul-de-sac lot, huge master suite, jacuzzi, waterfall, pool. Only $950K

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Clever Curators and Trite Visual Pranks: Is This What Art Has Come To?In response to Anne Tschidas cover story Drawing on the Future (December 2012): Discriminating! Gallery owner Fred Snitzer nailed it on the head when he said that Miami needs a more discriminating audience. I believe there is a lack of sophistication in the visual arts as a whole today. Miami seems to be trying to make up for lost time. Celebrated artists like Bert Rodriguez pro vide a good example. Hes being recognized for repeating visual pranks that have existed in other art centers for many years. The irony is that Mr. Snitzer represents him. I have to admit I am saddened and disappointed in the whole art scene situation. Most of the new art I see around Miami and the country these days, especially by younger artists, does not interest me. It just simply looks bad. The clever descriptions and explanations of the work at MAMs New Work Miami 2013 by the curators is juvenile. Clever descriptions dont work for real art because all that matters is the aesthetic experience. Kerry Ware Miami Editors note: As the result of an edit ing error, we published a photograph of Miami Art Museum director Thom Collins instead of MAMs chief curator Tobias Os trander, as we intended. Here is the photo of Mr. Ostrander we meant to publish:We Wanted a Strong City Manager, but What We Got Was a Power GrabTwo articles in your December issue Oversight Is Overlooked, by Aventura Neighborhood Correspondent Jay Beskin, reminded me that, as one of the founders of Aventura, I had the pleasure of serving on the City Manager Selection Committee along with Jay. We wrestled with choosing either a strong or weak city manager. We opted for a strong city manager to ensure that city government would be as apolitical as possible. regarding an apolitical city manager: The city commission appoints a professional city manager to oversee the daily opera tions of the city government and imple ment the policies the commission estab lishes. The city manager is apolitical, and the commission represents the citizens. I daresay few if any of us ever dreamed of our city manager taking it upon himself not only to dismiss the highly regarded Aventura City of Excellence School principal, but to then take over total operation of the school himself. This is a very disturbing precedent and could lead to more grabbing of power. It sounds like we have Egypt in Aventura! The second article, Tase the Season by Biscayne Times contributor Derek McCann, also troubles me. One of the principle reasons I became involved in establishing the city was my strong belief that Aventura needed its own police department, which would be responsive to our communitys needs. Certainly I never imagined a police department as overly aggressive as a SWAT force on ordinary citizens. Here again, we have a government agency not looking out for the best interests of the citizens it purportedly serves. How many times have we all observed overreaction by Aventura police, with several squad cars, lights ablaze, pulling over a motorist for a minor trafnever perform community policing, including We need a drastic change of policing in Aventura, a policy that welcomes residents and visitors and engages positively with our community, rather than negatively through intimidation. Emil Hubschman AventuraAventura City Hall: Whats Going on Here?I love visiting and shopping in Aventura. And Im thrilled that Biscayne Times has expanded its delivery to the city youre a great community publication, thank you. I was shocked to read Jay Beskins column in the BT and in other media the ugly story of Eric Soroka, the Aven tura city manager (When Oversight Is Overlooked, December 2012). I dont Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 14

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Est. 1995 LIVE THE CITY LIFE BRIAN CARTER, P. A. BROKER ASSOCIATE cell 305 582 2424 | btcarter@majesticproperties.com GATED TOWN HOME CONDOS Miami Shores/Hot Upper East Side OFFERED @ $329K CASH ONLY! Single story, 3 BD / 2 BA on 2nd-level with singlecar garage in gated community. The Preserve Townhomes Condos are close to both Aventura, Downtown Miami, and the Beaches. Great for investors. When rented at $2,100/month, the low maintenance fees and taxes provide for just under a 5% cash-on-cash return.QUANTUM ON THE BAY1900 North Bayshore Drive 11 line # 3211 | Miami 2 BD / 2 BA | OFFERED @ $425,000 CASH ONLY! Chic condo providing urban and downtown views plus distant oceans views to the south. Corner 11line. Condo on a highoor with many upgrades including marble oors and modern kitchen. Unit comes with 2 parking spaces included.TEN MUSEUM PARK1040 BISCAYNE BLVD #1003/4 RENTAL OFFERED @ $5,300/MONTH Direct water views from combined lines from over 2,300 SQ FT of living space in this 2 BD + Den / 2.5 BA. Unit features 20 ceilings in living/dining and 10 ceilings in the master with its own private & covered balcony. PARAMOUNT ON THE BAY2020 N. Bayshore Drive #3108 RENTAL OFFERED @ $4,200/MONTH Short-term rental until April 30th. Enjoy direct bay vistas from 1+Den/2 BA Unit comes furnishes with black & white modern designer furnishings, 3D TV, and stainless appliances to include wine cooler. Blackout shades in master bedroom.

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understand how any city government can automatically give someone (Soroka, automatic $20,000 salary increase every single year for the past 15 years, after a Who are these commissioners who salary histories, too. It was also troubling to read about Soro kas wife working as the Aventura city clerk. universe do husband-and-wife teams hold top city jobs and have their son employed B-movie script or a recipe for corruption. Mr. Soroka has cost the city one expensive lawsuit already, and the worst kind of negative publicity. The details of the allegations against him are sickening. From the testimony, he is a vulgar, profanity-screeching bully who uses his power to silence his victims. Aventura doesnt need leadership of this kind, and thank goodness the school principal, Ms. Murphy, had the courage least from the jurys point of view. Mary Anne Hancock AventuraElection Shenanigans in Miami Shores? Let Me Tell You a StoryI read with interest Bob Domleskys letter in the December 2012 issue (Political Hit Squads of Miami Shores: Never Saw an Obama Sign They Wouldnt Steal). Mr. Domlesky reports political yard posters supporting President Obama were vandalized and/or removed by persons unknown and/or Miami Shores Village Code Enforcement. This harkens back 25 years ago in Miami Shores. And therein lies a story. During the late 1980s, Miami Shoress attention was completely ar rested by the so-called barricade issue. These were the street-end closures we see throughout the village today. Meetings were held by local groups, who then peti tioned for street closures near their homes. Someone decided closures would be voted upon by village residents in two covered the perimeter boundary of the Shores, as well as certain subparts of the village with what seemed to be an east-ofthe-train-tracks emphasis. I dont know how it was decided which closures would closures were approved by village vote. Im not aware of any yard signs that were removed for that election. Ours wasnt. Shortly thereafter came time to vote on the second set of proposed enclosures. The second set included a proposed closure on the street where my family lived. My wife was very enthusiastic about the plan, and she was part of an active group working in favor. On the afternoon before election day, my wife and her colleagues put up approximately 100 or more yard signs in Miami Shores. The total number may have been more, but I know I paid to print 100 signs. Lo and behold, the next morning, all the signs were gone, including those on my own front yard. No one ever explained why. Although I cant say for sure that sign re moval was the reason, in the second streetclosure election, the proposition failed. For years since then, Ive asked former Shores and the matter has never been explained. Perhaps the best explanation I heard came from a Shores resident who is long gone: The second election was essentially a sham. This explanation speculates that Shores leadership essentially bought by promising a second round to the rest of us. Then those who had their street support further closures or didnt vote when the second election was held. A closed street often has a positive impact on property values. By holding two elections, homeowners impacted in the second round didnt have the same chance to increase the value of their homes. By dissect ing common voter interests, there couldnt be truly democratic consideration of the issue. the total universe to be completed, the proposal may have failed. Residences on streets in the second round of voting had to be content without street closures they considered would happen if they supported my wifes signs were torn down. Thats all history now, but the taste is still bitterly vile. Irrespective of the merits or demerits of street closures, reasonable election signs should never be pulled down. If signs are still up weeks after the vote, thats another matter. Or if they are hateful or include swastikas or sidewalks, or endanger driving safety. Gary Goodenow Miami ShoresCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12

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Commentary: CULT FOLLOWINGA Historic StruggleThe ght to preserve the Miami Herald building shows were taking our past more seriouslyBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorIts not every day you see a prominent architect go World Wrestling Federation on the executive director of the Dade Heritage Trust, the way Arquitectonica founder Bernardo Fort-Brescia did with Becky Roper Matkov, waving a enough of an appearance of becoming unhinged that he reportedly had to be pulled away. Preservation Board meeting on Decem ber 10, held to decide whether to grant the 50-year-old Miami Herald building historic designation and, quite possibly, derail the Genting Groups plans for a residential/commercial complex on the bayfront property. The board ultimately voted 5-3 against the designation. (Arqui tectonica will develop plans for Genting.) Regardless of where one might have stood on the issue, its hard to deny the two truths about us. phistication when it comes to discussing buildings. Cries raised by bloggers, pun dits, and others that the Herald building is ugly completely missed the point. Ugly, like its opposite, is largely a matter of opinion. I was good friends with a late, renowned Cuban architect. A modernist to his bones one of the isRevival architecture, and never tired of saying so. If it had been up to him, he well might have opted to preserve the Herald building with its distinctive yellow mosaic tiles, sun-grille window coverings, dramatic accordion-style facing, and exuberant jet-age port cochere over, say, Vizcaya. Another consideration that appears to have gotten short shrift in the debate is how integral the Herald building was to the identity of the newspaper, and the city. In the era before 24-hour cable news channels and the Internet, newspapers loomed large in the public imagination. They were authoritative impor tant and, by extension, so were the buildings that housed them. In the case of the Herald, that sense of importance was conveyed not only by the buildings design, but by its placement in the heart of town; sitting on the bay, with views of downtown in one direction and of Miami Beach in the other, the building was the physical manifestation of the papers prominence in the community. (As if to make the point, Herald stationery for years featured a rendering of One Herald Plaza. On envelopes, the structure occupied the upper-left hand corner, just above the return address. On the actual correspondence, a full-color reproduction dominated the top of the page. I know, because I have one of those letters.) So the conversation surrounding the buildings historic designation could have good news, and the other truth revealed by the episode, is that were taking our local history much more seriously. To be sure, this hasnt always been the case. My own experiences are telling. In 2007, I made a documentary on Muhammad Alis years in Miami. When it premiered in South Florida, I couldnt believe how many people told me they had never heard of the Fifth Street Gym (so named because it was located on Fifth Street in South Beach). This, despite the gym having been a home to countless boxing champions among them, Ali, who arrived as Cassius Clay in 1960 a gathering spot for celebrities like Frank Sinatra and, on one memorable occasion, the Beatles, who dropped in to have their photo taken with The Greatest. But it was usually their follow-up question that most got to me: Is it still been torn down in the early 1990s to make way for a parking lot. How can that be? they wanted to know. In reality, they had answered their own question: Because so few people had even known about it or, seemingly, cared. By contrast, in recent years both the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels Morris Lapiduss dual gems have under Bacardi buildings have been successfully repurposed, and grassroots efforts to save Miami Marine Stadium have taken hold. And even in cases where famed structures have come down in favor of new development, there have been gestures to commemorate what had previously stood; two obvious examples being the incorporation of the Art Deco Sears store tower into the design of the Adrienne Arsht Center and the installation outside Marlins Park by the artist Daniel Arsham, in which the massive letters of the Orange Bowl sign were randomly arranged on the sidewalk, half-submerged, as if to suggest they simply fell there when the old stadium was demolished. The Herald building was never that beloved, and the preservation boards denial of historic status wasnt without foundation. Just the same, I suspect many of us, someday soon, will glance over to where the big yellow box used to be, and miss seeing it. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Silvia Ros

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22 Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorI cant believe that there is anyone in America who was not thoroughly dis gusted with the killing of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elemen tary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with the possible exception of the National Certainly there are still more questions than answers. Questions like what drives a person to do such things, and do we as a society have a responsibility to prohibit easy access to devices that allowed Adam Lanza to kill so many Weve had gun violence in this country for some 400 years, but never has it because shooting a bullet into a threeinch-square target at 100 meters in very of bullets in a short period of time in the Gun violence got close to me in high school. My stepfather bought me a shotgun to use for quail hunting. I went out shooting with it a number of times, but it wasnt really a sport for me. While I was on a trip, my stepfather, who was in failing health, took my gun and killed himself. To say the least, it left a lasting impression and began the development meant to kill something. Nothing else. Several years later I was hitchhiking home from college for Thanksgiving. A man stopped and I got in, and before I could say anything, he pointed to the couldnt speak, and didnt say a word for three hours. It was so profound that I can tell you precisely when it happened. I got into that car at the corner of State Road 40 and U.S. 441 in Ocala, Florida, and the time was 1:50 p.m. I had the wonderful experience of was vacationing in Palm Beach. Never quite got over this one either. For me one of the disappointments the lack of any initiative to curb gun violence. The general reason was that the Supreme Court had ruled there was a constitutional protection to have guns. The right-wing neo-Nazis in this country believed that the ruling was absolute and went about convincing more normal people that this was the case. It was not. The ruling was very narrow and pertained to keeping guns in your Washington, D.C., house. No more, no less. But the damage was done and no one on matter how many people died on the streets. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads like this: A well regu lated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Many people believe the second part of that one-sentence amendment stands alone. It does not otherwise the entire meaning is changed. What it means is this: The government should maintain a militia, and if you are a member, you can own a gun. At that time, United States had no standing army, and the militia was akin to what we have now with the National Guard. So my take on this is that if you do not belong the National Guard, your right to own a gun is whatever our representative government says it is. All of the amendments have nuances, something the Supreme Court has recognized for years. The First Amendment gave us the right of free speech, but the courts have ruled that you have no right scream, Fire! in a crowded theater Im so happy that the NRA, after a week of silence, decided to get into the discussion because they wanted to contribute to the dialogue. Their $1.5 million-per-year mouthpiece, Wayne LaPierre, started the dialogue by lectur ing the American public on the value of the NRA, then telling us that the media that the only way to solve the prob lem of mass shooting is to have more guns by hiring armed security at every school in America. Sos lets see, if a mass murderer comes to school with a handgun, you bring a handgun and start shooting. If he comes to school with an automatic weapon, you bring an automatic weapon and start shooting. This might get somewhere if both sides have tanks! well start a dialogue that will bring about meaningful gun management. My fear is that it will never happen. And thats yet another tragedy for our children and grandchildren. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Locked and LoadedWant to own a gun? Join a well-regulated militia

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26 Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorArt Week Miami always carries with it some unspoken theme, an artist or concept that later graces the cover of my own mental retrospective of a blurry, overwhelming string of galleries, parties, fairs, and parties. What stood out to me last month was street art. Its not new, but there seems to be renewed focus on it as an art form. Wynwood was visually transformed on a previously unseen scale, with every surface worked upon by muralists from around the world, and the centerpiece of it all was the inimitable Banksy. Hes beyond street or pop art. Banksy is now one of the worlds most famous saw his canvas work at a pop-up show thrown by Damon Albarn in London, some ambitious and well-funded collec tor literally jackhammered Banksy walls from Israel to Brighton and shipped them over to anchor Art Week. doors to artists and guests from around the world, but its the local artists and galler ists working year-round who have laid the foundation for Miamis reputation as one of the worlds new, great art destinations. When I think about Miami street art, the one person who captures everything exciting about this is the muralist and undis puted master of spray paint, Claudio Picasso. And no, thats not a nom de guerre Claudios mother left dictator Augusto Pinochets Chile for Miami in 1978, bringing her two-year-old son with her. crayons. Claudio drew at home; he drew at school. He drew on whatever he could. By 1990, hip-hop ruled the airwaves and 16-year-old Claudio was introduced to the joyous rebellion and aesthetic posThe bold color schemes, the graphic styling, and the monumental scale, combined with underground culture and social commentary, all spoke to his emerging artistic self. Soon a hobby became a passion. Art education followed, but sculpture, printmaking, and digital art all led back to spray paint. What Claudio does with this medium has to be seen to be believed. Instead of deeply realistic monochrome portraits rendered with depth, softness, and dra matically lighted shadows that play off smooth gradients and negative spaces. Painting realistic images with spray paint ago, he explains. One day I just picked up a Hes never used a stencil, that staple of street art. Instead Claudio has developed an incredibly capable freehand technique. Whats even more astounding is that he became one of Miamis most celebrated artists while maintaining a daytime career as a high school graphic design teacher and librarian. I really enjoy my job, he says. I knew when I got into education ten years ago that I wouldnt make much money, but it afforded me the time to paint in the summers and to travel whenever I could scrape up the money. Six years ago his painting hobby blossomed into a second career. After a few murals for friends, including Chef Jeremiah, who commissioned Claudio to paint his former lounge, Bullfrog Eatz, collectors and gallerists came knocking. Opportunities snowballed from there. If youve stood in front of Sweat back of the old Transit Lounge, been to Lost Weekend or GAB Studios, or unlikely as it may be prepped in the green room at the Fillmore, then youve encountered Claudios paintings. He has a quiet, sensitive air about him and, like most artists, he secondguesses his work (a habit his fans and patrons dont share). Two-thirds of the time I spend on an art project, I usually hate what Im working on, he says. I wonder how it is that anyone could like what I paint. I cant imagine what a mess Id be if I had to depend on my art for a paycheck. I might not last a year before being institutionalized. applause that crowned him winner of a Red Bull live painting showdown is proof. Commissions from international brands like Heineken and SLS Hotels are proof. The just to document his latest mural behind Regions Bank is proof. Yes, its safe to say that everyone who encounters Claudios work better still, who watches it come to life in real time is left enthralled. ognition, perhaps, but he is focused on his latest portraits on wood. They push over two decades, which is never an easy feat for seasoned artists. I havent seen them, but I know they must be good. Even Claudio likes them. See Claudio Picassos work online at CP1Art.com or at Brisky Gallery in Wynwood, 130 NW 24th St., 786-409-3585, www.briskygallery.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbf305.603.8540rrwww.CleanStartMiami.com10% OFFAll ProductsFREEYoga ClassFirst Time Students $16 Value $20 OFFColon HydrotherapyRegular Price $100 By Appointment Only b50% OFFIonic Foot DetoxPull Toxins From Your Body Out Of Your Feet. Regular $25 b$30 OFFSignature Detox Facial With PeelRegular Price $125 b Our Very Own Picasso A Miami street artist with a famous name acquires a following to matchBT photo by Christian Cipriani

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28 Commentary: MY VIEW By Jenni Person Special to the BTArt Basel Miami Beach. I love the fact it puts the word art on so many lips. I love being able to makes our community synonymous with something as important to life as art. Yes, Im someone who believes that in any and all disciplines) can transform life and communities. I love that art pops up everywhere for weeks, establishing us as a community for whom routine is anything but mundane. I love Art Public taking over Collins Park, in partnership with the Bass Museum. Also I love that this year I could step out of my house and look up a kinetic text installation carried through the sky on the tails of planes. This Plane Text project of the Morgans Hotel Group featured work by prominent artists known for their public play with words, people like John Baldessari and Jenny Holzer. (This was especially exciting to me as someone who likes to hang words and haiku from ceilings.) Art in your face aside, a quick search of the New York Times website reveals that most Times coverage of Art Basel was about the parties and the social scene. This only serves to solidify the mumblings and grumblings from some Miamians that art fair week is just a big party, a popularity contest in which the most important crite ria are not the most rigorous or layered of cultural discourses, but rather the number of right parties attended. We hear a lot about the levels of planes, and the extravagant affairs. After all, everybody loves to come to Miami to party. So did Miami, with her unstoppable rhythm, put the party in art or is With all of the apparent lauding of creativity and art for arts sake we see bubbling in early December, its important for us to remember that the season is a retail event. It exists for the purpose of bringing collectors and gallerists together in a sunny opportunity to sell monetary value. Imagine how challenging a pill that is to swallow for people who have dedicated their lives to a creative practice which inherently, across disciplines, and-demand economic model. Imagine what its like to have a deeply informed creative practice and a million-dollar mind, but not the equivalent in the bank, or the right hip factor to be invited to the conversation. My fear is that it drapes a communitywide melancholy and lowgrade anxiety over our artists. When everything is being measured by the booming success and attention of an international arts scene that touches down in your backyard once a year, how do you have the space and context to focus on an individual practice and this really cant be the only conversation in a substantive arts community. How can we channel the energy that surrounds Basel into a year-round culture of arts engagement and meaningful, It would be great if we could start with a central and meaningful conversation in the mainstream media. Wouldnt it be wonderful if there was more critical discussion about the arts that went beyond the parties and the scene in daily thing as basic as context in an artists practice is frequently absent from the way work is presented in the media, or in our culture. Perhaps next December, a few media outlets will report in some greater depth on different projects, organizations, and artists living and working here in Miami. Perhaps the initiative will be launched during Basel and continue year-round. Perhaps a penny tax during art fair week could be put in place for the purpose of marketing our cultural community and projects the rest of the year. The Arts and Business Council which, as the national arts marketing project, runs the Miami arts marketing project would be a great candidate to distribute such funds to Miami-based artists and organizations. While many art fair attendees are visitors to the area, a substantial South Florida audience also comes out for the festivities. Indeed, some locals only come out for art during Basel. So how about enlisting some help from fair organizers to devise ways to engage Miami And most important, lets keep in mind how challenging a life in the arts tures mainstream social and economic models. Lets be really good to each other. And please dont ask any artist to do things for free unless it really, truly Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Art of the MatterBasel is a blast, but there are things we should be doing to nurture our local creative scene year-roundPhoto courtesy of Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

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Our Sponsors: J anuaryANU ARY 20 13By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorHappy New Year! Which is al ready starting out pretty darned well since the world didnt end when the Maya calendar did, on Decem ber 21 and we hear that vendors at the ruins of the Maya city Chichen Itza, in Mexico, did bang-up business in Tshirts reading, The End of the World: I Was There. But down to business: At the start of normal Januarys, about 87% of Americans make New Years resolutions (and that isnt even counting resolutions people make for other people, like The Heritage Foundations for Congress or the Bleacher Reports resolutions for the Miami Heat). According to surveys, though, nearly half of those resolutions get broken by somewhere between midFebruary and mid-year. Thats for many reasons, but analysts say that a biggie is that some resolutions are just too glum, and/or contradict each other like enjoying life more yet eating and drinking less. (In fact, a new trend in foodie circles is New Years resolutions cocktail parties.) In other words, people make resolutions that are too tedious to keep. We have a candidate that is a cinch to keep: Support your neighborhood businesses. And BT advertisers will make it even easier for you with their January deals and events. Surprisingly, considering the economy, 2013s most popular reso lution doesnt involve better jobs or financial success, but better health and fitness; Americans are evidently committing to taking care of their bods for this month, at least. And at North Beach Vascular & Aesthet ics (15400 Biscayne Blvd. #103, 305957-7277), a new advertiser, Dr. Adam Gropper has developed a cuttingedge aesthetic menu to help patients achieve and maintain their resolutions with new less-pain, more-gain treat ments. Services range from nonsurgi cal liquid facelifts (using Botox and dermal fillers; mention this issues ad for $50 off your first two visits) to the Lunchtime Leg Lift, a 60-minute treatment that destroys abnormal veins with no anesthesia and minimal discomfort. Its not just about beauty; varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and leg artery diseases can cause complications and pain. So call for a complimentary vein screening. At Horwitz Dermatology (2999 NE 191st St., 305-933-1151), which does medical and cosmetic research, psoriasis sufferers who qualify for a clinical study of an investigational medicine could start 2013 right by getting rid of the uncomfortable, un sightly, and potentially dangerous scaly stuff. If you are 18-75 and have plaque psoriasis on 10% of your body or more, call and ask for Research. Bonus: Study participants receive compensa tion for their time and travel. Resolving to be healthier almost always seems to involve eating healthi er something that will be a pleasure once new advertiser Guarapo Organic Juice Bar (649 NE 79th St., 786766-1409) opens. Fun factoid #1: The places name refers to sugar cane juice, which is actually refreshing rather than super sweet (the sugar content is just slightly more than in orange juice), and gets into your system for an energy boost faster than Gatorade. Fun factoid #2: Much of Miamis guarapo is made from sugar cane grown down in South So keep your eyes peeled for the open ing, which owner Edwin Santos says is coming soon. Fish is also supposed to be good for you, and not surprisingly seafoods the specialty at just-opened Fish Fish (13488 Biscayne Blvd. 786-732-3123). One thing you might not have guessed: This new advertiser has its own stone crab and lobster processing plant in the es daily, so you know its fresh. Home cooks will be happy that the restolounge is also is a market, with take-away fresh meals available. Bring in this issues ad for free calamari or a glass of wine. One resolution we personally wont be making this month is to eat less, not with Caminito Way (1960 NE 123rd St., 305-893-8322) as a new advertiser. Continued on page 32BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

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Our Sponsors: J anuaryANU ARY 20 13Argentinean bakery-market-restaurant serves a variety of pastries, including savory empanadas and sweet facturas (Argentinas most popular breakfast item; Argentines eat a few, we eat many). At lunch, Caminito Way adds grilled meats, choripan sausage sandwiches with chimichurri, and an array of pastas. And the North Miami neighborhood favorite has been open since 1999, so you know they get things right. Speaking of getting things right, we sure didnt in last issues BizBuzz regarding the name of, and contact info for, new advertiser Judy Luck Jordans realty company Judy and her Lucky Ladies Team would like to announce their relocation to Decorus Realty in Sunny Isles Beach (16850 Collins Ave. #105; 305-934-6373 for Judy, 305-4585713 for Lisa Mula). The one thing we did get right is that her name is right on, buying or selling your home! Visit the ladies website at www.theluckyladi Doing more to help others is anoth er popular New Years resolution, and MC2 Realty is celebrating the opening Biscayne Blvd. #CS-1; 305-495-6539) by doing just that. This month, says MC2s Marie-Charlotte Piro, the fullservice brokerage/consulting company is donating 10% of all listing commis sions on the sale of Morningside homes to the Miami Childrens Hospitals new Midtown outpatient center. Good going, gang! And MC2s blog reports that Miamis real estate market is recovering considerably (for instance, the median sale price for condos in 2012s third quarter was $145,000, a 28% increase over the same period in 2011), so the year starts well for Miami home buyers and sellers, as well as for Miami kids. To start kids out well on a lifetime of motivation toward learning, check out returning advertiser Miami Shores Presbyterian Church School (602 NE 96th St., 305-759-2548), which is actually two schools, one a pre-school You may just know MSPS from its annual fall Pumpkin Patch, but the schools Christian-based program goes far beyond selling truly dynamite Halloween pumpkins. The mission is providing experiences that enrich each childs cognitive, language, social, emotional, physical, creative, and spiritual development. The education is affordable, too. For elementary school candidates, bring in this issues ad for a $50 credit toward entrance evaluation. Since learning new things is a goal on most top-10 New Years resolution lists, an announcement from Mon signor Edward Pace High School (15200 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-7223) Guzman, a theater and choir teacher at the school as well as an alumna from the class of 2002, is honorary recipient of 2012s Cervantes Award. The honor is given by Nova Southeastern Uni versity to the teacher who goes above the standards of teaching to impact Hispanic students. Congratulations! Traveling more is a popular resolu tion this year, and neednt be a big deal. We suggest a road trip any Tuesday night to nearby Wilton Manors in Broward to visit returning advertiser Wilton Theater Auction Gallery (1444 NE 26th St., 954530-4396), South Floridas longest-running weekly auction. Art, antiques, porcelain, crystal, furniture, jewelry, and giftware are specialties, but you never know what treasures you need to buy on any given week, a look-see at the venue, an historic theater, is fun, as is Wilton Manors itself. Auctions start at 6:30 p.m. Also on most grown-ups Top-10 lists are resolutions to consume more culture, to spend more time with family and friends, and to enjoy life more. You can do all this month at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.; 877-311-7469 or www.AventuraCen ter.org for tickets and scheduling info). array of live music and dance performances on January 4 and 5 is the Forbid den Broadway 30th anniversary tour, a Tony award-winning satirical roast of Wicked Annie Phantom and more than 30 other Broadway hit shows. Families looking to have fun together will particularly enjoy Pinkalicious based on a popular kids book about a girl whose love of pink cupcakes turns her own self entirely pink; free art activities including airbrush tattoos are offered pre-show, and there are complimentary post-show snacks. Two unique musical offerings based on true life tales are January 1619s Blood, Sweat, and Mouseketears BizBuzzContinued from page 30

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a musical revue of hit mouseketunes starring Lindsey Alley (who began her career on the Mickey Mouse Club in the Britney Spears/Justin Timberlake/ Christina Aguilera era), and January 22s Freight Trains, Jesse James, Uncle B and Me starring four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt, whose solo concerts weave together songs and stories revealing that the quirkiest folks hes ever met were right in his own family. Then theres January 20s Cirque dAmour matinee, an adults-only extravaganza that combines song, dance, humor, and stunning acrobatics. And believe it or not, theres more. For a full calendar of well as live ballet, opera, symphony, and cabaret performances) visit the website. Miami-Dade College is also offering multiple cultural opportunities that entertain while they educate, including two upcoming shows from MDC Live Arts On February 1 and 2, theres the South Florida premiere of Live! the Realest MC a performance from renowned his company Abraham In Motion; the work, inspired by Pinocchios quest to be a real boy, investigates gender roles in the black community and celebrity hip-hop world. And on February 8 and 9, MDC Live Arts presents the Texasbased theater collective Rude Mechs in The Method Gun a satire following the abandoned disciples of a quack acting guru as they attempt to realize their mentors vision of a radically reduced production of A Streetcar Named Desire Both productions are at Miami Beachs Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd.). While shows arent till next month, tix are on sale now at 305-237-3010 or www. mdclivearts.org. This issues ad for MDCs Museum of Art + Design (600 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-237-7700) also looks ahead to an exhibit beginning in February: Arnold Mesches: A Lifes Work. The opening reception is February 13, and the exhibition, from a Florida-based subversive artist whose cinematically vibrant works explore social issues, runs until May 4. But why wait to investigate this new museum (in the Freedom Tower), which has been featuring innova tive exhibits since its launch this past folks will be especially interested in FOREVERGLADES, a conscious ness-raising yet fun exhibit, featuring bright-colored plastic animals, which runs till January 26. A resolution that hasnt shown up on too many of the published 2013 lists weve combed through is to go greener surprising since weve been thrilled by the growing number of neighborhood greenmarkets that have sprung up over the past few years. One you might not know about yet: the two-month-old North Bay Village Farmers Market every Friday from 2:00-8:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Crab House restaurant (1551 79th St. Causeway). Produced by Claire Tomlins The Market Company (305-531-0038 for vendor info), a pioneering company that now operates about a dozen farmers markets locally, its a serious collection of 12-20 vendors featuring local and/or organic produce and herbs, along with other South Florida products: stone crabs, honey, fresh mozzarella, pastas, baked goods, much more. Admittedly, its a bit out of the way for most except Upper Eastsiders and NBV residents, but well worth the hunt. Show your support by checking always crucial for vendors at start-up farmers markets, but with enough customers, this one could remain large and even stay open all year. Another new market from Claire is in Brickells recently completed Flatiron Park (1001 S. Miami Ave.) It operates Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Finally: Getting organized and avoiding procrastination Thats a hard one. Can we resolve to start doing that giving holidays keep coming, notably an already-looming Valentines Day. Paige solution at Farreys Lighting and Bath (1850 NE 146th St.; 305-947-5451). Those who havent been to the historic business (operating since 1924) in the past year may think just dynamite lightdcor items when they think of Farreys in which case its time for another visit. Swarovski crystal home accessories, added about a year ago, arent available for online purchase, but include crystalred or white wine glasses that make spectacular wrappable-size gifts for upcoming holidays. Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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34 Walter and Shirley Figueroa were on the verge of losing their livelihood before Anthony Melchiorri came along. The couple had invested their sav ings, retirement fund, and daughters college money about one million dollars renovating the New Yorker Motel at 6500 Biscayne Blvd. They succeeded in upgrading the 1950sera lodging from a rundown fleabag to a comfortable historical boutique motel that offered its guests compli mentary Wi-Fi, a clean pool, and a free breakfast. To save money, and stay on top of the motels operations, the couple even moved onto the property. They worked more than 12 hours a day, every day, to the detriment of Shirleys health, she being a cancer resembled multiple sclerosis. still losing money. Enter Melchiorri, a luxury-hotel consultant and the fast-talking, fastidious host of the Travel Channels Hotel Impos sible, a reality show that seeks to turn able businesses. The New Yorker Hotel was one of three South Florida properties broadcast nationally in April 2012. In the course of that episode, Melchiorri taught the Figueroas the importance of organization, delegation, and crossmarketing with other local businesses. Melchiorri turned Walters black van, which he used to pick up guests arriving at the airport, into a mint-green traveling billboard for the New Yorker. He brought in a decorator who transformed a modest courtyard into a tropical oasis. And he purchased a large illuminated H to replace the M on the main signage. The New Yorker Motel became the New Yorker Hotel. Today motels have a bad connotation, Melchiorri reasoned. Just the name motel alone can drag a rate down by more than 70 percent. In his analysis, Melchiorri never mentioned the words Biscayne Boulevard, nor the negative image motels along this thoroughfare still have among many local residents, as well as tourists. Since the 1970s, the stretch of Biscayne Boulevard passing through Miamis Upper Eastside has had a reputation as a haven for prostitutes After two stays at Boulevard motels, we can report the following: Pretty nice rooms. Very decent rates. No bedbugs. Good restaurants. Reality TV can actually be a good thing.By Erik BojnanskyPhotos by Silvia RosChecking In, Checking Out

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and drug dealers. Today the street is in neighborhoods east of the Boulevard rants and boutique stores have been abandoned the partially gutted property. One of those investors is Avra Jain, out additional properties. Continued on page 36

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36 Jain, a developer from New York who has invested in properties around the Adrienne Arsht Center and near Midtown Miami, modestly shrugs off such comparisons. Instead she credits the New Yorker Hotel for sparking her interest. Some of my friends wanted to stay on the Miami side and I recommended the New Yorker, she recalls, but they couldnt get a room. They tried on three different occasions. Each time, all rooms were booked. There was clearly more demand for this product than I thought. In the case of the New Yorker, that demand resulted from the investment of lots of money, labor, advice from Melchiorri, and with assistance from the Travel Channel. Jain also has a team to help realize her vision, including Dupoux Design, which created the interiors for several successful South Beach nightspots, and food-and-beverage consultants Stoli Hotel & Resorts. Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 35 Continued on page 38 Hotel Impossible H Photo courtesy of the Travel Channel

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38 Without such professional guidance, how will other Boulevard motel owners fare? And just how well is the New Yorker doing after its Hotel Impossible makeover? To answer these questions, Biscayne Times decided to spend 48 hours on the Boulevard. mar Motel, 6200 Biscayne Blvd., which is currently undergoing renovation. On the second night, we stayed at the New Yorker. We did not reveal our professional identities or intentions.When we arrive at the Shalimar, 10 of its 50 rooms are being redone. Wed booked our room with a queen-size bed two weeks in advance for $82 a night (before taxes), much cheaper than the rates at hotels in Miami Beach or downtown $30 or $40 rates charged at the Shalimar a decade ago. Part of the Shalimar, designed by architect Edward Reeder, was built in 1951, according to the citys historicdesignation report for the MiMo District. An addition was built in 1953, forming a were constructed during a time when Biscayne Boulevard was Miamis main highway and millions of American families were buying cars and driving south for vacations. The Boulevards motels thrived, as did nearby businesses, including large department stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and nightclubs. The boom years ended after the construction of I-95 in the early 1960s. As suburbs grew and the inner city declined, so did the Boulevard. The Shalimar fell into disrepair and disrepute along with the rest of the Boulevards motels. By 1994 the City of Miamis Nuisance Abatement Board shut down the Shalimar for six months after police recorded ten incidents of drug dealing and prostitution there. To reopen, a new owner had to install security cameras and a motorized security gate for the parking area. security cameras still there on arrival, but the motorized gate has been replaced by a low MiMo-style wall, palm trees, and shrubs. As we bring our luggage up happens. We cant get the door open. Alerted to our plight, the front-desk clerk Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40

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tries to open it. A maid who witnesses us struggling lends a hand. Nothing. So the clerk upgrades us to a king-size bed in a Room 102 is white with taupe-acbedding are also white. To our pleasant surprise there is a bed-bug-resistant plastic cover on the mattress. A large round mirror hangs on the wall, while a cable channels and local stations. Theres also a mini fridge with two complimentary bottles of water. Melchiorri would give the room high marks for cleanliness, especially if hed seen it just four years ago (more on that later). Melchiorri would also love the free Wi-Fi. However, a bedside note might cause him to raise an eyebrow. The message reads exactly as follows: Strictly nonsmoking rooms, please be advise there will be acharsge of $50.00b dollars for the fuming the room. Thanks for your cooperation the Shalimar staff Smoking Outside is permitted!! In the bathroom is another message to guests, this one a framed admonition that reads like poetry: The Shalimar Built in 1950, It has Narrow Waste Pipes Please Do Not Throw things in the Toilet Bowel, It will back up, It Is Nasty. Do Not Throw Sanitary Napkins, Food or anything that can cause problems Thank you for your cooperation Have a pleasant stay. Tel. 305-751-0345 That is not the end of our fun with the bathroom. After hearing a bang! not a human intruder but a very large palmetto bug, so large, in fact, it had been able to knock over our toothbrush cup. (Splattering the roach leaves a long black stain on an otherwise clean, tiled The shower proves puzzling, emitting only freezing cold water. My travel companion explains that the spigot handles must have been reversed because she turns on cold and a satisfyBut aside from a few quirks, includfeline over food at 4:00 a.m., our time at the Shalimar is relatively uneventful, even pleasant, as its location allows us the chance for an evening stroll a few blocks up the Boulevard to happy hour and dinner at Balans. We are not alone. Many of the Shalimars rooms are occupied by foreign tourists most of whom booked their rooms through travel websites like Booking.com. In the morning, the staff is extremely helpful and courteous, bringing new guests luggage to their rooms and offering advice on where to shop. My travel companion makes it up by the 9:00 a.m. cut-off time for a complimentary, though spare, continental breakfast of baked goods and coffee in Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 38 Continued on page 42

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the closet-size lobby.Tivka Gluck and her husband have been in the diamond business for 50 years. During that time theyve regularly executed deals in excess of $250,000 based on each partys word of honor, sometimes in transactions over the phone and without even seeing the merchandise. We are small brokers, diamond brokers, very trusting people, says the Israeli-American businesswoman, who lives and works in New York. We came with the culture and believed, but real-estate people are all liars. Glucks jaded opinion of the real-estate industry stems from her experience with the Shalimar Motel. The couple initially invested $200,000 in the property in late 2006, as minority partners in a venture that envisioned demolishing the Shalimar and replacing it with a ten-story condo. By 2008 the couple was forced to satisfy the motels $3 million mortgage after their partners defaulted. We thought we would sell it, but nobody would buy it, not any longer, she says. The place was in horrible, horrible shape. The roof was falling apart, all the plumbing was leaking and breaking all over the place, water started infested with termites, cockroaches, and human cockroaches: drug dealers and prostitutes. I used to come into the parking lot and cringe. I could not believe Since 2006, Gluck and her family have sunk $4 million into the Shalimar, a property she admits was never inspected recounts that shes been frustrated by a convoluted city bureaucracy and ripped off by at least two contractors who took her money but failed to pay their own workers. It has been three years of hell, she says. Yet Gluck remains determined to turn around the Shalimar. I am doing it cult, she says. I wish somebody would give me guidance. I do everything as I go along. I was never in this business, but I have no choice. After explaining to Gluck that we spent a night at the Shalimar, I tell her it seems like shes making progress, though I do mention the roach, stuck doors, and plumbing confusion. Gluck, who says shes obsessed with the motels cleanliness, promises that Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 40 Continued on page 44 Allison ACADEMYFounded in 1983 Accredited by: AISF, SACS/CASI, AdvancED, MSA NCPSA 305.940.3922 Dr. Allison Celebrates 50 Years in Education!

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44 objective is to clean the place up and put it in order, she says. Shes trying to get a caf and restaurant on the property, too, and may add a garden. Eventually Gluck wants to sell the Shalimar before her children inherit a property they dont have time to run. I dont have the money, she says. Somebody has to take it over.Check-in goes smoothly at the New Yorker. Unlike the Shalimar, where we were given just one key for both of us, my travel companion and I each receive a key card a very 21st-century feature at this mid-20thcentury hotel. The door to Room 213 on in advance for $92 before taxes, opens We are greeted by aqua walls, a with white sheets. Hanging on the walls are a wide-screen television, a Whitney Houston poster, and a tear-drop mirror. We also have a remote-control ceiling fan, a glass table with three chairs, and a Bible. Our walk-in closet, located just outside the bathroom, is equipped with a mini fridge. The room also features free Wi-Fi, a feature that Anthony Melchiorri crowed about during Hotel Impossible s New Yorker episode. LovefreeWi Fi, he proclaimed, emphasizing every word. Being charged for Internet access is the number-one complaint I get from corporate travelers around the country. We also remember that Melchiorris generally cheerful tone changed when he walked into a New Yorker bathroom and ing in the bowel. Thats the one thing I didnt expect, a crapo in the toilet, he muttered as dramatic music played in the background. I was going to give this room high marks, but what I saw in that toilet, I have to fail the room. With that scene replaying in our nothing. Actually, the bathroom is not only clean, its luxurious compared to the Shalimar. Theres even a bathtub in the New Yorkers bathroom. The Shalimar only had a curtain separat ing the shower area from the rest of the compact lavatory. Melchiorri, however, might shake his head at the strange orange stain on wall of the walk-in closet. My travel companion also spots a black hair and a faded red make-up stain on the mattress. Theres no bed-bug-resistant plastic wrapping, something my travel companion frets about. But overall, the bedroom Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 is nice and comfy. The New Yorker began its existence as two separate operations. The Motel New Yorker, designed by Norman Giller in 1953, is described in the citys MiMo report as the quintessential example of motel design in the modern age. With only 18-units, the Motel New Yorker cost $53,000 to build about $474,238 in 2012 money. Built immediately north of it, in 1954, was the Motel Champlain, which included a swimming pool. By the time Shirley and Elisa Diaz, bought the motel for $615,000 in 1986, the two buildings were united under the name Davis Motel. According to a May 1990 Miami Herald article, the Miami Police Departments Motel Squad named the where the most drug, prostitution, and burglary-related arrests were made in a one-month period. Walter Figueroa later tells the BT after we reveal we stayed at his hotel, that his in-laws always tried to keep the prostitutes and drug dealers out. At the same time, Walter admits they made no major effort to renovate the property. Although Shirley managed the motels books, Walters involvement with the Davis Motel was sporadic until 2004. Thats when Shirley gave birth to triplets and, soon afterward, was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer seven surgeries and chemotherapy, Shirley is now cancer-free. Unfortunately, Walter says, her short-term memory has been adversely affected. With Elisa taking care of her three (hes now 89 years old), Walter helped his wife manage the motel. But by 2005, Walter wanted to approach things in a different way. He pushed his in-laws to allow him to do a complete renovation of the hotel. I told them, We got to do something different. This is no way to do business, Walter recalls. His father-in-law resisted. He didnt want to do anything, Walter says. He was telling me that I was throwing while the other building continued to operate. Then, once the renovations are complete, hed do the other side. When all the renovations were completed in 2010, Walter ditched the old Davis Motel moniker and renamed it the New Yorker Motel as a nod to its past.A ping through the 61 channels available at Room 213, including HBO and at least four religious channels. As my travel companion sleeps beside service in Mecca on the Peace Channel and the movie Intervention on TBS. Im thinking about the days events. Several hours earlier, we had attended an Art Basel-related forum on art and the media at the 6400 Biscayne Blvd. building, where the La Comunidad advertising agency is based (clients include and Best Buy), then enjoyed free drinks at the rooftop lounge, which gave us a fantastic view of the Boulevards neon signs. When I dashed back to our room to grab my camera, I had a brief conversation with a drug dealer. Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 44 Continued on page 48 Recherchons agents immobiliers francophones expriments Now recruiting experienced RealtorsVisit our new Morningside storefront at 5781 Biscayne Boulevard Contemporary waterfront in Gables by the Sea $2,350,000 No expenses spared for this suburbs 2-story villa in prestigious gated community. 5bed/4.5bath, wine cellar, and large covered seating areas. Over 4600 sq ft of the highest craftsmanship iavailable on the market.Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Paramount Bay Corner 3 bedroom $1,650,000Breathtaking bay, ocean and city views from this turn-key, fully furnished and highly upgraded SE corner 3be/3ba. 1818 sq ft + 316 wraparound balcony. Signature Steven G. interiors. Shows like a model!William Harbour, Broker 786 247 1185los on the Bay 2be/2ba rental at $2900/monthCutting edge lanai residence in luxury boutique waterfront condo. Private elevator, high ceilings, 2 parking spaces. Huge terrace with direct access to gorgeous bay front pool. William Harbour, Broker 786 247 1185Welcome Art Basel!A fascinating parallel between Contemporary Art prices and Miami Metro area house prices! Both markets have already recuperated respectively 20 and 28%, with stronger and faster recovery for the top 10% of the market. Luxury is always a strong value. Contact us today to secure your property purchase in the fastest recovering, most under-leveraged and most under-valued real estate market on the planet! William Harbour, Broker 786 247 1185 Little Havanna Multifamily $750,000Recently renovated 13-unit building located few blocks from the exclusive Brickell Area, in Little Havana, steps from the new multi-million dollar Marlins Stadium! Cap rate 11.32%Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539

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48 Hello, I said. Hey, how you doin? replied the tall, slender black man as we passed each other on the sidewalk. If you need anything, let me know. Like what? I asked. Cocaine, marijuana, whatever. Hmmmm, maybe another time. Okay, then. We later dined in the outdoor seating area of Blue Collar, a popular restaurant lo cated in the Biscayne Inn at 6730 Biscayne Blvd. that serves gourmet comfort food. The Biscayne Inn is in the midst of its own renovation, although it still has rooms available for guests. And on this night, one of those guests, a skinny white guy with a neck brace and cane, mistook the Blue Collar staff for the Biscayne Inn staff, which he accused of stealing his credit card. It took several minutes for Blue Collars employees, Blue Collar chef/owner Daniel Serfer, Biscayne Inn management, and the police to calm him down. We also wandered from motel to motel, inquiring about room rates. A clerk at the neon-lit Saturn Motel (6995 Biscayne Blvd., built in 1952) tells us through thick, bullet-proof glass that a room will cost us $75 for the night, but he might be able to arrange something an hour after that. We declined the hourly offer and returned to the New Yorker. But I was feeling restless. I wanted to venture out and experience the Boulevard alone. So I leave our cozy room to take my walk on the wild side. The sidewalks are empty at this late hour, except for a few wandering adults in search of scraps and customers. The loud click-clack sound of a homeless man dragging his walker along the sidewalk echoes off buildings as he makes his way from garbage can to garbage can. Less than a block away from the New Yorker, two blonde white women wait at a bus shelter. The younger of the two sits on the bench, slumped over, her face covered with red blotches. The older, wearing a night gown, is standing. You want some company? she asks. Not tonight, I reply. Thanks. You sure you dont want the company of two beautiful women? Maybe another time. I cross the street and keep walking. High-end stores, critically acclaimed popular bars are all closed and locked. The only lights are neon motel signs, see men and women standing at corners some distance away. Feeling skittish, I turn back toward the New Yorker, the ever-present click-clacking of the homeless mans walker ringing in my ears. ging myself to the courtyard to enjoy a free breakfast with my travel companion. Chatting at a table nearby are members of a Norwegian heavy-metal band on their way to a gig on a cruise ship heading for the Bahamas. The pale, tattooed musicians are amused by the white lanterns that hang Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 46 Continued on page 50

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from the avocado, lemon, and sour orange trees lanterns that Hotel Impossible designer Blanche Garcia had to frantically after the original Jacksonville supplier failed them. The band members say theyre thrilled to be in the subtropics. The temperature in Norway, they say, is 11 degrees.Many things have changed since Hotel Impossible aired. Shirley Figueroa now works just once a week if that as she concentrates on her health and family, husband Walter says. The family also moved out of the hotel four months ago and into a home nearby. Staying at their place of work 24/7, Walter Figueroa explains, was just too much mental strain. Business is on the upswing, Walter adds, thanks in large part to Melchiorri teaching him how to delegate responsibility to staffers and form cross-marketing alliances with other businesses. At the same time, Walter admits, the hotel can do a better job cleaning the rooms. Weve been very busy and theres little time to catch up with the rooms, he says. The biggest boost to business, he contends, was changing the name of the place from the New Yorker Motel to the New Yorker Hotel. In Latin America, he says, a motel is where you go with your girlfriend for a couple of hours, not a place where you take your family. That was a big issue. But in spite of the improvements, the New Yorker is not quite in the black bit, Walter concedes. Were getting a little behind in property taxes. Banks are still unwilling to give the hotel a loan: They want to see another year of us doing good. the end of the new year, well be doing great Hes also bullish on the neighborhood. In fact, he says if he had access to millions of dollars like Avra Jain, he too would be buying motels on the Boulevard. There are always going to be tourists who, instead of spending $300 a night for a hotel in South Beach, would rather have a place where they can go to bed, have breakfast, and then go see the city, he says. The location we have is perfect. Its ten minutes to downtown. Ten minutes to South Beach. We dont have the beach, but were full almost every day. Unlike Tivka Gluck, Walter has no desire to sell the New Yorker. Unless, he amends, someone comes in with a crazy offer. Travel companion Robin Shear contributed to this story. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Checking In, Checking OutContinued from page 48 Saint Martha Yamaha2012-2013 Concert SeriesPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director TO PURCHASE TICKETSVisit www.saintmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or 305-751-0005 or 305-458-0111or purchase at church office or at door Helen & KlausDONATH January 27, 2013 at 3 p.m.

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52 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORThe Shape of Things The annual Design Miami fair has quietly become a leading venue for modern and contemporary decorative arts By Helen Hill Special to the BTDesign Miamis great white tent on the parking lot next to the Miami Beach Convention Center is empty. Truckloads of vintage, contemporary, and cutting-edge cabinets, chairs, and assorted objects have departed for port, airport, and points north, while the crowds, estimated at some 31,000 over the six days of the fair, are now a statistic. In the buzz and blaze of Art Basel and satellite fairs, Miamians may not yet appreciate that Design Miami has become one of the worlds most prominent and substantive forums for collectible design. Although small in comparison to Art Basel, Design Miami has grown and matured over eight years as an event in its own right. This year 36 of the worlds leading galleries presented contempo rary and historic design, up 25 percent from previous years. Unlike Art Basels endless partying and nightly revelry, Design Miami somehow appears more sedate. It has become a must-attend for every serious collector of design, as well as for representatives from such major museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and Londons Victoria and Albert. The fair also sparked the annual American Museum Network Confer ence, MUSCON. Co-presented in 2012 by the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum, Design Miami, and the Vitra Design Museum, its where curators meet, share projects, and network. With the blurring of the lines required. Noted collector Adam Lindemann says it most simply: What used to be called the decorative arts has now been dubbed design and is often marketed as limited edition art, or sometimes referred to as design/art. Marianne Goebl, now in her second year as director of Design Miami, ing rare or unique furniture, lighting, textiles, and functional objects. Func tional objects can, of course, also have an artistic quality, says Goebl. The self-conception of a designer is that of a problem solver, as opposed to an artist, who works autonomously, pursuing his own artistic strategy. Often its more about the context and the intention behind the work. Wendell Castle, known as the father of the art-furniture movement (and who was present at Design Miami again this year), describes how attitudes have changed. Early on in my career, he says, when I was making sculptural furniture, there werent any opportunities to exhibit these kinds of things. If it had any [practical] use, they didnt want Design Miamis stature as the most important destination for 20thand 21stcentury collectible design begins with the dealers who truly are the best in the world, says Goebl. The spectrum of partners we have, from Fendi to Audi to Be Open to Perrier-Jouet to Swarovksi, guarantees that fresh ideas from complementary disciplines are incorporated. And our attendees have made us an important meeting place. All told, it is a 360-degree experience. A growing interest in editioned pieces of furniture by brand-name designers has become big business. Less than a decade ago, collectible design dating from the postwar would go for less than $500,000 at auction at Sothebys. Nowadays, sales of the same items are in the many millions of dollars. Design Miamis museum-quality exhibits develop and drive the market. The big tent is a place of business for blue-chip dealers, collectors, designers, architects, and curators to meet, see new works, and make deals. Design Miami blooms with adventurous pieces that some people love and for which others have acquired a taste. Globetrotting art collectors, escorted by advisors, often discover design pieces to complement the artworks they covet at the big fair across the parking lot. Thirteen new galleries took space at 2012 Design Miami, including Moderne Gallery from Philadelphia. Moderne founder Bob Aibel said he came because Design Miami is recognized as a major design show, and dealers are very selective about where they go: I really felt it would introduce me to a wholly new clientele of excitement of business at a very high level. He says he made two special sales (prices not disclosed): a bench by George Nakashi ma and a rocking chair by Sam Maloof. On the other hand, Todd Merrills New York gallery did not return to Design Miami this year. Following amazing results in the 2011, he felt it was time to take a break. There was a different feeling, possibly due to the economy, but also a lot of emphasis on historic French pieces, Merrill says. I felt that 21st-century decorative arts were not being embraced. Continued on page 56Photos courtesy of Design Miami

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterOak Plaza was just a parking lot before Craig Robins bought it in 2005. Robins, CEO of Dacra and the largest landowner in the Design District, paid $500,000 for the 4700-square-foot parcel at 163 NE 39th St. Growing on the property were six very large white oak trees, estimated to be more than 100 years old. Robins had in mind an ambitious development project for the site, and he vowed to preserve and highlight the trees. I didnt want to kill those beautiful oak trees, he told the Miami Herald in 2007. They are the soul of the neighborhood. So Dacra hired two architectural as Oak Plaza, it included a promenade connecting NE 39th Street and NE 40th Street, along with matching arcaded buildings encompassing nearly 13,000 restaurant space. The centerpiece of the complex was a public plaza facing NE 39th Street. The limestone plaza, featuring those mafurniture, fronted an L-shaped structure dubbed the Loggia Building, which became the home for Brosio restaurant and, more recently, Maitardi restaurant. Soon after its completion in 2007, Oak Plaza received the prestigious Charter Award from the Congress of the New Urbanism, an organization that advocates for the creation of walkable, human-scale urban neighborhoods. The Loggia Building, however, for the Design District, which will include dozens of new stores for the luxury retailing group Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy (LVMH). This past March, two months after Dacra bought out Maitardis lease, construction crews began demolishing the Loggia Building. The trees were left untouched, though some observers expressed concern that construc tion equipment might be damaging them. That changed this past November, when the six ancient trees, plus a seventh, nursery-raised oak that was planted after Oak Plazas completion, were cut down. Local bloggers reacted in horror. Shock ripped through the neighborhood as one of Miamis most beloved little public spaces, Oak Plaza, was demoed in the Design District for Dacras as yet unknown redevelopment plan, wrote Curbed Miami editor Sean McCaughan. But the oaks were still there, protected by orange barricade tape. Now theyre gone. Not even transplanted, but hacked to bits. Hacked. To. Bits. For now, we are left to mourn the last remaining natural beauty in this historic Moore of Transit Miami, and to ask: Craig Robins, how could you let this happen? Robins isnt happy about it either, according to a written statement he sent to the BT We were sad with the loss of the oak trees that were not in a condition (or viable candidates) to be moved, Robins wrote. We intend to plant over 200 mature indigenous trees in the been installed. Twelve are on 40th Street and three are on the roof of the Garden Building. We have also transplanted nine oak trees from 40th Street to the Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood. Remorse isnt the only reason Dacra is planting more trees in the Design District. The City of Miamis environmental Continued on page 54By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterTo call Barbara Rubenstein active would be an understatement. The 84-year-old part-time resident of Aventura had so much energy that people 20 years younger had a hard time keeping up with her, according to her son, She wasnt your normal older woman, he says. She was athletic. She swam every day. And she was totally with it. She had a very bright mind. Thats whats so tragic about this. On November 29, a Thursday, Rubenstein was walking home with groceries when she was fatally struck by a Miami-Dade Transit bus near the southeast corner of the intersection at NE 199th Street (Aventura Boulevard) and NE 29th Place. After going to the movies, Rubenstein insisted on walking to the Publix on NE 29th Place and then to her nearby condo at Biscayne Lake Gardens, according to family members. Rubenstein died less than a block from the spot where 51-year-old Tomislav Ritoper died after being hit by a Miami-Dade Transit bus two years ago just north of the intersection where Rubenstein was struck. Goddess NewboldHayes, driver of the bus that hit Ritoper, was later charged by Aventura police with leaving the scene of a fatal accident against Miami-Dade County by Ritopers widow was settled out of court this past October. At the countys request, Rubensteins case was handed over to the MiamiDade Police Department, says Sgt. Jeff Burns of the Aventura Police Departspokesman says the Rubenstein investigation is ongoing. No further details, including the name of the bus driver, had Biscayne BlvdNE 192nd StAventura BlvdAventura MallAbigail RdAbigale RdNE 29th PlW Country Club Dr PublixAventura Shopping Center Tomislav Ritoper Fa tality Barbara R ubenstein fatality Waiting To HappenA short stretch of road in Aventura swarms with pedestrians and vehicles, sometimes with deadly results Map by Marcy MockEven the Best Intentions Can Be FatalThe 100-year-old trees were supposed to be the celebrities at Oak Plaza, but now theyre dead Continued on page 55

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54 preservation ordinance demands re placement trees of at least two feet in height if a property owner wants to cut down even a single tree. The combined diameters of the trees removed determine how many trees need to be planted, says city code enforcement inspector Jos Campa. The tree replacement plans Robins has submitted to the city thus far consist of not 200 trees but 92, a level that is still higher than the minimum number of trees the code requires, Campa says. Those new trees include 32 gumbo limbos, 32 mahoganies, and 28 Florida patch palms. The felled oak trees may have been doomed before LVMH considered opening stores in the Design District. According to a report prepared for Dacra by Miami horticultural consultant Lisa H. Hammer in January 2012, it was the construction of Oak Plaza itself that irreparably harmed the trees, something examined the oaks. The live oaks in Oak Plaza are stressed and in a state of decline, as evidenced by the chlorosis dieback and interior sprouting, she wrote in 2010, an assertion repeated in her report from January 2012. The most probable causes of the stress are root damage during construction and limited open space in the plaza for roots to take up adequate amounts of water and nutrients. Bob Brennan, an arboriculturalist afGarden, says a landscaper asked him to look at the trees soon after Oak Plazas patio was completed. They were wondering why the trees werent doing well, the problem was: The trees were buried 18 inches under a limestone patio that not only limited the air supply for the roots, but also trapped moisture there. The result was a slow death for the trees. It doesnt happen overnight, Brennan explains. It takes three or four years for that type of damage to emerge. Jeff Shimonski, a municipal arborist, chief horticulturist at Jungle Island, and Biscayne Times columnist, wrote a column last month for this publication (The Root of the Problem) about how new construction can be hazardous to trees if builders arent careful. Just from looking at photographs of the Oak Plaza trees, Shimonski could tell they were in poor health. Im sure the soil around the roots was compacted by heavy equipment, he says. Shimonski also notes that the citys ordinance requires a ten foot protection zone around a tree during construction. Such a zone would have prevented Oak Plazas sidewalk from being built on top of the tree roots. This should not have been allowed, he adds. more, says code enforcement inspector Campa. Tree-protection provisions were added to the citys tree ordinance only last year. The old oaks were deemed by Hammer to be either in poor or very poor condition. A nursery-grown tree was judged to be in fair condition. As far as Continued on page 57 8PM // THE COLONY THEATRE ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION in LIVE! THE REALEST MCABRAHAM.IN.MOTION in LIVE! THE REALEST MC TICKETS ON SALE NOW! // 305.237.3010 // WWW.MDCLIVEARTS.ORG Oak TreesContinued from page 53

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Continued on page 57been released by press time, but witnesses to the aftermath of the accident say the area that was cordoned off by police included the crosswalk. According to Burns, accidents involving buses are rare in Aventura. More common are vehicular accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. There are several [pedestrian-related accidents] a week, Burns says. Fortunately, we dont have many fatalities through the course of a year. (The BT was unable Aventura police by deadline.) Why are pedestrians in Aventura being hit by vehicles so often? Aventura resident and Eye on Miami blogger Nancy Lee says its because drivers in her city have no regard for pedestrians. Ive tried to walk in the crosswalks and the drivers dont ever stop, complains Lee, who, two years ago, posted a video of herself trying to cross N. Country Club Drive. They speed around you. They curse you even if youre in a crosswalk. must yield to pedestrians who use cross walks. Sergeant Burns says hes encoun tered plenty of Aventura drivers who didnt in Aventura that, in general, its bad for pedestrians, he says, adding that hes also seen pedestrians jaywalk in amid oncom Burns says his department is formu safety that will be launched soon. The city is also lobbying the county for the right to place more signage at crosswalks alerting drivers to stop for pedestrians, he adds. Miami-Dade bus drivers arent typical Florida drivers. They are required to possess a commercial drivers license. To obtain a CDL, a person must have a clean driving record and pass an extensive test that includes judging velocity during sharp turns and being aware of road hazards like aggressive drivers or distracted pedestrians. Bus drivers need all those skills and more when heading onto NE 29th Place, particularly between Aventura Boulevard and Abigail Road, a winding street that loops around Aventura Mall. On both sides of this 700-foot stretch of NE 29th Place there are two busy bus stops with commuters heading to and from Miami Beach, downtown Miami, other parts of north Miami-Dade, even Broward County. Bus riders often dash across NE 29th heading in and out of the Aventura Mall desperate efforts to catch their bus. (If you miss your bus, you could wait a very long time for the next one.) There are no crosswalks along this section of NE 29th Place. And awaiting those who cross the street directly from the bus stop on the east side of the street isnt a sidewalk, curb, or even a parking veer into Aventura Shopping Centers main vehicular entrance before reaching the bus stop on the west side. It can be very dangerous, says Joe White, a chef who has commuted between Miramar and Aventura by bus for nearly a year. There are so many cars that come right through here. Police Sergeant Burns, however, south of where Rubenstein and Ritoper were hit by buses. I dont think people are driving at breakneck speeds there, he says. We have gone in there to do enforcement and the speed of cars drops to 20 miles per hour when entering the shopping center. (This section of road is a 20-mph zone.) At present there are no proposals from the city or county to make NE 29th Place more pedestrian-friendly, despite the large number of pedestrians using bus service. Why? Because that part of TICKETS ON SALE NOW! // 305.237.3010 // WWW.MDCLIVEARTS.ORG 8PM // THE COLONY THEATRE RUDE MECHSin THE METHOD GUNRUDE MECHSin THE METHOD GUN Waiting to HappenContinued from page 53 Courtesy Rubenstein family

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56 Similarly, other veteran dealers have chosen to pass on Design Miami after disagreeing with the fairs curatorial direction, particularly the perception that Design Miami dictates what galleries can and cannot put in their booths. (Two committees of renowned experts on historical and contemporary design vet pieces for quality and authenticity.) Certainly, the push has been to show vintage 20th-century furniture, which, to some, can feel repetitive. As one dealer, who asked not to be named, says, Its time to favor artists creating great studio want a balance, not just one or the other, and certainly nothing stale. Design Miamis annual fairs in Basel, Switzerland, in June and Miami munity. Says Goebl: Basel is a city with more restraint and therefore the show has a quieter elegance. Miami Beach infuses us with its exuberance, which was from the Snarkitecture pavilion to the Michaels Genuine caf. Relocating Design Miami to Miami Beach in 2010 made it easier for collectors to access the fair and make repeat visits. This year, many also headed across the causeway to the furniture showrooms and restaurants in the Miami Design District, where design was celebrated in a full program of exhibits, launches, and parties. According to Cathy Leff, direc tor of the Wolfsonian-FIU, thats the whole point: Design is part of Miamis culinary art, and street art. The whole where design is not only being pro duced and consumed, but is part of the areas DNA. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Shape of ThingsContinued from page 52

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the city is concerned, trees that are in less than good condition might cut down. When trees are in that condition, they wont survive being transplanted, Campa says. Novembers tree destruction might have been avoided had Oak Plazas designers consulted an arborist. Yet Brennan points out that Dacra and its contractors are hardly alone in making such a mistake. All over Miami, he says, trees are dying because developers are building too close to existing root systems. The biggest problem with construction these days, says Brennan, is that the people who are in charge dont bring in people who know what theyre doing with regard to trees. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Oak TreesContinued from page 54 Photo by Jason Walker NE 29th Place is not a public road. It is owned by Turnberry Associates, which also owns Aventura Mall. Turnberry Associates could not be reached for comment by deadline. Barbara Rubenstein was no stranger to NE 29th Place Rubenstein says his mother, a Chicago resident, regularly wintered at the Biscayne Lake Gardens condominium complex since 1968. She loved the area, he says. Everything was accessible. his mother was also fond of walking to and from her condo minium: She had a car, but she preferred to walk just for the exercise. Walking was just one among many pursuits. The retired secretary was still playing on a softball team while in her 70s. She also began traveling extensively following the death of her husband 14 years ago. And while staying in Aventura, she was active at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. She loved the rabbi and cantor there, her son says. She also liked to volunteer as an usher at the performing arts centers in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Aventura. just a week before her death, was scheduled to usher during performances of Sister Act at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, says her son. Barbara Rubenstein is survived by two sons, one daughter, four grandchildren, and hundreds of friends. The Everybody was incredibly close to her. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Waiting to HappenContinued from page 55 BT photo by Erik Bojnansky

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BRICKELL / DOWNTOWNParting ThoughtsOur Brickell correspondent heads to Washington, D.C., but not before putting together a wish list for MiamiBy Craig Chester BT ContributorMy friends often bemoan Miamis transient nature, lamenting the fact that their peers regularly move to other cities in a seemingly perpetual brain drain. But I never thought theyd be talking about me that way. Recently I accepted a communications fellowship with a national organization called Smart Growth America, based in Washington, D.C. Ill be relocating there later this month. According to Smart Growth Americas organization dedicated to researching, advocating for, and leading coalitions to bring smart-growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks so people can walk to their town center to ensuring that more homes are built near public transit or productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure that people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. Needless to say, Im excited to begin this new opportunity in our nations capital with such a respected and broad-reaching organization. However, the decision to leave Miami was not an easy one to make. Ive been an ardent supporter and advocate for civic improvement in Miami since relocating here three years ago. Even in that brief time, its clear the upward momentum is accelerating and the spirit of entrepreneurship is thriving, and general excitement for the citys future is plainly evident. Of course, there are things that could be improved, particularly with regard to the downtown experience. So Ive composed a wish list of sorts for realistic, attainable, short-term enhancements for Miami. Begin to treat transit riders with dignity. A few weeks ago, a text mesraining on the bus. On one gloomy afternoon, the leaks between the windows of the Miami-Dade Transit bus he was riding were so bad passengers along the entire left side had wet shoulders. Most riders simply stopped trying to shield themselves from the dripping water and instead sat dejectedly under the leaks. Bus stops that lack shelter or, in is nothing more than a post in the ground are a common sight throughout the the reality of how often buses come and go. Many times, there are no crosswalks or safe ways to cross a street after exiting the bus. on the way, but that represents only one piece of the puzzle. An ongoing federal agement at Miami-Dade Transit has led to a freeze on federal funding for the Photo by Eric Madrid

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from many local municipalities for the installation of bus shelters and other basic improvements. Despite those challenges, even simple changes in attitude, responsiveness, and public relations would make a notable difference. In Japan, its normal for bus drivers to welcome and thank passengers for riding. Is that such an unreasonable request here? Return of Bike Miami Days. This one should be a no-brainer. Bike Miami Days was a popular cycling-oriented block party in 2008 and 2009 that lost city funding after the departure of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. Since then, the bike buzz in Miami has only grown exponentially louder. (The event did make a scaled-down comeback in 2011.) Anyone paying attention to happenings in Miami realizes that bicycling is not a fringe activity. Often used as a barometer of sorts, the monthly (unsanctioned) Miami Critical Mass bicycle ride now features more than 2000 riders of all ages eager to enjoy an evening cruise through the city, sometimes alongside famous athletes like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, both of whom recently participated in Critical Mass. There are dozens of other casual, group-oriented rides sprouting up throughout the county, more bike lanes and signage, and even cycling safety and education programs in local schools. In recognition of this improvement, the City of Miami was recently designated a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists a marked improvement from being ranked one of the worst cities for bicycling in the USA as recently as 2009. The Bicycle Friendly Community program recognizes cities that demon strate improvement towards promoting education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning. During this past election, there was no box that said, Make Miami bikefriendly. If there had been, the measure would have won by a landslide. Ordinary Miamians are regularly taking to the streets in droves in sanctioned and unsanctioned group rides, the latter being dedicate more attention and resources to the issue of cyclist safety. Mayors in three prominent American cities New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are not viewing cycling as merely another routine issue; they are emphatically making accommodations for cycling a signature component of their tenures and legacy. Even Coral Gables organized two well-attended Gables Bike Day events over the past two years, opening Miracle Mile and neighboring streets to bicyclists and closing them to automobile Miamis bicycle master plan (adopted in 2009), my wish is for Mayor Toms Regalado to reinstate a larger, grander Bike Miami Days, which would surely be a resounding success. Convert parking lots into parks. Since 2005, in more than 800 cities around the globe, residents, business have secured the right to convert parking lots into small urban parks dubbed parklets for one day. In Miami various groups have converted street parking spaces into temporary oases by laying down sod and bringing in outdoor furniture. Miami has a woeful lack of parkland per resident were ranked 94 on a list of 100 U.S. cities when it comes to park acreage per 1000 residents and with limited funding available, we need to think creatively about permanently reclaiming public spaces for people. The opportunities for creating permanent parks from pavement are many, but maybe we should start with the parking lots under the Metromover along Biscayne Boulevard, adjacent to Bayfront Park. Converting these parking lots into attractive public spaces will create a natural extension of Bayfront Park, enabling an inviting, seamless connection between it and the rest of downtown, while taming the intimidating task of crossing of Biscayne Boulevard on foot. The Downtown Development Authority also shares this vision, so the time is ripe for moving forward. So there you have it, Miami. And if anyone knows where to get a good pan con bistec or cortadito in D.C., let me know on Twitter at @MiamiUrbanist. Hasta luego! Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Going NativeA movement to promote Florida-friendly landscaping takes root in the villageBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorWe were enjoying a lazy day in the pool, Sauvignon Blanc in stemless Riedel glasses around, when one of my guests suddenly became very animated. Brazilian pepper! she shrieked, pointing to the tangled mass where a mango had disappeared into the underbrush. Thats not native! Do you have pruning shears? Within seconds, she was out of the pool and attacking the offending plant and all others in the yard she deemed unsuitable. For her good deed, my friend was later rewarded with an all-encompassing rash, either from poison ivy or exposure to mango sap. But while she was pulling out plants, she was also planting a lot of ideas in my head about our overgrown patch of brown and green, what we should be doing with it and not doing with it. When we do have the opportunity to observe the jungle we dare to call landscaping, my husband and I often growing. This is vegetation that could have only come from seeds, spread by the wind or dropped by birds. That means other nonnative plants are in our neighborhood, sucking up water and other valuable resources that indigenous plants require. Eventually, theyll force out the native species. In short, potentially destructive, insidious plants are likely already in your yard, or your neighbors. They range from the sapodilla to the sea hibiscus to strawberry guava. I know what youre thinking: These are common to our properties. So common, in fact, that our houses might not look like they belong in subtropical South Florida without them. Meanwhile, havent most of our regional trees, bushes, and whatnot been introduced from other tropical climes? Even our beloved mangos are originally from Asia. The problem is not necessarily with exotic plants, but those that are harmful for whatever reason, including root systems that pillage more than their share of water. It surprised me to learn that coconut palms, which thrive all over the Caribbean (and along my driveway) are not recommended for planting in MiamiDade County. Its not because theyll take over a yard (although a mature palm can drop 75 seeds, or coconuts, annually), but because of the amount of water For the most part, the occurrence of a menacing species is not the fault of current homeowners. Vegetation not native to the area was typically introduced a long time ago to combat a perceived problem. For instance, melaleuca was brought from Australia in 1900 when portions of the Everglades were being reclaimed. Its roots are widely regarded as a soil stabilizer. But without its natural enemies to keep it Congratulations to the 2012 Knight Arts Challenge winnerswho are helping to build the arts in South Florida The Knight Arts Challenge is a community-wide contest funding ideas to help bring South Florida together through the arts. More at KnightArts.org. rf ntbfrtft nrrr nt ntr tr tttnt rrtr rrt rrnnt t rr rt n rbt rr rrnt rn f t rr frr frrrrr f t trrt rrt

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in check bugs, disease it quickly became dominant. Today, referred to as a noxious weed, melaleuca is on the prohibited list, making it illegal to possess, propagate, or plant. Ditto Australian pines, planted as windbreaks to preserve beaches and ly became a threat instead of a savior, taking over wildlife nesting habitats, uprooting in hurricanes, and bursting than the trees theyd crowded out. If you know what youre looking over South Florida and Miami Shores, in particular. If you dont, examine an extensive list of prohibited, invasive, cautioned, and recommended species in reference sources penned by the University of Florida, including A Guide to Florida-Friendly Landscaping Or go online for brief yet multifaceted tutorials at the South Florida Water Management District; for more extensive self-educating, check out the Florida Yards and Neighbors (FYN) Homeowner Program, run by the UF/IFAS extension, I guarantee youll discover at least one environmentally threatening plant on your land. Its fortunate, then, that we have residents like David Hunter in our midst. A Realtor with Greener Living Homes, Hunter is an outspoken advocate for reducing our consumption of resources. He and his cohorts in the group Miami Shores Green Gardeners, founded two years ago to share resources in a cooperative manner, enthusiastically host free, open-to-the-community workshops once or twice per year, such as the one on edible and sustainable gardening I attended in December. Its all about Florida-friendly landscaping, Hunter says. We want to see people going with more low-maintenance-type plants. This will cut down on the amount of water, fertilizer, and chemicals in use. Turning your yard into a giant sus tainable garden is, I suppose, a way to xeriscape, though front lawns that might include kale and basil are surely not al lowed in a community where you have to get a permit to move a mailbox. Xeriscap ing, which literally means dry scene, is a southwestern U.S. concept that calls for designing an aesthetically pleasing landscape with drought-tolerant, wasteFor Miami Shores residents whose decorative rocks and downed tree trunks (both allowed in xeriscaping) could become nasty projectiles in hurricane weather the ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of resources used for maintenance while balancing soil types and compatible plants. Hunter leads by example: His yard barrels, raised beds with organic herbs and vegetables, and a gorgeous mass of any experienced gardener wince in envy. But he is also trying to lead by mandate. This past fall, he and his colleagues appeared before the villages planning and zoning committee and the village council to da-friendly landscaping recommendations. The current position of the village council is that no one is opposed to Florida-friendly landscaping, and that the village, with some recent initiatives and its new website, is already on the green side. Still, the outcome of the Green Gardeners petition resulted in the council sending the proposal back to the Currently, Miami Shores homeowners, as stated in the village council minutes, are given wide latitude regarding their lawns, which apparently includes day decorations that devour electricity and are an eyesore besides. Were also required to keep our lawns and swales green even during drought, an impossibility many of us encountered a couple of summers ago. For cost and resource management considerations, Florida-friendly land scaping recommendations make good sense. Turning those guidelines into regulations, especially those that allow for only the planting of native vegetation, seems far more sensible than simply limiting sprinkler systems or forcing us to purchase sod that the waste trucks then proceed to grind off the swales. Or, for that matter, having us pay for permits to uproot a mailbox. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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62 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA Picking Our PocketNew development threatens to rob Aventura of George Berlin ParkBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorThis past November, the mayor of London announced he will create or enhance 100 new pocket parks across his city. Those of us who grew up in large urban areas are familiar with pocket parks. They are small, public spaces created from vacant lots or other forgotten spots frequently scattered throughout an urban area. They are used for events, as childrens play areas, and as spaces for relaxing and meeting. The late Jane Jacobs, goddess of new urbanism, wrote that parks do not act upon neighborhoods, but that neighborhoods act upon parks. Hence, a pocket park will have a greater likelihood of success if located in an area where there Aventura has one pocket park, but and recreation website. Its the small piece of land on the northeast corner of N. Country Club Drive and NE 34th Avenue, bounded by the Ensenada Condominiums on the east and a canal with a marina to the north. It is across the street from the Soffer walking path that rings the Turnberry golf course. Its not land is privately owned. For the longest time, no one could tell you who owned this parcel. For all we knew, its most recent owner had abandoned it. The citys principal residential organization, the Joint Council of Aventura, took it upon itself to maintain the lot, although it did not install any amenities there that might have created a true park. Then about eight or nine years ago, the Joint Council and the Aventura Marketing Council took a small step by designating the lot a park, naming it George Berlin Park. George Berlin was an employee of Turnberry Associates and its principal, Don Soffer. Berlin was an engineer by training. His job in the 1970s and 1980s was to implement Soffers vision to take an area called Ojus, full of mangroves and scrub brush, and develop it into what we now know as Aventura. Berlin secured the necessary zoning approvals, supervised the construction of and commercial buildings, roadways, and other infrastructure, and attended to the providing of utilities to Aventura. Berlin knew where every easement, underground pipeline, and sprinkler head in our city was located. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith 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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Long after he retired from Turnberry Associates, Berlin would appear at city tory of the matter under consideration and to offer his opinion about whether a proposed physical change to the city While the citys founders created our government, George Berlin created the place and proper that the Joint Council and Aventura Marketing Council should Around the same time as the designation of George Berlin Park, someone cabinet and discovered lo and behold one of their companies, Aventurawithstanding that the city commission had rezoned this land so that nothing could be built on it, Aventura-Ensenadas attorney advised his client that it had rights vested before the rezoning to build a windfall!) Of course, Aventura-Ensenada 2005 the parties entered into a settlement agreement, under which the city agreed to permit low-density development there, about six or eight units, so long as the The owner of George Berlin Park has applied to the city to up-zone the land to mid-rise apartments of up to four stories owner will make the usual argument that the zoning agreed to under the settlement is no longer economically feasible, that denser development is necessary for the Although our city commissioners are duty-bound to consider the application, perhaps they should redirect their focus to acquiring the property through purchase or eminent domain for developThere is a little secret in AvenUnder Florida law, a municipality must preserve a certain portion of land as open space or for recreational use by its this rule depends upon the municipalThis law recognizes the essentialness of recreational facilities for the wellwas substantially built out at the time of its incorporation, the city could not provide the recreational facilities mandated Turnberry golf course as a designated recreational space for purposes of satisThis may have made sense many years ago, when the golf course in its incarnation as the Aventura Country Club was reasonable in cost and Now the golf fees and club dues at the Turnberry Resort make use of the course While the purchase of George Berlin Park by the city will not satisfy the land-use requirements of state law, it would surely signal an attempt by the The passive park located in the southern portion of Founders Park has swath of lawn and little else, seducing neither pedestrians nor drivers as a With proper planning, George Berlin Park could attract many walkers and bikers along the Soffer Trail and Country Club Drive for a break, contemplation, or childrens play the purposes for which take are well-designed gardens, benches, Or George Berlin Park can become one more development along Country At least George Berlin would continue to have his name inscribed somewhere Although Berlin worked for the largest developer of them all, if he were alive today, its a sure bet he would appear before the city commission on January 8 to oppose this rezoning as Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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64 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEBack to the FutureA survey of previous columns conrms it: The more things change in Miami, the more they stay the sameBy Frank Rollason BT ContributorIve never gone back to read over my old BT columns and, in fact, seldom read them when theyre published. I much more enjoy reading the other col umns, and particularly like being taken to task in the Letters to the Editor by readers who disagree with my point of view. The other day, however, I was doing a little research and found myself immersed in reading column after column Id penned and, quite frankly, amazed myself at the breadth of topics on which Ive shared my views with you, our readers. I thought it might be interesting to highlight a few of these topics and bring everyone up to speed as to my current observations on the same. Upper Eastside Crime: Ive done several columns dealing with crime in our neighborhoods (September 2008; December 2010; October 2012), and surmise that we are about in the same position weve been in for several years now. Car break-ins and home burglaries more likely, with the periodic release of career criminals who return to their old haunts and habits. Were fortunate to have Miami Police Commander Manuel Morales, who has taken to heart the task of reducing crime in the Upper Eastside, and continually moves forward with a positive attitude despite very lim ited resources. We, the residents and businesses along the Boulevard, must remain ever vigilant and take reason able security measures to slow down the thieves. Government and Ethics: I see that Ive done quite a few columns on this topic too many to list most likely owing to my 40 years working for the City of Miami. Its really sad to report that it does not appear our municipal government is any more stable or ethical at this point in time. Recently weve had two city commissioners cited by county ethics ofgifts as required for a trip abroad which included his wife; and Frank Carollo, for directly contacting the chief of police tion an apparent abuse of power and/ performance of his duties. $3300Valid with coupon. Not to be combined with other offers. New students only. Photo courtesy of Myrna Erler-Bradshaw 2009

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telenovela Biscayne Boulevard MiMo Historic Business District: Miami Herald Climate Change: Herald Herald BT My Favorite Column: Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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66 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMILet the Boom BeginThe soon-to-commence construction frenzy at Biscayne Landing promises big things for North MiamiBy Mark Sell BT ContributorAs 2013 begins, the curtain rises at last on North Miamis long-awaited Biscayne Landing project, which could take as long as 15 years and cost as much as a billion dollars to complete. The 184-acre former contaminated much as it did a year ago, with the same and giant PVC. The occasional acrid whiff just to the north still lingers, but a solution new consent decree between Miami-Dade County and federal regulators. Indeed much is about to happen, now Oleta Partners recently deposited with the city in late August to take possession of the land. Oleta aside, start with the Oaks, the dual 25-story condo-apartment towers now bursting with renters and their pets, three-bedroom units rent from about Its been a long time since you could slalom past the speed bumps in the dark come and go, and wait in line for the security guard to let you back in. As a result of the increase in the number of residents, the condo association has ing trash on the grounds and cleaning up after dogs. column for Biscayne Landing are pan ning out; others arent. For instance, Oleta Partners, most prominently represented as expected, snap up the bank-owned condo association, and start work on a pool and 14,000-square-foot clubhouse. Those plans are now off, as Oleta association intends to submit a zoning ap plication to start construction on the pool, common area, and guard gate this year. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Oleta Partners includes three powerful entities: the Swerdlow Group, which developed the Dolphin Mall and Oakwood Plaza, just east of I-95 between Stirling Road and Sheridan Street in Hollywood; the LeFrak Organization, the 112-year-old New York developer that built the $10 billion Newport development on the Hudson River in Jersey City; and Millennium Partners, headed by Emmanuel and Jean Cherubin, who are interested in building a hotel. Now that the price of construction materials is rising by double digits, there is fresh impetus to develop sooner rather than later. Priorities in mid-to-late 2013 are ponds in the former EPA Superfund site, but leave the large lake on the north end intact with a surrounding park; second, an elevation ten feet above Biscayne Boulevard (17 feet above sea level); third, build the spine road linking the Boulevard and 143rd Street through the site to the Oaks and 151st Street to the north. If the state turns down Florida International Universitys bid for a permit for a skyway road over the wetlands to the campus, expect fresh pressure from FIU in 2013 to open the nature trail from determined to build a second entrance to the campus. In 2014, construction should start on the big-box stores on the propertys southern half, and, very likely, midrange rental apartments, ultimately numbering 3400 units. Swerdlow knows big-box stores; LeFrak has developed apartments for more than a century and is now expanding its South Florida footprint, including by partnering on the $100 million renovation of the Gansevoort Hotel in South Beach. The city is planning a 7.2-acre active park in the sites southwest corner. As for the stores, it now looks as if Lowes and Ikea are out and Brandsmart is either out or on hold; Ross Dress For Less and Toys R Us appear solid. The master plan and letters of intent are still in their infancy, and the picture should grow clearer come March. One new player is a likely vertical luxury car dealership similar in layout to Lexus of North Miami. Oleta is in talks 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 with Prestige Auto Imports, which owns the Lamborghini dealership across the Boulevard, and which tried last spring to pay the city nearly $14 million to build a four-story showroom on nine acres at the old Biscayne Landing sales center on the southeast corner of 151st and Biscayne Boulevard. The auto dealer would still like to move into that location. A movie theater is also a distinct possibility not the usual 24-screen cineplex you see in Aventura or Weston, but a dine-in theater, where you can enjoy a meal and cocktail while watching a movie, as in Swerd lows Dolphin Mall or in Downtown Disney. For now, an adult-care facility, which seemed likely a year ago, is out of the picture. Local jobs are key to the plan, but not in a big way until 2014. (Despite that, more than 900 people showed up at the Biscayne Landing job fair October 27, with lines snaking around the sales center.) Oleta Partners will start slow, with 26 hires, mainly truck drivers and crane operators. Expect that number to ramp up to as many as 4000 over the next decade. Oleta Partners is required to ensure that ten percent of the workers live in North Miami, with a goal of 25-percent representation. Oleta Partners vice president Herb Tillman oversees the project and has high praise for North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre, who saved the deal from collapse but has been tarred by a December 23 Miami Herald report that he failed to disclose business connections with the Cherubins. Tillman nonetheless credits Pierre with the deals success. The mayor did a bang-up job in negotiations for the says. He resurrected this deal from the near dead. This deal has the potential to transform North Miami from one of the poorest cities in South Florida into one of the richest. This is going to provide longand tax revenue. The mayors efforts to ensure local workforce representation will make a bigger difference to more lives in North Miami than any other similar effort If it all comes to pass, that would be a very big deal. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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68 Culture: THE ARTSEnter the DragonWith two notable exhibits by emerging Asian artists, Zadok Gallery makes its mark with Bernice Steinbaum By Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorZadok Gallery on N. Miami Avenue in Wynwood is a huge, handsome, two-story building encompassing 17,000 square feet, about 12,000 of which are given over to art. That means, along with various rooms displaying permanent artworks from the gallery, two large sculpture shows can be shown simultaneously and comfortably. Thats the case this month, when a couple of very different exhibits in look and feel from two up-and-coming Asian artists are featured (and have been since Art Basel Miami Beach). The illuminated works, especially the centerpiece, from Beijing-based artist Li Hui, are brash and literally electrifying. In the piece titled Cracked 7000 laser beams shoot down from the 28-foot ceiling to immerse the darkened space in crimson red dots danc For anyone who has followed the meteoric rise of Chinese art in the past decade, or was captivated by the Beijing the muscular emergence of the new China. In another room, Korea native SeonGhi Bahk uses small lumps of black charcoal to form his delicate sculptures, reminiscent of hanging plants, throwing splash of color here, in a subtle play on form and illusion. Zadok Gallery opened in 2008 under owner Barak Zadok. Initially it exhibited a number of contemporary artists, but also hosted events, and was rented out to other organizations. In 2011, for instance, the Arsht Center and Cirque Eloize threw their opening-night party there. The gallerys main focus was on Chinese art, but otherwise had a fairly disparate roster of artists. Then last summer, after Bernice town Zadok, gallery director Mark T. Smith and Steinbaum got to talking. There was a feeling that the newcomer gallery needed more of a vision, and that the semi-retired gallerist and curator might be the one to bring that. As Steinbaum, sitting in her new discusses her latest adventure, she is patterned silk Chinese top and skirt. She, too, had concentrated on Asian art in her 34 years as an art dealer, along with work by women and people of color. Nearing the age of 70, she says, peering out through her large glasses, the strain and stress of running a gallery had taken its toll. It was time to either die or retire, she says, and I chose the latter. But art remained in her blood, and so did a desire to keep the arts scene in the Wynwood area progressing. Zadok approached her about consulting and she decided it was something she wanted to try. In October she became curator and consultant for the gallery, although with looser hours than in her previous job. While she and Zadok had an interest in Asian art in common, Steinbaum says Cracked Relationship 2012 Photos courtesy of Zadok Gallery Photo by Liam Crotty

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the gallery needed a tighter mission and smaller roster. By the time Art Miami and Context Art Miami at which the gallery had booths rolled around barely two months later, Steinbaums imprint was unmistakable. Walking through the gallery on this late December day, Steinbaum points out that exhibiting SeonGhi Bahk was a choice of hers, following a recent stint in Seoul. Li Hui was cultivated and brought in by Zadok. Anyone familiar with Steinbaums previous gallery will recognize some of the names that are now represented here, including Magdalena Campos-Pons, Enrique Gomez de Molina, and Peter Sarkisian. In fact, for the time being, the roster of artists has been whittled down to nine, most of them from Steinbaums Rolodex. We will eventually have about 12, but that is part of my mission to keep this very focused, she says. All of the artists have a permanent space now in the gallery for their works. She has also brought in a few names not so familiar to Miami, such as Brooklyn-based Patrick Jacobs, who was the solo artist featured by Zadok at the Context fair. At the gallery, where large-scale works dominate the huge space, Jacobss contribution is a literal hole in the wall and a gem. Peer into a small aperture in one wall and enter an intensely idyllic world, a tiny little diorama of a green countryside strewn are crafted from hair, tinfoil, ash, and other nonstandard materials. At the opposite end of the size scale, dozens of stools, of both Chinese and African origin, piled high with spheres and semi-spheres made from sugar and glass, shot through with African spears. Called Sugar: Bitter Sweet its a continuation of the Cuban-born artists exploration of her complex roots. Steinbaum clearly loves this installation from Campos-Pons, an internationally acclaimed artist whose work she has shown for years. Another large installation, from Mexican-born Gabriel Dawe, is absolutely dizzying in its composition and painstaking craft. Dawe has stretched 31 miles of multicolored thread from He will thread even more miles when he takes over the main space, with its 28-foot ceiling, for one of the next solo shows. (Steinbaum says there will be two solo exhibits every two months.) Which brings us back to what is still the most eye-popping piece at the gallery at the moment, the red laser-beam room artist has been shown in the United States. Bringing this particular work to Miami, along with the light sculptures upstairs, was a labor of love for Barak Zadok. I am so proud of this, he says, standing in the room, bathed in that eerie light. Looking fondly at the accompanying acrylic pieces, which look like ice sculptures, each one lit up in a different primary color, Zadok surmises that there surely is a commentary here on the fastchanging world of the artists homeland. Encased in plastic are fossils, or skeletons, seemingly waiting for the ice the works rigid veneer to melt. In one sculpture, the creature waiting for the thaw is a dragon. On a smaller scale, change is also occurring on this stretch of N. Miami Avenue. We are not rushing into anything, says Steinbaum, but the future is promising. For the spring were planning a group show with artists from all around Florida, but they will be 70 years young or older. The solo exhibits from Li Hui and SeonGhi Bahk run through February 18 at the Zadok Gallery, 2534 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-3737, www.zadokgallery.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Plexus np. 20 In Sugar: Bitter Sweet

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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 January 31: Se7n by Chambliss Giobbi ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 January 12 through February 6: David McConnell ACND GALLERY OF ART 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Through January 18: Art from Within with Yunier Cervino Oliver and Jos Ramirez ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-287-7789 www.albertolinerogallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2630 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through January 26: Paper Folding by Odalis Valdivieso Ceremony by Matthew Deleget Painted/Stacked 2012 by Russell Maltz Rio Corrente, Running River by Artur Lescher ALMA FINE ART 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through January 20: Vidente by Marta Maria Perez Bravo Implications with Veronica Grassi, Paula Herrera, Diana Maguire, Roberto Martinez, and Yanina Monti ART FUSION 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com January 1 through March 31: Journey into the Soul with various artists 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www.artnouveaugaleria.com Through January 30: Unfathomable by Rafael Barrios 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 January 31: Recent Works by Jos Antonio Davila 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Through January 18: If a Tree Falls, a Chain Reaction with Jennifer Basile, Carola Bravo, Amalia Brujis, Silvana DMikos, Michael Gellatly, Ernesto Kunde, Blanca Pratorius, Tina Salvesen, and Anica Shpilberg Take Me Home with various artists 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse Through January 15: Kosmas), Simon Denny, Yngve Holen, Ilja Karilampi, Nedberg & Kantun, Katja Novitskova, Halvor Rnning, Timur Si-Qin, Spring Break, Anne de Vries, and Phillip Zach BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through January 5: Scribes House by Pablo Lehmann BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Call gallery for exhibition information 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through January 20: The Rule of Law by Joe Nicastri Paint! with George Bethea, Lucas Blanco, Juan Carballo, Shirley Henderson, Mary Malm, Jordan Massengale, Yolanda Sanchez, and Claudia Scalise 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 6, Miami 305-571-8100 www.buzz-art.net Call gallery for exhibition information 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www .susannacaldwell.com Through June 1: Mahogany Sculptures and Sculptural Offering Bowls carved from Florida Hardwoods by Susanna Caldwell 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906; www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Call gallery for exhibition information CASSINA MIAMI SHOWROOM 3800 NE Miami Ct., Miami www.lccollection.cassina.com Through January 12: The Interior of the Cabanon, Le Corbusier 1952, Cassina Reconstruction 2006 by Le Corbusier, curated by Jean-Louis Cohen CHAREST-WEINBERG GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-292-0411; www.charestweinberg.com Call gallery for exhibition information Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com January 10 through February 31: Rafael Ferrer DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through January 31: Loris Cecchini 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 100 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net Through January 5: Paper Folding by Odalis Valdivieso DINA MITRANI GALLERY 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through January 11: Paris by Willy Ronis 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 January 31: leitmotif by Mauro Giaconi, Omar Barquet, Jos Luis Landet, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Leonel Matheu, Liliane Eberle, Jorge Mio, Leslie Gabaldon, Yanina Szalkowicz, and Hernan Cedola DURBAN SEGNINI GALLER Y 2145 NW 2nd Ave., Miami www.durbansegnini.com Through February 19: Painting and Architecture by Cesar Paternosto ELITE ART EDITIONS 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942; www.elitearteditions.com Call gallery for exhibition information ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 Through January 11: Winter Group Show with Rainer Lagemann, Christian Awe, Douglass Freed, Hunt Slonem, and Mario Velez Even Odds, salvaged

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Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through January 25: th Anniversary Group Show with Alice Aycock, Zack Balber, Hernan Bas, Jos Bedia, Loriel Beltran, Timothy Buwalda, Zhivago Duncan, Naomi Fisher, Mauricio Gonzalez, Ridley Howard, Jessica Laino, Natalya Laskis, Maria Martinez-Caas, Gavin Perry, Jon Pylypchuk, Bert Rodriguez, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Diego Singh, Michael Vasquez Desert Model by Lucas Arruda GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 212 MIAMI CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com Through January 1: Art Basel 2012 with Pedro Zubizarreta, Sergey Ashkeev, Irina Davydova, Agata Agatowska, Florian Fausch, and Maxim Wakultschik GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com January 8 through February 16: The Umpire by Daniel Milewski GAR Y NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Call gallery for exhibition information GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 www.generalaudiencepresents.com Through February 2: Yawar Mallku: Look For Me In The Whirlwind by William Cordova HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through March 2: Recycle by Consuelo Castaeda HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through February 15: Between Two Continents: Spanish Geometric Abstraction in Latin America with Manolo Calvo, Jesus de la Sota, Jos Maria de Labra, and Jos Duarte, curated by Adolfo Wilson JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 www.juanruizgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Through February 28: From Color to Motion by Antonio Asis KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through January 10: Eclectic Sweetness by Noemi Sanguinetti The Origin of Originality by Jon Davis January 12 through March 3: Unsinkable by Artem Mirolevich KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Call gallery for exhibition information LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org January 19 through February 31: High Performance Stiffened Structures by Karl Haendel By Design by Carlos Rigau MAOR GALLER Y 3030 NE 2nd Ave., Miami http://maormiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information MARKOWICZ FINE ART 114 NE 40th St., Miami 786-362-5546 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 MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700; www.mdc.edu Through January 26: Foreverglades with Cracking Art Group, and William Sweetlove Through February 2: Toledo/Toledo Full Circle by Isabel and Ruben Toledo Where Ideas Are Born: A Jugglers Notebooks by Manuel Estrada 1 1380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through January 11: Passages and Other Exploratory Journeys with Victor Gomez, and Alena Fresquet 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Through January 28: TBD with Jennifer Basile, Tony Chirinos, Alberto Meza, and Yomarie Silva MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Through January 26: This Is To Sink by Sayre Gomez 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 NOW CONTEMPORARY ART 175 NW 25th St., Miami 305-571-8181 www.nowcontemporaryart.com January 13 through February 28: Its Not Size That Matters, It Is Shape by Maria Fernanda Cardoso 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 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 OXENBERG FINE ART 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-854-7104; www.oxenbergart.com Through January 3: The Paintings of Ashley Collins by Ashley Collins FPO Painting (Pain and Toil)

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72 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through January 5: Un pas, una ilusin (A Country, an Illusion) by Abel Barroso January 10 through March 2: Gimrack by Ted Larsen Fairy Tales by Carolina Sardi 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com Through January 26: RANEYTOWN by Rebeca Raney 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com Through January 5: Closer with Abby Double, Agustina Woodgate, Ana Mendez, Antonia Wright, Federico Nessi, Ingrid Lee, Manny Prieres, Naama Tsabar, Reeve Schumacher, Robert Montgomery, Rowan Smith, Ruben Millares, Sinisa Kukec, and TYPOE 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Call gallery for exhibition information 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through February 2: Craters by Michael G. Zimmerer Jos Joaqun Figueroa, and Rodolfo Vanmarcke 12425 NE 13th Ave., North Miami 305-978-4437 Call gallery for exhibition information 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art Through January 25: Fifth Annual Cane Art Fair with various artists 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres 2233 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-576-5335 www.waltmanortega.com Call gallery for exhibition information NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf 250 NW 23rd St., Unit 306, Miami 954-235-4758; www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737;www.zadokgallery.com Through February 18: Strung-Out Relationships by SeonGhi Bahk 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through January 27: The Gift of the Present Moment by Lazaro Amaral and Chloe Firetto-Toomey Through February 17: Smoke Signals: Istwa, Paisajes, and Allegories with Onyedika Chuke, Yanira Collado, Lourdes Correade Leon, Onajide Shabaka, Noelle Theard, Robert Thiele, Anna Tsouhlarakis, and Mary Valverde 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through March 17: The Endless Renaissance: Six Solo Artist Projects with Eija Liisa Ahtila, Barry X Ball, Walead Beshty, Rasdjarmrearnsook 1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-455-3380; www.cifo.org Through March 3: Unsaid/Unspoken with various artists, curated by Moacir dos Anjos and Jos Roca 3841 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Dacra 305-531-8700 www.dacra.com Ongoing: Richard Tuttle, Marlene Dumas, John Baldessari, Elizabeth Peyton, and Kai Althoff, curated by Tiffany Chestler 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-61 12 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through January 13: various artists, curated by Annette B. Fromm Fluorescent Light Sculptures by Ivan Navarro Through February 24: To Beauty: A Tribute to Mike Kelley with various artists Through May 20: Albert Paley, Dennis Oppenheim, Chakaia Booker, and Verina Baxter January 12 through February 17: Forms Transgressions: The Drawings of Augstin Fernndez by Augstin Fernndez January 24 through April 14: Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism with various artists 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 January 13: Prints and Objects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude Through February 10: Saintly Blessings: A Gift of Mexican Retablos from Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists Through April 21: Adapting and Adopting: Waves of Change as East Encounters West, Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art with various artists of American Identity with various artists New Light by Stephen Knapp 101 W Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000; www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Art from the Permanent Collection Through May 12: New Work Miami 2013 with various artists, curated by Rene Morales and Diana Nawi 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211; www .mocanomi.org Through March 3: Liber Insularum by Bill Viola 591 NW 27th St., Miami 305-576-1051 www .margulieswarehouse.com Through April 28: Anselm Kiefer, Richard Long, William Tucker, Simryn Gill, Doug Aitken, David Ellis, Roberto Lange, Kader Attia, Nathalie Djurberg, Leandro Erlich, Sabelo Mlangeni, Barbara Probst, and Wael Shawky, curated 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090; http://rfc.museum Through August 2: Alone Together with various artists 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami 305-250-9133; www.vizcayamuseum.org Through March 18: The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Womens Picture by Josiah McElheny Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www .worldclassboxing.org Through February 28: Raga For Fishwife by Aaron Angell Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com HANG WITH US AT THE WINE BAR, TAKE A LOAD OFF AT OUR FULL LIQUOR BAR. ENJOY OUR DAILY HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS WHILE YOU SAVOR OUR DELICIOUS TAPAS!WE DELIVER! WERE HIRING! Biscayne Times is looking for a full-time, experienced account executive for display advertising. Small, enthusiastic staff. Loyal readers and advertisers. Tremendous growth potential. Some house accounts available. Base salary plus generous commissions. Serious money to be made. Please send rsum to publisher Jim Mullin at jim.mullin@biscaynetimes.com. What Is Your Name My Kid? (Wie Heisst Du Mein Kind?), installation detail, wax, fabrics, leather hair, and mixed media, 2004, at the Rubell Family Collection.

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Were Off to See the WizardHow about starting the new year this way: Donning some ruby slippers, dressing up the kids Munchkin-style, and heading on over to the Miami Theater Center (9806 NE 2nd Ave.) to sing along to The Wizard of Oz ? On Friday, January 4 O-Cinema will screen home in the Shores. Its a family holiday event, with costume contest included. Follow the yellow brick road! Tickets are only $5. Go to www.o-cinema.org.Laughs and Death in New JerseyGarden State writer/director/lead actor Zach Braffs latest artistic creation is still planted in the cool young camp (and in New Jersey), and is funny, but with darker, quirkier moments. All New People follows a group of strangers who try to sort out suicidal Charlies predicament, only to discover the roots of their own pain. A collaboration of the Arsht Center and its resident theater company, Zoetic Stage, the play runs from Friday, January 11, through Sunday, January 27 with show weekend performances) at the Carnival Studio at the Arsht Center. Tickets cost $40. Go to www.arschtcenter.org.Scarlett Returns to Dazzle UsLast year the Miami City Ballet commissioned and then premiered a piece from 26-year-old wunderkind choreographer Liam Scarlett of Londons Royal Ballet. It went so well theyve decided to do it again. As part of MCBs Program II Scarlett will return to the Ziff Opera House at the Arsht Center with a cast of 28 dancers clad in striking costumes, performing against an abstract backdrop that changes colors as the dancers move. The program will include a Balanchine with Mozart music, another with StravinFrom Friday, January 11, through Sunday, January 13 at 8:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. on Sunday). Tickets range from $20 Americas Kids Got TalentHeres another sign that Miami isnt the cultural desert it once was: the newfound prominence of the locally based National YoungArts Foundation. Founded by Lin and Ted Arison in 1981, it has fostered childrens interest in the arts, from music and dance to painting and acting. For one week in January, young artists from all over the country will come to Miami for workshops and training, all culminating with the Affair of the Arts gala, performance, and awards ceremony at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Satur day, January 12 violinist Joshua Bell and actor Adrian Grenier will join in. Tickets cost $20. Logon to www.gusmancenter.org.Go Screech in the NightAs twilight descends, the world takes on an entirely different feel. Out at the tropical hardwood hammock at Arch Creek Park cially pronounced, as screech owls, raccoons, spiders, and the setting sun all produce a real Friday, January 18 you are invited to Night Hike with a naturalist guide. Hikers will meet beforehand at the museum and nature center. The cost is a mere $6, but reservations A Sexy Circus Comes to TownSee the word cirque attached to anything costuming, sensual movements and music, and, most of all, those incomparable acro batics. So all that and more is in store when Cirque dAmour comes to the Aventura St.) on Sunday, January 20 at 2:00 p.m. Its all under the make-believe big top: a bit of Moulin Rouge, some tango, a touch-ofnaughty cabaret, and even a Sally RandA Show that GlowsKota Yamazakis Glowing Japanese essay on the subtly of darkness and shadows, its a performance that combines an amazing array of artistic nese butoh, African dance movements, Robert Kocik, and music from Tokyobased composer Kohji Setoh. Thanks to Miami Light Project, this stunning combination lands in Miami for three nights, from Thursday, January 24, through Saturday, January 26 Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St.). Showtime is 8:00 p.m. Tickets cost $25. Go to www.miamilightproject.com. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com .Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR Rum StoriesBack in 1862, Facundo Bacardi launched his rum company in Cuba. From that moment on, the comlinked to Cubas history. NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten has documented this fascinating tale which includes the tortured relationship between Cuba and the United States, and the rise of Miami Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba which will be the basis of his talk on Thursday, January 24 at Books and Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). The talk at the Coral Gables Museum titled Bacardi: Architecture, Art, and Identity. The reading is free. See www.booksandbooks.com. Destination: EvergladesFlorida doesnt get more wild and wonderful than the sparsely populated Everglades and the island of Chokoloskee, with about 400 inhabitants. Its historic general store is one stop on the Everglades Chokoloskee Adventure Eco-Coach Tour by HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.), from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19 Other stops include the Big Cypress Preserve and famed Everglades photographer Clyde Butchers gallery. Midwinter dryness means gators and myriad birds will be out and about, and readily visible. Make sure you reserve Like Father, Like SonFemi Kuti has followed in the musi cal footsteps of his legendary father Fela, the Afrobeat pioneer, with several Grammy nominations, more than a dozen albums, and a huge international following. (And like his dad, he is a social activist in his native Nigeria.) But his music is his own, with hip-hop version of Afropop. Now, thanks to the Rhythm Foundation, hes bringing his electric live show with his band Positive Force (which includes his own son) to concert starts at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 13 www.rhythmfoundation.com.

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74 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannFootsteps in the Hood300 Block of NE 24th Street Victim was using the upstairs bathroom when he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. He thought it was his roommate, so he called out but did not get a response. He heard the footsteps trailing off into his bedroom. A few minutes later, he exited the bathroom after hearing footsteps rapidly descending the stairs. The victim discovered his iPhone, watch, and wallet were missing from his bedroom. There were no signs of forced entry, as the rear sliding door to the living room had been left open. The mystery intruder has not been caught.Excuse Me, But Is That Purse Taken?200 Block of NE 1st Street Want to meet strangers in bars? Better be prepared to pay. Victim was with a female friend when she met a man at the bering, inebriated people often do. Victim left her purse on her chair and went to use the ladies room. When she returned, her purse and new male friend were gone. Her girlfriend was not much help she was passed out at the bar. The purse contained $500, not to mention credit cards and other personal items. With no money for a cab, and her friend passed out, it was a One Born Every MinuteNE 2nd Avenue and NE 19th Street A young woman approached the victim, but that she couldnt cash it because she was an undocumented immigrant. We gather this touched the victims heart. The woman convinced the victim to get into a car with two other individuals, promising the victim $700 if she would front right? Victim withdrew $200 from her buy postage stamps. However, when she stepped out of the vehicle, she found the establishment was closed. She turned to get off, leaving her on the street. She could not identify the plate number for police.Covering Up the Stench of Crime700 Block of NE 86th Street Victim secured his residence and went to visit his wife. When he returned, he noticed the side window of his house had been shattered. The intruder had apparently hurt himself in this effort, as blood was discovered at the scene. The home were ten bottles of cologne. Police set up a perimeter, but the burglar was not found. COMPLETE BUSINESS SERVICES 12555 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181-2597 Tel: 305-895-6974 | Fax: 305-891-2045 Email: ppspost@earthlink.net T.M.Est. 1980

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If anyone spots a man with bandages on his hands, reeking intensely of cologne, they are advised to contact police.Maxed Out, in More Ways Than One5 NE 79th St. A store clerk called police to report a man causing a disturbance in his store. The man had attempted to use multiple credit cards to make a purchase, but each time the card was denied. In frustration, he left the store with his unpaid items, very far, instead choosing to hang out at a gas station across the street. The man who had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol was in the middle of causing another disturbance at the gas station when police arrested him.Cheap Weed Is Illegal, Too135th Street and Biscayne Boulevard While on routine patrol, a North Miami by a car. One of the men made eye man and saw the bag had marijuana in it. The man spontaneously said, Of him, this is not Washington State. The man was promptly arrested.A Crime, but a Deal NeverthelessNE 3rd Avenue and NE 79th Street wearing sheer white pants, sitting on a universal sign for My name is John. the full-service treatment was $40. Ofwoman was arrested.Rise and Shine, Miami!800 Block of NE 82nd Street On a pleasant Sunday morning, victim awoke to the sound of her dogs barking. Okay, maybe they wanted to eat early or just wanted some loving attention. The victim looked out the window, searching for her little critters, only to witness a man stealing her bike. What a way to readily describe the culprit to police because it all happened so fast.Gotta Know When to Fold Them1000 Biscayne Blvd. course, celebrating such good fortune someone with whom to paint the town red. This lucky guy found two women, who agreed to drive with him back to for gas on the way. The victim volunteered to get out and pump, leaving his coming As soon as victim exited the vehicle, the two women drove off. The winnings were inside his jacket. There are no leads. We suggest future winners celebrate by themselves.The Old Switcheroo13700 Block of NE 3rd Court Woman came home and noticed her black tote bag was placed on the bed. The tote bag usually contained jewelry woman looked inside the bag, however, there was no jewelry, only lotion, shampoos, razors, and other toiletries. There were no signs of forced entry and nothing else in the home was disturbed.We Remember This Guy From High School11800 Block of NE 19th Drive door open. Fearing a burglary, she began making sure her valuables were still there. While searching through her home, she received several texts from her ex-boyfriend. The ex apologized for breaking into the home, saying he did so only to leave a couple of notes for the victim. Victim found the notes on have keys to the apartment and has never lived there. Victim was issued a case card and her options were listed for her. We hope one of them was a screening service for boyfriends. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Adapted and Directed by Stephanie Ansinmtcmiami.org (305) 751-9550 Stephen Kaiser in The Love of Three Oranges/ Photo by Pavel Antonov, 2010 jan 30 mar 10, 2013the love of three orangesby carlo gozzi

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76 Columnists: PARK PATROLLittle Park of HorrorsEastern Shores Tot Lot is a ghastly excuse for a play space By Jim W. Harper BT Contributor Eastern Shores hates children. That is the impression given by the neighborhoods singular park: a tot lot with as much personality as mucus. You just want to blow it into a tissue and toss it away. How ugly is your tot lot, Eastern Shores? Your park is so ugly that when you play there, your momma wears a blindfold. Your park is so ugly that your momma makes you wear a blindfold, too. Your park is ugly because Eastern Shores hates children. Are there no children in this neighborhood? Yes, there are, because from the tot lot you can spy another playground in the distance. That much prettier playground is off-limits, however, because it belongs to a private daycare center. That place loves children. You can tell by the bright colors and plastic turtle tricycles and the black iron fence that protects them from the wicked witches of Eastern Shores. Please, momma, please dont make me go back to the ugly tot lot. But I must go back. I must, for the sake of the forsaken children. This sad little lot sits behind the Intracoastal Mall, and it is so well hidden would want to). To locate it, look due north while standing next to Tokyo Massage. There, in the distance way, way across a giant, empty parking lot is a dumpster. Hidden behind the dumpster is the park. Eastern Shores Tot Lot was upgradBeach in 2001, according to the citys website. A newish-looking green tarp covers the playground area, but other parts appear more aged. The saddest and ugliest part of this park is the faux-wood fence made of me?) It even has latticework made of concrete. The slabs of concrete timber have a naturalistic wood grain, and they overlap each other in a somewhat convincing manner. The main problem with this illusion is that some pieces of concrete have cracked and fallen to the ground that, and the fact that the entire fence is the sad, ugly color of concrete. What if a poor child is fooled by the faux timber and decides to knock on wood, or worse yet, bang his head against it? This situation shows how much Eastern Shores hates children. There is one cute item within the tot lot. A bright red, yellow, and blue airplane stands ready for liftoff from a spongy runway. It has seating for up to six tiny passengers. But dont be misled by appearances. This motionless airplane is designed to crush the dreams of little children by showing them that they will never go anywhere. stands a hideous green dinosaur. It moves! How is it possible that the extinct dinosaur moves, while the modern airplane does not? Dont even get me started on the rusted picnic table. Gross. The largest piece of equipment within the playground is what Ill playground forts offer some level of danger, this one should put the Department of Homeland Security on high alert. Why are there steps, if not for children to fall down? Why are the slides so short? Could they be trap doors to an unseen basement of torture? Also, its dirty. The rest of the tot lot looks clean, which is no surprise, because it appears that no one ever visits. Some shoppers did visit at one point, but evidence indicates they may have seen a ghost. Their T.J. Maxx shopping carts lie abandoned at the parks entrance, as if the people Did I mention that Eastern Shores hates children? They also hate the Kardashians, who were prevented from ing, and posing.) also hates parks, but they sure do love canals. Most of Eastern Shores sits behind a gate, and virtually every home land looks sliced and diced. You will get the picture if you imagine Darth Vaders BT photos by Jim W. Harper EASTERN SHORES TOT LOT16501 NE 35th Ave. North Miami Beach 305-948-2957 Hours: Dawn to dusk Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: Picnic pavilions: Tennis courts: Night lighting: Swimming pool: YesPark Rating SW 13TH ST NE 165th StNE 35th Ave

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With a population of more than 4000 in Eastern Shores, why are there no parks? The tot lot, located outside the gated area, only serves tots. What about all the older children and adults who would appreciate the opportunity to be able to walk somewhere besides the mall? Maybe, to paraphrase the hip-hop wisdom of Coolio, the people of Eastern Shores suffer from spending most their lives livin in a shoppers paradise. Eastern Shores hates children, it hates pedestrians, and it hates parks. Eastern Shores has a few empty lots on waterfront designated for residential development, but until those pieces of real estate are snapped up in this dynamic market, why not convert them into pocket parks? Let me apologize I started to think rationally for a second. The Eastern Shores Tot Lot is an abomination. It has an ugly chain-link fence, an even uglier concrete fence, and it sits, like a dunce, in the corner of an oversize parking lot. The green tarp serves as its pointed cap. Underneath the cap is a little shop of horrors that sends both children and adults running away in terror, doing their best impression of Edvard Munchs The Scream Dont think about this park the next time you visit the Intracoastal Mall. Just enjoy yourself. I wonder: Is the movie theater still showing The Guilt Trip ? This review of the Eastern Shores Tot Lot in the City of North Miami Beach was brought to you by Kleenex, the best brand for wiping away snot. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALLions and Tigers in Art, Oh My!The Art Basel scene really was a zoo this yearBy Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorIf my name looks familiar its because Im a veteran BT contributor. So you are not growing feeble of mind. No cards deck just yet. Thats the good news. The other news (not necessarily bad) is that I have swapped roles. Instead of documenting random oddities round town like I did as the BT s Miami at Large correspondent, Ill be documenting random oddities as well as relaying trends, behavioral and medical information, advice from experts and organizations, and unfurling the ball of writerly yarn exclusively in the service of all things animal. I say animal because this column is now devoted not just to domesticated ani mals and pets, but also to animals that have as well as to the environments in which these animals live and breed, including the ocean, the bay, and the Everglades. I was all ready to write my inaugural column about an incident that occurred a few weeks ago, but then an idea struck me: Art Basel Miami Beach had arrived. And for all the hoopla we hear about Art Basel unfortunately, a lot of it has to do with the parties, as opposed to the art what I see very little of is any mention of the current trend in art as it relates to animals. Thus this months topic: animals in art. I thought this topic to be a particu larly timely one because, by the time you read this, Art Basel and all the related art fairs will have typhooned their way through town, leaving in their wake tons of garbage, amazing street art (in Wynwood), into what is trending in the art world. Or at least what gallery owners believe will sell. Monsignor Edward Pace High School We are Pace... Partners Academics Catholic Empowerment The Tradition of Excellence Continues! Entrance ExamSaturday, January 26, 2013 at 8:00am www.PaceHS.com to get the enrollment process started. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith Chocolate Beast

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Its important to note this difference between what artists are driven to create which is usually based on their thoughts regarding the current state of the world and what the people who sell their work think will make them rich. So in reality, the pieces that make it to market, especially at high-ticket venues like Art Basel and the satellite fairs, may not be representative of all trends, just the sellable ones. Casting that detail aside for now, everyone knows that visual art mirrors popular culture. We can look to art to get an idea of which issues are affecting people on a basic, raw level. Or rather, which issues are affecting artists, who may be a little more sensitive or tuned-in than average people. Its the manifestation of this insight that everyone else calls art. After spending nearly a week attending Art Basel, Art Miami, Context, Scope Miami, Art Asia, Pulse Miami, Design Miami, and some smaller side shows in the Design District (I tried to see them all, but I simply could not), the one overall trend I noticed that seemed sort of new, or at least more prevalent than in the past, was the use of light as a way to alter viewers perceptions. These light bright techniques included projections, mirrored or othercameras incorporated into a piece or, in some cases, directly into a sculpture. Also popular were multidimensional materials and techniques used to create optical illusions. These included lenticular vinyl, layering multiple photographs on top of each other, and using hundreds of small objects to make up one large object. This came off as either an en hancement or a distraction, depending on the piece. As always, art is in the eye of well, you know. So depend ing on which way you viewed the art appeared brilliant or merely gimmicky. One thing is for certain: Many artists seemed keen on forcing viewers to take a look at themselves. Computers have also wormed their way into the art world. At some booths, the art literally was on computer screens. Gone are the days of the paint, paper, and marble oligarchy. Its not that works in these media are nonexistent; theyre just now exhibited shoulder to shoulder with computerized images and 2-D formats. This light bright trend extended, to a degree, to what I saw represented in the art, including animals. When I say art includ ing animals, I mean any kind of medium (sculpture, installation, painting, illustra tion, collage, photography, videography, textiles) in which animals are used literally or symbolically to get a point across, make one think, or to elicit emotion. Besides the light bright overall trend, there were animals used as taxidermy, in either a real or faux manner. (If a piece incorporated animal parts, such as teeth or horns, resin molds were sometimes used.) San Francisco area-based artist Scott Hove, whose work was shown at the Scope art fair, for example, utilized animal teeth in his humorous and eyedazzling pieces, which included fake cake sculptures. I also saw entire animals being utilized as art, usually embellished by or enclosed in various materials and accompanied by other animals, stuffed and otherwise. One example was Japanese-born Kohei Nawas PixCell-Red Deer which bubbles, in which people could also view themselves. That one drew big crowds at Art Basel. The other dominant trend was the anthropomorphic use of animals in work that commented on the abuse and inevitable ruination of the planet by humans. Some of the art featured a bear or rabbit representing a person. Then there was the piece featuring an animal made up of several different taxidermied animal parts. The end result was a bird-like creature thing. Also present were hides and feathers, often utilized as a statement on the practice of using animals in furniture manufacturing. At Pulse, Alan Raths Absolutely, Positively sculptures were minum, custom electronics, and motors. The combination struck me as a motorized feather fan, which is ironic, since birds dont require manipulation by And, unlike the artist, they certainly dont require permission from the art world to exhibit their talents. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Before the Hotel, Before the CityA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiSpecial to the BT By Paul S. GeorgeThe men shown in this rare 1896 photograph of Miami were employed in the construction of Henry M. Flaglers rising Royal Palm River and Biscayne Bay. The wood-frame shacks seen here comprised a bachelors quarters for hotel workers. They are believed to have stood near what is todays NE 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue, north of the hotel. The structures were typical of the jerry-rigged construction in an area that was a wilderness just one year earlier. Many of the Royal Palm Hotel construction workers had moved to Miami by early 1896, as the Flagler organization began to clear land for the structure in March. A fair percentage of these workers were farmers who were victimized by the great freezes of late 1894 and early 1895. Within a few months of this photograph, Miami had incorporated as a city, and many of the hotel workers were among the nascent municipalitys incorporators. The wooded area and the primitive buildings seen here soon gave way to development as Miami grew quickly. ment was the Royal Palm Hotel, which helped showcase Miami as an attractive resort. The great hotel, which opened in 1897, would close its doors after the 1927-1928 season. By then Miami had evolved into one of Americas most famous resorts. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami, #1981-172-3

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On Pines and NeedlesConifers arent that unusual in older South Florida landscapesBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorPhotography is one of my favorite pastimes, so Im always on the lookout for plants and mushrooms to photograph. Normally I use the photos to accompany an article or to place on one of my websites, but sometimes I just take photos for historical or artistic reasons. One day a couple of years ago I was driving through the Brownsville neighborhood when I passed a striking-looking cemetery with above-ground tombs. After a bit of searching, I found the name of the cemetery on the limestone arch at the entrance: Lincoln Memorial Park, established in 1924. This date from early in the last cen tury told me to expect mature and likely photogenic tree species. I know it is a bit morbid, but Ive found and photographed some great mature tree specimens in older cemeteries, and Lincoln Memorial Park was no exception. Many cemeteries do a very good job of managing their trees. After receiving permission from the cemetery manager, I spent several hours carefully walking through the property, taking photos of the trees. One of the more common species on the property was Oriental arborvitae, a lush green and densely branched evergreen conifer. Whenever I see this species, and it is usually in older landscapes, I recall my youth, when its nice, soft foliage would provide a cushy stop for a child running at full speed. (Nevertheless, my friends and I learned to avoid these trees because wasps would frequently make nests in them and they did not take kindly to belligerent children.) Because its a conifer, it does not trees, but unlike pines, the much smaller, egg-shaped cones are colored blue-green. Oriental arborvitae has long been grown as an ornamental plant here in South Florida and can be found up to 20 feet in height and 15 feet in width. As the name might suggest, it hails from China. It thrives in hot, sandy, well-drained conditions, grows slowly, and seems to suffer few insect problems. has been changed to Platycladus orienta lis nursery plant lists by its former name, Thuja orientalis The genus name Platycladus trans many different cultivars of this species. Some stay quite small and grow very well in containers. There is also a cultivar with rust-colored foliage that looks quite distinct from your typical green plant. The photo that accompanies this article shows an Oriental arborvitae growing in Lincoln Memorial Park. It has been trimmed at the base so it is not covering the above-ground tombs. This plant is usually quite dense, with branches and foliage all the way to the ground. Typically we see these plants (when not growing against anything else) in a fat, conical form, but some of the other cultivars are more oval or columnar. There are native conifers besides pine trees that are found in Florida. One of these native trees is eastern red cedar, or Juniperus virginiana It differs from Oriental arborvitae with foliage that is dioecious; it has separate male and female plants with the small cones on the females being bluish in color. (Oriental arborvitae is monoecious, with both male and female In my travels to tropical countries, I have come across many conifer species that grow quite well in our local landscapes. Currently, I am growing a species of Agathis from New Zealand at Jungle Island. It tolerates our temperature, humidity, and soil conditions very well. In New Zealand, it grows to be a very large tree, so it will be interesting to see how it stands up to hurricanes. A couple of years ago at the park, I planted two species of conifer from Indo nesia. They are both Gymnostoma species foliage. They are used as ornamental plants in Southeast Asia; one species was intro duced to Hawaii about 50 years ago. Since they are in the same family as the invasive Australian pine, there is some con cern they too could become invasive. They do not produce root suckers and viable seed across, so I felt comfortable planting them. I see our Dade County pine often planted in landscapes. This is also an attractive tree, but be careful the roots will not tolerate vehicles driving over them and they also dont seem to grow very well in an irrigated landscape. Now, if you want to be able to grow a holiday tree that you dont have to throw out every year, I just gave you some great ideas. ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski

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82 Lucky, Though Probably Not For LongWe may have ducked Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but that doesnt mean climate change should be any less a concernBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWhats the state of the environment in South Florida? Lucky. Lucky that we didnt get hit by Hurricane Sandy. Lucky that we live near the end of a peninsula, far from intensive coal mining and natural-gas fracking. Lucky that no oil spills have arrived from Cuba. Our proverbial glass is always full, like the heads of so many anti-environmental politicians. Asking about the environments status reveals how people are responding to the most important issue of the century. Terrorism may come and go, but pollute them to death. We cannot talk about South Floridas environment in isolation from global events, yet there is no other place on earth like it, so we must try to think both locally and globally. Perspective is everything, because an optimist can look outside the window and see nothing but blue skies and clean beaches. The pessimist sees a less-blue sky owing to air pollution and bemoans an eroding beach and degraded ocean. A realist sees both. in the actions of local individuals who care about the environment, even though our collective actions register as apatheting a sandcastle in response to a tsunami of waste and historic climate change. Hurricane Sandy batted her vengeful eyes at us, but had other prey in mind this year. For every year that The Big One misses us, we must be grateful. The glass-half-full version of Hurricane Sandy is that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican (now an independent), acknowledged climate change and endorsed President Barack Obama. With its head in the sand, the rest of the GOP is bent over and headed for a wicked sunburn. The last presidential debate in Boca Raton happened before Hurricane Sandy, so there was no serious talk of climate change. (Indeed, there was possibly less talk of climate change in these presiden tial debates than in any since 1984, when other hand, Boca Raton hosted the regions summer. That glass is half full, and rising. On October 18, a few local protesters stood in saltwater above their ankles on Alton Road in South Beach to draw attention to this issue. (Thats because the area near the Whole Foods Market tides.) The beaches are eroding, despite in December tore down portions of the nitely getting fuller. When I talk to local environmentalists, they seem both energized by the need to address growing threats and under Like a nightmarish episode of Sesame Street this letter has been kidnapped. The changed its name to the Department of S stood for Sustainability. Gov. Rick Scott hasnt dismantled the replace the states Department of Communi Opportunity. His priorities are clear. State Sen. Miguel de la Portilla of Miami has followed the governors lead by trying to protect sewage pipes that dump directly into the ocean, which exist no where in the state except in South Florida. Just over one year ago, the Miami Herald published my op-ed about the state of the environment in Miami, but recently they turned down a similar offer. At least they still employ a sound environmental reporter, Curtis Morgan, unlike many other news outlets. News about South Floridas environment is almost universally bad and getting worse, and this trend holds globally as well. (Keep in mind that global warming affects colder regions more severely than warm regions.) But climate change involves much more than rising temperatures. When it comes to sea-level rise, Miami tops the list as the worlds most vulnerable city (economically speaking), yet serious discussions about it are rare. Some good organizations, such as the South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, and some good people are doing their best to initiate the conversation. But we should be way beyond starting erglades, however slowly, but urban South for reduce, reuse, and recycle. This new year, the forecast for our environment is decidedly mixed: warmer weather, higher seas, and one big hurricane away from a new reality. Lucky us. Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Boutique practice in a cozy & warm atmosphereLOCATED 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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Columnists: KIDS AND THE CITY TT reasured Memento o r Junk? Figuring out what to keep and what to ditch from your childs early years isnt easyBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorWeve all been there: playing Frisbee in the yard, close to the recycling bin. We thought the watercolor was buried deep in the remnants of the Sunday paper and then: Mommy, why is my painting in the recycling bin? Ouch! My kids make art. A lot of art. My three-year-old alone comes home with about 15 pieces of art every day. Multia month, 12 months a year. Where do you store 3600 masterpieces? A&Es Hoarders is reality TV at current living conditions for the ritual of holding on to the purchases of the past. It is consumerism gone way, way wrong. But it seems so easy to become one of these people. Our house is not large. Like many older Miami homes, it has little closet space and no attic. After the cream of the childrens art crop comes off the fridge, it makes its way to the countertop, then if its lucky, to the back of the closet. But it isnt unusual for it to between the couch cushions, or even into the bathroom for a while. We grow attached: Isnt the way she drew daddys nose so cute? Isnt the hair he painted on that penguin so funny? We bought a large plastic container in a matter of weeks. We bought another. Perhaps Ill make a scrapbook when I have more time. Perhaps Ill buy frames with their art. And there it is It all starts so innocently, with a well-meaning plan and, the next thing you know, your house is wheezing for air under mountains of objets dart Thats when A&E shows up with the cameras. Its not about the art, though. Its about holding on to a quickly dissolv ing childhood. Its about memorial izing a sweet time when the sun wore sunglasses and there were rainbows on everything. I want to encourage creativity. I want show them I appreciate their imagination. I want to show my grandchildren the necklace their mommy made from macaroni. I also want a healthy living space and room for common household items like bath towels and a vacuum cleaner. My mother-in-law periodically sends us little things she kept from my husrine, a ceramic plate he painted at age this stuff, too? Come on!) Am I a monster for needing to weed out the everyday from the extraordinary? My neighbor, Alfredo, recently shared a similar story with me. It just got to be too much for him and his wife. They found an app called Ever note that has allowed them an endless virtual fridge. I fell in love with this idea. We went a step further and created Evernote accounts for both Everly and Matilda. We linked them to their Gmail accounts. but we often send them messages about time camping. They also occasionally use them for e-mailing grandma.) With some tagging features, weve eliminated most of the guilt associated with shedding the construction paper. Weve also solved the issue of not having a baby book! Google Chrome, feel free to feature me in your next tearjerker of a commercial. Fancy app aside, we still have a twinge of remorse when the woven placemat or gluey-glittered Cheerio mosaic ends up in the blue bin. My husband asked if it made him a bad father to throw out the scribble drawing of Cookie Monster. It was a sweet gift. So were the really appreciate that we saved this? Not long ago, my mother sent me a box full of angsty notes from my high notes?) I spent hours remembering a 16-year-old who once roamed this planet with big bangs and plans to become a country-western singer. Now, that was worth keeping! Im not sure I would have had the same walk down memory lane with a box of papier-mch projects completed at age three. My friend Susan swears that involv what to keep and what to purge has saved countless tears and one sweet little ego. Together they decide what goes on the fridge and what is stored container). Annually she goes through the container and weeds through the keepers for the year. I am not a monster. I am not a hoarder. I really like the toilet-paper-roll robot that Everly made this week, though, and I think it looks fantastic on the mantle at least for now. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrr ntbtrnrrn rrnrtr rrrtr rnrnf rfnttbt t rr rfntbrt rrrrtrfrf rr

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84 By Bill Citara BT ContributorEveryone knows about the 12 Days of Christmas. The pear tree, the maids, the lords, the damn birds; youd think they were 13th, 14th, and 15th days of Christmas, and beyond. You know, when all the hard they just lie there. Limp. Dead. broke. Or maybe not. Either way, instead of Gastrointestinal distress aside, we probably already won the lottery and are wines that are well made and well and the ability to play well with food. with the 2011 Silver Range Torrontes, or assertively seasoned dishes. 2011 Las Lilas Vinho Verde is on that like skins on the kind of wine you dont have to think Dont think at all about the 2011 Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc Domaine Houchart proof and affordable wines around. raspberry fruit with a hint of smoky minerality and a surpris Cheap red wines are they just dont have the depth Oak Grove 2010 Reserve Zinfandel Estancias 2011 Pinot Noir does offer a Santa Cristina 2010 Toscana that delivers the most for the money. Waft Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfntbt Going Cheap in the New YearRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Enough Already with the Sliders!Food news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorJanuary is the month that restaurant goers get curious about what they might be eating the rest of the year, and food industry folks always compile endless lists telling them. Dont bother wading through em all. Ive done it for you. A major 2013 predicted trend that has made multiple lists is the expansion of the farm-to-table food concept to farm-to-bar: drinks using seasonal local fruits, veggies, herbs, and even cured meats (chorizo-infused tequila; bacon-infused bourbon). More drinks with tropical/Latin accents, too, making Miami the natural trendsetter (think housemade chipotle-pineapple syrup). Other predictions include tasting menus tanking even further, small-plates menus continuing to climb; more charcuterie boards; more emphasis on vegetables, particularly leafy greens (kale could be this years Brussels sprouts); fast-food chains adding gourmet items; tart/fruity sumac, plus more Asian condiments/spices (you know sriracha, and by 2014 youll know gochujang); weirder desserts, using veggies or savory spices; more mini food items: pizza sliders, cinnamon bun sliders. A trend Id personally love: less ignorant terminology on menus. Not every mini-size food item is a slider, chefs/ restaurateurs! (Historically, a grease component enabling the alternatively named gut bomb to slip right down ones throat and, shortly thereafter, exit elsewhere is vital.) And dont even get me started on every thin-sliced food item being called a carpaccio. This months new restaurants feature many of these trends minus mine. OPENINGS Momi Ramen (5 SW 11th St., 786391-2392). Having recently gone rather ramen-noodle nuts on a trip to NYC, I can say that Momis soup noodle bowls rival some of that citys best. Noodles are made fresh several times daily (as are the skins of the gyozas garnishing half the bowls, along with veggie toppings; pork is the main topping in the other half). What most makes the bowls superior, though, are their three types of cooked down for almost a full day: tonkotsu, based on pork bones; miso, tonkotsu with fermented seasoning paste added; or chicken-based shoyu. Ol (100 Chopin Plaza, 305-5771000). Adjacent to chef/restaurateur Richard Sandovals lunch/dinner restolounge Toro Toro, in the main lobby of downtowns renovated InterContinental Hotel, this breakfast-only eatery also serves mostly pan-Latin-inspired food. Together the restaurants replace Indigo, whose food was mostly uninspired. An expansive early-morning buffet did make Indigo a power breakfast destination, and an all-you-can-eat option remains, along with la carte choices. The food is just hipper and more modern Miamian. Casablanca on the Bay (1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-4930). This snazzy indoor/outdoor seafood spot on to the Miami Rivers original Casablanca market/restaurant which has its own menu is basically the same, but with small plates (including a charcuterie board) and a massive wine menu added to match the upscale-lounge ambiance and million-dollar view of Biscayne Bay. PastaBox (60 SW 10th St., 305-3713114). This fast-food Italian eatery feachef (Frederic Joulin, ex-Villa Mayfair), and a concept popular in Eastern and Western Europe: Create your own quick custom pastas by combining your choice of carb, then choosing from varied housemade sauces (and possibly la carte protein toppings), then picking portion size. And yes, it comes in a supercute box, so its stylish as well as swift. Feverish Ice Cream and Gourmet Pops (3252 NE 1st Ave. #120, 305-4821832). The Feverish folks have been selling their popsicles from a food truck (actually a little food Toyota) for several shop. Go, grown-ups. The weekly changing 25 varieties are far from the fake Fresh fruits and herbs, plus occasionally booze, are used to create frozen-pop concoctions like orange cilantro, strawberry balsamic, jerk chocolate or vanilla, and Star Stripe (starfruit and Red Stripe beer). Market (20 Biscayne Blvd., 305-3750055). In the space originally occupied by Mia, this restolounge (with a small deli/market component) has mostly Mediterranean-inspired food with international fusion pop-ups. Dishes are basically familiar. Its the menus mix thats different: lots of popular pastas, plus French onion soup, teriyaki-sauced tuna, an old-fashioned American resort-type crab cocktail, chicken quesadillas, and (she said with a sigh) sliders. Also new: a second Democratic Republic of Beer (501 NE 1st Ave., 305372-4161) and a third Salsa Fiesta (18167 Biscayne Blvd., 305-931-7401). More food news in BizBuzz (page 30). Send me your tips and alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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86 MIAMIBrickell / DowntownAijo1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 786-452-1637 Hidden within Jade condo, this sleek Japanese fusion resto lounge (whose name means love) is also a jewel. Food-loving Venezuelan owner Rene Buroz encourages innovation, and his chefs (including four from Zuma) respond with beautifully plated items as fun as they are flavorful. Dont miss the layered croquante (a sort of Asian croqueta: mouthwatering crispy rice, subtly smoked salmon, and creamy crab), Aijo kani (king crab legs with citrus foam clouds and rich emulsified butter dip), or creative cocktails from a mixologist who also juggles and plays with fire. Area 31270 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 Mediterraneaninfluenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multi-part dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primarily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/ sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruise-ship and construction workers. This cute, exotically decorated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mix-and-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$Banana & Leaf234 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., 305-503-6500On the Conrads 25th floor, The Bars picture-windowed space is not just a watering hole with panoramic views. At lunch its an elegant sandwich bar; at night its a raw bar (with pristine coldwater oysters) and (best) a tapas bar serving pintxos. Thats just the Basque word for tapas, but here theres nothing mere about the generously portioned small plates. They range from traditional items like cod fish equixada and saffron-sauted Spanish artichokes to inventive inspirations like foie gras and goat cheese-stuffed empanadas. $$$Bento Sushi & Chinese801 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-603-8904Hidden in the Four Ambassadors Towers, this tiny spot (which specializes in sushi plus Japanese small plates, but also serves limited Chinese and Thai-inspired dishes of the mixand-match, pick-your-protein-then-preparation sort) has been mostly an insiders secret delivery joint for Brickell residents. But its actually a pleasant place to relax outside, enjoying a bay view and budget bento box specials that include miso soup, ginger-dressed salad, California roll, and fresh orange sections, plus two mini-entres (the nigiri assortment sushi and lacy-battered tempura especially recommended). Bubble tea, too! $$-$$$ Bon Fromage500 Brickell Ave. #106, 786-329-5632Though independently owned instead of a chain cog, this cheese and wine caf/shop is like a pint-size version of Midtown Miamis Cheese Course, right down to being officially self-service. But it is staffed by accommodating employees who, unofficially, do their best to double as servers for eatin diners. The cheese (plus charcuterie) menu of garnished platters, salads, and crusty baguette sandwiches features numerous high-quality, imported favorites, but dont miss more unusual domestic treasures like Wisconsin bread, a cooked cheese that, like halloumi, doesnt melt but tantalizingly softens when heated. $$ Brother Jimmys BBQ900 S. Miami Ave. #135, 786-360-3650The South is supposed to be the source of barbecue. But Bro J evidently didnt hear about that. His signature North Carolina pork cue comes from NYC, where the first Brother Jimmys opened more than 20 years ago. Miamis location is actually the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. But the slow-smoked pulled pork butt tastes righteous -no interfering glop, just hot sauce-spiked vinegar to balance the fab fattiness. Theres other cue, too, including big (not baby back) ribs, and respectable brisket. $$-$$$Bryan in the Kitchen104 NE 2nd Ave., 305-371-7777This quirky caf-markets chef/owner is a former smoothieswilling model who is now into fresh whole foods, and though his eclectic green gourmet menu does uniformly reflect his dedication to ecological consciousness, it otherwise could only be described as intensely personal. Offerings are an odd but appealing saint/sinner mix, ranging from healthy pasta/grain salads and homemade-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. $-$$ Caf Bastille248 SE 1st St., 786-425-3575Breakfasting on a ham-egg-cheese crepe at this very Frenchfeeling -and tasting -caf is a most civilized way to start the day. Formerly breakfast and lunch only, the caf is now open for dinner, too. And while the crepes (both savory and sweet) are tempting and varied enough to eat all day, dinner choices like homemade foie gras (with onion jam and Guerande salt), salmon with lentils and fennel salsa, or a very affordable skirt steak au poivre make it possible to resist. $-$$$Caf Sambal500 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. $$$-$$$$$Cavas Wine Tasting Room900 S. Miami Ave. #180, 305-372-8027Like South Miamis predecessor (now closed), this Cavas is mainly an upscale, high-tech tasting lounge for the winecurious. Patrons buy prepaid cards to sample ounce, half-glass, or full-glass portions from more than 50 self-service dispensing machines. But theres an extensive selection of tapas/pintxos small plates, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, plus fully garnished charcuterie and cheese platters specially selected to pair well with vino. Additionally, more substantial dishes have been added, including a daily three-course lunch special and some tasty, bargain-priced soups (carrot cream with Gouda particularly recommended). $$-$$$ Chophouse Miami300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-938-9000Formerly Mannys Steakhouse, Miamis Chophouse retains basically everything but the famed name (from the original Mannys in Minneapolis), and remains Miamis most intentionally masculine steakhouse. Here, ensconced in your black leather booth, everything is humongous: dry-aged choice-grade steaks like the Bludgeon of Beef (a boldly flavorful 40-ounce bone-in ribeye, described as part meat, part weapon); king crab legs that dwarf the plate; cocktail shrimp that could swallow the Loch Ness monster whole; two-fisted cocktails that would fell a T-Rex. Not for the frail. $$$$$ The Corner1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-961-7887 With a Zuma alum in the kitchen, a Gigi alum crafting classic or creative cocktails, a warm pub feel, and hours extending from lunch to nearly breakfast the next morning, The Corner is transforming a desolate downtown corner into a neighborhood hangout. The nicely priced menu of sandwiches, salads, snacks, and sweets (the latter from Om Nom Noms cookie queen Anthea Ponsetti) ranges from 100-percent homemade ice cream sandwiches to the Crazy Madame, Frances elaborate Croque Madame (a bchamel sauce-topped grilled cheese/ham/fried egg sandwich) plus bacon and caramelized onion. $-$$ Crazy About You1155 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. $$$ Cvi.che 105105 NE 3rd Ave., 305-577-3454Fusion food -a modern invention? Not in Peru, where native and Euro-Asian influences have mixed for more than a century. But chef Juan Chipoco gives the ceviches and tiraditos served at this hot spot his own unique spin. Specialties include flash-marinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/ cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like ChinesePeruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can find it. (Hint: The mysterious Avenue of the Americas is really Biscayne Boulevard Way. Dont ask.) Downtowns db is an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 313.rf ntbnfnt tnft ntf f t tf fnf fff NEW THIS MONTH MIAMIBRICKELL/DOWNTOWNReggae Tacos93 SE 2nd St., 786-425-9558For diners on the go, who want food fast but not typical fast food, this places Mexican-Jamaican fusion specialties are ideal. Taco or burrito shells encase inventive jerk pork (with mango, pickled onions, and cabbage), scotch-bonnet beef with avocado/cheddar salsa, vinegar/spice-marinated escovitch veggies, curried goat, and other island dishes that are normally plated entres, transforming them into playful portable packages. And do save some stomach space for deep-fried festival, sinfully scrumptious cornmeal mini-doughnuts sweetened with both vanilla-spiked honey and powdered sugar. $ Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/dinner destination mainly by default. This replacement, from restaurant empire-builder Richard Sandoval, brings downtown power dining into this decade. As the name suggests, you can go bullish with steakhouse fare, including an abbreviated (in variety, not quantity) rodizio experience. But the places strongest suit is its pan-Latin small plates -upscaled refinements of classic favorites: crisp corn arepas with short rib, guacamole, and crema fresca; fluffier cachapas pancakes with tomato jam; more. $$$-$$$$$ MIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTBloom2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5443Miamis most innovative art district is the perfect setting for this hip hangout, whose mad-genius menu proves that food is indeed one of the creative arts. Reinvented Latin/ Asian street foods from chef Ricky Sauri (ex-Nobu) include spicy Spam-topped rice cakes; tuna tartare in seaweed tacos; a reina pepiada arepa, whose traditional mild chicken filling is replaced by shredded duck, avocado, tangy-sweet tamarind sauce, and Japanese mayo; an especially elegant Korean bibimbap; a vegan shitakepumpkin tamale with nutty, cheesy natto sauce. For liquid art aficionados: cocktails like the eye-popping Tequila Beets (featuring roasted beet juice). $$$MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948Chef/co-owner Dena Marino calls MCs food modern Italian -neither an evocative description nor explanation for why this place is one of our towns hottest tickets. But tasting tells the tale. Marinos food incorporates her entire culinary background, from her Nonnas traditional ItalianAmerican kitchen to a long stint in Michael Chiarellos famed contemporary Californian eatery Tra Vigne, with pronounced personal twists that make eating here uniquely exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548Behind this Wynwood warehouse faade youll find pure Southern roadhouse, and the backyard patio is an even more relaxing place to kick back with beer, blues music, and barbecue from pit master Myron Mixon. Oddly, considering Mixons many BBQ championships, the cue can be inconsistent. Our favorite choices: St. Louis ribs, tender without being falling-off-the bone overcooked, and enjoyably fattier than baby backs; vinegar-doused pulled pork sandwiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$

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88 The Democratic Republic of Beer255 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. $$D-Dog House50 SW 10th St., 305-381-7770While it has become increasingly common to find servers at upscale restaurants utilizing computerized POS (point of service) systems to take orders, this high-tech hole-in-the-wall trumps them by replacing servers -and in-house entertainment, too -with iPads that accept not just food orders and credit cards but music requests. You can web surf or game, too, while waiting for your choice of the house specialty: supersized hot dogs, most overloaded with internationally inspired toppings. To accompany, hand-cut fries are a must. And have a cocktail. Theres a full liquor bar. $-$$ Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita1000 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. $$$Dominique Bistro-Club1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-371-8859At typical restolounges, the resto part often gets the short end of the stick. But not at this chic but friendly spot, where Gerardo Barrera, an alumn of Pariss Le Cordon Bleu, plus his wife Dominque and her brother Jos Sigona, welcome diners with Frances best-known bistro classics: coquilles St. Jacques (tender scallops in mushroom/white wine sauce); a precision-cooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 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. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eos485 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 pistachiogarnished 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. $$$-$$$$Eternity Coffee Roasters117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on miniboxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River401 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. $$ First Hong Kong Caf117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 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. $-$$Giovana Caffe154 SE 1st Ave.305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse901 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. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine 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 Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (fromscratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily competent service. $$$Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale 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 mar ket, 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. $$$$$

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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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Jackson Soul Food950 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 Bar2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, for merly 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? $$Largo Bar & Grill401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-374-9706Sure, Bayside Marketplace is touristy. But it can be fun to spend a day playing visitor in your own city. If you do, this waterfront place overlooking Miamarina is a superior food choice. Expect nothing cutting edge, just tasty, familiar favorites solidly prepared. You wont go wrong with stone crab claws and Cajun mustard dip; inauthentic but delicious fish tacos in hard blue corn tortillas with two sauces (cilantro and chipotle), generously portioned fish sandwiches (grouper, mahi, snapper, or daily catch), and festive cocktails. $$-$$$ La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm Italian restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing downtown. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce and cilantro-spiced white bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, proprietors Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyers Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened espresso. $$$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. $-$$ La Provence1064 Brickell Ave. 786-425-9003Great baguettes in the bread basket, many believe, indicate a great meal to come. But when Miamians encounter such bread -crackling crust outside; moist, aromatic, aerated inte rior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 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. $-$$Le Boudoir Brickell188 SE 12th Terr., 305-372-233At this French bakery/caf, mornings start seriously, with choices ranging from quality cheese, charcuterie/pt, or smoked salmon platters to chic Continental and complete American breakfasts. At lunch, generously salad-garnished, open-faced tartines are irresistible. But sophisticated salads and homemade soups make the choice tough. And do not skip dessert. Superb sweets include rich almond/fresh raspberry or properly tangy lemon tarts, traditional Madeleines, airy layered mousses, and addictive mini-macaroon sandwich cookies with daily-changing fillings. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus25 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. $-$$ LouLou Le Petit Bistro638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1404When Indochines owner, Jacques Ardisson, closed his Asian spot to open this charming French eatery in the same space, it was a return to his roots. He and his daughter, for whom the place is named, come from Nice. Youll be transported, too, by dishes like lamb shank with flageolets (known as the caviar of beans), duck leg confit on a bed of mouthwatering green lentils from Le Puy, a classic moules/frites, a shared charcuterie platter with a bottle from the savvy wine list, and, of course, salade nioise. $$-$$$Machiya Ramen Noodle House3250 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025While this chic-looking Japanese spot has an extensive selection of todays popular izakaya-style Asian fusion small plates (misobraised short ribs, marinated crudos), the real reason to come is ramen -both hot and cold bowls of appealingly toothsome housemade noodles that bear no resemblance to the packaged corkscrews that got you through college. Admittedly, these bowls arent student-budget ($15-$20), but seafood, meat, and exotic veggie toppings are plentiful, and a $2 kae-dama system supplies an extra serving for your soup. Reasonably priced addi tional toppings are also available. $$-$$$Martini 28146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignolia-crusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$Miamis Finest Caribbean Restaurant236 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 Leaf1063 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. $$$-$$$$Miss Yip Chinese Caf900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-358-0088Fans of the South Beach original will find the dcor different. Most notably, theres an outdoor lounge, and more generally a nightclub atmosphere. But the menu of Hong Kong-style Chinese food, prepared by imported Chinese cooks, is familiar. Simple yet sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes rock (try the lightly battered salt-and-pepper shrimp), as does orange peel chicken, spicy/tangy rather than overly sweet. And a single two-course Peking duck (skin in crepes, stir-fried meat and veggies with lettuce cups) makes mouthwatering finger food, shared among friends. $-$$$ Naoe661 Brickell Key Dr., 305-947-6263 Chances are youve never had anything like the $85 prix-fixe 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 mind-reelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sau sage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredientdriven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various macand-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/ goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$Ozzi Sushi200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-go-round? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pashas1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Pega Grill15 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. $$ Peoples Bar-B-Que360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones15 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. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly charblistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/deliveryonly Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$Pier 9494 SE 1st St., 305-379-5652Tucked 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 particularly strong on Perus penchant for fusion food, including traditional Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) rice or noodle stir-fries. But the chef also fuses classic and creative influences. Try contemporary causas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025 Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM Specializing in Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisine *Free Medium Pizza*with $25 purchase or more. With this ad.Now open at Noon on Sundays 10% off Catering Menu18228 W Dixie Hwy. N Miami Beach | PH:305.792.9455

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nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingre dients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Pollos & Jarras115 NE 3rd Ave., 786-567-4940From Juan Chipoco, Peruvian chef/co-owner of seafood-centric Cvi.Che 105, this stylish but affordable two-level restaurant is centered around pollo a la brasa, as a huge rotisserie oven attests. Grilled steaks, unique sandwiches, anticuchos, and varied starters and sides are also served, but the must-notmiss is rotisserie chicken, marinated in roughly a dozen-anda-half seasonings before a self-basting spin on the spit cooks it to incomparable juiciness. Its served with crisp fries and a substantial salad. Meals also come with a complimentary cup of aguadito -assertively cilantro-spiked chicken rice soup. $$ Porketta43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034Warm, juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herb-stuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced porketta) roast, at its best, is hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry deli-style pork roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or in three mini-sandwiches, convenient for sampling the places three sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $-$$PreludeAdrienne 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. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$The River Oyster Bar650 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. $$$Rosa Mexicano900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001This expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a dining experience thats haute in everything but price. Few entres top $20. The dcor is both date-worthy and family-friendly festive but not kitschy. And nonsophisticates neednt fear; though nachos arent available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato (roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas, topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream sauce), or Rosas signature guacamole en molcajete, made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas ensure no worries. $$$Scalina315 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-789-9933Comparisons between this new Tom Billante venture and the other (slightly pricier) Italian eatery in the same building are inevitable, especially considering similarities like key personnel from NYCs Il Mulino, Mulino-style abundant free appetizers, and a power-dining crowd. But why focus on competitive nonsense when you can relax on the river-view terrace enjoying chef Enrico Giraldos specialties, including an elaborate take on Venices famed fegato (calfs liver and onions), upscaled with Lucanica sausage and a balsamic reduction. Or maybe an even more evocative Roman ice cream tartufo? Mangia! $$$$Soi Asian Bistro134 NE 2nd Ave., 305-523-3643From the owners of Calle Ochos hip Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro, Soi sports similar casual-chic ambiance and eclectic Thai/Japanese cuisine. Traditional Thai curries and familiar sushi rolls are prepared with solid skill and style. But most intriguing are new inventions adding Peruvian fusion flair to the Asian mix, such as a spicy, tangy tangle of crisp-fried yellow noodles with sauted shrimp plus slivered peppers and onions -mod mee krob, with jalea-like tart heat replacing the cloying sweetness. $$ Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$Sparkys Roadside Restaurant & Bar204 NE 1st St., 305-377-2877This cowboy-cute eaterys chefs/owners (one CIA-trained, both BBQ fanatics nicknamed Sparky) eschew regional purism, instead utilizing a hickory/apple-wood-stoked rotisserie smoker to turn out their personalized style of slow-cooked, complexly dry-rub fusion: ribs, chopped pork, brisket, and chicken. Diners can customize their orders with mix-and-match housemade sauces: sweet/tangy tomato-based, Carolinas-inspired vinegar/ mustard, pan-Asian hoisin with lemongrass and ginger, tropical guava/habanero. Authenticity aside, the quality of the food is as good as much higher-priced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempurabattered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$TIKL Raw Bar & Grill1450 Brickell Ave. #110, 305-372-0620From restaurateur Claudio Giordano and chef Simon Stojanovic, the team behind longtime South Beach seafood favorite Altamare, this eatery is similar in food genre (contemporary American), though more global influences, especially from Asia, are evident here. Additionally, rather than serving conventional three-course meals, TIKLs menu focuses on small plates: creative crudos (like hamachi with yuzu, wasabi, and olive oil powder), plus robata-grilled and otherwise cooked items. Standouts: garlic/citrus-spiked local white shrimp with sweet shishito peppers; Thai curried mussels with crisped sushi rice; sinful bacon toast. $$$-$$$$ Tobacco Road626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Trapiche Room1109 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 Europeantype 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 and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restau rant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tu yo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Waxy OConnors690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puffpastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes imported Irish

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bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$Wok Town119 SE 1st Ave., 305-371-9993Judging from the takeout window, the minimalist dcor (with communal seating), and predominance of American veggies on the menu, this Asian fast-food eatery, owned by Shai Ben-Ami (a Miss Yip and Domo Japones veteran) May initially seem akin to those airport Oriental steam tables. Wrong. Custom-cooked by Chinese chefs, starters (like soy/garlic-coated edamame), salads, and have-it-your-way stir-fries, fried rice, or noodle bowls burst with bold, fresh flavor. The proof: a startlingly savory miso beef salad, with sesame/ginger/scallion dressing. Bubble tea, too! $$ Zuma270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robatagrilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$Midtown / Wynwood / Design District3 Chefs Chinese Restaurant1800 Biscayne Blvd. #105, 305-373-2688Until this eatery opened in late 2010, the solid Chinese restau rants in this neighborhood could be counted on the fingers of no hands. So its not surprising that most people concentrate on Chinese and Chinese/American fare. The real surprise is the remarkably tasty, budget-priced, Vietnamese fare. Try pho, 12 varieties of full-flavored beef/rice noodle soup (including our favorite, with well-done flank steak and flash-cooked eye round). All can be customized with sprouts and fresh herbs. Also impressive: Noodle combination plates with sauted meats, salad, and spring rolls. $$ Acme Bakery & Coffee3451 NE 1st Ave. #103, 786-507-5799 From Pious Pig Restaurant Group (whose other ventures include Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea! and the creative/rustic Federal Food, Drink & Provisions), this cozy bakery/caf is, again, just what its neighborhood needed. The specialty is homemade artisan breads, from Colonial-era Sally Lunn to crusty sourdough made with wild midtown Miami yeasts; these honest loaves make the places breakfasts, served all day, and lunchtimes sandwiches (like meatloaf and cheddar with onion marmalade) superior. Coffee is single-origin stuff from Wynwoods Panther. Also available: gift baskets featuring housemade preserves and pickles. $$ Adelitas Caf 2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside its bigger, better, and busier than it looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, this one sticks close to the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends especially, the dining rooms are packed with families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick corn tacos), tajadas (Hondurass take on tostones), rich meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and veggies, and more. $Basanis3221 NE 2nd Ave., 786-925-0911Despite this tiny places modern dcor, the family-run ambiance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood redsauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, not wood-oven but resembling honest bread, for less than fast food pizzeria prices? Its an offer you dont refuse. Dont refuse garlic rolls, either, or sinful zeppole (fried dough) for dessert. Theres more complex fare, like chicken la Francese, too. And they deliver. $$Bengal2010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-403-1976At this Indian eatery the dcor is cool and contemporary: muted gray and earth-tone walls, tasteful burgundy banquettes. And the menu touts Modern Indian Cuisine to match the look. Classicists, however, neednt worry. Americas favorite familiar north Indian flavors are here, though dishes are generally more mildly spiced and presented with modern flair. All meats are certified halal, Islams version of kosher which doesnt mean that observant orthodox Jews can eat here, but Muslims can. $$$Best Friends4770 Biscayne Blvd., 786-439-3999On a restaurant-starved stretch of Biscayne Boulevard, this spot serves the same sort of simple but satisfying Italian fare (antipasti, soups, salads, pizzas) as its older sibling, South Miamis Blu Pizzeria, plus burgers. The thin-crust, pliable pizzas, though lacking burn blisters, are brick-oven cooked, as are blues, unusual calzones (like the blu oceano, fatly filled with mozzarella, prosciutto crudo, arugula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 181800 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. $$Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supreme ly satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista Deli4590 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. $-$$ Cafeina297 NW 23rd St., 305-438-0792This elegantly comfortable multi-room indoor/outdoor venue is described as an art gallery/lounge, and some do come just for cocktails like the hefty caf con leche martinis. But dont overlook chef Guily Booths 12-item menu of very tasty tapas. The signature item is a truly jumbo-lump crab cake with no discernable binder. At one South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Martha Stewart proclaimed it the best shed ever had. Our own prime pick: melt-in-your-mouth ginger sea bass anticuchos, so buttery-rich we nearly passed out with pleasure. $$ Catch Grill & Bar1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose 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. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos3252 NE 1st Ave. #104 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$City Hall the Restaurant2004 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/crunchycrusted 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. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/ caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frosting, more. Lunch fare includes inspired sandwiches like seared rare tuna with spicy Asian pickles and kimchi aioli. And for morning people, the savory chicken sausage, melted cheddar, kale, and shallot sandwich on challah will convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co.2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajar eque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ Egyptian Pizza KitchenShops 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. $$18th Street Caf210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and FriesShops 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. $Gigi3470 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 RitzCarlton) 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 house made pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ Harrys Pizzeria3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; woodoven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with house-smoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$Hurricane Grill & Wings Shops at Midtown MiamiBuena Vista Avenue, 305-576-7133This Florida fast/casual chain became an instant hit in Midtown Miami owing to a winning concept: more than 35 heat-coded sauces and dry rubs meant for custom-tossing with wings and other things (including white-meat boneless wings, really wing-shaped chicken breast pieces), accompanied by ranch or classic blue-cheese dip and celery. It would be silly to not pair your main with garlic/herb-butter parmesan fries. There are many other items, too, including salads. But hey, celery is salad, right? $$ Jean Pauls House2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373Jean Paul Desmaison, original chef/co-owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables, has chosen a decidedly less tony, more transitional neighborhood for this venture. But inside his renovated bungalow, ambiance is stylishly cozy, and the creative contemporary North/South American fusion cuisine is as elegant as ever. Best bets are dishes influenced by Desmaisons native Peru, including crispy pork belly braised in pisco with silky sweet potato pure, and a beautifully balanced nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian) salmon sashimi that does the impossible: tame leche de tigre, Perus infamous tigers milk marinade. $$$-$$$$ Jimmyz Kitchen2700 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,

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surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$Joeys Italian Caf2506 NW 2nd Ave., 305-438-0488The first new restaurant in the Wynwood Caf District, this stylish indoor/outdoor Italian hangout is as casually cool as one would hope and as affordable. Theres a five-buck half-serving of spaghetti al pomodoro and respectable vino for under $30. And few can resist delicately thin, crunchycrusted pizzas like the creative Dolce e Piccante or orgasmic Carbonara. Pastas are fresh; produce is largely local; the mosaic-centered dcor is minimalist but inviting. And no need to be wary of the warehouse district at night: Valet parking is free. $$-$$$La Latina3509 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-9655At last, an authentic Venezuelan arepera (purveyor of home made arepas, with a variety of meat, cheese, and veggie fillings) that isnt out in the boonies -and decidedly isnt a dive. With colorful dcor concocted from recycled objects, this space, though small, has truly eclectic, Midtown style. The signature corn cakes, crisped outside and fluffy inside, put sodden supermarket specimens to shame. And cachapas (softer, sweeter corn pancakes folded around mozzarella-like fresh cheese) or bollarepitas (cheese-stuffed deep-fried corn cakes, with tangy nata dip) may be even tastier. $-$$La Provence2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 20002501 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. $$Lemoni Caf4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-5080The menu here reads like your standard sandwiches/salads/ starters primer. What it doesnt convey is the freshness of the ingredients and the care that goes into their use. Entre-size salads range from an elegant spinach (goat cheese, pears, walnuts, raisins) to chunky homemade chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens. Sandwiches (cold baguette subs, hot pressed paninis, or wraps, all accompanied by side salads) include a respectable Cuban and a veggie wrap with a deceptively richtasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican GrillShops 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 Sabor3045 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. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwesternstyle fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepitacrusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemoncrusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean Bistro4312 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-6066Inside this converted 1940s homes blue-and-white dining room -or even more atmospherically, its tree-sheltered garden -diners feast on authentic rustic fare from both Greece and Turkey. Make a meal of multinational mezes: a Greek sampler of creamy tzatziki yogurt dip, smoky eggplant pure, and airy tarama caviar spread; and a Turkish sampler of hummus, fava pure, and rich tomato-walnut dip. The meze of mussels in lemony wine broth is, with Mandolins fresh-baked flatbread, almost a full meal in itself. $$-$$$ Mercadito Midtown3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treatpacked special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ Mikes at Venetia555 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contempo rary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/ pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$Pieducks3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mixand-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza Miami3451 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

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enough to support toppings applied with generous all-American abandon. Take-out warning: Picking up a whole pie? Better bring the SUV, not the Morris Mini.Sakaya KitchenShops 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/ sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 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 soupsto-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. $$-$$$ Salsa Fiesta2929 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8245The first stateside offshoot of a popular Venezuelan mini chain, this urban Mexican grill serves health-conscious, made-freshdaily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ S & S Diner1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$Shokudo World Resource Caf 4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resources caf was better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The indoor/outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan-Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light housemade momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/Nepalese steamed dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions. Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$-$$$ South Street Restaurant & Bar4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474In the historic Buena Vista post office building, this neo-soul food restaurant features family recipes from chef Amaris Jones, a Philly native. Along with tasty traditional favorites like fried chicken or shrimp and cheese grits with low-country gravy, there are lightened classics (green tomatoes that are grilled, not fried, with basil cream aioli), plus a few items whose street cred seems to come from a Soul Train stop at the Bryn Mawr Country Club (surf and turf). Food comes with a soul soundtrack befitting the lounge vibe. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/ fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tapas y Tintos3535 NE 2nd Ave., 305-392-0506With about 50 different generously sized traditional tapas plates, from simple (imported Spanish cheeses and cured meats; varied croquetas, including beautifully smooth spinach) to sophisticated (crisp-fried soft-shell crab with aioli dip; the witty Popeye y Olivia, garlicky wine-sauced chickpeas with spinach and olive oil) plus complex salads, paellas, and charbroiled meat and seafood entres, all add up to entertaining eating even without this tapas/wine bars live entertainment. This second T&T feels less nightclub and more neighborhood than the South Beach original. Great for dates, business lunches, or very happy hours. $$$Tony Chans Water Club1717 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 Bar3301 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. $-$$ Wine Vault MiamiShops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include chorizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from worldfamous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, especially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$Balans Biscayne6789 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 Collar6730 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. $-$$Boteco916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Buddha Sushi Bar1071 NE 79th St., 305-677-3633While the setting is still more low-rent/high-speed causeway than restaurant row, this stylish, much-more-than-sushi spot definitely brings the street giant steps toward destination-dining status. The invention and skill shown in makis like the Fruity

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(shrimp, salmon, tuna, whitefish, roe, asparagus, and peaches, dressed with creamy mustard sauce), or small plates like shrimp crullers with a red wine reduction, isnt surprising considering the crafter is Michael Asalie, original chef at downtowns Little Lotus. Order from the menu or grab something from the circulating sushi river, whatever floats your boat. $$$ Chef Creole200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$DeVitas7251 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 arugu la, 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 Grill7030 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. $-$$ East Side Pizza731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/ chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern-inspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Garden of Eatin136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Go To Sushi5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Gourmet Station7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Jimmys East Side Diner7201 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. $-$$La Cigale7281 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-0014Bistro can mean almost anything these days, but with owners who are a husband/wife team recently arrived from Marseille, its not surprising that this neighborhood wine bistro is the classic kind found in France -a home away from home where the contempo rary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum Lounge709 NE 79th St., 305-757-3368Its a restaurant. Its a lounge. But its decidedly not a typical Miami restolounge, or like anything else in Miami. Forbidding from the outside, on the inside its like a time-trip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweetsavory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$Namaste7420 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 Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a fullfledged 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. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 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 Miamis Artisan Bakery! Made from Scratch, fresh breads daily!

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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. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 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. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/ soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$Uvas6900 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 Bakery646 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 coowns 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 aver age Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $NORTH BAY VILLAGEThe Crab House1551 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 favor ites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global spe cials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. Whil e raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Oggi Caffe1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budget-friendly, home made pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey traditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If youve wondered about the much-debated difference, heres where to test the taste. $-$$Shuckers Bar & Grill1819 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. $-$$Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Sports Grill2995 NE 163rd St., 305-944-4552Like the other five locations of this popular local mini chain (which originated more than 20 years ago), NMBs family-friendly sports bar/grill has walls lined with flat-screen TVs and a menu packed with all the classic game-watching munchies, some with Old South twists, like jalapeo poppers with pepper jelly dipping sauce. Must-haves are the charbroiled special wings, meaty and mild. But for those who prefer more highly spiced wings, there are six additional varieties. Cool down with a craft beer from a list that changes weekly to avoid boredom. $-$$Trio on the Bay1601 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 fid dle 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 Open: Monday-Friday 11:30am-10:00pm Saturday 5:30-11:00pm www.jeanpaulshouse.com 2426 NE 2nd Ave | Miami FL 33137 | Tel. 305.573.7373

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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. $$$-$$$$ KChapas1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$Lous Beer Garden7337 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 minicrab 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. $$-$$$Rouge CineCafe908 71st St., 305-865-5955 This friendly cafs dcor is indeed playfully red, and the cine refers to vintage films projected unobtrusively on a wall. But the main attraction is the French and Moroccan food, both genres as authentically homey as youll find in the homes of those cuisines. For hearty eaters, exotically spiced tagine stews, like lamb with prunes, are the way to go. Grazers will find Rouges bocaditos (evocatively French saucisson sec, or Moroccan merguez sausage with grilled onions and hot harissa sauce, both on crusty Boulart bread) irresistible -as are housemade desserts. $$-$$$ Tamarind Thai 946 Normandy Dr., 305-861-6222When an eaterys executive 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 Market908 71st St., 305-865-6465This rustic-chic wine shop, tapas bar, and restaurant is the sort of place that every emerging neighborhood needs. The wine stock isnt huge but the selection is thoughtful, with many bottles priced from $10 to $20. Take it home or pay a small corkage fee and drink on-premises over a meal centered on typical Parisian bistro entres like steak or moules frites (the latter regularly available all-you-caneat). 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 Gourmet9999 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 meticu lous 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 Club10000 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. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooey-cheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$ 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 coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brick-oven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, customcut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$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 Burger15400 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 Sucre899 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 freshbaked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ 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. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/ soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/ chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a topdrawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversationfriendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$

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Giraffas1821 NE 123rd St., 786-866-9007Festooned with eye-poppingly colored panels and giraffes -subtler but everywhere -this first North American branch of a wildly popular, 30-year-old Brazilian fast/casual chain is the flagship of a planned 4000 U.S. Giraffas. Given that the steaks, especially the tender, flavorful picanha, rival those at the most upscale rodizio joints -and beat the sword-wielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-tenbuck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$Il Piccolo Caf2112 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 whitewine-sauce-drenched 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. $$Le Griot de Madame John975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333When Madame moved her base of operations from her Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very informal one, and still mostly take-out), she began offering numerous traditional Haitian dishes, including jerked beef or goat tassot and an impressive poisson gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt before poaching with various veggies and spices). But the dish that still packs the place is the griot: marinated pork chunks simmered and then fried till theyre moistly tender inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $Little Havana 12727 Biscayne Blvd. 305-899-9069In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. Its also a good choice for diners who dont speak Spanish, but dont worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowd-pleasers. $$$Los Antojos11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombian-cuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$Mama Jennies11720 NE 2nd Ave. 305-757-3627For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All pasta or meat entres come with oil-drenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual baking-oriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ Petit Rouge12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-7676From the mid-1990s (with Neals Restaurant and later with Il Migliore), local chef Neal Coopers neighborhood-oriented Italian eateries have been crowd-pleasers. While this cute 32-seat charmer is French, its no exception, avoiding pretense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are must-haves. $$ Smashburger14730 Biscayne Blvd., 786-406-6614Two things distinguish the griddled patties of this Denver-based chain, touted as the nations fastest-growing better burger restaurant, from other better burgers: a nod to local tastes (like toppings of fried chorizo and potato fritas), and the smashing technique, producing an appealing thickly crusted exterior. Got burger overkill? Substitute chicken, or have a salad. An added draw: unusual veggie sides, which go beyond regular and sweet potato fries to crisp onion strings, veggie frites (carrots, string beans), and an Old South fish-camp classic: fried pickles. $-$$Steves Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tiny Thai House12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646The space is tiny. The menu, which features Thai specialties but includes sushi plus Japanese appetizers and entres, is not. Despite the huge selection of sushi/Thai restaurant standards, though, dont overlook items harder to find in America, like floating noodle soup, a popular street food from Thailands boat-based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-rich beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll (tuna, salmon, crab, avo cado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to Chinese-American to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$

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Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this nostalgic hangout. New owners have made some changes, including a dcor/ambiance upgrade (theres now a patio lounge, with music) and an expanded menu featuring contemporary comfort foods like fire-grilled pizzas with fresh toppings (homemade mozzarella, etc.), several salads, and veggie burgers. But timetested road food favorites remain: big beef burgers, hot dogs, and of course, Woodys famous cheesesteak, done traditional Philly-style with shaved ribeye. You can even get Cheese Whiz. To drink, there are nine draft beers plus old-school shakes. $$NORTH MIAMI BEACH8 Oz. Burger Bar14815 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-1988Celebrity chef Govind Armstrongs first 8 Oz., in South Beach, almost singlehandedly started Miamis burger craze, and when Armstrong severed ties with the Alton Road original, this location became his standard-bearer. Burgers are far from bargain-priced, but ingredients like grass-fed Wagyu beef, Niman Ranch lamb, and Humboldt Fog goat cheese, plus garnishes shining with chef-driven creativity (charred escarole, unctuous short rib, fried caper tartar sauce) justify the extra bucks. Kobe corn dogs, grilled artichokes with herb aioli, and stout-battered onions rings are also highly recommended. $$-$$$ Bamboo Garden1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$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 Grill14776 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 & Grill1127 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. $-$$Christines Roti Shop16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sports-oriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland fauxCantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy specialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ El Gran Inka3155 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). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, escolar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$Green House Organic Food Restaurant3207 NE 163rd St., 305-594-6787The name sounds a bit healthfoody, but theres no crunchy granola here. Argentine-born, globally traveling chef Marcelo Marino, whos also an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu Miami, uses only organic and/or sustainable produce and proteins to serve upscale avant-garde fusion fare: halibut atop traditional French Nantua (creamy lobster) sauce, with lemongrass/saffron-infused faro risotto; octopus with delicate black radish tempura and coconut/pineapple/tea foam; and similar stuff requiring mad skills in both classic cooking and molecular gastronomy. Breads, cheeses, and cured meats are all made in-house, too. $$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popu lar after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi Express17048 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 rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN

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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. $Heelsha1550 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 Deli16275 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. $-$$Kabobji3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veg-garnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly fresh-tasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$Kebab Indian Restaurant514 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. $$King Palace330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ Kings County Pizza18228 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-792-9455If your feelings about Brooklyn-style pizza have been formed by Dominos flopsy-crusted, ketchupy, cheesefoody pies, stop here to sample a slice of the real thing. Admittedly, the crusts are not those of the coal-fired classics from Brooklyns legendary Totonnos or Grimaldis, but theyre similarly medium-thin and crisp -though not like a cracker; you can fold them for neat street eating, and they taste like honest bread, not cardboard. A variety of toppings are available even on slices. There are also whole pies with varied toppings. The large is humongous. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteriastyle space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon16752 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. $-$$The Melting Pot15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet940 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-inblankets); 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 Thai14841 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 Thaiinspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found else where. Plus he doesnt automatically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Soprano Caf & Italian Restaurant3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225Racks has a new owner and a new name. Italian chef Rocco Soprano is bringing his authentic Italian flavors and style to a love ly setting. Well have more details next month, but we know the specialties include Italian steaks, seafood, and an oyster bar. One thing that wont change: the coal-fired pizza oven, which reliably turns out an astonishingly light yet chewy crust that makes the pies a revelation. Especially enjoyable is the waterfront deck. $$Roasters & Toasters18515 NE 18th Ave., 305-830-3354Attention ex-New Yorkers: Is your idea of food porn one of the Carnegie Delis mile-high pastrami sandwiches? Well, Roasters will dwarf them. Consider the Carnegie-style monster containing, according to the menu, a full pound of succulent meat (really 1.4 pounds; we we ighed it), for a mere 15 bucks. All the other Jewish deli classics are here too, including perfectly sour pickles, silky hand-sliced nova or lox, truly red-rare roast beef, and the cutest two-bite mini-potato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$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 Square54 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. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ Sushi House15911 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. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$Tunas17850 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 Hakin73 NE 167th St., 305-405-6346Too often purist vegetarian food is unskillfully crafted bland stuff, spiced with little but sanctimonious intent. Not at this modestlooking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$

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Yakko-San3881 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. $$Yes, Pasta! Trattoria Italiana 14872 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-1006At Roman-native Flaminia Morins casual, family-friendly eatery, the specialty is pasta yo ur way. Choose one of seven fresh or dried pastas (including gluten-free options), then one of 15 sauces ranging from traditional carbonara to inventions like Mozzarella Filante (creamy tomato sauce with melted cheese); la carte meat, seafood, or veg add-ons are also available. Build a full Italian feast with antipasti, salads, six secondi (entres), and desserts. Budget diner alert: Check out MondayFriday lunch specials, two courses plus drink for $8. BAY HARBOR ISLANDSAsia Bay Bistro1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayo-dressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Caffe Da Vinci1009 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. $$$ L e Pine1052 Kane Concourse, 305-861-1059This upscale Lebanese restaurant serves dishes with the sort of understated sophistication that makes clear why Beirut was called the Paris of the East. Youll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites, but many have refinements that lift them above average: pita thats housemade, charmingly fluffy when warm from the oven; falafel incorporating flavorful fava beans with the usual ground chickpeas. Especially appealing are more uncommon items like crisp-fried cauliflower with tahini, fateh (a chickpea casserole iced with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/herbfilled sambusak pastries. Finish exotically with a hookah. $$-$$$ Open Kitchen1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chefcentered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with meltin-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (ex-Icebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ AVENTURA / HALLANDALEAnthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$Bagel Cove Restaurant & Deli19003 Biscayne Blvd. 305-935-4029One word: flagels. And no, thats not a typo. Rather these crusty, flattened specimens (poppy seed or sesame seed) are the ultimate bagel/soft pretzel hybrid -and a specialty at this bustling Jewish bakery/deli, which, since 1988, opens at 6:30 a.m. -typically selling out of flagels in a couple of hours. Since youre up early anyway, sample elaborately garnished breakfast specials, including unusually flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$BagelWorks18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of handsliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ Bella Luna19575 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 Sushi600 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. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350 Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories including hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale department stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantrolime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$Fresko19048 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. Asianinfluenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pine apple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$The Grill on the Alley19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Il Migliore2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$ Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$Luca B ella19088 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 checkeredtablecloth eatery -and Italian-American comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a meal-size marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing modern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumbcoated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$Mos Bagels & Deli2780 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

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seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$Mr. Chefs Fine Chinese Cuisine & Bar18800 NE 29th Ave. #10, 786-787-9030Considering our countys dearth of authentic Chinese food, this stylish eatery is heaven-sent for Aventura residents. Owners Jin Xiang Chen and Shu Ming (a.k.a. Mr. Chef) come from Chinas southern seacoast province of Guangdong (Canton). But youll find no gloppily sauced, Americanized-Cantonese chop sueys here. Cooking is properly light-handed, and seafood specialties shine (try the spicy/crispy salt and pepper shrimp). For adventurers, theres a cold jellyfish starter. Even timid taste buds cant resist tender fried shrimp balls described this way: With crispy adorable fringy outfit. $$-$$$Pilar20475 Biscayne Blvd. 305-937-2777Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYCs James Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his wife launched Pilar (named for Hemingways boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it proven. Floribbeanstyle seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New York-style pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommo dating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)SUNNY ISLES BEACHChef Philip Ho16850 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 Chimney18090 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 creative khazazs-e-lazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/ potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$Epicure Gourmet Market & Caf17190 Collins Ave., 305-947-4581Who even knew that the late Rascal House had an ocean view? Diners may have to eat standing up to glimpse water over the dunes from the panoramic caf windows of the gourmet market that replaced the Rascal, but you know youre on a tropical beach, not Brighton Beach. The big, bright cafs menu, more global diner than Jewish deli, includes daily spe cials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome 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. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale ItalianAmerican place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$Piazzetta17875 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 Italian-inspired 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. $$$St. Petersburg Deli17080 Collins Ave., 305-947-9696Dont expect fancified stuff like menus, or the English language, at this informal market/cafe. If theres signage identifying the prepared foods behind the counters, its in Russian, and daily dishes are pretty much what the cooks feel like making. So look and point. Wed suggest pointing at cold yogurt-based soups like tangy okroshka (with cukes, egg, scallions, potatoes, and dill) or holodnik (similar, with beets added); eggplant roulades, stuffed with spiced shredded carrots, are also a refreshing summer dish. Hot choices include meatballs in rich cream sauce and chicken Kiev. $$ Timo17624 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 woodoven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ 1035 N. Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33136 | 305-961-7887 www.TheCornerMiami.com | facebook.com/the.corner.miami.ave OPEN LATE

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UPPER EASTSIDE OFF MARKET SALE 4 BD / 3 BA home with a pool on oversized corner lot. Built in 1926 and has tremendous character, charm, and grandeur. Call us about listed and off-market opportunities. We are your Upper Eastside experts! MARCY KAPLAN & LORI BRANDT | 786.543.5755 gimmeshelter@metro1properties.com BISCAYNE CORRID OR: 3550 BISCAYNE BLVD OFFICES FOR LEASE | PRICE UPON REQUEST Locate your business at 3550 Biscayne, a 7 story ofce building with onsite parking. Featuring a very central location on Biscayne Boulevard. Upgraded ofce suites 150 SF + up available for lease. TONY ARELLANO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com MIDTOWN: 3557 NE 2ND AVE RETAIL FOR LEASE | PRICE UPON REQUEST Exclusive opportunity to lease prime retail space at the entrance to Miamis most exciting neighborhoods: Midtown & The Design District. Space available from 7,500 10,000 SF. Will build to suit. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com BAYSIDE: NE 71 STREET FOR SALE $375,000 Open and airy 2 BD / 2 BA in popular Bayside neighborhood, east of Biscayne Blvd, just steps to the bay. Salt water pool. Short sale! Cash offers only. We are your Upper Eastside experts! MARCY KAPLAN & LORI BRANDT | 786.543.5755 gimmeshelter@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 1635 N MIAMI AVE FOR LEASE $17 PSF 5,200 SF, no columns, 23 high ceilings, 2 new 12.5 ton a/c units, 2 new bathrooms with showers, new electrical and plumbing. Suitable recreational or ofce/ warehouse use. Has loading platform. Parking available. TONY ARELLANO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com WYNWOOD: 2900 NW 1 AVE FOR LEASE $17 PSF GROSS | FOR SALE $6,200,000 29,800 building SF which can accommodate a variety of uses such as private collection, creative ofce, showroom, gallery, studio, retail or a variety of mixed uses. Adjacent to the Rubbell Collection. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com MIAMI SHORES: 1200 NE 103 ST REDUCED TO $999,000 4 BD / 4 BA beautiful mid-century modern open oor plan home. House has been completely updated. Pool is nished with Pebbletec. Beautiful gardens, huge open rooms, terrazzo oors and impact windows. IRENE DAKOTA | 305 972 8860 idakota@metro1properties.com WYNWOOD: 299 NW 36th ST FOR SALE $1,650,000 Wynwood live/work warehouse! Features full kitchen, saloon style wrap around mezzanine + charming urban garden. Appx. 5,000 SF under air with amazing 20 clear ceiling heights. Desirable T-5O zoning. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com UPPER EAST SIDE: 243 NE 62 ST FOR SALE & FOR LEASE | PRICE UPON REQUEST 3,200 7,000 SF warehouses available for sale and for lease. These warehouses feature an excellent location, and are minutes away from Downtown Miami, Design District and Miami Beach. IRENE DAKOTA | 305 972 8860 idakota@metro1properties.com MIAMI SHORES: 85 NW 102 ST FOR SALE $220,000 Newly renovated 3 BD / 2 BA home in Miami Shores! The property has a brand new kitchen, bathrooms and the roof has just been redone. The house now has central A/C, new washer, dryer and sprinklers. IRENE DAKOTA | 305 972 8860 idakota@metro1properties.com DESIGN DISTRICT: 3 711 NE 2 AVE FOR SALE $8,200,000 The iconic Power Studios is back on the market. This 13,102 SF building sits on a 11,336 SF lot and allows over +/100,000 SF of gross development. Will not last. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com renderingDESIGN DISTRICT: 4030 NORTH MIAMI AVE FOR LEASE $65 NNN | FOR SALE $5,000,000 Prime street retail located at the entrance to Miamis Design District. Only a block away from the 195 exit. This 7,642 SF space will be renovated, and features glass storefront windows overlooking North Miami ave. TONY CHO | 305.571.9991 info@metro1cre.com rendering MIAMIS URBAN REAL ESTATE LEADER WYNWOOD | DESIGN DISTRICT COMMMERCIAL SHOWCASE RESIDENTIAL EXCLUSIVE SHOWCASE120 ne 27th street | suite 200 | wynwood | 305 571 9991 | metro1.com