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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: 02-2013
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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: UF00099644:00076

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IN THIS ISSUEWalmart tries to hide p. 43 Crystal does Disney p. 75 February 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 12 CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE Question Kitchen Question Question Kitchen Question Kitchen Question Kitchen What would you pay for gourmet vegan? pg. 28

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COVER STORY 28 Kitchen Que stion: Gourmet Vegan? COMMENTARY 12 Feedback: Letters 16 Gaspar vs. Tom Wolfe 18 Jack King: Marco Rubioisms 20 Christians Dead Garden 22 My View: Brickell Pedestrians Unite! OUR SPONSORS 24 BizBuzz: February 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 42 Aventura Police: No Credible Evidence 42 50 Eggs in Search of a Home 43 Walmart: Now You See It, Now You Dont NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 52 Jay on Aventuras Last True Open Door 54 Mark on Bis cayne Landing: Dealerships 56 Jen on Transit Alternatives in the Shores 58 Frank on Building Bullet-Proof Schools ART & CULTURE 60 Anne Tschida on the Vasari Project 62 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 65 Events Cale ndar: Ayikodans Returns POLICE REPORTS 66 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 68 Jim W. Harper : Golden Glades Hideaway COLUMNISTS 70 All Things Animal: Dead Cormorant 72 Picture Stor y: Key Biscayne Lighthouse 73 Your Garden : Miamis Jungle Life 74 Going Green: Turn on That Spigot! 75 Kids and the City: Disney Exhaustion 76 Vino: Central Coast Charmers 77 Dish: Good Lu ck, Long Life, New Year DINING GUIDE 78 Restau rant Listings: 314 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 r 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 22 42 70Serving communities along the Biscayne Corridor: Arch Creek East, Aventura, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Coventry, Design District, Downtown, Eastern Shores, Edgewater, El Portal, Enchanted Lake, Hibiscus Island, Highland Lakes, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Morningside, North Greynolds, North Bay Island, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Oak Forest, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Sky Lake, Sparling Lake, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands

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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO List with me and sell it FAST!305-895-JEFF(5333) SANS SOUCI ESTATES WATERFRONT CONTEMPORARY CHIC 24HR GATED COMMUNITY 4br/3.5ba pool 2 car garage, only 6 lots to the bay, completely remodeled 2013 w/the finest of upgrades. Center island chefs kitchen w/subzero & miele appliances, all glass tile hi tech baths,hurricane impact windows, new seawall / 75 dock and 16k boat lift. $999K 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 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 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 theatre/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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Horrors: About as Credible as the KardashiansAs a 34-year resident of Eastern Shores, and one who has been continually involved in the community, I have never heard the word hate used in any reference to Eastern Shores or its residents, until I read Jim W. Harpers Little Park of Horrors (January 2013). The author used the word hate eight times in his Park Patrol article to describe his perception of the Eastern Shores community with regard to children, pedestrians, parks, and of course, the Kardashians. At this point, the only thing I hate is and as credible as the Kardashians. Chuck Asarnow, president Eastern Shores Property Owners AssociationHorrors: Youre A World Traveler and This Is the Worst Youve Seen?To Jim W. Harper: Good grief, man! Your article seems a bit over the tot lot. Reporters like you and the Kardashians may be hated, but Im sure the residents of Eastern Shores dont hate children. Perhaps the residents prefer to keep their children on the safe side of the guard gates, with all the comfort and safety of those luxurious homes overlooking the lovely canals. Or perhaps there are not many small children who would use the lot? Did you actually interview any of the alleged baby haters? Im sure our residents and council people would encourage the City of North Miami Beach to spruce it up if the 4000 residents of Eastern Shores had a problem with it. I did a little research myself and can see you are a well-educated and worldly individual who has traveled six continents. And this is the worst thing youve ever seen? Perhaps you should aim your rants at something affecting millions of people. Or maybe the horror the constant decline of customer service by local businesses, during the holiday season. Janet Masumian Eastern ShoresKent to Jack: Beware Nazis Passing as LiberalsJack Kings commentary Locked and Loaded, in Januarys edition of Bis cayne Times really came as no surprise, and considering your publications liberal-leaning slant of late, was really quite predictable. The only rational assumption he made in the column, which I fully agree with, is the fact that most if not all Americans, irrespective of their positions on gun ownership, are thoroughly shocked and disgusted with what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I would venture to say that Wayne LaPierre of the NRA feels exactly the same way. However, for the less-than-objective folks in the mainstream media these days, Mr. King included, it is always easier to jump to quick conclusions and hop on the politically correct bandwagon, focusing on that which seems to be the most tangi ble cause, in this case guns, rather than address the intangible or the root cause of the problem, which is a culture raised and inspired by a steady diet of violence on Factor in single-working-parent homes, broken families, lack of moral and formative values, and a steady diet of pharmaceuticals to treat depression and a slew of other mental illnesses, real or imagined, and the end result is what happened at Sandy Hook. Those of us who are in fact responsible, licensed gun owners arent the ones out there committing the crimes. It is the criminal or, in this case, a mentally deranged individual, using illegally obtained guns to commit the crime, and who I am guessing would be less inclined to do so if they suspected they were confronting someone with a gun. This is precisely why most such crimes occur in states with gun laws already in place, since it is unlikely the intended victim(s) will be armed. While I do believe certain gun-law loopholes need to be closed to mitigate the opportunity for felons or the mentally ill from obtaining weapons directly or indirectly, I suspect, as with most legislation coming out of Washington these days, that it will likely be the responsible gun owners who will end up suffering the unintended or perhaps intended consequences of whatever is signed into law. After all, its much easier to go after and make it harder for registered gun owners than dedicate the resources to go after unregistered weapons in the hands of criminals and other undesirables. If there is any one thing that has established this great country for what it is, it is the Constitution on which it Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 14

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Est. 1995 LIVE THE CITY LIFE

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was founded. It appears, though, that Mr. Constitution as a right-wing neo-Nazi, a label I believe would apply to a majority of Americans who still value and cherish the freedoms for which it stands. I suggest that, before putting pen to paper again, Mr. King read up on the rise of national socialism in pre-war similar parallels to the liberal-progressive movement taking root in the U.S. at the moment. National socialism gave rise to Nazism, which is on par with the eventual evolution of the progressive movement and its agenda, which is gearing more and more toward silencing opposing opinions and infringing on peoples rights and beliefs. Kent O. Bonde Miami ShoresHonor the Miami Heralds Journalists, Not Their MastersWith respect to Erik Bojnanskys ex cellent article on Historic Monument or Monumentally Ugly (December 2012), I place to deserve the Miami Herald build ing on its bayfront. Nor can I think of another newspaper building not in Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Cleveland, Baltimore, or Tampa that has gunked up and blocked off its citys waterfront views. A monument to the Herald is what the Herald building is. The Miami Herald s legacy, by the way, is in its people. Honor them, but dont memorialize the building or thank its masters, who, if youll recall, paid $4.5 billion for Knight Ridder way, way too much. With McClatchy stock now at just $3 a share on a good day, the corporate bean counters apparently decided if they couldnt make back their money from the Herald from under it and to Genting, even though commercial gambling isnt yet legal in Florida under any conditions that would be of interest to the consortium. The Herald is no victim here. Its editorial-page writers display shameless cynicism, maintaining they have no dog for rejecting historical designation. The impure motives, they say, lie with the heritage-designation supporters, incited more by antipathy toward a mega resort than by preservation advocacy. Frankly, bravo to the preservationists if their actions make city planners pause for a moment and give more thought to a massive development project that will reshape the downtown area permanently, and whose owners are keen on bringing in Vegas-style casino gambling. Those same city planners will be babes in the woods when they face lobbying efforts. Be careful what you wish for, Miami; you wont be able to undo it. Newspapers have always served their owners interests. But owners used to be local and they had to face their neighbors every day, and their interests used to be plain for all to see. Let the local daily limp off into the sunset out there beyond MIA, and bring back true civic journalism. Carmen Delgado North MiamiCorrectionIn Erik Bojnanskys cover story Checking In, Checking Out (January 2013), the name of the Shalimar Motels owner was misspelled. The correct spelling is Tikva Gluck.Commentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12 rfntbtttb

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Commentary: CULT FOLLOWINGTom Wolfe Waits, and Waits The latest, greatest (Varoom! Varoom!) Miami novel, and why I cant read itBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorI cant do it. I planned to do it. I tried to do it. I told myself I had to do it. But I just cant do it. I cant bring myself to pick up Tom Wolfes Back to Blood When it was published this past October, it was supposed to be the It was reviewed in virtually every major publication; Wolfe himself was feted at the Miami Book Fair International; and everyone in town said the same thing: You simply must read it! (Even if it wasnt clear they had, or would.) The novel quickly became, in this event-driven town, another event. Three months later the stakes have been pulled up and the big top is gone. All that re mains is the book, all 700 pages of it. And I cant think of a reason to crack it open. Its not that I dont appreciate Wolfes work, in particular his contributions to the rise of New Journalism, a style of reporting that utilized the techabout the subject at hand, and the culture. Beginning with groundbreaking magazine features like There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby Around the Bend, about the California custom-car scene, through The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test his book-length look at novelist and LSD guru Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, and Radical Chic, on the complicated marriage between wealthy white liberals and black revolutionaries, Wolfe seemed to America in the 1960s and 1970s. At his best, he not only captured the culture, but skewered it, too, revealing and reveling in its contradictions. Then, in the late 1980s, Wolfe took the plunge, crossing over from a cultural observer who utilized novelistic techThe about a New York where excess ruled. That was followed in 1998 by A Man in Full set in Atlanta, and now Back to Blood (There was also I Am Charlotte Simmons Wolfes foray into American college life, but nobody talks about that one anymore.) The throughline in all three books is the idea of the city as a boiling cauldron of class and racial tension. In Back to Blood the idea, quoted in reviews, is Miami mayor, who tells his police chief: In Miami, everybody hates everybody. Indeed, the very title of the book refers to the tribalism of the modern metropolis, rooted, in Wolfes view, in bloodlines. And therein lies my problem with Wolfe as novelist. Taken together, his big urban novels can too often seem like the B-movies of the 1940s the same story starring the same actors shot on the same lot, only with different backgrounds; just swap out the Empire State Building for the Freedom Tower. It doesnt help that Wolfe himself has never voiced much faith in the novel as a form. This is, after all, a man who in October pointedly told New York magazine that is the highpoint of 20th-century writing. Illustrative of this lack of faith is a scene from the documentary Back to Blood which follows Wolfe as he researches Miami for his book. In one scene, the writer is seen studying the location of a particular bridge near downtown. the structure, Wolfe says, essentially, that he wants to get it right, because a novel ist just cant put a bridge anywhere he wants. To which one might naturally re spond, Well, if a novelist cant, who can? (This inherent tension in Wolfe the reporter struggling with the novelist is just one of many potentially interesting Wolfes distrust of the novel engenders, for me anyway, a certain distrust of Wolfe as a novelist. And that was I heard the line about Miami as a place where everybody hates everybody. The concept struck me as hopelessly anachronistic. Everybody hating everybody was Miami in the 1980s. These days, the dominant sentiment, if there is one, is indifference. Like in most big cities. (Call it progress, I suppose.) All of which explains why I havent read Back to Blood instead using my time to read two other recent novels set in Florida, C.C. Radoffs satirical The Big Split about a coming Red State-Blue State civil war, and Thomas Sanchezs compact, compelling eco-thriller American Tropic about a serial killer loose in the Keys. I recommend both. I wouldnt say Wolfe has lost me as a reader, though. If anything, all the hype over Back to Blood has me itching to re visit his earlier work, when truth, to Wolfe, didnt feel the need to pretend otherwise. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.comPhoto courtesy of A Gentleman in the Sun Productions

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Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorOver the past 30 years, the State of Florida has had some very good U.S. Senators. Most did a great job for both Florida and the country as a whole. People like Claude Pepper, George Smathers, Lawton Chiles, Bob Graham, and Bill Nelson all of them Democrats. Also on my good list is former Sen. Mel Martinez. He went to Washington with great expectations. But when he got there, he was treated like every other mi nority in the Republican Party. They take their new boy aside and tell him what to say and how to vote. When Martinez didnt go along with the leadership, he was given crap committee assignments and was cut out of most meaningful discussions. Martinez was so disgusted with the system that he resigned after four years. Think about that. A Republican with morals! Now we have Sen. Marco Rubio, our wonderful boy senator from West Miami, who is falling into the same trap that ran Martinez out of Washington, only Rubio liant intellect, he may never Rubio has been held up as a potential 2016 challenger for the White House. The reality is that the Republican Party has no intention of letting Rubio even get close to the nomination. They just want him out there to show the country that the party has some minority faces. Even more troubling in this weird scenario: Rubio isnt exactly the brightest bulb on the tree. His record in the Florida legislature is spotty at best. Mostly he was one of the leaders who tried to privatize all state functions (started by Jeb Bush), and for the most part its been a disaster. Rubios most memorable moment as a state legislator was taking the Florida Republican Partys AmEx card and, along with his best buddy David Rivera, burning the numbers off it for their personal expenses. Now thats what I call living within your means! The Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate put Rubio on the Foreign Relations Committee. I have no idea why. He has zero experience in foreign affairs. Could it possibly be his Hispanic surname? outing, he gets to ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questions (er, a question) about the Benghazi attack. It went something like this: Rubio: Before the attack in Benghazi, them build their security capacities? Clinton: Well theres a long list and Ill be happy to provide that to you be ment, with the kind of planning that they had not done before, and Id be happy to send you the detail on that, senator. Thats it? He spoke for eight seconds and thats all he could say? My best guess is that his Republican handlers gave him a softball question so he wouldnt make a fool of himself. Hell, he could have just sent a memo asking for the information. But then he wouldnt have had a chance to get his mug on television. For the past few months weve heard that Rubio is working on a comprehensive and sweeping package of immigration reforms. So far weve heard only generalizations about policy if you have only a vague idea what it is. My take on what his sweeping immigration reforms will look like: Nobody else can come in to the United States unless you come with $10 million to invest, a doctorate degree, and look like a Republican. Oh yes, you can be Hispanic as long as youre still white. As for the 11 million people already here illegally: You can stay here, pay taxes, donate to my campaign, and keep your nose clean. However, becoming a citizen will take 50 years. In other words, stay, work, make this country great, and then die. Thank you. In closing, here are a few more choice Rubioisms: checks for gun purchases. Mormon. No wait, Protestant. leaving Afghanistan too fast. for Sandy victims. (Sure hope we dont have another bad storm in Florida.) did little to help Florida, but made his friends, including Jeb Bush, lots of money. What about unemployment insurance? Rubio thinks youre lazy. Violence Against Women Act. hospital, then got hired by the hospital at $8000 per month. There are so many more, but its beginning to make me sick. Im going conservative. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The GOPs Boy ToyMarco Rubio may not know it (may never know it), but hes being duped

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Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorMy mom has a green thumb that I didnt inherit. Or rather I should say, she possesses an unwavering dedication to gardening, while mine waxes and wanes. Our family home in suburban Pitts burgh has long been a stop on the local garden tour. Each spring as the snow and ice trickled away, hundreds of tulips would raise their bulbous heads, present ing themselves to the local deer popula tion like a great Technicolor buffet. And every morning we found dozens of them decapitated. Mom quit on tulips after that. But the rest of the yard, front and back, is still an ever-changing array of bold hues and textures that stops people and the odd deer in their tracks. Every summer day, right through until fall, shes in the yard watering, or on her knees working the earth with her beautiful display. To care deeply for something you know wont last is the was an urbane medical student named Johnny. We bonded over taste beyond our means, and he also had a way with plants. Tall, leafy bamboo shaded the couch while mangrove shoots sprang windowsill. The balcony was a clutter of aloe, ferns, rescued street buds, and a dozen other beautiful, nameless species. He once scalped a pineapple and embedded it in soil. Two years later, one lone little fruit emerged from the center of two-foot green spikes. We cut it up and soaked it in some nice vodka for liquored chunks to a few lucky friends. At one point Johnny and I had about 30 plants, which I took far too much credit for when I assembled photos of them into a little book for my mothers birthday, thanking her for my green thumb. What I probably meant was: Thanks for helping me appreciate plants. Johnny moved out and, over the next two years, I murdered everything he left. The corner of the balcony became a dusty cemetery of pots that did little more than take on rainwater and endure abuse from my cat. This past summer I marched to Home Depot, committed to bringing the garden back to its former glory. I bought soil and seeds: tomatoes, Thai basil, oregano, cilantro, carrots, poppies, and more. Things really started off well. The passion was there and, each day, I watered and pruned and plucked, caring for the plants like defenseless children, proudly posting each new millimeter of growth on Instagram. Two guys from work had their own gardens going one in a Normandy Isle yard, another on the roof of an apartment building in the Upper Eastside. Wed compare pictures and bring the fruits of our labor in for lunch. These two were having wild success. The apartment rooftop was yielding fraan old door and boxed in the sides, creating a shallow and wide growing area that worked like a charm. Tomatoes sprang lived happily in an old desk drawer beneath a screen to keep the birds at bay. The garden over on Normandy Isle spat out cherry tomatoes, jalapeos, cayenne green peppers, salad greens, mint, thyme, oregano like it was nothing. After managing to shear two crops of basil, I grew lazy and impatient. Work got busy. I developed a gym habit and other nightly commitments. The DVR the way, and the fantasy of an urban vegetable garden began to quietly shrivel. I either overwatered the tomatoes, or watered them too little. Well never know. Besides, like the carrots, they were planted too close to one another, and the battle for resources dragged them into what I imagine was a version of veggie cannibalism. Their entangled stems withered next to yellowing cilantro and, from the couch, I lost hope, drawing down the shades and refusing to visit the balcony. I blamed my growing neglect on the plants unwillingness to live. But the truth is, I never actually read up on how to garden, choosing instead to go about it my way. Im the kind of person who has to take apart an Ikea bookcase halfway through because I didnt read the instructions, and whose partner doles out driving tips like, Whichever way your gut tells you to turn, do the opposite. Right now the basil is hanging on for dear life, and the rest of the garden again has his eye on. But by the spring Ill regroup, if only to prove that I can overcome an aversion to the three things that seem most essential to a successful garden: patience, discipline, and respect for the rules. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Plant Now, Pay LaterGet lazy with an urban garden and youll reap nothing but regret

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22 Commentary: MY VIEWPhoto by Philip PicazaBy Adam Schachner Special to the BTM ground on most topics. Even more rare are public demonstrations of any kind. Collectively speaking, wed much rather spend our time at the mall or the beach. Which makes what recently happened at a Brickell intersection all the more powerful. Responding to an outcry for proper roadway conduct, on Monday, January 21, no fewer than 25 concerned locals declared the crosswalks at Brickell Avenue and SE 15th Road a pedestrian safety walk zone. Marchers occupied the crosswalks and demanded increased civility from motor ists. They even distributed booklets on whom, because they lack civility, simply a curse and a rude gesture. Still, the walkers asserted their rights to safety, braved hostile stares and abuse, and celebrated the motorists who gave approving honks and thumbs-up. The takeaway? Conscientious driv ers, concerned about who might be hurt by their carelessness, do exist in Miami, but they are in the minority, spread thin to keep moving by honking tailgaters. We complain that road rage and reck lessness are responsible for our reputation time, we dismiss the issue with grim humor, shrugging off Miami drivers as a local quirk with which we must cope. incident numbers show Miamis dangerous reality. The region is a hub for hitand-runs, crashes, and irresponsibility behind the wheel. As one safety walkers sign stated, South Florida tallied a staggering 8080 injured or dead in crashes involving pedestrians between 2005 and 2009, according to a study available at www.dadehealth.org. That ranks Miami as the fourth most dangerous city in America for pedestrians. Florida, meanwhile, is number one Few would deny our streets are a night mare of ill-informed and uncaring drivers. Enter the pedestrian safety walk, created by Elsa Roberts, a local activist engaged in community-building efforts, including transit and commuter advocacy. A bicycle commuter who frequents downtown, she shares concerns with walkers and riders competing with trafthat drivers in Miami believe they have more of a right to the [road] than pedestrians. Even when pedestrians are obeying the law...they still dont have access to the roads in equal measure. place to demonstrate the principle of shared transit space. In choosing this intersection, she notes that a pedestrian was recently struck by a car only a block away; the driver was not ticketed or held accountable. Such occurrences, culture, make the area a particularly pedestrian safety walk. Roberts organized a similar demonstration this past October. That effort brought roughly half as many walkers as the Brickell action to the intersection of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Miracle Mile in Coral Gables on a Saturday afternoon. The festive yet assertive atmosphere was the same, as marchers distributed pamphlets, cheered considerate motorists, and yelled at agDespite honking horns, curses, and even one drivers taunt to get a job (because anyone not driving a car in Miami couldnt possibly be employed?), the walkers claimed their space. The action, which even prompted a police response, proved effective and empowering. The walkers rights and encouraged them to continue, so long as they obeyed the law. Reviewing the Brickell safety walk, Roberts considers the event a success. She remarks that drivers were a lot more hostile at this intersection than [in the Gables], and a lot of cars tried to turn illegally when they were supposed to yield to pedestrians. Walkers embraced each instance energetically as a chance to educate motorists. Florida Department of Transportation signs throughout the Brickell intersection the signs, for the most part, appear to have had the desired effect. A major concern, however, stemmed from drivers tendency to overlook SE 15th Streets No Turn on Red sign, a habit that played a factor in selecting this intersection. (Similarly, the intersection at Ponce and Miracle Mile also sports an oftignored No Turn sign.) Safety walks represent a creative assault on an old problem. Our citys rapid sprawl promoted an auto-centric development. Simply put, we were built for car culture. This generally means our drivers have as sumed a sense of entitlement to the road at the expense of defenseless pedestrians and cyclists, often with fatal consequences. Which is why Roberts is adamant about promoting shared transit space, possibly at a crosswalk near you: The biggest thing thats going to make drivers who are antagonistic change their mindset that theyre the ones who have a right to occupy that space is more actions like this, and more enforcement until the idea that cars supersede people goes away. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Foot SoldiersPedestrian activists launch a campaign to reclaim Miamis crosswalks, one intersection at a time

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24 Our Sponsors: F ebruaryEBR UARY 20 13By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorWhen February rolls around, many think of Valentines Day (which coincides on February 14, possibly not coincidentally, with the lesser-known International Condom Day). Others think of Presidents Day (February 18) all the sales that day and the holiday weekend before. Some think of the Christian holiday Ash Wednesday (February 13 this year), the Jewish holiday Purim (February 24 this year), or other annually moving dates like Chinese New Year (February 9-15) or Super Bowl Sunday (February 3). ians never have to think about is Ground hog Day (always February 2), when our friends up north worry about whether Pennsylvanias Punxsutawney Phil, NYCs Staten Island Chuck Chuck, and other noted regional rodents will see their shad ows, insuring (with 61% accuracy, accord ing to the National Climatic Data Center) that their miserable winter weather will continue for another six weeks. That makes February, for Miamians, Na tional Gloating Month. Not that wed dream of calling up our northern friends/family members to gloat. We dont have to call. Most of them are probably down here right now, camped out in our guest rooms for the month. Fortunately, many BT s advertisers offer lots of things to do for defrosting escapees (and you), particularly in terms of new eating and entertainment opportu nities. Sill other advertisers offer chances to restart those lofty New Years resolu tions youve likely, according to numer ous national surveys, blown already. One advertiser actually started 2013 spectacularly: 360 Furniture Consignments (18340 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-627-3148). The companys director, Dave Widdas, reports that theyve sold out their entire inventory means, however, the store is in need of beautiful and unusual furniture and accessories. Perhaps yours, if you have some high-quality gently used stuff youd like to sell. Send photos to Dave@360Furnitureconsignments.com, or call for an appointment to have him view your entire estate. After spending part of January freezing our bums off at Sundance Film Festival, the crew at Wynwoods innovative O Cinema (90 NW 29th St., 305-571-9970) returned to start this month, February 1-3, with South val, Filmgate. Readers who hang out at the BT s bulk drops, waiting for copies hot off the presses, may even be in time to catch the last day of the festival, produced with partner Indie Cinema Club Miami. If the fest is already over, though, O has events later in February, cinemas popular OMG! Dinner & A Movie series, As Luck Would Have It stars Selma Hayek; dinner stars mul tiple courses from Harrys Pizzeria, and pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith has a midmovie treat for patrons, too. Go to www.o-cinema for more info, including menu. At Monsignor Edward Pace High School (15600 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-7223), the many celebrations offered during 2013s Catholic Schools Week ended on February 2. But much of the annual events purpose is to remind students/prospective stuof a Catholic-school education. Pace continues doing that with an announcement from athletic director Joe Zaccheo: Three members of the schools noted football team will sign Division 1 national letters of intent on signing day, February 6. The guys are Anthony Walker Jr. (Northwestern University), Robert Jones (Northern Illinois University), and Logan Oce (Western Michigan University). Congrats, guys! If your goals for the still-new year involve a career that will help shape the community, Miamis Knight Founda tion (200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-908-2600) can help talented creatives, entrepreneurs, and other agents of change who have an innovative, outside-the-box idea. Grant submissions for the latest Knight Arts Challenge will be accepted February 4-March 4. Dont know how to write a grant application? Knight Foundations very thorough website (www.KnightArts. org) will walk you through it with advice about making your application stand out, info on past winners ideas, live web chats, and more. NANA isnt your grandmother, but the Neighbors and Neighbors Association (180 NE 62nd St., 305-756-0605). It was established in 1995 to provide assistance to small mom and pop businesses. Todays programs to help start-up and existing businesses in underserved communities throughout Miami-Dade County, providing grants and/or grant application assistance, advocacy or referrals, implementing economic development, and aiding small businesses with business permits and licenses, as well (workshops and one-on-one training in preparing daily sales systems and necescomprehensive rundown. Speaking of mom-and-pop businesses, unique seafood market/restaurant/lounge Fish Fish (13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124), opened less than two months ago by a husband/wife team, has already implemented some Continued on page 26BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

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26 Our Sponsors: F ebruaryEBR UARY 20 13 concept. Thanks to market customers who were coming in early to buy fresh originally dinner-only restaurant now has lunch specials. A Monday-Friday happy hour now features $6 bar bites. And the Saturday-night-only DJ now plays on Fridays, too. A February special: live Maine lobsters are only $12 lb. for 1.25-1.5 pounders (less than crappy defrosted lobster tails at the supermarket) and $18 lb. for 3-8 pound monsters other markets dont even carry. Brian Carter at Majestic Properties (305582-2424) has four beautiful listings at Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex. Measuring 540, 670, 850, and 895 square feet, the spaces are right above the BT so youll have some mighty interesting neighbors. The Station is also home to Soyka, Andiamo Pizza, Sushi Siam, the News Lounge, and Steel Gym, among other tenants, so youll have plenty to eat and drink, plus a place to work it off. For a private viewing, contact Ryan York at 305-776-0920. How about some beautiful promo extra-glossy, UV-coated, thick ones for the same price as other printers cheesy discount models? Welcome new advertiser ClubFlyers (2300 NW 7th Ave., to see the companys full line, which includes banners, CD/DVD inserts, posters, menus, more. Design your own items with the companys easy-to-use template, or use their custom designers. And this month, BT readers get 15% off any order with code: BISCAYNE. No one likes to think about their kids being sick or injured. But if it happens, think of new advertiser Miami Childrens Hospital and its brandnew Midtown Outpatient Center (3915 Biscayne Blvd., 786-624-6000). The award-winning hospitals outpost in BT territory offers urgent care, diagnostic services, and rehabilitation, with more services soon. For urgent care, you never need an appointment. MCH is renowned for willingness on the part of all staff to conditions, crowded or no; and sensitivity to the feelings of small, vulnerable creatures as well as their parents. Concerned about small, vulner able creatures that arent human? The Humane Society of Greater Miami announces an event that both parentgratifying: a Walk for the Animals fundraiser, presented by Pet Super market, on February 23 in downtowns Bayfront Park. Check-in is 8:30-10:00 a.m., and the one-mile stroll, which can be done either with or without a dog, is from 10:00 a.m. to noon. A $50 donation for individual walkers, $100 for families (up to two adults and two kids) saves abandoned animals lives, and participants get T-shirts and goodie bags. Theres also a pet adoption arena. Visit www.humanesocietymiami.org or call 305-749-1825 to register. For walking combined with a hit of culture and considerable high style, check out The Art Experience (www. TheArtExperience.com). Founder/CEO Susana Baker offers unique curated art explorations in several of Miamis key artsy neighborhoods. The next one in BT territory, on February 9 (from 4:30-9:00 p.m.), is a Wynwood/Design District Second Saturday gallery walk with artloving, legendary drag artist Elaine Lancaster. The $85 per person price includes signature sparkling wines and stylish snacks. Reserve at 305-767-5000. If youd rather ride than walk, you cant do it at the above animal event or art galleries. But motorcyclists and scooter-riders will want to know that Adrenaline Motorbikes formerly in Wynwood, has moved to 830 NE 79th Street Ride into the new location on February 9, noon to 3:00 p.m., when the shop, famed for its maintenance and repairs of all rice-burner makes/models, will be celebrating the move with a free BBQ-and-beer bash. If you cant ride in because your hog (or whatever scooters are nicknamed piglets?) is busted, dont panic. Adrenaline still offers free pick-up of your bike from downtown to NE 135th Street, and east to west from SoBe to I-95. For those whod rather ride the waves than the streets, Keystone Point Marina (1950 NE 135th St., 305-940-6236), serving boaters for more than 50 years but always keeping up with state-of-the-art improvements, has big news: an awesome new forklift theyve nicknamed mahi-mahi). Drop by the Miami Beach Convention Center during the upcoming Miami Boat Show, 2/14-2/18, to see the BizBuzzContinued from page 24 Architectural gem! Ultramoderne 5-story boutique residence right on the bay with a fabulous bayfront pool. This 1398 sq ft cutting-edge corner unit has huge indoor/outdoor living areas with high ceilings and lots of light! Breathtaking views of Miami river and Biscayne bay from this 10th oor, 958sq ft bi-level loft. Watch the mega yachts right from your balcony! 1be/1.5 ba. Recently renovated 10-unit multifamily building surrounded by single family homes in quiet little Havana residential neighborhood. Close to stores and transportation. Fully rented. Cap rate 8%. Great upside potentialThe rapid decrease of South Florida real estate inventory has slowed down thanks to an much needed inux of new luxury condominiums. Sales volume is also slowing down but is still up 24.6% compared to the same moth last year for condos, and 42% for single family homes. Condo prices have jumped 24% since October 2011! 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! 5-unit multifamily property in red-hot Biscayne corridor close to midtown and design district. All units recently updated. Great income producing, great upside potential close to the Design District; 100% occupancy. 10% Cap Rate Recently 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%

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boat-handling machine on display at the Wiggins Forklift booth. choice (or shopping for a golfer), welcome new advertiser Palm Beach Golf Center whose just-opened third location, luckily, is located not way up north in Palm Beach but at 14791 Biscayne Blvd. (305-949-7030). The store contains the largest selection of golf products in town thousands of products, and all the most popular brands. Whew. All that walking, scootthinking about it has made us hungry. Which means the ultimate on-the-go food: pizza. And you can score both huge whole pies (15, 20, and 24) and substantial slices for street eating at new advertiser Evios Pizza & Grill (12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699). The grill part of the name means that those who arent up for pizza have numerand chips, an unusual Cuban sandwich (Tampa-style, with salami as well as the usual ham and pork), and, though we hate to admit it, a lamb/beef gyro thats so tasty we might stop ordering pizza. Well, maybe not till another few dozen stops at Laurenzos Italian Center (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-9456381) for their wood-oven pies. Owner David Laurenzo says that original pizzaiolo Carlo has been replaced by Don Vito, whose artisan dough, sauces, and toppings produce pies as authentic as always, according to diner feedback. Ramen noodle bowls have been on the menu, then off, then on again at the new advertiser that opened, just a few months ago, as Machiya Ramen Noodle House and almost immediately became just Machiya (3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025). Dont be confused. The place has always been more of a con temporary izakaya an Asian gastro pub with a wide variety of hot and cold small plates, plus sushi than a noodle joint. Add striking dcor and a happy hour with bargain bar bites ($1 spicy crispy wings, $2 panko curry buns, more) plus 2-for-1 drinks, and you have an eatery that has been popular from Day One as both after-work hangout and date/party place. Road trip, anyone? For major meat lovers, new restaurant advertiser Siga la Vaca in Coral Gables (121 Alhambra Plaza, 305-448-2511) is well worth the drive. The original 1993 concept of this wildly popular Argentinean chain was to all-inclusive with none of the usual annoying surprise extra charges for everything but the major meat plate. At is included, from salad bar through grill choices (many different cuts of pork, chicken, or custom-cooked beef) to dessert and beverage. Bring in this issues ad for a 20% discount. February also brings a spectacular special from Thai/sushi spot Siam Rice (7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516): two bottles of imported Singha beer for just $5. And thats not just during dinner but at lunchtime, Monday-Saturday till for $7.99 lunch specials, including beef, pork, chicken, or tofu prepared a dozen different ways, plus seven noodle and three fried-rice dishes. See siamricethai andsushi.com for complete menus. If youre looking for a very special Valentines Day dinner, reserve, as soon as possible, at Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus (1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002). Chef/owner/gracious host Alex Richter dinner for two, nicely priced at $99 per couple, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. To add dancing to the dinner, Aventuras Fred Astaire Dance Studio (18835 Biscayne Blvd., 305-692-5800) has scheduled a big Valentines Day party on February 14, starting at 8:30 p.m. Dress code, says manager Maria Blazevic, is dress to impress. For those who want to impress with their smooth dance moves, shes also of fering one free private lesson to new customers who sign on beforehand. Call for an appointment. Finally, heres a romantic idea for those more into sitting than dancing: tickets to the Florida Grand Opera (305-854-1643), whose performance season at the Arsht Center goes into full swing this month with two shows that are on almost everyones list of Greatest Hits: Mozarts The Magic Flute and Bell inis La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) which feature some of the most gorgeous soprano singing, spectacular costumes, and wicked females in the opera world. There arent any performances on Valentines Day itself, but romance shouldnt be just for one day of the month. Go to www.fgo.org for tix. Something special coming up at your busi com. For BT advertisers only.

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There was once a time, not long ago, when tracking down a vegetar ian meal in Miami meant heading to hole-in-the-wall health-food stores or breaking out your frayed Moosewood Cookbook for a go at your own tofu sloppy joes. Today, to the delight of veggie lovers and foodies alike, meatless options are literally popping up all over town. There are fast-food options and haute cuisine and then theres Love and Vegetables, a pop-up caf that showcases fresh, local produce with a fresh economic twist. Love and Vegetables is the culinary child of Pennsylvania transplants Keith Kalmanowicz and Melisa Phifer. But before delving into the characters, lets set todays scene. Local and organic have made their way into mainstream culture, and going vegetarian, even vegan (no animal products whatsoever), is not just for hippies or the old-school Coconut Grove crowd anymore. Financial and environmental concerns have given rise to folks foraging from home gardens and frequenting farmers markets. Interest in fair-trade practices, factory farming, and carbon footprint are no longer relegated to the domain of minds of the Rush Limbaugh crowd. Miami is still no Portland, Oregon, when it comes to green lifestyle the citys not picking up compost along with recywhether born of trend or consciousness, its a great time to veg-out in Miami. In fact, its a great time to eat across the culinary spectrum. Miamis food Weve gone from a wannabe foodie town Top chefs are not only breezing through town for the South Florida Wine and Food Festival (held this month), theyre setting up additional shops. Take Jos Andrs (The Bazaar), Andrew Carmellini (The Dutch), and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (J&G Grill), who now have locations here. As for chefs/ owners who call Miami home, along the Biscayne Corridor, the legendary Norman Van Aken launched Tuyo (sitting atop Mi ami-Dade Colleges new Miami Culinary Institute) and this past year Daniel Serfers Blue Collar touched down squarely. Mean while perennials from Michelle Bernstein (Michys) and Michael Schwartz (Mi chaels Genuine Food & Drink) continue to thrive as freshly minted eateries from the Design District (MC Kitchen) to Wynwood (Bloom) trend solidly. Add to this the food-truck scene, which persists beyond fad. relocated here to stake his claim in the South Florida for new vegan venture. But thats not true. Keiths not even a vegan. And Miami was initially meant roasted beet salad (with orange vinaigrette and crushed pecans) and papaya star fruit chutney (with pickled mustard seeds, cumin, and fennel seeds) at what have now become twice-monthly (at minimum) gatherings. Even if you dont have money, youre welcome to join in. Everybody can eat at Love and Vegetables. Keiths mission, as he puts it: To feed as many people regardless of means healthy, farmfresh, yummy and delicious vegan food. He follows standards set forth by the One World Everybody Eats Foundation, rant model, adding his own pop-up twist. .Keiths story reads like many sickof-the-rat-race tales, with dashes of fate and destiny thrown in for good balance. He hails from Dupont, Penn sylvania, a small town outside Scranton. Although his parents ran a grocery/deli called Kalmanowiczs, which had been in the family for more than 100 years (Keith worked there since age 14 slicing meats and stocking shelves), the food industry was nowhere on his career radar. college and bouncing from major to major until, after seven years, at around age 26, he dropped out and headed to San Francisco. That was in 2005, when start-ups were booming. Keith says he thrived in sales and marketing, building and building his rsum, salary offer, he realized something was miss recalls, and you ask, Is this all there is? It hit him that he hadnt seen his family in four years. So he scrapped his life in San Francisco and headed back East. He took something important home in San Francisco, he says. Missionstyle burritos, fusion food, Asian fusion, French-Vietnamese. I didnt even know cooked delicately and properly, with great technique. It just opened up my palate. Back in Pennsylvania, Keith got a job in sales for an online company. At night he cooked meals with his dad. He began eating more vegetables. And he took up yoga to relieve persistent back pain. a thousand different ideas a minute and I was proud of that, but I was living in the clouds. I had no structure, no grounding. taught me patience. It taught me that it was okay where I am, and through regular practice, Ill get to be where I want to be. Keith says yoga gave him goals to work toward and a method to get there. He started living so in the moment that he quit his sales job, which he hated, and enrolled in culinary school. By this time, Kalmanowiczs deli and grocery had been sold, so it was too late to carry on the family tradition. But he found his passion, what he wanted to do in life: cook. Continued on page 30Kitchen QuestionA culinary experiment is under way in Miami: Can a talented and passionate chef survive on donations?By Harriette YahrPhotos by Silvia Ros

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The end of this chapter in Keiths story owes a lot to his girlfriend at the time, Melisa Phifer, whom he met on eHarmony in his epiphanic yoga days. She wanted to move to Costa Rica. Keith Miami to save up money, learn un poquito de espaol, then be on their way. Time, as they say, moves slowly in South Florida. For three years now, Miami has been Keiths home. Hes been fortunate to learn from some of Miamis best chefs: Sam Gorenstein (My Ceviche), Daniel Ganem (the Raleigh), and powerhouse Michael Schwartz. Its Gorenstein whom he cred him at BLT Steak, even when his knife skills sucked and he was ridiculously en. (I dropped out after one semester of culinary school, in northeastern Pennsyl vania, where peoples highest ambitions are to work at Applebees, Keith jokes.) It was Keiths ambition and willing ness to learn that impressed Gorenstein. He came to the interview very humble re garding his kitchen skills, Gorenstein re counts. I knew right away that he needed the opportunity. I could see the smile on Keith recalls cutting a lot of beets and sharpening his knife skills under wanted to learn something new every single day, remembers Ganem. I think thats what made him grow. During a break in Costa Rica (Keith Keiths zeal for farm-fresh food got hold of him, and he returned to Miami with the ambition of working for Michael Schwartz, the prince of local and knowyour-source cooking. By this time Keiths rsum had some heft he knew how to slice, dice, and brunoise. He got a gig working the oven at Harrys Pizzeria in the Design District (a Michael Schwartz restaurant named after his son), and a few months later he was in the kitchen at Michaels Genuine, working the hot line and contributing soup and sandwich specials. Keith was very creative and passionate, says Schwartz. He was always interested in using the freshest ingredients, many of which he foraged himself locally. About the foraging, most prescient was the day chef de cuisine Bradley Herron offered Keith a job as produce buyer. Ellie Groden, Michael Schwartzs assistant, soon dubbed Keith their inhouse cook/neighborhood farmer/goat whisperer/produce forager. Heres a guy who jokes he hadnt eaten a vegetable until age 30, and now he was out at 5:30 a.m. sourcing produce, getting to know vendors, and being schooled in produce quality. Keith says he owes an enormous amount to the ine. I had to buy two to three bushels of brussel sprouts a day during peak season, and if I walked in the door with the wrong size, they were thrown at my head from across the kitchen, he says. Then getting serious: Working at Michaels, I learned the South Florida growing season. I learned what to purchase to upkeep production. I now know what to buy based on umpteen criteria of shape, size, color, taste, smell, and touch. Then one day in January 2012, in what will later be seen as a turning bicycles for kids in Little Haiti, needed parts for his makeshift bike shop. Keith and Melisa decided to throw a fundraiser, and Love and Vegetables was born.A from lovers to mentors to the place we call home. Keith and Melisa live on Earth-n-Us Farm, Ray Chassers urban oasis in Little Haiti that houses a motley crew of animals (goats, emus, and more), and people (about 25 in total), and an amaz ing organic garden (from collards to hot peppers to you name it). Its an educational and residential inner-city marvel spanning three acres, complete with indoor and outdoor kitchens and a multi-level tree house, all designed with the aim now going on 35 years and care for the earth and each other. Earth-n-Us is the kind of place a guy might set up a makeshift bike co-op for local kids who otherwise would have no way to get their wheels rolling, and its the kind of place some other folks might transform into a magical, candlelit wonderland for a pop-up dinner. For Matrices fundraiser, Melisa took on general management, they got the word out via Facebook and by knocking on doors (to reach those not into the Internet), and friend/colleague/tree house resident Chantelle Sookram joined Keith to cook up a gourmet vegan meal that included calalou soup and raw zucchini pasta with purple basil pesto, sourced from Allapattah Market (NW 12th Avenue and 22nd Street) and Earth-n-Us. Then they watched the donations pour in. It was very successful, says Melisa. Friends of the farm brought out grown childrens bikes and parts, and donated money for the purchase of tools and neces sary parts. The response made Keith and Melisa think: Why not throw more events incorporating produce from local gardens to raise money for other worthy causes? That was just over a year ago. To date, Love and Vegetables has fed hundreds and negotiated its share of growing pains. There are monthly dinners at Earth-n-Us (7630 NE 1st Ave.) and at Lagniappe House (3425 NE 2nd Ave.), a chilled-out venue near Midtown Miami. Theyve run pop-ups in Wynwood for the monthly art walks, collaborations at Teenas Pride and Robert Borek Farms (Homestead) and Bee Heaven Farm (the Redland), and theyve served up privately catered meals. Its juncture time for Keith. As with any start-up, its time to take stock. Whats working and whats not? What about long-term goals? Back in November, Keith cut his hours at Michaels Genuine, leaving the kitchen to concentrate on buying produce. Soon after, he Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 29 Continued on page 32

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WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM FOR SALE $169,000La 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 $165,000 BISCAYNE 212121 N BAYSHORE DR # PH1420, EDGEWATER Updated 1 bed / 1.5 bath with panoramic intracoastal view just across from the beach, as well as minutes to everything. Close to shopping, restaurants, and malls.TRAFALGAR TOWERS1410 S OCEAN DR # 805, HALLANDALE PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $400,000Amazing 1 bed / 1.5 newly renovated Penthouse on 14th floor with beautiful bay views, steps from park, private tennis court and pool. Prime location, on the bay near the Venetian Causeway, between Design District and Performing Arts Center.23 BISCAYNE BAY601 NE 23 ST # 1806, EDGEWATERSpectacular Penthouse 3 bed / 2 bath corner unit on the 18th floor with wrap around terrace. Amazing skyline and bay views. Modern kitchen, stainless steel appliances, cherry laminate wood floors, granite countertops and Berber carpet in bedrooms. FOR SALE $775,000Amazing South East corner unit with endless views of the vibrant city, tip of river, and bay. Unit has many upgrades with open floor plan. Amenities includes 2 swimming pools, jacuzzi, 2 Party Rooms, 2 Gyms, a convenience store and 24 hrs security valet and concierge.ONE MIAMI WEST325 S BISCAYNE BL # 1123, DOWNTOWN MIAMI Linette GuerraManaging Broker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $949,000Spectacular 2 bed + den / 2 bath unit at the Bentley Bay condominium. Incredible breathtaking views of bay, Star Island, Miami skyline and South Beach. Unit has been finished with polished concrete throughout.THE BENTLEY BAY520 WEST AV # 802, SOUTH BEACHLinette GuerraManaging Broker 305-915-0148 Shonagh AdelmanRealtor Associate 718-388-4948 Joseph GhanimeRealtor Associate 786-877-3338 Mildred CastilloRealtor Associate 305-244-0802 FOR SALE $250,000Grand and spacious 12ft ceiling loft with enclosed bedroom. This one of a kind unit features a European kitchen and cherry wood floors. Located in desirable neighborhood of Edgewater, just a few blocks from Midtown, and Downtown Miami.UPTOWN LOFTS2275 BISCAYNE BL # 807, EDGEWATERLuis DevotoRealtor Associate 305-992-4255 THE SILVIA 225 27 ST # B, MIAMI BEACHAndres GomezRealtor Associate 305-401-1961Exclusive 2 bed / 2.5 bath condo one block from the ocean. This boutique building has been completely restored to its beauty. Unit features stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wood floors, 9ft ceilings, and new eco friendly high impact windows. FOR SALE $399,000 FOR SALE $220,000Totally remodeled unit, be the first one to live in this great 1 / 1.5 unit. White porcelain floors throughout, brand new kitchen, and bathrooms. The building includes many amenities for your enjoyment.ARLEN HOUSE300 BAYVIEW DR # 411, SUNNY ILSES BEACHRudy CastroRealtor Associate 305-310-9656 LA PLAYAPROPERTIES

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stopped altogether to focus his efforts on Love and Vegetables and his goal of Last month Keith was off to Brunswick, New Jersey, to attend the One World Everybody Eats Foundation annual summit, a powwow for activists and restaurateurs committed to the pay-what-you-can business and life model. Keith was a featured speaker, sharing his pop-up process. Everyone compared notes on how they can, and do, feed people regardless of means. And its possible, not just idealistic. On a corporate level, you can read about Panera Bread, which now has four pay-what-you-can Panera Cares community cafs in operation around the nation. And rocker John Bon Jovi joined the humanitarian effort, opening a JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey. There are plenty of skeptics who say a restaurant cant possibly survive on what amounts to gift-economics, but havent oddsmakers and visionaries always butted paradigms? Keith may be the rare pay-what-youcan entrepreneur in town, but he doesnt pretend to be the Big Kahuna of the vegan movement. In fact there is not a lot of ego in his motivation. He registers as a self-avowed idea man with a desire to berant love of food. This guy just loves the worms on a basil leaf. And he admits he has a lot to learn, especially when it comes to organization. When Melisa and Keith parted romantic ways, Melisas management skills left the project. Theyre both still living at Earth-n-Us Farm, though separately. Melisa is currently farm director. There have been bumps in the road for Love and Vegetables as Keith adjusts can read all about it on his blog. Transparency a quality close to the heart of the local food movement is also his personal mantra. Some people say Im too open and I share too much, he muses. Other people gravitate toward that. It creates this atmosphere of vulnerability to put yourself out there. But thats just me, I dont want to pretend. From his emotional struggles to his own try at veganism to the Instagrams of local Kohlrabi and heirloom tomatoes stuff he gets so hyped up about its hard calling, which seems embedded in his DNA everything is on the table. Transparency has served Keith well. Theres an honesty that permeates Love and Vegetables, from the actual honor system (you are in charge of paying) to mea culpas about running late, not Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34

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rained, or realizing there wasnt a freezer at Lagniappe House, so the tremblique a coconut custard dessert (with Keiths local strawberry spin) wasnt going to get plated that night. These pop-up happenings have a never know far in advance what dishes will be served; Keith hand-picks whatever produce is ripe and available as close to the event as possible. Recipes rarely have been tested, a notable corn chowder that Keith developed at Michaels Genuine. Usually dishes hit (the eggplant with dal and the lemonbasil green beans were two of tastiest vegan dishes Ive ever had) but some times they miss (raw-food night comes latke with apple papaya chutney, and the chocolate avocado pudding). Beyond the food is the positive feeling at Love and Vegetables events. Pretense is at a low. Imagine youre hanging out with friends in your own backyard, and its catered, and you dont have to do the dishes. Unless you want. In the spirit of pay-what-you-can, youre free to trade what you can. Want to work for your meal? Helping out in the kitchen is always an option. Its also a necessity. Key main ingredients in Love and Vegetables are the volunteers, the community of people who prop it up from the front to the back of the house. Keith points out Alison Krochina, Gloria OByrne, and Maurice Pierre as vital. Craig Simon, Diego Luis Fe liciano-Lopez, and Chantelle Sookram have served as co-chefs. Chantelle was a mainstay of Love and Vegetables until very recently, offering a yin to Keiths yang and cooking up a standout kale and chickpea soup.So what about the numbers? How is the pay-what-you-can model working? Keith says hes always made into his cause. People are coming, two dinners have sold out weeks in advance, the happy customers. Keith says theres lots of movement, but not necessarily in the right direction. The people turning up for the dinners, for the most part, can afford to pay. But he also wants to attract people who cant. I walk a few blocks in any direction of a dinner, and there are people who could Writing this, I wondered if critics of the vegan lifestyle might ready their pens. Ive been on this vegetarian/ vegan path for a chunk of time, more than 30 years, and Ive dug into heaps of comments on the New York Times website whenever meatless recipes are innocently offered and you can feel the Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36

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judgments waft off your screen. It cuts all ways. Surely there are gluten-free advocates, lacto-vegetarians (eats dairy), ovo-vegetarians (eats eggs), raw foodists, vegans, seagans (vegans who eat seafood), as well as steak lovers and Miamiterians (just seeing if youre read ing) who think their way is the best way. The great news is Love and Vegself-righteous, proselytizing group. Love and Vegetables is about celebration. These are chefs, after all. They love to cook and share their food with everyone. Thats not to say there isnt a point of view Love and Vegetables embodies. There is. Its an agenda, in a way, of their two main ingredients: love and vegetables. Keith prioritizes seasonal, local, and sus of fresh, plant-based food, and wants everyone to have access, regardless of means. Think of it as low-impact dining. If its a good idea to choose actions that cause the least harm, that consume self and others, including animals and the environment all the while being tasty and fun and free-form enough to be inspiring Love and Vegetables comes close to the ideal. seems to be right on cue. Even U.S. News & World Report about as mainstream as you can get, is now pushing the value of plant-based diets. It used to be that Dennis Kucinich was the freaky vegetarian politician, but today former President Bill Clinton is championing Harvard is backing up claims with data. Pop culture has embraced meatless eating, from best-sellers like Skinny Bitch to documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc. shining a light on industrial agriculture and meat production. In our Biscayne Corridor neighborhoods, even a few fast-food joints a good indicator of reach like Chipotle, Sakaya Kitchen incorporate some form of local or ethically raised products. And there are more veggie-centric, independent restaurants along the Corridor than ever before, among them Mi Vida Caf, Garden of Eatin, Namaste, Here Comes the Sun, Shing Wang Vegetarian, Green House Organic, Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin, and newcomer Guarapo Organic Juice Bar. There are also farms where you can pick your own. Keiths mainstays nearby include Little Haiti Community Garden (5804 NE 2nd Ave.) and farmer Muriel Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38

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FREEMOVIEVERYWEDNESDAYSOUNDSCAPE CINEMASERIES SOUNDSCAPE CINEMA SERIES rf nftbn(Movies are subject to change) f

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Olivaress Little River Market Garden (8290 NE 4th Ave.), in addition to his own backyard. (The Urban Oasis Project, which bolsters local gardens and farmers markets, is also worth checking out.) For a rundown of veg-centric offerings, visit MeatlessMiami.com (operated by Lauren Lolo Reskin of indie record store and vegan coffee shop Sweat Records) and VegSouthFlorida.com. For the adventurous, Earth-n-Us hosts a vegan potluck every Thursday. So theres a burgeoning vegetarian/ vegan scene in Miami, and it has been keeping Keith busy. January included a Taco Night at Lagniappe House and a Love and Tomatoes fundraiser at Teenas Pride. As part of his sharethe-vegetable-love ethos, Chef Keith took time out to be Farmer Keith for students at Phillis Wheatley Elemen tary School in Overtown, assisting Ellie Groden with maintaining a school garden as part of Michael Schwartzs Chefs Move to Schools community outreach, an outgrowth of Michelle Obamas Lets Move! campaign. Keith was energetically journeying along this path planning his future, mitment when all of a sudden an obstacle appeared. The story took a turn, Love and Vegetables was put to the test. Chantelle Sookram stepped away from the project. She says shes grateful that Keith introduced her to world of vegan cooking, but its time to move on. Love and Vegetables is a huge commitment, she says, and its way too stressful to continue doing for something thats not yours. Shes now working at My Ceviche and is style (shes only 22 years old). Keith adapted quickly. Im all about happiness and outrageous joy, he says, and if Chantelles not feeling it, thats okay.Following Chantelles departure, Keith canceled his January dinner, planned in honor of his trip to the One World Everybody Eats conference. What this meant besides not getting to taste versions of New Jersey-themed house-fermented sauerkraut was that money Keith thought hed use to travel to the conference would not materialize. says hes never taken a penny from his events and had four dollars in quarters to his name. How would he get to New Jersey? And in four days? He talked about cobbling together some cash to take a bus, asking friends, but everyone he knew was broke. I asked him if he ever thought of sponsors thats Kitchen QuestiontContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40

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something he plans to investigate. I asked him how he feels about asking others for help thats not something hes very comfortable doing. We talk about the idea that, sometimes, people like to help others, and that others may even want to support him and his aim to do good in the world. About an hour later, I received an e-mail linking to Rally.org, a crowdfunding website. There I see a page titled, Living on a Prayer: New Jersey or Bust! Its Keith. I need help to travel to this donations, I will cook one meal made with love to everyone who donates. It was stunning to watch the support pour in. Fourteen hours later, Keith reached his goal of $500 for transportation to the event. I love what you are doing for this community! Delicious, nutritious, and full of love. Its a beautiful thing, wrote supporter Chira Cassel. I hope you get well over your goal, you deserve it. And people kept giving. Keith did top over his goal. Bring home more vegetable wisdom for our Miami family, added Nicole Davis. A day later Keith booked his ticket. He was off to New Jersey. Chef Sam Gorenstein says Keith has come a long way in the past three years: He doesnt lose his focus easily. He drew a path that he wants to pursue and follow, and personally thats very respectable. Gorenstein believes Love and Vegetables is a great project. Its based on his beliefs, he says. The way he sees and feels his cooking it speaks very highly of him and what he wants to accomplish one day. Chef Daniel Ganem concurs: He puts so much love into the project. When ever you see cooks like that, you see them grow because of going through thier own Keith certainly has a lot of people rooting for him and his infectious, unwavering belief in his quest. Hes going to do great, either at Love and Vegetables or in his future, says Ganem. He has the passion and drive to be better and better. So what does the future hold? Will pay-what-you-can Love and Vegetables Community Caf in Miami? Ive surrendered to the belief in altruism, says Keith, and that by doing so, everything Learn more about Love and Vegetables, and be part of the next chapter, at www. LoveandVeggies.com. Upcoming events include a Valentines dinner on February 16 and a Super Bowl Sunday bash. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 38 Continued on page 48

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42 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORNo Credible EvidenceAventura police investigated our story and concluded this: UnfoundedBy Jim Mullin BT EditorIn his story Tase the Season (December 2012), Biscayne Times con tributor Derek McCann recounted an incident that took place at the Zales jewelry store in Aventura Mall. McCann had gone to Zales this past November 8 to make a purchase using his newly opened Zales credit account. When Zales employees became suspi cious that McCann might be engaged in some form of identity theft or criminal to the store. In his story, McCann de scribed a frightening scene that suggested gross overreaction by the police. with the Aventura Police Department, an investigation was opened, led by Capt. Bryan Pegues, the departments internal affairs investigator. edited for style and space, but otherwise appears here verbatim.This complaint was originally submitted via the Internet on November 9, 2012. Upon receiving the complaint, Sergeant Brinson met with Mr. McCann on November 15 to determine if he could identify any of anything more serious occurred. Mr. McCann reviewed the employee ing employees: #61 (Terry Scott) as the person making the comment about the knife; #4 (Jason Fernandez) as the person who pointed the Taser at him; #48 (Nelson Reyes) as the supervising After her interview with McCann, Sergeant Brinson determined that the allegations only involved unprofessional behavior. Since one of the allegations was against Sgt. Terry Scott, a decision was made to assign the complaint to Capt. Mike Bentolila. Sergeant Scott is assigned to the Operations Division, which falls under Captain Bentolilas supervision. On November 26, 2012, Captain Bentolila contacted McCann and informed him that he was looking into the complaint. After speaking to McCann, Bentolila spoke with Michelle Snyder, the manager of Zales Jewelers, located inside the Aventura Mall. She told Bentolila that she was in the store during the incident and observed an of added that she heard the Taser make a crackling sound as if it were being discharged in a drive-stun mode. After hearing this comment, Bentolila asked Snyder to provide him with a written statement describing the incident. According to Bentolila, she agreed and told him that she would call him when the statement was ready. Based on this new allegation an improper discharge/display of the Taser a decision was made to reclassify the incident as an Internal Affairs Investigation and assign it to me. I received the complaint on 11/26/2012, and conducted the following investigative steps: the manager at Zales. She told me that she saw some type of light emanating from observed an actual electrical discharge. I asked her if her statement was ready and if she could provide me with the in-store video. She told me that she would have to Continued on page 44 Continued on page 46By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterLocal restaurant entrepreneur John Kunkel has been very busy. Within the past 14 months, the founder and CEO of 50 Eggs opened the highly regarded Yardbird restaurant in South Beach and sold his Lime Fresh Mexican Grill chain for $24 million to a much bigger chain, Ruby Tuesday. He then used the proceeds to create three new restaurants: Khong River House and the future Kungfuzi in South Beach, and the soon-to-open Swine Southern Table & Bar in Coral Gables. Kunkel also acquired an advertis ing agency called the Southern Brand Collective, so in addition to running restaurants, 50 Eggs also offers brand con ception, marketing, interior design, even construction services for other companies. Now Kunkel is embarking on a new project: transforming the 74-year-old, three-story Sunshine Motel at 7350 Bis cayne Blvd. into 50 Eggs new home. The building itself was really just the perfect space for what we wanted to do, Kunkel says. It completes the vision of a new headquarters and our test kitchen concept. When the building is ready, 50 Eggs Blvd. to the Sunshine Motels two top become the test kitchen, a space where Zales video courtesy of Aventura Police Department Photo by Michael Pisarri 50 Eggs in Search of a HomeThat would be John Kunkels company, and he found just the right place in the MiMo District

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterWalmart and Midtown Miamis largest property owner have put aside their differences to southern end of a 56-acre community boutique stores, and corporate retail. The new design includes street-level shops and new street furniture and landscaping on public sidewalks. However, Walmart, which has been proposing various plans for a Midtown Miami store for at least a year, is still unpopular among many Biscayne Corridor residents who fear that the store will destroy the areas unique character and kill off anything that may compete with the mega-discount retailer. The latest plans call for a 196,600-square-foot complex between NE 31st Street to the north, N. Miami Avenue to the west, Midtown Boulevard to the east, and NE 29th Street to the south. The project could come before the City of Miamis Urban Design Review Board for approval as early as February set, says Luciana Gonzalez, special assistant to the citys planning director. Walmart executives hope to build a hiring center on the site this year, commence construction in the summer, and open by 2014. We believe a Walmart in Midtown can be part of the solution for folks who need a job or want more choices when it comes to their shopping needs, says Steven Restivo, Walmarts senior director of community affairs, via e-mail, adding that the store will employ about 400 construction workers and 350 associates. But Grant Stern, a real estate analyst and mortgage broker who started an online petition against Walmart last year, says it will be a disaster for Midtown Theres no reason for them to get what they ask for, says Stern, president of Morningside Mortgage and an Edgewater resident who frequently visits Midtown Miami. Its not up to the citys code. The largest chunk of the proposed complex is a 158,300-square-foot Walmart superstore designed by the Associates. There will also be a parking garage with 560 spaces, vehicular access at NE 31st Street and N. Miami Avenue, and a loading dock facing NE 31st Street wide enough for four delivery trucks. And since the Walmart is a superstore, itll sell just about everything tools, clothes, groceries, electronics, furni ture, jewelry, cosmetics at prices the company expects will be lower than any other store in the vicinity. But if the Walmart is built, you wont be able to see it while strolling along on Midtown Boulevard, the northsouth street one block east of N. Miami Avenue. Thats because a 16,300-squarefoot retail building designed by local architect Bernard Zyscovich (who created Midtown Miamis master plan) will be developed along the two-lane street. Dubbed the Liner Shops at Midtown, the pedestrian-friendly commercial operation will be developed, owned, and operated by Midtown Opportunities, a 22 acres of Midtown land, including the three existing condominium buildings. Of those 22 acres, 16 are currently vacant, and include parcels across Midtown Bou levard from the proposed Walmart. Until recently, Midtown Opportunities strongly opposed Walmarts project. Deborah Samuel, senior vice president of Midtown Opportunities, says Liner Shops will protect the integrity with fashionable restaurants and boutique stores. Were going to try and bring in something different, casual, urban chic, and cool, says Samuel, wife of original Midtown Miami co-developer Michael Samuel. Therell be a little something for everyone. The Liner Shops will be built on an easement that Midtown Opportunities happens to own. In its previous plans, Walmart wanted to build a ramp for a parking garage on top of that easement something that lawyers for Midtown Opportunities didnt appreciate. After residents, the citys Planning and Zoning Appeals Board rejected Walmarts earlier proposal this past July. Stern says the Liner Shops are a step in the right direction, but feels that Midtown Opportunities was required to compromise owing to a reciprocal easement agreement attached to the properties. Midtown Opportunities is a healthy actor in the community, Stern adds. They follow the rules, even when they wish they didnt have to. Samuel, however, insists her associates were never against Walmart being built in Midtown Miami. They just wanted to protect the integrity of Midtown Boulevard as a street reserved for unique restaurants and mom-and-pop shops. Midtown Boulevard is supposed to be a buffer between the big-box retail on one side and residential on the other, and I think it works, she says. At the very least, the Liner Shops will buffer 6 Midtown Miami, a 33-story condo tower with 398 residential units and 12 commercial spaces that Midtown Opportunities partners Samuel, Alex Vadia, and Suzanne DeWitt want to build across the street from the proposed Walmart complex, according to the Now You See It, Now You DontWalmarts latest plan for Midtown Miami includes a scrim of retail shops that hide the superstore from view Continued on page 48 Renderings courtesy of Zyscovich Architects

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44 speak to her legal department before providing me with a statement or with the in-store video. She would not review what led to the police entering the store on November 8 without per mission from legal. After our initial conversation, she never returned any of my phone calls. radio transmissions and 911 calls for the incident from communications manager Fernandez. ups for November 8. Based on the line ups, Ofcr. Jason Fernandez, who Taser at McCann, was excluded from the complaint since he was not on duty transmissions, I obtained a printout of the following employees Taser usage for November 8, 2012: Nelson Reyes, Jason Fernandez, Troy Vezina, Elricco Barnes, Cosimo Castronovo, Terry Scott, Jason Williams, Kevin Childs, and Joseph who shows Taser usage during the date and time of the incident. According to his Taser for 23 seconds on November 8 at 2013 hours. The Taser was only turned on and off. It was not deployed in a drive-stun or probe-deployment mode. At no time does the Taser record show an electrical arc from anyones Taser during the time of the incident. After 23 seconds, Craigs Taser is turned off and not turned on again until November 15. ters in Irving, Texas, and spoke to staff attorney Lisa Washington-Watts. Watts sent me a copy of the video via overnight mail but told me she would not allow any employees to provide me with a written or taped statement. Other than the video, Zales would not provide any additional cooperation without subpoenas. obtained a sworn, taped statement from him. After his statement, McCann reduced his initial complaint to one issue: about a knife. as having made the comment about the American and had verbal contact with McCann during the incident. McCann was not 100 percent certain who made the alleged comment. boyfriend of Derek McCann. McHugh arrived on the scene after McCann was McHugh arrived. It should be noted that McCann refers to McHugh as his boyfriend in his taped statement and in several conversations he had with me. When I spoke to McHugh, he introduced himself as McCanns boyfriend. After reviewing all the above information to include the video, radio transmissions, conversations with all involved parties, and McCanns taped statement, the following is what occurred: Derek McCann opened an instantcredit account over the phone with Zales on November 8. While on the phone with the company representative, he asked if he could make an in-store purchase prior to receiving his credit card in the mail, and was told that all he needed store was his account number and two That same day, at approximately 2000 hours, McCann went to the Zales Jewelry store located inside the Aventura Mall to make a purchase. He presented a store employee with his account number written on a piece of paper and his Florida drivers license. The store em ployee became suspicious when McCann presented her with an account number written on a piece of paper that she could not verify as valid. Her suspicions were further aroused when the picture on the drivers license he presented did not look like him. Based on this, she alerted her manager, Michelle Snyder, who contacted mall security, via telephone, about a possible fraud occurring inside the store. Mall security dispatched Tier 2 patrol duty inside the mall, to go to the store and investigate. While walking to the store, Gomez saw Ofcr. Kevin Childs patrolling the interior of the mall and informed him of what was going on. wait outside the store while Gomez went in to speak with the manager. After being told what was going Continued on page 49 No Credible EvidenceContinued from page 42

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46 working chefs and the owners of small ing and business knowledge he and his partners can provide for free. We want to keep Miamis small restaurants around, says Kunkel, who has worked in restaurants since he was 16 years old. The reality is, when youre strung out and dont have money, it pays to talk to someone with expertise, and we have an amazing team. Kunkel tells the BT about his dreams of holding charity dinners at the test like the James Beard Foundation and Common Threads. But then he pauses. Were still very early on, he cautions. Plans might change. This past December, Kunkel bought the Sunshine Motel from Alex and Rena Karakhanian and Lyle Chariff for $3.5 million. The Karakhanians had purchased the property just 11 months earlier for $1.5 million. Two million dollars in less than 12 months isnt bad, says Chariff, owner of Chariff Realty Group and a minority partner with the Karakhanians, who recently have been buying properties in the Upper Eastside and the Design District. Chariff credits the resurgence of the deal. The Biscayne Corridor between Soykas and 79th Street is the next big bet, he says. It is just an interesting area. You an appealing place for people. In fact Chariff and the Kara khanians used part of the proceeds from their deal with Kunkel to buy a 15,000-square-foot vacant parcel at 6405 Biscayne Blvd. for $1.2 million from Javier Rabinovich and Mariano Karner, a pair of Argentine develop ers who had hoped to construct a small retail building on the site. Chariffs company acted as the broker when Rabinovich and Karner acquired the land in May 2011 for $300,000. (See the BT s Theres a Reason They Call It Boulevard of Dreams, April 2012.) Ironically, the Karakhanians and Chariff were initially not interested in selling the Sunshine Motel. We were looking for tenants to lease it, says Sharon Dresser, a broker for High Street Retail USA, who handled the transaction. [Kunkel] stepped up to buy it. Chariff says they were still reluctant: We were pushing for the lease, but he ended up, toward the end of last year, agreeing to our selling price. It was an interesting deal and he was a pleasure to work with. Kunkel says he insisted on buying because he wanted 50 Eggs to own its next base of operations. And the Sunshine 50 EggsContinued from page 42 BT photo by Erik Bojnansky Continued on page 50

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48 online real estate newsletter CondoVul minium documents with the county to build another tower, 3 Midtown Miami (31 stories with 264 residential units and 14 commercial slots) between 2 Midtown Miami and 4 Midtown Miami, according to CondoVultures.com. But Stern thinks it will take more than classy shops to protect Midtown Miami from the adverse effects of a Walmart, especially hordes of vehicles BEING driven by bargain hunters on the already clogged streets surrounding the Itll become a morass. In order to accommodate the including the addition of a left-turn lane on NE 31st Street where it meets N. Miami Avenue, allowing drivers to turn left and head south on the avenue. To do this, Walmart intends to eliminate the streets two parking lanes. Thats a no-no under SD 27.2, which governs zoning and design standards for the western portion of Midtown Miami. That code requires 31st Street to have two eight-foot-wide lanes for parallel parking, Grant points out. According to Sterns reading of the plans, the project doesnt leave any open space on the site, even though the code requires that at least ten percent be set aside for such a purpose. And he says there are a host of other problems with Walmarts application: Im just asking that Walmart play by the rules, too, which the submitted plans clearly do not. Jeff Morr, CEO of Majestic Properties and a 2 Midtown Miami resident, just wants Walmart to go away. Hes fearful that a Walmart will destroy any neighboring commercial operation that even remotely competes with it, thanks to the corporations low-pricing policy. Its going to harm local businesses, including Target, he says. The Target now operating in the Shops at Midtown Miami sells groceries, clothes, home-improvement items, electronics, and other products at discount prices. The two retail giants are arch rivals. Will Ander, a retail consultant with the Chicago-based McMillanDoolittle, says Targets business will take a hit once the Walmart opens just three blocks away. But the effect will only be tempoand then come back, he predicts. Part of the reason for the rebound is that Target and Walmart have different consumer lower prices, Ander explains, but Target sells things Walmart doesnt have, such as designer clothes. Ander says other chain retail stores that are anywhere near a newly built Walmart also experience a business slowdown, but then they bounce back. The independents are the ones that generally get hurt the most, Ander says, SOUTH FLORIDA RESTORATION HANDYMAN DIVISION We take handyman work seriously.State Licensed General Contractor CGC052795 305.651.9660 / WWW.SOUTHFLORIDARESTORATION.COM > DRYWALL REPAIRS > SOFFIT SCREENS > PAINTING INTERIOR > PAINTING EXTERIOR > CERAMIC TILES > MASONRY REPAIRS > DOORS > WINDOWS > CARPENTRY > KITCHENS > BATHS Since 1985, weve serviced over 20,000 homes and businesses with small projects and repairs. We pride ourselves on our integrity and professionalism. We return every call and show up on time. That is our mantra. WalmartContinued from page 43 There Continued on page 51

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORpolice radio that he was being advised by mall security of a possible fraud going Craig indicated over the radio that they would be heading to the store as backup and Vezina, happened to be patrolling inside the mall and overheard the transmission and indicated over the radio that they would be heading toward the store as well. heard what was going on over the mall radio and headed toward Zales. He staged outside of the Lego store, which is directly next to Zales. Carrell never entered Zales and remained out of sight the entire time. Gomez went into the store and spoke to the manager. The store employees account number McCann presented was valid and that the license he presented did not match what he looked like. The store manager told Gomez she believed something suspicious was occurring and that McCann would not present any other After he heard this, Gomez walked that it appeared a fraud was being comand Craig entered the store. Childs bypassed McCann, who was seated in a chair, and went directly to speak to Barnes entered right after Childs and stood on opposite sides of McCann. mately three to four feet from McCann and had his Taser held at his hip, pointed in McCanns direction. He never extended his arm toward McCann or displayed an electrical arc. In his taped statement, the Taser at his side and did not display an electrical arc. store employees, who indicated that a possible crime was occurring. Based on Childs verbally indicated to Barnes and Craig that a crime was being committed. My conversations with the involved Childs speaking to Barnes from the store managers desk several feet away and pointing to McCann. Once Barnes is told that a crime is being committed, he asks McCann to stand up and place his hands on the counter to pat him down. After patting him down, he handcuffs McCann immediately reholstered his Taser after the handcuffs were put on. cuffs a few minutes later, when a store the account number he presented was the drivers license McCann presented was valid. The photograph on the license depicts McCann at a heavier weight and with long hair. Currently he is much thinner, has tattoos, and no hair. liams, Vezina, Scott, and Reyes walk into the store for a brief time. At no time are there ever more than three or four Reyes remain inside the store with him. It appears from the video that Reyes and McCann are having a cordial conversation because Reyes pats him on the back and shakes his hand. While Reyes and Craig are talking to McCann, his boyfriend, Thomas McHugh, enters the store and Reyes shakes his hand as well. From the video it appears that everyone is laughing. McCann and McHugh can be seen sitting down at the store counter and completing a transaction before the video ends. It should be noted that McCann and McHugh came to the mall separately, but made arrangements over the phone to meet at Zales. At no point during the video does a K9 enter the store or stage outside the store entrance. According to mall secuthe Lego store next door until he heard that the situation was resolved and left the area. McCann said in his sworn statement that he did not actually see the K9. He SOUTH FLORIDAS BEST BACK YARD STORE 5 REASONS WE ARE THE BEST CHOICE!*N OT INC LUDI NG REBATES AND IN STORE ONLY.#1 #2 #3 #4 #5MOST EXPERIENCED & K NOWLEDGE ABLE STAFF LOWE ST PRICE G UARANT EE WE MEET OR BEAT ALL LOCAL PRICES*LARGE ST SEL ECT ION O F POOL & SP A PRODUC TS FA MIL Y OW NED & OPERAT ED F OR OVER 40 YEARS W E GUARANT EE T O K EEP YOU HA PPY!! 305-893-4036 Keeping Customers Happy For Over 40 Years S ALT CHLORI NATORS HEATERS All in one BBQFREE gift with purchaseE xp. 2-28-13 LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR POOLCOMPUTER WAT ER A N AL YSIS FREE We make it easy! LET US SHOW YOU THE 3 STEP PROGRAM! HOT TUB CLEARANCE SALE Save $1,000s on all in stock models PLUS 18 months at 0% nancing* PLUS Free Purication system, delivery & steps *w.a.c. w/ payments. SPECIAL PRICIN G PLUSF REE Installation $400 value F REE $100 W almart CardE xp. 2-28-13SAVE UP TO $500! No Credible EvidenceContinued from page 44 Continued on page 50

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORMotel just gave him a certain feeling. back and we searched high and low for a new home, Kunkel recounts. I kept looking back to it, back to it, back to it. I started looking at the architecture and I just knew that it was the space for us. Jocelyne Hider knows the feeling. In September 2005, she and her husband bought the 22-room Sunshine Motel, originally known as Alda Roch ester Motel, for $1.2 million. A few months later they bought the neighbor ing former Penn Hall Hotel, built in 1929, for $895,000. I fell in love with those two Art Deco buildings, says the Haitian-American businesswoman. The Sunshine had seen better days, though. There were drug dealers and prostitution. It was bad, she sighs. After operating it for a month, they shut it down and proceeded to renovate it. We wanted to have a little hotel and then have a restaurant downstairs, Hider recalls. Yet even after investing some $400,000, the work was never completed. It was just so expensive, Hider says. We couldnt keep it up. Dresser points out that Kunkel will have a lot of work ahead. Its actually, basically a was informed about the K9 from his boyfriend, who saw the dog walking in the vicinity as he was coming to meet McCann at the store. There was no Aventura police K9 inside the mall at any time during the incident. In his initial complaint, McCann alleged three things: and repeatedly threatened him. inside the store. him that if he wanted to point a knife at him, he could do that. Based on my investigation, there inside the store at any time. The majority and once they saw the situation was under control, they left. The majority of the time there was only two to three ofThere was never a German shepherd inside the store. In fact, Mr. McCann by his own admission never saw a dog. None of the three African-American membered making any type of comment about a knife to him, nor do they remember anyone else making that type of comment. During my taped interview with McCann, he added that someone put their hand on his chest and asked him why his heart was beating so fast. At no point on the video does anyone put their hand on his chest. Conclusion: Unfounded. There is no credible evidence to support any of the allegations. In fact, with the exception of the knife comment, every allegation was recanted by McCann in his taped statement and proven to be false by the video. McCann even acknowledged in his statement to apologized, and explained their actions. denied making any comment involving a knife, and there is no credible evidence to support it. The facts in this case support handcuffs being placed on McCann for a short time because, as indicated information given to him that a crime had occurred. Immediately upon receivMr. McCann presented was valid, the handcuffs were removed. The display of the Taser upon entering the store without indication that McCann had committed a crime or was unruly is an issue of concern. Mr. McCann did not give any indication that he was not cooperative, and the potential for incapacitation with a probe deployment highly unlikely. Also could have been struck with the probes if the Taser was deployed. The use of the Taser in this case warrants concern, and my suggestion is to forward the issue to the Training Unit to review the tactics employed and to provide remedial training to Craig. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com No Credible EvidenceContinued from page 49 50 EggsContinued from page 46 Continued on page 51

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORreferring to small stores and grocers. However, restaurants, bars, serviceoriented businesses, and stores selling designer goods wont necessarily be harmed by Walmart. Says Ander: They may be helped by Walmart drawing Helped, that is, if prospective customers are able to get to the Walmart. by the Walmart is a legitimate concern: It could discourage some people from going there. Morr says hes certain that Walmart will discourage the very people Midtown Miami is trying to attract: young professionals who want to work and play within walking distance of their home. For those who commute to work, Midtown Miami is close to I-95, the Julia Tuttle Causeway, and Biscayne Boulevard. If Walmart strangles Midtown Miami with cars and cheap items, Morr contends, residential and commercial values could drop: Who wants to be by a Walmart? Peter Zalewski, publisher of Con doVultures.com, agrees that property values around Walmart might drop for about a year or 18 months at the most. Zalewski suspects that Midtown Miami residential prices may already be under assault by savvy investors. If you are a buyer, youre going to use the Walmart scenario to get a cheaper price, he says. However, once the community adapts to the Walmart, property values will increase once again, Zalewski believes. The rest of the Wynwood neighborhood will experience price booms as well if the Walmart proves tend to cluster, Zalewski notes. Ill bet theres going to be a lot of big-box retailers looking to see if Walmart will be successful in the Wynwood area, simply because the land is available. Walmart or no Walmart, Deborah Samuel insists that Midtown Miami continues to be hot property. Shes already entertaining offers from businesses wanting to open in the Liner Shops. I to sign [leases] at this point, she says. Robert Torres has no intention of moving from 4 Midtown, where hes lived for three years, or to close down Lab Salon, a business hes operated on for four years. I personally think that Walmart is going to go where it wants to is futile. Torres doubts that the Walmart will be any kind of detriment to either his business or his lifestyle in Midtown, no matter what some of his neighbors assert. I personally will shop there absolutely, he says. And Im sure all my neighbors will, too. Who doesnt want to save some money? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com WalmartContinued from page 48shell, she says of the Sunshine. Theres no electricity, no air-conditioning, nothing. But the Hiders renovations did reveal its Art Deco character, which had been hidden by remodels during the 1950s. And although its still empty, Kunkel has 8000 square feet to play with, and he says the building is in good physical condition. Its got great bones. he beams. While Kunkel is working to preserve the buildings historic character, including hiring noted architect Allan Shulman, hes not interested in preserving its cheer ful moniker. The name has long been since removed, he says. If we do name it anything, it will be after the company. (The company name, 50 Eggs, is drawn Cool Hand Luke in which Paul Newman, starring as an irrepressible convict in a Florida prison camp, wins a bet to eat 50 hard-boiled eggs in one hour.) Jocelyne Hider is thrilled that Kunkel has taken over her former property and that New York developer Avra Jain is rehabilitating the shuttered Vagabond Motel across the street. Hider believes that her business, Memories, which operates in the former Penn Hall Hotel, will prosper once the street is alive again, but theres another reason she looks forward to seeing the Vagabond and Sunshine motels thriving. I am very happy that people with money are doing something with those two beautiful buildings. They are two beautiful old ladies, says Hider, confessing to some regret at the way things turned out. I kind of feel bad that shine Motel, but you know, in life sometimes you have to go on to other dreams. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 50 EggsContinued from page 50

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52 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aATT he Open Door Local culture is alive and well at Bagel Cove, Aventuras most welcoming placeBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorAbout a year into cityhood, Aventura Mayor Arthur Snyder invited Kenneth Treister to make a presentation before the city commission. Treister, an acclaimed Miami architect and sculptor, was perhaps best known for his design of the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial. (Among many other project, he also designed and owned the Streets of Mayfair in Coconut Grove.) Snyder wanted to put Aventura on the map. Treisters proposal was to create a permanent, multicolored laser exhibit in Dumbfoundling Bay, off the tip of 188th Street (the current location of the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center). The installation, it was thought, would attract locals and tourists from far and wide. Snyder and Treister tried to sell this concept as inspired and imaginative. Although the presentation was impressive, the commissioners thought the idea odd and expensive, at about $2 million. The commission turned it sioner at the time.) Snyder handled this rebuke with the equanimity typical of a seasoned politician. Treister, on the other hand, left the meeting in a complete and obvious huff, probably thinking the commissioners and their constituents were Aventura would shortly prove him wrong, for the city was about to possess something that would truly shout its cultural character. Aventura at that time 25,000 people living in an area of 3.2 square miles would be home to four bookstores: two big-box retailers, Borders and Barnes and Noble, along with Waldenbooks in Aventura Mall and Pierres Bookstore, located in a strip mall in the citys southern end and catering to French readers and Francophiles. For Aventura to support one bookstore for every 6250 residents no doubt placed our city near the top of the literacy pyramid in the United States, to the extent bookstores are a measure of such a thing. For there to be one bookstore for every .8 square miles of city could only mean the residents of Aventura, a high proportion of whom descend from the People of the Book, valued knowledge and scholarship and worldliness. Those who inveighed their children to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, their intellectual roots and grant the people of northeast Miami-Dade County access to BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith Apply for the Knight Arts Challenge Feb. 4 March 4 at KnightArts.org.

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the highest form of cultural experience. And the bookstores hummed with an empty chair or table at either Borders or Barnes and Noble. Authors would appear for book readings and signings. Parents would bring children to hear storybooks. But the bookstores did more than sell books. Friends would meet over coffee. Singles met for blind dates. The lonely found solace among similarly situated souls on a Friday or Saturday evening. The bookstores became indoor urban communal spaces. They were our bars, coffee houses, intellectual salons, after-school programs, and places for the contemplative all rolled into one. That was Aventuras gift to our community. and Noble closed its doors. It was the last of the four bookstores to go. A notice on its door informs patrons that the nearest Barnes and Noble store is now 12 miles to the north. Our city now has no bookstores. Its not our fault. The bookstores were vic tims of e-readers, Amazon, mismanage ment, unsustainable rents, redevelopment, or any combination of these. So if we never got a light sculpture and we dont have bookstores, do we have any other cultural amenities that might distin guish our fair city and show the world that we continue to resist our eras cultural decay? The answer to that question is an obvious yes. We drive past it every day. It is an open kitchen door not 20 feet from Biscayne Boulevard. Nowhere else along the Biscayne Corridor does such a door exist. It belongs to a deli called Bagel Cove. Through that door waft aromas of the wonderful, salt-laden, chicken-fatsoaked, artery-hardening, heart-attackinducing foods on which most of us were weaned: creamed herring, chopped liver, pastrami, brisket, blintzes, knishes, and matzoh brei. (Of course, most dont know the aromas are there because they pass the door in hermetically sealed vehicles. But thats not the point.) The open door reminds us of those open kitchen doors off the alleyways of Brooklyns Canarsie or Chicagos Rogers Park, neighborhoods through which and bagels, and just-cooked corned beef and turkey. It seductively invites the passerby to come in and partake of our cultural heritage, our food; the food that, observance, or station in life, binds us all. Of course, there are many delis in our city besides Bagel Cove Mos Bagels & Deli, to name one. The offerings at Mos are not much different from Bagel Cove or a newer entry in the market, BagelWorks. But Mos has a more elitist atmosphere. Its where the citys movers and shakers have their power breakfasts and lunches. At Mos, youll see politicians, govern other poo-bahs schmoozing; the kind of people who are featured in the Aventura News Candidates looking for votes almost always glad-hand their way through Mos. Bagel Cove caters more to the com moner. Indeed, in a certain respect, it has deli. For a long time, its offerings were named for various condos in the city, like the Mystic Pointe, Turnberry, Landmark, and Flamenco sandwiches. No dishes were named for the lower-end condos. Rather, Bagel Coves sandwiches were aspirational in nature, mirroring the generational long ing of our ancestors for the better things in life for their descendants. Some years ago, the owners of the Aventura Cove Shopping Center, which houses Bagel Cove, sought certain zoning approvals from the city commission. The approvals were granted upon the condition that Bagel Cove close its open kitchen door. The thought was that a city that had expended so much money and effort on the latest in urbanscape design would be blemished by an open kitchen door on Biscayne Boulevard. But the city has never sought to enforce that condition, and perhaps that is as it should be. The door remains open. Its the only open kitchen door on Biscayne Boulevard, thumbing its nose at its lushly landscaped and manicured surroundings if to say that the true Aventura is what lies inside the door. That door is our true cultural amenity. It harkens us back to our childhoods and beckons the visitor to share our heritage and look into our souls. Now all we need is a cheap chop suey joint, preferably one with an open kitchen door. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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54 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIDealing and WheelingLuxury car sellers are bumper-to-bumper, waiting to take over a chunk of Biscayne LandingBy Mark Sell BT ContributorLast month we told of seismic transformations coming to Biscayne Landing. Plans have since changed a bit, and the Richter scale could soon go bonkers. Brace for not one, but four or more new luxury car dealerships at the entrance to Biscayne Landing, on 25 acres along the southeast corner of 151st Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Imagine a group of dealerships, roughly equivalent in design to Lexus of North Miami, guarding the northern entrance to Biscayne Landing from 151st Street, with showrooms up to four stories high and six-story mega-garages protecting precious inventory from the weather. Imagine one of those mega-garages across the street from the existing parking structure for the twin 25-story, 381-unit Oaks Towers and you start to get the picture. And thats just one piece of the new sent to City of North Miami staff in late January and coming up before the plan ning and zoning commission on March 5. Auto dealerships want to be here, says Herb Tillman, hands-on director of Oleta Partners Biscayne Landing project and vice president of Swerdlow Group developers. We are trying to develop These guys for the most part are trying to bend over backwards to make this program work. The word is that interested parties include Prestige Imports, right across the street from Biscayne Landing, where you can lease a new Lamborghini for $2377 a month, give or take; a South Florida Cadillac dealership eager to expand; a dealer selling the newly refurbished Lincoln luxury brand; and one of the automotive conglomerates with several dealerships along U.S. 441 in Miami Gardens, near the county line. More could be in the wings. are said to be in talks with manufacturers to get approval to open in 2015. For them the location is ideal: reasonably handy to the beach, I-95, and Aventura, and between the 123rd Street and 163rd Street causeways. Thats central for all those Latin American, European, and Russian condo buyers. Prestige Imports, headed by 25-yearold Brett David (who took over when his father, Irv David, died of a heart attack six

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years ago), has been the most successful Audi dealership in the nation since 2006. So dearly did Prestige want the southeast corner that early last spring, while the deal with developer Michael Swerdlow and his Oleta Partners group was in question, David presented the city with a $14 million check and a prepared contract to buy the 200-year land-lease from the city. Whether the check was real or symbolic, the city didnt take it. Instead, Swerdlow and Oleta got all 181 acres of the land and are now doing the selling. One big and largely unnoticed turning point happened January 22, when the city commission, with little discussion on second reading, voted 5-0 to lift restrictions on car dealerships operating on developments of more than 30 acres, which in North Miami means only one thing: Biscayne Landing. Heres where it gets interesting. Suppose you have four car dealerships on 25 acres. Oleta Partners is ready to sell the 200-year lease rights for about $1.5 million per acre along the Boulevard and about $750,000 per acre inland, for an average of about $1 million per acre. In other words, with four dealerships, Oleta Partners would get $25 million. What kind of deal is that for Oleta? Sweet. Remember that Oleta wired $17.5 million to the city August 20, suddenly making North Miami solvent rather than nearly bankrupt. Add $1 million-plus in professional and maintenance fees paid to the City of North Miami, $1.5 million million in back taxes, and that leaves Oleta out roughly $21.5 million. So if Oleta sells the land lease to four car dealerships for $25 million-plus, for example, it comes out around $4 million ahead. That beats being $17.5 million behind, plowed right back into the projected $30 million expense for land preparation, lights, electricity, sewers, and the spine road that are part of the billion-dollar development. And what about that seven-acre lake with surrounding greenery that you pass when driving to the Oaks Towers condos from 151st Street? Answer: No more lake. Those 12 acres would be paved over for car dealerships. Last month we said the lake would remain. Well, money talks and plans change. Now dog walkers, mothers with strollers, and joggers would pass car dealerships rather than a lake with greensward. (The lake, al though burnt ochre in appearance and part Consider Biscayne Landing, then, as a sandwich, with car dealerships and the Oaks Towers on top and big-box stores at the bottom, with those parts handled by Swerdlow Group, developer of Hollywoods Oakwood Plaza (which the lower portion would resemble). In the middle, you could get as many as 3400 midrange apartments in build ings of 8 to 25 stories in height, developed by the venerable LeFrak Organization of New York, builders of the vast LeFrak City apartments in Corona, Queens, and much else. Imagine the Oaks Towers at Biscayne Landing multiplied by nine, plus parking. LeFrak operates big and the rental market is tight. Home loans are tough to get and not about to get much easier, as banks face tightening capital requiremeans Miami will continue to have plenty of cash-strapped renters for reasonably well-appointed, if not lavish, midrange apartments for households making, say, $50,000 or $60,000 a year. Sizes would not be quite as cavernous as the 1600to 2000-square-foot Oaks apartments, but 1000-square-foot units with laminate rather than granite and midrange appliances would do many well enough. Instead of the park around the lake, the master plan calls for 37 acres of open space, 17 acres of which would be in the form of parks. Most of that acreage would be situated in the residential section. As a resident of the Oaks, I must admit to a certain pause. Will life be more of 151st and Biscayne would undoubtedly worsen considerably, particularly around already hellish school-zone hours. A light would seem a necessity at the Biscayne Landing entrance at 151st Street, although it is less than 600 feet east of the Boulevard. But at the Oaks, we still have one great consolation: protected wetlands to the east, with views of the swampy woods from the So if car dealerships and megagarages block the sunset, we still keep our sunrise. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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56 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Mass II ntransigenceEven as transportation options expand, the Shores seems stuck in the pastBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorIn January, my students at Miami Arts Charter School and I were invited to participate in the March 8-9 opening of the Purple Transit Line station. Located beneath the I-195 over pass at NE 2nd Avenue and 36th Street, the station offers art, poetry, music, and even a caf passengers can enjoy while they wait for their bus or other mode of public transportation. Theres only one problem: The Purple Transit Line and the station dont really exist. While my students will be composing poetry for it along the lines of what the Poetry in Motion campaign does for New York Citys Metropolitan Transportation Authority the project is actually an art installation, the message of which is obvious: In a metro area of 2.5 or so mil lion residents, mass public transportation, built in a civic and creative manner, has become increasingly necessary. Our involvement with the Purple Line project has, as it is intended to do for ev eryone in Miami, made me think. And I have plenty of time for that. Nearly every day on my way to drop off or pick up my kids at school, Im trapped behind an end less cargo train traveling the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). At night, insom niac that I am, the nearby train whistles awaken me at least twice. ing if rail service were an option for residents of Miami Shores. Given that the tracks run through the center of the village, it would make sense to have a station where commuters could easily hop on a train and be in downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or even Or lando in time-saving comfort that also reduces noise pollution and improves air quality. But easy train travel, whether for business or tourist reasons, probably will not be an option for residents of Miami Shores. Despite operable, clean-fuel plans from both the Florida Department of Transportation and the South Florida Regional Transportation Author ity (SFRTA) which operates Tri-Rail to co-develop routes along the FEC right-of-way, as well as private companies seeking to install passenger trains,

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the village will not likely be among the proposed station sites. The FECs All Aboard Florida proposal calls for a quiet, high-speed route from Orlando to Miami, with the closest sta tion to Miami Shores located in either Opalocka or the Golden Glades, and the one for Tri-Rails Blue Line route in Aventura. As Miami becomes even more backs up practically onto our lawns, and it takes an hour to travel ten minutes, its clear that something is going to happen. No matter who succeeds in securing funds and approval, more FEC tracks (and improved tracks) are needed for the railways to expand from freight to passenger service. So like it or not, we can expect rail construction to commence in the Shores at some point in the next two years, as the FEC is planning to have the Miami-to-Orlando All Aboard Florida route operational by 2014. After that, many more trains will be coming through. Aside from the potential increase in driving delays from construc likely impact Miami Shores negatively or positively. But shouldnt they? Between Publix and the series of homes and churches on the west side of the existing tracks, we have unused land where litter collects and stray animals make their hideouts. Much of that is FEC-owned property. Why not petition them and the developers of the rail lines to put this land to good placed here? Okay, I know thats wishful think ing. For one thing, the FEC hasnt even installed safe pedestrian crossings on our tracks; I cringe every time I see some one hauling groceries over the tracks by Publix, or jogging over the tracks on NE 96th Street. Plus we dont even have a viable downtown, owing mostly to a lack of sewage connections and concerns that too much of a good thing (restaurants, retail) will attract rowdy crowds that will overrun our little community. So I cant see how village leaders would support a rail station, even if we did make it an architectural gem and decorate it through local art and literacy initiatives or even revenue, and increased home values. Of course, to build a station, wed also have to create a parking lot, as denizens of neighboring towns will want to take the train from here, just as some of us will want to board in Aventura. And maybe theres just not enough land for that though that stumbling block, too, could be overcome. Add on to the top of Publix, for instance, where theres already a parking structure. Oh, but the cost! The eyesore! So maybe we can look at installing other options, such as courting environmentally friendly car-sharing companies like Car2Go, whose tiny vehicles I see on the street, available for rent all over downtown, Brickell, Edgewater, the Design District, and the Upper Eastside. But even if we never get a train station here and I can accept that its a pipe dream Miami Shores residents would do well to start thinking about how we might get to a station without driving our own cars there and adding to, instead of decreasing, congestion and pollution on our main cor ridors. (I use the plural lightly.) One word (or is it two?): DecoBike. A bike-sharing system that is already in effect in Miami Beach and Surfside (and soon, if not already, in Bay Harbor Islands and the City of Miami), DecoBikes system is simple: Insert a credit card or your membership card and rent a bike, ride it to wherever you need to go, and return it to a rack near your destination. So basically, if you live in Surfside or Miami Beach, you can rent a bike there, ride it to work in downtown Miami, leave it there, and then rent a second bike to return home. Access passes cost as little as $4 for 30 minutes to $35 for all-month use (with lots of options in between). DecoBikes are available 24/7, and even the vendor stations are clean and green: Theyre solar-powered. The bikes themselves with pedal-pow ered headlights and taillights, sturdy baskets, and adjustable seats are built for city travel. What do DecoBikes not have? A home in Miami Shores, where, though we have cars and bikes of our own, we barely have parking spaces or bike racks, let alone a caror bike-sharing program. Or a train station. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEHard LL essonsWhen it comes to protecting our schoolchildren, we need a bunker mentality By Frank Rollason BT ContributorA A New Aveda Concept Salonwww.SevenSeasSpaSalon.com Receive...30 Minute Massage 30 Minute Facial Maninicure and Pedicure Complimentary Valet Complimentary Champagne Access to Tiki Hut on the beachALL forDAY Mon-Thurs 16701 Collins AvenueLocated at the Sunny Isles Beach inside the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort

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truth, a semi-automatic weapon is deadlier more accurate in the hands of a trained gunman than a fully automatic look on someones face when they know theyre seconds away from being on the receiving end of a bullet. The horror of Sandy Hook just boggles the mind. Who knows what erased by the deaths of these innocent children? Was there a Jonas Salk, a Steve Jobs, a Madame Curie, or maybe even another Einstein? We will never know. This, too, boggles the mind, does it not? Besides their lives, what other gifts may have been taken from us all on that fateful day? perspective, it is probably not by passing more gun legislation or by increasing the emphasis on mental health. Both are bent on this type of activity will probably still slip through the cracks. Friends of the perpetrator will continue to be astonished, relaying to the news media how Johnny was quiet and somewhat shy. Not many friends, but no, never really had a problem, nothing that would make you think he could do something like this. How many people like this do we know who never became serial killers or mass murderers? Finding the ones who could snap violently is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, dont you think? I view these incidents pragmatically and accept that they will continue, and possibly escalate, in the foreseeable future. Therefore I believe that, to stop similar incidents in our schools, the buildings themselves must be hardened beyond what is currently planned. And by the way, the idea from the our teachers is beyond ludicrous, as aptly pointed out by former Miami-Dade in his January 1 Readers Forum piece in the Herald (Think back to the kindergarten teachers your children had and focus on one who made a particular impact on your child. Then imagine that person an assailant hell-bent on wiping out a classroom full of kids. Its an asinine thought, to say the least.) Then there is the plea for more of Forum on December 30 by Howard Giraldo, president of the local union Would it be helpful to have a full-time a Newtown-style scenario, be facing a heavily armed assailant with the ele ment of surprise on his side. Perhaps mount a counter-assault. Or would we need three? You see where this could lead. A SWAT team in each school might make us feel like our kids are safer, but it would not be a cost-effective use of personnel. No, I think the answer is in hardening the school buildings so a potential attacker cannot make entry without having to run the gauntlet, so to speak. We have a unique opportunity to do this in Miami-Dade in that we, the voters, just passed a billion-dollar capital projects initiative for our schools. What we need to do is earmark those dollars to include whatever plant improvements are necessary to make the schools impenetrable: bulletproof glass in all street-level windows and doors (not hurricane-impact windows bulletproof glass the penetration of high-powered projec tiles), and a bulletproof reception vestibule. In the case of the last, once a visitor enters, he or she would be screened via remote methods, by metal detectors and anything suspicious is detected or observed, the visitor would be locked in the vestibule until the arrival of the police. This is certainly not a pleasant topic to write on and not particularly pleasant to read, but we need to embrace realistic measures to keep our children able for implementing those measures. Theres no reason we cant provide our schoolchildren the same level of protecboard an airplane. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Culture: THE ARTSColoring in the PastThe Vasari Project seeks to document Miamis long underappreciated art historyBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorThe idea to document Miamis art history might be traced back to the year 1550, when Italian Giorgio Vasari published what many art. Vasari is also credited with being the sance to describe what he was chronicling, particularly in Florence. Okay, so Miami and Florence arent usually uttered in the same breath, but to start somewhere, and someone had to make sure the world would remember its origins and achievements. So back in the 1980s, historian and Miami Herald Helen Library, began mulling over how to was coming into its own as a cultural center, but had little to physically docu it, maybe it didnt happen, says the Herald but remains active in the maybe people only saw what was in the newspaper, and maybe that one mention was wrong. years, as thats when Miamis population (and eventual personality) really bloomed. And they decided to concentrate on as much original, primary But like any other venture, it needed determined collecting and cataloguing initiative began. every dog-and-pony show out there to in the Miami art scene in the postwar period and who were retiring or moving into smaller living spaces. Kohen was not interested in people it all, no matter how inconsequential made weeding out repetitive items a priIt might come as a surprise that there is no art here. Vasari is not an art colwith letters, press clippings, photographs, and gallery announcements. Those various people. Kohen points out that printed materials and even things such as slides (or mipour in as more people heard about Vasari. The cataloguing process became intense. Interestingly, the material Although that could seem it brings a holistic approach to discovering Miami history. an artist might not turn up. particular individual might those who loved art. Kohen remembers one such person, a woman ing what were then exotic places, such as up in Miami, donating her collected items to Vasari. Others were instrumental in getTrasobares. Eventually Vasari would need more room, which it recently got, and Kohen passed 2011, although the ever-energetic Kohen remains actively involved. with the librarys art services, in the expanded space, which is open two days a week (but also by appointment). She says that, through her involvement with Vasari, she has come to understand Miamis distinct cultural development, noting that our philanthropic support and interest are Surrounded Islands Surrounded Islands

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that took place to get Christo and Jeanne-Claude here to surround Biscayne Bays islands in hotpink fabric in 1983. One example is a check for one dollar, sent to a volunteer on the project. (Those checks would become little artistic mementos of the event.) A favorite piece of Kohens is the original birth famous outsider artist, the late Purvis Young. His real name, she notes, was Previous Young. One of the latest acquisi tions has come from the estate of Paula Harper, an art historian, writer, and profes last spring. Stuffed into the 18 cartons that were delivered to Vasari are articles by Harper, clippings, and her personal correspondence with the family of Camille Pissarro, says Kohen. Harper co-authored one of the major biographies of the French Impressionist, and is considered a pioneer in feminist studies of art history. The donation underscores the unique aspect of this project. Vasari is not a and art-making is the product of an backgrounds that cant really be found anywhere else. In fact, these quirky bits and pieces and rich history, one that Kohen says is too often belittled and misunderstood. Just because it wasnt documented doesnt mean it didnt exist, she there has always been art. There have always been rich people here, visitors with money, and they want art on their walls. John Singer Sar gent [the major American portrait the early 20th Century. much larger, with international cachet in the art world, which is why the Vasari Project will take on an ever-expanding mission. Yet it will still welcome the minutiae. We feel that every bit that is left here becomes part of our history, says Kohen. The Vasari Project is open to the public by appointment only Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the main library, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. Call 305-375-1550 or e-mail vasari@mdpls.org. 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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62 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com February 9 through April 13: Chase Westfall 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through February 6: 305-751-8367 Through February 8: artists ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 786-287-7789 305-438-0220 February 7 through April 6: 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through April 1: 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 Through March 31: ART NOUVEAU GALLERY 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 ART WORK IN PROGRESS 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009 www.jacques-harvey.com ARTSEEN GALLERY 305-237-3559 ASCASO GALLERY 305-571-9410 www.ascasogallery.com/site Through February 29: 305-576-2828 February 8 through 29: 122 NE 11th St., Miami Through February 29: BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 Through February 5: BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Suite 3, Miami 305-491-1526 February 9 through March 8: SPACE 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com February 10 through April 7: Shelley BUZZART 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 6, Miami 305-571-8100 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 CAROL JAZZAR CONTEMPORARY ART 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 Through February 10: February 15 through March 17: DANIEL AZOULAY GALLERY 305-576-1977 DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through February 31: 2043 N. Miami A ve., Miami 305-576-1804 February 9 through April 6: DIASPORA VIBE GALLERY 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 DIMENSIONS VARIABLE 100 NE 11th St., Miami 305-607-5527 Through March 21: DINA MITRANI GALLERY 786-486-7248 Through March 23: DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 February 7 through March 30: DURBAN SEGNINI GALLER Y Through February 28: ELITE ART EDITIONS 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 7328 NW Miami Ct., Miami 786-709-5129 February 15: 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 GALLERY 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through February 16: 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 Through March 31: with various artists GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 Through February 2: by William Cordova 305-456-5478 HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through March 2: HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 305-989-3359 Through February 2: 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through February 15: JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 Through February 22: KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 Through February 28: KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 Through March 3: KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 Through February 20: KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com June 26 (Boom Box and Beaver),

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Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Through March 2: 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 MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, CENTRE GALLERY 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Through February 8: Faculty Show with various artists MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdc.edu Through February 2: Toledo/Toledo Full Circle by Isabel and Ruben Toledo Where Ideas Are Born: A Jugglers Notebooks by Manuel Estrada February 14 through May 4: A Life`s Work by Arnold Mesches MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, GALLER Y NORTH 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu February 15 through March 19: Noise by Arnold Mesches MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, KENDALL GALLERY 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Call gallery for exhibition information MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 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 305-2 37-3597 Call gallery for exhibition information NINA TORRES FINE ART 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 February 15 through March 30: Art & Design by Helidon XHIXHA 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 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 February 18: The Artists Accomplice: Paintings and Monumental Studies by Cesar Santos P AN AMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through March 2: Gimrack by Ted Larsen Fairy Tales by Carolina Sardi PAREDES FINE ARTS STUDIO 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes PRIMARY PROJECTS 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com www.primaryprojectspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information PROJECTS GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Ste 208, Miami 267-303-9652 www.projectsgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information ROBERT FONTAINE GALLERY 2349 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-397-8530 www.robertfontainegallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information SAMMER GALLERY 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information SPINELLO PROJECTS 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com February 14 through April 6: L O V E L I K E T H E U N I V E R S E by Sinisa Kukec SW AMPSPACE GALLERY 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com February 9 through March 9: House of Desire with Lea Nickless, and Conrad Hamather T ONY WYNN MODERN ART GALLERY 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn THE LUNCH BOX GALLERY 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through February 2: Craters by Michael G. Zimmerer Morales, Jos Joaqun Figueroa, and Rodolfo Vanmarcke UNDER THE BRIDGE 12425 NE 13th Ave., North Miami 305-978-4437 Call gallery for exhibition information UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI GALLERY 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art February 4 through 22: MFA Exhibition by Yusmary Cortez UNIX FINE ART GALLERY 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres WALTMAN ORTEGA FINE ART 2233 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-576-5335 www.waltmanortega.com Call gallery for exhibition information WYNWOOD WALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, How & Nosm, Roa, b., The Date Farmers, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf YEELEN ART GALLERY 294 NW 54th St., Miami 954-235-4758 www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information s.t. 40

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64 ZADOK GALLERY 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737 www.zadokgallery.com Through February 18: Void and Substance by Li HuiMUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITS 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through February 17: Smoke Signals: Istwa, Paisajes and Allegories with Onyedika Chuke, Yanira Collado, Lourdes Correa-Carlo, Rashawn Howardena Pindell, Jerome Reyes, Carlos Sandoval de 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: with Eija Liisa Ahtila, Barry X Ball, Walead Beshty, Hans Peter Feldmann, Ged Quinn, and Araya 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 CRAIG ROBBINS COLLECTION 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 DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through February 17: Forms T ransgressions: The Drawings of Augstin Fernndez by Augstin Fernandez Through February 24: To Beauty: A Tribute to Mike Kelley with various artists Through April 14: Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism with various artists Through May 20: American Sculpture in the Tropics with John Henry, Albert Paley, Dennis Oppenheim, Chakaia Booker, and LEGAL ART 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org 1301 Stanford Dr ., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through February 10: Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists Through March 24: artists New Light by Stephen Knapp Through April 21: Adapting and Adopting: Waves of Change as East Encounters West, Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art with various artists MIAMI ART MUSEUM 101 W. Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000 www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection Through 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 THE MARGULIES COLLECTION 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 by Katherine Hinds 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 WORLD CLASS BOXING Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 Through February 28: Raga For Fishwife by Aaron Angell Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com Agnes

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Here and Now, StillOnce upon a time, before the arts became a respectable engine for the growth of Miami, there was Miami Light Projects Here and Now fes tival, which nurtured new Miami talent (back when Miami talent was thought to be an oxymoron). Here and Now gave locals a leg up, and many of them are now standing tall and proud. For two weeks, from Thurs day, February 7, through Saturday, February 16 at the Light Box at Gold man Warehouse (404 NW 26th St.) at 8:00 p.m., the latest commissions will be performed, including from previously highlighted choreographer Liony Garcia. Cost is $25. Go to www. miamilightproject.com.Chili in the AirTheres no way Texas should have a monop oly on chili. Weve got spice, weve got beans! Pinecrest Gardens realized this, which is why it has launched the Chili Cook-Off On Sunday, February 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., restaurants and caterers will bring their own recipes, and so will average South Floridians. The event will include music, beer, line dancing, and, of course, lots of chili tasting. Its $15 for big people, $5 for kids under 12. Call 305-669-6990 or go to www. All About the ArtIt may seem as though all those fairs that surround Art Basel have just barely left town, but then thats the whole point of the second Art Wynwood Fair All alone on the calendar, the fair wants to make seeing and buying art a less frenzied activity. Not having to compete with dozens of other attractions during Basel is a plus, as are the 70 international galleries offering up a comprehensive one-stop shop. Organized by the people behind Art Miami, this fair will run from Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18 from noon till evening. (Check www.artwynwood.com for exact times.) One-day passes are $15 at the Art Miami Pavilion, 3101 NE 1st Ave. The Great Hispanic WayHispanic Americans helped re-elect President Obama, and a Cuban-Ameripoem at a presidential inauguration, so on Broadway? Canciones de Broadway does just that. Puerto Rican singer Carla Bordonada reprises such Broadway standards as Dont Cry for Me, Argentina and The Impossible Dream, which came from musicals that had Hispanic protagonists, but are universally popular. Bardonada sings Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m. at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.). Tickets cost $34.50. Go to www.aventuracenter.org.A Once-in-a-Lifetime EncoreWhen the Haitian dance company Ayikodans performed here two years ago, so soon after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, critics and dance lovers thought it might have been one of the best performances theyd ever seen. Now the Adrienne Arsht Center, which co-sponsored that performance, is bringing Ayikodans back to celebrate the companys 25th anniversary, with a new production that includes the full ensemble of dancers, drummers, and vocalists. your chance to see them, from Friday, February 15, through Sunday, February 17 Admission is $35. For times and tickets, go to www.arshtcenter.org.If These Walls Could TalkYou might be aware that Wynwood has neighborhood in the world, both commissioned and illegal, made by famous artists and anonymous taggers. But have you really taken a close look? Building after building has some of the most colorful and creative murals anywhere, many with intriguing stories behind them. The inaugural Wynwood from HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.) will be a great way to explore this unique art form. Bikes roll on Monday, February 18 (a federal holiday, Presidents Day), from 10:00 a.m. till noon. Cost is $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Call 305-375-1621.Bang the Drums and Sticks LoudlyAs the Broadway hit Stomp once showed us, who needs guitars and other distractions when enjoying music? The Naka tani Gong Orchestra certainly doesnt. Headed by Japanese-born composer Tatsuya Nakatani, this company employs drums and cymbals to make its sound, but also bowls, bells, sticks, and kitchen utensils. Tigertail Productions is bringing this novel act (which will be joined by some locals) to the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St.) on Saturday, February 23 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25. Go to www.tigertail.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR A Madness to Their MethodMethod acting has always carried certain connotations; is it the way to bring submerged feelings to a performance, or is it a pretentious self-indulgence? To help answer that question (or not), the highly acclaimed troupe out of Austin, Texas, the Rude Mechs, will present The Method Gun at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) on Friday, Febru ary 8, and Saturday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. In this production a satirical and experimental take on what performance is and can be a rogue cast decides to bring its method to A Streetcar Named Desire Tickets cost $25. Call 305-237-3010. Love and Hate in the ShoresSome misguided sense of nostalgia could have a few longing for the 1950s, but our countrys diversity has become an integral part of our makeup in 2013. So isnt it time for a more in-depth talk about our diversity in love? Playwright and actress Christina Alex ander thinks so, which is why shes putting on her one-woman play, where she inhabits eight different characters who deliver 16 mono logues about love in Hate! An American Love Story Over three weekends (on Fridays and Saturdays) beginning on Friday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m., Hate takes the stage at the Miami Theater Center (9816 NE Second Ave.). Tickets cost $20. Go to www.mtcmiami.org. Cant Stop the KitesThe skies are clear, the temperature just about perfect this time of year, so Kite Day at Haulover Park (10800 Collins Ave.) takes place on Sunday, February 17 from noon to 5:00 p.m. Bring your own or buy one at the kite trailer, but remember that these days works of art. There might be a 100kites.) There will be kite-making demonstrations and competitions, plus food vendors. Admission is free; parking costs $6. Call the park at 305-947-3525.

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66 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannTime to Really Think About Quitting200 Block of Biscayne Boulevard For the smoker, nothing goes better with a meal than that post-dinner puff. This person couldnt wait for the check, so he went outside to appease his deadly addiction. Knowing he was coming back, he left his cell phone on the table. It was stolen within minutes. There is video surveillance of the thief, but phone calls placed to him have not been returned.Grandma and Grandpa Get Taken1200 Block of NE 83rd Street An elderly couple welcomed their granddaughter into their home because she claimed she needed to take a shower. While the couple watched television, they curiously did not hear the shower running. They searched the house only with the open door came the realization that their generator had been stolen. The couple believes the granddaughter had help likely, her scummy boyfriend. No arrests have been made at press time. A Happy Ending for Crooks200 Block of NE 71st Street Two potential customers walked into a massage parlor to inquire about rates and services. One asked to use the restroom. The employee on duty walked him over there. When she returned to the front desk, the other man was gone, as was a laptop computer. The employee attempted to chase after him, but he got away. At this point, the man who had been in the restroom was at the front desk, burrowing through the drawers. He eventually left. The whole incident was caught on camera. No arrests at press time.An Eye for the Finer Things8000 Block of NE 1st Avenue Crooks nowadays have many sides employ a scorched-earth strategy, in life. This perpetrator broke into a vacant home and promptly stole a

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chandelier. We gather his reasoning was that no one was currently enjoy ing it, so why let it go to waste? He made his entrance by breaking the side window and exiting the front door. Nothing else was touched.The Sweet Smell of Loot600 Block of NE 39th Street on the counter and walked away. The ness and snatch the money away. The homeless gentleman is recognizable to the business owner because he often has been issued.A Flood of Crime100 Block of NE 39th Street Floridians are looking for ways to beat this regard.) Well, instead of buying a water heater, this criminal elected to steal one from a building. He was not our bone-rattling 65-degree weather. As Jimmy Carter famously once said: Time to break out the sweaters.This Crook Had to Go Bad100 Block of NE 54th Street If you want to use the restroom at a customer; at least that is what we are broke into a business, then broke a hole in a wall leading to the restroom of an the odor immediately, but the mystery what those items were. Were guessing likely items missing.Cops Say Scam Didnt Work, Ask for Refund1700 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Returning items has always been a brought with him (subtle) and went to was carrying the coffee maker in a ratty man was arrested. Thievery Made EasyNE 1st Avenue and NE 5th Street location where the deal was going to go and demanded the money. He also took ensued and the buyer was able to grab a black bag from the car (it did not belong to him but we guess that is tit for tat). been made, but be forewarned about the unregulated ease of Craigs List.Oh, Yes, Its Losers Night7005 Biscayne Boulevard dimly lit decadence; just buy a drink and head to the backroom, guys. There is a ed by the doorman after entering, the for good measure. A warning to all our something that will actually shoot back, Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Monsignor Edward Pace High School We are Pace... Partners Academics Catholic Empowerment The Tradition of Excellence Continues! Enroll Today!Be a part of the Spartan tradition... www.PaceHS.com to get the enrollment process started.

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68 Columnists: PARK PATROLA Green Space, Recycled Once a forest, Biscayne Gardens Park is now a fairly welcoming, if somewhat oddly situated, suburban oasisBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorLast month I was taking my dead Christmas tree to one of the Gardens Park. I wondered, what are you doing here? You, the park, I mean. Not me, Christmas trees. Miami-Dade County, and the surroundremains an unincorporated section of neighborhoods. teresting experiment. Not many years ago, these three acres were covered by turned. (The park has no direct phone Grove Park.) The name of the park and neighborPark). Furthermore, another nearby Another common trait shared by the resident of the neighborhood since Gardens Civic Association (and a dedicated BT reader), the park this effect during my visits in the dry month of January, but I have grass, and youre there. (Now these parks are really they form the parks main attraction. In this part of Miami-Dade, it is rare to see so many native the park, but from my observations the trees, theres not much to see. not meet many of the civic asamenities. The association wanted a gazebo and restrooms, but space for everyone. that I do not recognize. It has bright red identify these trees? been growing here for decades, as they to see that existing native trees were exotic trees were ditched. Around the BT BT photos by Jim W. Harper BISCAYNE GARDENS PARK151 NW 159th St. 305-944-8670 Hours: Picnic tables: No Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: No Swimming pool: No NoPark Rating NW 158th St NW 159th St NE 160th St NE 161st StNW 156th StNW 2nd Ave North Miami Ave

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edge of the park are some nice pigeon plums, and several sabal palms along the walking path. Biscayne Gardens Park has the potential to become much larger, as acres of open land exist in patches either adjacent to the park or within walking distance. It would be a gift to the neighborhood to see these patches connected into a green zone. The area as a whole deserves some more attention. Helene says that, until lights were installed last year, the neighborhood was in the dark, thereby discouraging visitors. (How many residential areas in this part of the county still lack nighttime lighting?) Even if the area is lightly traveled, it has schools, churches, and many places that people call home. They deserve to have safe spaces as well as green spaces. If youre still wondering about recycling your Christmas tree, its probably too late, but you can keep the idea in mind for next year. Technically, you must live within an unincorporated section of the county to qualify for the tree mulching service, but dont let that discourage you. Just like the paucity of people in the park, there were very few Christmas trees piled up at the Golden Glades recycling center. I dropped off my tree and grabbed free mulch, with no questions asked. Someday, while trying to take the back roads to reach the Golden Glades, Now you will know where you are. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com $3300 Valid with coupon. Not to be combined with other offers. New students only.

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70 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALBird in the HandA leisurely outing turns into desperate attempt to rescue an injured cormorant By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorI BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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stunningly beautiful turquoise eyes and long, thin, sharp beaks that hook downward. Though long thought to be in the raven family, they are actually related to pelicans. (Cormorant derives from the Latin corvus marinus or, roughly translated, sea raven.) I knew something was off with this bird. What was he doing in the road? Cormorants are excellent divers able to bobbing in and out of the water, they often perch on tree branches, wings fully extend ed, looking very grand, while allowing the sun to dry their plumage. Asphalt is not a natural habitat for the cormorant. For a few fretful minutes, I worried that the Stump Bird had died in the street. The dog I had for 18 years had died two weeks prior, and my beagle died last year. Rational or not, I started to suspect I was becoming the Angel of Animal Death, I perched myself on the ledge next to the road, in front of the bay. Sand crunched beneath my sneakers. I continued to sit there, glancing out at what had been, until then, the comforting blue ebb of Biscayne Bay. The cormorant made no movement. This bird needed help and I had driven right into the situation. For the next 15 minutes I observed his behavior. I couldnt pinpoint it, but something was wrong. I grew up with parrots and still photograph them in the wild; I can usually spot a sickly bird. No wild bird should let me sit 20 feet away, plus, as he set his brilliant blue eyes on me, I saw a cloudiness in them. I called the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, which is located on the 79th Street Causeway. Its mission is rehabbing seabirds. I prayed my case was are always short on staff, so you never know if help will arrive. Thankfully, it did, in the form of a woman wearing thick gloves and lugging two gigantic nets attached to poles. After a failed attempt to scoop up the bird, we devised another plan. We lacked bait, so I ran to a truck parked up the road, chum. As I neared the vehicle, I noticed but it didnt involve scales. Instead I saw an entwined, amorous couple. Fail. At the opposite end of the old road, the cormorant had found a new perch. I walked past him and then, with huge net in hand, inched across the ground as quietly as possible, stopping every foot or so to see if he noticed me. I thought I could sneak up on him and net him. I got close, put down the net, and sat on the ledge. I then inched the net toward my grasp, concealed by trees. Meanwhile, the woman from Pelican Harbor returned with some sardines, and tossed a few toward him. He was not interested. Not good. I had never netted a bird before, yet, now closer, I was positioned favorably. I scooted toward the tree. Meanwhile, the woman crept up from the other side, crunching shells as out into the bay. My heart sank. The woman lunged with the net and captured him momentarily, until he dove under the water and got away. I scanned the bay for him. When he resurfaced, I swiped my net in his direction, missing him by an inch. No! I yelled, as he swam away. There was only one thing left to do. I quickly trudged into the water, waist deep, stomping through seagrass. It felt like hands grabbing at my shoes. Then I swam out to him, unwieldy net in hand. I had only one chance. One toss. So. Close. I lurched one arm forward, extending the net over him. I caught him! Then I under again, and swam back to shore. The woman and I transferred him from my net into an animal carrier. The cormorant had no visible injuries. I stood, clothing stuck to me like some co-ed at a wet T-shirt contest, and watched helplessly as the woman drove away with the bird. I called the following day and learned he had died a short time after arriving at Pelican Harbor. The wildlife rehabber said he was about a year old. She ordered a necropsy. Her best guess was a head injury, possibly caused by a boat. The results were inconclusive. This news upset me greatly. But in the end, I suppose his spirit lives on, and it is only his physical body that will be, to quoth the raven, nevermore. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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72 Cape Florida Lighthouse: Our Version of AncientA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul S. George Special to the BTThe Cape Florida Lighthouse rep resents the oldest extant structure built in Southeast Florida. While the old Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach predates the lighthouse in age, it was built in northern Spain and only brought to Dade County in the early 1950s, where it was reassembled as a tour ist attraction and later a house of worship. The Cape Florida Lighthouse, seen here through the camera lens of Coconut Grove resident Ralph Munroe, in 1883, began operating as a lighthouse on the southern tip of Key Biscayne in 1825. Then 60 feet in height (later it was elevated to 90 feet), light every seven seconds, warning nearby ships of the perils of the Great Florida Reef that stood on the eastern edges of Biscayne Bay. The complex included a house for the keeper and his family. The lighthouse possesses a history, which includes the severe damage it experienced in 1836 by marauding Indians during the Second Seminole War (18351842), and the destruction to its Fresnel lens by Confederate forces in the early stages of the Civil War, which darkened After the Civil War, the Fowey Rock Lighthouse, a new, more powerful light, replaced it in 1878. From then till recent times, the old structure suffered from neglect and the forces of nature. Finally, on the eve of the City of Miamis Centennial celebration in 1996, an impressive restoration job reversed the years of neglect. Today many visitors climb to top of the historical structure for a wonderful view of the waters beyond it. 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, #Munroe 98D 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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Jungle LifeMany of the wondrous plants found at one of Miamis signature attractions could also thrive in your yard By Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorI started working at Parrot Jungle as the assistant horticulturist in the mid-1970s. I didnt know then that I would forever be amazed by all the this wonderful South Florida institution. tered had been planted decades before and were immense specimens, while others, like the bromeliad and cactus collections, would be changed or augmented on a regular seasonal cycle. Even week at the beginning, it was only after months of being there that I got to know the entire plant collection. In our cactus garden, besides cactus, we had numerous species of succulent plants, from aloes to agaves to the Stapelia a very variable species. The plants grew as a short groundcover in the hottest full-sun locations in the cactus garden and would bloom sporadically throughout the hot months of the year. They didnt tolerate frost or too much rain very well, but otherwise this particular stapelia species was easy to grow. There are numerous stapelia spesizes, many of which stink when open these succulents. Stapelia make excellent potted plants when given full sun and excellent soil drainage. One plant at Parrot Jungle that always fascinated me was this large mass of stringy-looking vine with thick, succulent leaves that had grown throughout the canopy of a mature live oak. I had never seen anything like it before; the mass of vine must have grown at least 25 feet into the trees canopy. It was also growing in the canopy of another tree, a palm, the native nally learned its name: hoya, or wax vine. Hoya is a plant that is very closely related to stapelia. There are 200 to 300 species of this really interesting genus found throughout Southeast Asia, the Malay Archipelago, and Australia. The photo that accompanies this article is of a in bloom that I photographed in the canopy of a friends live oak here in Miami. This particular clump came from a single cutting planted in a hanging pot that had been attached to this tree about 30 years ago. These attractive vining plants, or creepers, are often found growing as epiphytes, in the canopy of trees. Most hoyas like bright light but not full sun. The typi cally dark green foliage will often look a bit yellowish when in too much light. I planted a a few years ago on a black olive tree at Jungle Island. This species has thick heart-shaped leaves and a large white bloom. Actually, the blooming structure is more correctly cence is the structure that holds all of the cies has a red, star-shaped center, which sometimes glistens with a dark yellowish up into the canopy of the black olive but not onto the foliage, because of the bright light. I was once told by an old-timer that hoyas need to be allowed to grow up into trees; once they start hanging down, they will bloom regularly. structure. The plant will drop very thin stalks called spurs. (If you want to get scien species the spurs are perennial, so they will over time. Do not cut these long stalks off to make the plant look neat because it will Many species of hoya have a sweet scent, sometimes resembling chocolate. Most hoyas also produce a good bit of nectar. This is, of course, to attract poland ants. I have rarely seen natural pollination occur, but when it does happen, the fruit with the seeds inside will be borne as twin pods. When ripe, the pods will split open and the seeds will be dispersed in the wind or collected by a sharp-eyed horticulturist looking to plant more hoyas. The seeds germinate quite readily but will not last very long, so plant them right away. Hoyas can be a great addition to a landscape. Many species can easily be grown as epiphytes, while the smaller species make excellent hanging container specimens. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski rfntbt

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74 Food for ThoughtSome things you can do locally to lessen the world agriculture crisis By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWorried about the planet? Or are you more worried about what to have for dinner tonight? Worrying about what you eat today makes more sense than worrying about a both relate to your survival. away the food you were planning to eat really worry about the planet that feeds you. How secure and safe is our food supply? Lets start with fresh water. Lo your household should have received a water comes from and how it is tested. buying packaged water. Use your faucet. rosy. The nations breadbasket in the Mid west continues to suffer one of the worst droughts ever recorded. You will see the want to stock up on canned corn. to some of the poorest places on earth. An inverse relationship exists between the of the accumulated pollution that fuels suffer its worst impacts. We simply dont feel the threat of climate change like they is feeling the heat right now; it is basically converting into believers day by day. Extreme weather and growing popu lations put both water and food supplies outlook. Heard of peak oil? Most modern agriculture can produce much more food than our planets seven billion people need; the problem is uneven pro nations tend to have stockpiles while poor ones face shortages. worldwide is possibly worse than at any to the Earth Policy Institute. (To put that lent to the entire world population circa problem this year. We only need astute leaders who care. grateful for our abundance for now and to resolve to expand food justice both globally and locally. In Florida we can feel pretty good about our agriculture and access to healthy foods in the short term. Espe cially at this time of year we should be feasting on local produce. local produce at the supermarket. The Biscayne Corridor will get a boost of new Whole Foods market comes to youll have to search carefully for locally harvested produce. Check out some of the grassroots movements that are producing local food method of sustainable gardening and living. Marcus Thomson offers classes grows an incredibly productive garden proving you can feed yourself with an cover story about Chef Keith Kalmanow Many serious issues confront our and processed foods that are a root cause obesity and healthcare crisis. How ironic is it that Americans are eating them selves to death while whole continents are malnourished? How shameful. you have great control over what you eat. Here are some tips to restore your bal and organic produce. Remember that you where you eat; become a locavore by shopping at markets and restaurants that offer local produce. its others far away who are suffering Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrr ntbtrnrrn rrnrtr rrrtr rnrnf rfnttbt t rr rfntbrt rrrrtrfrf rr

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Magical Mystery TourA day at Disney summons up almost every feeling imaginableBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorHow do you sum up a trip to the Magic Kingdom with your two kids and in-laws? Magically comedic. Somehow, this trip allowed me to see things I had never noticed or thought I would observe at a place known for its ship-shape, happy-memory-making reputation. Let me begin by saying we all had a fantastic time. I am sure the other 149,994 people who were there with us did as well. (Disney doesnt publish its crowd sizes, but the playlands 107 acres were stretched to capacity on this particular Saturday.) The adventure began with smooth sailing into the park via our magical chariot, the Honda Odyssey. After parking effortlessly, we waited in line for the tram to the entrance gates. Probably the most stressful part of the day, this line was not really a line, but instead a mass of anxious parents and amped-up kids elbowing each other for access to the front of the throng. Holding the crowd back from deathby-speeding-tram was an 80-year-old and screaming for people to Stay behind the safety poles! I contemplated our elderly retirement jobs. Matilda, my eight-year old, looked up at me with fear, her hair whipping around her face, as the second tram whizzed by us at breakneck speed. Her tened, but that the tram had passed us by without stopping. The wait to get entrance tickets was 80 minutes. I used the time wisely to download nifty Disney apps and compare agendas and memories with our fellow standers-in-line. Thirty minutes into the wait, Matilda looked at the crowd and yelled, Are we having fun yet? She got big laughs for that one. Lesson learned: Print tickets at home and arrive an hour before the gates open. Once we got our tickets, we realized we were still a ferry ride away from the Happiest Place on Earth, and that yet another lengthy line stood between us and the ferryboat. In true Brewe fashion, we had a strategy for the day: Get to Its a Small World. The iconic attraction seemed a great way to start off the Brewe-venture, with an innocent, sleepy ride that conjures feelings of peace and harmony, it. As we made our way to the front of the line and she realized she was going to have to get into an unmanned boat that appeared eerily out of a darkened corridor, she clung desperately to us. It occurred to me as we slowly memories of this ride were ones of pure awe, my kids are used to more advanced technology: more life-like dolls and robots, without 25 years of dust and grime. We also realized that their very diverse upbringing made the racially stereotyped dolls seem even creepier. At the end, though, they were singing along. Thank God, since the ride backed up nearly 20 minutes. The rest of the day was a sparkly, fun-soaked haze and the long lines, while not ideal, allowed for some epic people-watching and priceless observa tions. Below are some of my favorites: A woman snapping a picture screamed at her children: Act like youre having fun, dammit! The number of kids in line who watched movies on various iDevices was astonishing. (Really? Really?) The sheer volume of newborn babies. Many of these new parents didnt have other, older kids. They were just happy couples at the Happiest Place on Earth with their oblivious little bundles of happiness. Someone with a giant turkey leg decided he didnt need the extra fat from the turkey skin, so he threw the skin on the ground. An aggressive egret swooped down, grabbed the turkey skin in its beak, and gracefully swooped off only to drop it on a young teenage passerby as she applied lip gloss. The horror! I laughed for an hour. A woman on a princess ride took a picture down the inside of her shirt. Upon witnessing this from afar (and after making sure my kids didnt see), I kept thinking, Did she tweet that? cyberspace wall. A man, tired from a day of pricey corn dogs and rides ending in gift shops, ex ploded on his family on Main Street U.S.A. We did not stay to watch the drama unfold, but Disney World may be paying for their future marriage counseling. The number of times I heard mothers say, Dont put your mouth on that! was impressive. Someone should call the Guinness Book. I am sure there was a world record there. Lastly, the incessant princess chimes that started at the front gates and didnt end until we got back into the Odyssey made me want to curl up into a fetal position and chant for a margarita. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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76 By Bill Citara BT ContributorCalifornias Central Coast appellation is the kitchen sink of wine regions. Technically called the Central Coast American Viticultural Area, it runs some 250 miles from San Francisco south to Santa Barbara and consists of roughly four million acres, of which almost 100,000 are planted with wine grapes. Home to 350-plus wineries and 29 separate, smaller appellations, it produces about 15 percent of the states grapes, which are turned into everything from thimblefuls of extra-virgin (and extra-ex pensive) juice to titillate the palates of the One Percent to jugs of cheap, indifferent plonk to numb the palates of the rest of us. Here at Vino, of course, we are neither virginal nor plonkish, merely discriminating in our tastes and careful with our dollars. (Okay, we admit it: Were overwhelmed by all the wines out there and have been known to scrounge pennies from beneath our sofa cushions.) Its easy to be overwhelmed. More than three dozen different varietals are grown within the Central Coast AVA, though Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay constitute the vast majority of plantings. Rhone varietals like Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Marsanne, and Roussanne are growing in popularity, owing to consumers interest in wines outside the Cabernet-Chardonnay-Merlot Iron Triangle, as well as the Central Coasts Rhone-friendly warm days-cool nights climate. Unfortunately, virtually all of those wines cost more than 12 bucks a bottle, as most small producers just cant compete, price-wise, with the giant-super-megawineries that dominate the $12-and-under price point. So despite the bazillions of gallons of Central Coast wines produced But we rolled those dice anyway, dear readers, risking our taste buds, stom ach lining, and limited budget to uncover a handful of vinous gems. For example, the 2011 Red Pony Ranch Pinot Noir Run out and buy a case of this wine right now, as I cant remember another that delivered so much Pinot Noir charm and character for a blessed $11.99. And heres the kicker: It dishes up a hefty 14.4-percent alcohol, yet is so well made and well balanced it sits lightly on the palate, with only the tiniest bit of alco pure pleasure, a medium-bodied wine with toasty oak, and that beguiling Pinot earthi ness. Id throw in a few more adjectives, but my thesaurus has already gone limp. Like good, cheap Pinot Noir, good and inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon can be one of those oxy-type morons. Not the 2010 Running With Scissors Cab, though. It shares a certain earthy quality with the Red Pony, but doubles down on the fruit, with pungent black quick hits of black olive, cloves, and oak. Good structure and low alcohol (13 percent) give it an elegance that belies its $10 price tag. Remember how I said even cork dorks like Vino can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of wines on your average supermarket or wine-shop shelf? Well, heres a good wine-buy ing tip: The cuter the name, the worse the wine. So a wine named after ice cream might just trip your ick meter. Not that the NV Scoops Red Wine Blend is really icky, just assertively grapey in a candied, cough syrupy, red cherry way. Its apparently going after the suddenly trendy sweet red that, like psychopathic assault-weap on owners, Id just as soon avoid. Avoid too the erroneously named Smart Cookie 2010 Chardonnay a truly odd-tasting liquid that is to Char donnay what Lindsay Lohan is to sobriety. shell out ten bucks for this dog biscuit. Thankfully, not all Central Coast Chardonnays channel washed up Hol lywood celebutards. The 2010 Sterling Vineyards and 2011 Cupcake (an excep tion to the cute name equals crap rule) offer that big, rich, buttery character most Chardonnay drinkers love, yet do so with enough restraint to keep from becoming cloying. Both are plush and creamy-tex tured with lots of toasty oak, just held in check by citrus-green apple acidity. For something lighter and crisper, yet still fruit-driven, theres the 2011 Coast line Pinot Grigio Its aromas of lemon, lime, green apple, and white peach carry through to the palate, where the acidity slowly reveals itself in the long, lingering Coast AVA, this one comes up aces. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Your House Fast! Any Condition, Any Location 305 894 6192 E nglish & EspanolDade & Broward Homes | Condos | Multi-Family Eddie, Alekxey, Mercedes & Ivan Central Coast CharmersRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Good Luck, Long Life, New YearFood news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorHappy New Year! No, were not a month behind. Chinese New Year is this month, starting on February 9 (New Years Eve) and running through February 15 or longer. Some celebrate for an additional week with spectacular lion dances (to evict bad spirits), red angpow envelopes containing cash and, especially, all manner of ritual foods to ensure good luck in the coming Year of the Snake. That means readers who neglected to eat the western worlds traditional New Years Eve/New Years Day lucky foods on January 1 get another chance with lucky Asian foods, many symbolizing wealth and abundance (dumplings resembling Chinese ingots, green lettuce wraps representing currency), plus longevity noodles, key to a long life. Just dont cut them before eating. For those whod rather not make their own dishes, much less their own lion masks, Brickell Keys Mandarin Oriental Hotel will be offering the traditional dancers plus multicourse dinners featuring longevity noodles and many foods granting abundance at both Azul ($135) and Caf Sambal ($85). Reservations: 305-913-8358. And now on to recent restaurant openings, which have also been abundant. OPENINGS B Sweet (20 NE 41st St.; 305-918-4453). Tucked into a former apartment building near N. Miami Avenue, this cozy indoor/ outdoor coffee shop, from the husband/ wife team of Karina Gimenez and Tom its the source of pastries that are arguably the most elegant in Miami: tiny berrystudded crme brle tarts; almond-rich peach frangipane squares; a white-anddark chocolate mousse cake worthy of Pariss patisseries. Surprising for a neighborhood bakery; not surprising con sidering Worhachs previous exec pastry chef posts, including the famed Mansion at Turtle Creek and Palm Beachs Four Seasons. Fish Fish (13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124). Another venture from a married team, Rebecca Nachlas and Melvyn Franks, this sophisticated yet warm seafood restaurant/lounge also features a welcome surprise: a market, where home cooks can buy any of the offered on the changing menu, including stone crab claws from their own Florida Keys processing plant. And Oscar Quezada, longtime chef at Islamoradas Lazy Days, has the kitchen impeccably together. Sample happy hours scrumptious new $6 bar bites and youll stay for larger treats like greaselessly fried whole red snapper with Thai and lemon aioli dipping sauces. Primo Trattoria Italiana (2216 NE 123rd St., 305-891-3312). Another new family-owned eatery. Is Valentines Day this month? Anyway, Saverio Primo Macaluso and his wife had a long journey from their native Sicily, with stops to run trattorias in Rome and Tampa, to bring North Miami Italian favorites like mushroom ravioli with butter/sage sauce, stinco dagnello (lamb shank and veggies braised in red wine), and for take-out customers only, pizzas. The Embassy (4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-8446). This gastropub has no sign except an upside-down one, reading exit, over the front entrance. But I guess you need no sign when the chef is Alan Hughes, whose pioneering Buena Vista restaurant One Ninety was attracting hordes back in 2002, before the Design District had any there there. The Embassy features live music and stays open late (midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 3:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday). Featured food: pintxos, artisanal tapas typical of San Sebastian, gourmet capital of Spains Basque country. Alba (17315 Collins Ave., 786-9329305). From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano (a contestant on Hells Kitchen and Iron Chef ), this beachside Italian spot (in the Sole on the Ocean resort) serves seafood, pizzas, housemade pastas, and old-school Italian-American entres. Entertainment highlight: The Vinny D Split, a game enabling tables to win their meals for free. Bonding (638 S. Miami Ave., 786409-4794). In the space formerly occupied by French bistro LouLou (whose recent closing I missed), this Thai/sushi spot is from Bond Trisransi, originally behind Mr. Yum, 2B Asian Bistro, and extinct Soi Asian Bistro (whose closing I also missed. Ouch!). Ambiance, including loud music, is aimed at the young; dishes like crispy duck salad with tamarind dressing appeal to all, as do affordable prices. Georges Kitchen & The Loft (3404 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-9199). Youve probably already heard of this stylish, sultry restolounge for the wrong reason: an alleged owner/customer brawl that hit local front pages. Focus instead on French-inspired small and big plates: an especially savory short rib tartare with capers, deviled egg, and caviar; addictive Idiazabal cheese churros with zesty romesco sauce. Upstairs is The Loft, a sleek lounge. Hungry for more food news? See BizBuzz (page 24). Send me tips and alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 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 Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 314.rf ntbnfnt tnft ntf f t tf fnf fff NEW THIS MONTH MIAMIMIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTMachiya3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025Originally called Machiya Ramen Noodle House, this eatery changed its name -and really, the place is not so much a ramen joint as a contemporary izakaya (lounge featuring Japanese hot and cold small plates plus sushi), with a few added ramen bowls. Most of the menu is a mix of todays popular favorites, like Kobe sliders, and unique inventions. Wildest: wasabi-spiced tuna pizza. Our faves: fatty salmon makis (lightly seared salmon belly with shrimp tempura, asparagus, and yuzu sauce); rich miso-braised short ribs; steam buns with rock shrimp and spicy aioli.Rincon Escondido2697 Biscayne Blvd., 305-438-9300On a quick drive-by, this eatery surrounded by still-ungentrified storefronts rather resembles a hole-in-the-wall Latin cafetera. Inside, though, the look is rustic-chic, and the menu features some of Miamis most refined traditional or creative Spanish tapas. We love the open-faced sandwiches, particularly montaditos de boquerones (with fresh anchovies and brunoised veggies). Traditionalists will find patatas bravas satisfyingly spicy; braver experimenters should try bombas de queso (fried cheese balls with sweet orange blossom sauce), actually alarming in name only. $$-$$$ Thea Pizzeria-Caf1951 NW 7th Ave., 305-777-3777Just over the border from artsy Wynwood, this ultra-cool caf (whose interior features a 30-foot Italian glass floral mosaic) isnt what youd expect to find inside one of the medical/lab buildings in Miamis sterile Health District. But the owner is Thea Goldman, former founding part ner of Wynwoods pioneering restolounge Joeys, which explains both the stylishness and the menu, highlighted by imaginative wood-oven designer pizzas, plus artisan charcuterie/cheese platters, creative salads, and housemade salted caramel gelato. Not your typical hospital food. Call ahead regarding dinner. At this writing, its being served Fridays only. $$-$$$ UPPER EASTSIDEIron Side Caf7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-759-0551Located in the Little River business (meaning ware house) district, inside an art complex that looks like just another factory, this eatery is easy to miss. But it shouldnt be missed. Both the cozy interior and more expansive terrace provide picturesque settings for art fully plated, seriously organic and locally sourced fare from Nuno Grullon, original exec chef at Metro Organic Bistro. Particularly recommended: tuna tartare with a unique spicy lemon dressing; ossa buco featuring flavorful grass-fed beef from Gaucho Ranch right down the road. Saturday BBQ/gallery nights are especially hip. $$-$$$NORTH MIAMICaminito Way1960 NE 123rd St., 305-893-8322Open since 1999, this bakery-caf is particularly known for its European-influenced homemade Argentine pastries. So come early to pick from the widest variety of savory empanadas (plumply stuffed and admirably delicate -no leaden crusts here) or sweet facturas (Argentinas most popular breakfast items). They sell out fast. What some might not know is that despite its small size, Caminitos also crafts tasty big food: elaborate salads; hefty baguette sandwiches, like choripan sausage with chimichurri; pastas; major meat or poultry entres. For lighter lunches, try tartas (quiches), also perfect party food. $-$$ Fish Fish13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124Heres what makes this elegantly warm restolounge and seafood market not just an irresistible neighborhood draw but a worth-the-drive dining destination: Both local and cold-water fish and shellfish, including stone crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nachlass own Florida Keys plant, that are always fresh, never frozen (except some shrimp). For home cooks, the market offers all delivered-daily catches on the menu. But dont miss chef Oscar Quezadas simple and perfect preparations, including lightly battered, crispy tempura shrimp; sophisticated fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheapo fish); bracing ceviches; and, for carnivores, shepherds pie topped with ethereal whipped potatoes. $$-$$$$

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13488 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD | NORTH MIAMI, FLORIDA 33181786-SEA-3124 | FISHFISHMIAMI.COM(786-732-3124)Bring In this Ad...oR Just Say Fish Fish & receive A Complimentary Bottle of Red or White WineWith Every Two Dinner Entrees or Grill Items, Or aComplimentary Key Lime Pie for LunchWith any Small Plate, Sandwich, or House SpecialtyGET ON THE BOAT! STARTING IN FEBRUARY IS LAUNCHING!! GET ON THE BOAT! STARTING IN FEBRUARY IS LAUNCHING!!@FISHFISHMIAMI HAPPY HOUR Monday Friday from 4-7PM Two-for-One Drinks & A Fantastic $6 Bar Bite Menu New Dinner Menu DJ RossiLive Every Friday & Saturday From 8-11PM Spinning Cool Waves! Now Open for Lunch Every Day from 11AM Our Fresh Seafood Market also opens 11AM, with Local Catch and Live Maine Lobsters from 11/4 up to 9lbs Bring Us Your Own Catch & We'll Gladly Cook It Up! And Watch for Brunch Coming Soon!! Join Us at the SOBE Wine & Food Festival at the Grand Tasting, Feb 23-24 1 7

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celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$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. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chefdriven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$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. $$ First Hong Kong Caf117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edi ble. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ 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 Singapore-style noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (from-scratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily competent service. $$$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 market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Jackson Soul Food950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710]With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, for merly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$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 interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$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. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$

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Martini 28146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husbandwife 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. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sau sage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-andcheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$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 sweetsauced 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. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly char-blistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/delivery-only Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$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 cau sas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025 Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingre dients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Pollos & Jarras115 NE 3rd Ave., 786-567-4940From Juan Chipoco, Peruvian chef/co-owner of seafood-centric Cvi.Che 105, this stylish but affordable two-level restaurant is centered around pollo a la brasa, as a huge rotisserie oven attests. Grilled steaks, unique sandwiches, anticuchos, and varied starters and sides are also served, but the must-notmiss is rotisserie chicken, marinated in roughly a dozen-anda-half seasonings before a self-basting spin on the spit cooks it to incomparable juiciness. Its served with crisp fries and a substantial salad. Meals also come with a complimentary cup of aguadito -assertively cilantro-spiked chicken rice soup. $$

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84 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. $-$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$Reggae Tacos93 SE 2nd St., 786-425-9558 For 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 minidoughnuts sweetened with both vanilla-spiked honey and powdered sugar. $ 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! $$$$Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$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, 305-372-0620 From 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. $$$-$$$$ Tobacco Road626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710 Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/dinner destination mainly by default. This replace ment, 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. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic Europeantype technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/ cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restau rant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tu yo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$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. $$Bloom2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5443Miamis most innovative art district is the perfect setting for this hip hangout, whose mad-genius menu proves that food is indeed one of the creative arts. Reinvented Latin/Asian street foods from chef Ricky Sauri (ex-Nobu) include spicy Spam-topped rice cakes; tuna tartare in seaweed tacos; a reina pepiada arepa, whose traditional mild chicken filling is replaced by shredded duck, avocado, tangy-sweet tamarind sauce, and Japanese mayo; an especially elegant Korean bibimbap; a vegan shitake-pumpkin tamale with nutty, cheesy natto sauce. For liquid art aficionados: cocktails like the eye-popping Tequila Beets (featuring roasted beet juice). $$$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. $$ Catch Grill & Bar1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose spe cialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos3252 NE 1st Ave. #104 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$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. $

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86 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. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co.2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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 hummuslike but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$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. $-$$ Harrys Pizzeria3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; wood-oven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with housesmoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$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? $$ Jean Pauls House2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373Jean Paul Desmaison, original chef/co-owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables, has chosen a decidedly less tony, more transitional neighborhood for this venture. But inside his renovated bungalow, ambiance is stylishly cozy, and the creative contemporary North/South American fusion cuisine is as elegant as ever. Best bets are dishes influenced by Desmaisons native Peru, including crispy pork belly braised in pisco with silky sweet potato pure, and a beautifully balanced nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian) salmon sashimi that does the impossible: tame leche de tigre, Perus infamous tigers milk marinade. $$$-$$$$ Jimmyz Kitchen2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$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. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican GrillShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its care fully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly

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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. $$-$$$ MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948 Chef/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. $$$-$$$$ Mercadito Midtown3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genu inely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treatpacked special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contempo rary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dogfriendly, too. $$-$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818 With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$ Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/ pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$Pieducks3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548 Behind 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 sand wiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$ Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mixand-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$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 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ facebook.com/GuarapoJuiceBarlive healthy | live right | live strong649 ne 79th st. miami fl 33138 | guarapojuicebar@ gmail.com | 786. 766. 1409 GRAND OPENING SPECIAL!!! Buy 1 Large Juice or Smoothie, Get 1 *Small FREE!!!*Small Juice/Smoothie of the Dayfeaturingg remedies organic blend of fruit & vegetable juices power protein smoothies wheatgrass shots a variety of protein & supplements

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88 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. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/ fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tony Chans Water Club1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ 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 uniqueto-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 altculture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budgetpriced. $$Buddha Sushi Bar1071 NE 79th St., 305-677-3633While the setting is still more low-rent/high-speed causeway than restaurant row, this stylish, much-more-than-sushi spot definitely brings the street giant steps toward destination-dining status. The invention and skill shown in makis like the Fruity (shrimp, salmon, tuna, whitefish, roe, asparagus, and peaches, dressed with creamy mustard sauce), or small plates like shrimp crullers with a red wine reduction, isnt surprising considering the crafter is Michael Asalie, original chef at downtowns Little Lotus. Order from the menu or grab something from the circulating sushi river, whatever floats your boat. $$$ 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. $-$$DeVitas7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avo cado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ 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

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(and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeasterninspired 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 contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum 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. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma pro duces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese homecooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$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. $-$$News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a fullfledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bau ernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/ soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ 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. $$$Uvas6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$

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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 favorites 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. $-$$Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fid dle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$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 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. THAI LUNCH SPECIALS $7.99 Monday-Saturday till 3:30pmSINGHA BEER 2 FOR $5All Day Long through February DINE IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY PARTY CATERINGOpen 7 Days for Lunch and Dinner Mon-Fri 11:30AM 11PM; Sat-Sun 12:30PM 11PM305-758-05167941 biscayne blvd., miamiSee our extensive Thai & Sushi menu atwww.SiamRiceThaiAndSushi.com

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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. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$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. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/ soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/ chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a topdrawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversationfriendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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, 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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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. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this nostalgic hangout. New owners have made some changes, including a dcor/ambiance upgrade (theres now a patio lounge, with music) and an expanded menu featuring contemporary comfort foods like fire-grilled pizzas with fresh toppings (homemade mozzarella, etc.), several salads, and veggie burgers. But timetested road food favorites remain: big beef burgers, hot dogs, and of course, Woodys famous cheesesteak, done traditional Philly-style with shaved ribeye. You can even get Cheese Whiz. To drink, there are nine draft beers plus old-school shakes. $$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 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. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar ItalianAmerican classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little 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

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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. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ 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. $-$$Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$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. $$Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/ sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$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 rfntbrbrffnnfbnbrbrrrffrrntb r f n t

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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. Asian-influenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infu sions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$The Grill on the Alley19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Il Migliore2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$ Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga minitea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$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. $$$Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$ 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. $$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)SUNNY ISLES BEACHChef Philip Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-elazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$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 specials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/ raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale ItalianAmerican place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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 wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagneshallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ SPECIALTY CAKES AND DESSERTSBREAKFAST LUNCH 7AM-7PM305-603-9340PASTRYISART.COMFREE MINI CUPCAKEWITH THIS AD 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM Specializing in Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisine YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SPORTS BAR & RESTAURANT555 NE 15th Street, 9th Floor, Miami, FL305-374-5731 WWW.MIKESVENETIA.COM M a i mi F M ia FL l oo r Fl A URA N NT l oo r M Fl M i i Daily Lunch Specials! Daily Lunch Specials!

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IN THIS ISSUEWalmart tries to hide p. 43 Crystal does Disney p. 75 February 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 10 Issue 12 CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE Question Kitchen Question Question Kitchen Question Kitchen Question Kitchen What would you pay for gourmet vegan? pg. 28

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb r rf n tfbrr bnb ff n b brr n nn rfn tbb rtn bb rfn r r r rr tb f f nrr nrrb b f tbt f tbt br nb nnb r rfn tbb ff f f r t rbn n n fn f f Z C C Z fr n r ntb n f fff f rbrn t rrbr nn C K rrb ft r bb brbb brrr fr r b b nr n Z K Z K Z K Z K Z r f nf f f Z Zfff br rrb r rfb f r nrr t Zfff br b fbn Z Z K Z Z Z Z C Z Z K Z C C rfntb bb rrbr rffntb

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COVER STORY 28 Kitchen Question: Gourmet Vegan? COMMENTARY 12 Feedback: Letters 16 Gaspar vs. Tom Wolfe 18 Jack King: Marco Rubioisms 20 Christians Dead Garden 22 My View: Brickell Pedestrians Unite! OUR SPONSORS 24 BizBuzz: Feb ruary 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 42 Aventura Police: No Credible Evidence 42 50 Eggs in Search of a Home 43 Walmart: Now You See It, Now You Dont NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 52 Jay on Aven turas Last True Open Door 54 Mark on Biscayne Landing: Dealerships 56 Jen on Transit Alternatives in the Shores 58 Frank on Building Bullet-Proof Schools ART & CULTURE 60 Anne Tschida on the Vasari Project 62 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 65 Events Calendar: Ayikodans Returns POLICE REPORTS 66 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 68 Jim W. Harper: Golden Glades Hideaway COLUMNISTS 70 All Things Animal: Dead Corm orant 72 Picture Story: Key Biscayne Lighthouse 73 Your Garden: Miamis Jungle Life 74 Going Green: Turn on That Spigot! 75 Kids and the City: Disney Exhaustion 76 Vino: Central Coast Charmers 77 Dish: Good Luck, Long Life, New Year DINING GUIDE 78 Restaur ant Listings: 314 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 r rr A rtRT directorDIRECTOR rn r A dvertisingDVERTISING designDESIGN rrr CIRCULATION rr r PRINTING rCONTENTSPO Box 370566, Miami, FL 33137 www.biscaynetimes.com rfnftbfrfft nbb F orOR A dvertisingDVERTISING informationINFORMATION callCALL 305-756-6200 22 42 70Serving communities along the Biscayne Corridor: Arch Creek East, Aventura, Bay Point, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle Meade, Buena Vista, Coventry, Design District, Downtown, Eastern Shores, Edgewater, El Portal, Enchanted Lake, Hibiscus Island, Highland Lakes, Keystone Point, Miami Shores, Morningside, North Greynolds, North Bay Island, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Oak Forest, Oakland Grove, Palm Grove, Palm Island, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Sky Lake, Sparling Lake, Star Island, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands

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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO List with me and sell it FAST!305-895-JEFF(5333) SANS SOUCI ESTATES WATERFRONT CONTEMPORARY CHIC 24HR GATED COMMUNITY 4br/3.5ba pool 2 car garage, only 6 lots to the bay, completely remodeled 2013 w/the finest of upgrades. Center island chefs kitchen w/subzero & miele appliances, all glass tile hi tech baths,hurricane impact windows, new seawall / 75 dock and 16k boat lift. $999K 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 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 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 theatre/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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Horrors: About as Credible as the KardashiansAs a 34-year resident of Eastern Shores, and one who has been continually involved in the community, I have never heard the word hate used in any reference to Eastern Shores or its residents, until I read Jim W. Harpers Little Park of Horrors (January 2013). The author used the word hate eight times in his Park Patrol article to describe his perception of the Eastern Shores community with regard to children, pedestrians, parks, and of course, the Kardashians. At this point, the only thing I hate is and as credible as the Kardashians. Chuck Asarnow, president Eastern Shores Property Owners AssociationHorrors: Youre A World Traveler and This Is the Worst Youve Seen?To Jim W. Harper: Good grief, man! Your article seems a bit over the tot lot. Reporters like you and the Kardashians may be hated, but Im sure the residents of Eastern Shores dont hate children. Perhaps the residents prefer to keep their children on the safe side of the guard gates, with all the comfort and safety of those luxurious homes overlooking the lovely canals. Or perhaps there are not many small children who would use the lot? Did you actually interview any of the alleged baby haters? Im sure our residents and council people would encourage the City of North Miami Beach to spruce it up if the 4000 residents of Eastern Shores had a problem with it. I did a little research myself and can see you are a well-educated and worldly individual who has traveled six continents. And this is the worst thing youve ever seen? Perhaps you should aim your rants at something affecting millions of people. Or maybe the horror the constant decline of customer service by local businesses, during the holiday season. Janet Masumian Eastern ShoresKent to Jack: Beware Nazis Passing as LiberalsJack Kings commentary Locked and Loaded, in Januarys edition of Bis cayne Times really came as no surprise, and considering your publications liberal-leaning slant of late, was really quite predictable. The only rational assumption he made in the column, which I fully agree with, is the fact that most if not all Americans, irrespective of their positions on gun ownership, are thoroughly shocked and disgusted with what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I would venture to say that Wayne LaPierre of the NRA feels exactly the same way. However, for the less-than-objective folks in the mainstream media these days, Mr. King included, it is always easier to jump to quick conclusions and hop on the politically correct bandwagon, focusing on that which seems to be the most tangi ble cause, in this case guns, rather than address the intangible or the root cause of the problem, which is a culture raised and inspired by a steady diet of violence on Factor in single-working-parent homes, broken families, lack of moral and formative values, and a steady diet of pharmaceuticals to treat depression and a slew of other mental illnesses, real or imagined, and the end result is what happened at Sandy Hook. Those of us who are in fact responsible, licensed gun owners arent the ones out there committing the crimes. It is the criminal or, in this case, a mentally deranged individual, using illegally obtained guns to commit the crime, and who I am guessing would be less inclined to do so if they suspected they were confronting someone with a gun. This is precisely why most such crimes occur in states with gun laws already in place, since it is unlikely the intended victim(s) will be armed. While I do believe certain gun-law loopholes need to be closed to mitigate the opportunity for felons or the mentally ill from obtaining weapons directly or indirectly, I suspect, as with most legislation coming out of Washington these days, that it will likely be the responsible gun owners who will end up suffering the unintended or perhaps intended consequences of whatever is signed into law. After all, its much easier to go after and make it harder for registered gun owners than dedicate the resources to go after unregistered weapons in the hands of criminals and other undesirables. If there is any one thing that has established this great country for what it is, it is the Constitution on which it Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 14

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Est. 1995 LIVE THE CITY LIFE

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was founded. It appears, though, that Mr. Constitution as a right-wing neo-Nazi, a label I believe would apply to a majority of Americans who still value and cherish the freedoms for which it stands. I suggest that, before putting pen to paper again, Mr. King read up on the rise of national socialism in pre-war similar parallels to the liberal-progressive movement taking root in the U.S. at the moment. National socialism gave rise to Nazism, which is on par with the eventual evolution of the progressive movement and its agenda, which is gearing more and more toward silencing opposing opinions and infringing on peoples rights and beliefs. Kent O. Bonde Miami ShoresHonor the Miami Heralds Journalists, Not Their MastersWith respect to Erik Bojnanskys ex cellent article on Historic Monument or Monumentally Ugly (December 2012), I place to deserve the Miami Herald build ing on its bayfront. Nor can I think of another newspaper building not in Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Cleveland, Baltimore, or Tampa that has gunked up and blocked off its citys waterfront views. A monument to the Herald is what the Herald building is. The Miami Herald s legacy, by the way, is in its people. Honor them, but dont memorialize the building or thank its masters, who, if youll recall, paid $4.5 billion for Knight Ridder way, way too much. With McClatchy stock now at just $3 a share on a good day, the corporate bean counters apparently decided if they couldnt make back their money from the Herald from under it and to Genting, even though commercial gambling isnt yet legal in Florida under any conditions that would be of interest to the consortium. The Herald is no victim here. Its editorial-page writers display shameless cynicism, maintaining they have no dog for rejecting historical designation. The impure motives, they say, lie with the heritage-designation supporters, incited more by antipathy toward a mega resort than by preservation advocacy. Frankly, bravo to the preservationists if their actions make city planners pause for a moment and give more thought to a massive development project that will reshape the downtown area permanently, and whose owners are keen on bringing in Vegas-style casino gambling. Those same city planners will be babes in the woods when they face lobbying efforts. Be careful what you wish for, Miami; you wont be able to undo it. Newspapers have always served their owners interests. But owners used to be local and they had to face their neighbors every day, and their interests used to be plain for all to see. Let the local daily limp off into the sunset out there beyond MIA, and bring back true civic journalism. Carmen Delgado North MiamiCorrectionIn Erik Bojnanskys cover story Checking In, Checking Out (January 2013), the name of the Shalimar Motels owner was misspelled. The correct spelling is Tikva Gluck.Commentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 12 rfntbtttb

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Commentary: CULT FOLLOWINGTom Wolfe Waits, and Waits The latest, greatest (Varoom! Varoom!) Miami novel, and why I cant read itBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorI cant do it. I planned to do it. I tried to do it. I told myself I had to do it. But I just cant do it. I cant bring myself to pick up Tom Wolfes Back to Blood When it was published this past October, it was supposed to be the It was reviewed in virtually every major publication; Wolfe himself was feted at the Miami Book Fair International; and everyone in town said the same thing: You simply must read it! (Even if it wasnt clear they had, or would.) The novel quickly became, in this event-driven town, another event. Three months later the stakes have been pulled up and the big top is gone. All that re mains is the book, all 700 pages of it. And I cant think of a reason to crack it open. Its not that I dont appreciate Wolfes work, in particular his contributions to the rise of New Journalism, a style of reporting that utilized the techabout the subject at hand, and the culture. Beginning with groundbreaking magazine features like There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby Around the Bend, about the California custom-car scene, through The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test his book-length look at novelist and LSD guru Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, and Radical Chic, on the complicated marriage between wealthy white liberals and black revolutionaries, Wolfe seemed to America in the 1960s and 1970s. At his best, he not only captured the culture, but skewered it, too, revealing and reveling in its contradictions. Then, in the late 1980s, Wolfe took the plunge, crossing over from a cultural observer who utilized novelistic techThe about a New York where excess ruled. That was followed in 1998 by A Man in Full set in Atlanta, and now Back to Blood (There was also I Am Charlotte Simmons Wolfes foray into American college life, but nobody talks about that one anymore.) The throughline in all three books is the idea of the city as a boiling cauldron of class and racial tension. In Back to Blood the idea, quoted in reviews, is Miami mayor, who tells his police chief: In Miami, everybody hates everybody. Indeed, the very title of the book refers to the tribalism of the modern metropolis, rooted, in Wolfes view, in bloodlines. And therein lies my problem with Wolfe as novelist. Taken together, his big urban novels can too often seem like the B-movies of the 1940s the same story starring the same actors shot on the same lot, only with different backgrounds; just swap out the Empire State Building for the Freedom Tower. It doesnt help that Wolfe himself has never voiced much faith in the novel as a form. This is, after all, a man who in October pointedly told New York magazine that is the highpoint of 20th-century writing. Illustrative of this lack of faith is a scene from the documentary Back to Blood which follows Wolfe as he researches Miami for his book. In one scene, the writer is seen studying the location of a particular bridge near downtown. the structure, Wolfe says, essentially, that he wants to get it right, because a novel ist just cant put a bridge anywhere he wants. To which one might naturally re spond, Well, if a novelist cant, who can? (This inherent tension in Wolfe the reporter struggling with the novelist is just one of many potentially interesting Wolfes distrust of the novel engenders, for me anyway, a certain distrust of Wolfe as a novelist. And that was I heard the line about Miami as a place where everybody hates everybody. The concept struck me as hopelessly anachronistic. Everybody hating everybody was Miami in the 1980s. These days, the dominant sentiment, if there is one, is indifference. Like in most big cities. (Call it progress, I suppose.) All of which explains why I havent read Back to Blood instead using my time to read two other recent novels set in Florida, C.C. Radoffs satirical The Big Split about a coming Red State-Blue State civil war, and Thomas Sanchezs compact, compelling eco-thriller American Tropic about a serial killer loose in the Keys. I recommend both. I wouldnt say Wolfe has lost me as a reader, though. If anything, all the hype over Back to Blood has me itching to re visit his earlier work, when truth, to Wolfe, didnt feel the need to pretend otherwise. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.comPhoto courtesy of A Gentleman in the Sun Productions

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Commentary: MIAMIS KING By Jack King BT ContributorOver the past 30 years, the State of Florida has had some very good U.S. Senators. Most did a great job for both Florida and the country as a whole. People like Claude Pepper, George Smathers, Lawton Chiles, Bob Graham, and Bill Nelson all of them Democrats. Also on my good list is former Sen. Mel Martinez. He went to Washington with great expectations. But when he got there, he was treated like every other mi nority in the Republican Party. They take their new boy aside and tell him what to say and how to vote. When Martinez didnt go along with the leadership, he was given crap committee assignments and was cut out of most meaningful discussions. Martinez was so disgusted with the system that he resigned after four years. Think about that. A Republican with morals! Now we have Sen. Marco Rubio, our wonderful boy senator from West Miami, who is falling into the same trap that ran Martinez out of Washington, only Rubio liant intellect, he may never Rubio has been held up as a potential 2016 challenger for the White House. The reality is that the Republican Party has no intention of letting Rubio even get close to the nomination. They just want him out there to show the country that the party has some minority faces. Even more troubling in this weird scenario: Rubio isnt exactly the brightest bulb on the tree. His record in the Florida legislature is spotty at best. Mostly he was one of the leaders who tried to privatize all state functions (started by Jeb Bush), and for the most part its been a disaster. Rubios most memorable moment as a state legislator was taking the Florida Republican Partys AmEx card and, along with his best buddy David Rivera, burning the numbers off it for their personal expenses. Now thats what I call living within your means! The Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate put Rubio on the Foreign Relations Committee. I have no idea why. He has zero experience in foreign affairs. Could it possibly be his Hispanic surname? outing, he gets to ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questions (er, a question) about the Benghazi attack. It went something like this: Rubio: Before the attack in Benghazi, them build their security capacities? Clinton: Well theres a long list and Ill be happy to provide that to you be ment, with the kind of planning that they had not done before, and Id be happy to send you the detail on that, senator. Thats it? He spoke for eight seconds and thats all he could say? My best guess is that his Republican handlers gave him a softball question so he wouldnt make a fool of himself. Hell, he could have just sent a memo asking for the information. But then he wouldnt have had a chance to get his mug on television. For the past few months weve heard that Rubio is working on a comprehensive and sweeping package of immigration reforms. So far weve heard only generalizations about policy if you have only a vague idea what it is. My take on what his sweeping immigration reforms will look like: Nobody else can come in to the United States unless you come with $10 million to invest, a doctorate degree, and look like a Republican. Oh yes, you can be Hispanic as long as youre still white. As for the 11 million people already here illegally: You can stay here, pay taxes, donate to my campaign, and keep your nose clean. However, becoming a citizen will take 50 years. In other words, stay, work, make this country great, and then die. Thank you. In closing, here are a few more choice Rubioisms: checks for gun purchases. Mormon. No wait, Protestant. leaving Afghanistan too fast. for Sandy victims. (Sure hope we dont have another bad storm in Florida.) did little to help Florida, but made his friends, including Jeb Bush, lots of money. What about unemployment insurance? Rubio thinks youre lazy. Violence Against Women Act. hospital, then got hired by the hospital at $8000 per month. There are so many more, but its beginning to make me sick. Im going conservative. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The GOPs Boy ToyMarco Rubio may not know it (may never know it), but hes being duped

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Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorMy mom has a green thumb that I didnt inherit. Or rather I should say, she possesses an unwavering dedication to gardening, while mine waxes and wanes. Our family home in suburban Pitts burgh has long been a stop on the local garden tour. Each spring as the snow and ice trickled away, hundreds of tulips would raise their bulbous heads, present ing themselves to the local deer popula tion like a great Technicolor buffet. And every morning we found dozens of them decapitated. Mom quit on tulips after that. But the rest of the yard, front and back, is still an ever-changing array of bold hues and textures that stops people and the odd deer in their tracks. Every summer day, right through until fall, shes in the yard watering, or on her knees working the earth with her beautiful display. To care deeply for something you know wont last is the was an urbane medical student named Johnny. We bonded over taste beyond our means, and he also had a way with plants. Tall, leafy bamboo shaded the couch while mangrove shoots sprang windowsill. The balcony was a clutter of aloe, ferns, rescued street buds, and a dozen other beautiful, nameless species. He once scalped a pineapple and embedded it in soil. Two years later, one lone little fruit emerged from the center of two-foot green spikes. We cut it up and soaked it in some nice vodka for liquored chunks to a few lucky friends. At one point Johnny and I had about 30 plants, which I took far too much credit for when I assembled photos of them into a little book for my mothers birthday, thanking her for my green thumb. What I probably meant was: Thanks for helping me appreciate plants. Johnny moved out and, over the next two years, I murdered everything he left. The corner of the balcony became a dusty cemetery of pots that did little more than take on rainwater and endure abuse from my cat. This past summer I marched to Home Depot, committed to bringing the garden back to its former glory. I bought soil and seeds: tomatoes, Thai basil, oregano, cilantro, carrots, poppies, and more. Things really started off well. The passion was there and, each day, I watered and pruned and plucked, caring for the plants like defenseless children, proudly posting each new millimeter of growth on Instagram. Two guys from work had their own gardens going one in a Normandy Isle yard, another on the roof of an apartment building in the Upper Eastside. Wed compare pictures and bring the fruits of our labor in for lunch. These two were having wild success. The apartment rooftop was yielding fraan old door and boxed in the sides, creating a shallow and wide growing area that worked like a charm. Tomatoes sprang lived happily in an old desk drawer beneath a screen to keep the birds at bay. The garden over on Normandy Isle spat out cherry tomatoes, jalapeos, cayenne green peppers, salad greens, mint, thyme, oregano like it was nothing. After managing to shear two crops of basil, I grew lazy and impatient. Work got busy. I developed a gym habit and other nightly commitments. The DVR the way, and the fantasy of an urban vegetable garden began to quietly shrivel. I either overwatered the tomatoes, or watered them too little. Well never know. Besides, like the carrots, they were planted too close to one another, and the battle for resources dragged them into what I imagine was a version of veggie cannibalism. Their entangled stems withered next to yellowing cilantro and, from the couch, I lost hope, drawing down the shades and refusing to visit the balcony. I blamed my growing neglect on the plants unwillingness to live. But the truth is, I never actually read up on how to garden, choosing instead to go about it my way. Im the kind of person who has to take apart an Ikea bookcase halfway through because I didnt read the instructions, and whose partner doles out driving tips like, Whichever way your gut tells you to turn, do the opposite. Right now the basil is hanging on for dear life, and the rest of the garden again has his eye on. But by the spring Ill regroup, if only to prove that I can overcome an aversion to the three things that seem most essential to a successful garden: patience, discipline, and respect for the rules. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Plant Now, Pay LaterGet lazy with an urban garden and youll reap nothing but regret

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22 Commentary: MY VIEWPhoto by Philip PicazaBy Adam Schachner Special to the BTM ground on most topics. Even more rare are public demonstrations of any kind. Collectively speaking, wed much rather spend our time at the mall or the beach. Which makes what recently happened at a Brickell intersection all the more powerful. Responding to an outcry for proper roadway conduct, on Monday, January 21, no fewer than 25 concerned locals declared the crosswalks at Brickell Avenue and SE 15th Road a pedestrian safety walk zone. Marchers occupied the crosswalks and demanded increased civility from motor ists. They even distributed booklets on whom, because they lack civility, simply a curse and a rude gesture. Still, the walkers asserted their rights to safety, braved hostile stares and abuse, and celebrated the motorists who gave approving honks and thumbs-up. The takeaway? Conscientious driv ers, concerned about who might be hurt by their carelessness, do exist in Miami, but they are in the minority, spread thin to keep moving by honking tailgaters. We complain that road rage and reck lessness are responsible for our reputation time, we dismiss the issue with grim humor, shrugging off Miami drivers as a local quirk with which we must cope. incident numbers show Miamis dangerous reality. The region is a hub for hitand-runs, crashes, and irresponsibility behind the wheel. As one safety walkers sign stated, South Florida tallied a staggering 8080 injured or dead in crashes involving pedestrians between 2005 and 2009, according to a study available at www.dadehealth.org. That ranks Miami as the fourth most dangerous city in America for pedestrians. Florida, meanwhile, is number one Few would deny our streets are a night mare of ill-informed and uncaring drivers. Enter the pedestrian safety walk, created by Elsa Roberts, a local activist engaged in community-building efforts, including transit and commuter advocacy. A bicycle commuter who frequents downtown, she shares concerns with walkers and riders competing with trafthat drivers in Miami believe they have more of a right to the [road] than pedestrians. Even when pedestrians are obeying the law...they still dont have access to the roads in equal measure. place to demonstrate the principle of shared transit space. In choosing this intersection, she notes that a pedestrian was recently struck by a car only a block away; the driver was not ticketed or held accountable. Such occurrences, culture, make the area a particularly pedestrian safety walk. Roberts organized a similar demonstration this past October. That effort brought roughly half as many walkers as the Brickell action to the intersection of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Miracle Mile in Coral Gables on a Saturday afternoon. The festive yet assertive atmosphere was the same, as marchers distributed pamphlets, cheered considerate motorists, and yelled at agDespite honking horns, curses, and even one drivers taunt to get a job (because anyone not driving a car in Miami couldnt possibly be employed?), the walkers claimed their space. The action, which even prompted a police response, proved effective and empowering. The walkers rights and encouraged them to continue, so long as they obeyed the law. Reviewing the Brickell safety walk, Roberts considers the event a success. She remarks that drivers were a lot more hostile at this intersection than [in the Gables], and a lot of cars tried to turn illegally when they were supposed to yield to pedestrians. Walkers embraced each instance energetically as a chance to educate motorists. Florida Department of Transportation signs throughout the Brickell intersection the signs, for the most part, appear to have had the desired effect. A major concern, however, stemmed from drivers tendency to overlook SE 15th Streets No Turn on Red sign, a habit that played a factor in selecting this intersection. (Similarly, the intersection at Ponce and Miracle Mile also sports an oftignored No Turn sign.) Safety walks represent a creative assault on an old problem. Our citys rapid sprawl promoted an auto-centric development. Simply put, we were built for car culture. This generally means our drivers have as sumed a sense of entitlement to the road at the expense of defenseless pedestrians and cyclists, often with fatal consequences. Which is why Roberts is adamant about promoting shared transit space, possibly at a crosswalk near you: The biggest thing thats going to make drivers who are antagonistic change their mindset that theyre the ones who have a right to occupy that space is more actions like this, and more enforcement until the idea that cars supersede people goes away. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com The Foot SoldiersPedestrian activists launch a campaign to reclaim Miamis crosswalks, one intersection at a time

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24 Our Sponsors: F ebruaryEBRU ARY 201 3By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorWhen February rolls around, many think of Valentines Day (which coincides on February 14, possibly not coincidentally, with the lesser-known International Condom Day). Others think of Presidents Day (February 18) all the sales that day and the holiday weekend before. Some think of the Christian holiday Ash Wednesday (February 13 this year), the Jewish holiday Purim (February 24 this year), or other annually moving dates like Chinese New Year (February 9-15) or Super Bowl Sunday (February 3). ians never have to think about is Ground hog Day (always February 2), when our friends up north worry about whether Pennsylvanias Punxsutawney Phil, NYCs Staten Island Chuck Chuck, and other noted regional rodents will see their shad ows, insuring (with 61% accuracy, accord ing to the National Climatic Data Center) that their miserable winter weather will continue for another six weeks. That makes February, for Miamians, Na tional Gloating Month. Not that wed dream of calling up our northern friends/family members to gloat. We dont have to call. Most of them are probably down here right now, camped out in our guest rooms for the month. Fortunately, many BT s advertisers offer lots of things to do for defrosting escapees (and you), particularly in terms of new eating and entertainment opportu nities. Sill other advertisers offer chances to restart those lofty New Years resolu tions youve likely, according to numer ous national surveys, blown already. One advertiser actually started 2013 spectacularly: 360 Furniture Consignments (18340 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-627-3148). The companys director, Dave Widdas, reports that theyve sold out their entire inventory means, however, the store is in need of beautiful and unusual furniture and accessories. Perhaps yours, if you have some high-quality gently used stuff youd like to sell. Send photos to Dave@360Furnitureconsignments.com, or call for an appointment to have him view your entire estate. After spending part of January freezing our bums off at Sundance Film Festival, the crew at Wynwoods innovative O Cinema (90 NW 29th St., 305-571-9970) returned to start this month, February 1-3, with South val, Filmgate. Readers who hang out at the BT s bulk drops, waiting for copies hot off the presses, may even be in time to catch the last day of the festival, produced with partner Indie Cinema Club Miami. If the fest is already over, though, O has events later in February, cinemas popular OMG! Dinner & A Movie series, As Luck Would Have It stars Selma Hayek; dinner stars mul tiple courses from Harrys Pizzeria, and pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith has a midmovie treat for patrons, too. Go to www.o-cinema for more info, including menu. At Monsignor Edward Pace High School (15600 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-7223), the many celebrations offered during 2013s Catholic Schools Week ended on February 2. But much of the annual events purpose is to remind students/prospective stuof a Catholic-school education. Pace continues doing that with an announcement from athletic director Joe Zaccheo: Three members of the schools noted football team will sign Division 1 national letters of intent on signing day, February 6. The guys are Anthony Walker Jr. (Northwestern University), Robert Jones (Northern Illinois University), and Logan Oce (Western Michigan University). Congrats, guys! If your goals for the still-new year involve a career that will help shape the community, Miamis Knight Founda tion (200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-908-2600) can help talented creatives, entrepreneurs, and other agents of change who have an innovative, outside-the-box idea. Grant submissions for the latest Knight Arts Challenge will be accepted February 4-March 4. Dont know how to write a grant application? Knight Foundations very thorough website (www.KnightArts. org) will walk you through it with advice about making your application stand out, info on past winners ideas, live web chats, and more. NANA isnt your grandmother, but the Neighbors and Neighbors Association (180 NE 62nd St., 305-756-0605). It was established in 1995 to provide assistance to small mom and pop businesses. Todays programs to help start-up and existing businesses in underserved communities throughout Miami-Dade County, providing grants and/or grant application assistance, advocacy or referrals, implementing economic development, and aiding small businesses with business permits and licenses, as well (workshops and one-on-one training in preparing daily sales systems and necescomprehensive rundown. Speaking of mom-and-pop businesses, unique seafood market/restaurant/lounge Fish Fish (13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124), opened less than two months ago by a husband/wife team, has already implemented some Continued on page 26BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

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26 Our Sponsors: F ebruaryEBRU ARY 201 3 concept. Thanks to market customers who were coming in early to buy fresh originally dinner-only restaurant now has lunch specials. A Monday-Friday happy hour now features $6 bar bites. And the Saturday-night-only DJ now plays on Fridays, too. A February special: live Maine lobsters are only $12 lb. for 1.25-1.5 pounders (less than crappy defrosted lobster tails at the supermarket) and $18 lb. for 3-8 pound monsters other markets dont even carry. Brian Carter at Majestic Properties (305582-2424) has four beautiful listings at Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex. Measuring 540, 670, 850, and 895 square feet, the spaces are right above the BT so youll have some mighty interesting neighbors. The Station is also home to Soyka, Andiamo Pizza, Sushi Siam, the News Lounge, and Steel Gym, among other tenants, so youll have plenty to eat and drink, plus a place to work it off. For a private viewing, contact Ryan York at 305-776-0920. How about some beautiful promo extra-glossy, UV-coated, thick ones for the same price as other printers cheesy discount models? Welcome new advertiser ClubFlyers (2300 NW 7th Ave., to see the companys full line, which includes banners, CD/DVD inserts, posters, menus, more. Design your own items with the companys easy-to-use template, or use their custom designers. And this month, BT readers get 15% off any order with code: BISCAYNE. No one likes to think about their kids being sick or injured. But if it happens, think of new advertiser Miami Childrens Hospital and its brandnew Midtown Outpatient Center (3915 Biscayne Blvd., 786-624-6000). The award-winning hospitals outpost in BT territory offers urgent care, diagnostic services, and rehabilitation, with more services soon. For urgent care, you never need an appointment. MCH is renowned for willingness on the part of all staff to conditions, crowded or no; and sensitivity to the feelings of small, vulnerable creatures as well as their parents. Concerned about small, vulner able creatures that arent human? The Humane Society of Greater Miami announces an event that both parentgratifying: a Walk for the Animals fundraiser, presented by Pet Super market, on February 23 in downtowns Bayfront Park. Check-in is 8:30-10:00 a.m., and the one-mile stroll, which can be done either with or without a dog, is from 10:00 a.m. to noon. A $50 donation for individual walkers, $100 for families (up to two adults and two kids) saves abandoned animals lives, and participants get T-shirts and goodie bags. Theres also a pet adoption arena. Visit www.humanesocietymiami.org or call 305-749-1825 to register. For walking combined with a hit of culture and considerable high style, check out The Art Experience (www. TheArtExperience.com). Founder/CEO Susana Baker offers unique curated art explorations in several of Miamis key artsy neighborhoods. The next one in BT territory, on February 9 (from 4:30-9:00 p.m.), is a Wynwood/Design District Second Saturday gallery walk with artloving, legendary drag artist Elaine Lancaster. The $85 per person price includes signature sparkling wines and stylish snacks. Reserve at 305-767-5000. If youd rather ride than walk, you cant do it at the above animal event or art galleries. But motorcyclists and scooter-riders will want to know that Adrenaline Motorbikes formerly in Wynwood, has moved to 830 NE 79th Street Ride into the new location on February 9, noon to 3:00 p.m., when the shop, famed for its maintenance and repairs of all rice-burner makes/models, will be celebrating the move with a free BBQ-and-beer bash. If you cant ride in because your hog (or whatever scooters are nicknamed piglets?) is busted, dont panic. Adrenaline still offers free pick-up of your bike from downtown to NE 135th Street, and east to west from SoBe to I-95. For those whod rather ride the waves than the streets, Keystone Point Marina (1950 NE 135th St., 305-940-6236), serving boaters for more than 50 years but always keeping up with state-of-the-art improvements, has big news: an awesome new forklift theyve nicknamed mahi-mahi). Drop by the Miami Beach Convention Center during the upcoming Miami Boat Show, 2/14-2/18, to see the BizBuzzContinued from page 24 Architectural gem! Ultramoderne 5-story boutique residence right on the bay with a fabulous bayfront pool. This 1398 sq ft cutting-edge corner unit has huge indoor/outdoor living areas with high ceilings and lots of light! Breathtaking views of Miami river and Biscayne bay from this 10th oor, 958sq ft bi-level loft. Watch the mega yachts right from your balcony! 1be/1.5 ba. Recently renovated 10-unit multifamily building surrounded by single family homes in quiet little Havana residential neighborhood. Close to stores and transportation. Fully rented. Cap rate 8%. Great upside potentialThe rapid decrease of South Florida real estate inventory has slowed down thanks to an much needed inux of new luxury condominiums. Sales volume is also slowing down but is still up 24.6% compared to the same moth last year for condos, and 42% for single family homes. Condo prices have jumped 24% since October 2011! 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! 5-unit multifamily property in red-hot Biscayne corridor close to midtown and design district. All units recently updated. Great income producing, great upside potential close to the Design District; 100% occupancy. 10% Cap Rate Recently 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%

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boat-handling machine on display at the Wiggins Forklift booth. choice (or shopping for a golfer), welcome new advertiser Palm Beach Golf Center whose just-opened third location, luckily, is located not way up north in Palm Beach but at 14791 Biscayne Blvd. (305-949-7030). The store contains the largest selection of golf products in town thousands of products, and all the most popular brands. Whew. All that walking, scootthinking about it has made us hungry. Which means the ultimate on-the-go food: pizza. And you can score both huge whole pies (15, 20, and 24) and substantial slices for street eating at new advertiser Evios Pizza & Grill (12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699). The grill part of the name means that those who arent up for pizza have numerand chips, an unusual Cuban sandwich (Tampa-style, with salami as well as the usual ham and pork), and, though we hate to admit it, a lamb/beef gyro thats so tasty we might stop ordering pizza. Well, maybe not till another few dozen stops at Laurenzos Italian Center (16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-9456381) for their wood-oven pies. Owner David Laurenzo says that original pizzaiolo Carlo has been replaced by Don Vito, whose artisan dough, sauces, and toppings produce pies as authentic as always, according to diner feedback. Ramen noodle bowls have been on the menu, then off, then on again at the new advertiser that opened, just a few months ago, as Machiya Ramen Noodle House and almost immediately became just Machiya (3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025). Dont be confused. The place has always been more of a con temporary izakaya an Asian gastro pub with a wide variety of hot and cold small plates, plus sushi than a noodle joint. Add striking dcor and a happy hour with bargain bar bites ($1 spicy crispy wings, $2 panko curry buns, more) plus 2-for-1 drinks, and you have an eatery that has been popular from Day One as both after-work hangout and date/party place. Road trip, anyone? For major meat lovers, new restaurant advertiser Siga la Vaca in Coral Gables (121 Alhambra Plaza, 305-448-2511) is well worth the drive. The original 1993 concept of this wildly popular Argentinean chain was to all-inclusive with none of the usual annoying surprise extra charges for everything but the major meat plate. At is included, from salad bar through grill choices (many different cuts of pork, chicken, or custom-cooked beef) to dessert and beverage. Bring in this issues ad for a 20% discount. February also brings a spectacular special from Thai/sushi spot Siam Rice (7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516): two bottles of imported Singha beer for just $5. And thats not just during dinner but at lunchtime, Monday-Saturday till for $7.99 lunch specials, including beef, pork, chicken, or tofu prepared a dozen different ways, plus seven noodle and three fried-rice dishes. See siamricethai andsushi.com for complete menus. If youre looking for a very special Valentines Day dinner, reserve, as soon as possible, at Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus (1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002). Chef/owner/gracious host Alex Richter dinner for two, nicely priced at $99 per couple, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. To add dancing to the dinner, Aventuras Fred Astaire Dance Studio (18835 Biscayne Blvd., 305-692-5800) has scheduled a big Valentines Day party on February 14, starting at 8:30 p.m. Dress code, says manager Maria Blazevic, is dress to impress. For those who want to impress with their smooth dance moves, shes also of fering one free private lesson to new customers who sign on beforehand. Call for an appointment. Finally, heres a romantic idea for those more into sitting than dancing: tickets to the Florida Grand Opera (305-854-1643), whose performance season at the Arsht Center goes into full swing this month with two shows that are on almost everyones list of Greatest Hits: Mozarts The Magic Flute and Bell inis La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) which feature some of the most gorgeous soprano singing, spectacular costumes, and wicked females in the opera world. There arent any performances on Valentines Day itself, but romance shouldnt be just for one day of the month. Go to www.fgo.org for tix. Something special coming up at your busi com. For BT advertisers only.

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There was once a time, not long ago, when tracking down a vegetar ian meal in Miami meant heading to hole-in-the-wall health-food stores or breaking out your frayed Moosewood Cookbook for a go at your own tofu sloppy joes. Today, to the delight of veggie lovers and foodies alike, meatless options are literally popping up all over town. There are fast-food options and haute cuisine and then theres Love and Vegetables, a pop-up caf that showcases fresh, local produce with a fresh economic twist. Love and Vegetables is the culinary child of Pennsylvania transplants Keith Kalmanowicz and Melisa Phifer. But before delving into the characters, lets set todays scene. Local and organic have made their way into mainstream culture, and going vegetarian, even vegan (no animal products whatsoever), is not just for hippies or the old-school Coconut Grove crowd anymore. Financial and environmental concerns have given rise to folks foraging from home gardens and frequenting farmers markets. Interest in fair-trade practices, factory farming, and carbon footprint are no longer relegated to the domain of minds of the Rush Limbaugh crowd. Miami is still no Portland, Oregon, when it comes to green lifestyle the citys not picking up compost along with recywhether born of trend or consciousness, its a great time to veg-out in Miami. In fact, its a great time to eat across the culinary spectrum. Miamis food Weve gone from a wannabe foodie town Top chefs are not only breezing through town for the South Florida Wine and Food Festival (held this month), theyre setting up additional shops. Take Jos Andrs (The Bazaar), Andrew Carmellini (The Dutch), and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (J&G Grill), who now have locations here. As for chefs/ owners who call Miami home, along the Biscayne Corridor, the legendary Norman Van Aken launched Tuyo (sitting atop Mi ami-Dade Colleges new Miami Culinary Institute) and this past year Daniel Serfers Blue Collar touched down squarely. Mean while perennials from Michelle Bernstein (Michys) and Michael Schwartz (Mi chaels Genuine Food & Drink) continue to thrive as freshly minted eateries from the Design District (MC Kitchen) to Wynwood (Bloom) trend solidly. Add to this the food-truck scene, which persists beyond fad. relocated here to stake his claim in the South Florida for new vegan venture. But thats not true. Keiths not even a vegan. And Miami was initially meant roasted beet salad (with orange vinaigrette and crushed pecans) and papaya star fruit chutney (with pickled mustard seeds, cumin, and fennel seeds) at what have now become twice-monthly (at minimum) gatherings. Even if you dont have money, youre welcome to join in. Everybody can eat at Love and Vegetables. Keiths mission, as he puts it: To feed as many people regardless of means healthy, farmfresh, yummy and delicious vegan food. He follows standards set forth by the One World Everybody Eats Foundation, rant model, adding his own pop-up twist. .Keiths story reads like many sickof-the-rat-race tales, with dashes of fate and destiny thrown in for good balance. He hails from Dupont, Penn sylvania, a small town outside Scranton. Although his parents ran a grocery/deli called Kalmanowiczs, which had been in the family for more than 100 years (Keith worked there since age 14 slicing meats and stocking shelves), the food industry was nowhere on his career radar. college and bouncing from major to major until, after seven years, at around age 26, he dropped out and headed to San Francisco. That was in 2005, when start-ups were booming. Keith says he thrived in sales and marketing, building and building his rsum, salary offer, he realized something was miss recalls, and you ask, Is this all there is? It hit him that he hadnt seen his family in four years. So he scrapped his life in San Francisco and headed back East. He took something important home in San Francisco, he says. Missionstyle burritos, fusion food, Asian fusion, French-Vietnamese. I didnt even know cooked delicately and properly, with great technique. It just opened up my palate. Back in Pennsylvania, Keith got a job in sales for an online company. At night he cooked meals with his dad. He began eating more vegetables. And he took up yoga to relieve persistent back pain. a thousand different ideas a minute and I was proud of that, but I was living in the clouds. I had no structure, no grounding. taught me patience. It taught me that it was okay where I am, and through regular practice, Ill get to be where I want to be. Keith says yoga gave him goals to work toward and a method to get there. He started living so in the moment that he quit his sales job, which he hated, and enrolled in culinary school. By this time, Kalmanowiczs deli and grocery had been sold, so it was too late to carry on the family tradition. But he found his passion, what he wanted to do in life: cook. Continued on page 30Kitchen QuestionA culinary experiment is under way in Miami: Can a talented and passionate chef survive on donations?By Harriette YahrPhotos by Silvia Ros

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The end of this chapter in Keiths story owes a lot to his girlfriend at the time, Melisa Phifer, whom he met on eHarmony in his epiphanic yoga days. She wanted to move to Costa Rica. Keith Miami to save up money, learn un poquito de espaol, then be on their way. Time, as they say, moves slowly in South Florida. For three years now, Miami has been Keiths home. Hes been fortunate to learn from some of Miamis best chefs: Sam Gorenstein (My Ceviche), Daniel Ganem (the Raleigh), and powerhouse Michael Schwartz. Its Gorenstein whom he cred him at BLT Steak, even when his knife skills sucked and he was ridiculously en. (I dropped out after one semester of culinary school, in northeastern Pennsyl vania, where peoples highest ambitions are to work at Applebees, Keith jokes.) It was Keiths ambition and willing ness to learn that impressed Gorenstein. He came to the interview very humble re garding his kitchen skills, Gorenstein re counts. I knew right away that he needed the opportunity. I could see the smile on Keith recalls cutting a lot of beets and sharpening his knife skills under wanted to learn something new every single day, remembers Ganem. I think thats what made him grow. During a break in Costa Rica (Keith Keiths zeal for farm-fresh food got hold of him, and he returned to Miami with the ambition of working for Michael Schwartz, the prince of local and knowyour-source cooking. By this time Keiths rsum had some heft he knew how to slice, dice, and brunoise. He got a gig working the oven at Harrys Pizzeria in the Design District (a Michael Schwartz restaurant named after his son), and a few months later he was in the kitchen at Michaels Genuine, working the hot line and contributing soup and sandwich specials. Keith was very creative and passionate, says Schwartz. He was always interested in using the freshest ingredients, many of which he foraged himself locally. About the foraging, most prescient was the day chef de cuisine Bradley Herron offered Keith a job as produce buyer. Ellie Groden, Michael Schwartzs assistant, soon dubbed Keith their inhouse cook/neighborhood farmer/goat whisperer/produce forager. Heres a guy who jokes he hadnt eaten a vegetable until age 30, and now he was out at 5:30 a.m. sourcing produce, getting to know vendors, and being schooled in produce quality. Keith says he owes an enormous amount to the ine. I had to buy two to three bushels of brussel sprouts a day during peak season, and if I walked in the door with the wrong size, they were thrown at my head from across the kitchen, he says. Then getting serious: Working at Michaels, I learned the South Florida growing season. I learned what to purchase to upkeep production. I now know what to buy based on umpteen criteria of shape, size, color, taste, smell, and touch. Then one day in January 2012, in what will later be seen as a turning bicycles for kids in Little Haiti, needed parts for his makeshift bike shop. Keith and Melisa decided to throw a fundraiser, and Love and Vegetables was born.A from lovers to mentors to the place we call home. Keith and Melisa live on Earth-n-Us Farm, Ray Chassers urban oasis in Little Haiti that houses a motley crew of animals (goats, emus, and more), and people (about 25 in total), and an amaz ing organic garden (from collards to hot peppers to you name it). Its an educational and residential inner-city marvel spanning three acres, complete with indoor and outdoor kitchens and a multi-level tree house, all designed with the aim now going on 35 years and care for the earth and each other. Earth-n-Us is the kind of place a guy might set up a makeshift bike co-op for local kids who otherwise would have no way to get their wheels rolling, and its the kind of place some other folks might transform into a magical, candlelit wonderland for a pop-up dinner. For Matrices fundraiser, Melisa took on general management, they got the word out via Facebook and by knocking on doors (to reach those not into the Internet), and friend/colleague/tree house resident Chantelle Sookram joined Keith to cook up a gourmet vegan meal that included calalou soup and raw zucchini pasta with purple basil pesto, sourced from Allapattah Market (NW 12th Avenue and 22nd Street) and Earth-n-Us. Then they watched the donations pour in. It was very successful, says Melisa. Friends of the farm brought out grown childrens bikes and parts, and donated money for the purchase of tools and neces sary parts. The response made Keith and Melisa think: Why not throw more events incorporating produce from local gardens to raise money for other worthy causes? That was just over a year ago. To date, Love and Vegetables has fed hundreds and negotiated its share of growing pains. There are monthly dinners at Earth-n-Us (7630 NE 1st Ave.) and at Lagniappe House (3425 NE 2nd Ave.), a chilled-out venue near Midtown Miami. Theyve run pop-ups in Wynwood for the monthly art walks, collaborations at Teenas Pride and Robert Borek Farms (Homestead) and Bee Heaven Farm (the Redland), and theyve served up privately catered meals. Its juncture time for Keith. As with any start-up, its time to take stock. Whats working and whats not? What about long-term goals? Back in November, Keith cut his hours at Michaels Genuine, leaving the kitchen to concentrate on buying produce. Soon after, he Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 29 Continued on page 32

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WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM FOR SALE $169,000La 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 $165,000 BISCAYNE 212121 N BAYSHORE DR # PH1420, EDGEWATER Updated 1 bed / 1.5 bath with panoramic intracoastal view just across from the beach, as well as minutes to everything. Close to shopping, restaurants, and malls.TRAFALGAR TOWERS1410 S OCEAN DR # 805, HALLANDALE PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $400,000Amazing 1 bed / 1.5 newly renovated Penthouse on 14th floor with beautiful bay views, steps from park, private tennis court and pool. Prime location, on the bay near the Venetian Causeway, between Design District and Performing Arts Center.23 BISCAYNE BAY601 NE 23 ST # 1806, EDGEWATERSpectacular Penthouse 3 bed / 2 bath corner unit on the 18th floor with wrap around terrace. Amazing skyline and bay views. Modern kitchen, stainless steel appliances, cherry laminate wood floors, granite countertops and Berber carpet in bedrooms. FOR SALE $775,000Amazing South East corner unit with endless views of the vibrant city, tip of river, and bay. Unit has many upgrades with open floor plan. Amenities includes 2 swimming pools, jacuzzi, 2 Party Rooms, 2 Gyms, a convenience store and 24 hrs security valet and concierge.ONE MIAMI WEST325 S BISCAYNE BL # 1123, DOWNTOWN MIAMI Linette GuerraManaging Broker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $949,000Spectacular 2 bed + den / 2 bath unit at the Bentley Bay condominium. Incredible breathtaking views of bay, Star Island, Miami skyline and South Beach. Unit has been finished with polished concrete throughout.THE BENTLEY BAY520 WEST AV # 802, SOUTH BEACHLinette GuerraManaging Broker 305-915-0148 Shonagh AdelmanRealtor Associate 718-388-4948 Joseph GhanimeRealtor Associate 786-877-3338 Mildred CastilloRealtor Associate 305-244-0802 FOR SALE $250,000Grand and spacious 12ft ceiling loft with enclosed bedroom. This one of a kind unit features a European kitchen and cherry wood floors. Located in desirable neighborhood of Edgewater, just a few blocks from Midtown, and Downtown Miami.UPTOWN LOFTS2275 BISCAYNE BL # 807, EDGEWATERLuis DevotoRealtor Associate 305-992-4255 THE SILVIA 225 27 ST # B, MIAMI BEACHAndres GomezRealtor Associate 305-401-1961Exclusive 2 bed / 2.5 bath condo one block from the ocean. This boutique building has been completely restored to its beauty. Unit features stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wood floors, 9ft ceilings, and new eco friendly high impact windows. FOR SALE $399,000 FOR SALE $220,000Totally remodeled unit, be the first one to live in this great 1 / 1.5 unit. White porcelain floors throughout, brand new kitchen, and bathrooms. The building includes many amenities for your enjoyment.ARLEN HOUSE300 BAYVIEW DR # 411, SUNNY ILSES BEACHRudy CastroRealtor Associate 305-310-9656 LA PLAYAPROPERTIES

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stopped altogether to focus his efforts on Love and Vegetables and his goal of Last month Keith was off to Brunswick, New Jersey, to attend the One World Everybody Eats Foundation annual summit, a powwow for activists and restaurateurs committed to the pay-what-you-can business and life model. Keith was a featured speaker, sharing his pop-up process. Everyone compared notes on how they can, and do, feed people regardless of means. And its possible, not just idealistic. On a corporate level, you can read about Panera Bread, which now has four pay-what-you-can Panera Cares community cafs in operation around the nation. And rocker John Bon Jovi joined the humanitarian effort, opening a JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey. There are plenty of skeptics who say a restaurant cant possibly survive on what amounts to gift-economics, but havent oddsmakers and visionaries always butted paradigms? Keith may be the rare pay-what-youcan entrepreneur in town, but he doesnt pretend to be the Big Kahuna of the vegan movement. In fact there is not a lot of ego in his motivation. He registers as a self-avowed idea man with a desire to berant love of food. This guy just loves the worms on a basil leaf. And he admits he has a lot to learn, especially when it comes to organization. When Melisa and Keith parted romantic ways, Melisas management skills left the project. Theyre both still living at Earth-n-Us Farm, though separately. Melisa is currently farm director. There have been bumps in the road for Love and Vegetables as Keith adjusts can read all about it on his blog. Transparency a quality close to the heart of the local food movement is also his personal mantra. Some people say Im too open and I share too much, he muses. Other people gravitate toward that. It creates this atmosphere of vulnerability to put yourself out there. But thats just me, I dont want to pretend. From his emotional struggles to his own try at veganism to the Instagrams of local Kohlrabi and heirloom tomatoes stuff he gets so hyped up about its hard calling, which seems embedded in his DNA everything is on the table. Transparency has served Keith well. Theres an honesty that permeates Love and Vegetables, from the actual honor system (you are in charge of paying) to mea culpas about running late, not Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34

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rained, or realizing there wasnt a freezer at Lagniappe House, so the tremblique a coconut custard dessert (with Keiths local strawberry spin) wasnt going to get plated that night. These pop-up happenings have a never know far in advance what dishes will be served; Keith hand-picks whatever produce is ripe and available as close to the event as possible. Recipes rarely have been tested, a notable corn chowder that Keith developed at Michaels Genuine. Usually dishes hit (the eggplant with dal and the lemonbasil green beans were two of tastiest vegan dishes Ive ever had) but some times they miss (raw-food night comes latke with apple papaya chutney, and the chocolate avocado pudding). Beyond the food is the positive feeling at Love and Vegetables events. Pretense is at a low. Imagine youre hanging out with friends in your own backyard, and its catered, and you dont have to do the dishes. Unless you want. In the spirit of pay-what-you-can, youre free to trade what you can. Want to work for your meal? Helping out in the kitchen is always an option. Its also a necessity. Key main ingredients in Love and Vegetables are the volunteers, the community of people who prop it up from the front to the back of the house. Keith points out Alison Krochina, Gloria OByrne, and Maurice Pierre as vital. Craig Simon, Diego Luis Fe liciano-Lopez, and Chantelle Sookram have served as co-chefs. Chantelle was a mainstay of Love and Vegetables until very recently, offering a yin to Keiths yang and cooking up a standout kale and chickpea soup.So what about the numbers? How is the pay-what-you-can model working? Keith says hes always made into his cause. People are coming, two dinners have sold out weeks in advance, the happy customers. Keith says theres lots of movement, but not necessarily in the right direction. The people turning up for the dinners, for the most part, can afford to pay. But he also wants to attract people who cant. I walk a few blocks in any direction of a dinner, and there are people who could Writing this, I wondered if critics of the vegan lifestyle might ready their pens. Ive been on this vegetarian/ vegan path for a chunk of time, more than 30 years, and Ive dug into heaps of comments on the New York Times website whenever meatless recipes are innocently offered and you can feel the Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36

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judgments waft off your screen. It cuts all ways. Surely there are gluten-free advocates, lacto-vegetarians (eats dairy), ovo-vegetarians (eats eggs), raw foodists, vegans, seagans (vegans who eat seafood), as well as steak lovers and Miamiterians (just seeing if youre read ing) who think their way is the best way. The great news is Love and Vegself-righteous, proselytizing group. Love and Vegetables is about celebration. These are chefs, after all. They love to cook and share their food with everyone. Thats not to say there isnt a point of view Love and Vegetables embodies. There is. Its an agenda, in a way, of their two main ingredients: love and vegetables. Keith prioritizes seasonal, local, and sus of fresh, plant-based food, and wants everyone to have access, regardless of means. Think of it as low-impact dining. If its a good idea to choose actions that cause the least harm, that consume self and others, including animals and the environment all the while being tasty and fun and free-form enough to be inspiring Love and Vegetables comes close to the ideal. seems to be right on cue. Even U.S. News & World Report about as mainstream as you can get, is now pushing the value of plant-based diets. It used to be that Dennis Kucinich was the freaky vegetarian politician, but today former President Bill Clinton is championing Harvard is backing up claims with data. Pop culture has embraced meatless eating, from best-sellers like Skinny Bitch to documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc. shining a light on industrial agriculture and meat production. In our Biscayne Corridor neighborhoods, even a few fast-food joints a good indicator of reach like Chipotle, Sakaya Kitchen incorporate some form of local or ethically raised products. And there are more veggie-centric, independent restaurants along the Corridor than ever before, among them Mi Vida Caf, Garden of Eatin, Namaste, Here Comes the Sun, Shing Wang Vegetarian, Green House Organic, Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin, and newcomer Guarapo Organic Juice Bar. There are also farms where you can pick your own. Keiths mainstays nearby include Little Haiti Community Garden (5804 NE 2nd Ave.) and farmer Muriel Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38

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FREEMOVIEVERYWEDNESDAYSOUNDSCAPE CINEMASERIES SOUNDSCAPE CINEMA SERIES rf nftbn(Movies are subject to change) f

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Olivaress Little River Market Garden (8290 NE 4th Ave.), in addition to his own backyard. (The Urban Oasis Project, which bolsters local gardens and farmers markets, is also worth checking out.) For a rundown of veg-centric offerings, visit MeatlessMiami.com (operated by Lauren Lolo Reskin of indie record store and vegan coffee shop Sweat Records) and VegSouthFlorida.com. For the adventurous, Earth-n-Us hosts a vegan potluck every Thursday. So theres a burgeoning vegetarian/ vegan scene in Miami, and it has been keeping Keith busy. January included a Taco Night at Lagniappe House and a Love and Tomatoes fundraiser at Teenas Pride. As part of his sharethe-vegetable-love ethos, Chef Keith took time out to be Farmer Keith for students at Phillis Wheatley Elemen tary School in Overtown, assisting Ellie Groden with maintaining a school garden as part of Michael Schwartzs Chefs Move to Schools community outreach, an outgrowth of Michelle Obamas Lets Move! campaign. Keith was energetically journeying along this path planning his future, mitment when all of a sudden an obstacle appeared. The story took a turn, Love and Vegetables was put to the test. Chantelle Sookram stepped away from the project. She says shes grateful that Keith introduced her to world of vegan cooking, but its time to move on. Love and Vegetables is a huge commitment, she says, and its way too stressful to continue doing for something thats not yours. Shes now working at My Ceviche and is style (shes only 22 years old). Keith adapted quickly. Im all about happiness and outrageous joy, he says, and if Chantelles not feeling it, thats okay.Following Chantelles departure, Keith canceled his January dinner, planned in honor of his trip to the One World Everybody Eats conference. What this meant besides not getting to taste versions of New Jersey-themed house-fermented sauerkraut was that money Keith thought hed use to travel to the conference would not materialize. says hes never taken a penny from his events and had four dollars in quarters to his name. How would he get to New Jersey? And in four days? He talked about cobbling together some cash to take a bus, asking friends, but everyone he knew was broke. I asked him if he ever thought of sponsors thats Kitchen QuestiontContinued from page 36 Continued on page 40

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something he plans to investigate. I asked him how he feels about asking others for help thats not something hes very comfortable doing. We talk about the idea that, sometimes, people like to help others, and that others may even want to support him and his aim to do good in the world. About an hour later, I received an e-mail linking to Rally.org, a crowdfunding website. There I see a page titled, Living on a Prayer: New Jersey or Bust! Its Keith. I need help to travel to this donations, I will cook one meal made with love to everyone who donates. It was stunning to watch the support pour in. Fourteen hours later, Keith reached his goal of $500 for transportation to the event. I love what you are doing for this community! Delicious, nutritious, and full of love. Its a beautiful thing, wrote supporter Chira Cassel. I hope you get well over your goal, you deserve it. And people kept giving. Keith did top over his goal. Bring home more vegetable wisdom for our Miami family, added Nicole Davis. A day later Keith booked his ticket. He was off to New Jersey. Chef Sam Gorenstein says Keith has come a long way in the past three years: He doesnt lose his focus easily. He drew a path that he wants to pursue and follow, and personally thats very respectable. Gorenstein believes Love and Vegetables is a great project. Its based on his beliefs, he says. The way he sees and feels his cooking it speaks very highly of him and what he wants to accomplish one day. Chef Daniel Ganem concurs: He puts so much love into the project. When ever you see cooks like that, you see them grow because of going through thier own Keith certainly has a lot of people rooting for him and his infectious, unwavering belief in his quest. Hes going to do great, either at Love and Vegetables or in his future, says Ganem. He has the passion and drive to be better and better. So what does the future hold? Will pay-what-you-can Love and Vegetables Community Caf in Miami? Ive surrendered to the belief in altruism, says Keith, and that by doing so, everything Learn more about Love and Vegetables, and be part of the next chapter, at www. LoveandVeggies.com. Upcoming events include a Valentines dinner on February 16 and a Super Bowl Sunday bash. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Kitchen QuestionContinued from page 38 Continued on page 48

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42 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORNo Credible EvidenceAventura police investigated our story and concluded this: UnfoundedBy Jim Mullin BT EditorIn his story Tase the Season (December 2012), Biscayne Times con tributor Derek McCann recounted an incident that took place at the Zales jewelry store in Aventura Mall. McCann had gone to Zales this past November 8 to make a purchase using his newly opened Zales credit account. When Zales employees became suspi cious that McCann might be engaged in some form of identity theft or criminal to the store. In his story, McCann de scribed a frightening scene that suggested gross overreaction by the police. with the Aventura Police Department, an investigation was opened, led by Capt. Bryan Pegues, the departments internal affairs investigator. edited for style and space, but otherwise appears here verbatim.This complaint was originally submitted via the Internet on November 9, 2012. Upon receiving the complaint, Sergeant Brinson met with Mr. McCann on November 15 to determine if he could identify any of anything more serious occurred. Mr. McCann reviewed the employee ing employees: #61 (Terry Scott) as the person making the comment about the knife; #4 (Jason Fernandez) as the person who pointed the Taser at him; #48 (Nelson Reyes) as the supervising After her interview with McCann, Sergeant Brinson determined that the allegations only involved unprofessional behavior. Since one of the allegations was against Sgt. Terry Scott, a decision was made to assign the complaint to Capt. Mike Bentolila. Sergeant Scott is assigned to the Operations Division, which falls under Captain Bentolilas supervision. On November 26, 2012, Captain Bentolila contacted McCann and informed him that he was looking into the complaint. After speaking to McCann, Bentolila spoke with Michelle Snyder, the manager of Zales Jewelers, located inside the Aventura Mall. She told Bentolila that she was in the store during the incident and observed an of added that she heard the Taser make a crackling sound as if it were being discharged in a drive-stun mode. After hearing this comment, Bentolila asked Snyder to provide him with a written statement describing the incident. According to Bentolila, she agreed and told him that she would call him when the statement was ready. Based on this new allegation an improper discharge/display of the Taser a decision was made to reclassify the incident as an Internal Affairs Investigation and assign it to me. I received the complaint on 11/26/2012, and conducted the following investigative steps: the manager at Zales. She told me that she saw some type of light emanating from observed an actual electrical discharge. I asked her if her statement was ready and if she could provide me with the in-store video. She told me that she would have to Continued on page 44 Continued on page 46By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterLocal restaurant entrepreneur John Kunkel has been very busy. Within the past 14 months, the founder and CEO of 50 Eggs opened the highly regarded Yardbird restaurant in South Beach and sold his Lime Fresh Mexican Grill chain for $24 million to a much bigger chain, Ruby Tuesday. He then used the proceeds to create three new restaurants: Khong River House and the future Kungfuzi in South Beach, and the soon-to-open Swine Southern Table & Bar in Coral Gables. Kunkel also acquired an advertis ing agency called the Southern Brand Collective, so in addition to running restaurants, 50 Eggs also offers brand con ception, marketing, interior design, even construction services for other companies. Now Kunkel is embarking on a new project: transforming the 74-year-old, three-story Sunshine Motel at 7350 Bis cayne Blvd. into 50 Eggs new home. The building itself was really just the perfect space for what we wanted to do, Kunkel says. It completes the vision of a new headquarters and our test kitchen concept. When the building is ready, 50 Eggs Blvd. to the Sunshine Motels two top become the test kitchen, a space where Zales video courtesy of Aventura Police Department Photo by Michael Pisarri 50 Eggs in Search of a HomeThat would be John Kunkels company, and he found just the right place in the MiMo District

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterWalmart and Midtown Miamis largest property owner have put aside their differences to southern end of a 56-acre community boutique stores, and corporate retail. The new design includes street-level shops and new street furniture and landscaping on public sidewalks. However, Walmart, which has been proposing various plans for a Midtown Miami store for at least a year, is still unpopular among many Biscayne Corridor residents who fear that the store will destroy the areas unique character and kill off anything that may compete with the mega-discount retailer. The latest plans call for a 196,600-square-foot complex between NE 31st Street to the north, N. Miami Avenue to the west, Midtown Boulevard to the east, and NE 29th Street to the south. The project could come before the City of Miamis Urban Design Review Board for approval as early as February set, says Luciana Gonzalez, special assistant to the citys planning director. Walmart executives hope to build a hiring center on the site this year, commence construction in the summer, and open by 2014. We believe a Walmart in Midtown can be part of the solution for folks who need a job or want more choices when it comes to their shopping needs, says Steven Restivo, Walmarts senior director of community affairs, via e-mail, adding that the store will employ about 400 construction workers and 350 associates. But Grant Stern, a real estate analyst and mortgage broker who started an online petition against Walmart last year, says it will be a disaster for Midtown Theres no reason for them to get what they ask for, says Stern, president of Morningside Mortgage and an Edgewater resident who frequently visits Midtown Miami. Its not up to the citys code. The largest chunk of the proposed complex is a 158,300-square-foot Walmart superstore designed by the Associates. There will also be a parking garage with 560 spaces, vehicular access at NE 31st Street and N. Miami Avenue, and a loading dock facing NE 31st Street wide enough for four delivery trucks. And since the Walmart is a superstore, itll sell just about everything tools, clothes, groceries, electronics, furni ture, jewelry, cosmetics at prices the company expects will be lower than any other store in the vicinity. But if the Walmart is built, you wont be able to see it while strolling along on Midtown Boulevard, the northsouth street one block east of N. Miami Avenue. Thats because a 16,300-squarefoot retail building designed by local architect Bernard Zyscovich (who created Midtown Miamis master plan) will be developed along the two-lane street. Dubbed the Liner Shops at Midtown, the pedestrian-friendly commercial operation will be developed, owned, and operated by Midtown Opportunities, a 22 acres of Midtown land, including the three existing condominium buildings. Of those 22 acres, 16 are currently vacant, and include parcels across Midtown Bou levard from the proposed Walmart. Until recently, Midtown Opportunities strongly opposed Walmarts project. Deborah Samuel, senior vice president of Midtown Opportunities, says Liner Shops will protect the integrity with fashionable restaurants and boutique stores. Were going to try and bring in something different, casual, urban chic, and cool, says Samuel, wife of original Midtown Miami co-developer Michael Samuel. Therell be a little something for everyone. The Liner Shops will be built on an easement that Midtown Opportunities happens to own. In its previous plans, Walmart wanted to build a ramp for a parking garage on top of that easement something that lawyers for Midtown Opportunities didnt appreciate. After residents, the citys Planning and Zoning Appeals Board rejected Walmarts earlier proposal this past July. Stern says the Liner Shops are a step in the right direction, but feels that Midtown Opportunities was required to compromise owing to a reciprocal easement agreement attached to the properties. Midtown Opportunities is a healthy actor in the community, Stern adds. They follow the rules, even when they wish they didnt have to. Samuel, however, insists her associates were never against Walmart being built in Midtown Miami. They just wanted to protect the integrity of Midtown Boulevard as a street reserved for unique restaurants and mom-and-pop shops. Midtown Boulevard is supposed to be a buffer between the big-box retail on one side and residential on the other, and I think it works, she says. At the very least, the Liner Shops will buffer 6 Midtown Miami, a 33-story condo tower with 398 residential units and 12 commercial spaces that Midtown Opportunities partners Samuel, Alex Vadia, and Suzanne DeWitt want to build across the street from the proposed Walmart complex, according to the Now You See It, Now You DontWalmarts latest plan for Midtown Miami includes a scrim of retail shops that hide the superstore from view Continued on page 48 Renderings courtesy of Zyscovich Architects

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44 speak to her legal department before providing me with a statement or with the in-store video. She would not review what led to the police entering the store on November 8 without per mission from legal. After our initial conversation, she never returned any of my phone calls. radio transmissions and 911 calls for the incident from communications manager Fernandez. ups for November 8. Based on the line ups, Ofcr. Jason Fernandez, who Taser at McCann, was excluded from the complaint since he was not on duty transmissions, I obtained a printout of the following employees Taser usage for November 8, 2012: Nelson Reyes, Jason Fernandez, Troy Vezina, Elricco Barnes, Cosimo Castronovo, Terry Scott, Jason Williams, Kevin Childs, and Joseph who shows Taser usage during the date and time of the incident. According to his Taser for 23 seconds on November 8 at 2013 hours. The Taser was only turned on and off. It was not deployed in a drive-stun or probe-deployment mode. At no time does the Taser record show an electrical arc from anyones Taser during the time of the incident. After 23 seconds, Craigs Taser is turned off and not turned on again until November 15. ters in Irving, Texas, and spoke to staff attorney Lisa Washington-Watts. Watts sent me a copy of the video via overnight mail but told me she would not allow any employees to provide me with a written or taped statement. Other than the video, Zales would not provide any additional cooperation without subpoenas. obtained a sworn, taped statement from him. After his statement, McCann reduced his initial complaint to one issue: about a knife. as having made the comment about the American and had verbal contact with McCann during the incident. McCann was not 100 percent certain who made the alleged comment. boyfriend of Derek McCann. McHugh arrived on the scene after McCann was McHugh arrived. It should be noted that McCann refers to McHugh as his boyfriend in his taped statement and in several conversations he had with me. When I spoke to McHugh, he introduced himself as McCanns boyfriend. After reviewing all the above information to include the video, radio transmissions, conversations with all involved parties, and McCanns taped statement, the following is what occurred: Derek McCann opened an instantcredit account over the phone with Zales on November 8. While on the phone with the company representative, he asked if he could make an in-store purchase prior to receiving his credit card in the mail, and was told that all he needed store was his account number and two That same day, at approximately 2000 hours, McCann went to the Zales Jewelry store located inside the Aventura Mall to make a purchase. He presented a store employee with his account number written on a piece of paper and his Florida drivers license. The store em ployee became suspicious when McCann presented her with an account number written on a piece of paper that she could not verify as valid. Her suspicions were further aroused when the picture on the drivers license he presented did not look like him. Based on this, she alerted her manager, Michelle Snyder, who contacted mall security, via telephone, about a possible fraud occurring inside the store. Mall security dispatched Tier 2 patrol duty inside the mall, to go to the store and investigate. While walking to the store, Gomez saw Ofcr. Kevin Childs patrolling the interior of the mall and informed him of what was going on. wait outside the store while Gomez went in to speak with the manager. After being told what was going Continued on page 49 No Credible EvidenceContinued from page 42

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46 working chefs and the owners of small ing and business knowledge he and his partners can provide for free. We want to keep Miamis small restaurants around, says Kunkel, who has worked in restaurants since he was 16 years old. The reality is, when youre strung out and dont have money, it pays to talk to someone with expertise, and we have an amazing team. Kunkel tells the BT about his dreams of holding charity dinners at the test like the James Beard Foundation and Common Threads. But then he pauses. Were still very early on, he cautions. Plans might change. This past December, Kunkel bought the Sunshine Motel from Alex and Rena Karakhanian and Lyle Chariff for $3.5 million. The Karakhanians had purchased the property just 11 months earlier for $1.5 million. Two million dollars in less than 12 months isnt bad, says Chariff, owner of Chariff Realty Group and a minority partner with the Karakhanians, who recently have been buying properties in the Upper Eastside and the Design District. Chariff credits the resurgence of the deal. The Biscayne Corridor between Soykas and 79th Street is the next big bet, he says. It is just an interesting area. You an appealing place for people. In fact Chariff and the Kara khanians used part of the proceeds from their deal with Kunkel to buy a 15,000-square-foot vacant parcel at 6405 Biscayne Blvd. for $1.2 million from Javier Rabinovich and Mariano Karner, a pair of Argentine develop ers who had hoped to construct a small retail building on the site. Chariffs company acted as the broker when Rabinovich and Karner acquired the land in May 2011 for $300,000. (See the BT s Theres a Reason They Call It Boulevard of Dreams, April 2012.) Ironically, the Karakhanians and Chariff were initially not interested in selling the Sunshine Motel. We were looking for tenants to lease it, says Sharon Dresser, a broker for High Street Retail USA, who handled the transaction. [Kunkel] stepped up to buy it. Chariff says they were still reluctant: We were pushing for the lease, but he ended up, toward the end of last year, agreeing to our selling price. It was an interesting deal and he was a pleasure to work with. Kunkel says he insisted on buying because he wanted 50 Eggs to own its next base of operations. And the Sunshine 50 EggsContinued from page 42 BT photo by Erik Bojnansky Continued on page 50

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48 online real estate newsletter CondoVul minium documents with the county to build another tower, 3 Midtown Miami (31 stories with 264 residential units and 14 commercial slots) between 2 Midtown Miami and 4 Midtown Miami, according to CondoVultures.com. But Stern thinks it will take more than classy shops to protect Midtown Miami from the adverse effects of a Walmart, especially hordes of vehicles BEING driven by bargain hunters on the already clogged streets surrounding the Itll become a morass. In order to accommodate the including the addition of a left-turn lane on NE 31st Street where it meets N. Miami Avenue, allowing drivers to turn left and head south on the avenue. To do this, Walmart intends to eliminate the streets two parking lanes. Thats a no-no under SD 27.2, which governs zoning and design standards for the western portion of Midtown Miami. That code requires 31st Street to have two eight-foot-wide lanes for parallel parking, Grant points out. According to Sterns reading of the plans, the project doesnt leave any open space on the site, even though the code requires that at least ten percent be set aside for such a purpose. And he says there are a host of other problems with Walmarts application: Im just asking that Walmart play by the rules, too, which the submitted plans clearly do not. Jeff Morr, CEO of Majestic Properties and a 2 Midtown Miami resident, just wants Walmart to go away. Hes fearful that a Walmart will destroy any neighboring commercial operation that even remotely competes with it, thanks to the corporations low-pricing policy. Its going to harm local businesses, including Target, he says. The Target now operating in the Shops at Midtown Miami sells groceries, clothes, home-improvement items, electronics, and other products at discount prices. The two retail giants are arch rivals. Will Ander, a retail consultant with the Chicago-based McMillanDoolittle, says Targets business will take a hit once the Walmart opens just three blocks away. But the effect will only be tempoand then come back, he predicts. Part of the reason for the rebound is that Target and Walmart have different consumer lower prices, Ander explains, but Target sells things Walmart doesnt have, such as designer clothes. Ander says other chain retail stores that are anywhere near a newly built Walmart also experience a business slowdown, but then they bounce back. The independents are the ones that generally get hurt the most, Ander says, SOUTH FLORIDA RESTORATION HANDYMAN DIVISION We take handyman work seriously.State Licensed General Contractor CGC052795 305.651.9660 / WWW.SOUTHFLORIDARESTORATION.COM > DRYWALL REPAIRS > SOFFIT SCREENS > PAINTING INTERIOR > PAINTING EXTERIOR > CERAMIC TILES > MASONRY REPAIRS > DOORS > WINDOWS > CARPENTRY > KITCHENS > BATHS Since 1985, weve serviced over 20,000 homes and businesses with small projects and repairs. We pride ourselves on our integrity and professionalism. We return every call and show up on time. That is our mantra. WalmartContinued from page 43 There Continued on page 51

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORpolice radio that he was being advised by mall security of a possible fraud going Craig indicated over the radio that they would be heading to the store as backup and Vezina, happened to be patrolling inside the mall and overheard the transmission and indicated over the radio that they would be heading toward the store as well. heard what was going on over the mall radio and headed toward Zales. He staged outside of the Lego store, which is directly next to Zales. Carrell never entered Zales and remained out of sight the entire time. Gomez went into the store and spoke to the manager. The store employees account number McCann presented was valid and that the license he presented did not match what he looked like. The store manager told Gomez she believed something suspicious was occurring and that McCann would not present any other After he heard this, Gomez walked that it appeared a fraud was being comand Craig entered the store. Childs bypassed McCann, who was seated in a chair, and went directly to speak to Barnes entered right after Childs and stood on opposite sides of McCann. mately three to four feet from McCann and had his Taser held at his hip, pointed in McCanns direction. He never extended his arm toward McCann or displayed an electrical arc. In his taped statement, the Taser at his side and did not display an electrical arc. store employees, who indicated that a possible crime was occurring. Based on Childs verbally indicated to Barnes and Craig that a crime was being committed. My conversations with the involved Childs speaking to Barnes from the store managers desk several feet away and pointing to McCann. Once Barnes is told that a crime is being committed, he asks McCann to stand up and place his hands on the counter to pat him down. After patting him down, he handcuffs McCann immediately reholstered his Taser after the handcuffs were put on. cuffs a few minutes later, when a store the account number he presented was the drivers license McCann presented was valid. The photograph on the license depicts McCann at a heavier weight and with long hair. Currently he is much thinner, has tattoos, and no hair. liams, Vezina, Scott, and Reyes walk into the store for a brief time. At no time are there ever more than three or four Reyes remain inside the store with him. It appears from the video that Reyes and McCann are having a cordial conversation because Reyes pats him on the back and shakes his hand. While Reyes and Craig are talking to McCann, his boyfriend, Thomas McHugh, enters the store and Reyes shakes his hand as well. From the video it appears that everyone is laughing. McCann and McHugh can be seen sitting down at the store counter and completing a transaction before the video ends. It should be noted that McCann and McHugh came to the mall separately, but made arrangements over the phone to meet at Zales. At no point during the video does a K9 enter the store or stage outside the store entrance. According to mall secuthe Lego store next door until he heard that the situation was resolved and left the area. McCann said in his sworn statement that he did not actually see the K9. He SOUTH FLORIDAS BEST BACK YARD STORE 5 REASONS WE ARE THE BEST CHOICE!*N OT INC LUDI NG REBATES AND IN STORE ONLY.#1 #2 #3 #4 #5MOST EXPERIENCED & K NOWLEDGE ABLE STAFF LOWE ST PRICE G UARANT EE WE MEET OR BEAT ALL LOCAL PRICES*LARGE ST SEL ECT ION O F POOL & SP A PRODUC TS FA MIL Y OW NED & OPERAT ED F OR OVER 40 YEARS W E GUARANT EE T O K EEP YOU HA PPY!! 305-893-4036 Keeping Customers Happy For Over 40 Years S ALT CHLORI NATORS HEATERS All in one BBQFREE gift with purchaseE xp. 2-28-13 LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR POOLCOMPUTER WAT ER A N AL YSIS FREE We make it easy! LET US SHOW YOU THE 3 STEP PROGRAM! HOT TUB CLEARANCE SALE Save $1,000s on all in stock models PLUS 18 months at 0% nancing* PLUS Free Purication system, delivery & steps *w.a.c. w/ payments. SPECIAL PRICIN G PLUSF REE Installation $400 value F REE $100 W almart CardE xp. 2-28-13SAVE UP TO $500! No Credible EvidenceContinued from page 44 Continued on page 50

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORMotel just gave him a certain feeling. back and we searched high and low for a new home, Kunkel recounts. I kept looking back to it, back to it, back to it. I started looking at the architecture and I just knew that it was the space for us. Jocelyne Hider knows the feeling. In September 2005, she and her husband bought the 22-room Sunshine Motel, originally known as Alda Roch ester Motel, for $1.2 million. A few months later they bought the neighbor ing former Penn Hall Hotel, built in 1929, for $895,000. I fell in love with those two Art Deco buildings, says the Haitian-American businesswoman. The Sunshine had seen better days, though. There were drug dealers and prostitution. It was bad, she sighs. After operating it for a month, they shut it down and proceeded to renovate it. We wanted to have a little hotel and then have a restaurant downstairs, Hider recalls. Yet even after investing some $400,000, the work was never completed. It was just so expensive, Hider says. We couldnt keep it up. Dresser points out that Kunkel will have a lot of work ahead. Its actually, basically a was informed about the K9 from his boyfriend, who saw the dog walking in the vicinity as he was coming to meet McCann at the store. There was no Aventura police K9 inside the mall at any time during the incident. In his initial complaint, McCann alleged three things: and repeatedly threatened him. inside the store. him that if he wanted to point a knife at him, he could do that. Based on my investigation, there inside the store at any time. The majority and once they saw the situation was under control, they left. The majority of the time there was only two to three ofThere was never a German shepherd inside the store. In fact, Mr. McCann by his own admission never saw a dog. None of the three African-American membered making any type of comment about a knife to him, nor do they remember anyone else making that type of comment. During my taped interview with McCann, he added that someone put their hand on his chest and asked him why his heart was beating so fast. At no point on the video does anyone put their hand on his chest. Conclusion: Unfounded. There is no credible evidence to support any of the allegations. In fact, with the exception of the knife comment, every allegation was recanted by McCann in his taped statement and proven to be false by the video. McCann even acknowledged in his statement to apologized, and explained their actions. denied making any comment involving a knife, and there is no credible evidence to support it. The facts in this case support handcuffs being placed on McCann for a short time because, as indicated information given to him that a crime had occurred. Immediately upon receivMr. McCann presented was valid, the handcuffs were removed. The display of the Taser upon entering the store without indication that McCann had committed a crime or was unruly is an issue of concern. Mr. McCann did not give any indication that he was not cooperative, and the potential for incapacitation with a probe deployment highly unlikely. Also could have been struck with the probes if the Taser was deployed. The use of the Taser in this case warrants concern, and my suggestion is to forward the issue to the Training Unit to review the tactics employed and to provide remedial training to Craig. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com No Credible EvidenceContinued from page 49 50 EggsContinued from page 46 Continued on page 51

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Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORreferring to small stores and grocers. However, restaurants, bars, serviceoriented businesses, and stores selling designer goods wont necessarily be harmed by Walmart. Says Ander: They may be helped by Walmart drawing Helped, that is, if prospective customers are able to get to the Walmart. by the Walmart is a legitimate concern: It could discourage some people from going there. Morr says hes certain that Walmart will discourage the very people Midtown Miami is trying to attract: young professionals who want to work and play within walking distance of their home. For those who commute to work, Midtown Miami is close to I-95, the Julia Tuttle Causeway, and Biscayne Boulevard. If Walmart strangles Midtown Miami with cars and cheap items, Morr contends, residential and commercial values could drop: Who wants to be by a Walmart? Peter Zalewski, publisher of Con doVultures.com, agrees that property values around Walmart might drop for about a year or 18 months at the most. Zalewski suspects that Midtown Miami residential prices may already be under assault by savvy investors. If you are a buyer, youre going to use the Walmart scenario to get a cheaper price, he says. However, once the community adapts to the Walmart, property values will increase once again, Zalewski believes. The rest of the Wynwood neighborhood will experience price booms as well if the Walmart proves tend to cluster, Zalewski notes. Ill bet theres going to be a lot of big-box retailers looking to see if Walmart will be successful in the Wynwood area, simply because the land is available. Walmart or no Walmart, Deborah Samuel insists that Midtown Miami continues to be hot property. Shes already entertaining offers from businesses wanting to open in the Liner Shops. I to sign [leases] at this point, she says. Robert Torres has no intention of moving from 4 Midtown, where hes lived for three years, or to close down Lab Salon, a business hes operated on for four years. I personally think that Walmart is going to go where it wants to is futile. Torres doubts that the Walmart will be any kind of detriment to either his business or his lifestyle in Midtown, no matter what some of his neighbors assert. I personally will shop there absolutely, he says. And Im sure all my neighbors will, too. Who doesnt want to save some money? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com WalmartContinued from page 48shell, she says of the Sunshine. Theres no electricity, no air-conditioning, nothing. But the Hiders renovations did reveal its Art Deco character, which had been hidden by remodels during the 1950s. And although its still empty, Kunkel has 8000 square feet to play with, and he says the building is in good physical condition. Its got great bones. he beams. While Kunkel is working to preserve the buildings historic character, including hiring noted architect Allan Shulman, hes not interested in preserving its cheer ful moniker. The name has long been since removed, he says. If we do name it anything, it will be after the company. (The company name, 50 Eggs, is drawn Cool Hand Luke in which Paul Newman, starring as an irrepressible convict in a Florida prison camp, wins a bet to eat 50 hard-boiled eggs in one hour.) Jocelyne Hider is thrilled that Kunkel has taken over her former property and that New York developer Avra Jain is rehabilitating the shuttered Vagabond Motel across the street. Hider believes that her business, Memories, which operates in the former Penn Hall Hotel, will prosper once the street is alive again, but theres another reason she looks forward to seeing the Vagabond and Sunshine motels thriving. I am very happy that people with money are doing something with those two beautiful buildings. They are two beautiful old ladies, says Hider, confessing to some regret at the way things turned out. I kind of feel bad that shine Motel, but you know, in life sometimes you have to go on to other dreams. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 50 EggsContinued from page 50

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52 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aATT he Open Door Local culture is alive and well at Bagel Cove, Aventuras most welcoming placeBy Jay Beskin BT ContributorAbout a year into cityhood, Aventura Mayor Arthur Snyder invited Kenneth Treister to make a presentation before the city commission. Treister, an acclaimed Miami architect and sculptor, was perhaps best known for his design of the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial. (Among many other project, he also designed and owned the Streets of Mayfair in Coconut Grove.) Snyder wanted to put Aventura on the map. Treisters proposal was to create a permanent, multicolored laser exhibit in Dumbfoundling Bay, off the tip of 188th Street (the current location of the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center). The installation, it was thought, would attract locals and tourists from far and wide. Snyder and Treister tried to sell this concept as inspired and imaginative. Although the presentation was impressive, the commissioners thought the idea odd and expensive, at about $2 million. The commission turned it sioner at the time.) Snyder handled this rebuke with the equanimity typical of a seasoned politician. Treister, on the other hand, left the meeting in a complete and obvious huff, probably thinking the commissioners and their constituents were Aventura would shortly prove him wrong, for the city was about to possess something that would truly shout its cultural character. Aventura at that time 25,000 people living in an area of 3.2 square miles would be home to four bookstores: two big-box retailers, Borders and Barnes and Noble, along with Waldenbooks in Aventura Mall and Pierres Bookstore, located in a strip mall in the citys southern end and catering to French readers and Francophiles. For Aventura to support one bookstore for every 6250 residents no doubt placed our city near the top of the literacy pyramid in the United States, to the extent bookstores are a measure of such a thing. For there to be one bookstore for every .8 square miles of city could only mean the residents of Aventura, a high proportion of whom descend from the People of the Book, valued knowledge and scholarship and worldliness. Those who inveighed their children to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, their intellectual roots and grant the people of northeast Miami-Dade County access to BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith Apply for the Knight Arts Challenge Feb. 4 March 4 at KnightArts.org.

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the highest form of cultural experience. And the bookstores hummed with an empty chair or table at either Borders or Barnes and Noble. Authors would appear for book readings and signings. Parents would bring children to hear storybooks. But the bookstores did more than sell books. Friends would meet over coffee. Singles met for blind dates. The lonely found solace among similarly situated souls on a Friday or Saturday evening. The bookstores became indoor urban communal spaces. They were our bars, coffee houses, intellectual salons, after-school programs, and places for the contemplative all rolled into one. That was Aventuras gift to our community. and Noble closed its doors. It was the last of the four bookstores to go. A notice on its door informs patrons that the nearest Barnes and Noble store is now 12 miles to the north. Our city now has no bookstores. Its not our fault. The bookstores were vic tims of e-readers, Amazon, mismanage ment, unsustainable rents, redevelopment, or any combination of these. So if we never got a light sculpture and we dont have bookstores, do we have any other cultural amenities that might distin guish our fair city and show the world that we continue to resist our eras cultural decay? The answer to that question is an obvious yes. We drive past it every day. It is an open kitchen door not 20 feet from Biscayne Boulevard. Nowhere else along the Biscayne Corridor does such a door exist. It belongs to a deli called Bagel Cove. Through that door waft aromas of the wonderful, salt-laden, chicken-fatsoaked, artery-hardening, heart-attackinducing foods on which most of us were weaned: creamed herring, chopped liver, pastrami, brisket, blintzes, knishes, and matzoh brei. (Of course, most dont know the aromas are there because they pass the door in hermetically sealed vehicles. But thats not the point.) The open door reminds us of those open kitchen doors off the alleyways of Brooklyns Canarsie or Chicagos Rogers Park, neighborhoods through which and bagels, and just-cooked corned beef and turkey. It seductively invites the passerby to come in and partake of our cultural heritage, our food; the food that, observance, or station in life, binds us all. Of course, there are many delis in our city besides Bagel Cove Mos Bagels & Deli, to name one. The offerings at Mos are not much different from Bagel Cove or a newer entry in the market, BagelWorks. But Mos has a more elitist atmosphere. Its where the citys movers and shakers have their power breakfasts and lunches. At Mos, youll see politicians, govern other poo-bahs schmoozing; the kind of people who are featured in the Aventura News Candidates looking for votes almost always glad-hand their way through Mos. Bagel Cove caters more to the com moner. Indeed, in a certain respect, it has deli. For a long time, its offerings were named for various condos in the city, like the Mystic Pointe, Turnberry, Landmark, and Flamenco sandwiches. No dishes were named for the lower-end condos. Rather, Bagel Coves sandwiches were aspirational in nature, mirroring the generational long ing of our ancestors for the better things in life for their descendants. Some years ago, the owners of the Aventura Cove Shopping Center, which houses Bagel Cove, sought certain zoning approvals from the city commission. The approvals were granted upon the condition that Bagel Cove close its open kitchen door. The thought was that a city that had expended so much money and effort on the latest in urbanscape design would be blemished by an open kitchen door on Biscayne Boulevard. But the city has never sought to enforce that condition, and perhaps that is as it should be. The door remains open. Its the only open kitchen door on Biscayne Boulevard, thumbing its nose at its lushly landscaped and manicured surroundings if to say that the true Aventura is what lies inside the door. That door is our true cultural amenity. It harkens us back to our childhoods and beckons the visitor to share our heritage and look into our souls. Now all we need is a cheap chop suey joint, preferably one with an open kitchen door. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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54 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIDealing and WheelingLuxury car sellers are bumper-to-bumper, waiting to take over a chunk of Biscayne LandingBy Mark Sell BT ContributorLast month we told of seismic transformations coming to Biscayne Landing. Plans have since changed a bit, and the Richter scale could soon go bonkers. Brace for not one, but four or more new luxury car dealerships at the entrance to Biscayne Landing, on 25 acres along the southeast corner of 151st Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Imagine a group of dealerships, roughly equivalent in design to Lexus of North Miami, guarding the northern entrance to Biscayne Landing from 151st Street, with showrooms up to four stories high and six-story mega-garages protecting precious inventory from the weather. Imagine one of those mega-garages across the street from the existing parking structure for the twin 25-story, 381-unit Oaks Towers and you start to get the picture. And thats just one piece of the new sent to City of North Miami staff in late January and coming up before the plan ning and zoning commission on March 5. Auto dealerships want to be here, says Herb Tillman, hands-on director of Oleta Partners Biscayne Landing project and vice president of Swerdlow Group developers. We are trying to develop These guys for the most part are trying to bend over backwards to make this program work. The word is that interested parties include Prestige Imports, right across the street from Biscayne Landing, where you can lease a new Lamborghini for $2377 a month, give or take; a South Florida Cadillac dealership eager to expand; a dealer selling the newly refurbished Lincoln luxury brand; and one of the automotive conglomerates with several dealerships along U.S. 441 in Miami Gardens, near the county line. More could be in the wings. are said to be in talks with manufacturers to get approval to open in 2015. For them the location is ideal: reasonably handy to the beach, I-95, and Aventura, and between the 123rd Street and 163rd Street causeways. Thats central for all those Latin American, European, and Russian condo buyers. Prestige Imports, headed by 25-yearold Brett David (who took over when his father, Irv David, died of a heart attack six

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years ago), has been the most successful Audi dealership in the nation since 2006. So dearly did Prestige want the southeast corner that early last spring, while the deal with developer Michael Swerdlow and his Oleta Partners group was in question, David presented the city with a $14 million check and a prepared contract to buy the 200-year land-lease from the city. Whether the check was real or symbolic, the city didnt take it. Instead, Swerdlow and Oleta got all 181 acres of the land and are now doing the selling. One big and largely unnoticed turning point happened January 22, when the city commission, with little discussion on second reading, voted 5-0 to lift restrictions on car dealerships operating on developments of more than 30 acres, which in North Miami means only one thing: Biscayne Landing. Heres where it gets interesting. Suppose you have four car dealerships on 25 acres. Oleta Partners is ready to sell the 200-year lease rights for about $1.5 million per acre along the Boulevard and about $750,000 per acre inland, for an average of about $1 million per acre. In other words, with four dealerships, Oleta Partners would get $25 million. What kind of deal is that for Oleta? Sweet. Remember that Oleta wired $17.5 million to the city August 20, suddenly making North Miami solvent rather than nearly bankrupt. Add $1 million-plus in professional and maintenance fees paid to the City of North Miami, $1.5 million million in back taxes, and that leaves Oleta out roughly $21.5 million. So if Oleta sells the land lease to four car dealerships for $25 million-plus, for example, it comes out around $4 million ahead. That beats being $17.5 million behind, plowed right back into the projected $30 million expense for land preparation, lights, electricity, sewers, and the spine road that are part of the billion-dollar development. And what about that seven-acre lake with surrounding greenery that you pass when driving to the Oaks Towers condos from 151st Street? Answer: No more lake. Those 12 acres would be paved over for car dealerships. Last month we said the lake would remain. Well, money talks and plans change. Now dog walkers, mothers with strollers, and joggers would pass car dealerships rather than a lake with greensward. (The lake, al though burnt ochre in appearance and part Consider Biscayne Landing, then, as a sandwich, with car dealerships and the Oaks Towers on top and big-box stores at the bottom, with those parts handled by Swerdlow Group, developer of Hollywoods Oakwood Plaza (which the lower portion would resemble). In the middle, you could get as many as 3400 midrange apartments in build ings of 8 to 25 stories in height, developed by the venerable LeFrak Organization of New York, builders of the vast LeFrak City apartments in Corona, Queens, and much else. Imagine the Oaks Towers at Biscayne Landing multiplied by nine, plus parking. LeFrak operates big and the rental market is tight. Home loans are tough to get and not about to get much easier, as banks face tightening capital requiremeans Miami will continue to have plenty of cash-strapped renters for reasonably well-appointed, if not lavish, midrange apartments for households making, say, $50,000 or $60,000 a year. Sizes would not be quite as cavernous as the 1600to 2000-square-foot Oaks apartments, but 1000-square-foot units with laminate rather than granite and midrange appliances would do many well enough. Instead of the park around the lake, the master plan calls for 37 acres of open space, 17 acres of which would be in the form of parks. Most of that acreage would be situated in the residential section. As a resident of the Oaks, I must admit to a certain pause. Will life be more of 151st and Biscayne would undoubtedly worsen considerably, particularly around already hellish school-zone hours. A light would seem a necessity at the Biscayne Landing entrance at 151st Street, although it is less than 600 feet east of the Boulevard. But at the Oaks, we still have one great consolation: protected wetlands to the east, with views of the swampy woods from the So if car dealerships and megagarages block the sunset, we still keep our sunrise. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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56 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I S HORE sS Mass II ntransigenceEven as transportation options expand, the Shores seems stuck in the pastBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorIn January, my students at Miami Arts Charter School and I were invited to participate in the March 8-9 opening of the Purple Transit Line station. Located beneath the I-195 over pass at NE 2nd Avenue and 36th Street, the station offers art, poetry, music, and even a caf passengers can enjoy while they wait for their bus or other mode of public transportation. Theres only one problem: The Purple Transit Line and the station dont really exist. While my students will be composing poetry for it along the lines of what the Poetry in Motion campaign does for New York Citys Metropolitan Transportation Authority the project is actually an art installation, the message of which is obvious: In a metro area of 2.5 or so mil lion residents, mass public transportation, built in a civic and creative manner, has become increasingly necessary. Our involvement with the Purple Line project has, as it is intended to do for ev eryone in Miami, made me think. And I have plenty of time for that. Nearly every day on my way to drop off or pick up my kids at school, Im trapped behind an end less cargo train traveling the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). At night, insom niac that I am, the nearby train whistles awaken me at least twice. ing if rail service were an option for residents of Miami Shores. Given that the tracks run through the center of the village, it would make sense to have a station where commuters could easily hop on a train and be in downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or even Or lando in time-saving comfort that also reduces noise pollution and improves air quality. But easy train travel, whether for business or tourist reasons, probably will not be an option for residents of Miami Shores. Despite operable, clean-fuel plans from both the Florida Department of Transportation and the South Florida Regional Transportation Author ity (SFRTA) which operates Tri-Rail to co-develop routes along the FEC right-of-way, as well as private companies seeking to install passenger trains,

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the village will not likely be among the proposed station sites. The FECs All Aboard Florida proposal calls for a quiet, high-speed route from Orlando to Miami, with the closest sta tion to Miami Shores located in either Opalocka or the Golden Glades, and the one for Tri-Rails Blue Line route in Aventura. As Miami becomes even more backs up practically onto our lawns, and it takes an hour to travel ten minutes, its clear that something is going to happen. No matter who succeeds in securing funds and approval, more FEC tracks (and improved tracks) are needed for the railways to expand from freight to passenger service. So like it or not, we can expect rail construction to commence in the Shores at some point in the next two years, as the FEC is planning to have the Miami-to-Orlando All Aboard Florida route operational by 2014. After that, many more trains will be coming through. Aside from the potential increase in driving delays from construc likely impact Miami Shores negatively or positively. But shouldnt they? Between Publix and the series of homes and churches on the west side of the existing tracks, we have unused land where litter collects and stray animals make their hideouts. Much of that is FEC-owned property. Why not petition them and the developers of the rail lines to put this land to good placed here? Okay, I know thats wishful think ing. For one thing, the FEC hasnt even installed safe pedestrian crossings on our tracks; I cringe every time I see some one hauling groceries over the tracks by Publix, or jogging over the tracks on NE 96th Street. Plus we dont even have a viable downtown, owing mostly to a lack of sewage connections and concerns that too much of a good thing (restaurants, retail) will attract rowdy crowds that will overrun our little community. So I cant see how village leaders would support a rail station, even if we did make it an architectural gem and decorate it through local art and literacy initiatives or even revenue, and increased home values. Of course, to build a station, wed also have to create a parking lot, as denizens of neighboring towns will want to take the train from here, just as some of us will want to board in Aventura. And maybe theres just not enough land for that though that stumbling block, too, could be overcome. Add on to the top of Publix, for instance, where theres already a parking structure. Oh, but the cost! The eyesore! So maybe we can look at installing other options, such as courting environmentally friendly car-sharing companies like Car2Go, whose tiny vehicles I see on the street, available for rent all over downtown, Brickell, Edgewater, the Design District, and the Upper Eastside. But even if we never get a train station here and I can accept that its a pipe dream Miami Shores residents would do well to start thinking about how we might get to a station without driving our own cars there and adding to, instead of decreasing, congestion and pollution on our main cor ridors. (I use the plural lightly.) One word (or is it two?): DecoBike. A bike-sharing system that is already in effect in Miami Beach and Surfside (and soon, if not already, in Bay Harbor Islands and the City of Miami), DecoBikes system is simple: Insert a credit card or your membership card and rent a bike, ride it to wherever you need to go, and return it to a rack near your destination. So basically, if you live in Surfside or Miami Beach, you can rent a bike there, ride it to work in downtown Miami, leave it there, and then rent a second bike to return home. Access passes cost as little as $4 for 30 minutes to $35 for all-month use (with lots of options in between). DecoBikes are available 24/7, and even the vendor stations are clean and green: Theyre solar-powered. The bikes themselves with pedal-pow ered headlights and taillights, sturdy baskets, and adjustable seats are built for city travel. What do DecoBikes not have? A home in Miami Shores, where, though we have cars and bikes of our own, we barely have parking spaces or bike racks, let alone a caror bike-sharing program. Or a train station. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEHard LL essonsWhen it comes to protecting our schoolchildren, we need a bunker mentality By Frank Rollason BT ContributorA A New Aveda Concept Salonwww.SevenSeasSpaSalon.com Receive...30 Minute Massage 30 Minute Facial Maninicure and Pedicure Complimentary Valet Complimentary Champagne Access to Tiki Hut on the beachALL forDAY Mon-Thurs 16701 Collins AvenueLocated at the Sunny Isles Beach inside the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort

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truth, a semi-automatic weapon is deadlier more accurate in the hands of a trained gunman than a fully automatic look on someones face when they know theyre seconds away from being on the receiving end of a bullet. The horror of Sandy Hook just boggles the mind. Who knows what erased by the deaths of these innocent children? Was there a Jonas Salk, a Steve Jobs, a Madame Curie, or maybe even another Einstein? We will never know. This, too, boggles the mind, does it not? Besides their lives, what other gifts may have been taken from us all on that fateful day? perspective, it is probably not by passing more gun legislation or by increasing the emphasis on mental health. Both are bent on this type of activity will probably still slip through the cracks. Friends of the perpetrator will continue to be astonished, relaying to the news media how Johnny was quiet and somewhat shy. Not many friends, but no, never really had a problem, nothing that would make you think he could do something like this. How many people like this do we know who never became serial killers or mass murderers? Finding the ones who could snap violently is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, dont you think? I view these incidents pragmatically and accept that they will continue, and possibly escalate, in the foreseeable future. Therefore I believe that, to stop similar incidents in our schools, the buildings themselves must be hardened beyond what is currently planned. And by the way, the idea from the our teachers is beyond ludicrous, as aptly pointed out by former Miami-Dade in his January 1 Readers Forum piece in the Herald (Think back to the kindergarten teachers your children had and focus on one who made a particular impact on your child. Then imagine that person an assailant hell-bent on wiping out a classroom full of kids. Its an asinine thought, to say the least.) Then there is the plea for more of Forum on December 30 by Howard Giraldo, president of the local union Would it be helpful to have a full-time a Newtown-style scenario, be facing a heavily armed assailant with the ele ment of surprise on his side. Perhaps mount a counter-assault. Or would we need three? You see where this could lead. A SWAT team in each school might make us feel like our kids are safer, but it would not be a cost-effective use of personnel. No, I think the answer is in hardening the school buildings so a potential attacker cannot make entry without having to run the gauntlet, so to speak. We have a unique opportunity to do this in Miami-Dade in that we, the voters, just passed a billion-dollar capital projects initiative for our schools. What we need to do is earmark those dollars to include whatever plant improvements are necessary to make the schools impenetrable: bulletproof glass in all street-level windows and doors (not hurricane-impact windows bulletproof glass the penetration of high-powered projec tiles), and a bulletproof reception vestibule. In the case of the last, once a visitor enters, he or she would be screened via remote methods, by metal detectors and anything suspicious is detected or observed, the visitor would be locked in the vestibule until the arrival of the police. This is certainly not a pleasant topic to write on and not particularly pleasant to read, but we need to embrace realistic measures to keep our children able for implementing those measures. Theres no reason we cant provide our schoolchildren the same level of protecboard an airplane. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Culture: THE ARTSColoring in the PastThe Vasari Project seeks to document Miamis long underappreciated art historyBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorThe idea to document Miamis art history might be traced back to the year 1550, when Italian Giorgio Vasari published what many art. Vasari is also credited with being the sance to describe what he was chronicling, particularly in Florence. Okay, so Miami and Florence arent usually uttered in the same breath, but to start somewhere, and someone had to make sure the world would remember its origins and achievements. So back in the 1980s, historian and Miami Herald Helen Library, began mulling over how to was coming into its own as a cultural center, but had little to physically docu it, maybe it didnt happen, says the Herald but remains active in the maybe people only saw what was in the newspaper, and maybe that one mention was wrong. years, as thats when Miamis population (and eventual personality) really bloomed. And they decided to concentrate on as much original, primary But like any other venture, it needed determined collecting and cataloguing initiative began. every dog-and-pony show out there to in the Miami art scene in the postwar period and who were retiring or moving into smaller living spaces. Kohen was not interested in people it all, no matter how inconsequential made weeding out repetitive items a priIt might come as a surprise that there is no art here. Vasari is not an art colwith letters, press clippings, photographs, and gallery announcements. Those various people. Kohen points out that printed materials and even things such as slides (or mipour in as more people heard about Vasari. The cataloguing process became intense. Interestingly, the material Although that could seem it brings a holistic approach to discovering Miami history. an artist might not turn up. particular individual might those who loved art. Kohen remembers one such person, a woman ing what were then exotic places, such as up in Miami, donating her collected items to Vasari. Others were instrumental in getTrasobares. Eventually Vasari would need more room, which it recently got, and Kohen passed 2011, although the ever-energetic Kohen remains actively involved. with the librarys art services, in the expanded space, which is open two days a week (but also by appointment). She says that, through her involvement with Vasari, she has come to understand Miamis distinct cultural development, noting that our philanthropic support and interest are Surrounded Islands Surrounded Islands

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that took place to get Christo and Jeanne-Claude here to surround Biscayne Bays islands in hotpink fabric in 1983. One example is a check for one dollar, sent to a volunteer on the project. (Those checks would become little artistic mementos of the event.) A favorite piece of Kohens is the original birth famous outsider artist, the late Purvis Young. His real name, she notes, was Previous Young. One of the latest acquisi tions has come from the estate of Paula Harper, an art historian, writer, and profes last spring. Stuffed into the 18 cartons that were delivered to Vasari are articles by Harper, clippings, and her personal correspondence with the family of Camille Pissarro, says Kohen. Harper co-authored one of the major biographies of the French Impressionist, and is considered a pioneer in feminist studies of art history. The donation underscores the unique aspect of this project. Vasari is not a and art-making is the product of an backgrounds that cant really be found anywhere else. In fact, these quirky bits and pieces and rich history, one that Kohen says is too often belittled and misunderstood. Just because it wasnt documented doesnt mean it didnt exist, she there has always been art. There have always been rich people here, visitors with money, and they want art on their walls. John Singer Sar gent [the major American portrait the early 20th Century. much larger, with international cachet in the art world, which is why the Vasari Project will take on an ever-expanding mission. Yet it will still welcome the minutiae. We feel that every bit that is left here becomes part of our history, says Kohen. The Vasari Project is open to the public by appointment only Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the main library, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. Call 305-375-1550 or e-mail vasari@mdpls.org. 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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62 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com February 9 through April 13: Chase Westfall 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through February 6: 305-751-8367 Through February 8: artists ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 786-287-7789 305-438-0220 February 7 through April 6: 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through April 1: 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 Through March 31: ART NOUVEAU GALLERY 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 ART WORK IN PROGRESS 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009 www.jacques-harvey.com ARTSEEN GALLERY 305-237-3559 ASCASO GALLERY 305-571-9410 www.ascasogallery.com/site Through February 29: 305-576-2828 February 8 through 29: 122 NE 11th St., Miami Through February 29: BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 Through February 5: BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Suite 3, Miami 305-491-1526 February 9 through March 8: SPACE 12425 NE 13th A ve. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com February 10 through April 7: Shelley BUZZART 2750 NW 3rd A ve., Suite 6, Miami 305-571-8100 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 CAROL JAZZAR CONTEMPORARY ART 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 Through February 10: February 15 through March 17: DANIEL AZOULAY GALLERY 305-576-1977 DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com Through February 31: 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 February 9 through April 6: DIASPORA VIBE GALLER Y 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 DIMENSIONS VARIABLE 100 NE 11th St., Miami 305-607-5527 Through March 21: DINA MITRANI GALLERY 786-486-7248 Through March 23: DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com 51 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-9994 February 7 through March 30: DURBAN SEGNINI GALLERY Through February 28: ELITE ART EDITIONS 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 7328 NW Miami Ct., Miami 786-709-5129 February 15: 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 GALLERY 786-431-1957 www.gallery212miami.com GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through February 16: 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 Through March 31: with various artists GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 Through February 2: by William Cordova 305-456-5478 HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through March 2: HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 305-989-3359 Through February 2: 2417 N. Miami A ve., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Through February 15: JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 Through February 22: KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 Through February 28: KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 Through March 3: KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 Through February 20: KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com June 26 (Boom Box and Beaver),

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Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Through March 2: 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 MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, CENTRE GALLERY 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Through February 8: Faculty Show with various artists MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdc.edu Through February 2: Toledo/Toledo Full Circle by Isabel and Ruben Toledo Where Ideas Are Born: A Jugglers Notebooks by Manuel Estrada February 14 through May 4: A Life`s Work by Arnold Mesches MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, GALLERY NORTH 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu February 15 through March 19: Noise by Arnold Mesches MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE, KENDALL GALLERY 1110 SW 104th St., Miami 305-237-2322 www.mdc.edu/kendall Call gallery for exhibition information MICHAEL JON GALLERY 20 NE 41st St., Suite 2, Miami 305-760-9030 www.michaeljongallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 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 305-2 37-3597 Call gallery for exhibition information NINA T ORRES FINE ART 1800 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami 305-395-3599 February 15 through March 30: Art & Design by Helidon XHIXHA NORMAN LIEBMAN STUDIO 2561 N. Miami A ve., 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 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 February 18: The Artists Accomplice: Paintings and Monumental Studies by Cesar Santos PAN AMERICAN ART PROJECTS 2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-2400 www.panamericanart.com Through March 2: Gimrack by Ted Larsen Fairy Tales by Carolina Sardi PAREDES FINE ARTS STUDIO 2311 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-534-2184 www.miguelparedes.com Ongoing: Elements of an Artist by Miguel Paredes PRIMARY PROJECTS 4141 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 104, Miami www.primaryprojectspace.com www.primaryprojectspace.com Call gallery for exhibition information PROJECTS GALLERY 250 NW 23rd St., Ste 208, Miami 267-303-9652 www.projectsgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information ROBERT FONTAINE GALLERY 2349 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-397-8530 www.robertfontainegallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information SAMMER GALLERY 82 NE 29th St., Miami 305-441-2005 www.artnet.com/sammergallery.html Call gallery for exhibition information SPINELLO PROJECTS 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com February 14 through April 6: L O V E L I K E T H E U N I V E R S E by Sinisa Kukec SWAMPSP ACE GALLERY 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com February 9 through March 9: House of Desire with Lea Nickless, and Conrad Hamather TONY WYNN MODERN ART GALLERY 3223 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 786-536-9799 www.tonywynn.com Ongoing: Patriotica by Tony Wynn THE LUNCH BOX GALLERY 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Through February 2: Craters by Michael G. Zimmerer Morales, Jos Joaqun Figueroa, and Rodolfo Vanmarcke UNDER THE BRIDGE 12425 NE 13th Ave., North Miami 305-978-4437 Call gallery for exhibition information UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI GALLERY 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art February 4 through 22: MFA Exhibition by Yusmary Cortez UNIX FINE ART GALLERY 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres WALTMAN ORTEGA FINE ART 2233 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-576-5335 www.waltmanortega.com Call gallery for exhibition information WYNWOOD WALLS NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th streets 305-573-0658 www.thewynwoodwalls.com Ongoing: Wynwood Walls with Retna, How & Nosm, Roa, b., The Date Farmers, Saner, Sego, Liqen, Neuzz, Faile, Vhils, Interesni Kazki, Kenny Scharf, Nunca, Shepard Fairey, Aiko, Ryan McGinness, Stelios Faitakis, and avaf YEELEN ART GALLERY 294 NW 54th St., Miami 954-235-4758 www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information s.t. 40

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64 ZADOK GALLERY 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737 www.zadokgallery.com Through February 18: Void and Substance by Li HuiMUSEUM & COLLECTION EXHIBITS 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through February 17: Smoke Signals: Istwa, Paisajes and Allegories with Onyedika Chuke, Y anira Collado, Lourdes Correa-Carlo, Rashawn Howardena Pindell, Jerome Reyes, Carlos Sandoval de Leon, Onajide Shabaka, Noelle Theard, Robert Thiele, Anna Tsouhlarakis, and Mary Valverde 2100 Collins A ve., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through March 17: with Eija Liisa Ahtila, Barry X Ball, Walead Beshty, Hans Peter Feldmann, Ged Quinn, and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook 1018 N. Miami A ve., Miami 305-455-3380 www.cifo.org Through March 3: Unsaid/Unspoken with various artists, curated by Moacir dos Anjos and Jos Roca CRAIG ROBBINS COLLECTION 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 DE LA CRUZ COLLECTION CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-6112 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists ART MUSEUM 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through February 17: Forms Transgressions: The Drawings of Augstin Fernndez by Augstin Fernandez Through February 24: To Beauty: A Tribute to Mike Kelley with various artists Through April 14: Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism with various artists Through May 20: American Sculpture in the Tropics with John Henry, Albert Paley, Dennis Oppenheim, Chakaia Booker, and LEGAL ART 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www .lowemuseum.org Through February 10: Joseph and Janet Shein with various artists Through March 24: artists New Light by Stephen Knapp Through April 21: Adapting and Adopting: Waves of Change as East Encounters West, Modern and Contemporary Japanese Art with various artists MIAMI ART MUSEUM 101 W. Flagler St., Miami 305-375-3000 www.miamiartmuseum.org Ongoing: Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection Through 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 V iola THE MARGULIES COLLECTION 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 by Katherine Hinds 95 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-6090 http://rfc.museum Through August 2: Alone Together with various artists 3251 S. Miami A ve., Miami 305-250-9133 www.vizcayamuseum.org Through March 18: The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Womens Picture by Josiah McElheny WORLD CLASS BOXING Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 Through February 28: Raga For Fishwife by Aaron Angell Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com Agnes

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Here and Now, StillOnce upon a time, before the arts became a respectable engine for the growth of Miami, there was Miami Light Projects Here and Now fes tival, which nurtured new Miami talent (back when Miami talent was thought to be an oxymoron). Here and Now gave locals a leg up, and many of them are now standing tall and proud. For two weeks, from Thurs day, February 7, through Saturday, February 16 at the Light Box at Gold man Warehouse (404 NW 26th St.) at 8:00 p.m., the latest commissions will be performed, including from previously highlighted choreographer Liony Garcia. Cost is $25. Go to www. miamilightproject.com.Chili in the AirTheres no way Texas should have a monop oly on chili. Weve got spice, weve got beans! Pinecrest Gardens realized this, which is why it has launched the Chili Cook-Off On Sunday, February 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., restaurants and caterers will bring their own recipes, and so will average South Floridians. The event will include music, beer, line dancing, and, of course, lots of chili tasting. Its $15 for big people, $5 for kids under 12. Call 305-669-6990 or go to www. All About the ArtIt may seem as though all those fairs that surround Art Basel have just barely left town, but then thats the whole point of the second Art Wynwood Fair All alone on the calendar, the fair wants to make seeing and buying art a less frenzied activity. Not having to compete with dozens of other attractions during Basel is a plus, as are the 70 international galleries offering up a comprehensive one-stop shop. Organized by the people behind Art Miami, this fair will run from Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18 from noon till evening. (Check www.artwynwood.com for exact times.) One-day passes are $15 at the Art Miami Pavilion, 3101 NE 1st Ave. The Great Hispanic WayHispanic Americans helped re-elect President Obama, and a Cuban-Ameripoem at a presidential inauguration, so on Broadway? Canciones de Broadway does just that. Puerto Rican singer Carla Bordonada reprises such Broadway standards as Dont Cry for Me, Argentina and The Impossible Dream, which came from musicals that had Hispanic protagonists, but are universally popular. Bardonada sings Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m. at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.). Tickets cost $34.50. Go to www.aventuracenter.org.A Once-in-a-Lifetime EncoreWhen the Haitian dance company Ayikodans performed here two years ago, so soon after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, critics and dance lovers thought it might have been one of the best performances theyd ever seen. Now the Adrienne Arsht Center, which co-sponsored that performance, is bringing Ayikodans back to celebrate the companys 25th anniversary, with a new production that includes the full ensemble of dancers, drummers, and vocalists. your chance to see them, from Friday, February 15, through Sunday, February 17 Admission is $35. For times and tickets, go to www.arshtcenter.org.If These Walls Could TalkYou might be aware that Wynwood has neighborhood in the world, both commissioned and illegal, made by famous artists and anonymous taggers. But have you really taken a close look? Building after building has some of the most colorful and creative murals anywhere, many with intriguing stories behind them. The inaugural Wynwood from HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St.) will be a great way to explore this unique art form. Bikes roll on Monday, February 18 (a federal holiday, Presidents Day), from 10:00 a.m. till noon. Cost is $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Call 305-375-1621.Bang the Drums and Sticks LoudlyAs the Broadway hit Stomp once showed us, who needs guitars and other distractions when enjoying music? The Naka tani Gong Orchestra certainly doesnt. Headed by Japanese-born composer Tatsuya Nakatani, this company employs drums and cymbals to make its sound, but also bowls, bells, sticks, and kitchen utensils. Tigertail Productions is bringing this novel act (which will be joined by some locals) to the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St.) on Saturday, February 23 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25. Go to www.tigertail.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR A Madness to Their MethodMethod acting has always carried certain connotations; is it the way to bring submerged feelings to a performance, or is it a pretentious self-indulgence? To help answer that question (or not), the highly acclaimed troupe out of Austin, Texas, the Rude Mechs, will present The Method Gun at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) on Friday, Febru ary 8, and Saturday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. In this production a satirical and experimental take on what performance is and can be a rogue cast decides to bring its method to A Streetcar Named Desire Tickets cost $25. Call 305-237-3010. Love and Hate in the ShoresSome misguided sense of nostalgia could have a few longing for the 1950s, but our countrys diversity has become an integral part of our makeup in 2013. So isnt it time for a more in-depth talk about our diversity in love? Playwright and actress Christina Alex ander thinks so, which is why shes putting on her one-woman play, where she inhabits eight different characters who deliver 16 mono logues about love in Hate! An American Love Story Over three weekends (on Fridays and Saturdays) beginning on Friday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m., Hate takes the stage at the Miami Theater Center (9816 NE Second Ave.). Tickets cost $20. Go to www.mtcmiami.org. Cant Stop the KitesThe skies are clear, the temperature just about perfect this time of year, so Kite Day at Haulover Park (10800 Collins Ave.) takes place on Sunday, February 17 from noon to 5:00 p.m. Bring your own or buy one at the kite trailer, but remember that these days works of art. There might be a 100kites.) There will be kite-making demonstrations and competitions, plus food vendors. Admission is free; parking costs $6. Call the park at 305-947-3525.

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66 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannTime to Really Think About Quitting200 Block of Biscayne Boulevard For the smoker, nothing goes better with a meal than that post-dinner puff. This person couldnt wait for the check, so he went outside to appease his deadly addiction. Knowing he was coming back, he left his cell phone on the table. It was stolen within minutes. There is video surveillance of the thief, but phone calls placed to him have not been returned.Grandma and Grandpa Get Taken1200 Block of NE 83rd Street An elderly couple welcomed their granddaughter into their home because she claimed she needed to take a shower. While the couple watched television, they curiously did not hear the shower running. They searched the house only with the open door came the realization that their generator had been stolen. The couple believes the granddaughter had help likely, her scummy boyfriend. No arrests have been made at press time. A Happy Ending for Crooks200 Block of NE 71st Street Two potential customers walked into a massage parlor to inquire about rates and services. One asked to use the restroom. The employee on duty walked him over there. When she returned to the front desk, the other man was gone, as was a laptop computer. The employee attempted to chase after him, but he got away. At this point, the man who had been in the restroom was at the front desk, burrowing through the drawers. He eventually left. The whole incident was caught on camera. No arrests at press time.An Eye for the Finer Things8000 Block of NE 1st Avenue Crooks nowadays have many sides employ a scorched-earth strategy, in life. This perpetrator broke into a vacant home and promptly stole a

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chandelier. We gather his reasoning was that no one was currently enjoy ing it, so why let it go to waste? He made his entrance by breaking the side window and exiting the front door. Nothing else was touched.The Sweet Smell of Loot600 Block of NE 39th Street on the counter and walked away. The ness and snatch the money away. The homeless gentleman is recognizable to the business owner because he often has been issued.A Flood of Crime100 Block of NE 39th Street Floridians are looking for ways to beat this regard.) Well, instead of buying a water heater, this criminal elected to steal one from a building. He was not our bone-rattling 65-degree weather. As Jimmy Carter famously once said: Time to break out the sweaters.This Crook Had to Go Bad100 Block of NE 54th Street If you want to use the restroom at a customer; at least that is what we are broke into a business, then broke a hole in a wall leading to the restroom of an the odor immediately, but the mystery what those items were. Were guessing likely items missing.Cops Say Scam Didnt Work, Ask for Refund1700 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Returning items has always been a brought with him (subtle) and went to was carrying the coffee maker in a ratty man was arrested. Thievery Made EasyNE 1st Avenue and NE 5th Street location where the deal was going to go and demanded the money. He also took ensued and the buyer was able to grab a black bag from the car (it did not belong to him but we guess that is tit for tat). been made, but be forewarned about the unregulated ease of Craigs List.Oh, Yes, Its Losers Night7005 Biscayne Boulevard dimly lit decadence; just buy a drink and head to the backroom, guys. There is a ed by the doorman after entering, the for good measure. A warning to all our something that will actually shoot back, Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Monsignor Edward Pace High School We are Pace... Partners Academics Catholic Empowerment The Tradition of Excellence Continues! Enroll Today!Be a part of the Spartan tradition... www.PaceHS.com to get the enrollment process started.

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68 Columnists: PARK PATROLA Green Space, Recycled Once a forest, Biscayne Gardens Park is now a fairly welcoming, if somewhat oddly situated, suburban oasisBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorLast month I was taking my dead Christmas tree to one of the Gardens Park. I wondered, what are you doing here? You, the park, I mean. Not me, Christmas trees. Miami-Dade County, and the surroundremains an unincorporated section of neighborhoods. teresting experiment. Not many years ago, these three acres were covered by turned. (The park has no direct phone Grove Park.) The name of the park and neighborPark). Furthermore, another nearby Another common trait shared by the resident of the neighborhood since Gardens Civic Association (and a dedicated BT reader), the park this effect during my visits in the dry month of January, but I have grass, and youre there. (Now these parks are really they form the parks main attraction. In this part of Miami-Dade, it is rare to see so many native the park, but from my observations the trees, theres not much to see. not meet many of the civic asamenities. The association wanted a gazebo and restrooms, but space for everyone. that I do not recognize. It has bright red identify these trees? been growing here for decades, as they to see that existing native trees were exotic trees were ditched. Around the BT BT photos by Jim W. Harper BISCAYNE GARDENS PARK151 NW 159th St. 305-944-8670 Hours: Picnic tables: No Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: No Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: No Swimming pool: No NoPark Rating NW 158th St NW 159th St NE 160th St NE 161st StNW 156th StNW 2nd Ave North Miami Ave

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edge of the park are some nice pigeon plums, and several sabal palms along the walking path. Biscayne Gardens Park has the potential to become much larger, as acres of open land exist in patches either adjacent to the park or within walking distance. It would be a gift to the neighborhood to see these patches connected into a green zone. The area as a whole deserves some more attention. Helene says that, until lights were installed last year, the neighborhood was in the dark, thereby discouraging visitors. (How many residential areas in this part of the county still lack nighttime lighting?) Even if the area is lightly traveled, it has schools, churches, and many places that people call home. They deserve to have safe spaces as well as green spaces. If youre still wondering about recycling your Christmas tree, its probably too late, but you can keep the idea in mind for next year. Technically, you must live within an unincorporated section of the county to qualify for the tree mulching service, but dont let that discourage you. Just like the paucity of people in the park, there were very few Christmas trees piled up at the Golden Glades recycling center. I dropped off my tree and grabbed free mulch, with no questions asked. Someday, while trying to take the back roads to reach the Golden Glades, Now you will know where you are. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com $3300 Valid with coupon. Not to be combined with other offers. New students only.

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70 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALBird in the HandA leisurely outing turns into desperate attempt to rescue an injured cormorant By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorI BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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stunningly beautiful turquoise eyes and long, thin, sharp beaks that hook downward. Though long thought to be in the raven family, they are actually related to pelicans. (Cormorant derives from the Latin corvus marinus or, roughly translated, sea raven.) I knew something was off with this bird. What was he doing in the road? Cormorants are excellent divers able to bobbing in and out of the water, they often perch on tree branches, wings fully extend ed, looking very grand, while allowing the sun to dry their plumage. Asphalt is not a natural habitat for the cormorant. For a few fretful minutes, I worried that the Stump Bird had died in the street. The dog I had for 18 years had died two weeks prior, and my beagle died last year. Rational or not, I started to suspect I was becoming the Angel of Animal Death, I perched myself on the ledge next to the road, in front of the bay. Sand crunched beneath my sneakers. I continued to sit there, glancing out at what had been, until then, the comforting blue ebb of Biscayne Bay. The cormorant made no movement. This bird needed help and I had driven right into the situation. For the next 15 minutes I observed his behavior. I couldnt pinpoint it, but something was wrong. I grew up with parrots and still photograph them in the wild; I can usually spot a sickly bird. No wild bird should let me sit 20 feet away, plus, as he set his brilliant blue eyes on me, I saw a cloudiness in them. I called the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, which is located on the 79th Street Causeway. Its mission is rehabbing seabirds. I prayed my case was are always short on staff, so you never know if help will arrive. Thankfully, it did, in the form of a woman wearing thick gloves and lugging two gigantic nets attached to poles. After a failed attempt to scoop up the bird, we devised another plan. We lacked bait, so I ran to a truck parked up the road, chum. As I neared the vehicle, I noticed but it didnt involve scales. Instead I saw an entwined, amorous couple. Fail. At the opposite end of the old road, the cormorant had found a new perch. I walked past him and then, with huge net in hand, inched across the ground as quietly as possible, stopping every foot or so to see if he noticed me. I thought I could sneak up on him and net him. I got close, put down the net, and sat on the ledge. I then inched the net toward my grasp, concealed by trees. Meanwhile, the woman from Pelican Harbor returned with some sardines, and tossed a few toward him. He was not interested. Not good. I had never netted a bird before, yet, now closer, I was positioned favorably. I scooted toward the tree. Meanwhile, the woman crept up from the other side, crunching shells as out into the bay. My heart sank. The woman lunged with the net and captured him momentarily, until he dove under the water and got away. I scanned the bay for him. When he resurfaced, I swiped my net in his direction, missing him by an inch. No! I yelled, as he swam away. There was only one thing left to do. I quickly trudged into the water, waist deep, stomping through seagrass. It felt like hands grabbing at my shoes. Then I swam out to him, unwieldy net in hand. I had only one chance. One toss. So. Close. I lurched one arm forward, extending the net over him. I caught him! Then I under again, and swam back to shore. The woman and I transferred him from my net into an animal carrier. The cormorant had no visible injuries. I stood, clothing stuck to me like some co-ed at a wet T-shirt contest, and watched helplessly as the woman drove away with the bird. I called the following day and learned he had died a short time after arriving at Pelican Harbor. The wildlife rehabber said he was about a year old. She ordered a necropsy. Her best guess was a head injury, possibly caused by a boat. The results were inconclusive. This news upset me greatly. But in the end, I suppose his spirit lives on, and it is only his physical body that will be, to quoth the raven, nevermore. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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72 Cape Florida Lighthouse: Our Version of AncientA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul S. George Special to the BTThe Cape Florida Lighthouse rep resents the oldest extant structure built in Southeast Florida. While the old Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach predates the lighthouse in age, it was built in northern Spain and only brought to Dade County in the early 1950s, where it was reassembled as a tour ist attraction and later a house of worship. The Cape Florida Lighthouse, seen here through the camera lens of Coconut Grove resident Ralph Munroe, in 1883, began operating as a lighthouse on the southern tip of Key Biscayne in 1825. Then 60 feet in height (later it was elevated to 90 feet), light every seven seconds, warning nearby ships of the perils of the Great Florida Reef that stood on the eastern edges of Biscayne Bay. The complex included a house for the keeper and his family. The lighthouse possesses a history, which includes the severe damage it experienced in 1836 by marauding Indians during the Second Seminole War (18351842), and the destruction to its Fresnel lens by Confederate forces in the early stages of the Civil War, which darkened After the Civil War, the Fowey Rock Lighthouse, a new, more powerful light, replaced it in 1878. From then till recent times, the old structure suffered from neglect and the forces of nature. Finally, on the eve of the City of Miamis Centennial celebration in 1996, an impressive restoration job reversed the years of neglect. Today many visitors climb to top of the historical structure for a wonderful view of the waters beyond it. 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, #Munroe 98D 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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Jungle LifeMany of the wondrous plants found at one of Miamis signature attractions could also thrive in your yard By Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorI started working at Parrot Jungle as the assistant horticulturist in the mid-1970s. I didnt know then that I would forever be amazed by all the this wonderful South Florida institution. tered had been planted decades before and were immense specimens, while others, like the bromeliad and cactus collections, would be changed or augmented on a regular seasonal cycle. Even week at the beginning, it was only after months of being there that I got to know the entire plant collection. In our cactus garden, besides cactus, we had numerous species of succulent plants, from aloes to agaves to the Stapelia a very variable species. The plants grew as a short groundcover in the hottest full-sun locations in the cactus garden and would bloom sporadically throughout the hot months of the year. They didnt tolerate frost or too much rain very well, but otherwise this particular stapelia species was easy to grow. There are numerous stapelia spesizes, many of which stink when open these succulents. Stapelia make excellent potted plants when given full sun and excellent soil drainage. One plant at Parrot Jungle that always fascinated me was this large mass of stringy-looking vine with thick, succulent leaves that had grown throughout the canopy of a mature live oak. I had never seen anything like it before; the mass of vine must have grown at least 25 feet into the trees canopy. It was also growing in the canopy of another tree, a palm, the native nally learned its name: hoya, or wax vine. Hoya is a plant that is very closely related to stapelia. There are 200 to 300 species of this really interesting genus found throughout Southeast Asia, the Malay Archipelago, and Australia. The photo that accompanies this article is of a in bloom that I photographed in the canopy of a friends live oak here in Miami. This particular clump came from a single cutting planted in a hanging pot that had been attached to this tree about 30 years ago. These attractive vining plants, or creepers, are often found growing as epiphytes, in the canopy of trees. Most hoyas like bright light but not full sun. The typi cally dark green foliage will often look a bit yellowish when in too much light. I planted a a few years ago on a black olive tree at Jungle Island. This species has thick heart-shaped leaves and a large white bloom. Actually, the blooming structure is more correctly cence is the structure that holds all of the cies has a red, star-shaped center, which sometimes glistens with a dark yellowish up into the canopy of the black olive but not onto the foliage, because of the bright light. I was once told by an old-timer that hoyas need to be allowed to grow up into trees; once they start hanging down, they will bloom regularly. structure. The plant will drop very thin stalks called spurs. (If you want to get scien species the spurs are perennial, so they will over time. Do not cut these long stalks off to make the plant look neat because it will Many species of hoya have a sweet scent, sometimes resembling chocolate. Most hoyas also produce a good bit of nectar. This is, of course, to attract poland ants. I have rarely seen natural pollination occur, but when it does happen, the fruit with the seeds inside will be borne as twin pods. When ripe, the pods will split open and the seeds will be dispersed in the wind or collected by a sharp-eyed horticulturist looking to plant more hoyas. The seeds germinate quite readily but will not last very long, so plant them right away. Hoyas can be a great addition to a landscape. Many species can easily be grown as epiphytes, while the smaller species make excellent hanging container specimens. BT photo by Jeff Shimonski rfntbt

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74 Food for ThoughtSome things you can do locally to lessen the world agriculture crisis By Jim W. Harper BT ContributorWorried about the planet? Or are you more worried about what to have for dinner tonight? Worrying about what you eat today makes more sense than worrying about a both relate to your survival. away the food you were planning to eat really worry about the planet that feeds you. How secure and safe is our food supply? Lets start with fresh water. Lo your household should have received a water comes from and how it is tested. buying packaged water. Use your faucet. rosy. The nations breadbasket in the Mid west continues to suffer one of the worst droughts ever recorded. You will see the want to stock up on canned corn. to some of the poorest places on earth. An inverse relationship exists between the of the accumulated pollution that fuels suffer its worst impacts. We simply dont feel the threat of climate change like they is feeling the heat right now; it is basically converting into believers day by day. Extreme weather and growing popu lations put both water and food supplies outlook. Heard of peak oil? Most modern agriculture can produce much more food than our planets seven billion people need; the problem is uneven pro nations tend to have stockpiles while poor ones face shortages. worldwide is possibly worse than at any to the Earth Policy Institute. (To put that lent to the entire world population circa problem this year. We only need astute leaders who care. grateful for our abundance for now and to resolve to expand food justice both globally and locally. In Florida we can feel pretty good about our agriculture and access to healthy foods in the short term. Espe cially at this time of year we should be feasting on local produce. local produce at the supermarket. The Biscayne Corridor will get a boost of new Whole Foods market comes to youll have to search carefully for locally harvested produce. Check out some of the grassroots movements that are producing local food method of sustainable gardening and living. Marcus Thomson offers classes grows an incredibly productive garden proving you can feed yourself with an cover story about Chef Keith Kalmanow Many serious issues confront our and processed foods that are a root cause obesity and healthcare crisis. How ironic is it that Americans are eating them selves to death while whole continents are malnourished? How shameful. you have great control over what you eat. Here are some tips to restore your bal and organic produce. Remember that you where you eat; become a locavore by shopping at markets and restaurants that offer local produce. its others far away who are suffering Send your tips and clever ideas to: goinggreen@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com rfrr ntbtrnrrn rrnrtr rrrtr rnrnf rfnttbt t rr rfntbrt rrrrtrfrf rr

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Magical Mystery TourA day at Disney summons up almost every feeling imaginableBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorHow do you sum up a trip to the Magic Kingdom with your two kids and in-laws? Magically comedic. Somehow, this trip allowed me to see things I had never noticed or thought I would observe at a place known for its ship-shape, happy-memory-making reputation. Let me begin by saying we all had a fantastic time. I am sure the other 149,994 people who were there with us did as well. (Disney doesnt publish its crowd sizes, but the playlands 107 acres were stretched to capacity on this particular Saturday.) The adventure began with smooth sailing into the park via our magical chariot, the Honda Odyssey. After parking effortlessly, we waited in line for the tram to the entrance gates. Probably the most stressful part of the day, this line was not really a line, but instead a mass of anxious parents and amped-up kids elbowing each other for access to the front of the throng. Holding the crowd back from deathby-speeding-tram was an 80-year-old and screaming for people to Stay behind the safety poles! I contemplated our elderly retirement jobs. Matilda, my eight-year old, looked up at me with fear, her hair whipping around her face, as the second tram whizzed by us at breakneck speed. Her tened, but that the tram had passed us by without stopping. The wait to get entrance tickets was 80 minutes. I used the time wisely to download nifty Disney apps and compare agendas and memories with our fellow standers-in-line. Thirty minutes into the wait, Matilda looked at the crowd and yelled, Are we having fun yet? She got big laughs for that one. Lesson learned: Print tickets at home and arrive an hour before the gates open. Once we got our tickets, we realized we were still a ferry ride away from the Happiest Place on Earth, and that yet another lengthy line stood between us and the ferryboat. In true Brewe fashion, we had a strategy for the day: Get to Its a Small World. The iconic attraction seemed a great way to start off the Brewe-venture, with an innocent, sleepy ride that conjures feelings of peace and harmony, it. As we made our way to the front of the line and she realized she was going to have to get into an unmanned boat that appeared eerily out of a darkened corridor, she clung desperately to us. It occurred to me as we slowly memories of this ride were ones of pure awe, my kids are used to more advanced technology: more life-like dolls and robots, without 25 years of dust and grime. We also realized that their very diverse upbringing made the racially stereotyped dolls seem even creepier. At the end, though, they were singing along. Thank God, since the ride backed up nearly 20 minutes. The rest of the day was a sparkly, fun-soaked haze and the long lines, while not ideal, allowed for some epic people-watching and priceless observa tions. Below are some of my favorites: A woman snapping a picture screamed at her children: Act like youre having fun, dammit! The number of kids in line who watched movies on various iDevices was astonishing. (Really? Really?) The sheer volume of newborn babies. Many of these new parents didnt have other, older kids. They were just happy couples at the Happiest Place on Earth with their oblivious little bundles of happiness. Someone with a giant turkey leg decided he didnt need the extra fat from the turkey skin, so he threw the skin on the ground. An aggressive egret swooped down, grabbed the turkey skin in its beak, and gracefully swooped off only to drop it on a young teenage passerby as she applied lip gloss. The horror! I laughed for an hour. A woman on a princess ride took a picture down the inside of her shirt. Upon witnessing this from afar (and after making sure my kids didnt see), I kept thinking, Did she tweet that? cyberspace wall. A man, tired from a day of pricey corn dogs and rides ending in gift shops, ex ploded on his family on Main Street U.S.A. We did not stay to watch the drama unfold, but Disney World may be paying for their future marriage counseling. The number of times I heard mothers say, Dont put your mouth on that! was impressive. Someone should call the Guinness Book. I am sure there was a world record there. Lastly, the incessant princess chimes that started at the front gates and didnt end until we got back into the Odyssey made me want to curl up into a fetal position and chant for a margarita. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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76 By Bill Citara BT ContributorCalifornias Central Coast appellation is the kitchen sink of wine regions. Technically called the Central Coast American Viticultural Area, it runs some 250 miles from San Francisco south to Santa Barbara and consists of roughly four million acres, of which almost 100,000 are planted with wine grapes. Home to 350-plus wineries and 29 separate, smaller appellations, it produces about 15 percent of the states grapes, which are turned into everything from thimblefuls of extra-virgin (and extra-ex pensive) juice to titillate the palates of the One Percent to jugs of cheap, indifferent plonk to numb the palates of the rest of us. Here at Vino, of course, we are neither virginal nor plonkish, merely discriminating in our tastes and careful with our dollars. (Okay, we admit it: Were overwhelmed by all the wines out there and have been known to scrounge pennies from beneath our sofa cushions.) Its easy to be overwhelmed. More than three dozen different varietals are grown within the Central Coast AVA, though Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay constitute the vast majority of plantings. Rhone varietals like Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Marsanne, and Roussanne are growing in popularity, owing to consumers interest in wines outside the Cabernet-Chardonnay-Merlot Iron Triangle, as well as the Central Coasts Rhone-friendly warm days-cool nights climate. Unfortunately, virtually all of those wines cost more than 12 bucks a bottle, as most small producers just cant compete, price-wise, with the giant-super-megawineries that dominate the $12-and-under price point. So despite the bazillions of gallons of Central Coast wines produced But we rolled those dice anyway, dear readers, risking our taste buds, stom ach lining, and limited budget to uncover a handful of vinous gems. For example, the 2011 Red Pony Ranch Pinot Noir Run out and buy a case of this wine right now, as I cant remember another that delivered so much Pinot Noir charm and character for a blessed $11.99. And heres the kicker: It dishes up a hefty 14.4-percent alcohol, yet is so well made and well balanced it sits lightly on the palate, with only the tiniest bit of alco pure pleasure, a medium-bodied wine with toasty oak, and that beguiling Pinot earthi ness. Id throw in a few more adjectives, but my thesaurus has already gone limp. Like good, cheap Pinot Noir, good and inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon can be one of those oxy-type morons. Not the 2010 Running With Scissors Cab, though. It shares a certain earthy quality with the Red Pony, but doubles down on the fruit, with pungent black quick hits of black olive, cloves, and oak. Good structure and low alcohol (13 percent) give it an elegance that belies its $10 price tag. Remember how I said even cork dorks like Vino can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of wines on your average supermarket or wine-shop shelf? Well, heres a good wine-buy ing tip: The cuter the name, the worse the wine. So a wine named after ice cream might just trip your ick meter. Not that the NV Scoops Red Wine Blend is really icky, just assertively grapey in a candied, cough syrupy, red cherry way. Its apparently going after the suddenly trendy sweet red that, like psychopathic assault-weap on owners, Id just as soon avoid. Avoid too the erroneously named Smart Cookie 2010 Chardonnay a truly odd-tasting liquid that is to Char donnay what Lindsay Lohan is to sobriety. shell out ten bucks for this dog biscuit. Thankfully, not all Central Coast Chardonnays channel washed up Hol lywood celebutards. The 2010 Sterling Vineyards and 2011 Cupcake (an excep tion to the cute name equals crap rule) offer that big, rich, buttery character most Chardonnay drinkers love, yet do so with enough restraint to keep from becoming cloying. Both are plush and creamy-tex tured with lots of toasty oak, just held in check by citrus-green apple acidity. For something lighter and crisper, yet still fruit-driven, theres the 2011 Coast line Pinot Grigio Its aromas of lemon, lime, green apple, and white peach carry through to the palate, where the acidity slowly reveals itself in the long, lingering Coast AVA, this one comes up aces. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Your House Fast! Any Condition, Any Location 305 894 6192 E nglish & EspanolDade & Broward Homes | Condos | Multi-Family Eddie, Alekxey, Mercedes & Ivan Central Coast CharmersRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Good Luck, Long Life, New YearFood news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorHappy New Year! No, were not a month behind. Chinese New Year is this month, starting on February 9 (New Years Eve) and running through February 15 or longer. Some celebrate for an additional week with spectacular lion dances (to evict bad spirits), red angpow envelopes containing cash and, especially, all manner of ritual foods to ensure good luck in the coming Year of the Snake. That means readers who neglected to eat the western worlds traditional New Years Eve/New Years Day lucky foods on January 1 get another chance with lucky Asian foods, many symbolizing wealth and abundance (dumplings resembling Chinese ingots, green lettuce wraps representing currency), plus longevity noodles, key to a long life. Just dont cut them before eating. For those whod rather not make their own dishes, much less their own lion masks, Brickell Keys Mandarin Oriental Hotel will be offering the traditional dancers plus multicourse dinners featuring longevity noodles and many foods granting abundance at both Azul ($135) and Caf Sambal ($85). Reservations: 305-913-8358. And now on to recent restaurant openings, which have also been abundant. OPENINGS B Sweet (20 NE 41st St.; 305-918-4453). Tucked into a former apartment building near N. Miami Avenue, this cozy indoor/ outdoor coffee shop, from the husband/ wife team of Karina Gimenez and Tom its the source of pastries that are arguably the most elegant in Miami: tiny berrystudded crme brle tarts; almond-rich peach frangipane squares; a white-anddark chocolate mousse cake worthy of Pariss patisseries. Surprising for a neighborhood bakery; not surprising con sidering Worhachs previous exec pastry chef posts, including the famed Mansion at Turtle Creek and Palm Beachs Four Seasons. Fish Fish (13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124). Another venture from a married team, Rebecca Nachlas and Melvyn Franks, this sophisticated yet warm seafood restaurant/lounge also features a welcome surprise: a market, where home cooks can buy any of the offered on the changing menu, including stone crab claws from their own Florida Keys processing plant. And Oscar Quezada, longtime chef at Islamoradas Lazy Days, has the kitchen impeccably together. Sample happy hours scrumptious new $6 bar bites and youll stay for larger treats like greaselessly fried whole red snapper with Thai and lemon aioli dipping sauces. Primo Trattoria Italiana (2216 NE 123rd St., 305-891-3312). Another new family-owned eatery. Is Valentines Day this month? Anyway, Saverio Primo Macaluso and his wife had a long journey from their native Sicily, with stops to run trattorias in Rome and Tampa, to bring North Miami Italian favorites like mushroom ravioli with butter/sage sauce, stinco dagnello (lamb shank and veggies braised in red wine), and for take-out customers only, pizzas. The Embassy (4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-8446). This gastropub has no sign except an upside-down one, reading exit, over the front entrance. But I guess you need no sign when the chef is Alan Hughes, whose pioneering Buena Vista restaurant One Ninety was attracting hordes back in 2002, before the Design District had any there there. The Embassy features live music and stays open late (midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 3:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday). Featured food: pintxos, artisanal tapas typical of San Sebastian, gourmet capital of Spains Basque country. Alba (17315 Collins Ave., 786-9329305). From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano (a contestant on Hells Kitchen and Iron Chef ), this beachside Italian spot (in the Sole on the Ocean resort) serves seafood, pizzas, housemade pastas, and old-school Italian-American entres. Entertainment highlight: The Vinny D Split, a game enabling tables to win their meals for free. Bonding (638 S. Miami Ave., 786409-4794). In the space formerly occupied by French bistro LouLou (whose recent closing I missed), this Thai/sushi spot is from Bond Trisransi, originally behind Mr. Yum, 2B Asian Bistro, and extinct Soi Asian Bistro (whose closing I also missed. Ouch!). Ambiance, including loud music, is aimed at the young; dishes like crispy duck salad with tamarind dressing appeal to all, as do affordable prices. Georges Kitchen & The Loft (3404 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-9199). Youve probably already heard of this stylish, sultry restolounge for the wrong reason: an alleged owner/customer brawl that hit local front pages. Focus instead on French-inspired small and big plates: an especially savory short rib tartare with capers, deviled egg, and caviar; addictive Idiazabal cheese churros with zesty romesco sauce. Upstairs is The Loft, a sleek lounge. Hungry for more food news? See BizBuzz (page 24). Send me tips and alerts: restaurants@biscaynetimes.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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78 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 Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 314.rf ntbnfnt tnft ntf f t tf fnf fff NEW THIS MONTH MIAMIMIDTOWN / WYNWOOD / DESIGN DISTRICTMachiya3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025Originally called Machiya Ramen Noodle House, this eatery changed its name -and really, the place is not so much a ramen joint as a contemporary izakaya (lounge featuring Japanese hot and cold small plates plus sushi), with a few added ramen bowls. Most of the menu is a mix of todays popular favorites, like Kobe sliders, and unique inventions. Wildest: wasabi-spiced tuna pizza. Our faves: fatty salmon makis (lightly seared salmon belly with shrimp tempura, asparagus, and yuzu sauce); rich miso-braised short ribs; steam buns with rock shrimp and spicy aioli.Rincon Escondido2697 Biscayne Blvd., 305-438-9300On a quick drive-by, this eatery surrounded by still-ungentrified storefronts rather resembles a hole-in-the-wall Latin cafetera. Inside, though, the look is rustic-chic, and the menu features some of Miamis most refined traditional or creative Spanish tapas. We love the open-faced sandwiches, particularly montaditos de boquerones (with fresh anchovies and brunoised veggies). Traditionalists will find patatas bravas satisfyingly spicy; braver experimenters should try bombas de queso (fried cheese balls with sweet orange blossom sauce), actually alarming in name only. $$-$$$ Thea Pizzeria-Caf1951 NW 7th Ave., 305-777-3777Just over the border from artsy Wynwood, this ultra-cool caf (whose interior features a 30-foot Italian glass floral mosaic) isnt what youd expect to find inside one of the medical/lab buildings in Miamis sterile Health District. But the owner is Thea Goldman, former founding part ner of Wynwoods pioneering restolounge Joeys, which explains both the stylishness and the menu, highlighted by imaginative wood-oven designer pizzas, plus artisan charcuterie/cheese platters, creative salads, and housemade salted caramel gelato. Not your typical hospital food. Call ahead regarding dinner. At this writing, its being served Fridays only. $$-$$$ UPPER EASTSIDEIron Side Caf7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-759-0551Located in the Little River business (meaning ware house) district, inside an art complex that looks like just another factory, this eatery is easy to miss. But it shouldnt be missed. Both the cozy interior and more expansive terrace provide picturesque settings for art fully plated, seriously organic and locally sourced fare from Nuno Grullon, original exec chef at Metro Organic Bistro. Particularly recommended: tuna tartare with a unique spicy lemon dressing; ossa buco featuring flavorful grass-fed beef from Gaucho Ranch right down the road. Saturday BBQ/gallery nights are especially hip. $$-$$$NORTH MIAMICaminito Way1960 NE 123rd St., 305-893-8322Open since 1999, this bakery-caf is particularly known for its European-influenced homemade Argentine pastries. So come early to pick from the widest variety of savory empanadas (plumply stuffed and admirably delicate -no leaden crusts here) or sweet facturas (Argentinas most popular breakfast items). They sell out fast. What some might not know is that despite its small size, Caminitos also crafts tasty big food: elaborate salads; hefty baguette sandwiches, like choripan sausage with chimichurri; pastas; major meat or poultry entres. For lighter lunches, try tartas (quiches), also perfect party food. $-$$ Fish Fish13488 Biscayne Blvd., 786-732-3124Heres what makes this elegantly warm restolounge and seafood market not just an irresistible neighborhood draw but a worth-the-drive dining destination: Both local and cold-water fish and shellfish, including stone crab and lobster from owners Melvyn Franks and Rebecca Nachlass own Florida Keys plant, that are always fresh, never frozen (except some shrimp). For home cooks, the market offers all delivered-daily catches on the menu. But dont miss chef Oscar Quezadas simple and perfect preparations, including lightly battered, crispy tempura shrimp; sophisticated fish and chips (featuring Atlantic cod, not cheapo fish); bracing ceviches; and, for carnivores, shepherds pie topped with ethereal whipped potatoes. $$-$$$$

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13488 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD | NORTH MIAMI, FLORIDA 33181786-SEA-3124 | FISHFISHMIAMI.COM(786-732-3124)Bring In this Ad...oR Just Say Fish Fish & receive A Complimentary Bottle of Red or White WineWith Every Two Dinner Entrees or Grill Items, Or aComplimentary Key Lime Pie for LunchWith any Small Plate, Sandwich, or House SpecialtyGET ON THE BOAT! STARTING IN FEBRUARY IS LAUNCHING!! GET ON THE BOAT! STARTING IN FEBRUARY IS LAUNCHING!!@FISHFISHMIAMI HAPPY HOUR Monday Friday from 4-7PM Two-for-One Drinks & A Fantastic $6 Bar Bite Menu New Dinner Menu DJ RossiLive Every Friday & Saturday From 8-11PM Spinning Cool Waves! Now Open for Lunch Every Day from 11AM Our Fresh Seafood Market also opens 11AM, with Local Catch and Live Maine Lobsters from 11/4 up to 9lbs Bring Us Your Own Catch & We'll Gladly Cook It Up! And Watch for Brunch Coming Soon!! Join Us at the SOBE Wine & Food Festival at the Grand Tasting, Feb 23-24 1 7

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celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$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. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chefdriven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$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. $$ First Hong Kong Caf117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edi ble. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ 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 Singapore-style noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (from-scratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily competent service. $$$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 market, thanks in part to the flood of freebies thats a trademark of Manhattans Il Mulino, originally run by Il Gabbianos owners. The rest of the food? Pricy, but portions are mammoth. And the champagne-cream-sauced housemade ravioli with black truffles? Worth every penny. $$$$$Jackson Soul Food950 NW 3rd Ave., 305-377-6710]With a recently refurbished exterior to match its classy/comfy retro interior, this 65-year-old Overtown soul food breakfast institution now has only one drawback: It closes at 1:00 p.m. Never mind, night owls. If youre a first-timer here, order the astonishingly fluffy pancakes with juicy beef sausage, and youll set multiple alarm clocks to return. Classic drop biscuits (preferably with gravy) are also must-haves. And hearty Southern breakfast staples like smothered chicken wings or fried fish do make breakfast seem like lunch, too. $ Jamn, Jamn, Jamn, 10 SW South River Dr., 305-324-1111From the outside, you know youre walking into the ground floor of a new condo building. But once inside the charmingly rustic room, youd swear youre in Spain. Obviously Spains famous cured hams are a specialty, as are other pork products on the weekly changing menu, from a roast suckling pig entre to a fried chorizo and chickpea tapa. But seafood is also terrific. Dont miss bacalao-filled piquillo peppers, or two of Miamis best rice dishes: seafood paella and arroz negro (with squid and its ink). $$-$$$Kork Wine & Cheese Bar2 S. Miami Ave., 305-377-8899From the owner of Transit Lounge, a hip hangout long before the downtown/Brickell revival, this more upscale-cool venue is worth checking out for its almost medieval dimly lit dcor alone, including a subterranean wine cellar/party room, for merly a WW II-era bomb shelter. Comestibles are limited to wine and cheese plus accompaniments. Both are available to go. Kork is as much market as lounge. But with a stock of roughly 5000 bottles, and a selection of roughly two dozen perfectly ripe artisanal cheeses -curated by a cheese sommelier wholl create perfect pairings -who needs more? $$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 interior -its likely not from a restaurants own kitchen, but from La Provence. Buttery croissants and party-perfect pastries are legend too. Not so familiar is the bakerys caf component, whose sandwich/salad menu reflects local eclectic tastes. But French items like pan bagnats (essentially salade Nioise on artisan bread) will truly transport diners to co-owner David Thaus Provenal homeland. $$La Sandwicherie34 SW 8th St., 305-374-9852This second location of the open-air diner that is South Beachs favorite aprs-club eatery (since 1988) closes earlier (midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday), but the smoothies, salads, and superb Parisian sandwiches are the same: ultra-crusty baguette stuffed with evocative charcuterie and cheeses (saucisson sec, country pt, camembert, etc.) and choice of salad veggies plus salty/tart cornichons and Sandwicheries incomparable Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Additionally the larger branch has an interior, with a kitchen enabling hot foods (quiches and croques), plus A/C. $-$$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. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican Grill1 W. Flagler St., Suite 7, 305-789-9929 (See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing.)Little Lotus25 N. Miami Ave. #107, 305-533-2700Secreted inside the International Jewelry Exchange, this eatery (owned by stealth super-foodie Sari Maharani -paralegal by day, restaurateur by night) is tough to find but seems destined to become one of our towns toughest tables to book. Two talented chefs, whose credits include Morimoto (NYC) and hometown fave Yakko-san, create Japanese, Indonesian, and fusion small plates that look remarkably artful and taste like theyre about ready to take on Iron Chef Morimoto himself. Saucing, often with multiple but balanced potions, is especially noteworthy. The prices? A steal. $-$$

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Martini 28146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husbandwife 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. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sau sage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultra-fresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-andcheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$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 sweetsauced 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. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly char-blistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/delivery-only Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$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 cau sas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025 Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingre dients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Pollos & Jarras115 NE 3rd Ave., 786-567-4940From Juan Chipoco, Peruvian chef/co-owner of seafood-centric Cvi.Che 105, this stylish but affordable two-level restaurant is centered around pollo a la brasa, as a huge rotisserie oven attests. Grilled steaks, unique sandwiches, anticuchos, and varied starters and sides are also served, but the must-notmiss is rotisserie chicken, marinated in roughly a dozen-anda-half seasonings before a self-basting spin on the spit cooks it to incomparable juiciness. Its served with crisp fries and a substantial salad. Meals also come with a complimentary cup of aguadito -assertively cilantro-spiked chicken rice soup. $$

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84 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. $-$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steamtabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$Reggae Tacos93 SE 2nd St., 786-425-9558 For 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 minidoughnuts sweetened with both vanilla-spiked honey and powdered sugar. $ 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! $$$$Soya & Pomodoro120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511Life is complicated. Food should be simple. Thats owner Armando Alfanos philosophy, which is stated above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery. And since its also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), its fitting that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entres. There are salads and sandwiches, too. The most enjoyable place to dine is the secret, open-air courtyard. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to accompany local musicians and artists. $-$$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, 305-372-0620 From 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. $$$-$$$$ Tobacco Road626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till 4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers. Theres also surprisingly elegant fare, though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs. $$Toro Toro100 Chopin Plaza, 305-372-4710 Back before Miamis business district had any there there, the InterContinentals original restaurant was an executive lunch/dinner destination mainly by default. This replace ment, 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. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic Europeantype technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/ cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighborhood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restau rant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tu yo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt student-run. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$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. $$Bloom2751 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5443Miamis most innovative art district is the perfect setting for this hip hangout, whose mad-genius menu proves that food is indeed one of the creative arts. Reinvented Latin/Asian street foods from chef Ricky Sauri (ex-Nobu) include spicy Spam-topped rice cakes; tuna tartare in seaweed tacos; a reina pepiada arepa, whose traditional mild chicken filling is replaced by shredded duck, avocado, tangy-sweet tamarind sauce, and Japanese mayo; an especially elegant Korean bibimbap; a vegan shitake-pumpkin tamale with nutty, cheesy natto sauce. For liquid art aficionados: cocktails like the eye-popping Tequila Beets (featuring roasted beet juice). $$$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. $$ Catch Grill & Bar1633 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-536-6414A location within easy walking distance of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in the extensively renovated Marriott Biscayne Bay, makes this casual-chic eatery, whose spe cialty is local and sustainable seafood, a great option for pre-show bites. Then again, enjoying lures like sweet-glazed crispy shrimp with friends on the outdoor, bayfront terrace is entertainment enough. Its worth calling to ask if the daily catch is wreckfish, a sustainable local that tastes like a cross between grouper and sea bass. Bonus: With validation, valet parking is free. $$$-$$$$ Cerviceria 100 Montaditos3252 NE 1st Ave. #104 305-921-4373Student budget prices, indeed. A first-graders allowance would cover a meal at this first U.S. branch of a popular Spanish chain. The 100 mini sandwiches (on crusty, olive oil-drizzled baguettes) vary from $1 to $2.50, depending not on ingredient quality but complexity. A buck scores genuine Serrano ham, while top-ticket fillings add imported Iberico cheese, pulled pork, and tomato to the cured-ham slivers. Other options revolve around pts, smoked salmon, shrimp, and similar elegant stuff. Theres cheap draft beer, too, plus nonsandwich snacks. $$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. $

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86 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. $-$$ The Daily Creative Food Co.2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535While the food formula of this contemporary caf is familiar sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food, and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks a creative concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers, including Biscayne Times, giving diners something to chat about. Sandwiches and salads can also be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $El Bajareque278 NW 36th St., 305-576-5170Dozens of little Latin American eateries, all looking almost identically iffy, line 36th Street. But this family-owned bajareque (shack) is one where you definitely want to stop for some of Miamis most tasty, and inexpensive, Puerto Rican home cooking, from mondongo (an allegedly hangover-curing soup) to mofongo, a plantain/chicharron mash with varied toppings plus garlicky mojo. Housemade snacks are irresistible, too, and great take-out party fare: pork-studded pasteles, similar to Cuban tamals but with a tuber rather than corn masa dough, or empanadas with savory shrimp stuffing. $ Egg & Dart4029 N. Miami Ave., 786-431-1022While co-owners Costa Grillas (from Marias, a Coral Gables staple) and Niko Theodorou (whose family members have several Greek islands restaurants) describe their cuisine as rustic Greek, there is surprising sophistication in some dishes: an especially delicate taramasalata (cod roe dip); precisely crisp-fried smelts (like a freshwater sardine); galactobourico, an often heavy and cloyingly vanilla-saturated dessert, here custardy and enlivened by orange flavor. Extensive lists of mezze (snacks) and creative cocktails make the expansive, invitingly decorated space ideal for large gatherings of friends who enjoy sharing. $$$ 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 hummuslike but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$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. $-$$ Harrys Pizzeria3918 N. Miami Ave., 786-275-4963In this humble space (formerly Pizza Volante) are many key components from Michaels Genuine Food & Drink two blocks east -local/sustainable produce and artisan products; wood-oven cooking; homemade everything (including the ketchup accompanying crisp-outside, custardy-inside polenta fries, a circa 1995 Michael Schwartz signature snack from Nemo). Beautifully blistered, ultra-thin-crusted pizzas range from classic Margheritas to pies with housesmoked bacon, trugole (a subtly flavorful -fruity, not funky -Alpine cheese), and other unique toppings. Rounding things out: simple but ingenious salads, ultimate zeppoles, and Florida craft beers. $$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? $$ Jean Pauls House2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-7373Jean Paul Desmaison, original chef/co-owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables, has chosen a decidedly less tony, more transitional neighborhood for this venture. But inside his renovated bungalow, ambiance is stylishly cozy, and the creative contemporary North/South American fusion cuisine is as elegant as ever. Best bets are dishes influenced by Desmaisons native Peru, including crispy pork belly braised in pisco with silky sweet potato pure, and a beautifully balanced nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian) salmon sashimi that does the impossible: tame leche de tigre, Perus infamous tigers milk marinade. $$$-$$$$ Jimmyz Kitchen2700 N. Miami Ave. #5, 305-573-1505No need to trek to South Beach for what many consider Miamis best classic Puerto Rican mofongo (fried green plantains mashed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings, surrounded by chicken or shrimp in zesty criollo sauce). This new location is bigger and better than the original, plus the mofongo is served every day, not just on weekends. But dont ignore the meal-size salads or high-quality sandwiches, including a pressed tripleta containing roast pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, provolone, and caramelized onions. $$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. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican GrillShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its care fully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly

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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. $$-$$$ MC Kitchen4141 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-9948 Chef/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. $$$-$$$$ Mercadito Midtown3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genu inely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treatpacked special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influenced contempo rary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dogfriendly, too. $$-$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818 With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$ Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/ pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$Pieducks3500 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-5550(See Brickell / Downtown listing)Pride & Joy2800 N. Miami Ave., 305-456-9548 Behind 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 sand wiches, which, unlike meat plates, come with sides -fries, plus slaw to pile on for added juice and crunch. $$$ Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mixand-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$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 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen add-ons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ facebook.com/GuarapoJuiceBarlive healthy | live right | live strong649 ne 79th st. miami fl 33138 | guarapojuicebar@ gmail.com | 786. 766. 1409 GRAND OPENING SPECIAL!!! Buy 1 Large Juice or Smoothie, Get 1 *Small FREE!!!*Small Juice/Smoothie of the Dayfeaturingg remedies organic blend of fruit & vegetable juices power protein smoothies wheatgrass shots a variety of protein & supplements

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88 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. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/ fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tony Chans Water Club1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three traditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ 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 uniqueto-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 altculture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budgetpriced. $$Buddha Sushi Bar1071 NE 79th St., 305-677-3633While the setting is still more low-rent/high-speed causeway than restaurant row, this stylish, much-more-than-sushi spot definitely brings the street giant steps toward destination-dining status. The invention and skill shown in makis like the Fruity (shrimp, salmon, tuna, whitefish, roe, asparagus, and peaches, dressed with creamy mustard sauce), or small plates like shrimp crullers with a red wine reduction, isnt surprising considering the crafter is Michael Asalie, original chef at downtowns Little Lotus. Order from the menu or grab something from the circulating sushi river, whatever floats your boat. $$$ 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. $-$$DeVitas7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avo cado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ 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

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(and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeasterninspired 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 contemporary but cozy space is matched by the southern French comfort food coming from the open kitchen. Drop in for drinks and snacks such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, or enjoy full meals ranging from classic (wine-poached mussels; a boldly sauced steak/frites) to creative (Parma ham-wrapped tuna loin). $$-$$$ Lo De Lea7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-456-3218 In Casa Toscanas former space, this cute, contemporary parillada is proof that you can have an Argentinean meal and a cholesterol test in the same month. While traditional parillada dishes are tasty, theyre meat/fat-heavy, basically heaps of grilled beef. Here the grill is also used for vegetables (an unusually imaginative assortment, including bok choi, endive, and fennel), two of which are paired with your protein of choice. You can indulge in a mouthwateringly succulent vacio (flank steak), and walk out without feeling like youre the cow. $$-$$$Magnum 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. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma pro duces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a superior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised homemade seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/ West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese homecooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$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. $-$$News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a fullfledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bau ernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook somewhat pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/ soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ 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. $$$Uvas6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$

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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 favorites 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. $-$$Sushi Siam1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)Trio on the Bay1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1234Several ventures have failed in this expansive indoor/outdoor waterfront space, but thats hard to imagine once youve experienced this stunning incarnation as an exciting yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fid dle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$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 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. THAI LUNCH SPECIALS $7.99 Monday-Saturday till 3:30pmSINGHA BEER 2 FOR $5All Day Long through February DINE IN TAKE OUT DELIVERY PARTY CATERINGOpen 7 Days for Lunch and Dinner Mon-Fri 11:30AM 11PM; Sat-Sun 12:30PM 11PM305-758-05167941 biscayne blvd., miamiSee our extensive Thai & Sushi menu atwww.SiamRiceThaiAndSushi.com

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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. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick ex-New Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$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. $$Chen-huyae15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808Diners can get some Tex-Mex dishes here, if they must. But the specialty is Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexicos most typical dish: cochinita pibil? Chens authentically succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish is earthily aromatic from achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, and meltingly tender from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/ soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever happened to dark beer. $$-$$$Chef Creole13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246(See Miami listing)Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty half-pounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/ chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a topdrawer beer list, budget-priced combo specials, conversationfriendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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, 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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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. $$Woodys Famous Steak Sandwich13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this nostalgic hangout. New owners have made some changes, including a dcor/ambiance upgrade (theres now a patio lounge, with music) and an expanded menu featuring contemporary comfort foods like fire-grilled pizzas with fresh toppings (homemade mozzarella, etc.), several salads, and veggie burgers. But timetested road food favorites remain: big beef burgers, hot dogs, and of course, Woodys famous cheesesteak, done traditional Philly-style with shaved ribeye. You can even get Cheese Whiz. To drink, there are nine draft beers plus old-school shakes. $$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 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. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar ItalianAmerican classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little 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

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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. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restaurants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ 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. $-$$Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern European-derived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$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. $$Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/ sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$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 rfntbrbrffnnfbnbrbrrrffrrntb r f n t

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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. Asian-influenced items, like wakame-topped tuna tartare with pineapple chutney, are particularly appealing, while those craving classic combinations like smoked salmon and cream cheese can enjoy them on a light-crusted designer pizza. To drink, smoothies are supplemented by refreshing herbal infu sions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$The Grill on the Alley19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Il Migliore2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 05-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herb-sprinkled French fries. $$-$$$ Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga minitea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$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. $$$Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$ 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. $$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing)SUNNY ISLES BEACHChef Philip Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-elazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$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 specials ranging from spa-grilled chicken to homemade Italian sausage and peppers. But its worth seeking out items that made South Beachs original Epicure famous: sandwiches featuring housemade rare roast beef; shrimp or chunky smoked whitefish salads; fresh baked goods. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeaway-fromhome found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/ raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale ItalianAmerican place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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 wood-oven three-cheese white pizza. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagneshallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$ SPECIALTY CAKES AND DESSERTSBREAKFAST LUNCH 7AM-7PM305-603-9340PASTRYISART.COMFREE MINI CUPCAKEWITH THIS AD 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM Specializing in Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisine YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SPORTS BAR & RESTAURANT555 NE 15th Street, 9th Floor, Miami, FL305-374-5731 WWW.MIKESVENETIA.COM M a i mi F M ia FL l oo r Fl A URA N NT l oo r M Fl M i i Daily Lunch Specials! Daily Lunch Specials!

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