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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: 03-2013
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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: UF00099644:00077

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IN THIS ISSUEOur 10th Anniversary! p. 12 320 Local Restaurants p. 80 IN THIS ISSUE Our 10th Anniversary! p. 12 320 Local Restaurants p. 80 CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE Question A gripping tale of political intrigue and criminal misconduct pg 22The racially charged sequel: City divided, neighborhoods united pg 49 March 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 11 Issue 1

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb r rfttnt r f Z C C rfrn tbr f t rfntb bntbf tt tbr bf ff rfrn tt t f f f frf K Z C Zrfrn rf f rn fn f f trb Crfrn t rf ff f rn C Zt fb tt rfrn bfff r trtbr rfrn ff ff f f trbr f f n ff bfrfrn rff t fb rfrn rfrn ff ff f ff r f ffrf ntbb brfff ff f ff Z C Z K C Z Z C Z C C K Zrfrn rff t C K Zfb rfrn rff t Z K Z Z C Zrfrn ff bf ff trb C Zrfrn br b bf C Z K C Z Z C rfrn fn f fff ff f trb C Z fntb MARCH 19-24 rf

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COVER STORY 22 Magic City Madhouse COMMENTARY 8 Feedback: Letters 12 Publishers Letter 14 Gaspar on Spring Training 16 Christian Rethinks Christians OUR SPONSORS 18 BizBuzz: March 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 48 The Purple Line Is Pure Fantasy 49 Miami Redistricting Lights a Fire NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 54 Jay Finds Ave nturas True Town Square 56 Mark Says Its All About the Noise 58 Jen Gets Sick, Harassed, and Charmed 60 Frank Waits to Decide on the Dolphins ART & CULTURE 62 Anne Tschida on the new doc Far Out 64 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 67 Events Cale ndar: Tour the Herald Building POLICE REPORTS 68 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 70 Jim W. Harper : Sunny Isles Throwback COLUMNISTS 72 All Things Animal: Grannys Ghost 74 Picture Stor y: Flagler Street Booms 75 Your Garden : Starburst Beauties 76 Going Green: No More Wild Fish 77 Kids and the City: Good Kids Gone Bad 78 Vino: Cue the Chianti 79 Dish: Miami Has a Sweet Tooth DINING GUIDE 80 Restau rant Listings: 320 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 14 54 72Serving 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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Interesting, Informative, and Meat-freeI wanted to thank Harriette Yahr for her excellent article regarding the vegetarian scene in Miami and Keith Kalmanowiczs journey to Miami (Kitchen Question: What Would You Pay For Gourmet Vegan? February 2012). It was superinteresting and informative. I live close to the Earth-n-Us Farm and hope to visit it soon. I just wanted to let you know how much I loved the article. Javier Berezdivin MiamiUpdate: City to Hidden Walmart: Get LostThank you to Biscayne Times for Erik Bojnanskys excellent article on Walmarts latest plan for Midtown (Now You See It, Now You Dont, February 2012). Im glad Midtown Opportunities is taking steps to cushion the potential blow to the rest of the area. Concerns about article addresses those issues intelligently. Those of us who like Midtown simply want it to do well, and wed like Wyn wood to thrive also. Is Walmart a threat to the rest of Midtown and Wynwood? Im issues will be handled with due attention to what is now a lively and creative area. Without question, this part of Miami for your smart coverage. John Chellino MiamiJen Went Off the Tracks of errors in Jen Karetnicks article on transit in Miami Shores in the February issue (Mass Intransigence). Ms. Karetnick is usually spot-on, but the errors in her February piece were glaring and I must ask that you note the necessary corrections. First, she refers to an endless cargo train and then states that the train whistles awaken her at least twice nightly. The correct term is freight train on board which cargo is carried. If she thinks that trains are endless, then I must remind her and your readers that without the several daily freight trains of the fabled Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway, both I-95 and US 1 tions 24 hours a day seven days a week. need to remind readers that the railroads tracks were laid on the banks of the Miami River and the shores of Biscayne Bay in 1896; so complaining about the whistles is similar to buying a house at the end of an airport runway and then complaining that the planes are keeping the person awake. Elsewhere, Ms. Karetnick has confused (and understandably; she not a railroad buff and this not a criticism) the three eventual passenger train operations that will, it is hoped, grace the FECs downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando with a possibility at a later date of two or three trains making service from New York to Miami via the FEC from Jacksonville to Miami, with as yet undetermined stops; Tri-Rail commuter service on the FEC, likely having a number utilize. It is possible, if not likely, that if Tri-Rail comes to the eastern tracks, there will be a Miami Shores stop at a location not yet determined. Unfortunately, Ms. Karetnick misspoke very badly when she wrote that the closest is initiated, will be in either Opa-locka or Golden Glades, neither of which is even remotely possible, especially since they are served by and on the line of the CSX railroad and are nowhere near the FECs tracks. Karetnicks allusion to litter and stray ani mals along the FEC right-of-way in Miami Shores. This is absolutely not the case. The right-of-way is cleaned regularly by the railroad, the Village, and property owners. There are also, contrary to the articles claims, pedestrian crossings (called, strangely enough, sidewalks), most of them and NE 87th Street, the only three cross ings in Miami Shores south of NE 107th St. Because Miami Shores would be a stop for Tri-Rail commuter trains only, it is highly unlikely that a station will be built. Rather, a paved platform with canopies to protect patrons from inclement weather and with ticket machines on the platforms would be installed, and that would serve quite well for boarding or detraining purposes. Seth H. Bramson Miami ShoresRubio As Racist? King As CrackpotI dont think its appropriate for Jack King to call Sen. Marco Rubio a racist Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 10

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10 (The GOPs Boy Toy, February 2012). King wrote, 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. Where did he get that? Cmon, now. Rick Flores MiamiElevation: One Answer to Life Among MoronsThank you, Jim W. Harper, for another courageous Going Green article on our incredible stupidity (Lucky, Though Probably Not For Long, January 2013). I am surrounded by people who do not believe in global warming. Its comforting to be able to point to a local article to try to get them motivated. However, its a Sisyphean task that so far feels like a monumental waste of time. Sometimes I think I should just cut my losses and move to higher ground. Sean Atkinson HollywoodAventura Cops Are Quick with Speed Traps, Slow with Bus BulliesAfter reading Erik Bojnanskys article about the dangers faced by pedestrians in Aventura (Waiting to Happen, January 2013), I want to say that in 22 years of living on East Country Club Drive, I have repeatedly made calls to the bus depot reporting runaway bus drivers doing 55-plus on that road. It is tragic that lives have been dashed long before they should have to because of aggressive drivers. The Aventura cops are aggressive and love to entrap, hiding in shadows and just waiting to leap like a wildcat at its prey. I cannot believe that they dont see what we do! This place should be named City of Entrapment, not City of Excellence! It is well known that Aventura is not the friendliest or nicest place, where people respect the rules or practice common courtesy I send my condolences to the families. Name Withheld by Request AventuraHorrors: Hate? Look in the Mirror, BTRegarding Jim W. Harpers Park Patrol column about the Eastern Shores Tot Lot (Little Park of Horrors, January 2012): Wow! Talk about hate.... Biscayne Times has it big time. I am a happy resident of Eastern Shores. Even though we have no kids living here, my husband and I always say that we love the fact that there are so many children in the neighborhood. To hear them laugh and to see them playing together happily, makes the community that much nicer. We in Eastern Shores love our kids as much as families in any other part of our planet love theirs. What would make us different? Jim W. Harpers article seems to focus on our hate for children more than the tot lot. I mean, he mentions quite a few times how much we hate. I would love to see a follow-up with an explanation, and pursuit of whatever the real issue is. Peace and love. No room for hate here. Marina Cacici Eastern ShoresHorrors: Sleaze-Free Zone and Proud of ItJim Harper probably doesnt understand that people who live in gated communities dont want their children playing in parks. And who can blame us for rejecting the Kardashians? One thing we dont have here, which Harper didnt acknowledge, is sleaze. Why start now? Robert Livingstone Eastern ShoresHorrors: A Print Bully Should Apologize to Those Who Love the ParkMr. Jim W. Harper must have written Little He could have said the kids in Eastern Shores dont have a very nice playground to play in or that Eastern Shores doesnt have room to build a playground for children in the area. But to have said that Eastern Shores hates kids when in fact we love kids well, thats a very strong and rude statement. Now I understand why so many people in this world get hurt because of bullies like Mr. Harper. We will not tolerate and put up with his words. I send them back where they came from, I rebuke his words. We in Eastern Shores deserve an apology, and Harper needs to take his words back. Ruth Pulido Eastern ShoresCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 8

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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO List with me and sell it FAST!305-895-JEFF(5333) 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 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 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 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 WIDE BAY VIEW POINT LOT 1/3 ACRE SANS SOUCI ESTATESLocated 1 lot off the wide bay on cul de sac. Lot size 112 x 125 approx 14,000 sq ft. New seawall 90 of dock (112 on water) 25,000 lb boatlift, park your yacht while you build your dream home! Owner will finance with 30% down $1.4M

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Commentary: PUBLISHERS LETTER By Jim Mullin BT Publisher and EditorThis issue marks the tenth anniversary of Biscayne Times Founded by Skip Van Cel as Biscayne Boulevard Times the name was shortened in January 2007, just about the time Skip and I began discussing the possibility of him stepping down and me stepping up, which I did that March. So this issue also marks my sixth year as owner. The name change was a smart move on Skips part, for he recognized that the publications future extended beyond the vard. He was right. Biscayne Times looked like a smart move on my part, despite dire warnings about the imminent death of print. I believed then, and still do, that the declining fortunes of some publications, especially daily newspapers, were creating opportunities for others, especially niche publications like Biscayne Times By targeting a limited number of educated, prosperous, mature people who are lifelong readers (that would be you ), and providing smart and sophisticated coverage of the places they live, a guy should be able to make a living. Maybe not the extravagant kind of living enjoyed by the old press barons, but certainly enough to get by. I was right for the most part. There were, however, some things I simply didnt anticipate, and they compounded the challenges inherent in operating any small business. For one thing, I and most other people did not foresee the housing collapse and consequent economic meltdown. The BT of course, was just one among countless enterprises nationwide that suffered greatly as a result. cutting back on everything and counting every penny. It was the business equivalent of a near-death experience. anticipate were peculiar to this business of publishing. The rapid rise of digital marketing took no one by surprise, and its success in luring advertisers away from print has been well documented. One byproduct of that did come as a surprise at least to me. owners apparently saw a different kind of opportunity in the weakened condition of many print publications. They saw a chance to ask for advertising packages that included value-added perks, especially editorial coverage. In effect: Well buy advertising in your moribund newspaper or magazine if youll write South Florida, though Im not sure why. Perhaps because this is a crowded and highly competitive media market. For whatever reason, it spread rapidly and widely. Moreover, this coverage was a new editorial creature, not those clearly marked advertorials of years past. Readers were X was, in fact, commissioned. The willingness of editors to tolerate such deception was the other publishing challenge I couldnt have predicted. For anyone with even a passing allegiance to journalism ethics, the practice is abhorrent, practically immoral. My principled objections, unfortunately, were putting us at a competitive disadvantage, and by the spring of 2008, it became clear that I had to do something in response. My answer was BizBuzz, a column prominently headlined, Our Sponsors: Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible. While the column, written by Pamela Robin Brandt, has become very popular, it still isnt enough for some business owners, who demand much more than a mere mention among many other BT advertisers. We have managed to thrive without their money. I have always believed, and still do, that our most important asset is not our base of advertisers. Rather it is you, our readers. Without your loyalty to Biscayne Times we would be of no value to those advertisers. We would have nothing to offer them. Which is why maintaining your trust is our most important responsibility. never be for sale, not at any price. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Its Our Birthday!After ten years, its clear that reports on the death of print are greatly exaggerated

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Est. 1995 LIVE THE CITY LIFE

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Commentary: CULT FOLLOWINGWhere Have You Gone, Al Bumbry? Once a charming South Florida xture, spring training baseball is now big business, and nowhere to be found locallyBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorGrowing up in the 1970s and early 1980s in Miami, I had a favorite month: March. It had little to do with the picture perfect days or impending spring break from school. Rather, it was because March always meant spring training was coming. (Pitchers and catchers, as they do now, reported in February, but teams began playing games in March.) The Baltimore Orioles for years played their spring games in Miami Sta dium, once a gem of a minor-league park that, by the 1970s, was beginning to show its age. The New York Yankees were liter ally just up the highway, in Fort Lauder Expos (today the Washington Nationals) Beach. Those willing to drive all the way to Vero Beach as my father might have play in historic Dodgertown. of those teams were pennant contenders. (Yes, even the Expos, who made it to the National League Championship Series in 1981.) For baseball fans, there was no better place to be in March. For those young enough to wonder what could possibly be so exciting about exhibition games played in tiny, aging ballparks, a brief history lesson: There was once a time, in the not so distant past, when there was no ESPN; no cable chan nels of any kind, for that matter. Living in a city with no Major League team, all you got were two baseball broadcasts a week one on Saturday afternoon, the other on Monday night. Thats it. If you were a kid growing up in South Florida then, big-league ballplayers lived mainly inside your TV set. Except for spring, when they materialized in Field of Dreams only instead of trotting out onto My dad and I would almost always try to catch the Orioles and Yankees when the latter came to Miami. Both were laden with stars. The Yankees had Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, and, later, oles had Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray, joined in the spring of 1982 by a 21-yearold rookie named Cal Ripken, who people said was going to be pretty good. despite second billing, was the guy who made the Os go, spraying hits, stealing bases, and, inevitably, coming around to score. In spring training, Bumbry was forever smiling. Later, I learned hed been in Vietnam, seeing enough action to earn a Bronze Star. Maybe that explains his enthusiasm; nobody dies in baseball. Whatever the reason, his attitude was infectious. Buzzing with exuberance every spring, The Bee helped make March ballgames the sporting highlight of the year, at least for me. So youd think Id be psyched about getting out to some spring games this month. But Im not. It doesnt have to do with being older or not being as much of a baseball fan as I once was. I still love the sport. No, the problem is that so few teams come to South Florida for spring training now. Where once the majority of clubs played here, in the so-called Grapefruit League, now only about half do, with League for their spring training. The teams closest to us? The St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins, who share a facility in Jupiter, more than an hours drive away. Gone are the Orioles (Sarasota), Yankees (Tampa), Braves (Disney World), and Dodgers (all the way to The reason for the changes of address, not surprisingly, is economics. Beand Florida began bidding against each other for the privilege of hosting spring training, offering to build Major League teams spanking new ballparks, if only they would relocate. One of these was Homestead, which spent $20 million on a new stadium to lure the Cleveland Indians in 1993. Indians, not at all: The Tribe opted for a ten-year lease in Winter Haven, and currently spends the spring in Goodyear, rebuilt and has mostly sat empty, never becoming a spring training venue. Its a cautionary tale, or would be, if small cities cared to pay attention. Instead, theyre too busy trying to lure teams, or in some cases, collect them. Most recently, Fort Myers, which already hosts the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox (and where a bond issue million stadium for the Sox), has made overtures to the Nationals, who are looking to leave Viera, Florida. Millionaire owners looking for a handout? Cities desperate for big league status footing the bill for baseball stadiums? Thats not spring training. In Miami, we call that the regular season. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorI work for Jewish Colombians. Some of my best friends are gay. I work under many talented women. Most of my friends speak Spanish. My neighbors are from all over the world. Here in Miami, our ability to gracefully cope with difference is the only reason my life exists as it does today. With these thoughts in mind, I reyears, a pope has chosen to resign, at a time when the Catholic Church is at its most embattled and religion in general causes more problems than ever. It fuels many of our worlds deepest woes and threatens life, culture, secular institutions, and human rights on a daily basis. Bertrand Russell once observed that, in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. Faith is the surest of all cocksure inarguable plane outside reason and evidence. When set alight, it becomes nuclear fuel in the engine of action. and cocksure has only worsened since Russell penned those words more than a century ago. Today almost anyone with an Internet connection outside of China has access to the largest collection of free information in history, but intellectualism and reason are still genuinely challenged by fanatical religiosity, from East to West. We know what this looks like in the East: radical Islam, suicide bombers, brutal executions, draconian laws, and the violent, humiliat ing oppression of women. In the U.S., Christian-based religious fanaticism remains fervent. Its deeply in bed with conservative politics, so that to be a true conservative today, you must have full faith in a party doctrine baked from a slew of wildly unrelated ingredients. Take two parts free-market economics and low taxes, pepper in prowar values and gun rights, add a dash of xenophobia, and top it off with skepticism toward climate change and evolution. Those last two positions are my machine manufactured these false contro versies over the past 25 years. Oil indus try-backed pseudoscience frames climate change as debatable, while conservative pundits spin it into a liberal, intellectual conspiracy to give the government control Unfortunately the worlds credible irreversibly screwing up the environ ment, which, oddly, doesnt seem to faze religious conservatives. If earth is a gift from God, one would assume they not a bunch of godless scientists would be the unbridled rape of its natural resources. The second controversy invented by religious conservatism is the false debate over evolution. What was once a fringe concept is now a full-blown movement affecting educational policy in the U.S. The non-science known as intelligent design thrust itself onto the world stage with the misleading slogan, Teach the controversy. Council of Europe calls creationism what [that] originates in forms of religious extremism which are closely allied to extreme right-wing political movements. Leaders from nearly every developed nation where creationism entered public discourse have rejected it, as well as the idea that a controversy exists. Every nation except one. In the year 2013, skepticism of Dar winian evolution is taught in a handful of efforts of people with absolutely no scien Pope Benedicts resignation comes at a time when religions continue to battle one another, and secular humanism is at war with religion itself. In the past, when ones life barely extended past the edge of town, churches were central to both city and spirit. They were places where the needy found help, the bewildered found answers, and where neighbors could rely on a level of tribalism to forge trusted relationships. Today, in countries where average people are no longer without resources, churches have come to mean less. In Scandinavian cultures, which rank among the worlds happiest, religion has become quite useless. In fact, across the world, theres an almost perfectly inverse relationship between the importance of religion and general prosperity (the U.S. being a rare exception). Churches, meanwhile, continue to cietal power structures, they are a threat to modern values, and the superhuman power of faith is anathema to reasoned existence, a position best expressed by the late Christopher Hitchens. His eviscerat ing prose stripped religion of its gilded robes and exposed it as a threat to peace, happiness, and human progress. Theres a reputed ancient Chinese curse that says, May you live in interesting times. I think we do. Im just thankful to exist in a time and place where humans can be valued not by the empty measure of belief, but by the objective weight of character and action. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Rethinking ReligionAs a pope resigns, a writer reects on church and faith

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Our Sponsors: M archAR CH 20 13By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorRenewal, revitalization, replenishment, rebirth, rebuilding, restoration, rekindling, regeneration, and all those other words beginning March is indeed the month for REwords. Because once again, spring has REturned! The vernal equinox on March 20 signals that this is the season for starting anew. Certainly BT advertisers seem to think so. This months BizBuzz news is dominated by the idea of REnewing minds, bodies, spirits, homes, careers, neighborhood businesses. Out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for International Womens Day on March 20 (not This months sweetest inspiration comes from Felicia Hatcher, who turned a disastrous accident a full-face fall while chasing an ice cream truck in high heels into cold gold: Feverish Pops, popsicles REinvented for grown-ups. Featuring fresh fruits/herbs rather than ple basil, watermelon/ginger vodka, more), the treats were originally sold from carts non-rolling ones. But those in high heels may prefer the even more stationery Fever Pop Shop 305-482-1832), opened two months ago in the Shops at Midtown Miami. Whether youre a sewing maven or just a novice with a needle and DIY fashion dreams, youll rejoice at the RElocation of new advertiser R.M. Fabrics Boutique from a not sew convenient neighborhood west of I-95 to the hip heart of BT territory (901 NE 79th St., 305-687-0966). Restocked by proprietor Paule Belony: the astonishing variety of every-occasion fabrics (plus sewing accessories and notions) for which R.M. feet of space also leaves room for innovations, including a Saturday sewing instructional series, tentatively scheduled to start March 23. If youre a golfer, or shop for one, you wont want to miss the semi-annual tent sale at Palm Beach Golf (14791 Bis cayne Blvd., 305-949-7030), March 21-23, featuring great prices on clothing, shoes, the stores Miami location will have the sale inside, because its outdoor plaza is too small for a tent huge enough to hold all the sale items. With a REplenished wardrobe, youll need hair to match. Visit The Cutting Room (1666 79th Street Cswy., 305-8688725), a new advertiser that offers $30 haircuts for women plus frequent nicely ask partners (in work and life) Kevin and Francis Balboa about the No Flip Balboa Comb, invented at the shop and premiering at Fort Lauderdales I Beauty Show March 3-4. Inventor Kevin sez the ergonomic comb does sectioning, teasing, highlighting, and more in half the time of old school combs. Thinking of upgrading your career managing partner of Century 21 King Realty (3495 NE 163rd St., 305-6516161), the real estate market is REbounding, with prices going back up owing to international demand so much so that the company is now hiring new agents for its team of the best and brightest. So call if youre interested in movin on up to the longest-established Century 21 youre interested in a great new home). Godfrey Rd., 305-329-7718), the Nancy Batchelor Team has just announced a with the local luxury real estate market practically from birth, as a result of houses for fun. If you need to REjuvenate your existing home, new advertiser Antique 2 Chic 3477) has, in its new Wynwood boutique, so varied in era and style that they virtually escape categorization. Owners call their stock home couture. Expect items ranging from slip-covered sofas to spa candles to coffee-table books, and a 20% discount if you bring in this issues ad. The name of Modern Home 2 Go a dozen blocks north in the Design District (270 NE 39th St., 305-572-1222), makes it crystal clear what era of dcor buyers can expect. The surprise is the showrooms astonishingly affordable prices. This months new surprise is a justopened outdoor showroom, next door at 286 NE 39th St., with weather-appropriate lounging, bar, and dining sets thatll get your homes outside entertainment areas looking as striking as its insides. Spring also means less-than-fun spring cleaning time, traditionally a month on ones hands and knees with a scrub brush. It doesnt have to be that way. Call in the Grout Doctor (785-5225433, www.groutdoctor.com), who, since 1992, has been cleaning, sealing, staining, replacing, and otherwise REpairing www.AscotTeakMiami.com rfntb Continued on page 20BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

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Our Sponsors: M archAR CH 20 13could. Naturally, they do the same for the scuzzy tiles, too. See this issues ad for a 20% discount off any job. REpelling pests is not only not fun but not something you should try at home, kids, if the pests are iguanas. Wild adults bite big, scratch deep, devour landscape plants, and dig holes to access good nesting areas in the process destroying roofs, house foun dations, you name it. Who ya gonna call? Blue Iguana Pest Control (855525-5656). The company uses cunning barrier devices to make your yard about as iguana-friendly as an alligator (one of the lizards few Florida natural enemies), trapping only if the occasional lazy lizzy wont leave. Of Blue Iguanas many services, 95% are preventative. Keeping iguanas out of your home or car: good. Getting locked out of your home or car: not good. Call returning advertiser AAA Miami Locksmith full-service company also sells/installs safes, doors, and security hardware. With weather due to start warming up by Marchs end, youll want to make sure your pool is in shape for summer, and new advertiser Pinch-A-Penny Pool and Patio Spa (9071 Biscayne Blvd., 786-5183193) can do that for you. Theyll do a free water test (pH, dissolved solids, and more), advise you about how to keep your pool healthy, and provide all necessary pool chemicals and parts for REpairs. Fans of vintage hi-fi equipment know its virtually impossible to get it REpaired. So jot down the name and number of new advertiser Beta Elec tronics (669 NW 118th St., 305-6882664), a shop that has both the parts and the expertise to fix your old amps, speakers, even record players. Owner and one-man show Roy Wright was the subject of Gaspar Gonzlezs BT Elderly cars are often problematic, too, but one of our BT staffers swears that her geriatric, 16-year-old car (thats 120 years in people years) is still going strong solely thanks to new advertiser Munich Autohaus (12400 NE 13th Pl., 305-893-5958), where the specialty is BMW service and engine repairs. This month theyre offering a free 27-point vehicle check-up (no purchase required), and a $90 synthetic oil change. It goes without saying that kids whole lives can be REdirected for the better with the right learning experience. So parents, welcome William Jennings Bryan Elementary Museums Magnet School (1201 NE 125th St., 305-8910602), a new advertiser thats also an historic landmark. What the school wants readers to know is that pre-K through grade 5 students, especially out-ofboundary candidates in Miami Shores, Sans Souci, Keystone Point, Bal Harbour, and Bay Harbor Islands, will be accepted the term in an artistic environment that emphasizes exploration, invention, and inquiry through ongoing visits to museums and cultural institutions. Monsignor Edward Pace High School education and fun. Three top history Carlos Gonzalez) have recently been Legion Boys State program this summer, to learn how the government works. We hope they clue us in when they get back. Meanwhile, all can understand Legally Blonde, the Musical presented by Paces Drama Club and International Thespian 16, 17, and 18; visit www.pacehs.com for tix and further info. educational and cultural enrichment opportunities during March, too, including two workshops by health coach Diane Moura, owner of Atlantis Natural condo building (1717 N. Bayshore Dr., al chef Cindy Hill will give you the full rundown on essential oils, from history to health uses, and guide participants in creating their own blend. On March 9, from 1:00-5:00 p.m., Diane will lead a family-oriented yummy workshop on healthy cooking; included are a lecture, hands-on cooking demonstration, a tasting, and recipes to take home. For pre-registration (required): 305-379-2722 or www.atlantisnatural.com. Hey, art lovers. Its road-trip time, up to Scan Design s Hollywood showroom (4150 N. 28th Terr.) for the thoughtsixth annual Fall in Furniture Love art event, March 23 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The main exhibit features up-and-coming artists interpretations of what it means BizBuzzContinued from page 18 Recherchons agents immobiliers francophones expriments Now recruiting experienced RealtorsVisit our new Morningside storefront at 5781 Biscayne Boulevard Ios on the Bay 2Bedroom corner $465,000Architectural 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! Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Bay front studio with million-Dollar location $175,000Direct, unobstructed bay views from this remodeled 400 sq ft studio in the Venetia Condo, just minutes from South Beach via the Venetian Causeway. Located right next to the planned new complex of the Genting Group. Amazing upside potential!Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Little Havana Multifamily $649,000Recently 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 potentialMarie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Little Haiti 8-unit multifamily building $550,000Completely renovated building close to red-hot Design District. All new electrical, plumbing, roof, central A/C, appliances, bathrooms, tiles and windows. 16 secured parking spaces. Great rental income and upside potential. 13% cap rate. Great for section-8 tenants.Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539 Midtown multifamily building $460,0005-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 RateMarie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539 UNDER CONTRACT Little Havanna Multifamily $750,000Recently renovated 13-unit building located few blocks from the exclusive Brickell Area, in Little Havana, steps from the new multi-million dollar Marlins Stadium! Cap rate 11.32%Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539 UNDER CONTRACT

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to fall in furniture love. We havent the vaguest idea, but it sounds fun, as do extras like live entertainment, gourmet food, and drinks. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. Info and RSVP: www. fallinfurniturelove.com. To celebrate Dade Heritage Days, new advertiser Downtown Miami Part nership and Dade Heritage Trust present an event even history haters have to love: a sort of progressive cocktail party that pairs a peek into Miamis architectural heritage with something Miamians already know and love: food and drink. Stops are at nine historic buildings, three of which are now restaurants/lounges; additional food and drink is provided, in part by the Miami Culinary Institute, at three other landmarks. For info and REeservations (required): 305-358-9572. about becoming writers), the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College will be presenting the Miami Writers Institute four days of intensive one-on-one manuscript consultations; lunchtime reads; and Pitch-O-Rama 2013! a one-minute pitch to a panel of industry pros. Register now at www. the Institute isnt till May 8-11, but workshop space is limited. On to literal enrichment, our favorite being the rich but cloud-light berry-stud B Sweet (20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453), a homeyfeeling mom-and-caf in what was once an actual home one of the Design Dis tricts rare residential apartment buildings. The very hidden location seemed destined to make this newly opened eatery one of those best-kept secret spots. But suf around regarding veteran pastry chef Tom Worhachs remarkable desserts that breakfast/lunch hours have already been extended: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. REplenish yourself any weekday morning this month with one of David Cohens blue-plate breakfast specials, described in this issues ad for Bagels and Company (11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305892-2435). Just remember to schlep the BT along with you so David knows we sent you or preferably, if its a Friday (when our personal fave meal deal includes nova, eggs, and onions; a bagel; choice of home fries, grits, or oatmeal; OJ; and coffee or tea), remember to bring us along with you. We regret to remind you that after this month of renewal comes a day of youve been tackling your own tax forms the past few years because professional preparers are too expensive, check out Miami Financial Center (12573 Bis cayne Blvd., 786-329-9950). Itll seem wise to REprofessionalize after seeing the miraculously reasonable prices this new advertiser charges for taking the whole mess off your hands: $45 for students and singles with just one W-2; gling taxes of freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed people. (Note to non-Spanish speakers: Dont worry about that, either. Olga and Michael Fidlin, a Russian mom-and-team, speak charming English.) Frankly, just writing about taxes gives us the vapors. So its darned good timing to hear from Chris MacCleod, general manager at The Corner (1035 N. Miami warmest-looking, coolest-vibed late-night eating/drinking spot that the place just this month initiated beer and spirits of one particular monthly changing beer or liquor style, each of the four made by different brands and served together to compare and contrast. Marchs spirit style: Japanese whiskey. Marchs beer style: 12% alcohol (average beers are around 5%) Enjoy your certain attitude REadjustment. Finally, even if anticipation of next months tax crap has you down, anticipation of one unique new advertisers upcoming opening will surely raise your spirits: the Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill (165 NW 23rd St., 305-8469120). Owner Igor Nizniks very continental concept is to sell prime (yes, truly prime-grade) meats, custom-cut and trimmed as old-fashioned butcher shops used to, for customers to either take home or take to the indoor/outdoor comgrilling and dine-in enjoyment. The only ing: City of Miami permitting, pending since 2011. Isnt it fun to have an evil government villain this time of year that is not the IRS? Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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24 T O bbb A R r b O Y s R t R r A T Miami Herald Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 23 Continued on page 26

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N. MIAMI BEACH 3025 NE 163rd St 305.944.8080 HOLLYWOOD 4150 N 28th Terrace 954.874.3888 Designed by Mother Nature ART EVENT MARCH 23 6-9PM HOLLYWOOD SIXTH ANNUALEach Skagen table is as unique as the tree it came from. The slab top sits on a stainless steel base for a natural, modern aesthetic. Stocked in a variety of sizes: Dining 84" or 108"L Console 60" or 84"L Coffee Table 84"L End Table 23.5"SQ

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You deserve the best of both worlds. Especially if those worlds are refinement and access to care. NO. rfntb nffrn fr bfn bn frfrb Call 888.706.9061 for a private tour, or take a virtual tour at ViLiving.com/Aventura.fnn

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30 R r D b s p s Miami Herald Miami Herald Miami Herald Miami Herald C s r sp s p s r sp s R r R t A p M p r C p s b C ss A t N r r R p p s T D D E p s Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 28 Continued on page 32

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32 R r T s M p r C ss R t T s M p r C ss T C r C t s ss s Fb b E Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 30 Continued on page 34

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34 Shuler, it became clear that R b D p s s C r C r L s Wf s D AO D b s C rr s r Fb rr C s p s Is R E C s r sp s H A t r s p s A R A t s T D s L s s I s V A t M t C Fb R t Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36

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WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM La 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 $150,000 Spectacular 33rd floor at the exclusive 1800 club. Floor to ceiling glass with boundless bay and city views. Amenities include heated pool, spa, state of the art gym, sauna, steam room, valet plus 24 hour security. 1800 CLUB1800 N BAYSHORE DR # 3302, ART & DESIGN DISTRICT PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $985,000PARAMOUNT BAY2020 N Bayshore Dr #1801 ART & DESIGN DISTRICTSpectacular direct views of the Miami Beach skyline, Atlantic ocean and Biscayne Bay from this luxurious cornered 2 bed / 2.5 bath. Spacious unit with many of upgrades. White marble and mahagony wood floorings throughout. FOR SALE $315,000Enormous 1 Bed+Den / 2 Bath with ocean views. Unit is renovated with new wood floors, modern kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances, wine cooler and more. Den is completely enclosed.IMPERIAL HOUSE5255 COLLINS AV # 11B MIAMI BEACHLinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $139,900Art deco building in the heart of South Beach. This unit is completely remodeled with stainless steel appliances, walk-in closet and has ab open layout. It is just a walk away from the beach, restaurants and Lincoln Road.EUCLID820 EUCLID AV # 203 MIAMI BEACHLuis HoffmannRealtor Associate 305-962-6326 Cem Turk Realtor Associate 305-510-9512 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $299,000Spacious 1 bed / 1 bath with spectacular view. Brand new building with a european kitchen, 9 ft ceilings and oversized balconies. Amenities incude theater room, lounge areas, 2 pools and his/hers spa. QUANTUM ON THE BAY1900 N BAYSHORE DR # 4308, ART & DESIGN DISTRICT THE SILVIA 225 27 ST # E MIAMI BEACHPatricia del CarpioRealtor Associate 954-684-7769Exclusive 2 bed / 2.5 bath condo one block from the ocean. This boutique building has stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wood floors, 9ft ceilings, and new eco friendly high impact windows. FOR SALE $539,000 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Grand 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, A ART & DESIGN DISTRICTLuis DevotoRealtor Associate 305-992-4255 FOR SALE $250,000 FOR SALE $150 000 BISCAYNE 212121 N BAYSHORE DR # PH1420 ART & DESIGN DISTRICT Amazing 1 bed / 1.5 newly renovated Penthouse on 14th floor with beautiful bay views. Prime location, on the bay near the Venetian Causeway, between Design District and Performing Arts Center.Shonagh Adelman Realtor Associate 718-388-4948 FOR SALE $270,000FOR SALE $150,000

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36 p s H C s r s r R t C ss A T R A t s T AO I s C s r s p s p s A t r sp s rf rfn tbnt b bt t rntt rftr rfrf ntntbrfr ffntbfbnfff nffn rfrf ntntbrfr ffntbfbnfff nffn ntbbt ttb tbbt btbb nt tb bt bb nb nbb rfbrfntbfnb Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38

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44 T T C C s Is E p s Wf s Fb r which he was rec that his check was //rf // ntbb TEATRO CINEMAin SIN SANGRETEATRO CINEMAin SIN SANGRE Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 rtt s s s V A t s R b R r s Wf s R t R r s k D M t M s E C r C s T f Y s Wf ss A r b R r s Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 44

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48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORAll Aboard for the FutureThe Purple Line, a new urban installation, imagines what commuter-train travel in Miami could look like By Adam Schachner Special to the BTMiami waited almost 30 years for the Metrorail system to upgrade its destinations. This past July, county transit launched the Orange Line, and Miamis elevated train started rolling toward the future; the formerly two-dimensional county bisector now sports multiple routes. The Orange Line is a pragmatic addition to an aging line, branching off the standard railway for a quick jaunt to Miami International Airport. The program is direct and efficient, yet it represents the stunted prog ress that is characteristic of Miamis vision for growth. After all, the Orange Line is just one more stop on a limited line. Though useful and forward-thinking, the extra station is a baby step toward integrated transit reaching the expanse of Miamis neighborhoods and demographics. A majority of communities are still inaccessible by train. Commuters may have noticed some subtle changes. One particular aesthetic addition at each station: green and orange dots painted on the station benches. These spots are reminiscent of the markers for multiple transit lines at stations and hubs in transit-oriented cities. The dots are informative and attractive, but seem subdued when placed next to Metrorail maps detailing the two-directional route. Now imagine one more splash of color on the two-tone map: purple, as in Miamis Purple Line. The new station opens on Friday, March 8, in the Design District. A unique terminal will join Midtown and Buena Vista, and will offer the amenities and attractions of a proper central station. Food, vendors, and business space will provide commuters with services, while entertainment and commercial opportunities will keep the station lively. The space is not just a mode for movement; it is a gathering place. Music, galleries, educational workshops, and outlets for civic engagement will make the Purple Line station Miamis revolutionary transit hub. This innovation is has seen. Perhaps this is because Miami-Dade Transit has no actual Purple Line in the works. The experimental station is part commuter activism, part civic engagement, and part pop-up art experience, illustrat ing what many Miami commuters crave: a transit stop with a cosmopolitan feel. Go to your computer and Google the transit maps for train routes in major cities such as New York, Moscow, Tokyo, or Paris. All have railway cartography featuring multi-colored lines and circuits. These maps are as much informative commuter guides as modern art; theyd look beautiful framed and displayed in your living room. Miamis map, by comparison, shows a lonely line, running up and down the county like an afterthought. The Purple Line draws attention to the life our transit map lacks. On March 8 and 9, the Purple Line will convert the Design Districts Parking Lot 54, on NE 2nd Avenue under the I-195 overpass, from urban waste space into a Florida East Coast Railway terminal. The project is primarily supported by the Miami Foundation, and initially conceptualized by urban planning graduate students from Florida Atlantic University. Anna McMaster, a student Line as a civic experiment and educational exhibit in which people can tangibly experience, touch, and interact with an improved public space. Among the at tractions provided by this installation is a chance to imagine Miamis potential. A festive atmosphere will bring together a cross-section of Miamis creative thinkers. On one end of the station, the communityengagement network Catalyst Miami hosts a think tank they have dubbed a civic innovation hub. This will include Lot 54 Imagine(d), an art installation and lecture series on growth and progress in a city eager to develop. Walk across the terminal and you will encounter students from the Miami Arts Charter School creating transit-themed artwork and poetry. An exhibit from Wynwoods Brisky Gal lery will maintain the spirit of revi into usable art displays. Meanwhile, the Purple Line will be temporarily added to the City of Miami trolley services monthly art-walk route, delivering people throughout downtown, Wynwood, and the Design District at no cost. The idea for a pop-up transit stop evolved to demonstrate ways to improve Miamis underutilized urban areas. The Purple Line envisions a sample city space as the Grand Central Terminal that Miami is missing. The concept is inspiration in action, according to Marta Viciedo, the visionary who brought together various local groups and businesses to develop the Purple Line. You bring people, life, and light, according to her overview, to transform the space with a very small investment. It doesnt require a lot of money, just effort among people working together. McMaster have collaborated to reimagine a cityscape. In June 2012, the two helped conceptualize Better Block Fort Lauderdale. This project closed down a warehouse street in Flagler Arts Village and improved the landscape by adding handcrafted bus benches, galleries, artisan vendors, and even garden space. A mundane storage district became an epicenter of urban renewal. Meanwhile, Viciedo and McMaster had their eyes set on Miami. They approached Emerge Miami, a community group that creates social ties among activists. Using this network to brainstorm potential blocks for revitalization, Continued on page 52Courtesy of Demo Graphics

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterFor 16 years Miamis Upper Eastside neighborhoods have been represented by one city commissioner. Now that may change. The Miami City Commission will soon be redrawing the boundaries of Magic City. Among the proposals made in a 105-page report prepared by consultant Miguel De Grandy is removing Shorecrest, Palm Grove, and the western half of the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District from District 2 transferring the neighborhoods to District 5. The main reason for this is simple: commission districts be roughly equal in population. District 2, where the Upper Eastside is located, has too many people. Neighboring District 5, which includes the impoverished neighborhoods of Overtown, Liberty City, and Little Haiti, has too few. But Upper Eastside activists say they dont want to be divided. Instead theyre demanding that the entire area either remain in District 2 or be incorporated into District 5. We are a united in solidarity as community of interest, says Ken Jett, president of the Shorecrest Homeowners Association, and we want to stay together. Dozens of speakers of various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds said the same thing during a workshop held on February 21 at Legion Memorial Parks community center, attended by more than 100 Upper Eastside residents. Their primary concern is that a divided Upper Eastside, a string of communities strad dling Biscayne Boulevard from 36th to 87th streets between Biscayne Bay and NE Fourth Court, will have a much weaker voice in either District 2 or District 5. Its hard enough to have meetings with one commissioner, but two commissioners? says Louis Bourdeau, president of the Bayside Residents Association. I think that creates a lot of problems and, as an Upper Eastsider, I think we have to be in one district or the other. But the wishes of the Upper Eastside community dont necessarily conform to the desires of Miami city commissiondistricts borders in time for a potentially contentious city election on November 5. The election will likely include a showdown between Mayor Toms Regalado, who is running for a second term, and his challenger, Commissioner Francis Suarez. District 5 Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is also running for re-election, unless shes barred from cal adversary, Rev. Richard Dunn, who claims shes already been term-limited. Further complicating matters, SpenceJones is suing the mayor, alleging that her arrest for corruption in 2009 was part of a plot orchestrated by Regalado and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to force her from see Magic City Madhouse, page 22.) The future shape of District 5 will for re-election, should she be allowed to run, says Sean Foreman, assistant professor of political science at Barry University. Her district is safer the way its drawn now, he says. But District 5, which now has a 75-percent black majority, cant remain in its current form. Thats because District 5 has 16 percent fewer people than Miamis other four districts. But District 2 an area that encompasses Miamis most prosperous neighborhoods, including Coconut Grove, Midtown Miami, Edgewater, Brickell, the Upper Eastside, a portion of the Venetian Islands, and parts of downtown has 20 percent more people than the other districts. To achieve a balance, District 2 needs to shed about 16,500 people while District 5 must gain at least 12,800 residents. That imbalance could be solved by simply placing the entire Upper Eastside and its 12,860 inhabitants inside District 5. But that would dilute the districts Power in NumbersA plan to politically divide Miamis Upper Eastside has united residents in opposition Continued on page 50 Maps by Marcy Mock

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black super majority, De Grandy says. The Shorecrest area north of 79th Street and Palm Grove west of Biscayne Bouexplains De Grandy, but the demographics are remarkably different more on the eastern side of Biscayne Boulevard. The number of African Americans lowers dramatically. For most of Miamis 116-year existence, members of the city commission were elect ed by the municipalitys entire population. But in 1997, after a controversial Hispanic politician, Humberto Hernandez, won a commission seat that traditionally had been reserved for the black community, a votingAs a result, the city created a new system in which commissioners were while an executive mayor with the power to veto legislation and hire and approval) was elected at-large. Under were designed to have large Hispanic majorities, District 5 would represent the black communities, and District 2 was created as an Anglo stronghold. Technically, racial gerrymandering is prohibited by federal law, but so is intentional dilution of minority communities. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Miamis black population had shrunk to just 17 percent of the citys total. Hispanics, on the other hand, made up 70 percent. In his report, De Grandy points out that Hispanics tend to reject the preferred candidates of black voters. Statistical models indicate that in the 2010 general election, [U.S. Senate candidate] Kendrick Meek received nearly zero percent of the Hispanic vote while garnering nearly 100 percent of the black vote [in Miami], he writes. Miamis black voters, according to De Grandys report, also cast 100 percent of their votes for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, for Dan Gelber for state attorney general in 2010, and for Alex Sink for governor in 2010. In contrast, only 33 percent of Mi amis Hispanics voted for Obama in 2008 and 54 percent in 2012, 25 percent voted for Sink, and 22 percent voted for Gelber. De Grandy declined to include recent local races in his report, owing to low voter turnout in the black community. However, Foreman is sure that without a black-majority district, there wont be a black commissioner at city hall. Its pretty common in all levels of politics for people to vote for someone who looks like them, Foreman tells the BT But Ken Jett of Shorecrest estimates that even after absorbing the entire Upper Eastside (which is 38-percent Hispanic, 30-percent black, and 28-percent Anglo), District 5 will still have a 67-percent black majority. Adds Eileen Bottari, a Palm Grove tion of a majority has always been that, during an election, a majority is 50 percent plus 1. Why does District 5 need 70 percent? That sentiment was expressed more pointedly at a community meeting on February 12, when several Upper Eastside residents speculated that Spence-Jones wouldnt want the entire Upper Eastside because its residents might vote Spence-Jones didnt return phone calls seeking comment for this story, but last month she said that placing the Upper Eastside in District 5 creates a scenario that allows for another group to not have a voice. Cornelius Shiver, Spence-Joness chief-of-staff, insists his boss is keeping an open mind: The District 5 commissioner has some interests in [ensuring] that the Haitian and African-American community is represented on the city commission, which goes without saying. But well let the experts and consultants come back and well see how the numbers play out. Robert Malone, president of the Hadley Park Homeowners Association in Liberty City, thinks that the Upper East side will be a welcome addition to District 5. Theyre well informed and theyre aggressive in terms of politics and I think we need that, says Malone, who ran for District 5 commissioner in 2009. We have some knuckleheads who continue to not do right by the community. Deidria Davis, an Overtown resident and member of the citys Community Relations Board, is skeptical that the pre dominately middle-class Upper Eastside its going to help the community, she says. But what if the Upper Eastside re mains in District 2? De Grandy says hell District 5. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald Spence-Jones said if the Upper Eastside wanted to stay together, Continued on page 52 Honoring St. Martha Yamaha Concert Series Founder Father Federico CapdepnSATURDAY, APRIL 6, 8PMShelly Berg, Carmen Bradford, Tierney Sutton perform the jazz vespers Convergence that combines elements of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism, that the Dalai Lama commissioned, Shelly composed, and all three performed at its world premiere in Los Angeles. Plus a new work by Shelly based on Thomas Cahills writings (How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Gifts of the Jews ). Dont miss Shelly playing and Carmen and Tierney singing their favorite works, and other surprises! This one-time-only incredible night finished with candlelight, champagne and special desserts with the artists in the Atrium will help keep our ticket prices low, our popcorn free, and our school programs thriving. Donations $50 and $100. Or gather with friends for a reserved 10-seat sponsor's pew! Honoring series founder Father Federico Capdepn, the evening will include the dedication of pages from a Holocaust-surviving Torah and a 13th Century French pocket Bible, with matching passages of the Deuteronomy Ten Commandments.St. Martha in the Shores 9301 Biscayne Blvd. Miami Shores, FL 33138 RESERVATIONS OR DONATIONS: CHURCH OFFICE, OR VISIT SAINTMARTHA.TIX.COM OR CALL 1-800-595-4849. QUESTIONS? CALL 305-751-0005 OR 305-458-0111 Friend us on Facebook! Saint Martha Concerts Power in NumbersContinued from page 49

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pick up people for me. The only place I could think of would be Midtown. Bottari says she asked Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, a Coconut Grove resident and the current representative of District 2, if hed be willing to give up Midtown Miami in order to keep the entire Upper Eastside. Reports Bottari: He said, no. (Sarnoff did not return calls from the BT .) Foreman believes theres a certain amount of prestige that comes with having prosperous areas such as Midtown Miami in your district. The larger your pears to be on the commission, he says. Some Upper Eastside residents have long felt neglected by District 2, an area that has been represented by a Coconut Grove resident since 1997. There is a sentiment among some Upper Eastsiders that were the ugly stepchild here, Jett says. That we are the have-nots when it comes to District 2, that we are too far removed geographically and economically from Coconut Grove, that its easy to be lost. recrest is willing to work with the commissioner of either district, just as long as the entire Upper Eastside is included in it. I think politically, economically, and culturally well be harmed if were split up, Jett says. Ironically, one of the directives to De Grandy was that, whenever possible, the districts should keep neighborhoods and communities of interest intact. Several Upper Eastside activists also complained to the city commission last workshops held last year. (The meetings on District 1 and District 2, held at city hall, drew no residents.) De Grandy maintains that federal law doesnt require public hearings on redistricting. Still, commissioners decided at their February 14 meeting to hold two more workshops on redistricting, the center. A second workshop will be held at city hall in Coconut Grove on March 4 at 6:30 p.m. Thereafter, the Miami City Commission will take up redistricting on March 14. De Grandy hopes that by mid-April the city will have a plan ready for the Miami-Dade Elections Department. So far the commission hasnt ordered De Grandy to prepare an alternative to the plan he already developed, which splits the Upper Eastside. However, Ken Jett is hope ful that De Grandy and city commissioners will reconsider. If not, he says, legal action is a possibility. Were not taking any op tions off the table, he says. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Power in NumbersContinued from page 50 Purple LineContinued from page 48 Viciedo noticed a pattern in their discussions: Every spot we came up with was right next to the train line. It was serendipitous; everything that spoke to us was by a railway. From that observation, all other components took to the tracks. Conceptu alizing a transit future evolved into an op portunity to show Miamians an alternative to the car. The Purple Line aims to make that alternative into a tangible destination. In Viciedos estimation, Miamis current transit stops lack the liveliness of commuter hubs. She notes that the primary connection the Metrorail and Metrobus make with people is emo tions of frustration. What we want to do with the Purple Line is create comfort and inspire connectivity with people and community, and provide services that facilitate access to commerce, food, entertainment, and simple things, like a cup of coffee. There is something that provides a homey connection. The Purple Line represents large ambitions. Given the organizational effort and diverse participants, the experiment provokes Miami commut roadway conditions that we are willing to continue overlooking a convenient mass-transit alternative? Viciedo challenges this complacency, suggesting that living in a city where you are forced to have a car limits true freedom. When the Purple Line opens for business, it will offer more than an experimental train station. It will be a vision for Miamis transit future, as long as commuters are willing to do more than simply imagine it. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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54 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA Sex and the City CenterYou want adult entertainment? Try the Shoppes at the Waterways By Jay Beskin BT ContributorLong before the loquacious former Congressman Barney Frank cial reform, he was known for something else. As a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Frank sought was not successful. to the Constitution prohibits municipaliin plain sight of everyone who lives or visits our city. be known as Town Center Aventura. Cur the unpleasant matters that occasionally city. At least one council member was in favor of it on the theory that it saves jobs The Aventura City Commission Bank tellers go topless, a lot of banking school of urban planning, which empha BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith 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.

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daytime, evening, and weekend activity centers incorporating a mix of lowand medium-scale uses and amenities, the commission, working with the then-owner of the mall, Prudential Insurance Company, rezoned the mall to provide for mixed-use The redevelopment commenced, and the construction of the Venture condominium building and some rebuilding of the mall itself on the southeastern corner, the economy collapsed, and the vision sociates purchased Loehmanns Fashion Island from Prudential, and now, pre sumably, Turnberry will try to create a Turnberrys website states that the revitalized center will have a new architectural design, lush landscaping and enhanced streetscapes, a gazebo for afternoon and evening events and improved pedestrian branded restaurants and retailers, includ This is all out of the mixed-use playbook and has become pretty standard For, in certain respects, this appears to be merely another attempt to rejigger a mall that has proven immune to numer ous attempts at revitalization through the look across town, at the Shoppes at the The Shoppes were intended as an amenity for the residents of the condo miniums and town homes surrounding can gain access to the Shoppes by a the development has undistinguished architecture, it does feature two large restaurant spaces fronting the marina, lots of outdoor tables and seating, a clock tower, a faux lighthouse, and a gazebo in the waterway, connected to the center by has been used for adult entertainment of The Shoppes evolved organically, the Shoppes housed a coffee shop and an Unicorn market and restaurant, one of the The Unicorn was a unique purveyor, attracting customers from all over northeast Dade, especially the younger types who worked out, or pretended to, at the intermingling with Waterways residents, would linger a while to enjoy the marina view and perhaps a coffee or an ice restaurant have closed, crowds continue to enliven the Shoppes both day and night, despite the absence of any nationally kosher market Sarahs Tent took the place of the Unicorn, and four kosher restaurants for young Jewish singles called Space, and regular outdoor entertainment by an Israeli performer, have begot an ethnic enclave of sorts, a place where people of similar cultural and religious identity gather, kibitz, The local merchants, without the ies, keenly understand the needs and do, the Shoppes at the Waterways curIntuitively, this is a puzzling phe nomenon, for the Shoppes do not possess cluding the two restaurants on the marina, bleak, marked by little landscaping, light poles that dont work, and knocked-down Waterways opines that the bridge to the with all its national brands, fails to take off, future developers might look to the Shoppes for a blueprint for success: Go entertainment right in its front yard? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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56 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIThe Goal Is SleepAs the annual Haiti Cup soccer tournament approaches, residents of Biscayne Landing prepare for some very late, very noisy nights By Mark Sell BT ContributorRuth Torres of the Oaks Towers in Biscayne Landing wants you to know that she does, indeed, like to get down and groove to Haitian music. The human resources consultant, teacher, and single mom of school-age kids also wants to inform you and the North Miami City Council that she does not like it blasting from the North Miami Athletic Stadium across NE 151st Street at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. on Sunday nights, when kids and parents need rest for school. But, right now, thats the plan for the 13th annual Haiti Cup soccer tournament and concert, on 11 consecutive Sunday nights, from March 10 till May 19. So Ms. Torres went before the council on February 12 to ask it to dial back the noise and shut off the speakers at 10:00 p.m., rather than 11:00 p.m., as other cities do, and as North Miamis very own noise ordinance dictates. Last year she got 142 signatures from her fellow Biscayne Landing neighbors protesting the noise. Ms. Torres came to the council meeting well prepared with evidence and research gathered from other cities, all of which had rejected requests to hold a similar concert at similar hours. From the North Miami council, however, she got this answer: Tough cookies. (Disclosure: Im one of Ms. Torress neighbors. I have a daughter who goes to a magnet high school 17 miles away. We set the alarm for 5:30 a.m. and would have signed Ms. Torress petition, too, had we known about it. And, like Ms. Torres, we enjoy Haitian music.) Scott Galvin, who was the only council member who supported Ms. Torress request, tried and failed even to get a second to the motion to table the discussion for the next meeting, on February 26. He was seeking to moderate noise levels for all events, including city-sponsored ones. Instead, Galvin and fellow council members got into a shouting match and Mayor Andre Pierre said the proposal was singling out a group. (The city already singles itself out as a special group by granting itself the noise ordinance exception, the very loophole Galvin was trying to close.) Galvin, visibly upset, strongly protested he was not singling anyone out. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Not wanting to be left out, Councilwoman Marie Steril dove in, saying, Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (thats a quote), while banging repeatedly with a gavel. Ms. Torres walked away incensed, declaring, Ill sue the city. And so, starting March 10, Biscayne Landing residents and others for a good mile around will have to endure the groove until 11:00 p.m., while the Haiti Cup packs between 2000 and 4500 people into the 10-acre facility for 11 straight Sunday nights. Pay 10 bucks and you can catch some spirited soccer and some of the best Haitian bands around. Its a good bet youll also score some tasty goat roti from a friendly vendor, something that just doesnt happen in those franchiseladen, antiseptic communities to the north, like West Boca or Abacoa in Jupiter. Its a big part of why we love North Miami. But, still This year 16 teams of Haitian-Americans, representing different Haitian cities, will play round-robin soccer tournaments, starting at 4:00 p.m. The music will crank up around 9:30, and reverberate across Biscayne Bay, so that residents of Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, and southern Sunny Isles Beach will be able to hear it. nearby residents take a Sunday afternoon nap. And, if youre driving out of Biscayne Landing that afternoon, be patient after 4:00 p.m. Thats when a with two bands playing that night, rather than the usual one. In fairness, you cant really blame the organizer or company sponsor. For 13 straight years, promoter Patrick LeFebre has always done the right thing, building the annual event into a smashing success. Hes a good guy who has played by the rules, paid his fees, worked hard, and hustled to get city cooperation. He has received valuable backing from Madame Gougousse Foods, Miami wholesalers aged foods such as jasmine-scented rice. (You can check out the Kreyol commercials on YouTube. Madame Gougousse is a big name in the Caribbean.) We will do our best to shut down at 10:30, LeFebre says. Well just do one band on Sunday, rather than two bands, big part of what we do. Thats what helps the event grow. We dont want to hurt anyone. We want everyone to have a good time. This year, LeFebre has secured bands venerated in the Haitian-American community, including T-Vice,   G abel, Disip, and Carimi. All well and good, but a question remains: Is it time to move the Haiti Cup soccer tournament to another venue in 2014? Over the past couple of years, lots of people have moved into the 300-plus Biscayne Landing units right next door to the event site. Today Biscayne Landing is bustling with families, attracted by its proximity and easy walking distance to David Lawrence Jr. K-8 (already surging way past capacity), Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School, and Florida International Universitys Biscayne Bay Campus, less than a mile down the road. And thousands more people will be Oleta Partners embarks on the biggest development project ever to hit North Miami. (See my previous column, Let the Boom Begin, in Januarys BT .) Ruth Torres, in all her digging, came up with a possible alternate site for the Haiti Cup in 2014: Ives Estates Park, a 95-acre county facility just west of I-95, off Ives Dairy Road. Oops, just got this bulletin. Councilman Michael Blynn, who conspicuously would not even second Scott Galvins motion to defer while his District 2 opponents in the May 14 City of North Miami election, Carol Keys and Joseph Haber, looked on placed the subject back on the city council agenda for February 26. (Hopefully, concerned residents made their voices heard there.) Beyond that, I invite city council members and staff to join me and other constituents at my apartment on a Haiti Cup Sunday of their choosing I suggest May 19 and groove to the music through hurricane-resistant doors and windows. Ill lay out the wine and cheese. The catch: All guests must set their alarms for 5:30 a.m. the next day. No cheating. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature.

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I SHORE sS Close EE ncounters of the S hores KindA busload of young perverts, dinner with an enterprising stranger, and a kidney infection make for one interesting monthBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorEvery February, during the week of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, three things happen: I turn a year older, my parents come down from Jersey to visit, and I get sick. One time it was a kidney infection. So its my husband who winds up meeting Giada De Laurentiis at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, or communing with neighbor-chefs Douglas Rodriguez, Andrea Curto-Randazzo, and Dewey LoSasso (all Shores dwellers) at events like Swine and Wine, while I suck down cranberry juice, lemonade, and antibiotics. But thats okay. Ive had plenty of interesting encounters myself, right couple of weeks ago, when I was picking my son up from piano lessons at Miss Janes Music Studio. I was on the phone with my mom, planning her visit, when a yellow school bus crammed with teenagers stopped at the light on NE 2nd Avenue and 96th Street. Several of the students, hanging out the bus windows, told me how much they admired blonde women, and what theyd like to do to me very loudly, and in very graphic terms. I know I should have kept silent. But this particular incident happened a few and on the very same day that I had experienced something similar while stopping in at the new Biscayne Diner. Biscayne Diner takes the place of Revales, a rather expensive Italian restaurant, which had a beer-and-wine with a lease, and this was one of those extremely rare days when both my husband and I had the same hour free, so we wanted to meet for a drink. I parked my car in the small lot and exited to wolf whistles from a passerby into the restaurant felt like the Walk of Shame: I was hollered at, honked at, and leeringly assessed by enough men that I looked around to see if I was actually passing a construction site. Im not easily embarrassed, and maybe I should be secretly delighted that a 45-year-old woman can still get so much attention. But for a short stroll, work, this was a bit much. 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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So later that day, when the kids started in on me, too, I yelled back: Hey, Im on the phone with my mother Show some respect! I had thought that being brave enough to address the drooling, tonguewagging teens and mentioning the word mother to them might calm them down. It had the opposite effect. Even more kids started yelling about the ways they could sexually molest me, and how they could do the same to my mother. If there were any adults on that school bus other than the driver, who was slouched down in his seat, I couldnt tell. Certainly no one stopped the students from harassing me, though by law there needs to be one adult present for every ten kids. But I couldnt locate any source of help or blame, for that matter. Miss Jane and my son heard the melee from several storefronts away. accident. But when I described what happened, Remy shed some light on the situation. I saw a bus at Miami Country Day when I was leaving school. It had the North Miami base ball team in it. I cant prove that the bus contained the North Miami High School baseball team, but the pieces fall into place well enough to suggest it could have been them. No matter who it was, in the end, its one of the reasons why I still personally escort my 12-year-old to and from his music lessons, which are past nightfall. Even in the heart of our sleepy little village, offense and aggression occur. And when next to nobody is on the street to help you should something happen, it pays to be safe. Incidentally, Biscayne Diner didnt have wine to serve. But the staff said it would soon, along with takeout menus. So Jon and I went, as per usual, to Pizza Fiore for a glass and a slice. Of course, not every stumble upon in Miami Shores is offensive. On another one of those wine-seeking nights, Jon and I sat down at an out door table at the Shoress little French hideaway, Cte Gourmet. I try to fre quent the restaurant as much as I can possibly frequent anything, if only to show my appreciation for the fact that its still here. lunch business, the place is frequently empty at night. So lone diners sitting next to you while sipping Cabernet and snacking on chicken livers dont go unnoticed; you tend to strike up conversations. After all, the guy is no doubt your neighbor, right? Only locals know about this caf. On this night, though, the gentleman in question, Cortland Joyce, was from South Miami. He was in the area for meetings with Whole Foods and other markets concerning Pop Nature, his gourmet popsicle line, which is inspired by Mexican paletas and uses only natural, gluten-free ingredients. Naturally, this produced a bit of conversation about where he sources his mangos for the balalways looking to give away our mangos.) I didnt tell him I write about food surprised to run into me again at RA Sushi in South Miami, where I was making an appearance on behalf of MIAMI Magazine for the Foodies Show Heart event. I had designed a sushi roll and cooked) and avocado, as part of a competition between local epicures. The contestant whose roll received the most votes had money donated to the charity of their choice. Even with new friend Joyces nod, and some assistance from others, my roll didnt win. But it looks like Joyce is going to. He has been placing his popsicles in venues ranging from Books and Books in Coral Gables to the Standard Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach. Tent in Aventura; the popsicles are certibourbon blackberry in our very own nearby Whole Foods. And thats the real surprise: The by history, no doubt thats where the strangest culinary-themed encounters of all will occur. But until then, I have my used-to-be-brunette hair, and my mother, to provide an entire baseball team with more than enough entertainment. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEPigskin PoliticsIs a proposal to publicly fund improvements at Sun Life Stadium out of bounds, or a winning call?By Frank Rollason BT ContributorWell, here we are, discussing public funding for a private stadium venture one more time. As Yogi Berra would say, Its dj vu all over, again. The usual band of thieves, er, I mean lobbyists I apologize if thieves were offended are out in force working every angle to make it happen and earn their crumbs from the public trough. But then, thats what lobbyists do, and its power on them. Why? Because lobbyists, through their connections, help fund continue serving the public. And then there are the usual suspects who come to us, the public, as our protectors, offering to slay the corporate giant, or at least cut off the public source of sustenance that keeps the beast alive. Threats of opposition, even recall, from auto magnate Norman Braman should not be ignored by those who wish to continue to serve till death do us part. Oh, what to do, what to do? The lonely world of the politician, whose perpetuity, continuing to serve the But enough of this diatribe. Lets talk about the stadium deal. First, there is no deal currently being presented. The owner of the Miami Dolphins, billionaire Stephen Ross, simply has his hand out for $200 million of taxpayer money to help improve Joe Robbie Stadium it will always be Joe Robbie to me, because Mr. Robbie had the integrity to build it with his own money so that we can compete (merely compete mind you) for the 2016 Super Bowl. I marvel at how fast positions seem to be taken before there is any proposal on the table. I mean, sure, we know that Ross wants $200 million and we know that if it were not for him making this request for our dollars, we would not even be discussing this issue. So its really about our dollars rfr ntbr nrnrfntbnrrr nrntrrr rnttr nnrntrnrff rfrrf rffrf rfnrbrrnnfrffn nrffrrfn rrfr nrftROBBIE BELL rfntbfffffn ffn Exclusive Afliate of Saint Martha Yamaha2012-2013 Concert SeriesPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director The internationally renowned CHAMBER ORCHESTRA KREMLIN with Misha Rachlevsky, Music Director, begins its United States tour at Saint Martha. Works include Sir Edward Elgars Serenade in E Minor, Dmitri Shostakovichs Chamber Symphony, J.S. Bachs Contrapunctus, from The Art of the Fugue, and Antonin Dvoraks Serenade for Strings. Plus, in an international tour de force, the Orchestra plays Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue, featuring Piano Soloist Paul Posnak with Ronnie Toca, clarinet. March 17, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.CHAMBER ORCHESTRA KREMLINMisha Rachlevsky, Music Director TO PURCHASE TICKETS visit www.stmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or 305-751-0005 or purchase at church office or at door.Meet the artists at our after-concert reception in the Atrium, included with your tickets.

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being used in a way that some view as inappropriate and some view as smart economically for the growth and bet terment of our community. Keep in mind that Ross has pledged to privately fund half the proposed $400 million renovation, an element sorely lacking from the Marlins lop sided deal. (Half of the private funds could come from the National Football League itself.) For this investment, the stadium will receive a canopy to protect fans from the elements, more comfortable seating, a larger HD screens, HD sports lighting, updated kitchens, and modern escalators and elevators. The pro-funding group points out Miami-Dade residents will not be affected because the improvements will be funded by a bed tax money that is generated by tourists, not by residents. While this may be true, those are still tax dollars in the system. The idea being proffered is to raise the bed tax a smidgen (smidgens are hardly ever noticed) so the rest of the already earmarked bed tax wont be affected. While this may work in theory, I havent heard that the proposed increase will be eliminated once the $200 million mark is reached; perhaps no one would notice and the visitors and tourists would never be the wiser and that would add a few more dollars to the pot for whatever the next project might be. All that said, $200 million is still $200 million. (We are reminded of the late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen, who reportedly once remarked, A million here and a million there and, pretty soon, were talking about real money.) I recently heard of a novel idea for a public-input campaign that asks one simple question: What project would you propose for the sum of $200 million of public money? Not sure if this idea got any traction, but it does cause you to ponder what good could be done if $200 million were dropped in your lap and you had say over where it went. I would dare say, giving it to a billionaire to improve his private enterprise would probably be way down on the list, if it made the list at all. I think this is part of the publics problem with this proposal, or at least our perception of this proposal. Many are assuming that it will be similar to the may be a little different. And thats why Im holding off judgment until all the cards are on the table. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has stated that if he cannot negotiate a package that is favorable to county residents, he will not support the funding, or even bring the proposal to the full commission. At this point we have no way of knowing what he may or may not be able to wrangle out of Ross, but I am willing to wait and see what the options may be before I support or oppose the funding. Perhaps he may be able to have the county become a silent partner in the skyboxes, concessions, and parking forever and ever. (Amen.) Wouldnt that make a difference, if the county were to have a steady revenue stream, even after the initial $200 million were paid back? We, the residents of the county, could well end up receiving money, instead of taking a loss. The one thing I wouldnt like to see happen is for the county to be involved in the actual operation of the stadium. That would probably be a disaster. I would leave that to Ross and his team. Let the county just sit back and rake in our share. Gimenez is already putting pressure on the NFL to commit to South Florida as a Super Bowl site before is struck. As for Braman, Im somewhat puzzled with his apparent opposition to this proposal, when Gimenez is insisting on a public referendum before the funding is approved. I recall that, on the Marlins deal, Bramans position was that if a public vote were held and the public approved the Marlins funding, he would drop his opposition. This time, however, he appears to be in opposition even if the public speaks. So I say its just too early to take a position. Lets see what the mayor can do and then vote the proposal up or down. Thats how democracy is supposed to work, is it not? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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62 Culture: THE ARTSNot Kidding AroundA new documentary introduces us to Tomi Ungerer, who took childrens literature to some very strange placesBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorFar out isnt far enough, says illustrator and author Tomi Ungerer, in an accent that rings with both German and French un dertones. It means that no matter how far your thinking, or your actions, or your reactions no matter how far it is it still is not far enough. Because one challenge, if it is worthy at all, has to be followed by a greater challenge. The now 82-year-old proclaims this at the end of a documentary titled, yes, Far Out Isnt Far Enough about his fascinating, outrageous, pro found life, showing at the Miami International Film Festival this month. To say that Ungerer is a far-out character is an understatement, which is what intrigued the Miami-based enough to bring his life to the big screen. So who is Tomi Ungerer? Phaidon Press Limited, which began reissuing his books several years ago, described him to the New York Times as the most famous childrens book author you have never heard of. The reason for that, along with the reason the books have not been seen in English-language print for decades, is the basis of the tale, beautifully told through interviews with the author and other pioneering illustrators, such as Maurice Sendak and Jules Feiffer, and with images of his work, which are animated throughout the documentary. In fact it was the 2008 New York Times article that caught the eye of Bernstein, a New York native whose media company, Corner of the Cave, is now based in Midtown Miami. Seeing the headline Watch the Children, That Subversive Is Back, Bernstein says, I thought, who is Ungerer at his birth home in Strasbourg, France, where, over numerous bottles of wine, a documentary was born. Far Out the Toronto International Film Festival in for the screening and, says Bernstein with a laugh, took advantage of the Q&A session to show the audience what a strange character he really is. In short, Ungerer is a tortured genius with a wicked sense of humor and an pressing boundaries, but as we see in the Born on the cusp of World War II in the border region of Alsace that straddles France and Germany, Ungerer tells us that fear and death were always close, but something he had to embrace to move on. At age three he was already doodling, and by the time the Germans invaded, he was documenting his battle-ravaged home in illustrations, early works that his mother would keep, These years clearly shaped his future outlook, which is why they play such a petual fear, where small children were exposed constantly to the extremes and injustices of life. Postwar Europe proved no better for Ungerer and, in 1956, he took off for New York City. This world was also in transi tion, but in a more creative way; the city was attracting artists, writers, and musi culture. Ungerer was one of them. shows a collage of Ungerers il lustrations, some of them funny and some of them disturbingly violent, and violently sexual. I am a selftaught, raving maniac, says Where the Wild Things Are author Sendak, in one of the last interviews he gave as Tomi. And not as great as Tomi. Sendak tells us that, even for an unrestrained city like New York, Ungerers antics sometimes went too far, a habit which would color his reputation forever. childrens author was Crictor about the adventures of a cuddly green snake but still, a snake. Another was Three Robbers which features three black-clad, axe-wielding men, who are eventually redeemed by an orphan girl. Ungerer thought that childrens books needed some darkness. As he the good without knowing the bad? Its something that his friend Sendak agrees with, explaining that making illustrations about bunnies, where skies are perpetually blue and clouds white is a conspiracy against children. The assumption [being] that they are vacant. And yet Ungerer took it a step further. In a great scene that reveals the deep complexity of the man, he is walking around an exhibition of his early work, mostly shocked at how bad the stuff is, until he comes across a sketch and reads is Photo by Sam Norval Photo by Sam Norval

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the caption out loud: Ogre Burning Books and Boiling Child. He breaks out into a loud chuckle. Well, Im sure the child deserves it, he says. But for someone who says he thinks about death on a daily basis, Ungerer is not a dark person. In fact, his infectious humor and laugh are almost always As the 1960s progressed, Ungerer grew dis illusioned with the country he initially saw as liberating. He was particularly disgusted with the rampant racism he saw in the United States, comparing it to the brutal world he experienced under the Nazis. There are graphic elements taken from Nazi propaganda posters in many of Ungerers illustrations, especially as he moved into making more and more provocative political pieces. These were not well-received by the publishers of childrens books. But it was the discovery that Ungerer was also producing adult erotica, some with explicit S&M imagery, that did him in for good with publishers. His books were banned from libraries and disappeared from bookstore Nova Scotia, then to an isolated region of Ireland, where he still lives. But while his work and, really, his philosophy offended sensibilities on this side of the At lantic, his childrens books never went out of fashion in Europe, es pecially France and Germany. And now London-based Phaidon Press is bringing them back here, too. His newfound popularity doesnt phase Ungerer. Success up your head, he says in the he adds, Thats why you must be very, very careful not to take yourself too seriously. Far Out Isnt Far Enough is part of the documentary competition at the Miami International Film Festival. It will be screened on Wednesday, March 6, at 9:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave.) and on Friday, March 8, at 7:15 p.m. at the Regal South Beach Cinema (1100 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Three Robbers

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64 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through April 13: Paintings by Chase Westfall ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through April 11: Candyland by Marco Casentini ACND GALLERY OF ART 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Call gallery for exhibition information ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-286-7355 www.albertolinerogallery.com March 28 through April 4: Santiago Betancur Z ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ FINE ARTS 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through April 6: Drywood with Gean Moreno, and Ernesto Oroza 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through April 1: Secrets by Luis Gonzalez Palma ART FUSION 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com Through March 31: Journey into the Soul with various artists ART NOUVEAU GALLERY 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www.artnouveaugaleria.com Call gallery for exhibition information ART WORK IN PROGRESS 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009 www.jacques-harvey.com Call gallery for exhibition information ARTSEEN GALLERY 2215 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-237-3597 http://artseenspace.wordpress.com Call gallery for exhibition information ASCASO GALLERY 2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9410 www.ascasogallery.com/site Call gallery for exhibition information 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Through March 1: Transformed Interceptions by Jose Pacheco Silva BAS FISHER INVITATIONAL 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse Call gallery for exhibition information BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through April 9: Monuments by Kyu-Hak Lee BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Suite 3, Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Through March 8: Love & Art with Lisa Williams, Rafael Valdez, and Rick Esposito 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through April 7: Reset by Judith Page, Deborah Schneider, and Ward Shelley BUZZART 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 6, Miami 305-571-8100 www.buzz-art.net Through March 30: Skyfall by Javier Velasco 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www .susannacaldwell.com Through June 1: Mahogany Sculptures and Sculptural Offering Bowls carved from Florida Hardwoods by Susanna Caldwell CARIDI GALLERY 785 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com March 7 through 24: Extra Virgin Petrus Oil by Mery Godigna Collet 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Through March 17: Collin ear Points with Rosemarie Chiarlone, Susan Weiner, Nyeema Morgan, and Kathryn Zazenski DANIEL AZOULAY GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com March 2 through April 6: The Eye, The Vessel, and The Spell by Pepe Mar DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through March 31: Nolo Contendere by Felice Grodin Soft & Touch Therapy by Santiago Villanueva DIASPORA VIBE GALLERY 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 100 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net Through March 21: Cut Outs by Jenny Brillhart and Carolyn Salas 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through March 23: Process by Alexandra Rowley DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 187 NW 27th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Through March 30: Tipping Point by Nina Dotti ELITE GALLERY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 Through March 31: Trilogy with Marcos Irusta, Oscar Negret, and Kiseok Kim ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 March 9 through 31: Eternal Spring by Mario Velez How We Get Ready Now Beta Electronics Audio & Video Repair Center We service and repair most modern and antique stereo Hi-Fi Turntables Speakers Hi-Fi Stereo Consoles Reel to Reels Factory Authorized Service Accounting and Income TaxStudents and Singles with one W-2 Taxes for just$45*With this BT adTaxes for just$115*With this BT adSelf-Employed Independent Contractors Freelancers INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE TAXES Bookkeeping Payroll Form New Corporations Notary PublicMiami Financial Center12573 Biscayne Blvd. N Miami, FL 33181786.329.995022 years in South Florida English & Russian spoken

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Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through March 15: Roy Dowell and Alexander Kroll GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 212 MIAMI CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 516-532-3040 www.gallery212miami.com March 9 through April 13: Art Walks the Runway with various artists GALLER Y DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through March 31: High Frontiers by Claire L Evans Diamonds, Diamonds with various artists, curated by Daniel Feinberg GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Through March 31: Masterpieces from the Berardo Collection with various artists GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 www.generalaudiencepresents.com March 21 through May 4: Fun with your new head by Robert Pruitt GREGG SHIENBAUM FINE ART 2239 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-456-5478 Call gallery for exhibition information HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through March 2: Recycle by Consuelo Castaeda HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com March 9 through April 6: Bunny and Betty with various artists IDEOBOX ARTSP ACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Call gallery for exhibition information JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 www.juanruizgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Call gallery for exhibition information KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through March 3: Unsinkable by Artem Mirolevich KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through March 29: Listen to the Silence by Heriberto Mora KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Call gallery for exhibition information LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Through March 2: High Performance Stiffened Structures by Karl Haendel By Design by Carlos Rigau March 9 through April 26: Drawn from the Everglades by Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen Limonene by Hannah Whitaker MARKOWICZ FINE ART 114 NE 40th St., Miami 786-362-5546 March 5 through 31: The Lost Series by Arno Elias 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Through March 29: Minispective by Arnold Mesches MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdc.edu Through May 4: A Lifes Work by Arnold Mesches Through May 31: Transcending Narratives of Humanity Selected works from the CINTAS Foundation Fellows Collection with various artists, curated by Natalie Perez 1 1380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through March 19: Noise by Arnold Mesches 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 Through March 30: Art & Design by Helidon Xhixha NOW CONTEMPORARY ART 175 NW 25th St., Miami 305-571-8181 www.nowcontemporaryart.com March 9 through April 30: Carolina Ponte 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 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 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 Untitled

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66 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS SPINELLO PROJECTS 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com 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 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Through March 9: House of Desire with Lea Nickless, and Conrad Hamather 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www.thelunchboxgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 12425 NE 13th Ave., North Miami 305-978-4437 Call gallery for exhibition information 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art Call gallery for exhibition information 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres 2233 NW 2nd A ve., Miami 305-576-5335 www.waltmanortega.com Through March 31: A Clear Epical Dominance by Rune Guneriussen Espectadores by Aleix Plademunt 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 294 NW 54th St., Miami 954-235-4758 www.yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737 www.zadokgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through March 17: Minotaurocracy by W es Kline 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through March 17: The Endless Renaissance: Six Solo Artist Projects with Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Barry X Ball, Walead Beshty, 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 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 SPACE 23 NE 41st St., Miami 305-576-61 12 www.delacruzcollection.org Ongoing: Works from the Collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz with various artists Ongoing: Carlos Alfonso March 9 through May 11: Terra non: Descoperta by Alfredo Jaar 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through March 24: Aesthetics & V alues 2013 with various artists Through April 7: The Healing Spirits of Water with various artists Through April 14: Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism with various artists Through May 19: The Seminole Paintings by Eugene Savage Through May 20: American Sculpture in the Tropics with John Henry, Albert Paley, Dennis Oppenheim, Chakaia Booker, and Verina Baxter Through June 23: Concealed Spaces by Jos Manuel Ballester Through December 31: Deep Blue by Javier Velasco 1035 N. Miami A ve., Suite 200, Miami www.legalartmiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 1301 Stanford Dr ., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www.lowemuseum.org Through March 24: various 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 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 March 14 through June 2: Frames of Reference: Latin American Art from the Jorge M. Perez Collection with various artists 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 www .mocanomi.org Through March 3: Liber Insularum by Bill Viola March 22 through May 5: Pivot Points: 15 Years and Counting with various artists 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 Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www .worldclassboxing.org Call gallery for exhibition information Compiled by Melissa Wallen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com On Behalf of the Pharmakon

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A Hike Thats No SweatThe Greynolds Park: Creatures of the Night Hike is rated easy because, well, you basically stop to stare at the moon and look closely at glow bugs. But while not athletically challenging, its a fascinating trek through a unique natural habitat and the creatures that come out after dark. Led by guides from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8 the hike costs only $6. Meet at the Greynolds Park boathouse, 17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach. Call 305-944-6111.A Sweet Afternoon The South Beach Wine and Food Festi val is not the only culinary fest on the block, by any means. The latest entry to the foodie scene? The Miami Fine Chocolate and Food Show on Satur day, March 9, and Sunday, March 10 in Pinecrest Gardens (11000 SW 57th Ave.). From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. visitors will be treated to choco late and wine pairings, or cheese and beer ones, plus local selections from top chefs, served up by 80 vendors. There will be cooking demos, enter tainment, and maybe most deliciously, samples of chocolate from across the globe. Cost is $40 at the door. Go to www.miamifinefoodshow.com.Not Your Abuelos Cuban Music Fest the new Miami than the Global Cuba Fest which runs into April. Courtesy of FUNDarte and the Miami Light Project, this is no clichd salsa extravaganza. The Cuban-born performers (some still based there, others elsewhere) will run through run the gamut of styles. For instance, on Saturday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m., Havana-based songstress Ivette Cepeda will make her U.S. premiere at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami). The Creole Choir of Cuba, descendents of Haitian immigrants, will perform on Sunday, March 17 at 7:00 p.m., at the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). And the Deauville Hotel Jazz Club (6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) will host a number of jazz musicians, with traditional Cuban as well as contemporary roots. For a complete list of events, times, prices, and locations, go to www.fundarte.us.Tales of a Nazi HunterAfter surviving concentration camps, Simon Wiesenthal dedicated his life to documenting the Holocaust and hunting down its perpetrators, Nazi war criminals like Adolf Eichmann, Franz Stangl, and Dr. Josef Mengele. The one-man play Wiesenthal: The Conscience of the Holocaust takes one small slice of this legendary life to tell the whole: The day of Wiesenthals retirement, when he recounts to a group of students how he tried to right the wrongs of World War II. Playwright and star Tim Dugan brings his play to the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center from Wednesday, March 13 through Sunday, March 17 for both evening and matinee performances. Cost is $36. Go to www. aventuracenter.org.Film Noir, StagedSouth American theater has always had a reputation for the poetic avant-garde. The Chilean troupe Teatro Cinema keeps that tradition alive with Sin Sangre at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 Presented by MDC Live Arts, the production marks the debut of the company, which mixes different levels of the inner and outer world that each discipline alone cant. noir and B-movie undertones. Perfor mances begin at 8:00 p.m. Cost is $25; $10 for MDC students. Go to www. mdclivearts.org.Dance From the Native NorthThe Bessie Award-winning choreogra pher Emily Johnson, born in Alaska and based in Minneapolis, is set to heat up the stage here in Miami. For Niicugni she is joined by choreographer and performer Aretha Aoki, with music from composer James Everest. This piece, inspired by Johnsons Alaskan-Indian heritage and presented by Tigertail Productions, is as much an installation as a dance. It comes to the Miami-Dade County Auditorium On-Stage Black Box (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami) on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m. General admission is $30. Go to www.tigertail.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR That Big Drum SoundTaiko drumming is an ancient percussion form from Japan, with some very distinct traits. The drums are large, some so large they require a standing drummer, who bangs the instruments vertically utilizing martial arts movements. In fact, Taiko drums were once used to rouse troops for battle, which is why hearing taiko can be a thun derous experience. Hear it for yourself, when the 24 members of the Kodo group return to the Adri enne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd.) on Saturday, March 9 for their One Earth Tour. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $30 to $75. Go to www.arshtcenter.org. Stop the Presses!Oh, that much-maligned Miami Modern structure plopped downtown on Biscayne Bay. The Miami Herald building has been called a drab eyesore and worse. But, oh, the stories that emanated from there, documenting some of the most important and dramatic periods in this citys history: the mass immigrations, the drug wars, the political scandals, the rise of South Beach. Now that the newspapers staff is vacating and the building shutting its doors for good, its a great time for Hungry for History: Miami Herald Building a one-time tour offered by HistoryMiami on Monday, March 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cost is $25. Call 305-375-1621 for reservations. A Most Awesome Fela!The play Fela! is a hybrid of musical, drama, and dance, one that has left audiences breathless. Fela Kuti was a giant in Nigerian music (hes the father of the Afrobeat sound), politics, and life. In this performance, not only is his music re-created, but so are his famous, raucous nightclub and his incendiary exploits (both political and sexual), mixed in with some surreal moments from his and his mothers life. Directed by Bill T. Jones, the hit production takes the stage at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Arsht Center from Tuesday, March 19 through Sunday, March 24 with both evening and matinee performances. Tickets range from $26 to $56. For tickets and times, go to www.arshtcenter.org.

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68 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannThe Family That Steals Together, Stays Together4700 Block of Biscayne Boulevard What better sight to see than a couple pushing a baby stroller, illustrating that cherished concept of family values? For some reason, the building they tried to enter was locked, so they patiently waited for someone to come out, thereby granting them access. The father led the way, trying to open locked doors, until he found one that was open. He then began stealing items, placing them inside the stroller. (Where else?) The family exited the building. Although no arrests have been made, there is video of the incident, which will be great for future family viewing in prison.Shortsighted Thieves Wont Last Long500 Block of NE 15th Street With the future value of the dollar a mystery, some conspiracy theorists have suggested that everyday items will become exceedingly valuable, as people begin trading them for life essentials. That thought might make this victim feel better. burglarized. Missing items included a sports championship ring, three mobile phones, a laundry card, and cash (soon to be useless). What had the thieves left behind? A comb. Sure, it may not seem very important now but just wait, my friends. That comb might save your life.Another Horn Dog Gets Rolled900 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Oh, the male libido. This Casanova went to a bar and picked up two ladies. (This seems to happen every month.) Mr. Stud brought them back to his apartment and did what many in his position would do. He immediately fell asleep after the act. Apparently, he is not the cuddling or talking type. When he woke up, several items, including expensive watches, were gone from his room. Yes, ladies are beginning to sense that there are opportunities available to them, beyond the usual wham, bam, thank you, maam. And it seems so easy: Men keep wanting, and women keep taking. 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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A Minty Fresh Crime700 Block of NE 2nd Avenue Woman was in a nightclub and decided to pass out mints. She wanted to rid the club of the scourge of halitosis, perhaps because she was in close proximity to several dancing drunks. For reasons unknown, she put her purse down as she made her rounds. Naturally, some one took her purse. (Maybe they were looking for more mints?) Though the purse was recovered at the bar, its con tents were missing. So we have another Miami example of someone reaching out to the community, only to be taken advantage of by her fellow citizens. Social workers can identify.Deferred Auto Maintenance Results in ArrestNE 4th Avenue and NE 6th Street Police trailed a car that had one tail light out. After pulling over the driver, police observed a strong odor of mari juana coming from the car. When the police asked the driver if he had been puffing the magic dragon, the man ad mitted he had, but said it had been a while ago. It was then that the officer noticed a bud in plain view. The mans defense was that it was from earlier in the day and begged not to be arrested. That little bud cost him a night in jail, a criminal record, and the obligatory mug shot on mugshots. com. Its still the case that officers will ruin your life for the green. Next time, fix that taillight.Hulk Hogan Still Hanging Around Miami100 Block of NE 54th Street Man walked into Walgreens and began placing items into a bag. He made no attempt to pay as he passed the cash registers. Employees confronted him at the exit. The man, for reasons not im mediately known, took off his shirt and keep the items. Guess this was an im promptu match he had already planned in his mind and needed to look the part by baring his chest. He immediately struck one of the employees and then be considered a count-out in wrestling, arrests have been made.Human Decency Takes Another Beating400 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Man sat on a bus bench with his suitcase at his side. Another man fell in front of him, seemingly in a state of cardiac arrest. The man on the bus bench proceeded to help the man to his feet, at which point the heart attack victim pushed him to the ground, kicked him in the left leg, and took his phone and wallet. He also stole the suitcase. The victim, who had recently had hip surgery, could not give chase. Once again, this episode illustrates that, in Miami, the act of helping others is no longer possible. If you see someone need ing aid, just run away (if you can).Job Opening, Must Pass Background Check1700 N. Bayshore Dr. Times are tough and maybe your rsum is not the strongest, so you apply for a job as a front-desk security guard in a residential building. You get the job. Whats one thing you probably shouldnt do? How about this: A brand-new laptop, purchased by one the buildings residents, was delivered to the building. Because the resident was not home at the time, the aforementioned security guard signed for the laptop. But when the resident came to claim it, there was no trace of the laptop, save for an empty box left in a garbage can outside the building. Police asked the security guard if a certain car in the parking lot belonged to him. He said no. his. Once challenged, the security guard admitted that, yes, the laptop was in his then arrested. Were not sure.Intruder Leaves Paper Trail700 Block NE 82nd Terrace the shower, he found his computer desk ransacked, with papers strewn everywhere. Video surveillance revealed a man had entered the home and gone through victims papers. This mystery man also ransacked the victims car. Nothing was stolen, but the Was it a jealous ex-lover, or maybe someone looking for unredeemed lottery tickets? Stay tuned for the next installment of Crime Beat. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Columnists: PARK PATROLThe Sands of TimeAt Samson Oceanfront Park, modern Sunny Isles Beach gives way to old delightsBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorOld-school Miami Beach still exists north of hippidy-hoppin, tweet-friendly South Beach. Get on the bus, Gus, and travel back in time to some retro islands in the sun, where your grandmothers beach awaits you. Welcome to the self-proclaimed Floridas Riviera, Sunny Isles Beach. Beaches here are hard to see as you approach from the land, what with all the Trump Towers towering and La Perlas shining, but at one point theres a break little park and toward the beach, where a cast of retro characters awaits you. The sweet old ladies in wheelchairs. The tourists with ghostly white skin. The babushkas in the sun. Here the bubbes are reading their Russian newspapers, their chairs quite literally planted in the sand. About 30 elderly men and women have assembled themselves into two lines of folding chairs, facing each other, and are having lively discussions in a Slavic tongue. Their drinks are wrapped in beverage koozies, and they do not seem to be in a hurry. They own this beach. Perhaps this scene is less old-school the art of relaxation, and its own culture of origin. You get the sense they have a regular pattern of arriving at the beach, drawing a line in the sand, and settling in for the long haul. The beach serves them well at Samson Oceanside Park, and the park of 2.1 acres is noteworthy as the main public green space located directly on the beach in Sunny Isles Beach. The size of a one-block development, Samson Park, named after one of the citys leading families, delivers a delightful preamble to your day alongside the glistening Atlantic Ocean. But theres one little problem, which will eventually be a huge one. The empty lot immediately north of the park is in the early stages of development. This is Sunny Isles Beach, so you know that means big and very, very tall real estate. With dozens of enormous towers casting huge afternoon shadows across more than a mile of beach, you have to wonder: Could this stretch of sand be Americas most valuable beach? Certainly this little park has to be one of Floridas most valuable parcels of public land. From the beach, the noise from construction is mostly drowned out by the wind and waves, but inside Samson Park, it can get ugly. You probably will not want to linger too long under the covered playground, as the constant drilling might make you batty. Do not look up, either, because only 20 feet away an 18-story red crane. The mature palm trees next to them look like geraniums. The new development will be called Chateau Beach Residences, and it had a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2012. Prices start somewhere around one million. With construction projected for two years, it should be ready by 2015. So poor little Samson Park is going to be dusty, as well as sandy, for a couple of more years. The park has a few interesting elements that are worth a moment before you hit the beach. Near the street entrance stands a bronze statue of a family unit a father, mother, and their two children on a black pedestal. Behind them across the suns rays. (Alternately, you could envision pigeons being impaled.) The stately statue makes the statement that families are welthem on the beach, with or without grandparents. Just a skip down the curving paved pathway, you encounter something comThe parks rest area is the most visually interesting and utilitarian feature, complete with restrooms and a bevy of shady, hexagonal picnic tables. The pale yellow complex in an Art Deco style appears to have been inspired by the Jetsons. It is all curves and no corners. The curvy kidney bean, with a large cutout circle near the beans center framing the sky. Holding up the building are tilted turquoise poles that pierce the bean like toothpicks. The bathrooms are adequate, as is the water fountain. Two functioning showers are at the entrance to the beach, and a third along the path is under construction. The parks landscaping attractively features some native species, such as saw palmettos, and the dunes along the beach are covered with mature grasses. BT photos by Jim W. Harper SAMSON OCEANFRONT PARK17425 Collins Ave. Sunny Isles Beach 305-792-1706 Hours: Sunrise to sunset Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: Yes Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No YesPark Rating Collins AveNE 174th St NE 175th Terr

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The most obvious feature, though, is a bright green lawn that covers most of the park. My environmental bells are ringing, because a lawn this close to the ocean is completely unnatural and dependent on fertilizer that can easily leach into the sea. On a positive note, this park hosts free morning yoga for adults on the beach. All you need to do is register with the city at Pelican Community Park. Call 305-792-1706. The next session begins on March 6. (See you there?) Getting to Samson Park by car could be problematic, as parking in the city is nonexistent on the beach side. But look just across the street, behind the drug store, and you will The city staff members that maintain Samson Park impressed me during one of my visits, as they were cleaning everything from the trashcans to the parks signage. Really, how often do you see someone cleaning letters ? Kudos to them. Samson Park is under a bit of stress right now, what with the construction next door, but it remains open for business. It was a wise investment for the city, and it will certainly help the future home values of the rising Chateau. Real estate is back, families are back, and your grandmother is back, only this time with a Russian accent. This beach means business. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 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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72 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALGreat Grannys GhostIs the spirit of our late, beloved pooch inhabiting our home?By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorIm brushing my teeth when I hear the exclamation: What did you do? electric toothbrush, I sense distress in the voice and, since Im usually the one who does the exclaiming around the house (and in general), Im curious. In the few seconds it takes me to pad over to the bedroom to investigate, I have a pretty good idea of what Im going to see. I was right. Almost. Theres my husband, Jeremy, frowning while looking down at his side of our bed. The covers are pulled back and, occupying the real estate where his butt usually rests during the night, is a single dollar bill. My response comes through a toothpaste-rimmed grin: I shidnt do shanything. Jeremy eyeballs me suspiciously, before looking back down at the bed. The man does not believe me. I ask him if he put it there. The uneasy eyeballs dart back at me. No, I didnt, he answers. Me: Well, you moved it from the top of the bedspread. Him: No, I found it just like this. This is a change in the usual Migrating Money pattern to which Ive lately become accustomed. Me: The money was under the covers? Him: Yes, it was sitting right there, Jeremy says, stabbing an accusatory Well, I say. Grannys back. the bathroom to spit out the minty remnants of toothpaste. Even though there is no rational explanation for a dollar bill migrating from the ironing board approximately two feet away from our bed to Jeremys side of it, this has occurred a handful of times since our canine matriarch, Anise, aka Granny, died on November 2. There propel the dollar across the room, no BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith Your House Fast! Any Condition, Any Location 305 894 6192 E nglish & EspanolDade & Broward Homes | Condos | Multi-Family Eddie, Alekxey, Mercedes & Ivan

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other dogs in the room to move it, no draft from closing the door. There is no normal explanation. But now, somehow, the dollar is underneath the covers, in approximately the same spot. While this spooked Jeremy, it made me happy. Well, it spooked me a under the covers and Jeremy had found it. What did that mean? I know Granny or rather, her spirit is responsible. I know this because, through the use of my crystal pendulum, she told me so. The process of using a crystal pendulum to speak with the dead, called dousing, is a form of kinesiology. Simply put: You use your energy to channel anothers. After Granny died, I would see her out of the corner of my eye. Then I noticed little pieces of fur appearing on the bed, on my side. Then the Money Migration had found it and brought it up to the bed. if there had been, my dogs would have eaten it. These incidents occurred during the day and I always discovered the dollar. There are people out there who will dismiss this as a load of crap. That is their prerogative. I only believe things I personally experience, and I have experienced plenty of, er, otherworldly incidents. So I was happy, not disturbed, when this all began. Any psychologist will tell you that the grief process will affect people deeply, so deeply that they may see or hear things. While this may or may not be true, its not happening to me. Im dealing with the tangible: Objects moving, as opposed to optical or auditory observations. I decided to speak to some ex perts to see what they thought about the pet afterlife. One Ottawa-based psychic medium, Matthew Stapley, who hosts the television show Psychic Insights with Matthew told me he has clients who have returned in front of where a deceased pet used to sit. Stapley also said that, although his specialty is communication with people more than with animals, it is more common for animals to communicate after death than for people to do so. Another psychic medium, New Yorkbased William Constantine, who holds a doctorate in metaphysics from the University of Metaphysics in Arizona, also believes animals are more spiritual than people because they live in the moment and are not so concerned with thinking. Animals live from the heart, not from the mind, Constantine says. They could be the greatest teachers in the world, if we let them. What about Granny? Has she assumed the educator role from the other side? Um, no. Spirits do pretty much what they want, Constantine says. Their job is not to convince us. Well, I didnt need convincing. Sometimes, though, a client may be so intent on communicating with a particular animal that they might miss messages from other sprits and, in the it seems the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Or as Constantine puts it: The spirit who talks the loudest is the one This made me wonder if Stapley, who told me that an older human female was trying to communicate with me, could be right. I had stopped dousing the other day when whoever was responding said they werent Granny. One thing every psychic medium I consulted agrees on is that animals make themselves more available in the afterlife than humans do, and that energy is the link to all psychic connections. Terri Jay, a pet psychic and medium with 20 years experience, says she is able to communicate with the dead because of physics. Einstein and Tesla both wrote that everything is energy and everything has a vibration and frequency. All I do is pick up on vibrations and frequencies that other people miss, Jay says. Human beings and animals are 99-percent spiritual or energy beings in a one-percent physical body or meat suit. When we pass, the spirit and consciousness leave the body behind. But as the laws of physics tell us, you cannot destroy energy; you can only change it. Our Granny, it seems, is no exception. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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74 Miami Amid Its First BoomA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul S. George Special to the BTDowntown Miami had changed dramatically when this photograph of 12th Street, todays Flagler Street, was taken in 1916. The street was and would continue to be the main commercial street in Miami look closely, you can see both bicycles, a times, and a horse-drawn carriage. On the far left side of the photograph (the north side of 12th Street) stands Budges three story, iconic red brick hardware store and, in the distance, the turreted Halcyon Hall Hotel. On the right side is the Biscayne Hotel, and The city bus in the center of the photograph rambled west across the Miami Miamis most popular sport in that era, and the bus carries the announcement of a baseball game that day. Although Miami appeared sleepy and formal, in terms of its residents attire at the time, the city was immersed in one of its earliest booms. Its population would rise in that decade from 5500 to nearly 30,000, the highest percentage of growth among American cities. New suburbs north, south, and west of downtown would arise in that era. the country when this picture was taken, would help transform portions of Miami and its hinterland into an armed forces camp. Indeed the era pictured here was perhaps the last time Miami could be characterized as quiescent, at least in the summers. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami, 1981-032-36 rrrfn tbrb nn rrrfn tb r fnttb ntrr n rrfn rn trfnr nr trtrb rnrrt tttrbttt n rff

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Stars in the GardenClerodendrums, with a little care, can bring a lot of color to your landscapeBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorDriving through older Miami neighborhoods lately, Im seeing in bloom a plant that has become quite common during the past decade or so. Starburst, or Clerodendrum quadril oculare with its striking cantaloupe-size on-top and purple-on-the-bottom leaves, catches your eye right away, especially when it reaches the size of a small tree. This is one of a number of clerodendrum species that can be grown in our landscapes. Some species can grow into small trees like the starburst, some are shrubs, and there are also vines. be red, white, orange, or pink. Hundreds of species of clerodendrum are found throughout the tropics. Ive grown a variety of species over the years and most have very colorful, drawback to growing clerodendrum, at least in my experience, is the aggressiveness of some species. A number of a yard in only a few years. As a group, they all seem to experience dieback in the winter or dry season, but this does not stop the root-suckering species from spreading into adjacent contained these plants in areas that were surrounded by concrete or some other Another drawback to these plants is that some species set viable seeds. These are the blue-black fruit sometimes bird dispersed, so these species tend to become invasive. An interesting fact about clerodendrum is that they do not self-pollinate, which means insects or linated at night. I once grew a very attractive white glory bower, Clerodendrum philippinum It was one of the root-suckering species and would form dense clumps. Bridal veil, Clerodendrum wallichii is another One of my favorite shrub species Clerodendrum paniculatum On well-grown plants, the cence can be more than a foot wide and a foot tall. It is a root-suckering species but is not too aggressive. I once built a large, screened-in but drum inside. I tried quite a few species of plants to see which would attract the cap into the exhibit with a containerized glory Clerodendrum bungei and the species, so be careful where you plant Clerodendrum ugandense in the exhibit, The bleeding heart vine, Cleroden drum thomsoniae is quite attractive. I have had it growing in my yard at home for years and have never worried about it getting out of control, since it never seems to grow more that 10 or 15 feet high and it dies back every winter. I have seen these grown successfully on trellises. This would be a great balcony plant. One of the more common species to be found in South Florida is Cleroden drum speciosissimum It is another suckthat is very noticeable in the landscape. There also seems to be a bit of variation in the size and form of this species, so keep a look out for the best varieties When I used to grow large beds of clerodendrum, I would always cut them to the ground when they started to die back in the winter. I would then place a few inches of mulch on the ground and plant bromeliads to add a bit of winter color. In spring, when the clerodendrum would begin to grow, I would remove the bromeliads to let the new plants grow up. This lent an interesting perspective to the garden. I regularly cut my starburst plants down to the ground. This helps main tain them at a reasonable size. I have also seen them grown surrounded by lawns, so when the root suckers come up, they can be cut down easily by the lawn mower. Remember, some of these plants can be invasive, but with a little commonsense gardening, they can add a lot of color to a garden. ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski

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76 Saving Our SeafoodFor those of us who want to keep eating sh, wiser choices are necessaryBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorThe New York Times got it wrong last month when its editorial page sumed by humans would shift this year are disappearing at a rate faster than Just as you would never want to eat a smartphone app or online from Seafood my guess is that imported seafood is unsustainable harvests that eventually lations would be able to sustain themselves 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 Winner of the 2013 Magnet Schools of America Excellence Award! W.J. BRYAN ELEMENTARY MUSEUMS MAGNET SCHOOL 1201 NE 125th STREE T, NORTH MIAMI Call for more information: 305-891-0602 APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE AT www.miamimagnets.org

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When Our Little Angels Go BadA call from the principals ofce often brings out the worst and best in parentsBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorBbrrrriiiinnnggg.(This is your phone ringing.) Hello? Mrs. Smith, this is Washington Elementary School. It seems as though your son had a disagreement with another child and reacted with violence. Silence. Mrs. Smith? Um, are you sure it was little Johnny? Quite sure, Mrs. Smith. If you havent had a similar call yet, brace yourself. Matilda, our sweet, violence-free, Girl Scout, friend-to-all-children bookworm was involved in a disagreement with another child last week. She reacted by scratching the other child. The most fascinating part, to me, was how textbook I reacted. There were literally seven stages, almost like the grief cycle. Shock: Are you sure it was her? I mean, they all wear uniforms those kids all look alike! Denial: Wait, Matilda bites her nails to the quick. There isnt much nail with which to make a wound. Come on theres no way! Anger: That kid is grounded! Wait they had the call me? Where was the principal? My child is in the gifted program! I have questions! This warrants more of a discussion! The child with whom she had a disagreement was the daughter of one of our closest family friends. They have been raised almost like siblings. Depression: Where did we go wrong as parents? We dont condone violence; we dont even spank. Guilt: Poor thing, she got called into reacted so strongly with her; she just needed to talk. Acceptance: How can we be constructive about the fact that Matilda I was not a troublemaker when I was little. (My teen years were another story.) I did, however, get suspended when I was in the fourth grade. old brother and I were playing at the recreation center, next to the school. A couple of the rougher kids were telling secrets by the swings. Being that there were no other kids to hang with, we walked over and said, Whatcha doin? Their eyes lit up at the naive, fresh blood. They said, Want some candy? Come with us! Next thing you know, my brother and I were holding a door open to a classroom at the school while the other kids were running out with armfuls of Fruit Roll-Ups. We had no idea what was happening, literally. The next day my mother was called. I was given the sentence of a two-day suspension. No trial, no jury. My mom stuck with the anger stage for a while. I was just happy that my baby brother didnt get suspended, too. A suspended kindergartener would have just been weird. I learned guilt by association as a fourth grader. I also learned that aiding and abet ting was a crime, even if you didnt under stand what you were aiding or abetting. The thing that still resonates with me from this experience was that I was labeled a bad girl for the year. Parents refused to let their kids invite me to birthday parties; they called the school to have their kids seat moved away from mine in the class grade since I was truly a bookworm and involved in every school activity imagin able, but it was a lesson that lasted long after the suspension and the punishments. I dont want Matilda to have to learn like that. I dont want her to be the kid who starts every year in a new classroom without a clean slate because the word in the teachers lounge is that she is a handful or a troublemaker. When she told me her side of the story, it would have been easy to say, Well, clearly you were being bullied! Or Well, that other girl shouldnt have told your secrets to those other kids! When kids feel like victims, they act like victims. If something isnt fair, do the rules not apply? Soon it becomes: I got a D because the algebra teacher is a or I didnt have the money for the bracelet, so I stole it. We, as parents, unwittingly play into this idea, with our own dinner conversa tions often consisting of: My boss isnt fair! or My client is just an idiot! What complicates matters is that there are situations in life which are truly unfair. But not all of them. In this case, we found it important to cut through the clutter and remove the victim mentality. We look forward to the plethora of other excuses the future holds: But those arent my cigarettes; I was just holding them for Gretchen! That picture of me with the beer bong on Facebook isnt (Yes, there was a Gretchen, but thats an entirely different story.)

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78 By Bill Citara BT ContributorChianti is as American as apple pie. Oh, sure, its technically Italian and named after its Tuscan region, one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Approximately 65 square miles between Florence and Siena, its a gorgeous landscape of rolling hills and neatly ordered vineyards, olive groves and chestnut woods, big cities and small towns, Renaissance villas and ancient stone buildings. Sounds about as American as Bashar al-Assad. But if youve ever gobbled up a pizza or spaghetti and meatballs at that little Italian restaurant down the block, your favorite red-sauce joint, you probably washed it down with a glass of Chianti. It was likely a wine of modest price and equally modest virtue, its chief attributes being that it was red and wet. It was all about tart fruit, soft tannins, and bracing acidity, a good foil for the onslaught of tomato sauce and garlic and sausage and cheese and olive oil. There was nothing fancy or pretentious about it, but it got the job done, and you went home with a full belly and a few pennies left over. Now that sounds positively American. It also sounds like an excellent reason to take another look at Chianti. After all, 1) inexpensive, 2) unpretentious, and 3) leaving you happily apple pie (and pizza and spaghetti and meatballs), too. We begin on the lighter side, with the 2011 Cancello del Barone This is your classic red-sauce joint Chianti simple and straightforward, lively with tart berry fruit, a touch of spice, and the kind of acidity that can cut right through such hearty, cheesy, Italian-American staples as lasagna and eggplant Parmesan. Fratelli dItalias 2011 Chianti the Cancello, kicking off with an aromatic mlange of red cherries, herbs, olives, and toast. It is light and puckery on the it slowly opens, revealing more cherryraspberry fruit and mellower acidity, so its starting to taste pretty good. Its also light-bodied enough to serve with chicken or seafood with tomato sauce. In much the same vein is the 2011 Piccini Chianti Take a good whiff and youll get red and black cherry fruit, a little plum, some cloves, and herbs and oak. Youll get those in the mouth, too, along with some dusky olive and tobacco notes and, again, the sort of stiff acidity that can take the edge off rich, fatty foods. If this lightto medium-body, berryfruit, high-acid business of the 2011 vintage is starting to sound like a tape loop, well, it just might be. Because all of that applies also to the 2011 Bellini With its royal red-purple color and hinted black olive-spice aromas, it teases you into expecting something richer and duskier. But it follows the same taste pattern as the others, though halfway through the bottle, the wine smoothes out and gains some depth and heft. The 2010 Oro teases in a different way, promising bright cherry-berry fruit in the nose, but delivering tart, stingy fruit masked Now we come to a couple of wide-bodies. The 2011 Tenuta di Trecciano is a much more fruit forward wine, from its scents of strawberry and raspberry to undercurrents of earth and tar. The fruit is richer, fuller, bigger in the mouth not a lot of complexity, but a lot of satisfaction yet still in balance with acid and tannins. I like the hints of cloves and white pepper, too, and though (at $11.99) its at the top of our price extra pennies. Perhaps its no surprise that my favorite wine of the tasting had two years on its competitors. The 2009 La Tancia Chianti certainly acted the part, showing off aromas of ripe black cherries and plums that came alive in my mouth. Where the others were young and lean, the La Tancia was dishes, the weight to stand up to more robust ones, and the overall balance and structure to make it a pleasant pour all by itself. With apple pie, though? Not so much. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Cue the ChiantiRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Dont Tread on My Chocolate!Food news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorLast month the Center for Science asking the FDA to establish certain safe in BT OPENINGS Quartermans Ice Cream Parlor Sweet Saloon Bunnie Cakes Ceviche Piano Biscayne Diner big CLOSINGS Zen Sushi Lounge SIDE DISH Taste of Brickell Food & Wine Festival Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Brickell / 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 highrises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multipart dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primar ily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruiseship and construction workers. This cute, exotically deco rated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mixand-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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 saffronsauted 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-from-scratch 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. $$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 320.rf ntbnfnt tnft ntf f t tf fnf fff Bonding638 S. Miami Ave., 786-409-4794From trend-spotting restaurateur Bond Trisansi (originator of Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro), this small spot draws a hip crowd with its affordable menu of redesigned traditional Thai dishes, wildly imaginative sushi makis, and unique signature Asian fusion small plates. Highlights include tastebud-tickling snapper carpaccio; an elegant nest of mee krob (sweet, crisp rice noodles); blessedly non-citrusdrenched tuna tataki, drizzled with spicy-sweet mayo and wasabi cream sauce; greed-inducing bags of gold, deepfried wonton beggars purses with a shrimp/pork/mushroom/waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$Top Burger109 NE 1st St., 305-379-3100Inside this better burger spot, dcor is so charmingly 1950s retro you almost expect to find the Fonz leaning on a jukebox. What you actually find: hand-formed, hormonefree, 100% Angus patties (or alternatives like veggie burgers, a lightly-breaded chicken Milanesa, and all-beef hot dogs) on toasted buns, with fresh-cut French or sweet potato fries. Welcome surprises include an assertively spicy/tangy BBQ-like secret sauce; prices that, while not 1950s level, rival those at junkfood joints; and old-school service -the kind that comes with a smile. $ B Sweet20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453At this homey neighborhood jewel, located in a former apartment building, husband/wife team Tom Worhach and Karina Gimenez serve up warm welcomes and playfully inventive breakfast, lunch, and snack fare: baconwrapped egg and cheese cups; pressed Philly steak panini; an elegant yuzu-dressed smoked salmon, grapefruit, avocado, and arugula salad. But the must-eats are sweets, housemade by Worhach, formerly executive pastry chef at the Mansion at Turtle Creek and similar gourmet palaces. One bite of his decadent yet impossibly light white-anddark chocolate mousse cake will hook you for life. $-$$ Georges Kitchen & The Loft3404 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-9199Veteran Miami restaurateur George-Eric Farge raises the sophistication bar at his new two-story restaurant/lounge. But the real star is Michelin-starred chef Steven Rojas, who combines French technique and personal creativity for dishes like Idiazabal cheese churros with romesco sauce, a green pea pot de crme jar with bacon marmalade (accompanied by butter-fried baguette slices for spreading), soy-glazed hamachi crudo with ginger gelee, and caper-sprinkled short rib tartare, the meats richness cheekily upped by poached bone marrow and caviar. Brunch and lunch items are equally ingenious. $$$The Embassy4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-8446Dont come to this embassy for passports. The name is short for Embassy of Well-being and Debauchery. You will, however, feel transported to Spains gourmet capital, San Sebastian, after sampling ambassador Alan Hughess cunning pintxos (complexly layered Basque-style tapas). From a self-serve bar, choose from a changing selection of skewered stacks; brie, homemade fig jam, and twizzles of silky jamon Serrano; roast tomato, goat cheese, and anchovies on buttery garlic toast; many more. Small plates, to-die-for desserts like floating island with lychees, and weekend brunch items demonstrate similar mad-chef skills. $$-$$$ Evios Pizza & Grill12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699Family-owned and operated, this indoor/outdoor pizzeria is also family-friendly, right down to the size of its NY-style pies (sold whole or by the slice), which range from large to roughly the diameter of a ferris wheel. And toppings, ranging from meat-lovers to veggie-loaded, are applied with awe-inspiring abundance. Since tastes do vary, the menu also includes a cornucopia of other crowd-pleasers: burgers (including turkey with a unique mustard-spiked cranberry sauce), entre-size salads, burritos or quesadillas, wings, hot or cold subs and succulent self-basted lamb/beef gyros with tzatziki. $ Alba17315 Collins Ave., 786-923-9305From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano, Sole resorts seaside Italian/Italian-American eatery has an irreverent retro Rat Pack vibe and a menu featuring naked ravioli from the Gnudi Bar, fresh seafood, homemade pastas, classic and contemporary pizzas, and old school red sauce joint entres, some upscaled. (When lobster Franaise is available, why settle for chicken?) Almond-sage butter-sauced butternut squash gnudi is a best bet. And meals end with another best bet: the Vinny D Split, a game enabling tables to win their meals for free. $$$$

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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 flashmarinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can find it. (Hint: The mysterious Avenue of the Americas is really Biscayne Boulevard Way. Dont ask.) Downtowns db is an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$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 precisioncooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eos485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Originally opened by Michelin-starred New Aegean chef Michael Psilakis, Eos changed upon the chefs departure into a more familiar Mediterranean resort eatery, minus Greek-inspired innovations. Now inspiration comes mainly from Spain and Italy, with nods to Morocco and Latin America. Best bets include a tasting platter of Spanish cheeses and cured meats; a pistachiogarnished salad featuring Serrano ham, figs, and arugula; crispy parmesan risotto balls with prosciutto and smoked tomato dip; and olive/smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken. At lunch burgers and upscale sandwiches are added. $$$-$$$$Eternity Coffee Roasters117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on miniboxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ First Hong Kong Caf117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe154 SE 1st Ave.305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (fromscratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily competent service. $$$Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat 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 alter natives 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), 20 NE 41st Street, Miami 305.918.4453 FREE MINI CRME BRLE 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM Specializing in Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisine

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

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84 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. $-$$ Machiya3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025Originally called Machiya Ramen Noodle House, this eaterychanged its name -and really, the place is not so much a ramen joint as a contemporary izakaya (lounge featuring Japanese hot and cold small plates plus sushi), with a few added ramen bowls. Most of the menu is a mix of todays popular favorites, like Kobe sliders, and unique inventions. Wildest: wasabi-spiced tuna pizza. Our faves: fatty salmon makis (lightly seared salmon belly with shrimp tempura, asparagus, and yuzu sauce); rich miso-braised short ribs; steam buns with rock shrimp and spicy aioli.Martini 28146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignoliacrusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$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 prixfixe Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Corys tiny but nationally acclaimed oasis, transplanted from its original Sunny Isles space with its supreme serenity intact. By reservation only, in two dinner seatings of just eight people each, and omakase (chefs choice) only, meals include a seasonal soup, a four-course bento box, eight pieces of sushi, and three desserts. Cory personally does everything for you, even applying the perfect amount of housemade artisan soy sauce mix and fresh-grated wasabi to each mindreelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultrafresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-and-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$Ozzi Sushi200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-goround? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/ guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pashas1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Pega Grill15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Peoples Bar-B-Que360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly char-blistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/delivery-only Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$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 causas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Thea Pizzeria-Caf1951 NW 7th Ave., 305-777-3777Just over the border from artsy Wynwood, this ultra-cool caf (whose interior features a 30-foot Italian glass floral mosaic) isnt what youd expect to find inside one of the medical/lab buildings in Miamis sterile Health District. But the owner is Thea Goldman, former founding partner of Wynwoods pioneering restolounge Joeys, which explains both the stylishness and the menu, highlighted by imaginative wood-oven designer pizzas, plus artisan charcuterie/ cheese platters, creative salads, and housemade salted caramel gelato. Not your typical hospital food. Call ahead regarding dinner. At this writing, its being served Fridays only. $$-$$$Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025 Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingredients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Pollos & Jarras115 NE 3rd Ave., 786-567-4940From Juan Chipoco, Peruvian chef/co-owner of seafoodcentric Cvi.Che 105, this stylish but affordable two-level restaurant is centered around pollo a la brasa, as a huge rotisserie oven attests. Grilled steaks, unique sandwiches, anticuchos, and varied starters and sides are also served, but the must-not-miss is rotisserie chicken, marinated in roughly a dozen-and-a-half seasonings before a self-basting spin on the spit cooks it to incomparable juiciness. Its served with crisp fries and a substantial salad. Meals also come with a complimentary cup of aguadito -assertively cilantro-spiked chicken rice soup. $$ Porketta43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034Warm, juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herb-stuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced porketta) roast, at its best, is hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry deli-style pork roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or in three mini-sandwiches, convenient for sampling the places three sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $-$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$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. $ SPECIALTY CAKES AND DESSERTSBREAKFAST LUNCH 7AM-7PM305-603-9340PASTRYISART.COMFREE MINI CUPCAKEWITH THIS AD

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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. $$-$$$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 pur ism, 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-andmatch 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 higherpriced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$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. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighbor hood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tuyo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt studentrun. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Waxy OConnors690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes import ed Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$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/garliccoated 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! $$ Zuma270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/ mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$

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86 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 ambi ance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red-sauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with handtossed 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, aru gula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 181800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and pro sciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$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). $$$Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista 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/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frost ing, 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

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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. $$$ Egyptian Pizza KitchenShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050Pizza, pita -hey, theyre both flatbreads. So while many pizzas do indeed, as this halal places name suggests, have initially weird-seeming Middle Eastern toppings, its really not surprising that the Giza (topped with marinated lamb, feta, olives, peppers, and pungently spiced cumin sauce) works at least as well as Italian classics. Additionally the menu includes interesting Middle Eastern fare like foul, a hummus-like but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and FriesShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Ave., 305-571-8341No green-leaf faux health food here. You get what the name says, period, with three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are made fresh upon order. Available in double or one-patty sizes, theyre well-done but spurtingly juicy, and after loading with your choice of free garnishes, even a little burger makes a major meal. Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes. $Gigi3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly cre ative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ Harrys 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. $-$$La Provence2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 20002501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambi ance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$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 rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican GrillShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean 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 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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88 exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$ Mercadito Midtown3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ Mikes at 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influ enced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818 With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$ Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$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. $$$ Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza 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 Institutetrained 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen addons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Custom-sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, espe cially 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-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ live healthy | live right | live strong649 ne 79th st. miami fl 33138 | guarapojuicebar @ gmail.com | 786. 766. 1409 GRAND OPENING SPECIAL!!! 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S & S Diner1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291Some things never change, or so it seems at this classic diner. Open since 1938, people still line up on Saturday mornings, waiting for a seat at the counter and enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage everything from oatmeal to eggs Benedict. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$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 neosoul 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. $$$ Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill3250 NE 1st Ave.,786-369-0353This chic indoor/outdoor space is an offspring of Lincoln Roads SushiSamba Dromo and a sibling of Sugarcane lounges in NYC and Las Vegas, but more informal than the former and more food-oriented than the latter, as three kitchens -normal, raw bar, and robata charcoal grill -make clear. Chef Timon Balloos LatAsian small plates range from subtle orange/fennel-marinated salmon crudo to intensely smoky-rich short ribs. At the daily happy hour, select dishes (like steamed pork buns with apple kimchi) are discounted. $$-$$$Tony Chans Water Club1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888The dcor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, looks too glitzy to serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food. But the American dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail. Moist sea bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion, ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And Peking duck is served as three tra ditional courses: crpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sauted with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$-$$$Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar3301 NE 1st Ave. #105, 305-514-0307Gentrified ambiance, a remarkably knowledgeable staff, and a hip stock (including global beers as well as liquor and wine, plus gourmet packaged foods to accompany), and self-service wine dispensers for sampling make this an enjoyable retail shop. A wine/cocktail/tapas bar, open from 4:00 p.m. daily, makes it an enjoyable neighborhood hangout, too. Tapas include beef carpaccio, bruschetta cones, varied salads and empanadas, a daily ceviche, and fresh-made sandwiches. And remember to ask about special events: karaoke Thursdays, monthly wine dinners, tastings, more. $-$$ 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 world-famous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/ Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper 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, espe cially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$Balans Biscayne6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and pre pared as reliably well. $$-$$$Blue Collar6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366Like its predecessor in this space (Michael Bloises American Noodle Bar), this working-class-themed eatery is helmed by a former fine-dining chef, Daniel Serfer, a Chef Allens vet who now crafts casual, creative fare at prices all can afford. Dishes are eclectic. The roughly dozen veggie dishes alone range from curried cauliflower pure to madu ros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$Boteco916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/ outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Buddha Sushi Bar1071 NE 79th St., 305-677-3633While the setting is still more low-rent/high-speed causeway than restaurant row, this stylish, much-more-than-sushi spot definitely brings the street giant steps toward destinationdining status. The invention and skill shown in makis like the Fruity (shrimp, salmon, tuna, whitefish, roe, asparagus, and peaches, dressed with creamy mustard sauce), or small plates like shrimp crullers with a red wine reduction, isnt surprising considering the crafter is Michael Asalie, original chef at downtowns Little Lotus. Order from the menu or grab something from the circulating sushi river, whatever floats your boat. $$$ 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: cre vette 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. $-$$DeVitas7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282This Italian/Argentine pizzeria, housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesnt do the trick, the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas, salads, sandwiches, dinner entres (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $ Dogma Grill7030 Biscayne Blvd. 305-759-3433Since Frankie and Priscilla Crupi took over this hot dog stand, the menu has changed significantly, with some items eliminated (any vegetarian hot dogs, salads, chichi toppings like avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ East Side Pizza731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION MIAMIS FIRST GOURMET POPSICLE SHOP 3252 BUENA VISTA AVE, #120 MIAMI, FLORIDA 33136S11 Code:BTFREE BUY ONE GET ONE POP

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American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern-inspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Garden of Eatin136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Go To Sushi5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Gourmet Station7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Iron Side Caf7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-759-0551Located in the Little River business (meaning warehouse) district, inside an art complex that looks like just another factory, this eatery is easy to miss. But it shouldnt be missed. Both the cozy interior and more expansive terrace provide picturesque settings for artfully plated, seriously organic and locally sourced fare from Nuno Grullon, original exec chef at Metro Organic Bistro. Particularly recommended: tuna tartare with a unique spicy lemon dressing; ossa buco featuring flavorful grass-fed beef from Gaucho Ranch right down the road. Saturday BBQ/gallery nights are especially hip. $$-$$$Jimmys East Side Diner7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$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 timetrip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a supe rior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised home made seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$Namaste7420 Biscayne Blvd., 786-536-9050With food served from steam-table-type stations, plus plastic utensils and plates, this neighborhood Indian place is definitely no frills. But its also excellent value for the money, especially if you go for the all-day $8.99 special, which includes two entre items plus sides for which most Indian restaurants charge extra: rice, choice of bread (garlic naan recommended), and refreshing raita. Invest some of your savings in BhelPapri chat, a savory snack featuring crisp chips topped with cilantro-spiked chickpeas, onions, potatoes, yogurt, and piquant tamarind sauce. $-$$News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bau ernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook some what pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$Uvas6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ The Crab House1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the allyou-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. Whil e raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Oggi Caffe1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budgetfriendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey tra ditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If youve wondered about the much-debated difference, heres where to test the taste. $-$$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-yourshoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi 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

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yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Who says old dogs cant learn new tricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28 seats), the Cea familys now-sprawling trattoria has added inventive chef Carlos Belon and modern menu items, including fiocchi rapera (pear/cheese-filled pasta purses with truffled prosciutto cream sauce), an unlikely (soy sauce and parmesan cheese?) but luscious Italian/ Japanese fusion tuna carpaccio, and fresh-fruit sorbets. But traditionalists neednt worry. All the old favorites, from the cafs famed beef carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$-$$$$ KChapas1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/ snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$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 mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$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-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$ Cte 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 meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country 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 candiedwalnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooeycheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$ Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brickoven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick exNew Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$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 fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Caminito 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. $-$$Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$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)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. $$-$$$$Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budgetpriced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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 swordwielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supple ments. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$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 white-wine-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 sand wich. $$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

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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. $$$Los Antojos11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$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 oildrenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic road house ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual bakingoriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ 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 pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are musthaves. $$ Smashburger14730 Biscayne Blvd., 786-406-6614Two things distinguish the griddled patties of this Denverbased chain, touted as the nations fastest-growing better burger restaurant, from other better burgers: a nod to local tastes (like toppings of fried chorizo and potato fritas), and the smashing technique, producing an appealing thickly crusted exterior. Got burger overkill? Substitute chicken, or have a salad. An added draw: unusual veggie sides, which go beyond regular and sweet potato fries to crisp onion strings, veggie frites (carrots, string beans), and an Old South fish-camp classic: fried pickles. $-$$Steves Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tiny Thai House12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646The space is tiny. The menu, which features Thai specialties but includes sushi plus Japanese appetizers and entres, is not. Despite the huge selection of sushi/Thai restaurant standards, though, dont overlook items harder to find in America, like floating noodle soup, a popular street food from Thailands boat-based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-rich beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll (tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak 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 time-tested 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. $$ Bamboo Garden1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus ChineseAmerican egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$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 pro ducing 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. $-$$Christines Roti Shop16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sportsoriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy spe cialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ 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 cre ations 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). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this all-youcan-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, escolar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$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. $$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi 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 cre ations 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. $-$$Kabobji3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veggarnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly freshtasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$ rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN THAI LUNCH SPECIALS $7.99 Monday-Saturday till 3:30pmSINGHA BEER 2 FOR $5So Popular We Extended it!All Day Long through March 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 Follow us on

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Kebab Indian Restaurant514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmo spheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ 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. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$The Melting Pot15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-inblankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/ owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/ or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt auto matically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Soprano Caf & Italian Restaurant3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225Racks has a new owner and a new name. Italian chef Rocco Soprano is bringing his authentic Italian flavors and style to a lovely setting. Well have more details next month, but we know the specialties include Italian steaks, seafood, and an oyster bar. One thing that wont change: the coalfired pizza oven, which reliably turns out an astonishingly light yet chewy crust that makes the pies a revelation. Especially enjoyable is the waterfront deck. $$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 minipotato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalo ne with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$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. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restau rants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ 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 familyfriendly 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. $-$$Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern Europeanderived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$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 modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$

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Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$ Asia Bay Bistro1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayodressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Bettos Ristorante Italiano1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled, renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/ effusively charming host of Surfsides neighborhood favorite Caf Ragazzi). Best make reservations. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noodles with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauted medaillons with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$ Le Pine1052 Kane Concourse, 305-861-1059This upscale Lebanese restaurant serves dishes with the sort of understated sophistication that makes clear why Beirut was called the Paris of the East. Youll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites, but many have refinements that lift them above average: pita thats housemade, charmingly fluffy when warm from the oven; falafel incorporating flavorful fava beans with the usual ground chickpeas. Especially appealing are more uncommon items like crisp-fried cauliflower with tahini, fateh (a chickpea casserole iced with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/herb-filled sambusak pastries. Finish exotically with a hookah. $$-$$$ Open Kitchen1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (exIcebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$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 unusu ally flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$BagelWorks18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of hand-sliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ Bella 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. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350 Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories including hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale depart ment stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$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 infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/ tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$The Grill on the Alley19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Il Migliore2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herbsprinkled French fries. $$-$$$ Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$Luca Bella19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222In the space that once housed Chef Allens, this trattoria offers a crowd-pleasing combination: dcor with whitetablecloth elegance, yet the family-friendly feel of a classic checkered-tablecloth eatery -and Italian-American comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a meal-size marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing modern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumb-coated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$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. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New Yorkstyle pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) Chef Philip Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-elazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$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. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeawayfrom-home found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/ sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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 mar ket, 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. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$

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IN THIS ISSUEOur 10th Anniversary! p. 12 320 Local Restaurants p. 80 IN THIS ISSUE Our 10th Anniversary! p. 12 320 Local Restaurants p. 80 CALL 305-756-6200 FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVERTISING SPACE Question A gripping tale of political intrigue and criminal misconduct pg 22The racially charged sequel: City divided, neighborhoods united pg 49 March 2013 www.BiscayneTimes.com Volume 11 Issue 1

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KNIGHT CONCERT HALL K C Z CARNIVAL STUDIO THEATERZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE P PARKER AND VANN THOMSON PLAZA rfntb r rfttnt r f Z C C rfrn tbr f t rfntb bntbf tt tbr bf ff rfrn tt t f f f frf K Z C Zrfrn rf f rn fn f f trb Crfrn t rf ff f rn C Zt fb tt rfrn bfff r trtbr rfrn ff ff f f trbr f f n ff bfrfrn rff t fb rfrn rfrn ff ff f ff r f ffrf ntbb brfff ff f ff Z C Z K C Z Z C Z C C K Zrfrn rff t C K Zfb rfrn rff t Z K Z Z C Zrfrn ff bf ff trb C Zrfrn br b bf C Z K C Z Z C rfrn fn f fff ff f trb C Z fntb MARCH 19-24 rf

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COVER STORY 22 Magic City Madhouse COMMENTARY 8 Feedback: Letters 12 Publishers Letter 14 Gaspar on Spring Training 16 Christian Rethinks Christians OUR SPONSORS 18 BizBuzz: March 2013 COMMUNITY NEWS 48 The Purple Line Is Pure Fantasy 49 Miami Redistricting Lights a Fire NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENTS 54 Jay Finds Aventuras True Town Square 56 Mark Says Its All About the Noise 58 Jen Gets Sic k, Harassed, and Charmed 60 Frank Waits to Decide on the Dolphins ART & CULTURE 62 Anne Tschida on the new doc Far Out 64 Melissa Wallens Galleries + Museums 67 Events Calendar: Tour the Herald Building POLICE REPORTS 68 Derek McCanns Biscayne Crime Beat PARK PATROL 70 Jim W. Harper: Sunny Isles Throwback COLUMNISTS 72 All Things Animal: Grannys Ghost 74 Picture Story: Flagler Street Booms 75 Your Garden: Starburst Beauties 76 Going Green: No More Wild Fish 77 Kids and the City: Good Kids Gone Bad 78 Vino: Cue the Chianti 79 Dish: Miami Has a Sweet Tooth DINING GUIDE 80 Restaurant Listings: 320 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 14 54 72Serving 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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Interesting, Informative, and Meat-freeI wanted to thank Harriette Yahr for her excellent article regarding the vegetarian scene in Miami and Keith Kalmanowiczs journey to Miami (Kitchen Question: What Would You Pay For Gourmet Vegan? February 2012). It was superinteresting and informative. I live close to the Earth-n-Us Farm and hope to visit it soon. I just wanted to let you know how much I loved the article. Javier Berezdivin MiamiUpdate: City to Hidden Walmart: Get LostThank you to Biscayne Times for Erik Bojnanskys excellent article on Walmarts latest plan for Midtown (Now You See It, Now You Dont, February 2012). Im glad Midtown Opportunities is taking steps to cushion the potential blow to the rest of the area. Concerns about article addresses those issues intelligently. Those of us who like Midtown simply want it to do well, and wed like Wyn wood to thrive also. Is Walmart a threat to the rest of Midtown and Wynwood? Im issues will be handled with due attention to what is now a lively and creative area. Without question, this part of Miami for your smart coverage. John Chellino MiamiJen Went Off the Tracks of errors in Jen Karetnicks article on transit in Miami Shores in the February issue (Mass Intransigence). Ms. Karetnick is usually spot-on, but the errors in her February piece were glaring and I must ask that you note the necessary corrections. First, she refers to an endless cargo train and then states that the train whistles awaken her at least twice nightly. The correct term is freight train on board which cargo is carried. If she thinks that trains are endless, then I must remind her and your readers that without the several daily freight trains of the fabled Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway, both I-95 and US 1 tions 24 hours a day seven days a week. need to remind readers that the railroads tracks were laid on the banks of the Miami River and the shores of Biscayne Bay in 1896; so complaining about the whistles is similar to buying a house at the end of an airport runway and then complaining that the planes are keeping the person awake. Elsewhere, Ms. Karetnick has confused (and understandably; she not a railroad buff and this not a criticism) the three eventual passenger train operations that will, it is hoped, grace the FECs downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando with a possibility at a later date of two or three trains making service from New York to Miami via the FEC from Jacksonville to Miami, with as yet undetermined stops; Tri-Rail commuter service on the FEC, likely having a number utilize. It is possible, if not likely, that if Tri-Rail comes to the eastern tracks, there will be a Miami Shores stop at a location not yet determined. Unfortunately, Ms. Karetnick misspoke very badly when she wrote that the closest is initiated, will be in either Opa-locka or Golden Glades, neither of which is even remotely possible, especially since they are served by and on the line of the CSX railroad and are nowhere near the FECs tracks. Karetnicks allusion to litter and stray ani mals along the FEC right-of-way in Miami Shores. This is absolutely not the case. The right-of-way is cleaned regularly by the railroad, the Village, and property owners. There are also, contrary to the articles claims, pedestrian crossings (called, strangely enough, sidewalks), most of them and NE 87th Street, the only three cross ings in Miami Shores south of NE 107th St. Because Miami Shores would be a stop for Tri-Rail commuter trains only, it is highly unlikely that a station will be built. Rather, a paved platform with canopies to protect patrons from inclement weather and with ticket machines on the platforms would be installed, and that would serve quite well for boarding or detraining purposes. Seth H. Bramson Miami ShoresRubio As Racist? King As CrackpotI dont think its appropriate for Jack King to call Sen. Marco Rubio a racist Commentary: LETTERS Continued on page 10

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10 (The GOPs Boy Toy, February 2012). King wrote, 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. Where did he get that? Cmon, now. Rick Flores MiamiElevation: One Answer to Life Among MoronsThank you, Jim W. Harper, for another courageous Going Green article on our incredible stupidity (Lucky, Though Probably Not For Long, January 2013). I am surrounded by people who do not believe in global warming. Its comforting to be able to point to a local article to try to get them motivated. However, its a Sisyphean task that so far feels like a monumental waste of time. Sometimes I think I should just cut my losses and move to higher ground. Sean Atkinson HollywoodAventura Cops Are Quick with Speed Traps, Slow with Bus BulliesAfter reading Erik Bojnanskys article about the dangers faced by pedestrians in Aventura (Waiting to Happen, January 2013), I want to say that in 22 years of living on East Country Club Drive, I have repeatedly made calls to the bus depot reporting runaway bus drivers doing 55-plus on that road. It is tragic that lives have been dashed long before they should have to because of aggressive drivers. The Aventura cops are aggressive and love to entrap, hiding in shadows and just waiting to leap like a wildcat at its prey. I cannot believe that they dont see what we do! This place should be named City of Entrapment, not City of Excellence! It is well known that Aventura is not the friendliest or nicest place, where people respect the rules or practice common courtesy I send my condolences to the families. Name Withheld by Request AventuraHorrors: Hate? Look in the Mirror, BTRegarding Jim W. Harpers Park Patrol column about the Eastern Shores Tot Lot (Little Park of Horrors, January 2012): Wow! Talk about hate.... Biscayne Times has it big time. I am a happy resident of Eastern Shores. Even though we have no kids living here, my husband and I always say that we love the fact that there are so many children in the neighborhood. To hear them laugh and to see them playing together happily, makes the community that much nicer. We in Eastern Shores love our kids as much as families in any other part of our planet love theirs. What would make us different? Jim W. Harpers article seems to focus on our hate for children more than the tot lot. I mean, he mentions quite a few times how much we hate. I would love to see a follow-up with an explanation, and pursuit of whatever the real issue is. Peace and love. No room for hate here. Marina Cacici Eastern ShoresHorrors: Sleaze-Free Zone and Proud of ItJim Harper probably doesnt understand that people who live in gated communities dont want their children playing in parks. And who can blame us for rejecting the Kardashians? One thing we dont have here, which Harper didnt acknowledge, is sleaze. Why start now? Robert Livingstone Eastern ShoresHorrors: A Print Bully Should Apologize to Those Who Love the ParkMr. Jim W. Harper must have written Little He could have said the kids in Eastern Shores dont have a very nice playground to play in or that Eastern Shores doesnt have room to build a playground for children in the area. But to have said that Eastern Shores hates kids when in fact we love kids well, thats a very strong and rude statement. Now I understand why so many people in this world get hurt because of bullies like Mr. Harper. We will not tolerate and put up with his words. I send them back where they came from, I rebuke his words. We in Eastern Shores deserve an apology, and Harper needs to take his words back. Ruth Pulido Eastern ShoresCommentary: LETTERS LettersContinued from page 8

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REAL ESTATE BROKER / CEO List with me and sell it FAST!305-895-JEFF(5333) 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 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 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 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 WIDE BAY VIEW POINT LOT 1/3 ACRE SANS SOUCI ESTATESLocated 1 lot off the wide bay on cul de sac. Lot size 112 x 125 approx 14,000 sq ft. New seawall 90 of dock (112 on water) 25,000 lb boatlift, park your yacht while you build your dream home! Owner will finance with 30% down $1.4M

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Commentary: PUBLISHERS LETTER By Jim Mullin BT Publisher and EditorThis issue marks the tenth anniversary of Biscayne Times Founded by Skip Van Cel as Biscayne Boulevard Times the name was shortened in January 2007, just about the time Skip and I began discussing the possibility of him stepping down and me stepping up, which I did that March. So this issue also marks my sixth year as owner. The name change was a smart move on Skips part, for he recognized that the publications future extended beyond the vard. He was right. Biscayne Times looked like a smart move on my part, despite dire warnings about the imminent death of print. I believed then, and still do, that the declining fortunes of some publications, especially daily newspapers, were creating opportunities for others, especially niche publications like Biscayne Times By targeting a limited number of educated, prosperous, mature people who are lifelong readers (that would be you ), and providing smart and sophisticated coverage of the places they live, a guy should be able to make a living. Maybe not the extravagant kind of living enjoyed by the old press barons, but certainly enough to get by. I was right for the most part. There were, however, some things I simply didnt anticipate, and they compounded the challenges inherent in operating any small business. For one thing, I and most other people did not foresee the housing collapse and consequent economic meltdown. The BT of course, was just one among countless enterprises nationwide that suffered greatly as a result. cutting back on everything and counting every penny. It was the business equivalent of a near-death experience. anticipate were peculiar to this business of publishing. The rapid rise of digital marketing took no one by surprise, and its success in luring advertisers away from print has been well documented. One byproduct of that did come as a surprise at least to me. owners apparently saw a different kind of opportunity in the weakened condition of many print publications. They saw a chance to ask for advertising packages that included value-added perks, especially editorial coverage. In effect: Well buy advertising in your moribund newspaper or magazine if youll write South Florida, though Im not sure why. Perhaps because this is a crowded and highly competitive media market. For whatever reason, it spread rapidly and widely. Moreover, this coverage was a new editorial creature, not those clearly marked advertorials of years past. Readers were X was, in fact, commissioned. The willingness of editors to tolerate such deception was the other publishing challenge I couldnt have predicted. For anyone with even a passing allegiance to journalism ethics, the practice is abhorrent, practically immoral. My principled objections, unfortunately, were putting us at a competitive disadvantage, and by the spring of 2008, it became clear that I had to do something in response. My answer was BizBuzz, a column prominently headlined, Our Sponsors: Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible. While the column, written by Pamela Robin Brandt, has become very popular, it still isnt enough for some business owners, who demand much more than a mere mention among many other BT advertisers. We have managed to thrive without their money. I have always believed, and still do, that our most important asset is not our base of advertisers. Rather it is you, our readers. Without your loyalty to Biscayne Times we would be of no value to those advertisers. We would have nothing to offer them. Which is why maintaining your trust is our most important responsibility. never be for sale, not at any price. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Its Our Birthday!After ten years, its clear that reports on the death of print are greatly exaggerated

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Est. 1995 LIVE THE CITY LIFE

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Commentary: CULT FOLLOWINGWhere Have You Gone, Al Bumbry? Once a charming South Florida xture, spring training baseball is now big business, and nowhere to be found locallyBy Gaspar Gonzlez BT ContributorGrowing up in the 1970s and early 1980s in Miami, I had a favorite month: March. It had little to do with the picture perfect days or impending spring break from school. Rather, it was because March always meant spring training was coming. (Pitchers and catchers, as they do now, reported in February, but teams began playing games in March.) The Baltimore Orioles for years played their spring games in Miami Sta dium, once a gem of a minor-league park that, by the 1970s, was beginning to show its age. The New York Yankees were liter ally just up the highway, in Fort Lauder Expos (today the Washington Nationals) Beach. Those willing to drive all the way to Vero Beach as my father might have play in historic Dodgertown. of those teams were pennant contenders. (Yes, even the Expos, who made it to the National League Championship Series in 1981.) For baseball fans, there was no better place to be in March. For those young enough to wonder what could possibly be so exciting about exhibition games played in tiny, aging ballparks, a brief history lesson: There was once a time, in the not so distant past, when there was no ESPN; no cable chan nels of any kind, for that matter. Living in a city with no Major League team, all you got were two baseball broadcasts a week one on Saturday afternoon, the other on Monday night. Thats it. If you were a kid growing up in South Florida then, big-league ballplayers lived mainly inside your TV set. Except for spring, when they materialized in Field of Dreams only instead of trotting out onto My dad and I would almost always try to catch the Orioles and Yankees when the latter came to Miami. Both were laden with stars. The Yankees had Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, and, later, oles had Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray, joined in the spring of 1982 by a 21-yearold rookie named Cal Ripken, who people said was going to be pretty good. despite second billing, was the guy who made the Os go, spraying hits, stealing bases, and, inevitably, coming around to score. In spring training, Bumbry was forever smiling. Later, I learned hed been in Vietnam, seeing enough action to earn a Bronze Star. Maybe that explains his enthusiasm; nobody dies in baseball. Whatever the reason, his attitude was infectious. Buzzing with exuberance every spring, The Bee helped make March ballgames the sporting highlight of the year, at least for me. So youd think Id be psyched about getting out to some spring games this month. But Im not. It doesnt have to do with being older or not being as much of a baseball fan as I once was. I still love the sport. No, the problem is that so few teams come to South Florida for spring training now. Where once the majority of clubs played here, in the so-called Grapefruit League, now only about half do, with League for their spring training. The teams closest to us? The St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins, who share a facility in Jupiter, more than an hours drive away. Gone are the Orioles (Sarasota), Yankees (Tampa), Braves (Disney World), and Dodgers (all the way to The reason for the changes of address, not surprisingly, is economics. Beand Florida began bidding against each other for the privilege of hosting spring training, offering to build Major League teams spanking new ballparks, if only they would relocate. One of these was Homestead, which spent $20 million on a new stadium to lure the Cleveland Indians in 1993. Indians, not at all: The Tribe opted for a ten-year lease in Winter Haven, and currently spends the spring in Goodyear, rebuilt and has mostly sat empty, never becoming a spring training venue. Its a cautionary tale, or would be, if small cities cared to pay attention. Instead, theyre too busy trying to lure teams, or in some cases, collect them. Most recently, Fort Myers, which already hosts the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox (and where a bond issue million stadium for the Sox), has made overtures to the Nationals, who are looking to leave Viera, Florida. Millionaire owners looking for a handout? Cities desperate for big league status footing the bill for baseball stadiums? Thats not spring training. In Miami, we call that the regular season. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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Commentary: URBANIA By Christian Cipriani BT ContributorI work for Jewish Colombians. Some of my best friends are gay. I work under many talented women. Most of my friends speak Spanish. My neighbors are from all over the world. Here in Miami, our ability to gracefully cope with difference is the only reason my life exists as it does today. With these thoughts in mind, I reyears, a pope has chosen to resign, at a time when the Catholic Church is at its most embattled and religion in general causes more problems than ever. It fuels many of our worlds deepest woes and threatens life, culture, secular institutions, and human rights on a daily basis. Bertrand Russell once observed that, in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. Faith is the surest of all cocksure inarguable plane outside reason and evidence. When set alight, it becomes nuclear fuel in the engine of action. and cocksure has only worsened since Russell penned those words more than a century ago. Today almost anyone with an Internet connection outside of China has access to the largest collection of free information in history, but intellectualism and reason are still genuinely challenged by fanatical religiosity, from East to West. We know what this looks like in the East: radical Islam, suicide bombers, brutal executions, draconian laws, and the violent, humiliat ing oppression of women. In the U.S., Christian-based religious fanaticism remains fervent. Its deeply in bed with conservative politics, so that to be a true conservative today, you must have full faith in a party doctrine baked from a slew of wildly unrelated ingredients. Take two parts free-market economics and low taxes, pepper in prowar values and gun rights, add a dash of xenophobia, and top it off with skepticism toward climate change and evolution. Those last two positions are my machine manufactured these false contro versies over the past 25 years. Oil indus try-backed pseudoscience frames climate change as debatable, while conservative pundits spin it into a liberal, intellectual conspiracy to give the government control Unfortunately the worlds credible irreversibly screwing up the environ ment, which, oddly, doesnt seem to faze religious conservatives. If earth is a gift from God, one would assume they not a bunch of godless scientists would be the unbridled rape of its natural resources. The second controversy invented by religious conservatism is the false debate over evolution. What was once a fringe concept is now a full-blown movement affecting educational policy in the U.S. The non-science known as intelligent design thrust itself onto the world stage with the misleading slogan, Teach the controversy. Council of Europe calls creationism what [that] originates in forms of religious extremism which are closely allied to extreme right-wing political movements. Leaders from nearly every developed nation where creationism entered public discourse have rejected it, as well as the idea that a controversy exists. Every nation except one. In the year 2013, skepticism of Dar winian evolution is taught in a handful of efforts of people with absolutely no scien Pope Benedicts resignation comes at a time when religions continue to battle one another, and secular humanism is at war with religion itself. In the past, when ones life barely extended past the edge of town, churches were central to both city and spirit. They were places where the needy found help, the bewildered found answers, and where neighbors could rely on a level of tribalism to forge trusted relationships. Today, in countries where average people are no longer without resources, churches have come to mean less. In Scandinavian cultures, which rank among the worlds happiest, religion has become quite useless. In fact, across the world, theres an almost perfectly inverse relationship between the importance of religion and general prosperity (the U.S. being a rare exception). Churches, meanwhile, continue to cietal power structures, they are a threat to modern values, and the superhuman power of faith is anathema to reasoned existence, a position best expressed by the late Christopher Hitchens. His eviscerat ing prose stripped religion of its gilded robes and exposed it as a threat to peace, happiness, and human progress. Theres a reputed ancient Chinese curse that says, May you live in interesting times. I think we do. Im just thankful to exist in a time and place where humans can be valued not by the empty measure of belief, but by the objective weight of character and action. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Rethinking ReligionAs a pope resigns, a writer reects on church and faith

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Our Sponsors: M archARC H 201 3By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorRenewal, revitalization, replenishment, rebirth, rebuilding, restoration, rekindling, regeneration, and all those other words beginning March is indeed the month for REwords. Because once again, spring has REturned! The vernal equinox on March 20 signals that this is the season for starting anew. Certainly BT advertisers seem to think so. This months BizBuzz news is dominated by the idea of REnewing minds, bodies, spirits, homes, careers, neighborhood businesses. Out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for International Womens Day on March 20 (not This months sweetest inspiration comes from Felicia Hatcher, who turned a disastrous accident a full-face fall while chasing an ice cream truck in high heels into cold gold: Feverish Pops, popsicles REinvented for grown-ups. Featuring fresh fruits/herbs rather than ple basil, watermelon/ginger vodka, more), the treats were originally sold from carts non-rolling ones. But those in high heels may prefer the even more stationery Fever Pop Shop 305-482-1832), opened two months ago in the Shops at Midtown Miami. Whether youre a sewing maven or just a novice with a needle and DIY fashion dreams, youll rejoice at the RElocation of new advertiser R.M. Fabrics Boutique from a not sew convenient neighborhood west of I-95 to the hip heart of BT territory (901 NE 79th St., 305-687-0966). Restocked by proprietor Paule Belony: the astonishing variety of every-occasion fabrics (plus sewing accessories and notions) for which R.M. feet of space also leaves room for innovations, including a Saturday sewing instructional series, tentatively scheduled to start March 23. If youre a golfer, or shop for one, you wont want to miss the semi-annual tent sale at Palm Beach Golf (14791 Bis cayne Blvd., 305-949-7030), March 21-23, featuring great prices on clothing, shoes, the stores Miami location will have the sale inside, because its outdoor plaza is too small for a tent huge enough to hold all the sale items. With a REplenished wardrobe, youll need hair to match. Visit The Cutting Room (1666 79th Street Cswy., 305-8688725), a new advertiser that offers $30 haircuts for women plus frequent nicely ask partners (in work and life) Kevin and Francis Balboa about the No Flip Balboa Comb, invented at the shop and premiering at Fort Lauderdales I Beauty Show March 3-4. Inventor Kevin sez the ergonomic comb does sectioning, teasing, highlighting, and more in half the time of old school combs. Thinking of upgrading your career managing partner of Century 21 King Realty (3495 NE 163rd St., 305-6516161), the real estate market is REbounding, with prices going back up owing to international demand so much so that the company is now hiring new agents for its team of the best and brightest. So call if youre interested in movin on up to the longest-established Century 21 youre interested in a great new home). Godfrey Rd., 305-329-7718), the Nancy Batchelor Team has just announced a with the local luxury real estate market practically from birth, as a result of houses for fun. If you need to REjuvenate your existing home, new advertiser Antique 2 Chic 3477) has, in its new Wynwood boutique, so varied in era and style that they virtually escape categorization. Owners call their stock home couture. Expect items ranging from slip-covered sofas to spa candles to coffee-table books, and a 20% discount if you bring in this issues ad. The name of Modern Home 2 Go a dozen blocks north in the Design District (270 NE 39th St., 305-572-1222), makes it crystal clear what era of dcor buyers can expect. The surprise is the showrooms astonishingly affordable prices. This months new surprise is a justopened outdoor showroom, next door at 286 NE 39th St., with weather-appropriate lounging, bar, and dining sets thatll get your homes outside entertainment areas looking as striking as its insides. Spring also means less-than-fun spring cleaning time, traditionally a month on ones hands and knees with a scrub brush. It doesnt have to be that way. Call in the Grout Doctor (785-5225433, www.groutdoctor.com), who, since 1992, has been cleaning, sealing, staining, replacing, and otherwise REpairing www.AscotTeakMiami.com rfntb Continued on page 20BizBuzzSales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

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Our Sponsors: M archARC H 201 3could. Naturally, they do the same for the scuzzy tiles, too. See this issues ad for a 20% discount off any job. REpelling pests is not only not fun but not something you should try at home, kids, if the pests are iguanas. Wild adults bite big, scratch deep, devour landscape plants, and dig holes to access good nesting areas in the process destroying roofs, house foun dations, you name it. Who ya gonna call? Blue Iguana Pest Control (855525-5656). The company uses cunning barrier devices to make your yard about as iguana-friendly as an alligator (one of the lizards few Florida natural enemies), trapping only if the occasional lazy lizzy wont leave. Of Blue Iguanas many services, 95% are preventative. Keeping iguanas out of your home or car: good. Getting locked out of your home or car: not good. Call returning advertiser AAA Miami Locksmith full-service company also sells/installs safes, doors, and security hardware. With weather due to start warming up by Marchs end, youll want to make sure your pool is in shape for summer, and new advertiser Pinch-A-Penny Pool and Patio Spa (9071 Biscayne Blvd., 786-5183193) can do that for you. Theyll do a free water test (pH, dissolved solids, and more), advise you about how to keep your pool healthy, and provide all necessary pool chemicals and parts for REpairs. Fans of vintage hi-fi equipment know its virtually impossible to get it REpaired. So jot down the name and number of new advertiser Beta Elec tronics (669 NW 118th St., 305-6882664), a shop that has both the parts and the expertise to fix your old amps, speakers, even record players. Owner and one-man show Roy Wright was the subject of Gaspar Gonzlezs BT Elderly cars are often problematic, too, but one of our BT staffers swears that her geriatric, 16-year-old car (thats 120 years in people years) is still going strong solely thanks to new advertiser Munich Autohaus (12400 NE 13th Pl., 305-893-5958), where the specialty is BMW service and engine repairs. This month theyre offering a free 27-point vehicle check-up (no purchase required), and a $90 synthetic oil change. It goes without saying that kids whole lives can be REdirected for the better with the right learning experience. So parents, welcome William Jennings Bryan Elementary Museums Magnet School (1201 NE 125th St., 305-8910602), a new advertiser thats also an historic landmark. What the school wants readers to know is that pre-K through grade 5 students, especially out-ofboundary candidates in Miami Shores, Sans Souci, Keystone Point, Bal Harbour, and Bay Harbor Islands, will be accepted the term in an artistic environment that emphasizes exploration, invention, and inquiry through ongoing visits to museums and cultural institutions. Monsignor Edward Pace High School education and fun. Three top history Carlos Gonzalez) have recently been Legion Boys State program this summer, to learn how the government works. We hope they clue us in when they get back. Meanwhile, all can understand Legally Blonde, the Musical presented by Paces Drama Club and International Thespian 16, 17, and 18; visit www.pacehs.com for tix and further info. educational and cultural enrichment opportunities during March, too, including two workshops by health coach Diane Moura, owner of Atlantis Natural condo building (1717 N. Bayshore Dr., al chef Cindy Hill will give you the full rundown on essential oils, from history to health uses, and guide participants in creating their own blend. On March 9, from 1:00-5:00 p.m., Diane will lead a family-oriented yummy workshop on healthy cooking; included are a lecture, hands-on cooking demonstration, a tasting, and recipes to take home. For pre-registration (required): 305-379-2722 or www.atlantisnatural.com. Hey, art lovers. Its road-trip time, up to Scan Design s Hollywood showroom (4150 N. 28th Terr.) for the thoughtsixth annual Fall in Furniture Love art event, March 23 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The main exhibit features up-and-coming artists interpretations of what it means BizBuzzContinued from page 18 Recherchons agents immobiliers francophones expriments Now recruiting experienced RealtorsVisit our new Morningside storefront at 5781 Biscayne Boulevard Ios on the Bay 2Bedroom corner $465,000Architectural 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! Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Bay front studio with million-Dollar location $175,000Direct, unobstructed bay views from this remodeled 400 sq ft studio in the Venetia Condo, just minutes from South Beach via the Venetian Causeway. Located right next to the planned new complex of the Genting Group. Amazing upside potential!Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Little Havana Multifamily $649,000Recently 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 potentialMarie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539Little Haiti 8-unit multifamily building $550,000Completely renovated building close to red-hot Design District. All new electrical, plumbing, roof, central A/C, appliances, bathrooms, tiles and windows. 16 secured parking spaces. Great rental income and upside potential. 13% cap rate. Great for section-8 tenants.Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539 Midtown multifamily building $460,0005-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 RateMarie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539 UNDER CONTRACT Little Havanna Multifamily $750,000Recently renovated 13-unit building located few blocks from the exclusive Brickell Area, in Little Havana, steps from the new multi-million dollar Marlins Stadium! Cap rate 11.32%Marie-Charlotte Piro 305 495 6539 UNDER CONTRACT

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to fall in furniture love. We havent the vaguest idea, but it sounds fun, as do extras like live entertainment, gourmet food, and drinks. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. Info and RSVP: www. fallinfurniturelove.com. To celebrate Dade Heritage Days, new advertiser Downtown Miami Part nership and Dade Heritage Trust present an event even history haters have to love: a sort of progressive cocktail party that pairs a peek into Miamis architectural heritage with something Miamians already know and love: food and drink. Stops are at nine historic buildings, three of which are now restaurants/lounges; additional food and drink is provided, in part by the Miami Culinary Institute, at three other landmarks. For info and REeservations (required): 305-358-9572. about becoming writers), the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College will be presenting the Miami Writers Institute four days of intensive one-on-one manuscript consultations; lunchtime reads; and Pitch-O-Rama 2013! a one-minute pitch to a panel of industry pros. Register now at www. the Institute isnt till May 8-11, but workshop space is limited. On to literal enrichment, our favorite being the rich but cloud-light berry-stud B Sweet (20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453), a homeyfeeling mom-and-caf in what was once an actual home one of the Design Dis tricts rare residential apartment buildings. The very hidden location seemed destined to make this newly opened eatery one of those best-kept secret spots. But suf around regarding veteran pastry chef Tom Worhachs remarkable desserts that breakfast/lunch hours have already been extended: Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. REplenish yourself any weekday morning this month with one of David Cohens blue-plate breakfast specials, described in this issues ad for Bagels and Company (11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305892-2435). Just remember to schlep the BT along with you so David knows we sent you or preferably, if its a Friday (when our personal fave meal deal includes nova, eggs, and onions; a bagel; choice of home fries, grits, or oatmeal; OJ; and coffee or tea), remember to bring us along with you. We regret to remind you that after this month of renewal comes a day of youve been tackling your own tax forms the past few years because professional preparers are too expensive, check out Miami Financial Center (12573 Bis cayne Blvd., 786-329-9950). Itll seem wise to REprofessionalize after seeing the miraculously reasonable prices this new advertiser charges for taking the whole mess off your hands: $45 for students and singles with just one W-2; gling taxes of freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed people. (Note to non-Spanish speakers: Dont worry about that, either. Olga and Michael Fidlin, a Russian mom-and-team, speak charming English.) Frankly, just writing about taxes gives us the vapors. So its darned good timing to hear from Chris MacCleod, general manager at The Corner (1035 N. Miami warmest-looking, coolest-vibed late-night eating/drinking spot that the place just this month initiated beer and spirits of one particular monthly changing beer or liquor style, each of the four made by different brands and served together to compare and contrast. Marchs spirit style: Japanese whiskey. Marchs beer style: 12% alcohol (average beers are around 5%) Enjoy your certain attitude REadjustment. Finally, even if anticipation of next months tax crap has you down, anticipation of one unique new advertisers upcoming opening will surely raise your spirits: the Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill (165 NW 23rd St., 305-8469120). Owner Igor Nizniks very continental concept is to sell prime (yes, truly prime-grade) meats, custom-cut and trimmed as old-fashioned butcher shops used to, for customers to either take home or take to the indoor/outdoor comgrilling and dine-in enjoyment. The only ing: City of Miami permitting, pending since 2011. Isnt it fun to have an evil government villain this time of year that is not the IRS? Something special coming up at your busi ness? Send info to bizbuzz@biscaynetimes. com. For BT advertisers only.

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24 T O bbb A R r b O Y s R t R r A T Miami Herald Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 23 Continued on page 26

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N. MIAMI BEACH 3025 NE 163rd St 305.944.8080 HOLLYWOOD 4150 N 28th Terrace 954.874.3888 Designed by Mother Nature ART EVENT MARCH 23 6-9PM HOLLYWOOD SIXTH ANNUALEach Skagen table is as unique as the tree it came from. The slab top sits on a stainless steel base for a natural, modern aesthetic. Stocked in a variety of sizes: Dining 84" or 108"L Console 60" or 84"L Coffee Table 84"L End Table 23.5"SQ

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You deserve the best of both worlds. Especially if those worlds are refinement and access to care. NO. rfntb nffrn fr bfn bn frfrb Call 888.706.9061 for a private tour, or take a virtual tour at ViLiving.com/Aventura.fnn

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30 R r D b s p s Miami Herald Miami Herald Miami Herald Miami Herald C s r sp s p s r sp s R r R t A p M p r C p s b C ss A t N r r R p p s T D D E p s Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 28 Continued on page 32

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34 Shuler, it became clear that R b D p s s C r C r L s Wf s D AO D b s C rr s r Fb r r C s p s Is R E C s r sp s H A t r s p s A R A t s T D s L s s I s V A t M t C Fb R t Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 32 Continued on page 36

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WWW.LAPLAYA-PROPERTIES.COM La 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 $150,000 Spectacular 33rd floor at the exclusive 1800 club. Floor to ceiling glass with boundless bay and city views. Amenities include heated pool, spa, state of the art gym, sauna, steam room, valet plus 24 hour security. 1800 CLUB1800 N BAYSHORE DR # 3302, ART & DESIGN DISTRICT PH: 305.672.0773 FOR SALE $985,000PARAMOUNT BAY2020 N Bayshore Dr #1801 ART & DESIGN DISTRICTSpectacular direct views of the Miami Beach skyline, Atlantic ocean and Biscayne Bay from this luxurious cornered 2 bed / 2.5 bath. Spacious unit with many of upgrades. White marble and mahagony wood floorings throughout. FOR SALE $315,000Enormous 1 Bed+Den / 2 Bath with ocean views. Unit is renovated with new wood floors, modern kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances, wine cooler and more. Den is completely enclosed.IMPERIAL HOUSE5255 COLLINS AV # 11B MIAMI BEACHLinette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $139,900Art deco building in the heart of South Beach. This unit is completely remodeled with stainless steel appliances, walk-in closet and has ab open layout. It is just a walk away from the beach, restaurants and Lincoln Road.EUCLID820 EUCLID AV # 203 MIAMI BEACHLuis HoffmannRealtor Associate 305-962-6326 Cem Turk Realtor Associate 305-510-9512 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 FOR SALE $299,000Spacious 1 bed / 1 bath with spectacular view. Brand new building with a european kitchen, 9 ft ceilings and oversized balconies. Amenities incude theater room, lounge areas, 2 pools and his/hers spa. QUANTUM ON THE BAY1900 N BAYSHORE DR # 4308, ART & DESIGN DISTRICT THE SILVIA 225 27 ST # E MIAMI BEACHPatricia del CarpioRealtor Associate 954-684-7769Exclusive 2 bed / 2.5 bath condo one block from the ocean. This boutique building has stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wood floors, 9ft ceilings, and new eco friendly high impact windows. FOR SALE $539,000 Linette GuerraBroker 305-915-0148 Grand 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, A ART & DESIGN DISTRICTLuis DevotoRealtor Associate 305-992-4255 FOR SALE $250,000 FOR SALE $150 000 BISCAYNE 212121 N BAYSHORE DR # PH1420 ART & DESIGN DISTRICT Amazing 1 bed / 1.5 newly renovated Penthouse on 14th floor with beautiful bay views. Prime location, on the bay near the Venetian Causeway, between Design District and Performing Arts Center.Shonagh Adelman Realtor Associate 718-388-4948 FOR SALE $270,000FOR SALE $150,000

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36 p s H C s r s r R t C ss A T R A t s T AO I s C s r s p s p s A t r sp s rf rfn tbnt b bt t rntt rftr rfrf ntntbrfr ffntbfbnfff nffn rfrf ntntbrfr ffntbfbnfff nffn ntbbt ttb tbbt btbb nt tb bt bb nb nbb rfbrfntbfnb Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 34 Continued on page 38

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44 T T C C s Is E p s Wf s Fb r which he was rec that his check was //rf // ntbb TEATRO CINEMAin SIN SANGRETEATRO CINEMAin SIN SANGRE Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 42 Continued on page 46

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46 rtt s s s V A t s R b R r s Wf s R t R r s k D M t M s E C r C s T f Y s Wf ss A r b R r s Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Magic City MadhouseContinued from page 44

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48 Community News: BISCAYNE CORRIDORAll Aboard for the FutureThe Purple Line, a new urban installation, imagines what commuter-train travel in Miami could look like By Adam Schachner Special to the BTMiami waited almost 30 years for the Metrorail system to upgrade its destinations. This past July, county transit launched the Orange Line, and Miamis elevated train started rolling toward the future; the formerly two-dimensional county bisector now sports multiple routes. The Orange Line is a pragmatic addition to an aging line, branching off the standard railway for a quick jaunt to Miami International Airport. The program is direct and efficient, yet it represents the stunted prog ress that is characteristic of Miamis vision for growth. After all, the Orange Line is just one more stop on a limited line. Though useful and forward-thinking, the extra station is a baby step toward integrated transit reaching the expanse of Miamis neighborhoods and demographics. A majority of communities are still inaccessible by train. Commuters may have noticed some subtle changes. One particular aesthetic addition at each station: green and orange dots painted on the station benches. These spots are reminiscent of the markers for multiple transit lines at stations and hubs in transit-oriented cities. The dots are informative and attractive, but seem subdued when placed next to Metrorail maps detailing the two-directional route. Now imagine one more splash of color on the two-tone map: purple, as in Miamis Purple Line. The new station opens on Friday, March 8, in the Design District. A unique terminal will join Midtown and Buena Vista, and will offer the amenities and attractions of a proper central station. Food, vendors, and business space will provide commuters with services, while entertainment and commercial opportunities will keep the station lively. The space is not just a mode for movement; it is a gathering place. Music, galleries, educational workshops, and outlets for civic engagement will make the Purple Line station Miamis revolutionary transit hub. This innovation is has seen. Perhaps this is because Miami-Dade Transit has no actual Purple Line in the works. The experimental station is part commuter activism, part civic engagement, and part pop-up art experience, illustrat ing what many Miami commuters crave: a transit stop with a cosmopolitan feel. Go to your computer and Google the transit maps for train routes in major cities such as New York, Moscow, Tokyo, or Paris. All have railway cartography featuring multi-colored lines and circuits. These maps are as much informative commuter guides as modern art; theyd look beautiful framed and displayed in your living room. Miamis map, by comparison, shows a lonely line, running up and down the county like an afterthought. The Purple Line draws attention to the life our transit map lacks. On March 8 and 9, the Purple Line will convert the Design Districts Parking Lot 54, on NE 2nd Avenue under the I-195 overpass, from urban waste space into a Florida East Coast Railway terminal. The project is primarily supported by the Miami Foundation, and initially conceptualized by urban planning graduate students from Florida Atlantic University. Anna McMaster, a student Line as a civic experiment and educational exhibit in which people can tangibly experience, touch, and interact with an improved public space. Among the at tractions provided by this installation is a chance to imagine Miamis potential. A festive atmosphere will bring together a cross-section of Miamis creative thinkers. On one end of the station, the communityengagement network Catalyst Miami hosts a think tank they have dubbed a civic innovation hub. This will include Lot 54 Imagine(d), an art installation and lecture series on growth and progress in a city eager to develop. Walk across the terminal and you will encounter students from the Miami Arts Charter School creating transit-themed artwork and poetry. An exhibit from Wynwoods Brisky Gal lery will maintain the spirit of revi into usable art displays. Meanwhile, the Purple Line will be temporarily added to the City of Miami trolley services monthly art-walk route, delivering people throughout downtown, Wynwood, and the Design District at no cost. The idea for a pop-up transit stop evolved to demonstrate ways to improve Miamis underutilized urban areas. The Purple Line envisions a sample city space as the Grand Central Terminal that Miami is missing. The concept is inspiration in action, according to Marta Viciedo, the visionary who brought together various local groups and businesses to develop the Purple Line. You bring people, life, and light, according to her overview, to transform the space with a very small investment. It doesnt require a lot of money, just effort among people working together. McMaster have collaborated to reimagine a cityscape. In June 2012, the two helped conceptualize Better Block Fort Lauderdale. This project closed down a warehouse street in Flagler Arts Village and improved the landscape by adding handcrafted bus benches, galleries, artisan vendors, and even garden space. A mundane storage district became an epicenter of urban renewal. Meanwhile, Viciedo and McMaster had their eyes set on Miami. They approached Emerge Miami, a community group that creates social ties among activists. Using this network to brainstorm potential blocks for revitalization, Continued on page 52Courtesy of Demo Graphics

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By Erik Bojnansky BT Senior WriterFor 16 years Miamis Upper Eastside neighborhoods have been represented by one city commissioner. Now that may change. The Miami City Commission will soon be redrawing the boundaries of Magic City. Among the proposals made in a 105-page report prepared by consultant Miguel De Grandy is removing Shorecrest, Palm Grove, and the western half of the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District from District 2 transferring the neighborhoods to District 5. The main reason for this is simple: commission districts be roughly equal in population. District 2, where the Upper Eastside is located, has too many people. Neighboring District 5, which includes the impoverished neighborhoods of Overtown, Liberty City, and Little Haiti, has too few. But Upper Eastside activists say they dont want to be divided. Instead theyre demanding that the entire area either remain in District 2 or be incorporated into District 5. We are a united in solidarity as community of interest, says Ken Jett, president of the Shorecrest Homeowners Association, and we want to stay together. Dozens of speakers of various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds said the same thing during a workshop held on February 21 at Legion Memorial Parks community center, attended by more than 100 Upper Eastside residents. Their primary concern is that a divided Upper Eastside, a string of communities strad dling Biscayne Boulevard from 36th to 87th streets between Biscayne Bay and NE Fourth Court, will have a much weaker voice in either District 2 or District 5. Its hard enough to have meetings with one commissioner, but two commissioners? says Louis Bourdeau, president of the Bayside Residents Association. I think that creates a lot of problems and, as an Upper Eastsider, I think we have to be in one district or the other. But the wishes of the Upper Eastside community dont necessarily conform to the desires of Miami city commissiondistricts borders in time for a potentially contentious city election on November 5. The election will likely include a showdown between Mayor Toms Regalado, who is running for a second term, and his challenger, Commissioner Francis Suarez. District 5 Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is also running for re-election, unless shes barred from cal adversary, Rev. Richard Dunn, who claims shes already been term-limited. Further complicating matters, SpenceJones is suing the mayor, alleging that her arrest for corruption in 2009 was part of a plot orchestrated by Regalado and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to force her from see Magic City Madhouse, page 22.) The future shape of District 5 will for re-election, should she be allowed to run, says Sean Foreman, assistant professor of political science at Barry University. Her district is safer the way its drawn now, he says. But District 5, which now has a 75-percent black majority, cant remain in its current form. Thats because District 5 has 16 percent fewer people than Miamis other four districts. But District 2 an area that encompasses Miamis most prosperous neighborhoods, including Coconut Grove, Midtown Miami, Edgewater, Brickell, the Upper Eastside, a portion of the Venetian Islands, and parts of downtown has 20 percent more people than the other districts. To achieve a balance, District 2 needs to shed about 16,500 people while District 5 must gain at least 12,800 residents. That imbalance could be solved by simply placing the entire Upper Eastside and its 12,860 inhabitants inside District 5. But that would dilute the districts Power in NumbersA plan to politically divide Miamis Upper Eastside has united residents in opposition Continued on page 50 Maps by Marcy Mock

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black super majority, De Grandy says. The Shorecrest area north of 79th Street and Palm Grove west of Biscayne Bouexplains De Grandy, but the demographics are remarkably different more on the eastern side of Biscayne Boulevard. The number of African Americans lowers dramatically. For most of Miamis 116-year existence, members of the city commission were elect ed by the municipalitys entire population. But in 1997, after a controversial Hispanic politician, Humberto Hernandez, won a commission seat that traditionally had been reserved for the black community, a votingAs a result, the city created a new system in which commissioners were while an executive mayor with the power to veto legislation and hire and approval) was elected at-large. Under were designed to have large Hispanic majorities, District 5 would represent the black communities, and District 2 was created as an Anglo stronghold. Technically, racial gerrymandering is prohibited by federal law, but so is intentional dilution of minority communities. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Miamis black population had shrunk to just 17 percent of the citys total. Hispanics, on the other hand, made up 70 percent. In his report, De Grandy points out that Hispanics tend to reject the preferred candidates of black voters. Statistical models indicate that in the 2010 general election, [U.S. Senate candidate] Kendrick Meek received nearly zero percent of the Hispanic vote while garnering nearly 100 percent of the black vote [in Miami], he writes. Miamis black voters, according to De Grandys report, also cast 100 percent of their votes for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, for Dan Gelber for state attorney general in 2010, and for Alex Sink for governor in 2010. In contrast, only 33 percent of Mi amis Hispanics voted for Obama in 2008 and 54 percent in 2012, 25 percent voted for Sink, and 22 percent voted for Gelber. De Grandy declined to include recent local races in his report, owing to low voter turnout in the black community. However, Foreman is sure that without a black-majority district, there wont be a black commissioner at city hall. Its pretty common in all levels of politics for people to vote for someone who looks like them, Foreman tells the BT But Ken Jett of Shorecrest estimates that even after absorbing the entire Upper Eastside (which is 38-percent Hispanic, 30-percent black, and 28-percent Anglo), District 5 will still have a 67-percent black majority. Adds Eileen Bottari, a Palm Grove tion of a majority has always been that, during an election, a majority is 50 percent plus 1. Why does District 5 need 70 percent? That sentiment was expressed more pointedly at a community meeting on February 12, when several Upper Eastside residents speculated that Spence-Jones wouldnt want the entire Upper Eastside because its residents might vote Spence-Jones didnt return phone calls seeking comment for this story, but last month she said that placing the Upper Eastside in District 5 creates a scenario that allows for another group to not have a voice. Cornelius Shiver, Spence-Joness chief-of-staff, insists his boss is keeping an open mind: The District 5 commissioner has some interests in [ensuring] that the Haitian and African-American community is represented on the city commission, which goes without saying. But well let the experts and consultants come back and well see how the numbers play out. Robert Malone, president of the Hadley Park Homeowners Association in Liberty City, thinks that the Upper East side will be a welcome addition to District 5. Theyre well informed and theyre aggressive in terms of politics and I think we need that, says Malone, who ran for District 5 commissioner in 2009. We have some knuckleheads who continue to not do right by the community. Deidria Davis, an Overtown resident and member of the citys Community Relations Board, is skeptical that the pre dominately middle-class Upper Eastside its going to help the community, she says. But what if the Upper Eastside re mains in District 2? De Grandy says hell District 5. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald Spence-Jones said if the Upper Eastside wanted to stay together, Continued on page 52 Honoring St. Martha Yamaha Concert Series Founder Father Federico CapdepnSATURDAY, APRIL 6, 8PMShelly Berg, Carmen Bradford, Tierney Sutton perform the jazz vespers Convergence that combines elements of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism, that the Dalai Lama commissioned, Shelly composed, and all three performed at its world premiere in Los Angeles. Plus a new work by Shelly based on Thomas Cahills writings (How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Gifts of the Jews ). Dont miss Shelly playing and Carmen and Tierney singing their favorite works, and other surprises! This one-time-only incredible night finished with candlelight, champagne and special desserts with the artists in the Atrium will help keep our ticket prices low, our popcorn free, and our school programs thriving. Donations $50 and $100. Or gather with friends for a reserved 10-seat sponsor's pew! Honoring series founder Father Federico Capdepn, the evening will include the dedication of pages from a Holocaust-surviving Torah and a 13th Century French pocket Bible, with matching passages of the Deuteronomy Ten Commandments.St. Martha in the Shores 9301 Biscayne Blvd. Miami Shores, FL 33138 RESERVATIONS OR DONATIONS: CHURCH OFFICE, OR VISIT SAINTMARTHA.TIX.COM OR CALL 1-800-595-4849. QUESTIONS? CALL 305-751-0005 OR 305-458-0111 Friend us on Facebook! Saint Martha Concerts Power in NumbersContinued from page 49

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pick up people for me. The only place I could think of would be Midtown. Bottari says she asked Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, a Coconut Grove resident and the current representative of District 2, if hed be willing to give up Midtown Miami in order to keep the entire Upper Eastside. Reports Bottari: He said, no. (Sarnoff did not return calls from the BT .) Foreman believes theres a certain amount of prestige that comes with having prosperous areas such as Midtown Miami in your district. The larger your pears to be on the commission, he says. Some Upper Eastside residents have long felt neglected by District 2, an area that has been represented by a Coconut Grove resident since 1997. There is a sentiment among some Upper Eastsiders that were the ugly stepchild here, Jett says. That we are the have-nots when it comes to District 2, that we are too far removed geographically and economically from Coconut Grove, that its easy to be lost. recrest is willing to work with the commissioner of either district, just as long as the entire Upper Eastside is included in it. I think politically, economically, and culturally well be harmed if were split up, Jett says. Ironically, one of the directives to De Grandy was that, whenever possible, the districts should keep neighborhoods and communities of interest intact. Several Upper Eastside activists also complained to the city commission last workshops held last year. (The meetings on District 1 and District 2, held at city hall, drew no residents.) De Grandy maintains that federal law doesnt require public hearings on redistricting. Still, commissioners decided at their February 14 meeting to hold two more workshops on redistricting, the center. A second workshop will be held at city hall in Coconut Grove on March 4 at 6:30 p.m. Thereafter, the Miami City Commission will take up redistricting on March 14. De Grandy hopes that by mid-April the city will have a plan ready for the Miami-Dade Elections Department. So far the commission hasnt ordered De Grandy to prepare an alternative to the plan he already developed, which splits the Upper Eastside. However, Ken Jett is hope ful that De Grandy and city commissioners will reconsider. If not, he says, legal action is a possibility. Were not taking any op tions off the table, he says. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Power in NumbersContinued from page 50 Purple LineContinued from page 48 Viciedo noticed a pattern in their discussions: Every spot we came up with was right next to the train line. It was serendipitous; everything that spoke to us was by a railway. From that observation, all other components took to the tracks. Conceptu alizing a transit future evolved into an op portunity to show Miamians an alternative to the car. The Purple Line aims to make that alternative into a tangible destination. In Viciedos estimation, Miamis current transit stops lack the liveliness of commuter hubs. She notes that the primary connection the Metrorail and Metrobus make with people is emo tions of frustration. What we want to do with the Purple Line is create comfort and inspire connectivity with people and community, and provide services that facilitate access to commerce, food, entertainment, and simple things, like a cup of coffee. There is something that provides a homey connection. The Purple Line represents large ambitions. Given the organizational effort and diverse participants, the experiment provokes Miami commut roadway conditions that we are willing to continue overlooking a convenient mass-transit alternative? Viciedo challenges this complacency, suggesting that living in a city where you are forced to have a car limits true freedom. When the Purple Line opens for business, it will offer more than an experimental train station. It will be a vision for Miamis transit future, as long as commuters are willing to do more than simply imagine it. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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54 Neighborhood Correspondents: AVENTUR aA Sex and the City CenterYou want adult entertainment? Try the Shoppes at the Waterways By Jay Beskin BT ContributorLong before the loquacious former Congressman Barney Frank cial reform, he was known for something else. As a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Frank sought was not successful. to the Constitution prohibits municipaliin plain sight of everyone who lives or visits our city. be known as Town Center Aventura. Cur the unpleasant matters that occasionally city. At least one council member was in favor of it on the theory that it saves jobs The Aventura City Commission Bank tellers go topless, a lot of banking school of urban planning, which empha BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith 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.

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daytime, evening, and weekend activity centers incorporating a mix of lowand medium-scale uses and amenities, the commission, working with the then-owner of the mall, Prudential Insurance Company, rezoned the mall to provide for mixed-use The redevelopment commenced, and the construction of the Venture condominium building and some rebuilding of the mall itself on the southeastern corner, the economy collapsed, and the vision sociates purchased Loehmanns Fashion Island from Prudential, and now, pre sumably, Turnberry will try to create a Turnberrys website states that the revitalized center will have a new architectural design, lush landscaping and enhanced streetscapes, a gazebo for afternoon and evening events and improved pedestrian branded restaurants and retailers, includ This is all out of the mixed-use playbook and has become pretty standard For, in certain respects, this appears to be merely another attempt to rejigger a mall that has proven immune to numer ous attempts at revitalization through the look across town, at the Shoppes at the The Shoppes were intended as an amenity for the residents of the condo miniums and town homes surrounding can gain access to the Shoppes by a the development has undistinguished architecture, it does feature two large restaurant spaces fronting the marina, lots of outdoor tables and seating, a clock tower, a faux lighthouse, and a gazebo in the waterway, connected to the center by has been used for adult entertainment of The Shoppes evolved organically, the Shoppes housed a coffee shop and an Unicorn market and restaurant, one of the The Unicorn was a unique purveyor, attracting customers from all over northeast Dade, especially the younger types who worked out, or pretended to, at the intermingling with Waterways residents, would linger a while to enjoy the marina view and perhaps a coffee or an ice restaurant have closed, crowds continue to enliven the Shoppes both day and night, despite the absence of any nationally kosher market Sarahs Tent took the place of the Unicorn, and four kosher restaurants for young Jewish singles called Space, and regular outdoor entertainment by an Israeli performer, have begot an ethnic enclave of sorts, a place where people of similar cultural and religious identity gather, kibitz, The local merchants, without the ies, keenly understand the needs and do, the Shoppes at the Waterways curIntuitively, this is a puzzling phe nomenon, for the Shoppes do not possess cluding the two restaurants on the marina, bleak, marked by little landscaping, light poles that dont work, and knocked-down Waterways opines that the bridge to the with all its national brands, fails to take off, future developers might look to the Shoppes for a blueprint for success: Go entertainment right in its front yard? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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56 Neighborhood Correspondents: NORTH MIAMIThe Goal Is SleepAs the annual Haiti Cup soccer tournament approaches, residents of Biscayne Landing prepare for some very late, very noisy nights By Mark Sell BT ContributorRuth Torres of the Oaks Towers in Biscayne Landing wants you to know that she does, indeed, like to get down and groove to Haitian music. The human resources consultant, teacher, and single mom of school-age kids also wants to inform you and the North Miami City Council that she does not like it blasting from the North Miami Athletic Stadium across NE 151st Street at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. on Sunday nights, when kids and parents need rest for school. But, right now, thats the plan for the 13th annual Haiti Cup soccer tournament and concert, on 11 consecutive Sunday nights, from March 10 till May 19. So Ms. Torres went before the council on February 12 to ask it to dial back the noise and shut off the speakers at 10:00 p.m., rather than 11:00 p.m., as other cities do, and as North Miamis very own noise ordinance dictates. Last year she got 142 signatures from her fellow Biscayne Landing neighbors protesting the noise. Ms. Torres came to the council meeting well prepared with evidence and research gathered from other cities, all of which had rejected requests to hold a similar concert at similar hours. From the North Miami council, however, she got this answer: Tough cookies. (Disclosure: Im one of Ms. Torress neighbors. I have a daughter who goes to a magnet high school 17 miles away. We set the alarm for 5:30 a.m. and would have signed Ms. Torress petition, too, had we known about it. And, like Ms. Torres, we enjoy Haitian music.) Scott Galvin, who was the only council member who supported Ms. Torress request, tried and failed even to get a second to the motion to table the discussion for the next meeting, on February 26. He was seeking to moderate noise levels for all events, including city-sponsored ones. Instead, Galvin and fellow council members got into a shouting match and Mayor Andre Pierre said the proposal was singling out a group. (The city already singles itself out as a special group by granting itself the noise ordinance exception, the very loophole Galvin was trying to close.) Galvin, visibly upset, strongly protested he was not singling anyone out. BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith

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Not wanting to be left out, Councilwoman Marie Steril dove in, saying, Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (thats a quote), while banging repeatedly with a gavel. Ms. Torres walked away incensed, declaring, Ill sue the city. And so, starting March 10, Biscayne Landing residents and others for a good mile around will have to endure the groove until 11:00 p.m., while the Haiti Cup packs between 2000 and 4500 people into the 10-acre facility for 11 straight Sunday nights. Pay 10 bucks and you can catch some spirited soccer and some of the best Haitian bands around. Its a good bet youll also score some tasty goat roti from a friendly vendor, something that just doesnt happen in those franchiseladen, antiseptic communities to the north, like West Boca or Abacoa in Jupiter. Its a big part of why we love North Miami. But, still This year 16 teams of Haitian-Americans, representing different Haitian cities, will play round-robin soccer tournaments, starting at 4:00 p.m. The music will crank up around 9:30, and reverberate across Biscayne Bay, so that residents of Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, and southern Sunny Isles Beach will be able to hear it. nearby residents take a Sunday afternoon nap. And, if youre driving out of Biscayne Landing that afternoon, be patient after 4:00 p.m. Thats when a with two bands playing that night, rather than the usual one. In fairness, you cant really blame the organizer or company sponsor. For 13 straight years, promoter Patrick LeFebre has always done the right thing, building the annual event into a smashing success. Hes a good guy who has played by the rules, paid his fees, worked hard, and hustled to get city cooperation. He has received valuable backing from Madame Gougousse Foods, Miami wholesalers aged foods such as jasmine-scented rice. (You can check out the Kreyol commercials on YouTube. Madame Gougousse is a big name in the Caribbean.) We will do our best to shut down at 10:30, LeFebre says. Well just do one band on Sunday, rather than two bands, big part of what we do. Thats what helps the event grow. We dont want to hurt anyone. We want everyone to have a good time. This year, LeFebre has secured bands venerated in the Haitian-American community, including T-Vice,   Ga bel, Disip, and Carimi. All well and good, but a question remains: Is it time to move the Haiti Cup soccer tournament to another venue in 2014? Over the past couple of years, lots of people have moved into the 300-plus Biscayne Landing units right next door to the event site. Today Biscayne Landing is bustling with families, attracted by its proximity and easy walking distance to David Lawrence Jr. K-8 (already surging way past capacity), Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School, and Florida International Universitys Biscayne Bay Campus, less than a mile down the road. And thousands more people will be Oleta Partners embarks on the biggest development project ever to hit North Miami. (See my previous column, Let the Boom Begin, in Januarys BT .) Ruth Torres, in all her digging, came up with a possible alternate site for the Haiti Cup in 2014: Ives Estates Park, a 95-acre county facility just west of I-95, off Ives Dairy Road. Oops, just got this bulletin. Councilman Michael Blynn, who conspicuously would not even second Scott Galvins motion to defer while his District 2 opponents in the May 14 City of North Miami election, Carol Keys and Joseph Haber, looked on placed the subject back on the city council agenda for February 26. (Hopefully, concerned residents made their voices heard there.) Beyond that, I invite city council members and staff to join me and other constituents at my apartment on a Haiti Cup Sunday of their choosing I suggest May 19 and groove to the music through hurricane-resistant doors and windows. Ill lay out the wine and cheese. The catch: All guests must set their alarms for 5:30 a.m. the next day. No cheating. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com classicalsouthorida.orgClassical Music. Its In Our Nature.Just like all of us, classical music lives and breathes. Make it part of your lifestyle. Tune to Classical South Florida on the radio or online. Its in your nature.

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58 Neighborhood Correspondents: MIA mM I S HORE sS Close EE ncounters of the Sho res KindA busload of young perverts, dinner with an enterprising stranger, and a kidney infection make for one interesting monthBy Jen Karetnick BT ContributorEvery February, during the week of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, three things happen: I turn a year older, my parents come down from Jersey to visit, and I get sick. One time it was a kidney infection. So its my husband who winds up meeting Giada De Laurentiis at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, or communing with neighbor-chefs Douglas Rodriguez, Andrea Curto-Randazzo, and Dewey LoSasso (all Shores dwellers) at events like Swine and Wine, while I suck down cranberry juice, lemonade, and antibiotics. But thats okay. Ive had plenty of interesting encounters myself, right couple of weeks ago, when I was picking my son up from piano lessons at Miss Janes Music Studio. I was on the phone with my mom, planning her visit, when a yellow school bus crammed with teenagers stopped at the light on NE 2nd Avenue and 96th Street. Several of the students, hanging out the bus windows, told me how much they admired blonde women, and what theyd like to do to me very loudly, and in very graphic terms. I know I should have kept silent. But this particular incident happened a few and on the very same day that I had experienced something similar while stopping in at the new Biscayne Diner. Biscayne Diner takes the place of Revales, a rather expensive Italian restaurant, which had a beer-and-wine with a lease, and this was one of those extremely rare days when both my husband and I had the same hour free, so we wanted to meet for a drink. I parked my car in the small lot and exited to wolf whistles from a passerby into the restaurant felt like the Walk of Shame: I was hollered at, honked at, and leeringly assessed by enough men that I looked around to see if I was actually passing a construction site. Im not easily embarrassed, and maybe I should be secretly delighted that a 45-year-old woman can still get so much attention. But for a short stroll, work, this was a bit much. 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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So later that day, when the kids started in on me, too, I yelled back: Hey, Im on the phone with my mother Show some respect! I had thought that being brave enough to address the drooling, tonguewagging teens and mentioning the word mother to them might calm them down. It had the opposite effect. Even more kids started yelling about the ways they could sexually molest me, and how they could do the same to my mother. If there were any adults on that school bus other than the driver, who was slouched down in his seat, I couldnt tell. Certainly no one stopped the students from harassing me, though by law there needs to be one adult present for every ten kids. But I couldnt locate any source of help or blame, for that matter. Miss Jane and my son heard the melee from several storefronts away. accident. But when I described what happened, Remy shed some light on the situation. I saw a bus at Miami Country Day when I was leaving school. It had the North Miami base ball team in it. I cant prove that the bus contained the North Miami High School baseball team, but the pieces fall into place well enough to suggest it could have been them. No matter who it was, in the end, its one of the reasons why I still personally escort my 12-year-old to and from his music lessons, which are past nightfall. Even in the heart of our sleepy little village, offense and aggression occur. And when next to nobody is on the street to help you should something happen, it pays to be safe. Incidentally, Biscayne Diner didnt have wine to serve. But the staff said it would soon, along with takeout menus. So Jon and I went, as per usual, to Pizza Fiore for a glass and a slice. Of course, not every stumble upon in Miami Shores is offensive. On another one of those wine-seeking nights, Jon and I sat down at an out door table at the Shoress little French hideaway, Cte Gourmet. I try to fre quent the restaurant as much as I can possibly frequent anything, if only to show my appreciation for the fact that its still here. lunch business, the place is frequently empty at night. So lone diners sitting next to you while sipping Cabernet and snacking on chicken livers dont go unnoticed; you tend to strike up conversations. After all, the guy is no doubt your neighbor, right? Only locals know about this caf. On this night, though, the gentleman in question, Cortland Joyce, was from South Miami. He was in the area for meetings with Whole Foods and other markets concerning Pop Nature, his gourmet popsicle line, which is inspired by Mexican paletas and uses only natural, gluten-free ingredients. Naturally, this produced a bit of conversation about where he sources his mangos for the balalways looking to give away our mangos.) I didnt tell him I write about food surprised to run into me again at RA Sushi in South Miami, where I was making an appearance on behalf of MIAMI Magazine for the Foodies Show Heart event. I had designed a sushi roll and cooked) and avocado, as part of a competition between local epicures. The contestant whose roll received the most votes had money donated to the charity of their choice. Even with new friend Joyces nod, and some assistance from others, my roll didnt win. But it looks like Joyce is going to. He has been placing his popsicles in venues ranging from Books and Books in Coral Gables to the Standard Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach. Tent in Aventura; the popsicles are certibourbon blackberry in our very own nearby Whole Foods. And thats the real surprise: The by history, no doubt thats where the strangest culinary-themed encounters of all will occur. But until then, I have my used-to-be-brunette hair, and my mother, to provide an entire baseball team with more than enough entertainment. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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60 Neighborhood Correspondents: BELLE MEADEPigskin PoliticsIs a proposal to publicly fund improvements at Sun Life Stadium out of bounds, or a winning call?By Frank Rollason BT ContributorWell, here we are, discussing public funding for a private stadium venture one more time. As Yogi Berra would say, Its dj vu all over, again. The usual band of thieves, er, I mean lobbyists I apologize if thieves were offended are out in force working every angle to make it happen and earn their crumbs from the public trough. But then, thats what lobbyists do, and its power on them. Why? Because lobbyists, through their connections, help fund continue serving the public. And then there are the usual suspects who come to us, the public, as our protectors, offering to slay the corporate giant, or at least cut off the public source of sustenance that keeps the beast alive. Threats of opposition, even recall, from auto magnate Norman Braman should not be ignored by those who wish to continue to serve till death do us part. Oh, what to do, what to do? The lonely world of the politician, whose perpetuity, continuing to serve the But enough of this diatribe. Lets talk about the stadium deal. First, there is no deal currently being presented. The owner of the Miami Dolphins, billionaire Stephen Ross, simply has his hand out for $200 million of taxpayer money to help improve Joe Robbie Stadium it will always be Joe Robbie to me, because Mr. Robbie had the integrity to build it with his own money so that we can compete (merely compete mind you) for the 2016 Super Bowl. I marvel at how fast positions seem to be taken before there is any proposal on the table. I mean, sure, we know that Ross wants $200 million and we know that if it were not for him making this request for our dollars, we would not even be discussing this issue. So its really about our dollars rfr ntbr nrnrfntbnrrr nrntrrr rnttr nnrntrnrff rfrrf rffrf rfnrbrrnnfrffn nrffrrfn rrfr nrftROBBIE BELL rfntbfffffn ffn Exclusive Afliate of Saint Martha Yamaha2012-2013 Concert SeriesPaul Posnak, Founding Artistic Director The internationally renowned CHAMBER ORCHESTRA KREMLIN with Misha Rachlevsky, Music Director, begins its United States tour at Saint Martha. Works include Sir Edward Elgars Serenade in E Minor, Dmitri Shostakovichs Chamber Symphony, J.S. Bachs Contrapunctus, from The Art of the Fugue, and Antonin Dvoraks Serenade for Strings. Plus, in an international tour de force, the Orchestra plays Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue, featuring Piano Soloist Paul Posnak with Ronnie Toca, clarinet. March 17, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.CHAMBER ORCHESTRA KREMLINMisha Rachlevsky, Music Director TO PURCHASE TICKETS visit www.stmartha.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849 or 305-751-0005 or purchase at church office or at door.Meet the artists at our after-concert reception in the Atrium, included with your tickets.

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being used in a way that some view as inappropriate and some view as smart economically for the growth and bet terment of our community. Keep in mind that Ross has pledged to privately fund half the proposed $400 million renovation, an element sorely lacking from the Marlins lop sided deal. (Half of the private funds could come from the National Football League itself.) For this investment, the stadium will receive a canopy to protect fans from the elements, more comfortable seating, a larger HD screens, HD sports lighting, updated kitchens, and modern escalators and elevators. The pro-funding group points out Miami-Dade residents will not be affected because the improvements will be funded by a bed tax money that is generated by tourists, not by residents. While this may be true, those are still tax dollars in the system. The idea being proffered is to raise the bed tax a smidgen (smidgens are hardly ever noticed) so the rest of the already earmarked bed tax wont be affected. While this may work in theory, I havent heard that the proposed increase will be eliminated once the $200 million mark is reached; perhaps no one would notice and the visitors and tourists would never be the wiser and that would add a few more dollars to the pot for whatever the next project might be. All that said, $200 million is still $200 million. (We are reminded of the late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen, who reportedly once remarked, A million here and a million there and, pretty soon, were talking about real money.) I recently heard of a novel idea for a public-input campaign that asks one simple question: What project would you propose for the sum of $200 million of public money? Not sure if this idea got any traction, but it does cause you to ponder what good could be done if $200 million were dropped in your lap and you had say over where it went. I would dare say, giving it to a billionaire to improve his private enterprise would probably be way down on the list, if it made the list at all. I think this is part of the publics problem with this proposal, or at least our perception of this proposal. Many are assuming that it will be similar to the may be a little different. And thats why Im holding off judgment until all the cards are on the table. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has stated that if he cannot negotiate a package that is favorable to county residents, he will not support the funding, or even bring the proposal to the full commission. At this point we have no way of knowing what he may or may not be able to wrangle out of Ross, but I am willing to wait and see what the options may be before I support or oppose the funding. Perhaps he may be able to have the county become a silent partner in the skyboxes, concessions, and parking forever and ever. (Amen.) Wouldnt that make a difference, if the county were to have a steady revenue stream, even after the initial $200 million were paid back? We, the residents of the county, could well end up receiving money, instead of taking a loss. The one thing I wouldnt like to see happen is for the county to be involved in the actual operation of the stadium. That would probably be a disaster. I would leave that to Ross and his team. Let the county just sit back and rake in our share. Gimenez is already putting pressure on the NFL to commit to South Florida as a Super Bowl site before is struck. As for Braman, Im somewhat puzzled with his apparent opposition to this proposal, when Gimenez is insisting on a public referendum before the funding is approved. I recall that, on the Marlins deal, Bramans position was that if a public vote were held and the public approved the Marlins funding, he would drop his opposition. This time, however, he appears to be in opposition even if the public speaks. So I say its just too early to take a position. Lets see what the mayor can do and then vote the proposal up or down. Thats how democracy is supposed to work, is it not? Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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62 Culture: THE ARTSNot Kidding AroundA new documentary introduces us to Tomi Ungerer, who took childrens literature to some very strange placesBy Anne Tschida BT Arts EditorFar out isnt far enough, says illustrator and author Tomi Ungerer, in an accent that rings with both German and French un dertones. It means that no matter how far your thinking, or your actions, or your reactions no matter how far it is it still is not far enough. Because one challenge, if it is worthy at all, has to be followed by a greater challenge. The now 82-year-old proclaims this at the end of a documentary titled, yes, Far Out Isnt Far Enough about his fascinating, outrageous, pro found life, showing at the Miami International Film Festival this month. To say that Ungerer is a far-out character is an understatement, which is what intrigued the Miami-based enough to bring his life to the big screen. So who is Tomi Ungerer? Phaidon Press Limited, which began reissuing his books several years ago, described him to the New York Times as the most famous childrens book author you have never heard of. The reason for that, along with the reason the books have not been seen in English-language print for decades, is the basis of the tale, beautifully told through interviews with the author and other pioneering illustrators, such as Maurice Sendak and Jules Feiffer, and with images of his work, which are animated throughout the documentary. In fact it was the 2008 New York Times article that caught the eye of Bernstein, a New York native whose media company, Corner of the Cave, is now based in Midtown Miami. Seeing the headline Watch the Children, That Subversive Is Back, Bernstein says, I thought, who is Ungerer at his birth home in Strasbourg, France, where, over numerous bottles of wine, a documentary was born. Far Out the Toronto International Film Festival in for the screening and, says Bernstein with a laugh, took advantage of the Q&A session to show the audience what a strange character he really is. In short, Ungerer is a tortured genius with a wicked sense of humor and an pressing boundaries, but as we see in the Born on the cusp of World War II in the border region of Alsace that straddles France and Germany, Ungerer tells us that fear and death were always close, but something he had to embrace to move on. At age three he was already doodling, and by the time the Germans invaded, he was documenting his battle-ravaged home in illustrations, early works that his mother would keep, These years clearly shaped his future outlook, which is why they play such a petual fear, where small children were exposed constantly to the extremes and injustices of life. Postwar Europe proved no better for Ungerer and, in 1956, he took off for New York City. This world was also in transi tion, but in a more creative way; the city was attracting artists, writers, and musi culture. Ungerer was one of them. shows a collage of Ungerers il lustrations, some of them funny and some of them disturbingly violent, and violently sexual. I am a selftaught, raving maniac, says Where the Wild Things Are author Sendak, in one of the last interviews he gave as Tomi. And not as great as Tomi. Sendak tells us that, even for an unrestrained city like New York, Ungerers antics sometimes went too far, a habit which would color his reputation forever. childrens author was Crictor about the adventures of a cuddly green snake but still, a snake. Another was Three Robbers which features three black-clad, axe-wielding men, who are eventually redeemed by an orphan girl. Ungerer thought that childrens books needed some darkness. As he the good without knowing the bad? Its something that his friend Sendak agrees with, explaining that making illustrations about bunnies, where skies are perpetually blue and clouds white is a conspiracy against children. The assumption [being] that they are vacant. And yet Ungerer took it a step further. In a great scene that reveals the deep complexity of the man, he is walking around an exhibition of his early work, mostly shocked at how bad the stuff is, until he comes across a sketch and reads is Photo by Sam Norval Photo by Sam Norval

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the caption out loud: Ogre Burning Books and Boiling Child. He breaks out into a loud chuckle. Well, Im sure the child deserves it, he says. But for someone who says he thinks about death on a daily basis, Ungerer is not a dark person. In fact, his infectious humor and laugh are almost always As the 1960s progressed, Ungerer grew dis illusioned with the country he initially saw as liberating. He was particularly disgusted with the rampant racism he saw in the United States, comparing it to the brutal world he experienced under the Nazis. There are graphic elements taken from Nazi propaganda posters in many of Ungerers illustrations, especially as he moved into making more and more provocative political pieces. These were not well-received by the publishers of childrens books. But it was the discovery that Ungerer was also producing adult erotica, some with explicit S&M imagery, that did him in for good with publishers. His books were banned from libraries and disappeared from bookstore Nova Scotia, then to an isolated region of Ireland, where he still lives. But while his work and, really, his philosophy offended sensibilities on this side of the At lantic, his childrens books never went out of fashion in Europe, es pecially France and Germany. And now London-based Phaidon Press is bringing them back here, too. His newfound popularity doesnt phase Ungerer. Success up your head, he says in the he adds, Thats why you must be very, very careful not to take yourself too seriously. Far Out Isnt Far Enough is part of the documentary competition at the Miami International Film Festival. It will be screened on Wednesday, March 6, at 9:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (1130 Washington Ave.) and on Friday, March 8, at 7:15 p.m. at the Regal South Beach Cinema (1100 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Three Robbers

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64 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS WYNWOOD GALLERY WALK & DESIGN DISTRICT ART + DESIGN NIGHT GALLERIES 101 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-2101 www.101exhibit.com Through April 13: Paintings by Chase Westfall ABBA FINE ART 233 NW 36th St., Miami 305-576-4278 Through April 11: Candyland by Marco Casentini ACND GALLERY OF ART 4949 NE 2nd Ave., Miami 305-751-8367 www.acnd.net Call gallery for exhibition information ALBERTO LINERO GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-286-7355 www.albertolinerogallery.com March 28 through April 4: Santiago Betancur Z ALEJANDRA VON HARTZ FINE ARTS 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-438-0220 www.alejandravonhartz.net Through April 6: Drywood with Gean Moreno, and Ernesto Oroza 2242 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-576-1150 Through April 1: Secrets by Luis Gonzalez Palma ART FUSION 1 NE 40th St., Miami 305-573-5730 www.artfusiongallery.com Through March 31: Journey into the Soul with various artists ART NOUVEAU GALLERY 348 NW 29th St., Miami 305-573-4661 www.artnouveaugaleria.com Call gallery for exhibition information ART WORK IN PROGRESS 171 NW 36th St., Miami 305-573-4009 www.jacques-harvey.com Call gallery for exhibition information ARTSEEN GALLERY 2215 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-237-3597 http://artseenspace.wordpress.com Call gallery for exhibition information ASCASO GALLERY 2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9410 www.ascasogallery.com/site Call gallery for exhibition information 561 NW 32nd St., Miami 305-576-2828 Through March 1: T ransformed Interceptions by Jose Pacheco Silva BAS FISHER INVITATIONAL 122 NE 11th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse Call gallery for exhibition information BLACK SQUARE GALLERY 2248 NW 1st Pl., Miami 786-999-9735 www.blacksquaregallery.com Through April 9: Monuments by Kyu-Hak Lee BORINQUEN ART GALLERY 100 NE 38th St., Suite 3, Miami 305-491-1526 www.borinquenhealth.org Through March 8: Love & Art with Lisa Williams, Rafael Valdez, and Rick Esposito 12425 NE 13th Ave. #5, North Miami 305-978-4856 www.bridgeredstudios.com Through April 7: Reset by Judith Page, Deborah Schneider, and Ward Shelley BUZZART 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 6, Miami 305-571-8100 www.buzz-art.net Through March 30: Skyfall by Javier Velasco 8351 NE 8th Ct., Miami 305-754-2093 www.susannacaldwell.com Through June 1: Mahogany Sculptures and Sculptural Of fering Bowls carved from Florida Hardwoods by Susanna Caldwell CARIDI GALLERY 785 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-202-5554 www.caridigallery.com March 7 through 24: Extra Virgin Petrus Oil by Mery Godigna Collet 158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores 305-490-6906 www.cjazzart.com By appointment: carol@cjazzart.com Through March 17: Collinear Points with Rosemarie Chiarlone, Susan W einer, Nyeema Morgan, and Kathryn Zazenski DANIEL AZOULAY GALLERY Shops at Midtown Miami Store # 120 Buena Vista Blvd., Miami 305-576-1977 www.danielazoulaygallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DAVID CASTILLO GALLERY 2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-573-8110 www.davidcastillogallery.com March 2 through April 6: The Eye, The Vessel, and The Spell by Pepe Mar DIANA LOWENSTEIN FINE ARTS 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1804 Through March 31: Nolo Contendere by Felice Grodin Soft & Touch Therapy by Santiago Villanueva DIASPORA VIBE GALLERY 3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-536-7801 www.diasporavibe.net Call gallery for exhibition information 100 NE 1 1th St., Miami DWNTWN ArtHouse 305-607-5527 www.dimensionsvariable.net Through March 21: Cut Outs by Jenny Brillhart and Carolyn Salas 2620 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 786-486-7248 www.dinamitranigallery.com Through March 23: Process by Alexandra Rowley DORSCH GALLERY 151 NW 24th St., Miami 305-576-1278 www.dorschgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information DOT FIFTYONE ART SPACE 187 NW 27th St., Miami 305-573-9994 Through March 30: Tipping Point by Nina Dotti ELITE GALLERY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 754-422-5942 Through March 31: Trilogy with Marcos Irusta, Oscar Negret, and Kiseok Kim ETRA FINE ART 50 NE 40th St., Miami 305-438-4383 March 9 through 31: Eternal Spring by Mario Velez How We Get Ready Now Beta Electronics Audio & Video Repair Center We service and repair most modern and antique stereo Hi-Fi Turntables Speakers Hi-Fi Stereo Consoles Reel to Reels Factory Authorized Service Accounting and Income TaxStudents and Singles with one W-2 Taxes for just$45*With this BT adTaxes for just$115*With this BT adSelf-Employed Independent Contractors Freelancers INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE TAXES Bookkeeping Payroll Form New Corporations Notary PublicMiami Financial Center12573 Biscayne Blvd. N Miami, FL 33181786.329.995022 years in South Florida English & Russian spoken

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Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY 2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami 305-448-8976 www.snitzer.com Through March 15: Roy Dowell and Alexander Kroll GALERIE HELENE LAMARQUE 125 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-582-6067 www.galeriehelenelamarque.com Call gallery for exhibition information GALLERY 212 MIAMI CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY 2407 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 516-532-3040 www.gallery212miami.com March 9 through April 13: Art Walks the Runway with various artists GALLERY DIET 174 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-571-2288 www.gallerydiet.com Through March 31: High Frontiers by Claire L Evans Diamonds, Diamonds with various artists, curated by Daniel Feinberg GARY NADER FINE ART 62 NE 27th St., Miami 305-576-0256 www.garynader.com Through March 31: Masterpieces from the Berardo Collection with various artists GENERAL AUDIENCE PRESENTS 769 NE 125th St., North Miami 786-467-0941 www.generalaudiencepresents.com March 21 through May 4: Fun with your new head by Robert Pruitt GREGG SHIENBAUM FINE ART 2239 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-456-5478 Call gallery for exhibition information HARDCORE ARTS CONTEMPORARY SPACE 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-1645 www.hardcoreartmiami.com Through March 2: Recycle by Consuelo Castaeda HAROLD GOLEN GALLERY 2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-989-3359 www.haroldgolengallery.com March 9 through April 6: Bunny and Betty with various artists IDEOBOX ARTSPACE 2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-9878 www.ideobox.com Call gallery for exhibition information JUAN RUIZ GALLERY 301 NW 28th St., Miami 786-310-7490 www.juanruizgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information KABE CONTEMPORARY 123 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-573-8142 www.kabecontemporary.com Call gallery for exhibition information KAVACHNINA CONTEMPORARY 46 NW 36th St., Miami 305-448-2060 www.kavachnina.com Through March 3: Unsinkable by Artem Mirolevich KELLEY ROY GALLERY 50 NE 29th St., Miami 305-447-3888 www.kelleyroygallery.com Through March 29: Listen to the Silence by Heriberto Mora KIWI GALLERY 48 NW 29th St., Miami 305-200-3047 www.kiwiartsgroup.com Ongoing: William John Kennedys Fine Art Photography Collection of Early Pop Artists LELIA MORDOCH GALLERY 2300 N. Miami Ave., Miami 786-431-1506 www.galerieleliamordoch.com Call gallery for exhibition information LOCUST PROJECTS 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-8570 www.locustprojects.org Through March 2: High Performance Stiffened Structures by Karl Haendel By Design by Carlos Rigau March 9 through April 26: Drawn from the Everglades by Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen Limonene by Hannah Whitaker MARKOWICZ FINE ART 114 NE 40th St., Miami 786-362-5546 March 5 through 31: The Lost Series by Arno Elias 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Bldg. 1, Room 1365 305-237-3696 www.mdc.edu Through March 29: Minispective by Arnold Mesches MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART AND DESIGN Freedom Tower 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-237-7700 www.mdc.edu Through May 4: A Lifes Work by Arnold Mesches Through May 31: Transcending Narratives of Humanity Selected works from the CINTAS Foundation Fellows Collection with various artists, curated by Natalie Perez 11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami 305-237-1532 www.mdc.edu Through March 19: Noise by Arnold Mesches 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 Through March 30: Art & Design by Helidon Xhixha NOW CONTEMPORARY ART 175 NW 25th St., Miami 305-571-8181 www.nowcontemporaryart.com March 9 through April 30: Carolina Ponte 2600 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-571-9036 www.oascaniogallery.com 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 Call gallery for exhibition information 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 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 Untitled

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66 Culture: GALLERIES + MUSEUMS SPINELLO PROJECTS 2930 NW 7th Ave., Miami 786-271-4223 www.spinelloprojects.com 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 150 NE 42nd St., Miami http://swampspace.blogspot.com/ swampstyle@gmail.com Through March 9: House of Desire with Lea Nickless, and Conrad Hamather 310 NW 24th St., Miami 305-407-8131 www .thelunchboxgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 12425 NE 13th A ve., North Miami 305-978-4437 Call gallery for exhibition information 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Suite 4, Miami 305-284-3161 www.as.miami.edu/art Call gallery for exhibition information 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-496-0621 Ongoing: Alexis Torres 2233 NW 2nd Ave., Miami 305-576-5335 www .waltmanortega.com Through March 31: A Clear Epical Dominance by Rune Guneriussen Espectadores by Aleix Plademunt 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 294 NW 54th St., Miami 954-235-4758 www .yeelenart.com Call gallery for exhibition information 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-438-3737 www.zadokgallery.com Call gallery for exhibition information 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach 305-674-8278 www.artcentersf.org Through March 17: Minotaurocracy by Wes Kline 2100 Collins A ve., Miami Beach 305-673-7530 www.bassmuseum.org Through March 17: The Endless Renaissance: Six Solo Artist Projects with Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Barry X Ball, Walead Beshty, 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 3841 NE 2nd A ve., Miami Dacra 305-531-8700 www.dacra.com Ongoing: Richard Tuttle, Marlene Dumas, John Baldessari, Elizabeth Peyton, and Kai Althoff, curated by Tiffany Chestler 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 Ongoing: Carlos Alfonso March 9 through May 11: Terra non: Descoperta by Alfredo Jaar 10975 SW 17th St., Miami 305-348-2890 Through March 24: Aesthetics & Values 2013 with various artists Through April 7: The Healing Spirits of Water with various artists Through April 14: Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism with various artists Through May 19: The Seminole Paintings by Eugene Savage Through May 20: American Sculpture in the Tropics with John Henry, Albert Paley, Dennis Oppenheim, Chakaia Booker, and Verina Baxter Through June 23: Concealed Spaces by Jos Manuel Ballester Through December 31: Deep Blue by Javier Velasco 1035 N. Miami Ave., Suite 200, Miami www .legalartmiami.org Call gallery for exhibition information 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables 305-284-3535 www .lowemuseum.org Through March 24: various 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 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 March 14 through June 2: Frames of Reference: Latin American Art from the Jorge M. Perez Collection with various artists 770 NE 125th St., North Miami 305-893-6211 www.mocanomi.org Through March 3: Liber Insularum by Bill V iola March 22 through May 5: Pivot Points: 15 Years and Counting with various artists 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 Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection 170 NW 23rd St., Miami 305-438-9908 www.worldclassboxing.org Call gallery for exhibition information Compiled by Melissa W allen Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to art@biscaynetimes.com On Behalf of the Pharmakon

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A Hike Thats No SweatThe Greynolds Park: Creatures of the Night Hike is rated easy because, well, you basically stop to stare at the moon and look closely at glow bugs. But while not athletically challenging, its a fascinating trek through a unique natural habitat and the creatures that come out after dark. Led by guides from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8 the hike costs only $6. Meet at the Greynolds Park boathouse, 17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach. Call 305-944-6111.A Sweet Afternoon The South Beach Wine and Food Festi val is not the only culinary fest on the block, by any means. The latest entry to the foodie scene? The Miami Fine Chocolate and Food Show on Satur day, March 9, and Sunday, March 10 in Pinecrest Gardens (11000 SW 57th Ave.). From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. visitors will be treated to choco late and wine pairings, or cheese and beer ones, plus local selections from top chefs, served up by 80 vendors. There will be cooking demos, enter tainment, and maybe most deliciously, samples of chocolate from across the globe. Cost is $40 at the door. Go to www.miamifinefoodshow.com.Not Your Abuelos Cuban Music Fest the new Miami than the Global Cuba Fest which runs into April. Courtesy of FUNDarte and the Miami Light Project, this is no clichd salsa extravaganza. The Cuban-born performers (some still based there, others elsewhere) will run through run the gamut of styles. For instance, on Saturday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m., Havana-based songstress Ivette Cepeda will make her U.S. premiere at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami). The Creole Choir of Cuba, descendents of Haitian immigrants, will perform on Sunday, March 17 at 7:00 p.m., at the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). And the Deauville Hotel Jazz Club (6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) will host a number of jazz musicians, with traditional Cuban as well as contemporary roots. For a complete list of events, times, prices, and locations, go to www.fundarte.us.Tales of a Nazi HunterAfter surviving concentration camps, Simon Wiesenthal dedicated his life to documenting the Holocaust and hunting down its perpetrators, Nazi war criminals like Adolf Eichmann, Franz Stangl, and Dr. Josef Mengele. The one-man play Wiesenthal: The Conscience of the Holocaust takes one small slice of this legendary life to tell the whole: The day of Wiesenthals retirement, when he recounts to a group of students how he tried to right the wrongs of World War II. Playwright and star Tim Dugan brings his play to the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center from Wednesday, March 13 through Sunday, March 17 for both evening and matinee performances. Cost is $36. Go to www. aventuracenter.org.Film Noir, StagedSouth American theater has always had a reputation for the poetic avant-garde. The Chilean troupe Teatro Cinema keeps that tradition alive with Sin Sangre at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 Presented by MDC Live Arts, the production marks the debut of the company, which mixes different levels of the inner and outer world that each discipline alone cant. noir and B-movie undertones. Perfor mances begin at 8:00 p.m. Cost is $25; $10 for MDC students. Go to www. mdclivearts.org.Dance From the Native NorthThe Bessie Award-winning choreogra pher Emily Johnson, born in Alaska and based in Minneapolis, is set to heat up the stage here in Miami. For Niicugni she is joined by choreographer and performer Aretha Aoki, with music from composer James Everest. This piece, inspired by Johnsons Alaskan-Indian heritage and presented by Tigertail Productions, is as much an installation as a dance. It comes to the Miami-Dade County Auditorium On-Stage Black Box (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami) on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m. General admission is $30. Go to www.tigertail.org. Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to calendar@biscaynetimes.com.Culture: EVENTS CALENDAR That Big Drum SoundTaiko drumming is an ancient percussion form from Japan, with some very distinct traits. The drums are large, some so large they require a standing drummer, who bangs the instruments vertically utilizing martial arts movements. In fact, Taiko drums were once used to rouse troops for battle, which is why hearing taiko can be a thun derous experience. Hear it for yourself, when the 24 members of the Kodo group return to the Adri enne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd.) on Saturday, March 9 for their One Earth Tour. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $30 to $75. Go to www.arshtcenter.org. Stop the Presses!Oh, that much-maligned Miami Modern structure plopped downtown on Biscayne Bay. The Miami Herald building has been called a drab eyesore and worse. But, oh, the stories that emanated from there, documenting some of the most important and dramatic periods in this citys history: the mass immigrations, the drug wars, the political scandals, the rise of South Beach. Now that the newspapers staff is vacating and the building shutting its doors for good, its a great time for Hungry for History: Miami Herald Building a one-time tour offered by HistoryMiami on Monday, March 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cost is $25. Call 305-375-1621 for reservations. A Most Awesome Fela!The play Fela! is a hybrid of musical, drama, and dance, one that has left audiences breathless. Fela Kuti was a giant in Nigerian music (hes the father of the Afrobeat sound), politics, and life. In this performance, not only is his music re-created, but so are his famous, raucous nightclub and his incendiary exploits (both political and sexual), mixed in with some surreal moments from his and his mothers life. Directed by Bill T. Jones, the hit production takes the stage at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Arsht Center from Tuesday, March 19 through Sunday, March 24 with both evening and matinee performances. Tickets range from $26 to $56. For tickets and times, go to www.arshtcenter.org.

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68 Columnists: POLICE REPORTSBiscayne Crime BeatCompiled by Derek McCannThe Family That Steals Together, Stays Together4700 Block of Biscayne Boulevard What better sight to see than a couple pushing a baby stroller, illustrating that cherished concept of family values? For some reason, the building they tried to enter was locked, so they patiently waited for someone to come out, thereby granting them access. The father led the way, trying to open locked doors, until he found one that was open. He then began stealing items, placing them inside the stroller. (Where else?) The family exited the building. Although no arrests have been made, there is video of the incident, which will be great for future family viewing in prison.Shortsighted Thieves Wont Last Long500 Block of NE 15th Street With the future value of the dollar a mystery, some conspiracy theorists have suggested that everyday items will become exceedingly valuable, as people begin trading them for life essentials. That thought might make this victim feel better. burglarized. Missing items included a sports championship ring, three mobile phones, a laundry card, and cash (soon to be useless). What had the thieves left behind? A comb. Sure, it may not seem very important now but just wait, my friends. That comb might save your life.Another Horn Dog Gets Rolled900 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Oh, the male libido. This Casanova went to a bar and picked up two ladies. (This seems to happen every month.) Mr. Stud brought them back to his apartment and did what many in his position would do. He immediately fell asleep after the act. Apparently, he is not the cuddling or talking type. When he woke up, several items, including expensive watches, were gone from his room. Yes, ladies are beginning to sense that there are opportunities available to them, beyond the usual wham, bam, thank you, maam. And it seems so easy: Men keep wanting, and women keep taking. 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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A Minty Fresh Crime700 Block of NE 2nd Avenue Woman was in a nightclub and decided to pass out mints. She wanted to rid the club of the scourge of halitosis, perhaps because she was in close proximity to several dancing drunks. For reasons unknown, she put her purse down as she made her rounds. Naturally, some one took her purse. (Maybe they were looking for more mints?) Though the purse was recovered at the bar, its con tents were missing. So we have another Miami example of someone reaching out to the community, only to be taken advantage of by her fellow citizens. Social workers can identify.Deferred Auto Maintenance Results in ArrestNE 4th Avenue and NE 6th Street Police trailed a car that had one tail light out. After pulling over the driver, police observed a strong odor of mari juana coming from the car. When the police asked the driver if he had been puffing the magic dragon, the man ad mitted he had, but said it had been a while ago. It was then that the officer noticed a bud in plain view. The mans defense was that it was from earlier in the day and begged not to be arrested. That little bud cost him a night in jail, a criminal record, and the obligatory mug shot on mugshots. com. Its still the case that officers will ruin your life for the green. Next time, fix that taillight.Hulk Hogan Still Hanging Around Miami100 Block of NE 54th Street Man walked into Walgreens and began placing items into a bag. He made no attempt to pay as he passed the cash registers. Employees confronted him at the exit. The man, for reasons not im mediately known, took off his shirt and keep the items. Guess this was an im promptu match he had already planned in his mind and needed to look the part by baring his chest. He immediately struck one of the employees and then be considered a count-out in wrestling, arrests have been made.Human Decency Takes Another Beating400 Block of Biscayne Boulevard Man sat on a bus bench with his suitcase at his side. Another man fell in front of him, seemingly in a state of cardiac arrest. The man on the bus bench proceeded to help the man to his feet, at which point the heart attack victim pushed him to the ground, kicked him in the left leg, and took his phone and wallet. He also stole the suitcase. The victim, who had recently had hip surgery, could not give chase. Once again, this episode illustrates that, in Miami, the act of helping others is no longer possible. If you see someone need ing aid, just run away (if you can).Job Opening, Must Pass Background Check1700 N. Bayshore Dr. Times are tough and maybe your rsum is not the strongest, so you apply for a job as a front-desk security guard in a residential building. You get the job. Whats one thing you probably shouldnt do? How about this: A brand-new laptop, purchased by one the buildings residents, was delivered to the building. Because the resident was not home at the time, the aforementioned security guard signed for the laptop. But when the resident came to claim it, there was no trace of the laptop, save for an empty box left in a garbage can outside the building. Police asked the security guard if a certain car in the parking lot belonged to him. He said no. his. Once challenged, the security guard admitted that, yes, the laptop was in his then arrested. Were not sure.Intruder Leaves Paper Trail700 Block NE 82nd Terrace the shower, he found his computer desk ransacked, with papers strewn everywhere. Video surveillance revealed a man had entered the home and gone through victims papers. This mystery man also ransacked the victims car. Nothing was stolen, but the Was it a jealous ex-lover, or maybe someone looking for unredeemed lottery tickets? Stay tuned for the next installment of Crime Beat. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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70 Columnists: PARK PATROLThe Sands of TimeAt Samson Oceanfront Park, modern Sunny Isles Beach gives way to old delightsBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorOld-school Miami Beach still exists north of hippidy-hoppin, tweet-friendly South Beach. Get on the bus, Gus, and travel back in time to some retro islands in the sun, where your grandmothers beach awaits you. Welcome to the self-proclaimed Floridas Riviera, Sunny Isles Beach. Beaches here are hard to see as you approach from the land, what with all the Trump Towers towering and La Perlas shining, but at one point theres a break little park and toward the beach, where a cast of retro characters awaits you. The sweet old ladies in wheelchairs. The tourists with ghostly white skin. The babushkas in the sun. Here the bubbes are reading their Russian newspapers, their chairs quite literally planted in the sand. About 30 elderly men and women have assembled themselves into two lines of folding chairs, facing each other, and are having lively discussions in a Slavic tongue. Their drinks are wrapped in beverage koozies, and they do not seem to be in a hurry. They own this beach. Perhaps this scene is less old-school the art of relaxation, and its own culture of origin. You get the sense they have a regular pattern of arriving at the beach, drawing a line in the sand, and settling in for the long haul. The beach serves them well at Samson Oceanside Park, and the park of 2.1 acres is noteworthy as the main public green space located directly on the beach in Sunny Isles Beach. The size of a one-block development, Samson Park, named after one of the citys leading families, delivers a delightful preamble to your day alongside the glistening Atlantic Ocean. But theres one little problem, which will eventually be a huge one. The empty lot immediately north of the park is in the early stages of development. This is Sunny Isles Beach, so you know that means big and very, very tall real estate. With dozens of enormous towers casting huge afternoon shadows across more than a mile of beach, you have to wonder: Could this stretch of sand be Americas most valuable beach? Certainly this little park has to be one of Floridas most valuable parcels of public land. From the beach, the noise from construction is mostly drowned out by the wind and waves, but inside Samson Park, it can get ugly. You probably will not want to linger too long under the covered playground, as the constant drilling might make you batty. Do not look up, either, because only 20 feet away an 18-story red crane. The mature palm trees next to them look like geraniums. The new development will be called Chateau Beach Residences, and it had a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2012. Prices start somewhere around one million. With construction projected for two years, it should be ready by 2015. So poor little Samson Park is going to be dusty, as well as sandy, for a couple of more years. The park has a few interesting elements that are worth a moment before you hit the beach. Near the street entrance stands a bronze statue of a family unit a father, mother, and their two children on a black pedestal. Behind them across the suns rays. (Alternately, you could envision pigeons being impaled.) The stately statue makes the statement that families are welthem on the beach, with or without grandparents. Just a skip down the curving paved pathway, you encounter something comThe parks rest area is the most visually interesting and utilitarian feature, complete with restrooms and a bevy of shady, hexagonal picnic tables. The pale yellow complex in an Art Deco style appears to have been inspired by the Jetsons. It is all curves and no corners. The curvy kidney bean, with a large cutout circle near the beans center framing the sky. Holding up the building are tilted turquoise poles that pierce the bean like toothpicks. The bathrooms are adequate, as is the water fountain. Two functioning showers are at the entrance to the beach, and a third along the path is under construction. The parks landscaping attractively features some native species, such as saw palmettos, and the dunes along the beach are covered with mature grasses. BT photos by Jim W. Harper SAMSON OCEANFRONT PARK17425 Collins Ave. Sunny Isles Beach 305-792-1706 Hours: Sunrise to sunset Picnic tables: Yes Barbecues: No Picnic pavilions: Yes Tennis courts: No No Night lighting: Yes Swimming pool: No YesPark Rating Collins AveNE 174th St NE 175th Terr

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The most obvious feature, though, is a bright green lawn that covers most of the park. My environmental bells are ringing, because a lawn this close to the ocean is completely unnatural and dependent on fertilizer that can easily leach into the sea. On a positive note, this park hosts free morning yoga for adults on the beach. All you need to do is register with the city at Pelican Community Park. Call 305-792-1706. The next session begins on March 6. (See you there?) Getting to Samson Park by car could be problematic, as parking in the city is nonexistent on the beach side. But look just across the street, behind the drug store, and you will The city staff members that maintain Samson Park impressed me during one of my visits, as they were cleaning everything from the trashcans to the parks signage. Really, how often do you see someone cleaning letters ? Kudos to them. Samson Park is under a bit of stress right now, what with the construction next door, but it remains open for business. It was a wise investment for the city, and it will certainly help the future home values of the rising Chateau. Real estate is back, families are back, and your grandmother is back, only this time with a Russian accent. This beach means business. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com 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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72 Columnists: ALL THINGS ANIMALGreat Grannys GhostIs the spirit of our late, beloved pooch inhabiting our home?By Wendy Doscher-Smith BT ContributorIm brushing my teeth when I hear the exclamation: What did you do? electric toothbrush, I sense distress in the voice and, since Im usually the one who does the exclaiming around the house (and in general), Im curious. In the few seconds it takes me to pad over to the bedroom to investigate, I have a pretty good idea of what Im going to see. I was right. Almost. Theres my husband, Jeremy, frowning while looking down at his side of our bed. The covers are pulled back and, occupying the real estate where his butt usually rests during the night, is a single dollar bill. My response comes through a toothpaste-rimmed grin: I shidnt do shanything. Jeremy eyeballs me suspiciously, before looking back down at the bed. The man does not believe me. I ask him if he put it there. The uneasy eyeballs dart back at me. No, I didnt, he answers. Me: Well, you moved it from the top of the bedspread. Him: No, I found it just like this. This is a change in the usual Migrating Money pattern to which Ive lately become accustomed. Me: The money was under the covers? Him: Yes, it was sitting right there, Jeremy says, stabbing an accusatory Well, I say. Grannys back. the bathroom to spit out the minty remnants of toothpaste. Even though there is no rational explanation for a dollar bill migrating from the ironing board approximately two feet away from our bed to Jeremys side of it, this has occurred a handful of times since our canine matriarch, Anise, aka Granny, died on November 2. There propel the dollar across the room, no BT photo by Wendy Doscher-Smith Your House Fast! Any Condition, Any Location 305 894 6192 E nglish & EspanolDade & Broward Homes | Condos | Multi-Family Eddie, Alekxey, Mercedes & Ivan

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other dogs in the room to move it, no draft from closing the door. There is no normal explanation. But now, somehow, the dollar is underneath the covers, in approximately the same spot. While this spooked Jeremy, it made me happy. Well, it spooked me a under the covers and Jeremy had found it. What did that mean? I know Granny or rather, her spirit is responsible. I know this because, through the use of my crystal pendulum, she told me so. The process of using a crystal pendulum to speak with the dead, called dousing, is a form of kinesiology. Simply put: You use your energy to channel anothers. After Granny died, I would see her out of the corner of my eye. Then I noticed little pieces of fur appearing on the bed, on my side. Then the Money Migration had found it and brought it up to the bed. if there had been, my dogs would have eaten it. These incidents occurred during the day and I always discovered the dollar. There are people out there who will dismiss this as a load of crap. That is their prerogative. I only believe things I personally experience, and I have experienced plenty of, er, otherworldly incidents. So I was happy, not disturbed, when this all began. Any psychologist will tell you that the grief process will affect people deeply, so deeply that they may see or hear things. While this may or may not be true, its not happening to me. Im dealing with the tangible: Objects moving, as opposed to optical or auditory observations. I decided to speak to some ex perts to see what they thought about the pet afterlife. One Ottawa-based psychic medium, Matthew Stapley, who hosts the television show Psychic Insights with Matthew told me he has clients who have returned in front of where a deceased pet used to sit. Stapley also said that, although his specialty is communication with people more than with animals, it is more common for animals to communicate after death than for people to do so. Another psychic medium, New Yorkbased William Constantine, who holds a doctorate in metaphysics from the University of Metaphysics in Arizona, also believes animals are more spiritual than people because they live in the moment and are not so concerned with thinking. Animals live from the heart, not from the mind, Constantine says. They could be the greatest teachers in the world, if we let them. What about Granny? Has she assumed the educator role from the other side? Um, no. Spirits do pretty much what they want, Constantine says. Their job is not to convince us. Well, I didnt need convincing. Sometimes, though, a client may be so intent on communicating with a particular animal that they might miss messages from other sprits and, in the it seems the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Or as Constantine puts it: The spirit who talks the loudest is the one This made me wonder if Stapley, who told me that an older human female was trying to communicate with me, could be right. I had stopped dousing the other day when whoever was responding said they werent Granny. One thing every psychic medium I consulted agrees on is that animals make themselves more available in the afterlife than humans do, and that energy is the link to all psychic connections. Terri Jay, a pet psychic and medium with 20 years experience, says she is able to communicate with the dead because of physics. Einstein and Tesla both wrote that everything is energy and everything has a vibration and frequency. All I do is pick up on vibrations and frequencies that other people miss, Jay says. Human beings and animals are 99-percent spiritual or energy beings in a one-percent physical body or meat suit. When we pass, the spirit and consciousness leave the body behind. But as the laws of physics tell us, you cannot destroy energy; you can only change it. Our Granny, it seems, is no exception. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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74 Miami Amid Its First BoomA view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiamiBy Paul S. George Special to the BTDowntown Miami had changed dramatically when this photograph of 12th Street, todays Flagler Street, was taken in 1916. The street was and would continue to be the main commercial street in Miami look closely, you can see both bicycles, a times, and a horse-drawn carriage. On the far left side of the photograph (the north side of 12th Street) stands Budges three story, iconic red brick hardware store and, in the distance, the turreted Halcyon Hall Hotel. On the right side is the Biscayne Hotel, and The city bus in the center of the photograph rambled west across the Miami Miamis most popular sport in that era, and the bus carries the announcement of a baseball game that day. Although Miami appeared sleepy and formal, in terms of its residents attire at the time, the city was immersed in one of its earliest booms. Its population would rise in that decade from 5500 to nearly 30,000, the highest percentage of growth among American cities. New suburbs north, south, and west of downtown would arise in that era. the country when this picture was taken, would help transform portions of Miami and its hinterland into an armed forces camp. Indeed the era pictured here was perhaps the last time Miami could be characterized as quiescent, at least in the summers. To order a copy of this photo, please contact HistoryMiami archives manager Dawn Hugh at 305-375-1623, dhugh@ historymiami.org. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami, 1981-032-36 rrrfn tbrb nn rrrfn tb r fnttb ntrr n rrfn rn trfnr nr trtrb rnrrt tttrbttt n rff

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Stars in the GardenClerodendrums, with a little care, can bring a lot of color to your landscapeBy Jeff Shimonski BT ContributorDriving through older Miami neighborhoods lately, Im seeing in bloom a plant that has become quite common during the past decade or so. Starburst, or Clerodendrum quadril oculare with its striking cantaloupe-size on-top and purple-on-the-bottom leaves, catches your eye right away, especially when it reaches the size of a small tree. This is one of a number of clerodendrum species that can be grown in our landscapes. Some species can grow into small trees like the starburst, some are shrubs, and there are also vines. be red, white, orange, or pink. Hundreds of species of clerodendrum are found throughout the tropics. Ive grown a variety of species over the years and most have very colorful, drawback to growing clerodendrum, at least in my experience, is the aggressiveness of some species. A number of a yard in only a few years. As a group, they all seem to experience dieback in the winter or dry season, but this does not stop the root-suckering species from spreading into adjacent contained these plants in areas that were surrounded by concrete or some other Another drawback to these plants is that some species set viable seeds. These are the blue-black fruit sometimes bird dispersed, so these species tend to become invasive. An interesting fact about clerodendrum is that they do not self-pollinate, which means insects or linated at night. I once grew a very attractive white glory bower, Clerodendrum philippinum It was one of the root-suckering species and would form dense clumps. Bridal veil, Clerodendrum wallichii is another One of my favorite shrub species Clerodendrum paniculatum On well-grown plants, the cence can be more than a foot wide and a foot tall. It is a root-suckering species but is not too aggressive. I once built a large, screened-in but drum inside. I tried quite a few species of plants to see which would attract the cap into the exhibit with a containerized glory Clerodendrum bungei and the species, so be careful where you plant Clerodendrum ugandense in the exhibit, The bleeding heart vine, Cleroden drum thomsoniae is quite attractive. I have had it growing in my yard at home for years and have never worried about it getting out of control, since it never seems to grow more that 10 or 15 feet high and it dies back every winter. I have seen these grown successfully on trellises. This would be a great balcony plant. One of the more common species to be found in South Florida is Cleroden drum speciosissimum It is another suckthat is very noticeable in the landscape. There also seems to be a bit of variation in the size and form of this species, so keep a look out for the best varieties When I used to grow large beds of clerodendrum, I would always cut them to the ground when they started to die back in the winter. I would then place a few inches of mulch on the ground and plant bromeliads to add a bit of winter color. In spring, when the clerodendrum would begin to grow, I would remove the bromeliads to let the new plants grow up. This lent an interesting perspective to the garden. I regularly cut my starburst plants down to the ground. This helps main tain them at a reasonable size. I have also seen them grown surrounded by lawns, so when the root suckers come up, they can be cut down easily by the lawn mower. Remember, some of these plants can be invasive, but with a little commonsense gardening, they can add a lot of color to a garden. ipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at jeff@ tropicaldesigns.com. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com BT photo by Jeff Shimonski

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76 Saving Our SeafoodFor those of us who want to keep eating sh, wiser choices are necessaryBy Jim W. Harper BT ContributorThe New York Times got it wrong last month when its editorial page sumed by humans would shift this year are disappearing at a rate faster than Just as you would never want to eat a smartphone app or online from Seafood my guess is that imported seafood is unsustainable harvests that eventually lations would be able to sustain themselves 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 Winner of the 2013 Magnet Schools of America Excellence Award! W.J. BRYAN ELEMENTARY MUSEUMS MAGNET SCHOOL 1201 NE 125th STREE T, NORTH MIAMI Call for more information: 305-891-0602 APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE AT www.miamimagnets.org

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When Our Little Angels Go BadA call from the principals ofce often brings out the worst and best in parentsBy Crystal Brewe BT ContributorBbrrrriiiinnnggg.(This is your phone ringing.) Hello? Mrs. Smith, this is Washington Elementary School. It seems as though your son had a disagreement with another child and reacted with violence. Silence. Mrs. Smith? Um, are you sure it was little Johnny? Quite sure, Mrs. Smith. If you havent had a similar call yet, brace yourself. Matilda, our sweet, violence-free, Girl Scout, friend-to-all-children bookworm was involved in a disagreement with another child last week. She reacted by scratching the other child. The most fascinating part, to me, was how textbook I reacted. There were literally seven stages, almost like the grief cycle. Shock: Are you sure it was her? I mean, they all wear uniforms those kids all look alike! Denial: Wait, Matilda bites her nails to the quick. There isnt much nail with which to make a wound. Come on theres no way! Anger: That kid is grounded! Wait they had the call me? Where was the principal? My child is in the gifted program! I have questions! This warrants more of a discussion! The child with whom she had a disagreement was the daughter of one of our closest family friends. They have been raised almost like siblings. Depression: Where did we go wrong as parents? We dont condone violence; we dont even spank. Guilt: Poor thing, she got called into reacted so strongly with her; she just needed to talk. Acceptance: How can we be constructive about the fact that Matilda I was not a troublemaker when I was little. (My teen years were another story.) I did, however, get suspended when I was in the fourth grade. old brother and I were playing at the recreation center, next to the school. A couple of the rougher kids were telling secrets by the swings. Being that there were no other kids to hang with, we walked over and said, Whatcha doin? Their eyes lit up at the naive, fresh blood. They said, Want some candy? Come with us! Next thing you know, my brother and I were holding a door open to a classroom at the school while the other kids were running out with armfuls of Fruit Roll-Ups. We had no idea what was happening, literally. The next day my mother was called. I was given the sentence of a two-day suspension. No trial, no jury. My mom stuck with the anger stage for a while. I was just happy that my baby brother didnt get suspended, too. A suspended kindergartener would have just been weird. I learned guilt by association as a fourth grader. I also learned that aiding and abet ting was a crime, even if you didnt under stand what you were aiding or abetting. The thing that still resonates with me from this experience was that I was labeled a bad girl for the year. Parents refused to let their kids invite me to birthday parties; they called the school to have their kids seat moved away from mine in the class grade since I was truly a bookworm and involved in every school activity imagin able, but it was a lesson that lasted long after the suspension and the punishments. I dont want Matilda to have to learn like that. I dont want her to be the kid who starts every year in a new classroom without a clean slate because the word in the teachers lounge is that she is a handful or a troublemaker. When she told me her side of the story, it would have been easy to say, Well, clearly you were being bullied! Or Well, that other girl shouldnt have told your secrets to those other kids! When kids feel like victims, they act like victims. If something isnt fair, do the rules not apply? Soon it becomes: I got a D because the algebra teacher is a or I didnt have the money for the bracelet, so I stole it. We, as parents, unwittingly play into this idea, with our own dinner conversa tions often consisting of: My boss isnt fair! or My client is just an idiot! What complicates matters is that there are situations in life which are truly unfair. But not all of them. In this case, we found it important to cut through the clutter and remove the victim mentality. We look forward to the plethora of other excuses the future holds: But those arent my cigarettes; I was just holding them for Gretchen! That picture of me with the beer bong on Facebook isnt (Yes, there was a Gretchen, but thats an entirely different story.)

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78 By Bill Citara BT ContributorChianti is as American as apple pie. Oh, sure, its technically Italian and named after its Tuscan region, one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Approximately 65 square miles between Florence and Siena, its a gorgeous landscape of rolling hills and neatly ordered vineyards, olive groves and chestnut woods, big cities and small towns, Renaissance villas and ancient stone buildings. Sounds about as American as Bashar al-Assad. But if youve ever gobbled up a pizza or spaghetti and meatballs at that little Italian restaurant down the block, your favorite red-sauce joint, you probably washed it down with a glass of Chianti. It was likely a wine of modest price and equally modest virtue, its chief attributes being that it was red and wet. It was all about tart fruit, soft tannins, and bracing acidity, a good foil for the onslaught of tomato sauce and garlic and sausage and cheese and olive oil. There was nothing fancy or pretentious about it, but it got the job done, and you went home with a full belly and a few pennies left over. Now that sounds positively American. It also sounds like an excellent reason to take another look at Chianti. After all, 1) inexpensive, 2) unpretentious, and 3) leaving you happily apple pie (and pizza and spaghetti and meatballs), too. We begin on the lighter side, with the 2011 Cancello del Barone This is your classic red-sauce joint Chianti simple and straightforward, lively with tart berry fruit, a touch of spice, and the kind of acidity that can cut right through such hearty, cheesy, Italian-American staples as lasagna and eggplant Parmesan. Fratelli dItalias 2011 Chianti the Cancello, kicking off with an aromatic mlange of red cherries, herbs, olives, and toast. It is light and puckery on the it slowly opens, revealing more cherryraspberry fruit and mellower acidity, so its starting to taste pretty good. Its also light-bodied enough to serve with chicken or seafood with tomato sauce. In much the same vein is the 2011 Piccini Chianti Take a good whiff and youll get red and black cherry fruit, a little plum, some cloves, and herbs and oak. Youll get those in the mouth, too, along with some dusky olive and tobacco notes and, again, the sort of stiff acidity that can take the edge off rich, fatty foods. If this lightto medium-body, berryfruit, high-acid business of the 2011 vintage is starting to sound like a tape loop, well, it just might be. Because all of that applies also to the 2011 Bellini With its royal red-purple color and hinted black olive-spice aromas, it teases you into expecting something richer and duskier. But it follows the same taste pattern as the others, though halfway through the bottle, the wine smoothes out and gains some depth and heft. The 2010 Oro teases in a different way, promising bright cherry-berry fruit in the nose, but delivering tart, stingy fruit masked Now we come to a couple of wide-bodies. The 2011 Tenuta di Trecciano is a much more fruit forward wine, from its scents of strawberry and raspberry to undercurrents of earth and tar. The fruit is richer, fuller, bigger in the mouth not a lot of complexity, but a lot of satisfaction yet still in balance with acid and tannins. I like the hints of cloves and white pepper, too, and though (at $11.99) its at the top of our price extra pennies. Perhaps its no surprise that my favorite wine of the tasting had two years on its competitors. The 2009 La Tancia Chianti certainly acted the part, showing off aromas of ripe black cherries and plums that came alive in my mouth. Where the others were young and lean, the La Tancia was dishes, the weight to stand up to more robust ones, and the overall balance and structure to make it a pleasant pour all by itself. With apple pie, though? Not so much. Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com Cue the ChiantiRed, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

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Dont Tread on My Chocolate!Food news we know you can use By Pamela Robin Brandt BT ContributorLast month the Center for Science asking the FDA to establish certain safe in BT OPENINGS Quartermans Ice Cream Parlor Sweet Saloon Bunnie Cakes Ceviche Piano Biscayne Diner big CLOSINGS Zen Sushi Lounge SIDE DISH Taste of Brickell Food & Wine Festival Feedback: letters@biscaynetimes.com

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80 Brickell / 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 highrises actually make Miami look like a real city. Its hard to decide whether the eats or drinks are the most impressive. The food is impeccably fresh regional fish, prepared in a clean Mediterranean-influenced style. The cocktails are genuinely creative. Luckily you dont have to choose one or the other. $$$-$$$$Azul500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase Biscayne Bay. But diners prefer ogling the raw-bar-fronted open kitchen, where globetrotting chef Joel Huff crafts imaginative, often multipart dishes -some Asian-inspired (like oysters with fresh wasabi, hibiscus granita, and Asian pear), as one would expect from the Mandarin Orientals top eatery. But most of Huffs dishes are strongly European-influenced, primar ily by New Spanish cuisine. Elegant, playfully molecular gastronomy-accented almond gazpacho with foie gras snow, or eggs, bacon & toast (suckling pig, tempura duck egg, truffled potato, and speck air) tell the story. $$$$$Balans901 S. Miami Ave., (Mary Brickell Village), 305-534-9191Open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends, this London import (Miamis second Balans) offers a sleeker setting than its perennially popular Lincoln Road progenitor, but the same simple yet sophisticated global menu. The indoor space can get mighty loud, but lounging on the dog-friendly outdoor terrace, over a rich croque monsieur (which comes with an alluringly sweet/sour citrus-dressed side salad), a lobster club on onion toast, some surprisingly solid Asian fusion items, and a cocktail is one of Miamis more relaxing experiences. $$-$$$Bali Caf109 NE 2nd Ave., 305-358-5751While Indonesian food isnt easy to find in Miami, downtown has secret stashes small joints catering to cruiseship and construction workers. This cute, exotically deco rated caf has survived and thrived for good reason. The homey cooking is delicious, and the friendly family feel encourages even the timid of palate to try something new. Novices will want Indonesias signature rijsttafel, a mixand-match collection of small dishes and condiments to be heaped on rice. Note: bring cash. No plastic accepted here. $-$$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 saffronsauted 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-from-scratch 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. $$$ Restaurant ListingsThe Biscayne Corridors most comprehensive restaurant guide. Total this month: 320.rf ntbnfnt tnft ntf f t tf fnf fff Bonding638 S. Miami Ave., 786-409-4794From trend-spotting restaurateur Bond Trisansi (originator of Mr. Yum and 2B Asian Bistro), this small spot draws a hip crowd with its affordable menu of redesigned traditional Thai dishes, wildly imaginative sushi makis, and unique signature Asian fusion small plates. Highlights include tastebud-tickling snapper carpaccio; an elegant nest of mee krob (sweet, crisp rice noodles); blessedly non-citrusdrenched tuna tataki, drizzled with spicy-sweet mayo and wasabi cream sauce; greed-inducing bags of gold, deepfried wonton beggars purses with a shrimp/pork/mushroom/waterchestnut filling and tamarind sauce. $$Top Burger109 NE 1st St., 305-379-3100Inside this better burger spot, dcor is so charmingly 1950s retro you almost expect to find the Fonz leaning on a jukebox. What you actually find: hand-formed, hormonefree, 100% Angus patties (or alternatives like veggie burgers, a lightly-breaded chicken Milanesa, and all-beef hot dogs) on toasted buns, with fresh-cut French or sweet potato fries. Welcome surprises include an assertively spicy/tangy BBQ-like secret sauce; prices that, while not 1950s level, rival those at junkfood joints; and old-school service -the kind that comes with a smile. $ B Sweet20 NE 41st St., 305-918-4453At this homey neighborhood jewel, located in a former apartment building, husband/wife team Tom Worhach and Karina Gimenez serve up warm welcomes and playfully inventive breakfast, lunch, and snack fare: baconwrapped egg and cheese cups; pressed Philly steak panini; an elegant yuzu-dressed smoked salmon, grapefruit, avocado, and arugula salad. But the must-eats are sweets, housemade by Worhach, formerly executive pastry chef at the Mansion at Turtle Creek and similar gourmet palaces. One bite of his decadent yet impossibly light white-anddark chocolate mousse cake will hook you for life. $-$$ Georges Kitchen & The Loft3404 N. Miami Ave., 305-438-9199Veteran Miami restaurateur George-Eric Farge raises the sophistication bar at his new two-story restaurant/lounge. But the real star is Michelin-starred chef Steven Rojas, who combines French technique and personal creativity for dishes like Idiazabal cheese churros with romesco sauce, a green pea pot de crme jar with bacon marmalade (accompanied by butter-fried baguette slices for spreading), soy-glazed hamachi crudo with ginger gelee, and caper-sprinkled short rib tartare, the meats richness cheekily upped by poached bone marrow and caviar. Brunch and lunch items are equally ingenious. $$$The Embassy4600 NE 2nd Ave., 305-571-8446Dont come to this embassy for passports. The name is short for Embassy of Well-being and Debauchery. You will, however, feel transported to Spains gourmet capital, San Sebastian, after sampling ambassador Alan Hughess cunning pintxos (complexly layered Basque-style tapas). From a self-serve bar, choose from a changing selection of skewered stacks; brie, homemade fig jam, and twizzles of silky jamon Serrano; roast tomato, goat cheese, and anchovies on buttery garlic toast; many more. Small plates, to-die-for desserts like floating island with lychees, and weekend brunch items demonstrate similar mad-chef skills. $$-$$$ Evios Pizza & Grill12600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-7699Family-owned and operated, this indoor/outdoor pizzeria is also family-friendly, right down to the size of its NY-style pies (sold whole or by the slice), which range from large to roughly the diameter of a ferris wheel. And toppings, ranging from meat-lovers to veggie-loaded, are applied with awe-inspiring abundance. Since tastes do vary, the menu also includes a cornucopia of other crowd-pleasers: burgers (including turkey with a unique mustard-spiked cranberry sauce), entre-size salads, burritos or quesadillas, wings, hot or cold subs and succulent self-basted lamb/beef gyros with tzatziki. $ Alba17315 Collins Ave., 786-923-9305From bad-boy celeb chef Ralph Pagano, Sole resorts seaside Italian/Italian-American eatery has an irreverent retro Rat Pack vibe and a menu featuring naked ravioli from the Gnudi Bar, fresh seafood, homemade pastas, classic and contemporary pizzas, and old school red sauce joint entres, some upscaled. (When lobster Franaise is available, why settle for chicken?) Almond-sage butter-sauced butternut squash gnudi is a best bet. And meals end with another best bet: the Vinny D Split, a game enabling tables to win their meals for free. $$$$

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13488 BISCAYNE BOULEVARD | NORTH MIAMI, FLORIDA 33181786-732-3124 | FISHFISHMIAMI.COM@FISHFISHMIAMI 1 7 CATCH OUR NEW DINNER MENU WITH DAILY SPECIALS SAIL INTO HAPPY HOUR Monday Friday from 4 7PM 2 FOR 1 DRINKS & A Fantastic $6 Bar Bite Menu Full Lunch Menu Every Day From 11AM Our Fresh Seafood Market Is Open Every Day From 10AM With Local Catch and Live Maine Lobsters from 1-1/4 up to 5 lbsWednesday Salmon Three Ways 15.99 Thursday All You Can Eat Crawfish Boil 34.99 Monday Snapper Fest 15.99 Tuesday Crab-Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp 15.99 FIRST $10 ON US!TOWARDS YOUR MARKET OR RESTAURANT PURCHASE.Must present this ad. Offer expires March 31, 2013.BITE INTO THE FRESHEST LOCAL SEAFOOD BITE INTO THE FRESHEST LOCAL SEAFOOD AT AT

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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 flashmarinated raw seafood creations, such as tiradito a la crema de rocoto (sliced fish in citrus-spiked chili/cream sauce). But traditional fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Chaufa fried rice (packed with jumbo shrimp, mussels, and calamari) are also fun, as well as surprisingly affordable. $$ db Bistro Moderne345 Avenue of the Americas, 305-421-8800Just two words -- Daniel Boulud -should be enough for foodies craving creative French/American comfort cuisine to run, not walk, to this restaurant. If they can find it. (Hint: The mysterious Avenue of the Americas is really Biscayne Boulevard Way. Dont ask.) Downtowns db is an absentee celeb chef outpost, but on-site kitchen wizard Jarrod Verbiak flawlessly executes dishes ranging from the original NYC db Bistros signature foie gras/short rib/black truffle-stuffed burger to local market-driven dishes like crusted pompano with garlic/parsley veloute. $$$-$$$$ The Democratic Republic of Beer255 NE 14th St., 305-372-4161The food here? Beer is food! The DRB serves 400 beers from 55 countries, ranging from $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon to $40 DeuS (an 11.5% alcohol Belgian mthode Champenoise brew). But for those favoring solid snacks, tasty global smallish plates include fried fresh zucchini with dip (cheese recommended); chorizo with homemade cilantro Mayo; or steak tacos, served Mexican-style with onions, cilantro, and spicy salsa. Sadly for breakfast-brew enthusiasts, the DRB isnt open that early. But it is open late -till 5:00 a.m. $$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 precisioncooked entrecte rib-eye with Bearnaise or complex Caf de Paris butter; crme brle (from scratch) or macaron cookies (from heaven). No velvet ropes, and club music isnt cranked till 11:00 p.m. $$$ Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave., 305-358-3535Replacing the Four Seasons formal fine dining spot Acqua, Edge offers a more kick-back casual welcoming vibe. And in its fare theres a particularly warm welcome for non-carnivores. Chef-driven seafood items (several inventive and unusually subtle ceviches and tartares; a layered construction of corvina encrusted in a jewel-bright green pesto crust, atop red piquillo sauce stripes and salad; lobster corn soup packed with sweet lobster meat; more) and a farm-to-table produce emphasis make this one steakhouse where those who dont eat beef have no beef. $$$$-$$$$$ Elwoods Gastro Pub188 NE 3rd Ave., 305-358-5222Cordial English owners, classic rock music (sometimes live), and updated classic pub fare make this hangout a home. Made from scratch with artisan ingredients, traditional Brit bites like fish and chips cant be beat -thick pieces of crisply beer-battered moist cod, served with hand-cut fries and mushy [mashed] peas, plus housemade tartar sauce and ketchup. All desserts are also made in-house, including a deliriously rich (but worth it) sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. Tie down your dental implants. Theyre in for a wild ride. $$Eos485 Brickell Ave. (Viceroy Hotel), 305-503-0373Originally opened by Michelin-starred New Aegean chef Michael Psilakis, Eos changed upon the chefs departure into a more familiar Mediterranean resort eatery, minus Greek-inspired innovations. Now inspiration comes mainly from Spain and Italy, with nods to Morocco and Latin America. Best bets include a tasting platter of Spanish cheeses and cured meats; a pistachiogarnished salad featuring Serrano ham, figs, and arugula; crispy parmesan risotto balls with prosciutto and smoked tomato dip; and olive/smoked paprika-rubbed roast chicken. At lunch burgers and upscale sandwiches are added. $$$-$$$$Eternity Coffee Roasters117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-609-4981Normally we list only full restaurants, but even a (not so) simple cuppa joe from Chris Johnson and Cristina Garcess sleek micro-roastery will convince anyone possessing taste buds that fine coffee can be as complex as fine wine, and as satisfying as solid food. A changing selection of superior single-origin beans (many varieties from the Garces familys Colombian farm; most others from Ethiopia and Kenya), roasted in-house, produces slow-pour regular brews with amazing nuances of fruits, chocolate, and more. The espresso is so smooth sugar isnt necessary. Other treats: flaky chocolate-stuffed cigars and other locally baked pastries. Free parking. $ Fado Irish Pub900 S. Miami Ave. #200, 786-924-0972Unlike most Miami Irish pubs, which serve mostly American bar food, rarely foraying past fish and chips or shepherds pie, Fado (pronounced fdoe) has a menu reflecting the pub grub found today in Ireland, including solid standards. But most intriguing are dishes mixing classic and contemporary influences, particularly those featuring boxty, a grated/mashed potato pancake. Try corned beef rolls (boxty wraps, with creamy mustard sauce and cabbage slaw), or smoked salmon on miniboxty blini, with capers and horseradish sauce. Theres a seasonal menu, too. $$Finnegans River401 SW 3rd Ave., 305-285-3030Pool tables are expected in a sports bar and grill. But an actual pool? And a Jacuzzi? This Miami River hideaway has other surprises, too, on its extensive outdoor deck, including a boat dock and a large array of umbrella tables and lounge chairs where its easy to while away many happy hours. The menu is the same array of bar bites served by South Beachs older Finnegans, but angus burgers are big and tasty, and zingy jalapeo-studded smoked-fish dip is a satisfying table-snack choice. $$ First Hong Kong Caf117 SE 2nd St., 305-808-6665Old Hong Kong saying: If it walks, swims, crawls, or flies, its edible. And nowhere is this truer than in this historically international trade ports cafs -meaning fast-food restaurants. Typical menus present hundreds of items that are local interpretations of dishes from all China, and most other nations. So believe us: At this caf, whose head chef is from HK, the Indian-style curries, sambal-spiked Indonesian chow fun, even the borscht (a tomato/beef, not beet-based version of the Russian soup) are as authentic as the kung pao whatever, and as tasty. $$ Fratelli Milano213 SE 1st St., 305-373-2300Downtown isnt yet a 24/7 urban center, but its experiencing a mini explosion of eateries open at night. That includes this family-owned ristorante, where even newcomers feel at home. At lunch its almost impossible to resist panini, served on foccacia or crunchy ciabatta; even the vegetarian version bursts with complex and complementary flavors. During weekday dinners, try generous plates of risotto with shrimp and grilled asparagus; homemade pastas like seafood-packed fettuccine al scoglio; or delicate Vitello alla Milanese on arugula. $$-$$$Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations, this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No worries about the seafoods freshness; on their way to the dining deck overlooking the Miami River, diners can view the retail fish market. Best preparations are the simplest. When stone crabs are in season, Garcias claws are as good as Joes but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular grouper, yellowtail snapper, or mahi mahi. $-$$Giovana Caffe154 SE 1st Ave.305-374-1024If the menu at this charming downtown hideaway contained only one item -pear and gorgonzola ravioli dressed, not drowned, in sage-spiced cream sauce -wed be happy. But the caf, formerly lunch-only but now serving weekday dinners, is also justly famed for meal-size salads like grilled skirt steak atop sweetly balsamic-dressed spinach (with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese, and almonds), or an especially lavish chicken salad with pine nuts, golden raisins, apples, and basil, an Italian twist. $$Grimpa Steakhouse901 Brickell Plaza, 305-455-4757This expansive indoor/outdoor Brazilian eatery is sleekly contemporary, but no worries. The classic sword-wielding gauchos are here, serving a mind-reeling assortment of skewered beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages, and fish. And included in the price (dinner $47, lunch $34) is the traditional belly-busting buffet of hot and cold prepared foods, salad, cold cuts, and cheeses. A pleasant, nontraditional surprise: unusual sauces like sweet/tart passion fruit or mint, tomato-based BBQ, and mango chutney, along with the ubiquitous chimichurri. $$$$-$$$$$Half Moon Empanadas192 SE 1st Ave., 305-379-2525As with South Beachs original Half Moon, you can get wraps or salads. But its this snackerys unique take on Argentine-style empanadas that makes it seem a natural for national franchising. The soft-crusted, doughy crescents -baked, not fried, so relatively guilt-free -are amply stuffed with fillings both classic (beef and chicken, either mild or spicy) and creative: the bacon cheeseburger, the pancetta/mozzarella/plum-filled Americana, and several vegetarian options. At just over two bucks apiece, theyre a money-saving moveable feast. $Hawa Jade1331 Brickell Bay Dr., 305-905-5523When thinking fusion cuisines, Japanese and Lebanese dont instantly spring to mind. But taking the medieval Spice Route connection as inspiration, the Hawa family makes the mix work at both its original Coral Gables Hawa and this new location in the Jade Residences. Golden Pockets (tofu crpes encasing macadamias, avocado, and tuna, crab, shrimp, or Kobe-style beef) are musts. Plus there are unique combos containing makis plus substantial salads, like crunchy tuna enoki rolls with falafel salad -not the usual green garnish. Housemade desserts with a French twist are also a pleasant surprise. $$ Hibachi Grill45 NE 3rd Ave., 305-374-2223Imagine a mini-express Benihana. This place specializes in teppanyaki cuisine -minus the thrilling (or terrifying) tableside knife theatrics, true, but the one-plate meals of seasoned steak slices, chicken, shrimp, or salmon plus dipping sauces, fried rice, and an onion/zucchini mix come at bargain prices. There are also hefty soups or Japanese, Thai, and Singaporestyle noodle and rice bowls loaded with veggies and choice of protein (including tofu). The limited sides are Japanese (shumai, plump chicken gyoza) and Chinese (various egg rolls). Fancy? No, but satisfying. $-$$ The Hoxton1111 SW 1st Ave., 786-691-2730Though inland (and reportedly inspired by old England), this urban beach bar/grill has the relaxing, refined-rustic ambiance of a classic New England hangout, and upscaled down shore food to match: Maine lobster rolls, on brioche rather than hot dog rolls; a luxe take on Qubcoise poutine (fromscratch fries with Vermont cheddar and duck confit gravy); an especially lavish clam bake. Also appealingly different from the Miami norm: frequent live bands of many musical genres in the comfortable lounge area, plus almost spookily competent service. $$$Il Gabbiano335 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-373-0063Its location at the mouth of the Miami River makes this ultraupscale Italian spot (especially the outdoor terrace) the perfect power lunch/business dinner alternative to steakhouses. And the culinary experience goes way beyond the typical meat 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 alter natives 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), 20 NE 41st Street, Miami 305.918.4453 FREE MINI CRME BRLE 1800 Biscayne Blvd, #105 (Located at 1800 Biscayne Plaza) WWW.3CHEFS-MIA.COM Specializing in Chinese & Vietnamese Cuisine

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

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84 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. $-$$ Machiya3252 NE 1st Ave. #116, 786-507-5025Originally called Machiya Ramen Noodle House, this eaterychanged its name -and really, the place is not so much a ramen joint as a contemporary izakaya (lounge featuring Japanese hot and cold small plates plus sushi), with a few added ramen bowls. Most of the menu is a mix of todays popular favorites, like Kobe sliders, and unique inventions. Wildest: wasabi-spiced tuna pizza. Our faves: fatty salmon makis (lightly seared salmon belly with shrimp tempura, asparagus, and yuzu sauce); rich miso-braised short ribs; steam buns with rock shrimp and spicy aioli.Martini 28146 SE 1st Ave., 305-577-4414This stylish little lunch-only spot, a labor of love from a husband-wife chef team, serves what might well be the most impressive meal deal in town. From an ambitious, daily-changing menu of fare thats geographically eclectic but prepared with solid classic technique, diners get a choice of about ten entres (substantial stuff like steak au poivre with Madeira cream sauce and roasted potatoes, or pignoliacrusted salmon with Dijon mustard sauce, potatoes, and veggies), plus soup or salad and housemade dessert. For just $9.99. Told ya. $ Miami Art Caf 364 SE 1st St., 305-374-5117For businessfolk on the go, this breakfast/lunch-only French caf serves up evocative baguette sandwiches (like camembert) loaded, if you like, with greens, olives, and more. For those with time to sit, wed recommend the savory crpes, garnished with perfectly dressed salad, or sweet crpe like the Bonne Maman (whose sugar/salted butter stuffing brings Brittany to downtown). And quiches are nicely custardy. But there are surprises here, too, including just a few full entres, with correctly made traditional sauces one wouldnt expect at a luncheonette -except, perhaps, in Paris. $-$$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 prixfixe Japanese dinners at chef Kevin Corys tiny but nationally acclaimed oasis, transplanted from its original Sunny Isles space with its supreme serenity intact. By reservation only, in two dinner seatings of just eight people each, and omakase (chefs choice) only, meals include a seasonal soup, a four-course bento box, eight pieces of sushi, and three desserts. Cory personally does everything for you, even applying the perfect amount of housemade artisan soy sauce mix and fresh-grated wasabi to each mindreelingly fresh nigiri. Few eating experiences on earth are more luxuriant. $$$$$ neMesis Urban Bistro1035 N. Miami Ave., 305-415-9911Truly original restaurants are hard to find here, and harder to describe in standard sound bites. But they often are the attention-grabbing people-magnets that spark revivals of iffy neighborhoods. Thats our prediction for this quirkily decorated bistro, where the kitchen is helmed by Top Chef contestant Micah Edelstein. The intensely personal menu of creative dishes inspired by her global travels (plus her fascination with unfamiliar ingredients) changes constantly, but scrumptious signatures include South African smoked veal bobotie, and Peruvian pinoli pancakes with housemade chicken/apple sausage, hibiscus syrup, and maple granules. $$$-$$$$Novecento1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900For those who think Argentine cuisine is a synonym for beef and more beef, this popular eaterys wide range of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia (lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeos, basil, and the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially notable are the entre salads. $$-$$$Oceanaire Seafood Room900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire May seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida fish shack, but menus vary significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here in Miami, chef Sean Bernal supplements signature starters like lump crab cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even flown-in fish (and the raw bars cold-water oysters) are ultrafresh. $$$$OTC1250 S. Miami Ave. 305-374-4612Over-the-counter service usually connotes the classic fast food slider experience: both greaseburgers and patrons are in and out quickly. At this casually cool gastropub, the counter ordering system encourages the opposite feel, of comfie congeniality; it invites hanging out, just without the fuss of formal dining out -or the expense. Most plates are $10 or under. Ingredient-driven dishes cover todays favorite food groups (various mac-and-cheeses, variously topped/seasoned fries, and more) with some unusual twists, like a scrumptiously lardon-laden frise/goat cheese salad brightened by fresh peaches. Even the condiments are housemade. $$Ozzi Sushi200 SE 1st St., 786-704-8003Since its 1958 invention, conveyor-belt sushi has been the most fun form of Japanese fast food, but problematic. Who knew how long plates had been circulating on the sushi-goround? Happily, this sushi-boat spot avoids sanitation issues with clear plastic covers, and as for freshness, low prices ensure a steady stream of diners grabbing makis, nigiri, and more as they float by. Highlights include glistening ikura (salmon roe) in a thin-sliced cucumber cup, a sweet-sauced mango/ guava/crab roll, and a festively frosted strawberry Nutella dessert maki. $-$$Pashas1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116The original branch on Lincoln Road was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle Eastern fast food is served at several newer outlets. The prices are low enough that you might suspect Pashas was a tax write-off rather than a Harvard Business School project, which it was by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes range from falafel and gyros to more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut spread) and silky labneh yogurt cheese. Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh, from scratch, daily. $-$$Pega Grill15 E. Flagler St., 305-808-6666From Thanasios Barlos, a Greek native who formerly owned North Beachs Ariston, this small spot is more casually contemporary and less ethnic-kitschy in ambiance, but serves equally authentic, full-flavored Greek food. Mixed lamb/beef gyros (chicken is also an option), topped with tangy yogurt sauce and wrapped, with greens and tomatoes, in fat warm pita bread, are specialties. But even more irresistible is the taramasalata (particularly velvety and light carp roe dip), available alone or on an olive/pita-garnished mixed meze platter. $$ Peoples Bar-B-Que360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs (enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus theres a full menu of soul food entres, including what many aficionados consider our towns tastiest souse. And it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$ Perricones15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from Vermont), this market/caf was one of the Brickell areas first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken salad is a favorite; dinners strong suit is the pasta list, ranging from Grandma Jennies old-fashioned lasagna to chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sundays $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95 for kids) featuring an omelet station, waffles, smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more remains one of our towns most civilized all-you-can-eat deals. $$Pieducks1451 S. Miami Ave., 305-808-7888If you can overlook a name as unenlightening as most in-jokes (it evidently refers to a favorite character of owner Claudio Nuness kids -we assume the Pokemon Psyduck), youll experience pretty perfect pizza. Sadly, not all brick ovens turn out perfectly char-blistered crusts, crisp outside and airy/chewy inside, but thats what youll consistently find here and a newer take-out/delivery-only Midtown branch. And unlike many artisan pizzerias, Pieducks doesnt get cheesy with cheese quantity (though we like that extra cheese is an option). Elaborate salads complete the menu. $$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 causas, combining Perus favorite starch, potatoes, with unique new sauces. $$ Thea Pizzeria-Caf1951 NW 7th Ave., 305-777-3777Just over the border from artsy Wynwood, this ultra-cool caf (whose interior features a 30-foot Italian glass floral mosaic) isnt what youd expect to find inside one of the medical/lab buildings in Miamis sterile Health District. But the owner is Thea Goldman, former founding partner of Wynwoods pioneering restolounge Joeys, which explains both the stylishness and the menu, highlighted by imaginative wood-oven designer pizzas, plus artisan charcuterie/ cheese platters, creative salads, and housemade salted caramel gelato. Not your typical hospital food. Call ahead regarding dinner. At this writing, its being served Fridays only. $$-$$$Pizzarium69 E. Flagler St., 305-381-6025 Roman-style rectangular pizzas, served in square slices, have been available in the Miami area since the mid-1990s. But the familiar squares and Pizzariums are similar only in shape. Main difference: dough, here allowed to rise for four days. The resulting crusts are astonishingly airy, as authentic Roman slices, intended as light street snacks, should be. Toppings, a rotating selection of nearly 30 combinations, are highlighted by quality imported ingredients -not to mention a healthy imagination, as the zucca gialla attests: pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked scamorza cheese. $ Pollos & Jarras115 NE 3rd Ave., 786-567-4940From Juan Chipoco, Peruvian chef/co-owner of seafoodcentric Cvi.Che 105, this stylish but affordable two-level restaurant is centered around pollo a la brasa, as a huge rotisserie oven attests. Grilled steaks, unique sandwiches, anticuchos, and varied starters and sides are also served, but the must-not-miss is rotisserie chicken, marinated in roughly a dozen-and-a-half seasonings before a self-basting spin on the spit cooks it to incomparable juiciness. Its served with crisp fries and a substantial salad. Meals also come with a complimentary cup of aguadito -assertively cilantro-spiked chicken rice soup. $$ Porketta43 NE 3rd Ave., 305-372-0034Warm, juicy, served with succulent pieces of crisp crackling, herb-stuffed Italian porchetta (pronounced porketta) roast, at its best, is hard to find even in much of Italy except during festivals. But every day is a festival here, where the real thing (not the dry deli-style pork roll slices that often pass for porchetta) is featured on a plate with broccoli rabe and cannellinis; in the hefty Bombardino sandwich; or in three mini-sandwiches, convenient for sampling the places three sauces. Several salads and carpaccios placate porkophobes. $-$$PreludeAdrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722Though the opening of Barton G.s elegant performing arts center eatery did feature a live giraffe, the foods actually more grown-up than at his original SoBe spot. The concept is prix fixe: Any three courses on the menu (meaning three entres if you want) for $39. Highlights include silky, tarragon-inflected corn/bacon chowder, beautifully plated beef carpaccio with horseradish/mustard and shallot olive oil dipping sauces; and over-the-top playhouse desserts, one with a luscious crme fraiche ice cream pop. $$$$Rajas Indian Cuisine33 NE 2nd Ave., 305-539-9551Despite its small size and dcor best described as none, this place is an institution thanks to south Indian specialties rarely found in Miamis basically north Indian restaurants. The steam-tabled curries are fine (and nicely priced), but be sure to try the custom-made dosai (lacy rice crepes with a variety of savory fillings) and uttapam, thicker pancakes, layered with onions and chilis, both served with sambar and chutney. $$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. $ SPECIALTY CAKES AND DESSERTSBREAKFAST LUNCH 7AM-7PM305-603-9340PASTRYISART.COMFREE MINI CUPCAKEWITH THIS AD

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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. $$-$$$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 pur ism, 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-andmatch 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 higherpriced barbecue outfits. $-$$ Sushi Maki1000 S. Miami Ave., 305-415-9779Fans of the popular parent Sushi Maki in the Gables will find many familiar favorites on this Brickell branchs menu. But the must-haves are some inventive new dishes introduced to honor the eaterys tenth anniversary and Miami multiculturalism: sushi tacos (fried gyoza skins with fusion fillings like raw salmon, miso, chili-garlic sauce, and sour cream), three tasty flash-marinated Asian/Latin tiraditos; addictive rock shrimp tempura with creamy/spicy dip. Also irresistible: four festive new sake cocktails. $$-$$$ SuViche49 SW 11th St., 305-960-7097 This small Japanese-Peruvian place serves food influenced by each nation distinctly, plus intriguing fusion items with added Caribbean touches. Cooked entres, all Peruvian, include an elegant aji de gallina (walnut-garnished chicken and potatoes in peppery cream sauce). But the emphasis is on contemporary ceviches/tiraditos (those with velvety aji amarillo chili sauce particularly), plus huge exotic sushi rolls, which get pretty wild. When was the last time you encountered a tempura-battered tuna, avocado, and scallion maki topped with Perus traditional potato garnish, huancaina cheese sauce? $$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. $$$-$$$$$ Trapiche Room1109 Brickell Ave., 305-329-3656With multiple Marriott hotels in Brickell and downtown, one of them housing high-profile db Bistro, its not surprising that this small, second-floor restaurant is something of a best kept secret. But it deserves discovery. Chef Maria Tobar hasnt Daniel Bouluds fame, but she does have classic European-type technical skills, combined with contemporary creativity that turns even ultimately old-fashioned items, like a pork/cabbage strudel, into 21st century fine-dining fare. Both dcor and service, similarly, are swelegant, not stuffy, and the rooms intimacy makes it a romantic spot for special occasions. $$$$Tre Italian Bistro270 E. Flagler St., 305-373-3303Bistro actually sounds too Old World for this cool hangout, from the owners of downtown old-timer La Loggia, but restolounge sounds too glitzy. Think of it as a neighbor hood bistrolounge. The food is mostly modernized Italian, with Latin and Asian accents: a prosciutto-and-fig pizza with Brazilian catupiry cheese; gnocchi served either as finger food (fried, with calamata olive/truffle aioli), or plated with orange-ginger sauce. But there are tomato-sauced meatballs with rigawt for Grandpa Vinnie, too. $$-$$$Trulucks Seafood, Steak, and Crabhouse777 Brickell Ave., 305-579-0035Compared to other restaurants with such an upscale powerlunch/dinner setting, most prices are quite affordable here, especially if you stick to the Miami Spice-priced date-dinner menu, or happy hour, when seafood items like crab-cake sliders are half price. Most impressive, though, are seasonal stone crabs (from Trulucks own fisheries, and way less expensive than Joes) and other seafood that, during several visits, never tasted less than impeccably fresh, plus that greatest of Miami restaurant rarities: informed and gracious service. $$$-$$$$Tuyo415 NE 2nd St., 305-237-3200Atop the revolutionary Miami Culinary Institute, this upscale eatery, unlike the caf downstairs, isnt studentrun. Rather its designed to showcase school ideals -including sustainability as well as definitive Miami cuisine. The changing menu, from a culinary Dream Team headed by New World Cuisine inventor/MCI instructor Norman Van Aken (plus former protgs Jeffrey Brana and Travis Starwalt), mixes citrus-inflected creamy conch chowder and other pioneering signatures with new inventions like mind-reelingly multidimensional oyster pan stew, or tartare of tuna and burstingly ripe tomato topped with a delicate sous vide egg. $$$$$Waxy OConnors690 SW 1st Ct., 786-871-7660While the menu of this casually craic (Gaelic for fun) Irish pub will be familiar to fans of the South Beach Waxys, the location is far superior -on the Miami River, with waterfront deck. And none of Miamis Irish eateries offers as much authentic traditional fare. Especially evocative: imported oak-smoked Irish salmon with housemade brown bread; puff-pastry-wrapped Irish sausage rolls; lunchtimes import ed Irish bacon or banger butty sandwiches on crusty baguettes, served with hand-cut fries, the latter particularly terrific dipped in Waxys curry sauce. $$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/garliccoated 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! $$ Zuma270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277This Miami River restolounge has a London parent on San Pellegrinos list of the worlds best restaurants, and a similar menu of world-class, Izakaya-style smallish plates (robata-grilled items, sushi, much more) meant for sharing over drinks. Suffice to say that it would take maybe a dozen visits to work your way through the voluminous menu, which offers ample temptations for vegetarians as well as carnivores. Our favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with yuzu/ mustard miso dip, but even the exquisitely-garnished tofu rocks. $$$$

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86 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 ambi ance and Italian-American comfort food evoke the neighborhood red-sauce joints that were our favored hangouts growing up in NJs Sopranos territory. And low prices make it possible to hang out here frequently. Pizzas with handtossed 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, aru gula, and fresh tomatoes). Hefty half-pound burgers come similarly stuffed rather than topped. A sheltered patio and full bar make the place a pleasant neighborhood lounge, too. $$ Bin No. 181800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575At this wine bar/caf, the dcor is a stylish mix of contemporary (high loft ceilings) and Old World (tables made from wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the areas smart new residents: creative sandwiches and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run friendly, chef Alfredo Patino offers sophisticated snacks like the figciutto: arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, pine nuts, fresh figs, and pro sciutto. Free parking behind the building. $$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). $$$Buena Vista Bistro 4582 NE 2nd Ave., 305-456-5909If a neighborhood eatery like this one which serves supremely satisfying bistro food were within walking distance of every Miami resident, wed be a helluva hip food town. Like true Parisian bistros, its open continuously, every day, with prices so low that you can drop in anytime for authentic rillettes (a rustic pt) with a crusty baguette, steak with from-scratch frites, salmon atop ratatouille, or many changing blackboard specials. Portions are plentiful. So is free parking. $$Buena Vista 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/crunchy-crusted pizza topped with duck confit, wild mushrooms, port wine syrup, and subtly truffled bchamel; crispy calamari (rings and legs) with light, lemony tomato emulsion; and tuna tartar that is refreshingly free of sesame oil. Big portions and a full bar to boot. $$-$$$$The Cheese Course3451 NE 1st Ave. 786-220-6681Not so much a restaurant as an artisanal cheese shop with complimentary prepared foods, this places self-service caf component nevertheless became an instant hit. Impeccable ingredients and inspired combinations make even the simplest salads and sandwiches unique -like bacon and egg, elevated by hand-crafted cream cheese, roasted red peppers, avocado, and chipotle Mayo. Cheese platters are exceptional, and customized for flavor preference from mild to bold, and accompanied by appropriate fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, prepared spreads, and breads. $$Clives Caf2818 N. Miami Ave., 305-576-0277Some still come for the inexpensive, hearty American breakfasts and lunches that this homey hole-in-the-wall has served for more than 30 years. Since about 1990, though, when owner Pearline Murray (Ms. Pearl to regulars) and cook Gloria Chin began emphasizing their native Jamaican specialties, the intensely spiced grilled jerk chicken has been the main item here. Other favorites: savory rice and pigeon peas; eye-opening onion/vinegar-flavored escovitch fish; sweet plantains; and cabbage that redefines the vegetable. $Crumb on Parchment3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-572-9444Though located in a difficult spot (the Melin Buildings central atrium, invisible from the street), Michelle Bernsteins bakery/caf packs em in, partly due to Bernsteins mom Martha, who makes irresistible old-school cakes: German chocolate with walnuts, lemon curd with buttercream frost ing, 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

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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. $$$ Egyptian Pizza KitchenShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-571-9050Pizza, pita -hey, theyre both flatbreads. So while many pizzas do indeed, as this halal places name suggests, have initially weird-seeming Middle Eastern toppings, its really not surprising that the Giza (topped with marinated lamb, feta, olives, peppers, and pungently spiced cumin sauce) works at least as well as Italian classics. Additionally the menu includes interesting Middle Eastern fare like foul, a hummus-like but lighter Egyptian dish of favas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. A brick oven makes both pizzas and homemade pitas superior. $$18th Street Caf210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006Most seating in this cool, pioneering neighborhood caf is in a giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the small space feel expansive -fitting, since the menu keeps expanding, too. Originally breakfast/lunch only, the caf, though closed weekends, now serves dinner till 10:00 p.m., with comfort food entres like secret-recipe meatloaf joining old favorites: daily-changing homemade soups, varied burgers, layered international salads, inspired sandwiches (like roast beef and provolone with creamy horseradish). Beer and wine is available, and now so is delivery. $$Five Guys Famous Burger and FriesShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Ave., 305-571-8341No green-leaf faux health food here. You get what the name says, period, with three adds: kosher dogs, veggie burgers, and free peanuts while you wait. Which you will, just a bit, since burgers are made fresh upon order. Available in double or one-patty sizes, theyre well-done but spurtingly juicy, and after loading with your choice of free garnishes, even a little burger makes a major meal. Fries (regular or Cajun-spiced) are also superior, hand-cut in-house from sourced potatoes. $Gigi3470 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1520As befits its location in artful, working-class Wynwood, Gigi has minimalist modern diner ambiance paired with truly cre ative contemporary Asian-influenced comfort food from Top Chef contender Jeff McInnis (formerly of the South Beach Ritz-Carlton) at surprisingly low prices. From a menu encompassing noodle and rice bowls, steam-bun ssams, grilled goodies, and raw items, highlights include pillowy-light roast pork-stuffed buns, and possibly the worlds best BLT, featuring Asian bun toast, thick pork belly slices rather than bacon, and housemade pickles. Theres $2 beer, too. $-$$ Harrys 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. $-$$La Provence2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002(See Brickell / Downtown listing.)Latin Caf 20002501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838The menu is similar to that at many of our towns Latin cafs, largely classic Cuban entres and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambi ance, encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck. $$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 rich-tasting light salad cream. $-$$Lime Fresh Mexican GrillShops at Midtown Miami Buena Vista Avenue, 305-576-5463Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an instant hit, as much for being a hip new Midtown hangout as for its carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. The concept is fast casual rather than fast food meaning nice enough for a night out. It also means ingredients are always fresh. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as the menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish tacos comes from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include low-carb tortillas and many Mexican beers. $Limn y Sabor3045 Biscayne Blvd., 786-431-5739In this dramatically renovated space, the room is now light and open, and the food is authentic Peruvian, with seafood a specialty. Portions are huge, prices low, quality high. Especially good are their versions of pescado a lo macho (fish fillet topped with mixed seafood in a creamy, zesty sauce); jalea (breaded and deep-fried fish, mixed seafood, and yuca, topped with onion/pepper/lime salsa), and yuca in hot yet fruity rocoto chili cream sauce. $$Lost & Found Saloon185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008Theres an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has grown with its neighborhood. Its now open for dinner six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at rock-bottom prices. Dishes like pion and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a hip beer and wine list. $Mandolin Aegean 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 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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88 exciting. Particularly definitive: lunchtimes piadenas, saladlike seasonal/regional ingredient combinations atop heavenly homemade flatbreads. Cocktails feature ingredients from zaatar to salmon roe. $$$-$$$$ Mercadito Midtown3252 NE 1st Ave., 786-369-0423Some people frequent this fashionable restolounge, festooned with graffiti-style murals designed to evoke a bustling Mexican street market, just for the dangerously smooth margaritas. But the main must-haves here are tacos, encased in a rarity: genuinely made-from-scratch corn tortillas, small but fatly-stuffed. Of 11 varieties, our favorite is the carnitas (juicy braised pork, spicy chili de arbol slaw, toasted peanuts). A close second: the hongos, intensely flavorful huitlacoche and wild mushrooms, with manchego and salsa verde -a reminder that vegetarian food need not be bland. $$-$$$Michaels Genuine Food and Drink130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550An instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from chef Michael Schwartz offers down-to-earth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip, or a whole wood-roasted chicken. Theres also a broad range of prices and portion sizes to encourage frequent visits. Michaels Genuine also features an eclectic, affordable wine list and a full bar. $$-$$$$Ming Yuan3006 NW 2nd Ave., 305-576-6466What this tiny (three booths plus counter seats) Wynwood place serves isnt authentic Chinese cuisine. Its Chinese immigrant cooking: Americas original Cantonese-based chop sueys and egg foo youngs plus later, spicier but also Americanized Szechuan/Hunan-inspired 1970s inventions like Mongolian beef and General Tsos this-or-that. But all the above (ordered extra-spicy if you like heat), plus crab rangoons and treat-packed special fried rice, are truly tasty. And since almost everything on the menu comes in several sizes, with even small being substantial, prices are unbeatable. $-$$ Mikes at 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. $-$$Morgans Restaurant28 NE 29th St., 305-573-9678Housed in a beautifully refurbished 1930s private home, Morgans serves eclectic, sometimes internationally influ enced contemporary American cuisine compelling enough to attract hordes. Dishes are basically comfort food, but ultimate comfort food: the most custardy, fluffy French toast imaginable; shoestring frites that rival Belgiums best; mouthwatering maple-basted bacon; miraculously terrific tofu (crisply panko-crusted and apricot/soy-glazed); even a voluptuous grilled cheese sandwich -definitely a dont ask, dont tell your cardiologist item. $$-$$$NoVe Kitchen & Bar1750 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-503-1000At NoVe, the restolounge at the Opera Tower condo in NoVe (new nickname for the bayfront neighborhood north of the Venetian Causeway), the food is East-West. Meaning you can get burgers, pasta, and so on, or try the inventive Asian small plates and sushi specialties Hiro Terada originated at his past posts, Doraku and Moshi Moshi: the Atlantis roll (tempura conch with asparagus, avocado, scallions, and curry sauce); spicy, crunchy fried tofu atop kimchi salad; much more. Open 6:00 a.m. for breakfast to 3:00 a.m., it is kid-friendly and dog-friendly, too. $$-$$$Oak Tavern35 NE 40th St., 786-391-1818 With a festively lantern-lit oak tree on the outdoor dining patio and stylishly playful lamps mimicking oaks inside, chef/restaurateur David Bracha of River Oyster Bar has transformed a previously cold space to warm. Food is equally inviting. The mostly small-plates seasonal menu roams the globe from supreme Vietnamese bahn mi (with pork belly and foie gras) to down-home buttermilk biscuits with bacon butter, and homemade charcuterie. If available, dont miss Hawaiian-inspired steelhead poke; substituting the salmonlike but more delicate trout for the usual tuna transports this crudo to heavenly heights. $$-$$$ Orange Caf + Art2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed caf are for sale. And for those who dont have thousands of dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups, several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $ Pashas 3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201(See Brickell/Downtown listing)Pasta FoliesShops at Midtown Miami3252 NE 1st Ave. #118, 786-382-0205In France the word folie can mean extravagant. More often it means madness. Its the latter translation that first comes to mind when perusing the menu of this French Rivera pasta/pizza fast-casual chain, whose concept is pastas, plus pizzas, from around the world -even Italy. Dont expect authenticity from the more exotic toppings; they basically contain one typical ingredient (along with a generic onions/peppers/veg assortment): bean sprouts in Thailands spaghetti, pineapple in Balis, curry sauce on Indias. Do expect super-fresh sauces, made daily. Friendly staffers and fun. $$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. $$$ Primos1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-371-9055The imposing, cavernous lobby of the Grand doesnt have that do drop in locals hangout vibe. But this lively Italian spot is actually a great addition to the neighborhood. The pizzas alone brick-oven specimens with toppings ranging from classic pepperoni to prosciutto/arugula would be draw enough. But pastas also please: diners choice of starch, with mix-and-match sauces and extras. And the price is right, with few entres topping $20. The capper: Its open past midnight every day but Sunday. $$Primo Pizza 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 Institutetrained 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. $$ Sake Room 275 NE 18th St., 305-755-0122Sake takes a back seat to sushi and sophisticated dcor at this small but sleek restolounge. Among the seafood offerings, you wont find exotica or local catches, but all the usual sushi/sashimi favorites, though in more interesting form, thanks to sauces that go beyond standard soy spicy sriracha, garlic/ponzu oil, and many more. Especially recommended: the yuzu hamachi roll, the lobster tempura maki, and panko-coated spicy shrimp with hot-and-sour Mayo and a salad. $$-$$$Salad Creations2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-5333At this fast-casual restaurant, diners can enjoy a wide variety ofchef-created salads and wraps, or go the DIY route, choosing from one of four greens options; four dozen addons (fresh, dried, or pickled veggies and fruits, plus cheeses and slightly sinful pleasures like candied pecans or wonton strips); a protein (seafood or poultry); and two dozen dressings, ranging from classic (Thousand Island, bleu cheese) to creative contemporary (spicy Asian peanut, cucumber wasabi, blueberry pomegranate). Additionally, the place creates lovely catering platters, plus individual lunchboxes -perfect picnic or plane food. $-$$ Salumeria 1043451 NE 1st Ave. #104, 305-424-9588In Italy, salumerias started, like American delicatessens, as shops selling salumi (cured meats), but evolved into the equivalent of eat-in deli/restaurants that also serve cold and hot prepared foods. At this modern Midtown salumeria, the soups-to-salads-to-sweets range of fare is the same. Custom-sliced imported cold cuts are a main focus, espe cially 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-fresh-daily fare similar in concept to some fast-casual competitors. But there are indeed differences here, notably pan-Latin options: black beans as well as red; thin, delightfully crunchy tostones (available as a side or as the base for a uniquely tasty take on normal nachos). Other pluses include weekday happy hours with two-for-one beers -and free parking. $-$$ live 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 & supplementsfacebook.com/GuarapoJuiceBar

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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. $-$$Shokudo World Resource Caf 4740 NE 2nd Ave., 305-758-7782At its former Lincoln Road location, World Resources caf was better known for people-watching than for its standard sushi/Thai menu. But as the new name signals, this relocation is a reinvention. The indoor/outdoor space is charming, but creative takes on popular pan-Asian street foods are the real draw. Travel from Japan and Thailand through Korea, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and beyond via light housemade momo, curried potato-stuffed Tibetan/ Nepalese steamed dumplings; savory pulled pork buns with kimchi and crisped onions. Noodle dishes, hot or chilled, are especially appealing. $$-$$$ South Street Restaurant & Bar4000 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-5474In the historic Buena Vista post office building, this neosoul food restaurant features family recipes from chef Amaris Jones, a Philly native. Along with tasty traditional favorites like fried chicken or shrimp and cheese grits with low-country gravy, there are lightened classics (green tomatoes that are grilled, not fried, with basil cream aioli), plus a few items whose street cred seems to come from a Soul Train stop at the Bryn Mawr Country Club (surf and turf). Food comes with a soul soundtrack befitting the lounge vibe. $$$ 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 tra ditional 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. $-$$ Wine Vault MiamiShops at Midtown Miami Fountain Circle #105, 786-691-2000From a Wine Vault press release: Over 1300 square feet of pure decadence. In fact, the soaring, two-story space, complete with glass elevator, has a look that lives up to the hype. But the most decadent thing inside is a nibble from its tapas list: chocolate-covered bacon. Go ahead and make a meal of it. We grown-ups can eat what we want. More substantial plates to accompany the roughly four dozen wines, artisan beers, or cocktails include chorizo with new potatoes, and sweetly piquant piquillo peppers stuffed with shredded tuna. Happy-hour wine prices are so low wed better not mention them. $$-$$$ Wynwood Kitchen & Bar2550 NW 2nd Ave., 305-722-8959The exterior is eye-popping enough, with murals from world-famous outdoor artists, but its the interior that grabs you. Colorful and exotic work by Shepard Fairey, Christian Awe, and other acclaimed artists makes it one of the most striking restaurant spaces anywhere. As for food, the original menu has been replaced with Spanish/Latin/ Mediterranean-inspired favorites from chef Miguel Aguilar (formerly of Alma de Cuba): gazpacho or black bean soups; shredded chicken ropa vieja empanadas with cilantro crema; grilled octopus skewers with tapenade; plus fingerling potato-chorizo hash and other seasonal farm-to-table veg dishes. $$-$$$ Upper EastsideAndiamo5600 Biscayne Blvd. 305-762-5751With brick-oven pizzerias popping up all over town the past few years, its difficult to remember the dark days when this part of Mark Soykas 55th Street Station complex was mainland Miamis sole source of open-flame-cooked pies. But the pizzas still hold up against the newbie pack, espe cially since exec chef Frank Crupi has upped the ante with unique-to-Miami offerings like a white (tomato-free) New Haven clam pie. Also available: salads, panini, and a tasty meatball appetizer with ricotta. Theres a respectable wine and beer list, too. $$Balans Biscayne6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-534-9191It took longer than expected, but this Brit imports third Miami venue finally opened, and rather quietly -which has an upside. Its easier to get a table here (and to park, thanks to the free lot on 68th Street) than at Lincoln Road or Brickell. This, along with the venues relatively large, open-to-the-street outdoor area, contributes to a more relaxed, neighborhood-focused vibe. The fun menu of global comfort food is the same (ranging from a creamy-centered cheese souffl through savory Asian potstickers and, at breakfast, fluffy pecan/maple-garnished pancakes) and pre pared 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 madu ros to bleu cheese roasted asparagus. Shrimp and grits compete with any in Charleston; pork and beans, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, beats Bostons best. $-$$Boteco916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735This strip of 79th Street is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic indoor/ outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially bustling on nights featuring live music, its even more fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an informal fair and the menu includes Brazils national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from unique, tapas-like pasteis to hefty Brazilian entres, is also appealing and budget-priced. $$Buddha Sushi Bar1071 NE 79th St., 305-677-3633While the setting is still more low-rent/high-speed causeway than restaurant row, this stylish, much-more-than-sushi spot definitely brings the street giant steps toward destinationdining 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. $$$ Chef Creole200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at chef/owner Wilkinson Sejours two tiny but popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also available and a $3.99 roast chicken special seafood is the specialty here: cre vette en sauce (steamed shrimp with Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (perfectly tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. The Miami branch has outdoor tiki-hut dining. $-$$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 avocado). But choices have expanded to include new dog choices (brats, Italian sausage, more) plus burgers and other classic eastern U.S. regional urban street foods: New England lobster rolls, New Orleans poboys, Jersey shore cheese Taylors (pork roll), Baltimore crab cake sandwiches, and naturally, Phillys of all sorts -cheese steak and beyond. $-$$ East Side Pizza731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer entres like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices, including imported Peroni beer. As for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-9559At the Fed, expect what locals know to expect from sommelier/chef team Aniece Meinhold and Cesar Zapata, whose previous restaurant concepts have included Blue Piano (gourmet stoner snacks) and Vietnamese pop-up Phuc Yea. That is, expect the unexpected. The Fed is an updated tavern featuring creative, from-scratch takes on traditional GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION MIAMIS FIRST GOURMET POPSICLE SHOP 3252 BUENA VISTA AVE, #120 MIAMI, FLORIDA 33136S11 Code:BTFREE BUY ONE GET ONE POP

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American regional dishes: flaky Southern biscuits with sausage gravy (and crisp-coated sweetbreads, if desired); Northeastern-inspired pig wings (pork drummettes with homemade Buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and pickled veggies). Desserts, from third partner Alejandro Ortiz, include sinful sticky buns. $$-$$$ Garden of Eatin136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050Housed in a yellow building thats nearly invisible from the street, the Garden has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Large or small plates, with salad and fried sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry waffles with soy sausage patties. $Go To Sushi5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914This friendly, family-run Japanese fast-food eatery offers original surprises like the Caribbean roll (a festively green parsley-coated maki stuffed with crispy fried shrimp, avocado, sweet plantain, and spicy Mayo), or a wonderfully healthful sesame-seasoned chicken soup with spinach, rice noodles, and sizable slices of poultry. Health ensured, you can the enjoy a guiltless pig-out on Fireballs: fried dumplings of chicken, cabbage, and egg, crusted with quills -really a delectable crunchy noodle mix. $Gourmet Station7601 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-7229Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no time to cook, has been popular for years. But the Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition. Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf with homemade BBQ sauce sin-free comfort food. Food is available la carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diners nutritional needs. $$Iron Side Caf7600 NE 4th Ct., 305-759-0551Located in the Little River business (meaning warehouse) district, inside an art complex that looks like just another factory, this eatery is easy to miss. But it shouldnt be missed. Both the cozy interior and more expansive terrace provide picturesque settings for artfully plated, seriously organic and locally sourced fare from Nuno Grullon, original exec chef at Metro Organic Bistro. Particularly recommended: tuna tartare with a unique spicy lemon dressing; ossa buco featuring flavorful grass-fed beef from Gaucho Ranch right down the road. Saturday BBQ/gallery nights are especially hip. $$-$$$Jimmys East Side Diner7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692Open for more than 30 years, Jimmys respects the most important American diner tradition: breakfast at any hour. And now that the place is open for dinner, you can indulge your breakfast cravings for several more hours. There are blueberry hot cakes and pecan waffles; eggs any style, including omelets and open-face frittatas; and a full range of sides: biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even hot oatmeal. And dont forget traditional diner entres like meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions, plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken soup. $-$$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 timetrip to a cabaret in pre-WWII Berlin: bordello-red dcor, romantically dim lighting, show-tune live piano bar entertainment, and to match the ambiance, elegantly updated retro food served with style and a smile. For those feeling flush, home-style fried chicken is just like mom used to make in her wildest dreams. $$$Metro Organic Bistro 7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-751-8756 Big changes have come to Karma the car wash, the first being a separate new name for the revamped restaurant: Metro Organic Bistro, an all-organic fine-dining restaurant where simple preparations reveal and enhance natural flavors. An entirely new menu places emphasis on grilled organic meat and fish dishes. Try the steak frites organic, grass-fed skirt steak with organic chimichurri and fresh-cut fries. Vegetarians will love the organic portabella foccacia. Dine either inside the architect-designed restaurant or outdoors on the patio. Beer and wine. $-$$$ Michys6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001Dont even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a top-chef rsum, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging but far from fully gentrified neighborhood. Just be glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entres also come in half-size portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up fast. The star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off 69th Street. $$$-$$$$ Mi Vida Caf7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-6020At this indoor/outdoor vegetarian and raw-food vegan caf, culinary-school-trained chef/owner Daniela Lagamma produces purist produce-oriented dishes that are easy to understand, like sparkling-fresh salads and smoothies, plus more technique-intensive mock meat or cheese items, based on soy proteins, that satisfy even confirmed carnivores. Particularly impressive on the regular menu: a supe rior Sloppy Joe made with mushroom confit, braised home made seitan, spinach, and rich almond romescu sauce; and cannelloni de verdura, homemade crepes stuffed with spinach and cashew ricotta. Do check the daily specials, too. $$-$$$Moonchine7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999Like its Brickell-area sibling Indochine, this friendly Asian bistro serves fare from three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus are also similar, split between traditional dishes like pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro, roasted garlic). But it also carves out its own identity with original creations, including yellow curry-spiced fried rice. Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories. A large rear patio is inviting for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$Moshi Moshi 7232 Biscayne Blvd., 786-220-9404This offspring of South Beach old-timer Moshi Moshi is a cross between a sushi bar and an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar). Even more striking than the hip dcor is the foods unusually upscale quality. Sushi ranges from pristine individual nigiri to over-the-top maki rolls. Tapas are intriguing, like arabiki sausage, a sweet-savory pork fingerling frank; rarely found in restaurants even in Japan, theyre popular Japanese home-cooking items. And rice-based plates like Japanese curry (richer/sweeter than Indian types) satisfy even the biggest appetites. $-$$$Namaste7420 Biscayne Blvd., 786-536-9050With food served from steam-table-type stations, plus plastic utensils and plates, this neighborhood Indian place is definitely no frills. But its also excellent value for the money, especially if you go for the all-day $8.99 special, which includes two entre items plus sides for which most Indian restaurants charge extra: rice, choice of bread (garlic naan recommended), and refreshing raita. Invest some of your savings in BhelPapri chat, a savory snack featuring crisp chips topped with cilantro-spiked chickpeas, onions, potatoes, yogurt, and piquant tamarind sauce. $-$$News Lounge5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-758-9932Mark Soykas new News is, as its name suggests, more a friendly neighborhood hangout and watering hole than a full-fledged eatery. Nevertheless the menu of light bites is along with other lures like an inviting outdoor patio and rest rooms that resemble eclectic art galleries part of the reason visitors stay for hours. Especially recommended are fat mini-burgers with chipotle ketchup; a brie, turkey, and mango chutney sandwich on crusty baguette; and what many feel is the original cafs Greatest Hit: creamy hummus with warm pita. $Ni.Do. Caffe & Mozzarella Bar7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-960-7022Dont let this little cafs easily overlooked strip-mall location, or its informal interior, fool you. The warm welcome is authentically Italian, as are cleverly crafted antipasti, simple but full-flavored pastas, and homemade pastries (from rosemary breadsticks to fruit-topped dessert tortas) that will transport your taste buds to Tuscany. And the housemade mozzarella or burrata cheeses -truly milk elevated to royalty -will transport you to heaven. A small market area provides Italian staples, plus superb salumi and the magnificent mozz, to go. $$-$$$Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this German restaurant is owner Alex Richters one-man gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst, hearty mixed beef/pork bau ernwurst, spicy garlicwurst) with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet near-greaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels, a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$Siam Rice7941 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-0516Youll find all the familiar favorite Thai and Japanese items here, and prices for curries and noodle dishes (all customizable regarding choice of protein, preparation, and heat level) are especially good at lunch. But dont overlook some what pricier specialties like a deep-fried yet near-greaseless boneless half duck with veggies in red curry sauce. Theres also an unusually extensive list of salads, some with inventive fusion touches, like a grilled shrimp/soba salad featuring traditional Thai flavors (sriracha chiles, fish sauce, lime) and Japanese green tea noodles. $-$$$ Soyka5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117Since opening in 1999, Soyka has often been credited with sparking the Upper Eastsides revival. But the 2010 arrival of three Joe Allen veterans as executive chef, pastry chef, and sommelier signaled a culinary revival for the restolounge, always a neighborhood focal point, now more food-focused. The contemporary comfort food menu ranges from fun small plates (deviled eggs with smoked salmon and dill, crisp-fried fiocchi pockets with gorgonzola sauce, oysters Rockefeller) to heftier items like burgers and steak au poivre. And dont miss the sticky date/toffee pudding. $$-$$$ Sushi Siam5582 NE 4th Ct., 305-751-7818On the menu of sushi-bar specialties plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked dishes, there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki thats admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks, plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish), masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Thai dishes come with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging from traditional red or green curries to the inventive, such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$Uvas6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022Formerly UVA 69, this casual-chic caf/lounge, a MiMo neighborhood pioneer, has changed its name and original owners, but remains an all-day-to-late-night hangout. And menu strong points also remain, from fresh-baked pastries and breads to elegant cross-cultural sandwiches (particularly two Latin-inspired upgrades: a classic Cuban with French ham, cornichons, and a baguette; and la minuta, a beer-battered fish fillet on focaccia with cilantro aioli). Whether diners opt for full entres or make a meal of small plates, the subtle global blending makes fusion make sense. $$-$$$Yiyas Gourmet Cuban Bakery646 NE 79th St., 305-754-3337A true community jewel, this bakery is also a most welcoming caf, serving lunch specials from chef Delsa Bernardo (who co-owns the place with attorney Abbie Cuellar) that are homemade right down to the herbs grown on the bakerys window sills. Bernardos pan con lechon sandwiches and flaky-crusted Cuban pastries are legend. But she also crafts treats not found at average Cuban bakeries, like pizzas using housemade Indian naan bread. Additionally Bernardo carries unique treats produced by a few friends: candies, cupcakes, and exotically flavored flans. $ The Crab House1551 79th St. Causeway, 305-868-7085Established in 1975, this Miami fish house was acquired by Landrys in 1996 and is now part of a chain. But the classic dcor (knotty pine walls, tile floors, booths, outdoor waterfront deck) still evokes the good old days. Though the allyou-can-eat seafood/salad buffet ($20 lunch, $30 dinner) is a signature, freshness fanatics will be happiest sticking to la carte favorites like the All-American fishermans platters, or global specials like Szechuan shrimp, that change seasonally. $$$-$$$$Japanese Market and Sushi Deli1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143Inside a small market that is widely considered Miamis premier source of Japanese foodstuffs, the Sushi Deli restaurant component is nothing more than a lunch counter. But chef Michio Kushi serves up some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, and marinated fresh mackerel, pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite sandwich squares. Whil e raw fish is always impeccable here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also tempt, as do daily entres. $Oggi Caffe1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide range of budgetfriendly, homemade pastas, made daily, remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele. Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini, with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes. $$-$$$Sabor Latin Restaurant & Cafe1880 79th St. Cswy., 305-741-2020This family-run restaurant serves big portions of homey tra ditional food from several Latin American countries, including Cuba (pan con bistec, ropa vieja), Mexico (nachos, tacos, quesadillas), and Peru (lomo saltado). But the specialty is Colombian classics, from snacks like empanadas to a bandeja paisa combo (grilled steak, chorizo, a gargantuan crispy chicharron strip, fried egg, arepa, plantains, beans, rice). Particularly recommended: daily specials including two meal-in-a-bowl chicken soups, ajiaco, and sancocho. If youve wondered about the much-debated difference, heres where to test the taste. $-$$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-yourshoes vibe couldnt be farther from SoBe glitz. The food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not frozen, fish. $-$$Sushi 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

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yet affordable restaurant/nightclub where food definitely doesnt play second fiddle to entertainment. Former Crystal Caf chef Klime Kovaceski created the original menu, and among his dishes still available is the filet mignon atop surprisingly pistachio-studded barnaise sauce. Now there is a range of Mediterranean offerings as well, from grilled calamari steaks to mahi picatta. $$$ Caf Prima Pasta 414 71st St., 305-867-0106Who says old dogs cant learn new tricks? Opened in 1993 (with 28 seats), the Cea familys now-sprawling trattoria has added inventive chef Carlos Belon and modern menu items, including fiocchi rapera (pear/cheese-filled pasta purses with truffled prosciutto cream sauce), an unlikely (soy sauce and parmesan cheese?) but luscious Italian/ Japanese fusion tuna carpaccio, and fresh-fruit sorbets. But traditionalists neednt worry. All the old favorites, from the cafs famed beef carpaccio to eggplant parm and pastas sauced with Argentine-Italian indulgence, are still here and still satisfying. $$$-$$$$ KChapas1130 Normandy Dr., 305864-8872Formerly the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama, this space is now both Peruvian and Venezuelan -but not fusion. The Venezuelan sisters who run the place keep dishes true to country. Most Big Food comes from Peru: fresh ceviches, classic cooked entres. But its the Venezuelan breakfast/ snack items that keep us coming, especially signature cachapas, somewhat similar to arepas but harder to find in restaurants. These moist pancakes, made from ground corn kernels instead of just corn meal, are folded over salty white cheese for a uniquely bold balance of sweetness and savor. $-$$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 mini-crab cakes served with several housemade sauces; hefty bleu cheese burgers with Belgian-style double-cooked fries; blackened angry shrimp with sweet/sour sauce; fried fresh sardines. And of course much beer, a changing list of craft brews. $$-$$$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-can-eat). If youd prefer going the tapas bar route, highlights include a silky cognac/truffle chicken liver mousse and battered shrimp with remoulade sauce to make your own poboy crostinis. $$-$$$ Cte 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 meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish plaid ribbons that hold together the cafs baguette sandwiches. $-$$ Iron Sushi 9432 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-0311With three Biscayne Corridor outlets (plus several branches elsewhere in town), this mostly take-out mini chain is fast becoming the Sushi Joint That Ate Miami. And why do Miamians eat here? Not ambiance. There isnt any. But when friends from the Pacific Northwest, where foodies know their fish, tout the seafoods freshness, we listen. There are some surprisingly imaginative makis, like the Maharaja, featuring fried shrimp and drizzles of curry Mayo. And where else will you find a stacked sushi (five assorted makis) birthday cake? $-$$ Miami Shores Country 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 candiedwalnut, poached-pear, grilled chicken salad; and fresh pasta specials. Prices are phenomenal, with dinner entres $9 to $17; drinks average $3 to $4. $$ PizzaFiore9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-754-1924Owned by Arcoub Abderrahim, who opened South Beachs original PizzaFiore way back in 1996, this caf serves the kind of nostalgic, medium-thin crusted, oozing-with-gooeycheese pizzas reminiscent of our childhood pies in northern NJ Sopranos territory, except now there are options for todays toppings -sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, etc. But theres also a full menu of Italian-American classics, including antipasto salads, subs, and particularly popular, pastas. Garlic rolls are a must, but we didnt have to tell you that. $-$$ Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254When people speak of the West Coast as the USAs quality coffeehouse pioneer territory, theyre thinking Seattle -and then south through coastal California. North to Alaska? Not so much. But owner Michael Gesser did indeed open this hip places parent in Fairbanks back in 1993, after years of traveling through every coffee-growing country in the world. Brews like signature smooth yet exotic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe dont even need cream or sugar, much less frappe frou-frou. All beans are house-roasted. Theres solid food, too: brickoven pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastries. $-$$ Bagel Bar East1990 NE 123rd St., 305-895-7022Crusty outside (even without toasting) and substantially chewy inside, the bagels here are the sort homesick exNew Yorkers always moan are impossible to find in Miami. For those who prefer puffed-up, pillowy bagels? Forget it. Have a nice onion pocket. Theres also a full menu of authentic Jewish deli specialties, including especially delicious, custom-cut -not pre-sliced -nova or lox. Super size sandwiches easily serve two, and theyll even improvise a real NJ Sloppy Joe (two meats, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye) if you ask nice. $$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 fresh-baked baguette) are art in their own right. Inventive, substantial salads, sides, daily soups, and homemade sweets (including mouthwateringly buttery croissants) complete the menu. $-$$ Captain Jims Seafood12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim even when eat-in dining was confined to a few Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to the freshness of its seafood, much of it from Capt. Jim Hansons own fishing boats, which supply many top restaurants. Now theres a casual but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths. Whether its garlicky scampi, smoked-fish dip, grilled yellowtail or hog or mutton snapper, perfectly tenderized cracked conch or conch fritters, everything is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$ Caminito 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. $-$$Casa Mia Trattoria 1950 NE 123rd St., 305-899-2770Tucked away, off to the side on the approach to the Broad Causeway and the beaches, this charming indoor/outdoor trattoria seems to attract mostly neighborhood regulars. But even newcomers feel like regulars after a few minutes, thanks to the staffs Italian ebullience. Menu offerings are mostly classic comfort foods with some contemporary items as well. Housemade pastas are good enough that low-carb dieters should take a break, especially for the tender gnocchi with pesto or better yet, delicate fagottini beggars purses stuffed with pears and cheese. $$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)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. $$-$$$$Flip Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St.,305-741-3547 Casual-chic burger bars, everywhere in South Beach, are still rare farther north. One reason this easy-to-miss venue is a must-not-miss for North Miami locals: The hefty halfpounders on fresh brioche buns include a scrumptious patty with Gruyere, mushrooms, and onion marmalade. The Fireman is a jalapeo/chipotle scorcher. There are even turkey and veggie variations. Other draws are hand-cut fries, beer-battered onion rings, a top-drawer beer list, budgetpriced combo specials, conversation-friendly acoustics, and a South Beach rarity: free parking. $-$$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 swordwielding grandstanders for custom cooking (because staff asks your preference) -wed bet on giraffe domination. Overstuffed grilled sandwiches, salads, even tasty veggie options are all here, too. The cheese bread is a must. $$Happy Sushi & Thai2224 NE 123rd St.,305-895-0165Grab a booth at this cozy eatery, which serves all the expected Thai and sushi bar standards, including weekday lunch specials. But there are also delightful surprises, like grilled kawahagi (triggerfish) with seasoned Japanese mayonnaise. This intensely savory/sweet Japanese home cooking treat satisfies the same yen as beef jerky, except without pulling out your teeth. Accompanied by a bowl of rice, its a superb lunch. For raw-fish fans, spicy, creamy salmon tartare (accompanied by hiyashi wakame seaweed) is a winner. $$-$$$ Here Comes the Sun2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of Miamis first, theres a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supple ments. But the places hearty soups, large variety of entres (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like miso burgers with secret sun sauce (which would probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-ten-buck early-bird dinner is popular with the former long-hair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices, and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$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 white-wine-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 sand wich. $$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

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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. $$$Los Antojos11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411If its Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina, Colombias national dish. If its Saturday, it must be ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a bowl. For Colombiancuisine novices, a bandeja paisa (sampler including rice, beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sauted sweet plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every day, as are antojitos little whims, smaller snacks like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$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 oildrenched garlic rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and pickled peppers) thats a dinner in itself. Rustic road house ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths, add to Mamas charm. $-$$Pastry Is Art12591 Biscayne Blvd., 305-640-5045Given owner Jenny Rissones background as the Eden Rocs executive pastry chef, its not surprising that her cakes and other sweet treats (like creamy one-bite truffle lollipops) look as flawlessly sophisticated as they taste -perfect adult party fare. What the bakerys name doesnt reveal is that its also a breakfast and lunch caf, with unusual bakingoriented fare: a signature sandwich of chicken, brie, and caramelized peaches and pecans on housemade bread; quiches; pot pies; even a baked-to-order Grand Marnier souffl. The pecan sticky buns are irresistible. $$ 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 pre tense and winning fans with both classic and nouvelle bistro fare: frise salad with lardons, poached egg, and bacon vinaigrette; truite Grenobloise (trout with lemon/caper sauce); consomm with black truffles and foie gras, covered by a buttery puff pastry dome; perfect pommes frites, and equally perfect apple or lemon tarts for dessert. $$$Rice House of Kabob14480 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-4899Since 2006, South Beachs original Rice House has been serving up mountainous platters of basmati rice and Greek salad topped with Persian-style marinated/char-grilled meat, poultry, seafood, or veggie kabobs -for very little money. This branch of what is now a growing chain has the same menu (which also features wraps, for lighter eaters) and the same policy of custom-cooking kabobs, so expect fresh, not fast, food. Sides of must-o-keyar and must-o-mooseer (thick yogurt dips with herbed cukes or shallots) are musthaves. $$ Smashburger14730 Biscayne Blvd., 786-406-6614Two things distinguish the griddled patties of this Denverbased chain, touted as the nations fastest-growing better burger restaurant, from other better burgers: a nod to local tastes (like toppings of fried chorizo and potato fritas), and the smashing technique, producing an appealing thickly crusted exterior. Got burger overkill? Substitute chicken, or have a salad. An added draw: unusual veggie sides, which go beyond regular and sweet potato fries to crisp onion strings, veggie frites (carrots, string beans), and an Old South fish-camp classic: fried pickles. $-$$Steves Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202At the end of a debauched night of excess, some paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked salmon (or similar fluff) doesnt do the trick. Open till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steves has, since 1974, been serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, and peppers. $Tiny Thai House12953 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-1646The space is tiny. The menu, which features Thai specialties but includes sushi plus Japanese appetizers and entres, is not. Despite the huge selection of sushi/Thai restaurant standards, though, dont overlook items harder to find in America, like floating noodle soup, a popular street food from Thailands boat-based market stalls; similar in savor to Vietnamese pho, the dish contains beef, bean sprouts, and noodles heaped in umami-rich beef broth. Among the nicely priced sushi selections, the Mylo roll (tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, and cuke, topped with tempura fish and eel sauce) is a tasty pick. Dont miss sticky rice with mango for dessert. $Wongs Chinese Restaurant12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313The menu reads like a textbook on how to please everyone, with food ranging from traditional Chinese to ChineseAmerican to just plain American. Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp (authentically shell-on). And New Yorkers will find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken, twice-cooked pork. $$Woodys Famous Steak 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 time-tested 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. $$ Bamboo Garden1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners favorite on the 163rd/167th Street Chinatown strip because of its superior dcor. But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic dishes like peppery black bean clams, sauted mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions, plus ChineseAmerican egg foo young. Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes marked with red-chili icons, but dont worry; realizing some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to heroic heat levels upon request. $$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 pro ducing 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. $-$$Christines Roti Shop16721 NE 6th Ave.,305-770-0434Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a Caribbean megacrepe made from chickpea flour. Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But there are about a dozen other curries from which to choose. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty, portable lunches. $ Duffys Sports Grill Intracoastal Mall3969 NE 163rd St., 305-760-2124Located in a sprawling indoor/outdoor space at the Intracoastal Mall, Duffys, part of a popular chain that identifies as the official sports grill of every major Miami team, features roughly a zillion TVs and an equally mega-size menu of accessibly Americanized, globally inspired dishes designed to please crowds: stuffed potato skins, crab Rangoon, coconut-crusted fish fingers with orange-ginger sauce, jumbo wings of many flavors. Imagine a sportsoriented Cheesecake Factory. What makes this particular Duffys different and better? Location, location, location -fronting the Intracoastal Waterway. Theres even a swimming pool with its own bar. $$-$$$ Empire Szechuan Gourmet of NY3427 NE 163rd St., 305-949-3318In the 1980s, Empire became the Chinese chain that swallowed Manhattan -and transformed public perceptions of Chinese food in the NY metropolitan area. Before: bland faux-Cantonese dishes. After: lighter, more fiery fare from Szechuan and other provinces. This Miami outpost does serve chop suey and other Americanized items, but dont worry. Stick with Szechuan crispy prawns, Empires Special Duck, cold sesame noodles, or similar pleasantly spicy spe cialties, and youll be a happy camper, especially if youre an ex-New Yorker. $$ 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 cre ations 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). $$$-$$$$ Ginza Japanese Buffet16153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-2192Highlighting the lunch and dinners spreads at this all-youcan-eat Japanese buffet are a hibachi station (where chefs custom-cook diners choice of seafood or meat), plus many types of maki rolls and individual nigiri sushi, both featuring a larger variety of seafood than at many sushi bars -not just salmon and tuna but snapper, escolar, surf clam, snow crab, and more. But there are also steam-tabled hot Japanese and Chinese dishes; an array of cold shellfish and salads with mix-and-match sauces; and desserts. Selections vary, but value-for-money is a given. $$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. $$$ Hannas Gourmet Diner13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune in the late 1990s, they added Hannas to the name, but changed little else about this retro-looking French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner date destination. $$-$$$ Hiro Japanese Restaurant3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687One of Miamis first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that make it a perennially popular after-hours snack stop. The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori, skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat, fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for vegetarians. $$ Hiros Sushi 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 cre ations 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. $-$$Kabobji3055 NE 163rd St., 305-354-8484This place makes a very good tahini sauce. In fact that alone is reason enough to visit. We prefer ours with this bright, cheery eaterys delightfully oniony falafel or a veggarnished wrap of thin-sliced marinated beef schwarma. They also do a beautifully spiced, and reassuringly freshtasting, raw kibbi naye (Middle Eastern steak tartare). Its hard to resist putting together a grazing meal of starters and wraps, but theres also a roster of full entres (with soup or salad plus starch), including tempting vegetarian and seafood meals for noncarnivores. $$ rfntbrbrnfffnnfbnbrbr ORIGINALBAVARIANBIERGARTEN THAI LUNCH SPECIALS $7.99 Monday-Saturday till 3:30pmSINGHA BEER 2 FOR $5So Popular We Extended it!All Day Long through March 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 Follow us on

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Kebab Indian Restaurant514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an unatmo spheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically draped booths) has been a popular destination for reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing, but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request. They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an Indian eatery, too. $$King Palace330 NE 167th St. 305-949-2339The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more, displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance. Theres also a better-than-average selection of seasonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the best ordering strategy, since the place is usually packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on nearby tables, and point. $$ 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. $-$$ KoneFood387 NE 167th St., 305-705-4485Cones contain ice cream. Kones, however, contain anything and everything edible -at least at this eatery, locally founded (though the original concept of ultimate portable convenience meals, in sealed flatbread cones, came from Italy). In their melting-pot American version, kone fillings range from breakfast items like huevos rancheros to Thai chicken, chicken curry, coconut shrimp, kones kon lechon (slow-roasted pork with mojo), various pizzas, BBQ, chicken Florentine, healthy green salads, more. There are even desserts like a flambed apple Kone la Normande. Authentic Belgian frites, too. $ Lime Fresh Mexican Grill14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800(See Midtown / Wynwood / Design District listing)Laurenzos Market Caf16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381Its just a small area between the wines and the fridge counters no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style space. But when negotiating this international gourmet markets packed shelves and crowds has depleted your energies, its a handy place to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar Italian-American classics, housemade from old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of Wednesdays hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily soup specials, could keep a person shopping for hours. And now that pizza master Carlo is manning the wood-fired oven, you can sample the thinnest, crispiest pies outside Napoli. $-$$Little Saigon16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377This is Miamis oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but its still packed most weekend nights. So even the places biggest negative its hole-in-the-wall atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover. Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho (served with greens, herbs, and condiments that make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is humongous. $-$$The Melting Pot15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228 For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain are generally the only places to go for this eating experience. Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entre with meat or seafood, plus choice of cooking potion (herbed wine, bouillon, or oil); finish with fruits and cakes dipped in melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all other table companions, so go with those you love. $$$New China Buffet940 North Miami Beach Blvd., 305-957-7266The venue (a former Bennigans) is clean, casual, and not kitschy. The all-you-can-eat fare is voluminous -scores of Chinese dishes (recommended: Mongolian pork, spicy garlic shrimp, and surprisingly authentic steamed fish with ginger and scallion); international oddities (pizza, plantains, pigs-inblankets); plus sushi, salad, and pastry/ice cream bars. And the price is sure right. Lunch is $6.75 ($7.75 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner features more seafood, $9.55. Theres an inexpensive take-out option, too, and reduced kids prices. $Oishi Thai14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338 At this stylish Thai/sushi spot, try the menu of specials, many of which clearly reflect the young chefs fanatical devotion to fresh fish, as well as the time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled miso-marinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisas new style sashimi (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot olive and sesame oil). The specials menu includes some Thai-inspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry, Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with basil sauce. $$$-$$$$Panya Thai520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, theres no shortage of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But Panyas chef/ owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/ or rare dishes not found elsewhere. Plus he doesnt auto matically curtail the heat or sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deep-fried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip, accompanied by crisp green papaya salad); broad rice noodles stir-fried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy tamarind sauce. $$-$$$ Paquitos16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldnt be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks. And if the kitschy dcor alone doesnt cheer you, the quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles and harder-to-find traditional preparations like albndigas spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$Racks Soprano Caf & Italian Restaurant3933 NE 163rd St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-917-7225Racks has a new owner and a new name. Italian chef Rocco Soprano is bringing his authentic Italian flavors and style to a lovely setting. Well have more details next month, but we know the specialties include Italian steaks, seafood, and an oyster bar. One thing that wont change: the coalfired pizza oven, which reliably turns out an astonishingly light yet chewy crust that makes the pies a revelation. Especially enjoyable is the waterfront deck. $$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 minipotato pancakes ever eight per order, served with sour cream and applesauce. $$Sangs Chinese Restaurant1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076Sangs has three menus. The pink menu is Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender salt-baked chicken, even esoterica like abalo ne with sea cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum, served until 4:00 p.m. A live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and scallion. Recently installed: a Chinese barbecue case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with crackling attached. $$$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. $-$$Slices Pizza & Pasta13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5684While pizza by the slice is common street food in every city in the USA, this informal Italian eatery offers a variation particularly appropriate to Latin American-influenced Miami: slices served rodizio-style. Brazils traditional rodizio restau rants feature many different grilled meats, served tableside by a continuing parade of waiters till diners cry uncle. Here the concept is the same, with dozens of varieties of pizza (plus several pastas) replacing the beef. $$ 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 familyfriendly 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. $-$$Sushi House15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002In terms of dcor drama, this sushi spot seems to have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list, too, is over the top, featuring monster makis like the Cubbie Comfort: spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeos, and cilantro, topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki, and spicy Mayo. Hawaiian King Crab contains unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. Boutique wines, artisan sakes, and cocktails are as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$Sushi Sake13551 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4242Chic Asian-accented dcor, video screens, 99-cent drink deals, and late-night hours make this hip hangout not just a sushi bar but sort of a neighborhood bar, too. That said, the sushi is impressive, mainly because seafood is delivered daily and all except the shrimp is fresh, not frozen (as is customary at most Miami sushi places). Also notable: All sauces are housemade. Cooked makis like a crunch-topped Miami Heat are most popular, but its as sashimi that the fishs freshness truly shines. $$-$$$ Tanias Table18685 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-932-9425A location at the tail end of a tiny, tired-looking strip mall makes this weekday lunch-only kosher eatery easy to miss. But the cute bistro, an extension of chef Tania Sigals catering company, is well worth seeking for its unusually varied daily-changing menus -not just familiar Eastern Europeanderived dishes (chicken matzoh ball soup, blintzes, etc.) but numerous Latin American specialties (zesty ropa vieja), Asian-influenced items (Thai chicken/noodle salad), lightened universal Ladies-Who-Lunch classics (custardy quiches, grilled trout with mustard sauce), and homemade baked goods. $$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 modest-looking vegan (dairy-free vegetarian) restaurant and smoothie bar. Dishes from breakfasts blueberry-packed pancakes to Caribbean vegetable stews sparkle with vivid flavors. Especially impressive: mock meat (and fake fish) wheat-gluten items that beat many carnivorous competitors. Skeptical? Rightly. But we taste-tested a Philly cheese steak sandwich on the toughest of critics -an inflexibly burger-crazy six year-old. She cleaned her plate. $$

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Yakko-San3881 NE 163rd. St. (Intracoastal Mall), 305-947-0064After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for the night, many come here for a rare taste of Japanese home cooking, served in grazing portions. Try glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna can be had in maguro nuta mixed with scallions and dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard sauce. Other favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$ Asia Bay Bistro1007 Kane Concourse; 305-861-2222As in Japans most refined restaurants, artful presentation is stunning at this Japanese/Thai gem. And though the voluminous menu sports all the familiar favorites from both nations, the Japanese-inspired small plates will please diners seeking something different. Try jalapeo-sauced hamachi sashimi; toro with enoki mushrooms, bracing ooba (shiso), tobiko caviar, and a sauce almost like beurre blanc; rock shrimp/shitake tempura with a delicate salad; elegant salmon tartare with a mix-in quail egg. And spicy, mayodressed tuna rock makis are universal crowd-pleasers. $$$ Bettos Ristorante Italiano1009 Kane Concourse, 305-861-8166After roughly 25 years as Caffe Da Vinci, this romantic remodeled, renamed space is now managed by Betto Di Carlo, also a 25-year Italian cuisine veteran (as former owner/ effusively charming host of Surfsides neighborhood favorite Caf Ragazzi). Best make reservations. Though off the tourist track, the place draws hungry hordes for homemade pastas like pappardelle ai porcini (toothsome wide noodles with fresh mushrooms). Veal piccata, lightly floured and sauted medaillons with a caper-studded lemon white wine sauce, and thicker mozzarella-stuffed chops are also popular. $$$ Le Pine1052 Kane Concourse, 305-861-1059This upscale Lebanese restaurant serves dishes with the sort of understated sophistication that makes clear why Beirut was called the Paris of the East. Youll find familiar Middle Eastern favorites, but many have refinements that lift them above average: pita thats housemade, charmingly fluffy when warm from the oven; falafel incorporating flavorful fava beans with the usual ground chickpeas. Especially appealing are more uncommon items like crisp-fried cauliflower with tahini, fateh (a chickpea casserole iced with thick yogurt), and buttery cheese/herb-filled sambusak pastries. Finish exotically with a hookah. $$-$$$ Open Kitchen1071 95th St., 305-865-0090If we were on Death Row, choosing a last meal, this very chef-centered lunchroom/markets PBLT (a BLT sandwich with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly substituting for regular bacon) would be a strong contender. Co-owners Sandra Stefani (ex-Casa Toscana chef/owner) and Ines Chattas (exIcebox Caf GM) have combined their backgrounds to create a global gourmet oasis with a menu ranging from light quiches and imaginative salads to hefty balsamic/tomato-glazed shortribs or daily pasta specials (like wild boar-stuffed ravioli). Also featured: artisan grocery products, and Stefanis famous interactive cooking class/wine dinners. $$-$$$ The Palm9650 E. Bay Harbor Dr., 305-868-7256It was 1930s journalists, legend has it, who transformed NYCs original Palm from Italian restaurant to bastion of beef. Owners would run out to the butcher for huge steaks to satisfy the hardboiled scribes. So our perennial pick here is nostalgic: steak la stone -juicy, butter-doused slices on toast, topped with sauted onions and pimentos. This classic (whose carb components make it satisfying without la carte sides, and hence a relative bargain) isnt on the menu anymore, but cooks will prepare it on request. $$$$$ Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza17901 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-2625When people rave about New York pizzas superiority, they dont just mean thin crusts. They mean the kind of airy, abundantly burn-bubbled, uniquely flavorful crusts that can only be consistently produced by a traditional coal (not wood) oven -like those at Anthonys, which began with one Fort Lauderdale pizzeria in 2002 and now has roughly 30 locations. Quality toppings, though limited, hit all the major food groups, from prosciutto to kalamata olives. There are salads, too, but the sausage and garlicsauted broccoli rabe pie is a tastier green vegetable. $$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 unusu ally flavorful homemade corned beef hash and eggs. For the rest of the day, multitudes of mavens devour every other delectable deli specialty known to humankind. $$BagelWorks18729 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-7727Hard as it is for old-time NYC expats to believe, theres evidently a younger generation that doesnt equate the Jewish deli experience with loudmouthed servers and the smell of 75 years of fermenting pickle juice in the flooring. This cleanly contemporary place attracts this younger generation with the full range of classics, including many varieties of hand-sliced smoked fish, but also healthy options, most notably a wide array of substantial salads with grilled protein add-ons. Bagels, while machine-made rather than hand-rolled, are freshly baked all day. $$ Bella 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. $$$ Bourbon Steak 19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-0658 (Fairmont Hotel, Turnberry Resort)At Bourbon Steak, a venture in the exploding restaurant empire of chef Michael Mina, a multiple James Beard award winner, steakhouse fare is just where the fare starts. There are also Minas ingenious signature dishes, like an elegant deconstructed lobster/baby vegetable pot pie, a raw bar, and enough delectable vegetable/seafood starters and sides for noncarnivores to assemble a happy meal. But dont neglect the steak flavorful dry-aged Angus, 100-percent Wagyu American Kobe, swoonworthy grade A5 Japanese Kobe, and butter-poached prime rib, all cooked to perfection. $$$$$BurgerFi18139 Biscayne Blvd., 305-466-0350 Its not surprising that this Florida-based better burger franchise is one of Americas fastest-growing. With dcor thats relaxingly retro yet futuristically earth-friendly (think recycled Coke bottle chairs), beverages ranging from milkshakes to craft beers, and sourced hormone/antibiotic-free, grass-fed Angus burgers on branded buns, for prices rivaling those for fast-food junkburgers, whats not to love? There are also vegetarian quinoa burgers or Kobe dogs, plus accessories including hand-cut fries, killer crisp-battered onion rings, freshly made, all-natural frozen custard, and toppings galore. $ Cadillac RanchVillage at Gulfstream Park 921 Silks Run Rd. #1615, 954-456-1031Its hard to decide if the most fun interpretation of beef here is the weekend prime rib dinner special (with two sides and a meat hunk hefty enough for sandwiches the next day) or the mechanical bull. Party like its 1980 at this all-American restolounge/sports bar, which includes two outdoor patios with fire pits and, sometimes, live rootsy music. If you miss out on the roast beef (it goes fast), there are burgers, steaks, meal-size salads, and classic bar bites. $$-$$$ Caf Bistro @ Nordstrom19507 Biscayne Blvd. #15, 305-937-7267In the days before quick-bite food courts, upscale depart ment stores had their own real restaurants, civilized oases where Ladies Who Lunch took leisurely respite from shopping. In todays Women Who Work times, those restaurants (and privileged ladies) are anachronisms, but this room, hidden on Nordstroms second floor, is a relaxing time-trip back. Enjoy creamy crab bisque, extravagant salads (shrimp with cilantro-lime dressing; pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts with cherry balsamic vinaigrette), or a retro-modern club sandwich. Organic ingredients from local purveyors are emphasized. $$$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 infusions like green lemonade (with mint and basil). $$Fuji Hana2775 NE 187th St., Suite #1, 305-932-8080A people-pleasing menu of typical Thai and Japanese dishes, plus some appealing contemporary creations (like the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll, an inside-out tuna/avocado/ tempura maki, topped with more tuna and served with a luscious creamy cilantro sauce) has made this eatery a longtime favorite. But vegetarians -for whom seafood-based condiments can make Asian foods a minefield -might want to add the place to their worth a special drive list, thanks to chefs winning ways with tofu and all-around accommodation to veg-only diets. $$-$$$The Grill on the Alley19501 Biscayne Blvd. (Aventura Mall), 305-466-7195Ensconced in a leather booth, with dark hardwood everywhere and a massive bar dispensing two-fisted drinks, youd never know you were dining in a shopping mall -or in the new millennium. This upscale mini chain salutes Americas great grill restaurants of yesteryear, with prodigious portions of charbroiled meats and seafood, plus classics like creamy chicken pot pie. New retro dishes are added quarterly, but our favorite remains Sunday nights prime rib special: a $32 hunk of juicy beef thatll take care of Mondays meals too. $$$$$ Il Migliore2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-792-2902This attractive trattoria gets the food right, as well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes that dont overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a brick. And even low-carb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, herbsprinkled French fries. $$-$$$ Kampai3575 NE 207th St., 305-931-6410At this longtime neighborhood favorite Japanese/Thai restau rant, many come just for the slightly pricy but very generous sushi specialties. Most makis are cooked, but for raw-fish fans the tempura-flake-topped crunchy tuna/avocado roll with spicy mayo, and tuna both inside and out, is a people-pleaser. Dont neglect Thai specialties, though, especially red and green curries customizable as to heat (mild, medium, hot, and authentic Thai hot). And for a bargain light lunch, try tonjiru, miso soup jazzed up with veggies and pork. $$-$$$La Estancia Argentina17870 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-6477At this market/restaurant, theres a small but quality selection of Argentine grocery staples and wines, plus a butcher counter where backyard BBQers can find everything necessary for a parrillada party. Alternatively, grab a table and let La Estancia do the cooking -anything from tapas and elegant miga mini-tea sandwiches to hefty grilled parrillada plates. Most irresistible, though, are the savory and sweet baked goods, especially elaborately frosted layer cakes and delicately crusted empanadas plumply stuffed with hand-cut flank steak, mushrooms in onion sauce, much more. $-$$Luca Bella19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-792-2222In the space that once housed Chef Allens, this trattoria offers a crowd-pleasing combination: dcor with whitetablecloth elegance, yet the family-friendly feel of a classic checkered-tablecloth eatery -and Italian-American comfort food to match. Highlights: Mickeys Meatballs (named for owner Mickey Maltese), a meal-size marinara-sauced starter featuring whipped ricotta and creamy mascarpone; veal Bella Luca, mixing modern and traditional influences via a hefty breadcrumb-coated pan-fried chop with a topping of bracing balsamic reduction-dressed mesclun. $$$Mos Bagels & Deli2780 NE 187th St., 305-936-8555While the term old school is used a lot to describe this spacious (160-seat) establishment, it actually opened in 1995. It just so evokes the classic NY delis we left behind that it seems to have been here forever. Example: Lox and nova arent pallid, prepackaged fish, but custom-sliced from whole slabs. And bagels are hand-rolled, chewy champions, not those machine-made puffy poseurs. As complimentary pastry bites suggest, and the massive size of the succulent, sufficiently fatty pastrami sandwiches confirm, generous Jewish Mo(m) spirit shines here. $$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. Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty: fresh hearts of palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette. Forget its strip-mall location. The restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$Pizza Roma19090 NE 29th Ave. 305-937-4884Despite its name, this homey hidden eatery serves not Romes wood-cooked, crunchy-crusted pizzas but New Yorkstyle pies with medium-thick crusts pliable enough to fold in half for neat street eating. Unlike chains, though, this indie is accommodating, so if you want your crust thin and crisp, just ask. Also featured are Italian-American entres like baked manicotti (thats mani-goat, for those not from NJ) big enough to share, and sub sandwiches, here called bullets, to put you in a Sopranos frame of mind. $$Sushi Siam19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955(See Miami / Upper Eastside listing) Chef Philip Ho16850 Collins Ave., 305-974-0338Deep-pocketed diners who ate at the Setai when Jonathan Wright was executive chef already know chef Hos work. His dazzling dim sum were the menus highlight. Now theyre affordable for all. Dumplings (chive and shrimp, green tea duck, truffle-spiked scallop, more) have skins delicate enough to see through; open shrimp dumplings with dried scallops are almost flower-like in appearance; steamed cheung fan (rice noodle crpes) rolled around Chinese crullers are simply sinful, as are flaky-crusted egg custard tarts. And the regular menu measures up to the small plates. $$-$$$Copper Chimney18090 Collins Ave., 305-974-0075At this family-owned (and kid-friendly), white-tablecloth Indian restaurant, prices are more upscale than average, but so is the foods elegant presentation -plus features like a full bar, live Bollywood/belly dancing on weekends, and, among familiar North Indian fare, dishes blending contemporary touches with traditional tastes. Especially enjoyable: starters inspired by street snacks, like bikaneri chaat (fried gram flour crisps, chickpeas, and yogurt) served with two chutneys; anything featuring paneer cheese, from classic spinach/cheese palak paneer to creative khazazs-elazzat (sundried tomato-stuffed paneer/potato dumplings in smooth cream sauce). $$$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. $$$The H Restaurant17608 Collins Ave., 305-931-9106This friendly, family-owned bistro is the sort of homeawayfrom-home found every few blocks in France -here Gerard and Karin Herrison, plus chef son Julien, formerly had a restaurant -but theyre rarely found in South Florida. Burgers, et al., are available, but with garlicky escargots, a savory/ sweet-dressed salad of duck confit atop frise, pan-seared foie gras with port/raspberry sauce, fish with an impeccable lemon beurre blanc, and a satisfying steak/frites (with peppery cognac cream sauce). Wed leave the American stuff to the kids. $$$-$$$$Il Mulino New York17875 Collins Ave., 305-466-9191If too much is not enough for you, this majorly upscale Italian-American place, an offshoot of the famed NYC original, is your restaurant. For starters, diners receive enough freebie food -fried zucchini coins, salami, bruschetta with varying toppings, a wedge of quality parmigiano, garlic bread -that ordering off the menu seems superfluous. But mushroom raviolis in truffle cream sauce are irresistible, and perfectly tenderized veal parmesan, the size of a large pizza, makes a great take-out dinnerfor the next week. $$$$-$$$$$Kitchen 30516701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110Offering eclectic American fare, this resort restaurant room, despite its contemporary open kitchen, has the retro-glam look of a renovated discotheque -which is what it was. In fact, its still as much lounge as eatery, so its best to arrive early if you want a relatively DJ-free eating experience. A seductive mangopapaya BBQ sauce makes ribs a tasty choice any night, but most local diners in the know come on nights when the restaurant features irresistibly priced seasonal seafood specials (all-you-can-eat stone crabs one night, lobster on another). A spacious dining counter overlooking the cooks makes the Kitchen a comfortable spot for singles. $$$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 mar ket, 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. $$$-$$$$ Werner Staubs Peppermill350 Bayview Dr., 305-466-2016Itll likely be years until diners stop instinctively heading for the tropic-alpine chalet that formerly housed the Peppermill at the Waterways in Aventura. But this new indoor/outdoor spaces bay views are much more spectacular. And the food is the same unique old-school stuff. Seafood is featured, and while there are contemporary preparations, you cant resist hard-to-find retro dishes like imported Dover sole almondine, Swiss-style poached trout with champagne-shallot sauce, an elaborate steak tartar, and for dessert, peach Melba or strawberries Romanoff. $$$

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